(Disclaimer: All of the characters, places, and the main story line are JRR Tolkien’s wonderful creations. Narwasar, Ondoriel, Elemáinië and Mereno are my beta reader’s characters and I thank her for their use. There are many minor OC’s in this chapter, but they are, or should be, easily recognisable. All references are from The Silmarillion, or HoME Vols 10 or 12 Nothing is mine, except the interpretation and any mistakes.)
“For he (Finwë) did not found his claim on his desire for children only, but he said to the King: my heart warns me that Míriel will not return while Arda lasts. Of what sort the knowledge or belief may be that he would thus express, and whence it came to him, I (Vairë) know not. But fëa perceiveth fëa and knoweth the disposition of the other, in marriage especially, in ways that we cannot fully understand.”
(The later Quenta Silmarillion. Morgoth’s Ring. J.R.R. Tolkien. Ed C. Tolkien.)
The house of Curufinwë Fëanáro. Seventh Age.
I beheld him for a third time this last night. Standing clad in fine, but plain, robes of a pale bronze colour, was he. His black hair was loose about his shoulders, and no jewel or ornamentation did he wear; yet did he still look every part the high prince. The silvered light of Rána* was behind him, an ethereal glow as it reached in clear, straight, beams through the window of my room. A child, a newborn babe, did he seem to have in his arms. I thought it to be the dream of Ambarussa* again, but then saw that the tufts of thick hair were dark, as his, rather than copper-brown colouring. What memory was it? Of what was I thinking?
I instantly perceived his manner to be changed from those earlier two dreams. Whereas in those he had been most sorrowful, nigh begging of my forgiveness, yet in this was he more his self of old. Proud did he look, yet as in the early years rather than those before the exile. Defiant, also, did he appear, and that he would stand against any and all that sought to take from him or to harm that which he held so protectively. He looked down to the babe. Then did the tension of his shoulders relax, and his narrowed eyes soften in the wonder he had always felt at that particular ability of his to create. The look of pleasure that had lit his face when first he cradled each of our sons, it was upon his features in that dream
Settling the child into the crook of his left arm, he put his right hand over his own heart, then moved it to lay his fingertips gently upon the babe’s forehead in an act of blessing.
“Muinafinwë* do I name thee; born of my love and of my Lady. May the Valar watch over thy path until the End.”
As if in response the babe murmured, and waved his small arms.
Fëanáro raised his head to look to me, directly to me, as if I was truly seated in that room with him. His brilliant, grey-blue, eyes were brimming with power as he sought union with my fëa: as he sought to communicate something of great import to me.
“And thou, Nerdanel; doest thou yet have a name of insight for this our child?”
But the babe: I knew him not! He was not one of the seven we had brought forth!
The twins, Ambarussa and his brother, were born in the year of the Trees 1307. We had thought that Curvo* would be our last child, but, with the passing of time did both Fëanáro and I realise our will and desire to bring forth children was not yet satisfied. Strange did others think it, that we had already five sons, yet wanted more. But those who knew us well thought it less strange.
Matters had changed much in the house of Finwë since the birth of Curvo. For Arafinwë* had wed Eärwen, daughter of King Olwë, and in the year 1300 did she give birth to their first child, the golden haired and golden natured Findaráto* Ingoldo. In that same year did Anairë, who had grown to be most close friend with Eärwen, give birth to Nolofinwë’s * second son, to the pious Turukáno*. And fast friends did those two grow to be in the years that followed; though of much different mood were they.
Fëanáro paid but little heed to this change, though on one occasion, in his study, and that when he was vexed with his crafting, did he complain to me concerning the increase of those who, to his thoughts, should not even be! And did he not also turn the sharpness of his tongue upon our sons, for what he called their tardiness in seeking spouses of their own!
Most used was I by then to softening my husband’s show of temper. Though it was still a rare thing, was it not most formidable if he gave himself full vent? His words of that day were not ones of rage, however, but of frustration. I knew him so well, I thought. It was from pain that he spoke, and did not that hint of weakness, that vulnerability of one nigh invulnerable, always bring me to him?
“You initially sought to wed young, my lord because you sought to give your father the children your mother could not! That he would be content with you, and those of your descent, and not wish for more children of his own,” said I most gently.
