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Author Topic: Spirit of Fire
Amárië
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 5498

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Fëanáro woke with a start, as he often did, his face smudged from the ink on the now-crumpled papers that had served as his pillow. He ran a hand through his thick black hair and stood, groaning aloud at the aches that coursed through his body from his uncomfortable sleeping position. He pushed back the chair in which he had slept and shoved it forcefully under the desk and crossed to the window to look out over Finwë's back gardens.

It was morning, but not yet day. The light of Laurelin was beginning to appear in Telperion's silver glow, but there were still some hours before it would be dominant. Fëanáro watched the light in silence, its beauty touching something in his heart that he did not care to examine or understand. It was soothing, in a way - if indeed anything could soothe the pain, anger, and - yes - fear, that daily ravaged him over the outcome of Mandos's decree.

We will know soon, Fëanáro thought, crossing his arms behind him and staring out the window in a martial position. And what then?

He turned from the window and made his way out of his study, making for the kitchen where already he heard the sounds of life as the servants began to prepare the morning meal. He stole into the kitchen, grabbing a soft pastry on the way through, and shoving it undecorously into his mouth as he exited the other side, finding himself finally outside in the serene coolness of early morning. He sat on a stone bench at the far end of the garden, his foot tapping impatiently.

He had just turned thirteen in the years of his people, and yet sometimes he already felt old. And angry. And at times confused. He could not fault his father for wishing to marry again, but he knew in his heart he could find no love for the woman who wished to take his mother's place. And what would become of him when - if - his father remarried? Would he become redundant? The child of a marriage that his father felt better forgotten? No. No, he told himself severely. His father loved him. Of that much he was certain.

He stood, his discontent rising within him once again. He could never seem to find peace. He could never remember a moment when he was content, a moment when all seemed right with the world and he could enjoy what life had to offer. He knew he was young, but it seemed that he burned from within, a fire for knowledge, for learning, for...for more that nothing seemed able to quench. An indescribable anger rose in him and he growled, slamming his fist into the trunk of a tree, furious at his inability to affect this situation, at his helplessness and at his very smallness in the true scheme of things. He did not like not having his life in hand. He did not like it when things spiralled so terribly out of his control! He retracted his hand, cradling it in the other as the blood from his broken knuckles slowed and then stopped. He clenched his teeth against the pain - both emotional and physical, before turning on his heel and storming back inside.

"Father?" he cried, figuring it was time for his father to awaken if he had not already. "Father, are you still abed?"

From: Mishawaka, IN | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 4097

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Indis was leaving her apartments, preparing to go out, when her brother came in. Ingwë, the King of the Vanyar, sent his wife and their attendants ahead further into the palace, and smiled warmly at his sister.

"Well met, sister mine," he said. "Are you going for another of your solitary walks? You might as well - there is far too much discussion in the city today."

"Is that so, brother mine?" Indis replied. "And what's the topic of such discussion then?"

"Mandos has pronounced his doom in the case of Finwë and Miriel," Ingwë answered. "The set time after the Statute was announced, has expired, and Miriel has not changed her mind - she is not willing to come back. So now it is final. Mandos has declared their disunion, and Finwë is free to go on without her."

"So now it is final, then," Indis repeated. "A disunion of two Eldar - it's a tragedy, really. And I suppose it's worst for her poor boy. He only had such a short time with her, and now she's gone completely. And people are discussing it again, you say? I remember them discussing the Statute quite vehemently."

"There is much discussion," Ingwë confirmed. "Although most people agree that the Valar's decision must be final, there are still some who claim that the period of waiting was too short. 'What is a decade or a dozen years in the life of the Eldar?' they say. 'Given a century, she might change her mind after all, but then it will be too late.' I can see why they would say such a thing - but if the Valar had required a century of waiting, to give her long time to make up her mind, then they would have left Finwë in pain for that much longer. He needs healing, and he could not start to heal until he knew what his position would be."

"And now he can start to heal," Indis said. "Yes, I agree with you, brother mine."

"You will remember, perhaps, that I invited him over here some years ago," her brother said. "He did not come at the time, but today I sent him a letter, telling him that the invitation still stands. If he needs a place for quiet thinking, somewhere where he is not surrounded by his fellow Noldor, what better place than our gardens? Surely you know all about that, sister mine?"

