?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

Last Chapter of AMC and Epilogue

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet




"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

Last Chapter of AMC and Epilogue

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
happiness
Well, this is it: The last posting for AMC, the final chapter and a short epilogue by Tyelko to (hopefully) bring the story around in a circle, to close the year.

The final chapter, from Nelyo's PoV, you should be aware is rated adult for sex.

I have far less to say than I thought I would! AMC is far from over; besides more stories in the series, I hope to soon begin revising and editing it to make it more suitable for publication at Tolkien archives and (eventually) my own website. Because of the dedication of my readers, who have never been shy to point out my typos and mistakes or to bring up issues of which I had never thought--or simply to provide encouragement on the weeks when I didn't want to continue with this story, when I thought it beyond salvaging for whatever reason--AMC will be better than if I had done this alone. And for that, I thank every one of you who have ever read a chapter or left a comment. Jenni said to me in a comment a few weeks ago that this last chapter would be the end of an era, and that's certainly true for me. And I replied that I don't know if I'll ever have as much fun with a story again. I hope that I do, but the reaction and support I've received for this story is something that I never expected and was truly a gift. For that, I thank you.

Before I shut up and give you the chapter and epilogue, oloriel did me the honor of illustrating a scene from last week's chapter, between Maitimo and Rumil, and I wanted to share that here because there is no greater compliment to one's work than to know that it has inspired others.

So without further rambling: the last chapters of AMC....


Chapter Fifty-Two
Maitimo

Atar goes to ready the carriage, and we wait for Macalaurë.

Without Atar, Rúmil becomes stiff and awkward, although he still sits with Carnistir dozing in his lap. Amil is making an effort—too much, perhaps—to accommodate Rúmil: She jots notes, asking if he would like a glass of wine or some cheese and crackers without realizing that he will have to remove his mask to eat or drink, and he will not do that in her presence.

From the steps comes the quick patter of footsteps and Macalaurë emerges. Macalaurë always keeps his costume secret until the last moment (although he alleges that this costume was done with Atar’s help in planning), and he never dresses as something lovely but always something scary, delved from the darkest legends that he likes to read and retell to frighten our brothers into obedience. Today, he wears all white, a fighter’s costume, bound close to his body. Even his boots are white, specially made and acquired for this costume. His hair is covered by a white hood and he has painted every last bit of exposed skin white—except the skin around his eyes, around which he has smeared soot to make his eyes appear dark and sunken and his fingernails, over which he has pasted something dark and chitinous to resemble claws.

Tyelkormo flinches away from him with the atavistic fear of early childhood before becoming exceptionally bold to save his pride and declaring “You make a stupid wraith, Macalaurë.”

Macalaurë turns abruptly and yells, “Gah!” jumping in Tyelkormo’s direction, and Tyelkormo yelps before he can stop himself. I notice that, at his waist, Macalaurë wears a crude weapon made of some kind of dark metal. Atar, likewise, I noticed—before he departed to ready the carriage—wore a longsword of exceptional beauty, that which I knew he had spent weeks forging, after dismissing Vorondil for the day, in the private hours of night.

I begin to wonder….

But that quickly, Atar has returned, and he is introducing Rúmil to Macalaurë, and we are herding the little ones and settling in the carriage. It is a half-hour ride to the copse called Osto-Lomëa where the Festival will be held. The New Year Festival is never celebrated in the civilized indoors but in the depths of the forest, in the shadow of Túna, where the Lights will not reach but the stars are hard and bright in the sky. The Lights are just beginning to mingle when Atar turns the horses through our gate and onto the road.

I always feel a bit silly—pretentious almost—in the half-hour that it takes to ride to Osto-Lomëa. Certainly, our ancestors didn’t enjoy this luxury, nor did they have the pleasure of sipping at a flask of wine that ingenious Macalaurë had slipped into his boot. With Rúmil in the carriage, conversation becomes awkward, stilted, although Atar is making the effort. I feel silly, like a child caught playing dress-up in his father’s clothes. Even Macalaurë looks harmless—quite silly, in fact—in his scary costume and face paint. Tyelkormo has recovered from his shock, apparently, because he is clambering across Macalaurë’s lap and nearly having his eye with an antler.

At last, we arrive at Osto-Lomëa, by all appearances, an ordinary forest except for the valets waiting outside, who take the carriage and motion us with sweeping, dignified gestures toward an undignified dirt path where the underbrush has been pushed aside. They greet Atar as “Prince Fëanaro,” offering a hand to Amil—as though, caring for four children and achieving renown as one of the most capable sculptors among the Noldor leaves her incapable of stepping from the carriage—and bowing to each of us in turn, “Princes Nelyafinwë, Canafinwë, Turkafinwë, and Morifinwë.” They pause at Rúmil, uncertain of his identity, and finally suffice with a polite nod and “my Lord….”

Inside the forest, it is as dark as it must have been in the Outer Lands, on the Great Journey. I feel a twinge of hesitation—I always do—for I am unaccustomed to such total darkness. I become anxious about the placement of my feet, imagining that I might be misfortunate enough to chance stepping into a hole and turning an ankle or that something dark and cold will slither out of the shadows and grip my foot as relentlessly as a bind of iron. But lamps are draped too among the darkness, in the shape of the constellations, and my eyes—meant to be born into darkness—do not take long to adjust, and then the forest is beautiful. The trees are shadowy and featureless, outlined in bluish starlight; the undergrowth might be piles of darkness glazed with ice. The Valacirca glows before us, shaped from the stones my father devised, and guides us along the path to the clearing. A nightingale warbles, and another answers. From deeper inside the forest, along the path, comes the sound of a shout and a weak strain of music. We move toward the sound, moving carefully in the near-darkness, until the trees in front of us pulse with firelight, and we step into the festival clearing, where large bonfires make pools of reddish light and pitch-black shadows, and there is something savage and sensuous about the few dancers who writhe in the flickering light of the clearing.

At the head of the clearing is the royal table, and grandfather Finwë and the Lady Indis are seated there already. He is costumed as Manwë; Lady Indis wears no costume but a festival gown of gold lamé that reflects the firelight. Left in charge of Tyelkormo and Carnistir, I cannot hear the words that pass between Atar and grandfather Finwë as they embrace in introduction, and Atar presents Rúmil. I see Atar’s hands flashing in the firelight, and grandfather Finwë bows before Rúmil, whose hands fly about in flustered protestation, but grandfather Finwë pays him no mind and kisses the backs of his black-gloved fingers.

Grandfather Finwë, I realize, must have known Rúmil before he became Melkor’s thrall, when his voice had the power to make the forest fall silent in reverence, when even the wind waited in the trees to listen, fearful, perhaps, of tearing those sounds from his throat, of warping and distorting them, rendering them silent. Melkor had done that, I realize with sickening rage, had done what even the wind could not bear to do. I think of Macalaurë and the power of his voice, and I am ill at the thought of Rúmil’s torment upon him—so sick, in fact, that I must sit suddenly, fingers trembling and writhing, entwined, against each other, while Amil asks with concern, “Nelyo? Are you unwell?”

“I am fine. Just—” Just what? What excuse can a young and healthy Elf as myself make that will convince her. “Just wishing to sit,” I reply lamely, but she leaves me alone and goes to kiss her father-in-law in greeting, and I take deep breaths and remind myself, This is Valinor and Melkor is imprisoned in Mandos.

But that doesn't comfort me.

The clearing quickly fills with costumed people, and Macalaurë and I move among them, searching for people that we know but, most of all, Vingarië and Annawendë. We find Vorondil, dressed as starlight in a radiant silver-blue costume, entwined around Nimerionë, and he rushes to us, brandishing his hand, on which is a silver ring. “I will be a husband within the year!” he shouts, and I can smell the sweetish scent of wine about him. Nimerionë giggles and ducks her head and tugs at Vorondil’s sleeve: “But, love, my majority is still five years away….”

