Standard disclaimer: All the characters, locations, some quotes, and the initial conception of this world belong to J.R.R. Tolkien, whether it be from Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, or The History of Middle-earth Volumes I-XII.
Amrod and Amras came with their people to the Mouths of Sirion to seek sanctuary. They had for many years wandered Beleriand, but Morgoth's reign now extended through all of Beleriand save the small southwestern haven, where Ulmo's protection yet remained for a little while. It would not last long. The waters that ran westward withered, and their springs were poisoned, and Ulmo's power withdrew from the land. (1) Soon, the dark servants of Morgoth would cease to fear the wet deltas of the Havens of Sirion. But until then, perhaps they could find some measure of rest, or so the twins hoped. They would bend their knees to Earendil, lord of these lands, and perhaps he would permit them to stay. Let Maedhros and Maglor fight on as they could. The twins were the youngest of the sons of Feanor and less proud than their older brothers.
The sentinels of Sirion were aware of them ere they even neared the town hidden out in the delta. They remembered the stories of Beren entering the realm of Nargothrond and how he had held up the Ring of Barahir, gifted to him by Finrod Felagund. The twins had no such protection though, and their very visage, amber-haired and like-faced, revealed them as the youngest sons of Feanor. After the Second Kinslaying at Doriath, all scorned the remaining sons of Feanor. Amrod and Amras fell to their knees and waited to be approached. If they did not, they knew they'd be shot by hidden archers.
The chief of the marchwardens was, by chance, Egalmoth, Lord of the House of the Heavenly Arch. They had known him in the days of the Blessed Realm but had spoken little to him in recent years. He was dressed in a plain grey cloak, and his face was grim.
"Prince Amrod, Prince Amras," he said with a curt bow. "Why are you here? Surely you have heard that the remnants of the people of Doriath dwell here. You will not be welcomed here."
"They may not welcome us, but we hoped to prevail upon Lord Earendil, who is of our kin and might yet take pity on the hopeless," Amrod said.
"That is highly unlikely," Egalmoth said. "Lord Earendil and Lady Elwing are wedded, and if she protests your presence, her husband will not hesitate even to have you executed."
"We ask only to speak to Lord Earendil," Amras said. "If he accepts us as his vassals, then it will also be his right to try and execute us."
"I find it hard to believe that you are so willing to give up your lives," Egalmoth said with a touch of bitterness in his voice.
"We only hope that he will at the very least take in our people as fugitives," Amrod said. He gestured to those who followed them. "They have served us loyally, and if they have committed any wrong acts, then we are to blame and not them."
"So you use your people to elicit sympathy, Kinslayers," Egalmoth sneered.
"We may be Kinslayers, but we are not liars," Amras said firmly. "We only look to the welfare of our people. You are a lord. You should understand the responsibilities that come with that position."
"You speak fair, but we have seen your true selves in your past deeds," Egalmoth said hotly. "Your honor is besmirched by your kinslayings, and you are not to be trusted."
"Enough, Lord of the Heavenly Arch!" Galdor of the Tree came out from where he had been hiding. "Egalmoth, this is not a matter to be decided by you."
"And if this is but a ploy to enter the Havens of Sirion?" Egalmoth challenged.
"We will have them disarmed, bound, and blindfolded. You will agree to that much, will you not?" said Galdor. The twin sons of Feanor nodded. "There. That will ensure that they are a danger to none. Let them plead as they will before the Lady of the Havens." Galdor looked to the Elves who followed the twins, and his sympathy for them at least was apparent.
All the people of Amrod and Amras were disarmed and bound and blindfolded. They submitted willingly, for they knew this would be their only chance to win sanctuary from Morgoth. The going was slow, for the people of Amrod and Amras were tired and unsure of their steps.
"My Lord Galdor, something is amiss." The twins recognized the voice of Legolas, who had often been seen with the Lords that followed Fingolfin. "Gimli has heard tremors in the east, from the region of Taur-im-Duinath. He believes there may be an army approaching from there."
