View Full Version : Of N˙rahenduon Yßrambar
Well, here's the first part of the biography that I promised 2 months ago. :) I split this first part off, as I noticed the style is slightly different. It's still a brief overview, but a bit more descriptive and in depth, whereas a lot of the rest of it is even more abbreviated. For the most part, this is just what N˙rahenduon was about while the major events in The Silmarillion were happening. I'm afraid much of it isn't very happy, but what in The Silmarillion is? If I feel some inspiration, I'll write about these or more character specific events more in depth in the future. If you don't want these explicit character details, don't read this. Commentary is welcome on this thread (especially positive :D), so don't be afraid to post. Here it is:
Of His Awakening and Earliest Days
Far back in the Days of the Trees, the Elves awoke in the starlit mere of CuiviÚnen upon the shores of the Sea of Helcar. Varda had just placed the stars in the sky, and it was these stars that now reflected from the wondering eyes of the Firstborn of Il˙vatar. They gazed around as if in a dream, enthralled by the serene beauty of the night sky. The first Elves to awaken were Imin, Tata, and Enel; and they along with their spouses IminyŰ, TatiŰ, and EnelyŰ wandered in search of others to claim as their people, as is told in the Cuivienyarma.
The first two groups of Elves they came upon were claimed by Imin and Tata, and the third by Enel, who was the youngest of the three. One of those claimed by Enel was N˙rahenduon, although he did not yet have a name. Upon hearing himself summoned, he turned his gaze downward from the sky and saw the one whom he knew to be his wife, lovely and clad only in the light of the newborn stars. In that moment his heart was moved to love for her, although he knew not who she was. Turning to his fair lady, he gently woke her, and clasping hands they set off with the other couples.
As they walked beneath birch boughs painted upon the glittering sable canvas that was the night sky, they learned the language of the Quendi, and aided in the naming of new and wonderful things. N˙rahenduon revelled in the acquisition of knowledge of all kinds, feeling the pursuit of it strike a chord within him. He eagerly absorbed all that he learned- language not least of all- and when his knowledge of words was great enough, he named his spouse Elevainion, Star-Clad; and she in turn gave him his name, which is Deep-Eyes, for one could become lost in their gaze.
Long the Quendi wandered and sang in CuiviÚnen under the stars, until their numbers had swollen to twelve dozens. Then for ages their bliss was complete, until Shadow crept into their land by the Sea of Helcar. At times, an Elf would wander off alone, never to be seen again. It was told in legends of old that the Hunter had captured these unfortunate souls, spiriting them away and subjecting them to unthinkable tortures. So it was that Elevainion strayed in the forests to be alone in thought, and never returned. When realization struck that she would not return, N˙rahenduon was paralyzed by grief and a burning hatred of all things that lurked in the shadows, and did not speak again for years.
N˙rahenduon would have wasted away in the youth of the Elves had OromŰ not chanced upon them in their merrymaking. When N˙rahenduon espied him, he flinched back and was afraid, for he thought the Hunter was come for him as well. But as he was about to flee, he saw that this was not so, for the rider upon the hill was noble of bearing, and the light of the West shone in his face. The light of OromŰ lifted N˙rahenduon's spirit up from the depths of despair to which it had fallen, though the grief he knew was not wholly forgotten.
OromŰ dwelt long with the Eldar- as he now named them- and on occasion he spoke with N˙rahenduon, as he did with all of the People of the Stars. At last he left to take counsel with the other Valar, who in that time made their war upon Melkor for the protection of the Elves. As the Powers battled, there came to CuiviÚnen a great rumbling, and the earth shook as if it were suffering a seizure. During the years of the war, the shadow of anger and grief grew once again in N˙rahenduon, and he desired to strike back at Melkor, whom he now perceived was the source of the evil that had befallen his beloved Elevainion. He purposed then to aid the Valar in their battle, but the Eldar had not yet learned the art of war, and those that the Valar set to guard CuiviÚnen would not suffer him to leave. In the end, the Valar were victorious and the tumult of the earth ceased, but this again is told in other tales.