Vorondil clutches her to him, putting his fingers on her lips and then—boldly—replacing them with his lips. “Hush, love, I am doubtful that I can wait beyond tonight—”

We give them our best wishes and move away to allow them the privacy to move into the shadows at the edge of the clearing, where Vorondil, I know from experience, can attempt to earn his wish—or at least, something comparable in satisfaction. As we depart, he snatches my sleeve and pulls me roughly back—nearly tearing the delicate silk in his haste—and whispers in a breath reeking of inebriation, “I haven’t seen her, either.”

There is a nugget of growing dismay in my gut, and I nod and move away: At least one of us should be happy tonight.

“He is quite drunk,” Macalaurë whispers, as we walk, “although he probably needed it for the courage to propose. I thank Eru for only being forty years old and having ten years still to find my own courage.” Fearing that he has spoken insensitively, he looks at me with his eyes wide inside the dark rings of soot. “Oh, Nelyo, I didn’t mean to—”

I silence him with a dismissive wave of my hand. “No mind,” I say, although my churning stomach indicates that I mind a lot. “I am going to enjoy myself tonight,” I add unconvincingly. He looks at me doubtfully; he will not be easily fooled. I scan the clearing for an unescorted female, seeking to prove the truth of my statement—to myself as well as Macalaurë. Snatching two goblets of wine from a passing waiter, I give Macalaurë a purposeful look and head in her direction.
~oOo~

A combination of wine and dance—both in great measures—leaves my head spinning. The music is loud and fast now—screeching to rise among the voices of almost the whole of the Noldor—and the crowd surges in rhythm, as partners are exchanged and inebriation creates surges of laughter and hilarity and reckless dancing—crowds forming circles around the performers, pockets of madness—and the music surges ever-louder, ever-harder, until it seems that even the trees shake in rhythm and there might not be a world beyond this clearing: no foes, no concerns, no paradise—only this night.

A small maiden dressed in a scarlet, feathered gown has danced in my arms for the last half-hour: I do not know her name, and if she knows mine, she does not call me by it. We do not speak, and our dancing is not confined to the proper steps common to other festivals. Her nose is at the height of my chest; she is a tiny bundle of bones in my arms. The music moves our limbs and the rest of our bodies follow in languid obedience; when a waiter passes with wine, I grab goblets for both of us. I cannot tell if it is lust or inebriation that makes me clutch her to my body, but she slips her fingers up my silk-clad thigh and her teeth close on my nipple through the cloth, and my loins blaze with flame, and I know by the way she presses against my hips that she must feel my excitement—she must!—but when I ask her if she wants to leave the clearing, my words are torn away by a sudden yell from the crowd around us, and she is bumped away from me by a man reeling backward to clear a ring formed around two people who stand back-to-back with swords in their hands.

I grope around for her, but then I notice the identities of the two men in the ring: Atar and Macalaurë.

A visceral fear grows inside of me, at the sight of the firelight like bright blood on the swords, and that quickly, the nameless girl is forgotten and my arousal has withered. I join the crowd that forms around them; Atar has begun to speak, his voice easily dominating the music and the shouts of the clearing. “In the days in the Outer Lands, our people fought many enemies beyond our pampered imaginations.” He smiles viciously; the firelight livens the shadows on his face. Is he Atar? I squint in the fickle darkness: If not for the bright gems that are his eyes, I would doubt. The teeth inside his grin are vicious, appearing almost pointed. I shake my head and blink, and when I open my eyes again, his grin is wicked still but otherwise normal. “In the Outer Lands,” he goes on to say, “many of our people were taken by blind wraiths who sought them by the heat of their bodies in the darkness. But some triumphed….”

He turns to Macalaurë, who has remained silent, resting on his black sword, his face as without expression as the lifeless wraith he imitates. From his pocket, Atar draws a strip of black silk.

“My son Macalaurë has an extraordinary gift: the gift of a wraith. For he can fight without his eyes, by sound and feeling alone.” He gestures at a young man in the crowd who steps nervously forward, looking around as though for some escape. But Atar has him by the shoulder, is asking him, “Tie this around your eyes and tell me: Can you see a thing?

The boy does as he’s told, shakes his head no, and disappears gratefully into the anonymity of the crowd. With a flourish, Atar ties the silk around Macalaurë’s eyes. I watch my brother’s eyes lower obediently. In my irrational fear, I think that he neglected his eyelashes, for they are too long and thick and betray his Elvenness. I want to leap into the clearing, shield him with my body. Protect him from harm. But that is silly—isn’t it? “Nor can my son. But he will fight me anyway, and he will not falter.

“Now, some of you might think this sword—” Atar draws his longsword from its hilt—“is a prop made for ceremony. No, it is real—as real as that which guarded our people. It will cut, wound, and kill.” He brandishes his arm, bare between the bracer on his wrist and the sleeve that reaches his elbow, and he slips the sword across it. With a gasp, the crowd watches dark, syrupy liquid well beneath the blade and trickle down his arm into the grass.

“As you can see,” says Atar, laughing at their fear, “it is real.”

My mind fumbles to comprehend: the cuts and bruises on Macalaurë’s flesh; his secret meetings with Atar—but I wonder, is it real? There is something dark and wet on Atar’s arm, but I don’t want to believe him mad enough to cut himself with such brutal impassivity. But even as I watch him circle Macalaurë, who still leans on his blade, that dark liquid drips onto the grass. The crowd recoils but does not leave; women cover their eyes but peek through their fingers; parents lift their children into their arms but let them watch. Atar paces and paces—until the tension embraces us all—and paces. Macalaurë stands, unmoving, unflinching. I wonder at the heart that beats beneath his breast: Is that afraid? Atar paces; I cannot see Macalaurë breathing. It is as though he is really undead.

Atar circles, growing narrower, then wider again, like a predator teasing its prey—only Macalaurë does not move—and then flies from nothing and into a flurry of movement, and before I can even register that he is in motion, Macalaurë has spun and their blades meet with a bright clang that bites our ears and makes us wince. This sound was supposed to be forgotten; this sound was supposed to be left behind, on distant shores, but here it is, ringing so quickly that it becomes a continuous metallic keening, and we are leaning forward with the hunger of predators, wondering, who will bleed next?

In the madness of the firelight, Atar is a twisting flame, contorting impossibly, but Macalaurë matches him, weaving his body amid Atar’s sinuous attacks, but never once touching him. When Atar’s sword rises, Macalaurë’s is there to meet it. There is a rhythm to their fight, a primitive heartbeat; I feel my pulse stirred by it. My body grows tense; my muscles thrum with the force of Macalaurë’s parries, as though it is I who am undertaking such an impossible fight—and yet am not overcome.

Macalaurë, light on his feet, seems to be defeated once, but that quickly, he leaps into the air and over Atar, somersaulting and nearly colliding with the crowd, who surge back from him. He swings his blade, Atar’s meets it, and they are begun anew, weaving their feet in an intricate and deadly dance. Macalaurë trips Atar’s foot from beneath him, but Atar rolls away from Macalaurë’s plunging blade. With graceless necessity, he clutches Macalaurë’s foot and topples him to the ground. They are both amid the leaves now, rolling on the ground, swatting each other with their blades. Macalaurë kneels on Atar’s chest; Atar knocks him aside. Macalaurë lies prone on his back now, limbs splayed, his sword loose in his fingers, his chest exposed. Mercilessly, Atar steps upon him. Macalaurë wails—a sound like a blade drawn across bone—and Atar raises his sword, in both hands, and plunges it into Macalaurë’s chest.

