(Disclaimer: the characters are Tolkien’s, save for the few I have written inspired by reading Tolkien’s works. All references are from The Silmarillion, and HoME 10 and 12. My thanks for the continued help of my `beta’ reader, Elemáine, and also to FëanorTFR for keeping me on track with this one!)
“Why do those of our kin in the house of our Grandfather, King Finwë, speak differently to us? Why do they use s for p, father?” Curvo* asked a seemingly innocent question, as he broke off a chunk of thick, grained bread, and lavishly coated it with honey.
We had all been partaking of breakfast, as Telperion’s light flooded the high windows of the lesser hall we used for family meals. Always did I enjoy the times of having my family at table together, and less frequent had that event become of late. But Curvo was only just over two years of age then, and he was still most times with us, in Tirion or in travel. His question, however, was far from innocent!
Like ripples from a stone thrown into water affected its stillness, so the mood of my sons changed. Maitimo*, who had already half-filled his platter with assorted fruits, halted abruptly in his effort to grasp the large flacon of cordial that had been moved just out of his reach by Tyelkormo*. My copper-brown haired son sat back in his chair, with a look of resignation at that meal he no longer thought he would have the opportunity to enjoy.
Makalaurë*, seated opposite his elder brother, put down the knife with which he had just cut off a large helping of his favourite cheese, and also sat back in his chair. His enthusiastic banter, an ongoing attempt to encourage Carnistir* to be more forthcoming about a latest `secret’, also halted abruptly!
Carnistir played idly with his food; eyes focused upon the table. Usually was he the first to finish, as he was given less to talking conversationally. Tyelkormo alone continued his meal, saving to one side, as he often so did, what titbits he thought appropriate for his animals, for his hounds. (Though we ate not meat at that first meal of the day!)
And I sighed! Knowing well what was behind Curvo’s question, and what was behind it’s timing! We all turned to look to Fëanáro, who had also put down his knife, though rather heavily.
“Take no heed of them!” he replied sternly. “We speak as is right, and as King Finwë himself did before he was led astray. We are his heirs by right, and the elder house. Let them sá-sí, if they can speak no better!”* Fëanáro, who I knew had been contemplating a good day of crafting ahead, was instantly plunged into a darker frame of mind. Not that he was angry with Curvo’s question, (as was I!), but that one of those ongoing points of contention between he and his father, his half-brothers, and some of the loremasters had been raised. Angry he was; not with his son, but with Finwë’s second wife, Indis!
Now there had been an issue in the use of p in our speech since before Fëanáro was born, (though after the Vanyar had departed from Tirion.) and not a few of the Noldor had changed their use of p to s, based primarily on phonetic taste. But this was an issue dear to Fëanáro’s heart, and, as the acknowledged chief of the linguistic loremasters, he had attacked that change, insisting that p was the proper pronunciation for anyone who cared for or fully understood their language. Most other loremasters agreed with him openly, though some in private, as Lastamo had given cause for much debate to be instigated, and in that he argued most vehemently against my husband.
Lastamo was grieved at Fëanáro’s bettering of him in skill, at having to be known as the third ranking linguistic loremaster, instead of the second. But he knew, and so played upon, the more heartfelt reason for my lord’s insistence on the use of p! Míriel had always used p! Her mother-name, Perindë*, was she most proud of, and as one keen on correct pronunciation herself, had she insisted on being referred to as such by all her kin, rather than adopt the change to Serindë. And Fëanáro, he loved his mother greatly! He had made this issue a personal one!
That there was argument amongst the people, amongst the loremasters, he could tolerate, but Finwë’s acceptance of the change, and his half-brothers’ use of it was a grievous pain unto him. For Indis, who, being a Vanyar should have adhered to p, had adopted the use of s! This did he believe she had done in belittlement of his mother! Now did I know, and from Indis, that she had made the change in order to better identify with the Noldor, and so please Finwë, as she thought. Fëanáro would have none of it! Rarely did we meet with Finwë’s second family, but since Maitimo had befriended Findekáno*, the difference of speech had been heard frequently, and in our house!
