1. For Love of Creation
There was a time when his love of creation had been the driving force of his existence and it had been that love that ultimately led him astray. He had listened to the promises made to him of the endless possibilities for creation in the newly made lands of Arda - possibilities wasted by the One due to his lack of understanding. He left the forges of Aulë where he had labored faithfully and joyfully for years unnumbered, second only to his master, and placed himself under a new master.
For the servants of Aulë, praise was not something often heard, yet when it was the praise was well deserved and gave a sense of fulfillment. However, in the service of this new master, praise was freely given, although despite its frequency little satisfaction was derived from it...and the reason for that was not discovered until it was far too late. It had been false praise, hollow and meaningless, dispensed for no purpose other than to lead his followers into performing deeds some of them would not otherwise have done.
He had known their deeds were wrong from the beginning, but his new master continued to lure him with the promise of creation, telling him of the need to wrest power from the other Valar. They shared the One’s lack of vision and sought to prevent anyone else from using their own powers as they wished. Indeed, it had seemed as though the Valar desired to control everything and cared little for the wants or needs of others. And so he had followed the wishes of his master - each deed growing more immoral than the one before, until his life finally reached a point where remorse or repentance were things long left behind.
Creation ceased to be part of his existence and for many years it was filled only with destruction. The anger brought on by the frustration of no longer being able to do that which he loved ate at him, twisting his spirit, causing him to lash out at anything in an attempt to quell the misery that had become his life. Although at times it felt as though the suffering of others gave him pleasure, there was no true joy in it. It was as empty as Morgoth’s praise.
"Morgoth," he said aloud as he stared blankly into the distance. That was something he did find a small measure of joy in - saying the name aloud that he and the others had been forbidden to use in their master’s presence. Those who forgot themselves and chanced to call their master anything other than Melkor met with anger in the form of punishment and torture. Though this fair form did not bear the scars of it, his spirit carried the marks of the torture given him the one time he unthinkingly used the name the arrogant Elf had handed down.
Fëanor...yet another whose life had been destroyed by his love of creation - although the Elf received no name of evil despite the destruction and death caused by the three jewels he had created. The Elf had imagined his creations were not cursed merely because they were of light and not of darkness and shadows. A notion soon laid to rest when the light of those creations was quenched by the blood that flowed in the fight to claim them. Fëanor had been reckless in his conceit, capturing a beauty not meant for the Children of Eru. They were too craven not to be overwhelmed by the intensity of the concentrated light of the Two Trees. The desire to possess them followed - the response always seen in those faced with beauty and power that stirred them beyond their comprehension.
His master had suffered from that failing as well, perhaps because Morgoth no longer had the full power of the Ainur by that time, having squandered too much of it. Or perhaps Morgoth was incapable of comprehending anything not from his own mind and wished only to see it destroyed. No doubt he would have eventually destroyed the Silmarils as well had he not been able to corrupt their power for himself. The strength bound within the Silmarils had been the weakness of them all. So much had been lost to that weakness. Now an Elf of Fëanor’s blood had wrought three more creations of arrogance...and these would once again bring about great suffering when the battle for their possession began.
His hands gripped the stone railing of the balcony in anger as he thought of his years of work in Eregion... all for nothing. His disappointment had been made all the greater by the brief happiness he had found in those lands. Initially, being turned away from Lindon seemed a significant setback; instead, it had turned out to be a fortunate turn of events. Working with the Elven smiths in the forges as he taught them brought back a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment he had not known since his days in Valinor, and his long suppressed love of creation once again stirred within him. The joy it brought made him once again consider the pardon offered to him by the Valar.
When it was first offered so soon after Morgoth’s defeat, the thought of returning to face the punishment Manwë would set upon him introduced fear in his heart for the first time in many years. Morgoth’s treachery ensured that the consequences would be especially dire for him if he chose to return. No doubt Manwë would be very harsh in the punishment meted out, his judgement colored by having been betrayed by Morgoth and what had followed - the destruction of the Trees and the theft of the Silmarils. True, he had not fought in the War of Wrath, instead defying Morgoth and leaving Beleriand all together, fleeing far to the south. But he felt that would have little merit in the eyes of the Valar in light of the many evils he had committed during his time in Morgoth’s service. The nagging suspicion that he would be unable to bow to the wishes of the Valar and subjugate himself to them also contributed to his hesitation. He had spent too long wielding the power given him as Morgoth’s lieutenant, and now wielding the power of being own master and assuming command of what remained of the dark armies. He did not agree with the Valar and did not view the world and its machinations from their perspective. What they saw as evil, he saw as progress and change by whatever means necessary.
So once again he turned away from the pardon of the Valar, but his love of creation had been stirred again. Now he would use it to his own ends, to achieve enough power that he could wield his love of creation in these lands as he saw fit and answer to no one. The creation of the Seven and the Nine had gone exactly as he planned and he would be able to make full use of them but his plans for the Three were ruined by Celebrimbor’s betrayal. The arrogance of Fëanor had been passed down to Celebrimbor and the Elven rings had been wrought by the hands of the Elf alone. His will bore no power over the Three and so he had been forced to make the Master Ring.
He looked down at the golden circle adorning the hand that gripped the balcony rail. The decision to forge the ring had not been one not easily made. He had watched Morgoth pour his power into his followers - changing their bodies and enhancing their powers until none remained for Morgoth. Before the end came, his master could not even leave the fortress of Angband. Morgoth had been forced to remain in hiding, defended by the creatures for which his powers had been sacrificed. To bind so much of his power into the ring had not been something he wished to do, but there was no choice. If he did not, the Elven rings would be beyond his control and he would rather face the Void than allow that to happen. He had sacrificed everything to achieve this power and these lands were his... he would not allow any of them to be ruled by a group of exiled Elves.