I am too shocked to scream, blinking, heart a roar in my chest, so frightened I am—but it cannot be, for Macalaurë is standing with a wide grin on his face, his makeup smeared now, tearing off the blindfold and taking a bow. He tosses the blindfold to Vingarië, who stands at the head of the crowd and squeals with delight—leaping and clapping her hands—and Atar says, “My son Macalaurë!” and takes Macalaurë’s hand, and they bow together.

I blink. For I was certain. Certain that I had seen my father kill my brother.

But such a thing is impossible. Atar would sooner plunge a blade into his own chest than bring the slightest harm against one of us.

Turning, blinking, rubbing my eyes, I wander from the circle, but I feel a hand grab me from behind. Atar.

“Your brother is something, is he not?” he asks, falling into step beside me. His voice is high and breathy with exhilaration. “He could not fight to save his life with a sword…but put a blindfold across his eyes.” He pauses, studying my face, and seizes my wrist to stop. “Are you unwell, Nelyo?”

“I—I thought I saw something that was not.” I laugh nervously. “Too much wine I suppose.” I lift his arm and look at its underside, at the dark, sticky line there, already clotting. “How could you—”

He traces his finger along the wound and puts it to my lips. I twist away, but his finger deftly follows my lips; he insists. He pastes it onto my lips, and I obediently lick it, tasting bittersweet chocolate. Atar laughs; I must have shown my surprise. “In the firelight, you cannot tell it is not blood. And,” he leans forward to whisper in my ear, his breath as hot and heady as though inebriated though I smell not a trace of wine on him, “it was all choreographed.”

Macalaurë appears beside him, his arm locking Vingarië to his hip. “Nelyo! Did you see—”

“Yes. You were wonderful.”

I smile weakly and wander away, to the shadows, perhaps, alone.
~oOo~

I am sitting alone at the royal table, watching the heaving, fire-lit crowd and trying to make sense of the screaming music and trying not to feel hope drain from me with every passing minute that Annawendë does not appear from the crowd and come to wordlessly embrace me. I have denied envisioning this moment, but I have; even as I admitted the imprudence of it, I have imagined her manifesting like a spark from the fire, a quivering apparition spinning through the darkness to arrive at my side with words ready upon her lips: Nelyo, I was wrong to leave. I love you. I choose you.

I feel foolish and ugly, even: a beautiful face but a heart dark and empty and not worth loving. I am holding to the sides of my chair to keep from leaping to my feet and running from the clearing in panic and shame of this realization.
It is then that I notice the girl watching me.

It is hard, at first, to determine that she watches me, per se, for she is masked and costumed, although I cannot tell as what. Her body is angled toward the crowd, but her head tilts in my direction. I meet her eyes and, slowly, she turns away.

Not a minute later, she is at the opposite side of the clearing, her back to the mass of people and her face squarely facing me.

And it must be me, for I sit alone, with only trees behind me.

Annawendë is gone. With a despairing scream inside my head, I force myself to acknowledge this. I force myself to imagine a cozy house in the south of Aman and Annawendë in the arms of her betrothed whom I’ve never seen—or maybe, he is her husband by now—cuddling in front of a fire. Choosing names for their children perhaps. Her fingers linked with a hand that is not mine, nothing like mine, with stubby fingers and swarthy skin. But a hand she loves. Linking with hers. I feel a pang like a knife twisting in my gut, but I force myself to dwell on it until the pain goes away. And I stand to introduce myself to the girl.

But she is gone.

She is gone into the surging crowd.

With angry determination, I stride from the royal table and down to the crowd. I am pulled into a dance with a group of young people, but I duck free and continue to search for this small, unremarkable girl who’d watched me.

And she is there.

She is in front of me, looking up into my startled face, as I fumble, “I saw you—”

She takes my hand and bows neatly. Her fingers are gloved in silk and her touch as delicate. “You wish to ask me for a dance?” she asks in a clipped, exaggerated Tirion accent. She puts my fingers to her lips and kisses them, for her mask ends at her lips. I look for her eyes beneath her mask, seeing if they swim with drunkenness, but they are very sharp and clear, and they pierce me with the painless surprise of a stiletto.

“I do,” I gasp, and I take her into my arms. The music is wild and fast, but we circle slowly. Her face is tilted to mine, staring at me. I wish I knew what she looked like beneath the mask: It is a mask of a face, the image of perfect female beauty, with high, arched brows and finely sculpted cheekbones. I wish I knew what face could do justice to those astute eyes that made me feel as though she could see beneath my clothes, beneath my flesh, as though she knew me more intimately than nearly anyone else.

“Who are you?” I ask as way of conversation, for I am painfully aroused, and I do not wish her to know it, lest she take offense. It is hard to tell the shape of her body for she is bound tightly in her costume, an exaggerated craftsman’s garb, feminized and very sensual, with a tunic that plunges at the front to show the cleft of her breasts.

“I am a Maia of Aulë,” she says, and I say, “No, what is your name?” and she replies, in the same nonchalant, lilting tone, “I am a Maia of Aulë. That is all that you need to know, on this night.” And with a smile, she reaches to touch my lips. “You are so unbelievably beautiful.”

We dance to the edge of the crowd, and then we are in the shadows, kissing frantically, moaning into each other’s mouths. I feel the briefest pang of guilt for Annawendë—so quickly forgotten!—but decide that it is a matter of survival: hold onto this girl with all of my power or thrash and drown needlessly. So I hold on—and she is kissing my neck, undoing my robes and moving her mouth down the length of my body while I slip my hands inside the neckline of her tunic to cup her breasts in both hands. I try not to think of Annawendë, of her full and lush body, of hips and breasts that seemed made for motherhood. This girl pushes me roughly against a tree, the rough bark scratching at my back through the delicate silk of my costume, and falls to her knees in front of me. My robes are open to the waist now, and she is kissing my navel, my belly, and I try to lift her mask from her face, but she slaps my hands away. “Leave it,” she says, putting her hand between my legs and, in an instant, making me forget the mask, as she strokes my length through the silk, and I thrash my head and bite my lip until I taste blood, my arms rigid, hands clutching the tree behind me, as waves of sickening hot pleasure course through my body and threaten to erupt in release.

She removes her hand from me and puts both hands on my hips, and with an effortless tug, she slips my robes from my body and the warm night air caresses my naked skin.

She cups my testicles in her hand, kneading me until it almost hurts, and kisses the humid place where my legs join my body, slipping her tongue along my skin, teasing, until I can feel spasms of pleasure threatening release, and my hips thrust involuntarily. She laughs and looks up at me. “You are beautiful,” she says again. She slides her hands up my thighs, to my belly. She clutches my hips and pulls me into her, letting her lips brush the head of my erection, the tongue teasing, and then taking me fully into her mouth, until I can barely stand it.

“Let me touch you,” I beg her. “Please, I cannot take this—”

She nibbles my length, speaking, “I do not want you to take it. You have suffered long enough, Maitimo.”

She knows me….

“Just release,” she says, and puts her mouth on me again, and there is not much I can do after that to disobey her, to stop the spasms of ecstasy that force my back to arch away from the tree, fingers digging the bark and screaming wordlessly to the dark sky overhead, the stars cut by branches and reeling for the moment before I squeeze my eyes shut, wondering if I can endure this, wondering if it will ever end and hoping—hoping—that it won’t.

But it does, and as I go limp, she lets me slide from her mouth, and she rests her head against my belly for a moment, her hair warm against my damp flesh, before pulling my trembling body to the ground beside her, to lay me on the ground and cradle me in her arms.