So did I know well of Curvo’s intent on raising such an issue, and on that day! For did not Maitimo expect to be away later, and with Findekáno, in exploration? Did not those two grandsons of Finwë intend to attempt the impossible, to traverse the Pelóri Mountains! (`It is not impossible until we have at least tried’, Maitimo had said in response to my concern that such an endeavour was over-valiant!) That Maitimo would set out, knowing afresh of the issues his friendship with Nolofinwë’s* son raised for his father was, I believed, unkind!
“Curvo!” I stated but softly in warning to our youngest son. “Speak not of such matters at table!”
But the damage was done! Fëanáro resumed his meal, though with apparent lack of interest, and Arnónë, who, with two other nissi, waited upon us for the first meal of the day, was at his shoulder, asking if other foods should be brought him.
“Nay!” Fëanáro replied sullenly. “I have no mood for such.” He pushed back his chair and made to leave. That he would work out his anger and frustration in the forge I knew, and I believe, for an instant, Curvo looked saddened at what he had instigated, at his father’s pain.
“And you, wife! You will be visiting Indis this day, no doubt!”
Fëanáro did not wait upon my answer. He knew that had been my intent, but assumed, correctly, that now would I think twice about so doing. Though never did I mention first the name of Indis in my husband’s hearing, nor did I visit with her as much as I wished, yet until that time when he forbade me from seeing her did I endeavour to visit with her at least a few times each year.
And had that, even more than disrupting Maitimo, not been at the heart of Curvo’s timing! Did he not wish for me to end my friendship with Indis, and out of love for his father!
After all others had departed the room, for none save Tyelkormo finished that meal, I spoke again with Curvo, that he may have more consideration for Maitimo, and for his father, and those matters that weighted most heavily upon him.
He had lowered his eyes, and thought on my words for a moment.
“No ill do I wish upon Russandol, Mother, and greatly do I love my Father! And do I regret some of the results of my question.” Then he brightened in expression, and looked me full in the face. “But I would in truth know the answer, and this has my father given me. We are the elder house, and heirs by right of King Finwë. We speak as is right! Of this shall I inform Findekáno when next I meet him!”
“So like your father are you, Atarinkë!” I reflected, as I had done many times before. Brushing back his raven-black hair, I nodded understanding though I wished also for his discretion, and turned then from him, making to leave. But he spoke after me in a voice that held glimpses of a pain then unknown to me.
“Do not continue meeting with Indis, Lady Mother! For my heart warns me that you will cause my father much grief if you do but continue upon this course! And your heart, also, will be broken!”
Such presumptuous instruction was not for a child to speak to a parent. Never had any of the others so done! But for a moment Curvo’s words provoked an image in my mind of tears; of mine and of Fëanáro’s. I saw in vision but briefly, my husband striding from the Ring of Doom, face set like flint in barely controlled rage. Rare was it for any Elda to be in that place of the thrones of the Valar, and I wondered then at what such foresight meant? Had I better understood what was to come, different would my actions have been!
We had arguments and times of strife amongst us, as do all. For though it was a time of bliss in Aman, though no evil was known in the realm of the Valar, yet were we all individuals, each with our own wills and thoughts, and some small conflict in interests were unavoidable. How could the seven of us, (and later, the nine!) agree on all things? Given our strengths of characters, well did we do, I consider!
Arguments! Aye, there were arguments between our sons, but always did they draw together at need. For was not our family, our house, held together by love, and a deep sense of kinship! Was it not reported to me, of that most terrible of battles in the Hither Lands, of the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, that though all were wounded, yet did they draw together, and, with a remnant of the Noldor, hew their way out of the battle. Though all our sons were wounded did they stand together, and none were slain!
In the years before Moringotho made his influence so felt, were any disagreements between us soon resolved, and amicably. Fëanáro and I disagreed on some matters, but argued rarely, and that mostly over Indis, until both our thoughts were darkened by lies. But this one thing had I come to wonder could ever be healed, this wound in my husband’s heart! For did he not now have to live with so many others, (and soon would there be more sons and two daughters of his half-brothers’ houses!) and all of them a reminder of what he, alone, had lost!
