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Glamdring's Return  by Calairiel Malromiel


~Arcoa Maril~


Olórin had been riding for what seemed weeks and yet he wasn’t weary and was quite frankly enjoying himself. He could have gotten himself to his destination almost instantly with thought-travel, but what fun was that? He was on his way to the city of Arcoa Maril within Entyaranië, the realm of Fingolfin. When Olórin had first heard the name, he’d thought Crystal Palace was a bit pretentious and didn’t seem to suit Fingolfin at all. But then he thought of its alternate meaning - Glass House - and nearly startled everyone around him with the snort and bark of laughter that had erupted from him. That suited Fingolfin perfectly and he was rather annoyed with himself for not thinking of it in the first place.


He was now traveling because he had in his possession something he wished to return and it was the perfect excuse to visit the city and take stock of this Central Kingdom.


When he saw it in the distance he was quite impressed. White towers jutting up from the green plain gave the city an appearance that reminded him of the Lonely Mountain. He could see it was a vast city from where he was leagues away. And with his keen sight he could even see green vistas dotting the white towers that he knew must be vast if he could see them so clearly from here! Very nice, indeed!


It took him another week to reach the city and when he did he was pleased to note there were no walls, except for aesthetics, and the city appeared to be open and welcoming to all. And there were well paved roads that led to vast farmlands and also looked to intersect the Fornamallë - the Great Northern Road - the road Finrod Felagund had built. That road passed near the Pelori Spur and to the Quartz Mines of the Hyellë Sintamo.


When he entered the city he was greeted by the denizens there and soon enough elves wearing livery approached and asked his destination. When he declared his intention to find Turgon they bid him to follow and they led him to one of the towers. There they took charge of his steed and then led him not to the tower, itself, but to the palace adjacent to it and at the top of an impressive set of steps. The upper floors had marble arches connecting to the tower that he could see were actually bridges - elevated pathways that led to the tower. Obviously the tower had a function that served the palace.


More liveried elves opened the doors and led him inside where he was shown to rooms where he could refresh himself. When he emerged he was informed that Lord Turgon was away from the city and visiting the coastal realm of Lord Finarfin. He was also informed the Lady Elenwë was indisposed and could not meet with him.


“Will he be gone long?” Olórin asked, knowing he wouldn’t have been housed here if Turgon would be gone for months.


“No, my lord. They are expected back any day now. We don’t have an exact timetable, but know it is soon as it is the new moon of Ellairë.” the house elf said.


They? hmmm


“Thank you my good ellon. I think I’ll take a look around this marvelous city while I wait. Do you have any suggestions?”


“That would depend on your interest, my lord. For myself, I prefer the green places within the city. While there are many public gardens within the city, there is a very large central one that is the closest thing to the Gardens of Lórien in these parts.” the ellon smiled.


“That sounds very nice. Thank you!” Olórin smiled, and excusing himself, left to explore the city for a bit.




Olórin was walking about and enjoying himself immensely. There were outdoor venders and stalls with many fresh fruits, breads, dried fish and all manner of delicacies. He was nibbling on pastry filled with nuts, raisins and apples when a shadow passed overhead. And when Olórin looked up expecting a cloud or eagle of Manwë, what he saw almost made him choke! It was a ship - in the sky. A flying ship! And it looked like it was coming down - not crashing down, but gently lowering and Olórin hurried through the city as it looked like it was going to land in the grassy meadow beside the city. 


By the time Olórin reached the meadow the airship - for that is what it was - had landed and Olórin got a good look at it. It did, indeed appear to be a ship! One of the swan ships, though it looked smaller and lighter than the full carrier ships of the Falmari. This one looked to be more like the swan skiffs that the Galadhrim had in Lothlórien. Deep, with high sides and able to carry a dozen elves at a time, this one was kitted out with sails attached by booms on either side as though to steer it on air currents. But the most interesting part was the frame attached to the skiff with a large metal ring above it and above that was what appeared to be an enormous balloon shaped rather like a beehive and attached to the ring by the largest net he’d ever seen!


