Stories of Arda Home Page
About Us News Resources Login Become a member Help Search

Time For Another Jailbreak!  by Calairiel Malromiel

Of Eärendil and Elwing


Manwë gave judgement, and he said: 'In this matter the power of doom is given to me. The peril that he ventured for love of the Two Kindreds shall not fall upon Eärendil, nor shall it fall upon Elwing his wife, who entered into peril for love of him; but they shall not walk again ever among Elves or Men in the Outer Lands. And this is my decree concerning them: to Eärendil and to Elwing, and to their sons, shall be given leave each to choose freely to which kindred their fates shall be joined, and under which kindred they shall be judged.' Quenta Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien


Eärendil and Elwing had been prisoners of the Tower of Pearl for over Two Ages. Eärendil for twelve hours a day and she for nearly the entire time save when she’d be granted the ability to change into a sea bird and able to fly free to go and meet her husband as he broke through the Ilmen to berth Vingilótë at dawn. 


Had they known that this would be their fate they both would have chosen the Gift of Man. For a short span in captivity would have at least had the hope of release through death. 


When they’d first come, hope shining in their breasts that they’d been allowed to find the Blessed Realm, Eärendil had gone to face the wrath of the Valar to beseech them for deliverance from the monster that was Morgoth. 


Elwing had gone to Alqualondë to tell those who were her kin of the plight of their people - those teleri who had not made the voyage and had stayed with Elwë. And for those who were known as the Greenelves. Kin of the Teleri as well, who had finally made the trek over the Hithaeglir and the Ered Luin only to be met with ruin from the forces of Morgoth. Her arguments swayed them for the sake of their kin when many would have argued against her, thinking she came to beg their aid for the Noldor.


When Eärendil rejoined her to await the decision of the Valar they had been informed they and their sons would be given the choice of choosing to be counted as eldar or edain. Thinking of her grandmother and the pain her choice had caused her family, Elwind chose to be counted as eldar and her husband chose the same for her sake.


Then Eärendil had gone with them to war and they had given him charge of the silmaril and had enchanted his ship so that it could fly. Eärendil had performed valiantly, even killing the greatest weapon of the dark vala. And when they’d returned in victory Manwë proclaimed his final judgement on them. That they’d be placed within a tower, the turret of which would be where the air of Arda touched the ilmen - the place where the stars of Varda were placed - and from there Eärendil would sail his ship every night to become the star, Gil-Estel. The Star of Hope.


At first they didn’t understand what this actually meant. They understood that they would not be allowed to go back to Beleriand - which was no more. They understood they wouldn’t be able to see friends and family again, but they assumed that the outer lands had meant Beleriand. They hadn’t thought the outer lands also meant Aman, Tol Eressëa and Alqualondë. All these were evidently meant as the outer lands. They were to be cut off from every living soul they ever knew with no hope of ever seeing their family. Neither parents nor their sons.


They settled into their new life still with some hope. They had each other and Eärendil actually enjoyed sailing through the Ilmen. Elwing cared for the sea birds that came to their tower. She learned their language and even was granted the shapeshifting ability given her by Ulmo. And she’d fly up to meet her husband and they were content for a time. 


They were safe and there was no war here and for a while that was enough. In fact the first couple of millennia had passed and it was still enough. But when the novelty wore off, then time began to weigh upon them and they’d slowly become disheartened. Was this it? Was this their lot in life - forever? And then in a fit of boredom, Elwing had flown down to the base of their tower. It was smooth and of pearl that shimmered in the light of Anar, Ithil and even the stars. 


All around the base of the tower were thorny brambles and various flowering plants that she soon learned all produced a fragrance that brought on weariness. And if one wasn’t careful - sleep. She did her best to make quick trips in her seabird form. It took a while but she eventually found a single window and hovered on the breeze as long as she dared. But it was long enough.


That evening she told her husband what she’d seen. And then she’d shown him what she’d seen - his parents had been below them at the base of this monumentally tall tower the entire time. Sleeping! How could they? It was just too cruel. It was then that they’d given up all hope.


