1. Chapter 1 by Silver Trails
2. Chapter 2 by Silver Trails
3. Chapter 3 by Silver Trails
4. Chapter 4 by Silver Trails
5. Chapter 5 by Silver Trails
6. Chapter 6 by Silver Trails
7. Chapter 7 by Silver Trails
8. Chapter 8 by Silver Trails
This is an amateur effort and does not intend to infringe on the rights of J.R.R. Tolkien. No profit is made and no harm is intended.
This is an AU arc, where all the events of Tolkien legendarium have already happened, but where the Elves can now choose to return to Middle-earth. The Valar allow it because Eru has commanded it. All Manwë knows is that something has changed in the Song.
Morinehtar moved through the streets of London as fast as he could, relieved to have escaped from Eonwë once again. He was very aware that he shouldn’t have followed Daeron here, but he needed to make sure that the Elf was all right. After all, he had lost control and hurt Daeron. He had not meant to do it, but Daeron had resisted his attempts to take him to safety. Rómestámo was coming for him!
It had all gone wrong, and in the end, Morinehtar had been forced to leave a dazed Daeron behind. It had been difficult to escape Eonwë; Morinehtar could not leave his physical form, being still an Istar and his powers were diminished. It had been sheer luck to find a boat and be able to sail away; that was strange. Eonwë could have easily followed him in his spiritual form…
Maybe there was a reason, Morinehtar mused when he realized that Eonwë had materialized at his side. The Maia had hidden his presence, and now Morinehtar was trapped.
“Come with me, Morinehtar,” Eonwë said in the language of the Valar and Maiar. “It is time we speak about your mission, and your failure. You and Rómestámo will return to Aman.”
Morinehtar nodded and followed Eonwë in silence. They entered a café and sat in a corner, where they could speak quietly. They switched to Old Westron, which would sound more familiar to the other customers’ ears.
“Why did you attack Daeron?” Eonwë asked after they ordered a couple of cappuccinos.
Morinehtar paused for a moment to gather his thoughts. “Rómestámo is after him, so I wanted to take Daeron to safety. He resisted, and I… forced myself into his mind so he came with me calmly.”
Eonwë’s expression hardened. “Why is Rómestámo after Daeron?”
This would be difficult to explain, but maybe Eonwë might help him to convince Rómestámo that it was time to let go and return to Aman. They had both lost their paths, and things might get worse now that the Song had changed.
“Can I tell you about our mission first? Our failure is what led to what happened with Daeron in Portnahaven.”
Eonwë paused to sip at his cappuccino. “I am listening.”
“We were assigned to work in the Eastern Lands, as you well know. At first everything went all right, and we managed to help those who wanted to escape the darkness to either escape to the West, or resist in their homes. Sauron’s influence was great over there, as the descendants from the Men of Númenor never made it to those areas. The lives of the Eastern Men were short, and when we had managed to secure a safe haven for those who wanted to stay in their homes, something happened.”
“A mighty warrior gathered many of the Clans in one nation shortly after most of the Firstborn had left Middle-earth. Rómestámo was already too immersed in the politics of a few clans, which meant being engaged in such negotiations.”
Eonwë nodded, “Which means giving something as long as you get something back.”
“Yes, so sometimes Rómestámo felt that the end justified the means. That was the beginning of his fall, and mine.”
“I see. What is Daeron of Doriath’s role in this? Why is Rómestámo after him? Did he collaborate with you on those pacts?”
“No, he was never aware of our impending fall. When I found him, Daeron was… He had lost his mind due to the pain of losing Lúthien’s love. He did not speak or sing. I found him wandering alone and unable to remember who he was… who he had been. So I took him in.”
Morinehtar sighed. He had loved Daeron, but he had also abused him. It pained him too much to speak with words, so he let Eonwë see it all in his mind.
At first Daeron had been like a wounded bird, accepting the food and shelter Morinehtar gave to him. Rómestámo had been away, and so Morinehtar had started to love Daeron, who was still dependent on him. The Elf had slowly healed both physically and mentally, but he was no longer the lore master or the wonderful singer he had been before. Daeron had started to speak, and help Morinehtar with his work, but not a note came from his lips.