Amras was grabbed roughly and thrown to the ground. "Your trick?" Egalmoth demanded harshly.
"We have no army, only those you see here," Amrod answered for his brother. Though blindfolded, he still knew where Amras was. Amrod knelt beside his twin. "Are you okay?"
"It's nothing. Shh." Amras lay his ear on the ground to see if he could hear the tremors in the east. He heard nothing, but Gimli was known for his keen-hearing, and so Amras did not doubt that there was an army to the east.
"Could it be Maedhros and Maglor?" Egalmoth asked.
"It is impossible to tell," said Legolas.
"Damn it!" Egalmoth swore. "They must be after the Silmaril."
"The Silmaril?" Amrod and Amras said in one breath.
"I thought it was lost!" Amrod said.
"Nay, not lost. Lady Elwing escaped here with it," Legolas said.
"You've said too much, Legolas," Galdor chided.
"Perhaps his slip was fate," said Amrod. "We knew not that the Silmaril lay hidden in the Havens of Sirion."
"The army must be that of Morgoth," said Amras. (2)
Egalmoth laughed. "Do not pretend that you did not know of the Silmaril here. Maedhros sent a letter asking that it be given to the sons of Feanor. In return, he would offer us protection. If we did not comply, he said that he could not be responsible for what damage would be done to the Havens."
"Protection?" Now it was Amrod's turn to laugh. "What can Maedhros protect? The majority of his people were lost in the Nirnaeth."
"You have been tricked," Amras said. "The letter was not from a son of Feanor. Do you think that Maedhros was forcing you to buy your safety with the Silmaril? Nay. I suspect that Morgoth's servant was seeking for the Silmaril."
"If your Lord Earendil answered 'Maedhros' by refusing to give over the Silmaril, then Morgoth now knows that you do, indeed, possess it," said Amrod. "You would have been wiser to declare that you had no Silmaril to give."
"Can they be speaking the truth?" Egalmoth wondered.
"We have learned through hardship the deception of Morgoth." Amrod laughed bitterly and tears began to slip down his cheeks from underneath the blindfold.
Amras was of like mood. "Treason of kin unto kin and the fear of treason. Morgoth has ever used that to his advantage."
"It's Doriath all over again."
"If this is the end, then let us meet it." Amras tore the blindfold from his eyes and wiped his wet cheeks with the sleeve of his shirt. "Free us. Morgoth is coming, and every sword will count now."
"How can we trust that this is not some elaborate ploy?" Egalmoth said.
"It is over, Lord of the Heavenly Arch. There is no ploy, and before the day is ended we shall be slain," foretold Amrod. He too pulled the blindfold from his eyes and dried his eyes.
"But if we must die, then let us do what hurt we can to the enemy ere the end." Amras spoke not to Egalmoth but to his people, still bound and blindfolded. They had followed him and Amrod thus far. They were weary and weak, but they would fight if the need arose. They began to murmur in agreement. The twins, though weeping just a moment before, now stood strong and noble.
Egalmoth looked to Galdor, who shrugged and said, "They may lie about other matters, but I think they speak truly now. The servants of Morgoth are coming." Galdor cut the bonds about their wrists and returned their swords to them. "Legolas, warn Elwing."
Amrod and Amras only had a short while to rally their men and instill them with courage. They deployed their men amidst the tall reeds of the mouths of Sirion. The trembling of the earth was hidden by the rushing water all around, but before long, all could feel the heavy footfalls of the approaching army.
"Where is Galdor?" Amras said to Egalmoth. They crouched low to hide from any preliminary scouts of the enemy.
"Oropher and Mablung were guarding the west. He has gone to warn them and will return shortly," Egalmoth said.
"He would have done better to send a messenger as he did to Elwing," Amord said.
