Tainted Light: 15. Oath

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15. Oath

Chapter 14

Oath

As we left the city Valmar shivered with the murmur of ten thousand voices whispering in fear. The Fëanárions had passed through the streets like a fell wind, on the traces of their father whom, alone and on foot, had run out of the open gates, and disappeared into the plain. The guards, when Nolofinwë asked, could only say his face had been that of one against whom Fate has dealt the harshest blow; and that his eyes were too brilliant to be met.

The son of the King thanked them in a hollow voice. Raven was his hair, charcoal his eyes; but tonight all the light had gone out of him. A shell he was, an empty vessel for the Sea to sing in, for in one night he had lost his father, and seen his brother driven mad by pain.

As we walked back to the stables were the horses had been left, the retainers of our escort whispered among them that no Elf would ever see Fëanáro again; that certainly he would be reunited now to his mother and father in the shadow and silence of the Halls of the Dead. I listened not.

Artanis was by my side, but neither of us asked questions of what had come to pass. Later the moment would come to share tales of horror and sorrow, and ruined hope, and broken promise; later, when the familiar darkness of our chamber would be veil and casket to our lowered voices. Now, on the white flags of the pavements of Valmar which the lamps dulled like old bones, was the moment of strength as the only mask to a dazing pain.

Arafinwë gave up to me his place in his daughter's carriage; he followed us riding with his sons. This time, Artanis did not run.

I did not turn to look back at Valmar one last time, my resolve a iron hand holding my head, forcing me to look forward. No safety, no comfort in the past: all that had been had been erased in a stroke of Melkor's mace. Whatever future we would meet now could only be built on the sand and the blood of this forsaken night. The Trees had failed. The light of Aman the Blessed was lost.

When their lords abandoned Valmar the Noldor followed, breaking ranks with the Vanyar, saying goodbye in subdued tones. None raised their eyes with challenge as the news of the King's death spread; but lament sprang from their throats, its mortal sadness enclosed in the voices they could not find. None cried out loud, none screamed; for the heavens were heavy on their shoulders, and in the blackness every fire had gone out.

With the eyes of my spirit I know what I would have seen, had I turned back; I know what I would have seen had I not sunk in the light carriage by Artanis' side, my shawl draped around my head, my ears closed to all that was not the beating of my own heart. Valmar of the Gods, city of gentle music and cold light, a blenched and deserted outpost on the threshold of the night. On its beloved walls, the flickering light of the torches like a silent omen of fires to come.

But I did not look. I did not think. My mind empty, I readjusted my shawl; and when I realized that my fingers were still hurt after scraping among the rocks, my nails still broken, maimed, I spread my hands and looked at them as if they did not belong to me. On the third finger of my left hand encrusted blood hid the colour on my ring's stone.

Had I been one of the birds nestling in silent fear among the leaves of the still trees, waiting noiselessly for the end of their world that this unlight announced, and had my heart been strong enough, my courage blind enough not to wish to wait without motion for the end, but instead to spread my wings in one last flight in the face of this darkness, what I would have seen from the heights of a sky cut into silver and black would have stayed with me for the many lives of the creatures living on the shores of Valinor the Deathless.

In long rows, the Noldor filled the black plain, each of them bearing a small light as a safeguard against this heedless night; each of them a star in the earthly firmament of an upturned heaven, one lost hope in this spell where all the grace that had been granted us was shredded and torn. In long rows they marched, mourning on their faces, mourning in their tired bones, for tired they were as if suddenly all the long years of their lives had fallen upon their shoulders in one moment.

And if I had been that bird, perhaps I would have dived low, perhaps I would have sought their lights as one last comfort, knowing now that never again would we see Laurelin's gold reborn, nor Telperion's silver wrought in gentle evenings of laughter and song. For now night would be a thing to be feared; robbed of its delight and its rest, but instead filled with tremour and dread. And the stars would look down like blind eyes, and their splendour would be mocking.

In that moment it seemed that even the gift of Varda to the black velvet of the nights of Eä had been corrupted and turned to evil deeds, for the cold that made the tears sting upon our wet cheeks was the cold of those faraway stars, those jewels even Melkor could not unmake, but that were now revealed in the hour of his triumph. The light of our Trees, the light of our birth and joy had set. Any other light would appear a harbinger of doom.

Perhaps it was this thought that first made us remember what we were. Perhaps it was the coldness and the emptiness of that long journey in the dark, the comfortless walking among thousands of others, knowing not whether our city, too, had been defiled, and Galathilion the Beautiful, offspring of Telperion, uprooted, that made our spirits turn to song, that turned our mourning into a melody, a sorrowful music to fill the void that was spreading and devouring our minds and our hearts.

