20. SEGUE (between ch.18 & 19)…Rules for Redemption
A/N: An aside about Maedhros and his thoughts on all that is happening on Arda.
RULES FOR REDEMPTION
"Maedhros, Son of Feanor!" A deep voice rumbled. The fea in question turned to see his lord standing before him.
"Yes, my Lord?"
"Come with me." Namo turned and left the hall as silently as he had appeared. The fea that was Maedhros follow without question. The two walked in silence down a dim hall. Pausing at a great door, the Vala indicated that Maedhros should enter. The fea did so with out question.
In the room stood a Vaire, removing a finished tapestry from he loom. With out looking, she called Maedhros to her.
"Come and see what transpires on Arda." She commanded.
Maedhros approached slowly and looked at the first tapestry he came to. It showed his brother, on the seashore. Maedhros' fea glowed softly with happiness for his brother was no longer alone. A handsome silver-haired elf stood with him. As he moved down the tapestry, he saw the love that bloomed between the two elves. He also saw the involvement of the Valar. It made his fea sing for the joy and love Maglor had found.
Further down, he saw the pair before Celeborn. The Prince of Doriath had seen into Maglor's heart and forgiven the Noldo. 'As it should be,' the fea thought, 'for he was least to blame. I wish I had listened to you little brother.'
Next came the cloth showing the pair happily residing in Imladris. They were in some great hall, singing and playing for other elves. Clearly, the community accepted Maglor. The part that filled him with the most beautiful melancholy depicted Elrond's acceptance of Maglor. All old hurts washed a way with tears of regret and joy.
Maedhros' fea addresses the beautiful Lady. "It brings me great joy to see my brother surrounded by love and happiness. Thank you for allowing me to see this."
"My husband is most please with your behavior in this matter. You will be rewarded for your selflessness."
Out of the shadow, the impressive form of the Vala of Death strode. He advanced and stood by his wife. Maedhros bowed before them.
"You father and brothers have also seen this. Their reaction, however, was far from acceptable! They were angry and jealous that Maglor had not only been forgiven, but that he found love and a home. Your father disowned him as a matter of fact. As my wife is present I shall not tell you exactly what was said." Vaire smiled. She knew exactly what had been said. Actually, given the volume of Fëanor's voice, she was certain the entire realm of the dead heard it.
Namo continued, "They have learned nothing during their stay within my halls. For that reason, they will never be released." The Vala shrugged. Maedhros stood silently, anxiously waiting what ever came next.
"It has been decreed that you be given back your body and life…on Arda." Namo said without emotion. "When and if you gain the unconditional love of another, you may sail west."
Maedhros spoke up quickly and boldly, "My Lord, you honor me greatly; but there are others who have fallen who are far more deserving of a second chance."
Namo smiled and addressed his wife, "You were right my dear, his humility in honorable. He was not going to accept this gift without argument."
"Please my lord," the fea interjected, "it is not that I do not wish to have this gift. I greatly desire to be reunited with my brother and the elf he took as his foster son. I however, do not deserve it."
Namo sighed. This fea was being rather dense. "You found joy in the joy of another. You begrudged your brother nothing. You have humbled yourself within my halls, and helped calm the new fear, even though many did not wish to be near you. You, penneth, have demonstrated those qualities that your kinsmen could not. You deserve a second chance. Further more, Ilúvatar wills it."
Maedhros fell to his knees…so to speak… "I thank you my lord. You will not regret this. I will live up to Ilúvatar's expectations."
"Perhaps," Vaire began, "You should hear of the rules governing your return, for if you defy them in the least, you will return here…for eternity."
"I will hear the rules, then."
"The first rule is simple enough, you must be on the side of good." Namo began. "Next, you cannot use sword or bow…no weapon with a point or sharpened edge." Seeing the question forming in the fea's mind, Namo quickly continued. "You will not be defenseless, we are not that harsh. You will be given a knife for hunting and non-military, everyday life and a staff for protection"
Here Vaire picked up, "You may not be a warrior, penneth. You cannot be directly involved in any planning of battle. You will have to seek out a new profession." She eyed Maedhros keenly. "Have no fear though, there is one trade in which you would excel and it would ease the sting of not being a warrior."
"Lastly, you must give and receive unconditional love if you wish to sail West when you time on Arda is done. Do you understand the restrictions and will you abide by them?"
Maedhros' fea took a moment to process everything that was said. He could not weald weapons, therefore he could not be a warrior or trainer and he ruled out a hunter just to be safe. To him it seemed a small price to pay for the chance to be with Maglor again, to live again, to perhaps finally find love. "I accept the conditions and will happily abide by them. Who are will my parents be? Will I eventually rember…" the fea was interrupted.
"You will not be reborn, but rather remade as Glorfindel. You will be given your original form back with your hand restored. That injury was not your fault. However because you intentionally caused harm to your body, it must be physically healed of those wounds…the burns you received from the volcano."
"I can live with the scars if that be the case. Though I thank you for restoring my hand, it will help me find a new trade."
Namo came to stand before the glowing fea. "It was not my decision to free you; that right belongs to Ilúvatar. But I am overjoyed that he saw fit to release you Son of Fëanor. I commend you back to life…
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