As the clear voice of Eluwë faded into the stillness of the night and his listeners gazed upon the silver-haired Elven Lord, a heavy tramping of feet and urgent voices were heard, filling the sudden silence. At once, a young guardsman of Minas Tirith burst forth into the courtyard crying, “My Lord! Orcs! My Lord King, there has been an Orc raid some while ago between Minas Tirith and Osgiliath.”
At this Eldarion stood and said, “Surely this is a mistake. The Orcs are rare and scattered. An Orc raid…perhaps it was the Wild-men instead?”
“Nay, my Lord,” replied the guard. “As I speak, my King, there is a captive here in Minas Tirith and it is not Man!”
“Then let us go see this captive, my Lord Eldarion.” At this strangely melodious voice, the guard turned and gaped at Eluwë, taller than any Child of Ilúvatar even beyond the measure of Elwë Singollo, Lord of Beleriand, long lost in the deeps of time. Eluwë took no offense, however, and smiled gently at the young son of Men.
Eldarion noted this with a wry smile. Indeed, the Firstborn were a marvel to Men. Regretfully, however, in days past, Men distrusted Elves and so they were estranged. Now, the Eldar had all but faded away from the lands of mortal Man and there was no chance for reunion. Putting these thoughts aside, he spoke. “Very well, take us to the captive, immediately.”
As the small group walked the darkened streets of Minas Tirith below the Tower of Ecthelion, they began hearing a great noise in the direction of the gates. Soon, they also began to mark the angry red light of many torches.
There were many men ringed around something, a certain something that was struggling hardily against its captors’ ropes. Alcarin stepped before the King and Eluwë and cried, “Your Lord Eldarion is come! Make way for the King Eldarion!” Most complied swiftly, however, one man did not.
Now, things happened swiftly, so swiftly that none or almost none could react. In a flurry of movement, the captive leapt forward snarling at the nonmoving man. In a quick fluid motion, Eluwë grasped the man by the shoulders and put himself in the path of the oncoming creature.
At the sight of the tall Elda, the Orc halted and hesitated. In that moment of hesitation, Eluwë unsheathed a great glittering sword and spoke. “Fallen One, I see that your race still has something of the Firstborn under your ash skin. However, I warn you, this blade is swifter than thee and dispatch thee well as it has many an Orc and worse things.”
‘Now, you are a captive. You will not escape, that much should be clear to you. I can see to it that you are given fair treatment and a reprieve from a swift death if you only cooperate.”
Despite these fair words, the Orc growled a string of curses which prompted Eluwë to raise his sword. “Hear me now, Orc, does the name Minyanár not carry meaning to you? It has to many a foul creature.” Turning from the Orc to the Man he had saved from a quick throttling, he spoke. “Why did you not move, my good soldier?”
At this question, the Captain stepped forward and explained, “My Lord, Belegor here is deaf and mute, but a hardy soldier. Indeed it was he that wrestled with and captured this Orc.”
With a new understanding, Eluwë turned and smiled to the young man and nodded slightly in token of a job well done. After regarding the captive for a moment, he turned to Eldarion and said, “My Lord King, I petition you to spare this fallen one. She is helpless and captive. It would not be becoming for the Lord of Gondor and Arnor to slay a defenseless creature, even an Orc.”
Shocked, Eldarion exclaimed, “She?!”
“Yes, my Lord Eldarion. This Orc is indeed female. Do not the learned of Minas Tirith know that Orcs breed after the manner of the Children of Ilúvatar? They do not come from the very stones or mud! Indeed, recall from whom all this doomed race comes from.”
Reflectively and with a drawn out sigh of understanding, Eldarion replied. “I do recall the origin of the Orcs, however difficult it may be to believe.”
‘Very well, my Lord, she is your charge!” Turning to the soldiers, Eldarion ordered, “Commend the Orc unto Lord Eluwë for his care and depart.”
Reluctantly, the soldiers gave over their ropes over to Eluwë and melted back into the mists surrounding Minas Tirith beyond the Gates until Alcarin, Eldarion, and Eluwë were left alone with the terribly foul tempered Orc.