She kisses my mouth and closes my eyes with surprising tenderness. “Why?” I whisper into the lips that cover mine, burying my hands into her dark hair, and she replies, “Because I realized that I love you,” and she removes the mask, and Annawendë holds me and kisses me until the morning comes and I have no more tears to cry.
~oOo~

I awaken in the depths of afternoon, in my bedroom in grandfather Finwë’s palace, with Annawendë in bed beside me, naked flesh pressing naked flesh. Still, though, we remain unwed. She had opened her legs to me, last night, in the forest, and when I’d settled between them, she’d raised no protest—although, beneath my hand on her breast, I could feel her heart pounding—but I’d remained adamant against taking my father’s path, and so we’d contented ourselves with the pleasure brought by hands and mouth, and I’d taken her to the palace in the morning and laid her beside me, in my bed, in the place of a wife.

She sleeps—her back to my belly—and my cheek pressing her hair. My bed smells of the rich, earthy scent of our damp skin and our spent fluids. She stirs and turns in my arms, and we kiss. “Think of it, Maitimo,” she says, entwining her fingers in my hair, “that this is the first of an eternity’s worth of mornings that we will awaken together.” She deepens the kiss, coaxing my lips to open; our tongues entwine. Despite the satiation of last night, I feel my arousal stirring against her thigh. She feels it too, and she laughs inside my mouth, and it makes a funny vibrating feeling that makes me laugh too. She strokes my cheek. I feel the softness of her skin, the roughness of her blacksmith’s calluses, and the hardness of the silver ring that she had allowed me to slip onto her trembling finger last night.

I did not ask about her betrothed; I did not ask how they reached the decision to separate. Perhaps, one day, we will discuss it, but not now. Now, I do not want to think that the light of my happiness casts another’s life into shadow. While my tears of joy had nurtured the soil of the forest last night, another had cried tears in a land far away—but they were not born of happiness.

In Arda Marred, it seems, joy must be balanced by an equal measure of despair.
I cannot bear to let such thoughts dampen my joy. Not today. There will be a time for gravity but not today. Today, it is the New Year, and Laurelin is reaching her zenith outside, spilling gold across my bed, across our tangled bodies. Today, hope has been realized.
Today, I will announce my betrothal to my family and reaffirm my allegiance to my grandfather: It is a day for honoring the past and celebrating the future.

Annawendë sighs in contentment and buries her fingers in my hair. I could lie here forever, I think, and—watching my silver betrothal ring rejoicing in Laurelin’s light—I realize: I will.

Today, I am in love.







Epilogue
Tyelkormo

It is the first day of the New Year, and the afternoon light is as rich and thick as amber. Today, one by one, we will stand before grandfather Finwë; we will swear our allegiance to him and all of the Noldor. Over the next month, one by one, all of the Noldor in Tirion will do the same, but we—his family—will be first.

I am sitting in my bed, waiting for someone to come and dress me for the ceremony, reading one of grandfather’s books that I found on the table in the corner. It is an illustrated book of stories of the Outer Lands, and I am reading one about how Rúmil drove away a host that threatened the Kings of the Eldar with only his voice. I stare long at the illustration: grandfather Finwë, with his raven hair, and King Ingwë, as golden and radiant as Laurelin, both armed with graceful swords and spotted with blood and ichor, facing a swarm of black beasts—bristling hair and gnashing teeth—and Rúmil behind them, kneeling in reverence, his face lit by starlight, holding in his hands only a harp. Sword and harp—I wonder if this story is true. Grandfather Finwë is wounded on an arm hanging uselessly at his side; King Ingwë defends him, although he is also bleeding. Harp and sword….

There is a knock on the door, and I close the book and look up expectantly, and Nelyo enters my bedroom. I feel myself start at the sight of him, for it is as though the bitter transformation of my beloved brother over the last year might have never happened, such is the light in his eyes. He comes to my bed and lifts me into an embrace. “Blessings to you in the New Year, little one, my love.” He kisses me, and I melt into his arms. Nelyo, Nelyo, my Nelyo has returned….

Laughter rumbles in his chest, and he rubs brisk circles on my back. “I love you,” I mewl, and he laughs again, “I am here, love. I have always been here.”

When he goes to my armoire to remove my ceremonial robes, I see a silver star winking on his finger. He comes back, and I take his hand: He wears a simple, silver ring on the index finger of his right hand. I look up sharply at him: What is the meaning of this?

He sits on my bed and pulls me onto his lap. “I am giving you a sister,” he says, “and one day,” he whispers in my ear, “I will make you an uncle.”

I hug him around the neck and reply, “I would like that.”
~oOo~

Grandfather Finwë sits at the front of the room, and we assemble in the court, a long room with grandfather Finwë’s throne at the front. The statues and painting’s that line the room are familiar: They are Amil’s and Atar’s, respectively, I realize. The room smells of incense and, beneath that, the cool scent of marble.

The texture of the joy has changed from the rabid frenzy of last night to something softer, cultured, like silk after fur. Even Atar takes uncle Nolofinwë’s hand in his; they exchange New Year blessings and their lips even twitch into smiles, for today, they will honor grandfather Finwë, and that is the one thing that unites them.

Atar goes forward first, for he is the eldest son, and grandfather Finwë rises to meet him and takes Atar’s face into his hands. They kiss and speak quietly, hands clasped, too softly for anyone else to hear. Grandfather Finwë appears to speak with earnestness; Atar nods at whatever he says. They step apart and Atar kneels and takes grandfather’s hand in his. “I pledge fealty to you, my King, through the days of light and darkness of our realm. I give you my courage and my honor—and my love—in Body and Spirit, for as long as Arda endures.” He kisses grandfather’s hand and presses it to his forehead, and grandfather Finwë reaches down and twines his fingers in Atar’s hair.

My half-uncles go next, and then Amil and my aunt. Aunt Anairë does not kneel but holds the newborn Turukano in her arms, and when she is finished speaking, he reaches out and weakly grasps grandfather Finwë’s finger as though he, too, is swearing.

Aunt Eärwen is not present because, last night, just before the arrival of the New Year, she gave birth to a son. Uncle Arafinwë swears on behalf of both of them.

Nelyo is next, then Macalaurë, and then it is my turn.

I wait for Macalaurë to return, and then Atar is nudging me in the direction of the dais. The room is very quiet, and I feel a sort of apprehension settling over me as I walk. Grandfather Finwë looks very imposing, upon the dais, in his formal robes. My footsteps shatter the silence of the hall; I concentrate on keeping my back very straight, like Nelyo had done. I recognize the weight of what I swear even as I recognize, also, that it is more a tradition than an expectation. Still, this tradition derived in a time and a place where swearing to a King meant handing your life to him and hoping that he would keep it safe, but knowing that you could not lament if he did not, for your life was a price paid for the safety of the people.

When I had been very young, and Atar had taught me the words of the New Year pledge, I had at first cried, thinking that I was going to be asked to immolate myself, commit myself to grandmother Miriel’s fate, for my grandfather. “No, no, little one,” he’d said, laughing, holding me close. “One day, you will have the courage to consider this, but this is not something he would now ask.”

As I take careful steps up the stairs, I wonder if this had been the year where I found such courage.
I feel very different from last year, when I walked up these same stairs, holding my robes from my feet. Last year, my heart had pounded very hard, my mouth had felt as though swabbed with cotton. Now, I breathe easily; I return grandfather Finwë’s smile without thought. I am ready to swear.

I kneel before him. The room is silent, waiting for my words.

“I pledge fealty to you, my King….”

When I rise again, grandfather replies, “Thank you, little one, but I would not ask it.”

I draw back to look into his blue eyes, so much like mine. “But I would give it,” I say, and he embraces me.
~oOo~

There is a feast, after the ceremony.

“We are a well-fed people,” Atar jokes, “for we cannot have a ceremony without following it with a nine-course feast.” He is jovial today; I had imagined Nelyo’s betrothal as largely the cause of it, but he catches me in his arms as I pass and lavishes my face with kisses, making me giggle. “How have I been so blessed?”