“The birds stopped singing too,” Morinehtar said out loud. “I wanted Daeron to sing, to be happy again, so I brought him to my bed. It was rape, even if he consented to it, for how can a wounded spirit consent to such act? I abused him, and when Rómestámo returned, I sent Daeron away.”
Eonwë looked sick. “So you raped him, and then abandoned him?”
“Is this why Rómestámo is after Daeron? Is this some sort of revenge because he was… because you took him to your bed?”
“No. I sent Daeron away so Rómestámo didn’t hurt him, but something happened decades later.”
The waitress came to ask them if they wanted something else. Morinehtar asked for more coffee.
“What happened decades later?” Eonwë asked.
“Rómestámo was trying to help a chieftain to eliminate his rivals, and I… I was sick of so much bloodshed. I… convinced Daeron to help me to stop it.”
“You mean to say that you manipulated Daeron into helping you?”
Morinehtar looked down briefly. “Yes. I needed to create a diversion, and Daeron could change the Secondborn’s perceptions with his song, the minstrel’s gift.”
“I understand,” Eonwë said. “I have heard enough. Lord Manwë wants you two back in Aman, to be judged for your crimes.”
“I am willing,” Morinehtar said. “I am tired, Eonwë. It has been too long, but I am worried about Rómestámo and his plans.”
“I will keep Daeron safe,” Eonwë said. “You will come back with me now.”
Morinehtar’s eyes widened. “You mean, right now? What about Rómestámo?” Eonwë looked at him calmly, and when two of Lord Námo’s Maiar came into the café, Morinehtar realized that his fate was sealed.
“I will look for him. Go now, Morinehtar, and may Eru have pity of you, for you have done wrong both to Elves and Men.”
Morinehtar had no choice but to go with the two Maiar, and once outside, they lead him to a dark alley when they shed off their bodies and allowed Morinehtar to do it. He could not help but feel relieved at being rid from the encasing flesh, but for now he was not yet free. That freedom he had millennia ago was lost, and would only be regained if Lord Manwë and Lord Námo allowed it.
Daeron moaned softly, trapped in the hold of a nightmare. He was in Portnahaven, standing alone and looking at the sea when Morinehtar came on him. Daeron tried to escape, but the Istar was stronger and faster. Daeron felt dizzy and nauseous as Morinehtar broke his mind-shields and took control of him. And suddenly they were in the East, and Morinehtar was taking Daeron to his bed…
“No more, please…”
The hands on his arms hurt him, but there were other hands on his face, and a voice calling for him. Daeron tried to concentrate on the voice, but Rómestámo had come…
“Daeron, wake up!”
Daeron sat bolt upright and Maglor’s arms came around him. There was no sign of Morinehtar or Rómestámo, but Daeron looked around fearfully.
“Maglor… It’s not safe here… Rómestámo has come, and Morinehtar…”
“Hush,” Maglor whispered, still holding him. “We are safe here. You are safe, Daeron.”
Daeron stilled, and little by little he became aware of his surroundings. He was in Maglor’s bedroom, where they had made love once Daeron had convinced his friend that he was all right.
“It was a nightmare…”
Maglor looked at him. “I know, but I have been trying to wake you up for a long time. Do you want to speak about it?”
Daeron shivered, “The same as always, in Portnahaven this time. I’ll get over it. I always do.”
Maglor gathered him closer and kissed his hair. “Eonwë promised to take them back to Aman, and I will hold him to it. If they want my help, they must make sure that those mad Istari never hurt you again.”
Daeron was moved at Maglor’s words, but he could not allow him to sacrifice his one chance to be pardoned.
“Surely Lord Eonwë will do everything in his hands to find them---”
“That is my condition.”
Daeron moved a little so he could see Maglor’s face. “Please, accept this opportunity, Maglor. Lord Eonwë might take you to the Halls otherwise. I could not live with myself knowing that you’ve wasted the chance to return to your family.”