Once the last soldier was out of hearing, Alcarin spoke harshly. “My Lord Eluwë, I understand the origin of these foul creatures of Morgoth-“
“Nay, Alcarin, not creatures of Morgoth! The Urqui are Children of Ilúvatar still! I will not deny it; I have slain many an Orc, but not needlessly!”
‘They were twisted by Morgoth to spurn and hate the Unmarred Children, but even deeper in their dark hearts, they hate their Master of Old. Spare this one and we shall see what comes of it!”
Eldarion considered the passionate words of Eluwë and spoke. “As I have said, she is your charge. I do not presume to know what you have in store for this creature, but if reformation is your goal, I have a great doubt that it will succeed.”
Eluwë replied, “As do I, but she deserves a chance. As you and I have fëar, she also possesses a fëa. Any creature that possesses a fëa is capable of choice! Even Melkor, the Enemy of the World, could have chosen to follow the thought of Ilúvatar.”
Alcarin responded, “Perhaps so, my Lord. It is a compelling argument,” and turning, he spoke to the Orc, “Do you perhaps have a name that we could call you besides ‘Orc’?”
During this time, the Orc had been staring at the ground miserably and growling curses and laments, and was immensely surprised to be spoken to, but replied in the ugliest voice possible.
“None of yer gkhasak business! Ye can jus’ go and et an Olog-hai’s pekhus, mis’rable tark!” Almost as an afterthought, the foul creature spat in his face.
At the sight of the fury in Alcarin’s face, Eldarion laughed, “It appears the she-Orc has a disappointing lack of feminine wiles and gentleness.”
‘Despite my entertainment, Anar shall be rising soon once again and I must tend to the matters of Minas Tirith as she awakens once again to a new dawn. Lord Eluwë, will you kindly give our guest some lodgings? We shall continue our tale again tonight.”
Eluwë replied, “Let us meet again then in the courtyard once again when Menelmacar and the Valacirca are high in the sky in Ilmen. Until then, my Lords.” He then turned to the Orc and said, “Since you give no name, Moriní shall you be.”
As Eluwë spoke, the Orc’s face began contorting hideously in rage fed by primeval hate, but curiously, at the speaking of her new name, the rage in her face quieted and she whispered, “Moriní.”
“Yes,” Eluwë replied with a small hint of a smile upon his ancient face, “You are Moriní. Come, my child and sleep such dreams as I can pass on to you, not those of Morgoth.”
To the wonder of the guards, Borgil and Ragnor, Eluwë came walking down the Hall of Lords where honored guests would reside for the first time since he had entered Minas Tirith. None knew where he slept, or even if he did sleep! So fair was the Elda that they did not notice the smaller form beside him until he was almost upon them.
Despite their revulsion of she who walked aside Eluwë, they hailed him, “Hail to the Lord Eluwë!” and bowed deeply.
“Hail and well met! I require fair accommodations for me and Moriní here.” Eluwë paused and watched the guards for their reactions.
Borgil spoke, “I believe we have an appropriate dwelling for you. But, if I may be so bold, what of the Orc?”
Moriní tensed, but Eluwë spoke first. “She is my responsibility. Do not concern yourselves for her. I shall see to her comfort and other things. Take us to the room.”
Ragnor, being a man of greater wisdom, spoke gently, “Very well, my Lord. Come, it is not far.”
Ragnor held open the door as the guests entered and as Moriní stood in the center of the room watching everything with a suspicious eye, Eluwë said, “You may depart from us now. However, It would be well if you brought us food and drink in the morning and you would have my thanks. Farewell.”
Obediently, Ragnor shut the door and moments later their booted feet were faint even in the ears of Eluwë and now he turned to look upon the Orc. Ragged was she and she stank, but he looked upon her with kind eyes.
Eluwë spoke. “My child, do not be fearful, but if my thought is true, this is the ending of your life as you know it. It will not be easy and I do not deceive myself. But if I may speak truth to you, you are descended from a race high and beautiful and I do not believe it is entirely lost in you. In ancient years long forgotten in memory, the foremother of your race had hair of gold, enchanting blue eyes, and a voice that knew melodies that are lost in Middle-earth forever. She also loved the stars dearly. Come, look upon the moon and stars, but not as things to be cursed!”
