Now. This took me three days to write, and part of me says that I probably won't get accepted for one teensy reason: Narthas is directly related to a book character. If the only way I'll get accepted is if I change that, well, then I apologize, but I won't be able to roleplay here. But please: read this anyways because a lot of hard work went into it, and you just might accept me for that very reason. -coughcough-
IM: M4NH4774NPR0J3C7 (aim)
Character Name: Narthas (His father gave him a slapdash hybrid of vague words that most likely mean "story keeper".) RandomiŽ (An alias he took to keep his identity a secret to ensure that many of his generation continued to think him dead; means "Wanderer of the twilight").
Titles: AtanŽar, RŠna (The Wanderer, named after the moon), RandomiŽ, Lieutenant under Ecthelion (breifly, during the sack of Gondolin), and he was known by many in Dol Amroth simply as Auleskar, or The Architect.
Age: Oh god. Do I really have to go through all of the timelines and count? It's so confusing and... alright. Fine. I'll try, but just don't pick me apart for getting it wrong. (10 minutes later) Oke. He's 6,575 years old by the end of the Third Age.
Nationality: From Gondolin, lost beneath the sea. Noldo for the win!
Home: At the beginning of the Fouth Age, he lives in Lorien.
Occupation: Architect and engineer.
Weapons of Choice: Pole-arm, though not very practical in close situations... so perhaps sword.
Starting Weapon: A hunting knife
Possessions: The clothes on his back, a pocketbook (though not full, the pages were thoroughly wet at one point and a good portion of them were ruined), a small quill, and a small pot of ink.
Military Skills: Lieutenant in the siege of Gondolin, soldier in the War of Wrath. He's stealthy and can fight feverously, but lacks the charisma to lead more than a few dozen men in battle.
Other Skills: Being an architect, he is a very good observational sketch artist, is skilled at drawing plans and diagrams, and has a knack for teaching. Also, considering his upbringing, he was exposed to metalcraft as well as masonry and other kinds of construction.
Languages: Westron, Sindarin, Quenya
Psychological Description: Oh boy. This is going to be really very difficult, because like a normal person, his personality changes as he grew older. Unless, of course, this question is just referring to his personality at the time of the roleplay. Sorry, but I don't think I can sum it up here. It'll show up in his history (see below.)
Physical Description: Narthas is around 6'1", and weighs in at about 168 pounds. He has the classical features of a middle-north european man, with piercing eyes, a strong jaw, and an expressive mouth. His hair is not quite as unkept as it was at one point in time, though now it is cut shorter than what is worn by other Elves: sheared at the shoulders. Though he could pass for one of the race of Men and much about him is indistinguishable from the mortals he so closely associates with, upon closer inspection one can tell that there is an innate grace about his movements that is unmistakably Elvish in nature. His hair is the color of keenly polished bronze and his eyes resemble mirrors or memories that remember the ancient forests of Beleriand. He has a small, poorly inked tattoo on the back of his neck at the base of his skull resembling several symbols in a foriegn script, a scar on his left side from the top of his hip to the bottom of his ribs, and some minor scars on his hands.
Narthas' life is long and complicated, and unfortunately its unhappy ending was at the beginning. Or perhaps the end as wellÖ
He was born into the house of MaŽglin, son of Eol, and Linya, the daughter of Ecthelion of the Fountain, on November 30th in the year 470 of the First Age. As we all know, MaŽglin had lusted after Idril yet could not have her, and so he married Lord Ecthelion's daughter instead, so that he might still be near the courts after his mother's death. Things were well between he and his wife for several years, until his first and only son was born.
Narthas' early childhood was little more than normal, despite a slight, tense air about his father constantly. He spent most of his time reading stories and playing with his friend, VoronwŽ. They played with wooden soldiers that VoronwŽ's father, a skilled craftsman, would make them, and would swim in the fountains during the summertime. It was later that VoronwŽ, as he told Narthas in secret, was being sent by Turgon on a voyage across Belergaer to plead with the Valar to come to Middle-earth and aid the plight of the Elves.
However, in 495 and when Narthas was 25 years of age, Tuor arrived in Gondolin with none other than VoronwŽ as his guide. When Tuor fell for Idril and married her, Narthas saw that his father's tense mood was drawing nearer and nearer to wrath. It was only a matter of time before Narthas would bear witness to heated debates arise between his parents from nothing, and the only thing he could do was retreat to the relative comfort of his room, trying to drown out the terrible noise that would still sneak through his door.
