Time period: 131 First Age and on
Setting: The Havens of Brithombar
As Cirdan was walking in the forests near the Havens of Brithombar to check for orcs in the forest, he heard a baby crying. He walked over to where he heard the crying; when he arrived he was shocked because he saw nine dead elves lying on the forest floor and one was propped up against a tree with a baby girl in his arms. When he saw Cirdan, he said, “We were sent to find Cirdan the Shipwright and give him a message from Lord Finrod. Now that is impossible because my wife and fellow travelers are dead and I will soon join them in the halls of Mandos. Please take my daughter and raise her as your own and bring this message to Cirdan. My name does not matter, but I am a knight of Nargothrond.” At that, the knight of Nargothrond handed his daughter to Cirdan and died, without telling him the little girl’s name.
As Cirdan was walking back to Brithombar with the baby in his arms, he noticed that she was watching the stars come out as the sun was setting and his silver hair intrigued her. When they returned to Brithombar, he sent a group of elves to bury the fallen, increased the number of elves on watch, and wrote a letter to Finrod in reply to his message and to ask him about the baby girl, especially if she had a name and to ask his advice in his current situation.
Finrod’s letter to him was only asking him to take in the knight and his wife, who was pregnant with their firstborn for a while so their child could grow up in an area far from Angband. Finrod did not mention the knight’s name at all through out the letter and that alone caused Cirdan to worry. There was a second page to the letter. It read:
“Cirdan, my friend, please allow me to apologize in advance for the troubles that may come. The Enemy’s forces are growing stronger and I fear that one day that we, all of the Elves of Middle-earth, must flee for an island where the forces of the Enemy cannot reach us. I am asking you to build enough ships for most of the elves to sail in. I fear that many of our race will go to Mandos before the Enemy is overthrown. Please tell no one of the reason for building these ships, just that I would like a fleet. I hope the young children of Nargothrond are safe with you; they are our hope for the future. Be warned that the knight who bears this letter has a quick temper and is not good with children and I ask that he return as soon as his child is born.
Many elves sent their children to the havens so they could grow up in peace and far away from Angband. Cirdan was known in Nargothrond for his love of children and his willingness to foster them in Brithombar on the condition that they learn something of the sea and respect his authority. Cirdan did not have a wife or children of his own, even though he greatly desired to have a son or daughter that could remain with him throughout the ages of the world.
After he thought for a while, he decided that he would raise the little girl as his own daughter and name her Tiriel, the watcher of the stars. His letter to Finrod was a somber one, describing what had happened and his decision as Tiriel was asleep in his arms, clutching some of his silver hair in her tiny hand. After he had finished the letter, he looked at Tiriel’s sleeping face and realized how happy he was to have such a beautiful baby in his arms.