Moriní sat silent, and looked hard at him with newfound vision. Never, in all her long life, had she seen the cursed Elves as anything but a mortal enemy. Yes, perilous still did the tall Elf Lord seem to her, but only so as one with great power would seem. And a great power indeed was in him. His eyes shone like with a strange light as only some of the Firstborn did when she was young before their waning.
Perceiving her thought, Eluwë said, “I am of the Forgotten West and indeed, I am perilous, but long years dwelling there have taught me wisdom and pity. As an old friend of mine told me long ago, ‘Many who live deserve death and some who die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.’
‘I certainly cannot see all ends, Moriní. It may be that I fail in my hope and that Morgoth has twisted your race beyond all healing save that of Eru. But I will not allow myself to not attempt your healing.”
“What if I don’t want your help, Elf?” Moriní asked.
Eluwë answered, “If that is truly your wish, then it will be so. Is it?”
Moriní paused as she considered the strange response of the tall Elda before her. She had expected anger, perhaps, or annoyance. But not this! Swiftly then, her mind leapt over the years and she recalled that none had shown her kindness as Eluwë had. How strange. No fear had she of Eluwë, despite his bright eyes and bright sword, the one that bespoke of pain and bitterness to her eyes.
Suddenly Eluwë spoke, interrupting her thought. “Will thou come look upon the stars with me? I will tell you their names if you do not know them.” He walked to the balcony outside the room, and with pleasure, he heard the slow footsteps of Moriní behind him.
Grasping the gracefully wrought railing with one hand, he pointed up with the other when he saw that Moriní was beside him. “It was Varda Tintallë, the Star Kindler, who first took the silver dews of Telperion, Eldest of the Trees of Light, and made the new stars for the delight of the Firstborn, my race and the one that yours was sprung of, and to comfort them against the evil of Morgoth, who was called Melkor in the beginning. That is Carnil and Luinil. And there, that is Nénar, Lumbar, Alcarinquë, and Elemmírë. Behold, do you see: Wilwarin, Telumendil, Soronúmë, Anaríma; and Menelmacar, the Swordsman, which forebodes of the Last Battle and He who shall slay Morgoth when he returns. High up there, you see also the Valacirca, seven stars set as a sign of Doom to Morgoth. Finally, I ask you; look for the North Star, which is the brightest of all.”
Moriní immediately pointed up and asked, “Is that it?”
Eluwë smiled. “Indeed it is, child. You see Eärendil, our most beloved star! Remember this always: when you see the Light of Eärendil, you are looking at light unmarred from the most ancient days. For that light is of the Silmaril that Fëanáro, greatest of the Eldar, made, blending the light of Telperion and Laurelin, before they were slain and tainted by Morgoth.”
Long they spoke under the wheeling stars until Moriní grew tired. Eluwë noticed this and said, “Come, it is time for you to rest. You have learned much and I am pleased. Lay here on the bed. It is made by good Men of skill and craft, it will be far more comfortable than any other nest you have lain in. I will remain here with you for a while. Do not fear.”
Moriní, despite the words of her benefactor, was yet suspicious of the strange object that she was to rest upon. It stank of Men, but coming to it and touching it, she found it was warm and inviting. Slowly she climbed up until she lay on it. For a few minutes she lay there, her thoughts elsewhere until she suddenly was aware of a soft singing. It was fairer and more beautiful than any melody she had ever heard before and slowly she began to get drowsy, fighting to keep her eyes open, but failing.
It seemed that as she slipped into oblivion, a darkness was waiting there for her; a darkness of fear and horror and verily she recalled a whispered name, Mordor. But before the darkness could devour her, the chanting that had been ever present grew stronger and stronger until it was like a river of welling gold and silver before her mind. She longed to come to that river and indeed she did. Putting out her grimy hands, she dipped them into the river and felt as if the pain in her hardened fingers was gone. She withdrew her hands and with a shock, they were of fair white like alabaster and shining with a soft light. She could have sat there for hours gazing upon them, but the river called. It rippled and sang before her even as light of silver and gold flickered upon her face. A desire stronger than any that had come before came upon her now. Slowly, she took off her tattered grey raiment until she stood before the river bare as she had never been before. Still it called to her and so she waded in; ankle deep at first, then knees, legs, until finally it rose to her neck. Such utter peace she had never felt before and still the soft singing filled her ears. Finally, the last and utter step came and she submerged her head in the river.