Now were we in the habit since we had first met, Fëanáro and I, of journeying together through Valinor! This habit had continued with our sons, either travelling with us, or with each other, or alone. A family of wanderers, of adventurers were we, and restless if in one place overlong; though I came to seek less the adventure as I had more family, yet would I follow Fëanáro when I could. True to those tales of neri and nissi were he and I! He filled with eagerness for adventure and travel, and although ever eager was I for adventure, ever first eager was I for his company! If only it had been in the tale of old that the neri and nissi awoke at the same time, beheld each other and the starlight at the same time! Mayhap then would the first love of neri and of nissi been more equal in character!
It is told in some tales that Fëanáro and his sons abode seldom in one place for long, but travelled far upon the confines of Valinor! Aye, but it is not told that many a time I travelled with them! Had I been Lúthien it would have been so mentioned, but as I have previously made complaint, does it seem that later writers ignore my presence, save as mother to his son! Some journeys did Fëanáro travel upon with our sons alone, as with the time they had all travelled into Avathar, after yet another retelling of the encounter with a fell creature by Lelyar! Our Steward liked also to explore, but he had never forgotten that encounter he and his two companions had in the lands to the south, and Fëanáro, he had not forgotten the incident either! Tyelkormo had been unable to gain any useful information on the darkness encountered from Oromë, and Aulë knew not, or spoke not of what it was. So did they journey, Fëanáro and our five sons, though the fell creature eluded them! Glad was I of that, and without the later knowledge I gained when Wirilomë indeed drained strength and sight from all our sons, and that in their attempt to return to Formenos, and bring aid to their grandsire.
At that time had I sought, yet again, to learn more from the wise amongst us, and to listen to those debates that were frequent features of our life in Tirion. I sought often to listen to the teachings of Istyaro, one of the wisest of those of the first generation, who spoke forth from time to time in the court or in the garden under the Mindon. Not for long duration would he speak, (as did some loremasters!), rather would he cast forth ideas, and give us time to ponder upon them. Sometimes we who gathered there would but sit in silence! Yet not wasted were such moments, for I would turn from my seating upon the marble balustrade so that I faced the east, the Bay of Eldamar, and indulge my curiosity in whatever lay beyond, in my own wondering of what the land of my parent’s birth was like. The warmth of the Trees, and the almost palpable light would I feel upon my back, with a sense of renewal and strength, and my delight in my life would be fired afresh. So it was, that in but a short time I fully recovered from Curvo’s birth with no possible desire to be released from the labour of living, though mostly had that been due to Fëanáro!
“Knowledge is of great importance!” Istyaro would sometimes say, and often would he look to me when he so spoke “But to know there is much we do not know, and some we may not know, is greater still!”
A small group were we, who sat near the top of the hill of Túna and discussed and debated even those matters so vague that the loremasters cared not for them! And often would Arafinwë* be amongst the group!
Now for a time, upon their return from their journey to the south with their father, did Maitimo and Makalaurë, and even Carnistir accompany me to those meetings. But a brief phase was that in which I had their company, and they came but out of their general curiosity. Soon enough had Maitimo returned to explorations of his own, and Carnistir to a time of working with my father. Makalaurë accompanied me for longer, and some of what we discussed in that group was to eventually find expression in his music. One discussion in particular there was, and on the day that Curvo decided to pay a first visit!
“From whence comes the light?” had the white robed Istyaro said, looking upon Galathilion*. A simple enough question, one might think! We all knew by then that a time of reflection, of pondering around the statement was required, rather than an answer. But Curvo, it was his first visit!
“The light is from Eru Iluvatar!” he replied eagerly, and all those of the group looked up from the beginning of their own contemplations.
