Ang's 2010 Birthday Stories
3. Sharpen your swords, O Elves of Nargothrond
Shortly after his arrival in Nargothrond...
"Well met, Turin son of Hurin."
The look on the Man's face was both priceless and pitiful. "How... how came you by that name?"
The Elf, who had been waiting comfortably in Turin's chambers, shifted forward in his chair. "Your name is written plainly enough in your thoughts, for those who would see."
"How came you here? And through a locked door. That is the work of outlaws, not the Noldor."
A quiet chuckle. "And are there no outlaws among the Noldor? But here, at least, I am not outlaw. Merely one who is fond of doors and locks, and wishes to speak with you."
Turin closed the door behind him. "Very well. But I would know your name."
"Agarwaen son of Umarth. Or, if you prefer, Celebrimbor son of Curufin son of Feanor."
Silence for a moment. "I see. And why are you here?"
"To speak with you, of course. Why else?"
"But why not at table, or, since you must be a lord, your chambers?"
"Those would not be proper for the discussion I wish."
"A serious matter, then."
"Yes. I would seek your aid."
A grim laugh. "Then you are a fool, for all who seek that come to grief."
"I will come to grief whether I am a fool or not. As will you. Why, then, should I fear to ask a boon?"
"I have little to offer except service to Nargothrond in battle. Dor-lomin is fallen, and I am now lord of no one, save myself."
"You are the lord of less than that, for the moment, but your service in battle is of great worth."
"I have already offered my sword to the King, as you must know, so what boon could you ask? I have only one life to give."
"There are two parties in Nargothrond. One, the people of Finarfin, who are for the most part, shall we say, not overbold in heart. You have seen Orodreth. The other party, those of my people who followed my father and uncle here, escaping from Dagor Bragollach. We are bold, to excess. Much like yourself."
Turin motioned for Celebrimbor to continue.
"The problem is that the first party greatly outnumbers the second."
"You would have me set strife here then? I have had more than enough of that, but why would you want such strife when we should be fighting Angband?"
"I want no strife within Nargothrond. And few hate Angband more than I."
"What mean you then?"
"You are the mightiest warrior here. Nargothrond can choose, as the King favors, to hide, and wait for aid from the Valar. Or it can choose to go forth in battle while our lives last. It is plain that you would choose the latter. But you are only one man."
"I am only one man, you say, but in battle I am worth many. Yet still you have asked no boon."
"Can you not guess it? I had heard your mind was as sharp as your blade. Is it?"
A scowl. "Then you should also have heard that I am not one to patiently play word-games. Speak plainly!"
"Very well. The boon is thus. Lead by example, and help the people of this city to understand that arms are indeed the best wall against Morgoth. I cannot, for my skill in battle is small, at least in the wielding of weapons. Forging them is another matter, but it is the wielding that wins renown."
Now Turin laughed. "I, an example? The slayer of my greatest friend? The captain who led his men to ruin? The ungrateful fosterling?"
"Beleg's death is held by all to be an ill chance. You are not the only one here who has slain Elves, either by the sword or with fell words, but you are the only one who is not blamed for it. The lesser party here cannot sway the greater, because of such grievances. The grievances themselves are just, but nonetheless our approach to fighting Morgoth is the better. You can sway the people of this city if you are clever. There is great might and courage in the people of Finarfin, but it is also very difficult to awaken them from their present slumber. Finrod himself failed to do so."
"I have heard the blame for that lies at the feet of your own father and uncle."
Celebrimbor stood and strode silently towards Turin, stopping within a foot of his face, Being a head shorter, that was as close as he could get without touching him.
Elf faced Man, the former holding the latter's eyes, utterly without fear. Turin wondered, for few now looked on him without apprehension.
Celebrimbor held this posture for a long moment before replying. "You have heard correctly. But not all of us have gone mad. You, Turin, are far closer to madness than I. Should I fear you? Ha! Of course not, for you agree with what I say. It is only your enemies, those who disagree with you, and those you love, who need fear you. I am none of those."
Turin glared down at the Feanorian. "Fell words. Those, your kin are known for. But you speak the truth."
"And you hold truth in high esteem. The truth, then, Turin son of Hurin son of Galdor, is that while we cannot hope to defeat Morgoth, at least we may assail him. But Nargothrond will not do so unless you lead it into battle. And you will not lead it into battle unless you convince its people you are worthy to do so. And the way to doing that, lies first through my people. Win our respect, and you will win that of the others, or at least the majority. Not as quickly as you would prefer, but in the blink of an eye as we account it."
"You seek to use me for your own ends. Though we are of the same mind on this matter, I do not like it. Though mortal, I am no child."
"Then you would know why I seek to 'use' you, as you put it?"
"Because I hate Morgoth. Anything I can do to harm him, I call good."
Turin laughed. This Elf was unlike any others he had met. "Well said, my fell friend! I shall do as you suggest. If indeed there are others of like mind here, we will do great harm to him, before we die."
"That is my hope. As he laid a curse on your father's kin, so his deeds led to a curse being laid on all of my kin, even the fair people of Finrod, who were indeed as blameless as the young children of Hurin. For that, he must pay."
With that, Celebrimbor departed, leaving Turin alone to his thoughts.
A/N: Celembrimbor would know a curse of a Vala when he saw one. And Turin must have had help in winning supporters.
"Say this to Manwe Sulimo, High King of Arda: if Feanor cannot overthrow Morgoth, at least he delays not to assail him, and sits not idle in grief." - Feanor, The Silm.
"Secrecy is not finally possible: arms are the only wall against Morgoth" - Turin, The Children of Hurin
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