Sunday, November 8, 2015

Tales from Valinor: Sickness May Assail Ye

The elves of Valinor were confused.

The Eldar were not accustomed to one among them falling ill, as they themselves did not have that weakness.  But now, even here in Valinor, someone was sick.

Frodo had finally fallen asleep.  Day upon day slumber had evaded him and he was forced to lie awake as the Ringwraith's sword repeatedly stabbed him.  Of course the Ringwraith was far away, in a world unknown and no where near Frodo himself, but the wound that he inflicted was still potent.

Even in sleep, Frodo was uncomfortable.  Beads of sweat trickled down his face and his mouth trembled.  His fever had spiked in the last few days, and many of the elves were worried.  It was the first of Frodo's bouts in Valinor.

~

She moved silently.  Her bare feet made no sound on the stone floor of Frodo's new home.  When she had heard that someone had fallen ill, she immediately made her way there.

She herself had battled with bouts of worry to the point where she almost became ill.  She knew better than most the crippling feeling of pain and anxiety.  And she was intent on helping this poor new arrival to Valinor.

"Frodo, essenya Itarilde.  Áva ranya*," she whispered.

Frodo's eyes opened a slit.  Before him stood a tall elf clothed in a long white dress with sleeves that graced the floor.  Her hands were pressed together and her golden hair hung about her shoulders and almost reached her waist.  She seemed to him one of the fairest of the elves in Valinor.

"I have come to help you," she said, touching his hand.

"You are Idril?  From Gondolin?"  Frodo asked, eyes wide.  He felt compelled to bow, but he could not in the state he was in.

The elf nodded, gray eyes sparkling.  "And you, you are Frodo of the Shire, are you not?" she countered with equal enthusiasm.

Frodo nodded, hardly seeing how that mattered compared to her majesty.

"It is an honor to be in the presence of Frodo the Nine Fingered," she said, curtsying.  Frodo blushed, feeling the attention undue.

Suddenly, the pain redoubled and Frodo crippled over as if pierced by an arrow.  He clutched his shoulder, desperately trying to starve the pain, but it availed not.

Idril stepped forward and placed a hand on it.  It felt to Frodo as if poison was being leeched from his wound.

"Á rucë! Haryuvalvë túrë**!"  Idril exclaimed, banishing the pain.  Frodo felt as if he was a bow tensed for the shot, and he had just been released.  He quivered as his body relinquished it's tension.  He leaned over for a moment and then fell back upon his pillows, heart beating wildly, breathing rapidly.

Idril sat down on a couch nearby, exhausted.  "Áva rucë,***" she breathes, her words punctuated with a single tear of fatigue.

Frodo sat up and moved his hand, fascinated by the freedom he felt as opposed to the crippling pain of the past three days.  His scar was still apparent, black flesh marred by the cruel blade of malice.  He turned to the elf.  "Hantanyelherinya^" Frodo whispered, feeling the immense inadequacy of the statement.

Idril closed her eyes and silently praised the Valar.  Then she faced Frodo.

"I too dealt with pain.  With uncertainty and with doubt.  But it is my mission to help you.  I have trained under the Vala Nienna. She has taught me much of grief and loss."  She explained, smiling reassuringly at Frodo, who was wide-eyed.

"An elvish princess like you?  Worry?"  He asked, bewildered.

Idril chuckled softly, her eyes solemn.  "Yes.  There was a time when I suffered from great loss and worry..."

~

Idril stared out the window.  It had been only fourteen years since she had married Tuor.  It had been a blink of an eye for Idril who had already lived for over five hundred years.  But it was the most joyous time of her life.

Still, something pulled at the back of her mind.  A sleepless malice, a nameless fear.  Some days she spent incapacitated with worry and foreboding.  Her foresight told her that danger and violence would come to the fair city within the year.  And yet none would listen to her save her husband, Tuor.  Ever since he came to the city bearing fell news and ever since her father had disregarded it, Idril had become overwhelmed with worry.  It would come in crippling realizations.

Her young son often spent days with Anarwen, her close friend, because Idril could not care for him in the state she was in.  Now the clouds converged and she feared they would soon burst.  The sky grew dim.  The door to her chamber opened and she heard a familiar voice.