"There is indeed peace and quiet, and healing of the mind, in our gardens," Indis answered. "Of course we will welcome him if he chooses to come - but seeing that he did not come when the situation was less certain and there was more to ponder, I don't expect that he will come now, when the decision is final."

"That is yet to be seen," Ingwë said. "But you seem to be on your way out to do some quiet thinking on your own part, perhaps? Do not let me keep you - you may want to catch the mingling of the Trees."

----------

The different kinds of light was suited for different purposes, Indis thought as she was walking through the gardens.

The golden light was for basking in. Strong, almost warm, it reminded her of how much she enjoyed life. It was for slow walks, observing everything around her, delighting in everything that was created.

The silver light was better for a brisk walk. She mostly walked alone, especially on such walks, because few others could keep up with her swiftness of foot. There was a freshness in the silver light that went well with exercising her body.

But the mingling lights, both quite soft when one was waning and the other vaxing, lent themselves to contemplation. They made her pensive - made her think about not so much what was, as what might be - and what might have been ...

She didn't know how long it had taken for her feelings for Finwë to develop into love. She had always liked the King of the Noldor, respected him and even admired him, every time she had seen him with her brother while they were leading their hosts towards the West.

But it was only after they had settled in Tirion, on the first occasion that she had seen Finwë and Miriel together, seen them holding hands and exchanging looks of deep love, that - with a pang of pain - she had realised that she also loved him.

She had kept her love for him as her very own private treasure. He probably had never known about it. But it still gave her joy, the joy of seeing him occasionally, the joy of thinking about him and wishing him well. A treasure indeed.

And she would never marry anyone else. She had remained unmarried, living in her own apartments in her brother's palace, moving with his family when the Vanyar moved out of Tirion to get closer to the Valar.

She wasn't sure whether her brother had realised why she didn't want to get married. They hadn't discussed it in any detail. She supposed that he had guessed that when she said that she preferred to remain single rather than following up on any suggested alliances, it could be because her heart was already attached elsewhere - but she didn't know whether he had realised where it was attached.

If she could have known in advance, and could have chosen her own fate, she would not have chosen never to have met Finwë. True, her love had not been returned. But her life had been richer for it.

Some people said that the fact that love wasn't always returned, was a result of the Marring of Arda, when Melkor had rebelled against Eru, before Manwë and the other Valar had made him repent. Others said that no, not always to be returned is part of the mystery of love, as originally intended.

Indis wasn't quite sure, but she tended to think of the love between nis and nissi to be something to mirror Eru's love for his Children. Would anyone, seeing such love, not want to return it, though? But, if it was possible for even a Vala to choose to rebel against Eru, then surely it might happen that some of his Children might do something similar - might scorn Eru's love and try to follow his own desires, instead of accepting the part in the Music that Eru had appointed for him.

At least it would be in the nature of love that such a possibility should be open. True love doesn't compel - it must be freely given and freely returned. And as such, it left the possibility for pain open as well. Even for Eru. And if his love was mirrored in his Children's love, then they would also have the opportunity to share even his pain - to share if only a fragment of his suffering.

Perhaps she was doing that - mirroring Eru's sorrow?

In her case, though, it wasn't even that her love had been scorned. She had never tried to show Finwë her feelings, so he had never had to turn them down. And she honestly didn't think he had ever realised about them. That was the way she had always wanted it to be. As his choice had already been made, she never wanted to challenge that choice. Better that he never knew that someone besides Miriel loved him.

Would that be different now?

From: Narnia, also connected with Norway | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Amárië
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 5498

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Fëanáro, after getting no response from his father, burst into Finwë's bedchamber, only to find it empty. Turning on his heel and exiting, he grabbed the arm of the first servant he came across.

"Where is my father?" he asked, his impatience only vaguely restrained.

The servant cowered, hating to be the one to bring news to Finwë's passionate son.

"You have not heard, my Lord?"

"Heard what??" Fëanáro growled, dropping her arm. She stared at him for a moment, glancing around her as if deciding the best exits, then continued softly.

"He was told this morning that Mandos would be announcing the Doom. He is there, my Lord..." She hesitated, biting her bottom lip. "My lord, I am told that Mandos has decided...for your father."

All the colour drained from Fëanáro's face. He dropped the arm of the maid, who took the chance to escape. Mandos has decided for your father... That would mean...