No sensation of drowning came to her. There was darkness and no song, but contentment pervaded her. Soon, she felt the tickling of something soft and springy below her, and a slight breeze wafting her hair so that it rose and fell over her face and neck. Slowly her eyes opened, she lay upon an slight incline, and the sky was blue, so blue, but that was not what caught her attention.
There were two mighty Trees growing tall above her. One shone with gentle silver light and the other a fiery golden, but now they mingled so that each gave its best to the other. Long she lay, watching the wind ply through the branches and leaves of the Trees. She was in no hurry; time was forever here.
But eventually, it came to her that she must see where she was. Sitting up, she beheld that she was upon a green mound, with the softest and greenest grass she had ever had the pleasure of touching. Be-ringing this mound, there were great thrones and beyond them rose a white city. From this secluded spot, she could hear the ring of glad laughter and song. Clear Elven-voices and voices even more fair greeted her happy ears.
Looking down, she had her first great shock. She was no longer herself, or the self that she had known. She wore raiment of clean white. Her bare feet were fair even as were her hands, no longer ash grey. Suddenly the wind blew in a brief gust and long hair of flaxen gold fluttered in the breeze before her eyes, settling down her back and upon her shoulders.
As she beheld this, laughter began to well in her heart and joy that she had never known enveloped her. She now knew, now recalled where she was. This was Valinor! The land, verily Elvenhome, that Eluwë had spoken to her of. This was where her heart belonged. Long had she been resigned to the darkness she had been born into, but it was not home! This was what she had scorned, despised, and hated the Elves for along with the rest of all her race. They did not have what the fair ones had. They only had hate and darkness, not peace and light.
Eluwë had spoken truth! She had been fearful of it being a lie, all that he had told her, but it was truth! With that happy realization, she sprang up in joy and began singing and dancing with grace that she had never before possessed upon the green sward.
Eluwë now ceased his song and looked upon Moriní’s face. It was still yet the face of an Orc, but it shone with a light new-kindled, and he was well pleased despite a great weariness for great power had gone out of him. He spoke softly, half to himself, “A new fire has been kindled in your fëa. You know that there is light beyond the darkness and you know what Eru intended for you to be, Eluwiel!’
‘I may be grasping at false hope, but I do not believe so. For did not Námo relate to me that your race is still counted amongst the Firstborn in the thought of Eru? It is to Mandos that your fëar fly to upon death and ye shall have a part in the End! Full help and healing, I cannot give you, Eluwiel! But perhaps, there is healing in Aman even as Finwë said to Míriel! I do not know if they will permit you to set foot in the Blessed Realm, but did they not do that for the Ringbearers, who are sprung of mortal blood, and the Dwarf Gimli?’
‘Regardless, for you, and for Eluwën, I will risk it. You shall take ship with me when the time comes if you so desire!”
Eluwë coming with Moriní found King Eldarion, Alcarin, and Belen outside just as night fell and Rána was sailing amongst the stars with Eärendil for his companion. They had waited patiently for this as Eluwë had delayed their tale for three fortnights, not a day as he had told them. It seemed that Eluwë wanted to spend some time in seclusion with the Orc, uninterrupted. Now the time was come for them to see the results of their solitude together.
Upon seeing the Orc, Alcarin started, but Eldarion laid his hand upon the young Dúnadan’s shoulder for long life and good tutelage revealed to him that the one who approached now before them was subtly changed. He rose and spoke greetings. “Hail to my Lord and to Moriní! I trust you are well, being a guest of Minas Tirith?”
Moriní then bowed before the King, which well-pleased him, and said, “Well met, Lord of Men! I am well.” And Eldarion’s face showed such astonishment that Moriní spoke again, “Do not be surprised, my Lord! This is Eluwë’s teaching! Long he spent trying to teach me ‘fair speech and manners’ as he says. Do I please you, my Lord?”
King Eldarion smiled and said, “Indeed you do, Moriní. Your Lord has done well! Exceedingly well, in fact.”
Moriní smiled, and yet despite her Orcish features, her eyes shone so that her face spoke of a fair spirit below the grey skin and the Men were well pleased. She spoke, “Eluwë has told me of many things, including his tale of the Awakening and the Slaying of the Eldest up to the Unchaining of Melkor. Is it so that we come to the Tale at the same point?”