"Have cheer my love!"  Tuor said encouragingly, affirmingly taking her hand.  Idril smiled weakly at his attempt to brighten her spirit.  She appreciated his concern, but some days it felt as if there was no way she could escape the weight of worry.

Tuor took a seat next to her and examined the view from the window.  "Take heart! Tomorrow is the Gates of Summer; the city's most favored festival to welcome the warm season."  Idril sat in thought.  The city was vulnerable.  Her mind flashed back to the harvest festival in Valinor.  That was when Melkor had stricken and killed the light of the trees.  She shivered.

In the months before, Tuor had sat by her bedside eagerly holding her hand, awaiting her coming out of the worry spell.  Often it would take days or weeks.  But through that time, she spoke softly to him, eyes looking somewhere far off.  She had asked him to do one thing for her.  To create an escape route out of the city.  Tuor had done so.   Every day after the various councils he had to go to--and sometimes in stead of--he would work closely and secretly to fulfill Idril's one wish.

The dawn was of striking beauty.  Idril held Earendil, her son's hand as they gathered with the other elves on the walls of the city to watch the first sun of summer rise.  She smiled through her concern and tried to make the occasion special for her young son.

That was when the first cries were heard.

"Urqui! Urqui túlar!^^"

From across the valley, on the other side of the mountains streamed an immeasurable force of not only orcs, but balrogs of immense size cracking their whips of fire and pain.  Idril's breath caught in her throat.  Tuor's eyes widened but his voice didn't change as he calmly but sternly ordered Idril and Earendil to retreat into the city.  He saw them safely to the chamber and took his sword from it's resting place.  He quickly girt himself and ran into the fray.

Idril's worst fears had been realized.  Holding a quivering Earendil, she tried to find her throwing knives, but she knew that she couldn't wield them sufficiently to kill an orc.  She pulled a traveling mantle around her shoulders.  Her heart beat quickly as she made her way down the stairs.

Half way to the west side of the city of Gondolin, she was waylaid by a tall elf dressed in all black.

"Maeglin!"  She cried, peeved to see her cousin.  "Why do you tarry in these halls?  Does not your honor call you to fight?" she almost spat at him.

A sly smile filled Maeglin's face.  He grabbed her arm and led her back up the stairs.

He locked her in her chamber and threw his sword on the ground.

As the sun came over the mountains over the field of battle, so too did a light dawn in Idril's eyes.  Horrified, she convulsed.  "You knew." She said, her voice low and shaking with rage.  "You led them here."  Maeglin did not deny the accusations.  "Haryuvalvë túrë. Qualmë cotumoin Eldaliéva.^^^"

Maeglin was indeed taken aback at her wrathful words.  "You are mine." He said, arrogantly.

It was then that Tuor burst into the room, sword drawn.  Within the day Idril, with her arm around Earendil together with Tuor were leading the survivors of the siege along the escape route.  Within ten years, Idril and Tuor had sailed into the west.  And after two ages, she was helping Frodo in Valinor.


"Frodo, your bouts will come again.  It will take an age before you can be truly free of your hurts.  Call on me again, if you need my assistance," Idril said softly, leaving Frodo to rest.

~

*English translation: "Frodo, my name is Itarilde (also known as Idril in Sindarin). Do not stray!
**English translation: "Flee! We will defeat them!
***English translation: "Fear not."
^English translation: "I thank thee, my lady."
^^English translation: "Orcs!  Orcs are coming!"
^^^English translation: "We will defeat them.  Death to the foes of the elves."
Note on translations:  I generally use Sindarin dialect--since that is the common speech of the elves--but in this I used Quenya for the most part since that is what Idril would have spoken in the First Age.  Also, she was called by her Quenya name Itarilde, but in the tales written by the elves that makeup The Silmarillion, she was referred to by her Sindarin name, Idril which is what I have adopted here.

I have included a couple of quotes and hidden messages in this one, so see if you can find references to other books!

Okay so in this chapter basically Idril helped Frodo with his wounds and even shared a story about how she would often become ill with worry.  If you have other ideas for a tale you want to be told, let me know in the comments.  Navaer!

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