The roll of the sea was a lullaby, soothing, assuaging the raging fire that had once burned so fiercely within him. Long ago the mocking laughter in the waves mellowed to a call he knew he was never meant to answer. He had accepted the fate to remain here, on the mortal shores of Ennorath, and now he did not pay heed to the Summons. Let the Valar call him home—he doubted, should he return, they would welcome him. The sea mocked him, but it was familiar, and now, as he sat upon the rocky shore, he found comfort in the sea, even if he could not see it. Punishment for the Damned, he supposed. Feeling the sun on his face, Maglor doubted he would ever truly know its warmth again.
“…You are still here.”
The voice startled him—it rang amused, cruelly amused. He could have sworn it was…
“Somehow, Kanafinwë, I am not surprised.”
There could be no doubt. Never had he rued his blindness more than now.
The response was only a mocking laugh.
“Aye, brother, it is I. At least your wits were not taken with your sight.”
He was on his feet, arms extended slightly in search. “Carnistir, where…”
That laugh, so familiar, bittersweet. It almost evoked tears in the blinded eyes. “To the left, Kanafinwë…No, over here.”
The voice in the darkness said left, yet it came from the right; what madness was this? Quickly he stepped right only to be met by a large stone. “Carnistir!”
Now it was coming from behind, and Maglor whirled, tripping over sand. Panic started setting in: then came another voice, sweeter, kinder.
“…Like an infant all over again. Carnistir, we ought to help him.”
“Turko?” Maglor uttered in disbelief; the sound had come from directly in front, and he shuffled his feet forward, trying not to stumble again; the laughter in the voices made him self conscious, ashamed of his plight. He could feel their presence, knew it was them, but… “Brothers, where are you?”
They seemed to ignore him, continuing their conversation. “Nay, let him stumble,” the first voice answered. “Always he was as a near-sighted Maia among us: now he truly is.”
“No! Please!” he pleaded.
“Indeed, he always belonged in Valinor, amongst the Holies.”
“Amongst the Holies, aye. I wonder why he continues on, blinded on these shores? Why has he not returned?”
“A question,” the second voice intoned. Once more their dialogue turned back to the harper; “Why have you not returned, Makalaurë?”
He could not find them—stumbling through the sand and stones, their positions seemed ever changing, as if they were running circles around him. A cruel wind whipped in from the sea, casting his hair about his face; never did he braid it, now. He was no longer a prince of a great line, but a homeless wanderer fed only by the sea when it took pity upon him. Remembering his brothers as they were before his blindness, Maglor felt a cur in their presence now. “I…I cannot find you…”
“Why are you blind, my brother?”
“He is old, Carnistir, you must pardon him,” came a third voice; deep, rich, yet subtly pernicious. “Not all of us had the fortune of dying so young.”
“Atarinkë!” Adrenaline raged through his blood now: three of his brothers, here on the shores, come to him. So long had he dwelt in solitude…
“You were younger than I,” the first voice argued, “Both you and Turko were. And the twins.”
“Nay, we were as old as you at the Havens, in our death;” two voices, twined forever.
“Ai, Ambarussa! Speak to me! Where are you!” Surely, now five people on the beach, and so close, he should be able to find one!
“We are here, Kanafinwë,” one replied, away to his right. He had become so turned around, pursuing his brother’s voices, he did not realize he was headed towards the surf until he felt the breaker wash over his bare feet, swirling through his toes. He cried out in surprise, much to the amusement of his brothers.
“That’s right, Makalaurë, keep coming,” the second voice encouraged.
They were all ahead of him now, out in the surf; on a boat, perhaps? The last sounded as if it were right in front of him—the harper placed his arms out, searching as he moved steadily forward into the sea. Feeling the current swirl and twine through his legs, he shivered slightly; where were they?
“Come, brother, this way,” the deepest voice encouraged. “You are almost to us…”
The harper now waded hip-deep in the waves, and each step was met with a breaker threatening to knock him off his feet; if he fell in this current, he may never find the shore.
Surely, if he fell, his brothers would help him—Turko had always been a swimmer, and would come to aid…The sea rose to his chest, each swell threatening to debunk him. “How much further?” he begged to the darkness.
That is far enough.
The voice echoed in his skull, frightening the harper into carelessness: the eldest of the Damned. He had not heard that voice in a thousand years. Tripping, he called out just before his head was swallowed by the swells.
He gasped in shock, trying to breathe, but only brine met his lungs; the sea was cold, brutally cold, and in his blindness he could not find the surface, did not know if he was struggling upwards or down, if he was being swept off further into the deep. He was suffocating, breathing water, fighting in the darkness of everlasting night.
Is this the Oath? he mind spasmed. Is this the Everlasting Darkness to which I have chained myself?
Then a second voice joined his, the last who had spoken, his eldest brother.
Nay, Maglor, you have faced and defeated the Oath. And for that, you must pay.
With this? With death? he demanded.
Nay. Suddenly a firm hand gripped his hair, harsh and cruel, hauling him in the direction Maglor thought was down; he was disproved when his head broke the surface. It dragged him backwards only to throw him upon the shore like an infant, gasping and coughing up seawater on the sand.
“He lives.” It was the first voice, mocking and cruel once more. “Somewhat of a pity, I think.”
“Aye,” the deepest echoed. “He would have made a fine companion to us.”
“Father would be pleased,” the second voice laughed. “His seven sons…”
Only a moan escaped the blind harpers lips… “Why have you come to me?” he gasped. “Why do you torment me?”
Silence, and then the answer.
We come because we must, Kano…You of all people must understand.
He was on his hands and knees, unseeing eyes staring down at the sand. “Understand?”
Maglor vomited on the shore.
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.