Arilië laughed. Her voice echoed across a great chamber in the Timeless Halls. The red-orange of her spirit zipped about the chamber as another incorporeal form chased hers.
"You must try harder, Mairon!" Arilië chimed her voice was not exactly taunting as such was not in her nature, in the very beginning of things, but it did hold the slightest of challenge as if to dare her almost ever constant companion and friend to even try and think of catching her.
Mairon followed where Arilië led, focusing his mind upon gaining speed so he might come within reach of her glowing fëa, just some distance away, but still within sight.
Arilië sped up, just slightly curving around a gleaming iridescent wall and blazed past a slightly amused Aulë with Mairon right behind.
The greater Ainu briefly considered chastising the two overly spirited lesser Ainur, but decided to let them have their fun; Námo had implied to him earlier on that Ilúvatar might call upon all the Ainur to sing before him in the near future. It would be best to let Mairon and Arilië have their games in the event they could not continue them afterwards.
Arilië projected a mental greeting to Aulë as she dove past, heading for a convenient side-passage where she hoped she might lose Mairon and put an end to this particular chase. She risked a look behind her and saw that Mairon, ever observant as he was, had not been fooled. Her fëalight blazed a more intense russet color with frustration as Mairon launched himself from the wall's corner straight for her.
The two Ainur's fëar collided in a bright ball of red gold light, the two locked in a struggle of wills, each trying to subdue the other and therefore become the victor of the game.
"You shall not win!" Arilië insisted her red-orange light pulsing with effort as she strove to hold the other Ainu immobile.
"Oh shall I not?" Mairon asked amusement shimmering in his own fëarlight, "what if I were to give you a gift should you give in?" He kept his mind as the strength of iron, unyielding though he did not fight to overpower Arilië, only to keep her from defeating him.
"What manner of gift?" Arilië asked curiously, lessening her focus on winning, but also not permitting Mairon to pin her in place either.
"A special gift," he responded his light dimming slightly, albeit meaningfully. Arilië relented and the two of them drifted down toward a private corner within this particular chamber within the Halls of Ilúvatar, their lights slightly interfused.
Arilië waited to see what Mairon might give her but for a time, he was only silent, then he sent forth a new thought, which would enter into her being alone.
"Azûburza," the strange idea filled Arilië's mind growing and expanding, solidifying into the Darkness of the Void where she alone had been unafraid to tread. A representation of that eternal Dark which was hallowed and without fear yet a thing of mystery.
Arilië's fëalight pulsed with pleasure and she beamed. "I like it," she intoned delightedly as she hovered close to Mairon in their little corner. "But I do not think I could give you a worthy gift in return," she added her light becoming crestfallen.
"There is naught you need give unto me, save that you remain," the other Ainu replied in reassuring tones, the calm glimmer of gold burning away in his fëarlight.
"But that is not a proper gift," Arilië insisted still disparaging and trying to figure out what she could possibly give to Mairon which would equal the worth of that which he had just given her. She could find nothing.
"Be at peace," Mairon insisted in his calm assuring way. "The thing I ask for in return is just as of much worth as I see my own gift is to you." His fëar light beamed with pleasure.
Arilië found that perhaps Mairon was correct, he did always have her about and this in turn pleased her. They remained in the small corner for a time until another Ainu approached them from across the great room.
"There you are," Curumo drawled in annoyance as he became level with the other two. "We are all to meet in the great room."
"Why?" Mairon asked doubtfully, allowing a sense of disbelief etch into the idea he sent forth to Curumo.
"Ilúvatar summons us all," Curumo insisted stressing the name of the One, who had made them all from his own thought.
"I think Curumo is being truthful," Arilië insisted, flitting forward and pulling a still doubtful Mairon along behind her.
Curumo led the way to the greatest of the shimmering rooms in the Timeless Halls. Before them Ilúvatar, radiant in his own light as a being greater than all the Ainur combined, were indeed all the Ainur, every last one, all organized by that part of Ilúvatar's mind from which he or she had sprung.
Mairon fought a sense of embarrassment as it would seem that he, Arilië and Curumo were late. The three hurried over to Aulë and took up position.
"Now," Ilúvatar began kindly," that we are all gathered here together, we may begin." He lifted forth one great tendril of glorious light and all the Ainur - as one body - began to sing.