"No. The matter is too grave." Egalmoth looked at the travel-worn twins, all traces of exhaustion gone from their posture. Their eyes were large and bright; it seemed they thrived on war. "Even in Gondolin, we were gradually driven back, and I do not doubt that that will happen again. Galdor of the Tree went to tell the Sindarin sentinels that you are our allies, or the battle will indeed go ill when we meet with those who fled here from Doriath. Hopefully they will believe it if they hear it from him."
Amrod and Amras nodded in understanding. Egalmoth was tense but he no longer seemed combative towards the sons of Feanor. They doubted that they'd been forgiven of all that had happened, but Egalmoth was a good leader, good enough to know that he needed to focus on the more important matter at hand: the imminent battle.
It was not long before the Orcs entered the delta of Sirion. The Elves loosened their arrows upon their foes and did not wait for the enemy to strike the first blow. Though startled, the Orcs poured forth, cutting down the tall reeds and willows as they sought the Elves in the marshes. When the Orcs were too near for bow and arrow, Amrod drew his sword and lunged at his enemy. Others also drew their swords as the onslaught of enemies continued still longer. Fortunately, there were no Balrogs, for they feared the waters of Sirion, but the Orcs were joined with werewolves, trolls, and other foul beasts.
A young Elf with blond hair rushed through the reeds. "Lord Galdor! Lord Egalmoth!" The twins hurried over, perceiving that this was news that they should be hearing as well.
"What is the news, Thranduil?" Egalmoth asked.
"The situation is grave. The enemy have passed through in the west and are marching upon the Havens of the Mouths of Sirion," Thranduil reported.
Galdor swore. "Blood and darkness. It's no use holding our position here then."
"The Haven is defended only by women and children," Egalmoth said, and Amrod and Amras understood immediately what Egalmoth was implying.
"We will aid you," Amrod promised.
"Good. Let us retreat with all speed," Egalmoth said. Whatever their losses here on the borders of the Havens of Sirion would be justified if they but saved Earendil and the Silmaril.
The four Lords quickly gathered their companies and organized the retreat. Galdor's men of the Tree held the rear, for they fought with studded clubs and were more suited for the close combat than Egalmoth's archers. They arrived late to the town.
A silver-haired Elf of noble bearing came to Egalmoth, and the twins recognized him: Celeborn, lover of Galadriel. "The Orcs are in the city. Those who can are retreating to the Sea, but we cannot hold."
"What of Elwing?" asked Egalmoth
"She was with Mablung of the Heavy-hand last I saw, but we parted company some time ago." Celeborn shook his head. "We bade her to take to the Sea, but she would not. She seeks the Silmaril and purposed to return to her house."
"This is a dark night," Egalmoth muttered.
"Dark indeed if we've made allies of the sons of Feanor," Celeborn said with a cold look to the twins.
"Celeborn--" Egalmoth began.
"No, don't bother to defend them, Noldo," said Celeborn. "Their people are Elves and Men. They will not be assaulted. We have no time to distinguish between such friends and foes. Right now, we only know to slay Orcs."
Amrod and Amras nodded at Celeborn in gratitude. The Silver Prince drew out a map and quickly showed them where the Orcs had entered the city. Galdor arrived in time for the assignments. The strategy was simple. The Elves would weave through the town alleys and strive to drive the Orcs out once more. Amrod and Amras were sent to the northeastern edge of the town to cut off the incoming enemy. They would join with the company of Oropher there. Then they would relieve Oropher of holding off the enemy, and Oropher's people would then attack the tail of the Orcs that had won entry into the town. It was a losing strategy. They sought to protect too large a territory when they should've been concentrating on retreat. But Amrod and Amras did not voice their objections and perceived that the Silmaril was, in some way, the reason for guarding the town so.
The situation went as well as could be expected. At least in the town, the number of enemies in any given street was limited. But as Egalmoth predicted, they could not long hold their positions. Again, they were gradually pushed back. Had it been enough time for Elwing to escape with the Silmaril?
