Yep, she's still in Moria. There's one more scroll of Catoë somewhere in all that mess, and Mary Sue's determined to find it. But will the scroll she finds be the one she seeks?
The Owner's Guide format belongs to Theresa Green, the brilliant creator of this series, and is used with her permission.
Many thanks to our coke snorting beta reader Bow…make that diet coke snorking, who rated this one a 1.9 liters out of a possible 2.0 liters on the snorking scale.
4. The Chamber of Marzabûl: Maedhros/Fingon
"My feet hurt!" complained Mary Sue. She had been in Moria almost a week now, searching the dusty archives of the Dwarves for the missing scrolls of Catoë.
"Well, if you had worn sensible footwear," said Dîm unsympathetically. He couldn't even begin to imagine why the females of her species would torture themselves with the strappy contraptions she had on. When asked, she told him it was 'fashionable,' but 'ludicrous' was what he called it.
Mary Sue wisely shut up. She wanted commiseration, not a lecture. In the last few days, she had come to positively hate Moria, although she was becoming rather fond of Dîm. The stout Doorward had been her guide through the halls of the Dwarf mansion of Khazad-dûm, and was now helping her search out the Seventh Scroll of Catoë. She had already found the sixth moldering away in this sunless place, along with three other scrolls by the same hand. Two of these she had safely tucked away in her satchel; the other she couldn't get away from fast enough. She was beginning to wonder if she would ever get out of this dreadful place when Dîm began to shuffle importantly, a sign that he thought he was on to something.
"What is it?" Mary Sue asked eagerly.
"More Elf-scrolls," he confided. "These are very special."
"These were gifted to the Lords of Khazad-dûm during the height of their creativity, when this realm was in its heyday. They didn't find their way here from the refuse-heap of other realms. These are some of our most treasured relics, from a time when the Lords of the Khazad were respected by all!" As he spoke, Dîm's eyes took on a fiery passion that even Mary Sue was a little startled to see. Why was it that everyone in Middle-Earth always talked about the past as being preferable to the present?
Trying to sound at least a little interested, Mary Sue encouraged him to continue. "And, ah, where did these come from?"
"These," Dîm said, lovingly stroking a scroll case with his gnarled hand, "were given as gifts to Lord Narvi the Smith by Lord Celebrimbor the…ah…the Smith."
"Lord Celebrimbor was the greatest of the Elven-smiths of Eregion, and he was deep in friendship with the Dwarves of Khazad-dûm. And of all Dwarves, he loved Narvi best. As a token of their friendship, he gave to Narvi treasures which some say he had brought out of the West, from the land of the Valar. It is said that Celebrimbor Silverhand was touched by Mahal himself. He was the grandson of-"
"Yes, yes," said Mary Sue impatiently, hastily waving away the history lesson. "But did he have the scroll I'm looking for?"
Frowning again at having his tale truncated by Mary Sue's short attention span, Dîm waved at the pile of scrolls before them. "See for yourself," he said, a little testily.
Mary Sue ignored his irritated tone and eagerly dove into the pile of scrolls, searching for the distinctive seal shared by the Annals of Catoë.
"Ah ha!" she cried triumphantly, holding aloft a scroll with a familiar seal. The case was a little scorched-looking, but the parchment appeared to be intact. Stripping off the seal, she unrolled the scroll (a rather long one) and read it aloud. Upon the scroll, this is what she read:
Maedhros/Fingon: The Owner's Guide and Maintenance Manual
You are now the proud owner of the MAEDHROS and FINGON two-pack! Each of these units is sold separately, or as part of the SONS OF FËANOR and CHILDREN OF FINGOLFIN series. This limited-edition two-pack combines the most popular models of each series. Each of these robust units is a sturdy Noldorin Prince, so please read these instructions carefully to avoid mishap.
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS (MAEDHROS):
Name: Maedhros, will also answer to Maitimo, Russandol, Nelyafinwë
Type: Noldorin Elf (male)
Manufacturer: Spirit of Fire Enterprises
Date of Manufacture: Days of the Two Trees
Length: Impressive. He is called 'Well-formed' and 'the Tall' for a reason.
