1. Glaurung's Spell
Dedication: This one is dedicated to Altariel, for too many reasons to count. Simply put: You rock!
Author's Note: This was originally intended to be an AU (formerly titled "Cursed Decisions"), but it has become clear now that with the obligations school, I will not have time to finish this. I apologize to everyone who has waited so patiently with me so far. I've never done this before, but I really had no idea that the final year of high school would be this hectic. I've revised the story significantly to justify the update. Again, my apologies for anyone who was interested in the AU aspects of the story.
I do, however, still have an outline of the plot I intended to use, so if anyone is interested in taking on an AU where Túrin chooses Finduilas and wants to bounce some ideas off me, I'd be happy to talk! :-) Just send me an e-mail.
Thanks: Thanks to Drew for beta-reading the initial chapter, and many thanks to Maureen Lycaon for her suggestions later on!
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion.
"Hail, son of Húrin. Well met!"
Túrin turned slowly, methodically, keeping his breath even. The dragon was close, and the foul stench from its breath washed over him in a hot wave. But Túrin was not, would not be daunted by the creature. Bring forth thy terrible wrath, worm of Morgoth. I fear thee not! Lifting his head high, Túrin looked into the hideous, unblinking eye of Glaurung. The eye was pitch black, its texture smooth like marble. Slowly, swirls of gold danced hypnotically on the black surface, and Túrin leaned forward. Unwillingly, he was drawn to a single bright point of light, and he stepped ever closer, his hands reaching out.
Then, without warning, Túrin fell. In the back of his mind, he knew that his feet were still firmly rooted on the ground, but his stomach lurched nonetheless, as though something was pulling him down into an abyss. Silence. The sounds of looting and battle faded, and he was surrounded by a thick, choking darkness. Túrin tensed, awaiting the inevitable strike from his foe. What sorcery is this? If the worm would blind his opponents ere fighting them, he is a coward!
The silence stretched on and still nothing happened. Not even the slightest ripple in the air could be felt. The sword began to feel heavy in Túrin's hand, and his grip on his sword loosened. It was as though the very air he breathed weighed down on him, and the mere act of standing made his muscles ache.
Then Glaurung spoke suddenly, with a harsh, booming voice. Túrin gritted his teeth as the dissonant sound filtered through his ears, striking at the very core of his bones.
"Evil have been all thy ways, son of Húrin." The cruel words rang out with malice, snaking their way into his heart. Túrin tried to turn away, to escape from the grip of the words, but they held tight, suffocating him. Cowardly worm! Where is he? Túrin tried to locate the source of the sound, but to no avail - the cold voice of Glaurung seeped through even the tiniest of crevices in the dark. Túrin blinked. Something was approaching. Its stature was taller than a man, and it held a bright blade in its hand. An orc, perhaps? wondered Túrin. Without warning, the dark shape started to run and leapt for Túrin. Instinctively, Túrin drew his blade, struggling with his enemy. He felt naught but a burning hatred as he seized his sword and dug deep into the orc's flesh. Blood poured down the sword, staining the ground a bright red. Túrin breathed hard, smiling triumphantly. Another of Morgoth's minions killed! Come now, worm! Have you naught more to counter with?
The dragon did not respond. Moments passed, and an ill dread crept up on him. It could be not be so easy. He looked around for a hidden ambush, or some sign of more orcs to come. But there was nothing. Túrin moved his feet tentatively, and felt soft grass underneath them. He was no longer at Nargothrond, of that he could be sure now. Had Glaurung transported him elsewhere so that he may further wreak havoc upon his beloved city?
Before Túrin could think any further, a great flash of lightning lit the skies, and the world around him became still. Túrin drew in a sharp breath as he was confronted with an all-too familiar scene. No. It cannot be! Beneath his feet lay Beleg Strongbow, a friend he had always held dearest in his heart.
But I saw an orc, protested Túrin. But even to himself, the words rang hollow.
Túrin lowered his head in grief, looking helplessly on the pale, expressionless face of his friend. Oh, Beleg, if only you would speak to me once more! Ill has been my treatment of you. Will you ever forgive me?
Túrin recoiled as Beleg shifted from his position on the ground, and sat up. Beleg's face was contorted with rage, and his eyes no longer held the patience and kindness Túrin had seen before. Beleg spoke bitterly, "Thankless fosterling, outlaw! Slayer of thy friend..."
I am sorry, Beleg! I did not know! Túrin pleaded silently, imploring his friend to understand. Beleg then lifted up a hand covered with blood, and looked upon it with sadness.
"Thou didst slay me once before," said Beleg, his voice gradually weakening. "Yet thou wouldst slay me again?"
Show me no more of this! No more! Túrin summoned up all his strength and wrenched his gaze away from Beleg. All was silent once more, and Túrin let out a deep breath. Faintly, the sound of rushing water could be heard, and he wandered over to the direction of the sound.
Gwindor? You are alive still? He reached forward to touch the elf, to confirm the reality of this sight, but Gwindor's cold gaze stopped him in his tracks.
"Thief of love," spat Gwindor. "Usurper of Nargothrond, captain foolhardy!"
