Like blood and fire

The sins of the fathers

The mountains west of the sea of Rhûn.

She had fled back to her cave, confused and frightened. There were strange images in her head, images she could not explain, not in her current state of mind. The pull was there still, strong and undeniable and so very new to her. She hadn’t known what to do, she tried to rest but there was no such thing as rest to be found. She just wandered around in the small cave, chewing on her fingernails, trying to make sense of it all. She had to go back, she had to see him again, before he left. There was a terrible fear in her now, what if he was gone when she returned? The very idea made her shiver. She needed him but she didn’t know why or how she knew this. She shivered and slowly her feet started bringing her back towards the river and the glen where the three riders had put up camp.

It took her quite a while to get there for she felt as though she was torn in two, a part of her feared them and didn’t want to go and the other part was eager to see him once more. She didn’t walk a straight path, sometimes she almost turned around and ran back and she was circling the area many times and for every round the circle got a little bit smaller. Finally she saw them, they were still there and she breathed a sigh of relief, why she didn’t know. She was creeping closer, hid underneath the dense bushes, used every small rock or tree for cover. Her nose shivered and she stared at him with huge eyes. Why did she feel this attraction? She had no idea! She got as close as she could without being seen and lay there mesmerized by the sight, her eyes were glowing with a mix of fear and awe.

Glorfindel could sense her, she was close but he would let her come to him, if he tried to go to her she would bolt and flee again. The twins had sat down on the other side of the small camp fire. They had been ordered not to move if she appeared and they would most certainly obey. He saw that Elladan was very curious but also a bit nervous, his brother acted more as if he was very fascinated and Glorfindel knew that he was far more fond of books and lore than his brother. He probably knew more about the things that had happened in the first age than his brother.

The sun was heading back towards the horizon and he guessed that she would make her move soon, before the night fell. He had prepared well, he had a wineskin close by and he had added some herbs to the wine that made you sleepy but nothing more than that. He had no idea of whether or not he would be able to make her drink anything but he would try. He didn’t want to see her run off again. He had to solve this puzzle, he was deeply fascinated by it and also a bit shocked. They had not heard of anyone having had a relationship with Maedhros, he had never married and rumors flew just as fast back then as they did now. If he had taken a mistress everybody would have known. This was really a mystery.

As the sun sank and the skies were colored by its reddening light he saw movement in one of the dense juniper bushes close by, he cringed. The bush was rather huge and its branches filled with needles, it had to be uncomfortable to say the least.

He just sat there, motionless and he felt his heart beat in a rather fast rhythm, this was a bit exciting. He had no idea of what he could expect. He had removed his tunic and sat with his upper body bare, to distract but also to provide her with nothing to hold onto if she turned out to be hostile, he had also braided his hair into one long braid and he had a knife in his belt. He only moved his eyes and then she slowly emerged from the bush, on her hands and knees, crawling like some animal. The eyes were wide open, nervous and frightened but filled with such curiosity and wonder and a sort of hunger he didn’t quite understand, at least not at the moment.

He didn’t meet her gaze, stared down but kept an eye on her from the corner of his eyes. She crept closer, very slowly, even the smallest movement or sound made her jerk and freeze like a kid playing some game.

The twins saw her by now, they didn’t move and they didn’t make a sound, Glorfindel saw that their eyes were wide open in shock. She was even stranger to look at so close, so thin and so marred by a life that had to be very hard. He saw scars and what had to be flea bites and he cringed internally. Of course she had fleas, and probably lice too. She smelled of forest and he started to realize that she had been reduced to a state where she was just an animal. There were no words in those huge grey eyes, just emotions, raw and unshielded. She could not pretend to be anyone or anything she wasn’t, for she would not know what it was to lie or play games.

Glorfindel wondered if she knew who she was, if she had any idea of what her past held? She had to have come there from somewhere? Was there a way to find out about her path up to the now? She stared at the small fire, panted with a terrible mix of confused emotions. She didn’t dare get any closer and yet she had to, she took one small step closer, then yet another one and the entire body shuddered. Glorfindel kept his eyes to the ground, she acted like an animal and to most animals direct eye contact is a threat. She didn’t stare at his face either, her nose shivered and she did indeed remind him of an animal of some kind. Perhaps she was insane? Someone abandoned by her caretakers, too far gone to be saved? Her father had been more or less insane at the end, could that be the reason why she was there?

