A/N: Would you enjoy ceaselessly sailing through the sky for thousands of years? Another take on Earendil's story. Posted un beta'd. My first Silmarilion fic in, well, ever.
Revamped as of the 8th of June 2012.
I own none of the characters who are solely the creations of the genius of J.R.R. Tolkien.
I am the sailor of legend, called the lover of the sea. I am the captain of my ship. They told me that I was destined for the job, to carry the Silmaril on my brow, to sail in the dark skies for all eternity. I am no longer the master of my fate, nor the captain of my soul. I am bound to sail my beautiful ship forever. Once my pride and joy, it is now an eternal reminder of my torment. The Valar exact a price for every favour they give, and it is never a light one.
The greater the favour, the greater the price. They gave me an army to save my peoples and a Silmaril to guard, to show as a sign of hope to the elves, dwarves and men in the night sky. I thought it an honour, given for my peerless seamanship and lack of either dark motive or self interest in my impassioned plea. I, Earendil Tuorion, was a fool.
At first, it was not so terrible, the burden relatively light. My duty was only half of each full day. The half I could spend with the woman I loved - and still do - above anything else in this world or any other. I was granted the chance to help protect my sons and strike a blow against Morgoth, slaying the mightiest of his dragons in combat as Beleriand sank. The price seemed light.
And so it continued for many ages, waxing in might and greatness, until the late second age, when Ar-Pharazon the arrogant came to power. He humbled Sauron, a sight I was not at all sorry to see, but then he kept him alive on Numenor, not even forcing him to shed corporeal form. So arrogant was Ar-Pharazon that he thought Sauron was his pet - later his adviser - believing the dark Maia to be awed by his power and merely doing his bidding. But soon it was Sauron who was the master, and Ar-Pharazon danced on his strings.
All this I saw and more, and I wept at the debasing of my son's line by arrogance, fear and the sweetness of the corrupters words. I saw my sons other descendants, the faithful, the Elendili, go to safety, realising that Numenor was doomed as Ar-Pharazon the Fool led a fleet on the Blessed Realm. The Valar, unable or unwilling to hurt men, called upon Eru, creator of us all, who drowned Numenor as they renounced their guardianship of this earth.
And I watched, a lonely sentinel in the heavens, as the world I had fought and sacrificed so much for, collapsed into ruin. The land my son had ruled burned and the people screamed for mercy. They begged for salvation when there was none, as the fires of destruction consumed the sceptre and melted the crown, leaving a pile of twisted metal and cracked gems in a coating of ash, a twisted shadow of it's former glory. It was only the oncoming waters that drowned the hideous and twisted mockery of my children's nation in an act of simultaneous cruelty and mercy.
I am able to watch Arda at all times, and at times my vision is sharper than at others. At the fall of Atalantë, it was at its clearest. Every agonized expression, every contortion of fear, every act of depravity, I saw it all and more. It was heart rending and I stood helpless. But what truly broke my heart was that they did not realise why they were being punished so, like a child that had misbehaved and did not understand why it was being beaten. It was enough to make a man weep for a thousand years and more. Maybe that was when the first seeds of my current thoughts were planted.
My mind was saved solely by the fact that hope remained (how ironic it is that I, the Gil-Estel, say that) in the Elendili, the Sea Kings, who later fought Sauron. But you know that part of the tale already, how it played out to its bloody conclusion after thousands of years of war.
After the Fool took his fleet to the Blessed Realm and was destroyed, Eru bent the world. The world was round, and every hour of every day I sailed among the stars. I soon found I no longer needed sleep, that I no longer hungered or thirsted. I had become the perfect watchman, ever vigilant for signs of Morgoth's escape and the beginning of the Dagor Dagorath.
The last time I spoke to my wife, she wondered how the Dagor Dagorath could ever come to pass.
"How could Morgoth Bauglir escape the Void through the Doors of Night when you guard him, my vigilant love?" She had asked teasingly as she lay naked in my arms. The sweetness of the hours that followed made it fall out of my mind, only to return after all these millennia.
Now I know why. After all these years as the ceaseless sentry of the Valar, millennia without seeing wife or children, one of whom has passed beyond the circles of the world, save what snippets of visions I can see from below, millennia of bearing an eternally shining gem, the light of a star that never fades. The Silmaril begins to burn my brow.
This does not surprise me, for I grow so very weary of my task. I fear that if the Valar do not release me from my torment I shall put an end to it the only way I possibly can: by opening the Doors of Night and beginning the time of the world's ending.
Then my restless prisoner will stir no more, this symbol of Feanor's arrogance will be off my brow and I will see my wife and children once more. Many may die violently if I do, but after all this time, I consider the fact that they will be resurrected in the Second Music enough reason to put aside what few qualms I have left.
I hear my enemy laughing at me as he stirs behind the impassable doors, gathering his army. He knows my pain, and he glorifies in it. I no longer care, for I am at peace. Soon, one way or another it will be over. Soon, I shall have peace. But one thing still preys on my mind: Was this their plan all along?