Promise of Doom, A: 1. Chapter One

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1. Chapter One

Note: Any text that appears in italics is lifted directly from The Silmarillion chapter Of Túrin Turambar. This text does not belong to me, and is included only in an attempt to stay true to the Professor’s world.

This fic was written in honor of Tyellas's birthday (January 22nd, 2003)


Light filters through the bare branches of the trees, the bright beams illuminating the concern and awe on the faces of the woodland folk who stand behind him. Already, the strange power that lies within him - that aura of charisma and tragedy which has attracted so many to his causes – already, that power is at work. These men would fight for him, perhaps even die for him.

But his attention is no longer on these men, whom he bid to lead him hither. He has gone beyond, back to the days when he was newly released from madness, when an elf-maid had loved his companion – and extended her welcome to the dark-haired man who journeyed with him. He remembers that bright dawn, when he had been filled with wonder, wonder that the world still held brightness, wonder at the quiet endurance of his guide, wonder at the compassion of the golden maid who had welcomed them both. He closes his eyes – for all is now lost.

“Tell the Mormegil that Finduilas is here.”

The words hang in the still air, echoing long after the one who uttered them is gone, her body sheltered by the dark earth and her spirit in the Halls of Mandos. Her voice rings in his ears...cries of desperation as her family‘s kingdom fell, the carved stone blackened by cruel flames. Cries which he had ignored, his mind once more a thrall of darkness.

The great eye of the Urulóki swims on his eyelids. Slowly, his sword drops to the ground, the blade shining with the black fire of cold iron. Once more, his head rings with the sharp laughter of Morgoth’s worm. He remembers the cruel laughter, the tales of his family and friends, and even the mocking words of praise.

Lies, all lies, and yet, woven throughout the endless stream of falsehoods, a strand of truth.

“Evil have been all thy ways, son of Húrin. Thankless fosterling, outlaw, slayer of thy friend, thief of love, usurper of Nargothrond, captain foolhardy, and deserter of thy kin.”

His body sways, and several of the men behind him take tentative steps forward. But something stops them, be it premonition or merely the memory of elven voices on the wind. The forest is entirely still, save the dry, shuddering sobs that rack his body. Memories swirl through his mind...of his parents as they were in his youth, proud and defiant...of the court of his foster father, fading into the distance as he fled...of the men he had killed and those whom he had lead in acts of war... of the small creature who had betrayed him... of the dark lands of Angband, and the true friend whose blood had stained his blade...

Agarwaen, son of Úmarth. Bloodstained, Son of ill-fate.

Unconsciously, he raises shaking hands to his eyes. Perhaps he hopes to force his eyelids open, and free his mind from the memories. But memories cannot be contained in such a manner. They flow around him, burning him with their intensity. They fill his mind, a testimony to his sins. He remembers the diminished elf who had guided him and protected him from harm, and freed him from madness. He recalls the hidden kingdom of a Noldorin lord, and the high honors and great victories earned therein. His own voice echoes in his mind, speaking now against the friend who had guided him, casting that noble lord into dishonor. And at last, he recalls the images of the fair maid whose body lies in the mound before him, her gaze filled with a dark love and deep despair.

He falls to his knees. Tears glitter on the ends of his spiked lashes, yet they do not fall. He is still too far away. Now he is in a sheltered glade with a dying warrior, the air around them filled with the foul cries of Orcs and the terrible beauty of elven voices, weeping and calling out in desperation.

“Now if thou love me, leave me! Haste thee to Nargothrond, and save Finduilas. And this last I say to thee: she alone stands between thee and thy doom. If thou fail her, it shall not fail to find thee. Farewell!”

And the body had fallen into his arms, the spirit who had inhabited it fleeing to the Halls of Mandos. Yet his last words had lingered, and he had known that in that moment, the elf lord spoke the truth...

His eyes snap open, and he reaches out to the mound before him. He caresses the green grass and soft white flowers which bloom even in the chill of winter. Haudh–en–Elleth; The Mound of the Elf Maid, and like an elf maid, it retains its’ aura of purity even amidst the bare trees of the forest. He buries his fingers in the damp earth, and for a single moment, he toys with the idea of ripping the mound apart and reclaiming her body, of forcibly dragging her spirit back. He fantasizes for a moment, thinking of the aid she and her people would grant him, of the compassion she would show his mother, and the friendship she would give to the sister he has never known. But once more, his fantasies are shattered by a memory of his companion’s voice, rising cold and clear through the sounds of the battle that raged around them.

“If thou fail her, it shall not fail to find thee. Farewell!”

He closes his eyes. Doom would not fail to find him. He knows it now, and the knowledge floods his spirit with deep despair. A single tear quivers at the edge of an eyelash. It hovers there for an eternity before it finally falls. Its’ descent acts as a secret trigger, and suddenly, he is silently weeping. He remembers another warning, given in good faith.

“The doom lies in yourself, not in your name.”

Darkness takes him then, and his sobs send his body to the ground. He is left with nothing, nothing save the void that exists within himself. Then he is in the void, riding the unending waves of his deep grief, and all is blissfully silent.

...And there he fell down into a darkness of grief that was near death. Then Dorlas by his black sword, the fame whereof had come even into the deeps of Brethil, and by his quest of the King’s daughter, knew that this Wildman was indeed the Mormegil of Nargothrond, whom rumour said was the son of Húrin of Dor-Lómin. Therefore the woodmen lifted him up and bore him away to their homes...

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: Ellipsis

Status: Reviewed

Completion: Complete

Era: 1st Age

Genre: General

Rating: General

Last Updated: 04/03/03

Original Post: 01/16/03

Go to Promise of Doom, A overview


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