She stared at the male and felt his scent, it was warm and musky and it made her feel that strange longing yet again. She was so afraid, so terribly afraid but it was stronger than her fear, she got closer and felt the heat from the fire against her skin now. She was afraid of fire, had witnessed terrible forest fires when both trees and animals had perished, the fire burned you, it hurt you but it obviously served these creatures. She saw the two dark haired males, they sat there and they looked benign enough, they didn’t stare or move and so she decided to forget about them. She was so close to the tall male now that she could touch his long leg and she whimpered and didn’t know what to do. How did she show him what she felt? She was so confused, so afraid. He was so huge, so obviously strong and she knew somehow that she didn’t stand a chance against someone like that if he became hostile. She kept her head bowed, one step forth, two. She was mere inches away from him now and Glorfindel looked away, this was like introducing yourself to a nervous dog. She leaned forth, the strange hunger within so terribly strong and she was sweating as she sniffed his skin.

Glorfindel felt her warm breath against his skin and it tickled but he didn’t move a muscle. He could smell her too, she didn’t smell quite right, she was malnourished and weak and she probably had parasites too. But he did smell one thing more than that, she was absolutely female and she was aroused. It almost made him loose his calm, make a move. She wanted him, like an animal wants a mate when the season is right for it, but that was not the way it was supposed to be and he didn’t want to sleep with her. She was so thin, and he saw lice in her hair and she should not be dictated by some animalistic need but make such choices from her heart and not like this.

She made mewling sound, sat on her haunches right in front of him and he didn’t want to startle her, she tilted her head and her eyes were pleading. He took a deep breath, whispered softly. “Hello there? Do you speak?”

She jolted, pulled back with huge eyes but she didn’t flee, she just sat there, looking confused. There was an emptiness in her eyes and he began to fear that she maybe was retarded somehow, He had never heard of a retarded elf but perhaps she had suffered some injury in the past? She almost growled, then she got closer again, eyes flickering and breath uneven and shallow. She was so fearful, he could smell it and by the Valar how he did pity her. How was he to reach her? He whispered again. “Speech, do you know how to speak?”

She tilted her head again, those sounds were so strange and yet she knew she had heard such sounds before, when? She tried to make her lips move like his had done but all she managed to produce was a slight hiss.

Glorfindel sighed. ”No, you do not know how to speak do you? Have you forgotten or have you been unable to do it your whole life I wonder?”

She flinched when hearing those sounds but nothing dangerous happened and she got bolder, he didn’t move and she was getting curious too. Slowly she reached out and touched the thick braid of golden hair, if felt so soft against her skin, like the fur of some fluffy little animal and she let it slide through her hand and tried to nuzzle it, like she would her animal friends when they spent the cold winter in the cave. Glorfindel was rather wide eyed by now, she was acting like a child, her curiosity so obvious. Had she never encountered her own race before?!

When the male didn’t react to her touching him she got even bolder. She bit her lower lip and prodded his shoulder with a finger, it was hard and warm and she let out a small gasp and her finger touched the tip of his nose and then the tip of his right ear. That made him wince, his ears were ultra-sensitive as on all elves and it felt a bit weird. She realized that she had done something wrong when he moved and whimpered, afraid that she had ruined her chance. She looked like a dog the owner has kicked and she cowered before him. The terror in her eyes was just a bit too much and he made a grimace. “I should not touch you, you might believe that I am encouraging you but I can’t just sit here watching you sit there like that.”

He slowly raised an arm and het his fingers slide along her cheek, very softly and gently and she whimpered and closed her eyes but she didn’t pull back. She was so confused, did he like her then? How did she convince him of her fitness and strength? How did she show him that she was a female it would be wise to mate with? She got desperate and tried to act like the animals she had seen, she rolled onto her back, wriggled herself, got up and imitated a pair of cranes she had once seen with calls and everything and Glorfindel had never seen anything that peculiar or bizarre ever! It was rather obvious that she wanted him to mount her and he would have laughed his guts out if this hadn’t been so tragic. She gave her all, tried in every way thinkable to show him she was elegant and fit and strong, he didn’t seem to react at all and she just sat down in front of him, sighing. There was despair in her eyes and he felt sorry for her. She was beautiful in her own way, with more flesh on her bones he was sure she was stunning and he wouldn’t have hesitated a second if a sane elleth looking like her came to him looking for a good time.