Their voices melded and sprang apart all according to Ilúvatar's design, though the Ainur themselves knew naught what they sang as yet.
Mairon sang with Arilië and Curumo and the other Earth-Ainur under the direction of Aulë, weaving the heated and immeasurable songs of mountains and shifting rocks, lava flowing gently if firmly exhorably onward seeking a place to solidify and become rock as much so as the great mountains from which it had come.
Yavanna and her Ainur sung of the green things, flowers, trees and roots digging deep underground as leaves stretched up as far as they might go, seeking the warmth and light. The Green-Ainurs' songs blended seamlessly with those of the Ainur of the Earth and those even of the Air, those of Manwë.
These were songs of air of all temperatures and those things which flowed forth through it, gentle breezes and creatures with wings, clouds and rays of light which would strike down upon the Green-Ainurs' growing plants.
The songs of Ulmo and his Water-Ainur where a blue so intense that it burned the senses with its power. Waves crashing on shores and great storms stirred up with the Winds from the Air-Ainur dancing across rough-chopped seas. And then there would be the calm water, gentle in its lapping light falling upon its surface and throwing up little diamonds.
Melkor took all this in. He took in all the songs of the Ainur and he found he was not satisfied with his part, to lend power and music to the different groups of Ainur within their own sub-themes amongst the greater one.
He was the greatest of them all, should he not have a song all his own? This question repeated itself in his thoughts over and over again until at one point, as he lended strength and his own song to the Ainur of Fire and those Earth Ainur who were akin to the heat of the Earth, it came to him he could create something wholly new, something that noe of the other Ainur had ever perceived. Arilië would be delighted , among other things, she did ever seek for new things. Organizing how he wished to fashion his own song, he began upon his new course.
It was not noticeable at first but slowly and with no sign of stopping, nor slowing down, Melkor's personal theme began to pick up singers and momentum, just as a snowball does when it rolls down the mountainside.
Some Ainur remained loyal to Ilúvatar's original theme while others joined Melkor's. And still others, such as Mairon, stopped singing at all.
"What does he think he is doing?" Mairon demanded privately to Arilië, beside him.
"I do not know?" she replied still concentrating on following Ilúvatar's original theme and attempting to drown out Melkor's. But it was like a tidal wave, attempting to achieve dominance, drowning out all the other singers and any opposition to itself.
"We are here," Arilië informed Mairon gently with her mind, while still singing her part in Ilúvatar's first theme.
Mairon assented, beginning to sing once more, his voice being filled with the burning earth-fire and the shifting of the great slabs of rock which dance ever slowly beneath the crust.
Arilië's voice took up the place of all the shining crystals in the world, buried and hidden, awaiting anyone who might find them, one day. She did her best to tune out Melkor's countersong, focusing both on Mairon, who had returned to his place in Ilúvatar's song and upon Aulë's deep cavernous voice which led their group.
In the midst of all this, Ilúvatar signaled to his Ainur, and the Second Theme began to emerge from the deluge of warring musics.
Mairon's fëalight became relieved as most of the Ainur abandoned Melkkor's theme in place of Ilúvatar's new one. That was not to say they all did. Many of those Ainur who's spirits burned of the brightest and most wild of Fire remained with Melkor in their songs.
Arilië relaxed again, enjoying the music, now that Melkor's countersong had been reduced to a slight minority of hissing flames beside the great and unstoppable roar of crashing waves on a far off ocean.
Melkor however, had other plans, he was not going to be set aside, was he not the greatest of the Ainur? Had not Ilúvatar gifted him with those abilities he had simply seen fit to parcel out to the other Ainur, all of them within himself? He redoubled his efforts. The Fire-Ainur became a storm of song, flames licking at all they could find to quench their thirst.
And in this way Melkor slowly began to regain singers either through their uncertainty as the secondary music built, or due to the fact that his own song was easier to be sung.
Curumo was filled with the frustration earlier felt by Mairon, as Melkor's song regained power, he faltered and then ceased his song. He would wait to see if Ilúvatar put forth another theme.
Mairon refrained from presenting thoughts of mockery toward curumo for his lack of preservation.. He instead concentrated on his own part in the Second Theme and also how it interwove in such a perfect fashion with that of Arilië beside him.
