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Arrival of Darkness  by Ellynn

Notes:

A reminder of the setting: "...and Manwλ decreed a feast more glorious than any that had been held since the coming of the Eldar to Aman. (...) In that day the streets of Valmar were empty, and the stairs of Tirion were silent; and all the land lay sleeping in peace." (Silmarillion, Of the Darkening of Valinor)

Huge thanks to Cairistiona for beta-reading and preventing some very stupid mistakes. *hugs*

-x-x-x-

My leaves shine, and Laurelin's do too. The city is bathed by our silver and golden light. Everything is as it should be.

But suddenly, it is not.

The ground starts to shake – in the beginning, so slightly and barely noticeable, that I thought I was imagining it. But it didn't stop, it continued, and I know I am not mistaken. The ground is really shaking.

I am trying to understand. My roots stretch and listens. The shaking continues. If I had to describe it, I'd call it a rhythmical rumbling – as if it was a hammering of heavy steps. As if somewhere far away walks some huge creature – or more than one. As if massive feet hit the ground. Repeatedly.

I notice something else... the pounding is getting stronger.

Why? Who is coming?

Thump. Thump. Thump. Steps. Heavy steps, coming this way.

I'd like to ask someone about it. I'd like to know what it is. But no one is around. The King of Arda organized a feast, more glorious than any that had been held since the coming of the Eldar to Aman. Everyone is there. The city is empty. We are alone.

We've been alone before. But on those occasions, everything was peaceful and right. And this, I feel, is not right. That's why I wish someone was here. Our Mother. Someone else of the Valar. Or Maiar. I wish we could talk. So that they tell us what this is. Because, we don't know. No footsteps have ever sounded like this.

In fact, no one was supposed to pass near the city. Everyone is on Taniquetil. That is why this is even more odd.

Thump. Thump. Thump. The sound of steps is louder.

I'm trying to find an explanation. Maybe this is a migration of animals in the nearest woods. But somewhere deep inside, I know that no animal sounds like this.

The wind shakes my branches and leaves.

What – the wind? How? Until a few moments ago, everything was quiet. And warm. But now, I'm shivering. Suddenly, it is cold.

Mother, is the Lord of the Wind playing some game with the air, up there in the mountain, during your feast? But she is too far away from me, and I am not one of the Valar – I am only a tree. My voice is too weak and I know she cannot hear me. And I so wish she explained... because the Lord of the Wind has never sent a wind like this. This doesn't look like him. It has never been so cold in Valmar. My leaves tremble, my branches grow numb.

The city is nigh... but all the streets are empty. All the houses are silent. No one is here.

What is happening? Laurelin's voice is shaky and low.

I open my spirit to her, and I know how upset she is. I wish I could give her the answer. But I don't understand either, and I am equally upset.

I do not know, I answer.

Thump. Thump. Thump. The ground-shaking is now strong enough that vibrations transfer to my whole body.

And then, in the distance... darkness. At first, only as a small mist on the horizon, but soon, bigger and closer. A black orb swallowing the light, darker than anything that exists. And those menacing steps come from it. What being – or beings – is hidden inside? What kind of creature wields such terrifying power? What force can cause something like this?

I don't like this. Laurelin's voice now sounds even weaker. Can we call someone?

I wish I could comfort her, but watching the darkness grow, I cannot find words. I stretch my spirit to her again, but I do not manage to reply.

The darkness devours everything around it. The air around the black cloud quakes; the shapes are distorted. Gloom swallows everything. Plains. Mountains. Stars. Little by little, one by one... everything disappears.

I am cold.

I wish we could escape. Her words are barely audible. Nobody can hear her but me. Everyone is far, too far away. We are alone.

I, too, would like to hide from this horror... but we cannot escape. We are the Olvar. We were not given the possibility to move.

We've never needed it... no one has thought that we'd ever need it.

The darkness is now so big that it fills almost all my view. The black cloud, dense and opaque, is now in front of us, around us, above us. And now I feel – the power radiating from it is so immense that it can change the whole world. Destroy the whole world.

I am scared, she whispers.

So am I. That is the only comfort I can offer – to tell her that I feel the same. Because I cannot do anything else. I cannot save her. Nor can I save myself.

There is no more light; nothing but darkness remains. There is no more warmth; only the ice reigns. There's no more joy and laughter; only immeasurable malice.

There is no more hope.

Excruciating, overwhelming pain... and then, the world disappears.





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