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AN: Special thanks to Lyllyn for beta-reading.


The ending of the First Age


It is far too late to be looking for things. I am too old to need 'things'. I vowed never to want things. But here I stand, on the shores of where once was the Havens of Sirion, searching for some thing, some miniscule trinket or worthless token that I am wise enough to know cannot now be found; will never be found, as what no longer exists shall remain ever unknown.

Yet here I am, as so many before me are not. They are ashes, they who died for me, the son of their Lord and Lady, the heir to their precious Jewel – that cursed Silmaril.

My former home fell hard, that much can still be known by looking at what remains; a charred prow here, a broken hearth there. But there is no warmth left by fire's fury, no footprints remain in bloodied sand, no moans of the dying or screams of the striving echo through this night. For the quiet and stillness I am both glad and denied; glad for solitude and closure, but denied the chance to preserve this place by a memento. I would weep to hold a piece of that time in my hand, keep the past protected and near, remembered and mourned. Word of mouth does not hold the strength it used to. If I would have this tale known I must speak of it well indeed without any evidence as proof, unless there be the pain and terror of that night still reflected in my eyes.

So many deaths, so much heartache... So here I stand.

My King is calling me, though not in words – but I feel his plea even from the Sea where he sails, and I shall go to him now, to meet him on new land, and establish with him his new Kingdom. I leave this shore behind willingly, as before I was wrenched painfully away. I go, though not entirely of my choice alone, for if I were to stay, the rising tide would sweep me under unto my death. Dwelling is not really a choice at all, hence neither is departing; I do what I must, and pretend it is my will.

The world is changing. Already, I feel it beginning. I wonder in the end, what will be left of anything. And I mourn, for I hold to me nothing of the past, save my memories that may fade, as reminder of what once was. And I know not what will be, but that I fear it.

Returning to my horse I mount him respectfully. We shall ride to the east as we were charged, where it will be safe as the Valar claimed. Safe until darkness returns, and darkness always returns. In the north, there is returned darkness even now, an angry and evil sort. Under cloud and storm, amid thunder and lightning, there rages a battle twixt darkness and light.

Angband rings with battle. I hear the clashing of metal from where I stand far south, I feel the vibrations of the marching Host of Valinor upon this earth, I smell burning orc-flesh potent as death itself, and I know nothing will ever be the same. I sense Morgoth's power cannot be contained even within all of Anfauglith; his forces bleed outwards, meeting the Host sooner than anticipated, and war is now fought.

Bless the Valar, for this strife is beyond Iluvatar's children alone, beyond us poor fools in Exile. And bless Earendil, for he saw further than all, and spoke on behalf of those who were silent.

My horse goes on through the night, and my heart grows cold for a time.

I sense failure in the lands to which I travel, and it unnerves me even ere I arrive. I sense sorrow, loss, and unloved victory; looming, drawing nearer, closing in. Already I feel suffocated by afflictions I have not yet endured. There is also light beyond, and peace and hope; but such rewards are far away, and bought with a heavy due, and I fear I may break long before I rejoice.

Yet it is all I can do to continue. Indeed, it is my lot now, to remain and prevail; for like my patents I have accepted the privilege of the Firstborn. I have forsaken Iluvatar's gift to Men, and chosen Immortality, to abide by the measure of this world. Yea, that I have done, that choice at least was mine, and I made it freely.

And though I considered all other eventualities, I did not consider that my brother would choose differently... But it matters not; I cannot permit it to affect me as perhaps it should, for grief can be fatal. That also I considered, and perhaps it is why I believed Elros would not leave me – alas that he shall. 'Tis wrong in some way, I am certain, to conceive of one's own worth to another. I never will, again. To be wise, I must learn from my mistakes, not wallow or repeat them. And though I am immortal, I have not the time to brood. I must go forth, to the inevitable. Nay, I 'must' not. I choose to.