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS (FINGON):
Name: Fingon (the Valiant), also answers to Findekáno
Type: Noldorin Elf (male)
Manufacturer: Scions of Kings, Unlimited
Date of Manufacture: Days of the Two Trees
Length: Sufficient. Satisfaction is guaranteed or your money back.
Your Son of Fëanor comes with the following useful items:
M(a) Superior Sword of Fëanorian make
M(b) One Holy-Lite™ Silmaril*
M(c) Hair grooming supply kit
M(d) Silver circlet featuring Star of Fëanor motif
M(e) Forged steel bracelet
M(f) Costume befitting First-Age Noldorin prince, including:
Your Son of Fingolfin comes with these accessories:
F(a) One slightly inferior sword, capable of slicing anything but item M(e)
F(b) Gold circlet featuring star motif
F(c) THORONDOR accessory unit (Manufactured by All Good Beasts, Inc.)
F(d) Bow and quiver
F(f) Banner of blue and silver
F(h) Costume befitting First-Age Noldorin prince, including:
F(i) Complementary trial-size packet of Moral Fiber™ available at fine retailers.
Immediately take and conceal item M(b). It is imperative that MAEDHROS does not discover you have done this!
*batteries not included
Caution – to avoid tragedy, please follow these instructions carefully or the unnecessary slaughter of innocents may result. Have the following items on hand: lighter fluid, matches, pepper spray, silk scarves, canister of NO2.
(1) FINGON and MAEDHROS ship separately, and we recommend you install MAEDHROS first.
(2) Expect your unit to be rather upset after shipping.
(3) It is necessary to subdue MAEDHROS before removing him from his crate. Vent the entire canister of NO2 into the crate until MAEDHROS stops struggling.
(4) Quickly haul him out and tie him up using the silk scarves. (Yes, you can use rope if you really want to…)
(5) Douse the crate in lighter fluid. Be prepared to use pepper spray as MAEDRHOS will undoubtedly try to get back in it.
(6) Burn the crate as quickly as possible. Expect MAEDHROS to mutter to himself as he mournfully watches the crate burn.
(7) Once his crate is gone, MAEDHROS will be much more obedient. Untie him when his wrath subsides, but keep the pepper spray handy. It's a good idea to release him as soon as possible, as MAEDHROS resents being restrained (unless in play).
To get your FINGON up and running, please be advised of the following:
(1) FINGON and MAEDHROS units ship in separate crates, even in the two-pack. This is to give the new owner a chance to adjust their programming before they are exposed to each other, lest they ignore you completely. MAEDHROS will arrive first.
(2) All FINGON units ship frozen in a refrigerated crate.
(3) It is necessary to warm FINGON before he will be fully functional.
(4) To accomplish this, first remove FINGON from his crate. He will be quite unresisting as he is frozen stiff.
(5) Unwrap your FINGON unit and expose him to a heat source until he thaws out. We recommend body heat, preferably your own.
(6) Once he warms up sufficiently, FINGON will be ready for action.
Your MAEDHROS is a creature of superior intellect and prowess, and can make himself useful at many tasks around the house.
Security: MAEDHROS has very strong protective instincts and may gather other First Age ELVEN units in your vicinity to execute his Union of Maedhros program, organizing a neighborhood watch and preventing enemies from entering. MAEDHROS is excellent protection against marauding ORCS and raving FANGIRLS.
Lost and Found: Very strong searching instincts make MAEDHROS an excellent sleuth. Describe a missing item to MAEDHROS and he will seek it out and reclaim it at all costs. Use caution with this function, as unnecessary Kinslaying may result. This program is more effective with objects than people.
Baby-sitter: While not exactly 'good with children,' MAEDHROS will nonetheless keep them safely tucked away if you must leave them in his care. If one or two children happen to go missing, his Lost and Found program will be automatically initiated.
Fanfic Author: Give your MAEDHROS quill and parchment, and you will find that he writes superlative action/adventure fanfiction! His specialty, of course, is cliff-hangers.
FINGON has many useful talents of his own.
Children's Playmate: Especially useful when run in conjunction with MAEDHROS' babysitter function. Fingon will happily entertain your children for hours with stories, songs, and games. His specialty is his own musical version of Marco-Polo.