Doriath had fallen, and so had Nargothrond, and Turgon sensed, with the arrival of Ulmo's messenger, that the time was almost nigh for Gondolin to meet a similar fate. Narthas was still counted as very young by his people, and he felt especially so when he tried to comprehend his father's abrupt shift in demeanor, not to mention Tuor's coming. Word had spread like brushfire through the people of Gondolin, and even more so the courts, of the importance of Tuor's appearance in his hidden city after the sack of Nargothrond, one of the last heavilly fortified dwelling places of the Elves outside of Tumladen.
It was not long after MaŽglin and Linya's arguments began to manifest themselves into violence did Narthas begin his spiral downward into depression. The first time he put himself between his parents he was struck unconscious by his father. He woke up several hours later on the floor of an empty room, and after a moment, hastened to his own chambers, unable to endure that murderous silence that made the air thick and cold. And with the birth of Ešrendil, things only exacerbated.
The domestic abuse continued for some time before someone outside the family of three saw the bruises on Linya's shoulders. And who would that someone be other than Ecthelion himself.
Narthas was never able to see Ecthelion's wrath loosed upon MaŽglin. All he knew was that he and his mother were ushered into spare living quarters in the houses behind the court of the King, and lived there for several weeks. It was during this uneasy time that Narthas first observed his mother, and saw just how frail she was. She had lost her own mother long before Narthas was born, and her father's duty as Lord of one of the Twelve Noble Houses kept him away much of the time. She sought attention in sad and subtle ways, and Narthas perceived was precisely the reason that she later returned to MaŽglin.
During their stay in the courts, being closer to Turgon and Tuor and Idril, they were told of the way of escape that Idril devised for when Gondolin was besieged. Neither of them spoke of it to MaŽglin, nor were even granted the chance to do so, as when they returned, he had gone to Anghabar and did not return for a very long time.
There were those who thought that he had gotten lost in his own mine-tunnels, others thought perhaps that he perished. Narthas was uneasy about his absence, as his mother, though for different reasons. The young elf knew that something had gone wrong.
It was months later when MaŽglin returned again. Linya was overjoyed to see her husband returned, and was even further euphoric to find that his anger and dark mood were all but left behind in the mountains. It took MaŽglin time to gain back the trust of the people, but he won it eventually and became good-tempered again. But there was something about him that Narthas couldn't trust, and he felt betrayed when his mother ran so quickly back into the same arms that had once beaten her to the ground. Despite the fact that MaŽglin and Linya's love seemed to have been rekindled, Narthas knew from the way his father avoided being alone with him that he had done something whilst he was away. Why wouldn't he speak of it? Not even VoronwŽ shared the same suspicion when Narthas told him of his thoughts. The young elf felt alienated from those who did not believe him, and so he sought friendship with one of the only who still doubted MaŽglin's integrity: Tuor.
Narthas was amazed to find how wise he was for being one of the mortal race of Men, and thought to himself that none other would have been so perfectly chosen to be the herald of the Vala Ulmo. Theirs was a good, sturdy friendship, and Narthas longed to be among others of the Edain. He learned much from Tuor, and was even told the very same story of creation that he hearkened to on the shore of Belergaer at Vinyamar.
Idril took him aside and told him more of the Secret Way which she had devised, and Narthas listened patiently. He began to connect MaŽglin's disappearance with Idril's vision of Gondolin's fall, and it pained him to think of such a greivous future for Turgon's people, be it true or not. He loved his home dearly, and a boiling anger rose in him when he thought of Morgoth's armies destroying all that he held dear.
In the year 511, Narthas was forty years of age. Nost-na-Lothion was passed and the city was preparing for the Gates of Summer; the weather was growing warm again as Anar remained in the sky longer than She does in the winter-time. Narthas loved the celebration because it gave him a chance to sing in the chorus of ancient melodies. His mother had taught him the art of song and music, because it ran in the veins of the people of her father's house, but the skill did not come so easily to the elf, and he actually thought himself a poor singer, despite his fondness of it.
