Nightfall In The Thousand Caves: 1. Nightfall In The Thousand Caves

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1. Nightfall In The Thousand Caves

Beren could have saved us. It is MELIAN who speaks. I knew it when he came blundering through My mazes, My glamour no more to him than the dancing shadows of leaves under the Sun. When I saw him before our throne, ragged and worn and mortal, hand in hand with our daughter (My daughter), and mighty as all his kind, the Guests, the Strangers, the Free. I knew hope then, that the Song might be changed, that the doom before us might be averted by his power, the power of all the Secondborn to walk unmoved by the Song, unbound by fate.

But your doom proved stronger, Elu My love, for whom I bound Myself to flesh so long ago, and until the End. Most beloved, what impulse of the Dark was it that touched you in that moment? I can guess but I cannot know; your inmost heart is closed to Me, single and unknowable as all the spirits of the Children. You might have conquered fear and welcomed him as our daughter (My daughter) did, seeing the splendour of his spirit. We might have had him to cherish as our son, for the little time that he would have graced our land.

Instead you bargained, as if with Dwarves, and less honestly, with evil in your mind. As if our daughter (My daughter) was your chattel, a thing of craft to be bought and sold, stolen and hoarded. Something to be given away in exchange for a bauble, a shiny toy, a lure to death. Oh, you may regret in time to come that I was true to the law that forbids Me to command or compel! When I might have fallen indeed and forced you to heed Me, for your own good and Doriath's! He was right to mock you then, was Beren.

And now his oath and his quest are fulfilled, against all hope, at cost unimagined. The miracle has been granted, that should never have been. Our daughter (My daughter) is returned from the dead, and lost to us (to Me) forever. Nargothrond has betrayed itself; its end approaches swiftly. The Sons of Fëanor have fallen yet further, who might have escaped, given other choices. Finrod the beloved is dead, the heart and linchpin of all the realms of Beleriand, doomed Beleriand.

Do not curse Me without heed, beloved, when you come to Námo's house beyond the Sea. Do not forget that I am not of the Eldar, and that other laws rule Me. Shall your people hide behind My walls until Melkor comes against them in His might? Our daughter (My daughter) will not be there to stand against him, or to rule your people in your stead. Beren has come and gone, and there will come no other Man able to turn fate away from us, or from Doriath

My lord Irmo speaks to Me, and the memory of the Song dins in My ears, clamorous with Melkor's deadly discord. The Silmaril is too potent for the Children of the marred world; they will cling to its light until it destroys them. It shines now in the deeps of Menegroth, and the shadows grow darker for its presence. It must go back to the West, to the Ones who made its light, who alone can hold it safe (My daughter and My son will hold it harmless, pure in their love; but only for the moments left to them). I cannot command or compel, nor may I take what is not given. And so the Song becomes inescapable, be accursed forever, Melkor who Marred it! The Silmaril must go to the Sea.


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: Anna Wing

Status: Reviewed

Completion: Complete

Era: 1st Age

Genre: General

Rating: General

Last Updated: 01/19/06

Original Post: 12/16/05

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