Túrin stared at the new scene unfolding before him as the words sank in. Finduilas speaking to him under the stars as Gwindor watches with envy and sadness. Flashes of his speeches at the King's councils, his derision towards those who preached caution. And finally, the bloody corpses of the elves of Nargothrond limp on the ground as orcs rampage around them unchecked. The taunting laughter of orcs as they defiled the corpses with glee invaded his ears, and Túrin gripped his sword so hard his knuckles turned white.
Blood. Blood on his hands. Blood everywhere. Túrin knew not when, or how the blood appeared. But it was there, covering his hands, running down the side of his face. Fat drops of blood fell one by one on the ground with a splatter. Blood coloured his vision, painting his world a dark shade of red.
"Deserter of thy kin. As thralls thy mother and thy sister live in Dor-lómin, in misery and want. Thou art arrayed as a prince, but they go in rags."
It cannot be... It cannot be... Túrin watched in dismay as the Easterlings enslaved the people of his village. He scanned the scene quickly, and let out a gasp as he saw his mother, stripped of her dignity, performing menial tasks for the drunken Easterling Brodda.
"For thee they yearn, but thou carest not for that. "
Túrin began to tremble under the weight Glaurung's accusations, perceiving the truth in what was said.
"Glad may thy father be to learn that he hath such a son; as learn he shall."
Then, Glaurung spoke no more and Túrin was left to stand in the silence, seeing naught but darkness. As his bearings slowly returned to him, he caught sight of hordes of orcs passing by, clamoring loudly as they herded the captives over the bridge. Though he had begun to despair, Túrin started to fight anew against the spell of Glaurung when the wails of the captives filled his ears. However, his struggles were in vain, and his distress grew as the captives were quickly ushered out of his sight.
Suddenly, a familiar voice called out to him, crying out for his help. Dismay dawned on Túrin as he recognized the voice to be that of Finduilas, the Elf-maiden he had promised to save. And here I am delayed by this foul dragon! he thought angrily. Gradually, the voices faded into the distance, leaving Túrin with only the cursed memory of the captives' woe and his own helplessness.
Gone. The orcs have taken them... taken Finduilas. If ever I encounter them again, they will swiftly learn my wrath!
At that thought, Túrin sought to lift his sword again, as if to declare war upon the orcs that had left. To his surprise, he found that he could move slightly, although his movements were leaden. All his pent-up frustrations, however, quickly lent him strength again, and with a shout, he struck against the dragon viciously.
Undaunted, Glaurung merely laughed, the sound of his laughter turning Túrin's blood cold.
"If thou wilt be slain, I will slay thee gladly. But small help will that be to Morwen and Nienor. No heed didst thou give to the cries of the Elf-woman. Wilt thou deny also the bond of thy blood?"
The maddening tone of the dragon made Túrin incensed. That dragon will rue the day it ever crossed me! he swore. Túrin drew his sword and stabbed it towards the dragon's eye. Glaurung pulled back immediately and paused to regard Túrin carefully. Then, he spoke again to Túrin, no longer taunting but offering him freedom instead. Túrin swayed for a moment, his pride unwilling to let him leave the battle unfought.
As though he sensed Túrin's hesitation, Glaurung spoke again. "And if Elf or Man be left to make tale of these days, then surely in scorn they will name thee, if thou spurnest this gift!"
Túrin clenched his fists, and swallowed the bile that threatened to rise in his throat. He would tend to those who need his help first, and avenge himself another time. With that decision made, he turned and ran for his destination.
"Haste thee now, son of Húrin, to Dor-lómin!" shouted Glaurung at Túrin's retreating form. "Or perhaps the Orcs shall come before thee, once again. And if thou tarry for Finduilas, then never shalt thou see Morwen again, and never at all shalt thou see Nienor thy sister; and they will curse thee."
With Glaurung's last words echoing in his mind, Túrin started on the northward road. I cannot let orcs defile my house... but how can I simply abandon Finduilas to her fate? Memories of Finduilas' last pleas for help flooded back, and guilt washed over him. What must she have thought when I did nothing to help as she was taken away? Does she still await my rescue? Gwindor had entrusted her safety to me with his last breath... How can I refuse a dying friend's request?
Túrin halted briefly, his heart torn in two. Already he had failed his friend Beleg before... Would he fail both Gwindor and Finduilas now? Yet, forsaking his family was not an option either. He loved his mother dearly, and his blood still boiled at the thought of any harm coming to her. And Nienor... would she hold him responsible for any ills that befall her? He was her brother, yet he was never there to protect her as he should have...
Glad may thy father be to learn that he hath such a son...
Glaurung's voice sounded again in Túrin's mind, reminding him of his duties to his family. His mind filled again with the image of Brodda, and the humiliations that his mother was sure to have endured. For as far back as he could recall, he always remembered his mother for her pride and dignity. Does his father know that he deserted her? Nay, he would not let his house be deprived of dignity, nor let the name of his ancestors fall to ruin! No orc would ever defile his household, he vowed.
With that, Túrin hastened through the lands between Narog and Teiglin, intent on saving his family.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.