1. Sea Song
The waters shimmered under the infant light of Rána the Wayward next to the Ered Wethrin rising like shadows in the night. A roaring fire beckoned all to gather near the Pools of Ivrin for a great host of elves gathered for Mereth Aderthad, the Feast of Reuniting. The elves, there summoned by Fingolfin the Strong, High King of the Noldor, were from all the clans- from the three Houses of the Noldor, the wandering elves of Beleriand, the Falathrim, and the Green Elves. From Doriath and the people of Thingol there were but two, but it was a joyful time of reuniting nonetheless.
The verdant lands at the foot of the Mountains of Shadow were filled with the activity of the many encampments.
Findekáno sat by his father, Ñolofinwë, now known as Fingolfin in the lands of endor drinking a sweet ale made of grain, gifted by the Green Elves of Ossiriand.
"I think I could get used to this atto [father]," Findekáno announced, in between mouthfuls of the sweet ale. The Noldor exiles spoke mostly in Sindarin, great their desire to find common ground with their kin that remained in endor, though words here and there of their mother tongue remained favoured amongst the exiles.
Fingolfin chuckled, "Yonya [my son]! Indeed you could but let us not rush to that end."
Findekáno laughed in return, raising his mug of ale to the Laegelrim in their company, eliciting hearty roars of approval from the elves gathered.
"Slow down Astaldo," Fingolfin urged, using Findekáno's mother name, an indication of the informality of the present gathering.
"I must disagree atto, we need to speed things up!" Findekáno proclaimed. "Hanno, brother, do you not agree?" he added, noticing his brother was falling into a dark mood.
Turukáno simply looked up at his brother whose countenance wore the opposite emotions of his. Where Turukáno was serious and brooding, careful and reserved, Findekáno was bright and open, bold and charismatic. Turukáno hadn't always been as closed and serious, still it was his nature to be reserved. Loosing his wife to the Grinding Ice was more than he could bear, though he went forward for his daughter, for his father, indeed for his people. He was not the only one who had lost. Too many of Fingolfin's host were lost to the icy wastelands the Noldor crossed to reach Middle Earth.
Turukáno could not bear it. Across from him sat those he could not, no those he would not forgive- Maedhros and Maglor, sons of Fëanor, his father's half-brother. Turukáno principally held the House of Fëanor responsible for his wife's death, though he, his father and his kin also made choices that led to the many tragedies-- the Doom of the Noldor.
"Hanno," Findekáno whispered, leaning against his brother. "Some here might not see your displeasure for what it is for. I know it and understand it, but some might think you are unhappy with the coming together of the Clans."
Turukáno grumbled, knowing his brother's assessment was true. He had little choice in the matter. "Then give me a flagon of ale hanno for I need some of what you claim is so good."
Before he finished speaking Findekáno had slapped a mug of the sweet ale into his brother's hand, spilling some of the ale onto Turukáno. Findekáno grinned at his brother as Turukáno made a great show of wiping the ale off of his tunic.
Fingolfin quietly watched the scene, offering Findekáno a nod of thanks. He received a wink and grin from his eldest son. Findekáno whispered something into Turukáno's ear that caused the latter to spit out his ale in a fit of laughter. Findekáno was always sensitive of those around him, attuned to their needs. Indeed he was beloved by all who met him. Turukáno, on the other hand, though beloved, was also feared for some mistook his quiet nature as a sign of arrogance. That could be furthest from the truth. Both of Fingolfin's son's were fiercely loyal and brave, putting the needs of those around them first. Yet Fingolfin worried the most for his eldest son. Unlike Turukáno, Findekáno was bold and rash, a soul of fire.
A group of Laegelrim near Fingolfin, dressed in their characteristic green, broke into an impromptu song, interrupting the High King's thoughts. At first a single melancholy voice raised a melody calling for those around them to come listen to a tale of love and journeys. Another of the Laegelrim brought out a strange harp like instrument not familiar to the host of the Noldor, strumming casually as the vocalist continued to call for those near to join and hear the telling of the story she was sharing.
One of the Green elves sitting in the company of Fingolfin pulled out a drum he had been sitting on and began to thump a rhythm to the song. Other Laegelrim pulled out instruments or began tapping their legs with their hands, accompanying the drummer, raising their voices in what was turning into a spirited tune.