“Well said, Curufinwë Fëanárion!” Istyaro affirmed in a slow, quiet, voice that we who knew him, knew was anything but an acceptance of an answer. “Then ponder this! If the light is from Iluvatar, (still did we all bow our heads at the use of the name, though was the All-father, the One, mentioned more frequently in our discussions than in general speech!) then from whence comes the darkness? Why is it that our people awoke under starlight, and not the light of the Trees?”
Now was this not a question that I had oft pondered, wondering why Eru had so placed us, if it was his intent that the Valar should bring us to the bliss of Valinor! I had sometimes concluded that the experience of choosing to pay heed to the words of our ambassadors, to Ingwë and to Finwë and to Elwë, and then choosing to go upon that march west, following Oromë, had been purposed for our good, for our understanding! Yet had many endured hardship, and some been lost from the company that so journeyed. It was said that those who were unwilling to travel, aye, and even many of the Teleri, remained under the starlight in the Hither Lands. So it was said! But we knew not for certain what had happened to them!
Hlárleru, who attended more frequently the debates, wished to add a thought of his own. “It is told us by the first generation that they awoke in a land full of growth, full of trees and plants, and animals; yet is not life dependent upon light?”
At this did Istyaro nod in agreement!
“Light there must have been in the Hither Lands, and before we awoke” Hlárleru continued, sitting back against the wall, his expression one of great thoughtfulness as he began to work through his knowledge and ideas. “Now is it not said that Aulë fashioned two mighty lamps, and all was lit as if changeless day. And the seeds of Yavanna began to grow, and beasts come forth! “
“Aye, so it is said” Arafinwë made one of his rare contributions. The golden haired youngest son of Indis sat often with us, though ever did he listen far more than speak. “But that light was destroyed by the one called Melkor, who had followed the other Valar unto Arda, and built of himself a stronghold from which he could blight all. In destroying the light of the lamps, did he alter the design first wrought by the Valar, and never has that been truly restored. So mayhap is this the cause in part of our people awakening not in full light? An element of discord has been introduced by him into the very fabric of this realm!”
From the first I had met him, had I liked Arafinwë! This younger of my husband’s half-brothers was wise of heart, more so than Nolofinwë, thought I! And his questions were always gently asked, though often most perceptive and far seeing. But Curvo had picked up on another point!
“If Aulë needs must make lamps in which the fruits of Yavanna could grow, what says that for the first designs of the Valar?”
Istyaro could be most indulgent of those seeking knowledge, but ever quick was Curvo, and impatient for an answer, and this suited not the mood of the group.
“Little brother, have you not yet heard nor read the account of the wise, that a war there was before Arda was fully shaped? That Melkor, who is now cast into prison in the fastness of Mandos, and from which none may escape, sought to first destroy the bliss of Arda through fire and heat, and then, when driven forth, turned to darkness and cold! Only after that, after the fires were subdued, was there need for the Lamps!” So spoke Makalaurë, in an attempt to slow the thoughts of Curvo!
“But why the change? Why the darkness? Tulkas drove out Melkor, did he not, and by his might?”
I held up a hand for silence, for though I wished most strongly for the company of my sons, and for them to learn to listen and consider well issues before they spoke, yet did I realise that more words I needed to have with my youngest son before he could again partake in such a meeting. Too eager of question, too rash was he for that group!
“Peace, Curvo! Shall we not return to study, and that of the loremasters of our history and the teachings already laid down of the wise? Then may we benefit this group as well as benefit from them” I rose reluctantly to my feet, noting Makalaurë’s expression of disappointment, that he was finding that topic one of interest. But Istyaro also rose to his feet.
“Be not away from our company overlong, Lady Nerdanel! For you listen to our `music’ and observe much, and that may be of benefit to us all.” Then he looked to Curvo, “And all of the children of our king are welcome here!”
I curtsied to one I had no need to show deference to, but did so all the same. I knew Istyaro so spoke because he wished greatly to debate with Fëanáro, whom he spoke of with admiration. (Though had my husband little interest in such form of discussion!) Then also did Arafinwë speak again!