The Sun disappeared over the horizon above the land of the Valar and all the voices of the city fell silent to listen to the gentle rhythm of harpers and flautists floating through the warm night air. Jewels glowed in the trees and silver lamps lit the streets. Narthas did not mingle with his mother, or his father, or Ecthelion for that matter. He stood out with VoronwŽ and his family at their house, waiting for the dawn. Some time during the night, however, as he leaned against the railing of the balcony, a sweet aroma wandered into his nostrils, and he was lulled into a swoon. He was greeted by a strange dream in which he was approached by a strange, dark, powerful figure that bore the likeness of an Elf, but spoke with a voice of iron and flames. Narthas percieved this character to be an offspring of the Dark Lord, and his name was revealed to be Morithil. Narthas woke, remembering the man calling him the AtanŽar, the Prodigy of Men. For the rest of the night Narthas dwelled on the meaning of the reverie in silence.
As all of us know, Gondolin did not see a dawn for Tarnin Austa that year. The first light that peered out over Tumladen came from the north, and such a terrible sight quelled the voices of the people before it left their throats.
Now, while the Lords of the Twelve Noble Houses met in the courts of the King for a hasty council on what course of action the city would take to defend itself against the tide of Morgoth's armies, the hosts of each of these lords prepared for battle.
Narthas never knew that MaŽglin (and Salgant as well) voiced that they should keep the women and children inside the city rather than scatter and flee from the battle. Narthas dressed in his own battle-gear as well, as during his childhood, Ecthelion occasionally drew him aside for training to be one of his host of the Fountain, rather than become one of the house of the Mole. And so that's what Narthas did.
The battle of Tumladen was long, horrible, and tiresome. They fought the fiery tides of orcs and Balrogs and Morgoth's machines of war under a sky darkened with smoke and shadow. Narthas did not see his grandfather die with Gothmog in the Fountain of the King, but he was fortunate enough to see MaŽglin smite the hillside thrice ere he rested on the ground from where Tuor had thrown him from one of the high walls. It was during that moment of sheer anger, anguish, astonishment, happiness, and most of all surprise, did a misshapen orc lunge at him and tear into his side with a rusted scimitar, whose scar would remain with him for the duration of his life.
Narthas escaped from the sacked city with Tuor, Idril, Ešrendil, and the chosen few who were loyal to them. The young elf carried his wounded mother through the Secret Way, but Linya only lasted for five days while on the road to the mouths of Sirion where Gondolin's refugees planned to dwell in uncertainty. The last thing Narthas' mother said before she died was an apology for bringing him into the world. She passed on quiety, and Narthas wept while he and VoronwŽ buried her on the wayside, hoping that she would not meet MaŽglin in the Halls of Mandos.
It was only a week later did Narthas resolve to leave the company of refugees led by Tuor and his son; he saw that there was nothing for him there but memories of pain and bloodhsed. He was thoroughly sick of the Eldar, and wanted to see more of Tuor's kind... he longed to live among Men.
Narthas first sought the people of Haleth in the forest of Brethil, but when he found them he did not understand their tongue, and they did not bear Tuor's golden hair and tall stature. So he sent off again in search of those of the House of Hador and found them settled in Dor-lůmin. He was welcomed by those people and long did he dwell with them until he was sure that that those elves which he knew had forgotten him. His mood gradually lightened during his stay with Tuor's kin, but Narthas became enraptured with a deep desire for revenge when word spread that the Valar were coming ot Middle-earth with a host of the Noldor to wage war against Morgoth. Before the many battles that would come, he renamed himself RandomiŽ so that any elf that might know Narthas would never find him. Only a wanderer of the twilight.
The war raged on for what seemed like an eternity, and Narthas the RandomiŽ fought only with those of the House of Hador. He didn't get close to Angband, but fought long and hard in the waste of Anfauglith alongside the mighty host of Valinor. The skies thundered and the ground shook; mountains were raised and leveled, and when Angband was sacked and Morgoth finally sentenced to eternity in the void with Ešrendil as his guard, all of the residents of Beleriand had to migrate eastward when Belegaer swallowed up the broken land all the way to Ossiriand. And then they sighed and rejoiced, and the Second Age of the World had begun.
Narthas was 113 years at the beginning of the Second Age of the world. He was thoroughly sick of war and detested all that it brought: destruction and chaos, pain and anguish. His heart was still stung by the loss of his mother and of his city... his stomach reeled when he thought how everything that he knew, Beleriand, was far beneath the waves of the sea. Impassable mountains, cities, even the bodies of the slain lay at the bottom of the unknown depths.
And all that was left of glorious Arda was the small, broken Middle-earth.