~Aboard the Kalaventë~


Fëanor hated ships and he hated the sea - and it hated him right back. The voyage of the Kalaventë was uneventful. They didn’t have far to go and they didn’t run up against rough waters, fogs or reefs that would hinder them. But his seasickness, even on calm waters, was miserable and all he wanted was to die. Being dead was infinitely better than how he felt right now. Barring his eminent death, he was seriously thinking of how he could poison his brother so he’d feel just as bad as he did. That this was Ñolo’s fault wasn’t even up for debate.


But then Ñolo was beside him and pressed something into his mouth and through his haze he heard his brother telling him to chew it. Ginger! He hated ginger and tried to spit it out, but Fingolfin not only forced him to swallow it, but gave him even more before making him drink some miruvórë. And strangely, it helped! His stomach stopped roiling, his head stopped its spinning and his vision cleared. And then he hugged his bestest brother in the whole world, gasping, “thank you!” over and over again. In that moment the sun rose and set on his brother.


Fingolfin hugged him back and said, “I remembered the last time we were aboard ship and I’m sorry I didn’t get it to you sooner. But I was told it’s not a preventative. I had to wait until you succumbed.”


Now that he felt better, Fëanor leaned against the rail and pouted, saying, “You could have at least told me.”


Grinning, Fingolfin said, “Yeah, I could have. Except I know how much you hate ginger and you would have resisted me. You not knowing it was coming was the easiest way to get it into you.”


Now feeling perfectly fit and hale, Fëanor said, “It’s irritating to know that the only way you felt you could help me was to treat me as a child. But I do thank you, Ñolo.” then sighing, added, “But did it have to be ginger?”


“According to Círdan’s Falathrim and Círdan, himself - yes. And I did ask.”



"They are talking to birds again!” Fëanor frowned.




“What do you mean, good?”


“I mean, precisely, that! If they’re chatting with birds they might pick up news of this tower we seek?”


“But I thought the shipwright knew its location.”


“It tends to move, apparently.”


Fëanor dropped his head in his hand, saying, “There is something wrong with these creatures!”


Knowing what creatures he was referring to, Fingolfin dismissed it by saying, “You know, Náro, you seem to have backslidden a bit since our last meeting.”


Peeking through his fingers, Fëanor glared at his brother and said, “I pray thee, do tell.” and felt some small satisfaction when he saw his brother flinch. Then felt ashamed for the petty feeling. Egad! He was slipping!


Fingolfin, though, took this as a good teaching moment, “Ew! No one talks like that anymore, Náro. That is so ten millennia ago! People will begin to think you’re a stuffy old coot!” and when his brother’s beautiful and youthful face lifted to look incredulously at him, he sent images of several ancient men at him to show him what an old man looked like and his brother recoiled in horror.


Then Fingolfin threw his arm around his brother’s shoulders and said, “Now look at those ellyn. They are kin. Three generations right in that little group. And in the veins of the youngest runs every royal bloodline of both elves and men. And a maia who taught birds to sing. Looking at them chatting with birds brings me joy, Náro and it should to you too. Forget atar’s court and all the rules that went with it. We are free of it. We should be as the children of Enel.”


“We are the children of Tata. Are you ashamed of that?”


“No, I’m not. But I notice Tata doesn’t reside with us. And besides Elwë’s people, no Teleri are even living on the mainland of Aman. They prefer the outskirts. Even that Sinda Elvenking is content to build a new realm with mortals rather than step foot in Aman and I find I rather envy that.” and smiling at his brother, added, “We are elves, Náro, and all the other races think us silly and frivolous. No, don’t look at me like that. I have no idea why they’d think that considering they saw us mostly in war and strife. Yet they saw something in us they found lighthearted and I think we should embrace it. They do.” he said, indicating the scions of Lúthien.


“I’ve just been trying so hard to be... good. I’m afraid of turning back into that thing I’d become.”


“That was grief. You’re allowed to feel grief, Náro. You’re just not allowed to destroy the world because of it.” Fingolfin smirked, adding, “Stop trying so hard. Just be that child who made water bombs. That child who helped me and Lally get revenge on Findis. Be that person. I liked that little ellon!”


