Dûlan sat at his bench, fire blazing in the hearth behind him.
Pouring molten silver into the intricate cast, he smiled and began to chant, harsh and terrible words.
The ring had just begun to harden into its shape, but Dûlan took it from the cast and pressed into the center a smooth blue stone.
Dûlan held the ring in his long fingers until it was completely cool, looking with satisfaction upon his work.
The ring was indeed beautiful, a thin silver band, and the Sea-blue stone set in between two delicate silver butterfly wings. Yet for its beauty, it was made for an ill purpose.
¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤
Dûlan watched the Teleri princess from his window as she walked in the gardens of Alqualondë.
He smiled when he noticed his ring shining brightly on her finger.
He was encouraged by this, for if Èríele did not wear the ring..
He shook off that thought when he saw the Noldor Elf walk into the gardens, and then run to Èríele, sweeping her up into his arms. He lifted her into the air, and then gently set her down again, both of them laughing.
“This does not anger you, my son?”
Dûlan turned his face and saw his father standing by his side, watching Èríele with him.
“No, father. For I have sensed in her that she looks to the Noldor much like a second father.”
“And that is well, ” Dûlan continued. “For I will have her. My ring will make certain of that.”
“Do you love her, my son?”
“It matters not whether I love her, or whether I do not,” Dûlan replied harshly. “I desire her, and I will have my desires.”
¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤
“She was so beautiful..” Dûlmar mused aloud, sitting alone in his room. The Moriquendi princess…
Tears welled up in the counselor’s eyes at the thought of his beloved.
She was the daughter of the Moriquendi lord. She had raven-black hair, and piercing black eyes. She had loved Dûlmar, and Dûlmar had loved her.
Yet when the Valar commanded the Firstborn to leave Middle-earth, to go to Valinor, the Moriquendi rebelled and would not go, but the Teleri left them. And with them went Dûlmar, grieved and sorrowful. And he took his son, the fruit of his love with the Moriquendi princess. She was his wife, so long ago.
His love for her had not faded, and he had kept his promise to her. She had made him promise when he took their son to teach Dûlan her arts and ways that he might choose between the two kindreds.
He had kept his promise in secret, yet he feared no good thing would come of it. Dûlan had become more and more like unto the rebellious Moriquendi, and less like the Sea-loving Teleri of old.
¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤
It had been a beautiful day, Èríele thought. She and Avesár had watched the ship-building together, and delighted in seeing Isil’s envisioned ship take shape.
Now the day was ending as she walked alone to the Sea.
She walked far from where she usually sat to watch the tide, and now she saw in the distance, black against the pale sand, a tall figure standing by the waves.
She knew she had made no sound on the sand, but the figure turned its face to her, and a deep voice called, “Hail, Daughter of the Sea.”
“H-hail,” Èríele said hesitantly. “Forgive me, lord, may I ask.. Who are you?”
She was near to him now, and she saw his hair was black as night, and his eyes a striking blue. His features were noble and commanding, and he stood very tall.
“There is nothing to forgive, Èríele.” He called her by name. “I am Ossë.”
“Ossë? I am sorry, lord, yet I never thought.. It is an honor indeed, my lord,” Èríele managed, stunned and spellbound.
“Ah, but it is a greater honor for me, lady,” Ossë spoke, taking her hand in his gentle one. “Come, let us walk, Èríele, and you shall tell me why you have prayed to Ilúvatar in such despair in your heart.”