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, , "Son of Flame, Daughter of Twilight" - , ... , ! ... - ...

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URL
2007-06-09 23:03 

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Chapter 1.

Many nights passed, during which Lthien danced for Maedhros neath the stars in Doriath. Somehow, his presence in Doriath seemed to go unnoticed, a fact which should have disturbed him but he found he was unable to think about anything but the beauty before him. It was strange how quickly his guardedness, honed by years dwelling in the fortress of Himring, had fled away and he half-wondered whether this was how his father had felt looking upon the Silmarils; so possessive and adoring that everything else on Arda ceased to matter.



Every evening, each would seek the other out and they would approach each other wordlessly, slight smiles playing around their lips. This was Maedhros favourite time, when she had just appeared in his sight and the entire night spread out before them. Maedhros delighted in these moments; the anticipation of nightfall and the knowledge that his adoration would be returned unreservedly.



One particular evening, just as he took her in his arms, they both started as the nightingales fell into swift silence, evidently alarmed by an unexpected presence in this area of the woods. Almost immediately, a ring of archers surrounded them. The eldest son of Fanor drew his sword rapidly while Lthien moved in front of him, shielding him from the multitude of arrows that were aimed at his heart and head.



My lady, pleaded the apparent captain of the archers. Please stand aside.



I will not, Beleg, replied Lthien defiantly. Until you explain the meaning of these hostilities.



Another Elf stepped forward. We are merely obeying the law of your father, Lady Lthien. He is an intruder and, he sneered, a cowardly one at that.



Cowardly? Maedhros eyes flared. And upon what evidence is this insult based?



I should think that using the daughter of our king as a shield indicates cowardice, began the Elf before he was interrupted by Beleg.



Daeron, you have done your part in leading us to the interloper. Do not presume that it is your place to interrogate him.



Maedhros looked on Daeron with supreme dislike, his fair face twisting into a sneer of truly Fanorian dimensions. Nay, let him speak and he will learn what becomes of those who question the bravery of the Noldor.



Beleg turned to Maedhros and spoke calmly. And I would advise you, Lord Maedhros Fanorion -- ay, we know who you are - to refrain from upsetting any of the Doriathrim, for King Elw is already most displeased about your presence in his lands. Now, please surrender your sword.



Grudgingly, Maedhros threw his sword to the ground but, even unarmed, he did not look any the less fearsome and the archers showed no sign of lowering their bows.



What does my father know? asked Lthien, reaching for Maedhros hand. For the first time, he sensed that she was somewhat anxious.



That you have been consorting with this Fanorian, said Daeron through gritted teeth. This usurper of kingdoms and slayer of kin. Ay, and now we might add thief of daughters to this iniquitous catalogue of shame.



Ai, slayer of kin I cannot very well deny, much as I wish it was false, spat Maedhros, his eyes flashing with fury. But I am no usurper nor can I be a thief if she of whom I am accused stealing has offered herself to me willingly!



Do not think me ignorant of the wiles of the Noldor! You must have deceived her in some way! cried Daeron, casting an almost imploring glance in Lthiens direction.




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2007-06-09 23:04 

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Maedhros smiled slowly as Daerons motives became clear to him. Do not accuse me and my kin of wiles and trickery in an effort to appease your own envy, Master Daeron! Deception is for those who are ashamed to show their true colours. He raised his chin and spoke defiantly. I am Maitimo Fanrion and I am not ashamed.



Be that as it may, cut in Beleg sternly, you are hereby ordered to appear before the King Elu Thingol and his Queen and we are to hold you under guard until then.



What claim does Elu Thingol have over me that I must obey his will? demanded Maedhros. I will not suffer to be brought before him as some lowly prisoner.



Wait! cried Lthien in an effort to soothe injured pride and offended duty. Pray grant me one request, Beleg Cthalion. Send one of your guards ahead of us to beseech my father that I may bring the Lord Maedhros before him. Tell him also that I beg of him to swear that he will not harm Maedhros.



Do this and you can be assured that we will submit willingly.



Beleg regarded Lthien for a long moment before nodding and sending his swiftest archer to Menegroth. An hour, maybe two, passed before the archer came running back.



What news from my father? asked Lthien.



He will grant your request. The Fanorian will not be harmed. Just bring him forth immediately.