He had stopped work on the designs for the device he was developing, which he hoped to use as a means of harnising light to excavate for gems, and, with a deep sigh, rested his forehead in his hands.
“You oversimplify matters, Nerdanel. You remember that time as well as I, and that I had found one I wished to be with, and, as she was not unwilling, what was there to halt us being together?”
I moved to take seat beside him: to lay a hand upon his arm. “I remember, Finwion*! But Curvo has also found she whom he will spend his life with. Yet is he in no hurry to wed, for do they not have time enough ahead of them?”
“Does he not also already have a houseful of brethren that company him? Ai! I do understand, yet does it grieve me they are all so slow to seek families of their own, while my half-brothers’ families do grow.”
I had spoken further with him in fëa then. The most intimate form of address did I use, for he also had given voice to another reason behind our early marriage, which he spoke not of: that being his loneliness after Míriel’s departure.
Little mood did Fëanáro have for taking up again his crafting at that time. So did I suggest we rode forth, and walked again in the hills to the north of the Calacirya, as we had done in our early youth. A change from being in or near the dwellings of the Noldor did I seek for us both, and to tread again paths of most happy memories. We had not travelled so, just the two of us, since the birth of Carnistir*!
So it was that we left all cares behind, and all crafting for a space. And again we rode to the crisper air of the north, and let loose our horses, as we wandered hills and vales we had known, and some that were new to us. For though I wished to remember past travels, I was also aware that my husband sought ever-new horizons to explore.
Now, as we journeyed together, did we both come to realise and speak of our desires. He wished not to risk my well being in yet again bringing forth of a child. Always in his mind was the memory of what had befallen his mother. Steadfast was he in his decisions, and rare was it that any could change his mind on any matter. `No more’, had he said. No more, did he mean! But does not fëa perceive fëa, and most particularly in those who are wed? So did I know he spoke from stubbornness, and not from the heart.
And it came to pass that, upon those travels, I conceived again, and for the last time. Yet was that at the end of the year 1306, a year of double mirth. Was not our child that grew within me, soon enough found to be two!
We travelled much with our last two sons in the early years of their lives, for we had rediscovered that joy of our youth with a vengeance. Fëanáro and I would oft ride out, at first with them bound upon our backs, then ridding before us on our horses, and soon enough, on horses of their own. Full of life they were, as were all our children. But in this did we soon find they had an advantage: that they could speak in fëa to each other much of the time. Not as reliable a means of communication as that between their father and I it was, but enough to cause, and save them from, some trouble.
Our eldest sons loved them greatly. Maitimo* watched over those two who were more like him in appearance than any others, and Makalaurë* indulged them far beyond what was good for them. Did our second son not make to teach them of music? Both had some skill, but the younger it was who played the flute, and most beautifully. Tyelkormo made act that he tolerated them, but was he not also much taken? And they were much taken with him, and would be hunters, even as he; particularly when he brought home Oromë’s gift of the wolfhound, Huan!
Happy days were they, and full of love and fulfilment. Fëanáro spent more time with our twins than he had with any of our children, save Curvo, and he delighted in teaching them some of his skills, and that of crafting and of lore. Yet ever was the youngest of our sons most close to me!
The years of the children were the years of my greatest bliss. But such a time, it is not meant to last forever.
Fëanáro had changed much over the years since we had wed, and that in mind mood, and in skill and in might, as he had matured. I had thought I changed less, but mayhap in such thoughts I was deceived? Of a certainty the year 1313 saw a change in mind mood that led to a new focus in my life. For though I would ever be a mother to my sons, and I thought then, grandmother in years to follow, yet was there a sense of lack of fulfilment growing in me; a sense of restlessness that my husband seemed not to understand. Would that we had spoken of it earlier! But no matter! Was it not resolved most amicably? Did I not learn much of life and of love in the process?
