Whispering Winds by tinni

Summary: Set after the battle of Unnumbered Tears, the life of Caranthir till his death during the sack of Doriath
Categories: Characters: Amras, Amrod, Caranthir, Celeborn, Celegorm, Curufin, Dior, Eluréd, Elurķn, Elwing, Fingon, Maedhros
Challenges: None
Genres: Drama, Romance
Warnings: Character Death, Sexual Content--Mild, Violence--Moderate
Challenges:
Series: Opus of the tales untold
Chapters: 12 Completed: Yes Word count: 16203 Read: 9665 Published: December 28, 2008 Updated: December 28, 2008

1. Chapter 1 by tinni

2. Chapter 2 by tinni

3. Chapter 3 by tinni

4. Chapter 4 by tinni

5. Chapter 5 by tinni

6. Chapter 6 by tinni

7. Chapter 7 by tinni

8. Chapter 8 by tinni

9. Chapter 9 by tinni

10. Chapter 10 by tinni

11. Chapter 11 by tinni

12. Chapter 12 by tinni

Whispering Winds

Hunger

******

The realm of Fingon was no more; and the sons of Fėanor wandered as leaves before the wind. Their arms were scattered, and their league broken; and they took to a wild and woodland life beneath the feet of Ered Lindon, mingling with the Green-elves of Ossiriand – Of the Fifth Battle, The Silmarillion

‘Apples again, apples for breakfast, apples for lunch and now apples for dinner,’ thought Caranthir as he gripped the apples tight enough to bruise.  ‘I have had enough of apples.’

The next moment, the apple went flying through the air towards the fire, but before it was ruined by the searing heat of the fire, it was caught by an agile Laiquendi maiden, “Lord Caranthir, I am aware that the Noldor prefer the flesh of beasts to the humble bounty of the trees,” she said indignantly.  “Yet for the sake of others, please do not waste.”  With that, she gave the apple to an elf sitting nearby, one of Caranthir’s own men, who took it gratefully since food was carefully rationed.

Caranthir turned away in disgust.  Only few short years ago that man would have scoffed to even speak to a Laiquendi, let alone eat an apple one of them condescended to grant him. Yet this, this was what he and his men had been reduced to. It seemed but a short time ago when he had been sitting in his own halls, in his own land, surrounding by riches, eating only the best from plates of gold. Why, the least lovely of his treasures would have been like a wonder to these Moriqeundi, and the plainest of his fare, a feast.  Now, but now he ate off leaves, touched only gifts of the olvar, and killed no kelvar, for that was the way of the Laiquendi, and if he wished to dwell among them, he would have to respect their customs. Their customs, what of the Noldor? Where they not the noblest of all the elven kin, at least in Middle Earth, if not in the whole of Arda?

Abruptly Caranthir stood up and stalked out of the clearing, away from the low fire, his dispirited men, and company of the Green elves of Ossiriand. He needed to think, he needed to remind himself that as rustic and backwards as the Laiquendi were, they were now his only friends and allies. He had to remind himself to hold his anger in check before he did something truly stupid.

Footsteps behind him: low enough that not even a sharp eared doe would be frightened but loud enough to ring in his trained hunter ears, “What do you want?” he snapped.

Silence, “I said,” he whirled around violently, “what do you want, Ninglorrīn?” he demanded of the entirely too brave Laiquendi maiden.  “Have you not humiliated me enough for one night?”

For a moment she said nothing. She just stood and studied him with calm patience, her eyes glittering, her hair fluttering slightly in the wind, her pale skin shimmering in the moonlight. Suddenly Caranthir’s throat went dry, a terrible, aching hunger rose from deep within him, and he cursed Morgoth for bringing him to this Eru forsaken place loudly in his mind. She was so beautiful, for one of a lesser kindred her knowledge was admirable and she invoked in him an insatiable hunger. It for all that she was she was still but a Laiquendi and thus the overwhelming love he felt for her would have to be ruthlessly crushed.

He turned away from her, silently cursing the weavers of her worn sea green dress for allowing it to show so much of her skin.  “If you have nothing to say to me, then I bid you good night.”

A hand on his shoulder.  How in the name of the Valar did she move that fast? She had been at least ten strides away from him. Reluctantly he turned around, “What?”

She smiled a soft smile and raised her pink lips to his slightly quivering ones and brushed them lightly, pulling away almost immediately. Caranthir reeled from the too brief taste and the look of utter shock on his face made her burst into merry laughter, much to the indignation of the Noldo elf-lord, “What is so funny?” he demanded.

“You,” she answered simply, “You hunger, yet you refuse sustenance, why would you do that?” 

Caranthir did not answer, Ninglorrīn didn’t expect one. She simply smiled and was gone, leaving Caranthir acutely aware of the grumbling of his stomach and the longing of his heart.

******

Translations:

[i] Ninglor = golden water-flower, rīn = crowned lady, so Ninglorrīn means golden water-flower crowned lady.

[ii] Laiquendi = green elves

[iii] Olvar = plants, Kelvar = animals

Author’s notes: Firstly a big thanks to Lady Legrace. In the Essay "Of Men and Dwarves" (The Peoples of Middle-Earth, History of Middle Earth vol. 12), Tolkien states that Caranthir is married literally in one line "Others who were wedded were Maelor (Maglor) and Caranthir." The Peoples of Middle-Earth, History of Middle Earth, the good professor does not give any more information on Caranthir’s wife so I am saying that he swallowed his pride and prejudice and wedding a very forward Green elven maiden, who loves toying with him, hehehehhehehhehehehehehehehehe.

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Whispering Winds

Desire

******

The first time he had seen her had been through a haze of pain and weariness. Hunted by the foul creatures of Morgoth, Caranthir and his men had made a desperate stand in the heart of the forest, fully believing that this was their end. It would have been his end, at least if the Laiquendi had not succoured them when they had. Three arrows had pierced his body, one his shin, and the other two his shield arm through his broken Armour and shield. He remembered collapsing into her arms, numb with pain and poison. She had tended to him for four long nights and three long days, as he had lain paralyzed from head to foot.

It was sickening to be that helpless, that dependent, on another. All through the night, Caranthir had pondered ways to tell her to kill him, if she could not reverse the paralysis. All through the nights, he had pondered his fate, the exact wording of the oath he had taken. He had not abandoned his quest, he had not broken his oath, he would not, he should not be thrown into the everlasting darkness.  Would he?  That had been the worst time of his life. He had been a prisoner in his own body, and the cage of his prison had seemed to close in more as time dragged on. More and more, his mind had drifted back to the time when all had been right. When the trees had still shone and he and his brothers had gone on long journeys with their father upon the wide open lands of Aman. He remembered his mother joining them from time to time, for she had not had the strength of her youth after bearing so many sons, but she was always waiting for them at their house with freshly baked bread and savoury treats when their hearts brought them back home. With only his mind at his disposal, Caranthir had done a lot of thinking.  Finally, believing he would go mad if he dwelt on the past a moment longer, he had ruthlessly wrenched his mind to the present and had fallen under her woodland spell.

She had been there with him as he had suffered in unbearable mental anguish brought on by guilt, memory, longing, and uncertainty, singing to him, telling him that everything would be alright and she had believed what she was saying, she had given him hope - hope to which he had desperately clung till the effects of the poison had been removed from his hoä. Yet, he had never been the same, never, for he had been unable to break the spell she had unconsciously laid upon him.  Since then, he had waged a silent battle to master his emotions, after all he was a prince of the Noldor, a prince of the people who had seen the two trees, who had been tutored by the Valar and had been raised above the dwellers of marred Endor. He could not, would not, wed with a Moriqeundi maiden, especially one belonging to the rustic Nandor. So far, it was a losing battle.

Moreover, his fiery temper had ensured that his struggle to master his emotions had not remained a secret for long.  Although, it would seem that not all were aware of what would happen to them if they dared to woo Ninglorrīn.  “The light of the very fire seemed to be twined in your hair,” whispered the warrior as he gazed with mesmerized concentration upon the elf maiden’s hair.

‘I’ll intertwine fire with your hair if you do not stop staring at her,’ thought Caranthir as he shot death glares at the elf.  “Are we going to have breakfast anytime soon?” demanded Caranthir before Ninglorrīn could reply to the romantic overtures of the warrior.

“Well, Lord Caranthir, it was by your own choice that you went to bed hungry last night,” she reminded him tartly.

Caranthir snorted, “I assure you that the Noldor are hardy enough to forgo many a meal and still have strength enough to fight a band of Uruki, out numbered two to one.”

“Careful, lord,” warned Ninglorrīn, “I might be tempted to put you to the test,” Caranthir smiled a slow deadly smile, his eyes flashing fire, challenging her to withhold his breakfast.  She met and held his gaze without flinching, daring him in turn to back away from his bold claim.

The stalemate might have lasted long had not Ninglorrīn’s admirer intervened, “I think, my lady, that the oat is done.”

Still holding Caranthir’s gaze she smiled indulgently at the warrior, “I think you are right, Laeglass.”  With that, she looked to the large clay pot on the fire and began scooping the oatmeal made of wild oats out on to large water lily leaves that served as plates.

Four other Laiquendi began adding either blueberries or raspberries to the oat before serving them.  In times of peace and plenty, Caranthir would have been the first to be served, but in times of war and dearth, Caranthir was the last to eat. Maedhros was the one who began the custom and it, like many other things Maedhros did, fostered a greater bond between him and his men, and his brothers were thus quick to follow.  He had never regretted following this custom till then, for it did not escape his notice that the pile of berries was diminishing much more quickly than they ought to have been.

Sure enough, the last berry disappeared just before it was his turn to be served.  “My lady, it seems that we have not picked enough berries,” whispered one of the Laiquendi serving breakfast.

Ninglorrīn looked at the empty leaves where the berries had been, turned her gaze to Caranthir, and smiled, “Do we still have some apples left from last night?” she asked.

