7. Chapter 7
"But your Grandmother does not die as mortals do?" Finrod had taken over the questioning. "Does she change her appearance?"
"How you mean? Grandmother is always same."
Edrahil said out loud in Quenya,
"Not a devourer, then."
Finarfin shuddered inwardly. The Amanyar had learned to their horror that the stuff of children's stories in Aman was reality in the Marred lands. There were Houseless spirits, and they did indeed steal the bodies of the living."It would be easier to deal with if it were a Houseless One," Finrod said. "But it does look as if this Grandmother is one of the Uvanimor6, walking in mortal form. In which case, do we want to let it go?"Ravendë said,
"What do we speak of here? Two thousand mortals at most, some of them children and old, more than half of them wounded. We have driven the greater part of their kin out of Beleriand. One spirit, of unknown strength, but it appears not one of the Enemy's greater servants. Even did the two hosts unite, their increase in strength would not be much. And a later field might perhaps be more to our advantage."Both Meneldis and Vanamirë nodded. Even when, or if, the walls fell at last, it would be an uphill fight, over impeded ground, against an enemy with nothing more to lose and powers whose limit they did not know. No one had forgotten that this was not the last battle that the Host of the Noldor would have to fight. Finrod said, under his breath,
"Any one mortal is capable of changing the Fate of the World."
He had been called Friend of Men, had died for a Man's sake. It had wounded them all, but him most deeply, to see Men, their Secondborn kin, corrupted and deceived to the Enemy's side. To slay them when they would not accept mercy, as most would not."The greater Uvanimor can change their shape," Vanamirë said at last. "This one could surely escape us as it chooses anyway. The Lady Lúthien bound Sauron himself, but we have no goddesses here for the moment. If we can take these hills now without further bloodshed, why not do so?"
"We do not know what cost there might be, later." Meneldis was unconvinced.Finarfin looked at his brother's sons. The Fëanorioni had been silent for hours, watching the Easterling with concentrated attention, much as the Lord of Ravens might have eyed some tasty piece of soon-to-be-carrion. Maedhros answered the unspoken question without shifting his gaze.
"They are asking for mercy. Will you grant it?"
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