“I don’t know if I want to go back to Aman,” Maglor said, “and that will not happen unless I do something heroic which might involve me dying anyway. I’m not planning to die and leave you alone,” he added with a small grin. “You cannot be trusted to stay out of trouble.”
“I have saved you many times,” Daeron said.
Maglor smirked. “After I came for you because you were in the middle of a war or something worse.”
“Then I will promise you to stay away from wars and such,” Daeron said. “I will even go with Círdan if that is what you need.”
Maglor frowned. “What’s that?”
Daeron sat up. “Círdan said he could keep me safe from Morinehtar and Rómestámo until Lord Eonwë found them. He spoke of an island.”
Maglor stood and moved away, turning his back on Daeron. “Maybe you should accept his offer.”
“You want me to leave Middle-earth?”
Maglor turned around. “I thought you wanted to go with Círdan.”
Daeron shook his head. “No! Only if that is what it takes for you to accept Lord Eonwë’s offer.”
“You don’t have to do anything for me, Daeron. I am grateful, but it’s your life and you have no obligation to sacrifice it for me. Unless leaving Middle-earth is what you want. Your parents must be living in Tol Eressëa.”
“I never knew my parents.”
Maglor nodded. “I will take a shower and then we can have breakfast together.”
“Yes, of course.”
Maglor looked at him for a moment and then entered the bathroom. Daeron just sat there, hugging his knees to his chest. He should never have mentioned Círdan’s offer. He would take it for Maglor’s sake, but there were only two possible explanations for him to do so. One was the desire to meet his parents, and two, the love he felt for Maglor.
Daeron had told Maglor once that he loved him, expecting nothing in return. Maglor cared for him, but that was all. Daeron had accepted this, and vowed to himself to never speak of this again. He had failed when making this offer, but he wanted Maglor to be free of the curse. Hopefully, Maglor would see reason and accept Eonwë’s conditions. Daeron would simply stay out of his way and hope that Maglor made the right choice for himself.
There would not be another opportunity like this, Rómestámo thought as he entered Makalaurë’s apartment. Daeron was alone, and no one expected to see him until the meeting with Eonwë and Círdan. Rómestámo had called Makalaurë at his cell phone, pretending to be Círdan and adding a touch of dark power in his voice. This had allowed him to convince the son of Fëanáro that Daeron would be safe. It was time to take the accursed minstrel and make him an instrument to prepare the new coming of the Dark Lord.
Rómestámo had also sensed the change in the Song, and the possibility it brought. The Secondborn’s technology was so advanced that they could easily dig up the Silmarilli buried in the Earth and in the Sea. Surely Daeron would be able to touch them?
Daeron came out of the bedroom, and froze when he saw Rómestámo standing there.
“Come with me, little bird,” Rómestámo said. “Morinehtar is no longer here to defend you.”
Daeron tried to back away. “No…”
Rómestámo chuckled and easily caught him. “You fool! You’d better come now or I will kill Makalaurë. Eonwë is gone, and nobody can stop me now.”
The Elf trembled in his arms, but his resolve was stronger than ever before. “You are lying!”
“Will you risk it?”
Rómestámo looked into Daeron’s eyes and forced him to see the many ways in which he could torture the son of Fëanáro until he died. Daeron stilled, and when Rómestámo pulled him toward the door he did not resist. It was as if he had lost the will to fight, but still Rómestámo placed his hand around Daeron’s throat and silenced him with his power.
“That’s better,” he said. “I wouldn’t want you to start calling for help.”
Daeron looked lost and unable to do anything but follow Rómestámo’s lead. It would be easy to control him. After all, according to Morinehtar, since Daeron lost his mind in the First Age, he had never really recovered, and would fall back into that state if pushed too hard.
To think that Morinehtar had fallen in Eonwë’s hands because of this Elf whose only value was his minstrel gift. Rómestámo would gladly kill him now, but he would have to be patient. Daeron would pay dearly for all he had done.
Daeron stopped walking, and his lips moved but no sound came out of them. Rómestámo pulled him forward, but it was becoming increasingly difficult to make Daeron move without hurting him. Rómestámo was about to simply knock him unconscious when Eonwë materialized in front of them. Rómestámo pulled Daeron in front of him like a shield and put a knife to his throat.