Caranthir did not wait for the answer.  Making little attempt to hide is anger, he rose and said to his men in a barely restrained voice, “Ere noon, we leave to find my brothers, the Ambarussa,” and he was gone.

***

She hated his pride, his prejudice against all things not Noldor.  She was not fooled by his constant harping about the Valar and the two trees; she very much doubted whether he would treat her any differently had she been born a Vanya or a Teleri of Aman. No, the only way he would not resist his feelings for her was if she had been a Noldo, but she was not. She had been born in the land of twilight when Morgoth had yet been chained in the Halls of Mandos, and under the stars she had walked all the ages of Morgoth’s captivity, delighting in the freedom offered by the forests of Middle Earth. Yet for she was a child of twilight, she had tasted the bitterness of the shadows long before Caranthir truly understood what bitterness was, and in the ways of marred land of Endor, she was wiser than he.

Caranthir, however, had claimed her heart from the first moment she had lain eyes on him, and why not? He was a mighty lord, possessing wisdom of a kind, and he was brave. He could be compassionate when he wanted to be.  The first time she had seen him, he and his men had been fighting a desperate battle. Caranthir had been in the forefront, standing over the prone body of his esquire, protecting the wounded elf with his own limbs. That was how Caranthir had managed to get pierced by three arrows and had come so close to death. She shivered at the very memory of his pale ghostly face, the very image of a corpse but set with bright, painfully aware eyes that shone with a light she could barely meet, and she knew she could never love another.

Yet, yet, it quickly became clear that while he loved her as well, he would never act upon his feelings and that… infuriated and frustrated her. She turned away from the sulking form of Caranthir, sitting on a log far from the camp. Why was it that she delighted in humiliating him so much? Is it because she thought that if she tore down his pride, he would begin to see her as something other than a rustic Laiquendi? Or did she think that by making him thoroughly hate her she would be better able to bear his… rejection. She closed her eyes and sighed, why was he so blind? Why could he not see that things that grow out of the earth had just as much worth as things that come out of the earth?

She laughed a soft sad laugh, as she laid her forehead against the smooth bark of the nearest tree and wondered if the light of the two trees had not been too bright, too intense, blinding all who dwelt in the land lit by them. Heavy footsteps behind her, the loud jangling of metal amour a marked indication that a Noldo was near, “Lord Caranthir,” she greeted without turning around.

“Sick of Laeglass’s romantic overtures already,” Caranthir could not fully disguise the delight in his voice, “I suppose I would tire of inane comments that you Laiquendi consider romantic.”

Wrong thing to say because the next minute Caranthir found himself face to face with a very irate elven maiden, “Believe me when I say, Lord Caranthir, the most hesitant of romantic overtures from the men of my humble people pleases me more than the grandest of poems form your silvery forked tongue,” with that she was gone, leaving Caranthir regretting and rejoicing his words.

*****

Translations:

[i] Ninglor = golden water-flower, rīn = crowned lady, so Ninglorrīn means golden water-flower crowned lady.

[ii] Laeglass = greenleaf, Laeg = green, lass = leaf (I ran out of ideas for names)

[iii] Laiquendi = green elves

[iv] Uruki = orcs

Author’s note:

1.      About the eating of the leaf thing, I can’t see Green elves lugging around crockery of any kind and I remembered that in some parts of India the villagers used to (I am not sure if they still do) eat off banana leaves. So I thought that the Green elves might do something similar. I just couldn’t think of a tree with leaves broader than water lily leaves.

2.      A big, big thanks to Lady Legrace for beta reading.

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Whispering Winds

Grim and Gleeful

******

They sat in stunned silence as Caranthir devoured an entire leg of deer all by himself within moments of beginning his dinner, and as soon as he finished, he began to eye another large chunk of meat. Unable to take his silent hunger, Amrod spoke up, “If you want another piece, dear brother, you are welcome to it.”  At once, Caranthir seized the piece and, like always, did not bother to thank Amrod, “You are welcome.” Amrod replied wearily.

“Has the company of Laiquendi you have been travelling with not been feeding you?” enquired Amras.

“Yes and no,” came the response between rather full mouthfuls.

“How so?” wondered the twins.

Resolving to avoid mention of that woman at all costs, Caranthir snapped, “They have not been feeding me meat.”

“Ah,” both said in one voice.  “We just thought that you might be missing a certain flame-haired maiden.”

Caranthir froze and slowly lifted his murderous gaze towards them.  The Ambarussa grinned identical impish grins.  “We made a rhyme about you brother,” they said, oblivious to the tensing of Caranthir’s body.  “Would you like to hear it?” they asked sweetly.

“NO!” shouted Caranthir, frightening some nearby birds, “Do the two of you have nothing better to do but listen to idle gossip and compose silly rhymes?” he demanded, “Am I the only one who remembers the oath?”

As soon as he said it, he regretted, for the faces of the Ambarussa fell.  “Why did you have to go and mention that?” wondered Amras.  “We have not forgotten, we can never forget.” he snapped, “It’s just…” he trailed off.

Caranthir said nothing, waiting for his brothers to explain.  “Men are very short lived,” commented Amrod after awhile.

“What of it?” wondered Caranthir.

“Their short lives breed some interesting behaviour,” Amrod explained.

Caranthir arched his eyebrows.  “And what interesting behaviours of men have the two of you picked up?”

“The one in which they live life while they can, for tomorrow may never come, and the past is long dead,” said the twins.  “What has happened has happened; we can’t change that.  What will happen will happen, but right now…”  They grinned and Caranthir flinched.  “We are going to tickle you till your stomach aches,” the next minute, he had two grown but very immature elves tackling him to the ground.

They three brothers rolled around on the ground for some time, until the ache of their stomachs from laughing too much could not be ignored any longer.  “Get off me!” bellowed Caranthir when he managed to get his body under control, but the Ambarussa were not listening.

In fact, Amrod promptly put his head on Caranthir’s right shoulder and Amras on his left, and they interlocked their arms over his body, ensuring that he could not escape.  “We have missed you brother,” they said amidst a yawn, as they snuggled in closer.

“What are you, still infants?” demanded Caranthir, since the last time they had slept together like this was when Amras and Amrod were not even old enough to walk.

“For tonight, yes,” came the sleepy response from his grubby younger siblings.

Caranthir sighed heavily, “Good night little brothers,” he whispered.  The twins mumbled something and snuggled in closer, needing to feel their fiery brother between them.  It felt as if it had been forever since they had last met one of their elder brothers, though they knew it was not so.  Yet their minds could not reason with their hearts, and in their hearts, they wished all their brothers were always with them, like they had been in Valinor when the two trees still shone. Their eyes strayed towards the west, where the sun had just gone down, in the distance they could see the low campfires of their men and hear the soft cautious sound of music, they were so glad they had decided to spend the night apart with their dear brother, that was the last thought that crossed their mind before they slipped into the realm of elven sleep.

***

“No, no, NO!” screamed Caranthir in the middle of the night, waking both his brothers still resting at his side.

“Wake up brother, please wake up,” cried Amras as he gently shook him.  “You are having a bad dream.”

“I am awake,” barked Caranthir as he batted Amras’s hand away.  “So you can stop annoying me.”

“You are so ungrateful,” chided Amras.

“What were you dreaming of?” enquired Amrod keeping his tone deliberately light.  “Father’s death, Grandfather’s murder, our recent defeat?” 

Caranthir mumbled something.

“I could not make that out.”

“I said I was dreaming of apples,” cried Caranthir.  “Now stop your insipid questioning.”

His brothers shot him blank stares, then slowly, trying very hard not to laugh, Amras said, “Don’t worry brother, there are no apples here, just us, your loving brothers.”

“Indeed,” replied Amrod, fighting hard not to laugh.  “And we will be most pleased to hold you and keep you safe from…”  Losing their battle with laughter, the Ambarussa began to howl as they added in unison, “Apples.”

“Be glad you are my brothers,” said Caranthir as he watched them roll around on the ground in mirth. “For otherwise, you would have had to learn to eat without your teeth.” he declared, his eyes ablaze with righteous fury.

The Ambarussa, however, paid him little heed. There were many, many advantages in being the youngest of all the sons of Fėanor, not the least of which was total immunity from their elder brothers’ righteous fury.

“You know Ambarussa,” began Amrod, “I think our apple-coloured hair might be to blame for our brother’s nightmare.”

“I think you might be right Ambarussa,” agreed Amras, deliberately flicking his head so that Caranthir’s could not avoid looking at his red hair.  “Or maybe, dear Ambarussa, he misses the nightly kisses of our sister-to-be.”

Caranthir opened his mouth to release a mighty bellow, but Amrod’s rich laughter interrupted him.  “I think you are right, Ambarussa. After all everybody knows how our feisty sister-to-be loves to toy with our dear brother, giving him small tastes of her sweet charms, everyday drawing him into her loving embrace. Ah, if only the maidens in Valinor knew such skill of taming a shrew, we might have had another nephew or niece by now.”

“LISTEN YOU TWO!” shouted Caranthir.  “Ninglorrīn is but a Laiquendi, she is nothing compared to me.  Had she been a maiden of Valinor, a maiden of light, even if she was not a Noldo, the question of an alliance might have arisen. As it is, I cannot, I will not allow my heart to lead me to wed a woman whom my mind rejects.”

For one long moment neither of the twins spoke.  Finally, in unison, they declared calmly but with great conviction, “You are Arda’s biggest fool.”

“What does it matter that she has never seen the light of the two trees?” wondered Amras, “None of us will ever see it again, save when we recover the Silmarils, and then, then she will see it with us. As for Valinor,” a shadow fell over their ordinarily joyous faces.  “Do you not remember the words of Nįmo Mandos, brother?” Amras asked, “We will never set foot on Aman again, and the light in our eyes have dimmed.”  He reminded his brother, “Why should we not seek for what little happiness we can find in marred Endor after the custom of men?”