Now this was the manner of my restlessness! So much did I perceive my husband to have grown in skill and lore beyond me that, again, I felt need to make place for myself. The words from the time before our marriage, the words of Aulë, and of the Maia, Elemáinië, were oft in my thoughts, and that Fëanáro was made the mightiest of the children of Ilúvatar! Always had I believed those words, but by then did I know from experience that they were becoming truth. For no greater craftsman was there than he. Few, if any, were more learned, and fewer able to make good show against him in any contest of strength, of skill, or of cunning. And when he walked the streets and concourses of Tirion, his presence was such that all gave him unreserved honour: almost all!
“Right art thou to feel trepidation at what lies before thee, Nerdanel, daughter of Urundil, and soon wife to Fëanáro!” Elemáinië had said to me when Fëanáro and I had made to visit his mother’s still form. “Valiant thou art, and strong of will canst thou be, but yet the Spirit of Fire, he is stronger by far. Thou wilt need to temper his flame and his spirit when thou espouseth him!”
Had I not so tried? And for the most had I succeeded, for he would hear me when I spoke wisdom to him, when I spoke soft calm rather than made to give order.
Yet more had that servant of the Fëanturi spoken: “My Lords are concerned that there is something about Fëanáro that is hidden from them, aye, even from Námo Mandos, in a manner they understand not. The path before thy future Lord is one of greatness and of glory, but his mood doth at times work against him”
All this I knew with increasing clarity. And as I so pondered, did not the thought that I was inadequate to be his consort plague me? The greatest of all the Noldor was he, and I but the daughter of a smith! Not that I wished for greatness, you must understand! No descendent of Finwë was I! But I wished for recognition that none could nay-say.
By 1313 were our twins well grown. They needed me not; nor would Fëanáro and I seek to have further children. In that was I happy, for well satisfied was I with our seven sons. Well, also, did I know that I was valued as mother by them. Did we not spend time together, my sons and I, and often in travel and often in the company of Aulë?
Also did I have much respect and friendship from those of our household. Lelyar, our steward, had always been on most amicable and helpful terms with me. Arnónë had grown to think better of me, I believed, though for one who had been a lady of Míriel’s was the difference in manner between that great and noble queen and myself something to be overcome. Ever loyal to Fëanáro, whom she had known since birth, was she, and also her husband, Maneharyamo, who tended the gardens and gave aid to Lelyar. Other assistants did we have by then: the dour Antamo kept watch over the forge and workrooms, though never was he allowed in Fëanáro’s workroom without express permission. None were! Narwasar’s son, Mereno, was with us then. A most promising stonemason was he, and one who worked upon the most intricate and original designs in the building of dwellings and halls and high towers. My father had taught him much, but he was spending some time in Tirion, and gave aid in the running of the house in order to discuss his ideas with my husband. Not that all of my father’s apprentices were so welcomed by Fëanáro, but there was some exceptional promise in Mereno that he would encourage.
So was our household dominated by neri! And I, and Arnónë, had to look elsewhere for the company of other nissi, though did Nolwen spend a disproportionate amount of time with us, also.
My friendship with Mötamë was one I enjoyed when at my father’s house, and in Tirion were Serewen and her daughter, Mernaseldë, often my companions. Indis I saw but rarely! Yet were we friends and confidants of the deepest kind, save, never would I speak of Fëanáro to her, nor of her to him!
A sculptress of fine skill was I, acknowledged by many, and many did ask of me to make representation of loved ones for them. Many did ask for portrayals of their children when young, (had I not much acclaim for my sculpting of my own sons in their early youth?), and of those who were their beloved. Also did I find my work in decorating structures with images of the Valar to be much sought after.
I was still spending time in listening to those discussions led by Istyaro, at which Arafinwë had also been oft present until his marriage. Others came and went in that group of those who sought to know, but a steady group of ten of us were there. And did we not talk of so many matters: of what we could know of the purpose of Ilúvatar in creating us, of his intentions for us, and of the remote `End of Arda’. We talked of Arda marred, and if it would ever come to pass that Arda would again be whole? We spoke of the land in which our People first awoke, and with some understanding gleaned from those of the generations of the Great Journey, and of those Valar who would so speak to us. And at that time it was that we first began to ask if those who were slain before the Eldar reached Aman, those whose hröa had perished and whose fëa were said to be with Mandos, would ever return? For though Finwë and Fëanáro alone knew of bereavement in Aman, yet were there those amongst us who had lost loved ones before ever setting out for the West.
