A Different Point of View
Hardly would I have known him had not Master’s brother supported him, Grandfather’s first Master’s brother, The Singer. Oh, I knew he had a name amongst the people, but we do not use such, for it is considered rude. And one of my lineage is never rude, it is like us being loyal and faithful, impossible to forget such for they so part of our being.
He looked ill, The Singer, his body thin and wounded, his clothes but rags and tatters. His long glossy hair was ragged and dull and…those of his kind do not fall ill! Vaguely he recognised me, and whispered my name in a harsh cracked voice, and then, then I saw his eyes! They were filled with horror, sorrow, grief and madness! Madness... the worst of all illnesses.
Yet I went to him at my Master’s beckoning; went and sat by this once mighty person, and tried in my own way to comfort him. He’d had a long journey to the land of Numenor, ruled by my Master, and appeared to be exhausted by it. He laid his hand upon my head, and said again, in a harsh voice, ‘He is gone, I failed him!’ and he began to talk to his other brothers, long dead. ‘Hush now,’ soothed Master’s brother, ‘we know what happened. You are here to be healed, Father, in this new land.’ And The Singer wept.
For a long time, The Singer lived with us on this beautiful new place. The Island was large, and held everything that could be wanted, but The Singer could find no peace. Often, I escorted him on his long lonely walks, and in time his hands and his mind began to heal. It was then he raged at my Master for choosing mortality, and for Master’s brother for going back to Middle-earth. Master ignored the raging, and asked for help in naming his first born child. The Singer wept again at this, but when he dried his eyes the last of the madness was gone, and he kissed my Master and thanked him for aid.
Master’s brother arrived as if he’d somehow known The Singer was well again; perhaps he did for many elves could communicate solely through their minds alone. So we went, to a place near the dockyards, a place of orange tree groves and sweet scented flowers planted by the Fair Ones from the West; the ones The Singer hid from in shame, but today we were alone there, me, my Master, Master’s brother and The Singer.
‘No Oaths I swear this day, my brother,’ said Master’s brother, quite gently, ‘yet in honour of your people, and what you did for Father, I promise that I shall always be of aid to the King of Numenor, and his kin, and all faithful to battling any remaining evil in our lands.’
My Master looked surprised, but replied, ‘and I in turn, brother, shall remember that promise, and honour you and your kin all my life, and leave instructions for my descendants to remember this too.’
The Singer spoke quietly, ‘I must leave you, Elros, and go with Elrond back to Middle-earth. Fear not to see me again err your end, for I shall return here. I shall not dwell amongst Elf or Mortal again, I shall wander the shores and wilderness, but I shall need to reprovision and report my findings!’ He took each of the others by the hand, ‘I promise to you both to always honour your kin, mortal or elf, and aid in any way I can you and your descendants.’
Now seemed the moment to me, for like Grandfather Huan, I had the chance to speak once or twice in my lifetime, and now I took the chance. ‘To you all, and most especially my Master, I promise to be loyal, faithful and true, and to serve you and your kin until the end of my days.’
‘Spoken like true grandson of Huan! Be careful though, Vorne, that like Huan you are not forced to change allegiance, as he was forced to leave my brother for Luthien,’ answered The Singer. ‘Though maybe not, for I think I did a good and fair thing when I gifted you to Elros when you both very young and clumsy!’
The people laughed, and I, I wagged my tail till I thought it would come off! The Singer was healed, Master and his brother were happy with me, and all was well in my world. For many years, at least, until my Master left his mortal life. His brother and The Singer had been but days before to see him, and they left, saddened. I, when the time came, took up my post at the side of the new King of Numenor.
More years passed, and I lived on with the long long lifespan of my kind. My Master of the time sent a fleet of ships full of warriors to aid the Elven King, and they overthrew the Evil One and all but caught him! Alas that they did not, for my tale would be different in it’s telling.
Again, many years passed, and from Mordor arose the Evil One again. Many were the long councils my latest Master presided over, on what to do. From Middle-earth came my old Master’s brother, the Elven King and The Singer! Delighted, I greeted my old friends, and in my joy did not listen to the words exchanged as perhaps I should have. Who know if I might not have learned something that would have saved me and our land from a later Master’s follies! Ah, but that is the failing of we hounds, we do not see the future as the people do. Alas that later I did not recognise the Evil One as I should have.
After long council, my Master agreed to lend forces to aid the elves of Middle-earth in their attempt to defeat the Evil One. I heard about Rings, and betrayal, and many evil things, but all that really mattered to me was this Evil was defeated. And he was defeated, and very nearly captured too! This if any, was the mistake made by my Master and the Elves: that they did not pursue their advantage to the Evil Ones utter ruin. But I say too much; and in time the people knew their error.
