Mandos looked up from the peaceful face of the young woman before him, knowing the exact moment Manwë and his consort entered his halls. Mandos' sister, Nienna, placed her hand upon the young woman's scarred face, a solitary tear running down her angelic features. Vairë, Mandos' consort, stood in stoic silence beside her husband. The trio continued in silence until Manwë and Varda entered the humble chamber.
"Our messenger has entered my halls. She has been corrupted and unworthy of our call." Mandos said, his grave voice low and ringing with disappointment.
"Ilúvatar has deemed her still worthy, we cannot go against his wishes." Manwë replied. "You remember why we chose her: it was for her heart, her child-like zeal for what is right and good, and her love." Manwë's majestic voice sounded slightly disheartened, causing Mandos to look at him critically.
"With respect to Eru, he has put us to watch over these lands and that includes the choosing of our messenger. She is no longer worthy; she will stay in my halls and we will choose another. All those things that we chose her for, she has sacrificed in place of selfish desire. If she had but trusted us from the beginning, she would not have feared for her life or the Firstborn's." Mandos fell silent for a moment as if lost in thought. "She has a brother that bears the same zeal she once had; let us use him." Mandos' voice became harsh and he looked upon the young woman with open disapproval.
"Brother, you and I have seen the visions of Ilúvatar; you cannot deny that she is the one to fulfill our call; you know Ilúvatar did not show us all that would befall her, just her purpose. You know her brother has another purpose as well. Our call to him would disrupt Ilúvatar's plan more than what Tára has now. We cannot change the visions." Manwë looked at Mandos, knowing he knew the truth of his words. Mandos looked away from Manwë, unwilling to concede. As the two lords fell silent, Nienna for the first time looked up at the four before her. She met the eyes of every vala finally settling upon Mandos.
"Brother, are we not to have mercy on one so frail? One that we have weighted down with our heavy load?" Nienna asked. "I have mourned many day's over the destruction wreaked by Melkor's servant and I know that the devilry he has devised is not within our power to heal."
"What are you saying, sister?" Mandos asked, sounding close to exasperation. "You yourself have admitted that she is beyond repair. We can only heal so much."
"But Melkor's servant has left her mind! Her soul is damaged, yes but her mind will no longer be clouded by His darkness!" Nienna countered Mandos' words with a fervor rarely seen. She looked to her brother, a determined light in her eyes. "We even influenced a servant of the enemy to set her free at the gates of Minas Tirith. If we can use a soul born from darkness, we can still use this youngling for our call." Nienna stopped as if to take a breath, then continued in a calmer tone. "Though if Ilúvatar has said it, our words here are as empty as air. Why must we continue to speak on a matter already concluded? Show her your mercy, brother." Nienna leveled her gaze upon Mandos waiting in silence for his answer. Mandos did not seem perturbed by the sudden weight set on his shoulders but Nienna did not miss the resigned light that came to her brother's eyes.
"Though I, along with Manwë, have seen the Visions of Ilúvatar, I cannot say that I understand all that I have seen. Her corruption may yet darken the world but that is an unknown we will have to face." Mandos finally said, sighing. He looked to Vairë his wife, then back to his sister Nienna. "You have asked me to show mercy, and I will give it, though I understand little why Ilúvatar wishes this."
"Then we are in accord?" Manwë asked when Mandos fell silent.
"We are in accord." The four others answered gravely.
"What of the Firstborn?" Varda asked suddenly.
After a thoughtful silence, Manwë answered. "From the beginning of time, he was appointed as her protector; his life will be spared. I will send word to the rest of our kin of what has happened. They will be interested to know what has befallen our messenger."
"It is time then." Mandos said. Manwë nodded his approval and began to turn away when Mandos spoke again.
"She will still have to endure much pain, and her time in this age is ended; is it truly a mercy to send her from my halls?" Mandos studied Manwë's face as he turned back towards him. Manwë sighed at Mandos' question; the expression was not tired but held a certain melancholy that surprised Mandos.
"Yes, Mandos, it is time. Send her back."
A/N: Yes, I updated twice in one day but I couldn't leave you all hanging by your fingertips. I hope you all enjoyed the first section of my story and I hope you enjoy the second installment when it comes! Thank you all for your reads, reviews, favorites, and follows!