A small band of Elves fleeing from the north joined them. "Balrogs!" cried one of the Elves. "Do not tarry here! Balrogs are upon us!" Amrod cursed and ordered his men to quickly retreat. Any delay would only increase the death toll.
"How is this possible?" Oropher swore. "The waters of Sirion--"
"Are no more," Amras said harshly. "Their dead fill the marshes. Balrogs have passed the borders." This was not the first time that Morgoth had used such tactics; his servants often used their own dead as bridges. The Elves saved their breath and retreated toward the Sea with all due speed. Then, above the clamor and confusion, the twins heard the trumpeting of the horns of Maedhros to the southeast.
"Allies?" Oropher wondered, for he did not recognize the cry of those horns.
Maglor appeared from the shadows. "Allies," he said shortly. He nodded to his youngest brothers. "Our spies saw Morgoth's forces approaching the Havens of Sirion. Maedhros would not leave them for dead. Go!"
"What of you?" Amras cried.
"I'm coming with you," Maglor said with a quick grin. He handed Amrod an unlit torch and flicked flint to steel until the torch caught fire. Maglor took the torch and tossed it to the floor. The alley had been filled with hay and dry reeds and now burst into flames. "Flammable," Maglor jested. Amrod and Amras grinned and understood. Maglor's men were establishing a ring of fire, and though the Balrogs were beasts of fire, even they could not pass such a firewall. Maglor blew his horn in answer to Maedhros's. "What are you doing?" he shouted at the twins once he'd signaled their eldest brother. "Go!"
Together, the people of Maglor, Amrod, Amras, and Oropher retreated. Many of the Orcs and fell beasts had become confused by the rising smoke and fearful of the mighty trumpets that heralded the coming of new enemies. Those servants of Morgoth that were trapped in the town offered little resistance. The Elves slowed only to aid the wounded. After they'd come some distance, Maglor's men stopped to barricade the streets once more. Amrod and Amras paused and desired to order their men to aid as well, but Maglor shook his head.
"Go. We will meet by the Sea." There was no hay or reed readily available, but Maglor had come prepared. He doused the broken chairs and carts with a flask of oil. "Flee westward. The Havens offer no protection now. The army that Morgoth has sent is greater than you know. Hide in the Birchwoods of Nimbrethil. The Elves of Balar are sure to have seen the smoke. They will come shortly."
The twins did not protest their elder brother's command. All the Havens were in ruins, but towns could be rebuilt. They needed first and foremost to protect as many people as they could. They came at last to the very edge of the Sea. There, they found Celeborn, Egalmoth, and Thranduil fighting off the companies of Orcs that had passed through the town. They rushed to their aid and were swiftly victorious.
"Where is Elwing?" Oropher asked.
Thranduil grimaced. "We were too late. She was pursued by werewolves and leapt into the Sea. About her neck was the Nauglamir, and set in it was the Silmaril," he said more to the twins than to Oropher. They were silent for a moment, but there was no time to grieve, either for the loss of the Lady of the Havens or for the loss of the Silmaril.
"We must retreat westward," Oropher said.
Celeborn nodded. "That is my thought as well. Galdor and Dirhavel have already set off with what women and children we could gather."
"Mablung?" Oropher asked.
Celeborn shook his head. "Slain."
"My men and I will hold the rear," Egalmoth volunteered.
"When the enemy comes, you will not survive," Amrod said.
Egalmoth shrugged and smiled grimly. "I know it. If Glorfindel were here, he would have some witty remark to say."
"Those of our men who can still fight will be with you," Amras said.
Celeborn nodded, apparently too tired to care about who volunteered for the dangerous task so long as it was done. They began a steady retreat to the Birchwoods. They encountered smaller bands of Orcs, but they seemed to have escaped the notice of the main host of Morgoth's army. The wind picked up, and in that chilling breeze, they heard the horns of the sons of Feanor. At times, that sound of defiance was all that pushed the remnants of Sirion forward. In time, Amrod and Amras became separated from Egalmoth, but they found the people that had been led forth by Dirhavel. They retold what news they could and encouraged them to go on. Amrod and Amras, with their dwindling company, held the rear once more. Before long, they became separated from Dirhavel's people as well.