More time flew by, and again war come to the peaceful Isle I dwelt on. This time the Evil One was attacking the peaceful settlements of Master’s people on the shores of Middle-earth, and Master struck back. He took an enormous force of warriors to Middle-earth, so enormous that the Evil One’s own forces refused to fight, and fled. My Master took the Evil One and brought him home to our Island, our lush paradise, and nothing was ever the same again.
Terrible, great evil was visited upon the land. My poor Mistress, Master’s wife had already been forced to surrender her Queenship to his rule, to make him King as he had forced her to marry him. But worse, much worse came.
The Evil One forced his will on Master. Oh, not openly, not clearly, but he did. Often, I would growl at the Evil One and stand between him and Mistress, and in those moods even he, the one who brought darkness to our fair land withstood me not. He had not been able to subdue Grandfather Huan to his will, and nor could he me. The closest he came to destroying me, or trying to, was a suggestion that I too should be sacrificed on the alter dedicated to Morgoth as so many others had. Master rejected the idea, stating I was completely loyal to him and his bloodline…this was not quite true as I had already shifted my first and true loyalties to my Mistress, the true ruler of Numenor.
For that was the real horror. The Evil One and Master made the people turn from the true reverence of the Valar and The One and turn to worship of Evil. Of Morgoth, and his servant, Sauron, the Evil One I speak of. I shudder at his name, but I must endure it this once. Men, women, and beasts, and worst of all, innocent children were dragged to the altar and there, their bodies were slit open and their lives sacrificed to the Evil.
Anyone who questioned this practise or the possibly worse one of bringing people captured from the shores of Middle-earth to our land as slaves, anyone who questioned anything, even the price of bread, ended up on the altar. I held my peace purely because of my belief that one day this would end, somehow, and I would be able to once again serve the Kings of Numenor in peace.
Things grew steadily worse. The Faithful accorded Mistress the title of ruler in accordance with their beliefs. They had welcomed the Elves until those people had refused to come, and now they prepared to flee the Island, as the leader of the Faithful had suggested might happen. I must now mention names, or you will get confused. The Leader of the Faithful was Amandil, who with three servants set sail for Valinor to beg forgiveness as Earendil had once done. He was never heard of again, but left instructions for his son Elendil to lead the Faithful and to prepare a fleet of ships to take the Faithful to Middle-earth at need.
You see, my Mistress was in communication with the Faithful against Master’s and the Evil One’s express wishes, thus I knew what was happening. At that meeting, I spoke for the second time and agreed that a fleet must be prepared, and warned Amandil against his journey.
‘It will avail you not,’ I said, and he nodded and agreed. ‘Yet, I must try!’
I then turned to Mistress and told her she must try to stay Master’s hand for he had a sinister idea, no doubt planted at the Evil One’s doing. He was starting to think of invading Valinor itself! ‘No, no, my lady,’ pleaded both Amandil and Elendil, ‘you must not endanger yourself.’ Mistress finally agreed to their pleading and I remained silent.
Several years passed. Both the invasion fleet and that of the Faithful grew towards completion. Then, unlooked for from Middle-earth at night, and in disguise, came The Singer. He came from my first Master’s brother, concerned and worried for Numenor. Mistress and he spoke long into the night.
‘He is gone mad, Maglor, quite quite mad! He speaks of invading Valinor, of subjecting the Valar themselves to his whim!’
The Singer turned from the window he gazed out of. ‘That is truly madness. The Valar cannot be subdued or forced to the will of any of the Children, mortal or immortal. This plan will never succeed and can only end in disaster. Lady, take yourself to the ships of the Faithful, flee with them if your husband launches this venture!’
‘I cannot, I owe it to the people to stay. So many believe the lies that if mortals set foot on Valinor they will become immortal, I need to be here, to hold the minds of the people together.’
The Singer now said some very rude Quenya words. ‘That cannot be, only if the Valar intercede with The One can such happen, as it did for Luthien, and maybe for Tuor. I see darkness falling on Numenor…fair lady flee while you can!’
Once again my Mistress refused, shaking her head. ‘But you, Maglor, you must flee least you be discovered. I fear you would put to death on that vile altar, as I have heard whispers some others of your fair kind have been.’
The Singer went white as new snow, all the colour fading from him. ‘I had heard that whisper, and Elrond too, and we prayed it was not true! Ah, the suffering of Numenor will deep for this, for the Valar love the Firstborn best of all.’
‘I know not if it is true, yet I fear it may be so,’ answered Mistress. ‘Perhaps it is why the Elves no longer come here, I know not. All I know is you must flee, I would not see the Mighty Singer come to such an evil end.’
‘I cannot leave you, I must not. You are not safe here with all this evil around.’