“You said that your heart desires her.” Amrod reminded him, “We speak of love.  In love, what more is there than the desire of the heart?  Listen to us and take a page from the book of our philosophy. Take what joy you can, while you can.  The oath will call us soon enough. Besides,” he added with a wide grin, “we want lots and lots of nieces and nephews to play with.”

“Indeed,” joined Amras, “and if you do not do as we bid, we will ensure that you eat nothing but apples till the end of days.”

“Humph,” said Caranthir as he crossed his arms.  “Believe me brothers, no child of mine will ever go anywhere near the two of you.”

Silence.  “That’s it,” they declared.  “Prepare to be punished.”

Caranthir yelped and for the second time that night, he found himself rolling around on the ground with his brothers.

******

Translations:

Ambarussa: The name their mother gave both Amrod and Amras in Valinor.  I guess she really didn’t see a difference between them.

Author’s notes: Okay I admit it, I am incapable of writing grim Ambarussa. I keep thinking of them as joy filled elves, who keep hoping no matter what. In my mind only after the death of their three brothers do they became depressed and really fey. As for their closeness to Caranthir, I believe the kingdoms of Caranthir and Amrod and Amras were next to each other, when they had kingdoms, so I figured that the three of them probably shared a closer bond than the rest of their brothers. Also, the fact that Amrod and Amras had kingdoms so far south makes me think of them as very young, at least compared to their brothers. This also makes me portray them as impulsive little imps as opposed to serious grim Elf-lords, not that they aren’t wise, serious and all that, its just that when they have their brothers around they are more interested in annoying them than they are in leading their people. Thanks to Lady Legrace for beta reading.

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Whispering Winds

Pride

******

“Lord Caranthir, you are back!” noted Laeglass with little pleasure.

“I am indeed,” replied Caranthir smugly, “I have decided that I really, can’t stay away from your… apples.”

“I… see,” said Laeglass as he tried to fully understand what Caranthir meant by those innocent seeming words.

“Where is my lady Ninglorrīn?” asked Caranthir.

Laeglass visibly started and several of the Laiquendi near enough to hear looked towards him in wonder, “Lord Caranthir, I know not the custom of the Noldor but among our people, we only refer to our queens and wives as my lady. As Ninglorrīn is neither to you, you should not refer to her as your lady.” Laeglass corrected the Noldo Lord.

Caranthir smiled an extremely arrogant smile, “I stand corrected.  Where is the lady Ninglorrīn?” he asked.

“By the river, gathering herbs of healing,” answered a Laiquendi warrior when Laeglass hesitated.

“My thanks, Cellsūl,” with that he turned towards the river, humming a joyous tune from Valinor.

“I have never seen him so happy,” commented Cellsūl of hand.

“I never wanted to see him his happy.” Replied Laeglass in the tone of a man defeated.

***

Ninglorrīn was humming a soft tune, gentle and flowing as the wind, as she gathered herbs of all kinds in a basket woven out of thin green vines. She knew he was near, for she could always sense him. She knew he was standing behind, impatiently waiting for her to acknowledge him, but she had no intention of doing that.  Caranthir released a frustrated sigh, and reaching down, he clasped her hands from behind, “I need to speak to you,” he whispered into her ear. “The herbs can wait.”

Ninglorrīn was more than a little surprised by his boldness: it was usually she who hinted at what could be between them.  He, despite his courage, had never dared such bold moves before.  “Very well, Lord Caranthir,” she replied as she pulled out of his arms and turned to face him.  “What do you wish to speak about?”

He moved away from her, then came closer.  “I wish you to be my wife.”

Ninglorrīn’s started, rendered speechless by his sudden declaration.

“Are you surprised?” asked Caranthir, “You know I love you. You knew I loved you from the first time I saw you. Perhaps you are surprised that I, a prince of the noble house of Finwė, would ever condescend to wed a simple Laiquendi, a maiden who has never seen the light of two trees, who was not weaned on the knowledge of the Valar, a maiden whose people are like dull onyx to the sparkling diamond that is the Noldor.  Yet,” he continued, “yet I realise now that in Arda marred, one must not think of such difference when it comes to the matters of the heart. Thus I am willing to overlook all that is unequal between us and take you as my wife. We will be wed.” he declared joyfully.

“No.” replied Ninglorrīn firmly.

For a moment Caranthir stood, completely shocked, so ill-prepared was he for a refusal, “Why not?” he demanded in a low dangerous voice.

“Do you know of any self-respecting maiden who would accept you after that pride-filled rhetoric that is choking in its own arrogance and vanity?” she demanded, her voice, though calm, betrayed her smouldering anger.

“Arrogant! Vain!” cried Caranthir, his temper quickly spiralling out of control.  “Ai, I feel pride at all that my race is and perhaps that may seem arrogant to you, but vain it is not. For vanity has no substance; yet the Noldor are all substance, that is what sets us apart from you, and that is why you should be grateful for my offer of marriage, not scorn it,” he declared.

Ninglorrīn released a shuddering breath, “Caranthir, I love you,” she declared, her face tender and beautiful, “I have loved you since the first time I saw you standing over the prone body of your esquire, determine to defend him and your men with your last breath. I loved you even more when you lay in my care stricken with paralysis.  Your eyes,” she raised her hand and gently brushed her fingertips just below his eyes, “held such pain, such sorrow, yet such hope and so much goodness. I saw hints of guilt with which your conscience plagues you, but you refused to acknowledge.  I saw the wisdom and I saw the folly.  I saw your bravery, and I saw your weakness, and I loved everything that I saw.  But then,” she took several steps away from him, “the paralysis ended and you regained the use of your mouth.”

Her face was set hard, resolve kindled her eyes, so much so that Caranthir thought her eyes shone as brightly as one who had seen the light of the trees.  “As soon as you opened you mouth I learnt fully the depth of your pride and prejudice.  I knew than that we would never be able to wed till your pride was stripped away and your prejudice dissipated. I invited you and your men to dwell with us as much out of kindness as a desire for you to see us in a different light.  The light of the stars, under which all Quendi awoke, not the light of the trees, which seemed to have blinded you as much as it has helped you see.

“I teased you, I toyed with you, I tried to show you that your pride had distorted your view of yourself and of others. The branches of the house of Finwė are being hacked away, day by day. The Noldor, weaned as you say you were on the knowledge of the Valar, nourished as you were upon the light of the Trees, have slain your own kin, have acted without wisdom. If you are a diamond, then you are a dull, uncut one.

“Perhaps there were other ways I could have shown you the folly of your pride but I suppose deep down I thought that if I did not succeed, then I would at least drive you away, but it seems I have failed miserably,” she concluded.  “You love me still, love me enough to want to troth plight, but I cannot accept you. Not like this.”  She took some more steps away from him.  “Good bye Caranthir.  May we never meet again, for to see you again,” unshed tears glistered in her eyes, “would tear my heart to pieces,” with that she turned and fled.

Caranthir was not sure how long he stood there stock-still, eyes fixed on the place where she had last stood. It must have been long, for his horse came to search for him, or maybe she had sent his faithful mount to him.  It did not matter; nothing mattered anymore.  He had lost; once again, he had lost.  There was no point in remaining here any longer.  Slowly he mounted, but just as he was about to leave he noticed the forgotten basket of herbs.  A single tear rolled down his cheek, one more than he had shed through all the days of his life.

******

Translations:

[i] Laeglass = greenleaf, Laeg = green, lass = leaf (I am aware that Legolas is supposed to be Greenleaf but Legolas’ name had a special spelling, probably had something to do with him being Sinda as opposed to a full blooded Nando, if indeed he had Nandorian blood at all)

[ii] Laiquendi = green elves

[iii] Cellsūl = Running Wind, Cell = running, Sūl = wind

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Time alone

Time alone

******

"Ada!" cried Ninglorrīn joyfully as she launched herself into her father’s waiting arms.

"My child, my dear child," whispered Doroniaur as he hugged his only daughter fiercely. "How have you been?"

Ninglorrīn smiled a sad smile against her father’s shoulder, "As well as can be," she answered.

Before Doroniaur could question his daughter further regarding her strange answer, a clear laugh in a rich voice rang out in greeting. "Greetings, lady Ninglorrīn," said Maglor as he turned his eyes, so like and unlike his brother’s, towards her. "How delightful to see you. But where is Caranthir, was he not travelling with you?"

A sad shadow fell over Ninglorrīn’s face. "He has gone to your brothers, Amrod and Amras. That is why I convinced my people to join with you here, for we no longer have the numbers to protect ourselves should an attack occur."

Maglor’s eyes hardened. "Caranthir left you defenceless."

"I hardly call the departure of a company of Noldorin warriors leaving us defenceless," Ninglorrīn pointed out patiently, "but our company is much weakened."

"My forgiveness, lady, and to you as well, Doroniaur," Maglor replied smoothly, "I did not mean that the Laiquendi could not defend themselves without the aide of the Noldor, merely that my brother should not have left as he did."

"We understand, Lord Maglor," replied Doroniaur. "We know you are not one of those who look down upon us."

Maglor laughed a sad laugh. "What’s the point?" he wondered of no one in particular. "We are all Quendi, are we not?" he asked himself.

‘More grief, more joy, greater pride but little arrogance, confusion, more guilt, more wisdom and less vanity but perhaps more essentially greater power, yet little thought of domination,’ thought Ninglorrīn as she compared Maglor’s eyes to that of Caranthir, yet it also occurred to her that though perhaps more clear sighted than all his brothers put together, Maglor would never move against them, and so all his wisdom and insight would be for naught.

Ninglorrīn shivered as a vague foresight of doom came to her, but she ignored it and turned to her father. "I have missed you," she told him.

"As have I, my child, as have I."

***

She sat on a rock staring towards the eastern horizon where the sky and the stars met the forest and the trees. A smile of longing was on her lips. Movement next to her, and Doroniaur came and sat down beside her. For awhile they sat in silence, then she spoke.

"I would like to return to the east, to Eriador, where we walked before our Lord Denethor brought us to Beleriand, hearing of the majesty of King Thingol," she declared.