He reached out again, touched the matted tangled hair that looked like felt. “I am sorry pretty one, I would be taking advantage of you if I did what you want of me, it wouldn’t be right, not for any of us..”

She scoffed and tried a last desperate attempt, she spun around on all four and he suddenly had her shapely although painfully skinny derriere right in front of him. She was ready, there was no doubt about it and she whimpered like a puppy that has been whipped. She was suffering and he groaned and swore. “Alright then, I may offer you some comfort and perhaps end your misery too but I will not fuck you, no way. Although, I doubt you understand what I am saying.”

He laid a hand on her ass and the skin was soft and warm and she did freeze up, then she turned her head and her eyes were wide with shock and a desperate hope. The twins sat there with eyes that had gotten very huge indeed and he threw them a rather cold glare. They got pale and started staring down at their own feet instead. He got affected by what he saw, he wouldn’t have been male if he hadn’t but he kept himself under strict control. He wasn’t going to do anything stupid.

She could barely believe it, he touched her! She just surrendered, hoping that the hungry sensation would be gone whence he had done it. She had seen how the animals did it and they rarely did it more than once and then they didn’t care for that sort of activities again for at least a year. She was ready, she just hoped that it wouldn’t hurt or anything but the animals didn’t act as though there was pain involved even though it looked a bit brutal at times, in fact they almost appeared to be liking it.

Glorfindel sighed and shook his head in disbelief, of all the things he had done. He let his hand slide up the inside of a very thin thigh and his fingers found slick wetness where her legs met, she let out a strange sound, a sort of hoarse gasp and she started to tremble. Poor thing, she was obviously a stranger to also this kind of emotions. She stood there on all four in front of him swaying her back and being the very picture of erotic need and wantonness. She had no idea of how arousing that was but he wasn’t going to give in.

Instead he started caressing her with his hand and he had no problems finding her most sensitive spot and he let his thumb play with it while he slowly let two fingers enter her wet tight opening. She had closed her eyes, her mouth open and she was making some exquisite sounds of pure pleasure. She was in fact rocking herself back and forth against him and he grinned, he could hear her heavy breathing and her heartbeat was fast and hard too.

She had never felt anything like that, it was so good, no, it was more than good. It was all consuming and so strong it took all of her control away from her, she wanted to scream in sheer joy but she had long ago got used to never make much noise. She had had no idea that her body could produce such feelings and why hadn’t she sought some male to mate with before? The touches were like fire but such a delicious flame it was, she wanted more of it, oh so much more. He was just using his hand and not those male parts of him but she didn’t care, all she needed was for him to continue touching her like that.

Glorfindel was rather certain that she was a virgin, she was too tight to have had real sex before and the discovery sort of shocked him. She was rather old even among elves and still untouched? That was strange indeed and he was more eager than ever to solve the mystery of her life and existence. He increased the speed of his hand and she arched, so wet it was dribbling down her legs and then she screamed and trembled violently in what had to be her first release in a long time if not ever. He held her tightly, allowed her to calm down in his arms and she just lay there, panting and gasping and her eyes were wide with shock and glazed with pleasure. He touched her chin gently. “Now, that felt good didn’t it? You needed that badly, so what am I to do now?”

He gently lifted her and she was shivering still, probably from the physical contact but she didn’t try to resist him and he made her sit up leaning back against his strong body. She was trembling and he felt how her thin body probably had no reserves whatsoever. He wondered how she survived the winters. He opened a pack of Lembas bread and held a piece in front of her mouth, she sniffed it with suspicion and looked confused. He took a small bite and she tilted her head and stared at the bread with a strange expression. “Try it, it won’t bite you”

It was such a strange thing to say but he didn’t come up with anything else. She swallowed and nibbled at the piece, then she almost bit his finger as she desperately tried to get all of it at once. “Whoa there, hungry are we?”

He broke of a new piece, rather large and she grasped it with her hand and started stuffing her face desperately. He felt his heart drop in his chest, gods, she was so hungry!? No wonder she looked like a freaking skeleton. She probably hunted but maybe she wasn’t that skilled at it. She burped and didn’t seem as though she thought that was rude. She had no manners whatsoever. “You are very charming, I bet your eating habits would be truly admired by everyone.”

