In the Shadow of the Firelight: 1. In the Shadow of the Firelight

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1. In the Shadow of the Firelight

I do not understand, and it makes my grief much harder to bear. I have seen death before, for my kindred may die and indeed do die, if grief or battle takes them. Yet this…this I cannot understand, even I, one of the Elder children of Ilúvatar.

I remember Bëor in his prime, and the first night I encountered the Atani, as I wandered alone in Ossiriand and saw the lights of their fires in the distance, and heard their voices raised in joyous song. I know not how long I watched them, but I loved them, they who I did not understand. And one by one they slept, without a watch, for they believed themselves safe, and I sat beside their fire and watched again, then picked up one of their harps and sang myself, of the making of Arda, and of Valinor from whence I had come. I remember the Bëor I met that night, youthful and strong, fair for one of their people, though markedly different from the Eldar. They were passionate, strong, and fiery in their freedom that I never shall know.

I did not understand then, as I do not now, what it was meant when we were told of Eru’s gift to the Second-Born. To waste away, to slowly have the body fall into ruin with the passage of years, and finally to die of no wound or grief, hair turned white as the fallen snow, skin no longer smooth and pure, the strength of body failing, the fire that always burned so brightly in his eyes dying until only a few glowing embers remained. This is not a death that I can comprehend, though I have gained the wisdom of my people with the passage of years.

I remember Bëor as he was then, yet I see him now and it is not the face of the Man that first I knew. He lies before me, cold and still, body unscarred by recent wound, cut down by no weariness but by the years only. I know in my heart as I stand beside him, looking down into his familiar face, that this is a forever parting, one that shall endure beyond the end of the world and all the ages of Arda. I have lost him, he who I counted among my friends and who I loved as well as any of my kindred, to a fate that I know not, that I cannot even think to comprehend.

The Gift of Ilúvatar to Men. I discovered, when I first began to know them, this gift of freedom that Ilúvatar bestowed upon them, their strength, their fierce desire to explore and learn and create their world with a passion that seemed as bright as Elbereth’s stars. And yet that fierce spirit, that loyalty, that passion is extinguished quickly, it fades away to only a soft remainder of what was, and ends this way.

He is dead, though it is not death that I can understand. Where his bright soul has gone, I know not, save that it has fled beyond the spheres of Arda, gone where I can never follow. His life, like a spark from that fire in the long ago night in Ossiriand, was suddenly bright but too quickly disappeared into darkness, as is the lot of Men.

Yet I, I am of the Eldar, the Elder Children of Eru. I have the life and long memory of my people, and I will remember. Though many generations of men come and depart, though the sun may rise and set to pass the endless days of my life, I shall not forget. I will remember my friend, he who was called Bëor the Old, for all the days that I am given, for the eternity of my life, and so his memory will never die. As I am eternal, so shall his memory be.

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.

Story Information

Author: Stargazer Nataku

Status: Reviewed

Completion: Complete

Era: 1st Age

Genre: General

Rating: General

Last Updated: 02/01/03

Original Post: 01/28/03

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