At this point I saw what the two people could not. They would argue endlessly for days, neither convincing the other, while precious time was wasted. A hound has better sense than that, so for the third time I spoke. ‘Fear not, oh Singer for my Mistress’s safety. Only her husband, my Master, would openly harm her, and that I shall not allow. Once the fleet has departed for Valinor, the natural affection the people of this land have for my Mistress, she who should be Queen, will protect her. I shall accompany the invasion fleet, and try to prevent the Valar’s wrath falling too strongly upon the innocent. Mistress can flee with the other Faithful when the time is right, for she is right, you need to get back to Middle-earth and tell the Master of Rivendell your tidings.’
Both Mistress and The Singer stared. Then shared a whispered conversation, finally concurring with my suggestion. ‘The Wrath of the Valar will fall on you too, Vorne,’ reminded The Singer. ‘So be it,’ I replied, sure he was right.
A few weeks later the fleet sailed for Valinor. The journey was pleasant, if the men were grim and their expressions forbidding. I doubted many believed their mad King’s idea, but went with him out of curiosity or misguided loyalty. The air was sweet, the water and waves and winds set our sails fair for Valinor, and I spent my time sunning myself, planning speeches to Manwe and watching the men fish.
Then came the Fateful day we saw the white shoreline, and soon, as had Earendil, drew up upon it. No one walked the clear white sands, no children played in the waves, and no other ships save others floated on the waters. The place was deserted; I could smell no one, and over all hung a deep brooding calm like before a bad storm breaks. Master leapt from his ship, determined to be first on shore, and I, I leaped with him.
The men followed and we set up camp for the night. It was peaceful and beautiful, but my hound’s senses told me it could not last, and that, though the Men knew it not, we were being watched. Finally, well into second watch, I slept, and woke in the bright morning sunshine to a frightening sight. All the Men were in a deep deep sleep and could not be wakened! Panicked, I howled like a scared pup, and I received an answer.
‘Cease that racket, Hound. I am Eonwe, Herald of the Valar, and I am to take you to Manwe. He wishes to question you ere he destroys these foolish mortals.’
Eagerly, I sprang to Eonwe’s side, to show my obedience to the order. In a trice, we were somehow in front of Lord Manwe and I sank trembling to the ground. ‘Speak you, Hound, Vorne, grandson of Huan.’
So I did, I spoke at length of the fact many people in both the invasion fleet and on Numenor were innocent of anything save fear, or obedience. And obedience, being a hound, I cannot fault in anyone.
I spoke for a long time, scarcely aware of the other Valar gathered around; I seemed to see only Manwe. The Valar conferred, and their decision was made. I would be dealt with later, the great invasion fleet and it’s men would sleep until the end of Arda, and Manwe then renounced his governance of the world back unto The One. And the world was remade…
Valinor was hidden, and now few can find it. Much of Beleriand was sunk, and Numenor, the fairest Island that ever was, was totally destroyed. I lay mourning the Faithful when Manwe announced they had been saved! Praise be to The One, for the ships of the Faithful had made safe landfall on the new shoreline of Middle-earth.
‘My Mistress?’ I asked
‘Ah, faithful hound who asks first for those he is loyal to. Your Mistress sought high ground too late, and was borne off by a tremendous wave.’
Stunned, I howled again, this time in misery; for I had been sure Mistress would have been on a ship of the Faithful. ‘Quiet, little hound,’ murmured Orome, ‘for thy fate is yet to be discovered.’
I strove to silence my unhappiness. Manwe again spoke, ‘for his loyalty, for his selflessness, this hound’s fate is such: he is to sleep in Irmo’s gardens until the end of Arda. Then he shall have a great task ahead of him. Take him now, Irmo, and guard well his rest, and see to it that his companions in slumber are to his liking.’
Well, I mused, it could be worse. Sleeping, I could dream of Mistress, and all my Masters and be happy. So I followed Irmo, and again, considering the size of Valinor, was very soon in Irmo’s beautiful gardens of Lothlorien. The place was gorgeous, and many resting figures reclined there, sleeping in beds of flowers. Then…surely not! Mistress! How came she there?
Irmo laughed, and explained as I rushed to her side, licking her face and hands. ‘The wave sought not to drown your mistress; she was borne here on it’s crest, and now she too sleeps until the end of Arda. As loyal as you, she pled for you, and now you may sleep with her.’
Tail wagging happily, I snuggled up to my beloved Mistress, and suddenly felt very very sleepy…
Author’s Notes: I know that my idea of Maglor’s fate is not exactly cannon, nor is the idea that Huan had a grandson. Nowhere does it say that Huan was not popular with the lady dogs so he could have had a few puppies and grand puppies running around. Not canon either is that Tar Muriel survived the Fall of Numenor, but I’ve often wondered about that big wave at just the right instant. Perhaps she could have been carried off to the shores of Valinor, or Middle-earth or maybe nowhere at all.
To me, Huan is a bloodhound. A big goofy, loyal, tough, brave bloodhound. Thus is Vorne also a bloodhound, to me. Huan’s loyalty and commonsense are just so bloodhound that I can’t see him as anything else. Hope you liked the story!