He had to laugh and she yelped and looked nervous again. “You just ate enough to make two adult males full for days.”

She sensed that he wasn’t hostile, the tone of the sounds he made was light and friendly and she hesitated, then she pushed her face up along his, like a cat greets its owner. Glorfindel had to chuckle. “You are an affectionate one, I wish I knew more about you though.”

She wanted to stay there with him, he had given her food, that had to mean something right? She had often seen that males brought food to their mates. She felt stuffed though, and thirsty and she licked her lips. The river was far away and she didn’t want to leave him, he was so warm and comfortable to lean up against. Glorfindel grinned to himself, yes, she was thirsty. He held up the wine skin and pretended to take a sip and she stared at him with wide eyes, it smelled nice? It smelled like berries and fruit and she leaned forward eagerly. He held the opening to her mouth and she started drinking as if she had been completely parched. It did taste so good, she had never tasted anything like that before and she had to be stopped before she drank all of the wine in one go. She burped again and wiped her mouth and grinned, her teeth were pretty and white and she blinked and looked a bit confused.

Glorfindel knew that she was unused to alcohol, she would feel the effect of it rather fast and so he let her lean back against his chest and he caressed her arms gently and hummed, he knew that sound was very soothing and she relaxed. He saw lice crawling in her hair and he cringed. He didn’t like to have her this near to his own body but he had to. He hoped that she would fall asleep and she was making some faint sounds, pulled her knees up and yawned. She trusted him, it was rather strange but true. Before long her eyes got distant and unfocused and her breath got very slow and steady. She was asleep.

Glorfindel let out a sigh of relief and let her rest against the ground, he had to work fast now. He gestured towards the twins and they got up and got closer. Elladan was blushing, he had been rather affected by what he had seen and heard and he tried to avoid looking at her. Glorfindel pulled a blanket over her, just to keep her warm. “She is full of lice and fleas, and so thin. She probably has got parasites and look at all those infected flea bites. I wonder how she has been able to survive here alone.”

Elrohir was the best healer of the two, he had gotten his pack of equipment from the saddle and sat down next to her. He grasped onto her arm and shook his head. “She is just skin and bones, I don’t think she would have lasted another winter to be honest. Like Glorfindel said, she is probably rather weak. “

He got a sharp knife from the pack and started cutting away all the matted tangled hair. It was teeming with life and he cringed. Elladan was preparing a salve to cover the irritated skin and Glorfindel examined her arms and legs, in shock of the number of small scars and marks he could find. He had warmed some water and was washing her with a soft cloth and he lifted the blanket and sighed. “Elrohir, when you are finished shaving her head, there is yet another job for you to do, down here!”

The peredhel winced. “Aii, does she have lice there too?”

Glorfindel nodded. “Most certainly.”

Elrohir remover all the hair he found except her eyebrows and then they washed her all over with some medicine made from herbs and powders they had brought. It should remove the infections. Elrohir then boiled up a concoction that should take care of any parasites within and they managed to get most of it into her. They had to do it now when she was asleep since it tasted so terribly she never would drink the stuff otherwise. She did look awful, her skull bare and covered with nasty red bites and Glorfindel felt his heart weep for her. Elrohir stroked her cheek carefully. “Poor thing, what are we to do now?”

Glorfindel sighed. “Make her trust us enough to follow us home, she won’t make it out here alone, not for much longer anyhow. Sooner or later some orcs are gonna get her.”

Elladan nodded and took out a kettle. He was going to prepare a decent meal for them all and he had already skinned a rabbit Elrohir had caught and now he was making stew. Glorfindel had burned all the lice infected hair and the cloth he had used to wash her. It had become dark grey with grime and they were shocked to see how pale she really was. She couldn’t have washed herself for ages, a bath in the river didn’t remove anywhere near enough of the mud and grime clinging to her skin. They wrapped her in blankets and just allowed her to sleep, she would probably sleep until the next morning and Glorfindel laid down next to her to keep her safe and comfort her if she woke up in the middle of the night.