None ever knew who began; and perhaps none of us really did. Perhaps Valinor the land that had seen us born, the land our fathers had elected to belong to, spent its last magic on us that night, offering us soothing, suggesting to our exhausted spirits a music to sustain us in this hopeless journey home.

And the music began, at first a low hum on tired lips, and then growing, spreading, from mouth to mouth, from sadness to sadness like a golden thread, like a silver mesh, linking us together as one, a heart of forlorn light beating on that dark plain. Voices and words came into that music, and loss, and grief.

Telperion and Laurelin, our light. Finwë, our king.

Marred beauty of Aman forever tainted. My lips moved with those of the people I had chosen as my own, and my heart was pierced, and stirred. And when I turned to look at Artanis she gazed straight ahead, her fair body as still as statue in the courtyard of a rich palace, her cheeks sunken in the weak light. Her lips moved, last thing alive in her that sorrow made pale and bloodless, like one dead.

***

The end of our journey was the feeble beacon and the unhoped for joy of the Mindon Eldaliéva emerging from the mist, for banks of fog like woolen flakes had trailed from the Sea over the mountains, and the city was shrouded in them, shapes and sounds muffled. Darkness became gray, and our senses were dulled.

Slowly the blurred shapes of the Noldorin Elves coming home dispersed up the stairs that no light would now make glitter, and their lamps were lost among tendrils of vapour, wandering fireflies an unexpected net had trapped. The gates of the palace of Arafinwë were locked, and at our call for a while no one came. Only a few servants had been left behind to tend to the house and gardens during the time of festival, and the darkness had filled them with terror, leaving them incapable of abandoning their refuge but to secure the doors and gates.

As they opened the house for us, in broken voices they told of a swift cloud, a deeper black passing over the city like a malign wing, lingering for a moment, hesitating as if undecided whether to stoop and destroy, or fly past. And then it had been gone; but leaving all of those who had stayed in Tirion prostrated, and deprived of strength or will. Melkor's path had been the same everywhere; and as Arafinwë soothed them with kind voices, his heart unchanged, albeit so grieving, Artanis and I withdrew in the house, its familiar chambers made different and monstrous by the wavering light of oil lamps.

Eärwen followed us with dragged steps, on her fair face the haggardness of worry and the strain of dread.

"Perhaps…Nerwen, Silmë…something to eat, or drink…none of us has slept."

Her eyes were lost; for she knew that against this wave she could do nothing. And when she thought we were not looking at her she would go near a window, and strain her ears; for sometimes with the wind over the mountains would come a wailing like the cry of a dying seagull, and we knew that it was the Teleri calling in vain for light. My mother's kin; hers.

But no messenger could be safely dispatched to Alqualondë now, and uncertainty was our lot.

Briskly Artanis nodded her assent. Passing through the kitchen with gestures absent but precise she gathered on a tray bread, milk, honey. Sweet things for a harsh moment. Refusing the help of a servant she climbed the stairs carrying it on her own. Before following her I turned to Eärwen, searching my heart in vain for words of comfort. I found none; but even if I had, she would not have heard me. Leaning against the sill she looked out of the window into the blankness, her white profile sharp against the nothing of that night, her eyes dim fires as she tried to discern from afar the contours of the breach into the mountains.

In silence I followed Artanis. The house was quiet and still, a subdued sobbing in the corners telling me the servants had learnt of the High King. The stairs echoed dully beneath my steps, their sound alien to my ears. Seated on the floor in front of his room Aikanár mourned without words or tears; he did not even raise his eyes at my approach. Every other door was closed. Noiselessly I pushed Artanis' open, and slipped inside.

She had already started her random repast, cross-legged on the bed, the laden tray before her. Her eyes were puffy, scarlet-rimmed; but dry. Eating was another way of crying.

Wordlessly I sat beside her, a hunger that was an appeal for all we had lost awakening in the pit of my stomach, a greed for things that would be beautiful and kind burning my tongue, my throat. The butter was soft on my raw fingers as I spread it on a thick slice, the prosaicity of the gesture telling me of a time and place that did not belong to us anymore. One where light still existed, and Finwë was not dead. I bit into the bread, and chewed angrily. It was finished too soon, and I prepared myself another piece.