The grief that seized Fëanáro hit like a physical punch. Feeling as if the very air had been knocked out of his lungs, he staggered back until he came up against the wall, leaning against it heavily. His eyes burned with unshed tears and he clenched his fists desperately against such a weakness. Deep within the pit of his stomach, he felt his grief, his anger, growing as if it were a physical presence. Turning around and punching the wall hard enough to bloody his knuckles, he let out a strangled cry from the bottom of his soul. A cry of despair, of grief, of anger, of misery, all tied into one.

Barely taking time to grab his cloak as protection against the cool, damp morning, he stormed out of his father's house, his eyes open, but seeing nothing. His thoughts were of his mother as he kept replaying the few memories of her he still had...her soothing voice, her soft touch, the smell of her perfume...all gone...all gone! now, forever.

Until this morning, there had been hope... he thought. Hope that she would return, that we could be...that we could still be a family.

Now...now his father would remarry, and have another family, and he would be...extra. A spare. Unwanted, if not by his father then by his new wife. Finwë would be able to get on with his life now, and would not be hurt by Míriel's weakness.

But what of me?

The grief cut anew, piercing his heart like a sword. He broke into a run, with no destination in sight, wanting only to escape the Doom, to escape the fact that he had just become superfluous, to escape the fact that his mother was truly and completely gone. That he would have to share his father.

Finwë's attentions, as long as Fëanáro could remember, had been his, and his alone. Now he would have to share with a new wife, more children, perhaps more sons. And he did not want to share. He liked the life that he and his father had created for themselves since Míriel had retired to Mandos. But everything he had known was gone, banished in an instant by Mandos' pronouncement.

Finding himself high in the hills, slowing his advance from pure exhaustion, Fëanáro fell to his knees, then to his back in the cool meadow. Staring up at the sky, more golden now than silver, he let the tears come. Slow at first, they became choking sobs. Sobs for his mother, for his father, for himself. For the life that could have been.

[ 01-26-2008, 10:06 AM: Message edited by: Amárië ]

From: Mishawaka, IN | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Inc'
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 6274

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Blue everywhere.

Clear blue on top, with a few lines of white, stretching across. It was the first hours of the morning : the blue was slowly getting slightly different.
Thus, all of a sudden, all became blue again. But it was a different, darker, blue, sometimes greenish, sometimes greyish, but always deep. And it was constantly moving.
This was this depth and this movement that pleased her the most when it came to that blue.

Nerdanel was lying on the grass on the top of a little hill near the city. She was intensely looking at the sky and the Sea.
Alatairë, the Great Sea.
She was not just looking at it, but thinking about it, and listening to it, too. She was almost completely focused on this mysterious wide area that was always in motion, but never really moving. How all of this - the Sea, the sky, Arda itself, really - worked, that was what Nerdanel was trying to comprehend.

All seemed so perfect out here...

Perfect ?

And then she remembered something she had heard this very morning, as she was walking out the city to go observing the Sea, as she frequently did.
But it was related to her fellow Elves. She was still quite young and didn't get it all, but apparently Mandos had said something that would change the destiny of at least two Elves - it seemed so. What was it, and how could it change anything, Nerdanel had actually no idea. She didn't know Mandos very well, as he was very seldom here among the others, and she tended to be very interested by everything or everyone she wasn't familiar with ; a whole lot of reasons to make her actually stop thinking about the Sea.
This morning, people had actually seemed concerned. About Finwë and Míriel, that she knew.

But what was the story already ?

After all, could all this around her really change ? Her life, other Elves' lives, the landscape, the Sea ? She was under the impression it was absolutely impossible. It was perfect this way, and it would be so until the end of time.

End ?

[ 10-28-2008, 03:48 AM: Message edited by: Inc' ]

From: Yoshi's Island | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 4097

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Mahtan was concentrating. He was adding the finishing touches to a set of gardening tools which one of his neighbours had ordered. Not the greatest challenge to his smithcraft - but even so, he took some pride in making good tools.

The buyer of a tool deserved something that was well made, something that would last him for a long time, and would be comfortable to use. Mahtan wanted to give him exactly that. So he concentrated even on his easy tasks, to make them as good as possible.

There. It was finished. He could leave it to cool now, and would polish it later.