Belen spoke then, “Yes, it is so. And eager are we to hear it!”
At this, his audience eagerly nodded which brought a small laugh from the Elven Lord before them. With that, he said, “Very well, we now come to Fëanáro and his Silmarils!”
It is said among the Vanyar who dwell in the Halls of Manwë upon Taniquetil that a time after the Unchaining of Melkor, the heart of Fëanáro grew unquiet and that he perhaps had a measure of foreknowledge as to the Doom of the Trees. So, quietly and without counsel, he began his greatest work in which he gathered together all lore and knowledge known to him and put forth all his strength and skill.
In the end of all, he made the Silmarils. Three in number they were and they were the wonder of all Valinor. None, even Aulë, knew of what the Silmarilli were made of. Of crystal did their outer shells appear to be, but it was stronger than adamant and no power in Arda could break them. But a lesser marvel that was to what was contained within. Deep inside was an inner fire and the strong exterior was but as the hröa is to the Eldalië when instead, the fëa is the greater wonder by far. Some say the fire was indeed the Secret Fire of Ilúvatar. Others say it was but a portion of the fire of the heart of Fëanáro. These may all be true or they may not, for none do know truly of how the Silmarilli were made. Of a certainty was this however, the Light of Telperion and Laurelin was enmeshed within and was unsullied as even the Trees were before their death as was the hair of Artanis, the inspiration of Fëanáro.
As stars they appeared to be, shining through all darkness. Some of the Eldar do hold that from afar some few espied the light of the Silmarils through the darkness weaved by Ungoliantë. Verily, as living stars they were. For understand, they rejoiced in all light and took it in as if it were air or water or sustenance, and then gave it back all the more marvelous than it was before. In wonder did all hold the Silmarils, verily even the Ainur, and the heart of Fëanáro was locked and beholden to them.
The Silmarilli, as has been said, they were the wonder of all Aman and so Fëanáro brought them even unto Taniquetil so that the Valar may lay eyes upon them and praise his skill. Indeed, much praise was heaped upon him and with his blessing, the Valar took them up. Varda hallowed them so that no mortal, unclean, or evil hand may bear them and Námo Mandos foretold that the fates of Arda, earth, sea, and air, lay with the Silmarils. Indeed, a high purpose and a high doom were set to them. Last of all, Manwë laid a high blessing upon these works of Fëanáro and said unto the Son of Finwë, “May these holy jewels do much for the good of Arda and bring joy and light to all dwellers in Aman. A great work you hath done, Curufinwë Fëanáro and this deed you may not ever do again. Go forth and let others partake of your skill and marvel at what you hath wrought.”
Much joy then did Fëanáro have as he received the Silmarils from the hand of the Queen of the Stars. Suddenly then did he turn to me and exclaim, “My Lord! I would have your blessing upon the Silmarilli.”
I smiled then and said, “Your creations have my blessing and my wonder, son of Finwë, yet forget not what thy greatest creations are.”
A much puzzled look then did he give me, and then slowly a smile of understanding dawned upon his lips and he nodded. I then said, “Ah, you see. Your sons are your greatest possession as they come even from Eru Ilúvatar, children of your fire and Nerdanel’s.”
The smile upon Fëanáro’s face became wider and more radiant at my words and he said, “Much thanks do I owe you, my Lord Eluwë, for reminding me of that! Familiar are your words to my ears, yet should they be all the more. With that in mind, I have a request of you!”
‘Would thou consent to bearing the Silmarils to Tirion for me as I bear my family hence as well?”
Much pleased was I at his high regard of me, for I knew that he loved his greatest creations much and to request me to bear the Silmarils was a great honor indeed, so I consented with gladness.
Another small work then did Fëanáro undertake upon Taniquetil and that was the making of a simple silver fillet with which he could bind the Silmarils upon my brow, even as Lady Elwing would perform for Eärendil ages later.