The Men, however, were lucky. The Valar raised for them Nķmenor out of the silenced tumult of the lost land. Then again... the Elves were finally allowed to return home. To return to Valinor after so many years of hate, revenge, and strife, all caused by one man: FŽanor.
But what if Narthas, the RandomiŽ, were to go to Tol EressŽa? It was not his home, and it never was. Though remnant of Beleriand Middle-earth was, it still called to him. It was still familiar to him, still of him. The Undying Lands of the Gods was not in his mind, or his blood. He had no place there.
RandomiŽ visited Nķmenor often, eventually establishing a home, and made friends with the men there, as they were descendants of the House of Hador. There, on the isle of the Men of the West, did he first show interest in preserving the past through architecture. He sought to mimic the designs of the Elvish cities of old, and took his own Hidden City as inspiration for much of his work. He mentored under several of the most well-known architects of Men, working with them in their plan to build the cities of Nķmenor to be the greatest palaces east of Valinor. He labored much in the building of Armenelos, though he was not alone in devising the plans for the city.
In 1700, RandomiŽ watched as a fleet of ships departed from Nķmenor to aid the war in Eregion, as it was covered in shadow and overrun with a host of Sauron, seeking the three Elven Rings of Celebrimbor that were forged around 1590. Despite the victory in beating back the tides, the region was laid waste and became almost uninhabitable.
Narthas RandomiŽ remained living in Nķmenor until 2253 S.A., at the age of 2366, when he began to see the social and political rift between the King's Men and the Faithful steadilly grow. He knew that his future in Nķmenor was uncertain and unsafe. He sought the haven of Rivendell and lived there under his name RandomiŽ for many years though alienating himself from the other Elves as he did not feel as though he were of them any longer.
In 3261, Ar-PharazŰn sailed with a host to Middle-earth to wage war against Sauron.
Narthas was deeply saddened at what the Nķmenoreans had become, and was shocked when he found out that the Usurper King of Nķmenor returned to the Land of Gift with the Enemy himself as prisoner! He knew that it would only be a matter of time before the Men of the West would lead themselves to ruin.
When Elendil and the remaining Faithful established their kingdoms of Arnor and Gondor in 3320, Narthas was greatly relieved that the proud and noble race of Nķmenor had not been entirely lost. That same year he left Rivendell and dwelt in Annķminas until the division of Arnor some time into the Third Age.
His Mannish friends in Arnor's capital begged for him to fight alongside them, but Narthas refused to take direct part in another war. The elf was shocked to learn that Isildur had kept the Ring when all was finished with the Last Alliance. Though there were many who thought that the King was a fool, Narthas still saw him as the great son of Elendil who escaped the chasm that swallowed up the Land of Gift. He had saved the line of the white trees from being lost as well. Narthas was devastated when he heard of the Disaster of the Gladden Fields.
With the death of King Ešrendur in 861 T.A., however, Narthas acted upon his restlessness and journeyed southward to the lands near the Falas. At this time he did not dwell with either Men or Elves, instead seeking solitude in the wild for many years. His travels brought him further eastward and southward as he followed the coastline of Belergaer, paying no heed to the dangerous region he was heading in.
He was eventually captured by descendants of the Black Nķmenoreans. They did not kill him, and instead sold him for a high price to the men of the East, essentially beginning his thralldom.
He was brought to one of the cheif clan's hall, where they shaved his head and tattooed his neck for the purpose of public humiliation among their people. He remained as a trophy-like slave for two years before he was able to make his escape one night, slipping into the darkness unnoticed after a fire erupted in the hall. They sent dogs after him but Narthas eluded them by hiding among some rocks in a stream, letting his scent be washed away.
Narthas returned to Gondor a broken, shamed, lost Elf that did not belong to any one race. However, the timing of his return to civilization was during Gondor's golden age under the rule of King Hyarmendacil I, the last of the nation's "Ship-Kings". He was able to find peace for only a short while, that is, until the Kin-Strife, the first of the three calamities that struck during the second millennium of the Third Age. Osgiliath was destroyed during the battle between Eldacar and Castamir, and the Usurper's people fled to Umbar when Castamir's sons and followers were defeated.
In 1636, when Narthas was 4190, the Great Plague struck Gondor, and steadilly spread through the regions of Middle-earth. What few Gondorian friends the elf had perished, and even he grew gravely ill for a year. When the Plague had passed, Narthas remained still living in the Rammas Echor, alongside a dwindling population of Minas Tirith.