“Some things we may not know, son of my half-brother.” he remained reclining upon the pleasant seat he had taken, by the cool of the fountain, though he turned to face Curvo. “But to question in itself is not displeasing to the Valar, I believe. And to answer your question; do not many of the wise say that Melkor turned from light and fire to dark and cold, because he found he could not possess the light and he was matched by a greater flame?”
So we left that meeting, and Curvo did not return for a few years. But he was filled with determination to find the truth of those matters, considering much of our lore unclear. Upon our return home, he sought out Tyelkormo, purposing to ride to Valmar immediately, and to ask of Tulkas himself what had perchanced in the Beginning of Days.
But Makalaurë had gained much to ponder, and at the next festival, the one of 1272, were we all to listen to the tale of the First War at the Beginning of Days. And Tulkas came forth from the heart of Valmar with Nessa, his spouse, both in form to walk amongst us. And they took chairs in the centre of the kings and princes assembled upon the lawns, and hearkened with much approval to my second son’s song!
Curvo, he returned to the group early in the year 1282, and attended and contributed most regularly for a space. But then did not Arafinwë’s friend, and Steward of his house, Vorondon, and his daughter Nolwen, also attend. Most steadfast could Curvo be, both in his pursuit of knowledge and in his pursuit of she whom he wished to be his wife!
Tyelkormo and Curvo! Are their names not synonymous in the latter writings, in that which has been passed down through the ages from the Hither Lands; from the scribes and loremasters of Gondolin? But true it is, unlike some things that were recorded, that they were oft times in each other’s company, rather than with any other of their brothers. Though Carnistir rode out with them on occasions, yet did those two of our sons have an understanding, each of the other, and work often as one; even as did Maitimo and Makalaurë, and eventually, the twins! Carnistir was of another mood, a different manner to either of them, and middle brother though he was, yet was he also one to keep his own company and counsel. So did Curvo spend some time in his youth with Tyelkormo in the company of Oromë, and in the hunt. Yet his heart was fired to other things, as was his father’s, and soon enough did he give over much of his time to crafting and to mastery of language and lore, even as did Fëanáro! And many a fine thing there was, wrought by the dexterous hands of Curvo!
Mayhap it is surprising that rarely did they work together, father and son; for after initial instruction from Fëanáro, and some working with my father, did Curvo prefer to work by himself! A workroom had been built for him, though he shared for some years the use of the forge. And he would ride on occasion to the Aulenduri to use what he needed. He visited Aulë with us, and enjoyed talking with the Vala, but always did he ask questions, and some that mayhap he should not have asked! Great indeed had Fëanáro’s pride been on the day we first presented Curvo to Aulë! For he knew the Vala could not help but notice how gifted this son was. And Aulë had received him graciously, and with much interest, and had walked with him alone in discussion, and taken him even to his smithy. But we all knew then that Curvo would not be one to give his allegiance to Aulë!
So, as he grew to maturity, and after, did Curvo delight in the making of things with metal, and working with gems, and a little did he work with stone, though never as much as his father or I. Fine jewellery he crafted, and some rings in which were set bright gemstone for his brothers’ use! For his father he made a circlet of silver, in which was set the brightest of diamonds, and so fine that it bettered anything worn until then, and even by Finwë. Now Fëanáro had oft gone without any such ornamentation to show of his status, tending to assume his very presence was enough for others to know he was a prince of the highest standing. (Though at festivals, and on special occasions had he worn a simple jewelled circlet!) So pleased was my husband with that gift, that he wore it on all occasions of note thereafter, until that time when he began to wear the Silmarils, blazing upon his brow!
And for me did Curvo fashion a girdle for my gowns, like unto the one Aulë had presented me, when I was but a child. But this had seven strands in a complex, interlocking design! Now I understood the meaning of that which Aulë had given unto me, of the flames and leaves entwined, but this I was not then sure of.
“Seven threads, and sometimes touching, and sometimes not! Yet bound ever together! What has inspired your design, Curvo? Do you mean it to be our family?”
But Curvo had only smiled in response! Much given to foresight was he!