Strange images danced in front of her eyes, she could not find the words to describe them for she had no such things as words but she did recognize feelings. And slowly she made some sense of what she saw in her drug induced sleep. It was her past, a life she no longer knew and yet it had been real. She had turned away from her mother and foster father after the truth had been revealed, in the beginning it was just a youthful rebellion, born out of shock and dismay more than real resentment or anger. Then as she grew she got more aware of what the truth meant, what her father had done and what that family really had caused. It made her so ashamed of herself. Aira tried desperately to mend the wound in her daughter’s soul but to no prevail. Halariel had indeed inherited a lot from her father’s blood, and first and foremost was a stubbornness so strong it was rather frightening.

Halariel became withdrawn, most of the Avari tribe didn’t in any way hold her parentage against her, she was after all an innocent child and could not be blamed for her own conception but some were different. Some did in fact react to her with rage, disgust or even open hostility and every time she got more hurt. When she came of age she refused to celebrate and she did also refuse to take a lover, she never let anyone touch her. In her own eyes she was tainted and the tales she heard made her more and more convinced that she was just as cursed as her father’s family had been. She preferred her own company and when her mother and her mate finally had a child together Halariel became withdrawn for real. She sought only her own company and Aira tried again and again to prevent her daughter from becoming a parody of an elf. She failed.

Halariel waited until her mother had three children before she left for good, by then Aira had more or less given up on making Halariel a normal elleth, it was too late. The overly tall female was vary of anyone she didn’t know, she was bitter and her sometimes hostile behavior just confirmed what many believed about her father’s family. She knew she had an uncle alive but she would never approach anyone of her relatives, never. She knew what her father had done to her dear naneth and she didn’t see that she herself was causing just as much hurt and harm. She was too young and inexperienced to be able to see the greater picture.

She left, she stayed in the woods and travelled east and then south. On the way she learned how to use both blade and bow from friendly encounters and some not so friendly ones. She became the shadows and the dark, she became cold lonely nights and solitude. She became the wolf, the wanderer, the restless ghost roaming the forests almost never seen by anyone. Slowly she forgot, and when she reached her valley most of it was gone already. Her mother just a memory of warmth and love and her past life something to be thrown away like a worn out rag. She was a new being, and a new life awaited her.

The morning light was slowly turning the dark night into a new day and Glorfindel had been sitting by the fire for quite a while when she woke up. She jerked and made a startled cry when she felt the blankets around her, and her body felt so weird? She didn’t understand anything. Then he was there and he was humming softly and her fear did subside a bit, the soft things that were wrapped around her kept her so warm and it felt comfortable. Then she noticed something else, her head felt so light, and so cold? She lifted her hand after having pulled her arm free from the blankets and she yelped when she felt nothing but her scalp. She hissed, a sense of rage rose in her but it too died down. Somehow she realized that they only had tried to help her. She remembered the intense itching and she had had no way to get rid of the vermin.

Glorfindel smiled and held a bowl in his hand, it was filled with something that smelled so good it made her stomach rumble and she sat up in the blankets and let him hand her the bowl and a wooden spoon. She stared at the utensil with confusion but then a faint memory started to form deep within her and she slowly put the spoon into the bowl and lifted some stew towards her mouth with it, her head tilted and her eyes filled with intense concentration. Glorfindel grinned and nodded. “You have some memories still, good!”

She stared at his mouth, language, speech, she was starting to remember that these sounds were a way of communicating. “Aa?”

Glorfindel nodded and smiled. “Yes, try. You have got it, I am sure you do, somewhere.”

She took a hesitant taste of the stew and then she wolfed it down and ended up with stew everywhere, she ate like a toddler would but she had never felt so eager when it came to food. It was so good and when the bowl was empty she felt a sense of bliss and fell back onto the blankets with a sigh. Glorfindel found a piece of fabric in Elrohir’s bags and washed the stew off her face, her eyes were distant and dreamy and he caressed her cheek gently. “We have to feed you a lot from now on, you are so underweight.”

She heard the care in his voice and nuzzled his hand and he had a peculiar expression on his face and he sat down and smiled at her. “I wish I knew your name, I can’t just call you it, or elleth. I am Fin, do you remember your name?”