For a while we ate in silence; the same answer to an unanswerable need. When Artanis spoke it was unexpectedly, and her voice was flat and empty, as if she were enunciating a list of things of pitiable importance. But no evenness of tone could conceal and soothe the sting in her words, nor make their meaning fade.

"They had reconciled, as far as Fëanáro's pride would allow such a thing. Before the Valar assembled Nolofinwë forgave him. All rejoiced; and then light disappeared."

Her teeth were white pearls sinking into the gold of the honey, they tore away mouthfuls with brutal haste.

"It failed at its peak; even the Powers suspected no danger, and when they detected it it was too late. Like a swift bird the Lady Yavanna came to the Trees, but Melkor had been swifter: their life had been sapped to the last drop. The vats were their light had been kept had been drained."

What I had not seen painted itself vividly on the empty canvas in my mind, it filled it with stark images of the Trees contorted and lightless, lifeless shrines of the power they had once held. I met Artanis' eyes; in mine a question was screaming, the last haven at which hope clutched. But in her clear irises only cold had been left.

"Even for those who are great there are achievements that can be attained but once within the circles of Eä: Yavanna who made the Trees still cannot undo the damage that was done to them. She asked of Fëanáro the Silmarils, to break them and so with their light, last vestige of the beauty that was, restore them."

I knew what would come now in her tale; I knew, for I knew Fëanáro. Artanis uttered it clearly, her voice cut into stone: "He refused."

There was a pause before she finished her story, a moment of doubt between so many certainties. Like her uncle, she lived in the knowledge of being right. She often was; but in her, unlike in Fëanáro, there was a talent for fairness that sometimes she chose to ignore. This time she did not; this time she let herself say of what she had seen, and she let her hatred fade in telling of someone else's pain.

"He said it would break his heart to undo them."

She did not add a word more, and I knew that this had been the tension filling the air when we had come; that this had been the unanswered question weighing on their spirits when news too terrible to be born had come on our lips. Now I understood; and in Artanis' doubt I read the truth in Fëanáro's words.


It would break my heart.

The love of things that hands can make inhabits the mind of the maker, it fills his spirit with a call and a greed that are unknown to others. In all that smith can make of rock or jewel or gold there lives a spark of his spirit; and too much was the radiance of the Silmarils not to believe that in them much of what Fëanáro was had been locked. To ask for them had been to ask for his whole self; to lose them so soon at the hands of a Vala would have been to his blinded mind a seal on their curse. He burnt too much and too quick for his mind to ever cease its perpetual motion, for it to ever sit still long enough for reason to seep through the scorching flame of his thought. He would believe what his blood drummed into his veins, what his spirit felt without asking for motive.

Truly I knew now that his sons' fear had not been groundless, and that, first of the Elves to do it, he could have taken back by his own hand the life the One had given him, and slain himself.

My spirit had sought refuge in such brooding thoughts, it had shied from recollection of what had come to pass as thus the Valar sentenced, and asked. It had shied away from the memory of Finwë's blood forever etched on the borders of my mind.

When I met again Artanis' eyes I knew there would be no possibility of remit; I knew then that no brooding would keep such memories at bay. And that the only hope of healing lay in the obscure comfort of open truth. In that dark hour I collected my thoughts; in silence Artanis waited for me, her eyes fixed on the black square that was the world waiting outside the window. At last my tale, too, came; its words falling like raindrops between us.

"We were out hunting when it happened. Darkness fell; blindingly we started on our way back. And suddenly a fell wind scared the horses, and we were cast to the ground without strength; a flame lit Formenos, and a cruel voice boomed in the wind. When we rode back it was too late. Finwë had stood before the adversary, sole among all of us not to feel his spell; and where he stood in courage and majesty he was struck down."

Still her eyes bore upon me, but no more would I say. The memory of his face disfigured and destroyed by the mace, the frailty of the Elves the long years of our life in Aman had taught us to forget were a burden I would not share. Silence fell again as we finished the last of the food, around us the horror flat words could not frame; between us the bond of what our tales had joined. At last Artanis took the tray, and carefully lay it on the floor, as if she did not trust her hands to do it properly, had she not watched them.

She lay down the tray, and took my hands.

"You are hurt."

Rising she took a box of ointments from her chest of drawers, and with the water jug we used to wash our face she cleaned my hands, her fingers cold and determined on my skin. She sewed together what was left of our reality with gestures as simple as they were useless; and as she anointed the sores with a balm at last she spoke the worry that had clouded her eyes, the worry that had battled pain, that had mixed its poison with the fear of sorrows to come.