“I will kill him if you try anything!”
Eonwë’s expression didn’t change, but he stayed the power that made his hands glow with a golden light. Rómestámo knew that he was not safe yet. After all, Daeron was not that important in the great scheme of things, while Rómestámo was a servant of the Dark Lord.
“Drop that knife, Rómestámo,” Eonwë said. “Even if you kill him, you are no match for me. I will take you back, and you will have one more sin to pay for.”
Rómestámo laughed. “It’s nothing compared to what awaits me if I go with you. So are you going to let an innocent Elf die? He is not one of the sons of Fëanáro. He is not even a warrior.”
“I will do what must be done,” Eonwë said, preparing to release his power.
Rómestámo let the point of his dagger sink into Daeron’s skin. “Then do it, but I will take this Elf down with me!”
Eonwë moved toward him, but when Rómestámo tried to sink the blade deeper he realized that he could not move. What was this? He could feel other Maiar, spirits of air, surrounding him. He moved his hand with great effort and Daeron’s eyes rolled back in his head as the dark magic in the knife entered his bloodstream.
Eonwë reached out to pull Daeron off Rómestámo’s arms, and that was when Rómestámo managed to break free. He threw the knife in Daeron’s direction, and escaped as Eonwë used his power to shield the Elf’s body. It was a waste of a good knife, but he would make another and infuse his darkest magic in it.
Rómestámo rushed through the streets, knowing that it would take time before Eonwë managed to heal Daeron. The other Maiar alone were no match for him. What a waste of power was to put such shackles on it. Lord Melkor was right. He was the only one strong enough to rule over Arda.
Driving his own car was not an option, so Rómestámo took a taxi to the airport and used his power to hide it from the Maiar of Air. He would take a plane to Paris, and then travel to Germany and reach the northern area of the country. One of his many underground dwellings was there, and not even Eonwë would be able to find him. There would be time to make another attempt at taking Daeron once things had quieted down. For now he had to lie low and prepare the return of his master.
Maglor could hardly keep his temper in check while he heard Eonwë’s recount of Rómestámo’s attack on Daeron. Maglor was trying hard not to feel guilty because he had left Daeron alone, but then he had been deceived by Rómestámo.
He was angry at Eonwë too. The Maia had promised to keep Rómestámo in check, and now Daeron was lying on their bed, his eyes fixed on a faraway point where Maglor could not reach him. Rómestámo’s blade had cut Daeron; one of Estë’s Maiar had healed him, but the damage was done.
Maglor was sitting on the side of the bed, stroking Daeron’s hair with his fingers. It seemed to calm him. Eonwë looked concerned, and Cirdan had offered to take Daeron to an island past the Straight Road once again. Maglor was starting to think that this was the only way to keep his lover safe. Daeron could also sail to Aman and meet his parents, and find someone to love better than Maglor himself.
After all, Maglor could not give Daeron what he needed… No, that wasn’t true anymore. Maglor could no longer deny his love for Daeron, but the cost of telling him the truth was simply too great.
“Maybe that is the best option for him,” Maglor said. “This will be a long war, and Rómestámo will not rest until he has killed him.”
“Or use Daeron’s powerful minstrel gift for his dark purposes. Daeron must leave Endorë now, or the mission will be at risk.”
“Lord Eonwë…” Círdan started.
“Let him speak, Círdan,” Maglor said. “All the Valar care is about the Song and we are but pawns in their minds. As I said, I agree that Daeron must leave, but not because of your precious plan or the Silmarils, but because I want him out of harm’s way.”
“I mean no offense, Makalaurë,” Eonwë said. “I understand your concern over Daeron’s safety, and I share it. Unfortunately, I must also think of the Song. If Lord Melkor escapes his imprisonment before we are ready, all of Eru’s children will be at risk.”
“I don’t want to go,” Daeron whispered.
“Daeron…” Maglor took his hand, so relieved to hear him speak at last. “We want you to be safe.”
Daeron sat up with Maglor’s help. “You need me, Maglor.”