Melkor's pleasure grew as the music was becoming truly divided, it was unfortunate he could not convince all the Ainur to join in on his song and abandon Ilúvatar's. The fires raged and fought the complex notes sung by those Ainur who refused to give in to Melkor's designs.
Varda wore a sense of annoyance blended with defiance as Melkor did his best to take command of the Music. She sang of light in all its various forms and brightnesses, just as Ilúvatar had so laid out, with her sang Ilmarë and other lesser Light-Ainur. She was pleased that none of them had faltered not even in the slightest throughout all of Melkor's current doings. They remained strong with Varda to lead them.
Melkor found this unforgivable. He was filled with fury, how dare Varda spite him thus, it was bad enough she had chosen Manwë's companionship over his own - he would have given her all she could have ever wished for, and yet it was Manwë she had chosen. Amid his own dark song he seethed. This anger crept its way into his countersong, with great crashes and violent chords whose power would be such to burn the world away and then to freeze it in an icy deadlock.
It was at this point, as if it seemed the two songs truly fought for dominance before Ilúvatar, that he chose to introduce the Third Theme. Once more those Ainur who had ceased their song during the Second Theme began to sing again, and in this way Melkor found himself outnumbered, for all that was left to him where those Ainur who had joined his song from the start. And as if to make matters worse the sadness and deep tones of the Third Theme not only laid bare the insolence and petty nature of Melkor's vain attempt at mastery, but it also quelled even his own wrath. That of course did not mean he was going to just relent, oh no. He had started on this course, he would finish it to the bitter end.
Melkor rallied those Ainur who sung with him intent on keeping a great column of raging light aloft, fighting its way up to the heavens and through the twilight sadness of Ilúvatar's Third Theme.
At last Ilúvatar brought forth two skeins of light and the two musics ceased, both Melkor's raging repetitive blaze and the softer but no less powerful song which was his own design. Then he projected thought to them all:
"Great may be Melkor, but even he should know, as should all, that there is nothing one may endeavor upon which does not in some way have its start from within me."
Melkor shrank back from the chastisement of the Allfather, his fëalight dimming substantially, though in secret he harbored a burning fury. A fury which was fed by the frustration that, not all was as Melkor wished it to be.
"Come," Ilúvatar propounded to his Ainur, leading them to the edge of the Timeless Halls where their pearlesscence gave way to the black emptiness that was the Void.
"I would have you look upon a thing," Ilúvatar informed his audience, and suddenly as if one had struck a match, the Void was no longer Void. There was a whole world laid out before the stunned and amazed and possibly fearful Ainur. A world which unfolded and grew slowly but steadily. This world was full of greens and blues many hued and blended as various lights from various sources fell upon land, sea and sky.
Mairon watched in wonder with Arilië, as strange beings arose from the green and blue world before him, they had bodies and they used them to traverse the earth and sail the seas. This fascinated him. He even saw how it was that they made things, beautiful things, almost as beautiful as they themselves were.
And then, as if the match had been snuffed suddenly, the vision was gone.
"You see Melkor, how even your attempt to go your own way has even so aided in my greater design?" Ilúvatar asksed of the first-made Ainu.
Melkor did not reply as he was experiencing an emotion he was not used to, shame, but he did his best to shove it aside, if he could but convince Ilúvatar to make this real, so that he might enter into it and dwell there... He let the thought hang there and gazed upon Ilúvatar for a long moment as the latter spoke of how Manwë and Ulmo's works might be intertwined for the betterment and fulfillment of the Vision he had shown them.
Ilúvatar seemed thoughtful as he studied the Ainur. He then thrust out a tendril of the light of his being and spoke.
"Eä!" And there it was, suddenly before them, but it was dark, gray and unfinished. "Should you enter into this place, you will find that not only will you need to shape it to the vision which you beheld but that also you will be bound up with its fate for so long as it may last." Ilúvatar waited a short time until the Ainur had made up their minds.
Arilië was overcome with excitement her red-orange fëalight blazing and shifting with delight. This was indeed something new, so new infact that she was not sure she could put the idea into a concrete seeming.
"You will come will you not?" she asked eagerly of Mairon who's golden fëalight glowed with introspection.
"Of course I shall come!" he replied, his light changing to one of alert and restrained excitement.
Light-in-light Mairon and Arilië began the journey into the new-made world along with those other Ainur who chose to do the same.