Silmarillion Writers' Guild Cuivienen

Excerpt from "Bright Are the Stars upon the Margin of the World"

by Kenaz

First came the spark, the spiraling current that roused him and called him forth from the lightless depths of not-yet-being. He awoke in deepest gloaming, and found that he Was; he possessed a body, tall and lean, with hands to grasp, and legs to shore him up upon the ground, and eyes to see and ears to hear. But most profound of Ilúvatar's gifts was the mind, for as the blood quickened in his veins and he took in all that was about him, there was understanding: to know without being taught that he might rise and then walk and then run; to know without being told that these were eyes and this a hand and that a mouth. And great was his wonder.

All around him, silent beings stood like sentinels, waiting with the patience of the ancient and the steadfast, great in strength and pride, and these, he knew, were trees. They stretched up bountiful arms in welcome and bade him come and walk among them.

And so, he walked.

The laughter of wind in wood was the first sound he knew. It filled his heart. This, he thought, was joy, and he embraced it. His own laughter became like to that sound: a gamboling breeze caught and held by leaves and buffeted against branches. He learned the deep and resonant hum of the oaks whose sap rose steadily and slow. He learned to listen for the whispers of the birch trees, slender and pale, who shared tidings of the day amongst themselves. He learned to seek water to slake his thirst by following the dancing fronds of the willow. And when he was smitten with pangs, he thought: this must be hunger, and he found that the trees held many fruits that they willingly shared.

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Excerpt from "Cuivienen"

by Silver Trails

The three people that lived in Cuivienen had gone out together in search of their lost offspring. They had trusted in the strength of their number, but the Shadows had been too powerful for them. They had taken Finwë’s parents, and they had taken Ingwë’s father too. Ingwë’s mother had lain down in pain, and never moved again until one day she had woken and left Cuivienen forever.

Finwë had not yet been of age when this happened, but he had learned to lead his people by taking counsel from the elders and from Ingwë. The golden-haired quendi was older and more versed than Finwë in matters of leadership, as he had been already helping his father when the children had been taken. Only Elwë’s parents had survived, and they had started to train their son so he could take their place if it was ever needed.

Both Elwë and Ingwë were Finwë’s dear friends, but the love he felt for the golden-haired quendi was of a different nature. Elwë was his comrade, and his partner in mischief, but the feelings Finwë had for Ingwë were those a quendi had for his mate.

These feelings were unlawful, as mating should be done between male and female in order to bear offspring. Finwë knew it well, and he had tried to rip these feelings from his heart, afraid that his father would notice, and forbid him to see Ingwë. It had been in vain. His mother had noticed, and she had promised to keep the secret if Finwë didn’t act on these unlawful feelings. She had kissed his forehead and said that she understood, but that it was not the way of their people.

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Excerpt from "Hands and Voices"

by Dawn Felagund

We were given hands and voices by The One so that, with them, we could create beauty. Or so we were told by Ingwë, who sat at the head of the fire and told us these things.

Hands and voices: each of us given two of the first and one of the second for making beauty. One I'd been given, great and exquisite, but the other two I seemed to lack. I had hands, of course, but what came of them was not beautiful. Others crushed berries and dabbed patterns upon surfaces of rock. Or they squeezed clay dug up from the riverbanks into shapes like Quendi and gave both as gifts.

Ingwë told us that The One had built us of the sand beside the lake, upon which we'd awoken. That is why our eyes sparkled in the starlight and why our skin was soft and supple, not coarse like the pelts of the beasts that prowled just outside the circle of our firelight. That is also why we were strong, he said, for one could not crush sand in his teeth, and the cleverer among us had even begun to rub it on rocks to shape them in new ways.

I was not skilled enough for that.

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Excerpt from "Hearts Like the Sea"

by IgnobleBard

Elwë helped Nowê place the wood upon the table then went to the shelves and began to peruse the curious carvings.

"Did you make all these?" he asked.

"Yes, they represent my experiments with the bay's currents and wind."

"What sort of experiments?"

Nowê hesitated self-consciously then shrugged. "Call it folly, but I believe we may acquire the ability to travel upon the sea in vessels such as these one day."

"Travel upon the sea?" Elwë asked, excited by the thought. "How is that possible? Would not the weight of an elf cause such a vessel to sink? And what of the waves, would they not be more powerful further from the shore?"

"That is why I have been experimenting. With each design I learn something new that inspires a change or modification."

Elwë nodded. "I can see the progression of them." He pointed to the top shelf. "Here are your early designs," his hand trailed down, "and these are your most recent."

"You have a good eye. The one your hand rests upon is the one I finished twelve waking times past."

"It is truly beautiful, like nothing I have ever seen. Where do you test them?"

"In the bay. I am planning to test a new vessel early tomorrow. Would you care to join me?"

"It would give me great pleasure, Nowê."

Elwë left, his thoughts on Nowê's carvings and the anticipation of seeing the small carved vessel navigate the waves of the bay. All through the working time and singing time his thoughts turned to the elf whose acquaintance he had never cultivated until today. As one of the Unbegotten, Nowê had no family, and it was rumored his wife had drowned in the very waters the Lindai had loved from their earliest memories.

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Excerpt from "Starlit Sky"

by Silver Trails

Once the elders were gone, Ingwë left the audience chamber and headed to his quarters. He needed to be alone and try to compose himself before someone realized that he was not feeling well. Could a quendi fall sick because of matters of the heart? He hoped not, or his sacrifice would have been in vain.

Ingwë let himself fall on his bed and soon he was deeply asleep. His dreams were plagued with nightmares. The dreams would start with him telling Finwë about his feelings, and taking the dark-haired quendi to their secret place. They would make love, and promise to stay together, but the next moment they would be found by the elders of both settlements. They would be stripped from their leadership, and condemned to never leave their respective settlements again. Ingwë’s sister would leave his side to never come back, and Elwë would despise him forever.

The nightmares went on and on, in different versions, until Ingwë finally managed to wake up. He felt nauseous, and trembled badly, his body bathed in sweat. Still trembling, Ingwë buried his face in his hands and stayed like that for a long while, only leaving the bed when he was calmer. He bathed and changed clothes, and was about to leave his rooms when there was a knock at the door.

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