Disclaimer:
All characters and/or places are Copyright of the Enterprise and/or Estate of J.R.R. Tolkien. No infringement on existing Copyright in intended, and no profit is being made from this publication.

Rating:
PG-13

Story Notes:
It is assumed throughout this tale that the sons of Earendil are in fact twins. If the reader wishes, debate this issue with HoME; but please not the author- she is weary of such disputes.

Chapter Keys {important!}:
Chapters titled 'Surrogate Jewels' and preceded by a number are standard third person narratives. However, chapters subtitled by the name Maedhros or Maglor are written form their respective PoV.

Summary:
The end of the First Age draws near. The harbor town of Sirion is in peril of war, threatened by the remaining sons of Feanor, who demand that Elwing daughter of Dior relinquish the Silmaril in her keeping. Five years previously, Elwing bared twin children, the sons of the bright Mariner, Earendil. This is the story of their fate.




Surrogate Jewels - Chapter One




The lady stood still and calm, poised as a beacon of nobility to those around her, palpable encouragement for those who looked upon her. A matte bone-white was her gown, hanging lightly from her body, tugged gently by the wind. Behind her was a structure, white pillars lined across a wooden porch; her home, set near the edge of a sheer cliff, backed by the Sea, overlooking Sirion. Before her was battle; a bloody and horrible sort- the second of its kind she had witnessed in her relatively short lifetime. Elf slaying elf; the stuff of nightmares, the pinnacle of absurdity. She looked on, as cleave by cleave her world was changed before her eyes, and the swaying tide of fortune faltered- in the enemies' favor. The Silmaril suddenly weighed heavily against her breast, and despair clawed at every fear in her heart, panicking her mind, sealing her fate.

That was the last Maglor saw of Elwing, before losing himself in the abandon of battle, the crazed fervor that one would be slain without adopting. It was a dark passion indeed, and one wholly necessary to embrace, in the name of victory and survival. Maglor assumed his role flawlessly, saving any remorse or pity he might feel until a time more appropriate. During the carnage, amid the brutality and madness, the second son of Feanor earned his name well; that of Kinslayer.

But that was some time ago, and things had calmed to a degree. Maglor took the opportunity to seek for that which should never have needed recovering. That which belonged to him rightfully, that which he resolved would rest in his hand before the night crept into day.

Inside Elwing's home, Maglor tore through room after room, searching for the blessed Light, the coveted Jewel, or any hope at all. All would be for naught, unless the Silmaril could be found. And so he searched, frantically, desperately. His orderlies he sent about, to check here and there, to quicken the progress and put an end to the suffering ere none were left to be saved.

It was then that he heard the sound. A wave of deploring anguish and rage swelled from outside, sweet Elven voices raised in sorrow and wrath. It was a terrible noise, and Maglor rushed to the nearest window to behold its source. There looking sideways he witnessed Elwing cast herself to the Sea, the Silmaril shining in her unbreakable grasp as she disappeared. Her people's lamentation grew in volume and force, as their fears were confirmed, their pleads ignored, and all hope lost. A screech of frustration and failure escaped Maglor's own lips, and he rested a moment with his head against the pane of cool glass, before his gloved fist broke clear through it.

He noticed two young voices wailing outside, somehow sounding apart from the rest, as if they had special cause to grieve, and he knew without seeing that it was Elwing's sons he heard. From wherever they were, they saw their mother plummet. A tear he spared for them as well, and while shedding it, did not see a white bird ascend from the Seafoam and fade from view beyond the horizon.

Another moment he took to mourn, and wished for a whole year to do the same. Suddenly a new pain struck his heart, and he turned misty vision to the distance, where his youngest brothers were besieged and slaughtered before his eyes. It happened far enough away, but he could see as clearly as he needed. Local folk, townsfolk -not even surviving warriors from Doriath or Gondolin- overpowered Amrod and Amras, mighty and skilled, and left them in slain heaps on the dirt. As if that was simply all right, as if such were ever acceptable. Well, it never could be, not for any reason. Maglor knew that well enough, for he lived under the Curse and its unbearable weight- as much as one could live, doomed to the Everlasting Darkness.

"An eye for an eye until we all are blind!" he roared. It was too much. Maglor felt something inside of him snap, cleaner than bone, and something else slip away, to a place fainter than forgotten memory, darker than hate. A great long table sat behind him, and he spun from the window, flipping the wooden mass with a single, mindless heave. In a fury he rushed from the room, and would not stop until he reached the entry chamber.



It was by sheer luck alone that the children reached their house without being caught in deadly crossfire, or being borne away to salvation by friend, or death by foe.

They were forced to climb over slain Elves to reach their home's porch, and a discarded log to pass the threshold, the front door itself shattered in splintered fragments all around. So harried were the children to get inside and hide that they did not realize until it was far too late that Maglor himself was standing in the foyer. With a gasp of terror, the children turned to flee from whence they came, but that way too was blocked by another elf walking forward, concealed by shadow and distance, but well-built and deadly in gait he was.

With no more preferable options, the Peredhil darted to one side, dashing into the reading lounge, and through it to the dining room, headed for the pantry within. It housed another door to the cellar, and therein was a hidden hatchway, which opened to a crawl space, leading to a safe-room. But the dining room table had been overturned, and its impossible bulk was leaning against the pantry room door. The children need make no effort to know that they could not move that table for another twenty years worth of growing. Furthermore, they heard footsteps behind, distracting them from forming any solution to their dilemma. They turned in time to see Maglor come forth, raising a bloodstained sword with purpose, and the children knew that there was no hope left. They would die momentarily, if they were fortunate.

"Peredhil," the Kinslayer's musical voice intoned unsteadily, comprehending, contemplating. He nearly growled then, seeing them huddle and shrink in fear and disgust. For an instant he thought his brothers had died for them, that the Silmaril was lost because of them, that all his pain would subside if not for them. He lifted his sword, the deadly weight hampering and familiar to his muscles, reminding him that there was only one purpose for a war-blade... But sense returned, and he saw not fault or blame through the red haze of his madness, but the sight for what it was. Two little children who had lost their mother and father to the Sea. Children whose home was ruined, and townspeople slain. Orphans whose lives changed forever the moment Maglor saw them... and knew that he must have them.

The floor bore the considerable weight of a sword dropped thoughtlessly upon it. One child screamed, never one to go quietly, while the other sobbed anew at the injustice of being denied a swift, clean death by the Elven steel. The Peredhil backed against the uprooted table and waited for their cruel fate, even whilst a crueler one was delivered, in the form of a voice like the wind, and just as twisted by the elements it surrenders to.

"Worry not, Peredhil; there, there, worry you not. I shall care for you, I promise. All is well, come now. Come over and meet me. My name is Maglor, children... what are your names?"


***continued***