Then lay aside your weapons, ordered the lady firmly. When Beleg attempted to object, she laughed and said, I can vouch that the Lord Maedhros will not flee from here. Will you not take my word for that?



Tis not your word that I doubt, hiril nn, murmured Beleg.



Maedhros stiffened a little, his pride wounded once more by the words of the Sindarin Elf, although he had to admit that he was relieved to see the guards stand down. Beleg himself carried the Noldos sword while Lthien kept a firm grip on Maedhros hand.



They proceeded to the Halls of King Thingol of Doriath in silence and came before the King and Queen.



Maedhros bowed low before them but there was something unyielding in his bearing that made it quite clear that he was merely being courteous; that he regarded Elw as an equal. When his eyes fell on Melian, however, he inclined his head once more, suddenly struck by memories of Valinor where the grace of the ageless Maiar had flowed freely. Mayhap it was that grace that had drawn him to Lthien initially; some blissful memory re-awoken in a dark land. It was something that had not crossed his mind before, simply because, after the torment of Thangorodrim, he thought he would never know such happiness again. He had thought that the joy of Aman was long lost to him yet here it dwelled amidst the beech and elm in dark Doriath.



Speak, Fanorian, and tell us why you have broken our laws and entered our lands, said Elw.



Maedhros looked Elw in the eyes as he responded. I cannot tell you why, King Elw as I do not know the answer. I had been separated from my body guard before I was set upon by Orcs on the borders of these lands and, in an effort to escape, I stumbled into your lands. It was not by design, I can assure you. If you wish to ask me why I remain, I can explain my motives with rather more certainty. He looked at Lthien briefly. Tis little wonder you keep your kingdom under such protection when there are greater treasures than the combined works of the Noldor within its bounds.



Melian placed her hand on Elws arm but to no avail. The King of Doriath gently removed her hand and stood up. As the tallest of the Children of Ilvatar, he certainly used his height to his advantage as he approached Maedhros. I would advise you not to continue, kinslayer, he said coldly.



Maedhros remained defiantly upright. As you wish, aranya*, he said in equally frosty tones, deliberately lapsing into Quenya. But do not look down upon me as though I were no more than an insect to be crushed beneath your heel. I know not what brought me to these lands but I was to befall any harm while under your command, you might find it difficult to prevent the rest of my kin coming in search of me.



The two noble Elf-lords stood toe to toe and for one terrifying moment, it seemed as though one would strike the other, so heated was the atmosphere. You threaten me in my own kingdom? asked Thingol quietly.



If you perceive my words as a threat, you betray your own insecurity as a ruler of Elves, replied Maedhros smoothly.



It is not your threat to my kingdom that alarms me, retorted Elw, But rather your mishandling of my daughter.



Who said aught about mishandling your daughter? asked Maedhros. I have done her no harm, as she herself can testify. Indeed, King Elw, I love her and I would see her safe from all danger.



Can you save her from yourself? Melians soft tones interjected suddenly. Ay, Fanrion, we know too of your Oath and the Doom you have undertaken. Can you claim to love our daughter yet still pursue this Oath?



I can, responded Maedhros. For, although I must fulfil the Oath I swore in Tirion, I believe that the fate of my heart is no longer mine own. I have looked upon true beauty, Lady Melian, and I would not relinquish it even if it costs me my life.



Then you have sealed your fate, murmured Melian. And I fear that of my daughter also.



Elw bowed his head, unsettled by his wifes words. You speak of your own life, kinslayer, yet what of the life of my daughter? I will not part from her easily, especially not to one who has been stained by blood and darkness. You have brought blackness to these lands. Why should I grant you anything but a swift death?



Because you gave your word! cried Lthien.



Ay, and more fool I for rashly granting such a request, said Thingol. He slowly paced around Maedhros. But what am I to do with you know, kinslayer? I cannot allow you to remain in my kingdom to further corrupt my daughter but I cannot allow you to walk out of here with nothing to show for your insolence.



Maedhros raised his chin and met Elws eyes. I will not leave your daughter, Elu Thingol.



Would you leave her for a bride-price? asked Elw slowly, as a thought occurred to him.



Pray, explain yourself, aranya, said Maedhros, his gaze flickering towards Lthien. The very sight of her gave him courage and he calmly awaited Elws pronouncement.