He remained in Gondor for some time, and despite his hatred of combat, he fought briefly and bravely in the first battles against the Wainriders. But, growing ever wearier of war, he migrated westward.
When Dol Amroth was founded by Galdor in 2004, the Wanderer in Twilight settled there, his heart soothed by the sea. He made his living in devising many buildings in that city, and also many public places- so many, in fact, that those who frequently worked with him began calling him Auleskar. It was also in that manner did he befriend the family of the Princes of Amroth. There he dwelt for many centuries, troubled not by problems of the Elves in the north, or the Men who lived but a little farther east.
Now as it was during one fine day in the year 2976, Narthas came across a young maid by the name of Finduilas, who was astounded to find one of the Eldar living in the midst of Men. Narthas knew Prince Adrahil, her father, and the many fathers before him, and knew he had a daughter. After much friendly discussion with the young woman, he discovered that she was so marry Ecthelion's son and heir, Denethor. The elf grew close to her and her family, and loved them all. However, there was one dark character that Narthas did not take a liking to... this Thorongil from the north. He bore uncanny likeness to that of Elendil and his sons, but that was no matter. The elf loathed him for devastating Denethor's relationship with his father.
Narthas attended the wedding of Finduilas and Denethor, and was present the day their first son was born: Boromir III. He spent much time with the child. But to his dissapointment, the young boy (only five) would hear of his stories of battles, and did not care for things of craft and lore. The elf hoped that with his younger brother, Faramir, things would be different, and perhaps he would have a pupil to teach when the boy grew older. Unfortunately, shortly after Faramir's birth, Ecthelion abruptly passed away and the family had to move inland so that Denethor could claim the Stewardship. Narthas stayed behind.
However, after the years passed, he began to miss the family, and after the attack on Osgiliath in June of 3018, Narthas rushed to Minas Tirith only to find Finduilas long since passed and Boromir gone to Rivendell. It was in Narthas' first conversation with Denethor upon his arrival did he see a strange change in the behavior of the Stewart- none that he liked at all. But Denethor insisted that he remain as grim guest for as long as he would stay in those halls. (The Elf perceived that the only reason Denethor did not also reject his presence is because he remembered Narthas taking a dislike to Aragorn, and never knowing of his mutual acquaintance with Gandalf the Istar.) Faramir spoke with him of his and his brother's dream, and Narthas was speechless at the thought of the awakening of the Ring, and perhaps even the doom of Men as it had said, though he doubted it.
Narthas remained in Minas Tirith for four months, awaiting Boromir's return from Rivendell. However he never came, nor was any word sent of his coming, so the Elf took a horse and rode out to the Last Homely House alone. When he arrived several weeks later, he was informed that counsels had been taken concerning the finding of the Ring of Power, and that a fellowship of nine had set out to take the Ring to Mordor and destroy it. It was the last hope of the people of Middle-earth.
The Twilight Wanderer knew that it would not be wise to interfere with a quest so delicate, yet whose purpose incomprehensively important. If they were to fail, Arda would fall into the hands of Morgoth's servant and successor. Narthas stayed only two days in Rivendell before setting out for Lothlorien, knowing that he would have to steer far away from Isengard. He waited two months for the Fellowship to arrive. When he saw Boromir for the first time in thirty-five years, the elf almost expected to look upon the lusty, outspoken child he knew in Dol Amroth. But the man he looked upon then was tall and strong, but his pride was failing. The elf knew then that he would not last long so near to the temptation of the Ring, and he did not speak to him during their month-long stay in Lorien.
Narthas watched despairingly as the eight set out down the Anduin, watching them disappear through the winding tributary that would lead them to the great river, taking a silent oath to himself that he would protect Boromirís city for as long as he would endure. He remained in Lothlorien thereafter until the end of the Third Age. Many times he was tempted to ride back to Gondor in the midst of the war later that year, but he knew better. The part the Elves had in the War of the Ring had been played long before, and they waned as they retreated Westward, slowly, one by one.
RandomiŽ was overjoyed when the war was over and the Ring had been cast into the Cracks of Doom by one of the smallest people of the race of Men: the Hobbit Frodo Baggins had succeeded, and the world sighed when Barad-dŻr fell and Sauron destroyed forever. He wasted no time in setting out for Gondor, and arrived days before other Elves. When he got there, he saw only Faramir as steward, Aragorn to be King, and Denethor was nowhere to be found. Neither was Boromir. Although he was deeply saddened by Boromirís death, and Denethorís suicide (which he ultimately blames on Aragornís earlier influence), he was still jovial at the prospect of a new age: an age of peace. Even if it meant that the rule of Gondor and Arnor would be that of Aragorn, Isildurís heir.
