There was no warmth in this terrible path. All the elves trying to leave the Undying Lands had learned that, once they had started on the icy path. In the dark they continued on, only stopping to sleep, since they could eat on the way. With them they had taken horses also, but the fine boned animals of the Noldor were not faring well in these harsh conditions.
Right now, they were forcing their way through a snowstorm, and despite being elves, even they felt the chill from the wind. It was hard to move along, when one couldn't see three feet in front of their own feet, and many an elf tripped over unseen obstacles met before they could see them. A few of the horses had been set loose, they'd been lamed by misjudged steps, and other mishaps along the way.
Yet the elves persevered, the ice path had to end somewhere.
Fanaráto was so deep in thought about how far they'd come that he stumbled into someone, who turned and pushed him away.
He blinked, looking up at the voice.
"Err, sorry, I couldn't see you."
Clearly neither of them could see who the other was, or that elf might not have pushed him away like that. After all, everyone knew how many of Finwé's descendants had decided to take the path that led away from Aman back to the shores they had once departed from at the invitation of the Valar.
"Well we've stopped. Wonder why, since there's nothing we can do in this blizzard anyway."
Fanaráto sighed, moving away, leading the strong white horse – his own mount – who had thusfar managed to survive the walk on the ice. Even as he did, for a mere moment he felt a slightly warmer breeze touching his skin, soon lost as he was surrounded by other Noldor once more. As he walked he was aware of others calling out that they could see something that was no longer ice ahead on their path, but he did not know if he could believe it himself.
We were all doomed, at least we heard Lord Námo and his words…
Fanaráto found that he was not as bothered by the doom spoken of against his people as he should have been. He did not believe that those who were going not as willingly as they originally planned would be forever barred from Valinor. Not if they did the right thing and did not kill their own people as had happened far to the south. He himself had not participated in that fight, he had had people in Aqualonde whom he had cared about.
I only leave because someone needs to keep my siblings in check… I left my heart behind in Valinor…
One day perhaps he would be able to return to her, once he was no longer needed in these mortal lands that Feanáro had spoken so passionately of. One could only hope that there was a chance for him and for his sweet lovely Amarië.
It was she who warmed his heart during the long cold nights in this wretched wasteland of ice. No fire could match the warmth of love, even when he was so far from her. At times he wished he could turn back, but they had come too far now that he knew turning back would only lead to his doom.
This path has already cost many their very lives… it is saddening to leave them behind here on the ice but we can do no more for those who have fallen…
There was a shrill cry from somewhere nearby and his horse tossed his head against the reins that Fanaráto held in his hand as he walked. He turned toward the sound, knowing it to be the voice of one of his family members. His cousins' young child, and that worried him. Itarillë, daughter of Elenwë and Turukáno.
"Ammë, please... stay with us…"
The words cut through him as he heard them.
Not Elenwë. He could hardly believe that she too had been overcome by the cold bleakness that was their surroundings. Even the stars, their only source of light now the Two Trees were gone, did not shine very often on their path. Everything was against their leaving Valinor, and he knew it.
This was likely their plan all along…
It seemed now, just when others called out that they could see something other than cold ice and stars; that his own family had to lose a member. He walked toward where his cousins were gathered, where he could see Itarillë crying, clinging to her mother despite Turukáno's best efforts to calm her, while he too grieved at the sight of his wife's fading strength.
Nolofinwë was there, trying to help his son with Itarillë, though he looked up as Fanaráto approached.
"What is it? What have you seen?"
"It is not I who have seen, but those ahead of us here. The ice path ends, and I know not what awaits us now, as it is still too dark to see what remains of the Aman our forefathers knew before they went to Valinor."
"We'll rest here for the night… in the morning we will continue on and see what awaits us. I cannot make them move on from here… not after this. Let the others know to come back here."
"Very well. Will we take her with us? Since we know there's very little ice left to go?"
At least they had a chance to bury Elenwë, unlike all the other elves who had succumbed to the ice path. Perhaps a third of their number had fallen on their journey, and that was a harrowing thought.
Nolofinwë nodded and turned his attention back to his son and granddaughter.
Fanaráto mounted his horse and rode carefully toward the front of the column of elves once more. The elves stopped as he reached the front of the group.
"Stop and turn around. We're setting up another campsite here. Tomorrow we will enter Aman again, and with us we take one elleth to bury. Lady Elenwë has fallen."
There were shocked gasps, but he returned to his family, they did not need to question him, as they would see her for themselves once they reached Aman once more.
We have made it… but not without hardship in this oppressive night…