“This! This is the work of the Ring-forges!” the voice carried over the balmy white shores as the crowd come to see the ship dock turned to hear what was said. They had time. There was nothing but time here. “See how they come maimed in fea and hroa both to our shores on the white ships! See how they pour like a tide into the Halls of Mandos!”
“Come away, Ada.” Sidbron was hovering again. He was always hovering now.
Borasvar shrugged him off, muttering, “Bother your other Adar. Surely he’s doing something much more interesting right now.”
“Than sitting on a beach trying to make flying machines? I don’t think so.”
The wind blew the voice over again. “Celebrimor knew he erred! He knew, but instead he grasped at power! Like his grandfather before him, he burned after it. But he had help! Not all the evil wrought in Eregion was made of metal. The worst was not steel, but venom beyond that which Eru gave to the snakes and biting things for their defense. Some of you know what it is to die to Black Mallow. To Lung-freeze. To the madness of Lock-limb. Still more of you have suffered the burning fire sparked from the powder, or slow torture on the racks. Remember! And join with me to bring all the criminals of Eregion’s wise to Máhanaxar! Do not stop at rings when you think on Eregion’s folly! Are you blind, or can you not see that Annatar – nay Sauron was friend to more than Celebrimor? Put them to the question! Punish them, as they have punished you in their mad rush to rival the Valar in pride and power!”
The two elves stood back from the crowd, grim. Sidbron asked, “Every day now?”
Borasvar nodded. “Every day. And more in Tirion. There are pamphlets.” He said it in the same tone others used to speak of excrement.
“Have they mentioned Naneth?”
“In all but name. I try to tell her, but… your Naneth hears what she can stand to hear, and no more.”
Sidbron’s jaw clenched a little. “I know you wish to believe…”
“I do not wish to believe. It is. I have seen her. She is alone there in her pain while they tear at her here.”
The younger elf put his arm around the elder. “Máhanaxar will surely not condemn her. This is all smoke and noise.”
“But her people will if they listen to this piss. She’ll finally sail, only to return to a nightmare that will never end in a land where there are no wars or crises in which she can redeem herself. Celebrimor deserves what he gets. Celeveren…” He trailed off, choked.
“Adar. She did ignore your warnings. You said so yourself, and said it often for quite some time.”
He glared, more sharply than he had in centuries now. “Not for power. She wanted to cure mortals. She cried for every last one of them. You saw how it was with Cei? It was that every time. And every time, we lost a little of her.”
Sidbron grimaced. “And you still think I shouldn’t have left. Despite all the reasons we had to think the Darkness passed, you still blame me.”
“You were her son.”
“I was wed. My body was broken beyond repair. She told me to go!”
“And you went.” It was baldly stated, lapsing to silence.
The speaker was warming up, saying, “Why wait, when all the witnesses are here, waiting for justice? Don’t force them to wait become their tormentors remain at large. Delunethril twist-herb will linger on for millennia yet, hiding from our faces and justice in Arda marred – marred! Marred, like her…”
Borasvar pushed through the crowd, Sibron tugging at him. “Ada, no. It won’t help. Just let him…”
“You know nothing of it, you little Vanyarin fart!” There were gasps from the crowd.
“I don’t know you, sir, but I know your type.”
“And what type is that?”
“Eregion apologists. Sympathizers. You’ll tell me they didn’t mean it, and that it was about knowledge, not power, and that they shouldn’t be held responsible for what others did with their work.”
“You don’t invalidate an argument by repeating it in a sarcastic tone. You’re a pissant third-ager. Who are you to lecture us about Eregion? Who is next on your list? The apprentices who worked the bellows? The cart-men who transported mithril and gold? How are you any better than the army of orcs who already have paid the elves of Eregion in full? You speak of victims – what of the mortals who had extra years and strength because scholars like Celeveren of Menegroth cared that they lived their few years well?”
“Delunethril is her true name, and nothing of joy belongs in it. Who over her thousand victims would say their pain is lessened by a few mortal’s unnatural cures?”
“I, Borasvar of the Green, bear such witness. Look. Me. Up. If you can find an archive.” He felt his sword arm twitch as it hadn’t since… his death. Kinslaying had never felt so tempting. Very tempting.
The crowd was dead silent. The waves too seemed to listen. Whoever-the-shadow this fellow was, killing him wouldn’t solve things. Soul’s fire burned through his veins and he felt firmly, irrevocably present as he faced down this young Valinorian squirt. An elf who had never faced an orc, or seen fire, or felt the breath of dragons. Softly, but audibly, Borasvar said, “Child, go find something better to do with your life. More misery… you do not want more misery in this world.”
He turned on his heel and went back to his wing-foils. Ulmo would not stop him from escaping this dull, insipid prison full of spoiled, whining babies.