The heavy doors of Fëanáro’s study opened but a little at my knock, and a grim faced Lelyar it was who gazed upon me then.
“Ah, Lady Nerdanel! He has been expecting you!” Lelyar looked worn with concern, as one who had seen things no one should ever have had to behold. The state of his clothing told clearly that he had recently ridden hard and fast, and not had opportunity to yet change. But nonetheless, he was Steward of the house of King Fëanáro, and behaved as such! He bowed briefly to me.
“You have had difficulty getting here, my Lady? Had I reached the house but sooner myself, I would have told the guards to look out for you, to let you pass!” A note of apology was in the voice of that aid, and friend of old, that he thought he had failed me.
“No matter, Lelyar! I am here, and must speak with my lord at great need!”
He nodded, though his expression changed not.
“Follow me then, please!”
In the candle and lamp-lit room, around the long table next to the windows, were gathered several neri, clad in travelling clothes, and armed with swords. Almon, and Vëatuo were there, and some I recognised not. All were looking over maps and charts, as they seemed to have been instructed to so do. And also was Curvo with them! The first time it was that I had beheld him and been close enough to speak with him for nigh five years, and as Lelyar announced my presence, he broke from the group that were of a certainty surrounding Fëanáro.
Stern was his expression, as one who masked his own pain, and that at what had befallen King Finwë, and those others at Formenos. Other pain was there also!
“My son, I must speak with your father!”
Curvo took my elbow, and, nodding to Lelyar that he would now see to my need, escorted me to the side of the room. ” Soon, Mother, but first must my king and father finish the plans he is making, and so instruct the last of his captains!”
Almon called back irritably for quiet, and that I should not have been allowed in the room to so cause an interruption, but he was silenced, and Curvo stood to block him from my view. He looked me full in the face, and in that moment did the years we had spent apart seem to vanish, and my son saw in my heart that which he had not previously known. His lips curved slightly upwards, and he made greeting to me.
“So! You have forgiven him; though little has he done to warrant such a need! Well met, Lady Mother! And none too soon!”
But it was Fëanáro with whom I needed to speak, he whom I waited upon! I tried to edge past Curvo, and at that moment the group moved also, and I beheld my husband for the first time since that Oath!
Lightly armoured now was he, and clothed in a hauberk and leathers and strongly crafted pauldrons. A sharp knife and his mighty sword, Urrussë, lay upon the table before him! He raised his head, and his eyes met mine. Ai! So much pain did I behold! Pain and anger and scorn, all as one flame they were! And the wave of that tumultuous emotion hit me full force!
But I was there for a purpose, had gone to try to speak wisdom into a situation wherein I had no hope! Or at the least, to plead that not all my children be taken from me!
`Fëanáro!’ Instinctively I reached out in fëa to him, and he grasped and held my thought, as though in a mailed gauntlet. “Late art thou, Lady! Much is there to do!”
Curvo had hold of my arm still, but he let loose as his father beckoned to me.
“My Lord and my King, I must speak with thee alone!” I made to curtsey acknowledgement of that new title he held but precariously, knowing how empty he viewed it less he could hold it as his own, and through his own strength of will. To be addressed with that title so long ascribed to his father would grieve my husband, but I knew he was expecting it from me, all the same!
This last `game’ was there to be between us; like unto no `game’ we had ever played before! But the pain and the rage that emanated from him, as if in waves; all those thoughts on how he should have done things otherwise, how he should never have answered the summons of Manwë, that he could have overcome Moringotho and his `darkness’ that Finwë would yet live; to this would my forthcoming words but add!
“Late art thou for giving of thy counsel! Thou must wait yet a moment, wife! For we shall speak, even as thou hast asked!” said he, and in my thoughts added `Nerdanel, didst thou not know how much I am wounded, that my heart is broken asunder? Didst thou not know I needed thee by my side?’
I could not make answer, for truly did I know those things. And I bowed my head; face as flame, though this time with a mixture of shame and sorrow that I had not found a way through to him sooner, not reached him before his speech to the people!