He straightened his back, stretching his arms over his head. He had worked most of the morning, after he came back from a brief visit to the city. Perhaps Nerdanel would come by soon? His daughter liked to make things in the smithy, too. He enjoyed teaching her.

Mahtan had thought that a son would have been more interested in metal work than a daughter, but Nerdanel had proved him wrong. Still, it might have been good to have a son, but this was not likely to happen now. He would have to wait for a son-in-law. At least, with both Nerdanel and her baby sister, that was more likely to happen. Eventually.

From: Narnia, also connected with Norway | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Inc'
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 6274

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As Nerdanel was coming back to town - not before the need of being by herself and surrounded by green and blue had completely left her - she started thinking again of this whole story.

I don't recall having ever seen the city that excited !

'Excited' wasn't quite the right word, but Nerdanel couldn't explain the feeling she had - no, not a feeling she had, rather like her awareness of something that existed throughout the entire city, something palpable, or like a scent ; not quite like a rumor, because everyone was thinking about this matter rather than actually talking about it.
She actually couldn't figure out how something said by a Vala could be, or even created a 'matter'.

If Mandos said it, how can it be questionable ? He's a Vala, right ? So, much wiser than us Elves. This implies that what he says just is, that's all...Or wasn't it ?

She then realized she had walked past by he father's house without even noticing it. Turning back, she thought :

I have to talk to Father about that. I'm convinced he will know everything.

She was real proud of her father, both as a man and as a smith.

Yes, but at that time he must be at the smithy.

And thus she turned back again, walked faster, and when she entered her father's smithy - her hands were all dirty from her walk, she had dust on her clothes and even a twig in her hair. But it didn't matter ; she needed all the answers now - all she wanted to ask was ready in her mind.
However, her father actually talked first.

[ 04-28-2008, 12:23 AM: Message edited by: Inc' ]

From: Yoshi's Island | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 4097

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Before long, there were hurried steps outside, and then Nerdanel appeared in the doorway. She must have been on one of her morning walks, Mathan thought - it was evident that she had been outside. She also seemed very determined about something - perhaps something she had decided she would try to make? He would help her if he could.

"Good morning, my daughter," he said, meeting her in the middle of the room, cupping her face in his hands, and then removing the twig from her hair.

"Is there anything special on your mind this morning?"

From: Narnia, also connected with Norway | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Inc'
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 6274

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"Hello, Father", she answered, smiling.

She added quickly : "Well, yes, actually, Father. I would like to know ... because I can see it everywhere ... what is ... who are they talking ... I mean, you know that ..."

She took a deep breath.
I cannot even express my own thoughts !

"What is going on ??" she almost shouted.

Her father looked at her, bewildered.
Could he not know about it ?

From: Yoshi's Island | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 4097

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She wasn't being very coherent, Mahtan thought. What was she talking about?

"Going on where?" he asked. "And who are talking?"

And suddenly he realized.

"Ah - do you mean in the city?" he asked. "Have you been there this morning?"

She nodded.

Oh dear, he thought. She's much too young to be exposed to such matters. She's only twenty-five! I shouldn't go too deeply into it - no further than what she has encountered already.

"Yes, there's a lot of talking going on," he said. "I was in the city myself, briefly, this morning, and I heard some of it. What exactly did you hear?"

From: Narnia, also connected with Norway | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Inc'
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 6274

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Nerdanel didn't answer immediately. She tried to gather all of what she had heard - overheard.

But it remained being just a load of information. Nothing logical ; she couldn't understand herself what exactly was going on, or why. And she knew she was smart, hence it meant that it was actually extremely complicated. And deep. Like the Sea.

"I know that there is something going on with Lord Finwë and his wife Lady Míriel. That Mandos has to do with it. That something unusual happened."

That was all, and it wasn't much. But it is enough to make Father look worried ... Is he worried about them ? Or ... about me ?

"I have to understand. Tell me, I am certain that you know all about it. Please."

Something unusual ... or disturbing ... Like a knot, in a thread ... It is not much at first, but then, because of it, all of the fabric can be torn apart ... and so easily ... almost just by looking at it ...

From: Yoshi's Island | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 4097

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Oh well, Mathan thought, maybe it's better that I tell her than anyone else who might mention it in the street.

But how best to put it for a twenty-five year old to understand? Nerdanel was mature for her years, but even so - these were deep and complicated matters.