Now so much of his power rested in the golden band on the index finger of his right hand - the same finger on which the Elves wore their rings of marriage. And why not? This ring would bind the Elves to him and it signified the one to whom he was bound as well. The one in whom his ultimate act of creation would be brought to fruition. Soon he would take a permanent form, enabling him to create true life, something his former master could not do. Morgoth had searched for the Imperishable Flame that would bring with it the ability to create life, but to no avail.
Was this the reason Fëanor sired seven children he thought suddenly to appease a love of creation?
It did not appear to have been enough to satisfy Fëanor’s drive for creation... he could only dare to think it would be enough to appease his own.
It was his secret hope that the creation of this life would provide light to help relieve the unending darkness within him. He looked out over the barren lands again, but did not see them. He looked inward, back to a memory of sitting near a river bank in these Mortal Lands, watching the moon. What was it she had said to him?
Darkness craves the light, searching for some sense of fulfillment. But the darkness is never sated. Even as Ungoliant, in her Primeval Night, craved the light of Valinor, yet when she devoured that light and turned it to shadows there was no fulfillment. Only the empty, ravenous hunger of a darkness which no light could heal.
Her words had caught him off guard, but still, he pointed to the night sky as he replied. The lights of Varda do not suffer from the darkness. They complement it, like jewels hung against the night. One is required to fully appreciate the beauty of the other. The darkness is not always empty. Have you forgotten the darkness before Arda, filled only with the spirits of our kind? The lights of the Ainur were peaceful in the comforting dark of the Deeps of Time.
At the time he had believed those words, believed there was some hope of filling the darkness inside him, but now that hope was as dim as the light of the Ainur that had once filled his spirit. He did not look to rid himself of the darkness for he was far beyond that point now; he merely wished to find a small measure of relief from it.
But perhaps, as the unfulfilled craving of darkness for light, this too was something that was never satisfied...this love of creation which always seemed to bring about unhappiness in one form or another. From the creation of Arda by the One, to the acts of Morgoth and Fëanor, and his own dark acts throughout his life.... all brought on by a love of creation. Perhaps it was not even a love of creation so much as it was an obsession with it, and obsessions were never satisfied. The more they were fed, the larger they grew. There was a narrow line between love and obsession, sometimes hidden from those who stood too close to it.
The sensation of another person approaching ended his musings and cleared his thoughts. Only one dared approach him from behind without warning and even they should know better. The familiarity would have to be dealt with. He glanced briefly to his side. The dark-haired man who now stood there barely reached his shoulder and he scowled as the man spoke.
"The companies have assembled, my lord, and they await your command. We are ready to move on your orders," the man said, looking up at the golden giant next to him.
"Very well, but I will give you no praise for your efforts. Instead I will do you the favor of giving you fair warning - never enter my presence unannounced again. The next time will result in highly unpleasant consequences," he said and shook his head. "You overstep your boundaries as the Mouth of Sauron."
He paused and frowned at the man. The sound of the name given to him in hatred still chafed but it was an irritation he was willing to tolerate, for the name would now be used to his advantage. There was power in fear and people feared the name of Sauron. That was obvious in the man before him who fought not to cower under his assessing stare.
"The Mouth of Sauron...where did that name come from? I assume it is one you fashioned for yourself."
"Yes, my lord, it is," the man said and bowed his head respectfully, thankful for the opportunity to break eye contact. "I thought others would pay more heed to my words if they knew whose words I spoke."
He met the statement with a cold glare. "Just take care not to forget who is the servant and who is the master. The only trust I have for you arises from my knowledge of both your greed and your fear of me. Greed is something you will never overcome. But should you ever reach a point where your ego outstrips your fear of me, I will have no more trust in you and no further use for you as well. I always dispose of things I have no use for... do I make myself clear?" His contemplative mood had left him feeling somewhat generous. He usually issued no warnings, only consequences.
"Yes, my lord," the man replied with his head still lowered, "your meaning is perfectly clear. I will never forget whom it is I serve."
"Good," he nodded in satisfaction. "Have you finished the writings I asked for?"
"They are nearly finished, my lord," the man said and risked an upward glance, sensing the change in his master’s mood. "If I am allowed to work on them, I will have them completed over the course of a few days."
"You will have the opportunity to finish your work during the march," he said with a stern look. "Bring it to me immediately upon completion. I will need as much time to study it as possible. And you are certain you can give me detailed information concerning the Númenorean Navy and the inner workings of the King’s court?"
"Yes, my lord, I have no doubt as to the thoroughness of my knowledge," the man said with rising confidence. "My family has been on the King’s Council for thousands of years, and I myself sat on it for more than a hundred before leaving Númenor for Middle-earth. With my information, you will have complete knowledge of the King of Númenor and the forces the king has at his disposal, Lord Sauron."
His glance did not soften as he replied, "For your sake, I hope you are correct. Ereinion has been cementing relations with Númenor for centuries now and I have little doubt he will call for their help once this war has begun." His frown deepened with his next words. "What news of Ilmarë? Have you found her?"
The man’s head lowered quickly again, knowing his master’s mood would change once again. "No, my lord, although I am certain now that she is no longer in Lindon. She appears to have left shortly after Celebrimbor’s visit to Gil-galad."
"Then that is another piece of information Celebrimbor will provide for me. Before I am finished with him, he will have told me everything I wish to know." His hands on the balcony rail tightened once more before he released his grip completely. "It is time. Ready the troops and give the order to move out. We leave for Eregion."
With a final stony glance at the man next to him, hurrying to keep up with his long strides, he disappeared into the shadows of the tower. And then he was gone...gone to retrieve the creations that had rekindled his love.
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.