Of His Meeting With Aearelleth
When the Battle of the Powers had ended, and OromŰ had taken IngwŰ, FinwŰ, and ElwŰ to Valinor, N˙rahenduon sunk back into a gloom once more. It was while he was in this state of morosity that a woman of the Noldor chanced upon him as he sat on the shore of the Sea of Helcar, gazing into the West. Aearelleth was her name, for she took great joy in the sea, and was ever a friend of the Teleri, who of all the Eldar loved it most.
As she danced upon the shifting sands and sang praise to the water and the stars, she espied N˙rahenduon sitting near the water's edge. Sensing the turmoil in his heart, she asked him the source of his disquiet, but he did not respond. The following day she repeated her question, but again he did not answer. Each day for many days she came to him as he sat by the waves and pleaded with him to tell her of his troubles, that he might unburden his spirit; but each day he merely stared into the distance, and was silent.
N˙rahenduon was conscious of her presence, although he feigned ignorance; for he was yet too deep in his sorrows to desire the company of others. Time and the peace of CuiviÚnen eased some of his pain, however, and he felt a stirring in his heart, one such as he had felt when first he had met Elevainion. That an Elf-maid unknown should be so moved to concern for one whom she knew not touched him deeply. At last N˙rahenduon spoke, and introducing himself asked Aearelleth her name. This she told him, and then again asked him if he might not speak of his inner torment; but N˙rahenduon was not yet ready, and asked that she not press him further.
Together they walked beneath the stars for many an hour, and through converse came to care greatly for one another. As his love for Aearelleth grew to fill the hole in his heart, N˙rahenduon at last told her of the source of his grief; of how the Hunter had taken his Beloved to dark places unknown; of how he had searched in vain, calling out her name, only to be answered by silence. So great was the anguish in his voice that Aearelleth was moved to tears; but having finally spoken of his pain, N˙rahenduon's soul was finally healed, and the memory of his first love and the hatred of those who had taken her became sources of inner power, instead of burdens.
When IngwŰ, FinwŰ, and ElwŰ returned from Aman there was much rejoicing, and a celebration was held in honor of their arrival. It was in these glad hours that N˙rahenduon asked for the hand of Aearelleth in marriage, and gladly she accepted. They were joined before the assembled hosts of the Eldar, and OromŰ himself blessed the union.
Of His Journey to Beleriand and His Separation from Aearelleth
At the end of the festivities, IngwŰ, FinwŰ, and ElwŰ were made kings of their peoples, and made ready to travel into the West with all who would follow them. Among these was N˙rahenduon, who went both out of desire to see Aman, and out of love for ElwŰ, his long-time friend. Aearelleth too desired to go West, although she went not with her own people, but with the people of her husband instead.
After many years of arduous travel, ElwŰ Singollo brought the Teleri at last beyond the peaks of the Ered Luin and into East Beleriand. For many years they dwelt by the River Gelion, and it was there that Aearelleth bore N˙rahenduon a beautiful daughter, whom they named Duinant. N˙rahenduon and Aearelleth took Duinant often to visit Aearelleth's kindred in the Forest of Neldoreth, a trip that was made frequently by ElwŰ as well. It was during one of their many stays with the Noldor that ElwŰ happened upon Melian in Nan Elmoth, and was there held in a trance by the beauty of that Maia. Upon his return, N˙rahenduon learned that his king had left over a year ago and had not returned, and yet he knew that ElwŰ had not arrived in Neldoreth.
At these tidings, N˙rahenduon was dismayed, fearing in his heart that the same Evil that had taken Elevainion had claimed his friend as well. Filled with a sense of urgent dread, he and those others most loyal to the king took leave of their homes and went off in search of him. Despite N˙rahenduon's urgings, Aearelleth remained with the hosts of OlwŰ, disliking the thought of wandering Beleriand on a wild chase. At their parting, Aearelleth picked a single white bloom from an uilos, and using the craft of the Elves made it so that it would never wither. This she gave to N˙rahenduon to symbolize her everlasting love for him, even though they be separated by the long leagues of the Earth.
