35. Innocence Lost in Almaren
Chapter Written by Angmar and Elfhild
The song of Thuringwethil continued, and she sang as the Dark Lord reclined upon His couch, listening to the tale of which her wistful, lilting voice now told.
A time of peace and creation was upon Arda, and long and great were the labors of the Ainur. The two Lamps beamed their blessings over Almaren, but discontent stirred within the Void. At last the labors of the Ainur had lessened for a time and Manwë called for a great feast and a time of rest and refreshment.
Her heart was not in celebration, for all her thoughts were occupied with memories of Him. Still, the maiden of the wind braided her raven-black tresses with silvery mists and dewdrops. At the waist of her white gown, she tied a corded length of silver and adorned her face with the kiss of spring breezes.
The hour of the feast came, and Nessa the sister of Oromë was to be espoused to Tulkas. The Gods dined and made merry, and Nessa danced in the joy and gladness of her heart. At last Tulkas came among them, weary from his toiling. The revelry continued, but Tulkas and Aulë, exhausted by their labors, had savored the ambrosial mead of the Valar and had fallen into a deep slumber. Thus Almaren in its time of triumph was found wanting for vigilance.
It was at that hour that Melkor came forth from beyond the Gates of Night and entered Middle-earth in the far north. With Him was a great host of spirits who had hearkened unto His Music. He chose that time to return for He knew that the Valar would be wallowing in their merriment and drunken sloth. Many were the spies He had in Almaren, and they informed Him of the doings of the Valar. The building of Utumno was begun, though the Valar knew naught of it, for their vision to the north was blinded by the light of Illuin, and Melkor made His home in the shadows beyond.
Lulled by their bucolic creations, the Valar boasted that their creative might was at its height in the Spring of Arda. All that they saw, the work of their hands, they blessed, for they were vain and contemplated their own glories. But their work was marred, set in time, and would not change, and withstood, veiled in light. Inside, though, the core was stagnant, never growing, only regenerating in a duplication of the banal and mundane.
But then it was perceived that a change was occurring. A raw, stronger and greater force, more mightier, innovative in purpose of design, was at work and was fashioning a new order. The old began to fall into decay and to make way for the new.
Plants that had swayed, simpering in the wind, giving only tawdry imitations of beauty, were wrenched forth from the earth, replaced by stronger varieties and kinds. Bold, vibrant life began to flourish in Arda, wrought by the hand of the Creator of all that was beautiful and good. Great creatures appeared, strong of claw and gleaming pearly fang. Blood was shed and seeped into the forest ground as the weaker perished so that the strong might thrive. Thus was the creation perfected with the elimination of that which was marred.
The Valar became jealous of the loveliness and knowing that their vapid minds could never conceive of such wonders, they suspected that the Master Creator had returned once more from the Void and had set His mighty hand at work to turn the canvas of all Arda into one of innovative delight. They began to search for Melkor, Who wielded the brush of the bright creative might that accentuated, highlighted in bold silhouette all that His Hands wrought.
The servant of Aulë did not return to the wind maiden again and she languished in the sublime nothingness of Almaren. She danced alone with only a mocking breeze that moaned around her body. The wind cried out in its distress and longed for the flame. Ages of time seemed to pass, and still there was no light to engulf her, to turn her longings into consuming fire.
Then one day when it seemed that all hope had died in her heart, she saw a golden mist in the distance, and she knew that He had at last returned! She ran towards Him, seeking to embrace Him, to clasp Him to her bosom, but He moved ever farther away. When she would approach again, He shook His head angrily. She fell to her knees, weeping, and then she heard a song, low, coming from the hidden reaches of Eä, calling to her, seducing her with its promises. She dared look up. He smiled and the glow of His beauty made her weep in joy.
"I have returned as a herald to bring thee hope amidst despair."
Kneeling before Him, she reached out and clung to His leg, resting her head upon His thigh. She looked up at Him, glistening teardrops on her lashes. "My Lord," she said, "the Others seek thy Master, and Thou must flee this island and warn Him, lest harm shall befall Ye both!"