Maglor looked into his lover’s pale face. “I do, but I need you alive and not in Rómestámo’s hands.”
“I can defend myself. When he took me, I could feel his power weakening. I can fight back and use my gift on him.”
“Rómestámo is still stronger than you, child,” Eonwë said. “I promised Makalaurë to keep you safe, and I cannot fulfill that promise if you stay in Endorë. This brings me no pleasure, but you have to leave with Círdan.”
Daeron looked away. “I don’t want to be a liability, but if I leave the circles of the world I might never be able to come back again. I have no wish to leave Middle-earth.”
“Maybe I could take you with me to the islands?” Círdan said. “You would fall asleep, but I could bring you back when it’s safe. That is, if Lord Eonwë agrees.”
Maglor could almost feel Daeron’s inner struggle, not only in the paleness of his face, but also in small details like his hand playing with his shirt’s collar and the tenseness in his slight frame. It made Maglor sad and angry at the same time. He would miss his lover, and worse, he might die before he could tell Daeron about his feelings.
I have to let him go.
“All right,” Daeron said. “I will leave with Círdan to the islands, but I want a moment alone with Maglor. There are things we need to speak about before I leave.”
Once Eonwë and Círdan left, Daeron looked at Maglor. “I wish I could stay, but I don’t want you to have to worry for me. I know you care for me, and you need to concentrate on this mission.”
“Let me finish, please, before I lose my courage and escape so nobody can take me away from you. I love you, Maglor, and I want you to redeem yourself so you can return home, to your mother and brothers.”
“My home is here…”
With you, but I cannot tell you that now.
“And so is mine, but if the Dark Lord escapes and takes over the world there will be no hope for the Children of Eru. There will be no hope for anyone…”
Maglor nodded and pulled Daeron close for a kiss. Daeron answered the kiss passionately, and Maglor tried to convey everything that he could not say: that he loved Daeron and that he could no longer think of a life without him. It was a terrible thing to do, to hide his true feelings after Daeron had voiced his own once again, but Maglor knew well that nobody would be able to take him away if he knew the truth now.
“Come back to me, Daeron,” Maglor said when the kiss ended. “Come back to me, or I will go and look for you even if that means sleeping the rest of my life in those islands.”
Daeron placed a hand on Maglor’s cheek. “Nothing, no one will keep me away from you. I will come back. I promise.”
Maglor pulled Daeron close again, hiding his face. They both knew that they could not really promise anything. Their fate depended on what happened in Middle-earth, and the Valar’s will. Even if that was so, Maglor had to send Daeron away. At least, until Rómestámo was captured and taken back to the Blessed Realm.
Morinehtar stood before his Lord and Lady, eyes cast down, unable to withstand the anger and disappointment in Oromë’s expression. Morinehtar had been brought to the Máhanaxar first, and after dropping to his knees before the Great Ones, he had recounted his life in Endorë, since the moment when he arrived at the Eastern lands with Rómestámo until the day when their mission turned into a quest for power.
It was difficult to speak about his actions regarding Daeron; his parents had been called to Valmar so they learned about their son’s fate, and current state. The three Kings and their Queens were present too, and so were Nerdanel and those of her sons already out of the Halls. Manwë had asked a few specific questions, and then Námo had spoken.
Morinehtar would return to Oromë’s and Vána’s household as a servant. He would no longer be part of his lord’s hunters, and he would write all about his experience in Endorë. This would be part of the information given to the Elves who wanted to go back. They would not only learn of the ways of the Secondborn and their world, but also of treachery and power struggles.
“Look at me, Morinehtar,” Lord Oromë said. “What do you have to say for yourself?”
Morinehtar raised his eyes. “My lord, my lady, I cannot expect you to forgive me for what I have done, but I will do whatever it is necessary to expiate my faults.”
“It is not us who have to forgive you, Morinehtar,” Vána said. “We are your guardians, and you must stay within the confines of our household, but you must find what Eru wants from you.”
Morinehtar opened his mouth to speak but closed it again when he saw the anger and disappointment in Oromë’s eyes. “You are dismissed, Morinehtar,” he said. “Go now and seek Garamo. He will tell you what your chores are now.”
