Deep in the bowels of Angband, the great forge-fire burned ever strong, tended carefully by the loving hand of a master craftsman. His face—still fair though darkened by soot and Shadow—shone bright through the smoke, and his voice rose and fell with his hammer, leaping and sparking with fire. His song spiraled up with the smoke, weaving the flickering shadows into a great tapestry that hung quivering in the air before it fell softly about the glowing metal, wrapping around it as tenderly as a mother wraps her arms around her child. The blade flared but once more and then went dark, any light it might have had left in it smothered in the shadows.

He took it in one blackened hand—if the metal was still hot, he could not feel it for the heat of his own body was so great—and lifted it from the anvil, his song ceasing abruptly. His song had given it some measure of life; he could feel its hunger for blood, its desire to quench its heat by plunging deep into the innards of an enemy, its boundless desire to rend and destroy. He bore the new-made sword aloft, holding it up before the dancing light of the fire, and he deemed it good.

He took it to his Lord once it was truly finished—the blade inscribed with the runes of the Dark Speech and thrice-enchanted that it might stand against any foe, the hilt wrapped in the hide of some great beast—and offered it the Dark Lord, trembling in the hot, pale light of the Silmarils as he awaited a response. His Master took up the blade in one hand, inspecting it, and after but a moment he smiled in approval.

"You have done well, Fëatamo."

Those words were all he had longed to hear since the dawn of time, the one thing that Aulë would never give to him. He had fallen from the light and fled from Valinor not merely for greed or a lust for power as so many had thought, but for the pride that Melkor had in him and the words of praise and encouragement that were so freely offered to his starving soul.

If Darkness had more love than Light, was it not better that he serve Darkness?