I had the love of my parents, the support of the Aulenduri, and the favour of Aulë himself! What more could I want?
But restless was I! And my mind mood found its way at times into my hands, that they crafted stranger shapes and designs: strong and beautiful, but very different! And also did my mood find its way into my manner, that I began to seek solitude, and to sometimes deny Fëanáro the companionship that was his right to expect.
My husband noticed most things, for ever perceptive was he, though did he only pay heed to those he had a will so to do. He spoke to me of my mood on a few occasions, but finding me less than forthcoming, he asked not further. But he went to his work in that time, and that of a sculpture of his own. One it was, I believed, he wished to present to his father in the near future. For a celebration there was soon to be, and that one of Indis’ organisation. A celebration for three days it was to be, to give honour to her husband, and this no secret! Did not all of Tirion know, and were not many events proposed both in song and story, in sport and contest? But the second day was to be for family and high lords alone. So were the Lord’s Ecthelwë, Essilon, Fionu, Poldoro, Alcarwë and Glorfëo to be present; and also all of King Finwë’s family.
Now it came to be known that Nolofinwë had engaged the services of Calinalcaru, an Aulendur of great skill, who had been apprentice of Tulcon. Although Calinalcaru was not the most gifted craftsman with stone, with metalwork and with jewels his work was beyond compare of all, save my father, and Fëanáro himself. And of this matter, that his half-brothers’ families would offer more than usual to his beloved father, was my husband somewhat disturbed.
“Whatever is gifted, wilt not thy father ever look to thee and to thy work first, my Lord?” I had stated the obvious. Fëanáro knew it was obvious, but where his father was concerned, he would tolerate no room for error.
Then did he ask of something that both surprised and honoured me. He asked of me to sculpt a likeness of King Finwë!
“But wherefore should thou ask of me, when thou art already engaged in a crafting for thy father?” I had enquired of him.
“Another matter it is that I do work upon, Lady. And will I not also craft a gift for my father? But a gift from his son’s wife, who is also is the most skilled of our sculptors will go far from amiss.”
As the days to the celebration progressed, and there were many days’ notice, did we both engage in the work that we would present.
Our sons were not to be outdone, and though they would participate in the sports and contests, yet also did they wish to offer gifts to their grandsire. Maitimo had started work on a secret gift nigh immediately, and the twins on a less secret gift of a goblet and platter decorated with trees under stars, and the two Trees overarching all. In this they had the aid of my father, and much and loudly did they discuss their plans. Curvo and Tyelkormo had ridden out of the city with rather smug looks upon their faces, and that they would return with something totally unexpected, — and Carnistir had set about work with a ruby of the richest hue he could find. To improve upon it by cut and setting was his plan. Makalaurë, as ever, was planning a tale in song, and this was some undertaking, for already had he planned an account of the great and terrible music of Ulmo for the forthcoming festival at Valmar, and with the aid of some of those Teleri songsmiths he had met at the time of Arafinwë’s wedding.
But, although I had begun my work immediately, and with much planning and consideration of materials, aye, and with prayer to Aulë to grant me a work worthy of the King of the Noldor, yet was it soon obvious that my work was not progressing to my husband’s liking.
“Nay! Too deep set do you have his eyes!” he remonstrated.
“The bearing does not show his nobility as it should!”
“The curve of his lips is wrong! Never does my father have such an expression!”
Ai! So did a cause of pride become as a weight about my neck, for Fëanáro would not be satisfied! Most agitated did I perceive him to be: and most interfering!
Now I say that he was interfering, and in part was it true. Yet also was my mood of pondering my place in the family of Finwë having much effect upon my skill. My husband’s words at that time did little to improve my attitude. Never did I speak harshly to him, for did I not respect him, and know such words would have little result? Yet did my wisdom desert me in that instant.
“If the work of my hands is inadequate, then craft all thy gifts of thy own skill!” had I said, accusingly, to him. And, putting down my tools, I had removed my apron, thrown it to the floor of my workroom, and departed my husband’s presence in something of a temper of my own.