"Why do you wish to do that?" asked Doroniaur.

"I wish to see the woods of my birth before the end and I fear the end of us is coming soon," confessed Ninglorrīn.

"Ninglorrīn, you are old enough to remember the reason why the great Lord Denethor gathered all that he could of our wandering people and bring them here. Do you think the danger is less now in the east when even the west is no longer safe?" he asked her.

"No, I do not believe that. Yet not all our people have entered Beleriand, some no doubt still remain in Eriador. More still might linger in the south or further east, where the reach of the power that troubles us might be less," she reasoned.

"Perhaps," agreed her father, "Yet the yrch were created somewhere in the east, nearer to Cuiviénen, and they have multiplied and no doubt trouble our folk beyond the Ered Luin as much as they do us."

"Maybe," replied Ninglorrīn, "But I will not be swayed. I am sick at heart of these lands and would see the stars shining down upon the woods where I walked with you and nana once more."

Doroniaur sighed. "Would you than have me lose you to the yrch as I did your mother?" he asked, no anger just curiosity.

Ninglorrīn looked grieved, but her resolve did not waiver. "It need not come to that," she replied, "I may be safer across the mountain then here, so near to the fell power. Please Ada, let me go."

Great grief and resignation laced Doroniaur’s voice as he told her, "You are beyond the age when I can forbid you to do anything that you truly desire, but my daughter, I wish you would not go."

Ninglorrīn embraced her father tenderly. "Do not worry father. All will be well," so she hoped.

***

"I do not wish to go to Maglor," snapped Caranthir even as his and the Ambarussa’s men got ready for the march.

"Then tell us all that took place between you and Ninglorrīn," challenged Amras. "Why would she not accept you? From all that we heard, she loved you greatly."

Caranthir stood a moment in silent contemplation. Of all his brothers, he feared Maglor the most, more even than Maedhros. Caranthir could always read Maedhros; even after everything Maedhros had gone through, Caranthir could tell what Maedhros was thinking, what he was going to do, but Maglor, Maglor was different. One minute he was fey beyond reason, ready to strike down all who stood between him and his goal; the next moment he was a broken man, riddled with guilt and ashamed of his lineage. He was unpredictable and had the skills to discern other’s thoughts. Caranthir would not be able to hide his shame from him; thus he really did not want to face is songbird brother. "Go to useless Maglor if you must," he snapped, "I will travel for a time on my own."

Amrod and Amras looked at him disapprovingly. "You should not say such things of Maglor, nor ride alone. Morgoth’s forces are everywhere and we do not wish to lose you."

Caranthir whistled and called his horse. "Go to Maglor, since it obvious you need to be coddled by him. I fear not Morgoth and will ride where I will," with that he turned and rode away, heeding not the calls of his brothers.

******

Translations:

[i] Ninglor = golden water-flower, rīn = crowned lady, so Ninglorrīn means golden water-flower crowned lady.

[ii] Laiquendi = green elves

[iii] Yrch = orcs, singular form is orch

[iv] Ada = father

[v] nana = mother

[vi] Doron = oak, iaur = old, so Doroniaur = Old oak (okay oak old if you want to be literal)

Author’s note: Thanks goes to Lady Legrace for beta reading

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Whispering Winds

Fine Line

******

He rode heedless of direction, heedless of time, heedless of fatigue, heedless of hunger, heedless of all save a burning desire to get away. If one had asked him what he was fleeing from, he could not have answered, but there was something he was fleeing. Yet he had to stop, if only because Narolaman, refused to carry him further.

So Caranthir got off his back and allowed him to graze and rest. It was then that he saw the deer gazing unafraid, conveniently within spearing range.  Slowly Caranthir went back to his horse and drew out his spear from where it was stowed in his saddle. Silently he took aim, his prey completely unaware of his intentions. Then he froze.

‘She wouldn’t like this,’ he found himself thinking, ‘She would want the deer to live.’  He tried to think of the roasted flesh of the deer on his plate, tried to think of how it would taste after his long fast, but all he could think of was, ‘she wouldn’t like it.’ He clenched his teeth and cursed himself, “What do I care what she thinks?” he demanded, but the spear did not leave his hands.

“Grrrr….AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!” he screamed as he smashed the spear into pieces. The deer started at the sudden noise and turned towards Caranthir, surprise evident in its eyes. Obviously, it was not used to seeing elves behave as he was. He took a threatening step towards it and bellowed, “Go away! I am no Laiquendi!  I eat flesh. I kill, I maim, I destroy as much as I make. GO AWAY.”

The deer bounded away and Caranthir collapsed down on the ground and gazed up at the darkening sky. His mind was blank and that was the way he liked it. The heavens roared, as dark threatening clouds began to gather. The night would be a violent one. Caranthir did not mind, or, rather, he did not care.

***

He had been watching their approach for some time now.  He noted with great displeasure the absence of his wayward middle brother. The fact that all of Caranthir’s followers were with the twins did not escape his notice either.

As soon as they were near enough, they exclaimed joyfully, “Maglor!”

Maglor regarded the Ambarussa with unreadable eyes that did not blink. The two redheaded twins began to fidget. It was only a short time before one of them cracked. It was Amras who lost his nerve first, “Caranthir is in love with Ninglorrīn and asked her to marry him; she refused and now Caranthir has become more fey than usual,” he blurted out.

Amrod shook his head at his brother’s lack of nerve; they hadn’t even got off their horses yet! Amrod promptly dismounted and approached Maglor, “We do not know why she refused him. We know she loves him,” he explained to Maglor. “We had hoped that you would be able to sing some sense into him, but he was most reluctant to meet you. He rode off just as we were setting out. I do not think even he knew where he was going.”

Silence, Maglor turned to the nearest elf and said in a calm, quiet, but commanding voice, “Get my horse.”

***

Footsteps, loud and heavy, roused him from his blank compliance. It was raining hard now and Caranthir was totally immersed in mud. For a moment he wanted to just lie like this and let the orcs pass him by.  For orcs they were, and Caranthir knew that because of the rain and the mud that covered him, they would not be able to see or smell him, Then he remembered Narolaman. Swift movements got him to his feet and beside his horse. Gently he led the horse into the thick canopy of bushes nearby, “Stay here my, friend,” he whispered into Narolaman’s ears.

He could hide as well, but the moment of lethargy had passed, now he just wanted to taste the rush of combat, and as the orc band drew near, all he could feel was bloodlust.

***

More than once, Maglor wished that Celegorm were here to aide him since his wilderness skills paled in comparison to most of his brothers. The rain wasn’t helping either, but what he lacked in wilderness skills, he made up with an innate ability to sense his brothers. In was only a matter of time before he found Caranthir.

***

Caranthir stood among the dismembered bodies of his kills, covered in blood, mud, and soaked through. Some the blood was his own, but most of it was the black blood of the foul children of Morgoth. He raised his hand to wipe some of the blood away but stopped. The rain had ceased and the stars were burning bright, as their light hit the shining blade of his sword, he could see his reflection. His skin black from the mud and blood, his fair features obscured by the cuts and bruises, his eyes filled still with bloodlust, in the light of the stars he looked like an orc. He looked like and ORC. He had to get the blood off of him. HE HAD TO GET THE BLOOD OFF OF HIM.

Caranthir fell on his knees next to the nearest puddle, scooping up the water in a vain effort to clean himself. The muddy, blood soaked water only made things worse. Panic seized his heart, but than the faint sound of running water reached his ears. There was a river near by; there was a river near by.

***

The stone had no jagged edges, but its surface was very rough. It was perfect for the purpose he intended. Naked he stood waist deep in the water, vigorously he used the stone to scrape his skin clean, heeding not the broken skin or burning cuts. Busy with his task he did not hear the other approach, but soon enough he felt bright eyes burning into his back. Slowly he turned to come face to face with his brother’s pained gaze. He turned away almost immediately, once gain starting to scrub his skin raw.

“Caranthir,” called Maglor softly; yet there was a silent, powerful command weaved into the word that Caranthir found unable to disobey. Maglor was not called the Mighty for nothing.

Reluctantly he waded to the edge of the river and stood in front of his brother, stubbornly refusing to meet his eyes. “Don’t be so stubborn,” whispered Maglor as he pulled his rigid brother into a comforting embrace. “Don’t be so stubborn,” he repeated. After a moment Caranthir sighed and melted into his brother’s arms; once in awhile even he, Morofinwė Carnistir Caranthir, needed the comfort of a warm hug.

******

Translation:

[i] Narolaman – This is quenya. Naro –fire, laman – animal, so Narolaman is fiery animal (well fire animal literally).

[ii] Morofinwė is Caranthir’s father-name in quenya and Carnistir is Caranthir’s mother-name in quenya. Caranthir is the sindar form of Carnistir.

Author’s note:

Big thanks to Lady Legrace for beta reading.

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Whispering Winds

Euphony

******

“I am not a child anymore,” protested Caranthir.  “I do not need you to braid my hair,” he informed Maglor

Maglor took no heed of his words.  Instead, he continued combing and braiding Caranthir’s long black hair.  After Maglor had gotten Caranthir out of the water, he had cleaned Caranthir wounds and proceeded to pamper his younger sibling thoroughly, much to Caranthir’s outward annoyance.  Inwardly Caranthir was glad, very glad, to feel so loved.

When Maglor was finished with his brother’s hair, he planted a soft kiss on his head and sat down on a rock across from Caranthir.  “You are such a mother hen,” Caranthir declared.  “I am surprised you have not started a home for war orphaned children, or found a maiden with whom to beget a brood of children.”

Maglor looked away, his eyes filled with grief, “What home do I have that I can share with children, any children?” he wondered.   “As for finding a maiden, perhaps one day the mist that seems to envelop me always will clear and I will find her bathed in the colours of the Ilweran.”

Caranthir whistled.  “You do set your sights high.  Are you afraid that any maiden who cannot travel the Ilweran will disappoint you?” he asked.