He chuckled, His laughter ringing out like golden bells. "He knows of this, for He hast many here upon the island who have heeded His call, and are His agents and spies. I have come to gather them and take them to safety, for He Who Comes in Might shall destroy the world and make it anew, fashioned and designed according to His plans and to His alone!"
She shuddered and trembled, holding onto Him for protection, fearing that the world would crumble beneath her feet, and she would find herself floating in the nothingness of the Void.
"He would destroy Arda?" she cried in disbelief.
"Not destroy!" He exulted. "But remake in perfection with order and design. Gone shall be chaos and in its place there shall be order! Rise! Look into My eyes!"
She rose upon shaking legs and looked up at Him. Then she buried her face in the glowing heat of His chest and felt the beating of His great heart, which drummed with the rhythm of all of Arda. "Thou hast heard His Music, and thou knowest aforetime what are His plans. Join with Me in this. Let us create new splendors under His direction and guidance!"
"I... I cannot!" she wailed desperately.
"Thou canst tarry but a while," He said as He pushed her from Him and walked into the great solitude of the trees. There He stood at the edge of the forest and beckoned to her with one hand.
She hesitated a moment, but, enamored of Him and the song of His Master, she had been caught by the spell of His eyes, and she followed Him, compelled by a force far greater than she. Something had stirred within her heart and body, and desire grew within her, hot and burning with a fire that longed to be quenched.
She followed Him deep into the trees that towered overhead, their broad, sweeping branches sheltering them from the gaze of the heavens. Gone soon were the trappings of garments, and they looked to one another in awe of the beauty of the other's unclad body. Yet though she loved Him, she was hesitant, for was she not leaguing herself with rebels?
Then with a growl and a shake of His fiery locks, He was upon her, driving her to the face of Arda. She swooned when she felt the crushing weight of His great body as He engulfed her mouth with the flames of His tongue. In terror she awoke, having had no comprehension that He would force Himself upon her, for though she was frightened of Him, in her innocence, she had given Him her trust.
Smooth, silken thighs of alabaster were yielded unwillingly. His great frame rose, towering above her, and His smoldering eyes bored into hers as the curtained mantle of His hair fell in a fiery cascade about her face. The raw heat of His scorching sword rent asunder the unopened secrets of her hidden folds. Fighting Him, struggling against Him, unwilling to relinquish her light and strength, her clawing nails drove trails of blood down His chest and arms. Her delicate face was seared with the blow of the Forge-master's hand, and her head was flung to the side.
Crushed beneath Him, His hand caught her screams as He speared her over and over with the might of His rod. Her head lolled to the side as she felt Him draining the energy and power from her. Only half-sensible, she reeled on the edge of consciousness, feeling that He would soon slay her. A groan heralded the advent of His rushing crest of passion. Impaling her with a final great thrust, He filled her with the glowing, burning heat of His lust, and slowly slid from her, dissipated for a time, but never satisfied for long.
She lay there in a torment of searing agony and pled with Him to take no more. Insatiable though, implacable, after only a small space of rest, He was upon her again, ravishing her repeatedly. Her thoughts were of shedding her form and fleeing from the violence that had been done to her body. It was as though the Flame knew her thoughts, for He kissed her then, caressing her face, embracing her sobbing form in His great arms, calling her back from plunging into death.
But He offered no promises, no pleas of regret or remorse, only accusations with His gentled kisses. "When thou first rejected Me and My Master, I thought never to return to thee, but then I heard thy beckoning voice and thought at last thou had repented of thy folly. Didst thou attempt to trick Me? Thinking thee at last willing, eager to yield, l came back to thee from far away. Then thou didst hesitate when I answered thy call, and My anger was kindled against thee."