At the door to my workroom, just outside, as if they had been about to enter, I passed the twins. I knew they had not meant to overhear, neither had they meant to hear Fëanáro’s following retort: “Return this instant, Nerdanel! I have not finished speaking with thee! Nor hast thou done as I have bidden thee!”
I was not about to return that instant! Neither for many instants! Rash words spoken between Fëanáro and I were few, and oft swiftly healed. Careful were we to only disagree in private. But rash words spoken before our sons were another matter!
`Nerdanel!’ I knew he had turned to make after me, but would not do so in Ambarussa and his brother’s presence. Instead he reached forth in fëa, and, had it been his will, he could have brought me back to him in seconds. But never did he so coerce me! A touch of his displeasure did I feel, but no more! He was angry with me. He was angry with the statue. But I, who was a Lady and craftswoman of renown, would not be so spoken to.
The grey eyes of Ambarussa the younger were wide with surprise at what he was witnessing, and his glance followed me as I crossed the upper terrace, unbinding my hair as I so strode, and walked past Arnónë and three of my ladies, through the doors of my study into the house. I knew I was a fool in that same instant, that I had let my pride make me vulnerable. I should have maintained my calm and my dignity. Yet ever had my husband praised my creations, ever had he been my main support, even more than Urundil. It had hurt that he now thought so little of my skills, and when it mattered most.
We spoke not again that day, Fëanáro and I, but spent time in our own studies, and took rest in our own bedchambers. Rarely, when in the same place, had we ever done that.
By the late meal had I determined I needed time away from my family. The sooner the better, thought I, that I spoke not again out of turn, nor caused any further embarrassment. I knew I needed to reflect upon matters. Most often would I have ridden forth to Aulë’s dwellings if troubled beyond Fëanáro’s ability to help. But the Vala loved my husband more than any. Neither would I go to my parents, that they knew of our disagreement. Other council did I seek. I determined then to ride again to the gardens of Lórien, to seek of Elemáinë, and of any word from the Fëanturi, and if I found them not, then no matter! I would have peace awhile, an enjoyable ride, and time to consider.
Leave did I ask of Fëanáro, and he acted as if it mattered not. “As you will! But see you are returned in time for my father’s celebration, Lady”
I rode out from Tirion early that day, thinking to ride alone, but, no further was I than the small woods that gathered at the edge of the Pelóri, than another horseman was riding in pursuit.
Ambarussa it was: the younger of our twins. His green cloak and copper-brown hair were flying back in the breeze as he approached at a gallop.
“Aiya, Amillë! *” he called ahead. Most concerned did he look as he rode up to pace his mount alongside my dappled mare.
“My brother, Ambarussa, is more skilled than I with the crafting of grandfather’s gift; and will he work in the forge. So did I think and hope, to keep you company upon your travels,” he explained.
I would have refused his company; I should have refused, thought I, at that moment! But well beloved to me was he, and well meaning. Also was he most attuned to my thoughts!
“Think not I will ride close by, and chatter in idle distraction, Lady and Mother! I do seek to be out from the city, and may we not travel as companions, and sometimes close and sometimes at a distance? I know you would have space in which to think, and I shall not hinder you.”
I knew him! And I knew his brother! Would they not both have decided to give what `aid’ they could to their parents in such unprecedented a situation as that which they believed they had chanced upon? Would not Ambarussa the elder, even now, be seeking to keep Fëanáro `company? Such presumption it was, in ones so young and so inexperienced of life. But Ambarussa was not as quiet as he had suggested he would be.
“The Lady Tiriniel, it is said, has argued most publicly with her lord, and departed him for her father’s house. What strangeness is this?” he asked ingeniously.
“Ambarussa!” Aghast was I at his impertinence, and brought my horse to a halt. “You go too far! Tiriniel’s business is her own concern, and your father’s and mine, our own concern!”
He raised his winged brows at that, and looked suitably chastised for a few moments. But only a few! Of merry disposition was he!
“I only say that, they have a son of less than a year, and right nurture through joined love of parents is of most import at that time.”
I would not be drawn into that conversation! I knew not the particulars of Tiriniel’s estrangement, and I doubted if it would be for more than a few days. Not even that sister of Alcarin, who was by then known for her temperamental behaviour, would wish to be parted from her child overlong. And Ambarussa, he was no child, but had been nurtured, as was right and proper, by both Fëanáro and myself, and in love!