Narthas RandomiŽ remained in Minas Tirith for many days, partaking in celebration and ceremony alike, along with the few other Elves that had come to witness the last union between Men and Elves. It was actually during this time that he met an elf by the name of Faelivrin, from Rivendell. Her folk were from Eregion during the Second Age, but her kinís dwindling numbers persuaded them to relocate to Elrondís safe haven after the Last Alliance, during which her father and much of her family was slain. Narthas was struck by the elf maidenís cool, yet somehow vibrantly astute demeanor. She was beautiful and proud, with a crown of fiery hair. And though she had only lived to see the Third Age pass before her, she was wise beyond her years. The wanderer had finally found his rock, his foundation that would keep him rooted to the world.
They later left Gondor, and settled back in her home of Rivendell. He knew she planned to leave for the thither shores, which forced him to fully think about his course of action for the first time. Would he leave for the Undying Lands, where he could live in peace with the Eldar and Valar until the end of days? What did he want? Would he truly dare to forsake the doom of his kind for a life in Middle-earth? He was estranged from both races. Who said that he would find solace in the company of one or the other? But it was true: he found himself more comfortable in the presence of those of the race of Men. And, looking back on all he had done in his life, he found that his ties were fatally severed with his kin the day Gondolin fell. Faelivrin was but one single exception. He loved her dearly and didnít want to lose her to Valinor, but he felt that he was not fated Ėnor suited for that matter- for a life there.
All of these things he told Faelivrin. She listened patiently, and they sat in silence for a while before either spoke. She said that she knew it would come to such measures, for she could not see him leaving his home in Arda. She knew that she would grieve for him if they were to part ways at Mithlond, but she would not argue with her loverís feeling of estrangement. Faelivrin knew that he would stay behind. Stay behind to ensure, somehow, that the golden age of Men would not end swiftly.
And so it was that both of them knew that their affair would not last for the duration of their lives, and in a sense made every moment all the sweeter. They stayed together for many years and were careful to not bear any children, for that would make the situation all the more disastrous. They remained together as long as they could, before Faelivrinís longing for the sea overcame her, and few of the Elves were left in Middle-earth. So they traveled to the Grey Havens, somber from the knowledge of their parting. The seaside city was near abandoned, but there were still a few of CŪrdanís folk who dwelt there, waiting for the time that they would depart with their Lord. There they waited for a year for others who would sail with Faelivrin. Then the time came for her to leave the hither shores.
It was a bitter parting, though neither of them wept, as they both knew that the day would come. However, after the white ship that bore his love into the uttermost west disappeared over the horizon, Narthas found that he could not tear himself away from that place for several days before turning his back to the Havens for the last time.
Though it had been a week since his lover had sailed off down the Straight Way into the ancient West, he still felt as cold and heavy as he did when he reached the stone-hewn waterfront to say goodbye. The WestÖ Aman, Valinor, the Undying LandsÖ the hidden continent of the Powers-That-Be, the paradise where the Sun went to rest each night; only the great mariners of ages past could reach the golden shores thither.
He knew that it would have been a decision that would burden him so long as he remained on the earth. He would not have fared well in the Blessed Realm, however, with the guilt of having abandoned Middle-earth and those who lived there. Middle-earth was his home, though remnant as it was of the ancient world sunk beneath the waves: Beleriand. He had spent three Ages of the world there, fought wars there alongside both Men and Elves, lived there, nearly died there, fell in love thereÖ
Oh, how he would miss her!
ďWhat a monster I am,Ē he whispered to himself as a tear slipped from his eye. His irises seemed grayer these days, as if the green filtered light of the forest in them was slowly fading away.
He had been out watching the sea since the Elvish boat had disappeared over the horizon, one week ago. Lindon was near abandoned, as with many other cities of the Eldar, and the ancient Noldo was alone as far as he knew. He wept silently, his gaze unwavering, fixed on the spot on the horizon where he would last see Faelivrin.
The sea looked black and vile as a storm brewed far offshore, the sky dark and grey and a chill, salty wind whipped his hair behind him. The solitary Elf knew he would have to seek shelter before the Tempest drew near to the shore, or abandon his grievous vigil at least. But he did not move from his spot on the stone eaves of one of the taller towers, and remained there, unmoving, unfeeling, for long after the skyís tears began to fall on him.
