For those of you just tuning in, I’ve been writing my elf Celeveren’s backstory for eons now. Part 1 is here, and I’ll find some place to put part 2 soon. This picks up shortly after the host of the Valar has landed in Sirion, where Celeveren has been raising her ward Sidbron with his uncle Borasvar. Borasvar is an inventor, Sidbron an artist and architect disabled in the fall of Gondolin.
Sirion, Artisans quarters, FA 545
A sharp gaze turned to pierce him, and he didn’t like it. He said more slowly, so that even a Vanya could understand, “You. Are. Blocking. My. Light.”
“Your light, Moriquende? It is not your light. It is a gift, as is our presence here. You could have left at any time and seen it properly yourselves.”
Sidbron let the pullies hoisting him to his half-frescoed dome free, dropping him to her eye level. Like a spider he thought smugly. A black-clad Moriquende spider for the Vanyarin twit. “We didn’t ask for it, did we? Or your Noldorin interference.”
“I am not Noldorin, idiot.”
“No? With that attitude and that spear, I thought you must be. Perhaps you’d like to stick it in me, hmm?”
She blanched in fury to hiss, “I am no kinslayer, you rustic boor! I am Vanyarin and here to save your Avarin tail since you haven’t the will to stand for yourself.”
He let a smirk overtake his face. The sting had worn off such words years ago, but he would enjoy watching her eat those words. Wait for it…. wait… not yet. “So why are you here, lightbringer?”
She frowned fiercely, and it warmed the cold grey walls. She hadn’t the light of the trees, not like grandmother. No, but she had the unmarked look of soft youth, for all she was strong and her fea burned with the light of a balrog in battle. Not comfortable. Not safe. But not aged either. “My orders. I’m quartered here. Lalafairë, and my brother Lalúrë…”
He burst into peals of laughter hard enough to rattle the pulleys holding him still dangling. To her unamused face he says, “Laughing radiance? Maicafairë is much more you.”
She stood agape, then sputtered. “You… speak… I…”
“I speak the tongue of Valinor, but it seems to be causing you difficulty. Perhaps I could help. It means piercing….”
“I know what it means. Don’t you have laws against civilized speech? Isn’t that why they made us learn the barbarous tongue? Because your kind refuse to speak in it?”
His brows climbed his forehead. “My kind? Pray, tell me, what is my kind?”
“Morquendi. Dark-elves. Avari, who refused the call.”
He sighed and shook his head. “Right. First, it’s not polite to call any native elf a dark elf. We’ve spent quite a lot of time fighting against the dark, you know. Metaphorically. The Avari are not the same as the Green Elves, though they overlap, and still different from the Sindar.”
“You are all elves who refused the welcome of the Valar.”
“And you are all elves who ran away from the land Eru gave us.”
She gave out a frustrated groan then said, “Just show me to my quarters and leave me alone.”
“I’d love to, I really would. But I’m all tied up here.”
“Hah. Untie yourself.”
“As you wish, your highelvishness.” And he unhooked his harness and let his weight land him firmly onto the floor. The clatter of the hooks covered for the ping the braces under his robes made on the stone of the floor.
“Well?” She huffed.
“I’m down, like you asked.”
“Get off the floor! I’m tired, I’m hungry, and I haven’t the time to be harrassed by the locals! Get up before I pull you up.”
His smirk grew as he said, “Is that what it takes to get cl…”
Alas, his opportunity was lost at Taenhir’s entrance. Sweaty and slinging somewhat bloodstained shoes from her shoulder, she began, “Sidbron? We’re having boarders and…. oh! Sidbron! Why don’t you have your crutches!”
“What are crutches?” Lalafairë perfectly turned nose wrinkled in confusion.
“What? You just let him sit there?”
She blinked. “Well yes. He won’t get up.”
Taenhir looked appropriately horrified. “You… you… stand over there! I can’t even talk to you now!” Her gesture of disgust brought a grin to Sidbron’s face.
“A little dramatic. Mind your wrist or you’ll be in the corps for another century.”
“Sidbron, really. Where?”
He sighed and pointed, “It’s the chair today, I’m afraid. Over there, in the corner.”
Lalafairë grew rather confused as Taenhir retrieved the wheeled contraption, and even moreso when slight, delicate Taenhir bent to heft Sidbron to sit. “Really!” she huffed. “How lazy can he be?”
Taenhir turned and hissed fiercely, “He’s crippled, you ignorant Valinorian snipe. When your spine is crushed in a falling city, only so much of it grows back.”
Sidbron laid a hand over Taenhir’s with a squeeze. “I can’t walk properly, Maicafairë. Some things just don’t grow back. My legs are outside of my ability to master their use.”
She stared, and stared. “No. The Eldar cannot be maimed in this way. The Valar…”
“The Valar aren’t here.” Now, now the thunder in his voice had lost its playfulness. “This is what happens when they aren’t around to fix every little thing. We learn. We adapt. We become something more than hroa. Or didn’t you know? Didn’t the brochure say Arda Marred? This is Arda. Marred. Disgusted? Perhaps you’d like to find some place more perfect to house you, madam.”
She said hoarsely, “I see an apology is in order. I give it. Forgive me… I didn’t know.”
He said softly, “If you stay here, you’ll learn. Everyone leaves Arda marred. So. I want you to think if perfection is more important to you than life. Think hard before you risk your Vanyarin beauty to the heated irons of the orcs. But I want you to ask yourself, why did you care enough to come if you despise what you save?”
The faint whisper of his wheeled axles were the only sounds in the hall. Then Taenhir said, “I’ll make up beds. Stay out of his way until he’s painted something.”
The next morning, Lalafairë woke to a canvas still drying propped up on her armour rack. A storm-twisted tree in flower crouched as if to spring, silhouetted against a brilliant red dawn sky. The tree was dark, but somehow more delicate and alive than the perfect luminous sky its shape interrupted. She didn’t see the artist for nearly a week.