1. Fate Was That Day More Strong
Then, shooting a glare at Beleg, he hissed softly, "Go on! Pay me no heed but see to the task!" Without a further word, he bent over the straps and began cutting at them. After a moment, Beleg followed suit, for they could afford no delay. But when at last they had freed their friend, and together, they hoisted him in their arms, Beleg looked down at Túrin's pale, bruised face, and memory unfolded:
Of a grave young man who had joined Beleg on the Northmarch—an incongruously beautiful lad whose beatific smile would have been less terrifying did he not wear it while slaying. Else he was a sullen, sad thing to look upon, which seemed a waste of such looks. And though he was ever glad enough to help in any task, he seemed always to find a way to break something despite what seemed an innate grace. Paradox became him, it seemed, and Beleg remembered him staying his hand when he would have crushed a spider that had scuttled too near the marcher company's somewhat frugal supper. "Do not!" he had said. "They are good luck." And he had, with patient puffs of breath, coaxed it into his hands and taken it away to a new home in the bushes about their camp.
For weeks, the company had chuckled over that. "What luck can spiders bring?" they would ask.
"Good if you spare them; bad if you slay them," would come the inevitable reply, and soon enough all those who marched with Túrin had learned to have a care about the spiders. 'Twas not as if they were of the monstrous brood of Nan Dungortheb, after all, and so long as he had no compunction about slaying the Orcs and wolves that threatened the borders, the Elves humored this strange custom of his. Beleg had even adopted it of late, for being Anglachel's master made him think that mayhap a bit of luck would not be unwelcome, and it was not hard to come by it in the forests.
And so now, as he and Gwindor sweated and strained to lift the unconscious Man over the briars, and into a little clearing among them, Beleg found himself uneasy with Gwindor's accidental murder of eight-legged luck. For we shall need fortune's favor, he thought, as he surveyed briefly the Man at his feet. The chains strung about and between his hands could wait, if only they could get him on his feet and moving. Up with you, man, and off with these fetters, and if only we have a little luck, we shall see home again!
But fate was that day more strong than luck, for two only came ever home, and not to Doriath.
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Title phrase taken from The Silmarillion, "Of Túrin Túrambar," 255.
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