And then an ellon lowered heavy anchors on both sides and then jumped out of the skiff and began tying the ship down to large posts he saw staked deeply into the ground. And as he got closer he wasn’t surprised at all by who it was crazy enough to not only build such a contraption, but also pilot it himself!


“Fëanáro Finwion! What in the world have you done!”




“Oh! Hello, Olórin. What do you think? Do you like her?”




“Yes! The Falmari name their ships in the feminine and call them her. So I followed suit. I call her Wilyatári!”


“Sky Mistress? That’s rather nice, actually. But what are you doing here?”


“I’m testing her, what else?”


“Yes, I can see that! But why? Why here?”


“Because Nerdanel won’t let me do it at home. She said she won’t watch me break my damned fool neck. So I came here. Ñolo won’t stop me. In fact he encouraged me.”


“Of course he did!” and then, crooking an eye at the ellon, he said accusingly, “This is because of Vingilótë, isn’t it?


Looking surprised, Fëanor said, “That’s a silly question. Of course it is.” and then, “Do you want a ride?”


Olórin opened his mouth to reply and was surprised himself by what came out! “Yes. Yes, I do!”


~Sailing in the Skyship~


“This is marvelous, Fëanáro. But have you sent word to Eärendil and Tuor? Perhaps they would enjoy your wonderful invention.”


“I did. They are not interested. They are rebuilding Vingilótë with Círdan and will remain on Tol Kimbalaer. Even being lost at sea didn’t slack the sea longing in the breast of Tuor and his son missed it dreadfully, even with the wonder of sailing the Ilmen.”


“I suppose I can understand that. I imagine they will both turn to a livelihood either fishing or perhaps a ferry service to the mainland. It would be easiest on their wives, I imagine.”


“Perhaps both. They can do whatever they want now. But what brings you here, Olórin? I cant think of any just in cases that would bring you here.”


“Something has been in my possession for several seasons that I thought should be returned to its owner. Plus it gave me an excuse to come and see this city for myself.” he smiled, enjoying the bird’s eye view of the city. He could have seen it from this height had he chosen to travel unhoused, discarding his Fana, but he found being able to see it with a body was much different and he was loving the novelty of it all.


“Can you tell me what it is?” Fëanor asked, adding, “Or should I not ask.”


“You can ask and I see no reason not to tell you. A number of weapons forged in the First Age were found in a troll cave in the Third Age. I have no idea how they came to be there, of all places, but there they were, all the same. Most are still there - in Endor - but Glamdring I took for my own during that time and I have decided it should return to the hand of he who first wielded it. For it is the personal sword of Turgon when he was King of Gondolin, ere he fell defending it from Morgoth when its destruction came.”


Fëanor was silent a moment before speaking and Olórin was surprised by his response, “I’m not sure he would be happy to get it back. Right now he is in Núnaranië to fetch his daughter and bring her here for a visit. A weapon of war may not have a place in the world we are trying to build here.”


Olórin was silent a moment, before saying, “Perhaps. But it is his sword and he can do with it what he will. But I will tell him of its deeds since he last used it and I wish him to know it helped to secure the peace at long last in Endor against the same enemy he fought in the First.”


“That may please him, then. And perhaps I am still affected by my own experience in that cursed land. To me it was dark and cold and I really couldn’t understand how anyone survived there. How did fruit ripen on trees that never saw the light?”


“The Ents were there and I suspect they had everything to do with that. It has caused me both sorrow and joy to know they are all here now and none are left in the world of men. But I suspect men would not welcome their presence there now. Any people who couldn’t see the benefit and joy of Hobbits in their midst wouldn’t appreciate Beings such as the Onyalie, either.”


“I have never met any men besides Tuor and I’m not sure he counts anymore.” 


“He counts. He spent his life as a man and was only recently made aware he’d been changed. If you wish to know of men he would be a worthy man to ask. Though he has the life of the Eldar now, he still thinks as a man and it will be Ages before it occurs to him to think differently.” Olórin smiled as Fëanor snorted with laughter. 