We rode on in silence for a while. To the south could we see the dark green edge of the vast woods of Oromë, and to the northwest, the white walls and towers of Valmar. But southwest, and to the gardens of Lórien we headed.
“Think not that your father and I have had serious disagreement, nor that ever would I shame him as Tiriniel does her lord.” I broke the silence, that the journey become more pleasurable. Resigned was I to my son’s company; and glad of it, it was to transpire!
He grinned broadly at my confession, and nodded. Then made to ride on ahead of me some many yards. “That I know, Lady and Mother, ” he called back over his shoulder. Then did he make to take out his flute, and play of sweet and soothing music for me.
As we traversed that part of the plain of Valinor that ran south of Valmar, we passed a herd of deer, and later, several wolves, taking of rest in the light, upon a low, rocky outcrop. In the bright sky, a lone eagle circled, as if Manwë himself would watch over our progress. No great heed did we pay any of them, for the animals in the Blessed Realm were not naturally a feared of us, nor did they deliberately cause us harm.
By the time Telperion was waxing full, we were upon the borders of Irmo Lórien’s domain. So did we take a short rest, to eat of some waybread that both of us had brought with us, and drink of the clear water from a nearby stream. We sought to fill our water bottles there, for further into the gardens, the enchantment of rest lay most heavily, and of vision for those who looked too deeply or partook of that water.
As we sat upon the grass, a variation in light was about us, and a sound as of high and joyous bells. A bright spirit it was, though not one I knew. (Many are the spirits, both Maiar, and lesser spirits, that dwell in those gardens!)She took no form upon herself, though were all spirits of essence either male or female, but her thoughts were put forth, that Ambarussa and I might perceive them.
We both bowed of our heads to her, though slightly. She was spirit, but we were Noldor! And I spoke to her of my wish to wander in the gardens, and to seek the Maia, Elemáinië.
At this did my son look surprised! He had not known of my purpose save to be away and to ponder.
“If I come across her, will I tell her of your intent, Nerdanel. Though last did I know of her, she was conversing with Olórin” With those words, and a sense that she was smiling, presumably at me, did the spirit depart.
“Elemáinë? Olórin?” Ambarussa questioned with some amazement, “Since when have the servants of the Fëanturi been your friends, Mother?” (He knew briefly of both Maiar, though had not met with either. Indeed, was Olórin spoken of highly amongst the Noldor, but rarely seen, save at festivals.)
Again did we mount our horses, and continued into the dusk-light. As we rode into a field of tall grass and aromatic herbs, I sought to engage my son in conversation.
“What of Artuiel?” I asked, “I have heard little from you of her these last several days?”
Now did I know that, of all topics of conversation, Artuiel was most likely to divert Ambarussa’s attention from me! That day was no exception.
Most lovingly did my son speak of his friend from childhood. More than friends were they, and he referred to her often as `my dear heart’. As Curvo, nay, even swifter, was Ambarussa the younger in finding she whom he would espouse. For since he had met with the daughter of Tulcon as a young child, at my father’s house, had he and she as good as been betrothed. Such was the way with some of the Eldar; that they espoused those who were their childhood friends, and good matches were they. (I did not even think back to Gaerion at that time. Nay! Only Fëanáro had I ever wished to so be with.)
“Artuiel seeks to become an Aulendur, Mother, “he informed me of a less well kept secret. She would be the second of the nissi to so pledge her allegiance to Aulë. I think this a good thing, but much does she study with her father, as did you!”
More did he speak, as we passed into a shaded grove of willows, and of his admiration for his beloved.”
“No word have you spoken to your father or I concerning betrothal! Do you not know that such a request would please him greatly, and that more than one of his sons seeks to take a wife?”
Ambarussa never flushed with colour, as did Carnistir and I, but he looked down, and from under his long lashes with that shy glance he shared with Makalaurë. Not that either was truly shy!
“Much time is there Mother,” he protested. “Though already does Artuiel have my heart’s love, yet will I wait upon my brother, Ambarussa, to find one he would wed. I wish for he and I to be betrothed at the same time. Artuiel understands this.”