Search and Rescue: No matter what the odds, FINGON will brave all and hasten to the rescue of persons in need. He may utilize his musical Marco-Polo skills in this capacity as well.
Entertainer: FINGON knows his way around the harp strings and can perform anything from Valinorean ballads to modern easy-listening after hearing a song performed only once! His lovely voice is also an asset. Group him with a DAERON and a MAGLOR and you have the makings of an excellent Boy Band.
Nightlight: In dire circumstances, FINGON is capable of producing a white flame, providing lovely illumination in addition to being handy when your pilot light blows out.
MAEDHROS can be programmed with the following settings:
In *Fluff mode, you'll find that MAEDHROS strongly resembles an Elfling ranging in age anywhere from infancy to majority. He is irresistibly cute, high-spirited, and tends to cause 'aww's and amusement wherever he goes (or crawls). MAEDHROS can safely interact with any other unit in *Fluff mode and the result will be entertaining.
In *Torment mode, you'll find MAEDHROS is less amusing (unless you are into that sort of thing). This is the standard factory setting. MAEDHROS is a largely solitary unit, but will get along reasonably well with other units in the SONS OF FËANOR series. He is quite incompatible with any and all ORCS, GOBLINS, WEREWOLVES, and any other units from the FORCES OF DARKNESS lines. Allowing MAEDHROS to interact with any of these will cause maiming and/or death to one or both units. He should also be prevented from interacting with any units of TELERIN origin, whether from Alqualondë Incorporated or Menegroth Manufacturers.
*Slash mode produces varied results, depending on units available for interface. Just about any unit in the vicinity will be magnetically drawn to a MAEDRHOS in *Slash mode. ORC units will happily give him a good flogging, while other FORCES OF DARKNESS may be even more creative. A MAEDHROS in *Slash mode will also draw any FINGON units in from a 20-mile radius.
These are MAEDHROS' only three settings. Moderation is not part of his programming.
MAEDHROS comes with the following software bundles installed: Adorable Elfling, Unbreakable Oath, Kinslaying v3.0,* Ambidexterity, Fraternal Rage, Union of Maedhros, Swordsmanship, Lost and Found v7.0, Doom of Mandos, and Pyrophilia.
*Some older MAEDHROS units may come with Kinslaying v1.0 or 2.0. Version 3.0 incorporates these older versions so that MAEDHROS is up-to-date for all three Kinslayings. If you register an older version of this software, a free copy of 3.0 Update will be shipped to you in the mail.
FINGON units have three settings:
FINGON's *Fluff mode is very similar to MAEDHROS' and the same description applies.
In *Action/Adventure mode, FINGON is prone to performing acts of heroism and self-sacrifice. He will dutifully lead troops into battle or bravely risk all for the sake of a single person. This courageous, charismatic unit is generally well-liked by other MEN and ELVES (exceptions include some of the FËANORIAN units). FINGON will immediately attack and attempt to slay any FORCES OF DARKNESS units he may encounter, and indeed may go seeking them out in this mode. FINGON's attitude towards MAEDHROS in *Action/Adventure mode is affectionate, brotherly, and loyal.
In *Slash mode, FINGON is exclusively (and relentlessly) attracted to MAEDHROS.
***WARNING*** It is imperative you do not expose your FINGON to any GOTHMOG or other BALROG units. Damage and death may result.
FINGON comes with the following software bundles installed: Valiant Elfling, Valiant Moral Superiority*, Valiant Search and Rescue, Valiant High King, Valiant Friendship, and Valiant Swordsmanship.
*This is the equivalent of the MANWË unit's Goody Two-Shoes software, repackaged for ELVEN units.
Specialty stores carry optional accessory software for both units.
Optional software for MAEDHROS includes: Foster Parenting for Beginners, Incipient Madness, and Boating for Dummies v1.1
FINGON units can be augmented with Valiant Kinslaying Lite, Valiant Husband, and Valiant Fatherhood.
FINGON and MAEDHROS units are compatible in any combination of settings, except for Fluff/Slash, because that's just wrong.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: My MAEDHROS used to be a quiet, sensible, and reliable unit. Now he's defiant, moody, and angsty. What happened?
