East of the Sun


Written when I was actually supposed to be studying. Ssh! Don't tell!


In a place where no Man has ever been, beneath the stars and east of the rising sun, lies Cuivienen - o lovely starlit Cuivienen!

There the Elves yet dwell - the Avari, who forsook the splendour they would have received in the West to remain in the starlit twilight of the mere of Cuivienen, which they knew best, Cuivienen of glittering waters and infinite expanse. And there they are content to remain, for though they forge not jewels, nor build lofty towers, they have their own joy, a thing that echoes Arda Unmarred in their dance and their song. They need no jewels, for they have the stars; they need no towers, for they have the mountains and the trees.

Where now is Cuivienen? Nobody now knows, for the Avari do not leave it, and the Eldar forsook it long ago. None who know it remain in this world.

But still it remains, great Cuivienen, still within the confines of this world. And by it are standing stones, full twelve of them, and the stories and songs say that they were once fell creatures who came to attack the Elves, but before they made their conquest they were halted as if by an invisible force, and turned to boulders. One stands before the rest, and he was their vicious leader, now turned to stone to remain until the world's end.

And beside the standing stones are trees, trees tall and mighty, that cast dappled shadows over the starlit mere.

The sun shines down upon the Elves, and it is bright and glorious, but when it is gone and the twilight falls, when the stars appear and the moon comes out - then, ah, then it is beautiful indeed, and then it is when they rejoice and are glad.

In a place where no Man has ever been, beneath the stars and east of the rising sun, lies Cuivienen - o lovely starlit Cuivienen! It is, and it will remain, until the breaking of the world.