"I look into the future, and it is blank. There are no thoughts I can put in words, no prophecies I can make. Only I feel what this future will bring, and its touch is steel upon my soul. This is but the beginning; but of what, I cannot say. And I hesitate between mourning and denial, for I suspect that times shall come when all our strength be needed, and this mourning be but that black mark of a long road that we just begin to tread."

I listened to her words, and felt fear awakening in my own heart; for I knew Artanis to be fearless, and what brought disquiet to her great spirit could not but shake mine. Dread, indeed, was born in me, and it was like a cold animal that opens its eyes after a long sleep; and its touch was ice upon what hope I still retained. But I saw the truth in the proposition Artanis had made, and truth in what her courage suggested: that we should live now prepared for whatever could come our way, and not succumb to what this endless night had brought. I took her hand, and clasped it tight.

"I cannot hope to discern what is hidden even from your mind, but this I know: that it would have been in vain that blood of king was spilt, if now we hesitate and tremble on the verge of an abyss whose nature we can only guess. Without knowing all is fear; but such a knowledge we shall soon have, for even I know that an evil has come to this land such as it will not soon lose our steps, nor cease to haunt them. I say to you, now let mourning take its due; for Finwë was your grandfather, and my uncle. Let tears flow. But should the moment come, be prepared to dry them."

For a long moment she did not speak; but at last she brought my hand to her lips.

"Friend," she whispered, and I embraced her tight, holding on to her as one who is shipwrecked might do when he finds in the middle of the ocean a steady rock. She embraced me herself, her strength a bruise upon my skin; but from each other we drew new will. Without unmaking the bed, we cast a blanket upon us, and thus slept; hoping perhaps to wake but to discover that a nightmare had taunted our tired spirits, and that a new day spun its history on Laurelin's gilded branches.

It was a vain hope; but as long as we slept, it was one that we lived, holding it to us like a shield now that a new storm had struck.

***

I do not know for how long we lay there, time become meaningless and even in the absence of light. Certainly it was for long, for the world outside was too dreary a place to return to it soon, and dark were my dreams. But a knocking on the door, urgent and insistent, drew me back, and Artanis' hand was shaking me even as my eyes opened. A quick glance passed between us, the spark lighting again our alertness as she answered: "Come in."

It was Aikanár, his face lined with sorrow for his grandfather's death, but in his eyes a new and feverish light.

"One is here that asks to talk to us all. And you, Silmë, may well be glad to see him."

Casting the blanket aside I passed him, and at the head of the stairs I looked down to see Arafinwë's family assembled in the hall, Maitimo amongst them. Our eyes met, and descending swiftly I went to him.

"What is of Fëanáro? Could you reach him?"

"Yes; and none too soon. But now his grief is tempered, and if I came to see you, as we had agreed, I also came to bring a message from him." He took my hand, holding me close, but at the same time he turned to Arafinwë, and said: "Uncle, your brother and king calls you, and all of your people. All of the Noldor are summoned to the Mindon Eldaliéva, to listen to the words of Fëanáro."

"My brother and king…" Arafinwë savoured the words for a moment, as if he could not yet understand them; but at last he nodded. "We shall come."

"We shall wait for you." Maitimo bowed his head, taking his leave, and I accompanied him to the door. "I must leave you now, for many still have to be roused. I shall see you there."

"Maitimo, tell me what is on your father's mind. No love ever bound us, but I could see that his sorrow was great, and his fire burnt ever quicker. I fear rashness in counsels, especially in such an hour."

"I can only guess, for his plans he did not share with us. But where many are concerned, rashness cannot be endured; and if he wishes to speak to all of the people, the Noldor themselves shall be judges of the rightness of his counsels." He took my face in his hands, caressing it; and his voice was low and husky when he said: "Come, and be by my side. As dark this night may be, still when you shall be there no fear can touch me. And no uncertainty."

The words I was about to say died in my throat; they died as his lips touched mine, with warmth and eagerness, and pain unforgotten behind their sound. And before I could find in me the will to reply, he had left.

I remained on the door watching him walk down the path lit by torches, to the gate where two retainers stood guard. His step was assured, but sadness and grief were a heavy cape upon his shoulders. I shivered; the thought coming over me that such a cloak would not be lifted, not for a very long time. I closed the door, closing my mind, refusing to accept such a foresight.

The family was preparing, lamps were filled and lit. Shawls and mantles were prepared, for cold was the lightless night. Artanis had brought me one of my wraps, she helped me put it on with brisk gestures.

"Can you guess what is on Fëanáro's mind?"