“I could ask you the same thing,” Maglor retorted.  “How is it, brother, that you are willing to let your love go with nary a word, when you are second only to Maedhros in your fighting spirit?”

Caranthir looked away, “I don’t want to talk about it,” he snapped.

“Very well,” said Maglor.

Silence.  “She scorned my love because I spoke the truth,” Caranthir spat out at length.

“And what is this truth that you spoke to her?” wondered Maglor.

“That the Noldor are greater than Laiquendi, indeed than all Teleri.”

Maglor took a deep breath in and released it slowly, “Gold is a metal highly valued, for it is beautiful in appearance.  Yet it is soft and is not suitable for much other than ornamentation.  Steel is not so beautiful, yet it is very useful, it too is valued greatly, especially at times of war.  However, neither gold nor steel can quench our thirst when we are parched, though more water is in Arda than either gold or steel.  Which than is greater, the gold that adorns our necks, the steel that sits at our side or water that sustains our life?” he wondered.

“What does this have to do with anything?” demanded Caranthir; he hated these kinds of philosophical riddles.  Finrod and Maglor were full of them.

“Everything,” said Maglor.  “You told her that the Noldor were greater than the Laiquendi, and certainly in many ways, we are, but in others, the Laiquendi surpass us, and depending on the circumstance, they can be like water to a thirsty man.” He looked Caranthir deeply in his eyes.  “Tell me brother, why do you love her?”

“Because…”  Because she is beautiful, inside and out, because she showed him empathy without pitying him, because she is Ninglorrīn.

Maglor nodded and Caranthir knew that he had discerned all that he had thought though not a word had passed his lips.  “Now, answer me this brother: how much of what she is, is because she is a Laiquendi?”

In that moment, Caranthir was hit with an euphony so clear it scared him, Maglor smiled and got up, “Ninglorrīn is leaving Beleriand.  She headed east several days ago.  She wishes to go to Eriador and walk the woods where she was born once more.  Perhaps you should go with her, for a time let the oath sleep.” 

Caranthir said nothing.  Maglor gave him a parting embrace and left.

 ***

She sat on the branch, her back pressed against the tree trunk, gazing up at the sky.  Up here, in the midst of birds, she was as safe from the fell creatures of Morgoth as any; here she could sleep with ease if sleep is what she desired, but she dared not travel the paths of dream, afraid that she would see his face and feel the pangs of love in her heart.  Suddenly, she sat up, her back rigid.  The faint sound of running hooves reached her ears, that and the feel of his presence.  She sat stock still, praying to all the powers for him to pass her by.  He did not.

Caranthir got off his horse at the foot of the tree and called out softly, “Ninglorrīn,” no response, “I am not going to beg,” he snapped.

Silence, a soft sigh, a rush of air as Ninglorrīn jumped down from the tree, landing gracefully on her feet, “Caranthir,” one word, laced with so many emotions.  Grief, anger, confusion, love, joy, all were there and Caranthir knew not which to address first.

Indeed, Caranthir did not know what to say now that she stood in front of him.  “There was a deer,” was the first thing that came out of his mouth, Ninglorrīn looked more confused than anything else.  “I ran across it and wanted to kill it.  To eat it,” he explained.  “I was hungry, and also I didn’t know when I was going to rejoin my brothers and my men.  I was travelling alone.  I thought I could save some of the meat from this kill and not have to forage for food for some time.”  He was babbling, but he did not know what else to do, what else to say.  “I couldn’t kill it; I couldn’t bring myself to throw my spear.  I kept thinking how sad you would be, and I couldn’t do it.”  He could not think of anything else to say.  Therefore, he fell silent, keeping his eyes trained on Ninglorrīn’s.

A myriad of emotions played through her mind as she tried to make sense of Caranthir’s strange mood and the strange play of his thoughts, so disjointed but so coherent at the same time.  Finally, she whispered, “Something is different about you.”

“I had a… insightful talk with Maglor.”  Caranthir said by way of explanation.

“And what insight did you gain?” enquired Ninglorrīn gently.

“You are water, and I am a man who is dying of thirst,” was Caranthir’s cryptic response.

“I see,” Ninglorrīn replied, then she laughed a soft laugh.  “How unlucky for me that my soul mate is a man of so few words and all of them so very cryptic.  Yet I see that you have finally began to see that we Laiquendi are just different from the Noldor and so cannot be judged greater or lesser than them, for who is to say whether apples are better than blueberries?  All that can be said is that you would rather have blueberries in your oatmeal than apples.”

Caranthir mind was reeling, “You will be mine, then.”  Not a question, a declaration.

Ninglorrīn looked away.  “The Noldor exchange rings of silver when they pledge their troth?”

“We do,” replied Caranthir.

“And wed after year, exchanging rings of gold?”

“In time of peace, yes,” answered Caranthir.  “But in time of war,” he continued as he took a ring of gold, set with dark blue sapphires and jet black onyx, made my his brother Curufin as a token of his lordship over Dor Caranthir, off his finger, “we wed immediately.”

Ninglorrīn looked at the ring.  She felt she was in a daze; things were moving so fast.  A strong gust of wind made her hair flutter about her, the ranched stench of orcs tainting the air.  Suddenly she was reminded that the years of peace were gone, here, now, one must do all that one could and wished today, for tomorrow may never come, “We place a wreath made of the seasons flowers on the head of the one we are to wed as we say the vows,” she explained.  “I shall make one for you.”

“Now,” encouraged Caranthir gently.

Ninglorrīn smiled.  “Now,” she agreed.

******

Translation:

[i] Ilweran = rainbow. To understand the conversation between Caranthir and Maglor you have to know that in “History of Middle-earth: Book of lost tales” it states that at one stage Tolkien referred to rainbows as “the Bridge of Heaven” and it was another way being could journey to and from Valinor.  However, no mortal could ride the rainbow and no elf had the heart to ride the rainbow (whatever that means) so when Maglor is referring to finding a maiden bathing in the colours of the rainbow he is talking about finding a divine being, such as a Maia, at the end of a rainbow, who has recently arrived from Valinor.  You can well understand why Caranthir would tease him about setting his sights high, since the only elf to ever wed with a divine being is Thingol, even in Aman no elf is recorded as wedding a Maia.  A big thanks goes to Andreth for providing me with the information about rainbow

 [ii] Dor Caranthir = Caranthir’s Land (this guy obviously had no imagination when it came to names)

Author’s note: Thanks goes to Lady Legrace for beta reading. Next chapter, Caranthir and Ninglorrīn return to find that Thingol is dead, as are Lśthien and Beren and Dior now has possession of the Silmaril.  Let the true angst begin.

 Also, it may seem that I am picking and choosing from the Essay "Of Men and Dwarves" (The Peoples of Middle-Earth, History of Middle Earth vol. 12), since there Tolkien states "Others who were wedded were Maelor (Maglor) and Caranthir,” and Maglor, in this story, is obviously not married. However, my justification is that we don’t know when Maglor got married and moreover who recorded his marriage in the history the Hobbits preserved. For all we know he could have gotten married after he went wandering and Gandalf told Elrond when he came to Middle-earth. Something like,

 Elrond: And what of my foster father? Has any news of him reached the blessed shores?

 Gandalf: He yet lives and his life is perhaps richer than he had expected it to be when he began his wandering. He has found love, but on this I will speak no more.

 As I said, we don’t know who he married and when. He could have married an Avari maiden whom he encountered during his wandering, a human or who knows, he might have even found his own divine spirit.

Next Chapter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next Chapter (Warning: On big sex scene)

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Whispering Winds

Wedding Night

******

Caranthir waited in breathless anticipation as Ninglorrīn went off to gather the flowers needed for their wedding wreaths. It was going to take sometime he knew, but simply could not cool the fire that had kindled in his blood, in his very soul. So it was the way with the Quendi, they could go through their entire life not knowing the desires of the flesh or caring for it, but upon meeting one who they wished to wed the desire was kindled within them and their was no way to sate it save with the act itself.

Yet, he had to wait. He had to… Caranthir’s jaws dropped when Ninglorrīn stepped out of the woods holding to a wreath of red poppies, white daisies and yellow buttercups. That, however, was not what caught Caranthir’s attention. His attention was caught by Ninglorrīn’s dress, or rather the lack of it. She had taken off her green gown and was now dressed only in leaves and shoots, held together with a sticky substance that glistened in the faint light of the stars, another wreath identical to the one she was holding adorned her hair.

Heat pooled in Caranthir’s groin and it took all his will power not to rush to her and ravage her where she stood. Feeling a need to say something, anything, Caranthir finally asked, “Is this what the Laiquendi wear to their wedding?”

Ninglorrīn laughed, “Nay, but we do dress like this on our first coupling.” She blushed,

Caranthir blushed but added, “Come then, my love, let us bind our souls together for all eternity and get to coupling.”

Ninglorrīn feigned a scandalised look, “You Noldor are so…”

“Irresistible,” whispered Caranthir as he drew close to her, “so are certain Laiquendi maidens and some of us Noldor cannot wait to taste the sweetness of their nectar.”

Ninglorrīn smiled a faint smile and placed the wreath upon his head. They said the scared vows that no mortal has ever heard, invoking Manwė, Varda and Eru Ilśvatar himself. Than they kissed a heady kiss, long and deep, their tongues duelling for dominance, the fire in their blood now blazing to hot that each thought that they would be burn alive if they were not joined and joined soon.

Caranthir did not know what was happening, whether he was standing or sitting or lying on his back. All he knew was that leaves were clincing to the skin of his new wife really, really well. “Damn leaves,” he growled when they finally broke the kiss, “why won’t they come off?”

Ninglorrīn laughed and stepped away from him, “That’s the idea,” she whispered.

“What do you mean?” he demanded, even as he reached for her blindly, suddenly aware that he was standing but not very steadily.

Ninglorrīn reached for the tip of a large leaf that covered most of her right breast, “Do you love me?” she asked.

“Of course.”

Ninglorrīn ripped the leaf away, Caranthir started salivating, “What do you think of the Laiquendi now?”