She cocked her head, he pointed at his own chest and repeated the short version of his name and she tried to form that noise. It represented him, she just knew it, it was who he was. She swallowed and her lips tried to mimic the sound. She was good at mimicking animals but this was way harder. She managed to make some strange growling sound and he laughed. “No, that was not quite right, keep trying. I will keep you company today, the other two are hunting so it is just the two of us.”

She continued trying and after many attempts she managed to say his name, sort of. At least he did understand what the sound was and she was beaming with pride. It felt so good laying there with him close and she leaned forth and sniffed him again, enjoyed the masculine scent of his skin and the silkiness of his hair. She remembered that her own hair had been just as nice, but when? She felt that longing sensation again, was it possible to experience that good feeling again? She held her breath, rubbed her thighs together, yes, it was the same need and she whimpered, confused and a bit shocked. Glorfindel saw how her eyes changed and he noticed her scent to, she wanted him again and he sighed and touched her cheek. “You are at it again aren’t you? But never mind, if I can make you trust me then it is a good tool, and I have no problems with it. “

He gently got the blankets out of the way and she gasped and reached for him, let her hands slide through the soft golden locks. He kissed her neck and she yelped, she had no idea of what this was but it felt nice and it made the heat inside of her burst into open flames once again. He pushed himself downwards and proceeded to kiss her nipples. That made her squeal and writhe and her breath was getting heavy and fast. He kept teasing her. She was clean now and he allowed himself to touch her more than the last time, he ached when he felt how skinny she was but she would survive. It was really in the nick of time they had found her, another winter would have been the death of her for sure. She had gone too far to be able to prepare herself for the upcoming winter.

He kept licking and sucking her breasts as he caressed her with his hand and she surrendered completely, opened her legs willingly and he brought her slowly towards the heights of passion. She screamed as she came, arched up, her hands digging into the blankets and she was covered with sweat and her eyes burning with emotions. There was really a strange light in her eyes, like some internal fire. She came down from her high slowly, panting with her eyes closed and she gasped when the last tremors rushed through her body. She was glorious, so passionate and eager and he was getting tempted to go all the way. But she was too weak, he would have to wait. And perhaps she would change her mind when she got stronger and her mind more normal. If that ever happened.

The twins returned from the hunt with some grouse and three rabbits and a marmot. They were careful not to startle her and she was a bit curious, the two looked like they were exactly the same person but they were two, not one and she tried to wrap her head around that. She felt sticky and wet after the activity she had participated in and Glorfindel helped her up and escorted her down to the river. She washed and went into the bushed to relieve herself, she had a strange feeling in her stomach and sat there for quite a while and afterwards she returned to the river again to clean off. It was no doubt that the concoction Elrohir had made had had its effect for she had passed a rather terrifying amount of parasites.

She looked shocked and scared and Glorfindel was holding her and mumbling soft words to her, she calmed down and she knew somehow that they had helped her again, that the filth inside of her would have killed her. That was why she was so hungry all the time and never put on weight. She leaned her head towards his shoulder and sighed, she felt grateful but what now? Her head felt funny, she was constantly seeing these weird images and she never really knew what they were. Perhaps he could help her making sense of it all?

Glorfindel saw the expression in her eyes, the lost and faraway look., he smiled and kissed her brow. “I will help you, trust me, I will. You have chosen me and I do not take such things lightly.”

She felt a sort of reassurance hearing those words, as if she on some level had started to understand this speech thing again. She grinned and just sat there, leaning towards him and Glorfindel smiled to himself. Some more days, and they could start on the journey back home, if she wanted to join them that was, but he was sure she would. And Elrond would be thrilled to see her, after all, her father had fostered him as an elfling and to see that Maedhros in fact did have offspring would come as a major surprise but hopefully a happy one. The only question was, what in the name of Eru was she to wear? She could not travel buck naked, not that it bothered him but how about everybody else. They would have to come up with some ingenious solution there, sacrifice one of the blankets or something.

He tickled her flanks and she giggled and hit after his hand, there was a childishness to her that was very charming but he did sense that she had some very dark moments in her past. He just hoped that they could help her overcome them.