"Vengeance, certainly, and fury. But what he could do against Melkor, even if fallen, I cannot understand."

As we came out of the house we saw that indeed the city was roused, the streets filling as the Noldor came out of their abodes, summoned by their new King. A strange thought; and the last seal upon Finwë's death. Many lamps burnt against the mist, against the dome of the dark; like veins bringing a bright blood to a golden heart. For golden was the court beneath the Mindon Eldaliéva, tower of the King lit as if by day by a thousand torches. All of Tirion answered to the summon, and there there waited for them Fëanáro.

He wore not the crown his father had born, not even a circlet shone about his forehead, and his tunic was still the unadorned, scarlet one he had donned to go to Valmar. And yet when he turned to greet his people it was clear that he had claimed his bloodright, for the power that had always been his was now enhanced, and a new authority rang in his voice. All of his seven sons were there, their faces pale with grief and pride; and his servants were about him.

Nolofinwë and his family stood by, and we had been among the last. Soon silence fell where a crowd had murmured approaching, and all the eyes were upon Fëanáro. He did not greet us; he did not hesitate. He spoke, and his voice was powerful and deep, wrath and woe woven in its chords, promise and a dark hope in his words. I stood by Maitimo; and he clasped my hand.

"Noldorin Elves! People of Tirion the White, brothers and sisters in kin! Beneath the vaults of the night your lights shine, for day is forever gone! Morgoth the Enemy has stolen your light, the light of the Trees, the light of the gems Noldorin hands had made. Morgoth the Enemy has slain you King, Finwë my father that you loved."

A dark murmur stirred the crowd, for in his words echoed their pain.

"But who is he that has done this to you, who is he but one of the Valar, that had lured us here from the starlit darkness of Middle-earth? Safety they had promised us, and eternal bliss. But now bliss is gone, and safety ended at the hands of one of their kin. Noldorin Elves! The Powers we had obeyed and worshipped, but what have they us in exchange? Thralldom and death! Death, for it is in forgiveness to one of their own that they let Morgoth free; and thralldom, for while here we grieve and anguish in pain and mourning, a new kind awakens in Middle-earth!"

His words stung me, for I recognized in them his maddened, unreasonable grief, but also the print of the lies of Melkor. And yet his countenance was firm, his passion poured in his words; and looking around I saw that many nodded in assent, and that their eyes sparkled.

"A new kind, short-lived and weak, a new kind to inherit the lands that were ours by right. A new kind to usurp those of the Elves the Valar left behind! But I say to you, shall we accept it? Shall the Noldorin Elves, mightiest among the Eldar, let themselves be locked out of their own right? Aman the Blessed is no more, Valinor the Glad is tainted; but we bear not the shame of its taint! We deserve not to suffer in its agony! New realms await us beyond the Sea, lands unconquered and free beneath the stars of Middle-earth!"

His eyes were as bright as the fire of a new star, never his beauty had shined so brilliantly, never had his full power been unleashed. All that he was, all the boundless possibilities that had so frightened me were displayed and forged into a speech whose might went unequalled in all the years of the world, a speech to rouse and to light spirits that grief had dazed. My soul struggled to remember its own thoughts and counsels, and all around me I felt the Noldor beating as one with his heart; and in Artanis' eyes a flame was kindled such as I had not seen before.

"Freedom and power! For ours should be that new Earth, ours should be the right to found kingdoms to govern according to our own hearts! Ours are the Silmarils that were stolen, to the Noldor belongs their light! And where the Powers have trembled, where the Powers have failed, we shall succeed, and reconquer what the One had decreed was ours since the beginning of the world!"

He paused, and a silence as deep as the Sea was upon that crowded square, and all of the Noldor were silent, their spirits drawn to his, as arrows when they fly to their target. And in that silence Fëanáro spoke once more, and the fate of the Noldorin Elves was forever fixed.

"Elves of Tirion! Follow me, and I shall lead you forth from this place of imprisonment, and towards the new world beneath the stars! Follow me, and your glory shall echo through all the ages of Eä!"

"Fëanáro!"

One scream from all of their throats, one cry and one pledge, for then they took him as their lord, and then they claimed his purposes as their own. As one their spirits cried; but there was one who spoke against such ill-counseled judgment. My spirit was with Nolofinwë as he asked for silence, and my doubts were his as he spoke.

"Fëanáro! Brother and king! Let not this darkness dim your counsel! Let not this grief darken your heart! Let not this pain make you forget the bounty the Valar ever showed us, the protection they offered. Against them Morgoth has sinned, not against us alone. Let us not make of our rightful anger a fell wrath, nor in haste abandon the land where we were born, the place where we have ever dwelt in joy."