The song was infectious. Elves in robes of green and browns were dancing taking up partners from all the Clans present. To Fingolfin's surprise many of the Wandering elves began disrobing in a manner that suggested their more formal attire was only ceremonial. Soon other elves from the Clans that did not make the Journey were doing the same.
A lovely Laegil maiden, dressed in what to Fingolfin's eyes was very little, took a smiling Findekáno by the hand. Findekáno did not hesitate, springing up to join the merry dancing. Another maiden approached Findekáno from behind, grabbing his tunic and indicating he should remove it. Findekáno gifted the maiden with a bright smile, raising his arms up, indicating he would prefer her to do the job.
The maiden laughed, slipping the tunic off of the Noldo. The other maiden he was dancing with took the now bare-chested Findekáno, spinning him around the fire, showing him the complicated moves to the fiery dance.
Turukáno was carefully studying the markings many of the elves of the Clans that did not Journey had on their skin. When he had first seen them he hadn't conceived of such types of bodily adornment, but it was favored by the Elves of endor. He laughed to himself, knowing soon enough Findekáno would bear one of these strange runes. He knew that they were not lightly given, yet whatever the task or feat needed to earn these marking, his brother would most certainly seek it out. Turukáno offered up a prayer, thanking the Powers that he was born second. While a Lord in his own right he did not aspire to bring the Clans together, a task Findekáno as Fingolfin's eldest was given. Turukáno only wanted to cultivate a space for himself, for his daughter, and those loyal to him.
In Vinyamar, the settlement he built in the first years of the First Age, Turukáno had accomplished this. Vinyamar's relative isolation allowed Turukáno to devote himself to kurwë, the technical and inventive aspect of what Noldoran's valued in the realm of knowledge. He was singularly driven in this aspect. In this way he tried to overcome the great grief that consumed him.
The elves gathered knew not to ask Turukáno to join for he mourned for his wife. Findekáno had quickly and quietly indicated as much when he first started dancing with the group of merry elves. The Journeyless Clans respected the period of mourning and thus Turukáno was left to watch and drink ale, sitting next to his father. Though Fingolfin would not sit for long. At the urging of some of the Laegelrim Fingolfin joined the merry-making, drinking the heady ale.
As was appropriate of his station as High King and an elf bonded—though Anairë had chosen to stay in Aman, not making the brutal journal across Helcaraxë—Fingolfin excused himself, returning to his encampment. He was feeling light headed. The sweet ale had poured too freely. The sons of Fëanor had earlier departed, Maedhros was still not fully well, though he noticed how Findekáno came to Maitimo, helping him up, making sure he was well. Maitimo waved him off, urging him to go back to the feasting. He had whispered something to Findekáno that elicited a wicked grin from his son. Fingolfin could only imagine what Maitimo had told his son. Those two had been quite the nightmare in Aman. It saddened him, though, that they no longer possessed that carefree spirit.
As he departed the roaring fire and feasting elves, he paused turning to look towards his sons. Turukáno was in deep conversation with one of the Mithrim. Fingolfin recognized the man as one of the elves that pledged a group of his people to move to Vinyamar. He smiled contentedly. Turukáno wove a spell over those who listened to him speak of his desires to perfect Vanyamar. The many wondrous engineering feats he described seemed beyond the reach of many to build. Though Turukáno's skill was not only in his designs but in the raising of these ideas into stone. Fingolfin chided himself, he must remember to use Turukáno's endorin name, Turgon, as well as Findekáno's endorin name, Fingon.
"Where is Fingon?" the High King pondered. He could not see his tall dark-haired son amongst the bodies that danced to the merry tunes of the elven minstrels. Indeed he was hard to miss. His sons and his daughter took after Fingolfin. After all, "Fingolfin was his father's son: tall, dark and proud", with "brilliant grey blue eyes" .
Fingolfin sighed, narrowing his eyes, scanning the scene, but not even his keen elven eyesight could reveal the whereabouts of Fingon. But then from beyond the fire he saw his dark form approach the revelers trailing discretely behind a pretty Falathrim maiden. Fingolfin shook his head in consternation, at least his son had the wherewithal to consider appearances. As Fingolfin was about to turn back on his path, he saw Fingon boldly pick up the young maiden, flipping her onto his shoulders, spinning her wildly around the fire, amidst the revelers. So much for appearances, Fingolfin thought to himself.