He continued, “You know, I make light of him, but he is valiant and made more of his opportunities than his cousin did. Túrin, though a refugee, had many advantages his cousin did not. Yet Túrin squandered those blessings and came to a messy ending and I don’t believe it was the curse of Morgoth who caused him to make the choices he did. Pride did. Tuor was enslaved as a youth and yet he cherished the blessings he received and was rewarded for his choices. I believe we have nothing in this world if we don’t have the freedom to make choices in our lives.”


“You’re a strange one, you know that. I’ve never heard one of your Order making such statements. Rather, they speak of obedience from us. And if we don’t fall into line with that obedience then we are accused of defiance. I’m not sure they understand that even golden chains tend to feel constraining.”


“There are many more that are even further along than Aiwendil and I. Many of my Order who never came to Aman. Never took on a Fana. They still travel Arda relishing in their freedom and I believe most effect goodness in the world. I have felt their influence there at times.” Olórin mused, and then, “But what of you, son of Finwë? Do you still feel constrained in this new life?”


And spreading his hands to indicate their current circumstance, Fëanor grinned saying, “Nay. Not so much. At first I resented not being allowed to return in triumph to Tirion. But Tirion is the past and I’m enjoying the freedom I’m afforded out here in the wilds! My brother had the right of it when he ripped open these lands and settled them. Built us all places to thrive though he believed we had to be separated to succeed.”


“You don’t believe you need to be separate to succeed?”


“I believe Ara was right - in the beginning. We needed to be away from each other to find ourselves. But I also believe it has taken much less time than he supposed for us to achieve our own identity. And Ñolo keeps proving we can achieve just about anything if we work together. Now the distance, even with the Palantiri, is just too great for my liking. That is another reason I made this airship. I had hoped to be secure in them enough to cut down on the travel time it takes to get from one of our realms to the others. And as mine is in the mountains I’m not unaware that it would be too difficult during the Winter snows. But with these it would be a moot point.”


“I see. That is a worthy endeavor, indeed!” Olórin exclaimed in approval, and then, “The only disadvantage I can see affecting these would be strong winds. You’ll have to think of something to overcome that. Otherwise, you’ll run into difficulties.”


“Do you have any suggestions?”


“Maybe…” the maia grinned.                


~Fornamallë - The Great Northern Road~


Turgon had enjoyed his time in his uncle’s city of Váyamarilla. It was, indeed, the Pearl of the Sea! And he’d been delighted when he saw his daughter step off ship into his welcoming embrace. She’d been disappointed her emil wasn’t there to greet her, as well, but understood once Turgon explained Elenwë was heavy with child and couldn’t risk the travel, even though the road was a smooth one.


They’d stayed a couple of months exploring, visiting and enjoying everything this seaside city had to offer before they finally bid their kin farewell and began the journey back to Entyaranië and Arcoa Maril. Idril, who had loved her uncle’s seaside realm, gasped in astonishment and delight when she saw Arcoa Maril for the first time.


“Oh atta! It’s beautiful! It rises as a white and gleaming mountain out of the plains.”


“Aye! That it does! And it was the same who built Váyamarilla who built this. And they also started by gutting Formenos and turning it into a jewel within the Pelori. It was because Uncle Ara saw their genius that he sent them here and on to the coast. And he made sure they all took our personal traits and needs uppermost in mind when designing these realms. I think none could gainsay he did a fine job.”


“Indeed, atta!” and then seeing something large sailing above the city, she asked, “Atta? What is that?”


“Ah! He got it up!” and grinning at his daughter, said conspiratorially, “You know, I didn’t think he had a chance in Angband to get that thing into the air. But he did it!” he concluded, laughing merrily. And then noticing his daughter’s arch look, explained, “That, daughter, is your Uncle Fëanáro and his latest folly! He calls it an airship, I believe. And you, more than most, should understand how sailing upon Vingilótë must have affected him.” 