A quiet solemn ceremony it was when Fëanáro bound the Silmarilli upon my brow as Manwë and the Valar, the Vanyar, and his family witnessed. Slowly and reverently did Fëanáro place the Silmarils upon my brow, as they blazed with great light and even as they touched me, did they blaze forth with yet more light so that the crown of Taniquetil must have been a beacon unto all Arda even as the Lamp of the Mindon Eldaliéva shone upon the Sea. As this happened, the room became silent with awe. Even Manwë Súlimo, Lord of the Breath of Arda, was captivated by the holy Jewels and their incandescent light.
Finally, it was Makalaurë who spoke as he walked before me, “Atarida, it is as if you have become a being of light! The strands of thy hair are ablaze with the Light of Telperion and you shine before us, giving light to these halls!”
I laughed in a gentle rebuff, “Flattering are your words, Fëanárion, but this is the doing of Curufinwë, your father. Give praise where praise is due.”
Ingwë then raised his voice, “And indeed, great praise is his due! Curufinwë Fëanáro and the Silmarils shall be sung of by the Vanyar for the glory they shall bring to Valinor for ages yet.”
So then it came to be that I descended down Taniquetil with Fëanáro and Nerdanel as well as their seven sons. Many of the Eldar later recounted that even in the mingled light of the Trees, I appeared as a very star descending the Mountain of Manwë.
As we entered the gates of Tirion, many looked upon me with amaze and it was even then that Melkor first set eyes upon the Silmarils and his deceitful heart was filled with malice and lust to dispossess Fëanáro of his jewels and name them unto himself forever.
As I strode upon the high crown of Túna, lo! There was Melkor before me, speaking to a group of Aulendur, beloved of Aulë. Swiftly did he lose interest in the Eldar of Aulë and fix his gaze upon the Silmarilli. Striding quickly before us, he spoke, “Hail to Lord Eluwë and the Prince Fëanáro, son of Finwë! What are these wonders I see before myself?”
I spoke disdainfully for my hate for that Vala was great and yet remains for his marring of Eluwën and my sons. “What you see are the Silmarils of Curufinwë Fëanáro, most skilled of all in Arda!”
For a mere second, did the black wrath of Melkor, Mightiest of All Dwellers in Arda, transfigure his fair seeming face, but he dissembled it swiftly. Yet did the fiery Curufinwë behold that for he spoke in disgust, “Thou thrall of Mandos, a mere vestige of respect would not be lacking to he who is loved of Manwë, King of Arda. Begone now!”
Yet was Melkor composed before us and he spoke, “High is my respect for Lord Eluwë,” and here he bowed to me, “and my regard for you, my Prince, is incomparable. Perhaps I should take my leave however as I am not welcome. Farewell, my Lords!”
As we watched Melkor’s retreating form melt away amongst the crowds, a noble voice spoke, “The King Finwë Nólemë requests the presence of Lord Eluwë and Prince Curufinwë and his family at his House upon Túna!”
The speaker was none other than the herald and steward of the King, Silwë, who indeed had I known in the Hither Lands and he had been one of that first generation even as the Eluwioni had been. Noble and lordly is that Noldo, and farseeing as well! Perception is also among his gifts, yet he never quite understood the Prince Fëanáro and the depths of his fiery heart, so I do deem it good that he joined with the House of wise Arafinwë upon the death of the King instead of remaining with the Prince, but that is a dark tale and the time is not come for it yet.
It was gladly that we assented to the request of Finwë and accompanied by Silwë, we made our journey to the palace of Finwë. There we were greeted by a great multitude of the nobles of the Noldor and the entire House of Finwë. Fëanáro, who was so ignorant of his half brothers, gloried in the fact that they all were there; Nolofinwë and Arafinwë as well as their spouses and their many sons and daughters attended including even haughty Artanis who gave honor to Fëanáro.
Merry was that gathering and mirth lived on for many days longer, but woe to the future! Little did the Eldalië reckon of the fate that drew near; the Darkening of Valinor, the Flight of Melko, the Fall of the Noldor, the Coming to the Hither Lands, and all those events of the Elder Days. Yet would not the tapestry of Arda be less glorious if not for these things? But regardless! Dark times and woes to come were soon to befall!
Minyanár- the Sword of Finwë named; meaning ‘first flame’
Fëanárion- son of Fëanáro
Aulendur- Noldor who held Aulë in their devotion and served him
*If the text is difficult to read or you wish to see the rest of my story and other writings, feel free to go to www.eluwe.blogspot.com</strong></strong>