Long and fruitless was quest of those searchers, but they persisted even as the Vanyar and the Noldor were taken to Aman by the power of Ulmo. At length, the Teleri who followed OlwŰ departed as well, and with them went Aearelleth and Duinant. Not having seen N˙rahenduon since his departure, they thought that perhaps he had already made the journey west. So it was that they departed Middle-Earth forever, and realized too late the error that they had made. When she arrived in Aman, she left the Teleri upon the shores of Eldamar in sorrow, and dwelt again with the Noldor.
The search of the Eglath was not in vain, however, and one day ElwŰ- who was known afterwards as Elu Thingol- came forth from Nan Elmoth with Melian, and they settled in the area of Neldoreth and Region as King and Queen of the Sindar. It was from Melian that N˙rahenduon learned of the parting of Aearelleth and Duinant, and the pain of loss was reborn anew within him. Looking upon the uilos that she had given him, still pristine as a newly-picked bud, he perceived that it had been a prophecy of their parting, one of which neither had been aware. He perceived also, though, that he would be needed in Middle-Earth, and so he was able to weather his grief, and carry on without Aearelleth at his side.
Of His Part in the Great Deeds of the First Age
During the time of peace following the founding of Elu Thingol's kingdom, N˙rahenduon found joy in the beauty of the forest and streams that surrounded his new home. At times, whilst meandering beneath the emerald canopy of Neldoreth, he was minded of the blissful days of his beginning beneath the stars in CuiviÚnen, and felt again the serenity of those days. Birds and beasts he befriended, and their simple ways taught him much of how to find inner happiness, although the evil times he endured often chased these lessons from his mind. He also spent much time wandering the lands of Beleriand, speaking with others of the Sindar, and with the Laiquendi of Ossiriand, and the Naugrim of Nogrod and Belegost (at such occasions as they came to Menegroth).
When the peace finally ended, and the forces of Morgoth once again roamed abroad, N˙rahenduon grew eager for combat, remembering his vendetta. Because of this, he was among the first to take up the arms crafted by the Dwarves, and to join in guarding the borders of the forest of Neldoreth. Although he occasionally served as a guard in Menegroth, most of his time was spent patrolling the forest's edge, using his keen eyes to ensure that no Orcs or other creatures of evil came too near its borders. During the first battle of the Wars of Beleriand, he proudly marched under the waving banner of his King, fighting bravely in defense of both his own people and the Green-elves of Ossiriand. Although the horror of battle was within him, he never once faltered or harbored thoughts of abandoning his friends, and received many scars in return for his steadfastness. In the aftermath of the Battle, N˙rahenduon became even more vigilant, guarding well the newly raised Girdle of Melian.
It was again a time of peace in Doriath when FŰanor led the first of the Exiles into Beleriand. Hearing of their arrival, N˙rahenduon grew hopeful that Aearelleth and Duinant had returned with them, but he did not yet dare to abandon his vigilance to discover whether this might be true. Impatiently he bided his time until the Moon first rose, and Fingolfin stepped into Middle-Earth; then still he waited, reluctant to abandon the defense of his home even for a short time, lest Morgoth should strike in his absence. (It should here be noted that a great part of his concern was the possibility that he might miss the opportunity to revenge himself upon the forces of Shadow, for his hatred was not yet tempered by wisdom.) Great was his joy, then, when he heard that Angrod, son of Finarfin, had arrived as emissary in Menegroth. As soon as he was able, N˙rahenduon hastened back to Menegroth, but to his dismay found Angrod already departed.
For fifty years more he waited, until Finrod and Galadriel came to visit Thingol, being in part of the same blood. When Finrod left to dwell in Nargothrond, N˙rahenduon- gaining at this time a guard position within Menegroth itself- spoke with Galadriel, seeing that she was not only of the Noldor, but also of the Teleri.