Caranthir’s mind started formulating a reply that would make her rip all the damned leaves away, but Ninglorrīn would have none of it, “If you lie the leaf will go right back on.”

“Damn!” thought Caranthir, “I think your skill in woodcraft is without equal.” He answered truthfully. Ninglorrīn look of a smaller leaf. “You empathy for animals are admirable.” Another small leaf came off, “Your lack of desire for material goods is something the dwarves should learn.” lots of leaves came off for that one. Caranthir grinned, getting cocky, “And you are undoubtedly good at matters of the flesh, seeing that you have seen countless animals do it. Ninglorrīn started putting the leaves back on, “No! No! Don’t put the leaves back on, don’t put the leave back on!” Suddenly a thought occurred to him, “Why do I need the leaves off any way?”

Before Ninglorrīn could answer Caranthir swept her up in a powerful embrace, kissing her lips, leaves and licked the exposed skin, “Um… sweet.” He whispered.

“I used honey…” her breath hitched as his kisses got bolder, “to stick the leaves.”

“You are sweet even with out the honey.” Said Caranthir as he claimed her lips once again, exploring every inch of the warm mouth that was his to explore and his alone, “Hold, my love, I must have or I will go insane.”

“We can’t have that now can we.” She whispered as she was felt herself lowered to the forest floor. “I would like my husband to be sane, well as sane as it is possible for a Feanorian to be, gasp!”

“You are going to pay for that!” he growled.

His hands, lips, tongue were everywhere, scattering her thoughts, inflaming her sense, driving her crazy, “Please!” than she screamed.

Caranthir enclosed her in a comforting hug, “The pain will pass.”

“You know that how??” she screamed.

“Um…. Instinct.”

“Caranthir, move!”

“It’s kind of hard to move when I am buried in,” Ninglorrīn slapped him hard, Caranthir laughed but began to build up a steady rhythm.

Ninglorrīn let out a frustrated sigh, but than all thought fled her mind when Caranthir started a rhythm that drowned the pain in great waves of pleasure. The waves got every higher, building into a tidal wave several miles high. Finally the wave clashed, sweeping away all but each other. He hugged her to him, holding her tight, “I love you, I love you.” He kept repeating, without even realising.

She laughed, “I love you, too.” Delighting in the knowledge that now they belonged to each other.

******

Author's Notes: According to the Laws and Customs of the Eldar, History of Middle-earth: Morgoth's Ring, elves were virgins upon until their wedding nights. So yes, this is both Caranthir and Ninglorrīn's first time.

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Whispering Winds

Choices

******

In a large room, carved out of the living rocks, he watched his children play in the bright glow of the Silmaril, he watched his children play with the Silmaril as they recreated the battle of Beren and Huan against Carchoroth. Ten year old Elurin was pretending to be Huan, while his twin was proving to be a remarkable convincing Carchoroth, and little Elwing, barely five years of age, was mimicking her grandfather, whom she missed dearly.

Dior watched them with a soft smile on his lips. This is what it was all about, this is what the Silmaril meant to him, the key that his parents had used to open the door to his existence and those of his children. Was that not the purpose of the trees? To foster life, to bring joy? Yes, the Silmaril was were it belonged.

“Dior,” came the soft call from behind him, he turned to come face to face with Celeborn, his wife’s father’s brother, and from the look on his face it was clear that he was the bearer of bad news, “a letter has arrived from the sons of Fėanor.” Celeborn handed him a sealed envelop. Neither he, nor Dior needed to open it to know that the sons of Fėanor did not think the Silmaril belonged here and were writing to inform them of just that.

“How long do you think we have before we have to return an answer?” asked Dior, his voice calm and collected.

“I know not.” Replied Celeborn, “However not all the sons of Fėanor are together, one, Caranthir I believe, has spent the last few years beyond Ered Luin, I do not think the other would attack Doriath without there brother.”

Dior shook his head sadly, “Stand together, fall together is it?” Celeborn nodded, “And they will not have any qualms towards slaying their kin a second time.” It was not a question, for they both knew the answer.

Celeborn looked at the Silmaril, set between three being he considered to be filled with more light than the cursed jewel ever did, “The lust of the Silmaril is an awful thing.”

“I wonder about that.” Said Dior, “Lady Galadriel calls the Silmarils holy jewels, though she bares no love for their maker, she seems to bare love for the jewels themselves.”

“Nay, it not the jewels but that memory of the light they hold that she cherishes, just as you hold that jewel dear, not for their own sake but for what they represent.” Celeborn clarified.

Dior fixed his eyes towards the heart of the bright gem, “I wonder what the Silmaril mean to the sons of Fėanor, the greatest legacy of their departed father? Yet would not their father, who perished in its quest be more precious to them? The things that got their grandfather killed, like it got my own grandsire killed? But my heart is filled with bitterness towards it for that, thou the bitterness is small and always passes before more pleasanter recollections. Are they than the symbol whose recover marks the completion of their vengeance? Whichever way I do not think I would have sworn an oath to recover it at all costs, thou it is precious to me for all that it stand for.”

“Thus you prove yourself to be of nobler character than the fell brood of that Kinslayer Prince,” replied Celeborn, “you know vengeance has its limits, they do not. Thus we must prepare for anything, at anytime.”

“Yet, I fear, all our preparations will be for naught, we are already so weak.” Dior said, his voice filled with grief. Celeborn could see the indecision in his eyes and it seemed to him that Dior might give up the Silmaril just to ensure that Doriath had once less enemy to deal with, and that was something unexpected.

***

Caranthir shifted on the branch in an attempt to get more comfortable, it did not help. He shifted again, and again, “Caranthir!” screamed Ninglorrīn as she made a lung for him, but she was too late, Caranthir went hurtling to the ground, landing with a painful sounding thud. Some rapid manoeuvring saved Ninglorrīn from following her husband down, which was a good thing since from the bellow Caranthir released it was clear he would not have appreciated her landing on top of him.

“STUPID, STUPID OAK,” screamed the Noldo as he indignantly kicked the trunk of the tree.

“Caranthir stop that,” chastised Ninglorrīn as she landed smoothly on her feet. “The tree is not to blame for your fall.”

“It is at fault for having such uncomfortable branches,” snapped Caranthir.

Ninglorrīn arched her eyebrows and smiled, “I am certain that my friend the oak here was thinking that spoilt Noldo Princes might rest upon its branches when it was growing and deliberately chose to make them uncomfortable to cause their fall.”

“Humph, Very funny,” said Caranthir, his voice dripping with sarcasm as he crossed his arms over his chest, turning his face away from her.

Ninglorrīn laughed at the pouting Noldo, “I love you,” she said as she wrapped her arms around his neck, bringing his face level with hers she kissed him, “I love you,” she repeated.

Caranthir smiled and drew her into a deep shearing kiss, “Believe me Ninglorrīn, your meagre Laiquendi love is no match for the blazing Noldorian fire of total and utter love for you that consumes my heart.”

Ninglorrīn slapped his shoulders playfully, “Why must you always be such a…”

“Noldo,” offered Caranthir with a grin, “that’s because you love a Noldo more than you could any other and I aim to keep it that way.”

“I can’t win, can I?” Ninglorrīn said on a sigh, Caranthir only grinned an impish grin before capturing her mouth once again.

The loud thundering of hooves forced them to separate, quickly they both melted into the foliage surrounding them, but there was no need to fear, for it was Celegorm and Curufin. “What news brothers?” called Caranthir as he stepped out of the bushes, on hand still wrapped around Ninglorrīn protectively, this was Celegorm and Curufin he was dealing with. One never knew exactly how suicidal their mood was.

Masterfully the reigned in their horse and turned to face their wayward brother. It had been some years since either had seen Caranthir and it was the first time they had seen their sister-in-law. Curufin and Celegorm regarded her with a mixture of concept and amazement. Lśthien the half Maia daughter of Thingol was one thing, a Laiquendi maiden of a minor lord was completely another, they could not believe Caranthir would marry someone like her. “At least she’s pretty.” Thought Celegorm, “Thingol is dead, Melian has returned to Aman, Lśthien and Beren have gone beyond the confines of Ea and Dior rules Doriath with the Silmaril around his neck.” Celegorm informed him.

The shadow of great grief fell upon Ninglorrīn’s face as she drew closer to Caranthir for comfort, but neither she nor Caranthir seemed surprised, “Old news brother,” snapped Caranthir, “stop wasting my time.”

Celegorm glared at him and said nothing, if was Curufin who spoke in a vicious tone, looking pointedly at Ninglorrīn, “Well here is something you would not have heard, while you travelled the wild lands of the east with your…” Caranthir took a threatening step forward, wearing an absolute murderous gaze, “…wife” Curufin hastily added, “we sent a letter of challenge to Dior.”

Ninglorrīn started, “What! Why?”

“Why? Come, come my Lady,” piped in Celegorm, “did my brother here not tell you of our oath, did he not tell you that as long as that mixed-blooded thing sullies the Silmaril with its presence, it is our enemy and we shall wager war upon it and it’s following till the End of days.”

“Are you certain you seek to recover the Silmaril and not your wounded pride at having lost horse, hound and nearly your brother to the Beren Camlost, sire to King Dior Eluchķl?” demanded Ninglorrīn, “Whichever the case, why not confront Beren and Lśthien while they yet lived? Or are you too much of a coward to take on they who survived a sojourn into the heart of Angband but just brave enough to march against a kingdom, crippled by the jewel lust of the Naugrim?”

Celegorm and Curufin shot Ninglorrīn death glares, as Caranthir struggled to decide whether he should find the situation funny or offensive, “I have no time to waste upon a mere Laiquendi,” declared Celegorm as he spurred his horse, “It is time Caranthir that you remember that you are a Prince of the house of Finwė.”

“We gather at Sarn Athrud,” Curufin told him, “Be sure to be there within three sunsets. That is if she,” he pointed accusingly towards Ninglorrīn, “has not led you astray and caused you to abandon your oath.” Curufin hurried his horse after that of his brother.

