Chapter 3

If they ever make it out of this alive, Faelon declares to himself that he will never take color for granted again. For five months, there has been complete and utter darkness that he is not used to and only the elders ever remember. He was born in Valinor, where the trees had lit the world in a shower of golden and silver light, where the stars were only seen dimly when Telperion was in bloom.

This? This absence of light? It is disorienting and maddening, and the thought that even should they dare to return the trees would be gone is enough to drive a few over the brink of sanity. His brother is already teetering on the edge. If Camaendir leaves him, Faelon will know how selfish his brother is, because then he will be left alone, the only one left of his family.

Tattered clothes and brown furs and orange fires are the only colors he can register now because there is nothing but white all around them, and all other memories have become faded, washed out by the never-ending white and the mind-numbing cold. The blue and black of the ice and water only remind him of their bruises and the bite marks of frost. The white is a constant source of grating frustration, simply because there is no end to it.

The plains of snow are both white and black - in the rare case, though, they will see them splashed with faint hues of pink, purple, orange, green, and blue, because of the strange lights that sometimes flare to life above them in the sky, scintillating in sheets of glorious, blinding color. It makes his eyes water and ache, but he does not grudge it because it is color.

He ignores the whispers that the lights are the Maiar, making sure that they do not turn back. He thinks that such a notion is ridiculous. Why would they care any less? They have already been cursed, and he knows, because he had nothing to do with the Rebellion, that the Valar are not what Feänor says they are. They are kind and they are wise, but sometimes - he says it to himself, but never aloud - they seem to be unfair. What did he ever do to merit such cold disdain?

Nevertheless, there is no turning back for him. He was not given a choice to turn back along with Finarfin's people, because Turucáno did not give them that option. Faelon is not sure whether he resents the prince for this, or thanks him for it. After all, who was to say that this living nightmare was better than what awaited Finarfin and his people when they returned?

Red is another color he has seen lately. Warm and thick and Crimson, smelling of rust and life and yet death all in one stream of liquid that pools everywhere, from reality into his dreams. It stains the white snow and turns it pink, and his horrified, too-old eyes watch it spread among the people like a creeping sickness. The life of his people are draining away into the yawning maws of snow and ice and black water, and though they give so much, the colors never change. The ice never gives back their frozen dead. The water never retches up the corpses they have swallowed.

What would they do with them anyway, even if the elements were so kind? Faelon does not know. There is no place to bury them. There is no place where their bodies will not be desecrated, no place where they will find rest amidst the grinding, churning, changing ice. There is no place where they can be buried that could ever be found or visited again.

Among all the colors Faelon has catalogued, there is one that he has come to trust, surprisingly, considering that all of the others have continuously changed. There was nothing to trust here, in the shifting, threatening white and blue, but there was one that he had come to stick close to.

Strangely, it was red.

Róg has been nothing but kind to the lost and orphaned waifs that he has taken in, making sure that they have been fed, clothed with furs, warmed by fires, and protected from wolves and frost alike - and even their fellow Elves, unpredictable in their throes of white-washed madness. His banner is the same red that haunts Faelon's dreams, but it is a red that has never wavered, and a red that has flown in front of their group steadily now.

Róg is strong. His use of the blacksmith's hammer that he brought with him from Valinor is also stained with his signature red, but it is not the red of Elven blood - it is the life-giving red of food and protection. It is the only red Faelon knows he can trust. Róg is the only Elf he knows he can really trust, because he is wary of his own susceptible mind, and his brother lost that privilege when he pried Faelon off the lapels of his tunic.

He will follow Róg to the very end, whatever that may be. He still firmly believes that there will be an end to them, but not to this white. It has stretched before them until it met the black horizon, littered with stars like teeth. Some have began putting hope in the stead-fast optimism of their leaders.

Faelon does not waver in his belief that they are insane.

These chapters are getting even shorter! What am I gonna do!? I feel like I'm running out soon... Although admittedly I am having fun discovering Faelon's backstory. I feel like he could be a good canon character if he were fleshed out more.

Also, kudos to those who caught the reference to the Northern lights, also known as the auroras. The Helcaraxë was up in the north of Middle Earth, so it can probably be safely said that it could be the equivalent of the land bridge that used to exist between Russia and Alaska. The same half-year-of-night and half-year-of-day along with the auroras. You can interpret it as you will, considering that I never really specified anything.