At this time, friendship arose between them, and N˙rahenduon grew closest to the children of Finarfin of all of the Noldor, being most akin to them. From Galadriel, he learned much of the lore and history of Aman and the Noldor, and of the evils that had befallen them. She told him also of his wife and daughter, both of whom she had known, for they dwelt with the people of Finarfin in Tirion. In this way he learned that Aearelleth and Duinant had started out with the Noldor on their journey from Valinor, but had turned back with Finarfin and his host. When N˙rahenduon questioned Galadriel as to why they turned back, she became silent, and would say no more.
It was not until much later, when Finrod and Angrod were visiting their sister in Doriath, that he learned of the Kinslaying. Then, being in that matter like in thought to his King, he maintained his friendship with the children of Finarfin and Fingolfin (though he seldom had contact with the latter until the end of the First Age), but came to despise the sons of FŰanor. Unlike Thingol, however, N˙rahenduon did not revile the speaking of Quenya, as it was the language of the lore that he loved.
Knowing then the truth, N˙rahenduon again questioned Galadriel as to why his wife and daughter had remained behind, and this she told him: that Aearelleth had been so grieved at what the Noldor had done to the people of her husband that she remained in AlqualondŰ to aid them in whatever ways she could, and Duinant remained there with her (indeed, it was not until after Morgoth's defeat that either came again amongst the Noldor). So great had been Aearelleth's horror at the Kinslaying that she had been unable to bear the thought of facing N˙rahenduon until she felt she had redressed the sins of her people, although she herself had played no part in the deed.
After learning this, N˙rahenduon asked for and was granted leave from Doriath, to wander whither he would, for the peace of the quiet wood could no longer ease his restless spirit. For over three centuries he travelled the land, exploring all the realms of the Eldar in the west of Middle-Earth, and further; beyond Taur-im-Duinath in the south and the Ered Luin in the east he wandered, learning what he could of all lands and peoples. During this time, and often in ages after, N˙rahenduon sought to ease the restlessness of his spirit through acquisition of lore and knowledge of the world whenever there were no battles to be fought, and the activities of idle peace ceased to distract him.
Men too he visited, though they were but newly come into the west of Middle-Earth. From the peoples of the Edain he learned much of the short history of the Younger Children of Il˙vatar, further satiating his thirst for knowledge. Many were the friends he made in this time, but his restless legs carried him ever onward until he came into the realms of Angrod and Aegnor, near to Thangorodrim in the North. There he joined their forces in maintaining the leaguer of Angband, and remained while it lasted.
When sixty-seven years had passed since his arrival, there came a great wave of flame from Thangorodrim, and the Dagor Bragollach began. N˙rahenduon fought courageously in defense of the sons of Finarfin, and although he was never accounted among the Mighty, great still was his prowess in battle. It was in that battle that he lost part of the little finger of his left hand in battle with an Orc Captain, whom he bested. His bravery availed not in the end, though, as Angrod and Aegnor both were slain, and N˙rahenduon forced to retreat with the routed remains of their people, returning injured and shamed to King Thingol's Court. It was his hope that should the hosts of Morgoth enter Doriath, that he could atone for his failure on the battlefield by protecting the life of his Lord and oldest friend.
There in Menegroth he remained for a time, and it was during this time that Beren came before King Thingol to profess his love for L˙thien. If not for the arrival of Beren, it could be that N˙rahenduon's fate would have been otherwise, and that he would have perished in the destruction of Doriath; but as it was, Beren's determination once again kindled a fire within him, and he desired to rejoin the war against Morgoth. Therefore, in a week's time from Beren's departure from Menegroth, N˙rahenduon begged leave once again from the Hidden Kingdom, and once again it was granted. This decision he later came to regret, for although he knew it not, it was the last time he would set eyes on his beloved home, and upon Thingol his friend.
Knowing that Fingon's realm was nearest to Angband, he immediately made his way to Hithlum. Arriving there, he presented himself before Fingon and offered his service in defense of the High King of the Noldor. Having met N˙rahenduon during the Sinda's long period of travel, and thus already knowing his character, Fingon accepted his service and had him placed on the watch at Barad Eithel. Here he maintained his vigil until the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, when all of the plans of the Noldor came to naught.
