Saturday, February 27, 2016

The Oath Chapter III

It's been awhile since I posted the last chapter of The Oath.  This chapter focuses on Maedhros' increasingly hostile attitude and Adanel's attempts to calm him.  I am planning about three more chapters to finish up these stories, so if you have any ideas, please let me know.  Again, (kind) critiques are always welcome in the comments.

Also, quick news update for collectors: a Tolkien signature is going on auction later this week!  There are not many fan signatures available on the market since Tolkien generally disliked fans taking an interest in him instead of his work.  This one is expected to catch about $1,110-1,700 according to the administers of the auction. See the full article.



Spring came sooner than looked for in the north, though indeed to many it seemed the winter of Maedhros might last forever.  But indeed the green grass did grow again and the flowers bloomed more beautifully than before.  It was on the feast of  Nost-na-Lothion*, that Maedhros returned to his people.

Great was their joy indeed to see their lord arise from the sleep of despair that had hung over his shoulders since the days of the burning; but greater indeed was the happiness of Adanel, who long had waited on Maedhros and had long guessed the day of his return.

As was the custom in the time, the Noldor decorated the city with flowers and the fruits of spring, praising Yavanna for her good works and making merry.  At this time of the year it was that the elves looked their most glorious, for it was the spring of their youth as a people and spring of the year.  Most radiant of all in the city was Adanel, whose hair shone as the sunbeams on the lake in the north and whose face was a pure as a dew drop so that Maedhros took to calling her Tuilenda^.

The people of that time of peace took to taking walks in the woods of that northern land.  It was during one of these ventures that Maedhros spoke long with Adanel, who had grown in care for him.  Then it was that Maedhros came closest to making a queen of his land, or so the people of the city surmised by their long talks.  However, the merry years of the Siege of Angband passed by and no queen was made.

For it was said among the people that knew the lord of the land best that though Maedhros appeared pleasant on the outside, deep within he was yet tormented by the oath that clung to him as a boat is tied with an anchor.  

Adanel, however, did not perceive this at first and lived under the illusion Maedhros had indeed returned to the proud and valiant warrior he was when they first met.  Thus it came as a shock to her when one day Maedhros spoke to her, saying: "My lady, joyous have these years been in which my people have been free to roam where they will.  Even more joyous have been our walks here in the forest which to me has become most blessed." And even as he spoke, Adanel saw tears in his eyes which she did not understand at that time, "And yet," he continued, swallowing, "I cannot continue to embark on these ventures with you," and suddenly his face grew grim and Adanel took a step back as one who has been ambushed at unawares.  She remained silent.

"For it is not permissible for me to continue acting in this way.  I came here to Middle-earth to fulfill an oath, that you know well, my lady," he went forth, his voice growing cold, "And no longer may I ignore it, nor may I put it off as I have tried to do so these years.  Long grows the shadow of Angband, at least in my mind, and I would not permit it to reach you here.  To reach my people.  Therefore I must go on, my oath to fulfill no matter the cost, and I would not have you pay."  

To this, Adanel stood without moving and finally replied, "Yet already our dooms have become alike and together or not I will carry your burden, at least in part, though we may share it if you will.  For it is not in the likeness of the Eldar to forget one that they have loved."  And with those words the footsteps of doom had caught Maedhros and meshed him fully in the Doom of Mandos and he stood as one who has been struck.  And Adanel turned away from him and returned to the city.

Maedhros had become distraught and the winter set in again.  Evermore he forbade himself to speak with anyone save his closest counselors, and Adanel spoke little to him the winter that followed.  

The weight of the failure to protect the people of Fingolfin at the Gap of Maglor pushed him down so that he became increasingly fearful of the fear of his own cowardice and sought ever to prove his courage.  Therefore, he would not allow his armor to have a crease, or so he saw it, by allowing people to grow close to him.  He saw those who endeavored to care for him as dangerous and a blow to his own courage and his own will.

Thus it was in the days of that winter.


*A spring festival mentioned in The Book of Lost Tales II, which was for sure celebrated in the Noldorin city of Gondolin, but considering Maedhros was also Noldo, I thought maybe he and his people could have celebrated it too.
^spring-like; fresh, sprouting, green, according to Parf Edhellen

frozen, ice, window

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