Over an elf too bloodied and savaged to remain alive, Laurefindë murmured words of prayer for the deathless fëa. "Tár Meletyalda!," he cried, covering the elf with his own cloak. (2,3)
The High King turned to Laurefindë with dread in his eyes.
"I fear your son is among the dead."
Aracáno's heart burned. Which of his brothers had been slain by this excrement of Melkor - valiant Findecáno, who would face Námo as a Kinslayer, or passionate Turucáno, who would leave his small daughter orphaned?
"Atar, no!" he protested, ill at the thought that his father should endure another moment of grief. "See how ruined is that corpse? It is not me, for I live."
"It would be better if you did not see him."
"As you wish." Laurefindë drew back the cloak.
His father looked closely at what remained of the elf's face. "Annessanya," he whispered. (4)
"Lo! I am here - do not grieve so, Atar."
"Eru forgive me. To revenge one, I have sacrificed another." His father shook a fist toward the West. "How many more will you take, Námo? I have sentenced one son to widowhood and another to your Halls. Dear bought, indeed, are the songs of our deeds."
His father turned his head, but his eyes saw nothing. "This cursed place is filled with the echoes of our lament. Let us gather our dead, and depart from here. Small is our victory this day."
The healer touched his sleeve. "I have one yonder who would speak with the King," the healer said. "He stood by your son at the last."
At the elf's side, his father knelt close. "Tell me, Arandur, what you saw."
"We pressed forward," Arandur said, his voice scarcely to be heard over the wind, "and swiftly we advanced, for your son stood tall and fearsome and orcs fell in droves by the terror of his sword. At last, we came to the heart of the orc-host, and my lord met their captain in battle and slew him. Thereafter the orcs quailed, and some took flight, but we were surrounded, and could not cut our way out. So your son fell, and I was wounded unto death."
"Not death," his father protested.
"Nay, my injuries are too great. I lingered only that my lord's deeds be not forgotten. I am needed elsewhere."
Sorrowfully, his father closed the elf's eyes. "In Ages to come, Elves shall take my son's name as an epessë of great courage. He shall not be forgotten, good Arandur, but better would it be were he not remembered but known."
Aracáno felt the bitter wind's blow. The body - his body - would no longer shelter him. They would take his remains and he would be lost forever among the echoes. Small comfort was his courage, for it profited nothing. This land was Melkor incarnate; its very wind was his breath. How it howled, in this lonely place! The wind would have the victory in the end.
Come, my lord. We cannot remain here - do you not hear how he hungers for our fëar?
Aracáno hearkened to Arandur's voice as a rope thrown to the drowning. But whither do you lead me?
Home, my lord. I am come to lead you home.
(1) The story of Argon (Aracáno in Quenya) emerges only in 'The Shibboleth of Fëanor' and conflicts with both the published Silmarillion and older writings found in HOME. In the Silmarillion, the sun rose as Fingolfin's host entered Middle-earth and sent Morgoth's servants into hiding, and he marched all the way to Angband unopposed. Realising he lacked the strength to assail Morgoth, Fingolfin retreated. The Battle of the Lammoth, in which Argon was killed, cannot be reconciled with this sequence of events. (The Peoples of Middle-earth p 345 pub Houghton Mifflin)
(2) Laurefindë (Q)
Glorfindel (Parma Eldalamberon, Vol 17 July 2007 p 119)
(3) Tár Meletyalda (Q)
(4) Annessanya (Q)
'My youngest' - constructed from an-, superlative prefix (Helge Fauskanger's Ardalambion, 'Quenya Course - Lesson 5'); nessa, young; -nya, 1st pers possessive suffix
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