When Gwindor charged from the fortress leading the contingent from Nargothrond, the dam that contained the rage of the hosts of Fingon broke, and they charged madly from the shelter of Barad Eithel, slaughtering the forces of Morgoth as they went. Caught up in the heat of battle, N˙rahenduon ran out as well, though his judgment urged him otherwise, and no less valiant was he than the Calaquendi he marched with; many were the Orcs who fell to his blade that day. When the army of Fingon was surrounded, still he fought on tirelessly, even though defeat seemed at hand; and when the horns of Turgon sounded, N˙rahenduon redoubled his efforts as new hope filled him with energy. Glorious was the hour when the forces of Hithlum and Gondolin were joined, and the sons of FŰanor were seen on the horizon, and it seemed that the hosts of the Eldar would win the day.
But by the guile of Morgoth, victory was stolen when it seemed most certain. With the betrayal of Maedhros by Ulfang and his Easterlings, and the sudden onslaught from Angband by the most fell servants of the Enemy, the Elven assault disintegrated. N˙rahenduon found himself separated from the main part of Fingon's host, and becoming now weary, he fought a desperate defense alongside the Gondolindrim. With great effort they gathered what they could of the remnants of Fingon's army, and with the aid of the Edain escaped back to Gondolin, bloodied and exhausted near the limits of even the immortal Eldar.
Within the year, being well-rested and healed of all physical hurts, N˙rahenduon asked to become a Guard of the Hidden City, and having witnessed his fierceness and loyalty to his friends in battle, Ecthelion had him placed as a palace guard. Driven by his self-perceived inability to protect his friends and leaders in previous battles, he hoped once again to place himself in a position to aid in the final defense of the city, should such a thing come to pass. Sadly, it was the fate of the Eldar in those days to ever lose what they held dearest, and so the Curse of Mandos ever thwarted N˙rahenduon's desire to protect their Kingdoms from the Darkness.
Indeed, all that he feared came to pass, and in the Fall of Gondolin Turgon was slain, as was mighty Ecthelion of the Fountain, though N˙rahenduon would fain have given his life for either had he been able. But he was grievously wounded before the palace gates as one of the fell Dragons of Morgoth came upon it, catching him by surprise as he fended off the press of Orcs. Rushing in, it knocked aside his shield and tossed him through the air with its mighty claws, rending his armor with ease. Cut to the bone and with broken ribs, N˙rahenduon could do naught but escape as he may with the refugees, ready to lay down his life for them as he had been unable to do for those who had perished before: Angrod and Aegnor, Ecthelion, Fingon and Turgon, and shortly after Glorfindel as well, and others whose names are lost to the ages. Being now wise in the ways of war, N˙rahenduon ever sought to save those he could when he knew the field was lost, but the deaths of those that he was forced to abandon always weighed heavily upon his soul, the inevitable tragedy of war.
Travelling south from the Encircling Mountains by secret ways, the refugees came at length to the mouths of Sirion, where they met with the company of Elwing, they having just recently fled from the wreckage of Doriath. There N˙rahenduon learned to his horror of the destruction of his home by both the Dwarves of Nogrod and the sons of FŰanor, and the slaying of both Elu Thingol and Thingol's son, Dior Eluchil. Again he cursed himself, for although he knew that his presence could not have altered the fate of Doriath, still he felt he should have been there to fight for his people instead of fighting in foreign lands.