While we wait for the table to be set for us, we mill about in the court, drinking white wine and exchanging New Year blessings. I am regaled by each of my half-uncles and mutter a dutiful reply. Nelyo lifts me and spins me around—Annawendë has joined us, and she laughs—and says, “New Year blessings to you, little one!”

“You have said such to me already,” I remind him, and he says, “Then I tell you again. To be sure that you do not forget.”

He puts me back on the ground. I am tall now and heavy, and I suppose that I should begin to grow accustomed to being held and carried less. Still, he holds my hand, and I lean against his hip.

“Maitimo?”

A small voice comes from behind us, and Nelyo turns. Findekáno is tugging his robes, wearing a tiny, nervous smile that fades when Nelyo acknowledges him. “New Year blessings, Maitimo.”

Nelyo draws him around to the front and hugs us both, one at each hip. Findekáno is not so small now; he grew much over the summer, whereas I did not. The top of his head now reaches my nose, and his head no longer appears too large for his frail body. In fact, his body is not frail any longer at all; there is a certain wiry strength to him that reminds me of our fathers. “New Year blessings to you too, little one,” says Nelyo, with an arm around each of us, leaving us facing each other, with Nelyo between us.

Findekáno regards me cautiously. I feel something move against my hand and look down to see that it is his fingers, that he is taking my hand carefully in his in an ancient gesture of allegiance.

Nelyo is speaking to Annawendë in a voice as light as a rainfall upon the surface of the sea, but he holds us both to him. I rejoice in his laughter, though I am not the source.

I let my hand close on Findekáno’s and squeeze his fingers in mine. I smile as I say, “New Year blessings, Findekáno,” and with the soft breath of a shared thought, he smiles at me in return.
  • Oh! You told me this week of Maglor's battle prowess... thank you, this really really was excellent. Oh so many things to say... but it read like a thrilling ride with a fiery... culmination *grin*

    Macalaurë turns abruptly and yells, “Gah!” jumping in Tyelkormo’s direction, and Tyelkormo yelps before he can stop himself.

    LOL I can so see Tyelko jumping in the air like a deer. So cute and so natural.

    My mind fumbles to comprehend: the cuts and bruises on Macalaurë’s flesh; his secret meetings with Atar—but I wonder, is it real?

    Honestly when I was responding to comments from you of your previous chapters, it somehow clicked, but more clicked. Foreshadowing in previous chapters. Everything suddenly made more sense :) Poor Macalaurë, I am certain there would have been days that he hardly could walk, but somehow I can see those two practising until it is absolutely perfect.

    “My son Macalaurë has an extraordinary gift: the gift of a wraith. For he can fight without his eyes, by sound and feeling alone.”

    This sentence alone made me shiver and feel very cold all of a sudden. The same gift that makes him surviving throughout the ages :-/

    “Your brother is something, is he not?” he asks, falling into step beside me. His voice is high and breathy with exhilaration. “He could not fight to save his life with a sword…but put a blindfold across his eyes.”

    And without hesitation my mind plunges into the sewers ;) Hmmm Maglor and blindfolds...

    Today, I am in love.

    *sniffle*

    Sword and harp—I wonder if this story is true. Grandfather Finwë is wounded on an arm hanging uselessly at his side; King Ingwë defends him, although he is also bleeding. Harp and sword….

    Many many thoughts passed through my mind when I read this, instantly I had to think of Maglor and Maedhros, always fighting at each other side, even at the end (you know my LJ banner?).

    Oh I can't believe that 52 chapters later (come to think of it a chapter per week), AMC is finished. So much has happened and, well we could ask you for many chapters more... but hurry up with the rest of it will ya!

    Thanks for this Dawn, what a ride!
    • LOL I can so see Tyelko jumping in the air like a deer. So cute and so natural.

      Hehe, I thought of you, reading that part, with your two favorite Elves together. (As they rarely are in this story, it seems!) But I love devious!Maglor scaring his little brothers all the time. ;)

      Honestly when I was responding to comments from you of your previous chapters, it somehow clicked, but more clicked.

      I was wondering if people were making the connection...or at least wondering about Macalaure's strange injuries and sudden affection for his father.

      Poor Macalaurë, I am certain there would have been days that he hardly could walk, but somehow I can see those two practising until it is absolutely perfect.

      Me too. :) And I think Macalaure is probably prouder of that than the actual performance, that he can hold his own--"survive" so to speak--against Feanaro. *huggles Macalaure*

      *then hands him back to you before you are forced to take drastic measures* ;)

      And without hesitation my mind plunges into the sewers ;) Hmmm Maglor and blindfolds...

      >:^)))

      Many many thoughts passed through my mind when I read this, instantly I had to think of Maglor and Maedhros, always fighting at each other side, even at the end (you know my LJ banner?).

      Yes! And it is hard then to think of how Finwe must have felt, encountering Rumil again after a lot of years and seeing how he had suffered, just as Nelyo thinks of Macalaure when he hears Rumil's story.

      I've found plotbunnies too in the Great Journey--the relationships between the kings of the Eldar especially--but those bunnies are content to nap in the bunnynest for now, luckily. ;)

      Oh I can't believe that 52 chapters later (come to think of it a chapter per week), AMC is finished. So much has happened and, well we could ask you for many chapters more... but hurry up with the rest of it will ya!

      Lol, next is Nerdanel/Feanor, the "prequel" to AMC. I will begin outlining that soon, and as soon as I have an idea for an opening chapter that grabs my fancy, I'll be off on that!

      Then I'll probably try to go in order from there.

      52 chapters amazes me. If I had kept to posting once per week, it would have been exactly a year. Once I revise, the chapters will probably change a bit, but that's a pretty cool coincidence nonetheless.

      Thanks for this Dawn, what a ride!

      Seconded! :^D And thank you! A year ago, I would have never imagined myself here right now....
    • (no subject) - rhapsody11 - Expand
    • (no subject) - ann_arien - Expand
  • *W* *O* *W* !!!!

    Beautiful. Awesome. I am speechless.

    I am crying. She came back to him.

    And my little Findekáno saw the story out, with his hand in my wonderful Tyelkormo's.

    So many wonderful things in this chapter. A beautiful Maitimo, a very sexy as always Macalaurë and a scary Fëanaro.

    And I love the sweet epilogue.

    I will definitely have to comment further at a later time when I am more coherent. Right now I'm gasping and I feel all dreamy from the awesome sentiment that is contained in this final chapter.

    I have to go back and reread all my favourite parts.

    Thank you for the past year, Dawn. It has been a blast and I know that the upcoming years will be even better!

    Thank you.
    • This is the second time today that I've gotten all weepy over AMC. Alina had me all weepy and strugglin' before. Now you. ;)

      Really, I cannot thank you--and everyone who's read this story--enough. I feel I've been given a gift I don't wholly deserve and can't really repay.

      Except to keep writing because--when I think of it--AMC was the spark that lit the fuse that reminded me that I love writing, whether I'm published and famous or not. And AMC has reminded me of the power of words. :)

      And thank you too for all your wonderfully kind words on this chapter. Posting Friday wouldn't be Posting Friday if Dawn didn't have some stupid, private angst over whether the chapter was "good enough," especially for this, that last chapter. (Hopefully I'll be less obnoxiously angsty by the time I'm up to posting my next long story! :^D)

      Thank you thank you thank you! *big hugs*
  • Awwww. I'm glad Nelyo can stop angsting! :P

    I still have 3 years of school left though! *Meaningful glance at Annawende* ;)

    I love drunk!Vorondil!!

    I don't know if it was anticipation in your writing style, or if it was just in my own mind, but I felt like I knew that Annawende would return before they even got to the festival. Hmmm.