"It is not that I did not love Thee, for indeed I did, and I yet do. I feared the wrath of Manwë and the Others, but most of all that of Ilúvatar," she confessed, her voice soft and sad. "I also did not wish to abandon this fair realm, still so new in its creation, and forsake it for the unknown. While My heart hast always hearkened to the Theme of Melkor, He is considered as wicked and evil among the Great Powers. If I were to follow Him, I would be hated and reviled as is He! There would be no going back, and I would be sundered forever from those whom I hold as friends!"
"Thou hast been beguiled," He said, "ensnared in the deceit of Manwë. He hast no thought for thee or for the others, but only for himself, for he would rule all and make Melkor his brother slave unto him. There is no promise in Almaren save that of chains!" He cried in His passion.
A long finger traced the contours of her breasts, causing each pink nipple to bud into hardness. His amber eyes had lost their harshness and they looked into hers with softness. "Wouldst thou relinquish the ardor of My touch for the railing inditements of Manwë and Varda?" He said lovingly, His voice a caress. "Wouldst thou venture to speak to Mandos in his cold halls and Vairë as she weaves the tapestries of Arda? Or perhaps thou wouldst favor Nienna, who would cover the earth with her false comforting tears?
"Wouldst thou bring cheer to Yavanna, who cloaks herself with vain imaginings of vining beauty that twines into endless repetition, with no novelty, nor beauty of purpose? Wouldst thou go with Varda and call the stars to sing?
"The forge of Aulë holds wonders, and perhaps thou wouldst learn smith craft under his tutelage. He, though," His voice was voice cajoling, "has imparted unto Me all that was worth the learning. I sought a greater counsel than he, and one not so eager to give in to the meddling guidance of Manwë."
His moody lips were sullen as He looked at her, but soon they were upon hers and coaxing her once again to flame into passion. Her arms went about His shoulders and her lips sought His, demanding as she clung to Him. He pulled her arms from about His neck.
"Wouldst thou givest up this, My touch, My embrace, for the false hope of Almaren? Wouldst any of the Valar or the Maiar stroke the wind into the shrieking storm of consummated passion? Couldst their fingers bring such heat to thy body? And couldst any of them cool the heat of thy lusts in the soaring assent to spontaneous ecstasy?"
"Nay, Lord, nay!" she cried.
"Still, I do not believe thee! I sense that thou art as unsteady as a veil of mist and as inconstant as a wavering breeze! Thy resolve is not sure. Thou wouldst betray Us because of thy weakness!"
He pushed her from Him and rose to His feet, covering Himself with His robes, and drawing His hood about His head. "Twice now hast thou rejected Me, proving thy love a falsehood. I shall go to the other fair ones who are wiser than thee and take them with Me. Let thy heart burn in jealousy! Farewell! I will trouble thee no more!"
"No, no! Do not leave me!" she pled as she rose to her feet, though her body ached and her secret places were filled with a sweet agony. "Look to Thy handmaid before Thee! See her body covered with the marks of Thy love and bathed with the heady musk of my blood and Thy spent seed!"
"Thou hast rejected Me and I now I scorn thee and thy need! Keep away from Me, wanton! Seek thy pleasures with our brethren and plead with them to fill thy aching need and sate thy urgency!"
"Lord, I yield unto Thee fully and completely! Make of Thy handmaiden what Thou wilt! Fashion me as a creature fully submissive to Thy will! Rape my lips with Thy kisses, ravish me with Thy body, and bathe me in Thy radiance! I am Thine, Lord! Take me!" She fell upon her face, her naked body sprawled upon the green grass.
"Then I shall take what thou givest." An elusive light tinged His insolent eyes, and though the glance was subtle, there was no mistaking the look of triumph in His eyes nor His proud stance. He had conquered more than her love; He had conquered her spirit.
Bending down, He tossed her form over His shoulder, and this time she squealed in delight. Going farther into the woods, He put her down and quickly flung His robe aside. She abandoned herself completely when He thrust His hands under her thighs and pinioned her against a great tree that groaned and moved slightly away at such a travesty.