In Arvernien the battered peoples of Gondolin and Doriath dwelt for a short while, weary and sick at heart, until disaster struck once again. Driven by their dread Oath, the remaining sons of FŰanor came down upon them to claim the Silmaril that Elwing possessed, and bloody was the massacre of the final Kinslaying. Caught unprepared, N˙rahenduon fought doggedly against those who followed FŰanor's children, but most of the refugees were slain, and Elwing seemingly lost to the sea. When CÝrdan and Gil-galad came in their ships, he gladly went with them to the Isle of Balar, and there remained until the end of the First Age and the breaking of Beleriand. Even as Morgoth was defeated and Thangorodrim thrown down, N˙rahenduon desired not to fight, and for half of an Age afterwards he would not pick up a sword, nor don his armor. But even in his state of overwhelming world-weariness, he could not rid himself of the feeling that a great part of Morgoth's evil was still left, and that his part in Middle-Earth was not yet over. Therefore, although he longed with all his being to go at last to Valinor and be reunited with Aearelleth and Duinant, he remained behind when many of his friends crossed the sea. All that he sent across the sea was a message, assuring them that he was still alive, and telling them of the deep, abiding love he bore them still.
Of His Oath Against Sauron
Of N˙rahenduon's doings in the first half of the Second Age there is nothing to tell. Disheartened by the fate of the Eldar in the First Age and his continuing separation from his family, he passed over Ered Luin and wandered the world once more, venturing to lands he had not yet explored. He did not settle often or for long at a time, although he went most often to Greenwood the Great, and there became acquainted with the Silvan Elves of the Forest, many of whom were of the kin of the Teleri. Most often, however, his only company was that of the birds and beasts.
Now it has been told before that in all this time N˙rahenduon refused to bear the trappings of war, and this held true until Sauron revealed himself by the crafting of the One Ring, and in his malice destroyed the Noldorin realm of Eregion. Upon hearing tell of these events N˙rahenduon knew that he had chosen aright in remaining, and sense of purpose was kindled anew within him. He moved west of the Blue Mountains to Lindon, and taking up again his sword and armor he joined the army of Gil-galad, last of the High Kings of the Noldor in Middle-Earth.
With unwavering dedication he trained, regaining the skill that he had lost since the closing of the First Age. When he was again at the height of his ability, he joined in battle against the Orcs of Sauron, aiding in the defense and reclamation of the lands that the Enemy had ravaged. When the Last Alliance of Men and Elves was formed, N˙rahenduon marched in the vanguard, fighting with the prowess of the ancient warrior that he was. Witnessing the manner in which he fought, his companions said that he was indeed of the ancient world, and gave to him the title of Yßrambar (meaning of the Ancient World).
Being a warrior loyal to those who earned his respect, he was granted a place of honor in the company that protected the High King, and with his fellow Guards, he fended off the hordes of darkness whilst Gil-galad and Elendil strove with Sauron. When the Great Kings perished, N˙rahenduon did not curse himself as he had of old, but took comfort from knowing that he had helped to ensure that their deaths were not in vain, for he had gained much wisdom and inner peace through centuries of contemplation. Thus it was with head held high that he returned from war, moving to dwell in Imladris. Again he would rather have left the confines of the Hither Land and gone West, but it came to him from the Wise that Sauron had not been defeated forever. An oath N˙rahenduon then swore that from Middle-Earth he would not depart until Sauron was destroyed utterly, or death carried his spirit to Mandos.
Through the Third Age, this oath weighed heavy upon him, for it seemed that Sauron was reluctant to come forth again, putting his final defeat seemingly beyond reach. N˙rahenduon could do naught but watch as the world began once again to darken, occasionally aiding the few vigilant Men and Elves in hunting the Orcs that were once again moving back into their strongholds of old.
Around TA 2000, he tired of fighting minor incursions of evil creatures, which, for all the good it did, brought him no closer to the fulfilment of his oath. He moved to Lothlˇrien, where his friends of old, Galadriel and Celeborn now dwelt, hoping to find healing in its beauty. No solace could he find under the silver bows of the mallorns, though, and he took again to wandering as the sea-longing grew within him. In this time was the period of his fading, and so great was his soul's longing for his family in Valinor that he began to disregard his body; and the more his spirit strove towards the West against his oath and his will, the more his vigor faded.
Thus it stands at present, as N˙rahenduon comes into the Shire, returning from his sojourn in Mithlond by the sea...
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