The small meadow was peaceful, butterflies and birds were flying around, a few deer were grazing and the sun shone brightly. The figure that suddenly appeared in the middle of it was very large and he was glowing slightly, the animals didn’t notice him at all, after all, he wasn’t their concern. He sighed, shrunk to a more normal size and took a look at the surroundings. Why here? It was not many who travelled through this area, well, perhaps that was for the better. He hadn’t liked their suggestion a bit, and he would have openly gone out against it if he hadn’t known that their arguments were sound. It was not the way it should have been, it was interrupting with his plans. After all, the dead were his responsibility, his to rule. He was perhaps the doomsman and feared by all but he was never unjust, and this was just that, unjust. It was not the way it was supposed to be, it was more towards cruelty the way he saw it. Punishment was one thing, torture something entirely different, in special when the fëa in question already was repentant and did regret its deeds.

The others had thrown their arguments at him, and he had to agree with them, if it was possible then it would greatly benefit them all, but if it wasn’t? He knew every soul out there, each and every one of them and he also knew that one soul of whom they spoke, the one who shouldn’t have been, the one not even Eru had planned. How could that have happened? Everything was within the song, but this one being was not! It was a loose cannon on deck, a hazard. Someone like that in the hands of the enemy could cause irreparable damage, just look what had happened to Celebrimbor. And if this one was like the rest of the family? They had to know, but they could not intervene, not directly. So someone had to do it for them, and who was better than this one soul?

Nàmo shook his head, he made a gesture and a body appeared out of the very blue, laying on the grass in front of him, it was perfect, just like the first one this soul had been clothed in and the master of the halls sighed deeply. It was in truth cruel, he wasn’t even sure that this soul would be able to cope with the shock of being re-embodies thus. He had a sense of understanding when it came to this one, some of them had been cruel, some had just followed or been dictated by their pride but this one, this one had done it out of a sense of duty, out of a fear of disappointing his father, out of youthful and unrestrained anger. The oath, that was the thing that started the whole mess, or rather, Melkor had been. And the family problems, not to forget them. If not Fëanors mother had refused to ever be reborn much of this wouldn’t have happened.

But he never did blame the dead, the living yes, rather often but never the dead, never those in his realm. Whatever they had done and whatever their punishment was he always did what he had to do with a sense of respect, even of love. Only if they did repent and saw the errors of their ways could they truly be free and thus he helped them overcome the traumas life had thrown at them.

This was…wrong. It was wrong in every way but he had to obey his brother. Manwë had given specific orders and yet Nàmo had a feeling that they had hidden something from him, something very important. He didn’t like that, no, he didn’t like it a bit. So he had done a few things too, things of which they were oblivious. The hunger for knowledge and power could sometimes lead even the righteous ones out into dangerous terrain.

He held the tiny spark that was a fëa in his grasp and then he suddenly and forcefully joined it with the new body laid there before him. The creature jerked violently and gasped, heaved for air and he bent down and kissed its brow with an expression of sadness and love before he became invisible once more. “Forgive me child, forgive me for what I have done to you, forgive me for letting them talk me into this. The world you left was cruel, it has not became any less so I fear. You will suffer, that is all I can promise you, but I pray that you have the strength to do what you must. See it as an opportunity to redeem yourself. And blame me not, for I am not the one behind this.”

The creature jerked again, limbs moving in spasms, eyes opening staring up at the skies, wide with fear and agony. A hoarse cry forced its way out of the mouth, he clawed at his throat, wheezed and coughed. Eyes rolling in his head, his body trembling violently. A tortured mind slowly started to gain control of his hroa, grey eyes stared at the meadow, filled with utter confusion. What had happened? Where was he? He had jumped, felt the searing heat consume his flesh and his last breath had been filled with flames, had scorched his throat. He whimpered, what was this? His throat hurt still, terribly in fact. And he felt so strange, so weak?

He tried to get up, couldn’t find his balance and fell onto his knees, think, just think. His mind tried to make sense of it all but it couldn’t, the last thing he remembered was that final decision, to end his existence knowing he was to vile and evil for the silmarils to accept him, and it was the same with his brother. He lifted his head, his brother? Where was he, where was Maglor? He sat up, stared around him. This was not familiar terrain? He was in a forest, but he didn’t know it and he was buck naked and without any weapons or tools. He whimpered, tried to call out, to see if anybody was there but he only managed to create a sort of hoarse cawing sound. His throat had been so damaged he couldn’t speak and he felt how a terrible feeling of despair descended upon him, choking him. How was he to find his brother now? This wasn’t the halls of Mandos, of that he was sure and it wasn’t Valinor at all. This was Arda and he had no idea of where he was.