“But why? For what purpose could he possibly have just to rise in the air?”


“He wishes to use it as a transportation option. He thinks it will cut down travel time by traveling through the air and avoiding ground hazards and the frequent stops needed to rest and feed our horses.” Turgon said.


“ know, I can see how that would work. And Oh! Imagine using it to fly across the sea! For those who suffer the seasickness that would solve it all for them.” Idril said in approval.


“You know, I doubt that occurred to him, but that would help him to visit the outer islands with ease. I know Celegorm and the Ambarussa are still on Tol Kimbalaer and may be there for years. If he could visit them he probably wouldn’t miss them so much.”


“I hope they find what they are looking for.” 


“What do you mean, daughter?” 


“I mean they aren’t there for some misguided thought of recompense for their misdeeds. They are there looking for themselves. They were ever outliers of their family. Never finding a true purpose.”


“Well, Celegorm enjoyed the hunt.” Turgon said, frowning in thought.


“As a sport, atar. Not as a lifepath. And I’ll bet he’s lost his taste for it since he had to depend on it for sustenance rather than just a pastime.”


"Perhaps you are right. Well, I hope they find what they seek, as well.”


~Returned Property~


When word came that Turgon and his daughter had returned to the city, Olórin gave the former king a day or two before he descended on him.


When word came that Lord Turgon would see him he grabbed up the sword and followed the Page to his private chambers. No formal court for this lord and Olórin approved. He actually liked how all these kings had given up any titles to king that had so consumed them in their youth. Even the Sindar had done the same and without any prompting. As far as they were concerned they put in their time and were retired now.


Once inside he awaited Turgon’s arrival and found a very pregnant Elenwë wheeling out a tea cart.


“A good day to you, my lady. I see you are going to welcome a son soon. I share your joy.” the maia said, bowing and smiling gamely.


Elenwë grinned and indicated the former wizard should take a seat before she handed him a cuppa. “Indeed, my lord. Turgon is quite excited and I’m pleased to see my daughter and know she will stay until after the birth.” and then nodding her head, excused herself, with a, “Turgon will be with you in just a moment.” and left him to look about the drawing room on his own.


He noted it was tastefully decorated with all the love and care one would expect from a noble house. But this was a home - not a show place - and he also noted there was not a single tapestry, painting nor any indication that Gondolin had ever existed. And for the first time he questioned his decision to bring the sword.


But no! This was the King of Gondolin’s sword and he deserved to know how it had helped to win the peace in Middle Earth once and for all!


He only had a moment to himself before the door opened again and Turgon himself entered the room and by the look on his face, Olórin knew the Noldo knew what he’d brought. He’d felt the spells and the power in the sword and could have kicked himself. He could have dampened the spells so it wouldn’t broadcast itself to its former owner, but it was too late for that now.


“Greetings, Lord Turgon. I am called Olórin and I spent a sojourn in Endor when I came across something that once belonged to you.” and he unwrapped the sword and held it laying across his open hands and offering it up to its former owner.


“Keep it. I don’t want it.” Turgon said flatly.


“Don’t you want to know how I came by it? Or that I used to to aid the free peoples of Middle Earth?”


“No! I don’t. And it sounds like you are now the proud owner of said sword. Take it with my blessings.” he said and turned on his heel and left the room, leaving Olórin stunned.


Regardless, the maia left the sword on a table and left the former king’s chambers. Maybe he would change his mind and maybe the sword would end on in a trash heap. It was no longer his concern. He’d done what he set out to do and now he would leave the city with a clear conscience.


He went back to his rooms, packed up such belongings as he wished to take and disappeared leaving the city and going back to the Gardens of Lórien. This time not for the sake of others, but for himself.




“So…..I hear Glamdring has returned to us. Are you well, my son?” Ecthelion asked. He’d heard the whole tale from Turgon himself, who wasn’t pleased the maia had left it after he’d told him to keep it. Word spread from there - a consequence of having pages and other helper elves who insisted their lords needed looking after.