"I don't perhaps know all there is to know about it - but I know what you're talking about," he said slowly. "I'll try to explain. Let's sit down over here."

When they were both seated, he spoke again.

"Several years ago Lord Finwë and Lady Miriel had a son," he began. "Bearing a child will always take a lot of energy from the mother, and in this case even more so. Lady Miriel said that her son had taken all her energy, energy enough for several sons. I guess he must be a very special child."

Or perhaps even a special young man, he thought. They say that Prince Fëanor is very mature for his age.

"Because Lady Miriel had no energy left, she lay down and died, and her fëa went to the Halls of Mandos. Usually when the Eldar die -" he broke off.

"Yes, I know, here in Valinor we don't die at all, but back in Middle-earth, before Ingwë, Finwë and Olwë took their people on the Great Journey, there were evil creatures, and the Eldar could be killed. Their fëa would then rest with Mandos for a while, and later their body would be renewed, and they would go back to their family.
But Lady Miriel didn't want to go back. She said that she was too weary ever to want to go back.
Mandos refused to accept her decision right away, and it is said that the Valar had a long discussion about what to do - no wonder it's difficult for us to understand, when even the Valar need time to think about it!"

He smiled at Nerdanel, who frowned a little and motioned at him to go on. She had obviously understood enough to see that there was more coming. He coughed and continued.

"They decided that she would have to think about it for a while before making her final decision. The time they gave her, is up now, and this morning Mandos has declared that he has accepted her final refusal to go back. And it is indeed final - she can never change her mind. The union between her as a wife and her husband has been dissolved."

He looked at Nerdanel's confused face and realised that maybe he shouldn't have used the technical terms. A dissolution wasn't something she would have heard of before.

It had, in fact, never happened before.

"That means that they are not married any more," he explained. "Lord Finwë no longer has a wife. Not even a dead one."

From: Narnia, also connected with Norway | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Inc'
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 6274

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Nerdanel was relieved to hear her father say that he would try to explain. She really needed to know. Not in this childish way, when kids want to know just because they feel left out if they don't, but in a more mature way. A real way. She was thinking that if she could feel the tension in the air, everybody could. And tension in Valinor... How ? Why ? She couldn't even start to grab the concept.

Prince Fëanor, she thought when her father mentioned Míriel's only son. The name sounded grand to her ears.

When Mahtan talked about death, she couldn't help but interrupt :

"But... !" she cried.

The look on the face of her father - worried, tense, not reprimanding or mad - made her stop.
She thought it would be wiser to let him talk, and just listen.

She was very focused and concentrated. All those things seem so... surreal to her. She had vaguely heard about all that, without understanding how important it could be. And now everything was tossed at her face at the same time. She needed time to swallow.

And then...

'dissolved' ? Her eyes grew wider at this word.

When her father stopped talking, she wanted to drown him in questions. But she forced herself to take her time, and asked only two, calmly :

"What... why would Lady Míriel leave ? And, most of all, leave her husband ? And also, how a marriage can be just... cancelled ? Like that ?"

That was a little more than two questions, after all. In general, her father would have laughed gently, thinking she was so amusing and cute, all curious. But this time, he didn't even smile, and just went to the point.

From: Yoshi's Island | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 4097

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Mahtan sensed a new urgency in his daughter's questions. This wasn't his little girl any more, displaying her charming curiosity. This was a young woman, trying to understand the world.

Hiding a shudder, he was struck by the thought that Nerdanel had been growing up faster than he had realised. Or perhaps this morning, with all its strange news, had given her a sudden spurt of growth ...

He wanted to protect her against such news, news of pain of a kind that was unknown to her. But he could see that the best way to protect her, was to help her understand - as far as he was able to comprehend these matters himself and explain them to her.

"I only know that Miriel said that she was weary," he answered. "Bearing her son had taken all her strength - she had no strength left to go on living. It wasn't that she didn't love her husband or her son any more - she was just worn out and needed rest. Even twelve years wasn't enough for her to regain her strength and get the energy to want to return to life. Perhaps they should have given her longer, though," he mused, "twelve years isn't really all that long in the lives of the Eldar ...
But this is her final decision, and in refusing to come back, she has broken the normal bond between husband and wife. That is why the Valar have cancelled the marriage and taken away the bond, so that her husband is now free to marry someone else and have more children. They weren't doing it lightly. But even so ... just twelve years ..."

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