Disclaimer: characters and situations belong to J. R. R. Tolkien and Christopher Tolkien.

A/N: For Emma. Have a loffly birthday. *schnoogles*

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The Aerysil
By Taricorim

Prologue

The Sun hung low in the clear, azure sky, shining down amid the trees lining the shore. The waves in the ocean frolicked gently, rolling upon themselves, like children at play. Heat rose from the shore and languished in the late-afternoon air. High above, a giant eagle circled, its eyes ever trained on the earth, watching, waiting.

On the sand lay a lone figure. It stirred and sat up, shaking the dust from its eyes, and looked about in barely guarded wonder and confusion. It was a maiden, with nutmeg hair that caught in its mesh the radiance of Laurelin and the cool darkness of the trees' shadows. Barely visible were the pointed tips of her elven ears. Her eyes were a blue to rival the sky, but held within them the farthest reaches of heaven. She was a creature of light and dark.

She stood, dusting herself off, and in the move noticed her shift--a silken, grey raiment that shimmered in the light, at times shining with the fiery red of the sunset, at times gold like the blooms of elanor on a far away and long-forgotten shore, or pure white as niphredil. She frowned, fingering the material: it shone in the ebbing light with an ethereal light, banishing from its midst all shadow. The maiden shook her head; she recognised the work of her kin, despite centuries of removal.

Laurelin's fruit inched under the horizon, and the stars winked into existence. Eärendil gazed down upon Valinor from his abode, and saw the Elven maiden fair, and blinked in awe.

At length, the maiden turned inland, to the forests and valleys of that land, the land that had been blessed by the Valar. She walked.

Up in the sky, the eagle, watching no more, veered away.