"We need not meet with the others immediately," Amras said. "At the least, we have reached the birchwoods. They will hide us from the eyes of the enemy. Let us rest here for a moment." Their men were quick to agree. They sat and refreshed themselves, but their rest was interrupted by the sounds of fighting to the south.
"Come," Amrod said, and none doubted their obligation to save any in need. They rushed through the birchwoods until they came upon a small band of Elves. There were few Orcs, but all could hear the approaching footfalls of still more enemies.
"Ambarussa," said one of the Elves in surprise, and after a moment, the twins recognized the older Elf to be Hendor, a loyal follower of the House of Fingolfin. Upon his shoulders was a young child.
"Hendor!" they cried.
"It is said that Turgon rejoiced when he again met Hurin and Huor in the Fifth Battle, but there is less joy to be found at this reunion," said Elemmakil, so like his father in face and fair voice that the twins had no trouble recognizing the son of Ecthelion of the Fountain. Like Hendor, there was a child upon his shoulders.
"We are pursued by a great army," Hendor said.
"And my men are tired. We cannot flee much farther," Elemmakil said.
"Go. We will hold the rear," Amras said.
"No." Elemmakil took the child from his shoulders and held him in his arms. "This is the son of Earendil and Elwing. His brother sits upon Hendor's shoulders. We do not have the strength to go farther, but we may hold off the enemy so that you may flee with them." Hendor nodded in agreement, brought the child around into his arms, and held him out to Amrod.
Amrod and Amras at last paused to look at these precious children, the sons of Earendil of Gondolin and Elwing of Doriath. The boys were alike in mood and face, twins. In their minds, Amrod and Amras remembered the Days of Bliss in the Blessed Realm. They'd had each other, but they had been unable to find spouses. A man may not have two spouses, yet the twin sons of Feanor could not love apart. Their father had told them, "You will not be the only twin stars of the Eldalie." They had taken their father's words as foresight and thenceforth believed that they would eventually meet and love the second set of twins of the Elves. They looked now into the eyes of the twin Half-elves and saw what might have been in Arda Unmarred.
"How many?" Amrod asked at last.
Elemmakil shook his head. "Hundreds. Sauron is with them. He knows that the boys will make a handsome ransom for the Silmaril."
"The Silmaril is lost," Amras said. "Elwing leapt into the Sea with it, so said Thranduil."
"Lost..." Hendor said with a heavy sigh.
"So be it. Hope is not lost so long as the sons of Earendil live," Elemmakil said. "We are losing precious time. Please, take them and go."
"If there are truly hundreds, we may not be able to outrun them," Amras said.
"Our men will stay to reinforce your company," Amrod said. "My brother and I will take the twins and find for them some safe keeping."
Elemmakil nodded. "Do what you can. Our options are limited."
Amrod and Amras each took one of the twin boys upon their shoulders and began to race through the forest with a sudden burst of strength born of desperation. The Half-elves were silent and scared, but they did not cry aloud or disrupt the fleeing twins.
"Water," Amras cried as he became aware of a nearby stream.
"Celebrimbor," Amrod said. And they understood each other without saying more.
The twin sons of Feanor took to the water, where their scent would be hidden from the werewolves. The Half-elves clung to their hair and hugged them close. When the stream became too deep to run, they swam until, at last, they came to a waterfall. The twins searched about and found a small hollow behind the waterfall. It was perfect. The waters of Ulmo would shield the sons of Earendil from the servants of Morgoth. Amras took the boy upon his shoulders and handed him to Amrod. With the hilt of his sword, he widened the hollow.