A: It's likely that your MAEDHROS has recently come into contact with a FËANOR unit, which is notorious for his Public Speaking program. FËANOR has likely reprogrammed MAEDHROS and incited him to rebellion. Check his settings and try to interest him in some stress-relieving activities. Note: Sailing is not an appropriate hobby for MAEDHROS.
Q: I've noticed some ORC units putting up posters around the neighborhood with pictures of my FINGON on them. What is going on!?
A: Ask around the neighborhood and find out who has a MORGOTH unit nearby. This dark VALA has put a price on FINGON's head, and the ORC units are putting up wanted posters. Have your two ELF units gather as many other neighborhood ELVES as possible and smite the offending neighbor's gates.
Q: A package came in the mail for MAEDHROS with an absolutely hideous helmet in it, and now MAEDRHOS wants to hang it on the wall! I'm afraid to argue with him – what should I do?
A: It is the Dwarf-helm of Azaghâl, sent to your MAEDHROS as a gift by the DWARF-lord. To get rid of the ugly thing, convince MAEDHROS that he should give it to FINGON as a gift, which he will readily do. FINGON (who has more taste than MAEDHROS) will in turn hand it off to the nearest available HADOR unit, who will pass it to GALDOR, who will give it to HÚRIN, and eventually it will find its way into the hands of a TÚRIN unit as the Dragon-helm of Dor-Lómion. TÚRIN's taste is bad enough to actually hang on to the thing.
Q: Last week my MAEDHROS began acting erratic. Recently he's had several near-misses with incidents involving fire. He keeps attempting to self-immolate. What is happening?
A: Check the location and status of item M(b), the Silmaril. If your MAEDHROS has discovered its hiding place and claimed it, he is likely being tormented by holy fire, for no unhallowed hand may touch it. Take the Silmaril away from him and immediately cast it into the sea. (Remember to keep pepper-spray handy.)
Q: My MAEDHROS and FINGON are always slipping off together. I hear them making a lot of noise in the bedroom, along with a lot of banging and shouting. I've heard MAEDHROS tell FINGON that he was going 'to run him through.' Why are they fighting, and what should I do?
A: As long as both units are set to *Slash mode, there is nothing to worry about. They are merely relieving stress. No matter what mode he's in, MAEDHROS will never intentionally hurt FINGON, and we guarantee he won't run FINGON through in any way he won't enjoy.
Problem: Your MAEDHROS unit has disappeared and an ORC unit has delivered a ransom note.
Solution: Your FINGON unit is well-equipped to deal with this problem. Pile all of his accessories on him and set him to *Action/Adventure mode. Send THORONDOR along with him, and FINGON will not fail to find and rescue MAEDHROS.*
Problem: You followed the above, but your MAEDHROS unit is now sans one hand.
Solution: This, unfortunately, is MAEDHROS' fate. However, with his Ambidexterity program, your MAEDHROS will learn to wield a sword in his left hand with even more deadly ability than his right. Reassure him that he is still attractive and remind him that he only needs one hand to…ehrm, wield his sword. If this is unsatisfactory, replacement parts may be available from the manufacturer.
Problem: Your MAEDHROS is moody, withdrawn, and volatile and you keep catching him trying to initiate his Kinslaying program.
Solution: Once again, FINGON to the rescue. Put both units on *Slash mode, give them some privacy and a few accessories and the problem should take care of itself. If anything ever happens to your FINGON unit, you are advised to replace it as soon as possible, or dire consequences could result.
Problem: Suddenly an Elfling has appeared in your midst, and you have no idea where he could have possibly come from.
Solution: Congratulations! You have experienced the spontaneous generation of an EREINION unit! This may or may not be the result of your units interfacing in *Slash mode. EREINION is the Scion of Kings and comes with Ambiguous Paternity programming; you do not have to return him. This cheerful little fellow is (possibly) the son of FINGON, and will grow up to be a manly High King, so take good care of him! If you wish, you can purchase accessory software and allow FINGON and MAEDHROS to attempt to rear him, or you may send your new EREINION to a CÍRDAN unit to be fostered.
Problem: MAEDHROS disappeared for several weeks and came home with two strange Elflings you've never seen before.
