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Olórin I Was, Olórin I Am: 1. I Die...
It enfolds me lovingly like a mother cradling her child. All of the pain from the many wounds I have disappears, as well as the cold from the snow I am now laying in. The sound of the howling wind is gone. There is nothing.
I feel like I am floating.
How much time passes me, I do not know. I do not care. This is the place that I began, the place I belong. I do not want anything to change. I am happy here.
It bursts around me in a sudden wave, and it startles me.
But I am still at peace.
I am still happy.
For now I can see the Great Creation. I can see all that the One had set in motion. I can now hear the song.
The song that all sang.
The song that I sang.
It is beautiful.
The colors of the universe swirl around me, dancing. It seems as if ages of the world fly by in mere moments and that at any time everything will end. The many centuries I spent on Arda is becoming a distant memory, almost a chaotic dream, and all I know is now.
I am as one with all.
Then as quickly as they appeared, the colors are gone, and I am surrounded by pure light so bright I feel that I will be consumed by it. It slowly dims, and shapes start to emerge.
They are before me, sitting. We are all in a confined space.
I try to remember…
It is long, made of white stone. Pillars hold up a ceiling that reaches into the heavens. It has no end. The others are sitting above me on thrones, watching me with their white eyes, though I have no form. They are waiting.
I move closer until I am in the center of their half circle and they are satisfied. I am drawn to two that sit side by side in front of me. They are like the others, yet different. Their eyes shine more brightly than their comrades. Their shapes take more definition, and as I see them, a strange thing happens.
I knew them.
I know them.
Welcome Olórin, the being on the right says without movement. The sound is deep, warm. I think back.
I was Olórin once.
I am Olórin again.
And I know where I stand.
The halls of the Valar on Taniquetil have not changed since I stood here last so very long ago. Though, then I was not alone. The others that were to travel to the lands in the East with me had been beside me as the Valar gave us our farewells. Four others, traveling on the same ship as I. I think back on them.
Aiwendil, Alatar, Pallando, and Curumo.
The memories of my life in Middle-earth wash over me, from when I first set foot in Mithlond, to the my final breath above Khazad-dûm. Anger fills me. It is because of Curumo that I stand here now, forced by his crebain to take the Fellowship into the Misty mountains. Forced by his spells to turn away from the Redhorn Pass and go deep into Moria, where I fought the Balrog, and where I met my death.
It hits me like a tidal wave, the realization that I have died. None of my kind have ever experienced the death of a mortal body before. I realize that I have caught a glimpse of the greatest gift that Eru ever gave; The gift of Men. The gift of being able to leave the world and travel beyond.
But it is not for you to have.
The voice washes over me and brings my focus back to the present time, to the one that now leans towards me.
Manwë, the Lord of Arda.
You have left Middle-earth at the turn of the tide, before your time. Everything we have created, everything we love sits on the edge of annihilation. If Sauron regains his power, Middle-earth will be destroyed, and an assault will be launched against Valinor. He will try to free his master and bring about the Dagor Dagorath. The final hope left is with this one you call Frodo, and his strength against the power of the Ring, and with the people of Middle-earth. And you have left them all when they need you the most.
It invades my whole being.
As I had fought the Balrog on top of the mountain, I had wondered if what I was doing was where my path lay, or if my hatred of Morgoth and his creations was blinding me from the proper course of things. Now I know, and my shame is great.
There is no wrong in what you did.
A voice like the Great Music itself rings out, and I look to the one sitting beside Manwë.
Varda, Queen of the Stars.
Compassion and love plays across her face.
You did what you were meant to do. It is only not your time to be with us again. To walk upon these shores. When that time has come, you will be with your friends, not bodiless as you are now. They need you. They need your strength.
I wish I had my body, for I would fall to my knees before her to show how grateful I am that she has graced me so.
Frodo moves closer to the Black Land, and his will is weakening. Curumo has captured two of your Fellowship in the belief that they are the Ringbearers. He takes them now towards Orthanc. He has been corrupted by Sauron, and craves the One Ring and its power more than anything. He has fallen under the shadow of Morgoth.
Manwë's eyes grow bright in anger.
There is no hope for him now.
What must I do?
You must return, Olórin, to your body. You must become the one that Curumo was to become. You must stop him from achieving his objectives. He plans now to make war on the Rohirrim, to destroy them, before moving south.
Where must I go?
That is for you to decide. Two of your Fellowship are being carried to Orthanc, while three others follow closely behind to rescue them. Two move close to Mordor. One has passed beyond.
I wonder to whom they are referring to. Frodo must be one of the travelers to Mordor. Who did he take with him? The two going to Orthanc sound as if they are hobbits, but which ones? And who has passed beyond?
Those questions will be answered once you return. For now, you must stop Curumo. He is your biggest threat.
Manwë puts his hand up in farewell.
Go with the grace of the Eru.
The others, who have watched in silence, also raise their hands.
May Eru Ilúvatar light your way.
Their voices fill the air as they fade from my vision.
I feel as if I am traveling over long distances at unimaginable speed. Is it Arien that I see? Or is it Tilion? The blue waters beneath me change into the brown and green of land. Fast approaching in the distance is the gray of Ered Luin. Beyond them I can feel much turmoil and doubt. I am unsure if I really desire to return to this, for the peace of Eru and the beauty of Valinor calls to me. Can I do what I must if these things haunt me so?
It envelops me.
I feel it underneath me and all around me. The wind is howling, blowing hard against me. I am unclothed, like a newborn babe.
I shiver. It is strange being in a body once more.
Regret starts to fill my heart. I long to return to my beginning. I try to recall the colors of the universe, the music that I heard. I try to see Varda's face and hear Manwë's voice. But these memories are disappearing from me, slowly slipping away into nothingness. I try desperately to hang onto them, but I cannot.
They need your strength.
It comes to me from nowhere, but it gives me hope. It lifts my heart. It gives me strength. The sound of her voice fills me with love. Not just for her, but for all things, and I know what I must do.
I start to open my new eyes.
It hurts to do so.
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