He stared down at himself, he was as he had been or wait a minute, not quite, his right hand was where it should be? He moved it with huge eyes, it had been returned to him, as if it never had been cut off. What was this? He gasped with gratitude and opened and closed it several times, just to get the feel of it again. It was…it was simply too much. Was he alive again, was he dead? He had no idea.

He slowly managed to get up, to gather his body and he felt weak like a toddler. There was no strength in him, he had problems walking and it did take him quite a while before he mastered his balance and was able to move in an efficient way. What had happened to him? Why? He slowly walked through the forest and tried to make a sort of mental map of the area. To the north west there was some huge mountains and to the south some lower rolling hills, he didn’t know that he was somewhere between the Ettenmoors and mount Gram and the Coldfells.

He didn’t feel cold and he started to find his strength again after a couple of hours, the forest wasn’t very dense and it was filled with light and life and he started to feel a little better. As all elves he did love the forest and he found it beauty breathtaking. He felt hungry though, and thirsty and he quenched his thirst in a small stream. He did find some berries and they were ripe so he ate all he could of them. He hadn’t seen anyone yet and he tried to walk south, why he did not know but it felt as though he had to go in that direction, that there was something he needed to do. He was walking down a gentle slope among the trees when he suddenly heard something moving in the bushes not too far away from him.

He froze, he had no idea of what kind of enemies he might encounter there and he had nothing he could use to defend himself. He held his breath, a snorting sound could be heard and he gasped. A wild boar, there were few animals as dangerous as those wild pigs and even when on horseback they were an enemy he rarely would go up against freely. The tusks could gut both a horse and a man or ellon very easily and he shivered and looked for a place to hide. There were none, the forest floor was even with not even a tall rock and the trees were slender and tall with no branches. The boar appeared, a huge male, the biggest he had seen and it was angry. It had smelled that there was something there, something alien to its territory and it was not going to let this thing, whatever it was, get away without having shown it who the boss of this area was.

He reacted on instinct, and did the wrong thing. He ran. He knew he couldn’t outrun a wild boar and yet he tried. He ran downhill so fast he almost went flying and he did in fact keep his distance for a while. He spotted some ragged cliffs ahead along a small river and ran towards them with the boar right behind him. He almost made it, almost.

The boar did toss its huge head upward and a tusk caught him in his thigh, tore through skin and flesh and his speed was so great he ran the last steps to the cliff barely on his forward momentum. He jumped onto the cliff, got up where the boar could not go and there his injury kicked in, the leg gave in under him and he fell forward, the leg got caught in a crack in the rock and he felt and heard a disgusting cracking noise and felt something being twisted both in his knee and hip. The agony was unbearable, white lightning shot through his body and he threw his head back and screamed. The boar did actually get scared from the sound and ran and he laid there with the leg twisted in the crack and felt how his consciousness was slipping away.

He woke up, it was dark and he was alone in a strange place and severely injured. The wound was large and he had lost much blood already, he felt light headed and more so, he felt warm and cold. He was getting a fever, the tusk had been anything but clean and infection was setting in. He moaned and felt warm tears falling down his cheeks, had he come back to life just to die again, like this? Alone and afraid? Well, it wasn’t that he didn’t deserve it. He sobbed, just laid there while the pain shot through him like stabs from an orcs blade. He missed his brother, oh gods how he missed him. He missed them all, he had deserved this, perhaps this was his punishment for the sins he had committed? He was ready to let go and die, he felt nauseous and so terribly thirsty and more so, devoid of any hope.

He had passed out again and the next time he woke up he could barely open his eyes, they were swollen and his body felt so heavy and alien in a way, he didn’t know why he wasn’t dead already. Then he heard sounds, voices, laughter even. He flinched, a desperate fear rushed through him, he could not lose this chance, he had to let someone know. He called out, it sounded like the scream of some wounded animal but it had to be heard from afar for he laid all his might into that one scream he managed to push out of him. Then he fell back again, the world spinning in front of his eyes, his field of vision shrinking. The last thing he saw was a round face with blond hair and blue eyes and a simple leather band to keep the hair out of the face. A young human. Then the world went black.

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