Chuckling, Fëanor said, “It was amazing how nice her hair grew back. I have a feeling if she knew that would solve her problem, she would have shaved her own head long before she decided to be petty and ruined you, Lally and Ara’s hair.”


“It certainly ended the feud between us. She was much nicer after that.”


“Yes, but she went a little….weird, too.”


“She was always weird. But yes, she placed herself into a self-imposed penance after that. I think she is a person of extremes. She’s actually quite a bit like you. Neither of you have neutral emotions. Then there’s Ara, who exists mostly on neutral emotions. I’ve never met someone so easy going.”


“And yet, I could feel his grief radiating off him when atar was killed. He may not express his emotions very often, but he does have them.”


Chuckling, Fingolfin said, “I know it, brother. He and Lally were my best friends growing up. And it took several yeni to lose his temper, but once he did it was rather spectacular, wasn’t it?” and Fëanor burst into merry laughter, “Indeed!”


Then there was a call of, “Land Ho!” and everyone looked up confused, because there was little bits of land - everywhere! But then looking out on the horizon more carefully they could espy the gleaming tower of pearl that was so unnaturally tall its peak was lost to sight.


“It’s going to take forever to climb to the top of that thing.” Fingolfin frowned.


“Fear not! That is what we are here for.” the maia Aiwendil said.


“Yes! Just in case…” Olórin smiled.


Fingolfin and Fëanor exchanged a wary glance and Fëanor said, “What do you suppose happened to them out in Endor that turned them into... that?”


“Who cares? They’re both quirky and strange in their own way and yes! I believe it was solely due to their time on Endor. But, you know, it makes them more interesting.” Fingolfin shrugged.


Chuckling suddenly, Fëanor said, “That Elvenking, what was his name? Thranduil! Now his reaction to them was interesting! He treated the one from Yavanna as a beloved friend and the one from Manwë as one of long sufferance, peppered with moments that strongly indicated he wished to hit him over the head with a club.”


“With the way he smokes that disgusting weed is that so surprising?” Fingolfin sniffed.


“You know, that bothers me more than when the mortals do it. It’s like he does something to the aroma that causes it to be more offensive - on purpose!” a scandalized Fëanor, agreed.


But the two ceased their observations as the ship carefully approached the enchanted island. The closer they came, the more a tingling was felt by all aboard, not unlike ants crawling all over the skin. Very unpleasant and very effective as a deterrent to approaching the island. Then the two maia lifted their arms and the tingling stopped, but Olórin said, “Don’t become too comfortable. We’ve only been able to shield this ship. Once we step ashore it will return ten-fold!”


“Can you not shield us?” Fëanor asked.


“That remains to be seen. The first thing I think should happen is Aiwendil and I will do a reconnaissance to see what dangers lie in wait.”


“With all due respect, my lord. But we think the first thing you should do is clear out the foliage. It is all designed to cause sleep.” Elrond said.


“And how do you know that?” Aiwendil asked.


“The birds said so. We weren’t just chatting with them for the fun of it - though it is fun!” Elladan said.


Chuckling, Fingolfin nudged his brother as if to say, Told you so!


And then a very large white sea bird appeared to be diving towards their ship and before anyone could react an ellith appeared on the deck of the ship looking about uncertainly. Then, “Prayeth bid me this be no mirage.” she said in archaic Sindarin speech.


“Sister!” the silver twins cried and went to greet their long lost sister in joy, but she shrank away from them in fear. “Nay! Tis not true! I know not the cause of thy deception, but tis cruel! Mine own beloved brothers art long since lost.” she cried out in anguish.


Then they approached slowly, and stopped not too close in case she might fly off in fright. Then Eluréd said, “Aye, sister. That is true. We were left out in the woods by the fiends that followed the Fëanorionnath. And we did, indeed, die of the cold. But we were re-embodied when this ellon arose in rebellion within the Halls and we were all released.” he said, indicating Fingolfin who looked sorrowful at their tale and what he saw before him. 


