Nár Tinwen (or: a Journey of Names)
5. Ashes in Angamando
So was Tinwen, no longer fair, no longer glorious, no longer shining. She walked around her prison as far as the chains would let her. She whispered to the stones, recalling the light and beauty of Aman beyond the ocean. One day she foud a stone that whispered back; a jewel-spirit. Slowly she tore it out of the wall with her bare hands. Then she polihed it with the rags of her clothes. Quetondo she called it, the Speaking Stone. It taught her the language of rock, which is slow and few-worded, the tongue of pebbles, which consists of small rolling words, and the speech of stones, which is heavy and sharp and beautiful. And Quetondo told wonderful tales of mountains dancing, continents melting, valleys opening and hills rising.
'I love the earthfires', said Tinwen, 'tell me what word I must speak in order to call them?'
Quetondo told her the word. She spoke it. The ground tore itself in two, smoke erupted from the crevice, and molten stone came after it. Tinwen was delighted to have light once again. Now she saw Quetondo, a tiny shadow dancing inside its chrystal sphere. The fire could not melt Tinwen's chains, but it eased the pain caused by the icy Morglin-Stone.
Melkor felt his throne shaking. He sent his servants to see what was the reason. They reported that the prison-chamber of Tinwen was opened and lava rushed out of it. He told Sauron:
'You have been foolish to capture her so far underground. Find a new place to keep her.'
Tinwen was taken out by valaraukar, who flew her up to a sharp mountaintop of the Sangororimbë. There Sauron chained her. It was a cloudy night, a night of darkness. Sauron was in the shape of a vampire. He touched her face with a clawed hand.
'You should see yourself now, little one. Nothing is left of your beauty and power.'
'That is not true and you know it. Powerless means useless, and Melkor still keeps me. He would not bother with useless captives. And as long as I could be used, I refuse it. I will not surrender!'
'As if we would care about that. If you do not serve willingly, you will serve forced. Have you not learnt yet? Then I will teach you...'
The next morning Anar rose in her glory over the mountaintops. Arien beheld a wretched little figure tied with chains into a peak. The figure lifted a hollow-eyed face. There was something familiar in its features.
'Sister! Help me!' The voice was dry and breathless.
'I cannot. I cannot come down. Oh, Tinwen!'
And Arien the sun-maiden passed over the skies to the West with a message of pleading to carry. Some on the earth noted that the day felt unusually short, as if the Sun herself had been hurrying.
The next day she came again, with the news that the Eagles of Sorontar would be on their way as soon as she woke them up. But Tinwen was no longer on the mountain. Melkor had seen her converse with Arien and had had her brought back below ground. This time her imprisonment was even more torturing: Tinwen was frozen inside a small glacier. She could not move, but remained concious of the suffocating coldness all around her.
Years passed, years of fear and war in Beleriand, years of terror and dark despair in Angband.
But one hour there was that brought hope and eased the suffering of the captives of Angamando. For from the darkest and deepest hall where Melkor had his throne there drifted a song of beautiful dreams. All that heard it fell asleep, and Tinwen dreamed of Arda under Anar, of flowers rising and children dancing. Her heart found a familiarity in the enchantment; 'Melian's daughter...', she thought. Another dream there was, too; a vision of her own lost sword being broken and then breaking another sword, and of a Younger Child of Ilúvatar taking a Silmaril in his hand. Too soon the dreams drifted away and Tinwen was once again tortured and despaired; even more so now that she had been reminded of lost beauty. Yet in the depths of her heart she rejoiced at Melkor's loss and put a shadow of lost hope into the Silmaril. Melkor was not invincible...
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.