And In These Days
2. Chapter 2: Eregion
Companions, friends, stalwart and doughty, and cunning with their hands, he liked the naugrim; they never judge- and their hidden faces were as stone, sparing him of the pain of trying to read them, carefully of considering each word thrive over before uttering them- immovable beings to whom he could pour all his Elven sentiments without having to suffer the troubles that would usually follow such conversations if he were to confide in his kin.
No, not exactly his kin, he corrected himself with a wane smile, otherwise he would not be so shunned as the son of Curufin, the son of Feanor, the beginning of all the Eldar’s troubles.
They never let him forget he was Curufin’s son, though they knew him to have denied his father. It was not enough. Suspicions only increased as his own skills increased, each new marvel a new, painful reminder. Though their eyes delighted in his works, he could see that they were suspicious. Curufin’s cleverness and father’s love was not enough to keep his son from being repulsed by the city that fostered him.
No, never in blatant discriminations; he had his seat on the high table, was invited to the major functions. But the subtle thing- the nonchalant, yet startled manner they treated him, they way they bade their daughters to one side of the room if he were on the other, as if the mere sight of him would sully their minds- he noticed, and could he be blamed for a twinge of jealousy?
What was the use of a high-seat if he could merely watch! He had scarcely came of age, and already, the deference they treated him as if he were one aged and fading stifled him. No one cared whether he had eaten or slept, if not for the regimen Curufin instilled into him since a child, he would surely have died.
He wondered many times what would they do if he were to die? But then, there was the promise, and Celebrimbor was still a Feanorian burning with life.
Centuries, perhaps an age had passed since he was last called Telperinquar. Even the sullen, proper, Orodreth of Nargothrond called him Celebrimbor, or more often, Celeb, as if somehow the foreign name would somehow wash away the lineage and the blood.
War forsook him, family abandoned him, his people spurned him, therefore it was sometime curious for him realize he was far more comfortable in the company of the gruff dwarven lords than among the smooth faces and words of the Noldor.
Narvi now walked beside him, his large hands caressing the stones as they passed each one. The quarry looked promising.
“Master Elf,” He called, where he had left Celebrimbor musing in front an outcropping of moss, “Would you dwell so close to us then?”
“I do not see any reason why not.” He replied, then quickly adding, “Of course, unless you object.”
“None at all, it is strange in these days, though perhaps not unheard of in more peaceful times.” Narvi mused, apparently wholly unconcerned, then mumbled into the rhythmic chanting of the Kuzdul, speaking, singing, soothing, all at the same time. To the rocks, to the silver…
A comfortable near silence wrapped around the two masons as they inspected the facets of these particular rocks. The mine had been opened, then abandoned long ago. From the crumbled structures, all the elven or dwarven marks had been erased, leaving the original ownership in doubt. Thus was Celebrimbor able to claim the land of Eregion as his without confrontations. The naugrim had not minded, and were even eager to help, for though they much regretted not to have discovered the mine, their desire and curiosity were still unfulfilled.
He had secured Orodreth’s permission quickly enough- they were happy to see him gone, though not a little worried- for he was still under the King’s rule de jure. His own Lord at last in name as well as reality; that was what they feared and that was what they could not deny anymore.
A sudden thought seized him. “I will have a great realm,” He whispered fiercely to himself, as his hands closed upon a jagged stone till it pained him, “And I will not forget my name. I will have a city, and they will care.”
Narvi looked toward him, black eyes as two fathomless pools, “What was that Master Celebrimbor? Did you hear what I said? You are not a child, and surely you would not commit such foolishness.”
Celebrimbor wondered at his bleeding hand. “Say again, Master Narvi, my fey Elven mood had possessed me again.”
Narvi made a sound half-way between exasperation and laughter. He left his rocks, walked toward him, and stared at Celebrimbor’s hand, strangely fascinated by the trickle of red that seeped from below the closed fingers.
“You should have it tended to,” He said, reaching out his own calloused hand to stroke the long fingers, “Yet, I said at first, perhaps you should seek permission from other than dwarves if you are to build a city here. The forests are alive. We Khuzdul know.” He whispered, as the hand unclenched, releasing its hold.
Narvi’s next words were mingled with puzzlement and wonder, “It’s far from the sea here, yet the blue clay…and there is this blue diamond in your hand. The blessing of Mahal is certainly with you, Master Elf. To think, we had dwelt here for all these years without even suspecting this rich store.”
Only then did Celebrimbor’s eye turned to the object in his hand. It was surpassingly fair even when uncut, and the clarity shone through the little smear of blood. He had seen many precious stones during his long life, but a thought that came and told him this one would be without a single defect.
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.