    I'm so sad this is over!!!!!!!! :( :( :( Even though you said it's not "over". But it was a wonderful...many!...months!
    • I wanted to ask you (before I start a rambling comment): Do you still want something posted next Friday? I know I said I'd come up with something, and I was thinking that maybe the beginning of my "Earwen stars in the Darkening of Valinor" novella might suffice?

      Okay, on to rambling! :^D

      I still have 3 years of school left though! *Meaningful glance at Annawende* ;)

      Does that mean that she needs to have three years of sex with Nelyo? *cracks knuckles* I'm ready.

      I love drunk!Vorondil!!

      Are you in Vorondil's fan club? I can't remember. Anyway, drunk Vorondil is fun, better than normal!stuffy!Vorondil, although he is fun too.

      This guy wants his own story, but I think I'm drawing a line in the sand on that one. Yes, she who gave meryth his own damned LJ is saying, "Stop!" to the muses. ;)

      I don't know if it was anticipation in your writing style, or if it was just in my own mind, but I felt like I knew that Annawende would return before they even got to the festival. Hmmm.

      I was wondering if people thought that she would come back or not. Until this chapter, the consensus seemed to be that she would not come back (and I grinned wickedly every time I heard that!) Actually, as the author even, I didn't know which way I wanted it to go until she was *there.* So that was kinda cool.

      I'm so sad this is over!!!!!!!! :( :( :( Even though you said it's not "over". But it was a wonderful...many!...months!

      I agree! :) But now it's on to the next thing....
  • *sigh*

    What a way to end it! The last paragraph and the entire epilogue, for that matter, says "Don't go away! We'll be back!", to me. And I certainly hope they will.

    I'm not going to get all sappy on you because if I do, I'll probably cry my heart out. *little sob* The best cure for it is going back and reading AMC all over again, which I will probably do after finishing this comment.

    This final chapter was HOOOOOT!!! Holy Eru, it was a blast! They way Annawende made her come-back was do damn yummy! Bravo to her! (though I must say that I did not think she would come back. But the fact that she does means more heart-break in the future, regardless.) It felt so good to see Maitimo happy and radiant again. And, like Annawende says... so very beautiful...

    BUT... Feanaor and Macalaure were out of this world. I know it's just a coreographed fight and you did not mean to create any kind of sexual tension... but DAMN!!! Feanaro is so hot my eyes poped out of my head and I melted into a puddle, on the floor.

    He smiles viciously; the firelight livens the shadows on his face. Is he Atar? I squint in the fickle darkness: If not for the bright gems that are his eyes, I would doubt. The teeth inside his grin are vicious, appearing almost pointed. I shake my head and blink, and when I open my eyes again, his grin is wicked still but otherwise normal.

    Whoa! 8^D!

    He brandishes his arm, bare between the bracer on his wrist and the sleeve that reaches his elbow, and he slips the sword across it. With a gasp, the crowd watches dark, syrupy liquid well beneath the blade and trickle down his arm into the grass.

    “As you can see,” says Atar, laughing at their fear, “it is real.”

    My mind fumbles to comprehend: the cuts and bruises on Macalaurë’s flesh; his secret meetings with Atar—but I wonder, is it real? There is something dark and wet on Atar’s arm, but I don’t want to believe him mad enough to cut himself with such brutal impassivity.


    Holly Eru! Blood, chocolate, whatever... Let me at him and I'll definitely lick it clean.

    I lift his arm and look at its underside, at the dark, sticky line there, already clotting. “How could you—”

    He traces his finger along the wound and puts it to my lips. I twist away, but his finger deftly follows my lips; he insists. He pastes it onto my lips, and I obediently lick it, tasting bittersweet chocolate. Atar laughs; I must have shown my surprise. “In the firelight, you cannot tell it is not blood. And,” he leans forward to whisper in my ear, his breath as hot and heady as though inebriated though I smell not a trace of wine on him, “it was all choreographed.”


    OK... So you probably knew that I'd be fanning myself like crazy after all that intense fighting. And you give me this bit to read... *gulps* That Feanaro is one wicked Elf and no mistake. In addition to his countless qualities, he is wicked to the bone, of this I am certain.

    Even Atar takes uncle Nolofinwë’s hand in his; they exchange New Year blessings and their lips even twitch into smiles, for today, they will honor grandfather Finwë, and that is the one thing that unites them.

    *squees quietly* *refuses to ellaborate on Feany/Nolo subject*

    I'm too frantic about all the hot stuff in the chapter to leave a more coherent comment right now. But there were so many other things that I loved to bits. Still, the major hotness kept me from becoming sad. And the prequel will be loaded with hot!sexy young Feanor, so I have muuuuuch to look forward to. Not to mention my b-day fic...

    Nope, I'm not sad at all. Just very very grateful that you've given me and others the opportunity to read this exceptional story.

    {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{Dawn}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
    • What a way to end it! The last paragraph and the entire epilogue, for that matter, says "Don't go away! We'll be back!", to me. And I certainly hope they will.

      Oh, yes, they will. :) AMC is just a small interlude between a lot of other stories. I don't even know why I started here except that I wanted to start with the characters and I find that easier to do in an unassuming, boring story. ;)

      I knew that you would like that scene with Feanaro. I think it's impossible not to have sexual tension when he's around. He's a fiery, passionate person. (Why am I telling you this? You know!) And Feanor in armor doing those moves....

      Okay, I'm back. Had to splash off with some cold water. ;^))

      Of course, the "serious" reason behind that scene was that Feanor has pushed things to the very edge with regard to his defiance. But it was hella hott too!

      Holly Eru! Blood, chocolate, whatever... Let me at him and I'll definitely lick it clean.

      Hehe...Feanor in chocolate. Now I am a confectioner and about to start looking into what sorts of chocolate I want to use. I never considered the possibility of testing it on Elves. >:^))

      To make a wee confession, I stole the idea of the chocolate "blood" from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, which used chocolate syrup for blood in the infamous shower scene.

      And the prequel will be loaded with hot!sexy young Feanor, so I have muuuuuch to look forward to. Not to mention my b-day fic...

      Oh, yes. :^D Though Nerdanel is inevitable too, you know. But perhaps I can console you with lots of not-meant-to-be-hott-but-hott-anyway fights between Nolofinwe and Feanaro??

      {{{{{{{{{{Alina}}}}}}}}}}
  • ROFLMAO! This had to be the best exchange I've EVER read in an LJ! I think Alina said everything I wanted to say! The swordfight scene was awesome, and that Mac has to be the sexiest thing EVAH! I swear to Eru I am developing a serious case of the hots for him!

    Alina, how about some Feany/Macslash??? I am sooo EVOL.

    Now, I am one who thinks Vorondil is cute! I really like Vorondil, and Drunk!Vorondil was very cuddly, and all sexy and stuff going off with his girlfriend into the woods. I also liked in the last chapter when he jumped into the fountain in his gotchies. I kind of went, "Helloooo, Vorondil!"

    Please, please, pretty please post something next Friday, please! Even if it's a daily drabble! (But try to make it longer than 100 words!)

    Okay, Dawn, pleeeaassse?


    {{{{{{{{{Love you!}}}}}}}}}
    • Mac has to be the sexiest thing EVAH! I swear to Eru I am developing a serious case of the hots for him!

      *uncomfortable shifting* I thought so too.

      When I reread this, about the white fighter's costume bound close to his body, I went, "Gaaaah..." and even forgot about Nelyo for roughly...erm...a half-second! Then it clicked that he's the equivalent of a 16-year-old in this, and I felt like an old perv. *snicker*

      Just don't tell Fin.... ;)

      Alina, how about some Feany/Macslash???

      *sporfle* Gods, that needs to come with a beverage warning!

      "Macslash" sounds like something for a computer. "New from Apple! The Macslash! Perfect for organizing your naked Elves, naughty costumes, sex toys, chocolate, and slashfic all in one handy PDA!" Or something like that! :^P

      Please, please, pretty please post something next Friday, please!

