Nenlosse was weakening. It had been two days since she fled from the edge of Mirkwood, and in that time, she had not eaten or had drink, and she had rested only once. Even with an elf’s endurance, these circumstances were enough to begin destroying her strength and will.
She knelt by a quiet stream and drank deeply before sitting back on the cool grass. She put the box she carried down beside her and closed her eyes briefly.
Her thoughts were consumed with curiosity about what could possibly be in the box Daeron had thought more valuable than his life. The curiosity had gotten worse the farther she travelled, and now she felt she could not deal with it much longer.
She opened her eyes and took up the box with a sudden determination. She had come to a decision. As Daeron’s widow, whatever he had owned, it would come to her, including the box. Thus, she reasoned, she would be within her rights if she opened it now, instead of waiting until she came to Lorien.
And so, that was her decision. She would open the box now and not wait.
Nenlosse pulled a necklace that held the key to the box from under her dress. Only she and and Daeron had a key, for the finely fashioned mithril box had been a wedding gift to them, that happy day so long ago.
Tears threatened to spill from her eyes at the memory of that day, but she forced them back and inserted the key into the lock.
Turning the key gently, she heard the lock click, almost ominously.
Nenlosse took a deep breath to prepare herself for whatever it was she would see, whether good or bad. She pulled back the lid, and cried, “Ai, Silmaril!” For inside lay the Naulgamir, wherein was set of the the three Silmarils of Feanor!
It was said that when Luthien wore this Necklace, her beauty shone too brightly for Middle-earth.
And now, Nenlosse could see why that was so. Every jewel reflected the light of the Silmaril and the sun, and the Silmaril shone with a different radiance, for in it was captured the light of the Two Trees of Valinor.
Nenlosse was amazed at the glory of the Necklace. She could well understand how these Silmarils could turn those who coveted them into liars, thieves, and murderers.
She feared to touch it, even though she wanted to with all her heart. Those who did not have a right claim on the Silmarils and yet touched them burned with a pain unceasing. Nenlosse knew this, and yet she wondered, for Daeron had possessed Nauglamir for some time, (though she knew not how) but it was not rightly his, but Elrond’s.
The best thing to do, thought Nenlosse, is to take it on to Lorien and deliver it to someone who can take it to Elrond.
Lorien seemed so far away to Nenlosse, a weary traveller. She almost wished it farther away, for the Silmaril was so beautiful! She did not want to give it into the hand of someone else so soon after she had found it!
She was so tired. Her feet were sore from the miles covered already, and the thought of walking, or running, more did not appeal. A horse would be in good order, she thought. Very good order.
Nenlosse locked the already-closed box and would have begun walking if not for the slight crackle of leaves and the rustling of branches she heard behind her.
She turned around quickly and came face to face with a very tall Elf.
“Greetings, my lady. Forgive me for startling you. I am called Tolerin,” he said.
“Greetings,”she answered cautiously. “I am called Nenlosse.”
“May I ask, Nenlosse, why you are here, alone in the wild, with seemingly no escort?”
“No, you may not.” She gave a sharp answer for he had questioned her as though she erred and he had authority over her.
He looked slightly taken aback, but arrogantly inclined his head with a, “Well, then.”
“If I may not inquire,” he continued,” then I will do a kindness for another Elf. You have the look of one who has not eaten and is hungry. If you will follow me, I will lead you back to my camp where I will be able to get you something to eat.”
“I would be most grateful,” she replied with less hostility in her voice now.
“Then come. It is not far,” he added, seeing her crestfallen expression at the thought of walking to get anywhere.
Nenlosse quickly scooped up the box and followed.
Author’s Note: In this story, you read of one of the three Silmarils. Well… In Tolkien’s Silmarillion, the Nauglamir and Silmaril I spoke of sailed with Earendil Elrond’s father (thus his claim on it) to Valinor, out of Middle-earth. I forgot this when I first started to work on this whole story idea, and I thought that the Silmaril was still in M-E. So… my apologies, and please continue to read like Earendil never took Nauglamir with him since that is the perspective I had. Thanks!