DISCLAIMER: Simply borrowing Tolkien's fantastic characters (Findekano and the Sons of Feanaro, as well as Morgoth). There are no OCs involved.
A/N: Rated T for violence, angst, and just to be safe. You may also find that some of the lines may be familiar... Some of them are taken from Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which this was inspired by. It's also very important to know that Fingon braids his hair with gold.
Who's Who and What's What - Quenya to Sindarin
Morimahtar - a name meaning 'dark swordsman' (or black warrior, etc.)
Findekano/Fin - Fingon
Russandol/Nelyo - Maedhros
Makalaure/Kano - Maglor
Telvo/Telufinwe - Amrod
Pityo - Amras
hroa - body
TO THE BITTER END :: Pt. I - 1
A tall figure strode through Morgoth's dark halls. He was no orc. No Dark Power, troll, Balrog, or Man allied with the Dark Lord. Indeed, it was strange for he was armed and walked unchained and unguarded into the throne room. His scarred face was unveiled by the fire from black iron braziers as he knelt before Morgoth. He was strangely fair of face, his eyes a cool, piercing grey, and in his dark plaited hair shone streaks of gold.
"What would you have me do, lord?"
"Find the Silmaril-chasers. And kill them all."
The figure looked up at the wearer of the Iron Crown.
"Those in your command are waiting for you at the gates."
He nodded briskly, face stoic.
"Very well. Now go… Morimahtar."
Morimahtar bowed, stared at the two shining jewels in the crown for a few heartbeats, and then turned to go, putting on a mask that covered his nose and mouth.
Makalaure found Russandol sitting at a desk that had panels depicting a hunt. His brother was staring blankly into space. Russandol looked emotionless but Makalaure knew there was something going on in that mind.
"Nelyo? Are you all right?" he asked, sitting down on a couch in the room. He was still unused to the Ambarussa's fortress. It was too different from Himring.
"I'm fine." Russandol's gaze drifted over to the woods outside that were gilded by the sunset. He began pacing slowly by the window.
I don't think so. "Do you need anything?"
Russandol stiffened. There was a long pause, a sigh, and then a slightly cracked "no."
"Nelyo, you missed the midday meal, and if what Pityo says is true, you haven't eaten all day."
"I've survived longer without food," Russandol muttered. "Just… leave me alone."
"Is that what you really want to be? Alone?"
Russandol stopped, but didn't turn to his brother. His voice carried so much weariness, so much pain and sorrow. "Stop trying, Kano."
"I'm just want to help you."
"You're not helping me by trying to be like… him."
"Like who, Nelyo?" There was a hint of defiance rarely heard in Makalaure's voice.
Russandol spun around, shaking, eyes blazing. "You know quite well who! You know quite well who!"
"And so do you. Why don't you say it then?"
And then the fire in his eyes died. "Findekáno." He stood there, breathing shakily for a long while. That name used to hold so much happiness, so much memory. But now it only brought so much pain, so much sorrow, so much darkness and fire.
Why, Fin? Why did you have to die?
Roughly, he pushed the thoughts away and swallowed the lump in his throat.
"There. Are you happy now?" His voice was just barely above a whisper.
"I haven't heard you say his name since before… it happened," Makalaure said quietly.
"Ka-" His voice broke. "Makalaure, just… just leave."
Makalaure opened his mouth to say something, decided against it, and left the room, wondering if he'd done something good or something bad. He closed the door behind him, and the moment the door was shut, Russandol let all the tears loose, unable to hold them in any longer.
Makalaure entered the dining hall shaking his head. The twins were sitting at the table, and supper had just been cleaned up. There were some leftovers sitting on a counter by the wall.
"No Nelyo?" Pityo asked.
Makalaure shook his head, sighing as he sat down.
"He missed some good venison," Telvo said.
"And some possibly bad news." Pityo shared a nervous glance with his twin.
Makalaure's brow furrowed. "What?"
"A message from now-High-King Turukano." Pityo handed his older brother a scroll. "Aside from official stuff and announcing his kingship, he also demands that we give back Findekano's body or at least tell him of the burial place."
Makalaure unfurled the scroll, and read. His frown grew deeper and deeper as he came closer to the end of the message.