“Aye, atar. Don’t fret. Yes - recalling my death in Gondolin isn’t pleasant, but I am hardly the only one to have such a memory.” Glorfindel said looking pointedly at his father.


“Yes, but you’d escaped with the others. It must have been bitter to die when freedom was so close. But I’m glad you were able to go back and get some satisfactory closure of the place. If nothing else you can take pride in the fact that you helped to make it a safer world before you left of your own free will this time around.” Ecthelion smiled.


“I will never understand why they chose me to return to Endor when you, atar, slew four of the foul beasties.” Glorfindel said.


“Ah, well, I figure that is because you are prettier than your old atar.” Ecthelion smirked, adding, “Lucky that you take after your lovely emil. You do stand out like the Beacon of Mindon Eldaliéva, you know.” he said referring to his son’s resemblance to his wife, Lalwen, Fingolfin’s sister.


“So everyone tells me, But for deeds accomplished, mine was the least of many who did greater than I.”


“Don’t sell yourself short, my son. Your bravery in battle was never in doubt. But, you know, I find I much more value you for your appreciation of music and natural beauty. You are an outlier among our people and I admire that about you.” and then added, “So what will become of the king’s sword?”


“Turgon tried to give it to me - I refused. I suggested it be put in the armory with the rest of those relics.” he sighed. Ironically, the armory was in actuality a large storeroom where they housed such items from Endor that they didn’t feel quite easy in destroying, but really didn’t know what else to do with.


“We should store them in a more proper place. Create a museum to display them with a plaque giving the name and history of each item and what part they played out in the world. We may not wish to indulge in reminiscing about the past right away, but I believe there will come a time when people should have a place to view these things…..and remember!” Ecthelion mused.


“You know, atta? That is a very good idea! We should approach King Ñolofinwë and get permission. Maybe we can build it in the Central Park!” Glorfindel said with growing excitement, liking the idea.


“You know your Uncle Ñolo doesn’t like being called king!” his father grinned.


“I know. But let’s face it - he is whether he likes being called that or not!” Glorfindel grinned.



Twenty years later, Olórin returned and was pleased to see at least six of the skyships of Fëanor in the air, coming and going about their business which was becoming the talk of the land. It was said that even Círdan had ordered five of the ships and was quite excited about them.


But he had another purpose for his visit and walking through the Central Park within the city he spied Turgon waiting outside a beautiful building in the corner of the garden park. When Turgon saw him, his face broke out in a warm smile and he waved to the maia in welcome.


“Hail and welcome, my lord, Olórin. Thank you for coming!” Turgon grinned, “Come and see what your last visit set into motion.” he added, holding the door open for the former wizard.


“Greetings, Lord Turgon! You look much more chipper this time. How is your young son faring?”


“A handful, of course. He is at the age where he wants to explore everything and doesn’t understand that he’s not quite as big as he thinks he is.” the proud father grinned.


“And what is he called, if I may ask?”


“He is called Aranion.”


“Ah! A fine name and it sounds like you’re expecting a bright future from now on. That is well after all this time.”


“Yes, now come and see our museum. People have brought out all the dusty and musty trinkets from Ages long past.” Turgon smiled.


“A fine idea for such items. Better to be looked at by those who will never know the dread of having to use them.”


“Indeed, yes!”




Núnaranië - Western Kingdom (Finarfin's Realm)
Entyaranië - Central Kingdom (Fingolfin's Realm)
Rónaranië - Eastern Kingdom (Fëanor’s Realm)
Fornamallë - The Great Northern Road
Hyellë Sintamo - Glass Smiths
Ellairë - 1st of June
Wilyatári - Sky Mistress
Fana - Physical body of the Ainur
Onyalie - Quenya word for Ent
Váyamarilla - Pearl of the Sea (Finarfin's City)
Atar/atta - Father/dad
Emil/emmë - Mother/mom
Mindon Eldaliéva - The Tower of Ingwë in Tirion



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