The rain soaked him to the skin, but he felt it not. The sky darkened further as Anar receded into West. The ashen clouds of the storm drew closer to the shore, and the sea near the shore grew tumultuous, and the Elf had to seek shelter before he was blown from his perch on the roof.
He nimbly leapt down from the eave onto a stone balcony not far below, and went inside. It was a very small room, but that was to be expected in the topmost room of this tower. The walls and floor were bare, and he supposed that the inhabitants took what they could before they left. Against one wall there was a bookcase that housed a single book and a few rotting pieces of parchment, and along the adjacent wall, a long wooden bench. His overcast eyes were drawn upwards and out a diamond-paned window when a peal of thunder shook the foundations of the small port-city. He stepped up to the glass and peered down below, seeing the three white ships left moored at the dock: he knew one of them would be for the twin sons of Elrond when their time came to leave Middle-earth, and another would be for CŪrdan. The ship-wright would make more for the others. He wondered if they would survive the storm.
And so the Elf spent the night alone in that small room high above the angry waves beating against the steadfast rock of the pier.
ďAlmost as if they are seeking to punish me for stayingÖĒ he muttered, thinking of Ulmo and the Valar.
After a long time, he fell into an uneasy sleep, and he dreamt of something long ago, long lost in the mists and fires of war and time, of something that Tuor told him in his grand tale of time that was revealed to him on the shores of Vinyamar. It was only one small part in the grand scheme, one thing to happen in the near forgotten past in a land lost in the deepÖ
He was awoken by the harsh golden hands of Anar, permeating the glass of the windows and falling upon his sleeping form in the middle of the floor. The elf had fallen asleep with his knees under his chin, and his soaking hood drawn over his face.
ďLeave me be, cursed light of the Gods!Ē he shouted at the Sun. But the light only seemed to grow brighter against the stone floor.
Remain you here for a reason, Narthas. An oath you made, to one who passed into the Halls of Mandos long ago. You know well that you would not fulfill it by fading away into despair. Did you not stay to keep thy vigil over the mortal children of Iluvatar?
The despairing Elf looked up from where he huddled, and gazed into the bright golden pool of light on the floor at his feet. He did not blink as he stared, feeling the burn of the light in his eyes.
ďI did,Ē said he.
Stay not here alone and tarry, Narthas, son of the Betrayer. Go to the cities of men and carry out thy promise.
The Noldo remained sitting, watching the light on the floor as it danced and shifted, faded and brightened. There were thin clouds gone astray in the sky that obscured the light, the last remnants of the storm. He shivered when a benign breeze wandered into the room. He rose and stood straight, and looked not toward the West anymore. He turned his eyes south and west out past the threshold of the balcony, and gazed at the small range of the Blue Mountains in the distance, across the waters of Lune. Beyond lay the lost realm of Arnor, and even further lay the blossoming countries of Men.
Narthas turned from that view as well, and removed from himself his cloak, deep as the water of the sea, and set it on the windowpane to dry in the bright morning sun. He removed the rest of his clothes as well, and arrayed them on the balcony so that they would dry as well. He opened the small bag that he carried, only to find his small sketchbook soaked. He laid that out as well. The Elf went and sat in the same spot that he had slept in. The chill floor bit his flesh, but he paid no heed as he waited in silence, listening to the cry of the gulls outside.
Some time later, a kestrel perched on the sill of an open window, and looked at the man inside, curious as to his behavior. He turned and cocked his head countless times, watching with shiny black eyes, until at last he stirred and looked up to watch the bird flutter away.
In his place, a golden feather sailed on a sea breeze over to the Elf and landed in his lap. He picked it up with nimble, reverend fingers and turned it over under his gaze. It glistened in the light, and he smiled faintly- the first smile that played upon his face in a long time. He tucked the feather behind his pointed ear for safekeeping, and waited until Anar was high in the sky before he clothed himself once again and was dry.
He climbed down a steep case of winding steps that led him below, and he continued through the abandoned building until he came to the door and exited.
Narthas, the Atanear, bastard son of the Betrayer of Gondolin, looked out at the Grey Havens. He was without a home, without any possession except the clothes on his back, and some artistic keepsakes, and without any weapons except a long knife in his boot.
And unknown to him, as he looked, the green seemed to return to his eyes.