Solution: These adorable fellows are the SONS OF EÄRENDIL twin-pack. If you do not wish to buy the Foster Parenting for Dummies accessory software, try to find out who they belong to and return them. If you cannot, find the nearest MAGLOR unit and give the Elflings to him.
Problem: While hanging out with some friends, MAEHDROS suddenly pitched an inexplicable fit of rage.
Solution: MAEDHROS has finally become intolerably frustrated by people mispronouncing his name as 'Made-rōs.' All you can do is wait for him to calm down and make sure you do not make the same mistake.
Problem: Even when not in *Fluff mode, you notice MAEDHROS treats your FINGON like an Elfling, and FINGON meekly obeys his every word.
Solution: You have accidentally been issued an ELROND unit instead of FINGON. While these two units closely resemble one another, their programming is quite different. On the other hand…you have an ELROND unit! Deal with it!
Problem: When you opened the crate, you found two MAEDHROS units in it, and one of them jumped back inside the crate while you were trying to burn it.
Solution: You have accidentally been issued the AMBARUSSA twin-pack, AMROD and AMRAS. If the crate and both units are intact, you may return them to the manufacturer along with your proof of purchase of MAEDHROS, and the correct unit will be sent to you. If, however, you have accidentally burned one unit alive inside the crate, the other is non-returnable as they are never sold separately. You will have to keep him and purchase another MAEDHROS. Sorry, no exceptions.
*Manufacturers are not liable for any damage to any unit which may result.
FINAL NOTE – GUARANTEE
FINGON comes with a lifetime(yours) guarantee. After the normal span of your years, we make no promises, so your heirs may one day find that their FINGON unit suspiciously resembles roadkill.
MAEDHROS, however, comes with an unlimited guarantee* for as long as the Earth lasts.
*fëa only. MAEDHROS' hröa guaranteed for one life-age of the Earth.
* * * * *
"Well, that's just sick," said Dîm, his beard wagging as he shook his head.
Mary Sue had to agree. The word 'slash' brought to mind a graphic, if not exactly accurate, mental picture which she didn't care for in the least.
"Burning folks up inside of crates!" the Dwarf continued sadly.
The heroine gaped at him.
"I take it that this is not the Elf-scroll you're looking for either?" Dîm asked her, mistaking her look.
"Er…no. But, I, ah, I think I'll hang on to this one anyway. It sounds, ah…interesting."
Dîm couldn't agree more. He had considered filching the scroll himself, if Mary Sue didn't want it. "Well, come along, lass. We're almost to the end of the archives. If that scroll you're after is here, it won't be long now til we find it!" Dîm began to hum a mining tune under his breath while Mary Sue took one last peek at the Scroll of Maedhros and Fingon before rolling it up and resealing the case. She slid it carefully into her satchel next to the Scrolls of Finrod and Eöl and the six Annals of Catoë.
With Dîm's cheerful tune leading the way, the two intrepid adventurers headed into the deepest and darkest recesses of the unexplored corners of the Chamber of Marzabûl.
* * * * *
Well, that's it for the Chamber of Marzabûl. Of course Mary Sue finds the Seventh Scroll of Catoë and then she's out of there! I have actually become rather fond of Dîm the Doorward, and he will be Mary Sue's sidekick for the rest of her quest. There are other Owner's Guides to be found elsewhere in Middle-Earth, for the quest will take her to the dark archives of the spire of Orthanc and the Mathom-House of Michel-Delving, from the talyrn of Lothlórien to Lord Elrond's study in search of the scattered scrolls.
Guides for Lúthien, Thingol, and Ereinion are in the works, with Theresa Green's permission, as well as a few LOTR characters. We'll entertain requests if there's anyone in particular you'd like to see.
Fingolfin? We-ell… I certainly like the guy. I'll see what I can do!
* * * * *
Finrod, Túrin, Eöl, Maedhros, and Fingon, along with all other recognizable characters and places belong to Tolkien. I don't own them, I've only borrowed them.
The original Owner's Guides format belongs to its creator, Theresa Green, and is used of course with her permission.
The original characters, situations, adaptations, and story frame all belong to me and may not be used without permission.