Title: Gazing Into the Abyss
Author: Jedi Buttercup
Disclaimer: The words are mine; the worlds are not.
Summary: Even the thousand years granted the Battlebrand would seem less than a blink to the beings interred deep in the inner Well. 500 words.
Spoilers: Angel 5.15, "A Hole in the World"; general Silmarillion
Notes: For Treppie, who long ago requested a drabble on the theme "Tolkien/A:tS, Drogyn, deep places". I hope I did the concept justice.
Drogyn rests a hand on the thick, aged paper of the open spellbook, tracing sword-callused fingers over the runes that would have drawn the Old One out of the flesh of Angel's friend. Angel had chosen as Drogyn had known he would: placing the lives of the many before the grief of the few. The spell had not been spoken. Fred is lost, and one of the Greater Powers walks abroad once more.
He is not so sure, if the decision had been left up to him, whether he would have done the same. There have been times in the history of the world when one person- and only that person- had held the key to the survival of every living being; if he had judged her to be such a one, the scales would not have been so easily balanced. And even without such considerations, the chaos his former charge is capable of wreaking may yet exceed the spell's predicted price.
He sighs, then closes the spellbook, fingers lingering on the runes set into its leather binding. The language it is written in is an old one, predating any known human civilization, for it has been here since first the Door of Night had been set into the Walls of the World. There are very few who have been trapped here longer than Illyria, cast down long before the continents had assumed their present shape.
He holds no firsthand knowledge of those days; even the thousand years granted the Battlebrand would seem less than a blink to the beings interred deep in the inner Well. Nor had his previous jailor, or his predecessor, or hers, had such depth of recall. But the first thing each of them had learned upon being charged with the keeping of these ramparts, the first thing Drogyn's successor will learn from him when the time arrives, is the list of those for whom death may not have been the final end: those who, in life, had heralded apocalypse with every step. Illyria had been one among that select number, still worshiped even after millions of years. He can guess what its first plan is likely to be. And yet...
Fred was loved: was favored of champions, dear to them in ways familial, romantic, and selfless, such as speak to the heart of Ilúvatar. There is precedent, established in every Age of the World since the beginning: if not for the first guardian- for the love borne by one Mariner- the Door might never have opened to accept its first occupant, nor Humanity survived its embattled beginnings. Yet Melkor sleeps here. And with similarly powerful motivation, Angel and his heart-kin will surely also prevail.
Drogyn leaves the work room behind him, humming a somber tune, and gazes down at the rest of his charges. The Gloomweaver had worn many names and many shapes long before its defeat at Vahla ha'Nesh; this will simply be one more, before it is entombed once again in his care.