Most warm of heart did I become at his words that day. But another matter of similar vein did I wish to pursue.
“I had thought, in your early years, that your brother was most fond of Narwasar’s daughter?” said I. We were moving then on a downward incline, as if towards a lake. Through a dark copse of trees did we ride.
Ambarussa laughed. “Which one of my brothers?” he questioned.
At that did we both laugh, for we both knew that Ambarussa the elder was firm friends with Ondoriel, but that they had little likelihood of seeking to espouse each other. Maitimo, however, was another matter!
“Ambarussa is most fond of Ondoriel,” Ambarussa continued. Then he grinned most knowingly. “But my brother, he is engrossed in the study of crafting, and Ondoriel I think, is still engrossed in the study of Russandol!”
I had known it, of course, and from that time I had beheld Maitimo’s efforts at coercing Ondoriel to safety from the childhood games of the deadly hunters that were the twins. I had noticed the look of admiration that came over the face of Narwasar’s daughter whenever my eldest son was present: though much did that serious and studious wendë do to conceal her heart. Such a difference there was in their ages, I had often thought! Not that it should matter, in time. But also was Maitimo Fëanáro’s firstborn, and would my husband not expect him to make a noble match? Almost did that thought take hold, then again I laughed, to my son’s surprise. For a sense of joy had filled me at sudden memory of Fëanáro’s single-minded determination to wed with one whom others considered unsuitable!
“And if Maitimo should become engrossed in her, then what is to say?” I stated. “Did not his father wed the daughter of a smith, and think it no ill deed? Ondoriel’s father, Narwasar, is second only to Urundil among the Aulenduri!”
Of a sudden, a low, animal sound carried to our hearing, and our horses shifted their footing rather nervously.
“A bear, I think”, Ambarussa exclaimed, “And a bear with a sore head by the sounds of it!”
We took no further notice for, as I have said, animals made no deliberate attacks upon the Eldar in Aman. So we continued to speak a little of the merits of a union between Maitimo and Ondoriel, But only a little. I would not indulge overmuch in such speculation, for I knew at that time that, while he had much fondness for her, yet did my eldest son view Ondoriel as a child.
As we continued with some hesitancy, it seemed we were to be hedged in between close growing yews. I liked not the look of that path, but in that direction must we head to the heart of the gardens. A sense that we were being followed began to grow in my mind, and that not by anything friendly.
“What is to do, Ambarussa?” Now did I find I spoke in a hushed whisper to my son. Still were our horses nervous, and both Ambarussa and I, ever more vigilant.
“I know not what manner of creature it is, for dark is its mind” he whispered grimly in return, “and of dark matters. I thought it to be a bear, but…”
At that instant did a bear indeed lunge through the hedging. Over eight foot tall was the creature, and dark brown of fur; with an open and reddened maw and staring eyes.
Our horses started and made to bolt, but we were both good riders, and their masters if need be, and would have broken free from that unwelcome encounter had not a swipe from a massive paw knocked my son to the ground. His horse bolted on through the maze of yew, but I turned in the tight space to give of aid. On his feet was Ambarussa: hunting knife drawn, and more than prepared to front the danger.
“Keep back, Mother!” His voice had grown deep and decisive. No longer the merry youth, but in an instant as a commander had he become. I beheld the wounds, I saw the rents in his russet silk sleeve, the deep, blooded, furrows from the claws of the bear upon his upper arm, and knew, despite his prowess, we were far from safe.
Rána = The moon. (Wanderer)
Ambarussa = The twins, Amrod and Amras
Muinafinwë = `Secret’ Finwë
Curvo = Curufinwë
Arafinwë = Finarfin
Findaráto = Finrod
Nolofinwë = Fingolfin
Turukáno = Turgon
Finwion = Son of Finwë. A childhood name of Fëanor that Nerdanel sometimes uses.
Carnistir = Caranthir
Maitimo = Maedhros
Makalaurë = Maglor
Aiya, Amillë = Hail, Mother
There is one final part to Ambarussa, then one final part to the whole of the ‘Sons’ section that returns to the situation at Formenos. Sorry for any confusion!