10. Release and Banishment
The great and mighty lord of Mandos closed his eyes and tried to get a bit of sleep. It failed miserably, as it always did. Vaire's weaving kept him up, as did the wails and cries of those who wanted to leave his house. And, of course, the damned spirits trapped in the Void wailed louder than all the rest, crying for release.
"This is madness," he snarled.
"Are you leaving?" Vaire demanded.
"I shall be returning shortly," Namo said. "Kindly look after the ghosts, ghasts, and shades for me."
Vaire sighed but nodded.
As if the Vala's plate was not full enough, still another heaping spoonful of complications had been splatted on, courtesy of one of those wretched Nazgul; the one possessed by Morgoth, he suspected.
Amandil's arrival in Eldamar had been a curiosity for the elves, a joy to most of the Valar that the man had finally made it, and an irritation to Namo, for it was now his job to send two spirits in replacement to the Land of the Lost.
Pacing the twilight lands of Valinor, Namo considered his options. Why it was that two spirits must replace Amandil's and his servant's, he did not know. Some divine law, likely, that he had forgotten in the endless years.
Why must the mortals always interfere in my plans? he thought in fury. Ah, but this must be a cunning plan of Morgoth's, for he too dwells in the Lost Lands.
Sitting down on a tree stump, Namo considered his options. He liked the idea of sending spirits from the Everlasting Dark. It was only fair that eventually they should be released. Actually, he had been considering releasing all of them to the Halls.
"But two must go to the Lands," he muttered. This is why you are the Doomsman, he told himself. You are the only one who can make these decisions. You are the one who damns, and the one who redeems.
And you might also be the one who's playing right into Morgoth's hands, Namo reminded himself.
His decision made, Namo strode back to his halls, ignoring an annoyed remark from his wife, and walked straight into the Everlasting Dark.
"Right then!" he called out to the spirits. Their bright souls were whirling around him, more than a few bitterly angry or annoyed. "You have nothing to be angry about," he told them sharply. "Did I not spare you from Morgoth's wrath all those long years he was trapped in the Void? I made sure you were separate from him, safe. And now I shall release you all into my Halls."
Most of the spirits fairly danced with glee. There weren't that many. While Namo would gladly have kept ten times more in the Everlasting Dark, Manwe had a compassionate streak in him that Namo found grating. At current count there were…well, there weren't a lot.
One by one, Namo seized hold of a spirit and threw it into his Halls. "No," he muttered each time. "Not the right one."
Finally – and all too soon – he was down to the last two. Both were bitter, angry, resentful, and while even Namo felt queasy at abandoning them to Morgoth, there was a malevolent part of him that snickered in malicious joy.
"This is what you get for destroying the peace," Namo told a spirit that was attempting to bite him. "I do regret this, you know," Not much, he thought. "But it is necessary for the stability of Arda. Heed my advice," he said, looking from spirit to spirit. "Stay to the shore with the dark mountain. It is no more safe there, but you may be able to escape if you do not enter the mountain."
With a wave of his hand, Namo banished the two spirits to the Land of the Lost.
"What have you done?" Vaire exclaimed as Namo stepped back into his halls.
"There are not so many," Namo said, looking at the spirits returned from the Everlasting Dark. "And Manwe will be pleased. He is forever telling me I should empty the Void."
"No!" Vaire snapped. "The spirits you sent! You have played into the Dark Vala's hands!"
"I was afraid of that," Namo muttered, slumping onto his throne and looking at his gray kingdom with misery.
"You have given the Dark Lord a pawn, and you given a land that needs no more trouble a rabble-rouser!"
"We will see," Namo said. He glanced over at Vaire's weaving. The consequences of his actions were not yet woven. There's a chance she could be wrong then, he thought.
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