Fëanor, on the other hand, looked destroyed. He had heard the tale whispered about within the Halls about these two who were mere babes that had been dragged out of their home - after witnessing their parents cruelly slain before their eyes - and left out alone in the winter forest to freeze and starve.


“Truly? Thou art truly here and this be not some cruel vision?” she asked with large tears welling in her eyes.


“Yes, truly, beloved sister. We are here as you can see and grown now. If this were a deception, wouldn’t we appear to your eyes as the children you last saw?” Elurín assured her. And then as she reached out a hand to them, they closed the distance and embraced their long lost sister as she burst into tears able to feel the familial bond of kinship.


“Oh, tis true! Thou art truly real.” she sobbed in joy now. Then she saw a single ellon slowly approaching her, fear and longing on his face and she caught her breath. “Can it be….?” And Eluréd held out his arm, encouraging Elrond to come forward, “This is Elrond, sister. Your son.”


And with a cry of anguish, Elwing practically collapsed in her son’s arms as he held her close before she collected herself and took his face in her hands and smiled radiantly into his face and said, “Oh! Thou dost have the visage of thy adar.” and looking about she spied the twins who Elrond gestured to come forward and said, “These are my sons, naneth, Elladan and Elrohir. Boys, come meet your daernaneth.” and they smilingly greeted her, gallantly kissing her cheeks and their easy manner did much to calm the skittish ellith.


And then she looked about and asked what Elrond feared most, “But where is thy brother, Elros?” and Elrond’s face became sad and he said, “He chose the destiny of men and has long since passed beyond the circles of the world.”


“He...he chose as my daernaneth did?” her voice broke and she swooned into a faint. Elrond caught her in his arms and said, “Well, that went better than I thought.” he said dryly.


“I’d hate to see what you actually imagined would happen, then!” Elurín exclaimed.




After recovering from her swoon and sipping some restorative tea, Elwing had listened patiently to all her kin had to say regarding the happenings since her sundering, before saying, “I mustn't tarry overlong err your adar become agitated at my long absence. Our time hath been uneasy, indeed, since learning of his parents’ imprisonment.”


“That is why we are here, my lady.” Círdan said. Their reunion had been joyous as he had been out to sea when the final attack came and he’d come back to the smoldering ruins. “We are here to liberate you all from this accursed place.”


“Oh nay! Thou must not! For the ship must sail err they will discover our rebellion. I greatly fear their wrath should they discover our release from bondage.”


Absolutely hating her describe her life as one of bondage and imprisonment, Elrond said, “I care not for their wrath! By what right did they have for treating you so poorly.”


And not used to seeing their serene father so passionate, his sons just sat silently wide-eyed, though their grandmother noted their expression and knew this was an uncharacteristic outburst from her son. But he’d always been more solemn than his more adventurous brother. And thinking only of him, she said, “Nay, my son. I beseech thee to take greater care of thy words. For I fear what calamity may befall thee in retaliation for thy insolence.”


Hearing the lady speak of her fear, the brows of both maia - who both actually missed the expressiveness of their bushy old man brows - lowered in displeasure. They exchanged a glance and Olórin said, “Fear not, my lady. We are here to release you all from this place and reunite you with your kin. And Lord Fëanor has calculated how to keep the ship sailing so the silmaril will remain in the heavens and your lord released from his bondage.”


Elwing had looked up in fear at hearing Fëanor’s name and seeing the one she supposed was Fëanor who was leaning against the wall, a small deprecating smile playing on his face and hand lifted from his crossed arms in a little wave, she said, “Thou seemest quite tame from the beast I imagined thee to be.” and lifting her brow she turned her gaze to Fingolfin asking, “And art thou kin to this one?” 


“I am!” Fingolfin said proudly, adding, “And he’s not such an orc once you get to know him. Why he once climbed a tall oak in our atar’s garden to fetch down a kite Ara and I caught in it and suffered many bee stings for his effort.”


Fëanor’s reaction was odd as he pushed himself from the wall and hissed, “You gave me your word you’d never tell anyone about that!”