You are free to follow your Oath, said Thingol, little realising that his words were sealing his own doom. But once it is fulfilled, I demand a Silmaril in recompense for the hand of my daughter.



An eerie stillness fell over Menegroth as he spoke the words. Much to everyones surprise, Maedhros laughed.



Is that all? he asked. You would sell your daughter for so low a price?



Low a price? demanded Elw. Your lifes ambition is too low a price?



I am but a wicked kinslayer; my lifes worth cannot amount to much, said Maedhros, almost mockingly, and you have given me further incentive to stop at nothing to regain my fathers jewels. Ay! he spat. When I reclaim what is rightfully mine, I will return and claim this greater prize.



With that, he walked over to Lthien and clasped her hand, pressing it against his lips. I will return for you, vanimawend*. Retrieving his sword from Beleg, Maedhros sheathed it and strode from the halls, leaving confusion and uncertainty in his wake.



Ai, meleth-nn*, said Melian sadly. What have you done?



I have rid my kingdom of a great pest, said Elw stiffly, even as doubts began to prick at his heart.



Melian placed her hand on his cheek. Nay, Elw-nin, you have given the son of Fanor the greatest motive of all to raze all these lands to the ground in his hunt for the Silmarils. He was bound by word to stop at naught to regain them. Now he is bound by love.



As a grim silence fell over Doriath, Maedhros sped away, clutching in his hand the ring he had taken from the mortal. It was the seal of the House of Finarfin; if the mortal had any claim of loyalty to Felagund, Maedhros intended to exploit it. Nargothrond had been his destination ere ever he had been ensnared by deathless beauty and treacherous vows and, he deemed, there he would find support. As he ran, he considered the possibilities that lay before him and, where before the threat of the Void had driven him on, now the promise of immortal love drew him towards his goal.



In Doriath, the singing of the nightingales had ceased and a period of uneasy waiting began.





~*~



hiril nn My lady (S)

aranya - My King (Q)

vanimawend - Beautiful maiden (Q)

meleth-nn - My love (S)


URL
2007-06-09 23:05 

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Chapter 2.

What is it you desire of me, cousin? demanded Finrod Felagund. He looked down at the ring Maedhros displayed. And how did you come by this?

It was in the hand of a mortal man, ere we were beset by Orcs in the northern reaches of Doriath, replied Maedhros.

What were you doing travelling with a mortal? inquired Orodreth mildly as he stood alongside his brothers throne.

Nay, you misunderstand, cousin, said Maedhros. I was not travelling with him but rather I happened upon him after I was parted from my own guards.

And how did that come about? asked Finrod.

We were passing through Dungortheb and our minds were clouded by some evil. I stumbled ever onwards, hoping to escape the shadows but instead finding myself hot on the tail of a band of Orcs. I slew as many as I could ere I realised that I was not alone. A man was there also and though he fought bravely, he eventually tired, as is the way of the Frimar. I was too weary myself to question why he should have been travelling alone but it was evident that some price had been laid upon his head, Secondborn though he was. The Orcs did not kill him but rather bore him off alive, mayhap to Tol-in-Gaurhoth. Finrod frowned slightly at the mention of his former fortress of Tol Sirion but indicated to Maedhros to continue his tale.

Before I was parted from the Mortal, we had chance to exchange a few words. He recognised me as being one of the Eldar and pressed this ring into my hand, pleading that I bear it to the King of Nargothrond. Of course, I recognised it immediately and would have conveyed it to you sooner if I had not been otherwise engaged.

Otherwise engaged? Tis scarcely common practice to dawdle on the outskirts of Doriath, observed Finrod. Certainly not when one is a son of Fanor, at any case.

Indeed, replied Maedhros. And now we come to the crux of the matter I believe.

And will you also explain why you had your younger brothers sent from the room?

I will, cousin, replied Maedhros, For what I am about to say is of a rather sensitive nature and I do not believe that my brothers will take to it kindly.

Yet you think that I will accept what you have to say?

I hope you will.

Maedhros want on to speak of his time in Doriath and Finrods eyes grew progressively wider as he listened.

You mean to tell me that you are sworn to the daughter of Melian? asked Finrod disbelievingly.

And she to me, said Maedhros. Although, as I am sure you can appreciate, it is not a match welcomed by her father.