On Fëanáro's face there spread then a cruel smile; and with a cutting light in his eyes he replied.

"Nolofinwë, brother in blood, what prudence has turned your spirit to such meek thoughts? What fear makes you quail? Shall I have to think you then a coward before this challenge?"

"No! Not a coward, but one who wishes not for his people to go forth in darkness seeking an uncertain future. Those who stumble and go unseeing all too often fall."

Beloved he was by his people, and at these words some of the Noldor wavered in their resolution, for they felt a deep truth in their prince's words. A long glance went from brother to brother, and Nolofinwë held Fëanáro's eyes without a doubt; and for a moment it seemed that Fate would hesitate, and the threads of our lives be saved from doom. But then Fëanáro spoke again, and the scales were tipped.

"Nolofinwë, must I think you have already forgotten what you promised me before the Valar you hold in such high account, ere the light failed? Have you obliterated the words you uttered?"

Without making reply the other looked away; and I saw on his face that his own words were now a blade held to his throat. Never would Nolofinwë take back his pledge. Never would he forget it.

"There you swore that where I led you would follow. Will you follow me now, Nolofinwë?"

On his answer hung the destinies of many; and in his eyes prudence battled with the love he bore his brother. For Nolofinwë loved Fëanáro, and all the more desperately as he could not reach him, as the other refused to acknowledge their bond of blood. And now, called in companionship in this deed, his heart put to test, he put aside all fear, all doubts in an answer as clear as adamant.

"Yes."

The Noldor acclaimed them; and perhaps then still Arafinwë would have spoken, trying one last time to rein in this madness. But by my side Artanis stepped forward, and on her lips were words I could not have guessed.

"Fëanáro! Brother of my father! Nothing we know of Middle-earth, here we were born far from it; but in your words I see the blazing splendour of its stars, the boundless extension of his plains; in your words I see the realms that there we would make! I shall follow you!"

The eyes of the King turned to her, and never would they, he and her, again be so alike;:their eyes twin gems, their wills twin iron. I understood then that all prudence was forgotten, and all hope lost. Any words I might have uttered were choked forever, any hope of sanity destroyed in the quiet answer Fëanáro gave his niece: "Then forth we shall march."

He unsheathed his sword, and its polished blade shone like blood in the light of the lamps.

"Nelyafinwë and Canafinwë! Turkafinwë and Morifinwë, Curufinwë and Pityafinwë! Telufinwë! My sons! To you, as to me, goes the legacy of our vengeance!"

He called them to him; and they answered. Then I would have cried, then I should have wept; then I should have begged, for as Maitimo left my hand to go I knew that he went to decide his doom. But I did nothing; for the fates were stronger that day, and on all things they cast the shadow of Necessity that stands no appeal.

The sons of Fëanáro unsheathed their own swords, and joined their tips with that of their father's blade; and an oath they swore, more terrible to hear then the fell cry of Morgoth as he assaulted Formenos, for they chose it of their own will, and once they had taken it never could they break it within the circles of the world. They bound themselves to its words, words whose keeping was crueler and harsher than any betrayal in this life.

"Be he foe or friend, be he foul or clean, brood of Morgoth or bright Vala, Elda or Maia or Aftercomer, Man not yet born upon Middle-earth, neither law, nor love, nor league of swords, dread nor danger, nor Doom itself, shall defend him from Fëanáro, and Fëanáro's kin, who hides or hoards, or takes in hand, finding keeps or afar casts a Silmaril. This swear we all: death we will deal him ere Day's ending, woe unto world's end! Our words hear you, Eru Allfather! To the everlasting Darkness doom us if our deed fails. On the holy mountain hear in witness, and our vow remember, Manwë and Varda!"

Perhaps those around me cried or trembled at such words; perhaps fear finally touched them. I would not know; for I saw nothing that was not Fëanáro, the white light of madness upon his face. And his sons were like him, and in their eyes my father's words were made true.

None of Fëanáro's blood can ever escape his darkness.

They sheathed their swords, their fury sated. Upon them now a mark to last, unlike glory, for all the ages of Eä. The Noldor cried, and Fate was sealed.

Woe unto world's end.


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: Aredhel Serindë

Status: General

Completion: Work in Progress

Era: 1st Age

Genre: Romance

Rating: General

Last Updated: 09/29/10

Original Post: 04/22/10

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