Garamo was Oromë’s chief Maia, and an accomplished hunter.
Morinehtar bowed and headed to Garamo’s abode, knowing that he would not be welcome there. He had been a hunter too, and so had Rómestámo. Garamo had taught them all he knew, and they had used it for evil purposes.
He passed by the kennel on his way, and the hounds came out and surrounded him. There were new puppies, and other hounds Morinehtar recognized. He smiled and extended a hand, and the one closest to him licked at it. Their eyes were not as trusting as the dogs that Morinehtar had in Endorë, but they were more intelligent and strong. The bond a hunter made with his hound was unbreakable.
Where was Naro?
“Naro is not here,” Garamo said, coming to stand near Morinehtar. “He bonded with another hunter when you decided to stay in Endorë after the last summons. So yes, bonds can be broken by evil actions. Huan broke his bond with Turcafinwë while in Endorë.”
“Huan is dead.”
“I know. Come with me, Morinehtar. You are going to tend to the hounds from now on, but they know you are no longer a hunter. You cannot make a bond with the newborns.”
Morinehtar nodded, unsurprised at the new pang of pain Garamo’s last words caused. He and Naro had been inseparables, and now his hound had a new bonded Maia, one who had never left Aman. What did Garamo or that Maia know of danger and temptation? Morinehtar had promised Naro that he would be back, and left him in Garamo’s care.
I have lost him…
A small puppy came closer and placed its paws on Morinehtar’s legs. It was so like Naro that Morinehtar picked him up. “Where is your mom, little one? Let’s go find her.”
The puppy licked Morinehtar’s face and then made itself comfortable in his arms. The other puppies and hounds looked at him expectantly. It was time to feed them.
Daeron sat alone in his cabin, eyes lost in a faraway point. Círdan was taking him to one of the islands, and once they arrived there, Daeron would fall into a deep sleep that might last for centuries. The world was far from its end, and once Rómestámo was captured the Silmarilli would continue sleeping in the depths of the sea and the earth until Melkor escaped from behind the Wall of Night.
Would Maglor survive? Would he be taken forcefully to the Blessed Lands? Would the Valar grant him pardon? Daeron hoped they would because Maglor had stayed away from his kin for too long, and he deserved a rest.
Maglor had suffered enough.
A blue and white cloud suddenly materialized in the cabin.
It was Omar.
Daeron waited for the Maia to take the flesh, wondering why he had come. Omar should be in London, helping Maglor.
“You are the one who needs my help now, Daeron.”
Omar sat beside Daeron and placed an arm around his shoulders. Daeron sighed and closed his eyes. He was feeling incredibly tired, almost about to fall asleep. Was this Omar’s doing?
“I would never do anything to you without your permission, Daeron.”
“Apart from reading my mind, that is.”
Omar looked at him. “You need my support, and Círdan says that you are not speaking at all. Even the gulls flying around the coast fell silent as soon as you boarded the ship.”
“Ah… Soon I will be asleep, no longer a danger to any bird or creature. I will simply sleep while Maglor confronts Rómestámo. You should be there with him, Omar.”
“Maglor will not be alone, Daeron. His brothers are coming to help him.”
“Are they all out of the Halls then?”
“Tyelkormo and Curufinwë are still there, but the other four will come. Other Elves are coming too, as there are many other things to be done in Endorë before the end of Time.”
“Good. I don’t want him to be alone.”
Omar smiled softly. “You will not be alone either, Daeron.
Daeron looked at Omar. “I will be asleep with many Elves and Men, not alone at all, no. I should be grateful.”
“At least you are reacting to my words. That’s good.”
Daeron scowled at him, and then sighed and looked away.
“No, wait, don’t go silent again. I need to speak with you before we arrive at those islands.”
“What is it now?”
“You are needed in Endorë, Daeron. Your abilities can be a weapon against Rómestámo.”
Daeron could feel something like anger surging in his chest. “But… Lord Eonwë said that I cannot confront him and win! I don’t understand why you are saying this now! What is going on, Omar?”