Indeed not! It is a wonder he did not have you killed!

I believe he would have, were it not for the fact that fair Lthien bade him swear that he would not harm me.

Ay, you are fortunate, son of Fanor, very fortunate indeed. Pray to the Valar that your luck holds out. Finrod frowned and pursed his lips. I am still rather uncertain as to way you would not say such things in front of your brothers.

Maedhros closed his eyes. I should have thought that would be obvious, cousin. I mean to reclaim a Silmaril.

This I understand, said Finrod impatiently. But will your brothers not support this bid to fulfil your Oath? He spoke with distaste as the memory of the swearing of that Oath filled his mind.

They would, save that I intend to give the Silmaril to Elw of Doriath.

You are buying a bride with your inheritance?

A pained exprssion crossed Maedhros face at Finrods words. I love her, Findarto. If you do not understand my Oath, surely you understand that at the very least!

Finrod bowed his head and Maedhros was certain that he saw a single tear trail down Finrods face. When the King of Nargothrond raised his head, however, his cheek was perfectly dry. I understand the sacrifices made for love. Ere I make my judgment, however, I would as you if you understand them?

Maedhros face grew thunderous. I am risking the enmity of my brothers, the hatred of the King of Doriath and, in the name of love, I intend to venture once more into Morgoths lands to claim that which he stole from my father. Now, he looked truly furious and he extended his right arm to Finrod, pointing at it with his left hand. Do you see this? This wound I suffered for prides sake. He placed his hand over his heart. I am willing to suffer greater agony still if it will win me the hand of the one I love. His voice dropped. Indeed, I can imagine no greater agony than this tortuous waiting, Findarto! Tell me now: will you aid me or not?

After a long moment of silence, Finrod spoke. I will aid you, cousin, not because I support your Oath, which disgusts me more than almost any other crime, but because of an oath I swore to mortal man. Had you not come here, I should never have learned of the fate of the descendents of Born. I believe that some strange fate caused you to cross his path and there is little I can do but aid you now, in his stead, for you bear his token.

What will you tell your people? asked Maedhros.

As little as you will tell your brothers, I believe, said Finrod. He then turned to Orodreth. Brother, it may be that you will have to rule in my stead. Without a glance in Maedhros direction, he said in clear tones, Ware the Fanorians, for their following in our land is great indeed. Be cautious, my brother, but be strong.

At that moment, the doors of the hall flew open and an unexpected figure strode in.

Macalaur! cried Maedhros. What are you doing here? The two eldest sons of Fanor strode towards each other and flung their arms around each other.

What am I doing here? asked Maglor. I could ask the same question of you brother, or perhaps I would be better in asking what you have been doing these last months when we feared you lost!

You have left Himring and the Gap undefended? asked Maedhros in return.

They are not undefended, said Maglor firmly, for I have left our best soldiers on full alert. Come, now, Nelyo! Do not think that I was just going to sit and wait for tidings of you; I did that before, if you recall, and I was not about to wait for one of our cousins to speed to your rescue this time.

Maedhros opened his mouth to protest but Maglor cut him off. I did not travel all this way to speak of military tactics, Maitimo. I came to see that you were alive!

Taking a step back, Maedhros bowed his head and held out his arms in a mock display of grandiose. You have seen that I am alive, Cno, and I would ask you now to return to where you are most needed! I will not have you entangled in my fate! My doom is mine own!

Yet you would turn to our cousin? Maglor gestured towards Finrod. Ah, brother mine, you of all should know that your fate is too tangled with ours. You shall not find it easy to be rid of me, so you had better tell me where you have been and why you speak of doom!

Ai, Cno, why must you be so stubborn! cried Maedhros as his shoulders slumped slightly. Very well. I will tell you what has befallen me since last you and I dined together in cold Himring but I must ask you not to speak of this to any!

Finrod coughed discreetly. Perhaps you would care to speak together in private? You may use my private reception chambers, if you wish.

To judge from the rather serious exprssion on the face of my esteemed elder brother, said Maglor, glancing at Maedhros, that might be rather better.

When, at last, the two Fanorians were left alone, Maglor turned to Maedhros, anger flashing in his eyes. Have you no idea how much I worried about you, Nelyo? And now you have the gall to speak to me in riddles and half-truths! How dare you, Nelyafinw? I have wept for your loss, not once in my life, but twice, and now you turn from me?

