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5
' Fading Embers ' by Raksha-the-Demon

I waited on the shores of the Great Sea. I had waited for nearly six hundred years, since my husband and sons left in haste, their hands and footsteps stained with the blood of our kin. FŽanor had doomed them all with that terrible Oath sworn out of prideful spite.
Once, I had shared his pride. The Spirit of Fire was given to the creation of jewels ever finer, ever more brilliant. I loved the forge as well, the making of things both beautiful and useful.
FŽanor and I forged seven jewels, fairer than any Silmaril: Maitimo, MakalaurŽ, Curufinwe, Tyelkormo, Carnistir, Ambarussa and Umbarto. Our sons were created in love, carried in my willing body, borne in pain and pride. No other Elf ever had so many sons, all of them brave and gifted.
I turned from my husband, angered by the strife he had willfully sown with his kin. And then he called, and my sons followed him; into danger, into bloodshed, into the dark wilderness of Middle-earth.
While I waited on these peaceful shores, my husband had been slain. Then one, two, three, four and five of our sons had followed him. Their spirits wandered the Halls of Mandos, I had been told. But my love for the two who still lived blazed within me like a hearth-fire.
Finally, the Valar sent forth help to the Noldor in their need. Hope flared anew in my heart. Surely the Valar would relent and let the Exiles come home, if Morgoth were vanquished! How I yearned to see Maitimo and MakalaurŽ again. No matter what fell deeds they had done, and they had done many, they were my sons and I loved them.
I waited and watched as the ships returned. I saw those who had gone recently to fight, and those who had followed FŽanor so long ago. There were faces I knew, and faces I barely remembered, but not the faces I longed to see. They spoke of my childrenĎs fate. Maitimo had despaired and died by his own will, bearing his fatherís cursed jewel into the earth. MakalaurŽ had thrown the other Silmaril into the waves and fled, singing songs of sorrow, to wander the shores of Middle-earth, far across this pitiless sea.
I remove my necklace. It was one of FŽanorís simplest pieces, but a favorite of mine; a chain of white gold upon which lay seven white opals streaked with blue and silver fires. I unlock the clasp, then slowly take off each perfect stone and throw it far out into the darkening waters. One for each baby, sleeping safe in my arms. One for each young prince, standing tall beside his father. Pledges of love.
It has been perhaps an hour since I heard the news, yet it seems as if six hundred more years have passed. Above me, Anar sinks below the mountains in a blaze of red and gold. The light is going, the fire is quenched, and all love is gone.

~~~

Authorís Notes:

The first gems that FŽanor made were white and colourless, but being set under starlight they would blaze with blue and silver fires brighter than Helluin - The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Christopher Tolkien. (I thought they might be some kind of opal)
The names by which Nerdanel refers to her seven sons are their mother-names. If I got them wrong, I invite Silmarillion and Quenya aficionados to correct my mistakes.


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