      How would the first chappie from my Earwen fic that I am (still) writing for your Strong Women of Arda challenge?

      I promised Tarion that I wouldn't strand her on her last Friday at school with no Felak!fic to read. And this is one of my personal favorites, although it is still a WiP.

      (I let Ellie from SWG read it, and she said it freaked her out for a good hour afterward. *evil snickering*)
    • (no subject) - ann_arien - Expand
  • *moment of absolute silence*

    and...

    *applauds*

    ... for your information, this was the Heroine (who despite what she wrote yesterday still has web-access) trying to establish the atmosphere at the end of a (successful) theatre production.

    I really have that "Damn. It's really over." feeling now, that I always have after watching movies I have waited really long for and then they are over so quickly...

    So what shall I do on my fridays now?!?! *wails* /drama queen mode

    And Annawende came back! I didn't think she would. Not the least bit. Caranthir tells me that's because I'm a cynical mortal, but I think he's just in a bad mood. :)

    ... the only problem I have now is similar to what ann_arien mentioned: One day the will break up. And then, it will be bad. That is, except for the fact you should be planning on going a totally un-cfanon way, having Maitimo happily married and with children before the whole ugly exile thingy happens. ;-P

    Thank you so much for sharing this story with us. I can honestly say that among all Silm stories I've read until now, it's one of those I've been enjoying the most. I'm certain I'll come back and re-read from time to time. :) {{{hugs}}}
    • I'm glad to see that you're still around the Internet to celebrate the last chapter with me! And thanks for the dramatic ending. :)

      I really have that "Damn. It's really over." feeling now, that I always have after watching movies I have waited really long for and then they are over so quickly...

      I know that feeling. :) And I have been fighting it for weeks now, counting down every week to this last chapter. As Jenni (digdigil) told me, it is the end of an era for me. She was right on with that. :)

      So what shall I do on my fridays now?!?! *wails* /drama queen mode

      *flops on chaise a la Scarlet O'Hara* What shall you do? What shall I do?? No AMC to edit at the last minute (like 8 a.m. on Friday morning...), no ripping my hair out for a half-hour to put in all the HTML tags properly (since I can't download Deepest Sender on Teh Work Comp), no spending the whole day reading/replying to comments, refeshing my email every 30 seconds....

      I shall have to write another. >:^))

      I have decided to wean myself--and readers--into Postless Fridays by posting a sample chapter from my Earwen novella next week, if that's any consolation. (It's set at the Darkening, kind of a horror/political thriller all rolled into one. /story trailer :^P)

      That is, except for the fact you should be planning on going a totally un-cfanon way, having Maitimo happily married and with children before the whole ugly exile thingy happens. ;-P

      Let's just say that I interpret obscure canon in an atypical way....

      Thank you so much for sharing this story with us. I can honestly say that among all Silm stories I've read until now, it's one of those I've been enjoying the most. I'm certain I'll come back and re-read from time to time. :) {{{hugs}}}

      *hugs back*

      It really was my pleasure. I have had such fun over the last 3/4 year, posting this story and meeting new people and having debates and discussions and squeefests...it's more than I ever hoped for from any story, much less this story!

      Thank you so much for reading, for commenting every week, and for all the support! :)
  • Macalaurë turns abruptly and yells, “Gah!” jumping in Tyelkormo’s direction, and Tyelkormo yelps before he can stop himself.

    *falls over laughing* Ah, that brings back memories...

    And wow, I actually was not expecting the end with Annawendë--and you managed it very... *searches for a word* uncheesily! (Sorry, this Topamax stuff is making me even more brain dead than usual. ^_^;;;;) It was a happy ending without a sickening Disney "And They All Lived Happily Ever After--now you can go puke" feel to it. ;)

    Ah, how bittersweet to see the end come... but what a great read it's been. I absolutely loved the glimpses into the minds and lives of these characters--they seem so much more real and interesting now. Thank you so much for posting this story and for being so welcoming and friendly with all the comments--not only did each chapter brighten my day when I saw it posted, but the story caught my eye and got me to stick around and meet at least one great new friend. :)
    • It was a happy ending without a sickening Disney "And They All Lived Happily Ever After--now you can go puke" feel to it.

      Good! Because--despite the fact that I admit to being a sentimental eejit at times--I don't like those sorts of endings. Happy is fine, but happy where you feel you might go into diabetic shock...not so fine. ;)

      Ah, how bittersweet to see the end come... but what a great read it's been. I absolutely loved the glimpses into the minds and lives of these characters--they seem so much more real and interesting now. Thank you so much for posting this story and for being so welcoming and friendly with all the comments--not only did each chapter brighten my day when I saw it posted, but the story caught my eye and got me to stick around and meet at least one great new friend. :)

      Bittersweet is exactly it. :) As I said somewhere earlier today, it's like sending a kid to college: I'm happy and proud and looking forward to the new freedom...but it's also sad. It's a big part of my life, believe it or not, over. This story has really opened a lot of possibilities for me and made me many friends I would not have had otherwise.

      As for all the comments...I love them! :^D I'm afraid that I drive hubby crazy trying to look at them all weekend, even if I can't answer right away.

      But the best part has been meeting new people and making new friends!

      Thanks for sticking with me through it. :) *huge hugs*
  • Last chapter? Than I can start reading now a whole book :D
    Will you put it now somewhere outside LJ?
    • Yes, absolutely! :) I am going to do a major edit--especially of the first chapters, which are very rough--and then start posting it at archives and, eventually, it will be up on my personal website. Posting it here was actually supposed to be a "test run," but then I got so far into it, it was like, "Well why not post the whole thing?"

      (Plus, I wasn't willing to give up the awesome comments I get here! Or face the wrath of hungry readers.... :^P)
  • Mazel tov! This is a fine piece of work you've accomplished. Lots of thought time, and effort, and it really shows.

    I can tell that you're not nearly done exploring these characters and this storyline, though. The ending, even with the epilogue, was much more low-key than I had expected, which leads me to think that there's more yet to come, perhaps in another story.

    Definitely consider submitting this to SoA. It's very much worth it.
    • SoA is one of the places I'm most strongly considering, although I will have to tone down some of the...erm...explicitness I know. But that's okay, as I want to have a PG-13 version anyway to post on my site. It's as good an excuse as any to actually hunker down and do it.

      And thank you, not only for the well wishes but also for all the help and insight through this whole (looong) process. I always look forward to your comments and you have really helped me to view this story in a whole new way sometimes. Thank you! :)
  • I know I owe you more reviews that I dare think about, but they will come. This story is such that it deserves more than the fleeting glances I usually only have time for. I have looked at the last few chapters and though I am behind, it's lost none of it's appeal! Celegorm is still cute, Rumil still breaks my heart and Carnistir is still growing on me! Congrats on finishing, I know the next installment will be as good if not better!
    • I love your reviews and what you've given me will be truly invaluable once editing time comes around. (Which is very, very soon if I want to start posting again in July. o.O) So as long as you want to give me comments, I am happy to wait for them. :)

      (Even the "revised" version will be called Draft Two...which leaves open the possibility of a Draft Three and so on.)

      Celegorm is still cute, Rumil still breaks my heart and Carnistir is still growing on me! Congrats on finishing, I know the next installment will be as good if not better!

      I do hope so! :^D I am encouraged by the fact that I find my writing in the first chapters atrocious, and they are still less than two years old. So I hope that means that this story has finally forced me to improve my writing and work harder at things.

      Thank you for your kind words and always insightful reviews! *hugs*

      And forgiving me for...you know...Rumil and all.... ;)
  • I've been away a long while, what with tests and all, and what do I find when I return but... AMC finished!