To Maglors surprise, Maedhros sat down and put his hands in his head.

Nelyo? asked Maglor, gently. Where have you been?

Doriath, replied Maedhros before he raised his head to look directly at his brother. Ay, that is right, brother. The realm of Thingol and there I have seen such beauty as to make a mockery of all I held dear before.

Maglor simply looked confused. You have become no less cryptic, brother. A mockery of what? Surely not your family?



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2007-06-09 23:05 

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Maedhros shrugged. I do not know. You say you worried about me while I was missing but I must honestly say that I gave no one but the fair Lady Lthien a second thought.

Lthien? The exprssion of surprise on Maglors face would have been amusing had the circumstances been less serious. Maitimo, what have you done?

Maedhros laughed; a short barking sound entirely without humour. What have I done? Simply that which has been done unto me! Love, Macalaur, love! We are promised to one another.

Maglor paled. You have fallen in love with the daughter of Elw? He put his head in his hands. Ai, a more dangerous Oath was never sworn.

Nay, Macalaur. This has the power to oerturn every bad deed I have done. From now on, I exist for her and her alone! Anything I do henceforth shall be for her!

So you condemn yourself to the Eternal Void?

Ai, brother, no one who has laid eyes upon my beloved would give the Eternal Void a second thought! I have not denounced my previous Oath but this, I deem, will be my redemption.

And what of us? Your brothers? You would turn your back on us?

Maedhros face twisted into a scowl, marring his handsome features. How can you speak thus when you and all our brothers left me to die in Thangorodrim?

So it comes to this, said Maglor, his eyes brimming with tears as yet unshed. You would punish us because we were not as brave as you?

That is not what I said, Cno, and I would not have us part with such words!

Part? You are leaving?

Ay, I leave this very night.

Where are you going? asked Maglor, filled with a desperation that verged on despair.

To claim my birthright, said Maedhros defiantly. He turned to face the door. You are ready, Findarto?

Maglor glanced to where Finrod had entered unannounced. I am, cousin, said Finrod softly. We all of us have Oaths to fulfil. Now is our time.

Maitimo! What is it you intend to do? cried Maglor, reaching out to his brother.

The noble King of Doriath, said Maedhros bitterly, has requested a Silmaril in exchange for the hand of his daughter. Seeing as I am already sworn to stop at nothing to reclaim those accursed gems, I see no harm in attempting to make something good come of devastation.

Then let me accompany you, said Maglor suddenly. I will not see you disappear into the land of the enemy alone.

I am not alone, said Maedhros. Findarto is to accompany me.

As well as twelve of my most loyal subjects, interjected Finrod.

Maglor held Maedhros tightly, pinning his brothers arms to his sides. You would trust again to the valour of a cousin even when I offer my aid freely? His face grew dark. You will not gainsay me on this occasion, brother; either I accompany your party or I shall doggedly follow where eer you lead.

This is not your Oath, said Maedhros gently. This is not your bride.

I know! cried Maglor. My bride fell at Alqualond! I will never lay eyes upon her again so now I must cling to the love that I know. A brothers love, Maitimo; the love you gave to me when I was but a child and I did not understand why our parents argued.

How can I persuade you to stay?

You cannot.

Maedhros bowed his head. I would not be the cause of your death, Macalaur.

You are not. I can say that now, brother.

Angrily dashing a stray tear from his eye, Maedhros turned to Finrod. What of my brothers? Do they suspect anything?

Finrod, as ever, paused thoughtfully before replying. I cannot say. They were angry, cousin, as I have never seen them. I fear for Artaher, that he might find them rather difficult to placate.

Should I speak to them? asked Maedhros.

No! replied Maglor. They will not understand, Maitimo. They will insist on accompanying you. We cannot lead them further into darkness.

What is to say that it is better that they remain? Finrods words were so soft that they passed unheeded by his two eldest cousins.

Are we ready to depart? Maglor looked at the Elves who had entered the room, quiet and grave. There was fear in their eyes but such loyalty. They have sworn no Oath, thought Maglor, yet still they would ride to their doom.

Finrod looked down at his hand, in which he still held the ring of Beren. We are.

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