“I wait upon your pleasure, my King!”
For an instant more he held my thoughts, the focus of his will intensifying so I thought he would do that which he had never done unto me, that he would force me answer the cry of his fëa. But then he was occupied again, and he loosened his bond with me.
The group closed in to complete their discussions. But Curvo remained at my side.
“You were there at Formenos, though we saw you not! Before father was summoned, you were there, with him!” he stated with assurance! Hard it had ever been to deceive Curvo, and I had no intention of so doing then.
“Aye! At Manwë’s bidding did I travel hence in recent days!”
He snorted derisively. “Manwë! He who loosed that Enemy upon us! He who can defend not his own realm! Nay, mother, though you love still the Valar, you went to my father because you so wished!”
Then he looked more cynical again, and lowered his gaze, speaking most softly to me.
“But you do not intend to travel with us from this place! Again will you refuse to go with my father; with us!”
It was a statement, not a question! Curvo knew my intentions, knew what I would do. I could not speak with him of it, not before I had spoken with Fëanáro.
“What has happened that you treat Nolwen with such disregard?” I changed the course of our discussion, least I betray myself further. And I wanted to know! I wanted to know why he had taken Tyelpinquar*, who was not much more than a babe, and from his mother?
“Torn is she in loyalty, and will not abandon the Valar who have abandoned us! I have spoken with her, yet she will not see reason! Only will she insist that we do great wrong! For she is blinded by the lies of Aulë, and even though our son might have perished, and with Finwë, yet does she curse me that I would take him to freedom!” That there was anguish in Curvo’s voice as he spoke, I could hear, though I knew he had come not far short of cursing her in turn! He took hold of my hands then, and raised them to his lips. For a moment, he was as I had seldom known him!
“Harden your heart to those who falsely accuse us! Love Aulë if you will; but love us better, I beseech you! Do you not see this trap we are in, that we sing as caged birds at the Valar’s whim! Let us be free of this thraldom, now and forever!”
There were tears upon his face, as there were upon mine. “Nolwen, she names me `evil’, and `rebel’ against those rightly appointed to care for us! But I beheld their care of our people at Formenos! Though she was there herself, though Tyelpinquar’s life was endangered, yet is she still blinded, and naught I can say will break her illusion! Even I cannot so paint a picture in her mind of what is truth!”
With a new understanding of my own, I reached out to wipe his face, “Curvo, I never realised!”
Lowering his gaze further, as if ashamed of what he was about to say, he whispered, “You never realised that I loved my wife so much? Why, mother; did you not know that I am like my father in most matters!”
His words cut into my heart with a fierceness that he had, doubtlessly, intended.
“No joy does my parting from Nolwen bring me! Yet I will not force her company!”
And I could feel the force of his will upon me then, in a manner he had never attempted before. “Come with us, Mother. Do not let Moringotho take you from us and from my father, as he has taken nigh all else!”
His will could I resist, though his words had moved me. Then was the meeting ended, and Fëanáro dismissed all others abruptly, even Curvo. “Be gone about your duties! I will speak with my wife!”
“Think well on my words, Lady Mother!”
And he was gone from the room; I was alone with Fëanáro!
Aye, Curvo; beloved son! I think well on your words these many an Age! I think on them still!
Curvo = Curufin
Maitimo = Maedhros
Tyelkormo = Celegorm
Makalaurë = Maglor
Carnistir = Caranthir
Perindë = Needlewoman
Findekáno = Fingon
Russandol = Copper-top. Maedhros’ epessë
Galathilion = The tree made by Yavanna as a lesser image of Telperion, that was planted in the courts beneath the Mindon.
Atarinkë = Little Father. Nerdanel’s ‘mother name’ for Curufin.
Nolofinwë = Fingolfin
Arafinwë = Finarfin
Tyelpinquar = Celebrimbor
* Fëanor’s words are a direct quote from HoME 12. The Shibboleth of Fëanor.
For the discussion on the use of s and p, see The Shibboleth.