“Cowards,” whispered Ninglorrīn as she watched them leave, she turned towards Caranthir and jumped in shock at the resolution etched upon his face, “Caranthir, you cannot join them.”

“We both knew this was coming,” Said Caranthir, “You knew the oath would not sleep forever.”

“That I knew,” said Ninglorrīn, “But I always I thought that oath would reawaken to bring assault towards Morgoth, not Doriath.”

“And why not?” snapped Caranthir, “Do they not withhold a Silmaril from me and my brothers?”

“Caranthir, did you real believe that your oath would include this when you swore it?” she demanded.

“I did not know what my oath would include when I swore it,” he snapped. “Perhaps not the slaughter of other elves, for back than it was not something that entered my mind, but now… I must recover the Silmaril no matter who holds it.”

“They are my Kith and Kin, Caranthir!" she cried out, tears beginning to moisten her eyes, “do not bring death and destruction upon them, not again, they have already lost so much.”

“They are my brothers and the jewel belonged to my father, save for you they and it are all I have. I cannot abandon them or the oath, indeed if I were to do so than the everlasting darkness would be my lot and I would never see your beautiful face,” he whispered as he stood in wretched agony, wanting to comfort her but knowing that comfort was beyond his power to provide in this situation.

“Yet...” she did not want to say this, she did not want to do this, yet she knew she could not do otherwise, “...yet if you march against my kin, march against the one to whom I owe my allegiance, though I do not call him king, we will not be as we are now.”

Caranthir was shocked, “You would give you allegiance to a half-elf,” he screamed in mounting anger.

“He is the grandson of Elu Thingol and the son of Lśthien, he holds my allegiance and the allegiance of all the Teleri of middle earth. For my love for you I have forgiven you the slaying of my kin once but I cannot do so twice,” she said firmly, “If you follow your brother you will lose me. So choose!”

He had meant to gather her in his arms, to tell her that he loved her and for her sake he would abandon his brother and the oath and hope in the benevolence of Eru Ilśvatar, he was sure. What he did was take one long last look at her, than turned and called his horse, and followed his brothers in their path to self damnation.

*****

Author’s notes: Thanks to Lady Legrace for Beta reading

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Caranthir

The beginning of the end

******

Caranthir!” came the joy-filled cry of the Ambarussa as they rushed to meet their beloved brother. They had planned to pull him off his horse and tackle him to the ground, but the look of dark, brooding menace he shot them stopped them dead in their tracks. It was then that they noticed Ninglorrīn was not with him.

“Caranthir?” they wondered as he slowly got off his horse, “Where is Ninglorrīn?”

A short cruel laugh, “What’s the matter, dear brother?” mocked Curufin. “Did that Laiquendi girl leave you upon hearing of your intent to join us on our righteous quest? If that is the case, then you need not fret over it. Good riddance to bad rubbish, I say.”

Fast as lightning, Caranthir moved and before Curufin knew what was happening Caranthir slammed Curufin into the nearest tree. “Listen to me and listen to me very carefully; if you even think anything bad about my wife I will rip out your beating heart and feed it to your favorite hound.”

Curufin hissed like an angry flame. “You would use violence against one born from the same womb?”

“And why not, brother?” he said the last word as if it left a foul taste in his mouth. “I know you. I know you grudge us our existence for everyone of us robbed you of father’s undivided attention. I remember you whispering into Maglor’s ears, holding us back from rescuing Maedhros, fuelling his grief and reducing our mighty brother into your puppet.”

“Caranthir!” called Celegorm who came upon the scene to find the Ambarussa looking shell-shocked and Caranthir barely moments away from doing serious harm to Curufin. “Stop this madness, you know as well as I do that Maglor, not wanting to loose another brother, held us back. Curufin held Maglor back for he did not wish to lose another brother either.” It was the truth but Caranthir was in no mood to acknowledge it. “Maedhros is dear to us all.” He said as he gently laid a hand on his younger brother.

Caranthir laughed a fey laugh as he shrugged Celegorm’s hand away. “Dear to all save Curufin here. I know you hate him for you wish you were the eldest.” He began addressing Curufin again, “You hate Maglor for he was dearest to our grand-father. You hate Celegorm because he is the fairest of us all, you hate me for I am a better warrior than you, you hate Amrod for he was dearest to Father and you hate Amras for he was dearest to Mother. You wish you were an only child, alone, the centre of everyone’s universe, ADMIT IT!” he screamed.

“CARANTHIR!” came a deep booming voice, “That is quite enough. Let him go.” Maedhros commanded and Maedhros’s commands none of his brothers could disobey. Caranthir stepped away from Curufin and turned haunted eyes upon Maedhros. A sigh, soft and barely audible escaped Maedhros’s lips, “I take it the curse of Finwė has struck again.” Caranthir said nothing. “I am sorry brother, I am truly sorry. I wish I could protect you from the pain of heart break but…”

“Save it Maedhros,” snapped Caranthir. “Last thing I need is pity.” With that he stormed off.

Maedhros sighed again and turned his attention back to Curufin, who was being fussed over by Celegorm, the twins still in shock. Never in their wildest imaginations could they have believed that any of their brothers, especially Caranthir, would threaten another of their brothers with violence. “Curufin, I know you had a hand in provoking Caranthir; how big a hand you had I know not, but be warned; you will answer to me if you toy with Caranthir again.” With that Maedhros turned to leave.

Normally Curufin would have returned a sharp retort about how Caranthir did not need any provocation to lose his damned temper; but today he only softly asked, “Maedhros? You don’t really believe what Caranthir said, do you?” Maedhros did not respond. Curufin turned towards Celegorm, the blond refused to meet his eyes. The Ambarussa, too, seemed like they wished they could flee from his questions. “I see,” whispered Curufin, broken.

Maedhros ruthlessly stifled another sigh; it was becoming a very bad habit. “Curufin, it is not that we do not think you love us. We know you do; but we also know that you wish you were an only child, but that is just you. None of us hold that against you. Not even Caranthir. Do not concern yourself with it.” Curufin said nothing, but shrugged himself out of Celegorm’s touch and headed in the opposite direction to Caranthir. Celegorm sighed and followed him; this was going to be a long day.

“Um… Maedhros?” wondered Amrod, “Will Caranthir be alright?”

Maedhros looked towards the direction Caranthir had gone. “I am fine aren’t I?” he said. Neither Amras nor Amrod felt like pointing out that Maedhros had been anything but fine since Fingon’s death.

***

He found Caranthir lying by the banks of the river, looking utterly dejected. He sat down next to him, trying to silently comfort his dark-tempered brother with the closeness of his presence. After what seemed like an age Caranthir spoke. “Why is it that we have always been cursed?” he wondered.

“Caranthir, there is no such thing as the curse of Finwė,” Maglor assured him.

“But isn’t there!” he demanded, getting up. “Think brother. Our grandfather is the only one to lose a spouse in the bliss of Aman while the Two Trees still shone. Then when he took solace in the arms of another woman, it led to a wedge being placed in his family. Father could not accept Indis, when in reality she was the only mother he had ever truly known. This tainted the marriage of Grandfather and Indis; we both know that as much as he loved her and the children she bore him, he came to regret his marriage to her, if only because it hurt Father so deeply. Our own mother, in the end, could not endure the glare of our father’s mighty fėa, fleeing from it and using her loyalty to Aulė as an excuse,” he bit out. “Curufin’s wife, too, pled loyalty to Aulė and did not follow him. Fingon died leaving Maedhros only half-alive. In fact, all of Finwė’s line seems to suffer from his curse. Fingolfin’s wife did not follow him. Turgon’s wife died in the Helcaraxė, Finrod’s beloved did not follow him, and….”

“Those had more to do with the curse of the Noldor than any supposed curse that haunts this family,” Maglor pointed out. “Nay brother, what happened between Grandfather Finwė and Grandmother Miriel and Indis is a tragic proof that even Aman was never wholly unmarred,” said Maglor quietly. “That does not mean you were wrong to love, to seek whatever scrap of happiness you could find in this land of twilight. Marriage is the natural course of our lives and be grateful, brother, that it soothed your soul; even if it was only for a short while.”

Caranthir laid back down again, too drained to do anything but stare at the darkening sky. “I wonder how they endure it, Curufin and Maedhros.” 

Maglor lay down next to him. “You will find out soon enough, I think.”

“Perhaps, yet I cannot see a future for me beyond Doriath.”

******

Author’s note: About the Fingon/Maedhros thing. No they were not explicitly stated to be lovers in Silmarillion, only very good friends. Big thanks to Andreth for beta reading.

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The end

The end

******

Ten days after Caranthir’s return the dawn was especially red, a preamble to the bloody day that was to follow. They gathered under their banners, their father’s flying foremost, gathering the followers of the Star of Fėanor to march for his cause. The words of Celegorm still rang in their ears.

 The Silmaril is ours. These Moriquendi have no right to withhold it from us. Who is Dior to touch the Silmaril? His is nothing, a nobody, a creature that is neither of the first born nor of the second. Will we tolerate him to sully the Silmaril with his presence?

 All save Maedhros, Maglor and Caranthir had screamed ‘no’ to his question. Maglor had not been moved even by Fėanor’s famous speech in newly darkened Tirion; he was not about to be moved by Celegorm. Caranthir was just beyond caring and Maedhros had felt nothing since the death of Fingon.

 Long did the girdle of Melian the Maia hold us back from claiming what is ours; but she is gone to lick her wounds at the feet of the Valar and Doriath lies open for us. Let us take the opportunity fate has provided. Let us reclaim the glory of the Noldor.

 So they strapped on their armour, unsheathed their weapons and began their march on Doriath. Soon, too soon, they came upon the green woods, but recently the scene of the first war of elves and dwarves.

 Let there be no doubt; the Silmaril will be ours, Celegorm said.

 But let us remember we are Elves not orcs. Let us spill no unnecessary blood.