“Calm yourself, Daeron. Nobody, not even Círdan must know about this. Not even Eonwë; only Lord Ulmo, and Lord Manwë. Círdan will take you to the islands, and you will fall asleep, but when the time is right, Lord Ulmo will bring you back and I will be with you so we can help Maglor and the others to defeat Rómestámo.”
“So Maglor won’t know I am back.”
“No, and he will hate me for this, but even if you are needed in Endorë, Maglor alone cannot keep you safe. We need him to focus on this quest.”
“He will be furious with the Valar! How does this help him? I don’t want him to feel cheated by them. He might take another stupid oath!”
“He won’t. That is why his brothers will be with him. If they succeed, Maglor will be pardoned.”
Daeron hoped that Omar was right. After all, even if Maglor loved him, he was not in love with him so his presence would be a distraction. Maybe Maglor’s wife would come too…
“The Valar agreed to Isilmë’s petition, on the grounds that she didn’t know Maglor well when she married him. Isilmë said that Maglor wasn’t honest about his affections.”
“Maglor never lied to her! And do stop reading my mind, Omar.”
Omar nodded. “So you know now. Isilmë’s petition was accepted, though, so Maglor is no longer bonded to her.”
That was a relief of sorts. At least Maglor could fall in love freely now.
“Are you willing to do this, Daeron?”
“Do I have a choice?”
“I don’t. If I say no, I will sleep forever in those islands. If I say yes, I will be of help. Maglor might not forgive me, either…”
“Maglor will know that I cornered you, on my lord’s orders. He will understand, and he will be free from that terrible Oath.”
“I hope you are right.”
“I hope so too,” Omar said. “Now lie down and let me help you to fall asleep. We have arrived at the mists and the islands are behind.”
“I want to see the islands.”
“Are you certain?”
“I don’t know…”
“Then lie down and let me help, my friend. I promise you, I will be here when you wake up again.”
Daeron did as Omar said, wishing there was a way to stop this. He didn’t want to fall asleep on an island. He wanted to rush back to Middle-earth, swimming if necessary.
“Close your eyes, take mi hand.”
“I’m not… a baby…”
“Hush… Sleep, Daeron,” Omar said. “There is hope for Maglor. Think about that and stop fighting me. Let go.”
Daeron sighed softly and let go, his hand clutching Omar’s, his eyes closed to the mists that permeated the ship now. He felt cold for a moment, but then he was warm again and the last thing he saw was Maglor waiting for him.
Rómestámo closed the door of his private quarters and looked around, his eyes falling on the last picture he had took of Morinehtar. The other Istar looked beautiful despite the “old man” disguise. In fact, their bodies had always looked younger than the other Istari. They had been younger in mind too, and that had allowed them to do more, to risk more.
You asked for me when Lord Manwë sent us here, Morinehtar. Then you betrayed me.
Rómestámo pushed the brief stab of pain to the back of his mind. Anger was better, safer; love made him weak. He had to think about his next steps. Eonwë had probably taken Daeron to Tol Eressëa, or directly to the Halls. Rómestámo had infused the knife with enough power to incapacitate the damned Elf.
He wondered if Morinehtar was still around, or if Eonwë and his minions had finally captured him. If that was so, Morinehtar deserved it. His obsession with protecting Daeron was the reason for their estrangement. How could a crazy Elf be so powerful and yet so weak? Morinehtar had never before opposed Rómestámo. Together they had built the oldest part of this place long ago. They should be together now, waiting for the Dark Lord to rise again and escape the Void.
Looking for Morinehtar was not an option for the moment, though. If Rómestámo opened his mind to search or his traitorous lover, he would make himself, and his refuge, vulnerable to the probing of the minds of the Maiar searching for him.
He would stay in hiding for now, working on renewing alliances and forging new ones. He was so close to find a way to detect the very special signature a Silmaril gave off. That would allow him to find the jewels. As for touching them, now that he didn’t have Daeron, he would have to find someone else among his slaves. He had lured both Elves and Men into his service, and they were now as bound to his will as the thralls of ancient times had been to the Dark Lord.
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