Shadowsong: 1. Shadowsong

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1. Shadowsong

Ash nazg thrakatulûk...

Nothing is eternal but the darkness.

The sun never rises in the Valley of the Dead and the silent streams flow with poison, but there was a time when flowers blossomed in the glades and the moonlight painted the walls of the tower with molten silver, there was a time of light in the darkest of places, or so I am told because I do not remember. I do not wish to remember.

But when I was young I believe I loved the sunrise and I think I remember my father’s voice, telling me of a ship of fire that sails the oceans of the sky, floating amidst the clouds upon the currents of the wind. I do not even remember my father’s face, nothing except for his voice and the stories he told me. Everything else is hidden in shadow, but I believe I loved the sunrise then.

Annatar, Annatar, for your gifts I traded memory, for your power I traded dawn and you gave me a steed of night.

The moonlit tower did not last long, no longer than the blink of an eye measured in the eternities I have walked this earth. In the shadows one loses track of time and it does not matter, just as time itself no longer matters to me, because I have defeated the undefeatable, conquered the all-powerful. Mortality is but the memory of the bitter taste of blood in my mouth, the fading remnant of battles long past, past and forgotten. But I saw them die, saw them die day and night, hundreds of them, thousands, winking out of existence like candles in a gust of wind. And their empty eyes filled me with a strange joy because I had no wish to see that which they beheld in death, be it darkness eternal or peace unending. I do not desire peace, for its taste is stale and rotten and its crown is nothing but dust and illusion.

I watched them stumble, saw the moonlight fall and laughed, for in the darkness I survived and men’s lives are now but heartbeats to me, fading in the distance without even an echo in the silence of time. I would have my thoughts resound through eternity and if black horror trembles in their wake, so be it. I shall be content because I shall not be forgotten.

I have seen them struggle against time, fools believing to be strong enough to defeat the mountains and turn the tide. I have seen his face as he accepted my challenge and I have seen his face as he died. There is no glory in death and no salvation, nothing but oblivion. To forget and be forgotten. But I shall not forget, neither shall I be forgotten.

Nothing is eternal but the darkness. Of darkness the world was born and to darkness it shall return, in cycles without end as the sun is born of night and swallowed by shadow at the death of the day. Nothing is eternal but the darkness.

Annatar, Annatar, for your gifts I traded time, for your power I traded mortality and you gave me a crown of swords.

“Slaves to his will,” so they say in the streets, fear trembling in their voices. I have heard them, time and time again and laughed inside with a strange mirth long drained of any real joy. I do not remember what happiness feels like, maybe I have never known. But I have tasted power undreamed of and I do not desire happiness nor all the joys of the earth, for I have tasted eternity and all else pales next to the ecstasy of the world burning like the sun in the palm of my hand.

“Slaves to his will,” they say, “and victims to their greed.” But I am no victim now. Not anymore. I have tasted power undreamed of and you would call me victim? I have won battles and thrones and you would still call me victim? My thoughts will echo through time when your cries have long faded to nothing but the whisper of a memory in the silence, and I shall not be forgotten.

We ride forth, cloaked in shadow and winged with fear. It will be the last war, so they say, the last great war and the defeat of light will be terrible and complete. There will be no more sunrises then. We ride forth and behind us the mountains are moving, the earth is shaking for the storm has come. Behind us the land is drowned in night and the rivers turn crimson with sorrow.

Yet I live and with the certainty of victory I watch the sun rise, blood-stained above their mortal plains, singing a prophecy of doom that echoes in the drums of the black tide. Nothing is eternal but the darkness.

Annatar, Annatar, for your gifts I traded oblivion, for your power I traded peace and you gave me a Ring of fire.

Yet I would not have it any other way. Not even now as I watch the sun rise, indifferent.

... agh burzum-ishi krimpatul.

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.

Story Information

Author: Ellisande

Status: Reviewed

Completion: Complete

Era: Multi-Age

Genre: General

Rating: General

Last Updated: 08/16/04

Original Post: 07/25/04

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