"I do not think Nelyo took Findekano's hroa. The battlefield was overrun with orcs and other foul creatures. He would not have gone back, and if he did, I would have stopped him."
"This is strange indeed," Telvo murmured.
"I've heard tell of a mound in Anfauglith made of all those slain… They call it Haudh-en-Ndengin. Others call it Haudh-en-Nirnaeth," Pityo said.
"That is what they are calling it now, you know? Nirnaeth Arnoediad. Battle of Unnumbered Tears."
Words came unbidden to Makalaure's mind. "'Tears unnumbered ye shall shed; and-'"
"Kano, stop!" Glaring, Telvo pushed his chair away from the table. "Good night, brothers."
"Good night," Makalaure said quietly.
Once his twin was out of sight, Pityo turned to his older brother, scowling.
"We were actually having a fine day and you ruin it by bringing up that… thing."
Makalaure opened his mouth to say it wasn't his fault, but then he realized that it was, and stopped. "So… you mean Fin - the body might be on this Haudh…"
"Haudh-en-Ndengin. Yes, it's a possibility."
"Turukano may not believe us, but yes, it's worth a try… But we did not go back after we escaped the battlefield. That is certain."
"So we write the message, send it, and then what?"
"Then we hold our breaths."
Morimahtar sat in an elm tree, watching, waiting for the darkness to settle. His mind drifted and he thought of the day the Dark Lord had told him of his mission. There had been something about the jewels in the Dark Lord's crown that he couldn't quite put his finger on. Those… what did he call them… Silmarils.
With that word came something about cold. Freezing cold. Biting wind. A glow of a fire in the east while he walked through a seemingly endless blizzard.
And voices. Harsh voices. Now it was torchlight and darkness. Voices that yelled something terrible, but he couldn't remember... He tried reaching out, searching for the answer in some dark corner of his mind. But then it all disappeared in a split second. Why?
The next thing that came to his mind was the Dark Lord's mission.
Find the Silmaril-chasers. Find them. Kill them.
No one had come out of the fortress since sundown.
After the last of the red-orange wisps faded from the sky, Morimahtar judged that the time was right. He jumped down, landing lightly on his feet. Though he had a group of orcs at his command, tonight he decided scout out the area alone. The scouts of the Dark Lord had gathered information about the sentries and their watches.
Morimahtar ran from shadow to shadow, moving ever closer to the walls. Once he was near, he jumped, reaching out with his arm and grabbing hold of a window sill on the second floor. He pulled himself up just enough so that he could see inside.
It was a bedroom. A candle burned on the bedside table, but there was no one in sight. The sheets on the bed seemed to have been hastily thrown aside. A chest in the corner had been opened. Hanging out from the chest was a blue banner that had been burnt and bloodied.
Nothing much to see here.
Noiselessly, Morimahtar jumped down, moving on to a different part of the fortress.
Unbeknownst to him, a gold string from one of his braids was loose and fell into the room.
Russandol wandered through the hallways of the fortress, unable to sleep.
A part of him wanted to get it all out of his mind and forget. Forget about the battle, the balrogs, the betrayal… even the hunts, the banquets, the mad dives off the cliffs and the grassfights in Valinor before the Strife. Why was it so painful to remember?
Time and again his gaze slipped to the walls where murals of hunts were depicted. Near the far end of the wall, there was an eagle in the sky.
Don't, Russandol. Don't do it again.
He felt the tears sting his eyes and rammed his fist on the wall as he broke down. On the eagle. I can't do this. I can't do this anymore. I can't live like this. Findekano, why couldn't I save you? Why did I have to give away everything to those blasted traitors? It's my fault… it's all my fault.
Where was I when you needed me most? You were always there to save me, but… but I couldn't save you? Not even once?
Russandol wiped his tear-stained face on his sleeve and straightened, blinking back the tears. I'm just unstable, he told himself. I just need some rest, that's all. Then everything will be… fine. Just fine… I hope.
He didn't believe himself, but he forced himself to go back to his room and try to go to sleep.
Russandol's heart almost stopped when he entered the room. There, on the floor, illuminated by a shaft of moonlight, lay a gold string.
To Be Continued...