"We have no father-names," said the boy. "But my mother named me Elros, Star-foam, and he is Elrond, Star-dome." (3)
"By our mother, we are both Ambarussa, Top-russet in Quenya," said Amrod.
"We know the tongue," said Elros. "Our father and his people of Gondolin spoke it, and we have learned it also." So they spoke Quenya as well as the more common Sindarin tongue; in all ways, they were Half-elves.
"Ambarato, the Fated, my mother named me when our father asked that we each be given our own name," said Amras, "but I did not want the name and gave it to my brother shortly after we arrived in Middle-earth. So Umbarato, the Exalted, I became. But in the tongue of the Grey-elves, he is Amrod, and I am Amras." (4)
Amras had at last widened the cave behind the waterfall, and he now took Elros from Amrod's arms and placed him in the cave. "Farewell, Elros."
Amrod then took the boy from his shoulders and placed him beside his elder brother. "Have you nothing to say to me, Elrond?" Elrond shook his head, and his eyes darted to and fro. But from behind the waterfall, nothing of the outer world could be seen. Amrod took the pouches from about his belt and placed them beside the boys. "Take these rations, and do not come out from here."
"What of you?" Elros asked, looking first to Amras then to Amrod.
Amras smiled and kissed Elros on the forehead. "We came to these lands to lure the Dark Lord from our kin in the Blessed Realm, and so we will do so again. The werewolves will search along the stream banks for our scent until it is found. We will lure them from here. But do not fear! You will be protected by the Lord of the Waters, and I do not doubt that you will be found and rescued."
"Will we meet again?" Elrond asked Amrod in a soft voice. Amrod shook his head. He took off his cloak and stuffed it around the twin sons of Earendil so that they might keep warm when night fell.
"Come, we must be away," Amras said. Unlike Amrod, Amras kept his cloak and food so that he might share them with his twin should they live.
"Ambarussa!" Elrond cried out as they passed beyond the curtain of water that hid the small cave.
Though they had precious little time, Amrod could not help but to peer through the waterfall at the twins once more. "What is it, Elrond?"
"I wanted to thank you," Elrond said shyly, "and to say that we will meet again."
Amrod smiled and kissed his fated one upon the forehead in farewell. "I hope that it may be so. In the Halls of Mandos if naught else." Then Amrod hurried to join his twin.
The twin sons of Feanor swam down the stream some ways and then went ashore. With time, the servants of Morgoth would find their trail. They fled through the forest away from the twin sons of Earendil. And as they lured the enemy away from Elros and Elrond, Amrod and Amras heard again the voice of their father from years ago: "Fair shall the end be." (5) Their tired muscles found strength, and for a moment, they imagined that they were running as carefree boys through the lands of Aman. Through sorrow, they had found a moment of joy that was worth a lifetime.
(1) Unfinished Tales, p. 29.
(2) The raid on the Havens of Sirion appears in the early outlines, though that was an act of Melko's, not of the Feanorians. (II. 269)
(3) The meaning of Elros and Elrond's names are from XII. 367-371.
(4) Their mother names are taken from XII. 353-355. As to which is Ambarato and which Umbarato, in this story continuity, Ambarato is the younger twin, and thus Umbarato the older. However, rather than die in the burning of the ships at Losgar, Ambarato was saved by Feanor.
(5) Silmarillion, Ch. 9.
Other notes: As for the rest of this, there are no real good notes to give. It's based off Paradise Lost (), a Feanorian version of the Silmarillion. In it, Feanor chooses (or rather, will very soon choose) to lead the Noldor forth to ME to lure Morgoth away from the Elves of Aman. The letter that was supposedly sent by Maedhros but actually sent by Morgoth is based off war tactics learned from reading Romance of the Three Kingdoms. The idea of the raid upon the Havens of Sirion being an act of Morgoth is based off earlier versions of the Silmarillion (II. 258, 269). It's also said that Egalmoth was slain at this dire battle (II. 217).