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To the Gates of Hell

Chapter Text

It was calm in the valley. The ever-present cry of the wind blew through the crags far above, but no other sound could be heard on the valley floor. Behind, Tirion would be bustling with activity, full of eldar going about their daily errands, while in the distance, down at the shore, the ships of Eldamar were being made ready to sail, with great excitement; yet between them, in the Calacirya, all was still.

The Calacirya, the Pass of Light; it was a name filled with mourning. As Finarfin walked past the ancient cliffs, he saw them as they once had been: coated in gold and silver light that ran as though in rivers from the land behind and spilled out upon the sea. ‘Now the only light is the lamp of Tirion,’ he said, glancing back at the high city, ‘and that is but a pale imitation of the light that once illuminated the world.’

‘So you say each time you pass through here,’ said Eärwen; she came to a stop by a clear pool and looked in at the reflections of tall, white towers. Atop the tallest a light was shining.

‘Can I be blamed?’ Finarfin asked, joining her by the pool, ‘Nienna knows we have experienced our measure of grief and more.’

‘I know, and my heart aches for the many of my people slain, and of ours led astray. Yet here it seems is one who might turn our minds from this ill.’ As she said this last she turned to face a stranger walking along the path towards them.

The figure was tall, yet hung their head low beneath a dark hood. They wore a long cloak, reaching to the ground and dissolving into mist at their feat. An air of sombreness they carried with them, such that the very air seemed subdued at their presence, and they walked slowly, almost drifting over the ground.

‘I bid you greeting, stranger,’ said Eärwen, ‘who are you, and on what errand are you brought here?’

‘My Lord, my Lady,’ the figure said, raising their head towards them; they wore the face of one of the eldar, unwearied by time yet with aged eyes, “I am Ianunë, maia of Namo. I was sent to tell you that your son awaits you at the Halls of Mandos.’