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6
To Better Oneself

6. Lake Helevorn: Greed
Celegorm, Curufin, a servant


~~~

To Better Oneself


When the servant returned with the bottle of wine Celegorm had desired from Orodreth’s cellars, he found Celegorm and Curufin sat together in the room in which the former received petitioners within his suite in Nargothrond. Celegorm was saying, “I know not where Caranthir is at this time. Probably he is still dreaming of the view of the depths of Lake Helevorn from the walls of his keep in Thargelion. Great were the lands he lost when we were driven from our holdings by the Dagor Bragollach.” He gave the servant a glance. “You may set the bottle there beside our goblets.”

With a graceful inclination of his head, the servant obeyed his master’s directive, then stepped back to wait discretely by the door for further commands—and to listen.

Curufin commented, “With Finrod taken away by his attack of nobility and honor, the way is now open for us to become all but the rulers of Nargothrond. Orodreth has no appreciation for guile, and no real experience in the ways of rule. He will not question our advice, nor that many who followed us here from Himlad already think of us as their lords. We wield great influence here. See how easily we convinced many not to follow Finrod on his fool’s quest?”

Celegorm took up the bottle, breaking the seal and removing the cork, and pouring out a measure for his brother and himself. Setting the bottle in its place once more with the cork beside it, he handed one cup to Curufin and lifted the other to his lips, sipping deliberately as he thought. At last he lowered his drink and murmured, “Indeed, it is as you say, muindor nín. Orodreth is weak enough, and easily led. None has ever given him much thought in the past, accustomed as they were to approach Finrod directly or to beg our intervention when he would most likely rule against their desires. Let Orodreth wear his crown and sit in ceremony upon the King’s seat. It shall be the two of us who in truth rule Nargothrond from this time forward.”

The servant’s lip curled in smug pleasure. If his master and his master’s brother followed through upon this plan, that made him the one all would approach in their quests to gain the ears of Lords Celegorm and Curufin. He could command much wealth should he let it be known—discretely—that he ruled access with the two sons of Fëanor who dwelt here in the halls of Orodreth.

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