The elleth shrieked in delight, eliciting laughter and cheers from the gathered elves. Soon the minstrels struck up a slower tune, but the voices that sang were full of mirth and innuendo. Suggestive dances were taken up, it seems inspired by his son's bold character.
His father's instinct led him to search Turgon amidst the mass of bodies that were swaying under the stars. Fingolfin's heart fell a little as he spotted his son, his mouth set in a grim line. But something unexpected happened. His Mithrim companion, Herenion—Fingolfin remembered his name—stood up, offering Turgon his hand, gesturing they leave the revelers. Turgon gladly took the Grey elf's hand and soon the two were walking towards Fingolfin's encampment.
Fingolfin turned to head back to sleep, more at ease now that his son's were accounted for. Well at least he knew where Fingon was at this moment, Fingon the bold. From behind him he heard Turgon call for him, his new friend at his side.
Fingolfin paused. Turgon and Herenion quickly caught up to the High King as a new song drifted to the trio from the roaring fire. Turgon grunted, "My brother will certainly put our relations with the Clans to the test."
Herenion was about to let out a loud snort, but decided it probably would not be appropriate to laugh at the Noldo King's son, but he was surprised to hear the tall King's warm, deep laughter.
Fingolfin clasped the two elves on the shoulders, adding, "Fingon the Valiant!"
The trio laughed as they disappeared into the tents of Fingolfin's encampment.
A group of Falathrim minstrels brought out their instruments relieving the troupe of Laegelrim minstrels. The elves of Falas sang songs born of the shores, of the ocean, of the waves and mists of water. The ethereal voice sang a song of lovers, the instruments evoked the sounds of the ocean, the crash of the waves on shores, drums evoking a hypnotic beat.
Fingon had lowered the maiden to the floor, unsure how to dance the strange melody. It was nothing like the songs and dances of Aman. He turned to look at the elves swaying around him, holding each other closely, moving to the rhythm of the minstrels.
"Come," the maiden named Syalm? whispered, taking Fingon by the hand, bringing him close to her.
Fingon did not hesitate, in turn bringing Syalm? up against him. She placed his hands on her hips, her hands over his, urging him to feel the movement of her body, using her body to lead him in the dance of the waves.
It is a song of the waves, a song of the waves under the moon.
The waves they sway like the hips of a maiden, retreating, surging, always in motion,
Yet you stand there under a spell, like Thingol full of devotion.
Come feel the rhythm of the waves,
Come feel the rhythm of the waves,
Wet your feet, come hither, deeper into the waves,
Child of the stars, lover of the water, oh be brave.
Feel how they close around you moving you to their measure,
Dive into the ocean, be not afraid for there is only pleasure.
Only the song of the waves, a song of the waves under the moon.
Fingon was loosing himself in the feel of the maiden pressed up tightly against him, their bodies moving, bending, swaying in the dance of lovers.
The maiden of Falas, born of the sea, looked up at her strange and exotic lover, so tall and dark, eyes a bright blue grey like she had never seen, staring down at her hungrily, piercing her with their open desire. She could feel the move of his muscles under his broad back, her hands pressing him closer to her, the feel of his desire large against her.
"I will plunge into your darkness my maiden of the sea," Fingon whispered hungrily into her ear.
She was surprised again by this Lord. She had not taken the Noldor and their kind to be so bold. They seemed so cold and kingly, living still in the glories of cities of stone far away from the pulse of endor. But this spirit, he was fire, rapacious but gentle in his desire.
"Or do you intend to drive me mad, silver maiden of the ocean?" Fingon repeated, confident in his conquest.
"Deep, deep down to the depths of the ocean we shall go and there you shall drown, my lord of fire," Syalm? replied, knowing that the moment she saw Findekáno he would be hers.
Rána, the Wayward- The moon (Quenya)
Falathrim-Shoreland people of Falas, people of Círdan the Shipwright
Syalm? -literally means seashell, archaic form [primitive quendian-the proto language of the elves]
From: The Peoples of Middle-earth (HoMe 12), Last Writings, 'The Shibboleth of Feanor'