“Why would you be upset with your brother sharing a story of your kindness, Fëanáro?” Aiwendil asked, confused.


“Oh, that’s not what he’s upset about.” Fingolfin said with a grin.


Fëanor slumped back against the wall with a hmph, refolding his arms and said, “Who wants the world to know you’re idiot enough to bother a beehive and suffer the brunt of their ire?!”


“Methinks thou wast an odd elfling.” Elwing said, bluntly. Eluréd and Elurín exchanged a glance and Eluréd said, “We’re going to have to reteach you all how to speak. You can’t go into public like this.”


Elurín nodded vigorously, adding, “Aye! Nobody will understand a word you’re saying!”


“More time hast passed than I bethought, hasn't it?” she answered sadly.


"Ummm, we'll talk about that later." her brother said, not sure how to tell her ten thousand years had passed.




Their plan was simple - sort of! Elwing would fly back and inform her husband they were below and to prepare for their arrival by clearing anything he wanted off the ship. They would first clear out the plants and brambles around the tower and would bring Idril and Tuor aboard. They’d worry about waking them later.


Then the maiar would bring Fëanor and Círdan up to the turret to board the ship and prepare it for launching. They planned this for the following evening, but warned that it might take longer if the first part took longer than they thought. 


This is when an exasperated Fingolfin intervened and said, “We can do two things at once, you know. Take my brother and Círdan up and follow Elwing when she returns. Begin the process of retrofitting the ship and by all means even sail on it this evening to test your calculations. You can make adjustments if you see there might be difficulties. The rest of us will clear out the plants after Aiwendil kills them.” and when he saw the nature maia’s scandalized face, said, “Don’t look at me like that! We need to do this! Look, we’ll plant a bunch of daisies to replace them if it means so much to you. Deal?”


Looking still uncomfortable with the willful destruction of living olvar - he’d thought to simply move them out of the way - Elladan snorted impatiently and said, “Oh come now, Aiwendil! You know King Thranduil would destroy whole swaths of growth to halt fires or to take the habitat away from the spiders. And you know how much he loves growing things.”


“Aye and we’ve seen his son, Legolas, do the same. His naneth is of the unbegotten and it really looked as though it caused him pain to do so, but he did it at need. Can you not do the same?” Elrohir added.


“Maybe you can promise them you’ll take their seedlings and replant them somewhere else? Surely that would please them.” Elladan suggested.


“Oh very well. I know what you say must be done, it just...feels wrong.” the maia said begrudgingly.


But Elwing caught something that interested her more than killing a bunch of misbegotten plants. “Wait! Thranduil lives? And Mirilla? Oh that be wondrous news! They'd hadst their first issue at the Havens of Sirion. But...his name wast not Legolas. I’m sure of it.”


“That’s right. Belegon is their first born. He fell at Dagorath along with Oropher. Legolas is their third child - they have four. Belegon, Lastaraen, Legolas and Reuel. And yes, Belegon and Oropher are back with us.” Elrond smiled.


“And that’s not all, sister. Our parents are back and living with our great grandparents in the Amani heartland. In a forest they call Fairinor.” Eluréd said.


“It’s near to where my daughter now lives - and that’s a very long story for another time, I think.” Elrond said.


“Oh aye! I might not but heareth all of it!” she exclaimed, adding, “But bid me who didst thee wed?”


“Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel’s daughter, Celebrian.” Elrond said, and then, “Another long story.”


"Truly I earnestly wisheth for the time we may sitteth and shareth tidings." she sighed.




Adar/ada - Father/dad (Sindarin)
Atar/atta - Father/dad (Quenya)
Naneth/nana/nan - Mother/mom (Sindarin)
Amil/ammë - Mother/mom (Quenya)
Daernaneth - Grandmother (Sindarin)
Unbegotten - 1st elves/Not born - created
Miruvórë - Aman restorative
Olvar - All Plant life
Ilman - Outer Atmosphere/Where stars are/ Space

<< Back

Next >>

Leave Review
Home     Search     Chapter List