 That was all Maglor added; and to this they had agreed, especially the Ambarussa. After all, all they wanted was the Silmaril. 

***

“Elwing come here,” called Dior  over the din of battle as the army of the Sons of Fėanor edged ever closer to the heart of Menegroth. “Here, take this,” he said as he put the Nauglamķr set with the Silmaril on her neck. “My dear daughter, never let this jewel fall into the hands of the Sons of Fėanor, for if that where to happen than their blood lust will be rewarded and their victory complete. Do you understand?” he asked.

 She nodded, “Yes father, I will not fail.”

 “Good,” he whispered as he wrapped a thick cloak around her, hiding the light of the Silmaril as best he could.

 Swiftly he carried her through the halls of Menegroth, to a hidden passage built when some foresight of doom had come upon Melian. There he found Celeborn, arranging the flight of all those who could not fight. “Take her and go,” he said to Celeborn.

 “I do not wish to abandon Doriath!” cried Celeborn.

 “They will need your wisdom and strength both, if they are to make it to some safe heaven,” said Dior. “If those who remain cannot save Doriath, then all who flee with you will be its only survivors.”

 A look of great sadness washed over him, but he nodded as he took the precious bundle. “What of Nimloth and your sons?” he wondered.

 “I will find them and send them down after you with all else I can gather,” Dior told him, “but do not tarry. They are close, too close.” With that he was gone. Celeborn did not linger a moment longer than Dior had, but it was not till he reached the unbroken dark of the escape passage that he noticed the light filtering through even the thick weaving of the blanket.

 “My father told me to guard it,” Elwing explained, “and I will do so with my life.” Her conviction disturbed Celeborn more than anything.

 ***

“Where is the Silmaril?” demanded Curufin of Nimloth as she stood defiantly in front of her sons, a naked blade gleaming in her hand. Celegorm loomed behind his brother, a savage smirk pasted on his fair face. A hoard of elves, the Sindar guards who had stood with Nimloth and the Noldor guards who had come down with them, were dead at his feet.

 “I know not,” she said truthfully, “nor would I tell you.”

 “Than you are useless to me,” replied Curufin and in one devastating blow he sliced her from head to foot, the sword she had attempted to parry his blow with cloven in two. If the elves did not sing the praise of Curufin’s greatest creations, it was because his greatest creations were all swords that had feasted on the blood of elves.

 “Nana!” screamed the twin sons of Dior as they gather around the cloven body of their mother. A strangled cry came from the doorway; Curufin and Celegorm turned to find themselves face to face with Dior and knew they were looking upon the face of their own death.

***

Celeborn was the last to emerge from the tunnel.  “Keep moving!” he cried to those who were lingering near the entrance. “We do not want to alert the bastard Fėanorian.”

 “Too late.” Celeborn froze; slowly he turned to find Caranthir emerging from the nearby bushes, his sword casually resting on his shoulder. His face was a blank mask of one ready to die; he was completely and utterly alone. “I had a secret passage built into my castle in Dol Caranthir as well,” he said by way of explanation. “It seems a Noldo and a Sinda do not think very differently after all.”

 “You are very cocky to come alone,” observed Celeborn as he put Elwing down and pulled out his axe.

 Caranthir smiled a cocky, arrogant smile that grated on Celeborn’s nerves, “You, I can take down in my sleep. Lucky for you I am willing to spare you if you give me the Silmaril.”

 “What makes you think I have it?” demanded Celeborn.

 Caranthir laughed and fixed his eyes upon Elwing. “This close to it, I can sense it.”

 “Run,” said Celeborn to Elwing before he attacked.

***

Celeborn was stronger, Caranthir was more agile; and they were both very, very skilled in their respective weapons. Axe and sword clashed over and over, neither getting the advantage they sought; in the end it was luck that decided the battle. Celeborn stepped on a loose rock and lost his balance momentarily; it was all that Caranthir needed. He brought the hilt of his sword down hard upon the side of Celeborn’s neck, knocking him out. 

“There, Ninglorrīn… Maglor,” he said, “no unnecessary blood spilt.” Then he turned his thought upon Elwing and took off after her.

Elwing ran as swiftly as her little feet would take her. Her mortal blood had ensured that she was larger than elf children were wont to be at her age, but she was nowhere near the girth of a mortal child. But no child, mortal or elven could have escaped the swift-footed Caranthir. All to soon Elwing found the tall, fell frame of Caranthir looming over her.

“Give me the jewel, little one.”

Elwing shock her head vigorously. “My father told me to protect it and protect it I will, even with my last breath.”

Caranthir opened his mouth to say something, but what he had planned would forever be unknown for in that moment he felt it; the death of his brothers. First it was Curufin, but moments later it was Celegorm’s fėa that he felt flee from marred Endor. Then he heard Maedhros’s voice, screaming in pain and anguish in his head, “Kill them, kill them all! Avenge the spilt blood of my brothers.”

 Caranthir turned cold, dead eyes towards the slowly backing form of Elwing. “So be it.” He raised his sword to deliver what would undoubtedly be a fatal blow.

“CARANTHIR!”

He turned to the source of the voice; a sharp jab of pain, and he looked down to find an arrow through his heart. Stunned he looked towards the archer.

“I am sorry,” came the soft reply to his questioning look, “but I could not let you slay her.”

So it was that he saw her last, the same way he had seen her first; through a haze of pain and weariness. He collapsed into her arms as she came forward, numb with pain and poison.

“I am sorry,” whispered Ninglorrīn, “I am so sorry.”

“Thank you,” said Elwing to her, “thank you, very much.”

“Go, little one, and join the others,” Ninglorrīn told her, “I wish to remain with him.” Elwing did not understand what was going on but she did what she was told.

Caranthir felt his chest constrict; it was getting so hard to breath. A multitude of emotions flew through his mind, strangely enough only one dominated a strange, black sense of humour.

Slowly, painfully, he wheezed out, “Now… we are… even my love.”

Ninglorrīn said nothing, only held him close, feeling the bit of life free from his body. She held his body close, till it disintegrated in her arms, as elvish bodies are wont to do soon after the fėa flees the hroä.

******

Translations:

Fea = soul

Hroa = body

Author’s notes: Big thanks to Andreth for beta reading. Yes elvish bodies do disintegrate really, really fast. I am not making this up, it’s from History of Middle-earth: People of Middle-earth. Here is what is actually said,

"The flesh of Dwarves is reported to have been far slower to decay or become corrupted than that of Men. (Elvish bodies robbed of their spirit quickly disintegrated and vanished.)"

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Whispering Winds

Whispering Winds

******

He trudged through the bloody cave, taking detached note of the empty armours, the bodies of the deceased elves having already vanished. He would have to arrange for the armaments to be buried, Sindar and Noldor.  It would not be right to leave them here to be plundered, the memory of their bearers desecrated.

 “Have you seen the Ambarussa?” came the voice of Maedhros from behind him.

 Maglor slowly turned to face his brother. “No, why?” A flutter of panic, the only sign he could still feel something, anything.

 “I have a task for them,” was all Maedhros said. “Come.”

 They found the twins on the surface, pricking their arms with inked needles as they came upon the armour of dead Sindar warriors. “What are you doing?” demanded Maedhros as Maglor attempted to take the needles away from them.

 “Keeping count,” they said in a voice that sounded like and unlike those of the Ambarussa.

 “What of?” cried Maglor.

 “The Sindar dead,” was the cold response.

 “Why?” wondered Maedhros.

 “To see if enough of them have fallen to make up for the lives of three sons of Fėanor.”

Maglor staggered back as the realisation hit him that he had not lost three younger brothers. He had lost all five; for these were not the Ambarussa he knew and loved. The Ambarussa were keener to wrestle with their brothers and tease them about maidens they fancied than worry about the oath, war and all such heavy matters. These were twin Avatars of vengeance made flesh with eyes perpetually burning with hate, fury and bloodlust.

 Maedhros turned back.  “Where are you going?” wondered Maglor.

 “It seems the Ambarussa are no longer suitable for the task I had in mind for them,” came Maedhros’s cryptic reply.

***

She sat by the river bank, shedding silent tears of grief and loss, remembering the brief years they had had together, walking the wild woods of the east. She wondered if he was in the Halls of Mandos or in floating in the void; whichever way, she desperately wished she was with him. A gentle breeze blew through her hair, caressing her skin, and surrounding her with the scent that tricked her senses to make her think he was near.

 “Caranthir,” she whispered into the wind, eyes closed in a vain effort to make herself believe that he was truly here.

 A touch in her mind and she heard his voice, “I am here my love.”

 Shocked, surprised, afraid and all at once happy, she cried out, “Caranthir, my love, you are with me?”

 “Always.”

 “I am sorry.”

 “Hush, none of that now; it doesn’t matter anymore… not that, not the oath, not the Silmarils, nothing. The only thing that matters is you and me,” whispered the wind into her mind.

 Tears trickled through her tightly shut eyelids. “But for how long?” she wondered.

 “Till the end of days if you let me,” came the whisper and suddenly she understood.

 “Yes, of course. Yes!”

 She could feel him smile and then she felt herself enclosed by his powerful fėa, burning bright and strong, intertwining her own, pouring into her body. She laughed, happy and whole. Slowly she opened her eyes; one of them held the light of the Two Trees.

******

Translations:

Fėa = soul

Author’s notes: Big thanks to Andreth for beta reading. Just a bit of clarification, elves obviously heal fast so Ambarussa had to tattoo the kill count on their hands. Tattooing has been around for thousands upon thousands of years and it does not need modern needles. Lastly, yes Maedhros is off to try and find Elured and Elurin. Ambarussa going insane is my explanation as to why it was Maedhros looking for the boys when Ambarussa were obviously more suitable for the task and Maedhros didn’t even take them with him.

It would be really, really nice if you would tell me what you thought of the story. Did you find it believable? Did you think the characters where in character? What did you think of the story overall? Thanks for reading! Have fun. Bye.

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