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Shadow-folk
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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1
Shadow-folk

This was written for the Winter Challenge at HaldirLovers.


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Disclaimer: The setting and characters and words of Fëanor as Tolkien’s. I make no money from this.

Note: Fëanor’s words, listed in quotes, are taken directly from his speech to the Noldor in the Silmarillion.

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Newly awakened from my rest, I lie in my bed; my beloved wife nestled warmly against me still sleeps. I look at the window across the room, yet there is no discernable difference in the illumination outside between the time I fell asleep and now. There is no waxing or waning of the Trees to mark the passage of time. Now we watch the position of the stars to tell us when a day has passed. How appropriate that the Eldar – the People of the Stars – have returned to them for guidance as when we first awoke in Cuiviénen.

How ironic now seem your powerful words, my demented half-brother, when you deceived our people into leaving Aman.

“Here once was light that the Valar begrudged Middle-earth, but now dark levels all,” you declared to us.

Indeed, half-brother, it is dark here in Aman, but it is dark in Middle-earth, too. Our darkness here in Aman is merely an absence of light. But the darkness that our people will find in Middle-earth will be an absence of grace as well, for they have cut themselves off from the Valar. I cannot imagine living in such a darkness of the fëa to match a dimness of the sky.

“Shall we mourn here deedless forever, a shadow-folk, mist-haunting, dropping vain tears in the thankless sea?”

And, Fëanor, such deeds you and your folk have done, driving people from their homes, slaying those in Alqualondë who refused to join or aid you, traveling into the cold of the North to be cursed by the Valar themselves. Are not those who continued on with you now haunted by shadows of the guilt of their unjustly bloodied hands and the cries of the Teleri bereft of their mariners?

I wept with the Teleri, my wife’s kin, my friends. Some of the Teleri did actually thank the sea, for many of the Noldor who stole their ships were drowned when Uinen raised the waters against them. But, many others of the Noldor wept with me for the deeds done in the kin-slaying. Not all of our people are compassionless and cruel like you, Fëanor. Every Noldo who walks in Arda will be haunted by the ill deeds you and others of our kin have committed.

My brother, what has your lust for vengeance for our father’s death cost us? Why did you add to the darkness you yourself have cursed? Why?

“Or shall we return to our home? In Cuiviénen sweet ran the waters under unclouded stars, and wide lands lay about, where a free people might walk. There they lay still and await us who in our folly forsook them. Come away! Let the cowards keep this city.”

Fëanor, I did return to my home. I have sought pardon from the Great Ones who have blessed our lives here in Aman. We are free here to walk under unclouded stars, the same stars under which you shall walk in Middle-earth. But one thing you have not considered, my brother: Morgoth has left us alone in Aman freed from his evil. He is in Middle-earth, in the same lands as you probably are right now.

You seek vengeance for our father’s death, but attacking Morgoth is not the way to achieve it. You will never win against him in strength of arms. You have doomed all who have followed you, including your children and mine, and our brother and his children. I believe that remaining here in Aman and continuing with life blessed by the grace Morgoth strove so hard to steal from us is the best way to avenge our father.

Father trained you to succeed him one day if the need arose. He never trained me. He was so proud of you and what you could do. I was merely the second son of his second wife, the son who never sought glory or attention or approval as you and Nolofinwë did.

And yet...

In a few hours time, I will rise and go forth to face a vocation for which I have not been prepared. With only my wisdom and faith in the Valar to light my way in the darkness of the unknown, I will assume the throne of the Noldor.

I will be crowned King.

It will be my task to make reparations with our former friends and neighbors – the Vanyar and the Teleri who look with horror and revulsion upon the Noldor who remain because of the deeds you have done. I must determine who will become the chieftains of the Houses of the Noldor that are now bereft of their lords. It is up to me to sort out what skilled laborers remain and how to go about training new, for so many of our craftsmen left with you. I have to decide what is to become of the Noldorin children who were orphaned when their parents were slain by the Teleri.

My brother, you called me a coward when I chose to forsake the march and return to fair Tirion. It was easier for you to run away from responsibility and hide in another land. But I think that I and those who remain behind are the ones with the real courage, for we must rebuild what you have destroyed in your vanity and pride.

Shadow-folk indeed.

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