    I did heed the adult warning and skipped the last bit of chapter 52-- but Feanor in armor, sparring with Maglor in the firelight... *swoons*

    I have to log off now, but I'll comment again later. :)
    • I'm still rather lost for words. But I'll just comment on:

      Even Atar takes uncle Nolofinwë’s hand in his; they exchange New Year blessings and their lips even twitch into smiles, for today, they will honor grandfather Finwë, and that is the one thing that unites them.

      It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy to see these brothers *hides from Feanor* being nice to each other for once. It's true, really, that Feanor loved Finwe and the people of the Noldor as much as Fingolfin did, even if he did get them into a dunghill of trouble.


      When I rise again, grandfather replies, “Thank you, little one, but I would not ask it.”

      I draw back to look into his blue eyes, so much like mine. “But I would give it,” I say, and he embraces me.


      *sobs* This is another one of those little details that leave me all weepy. Tyelcormo is so... well, I couldn't call him cute or adorable, not really, but he's so innocent and still brave. I'm reminded of what Aragorn said of Merry.

      How can I ever find words to express how much I love this family? I really must hunker down and get back to work on my half-finished novel-length story. It won't be as long as AMC, even if it will span the whole Quenta Silmarillion from the forging of the Silmarils onwards, but it'll be as much as I can do. I lack the concentration for anything longer. It'll probably wind down at about 30 chapters.
  • To make a short story even shorter, I found this fic first browsing FF.net, and then followed the link to your LJ to leave comments, since I never use my FF.net account. I was VERY pleased to find the full story here, let me tell you! See, I normally don't read stories that already have twenty chapters or more, so I'd expected that I would probably read the first chapter of AMC and abandon it because of the sheer length, but now I'm still wanting more.

    My favorites were Carnistir's POV, Fëanor's POV, Nerdanel's POV, and Findekano's POV.

    I loved the part where they were jumping off the cliff and swimming, mostly 'cause I'd let Fëanor throw me anywhere as long as I was naked...*hem*...the little scenes between Nerdanel and Fëanor were fun to read...and then the part with Rumil and Carnistir brought tears to my eyes, and I even felt scared when I read about the seeing stone!

    I love the way that you give such strong, yet natural personalities to Fëanor's sons, who, in all honesty, we really don't know much about. And of course, I am all for people not writing Fëanor like an evil child abuser. I've read fics in which the reason for his sons taking the oath is explained by him being threatening or putting them under a sort of enchantment, and I find it really...off. I think you balanced all the characters very well. And you made me like Finarfin.

    (One thing I did notice though: Someone made the comment to someone else--I forget who--that they're "only human", which, in a story about immortal elves is a little off...;) Just something I noticed.)

    I think this comment should speak for itself that I loved your story, because normally, I am horrible as far as reviewing goes...but anyway, great writing, great story...once again, I loved it. I look forward to maybe reading a sequel? :D
    • Hello! :) I want to thank you for your comment and apologize for taking so long to reply. My life has been chaos. :) But your comment really made my day ... thanks so much!

      How about a sequel and and prequel? AMC is just one in a series of stories; the only one that's actually been written so far, true (aside from some shorter pieces), but I'm currently working on the prequel, which is the story of the romance/obsession between Nerdanel and Feanor. After that, I'll write the next section of their life in Aman that comes after AMC. Curufin will be born and Nelyo and Macalaure will seal their romances ... or not. These next two installments will probably take a few years yet, I'm sorry to say; I have many stories in progress at the moment, both original and fanfic. Three novels (!!!). But I will get there. :) I'm thinking of working on the prequel for NaNoWriMo this year, as a treat.

      I'm sure you've figured out that I'm totally with you about evil!child-abusing!Feanor. This is one of the few canon interpretations that I do protest; I'll go with nearly anything in a fanfic up to the wildest AU, but this particular interpretation just feels wrong to me. To each her own, of course, but it feels like something of a cop-out when writers take this route, like they can't be bothered to explore what must have been a complex relationship between Feanor and each of his sons so they say, "Eh. He forced them to take the oath." Or, "Eh. He abused them and they were hungry for his love." And that explains the passion and torment of their lives once he was gone ... how? I know I'm preaching to the choir here, so I'll stop rambling at you. ;)

      The comment about Feanor being "only human" was actually quite intentional. Sometimes I throw in little things to see if people notice and will debate canon with me, and I put this in there for that reason. You're only the second reader to bring it up! But I think that Elves were human; they are the same species as mortal Men, imo, since Elves and mortal Men can produce viable offspring. It was also recently pointed out to me that Tolkien named them both the same species in a letter of his, though this takes some of the fun out of discussing/debating whether they are the same species. ;) But this was quite intentional on my part.

      I'm glad that you enjoyed those particular scenes, as they were some of my favorite to write. I'm always surprised the reaction that people have to the Carnistir/Rumil subplot (not slash in that way, of course) since I was *this* close to cutting this altogether, figuring that canatics would raise holy hell complaining about my skewering of the canon. As I read more and more of the HoMe, I have found that Tolkien originally envisioned Rumil as a thrall of Morgoth. Of course, I didn't know this at the time ... but now, incidentally, I do have a canon defense, and I am very glad that I left this subplot in. :)

      As for being tossed off cliffs, I can't agree with you more. ;) Though I would prefer to be tossed by Maedhros, particularly if he jumped in after me!

      Again, thank you for the comment! *sends best wishes and better Elves*
  • Excellent Work

    I simply loved this piece of Tolkien fanfiction, and I don't generally find many that I can say that about, generally they either take to a very conservative intrepretation of "cannon" or they simply disregard it totally. This is a happy blend of both, which makes it truly note worthy because is in keeping with the foundational works (such as using the Quenya names) but has elements unique to it. I have always maintained a keen interest in the Line of Finwe, especially the house of Feanor. Of all the various stories that Tolkien told I think that this is the one of the greatest and saddest, and yet he really does not say much about it, perferring to concentrate on the other decendant of Finwe especially those which have the most significance to that later tales he wrote. I personally think that there most have been a great discord of the Eldar in the beginning of the Second Age. Why else does one see so many different factions spread out over so many different areas. I do not think that there was open warfare, it was nearer to what today we might call a schism. I think that several people claimed the High Kingship of the Eldar, Gil-galad was simply the only one powerful enough to maintain his claim, such as Celebrimbor, Galadriel and Celeborn. I hope to see some of the follow on works in this series. Does anyone have any advice on which story I should read next.
    • Re: Excellent Work

      My, you've been busy! :^D Thank you again for all the reading and reviewing you've been doing in the past few days. I'm so glad that you've enjoyed these stories. AMC remains one of my personal favorites, even though I don't think that it represents the best of my writing any longer. (It is three years old, so this is a good thing! :)

      Most of my work represents my beliefs on canon: that the books are historical sources and should be approached with a healthy dose of skepticism when discovering what is truth and not. To me, this is more fun to write than simply recounting 1) what is in the books or 2) the accepted "fanon" interpretation of a particular person or event. It takes a lot of thought and a lot of work--and a lot of time afterward defending myself to canatics ;) --but it has been worth it.

      If you are looking for more Silmarillion-based work, I would recommend my group, the Silmarillion Writers' Guild (SWG). We currently have 268 Silm stories archived on our site; generally, a handful more are added each week. We also have a search system that allows you to search for what you want in a story but also what you don't want, e.g., filter all stories about Feanor, of any rating, in the genres General and Drama, but nothing marked as Slash. The archive can be found here. There are also top-ten lists so that you can see what other readers on the site have consistently marked their favorite, what others have read and reviewed the most, and so on. (Apologies for the shameless self-promotion of my group, but if you want Silmfic, aside from the Silm section on fanfiction.net, this is a place where you're guaranteed to find it! :)
Powered by LiveJournal.com