Lavishing His face with passionate kisses, she clawed at His shoulders as she felt His spear inside her again. This time the pain was easier, and she squirmed and writhed against the tree, moaning in sublime pleasure. When she felt His golden seed fill her once more, she called out His name again and again as He whispered softly in her ear, "Never sayest that I beguiled thee, for thou hast perverted thyself and gladly hast thou fallen into whoredom!"
They rested a while under the trees and she looked at His face in profile as He lay in repose. There was no love upon that face, but only an indolent smile of satiated lust. The bliss in her heart fading at that sight, her look of besotted happiness turned into one of sorrow, and again she felt shame.
"Dost Thou love me, Lord?" she asked timorously.
He regarded her with a patronizing smile. "Of course... I love many... but I love Arda more!"
Hurt filled her eyes and sadness blighted her heart. "Wilt Thou take me as thy spouse, like Manwë and Varda, or Tulkas and Nessa, so that this deed might be honorable?"
Sweeping His tangled mane away from His shoulders, He turned to her and glared. "Such trivial matters as betrothals and marriages pale in the light of the great Quest that Melkor has set before Me! Canst thou not understand that there are greater things than sighing promises of undying devotion? All the world must be purged from the influences of the Valar! Nay, I shall not espouse thee nor any other, for I have not the time! And then, too," He laughed scornfully, "why shouldst I purchase that which thou and so many others give to Me so freely?"
Heartbroken, she buried her face in her hands and wept, knowing in her heart that He would never be true to any others save Himself.
A slow smile spread over His lips and lingered upon His brooding face. "Rise, adorn thyself and follow Me. I shalt lead thee to halls more splendid than the drear abode of Manwë. There, secure in the defense of Melkor's vast fortress, thou shalt be safe from the coming destruction, and we shalt spend our time devising ways of instrumenting Master Melkor's great hopes for Arda. Then we shall drink of the wine of our labors until we are spent, and then thirst no more when all is finished."
Realization struck her soul like a cruel knife. He would betray her to her own destruction, but yet she knew that she would follow Him wherever He led. She smiled the wry smile of the wanton as she realized at last what He truly wanted from her. He would break her heart by His rejection and mend it with His kisses, only to break it again, always reveling more in the rending than in the mending.
She was to be consumed by Him, thirsting and ever wanting, cursed with a spirit of restlessness, willing to be corrupted and to corrupt, insatiable, hungering, craving, eager to be a servant of His will, zealous now to mingle her light with darkness. Her spirit would be driven and never would she be satisfied until at last she was filled, gorged with His lust and His fire. Only would she be renewed when she was crushed in His arms, pacified only when the flame burned with the wind. She would crave Him beyond all things, and in her obsession, she would need but a single drop of His blood to bring her to a soaring climax.
As He led her away, pleased with Himself and His easy seduction of both her and other lesser spirits, He felt a sense of revulsion for what He had done, for a sense of goodness still dwelt in His heart. Vanity and impetuosity had ruled Him that day and in disgust, He reviled Himself. Repenting of what He had done, He vowed that He would never again act in haste, nor would He ravish another. Nay, He would punish Himself by abiding by His own code of abstinence. She and the other fair spirits would be well recompensed by the new freedom to allow their creativity to blossom under the guiding hand of Melkor. "Was that not enough?" He thought. "At times, it is necessary to use strong measures to bring about a greater good, and is it not worthy for the sake of the whole?"
Then when Melkor had summoned the spies who lingered upon Almaren, saving them from the ruin and adding them to His great power and might, He attacked by surprise and stealth. Down were thrown the two Lamps, Illuin and Ormal, and the seas rose in protest. Flames spewed forth when the beacons crashed in the destruction, and the fire and water spread across the face of trembling Arda.
Melkor and His forces fled from the wrath of the Gods, angry at being awakened from their idle repose and filled with dismay at the shattered wreckage of the Lamps. The Valar struggled to keep the world from plunging into utter chaos and desolation, but was in truth the hoped for beginning of a new order. Melkor safely escaped into His underground halls, for the Valar had other concerns as the earth rocked upon its foundations.
Thus ended the Spring of Arda.
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.