Written as a belated birthday present for Pandemonium who challenged her friends into writing a story in the distinctive style of another well-known author. My choice is Marion Zimmer Bradley.
Disclaimer: Celebrimbor belongs to the Professor Tolkien and his estate, any reference to the works of Marion Zimmer Bradley belong to her estate.
Beta and thanks to Wenont for tweaking it into the tiniest details!
For long did I think that I simply could ignore all that my father taught me. After all, had my grandfather not taught me more? It seemed so easy, to shut him out and to find healing in this sanctuary. I, at first, tried to ignore the ache in my heart and embrace these new teachings. Ring making, creating powerful ones that would aid every race to achieve more. Ah yes, I did learn enough, but a part of me was missing, and too late I realised that, with my teachings, I shut off or avoided all sharp observations. They called my father cunning, crafty; later untrustworthy, kinslayer, murderer... At the same time I suppressed all that was good about him and me. I turned my back upon my own people, hoping I could atone myself for creating the three. Yet, for that I did have to tap deeply into the place I had long ago closed within my inner being, in order to shield - if not to hide – these three rings from his eye. Thusly, I started, finding my peace, trying not to dwell too much on what once was and to concentrate on the final legacy of our House – with my father’s aid.
All shutters were closed and the fires of the forge dimmed, Celebrimbor simply stared at his creations, uncertain as how to proceed. He could flee with them, shielding his creations from Sauron’s dark touch, abandon all that was dear to him – but what good would it do? No matter where he would journey, from east to the west: Sauron would find him.
“No, I did not spent so much time in crafting the three of you to see you being sullied, if not spoiled by him,” he murmured while his hands briefly touched the three rings, “yet I fear completing you, and am unsure how to proceed. I have known and see once how the true and healing light became instilled in a jewel alike you. It has been so long, however I fear touching upon that memory since all the harm that came to us.”
He sighed and pondered, then suddenly, a thought crept into his mind to surrender the rings to Him – undoubtedly he would corrupt them. Perhaps he could ask one of his apprentices to take the rings away from this forge. And risk their lives when he discovers what I have done? Nay! I would not want to chance another life for this. I am not like my father! Yet, I possess the same skill and craft as he did, I do know this. Many had followed him in awe as well, before the Oath was sworn, I will be the latest in this great line to carry on the tradition. Little did the Mírdain know that he had foregone all he was taught by his father. Suppressed it yes, but not forgotten.
Now, everything was different. How could he protect this masterpiece from falling into the wrong hands? How could he bring them to life as his grandfather once did with his jewels? No dark thought could reach them. Perhaps I still can apply those arts. Could it be possible that I have not forgotten, and somehow convinced myself that it be gone, fearing that I would become just like him? Many years have passed and I am no longer who I was. Should I fear him even now when he is in Mandos?
Celebrimbor sighed and rose from his bench to open a coffin in the far corner. As he squatted down to open it, he let out a breath at the sight of the familiar grey sheets – one of the few things that was sent to him once he learnt of his father’s demise. He could take the linen into the side room, all he needed was a small table to hallow the rings – and he would have enough to cover all the walls. Humming softly to himself, he arose and searched his pockets for a pouch, but came up empty. For a moment he tried to remember where he last placed it, the leather pouch that had carried the three gemstones he so patiently had cut himself, and had kept on him wherever he knew that Sauron would question why he needed three extra stones with the other sets completed. How typical, he thought, of course I would have left it on the workbench! With quick strides and a mocking smile, he quickly fetched it, fearing that if he left the three rings alone too long and unprotected, they might be corrupted after all!
It had been a gift from his uncle - the one he had also turned his back upon - even though both knew that deep in his heart, he could never forget either and their actions in Nargothrond. I did try and, perhaps too much, while I attempted to shut their influences out. I was blind-sided by the intent of true evil right here under my nose. This mild thought surprised him. After all, was he not about to try something his father had taught him? Then gently, a memory so vital to him filled his mind completely.
“Do you know why the forge is grey and why we wear grey?” Curufinwë asked him patiently while he carefully placed a lamp into the mould.
Telperinquar shook his head, voiceless, and not certain as to what to answer.
“Because,” he went on as he closed the mould around it, “colour is in itself vibration. Let me explain this better: we know each colour has a vibration of its own, except for grey. Grey allows vibration to be transmitted freely, without the interference of colour. Try to imagine it. Remember how a grey bay in a herd does not diminish the glow or power of a colour of the others? It does not stand out, yet those around him seem to obtain a gleam. Moreover, you have seen that black absorbs light into itself, and white reflects lights and augments it; however grey does neither, it merely permits the true quality of the light to be seen as it is.”
His hands shook at this memory. In order to hallow the rings with their pure quality, their intended strength, and purposes, no other colour could be present. Celebrimbor knew that this was of utmost importance in order to succeed. Black was all around Sauron, his greed unlimited, and his desire to claim them as his own would be unchecked. Yet Celebrimbor knew that he first had to cover walls of that room with the sheets, change out of his own clothes and into his old grey robes, the only piece of clothing from his daunting past that he had permitted himself to keep when he parted ways with his father. He remembered the day the robe was bestowed upon him, the proud smile of his father as he was lauded for completing his masters. It seemed ungrateful to his ancestors to cast it away. It had seemed easier to cut all ties with his father instead. Celebrimbor stopped in his tracks and paused to wonder. Would more memories surface, now that he had opened this door to the past? Had he been afraid of this for so long, that only dark thoughts and disappointment would overpower all memories?
“Nothing much now could be done to correct wrongs from the past,” Celebrimbor told himself as he carefully placed the Mithril ring with the white stone atop of the grey silk covering the table. “How could I have forgotten such lore,” he wondered and set himself to work. Not all of his father’s teachings were tainted by darkness. If he had only seen this fact in time!
Nenya was the first ring I awoke with my touch and thoughts. For some reason, I hoped that it would preserve and conceal the others, being the strongest, by using the white adamant to its fullest potential. Once I placed it in the deerskin pouch, I set to awake Vilya, then Narya. Once more, I felt connected to my father and grandfather by using the lore of old to a higher purpose, a noble purpose for the good of all. I barely could hide them in time and before his vengeance bore down on me, I ensured that they would be placed in the right hands. I shall never feel any remorse for what I have done and I found healing amidst the blue and grey robes here.
When I beheld my creations once more, I saw my father enshrouded in mist, and bliss was in his eyes. Knowing that this inner peace had healed him, I had to find him, and this done in Arda unmarred. Once the veils parted and the spells thus cast allowed me to pass – just as in Arda Marred, only my kindred was allowed to sail the Straight Road - I looked upon the sun-bathed cliffs, finally finding my home here on the blessed shores of Avalon.