Wow! That Malthador really has become a nasty piece of work. Making Elgalad pay for rebuffing him then throw in antipathy for the Noldor-kinslayers knowing full well Elgalad's Lord is one-you've got one messed up Elf who believes his treatment of Elgalad is just and for the betterment amd protection of the realm. :/
I'm so relieved he's been dealt with.
I love how Tindomion, Glorfindel and Legolas are extremely protective of Elgalad and Tindomion's words to him when he apologised for setting foot in the santuary where Gil galad was buried.
*"He would not mind, Elgalad, he would welcome thee. Thou doth know how to love."*
It brought tears to my eyes. The High King sent into the everlasting dark for that very thing.
Then there's Vanimore who's this steely-eyed veteran warrior who you'd think would easily best the Mouth in anything, which he does to perfection, only to have his father humiliate him, demean him by giving him as some sort of consolation prize to the Mouth. His life is so full of horror of the highest order. I just cringed when he was chained and left for that abhorrent excuse of a Man to do with as he pleased. Poor Vanimore, its any wonder he's sane at all. Being used and abused like that. *Shivers*
Loved this chapter, though Spiced Wine! :)
Author's Response: Yes, Malthador was embittered and hated Elgalad, poor thing. But at least it’s been found out now and taken in hand.
Ah yes, the Mouth, he appears much later too. A ghastly individual. Sauron knows the Mouth could never been Vanimórë, but sometimes he ‘gives’ Vanimórë to the Mouth to keep Vanimórë reminded of who holds the real power :(
Thank you so much, Gabriel. I appreciate it :)
This chapter was both beautiful with the promise of everything Elgalad wanted and the most heartwrenching.
With Vanimore's continuing campaign to force Elgalad to hate him purely for his own safety. Well, I mean there really is no other way for Vanimore to keep him out of Sauron's reach. Elgalad will not listen to reason, so what else can he do but sever ties, no matter how harsh.
A very bittersweet reunion. :/
I liked the use of the Lay of Leithien, in part, and how the verses seem to pertain to Vanimore and Elgalad. Really lovely, Spiced. :)
Author's Response: Thank you, Gabriel. It’s an impossible situation, really, Vanimórë loves Elgalad but he cannot have him (and does not think he deserves him, either) so there is little he can do but drive him away. Physically and emotionally. Ahhh! So long ago I wrote this and with what is happening now, and recently in the story, I am just shaking my head at how much has changed :)
So sorry Spiced Wine for taking so long to review this week. :/
Such a sad story. Amroth and Nimrodel.
Ah! Vanimore! Ever the protector and such a kind soul, a gentlemen, always thinking of everyone else. No matter his feelings for Nimrodel.
I guess that comes from the love he had for his sister. A chance to show that quality again, this time to a stranger.
Ever wanting to love someone of his own or be loved himself. But is always thwarted, either by his father's desires and actions or by life itself.
I love how you have it that Nimrodel is with child when Vanimore finds her and passes away quietly upon the babes birth. Gone to finally join her beloved. Quite a fitting explanation and end to her life, I think.
This was lovely. :)
Author's Response: No worries, Gabriel. I am very grateful you take time to comment at all :)
I always found the story of Amroth and Nimrodel very sad when Legolas sang the song on Lothlórien.
Of course Vanimórë would have treated Nimrodel with kindness and compassion, poor woman, and yes, he stilll sees his sister in all women so he would be nothing but kind. He wouldn’t have wanted her to die, and maybe had she lived he might have been able to persuade her to go back to Lórien with her child, but as that was not to be...Elgalad. A child he had always wanted and could never have himself, and knows he will not be able to keep. But still loves...
Thank you so much for commenting.
As soon as I began reading these last few chapters and my eyes lit upon Gil galad I couldn't leave the story alone. :)
Gil is one of my favorites. I lap up anything and everything written about him.
Your OMC Tindomion, magnificent a character and he and Gil are just magic together. You can feel the love between them, in the little touches, the looks. I couldn't get enough of them. You have me hooked on these two, no question. They are like Feanor and Fingolfin together. Beautiful!
Then there's Tindomion's mad and desperate scrabble to reach Gil's side.
"Gil..." His voice was constricted; a blade wedged itself into his heart, taking his breath.
Gil galad's eyes opened, still fiercely bright against the white pallor of his face, the red and black of blood.
"Istelion...he is gone?"
"Yes, hush. Rest, I will get help..."
His mind, vibrating with pain, hurled a furious, mental cry for aid, but it was already there, light feet speeding toward them, halting.
"Istelion." The star-blue eyes fixed on Tindomion's and clung.
"Gil... do... not!"
The pain spasmed through Gil galad's body. Blood burst in a plume from his lips. Tindomion leaned over him, tear tracks washing a path through the spatters of blood and ash on his face. Gil galad wanted to reach out a hand to that anguished face and offer comfort.
So my father died, so did Morgoth break Fingolfin's body...
This brought tears to my eyes. So heartbreaking.
Then Gil is taken by memory; A time when he was a child horse riding with his father and meeting Maedhros and his brother's for the first time. This must have been the pinnacle of joy in his childhood. And the first time he set eyes on Tindomion was another.
"Gil...please..." Tindomion's mind was a firesong of anguish.
No. Please. Oh, Eru, please.
Narya, Gil galad thought lovingly.
Oh my gosh! I really felt the loss. Poor Tindomion :( So beautifully written. :)
Author's Response: Oh, I love Gil-galas too, Gabriel. In fact there is much more about him and Tindómion in Magnificat of the Damned Book I - Starfall, the start of their relationship and the end. There is a ‘bit’ in this story, but Magnificat 1 mainly follows the Noldor from when they set foot on Endor to the Last Alliance.
I think Gil-galad lost his father so young and he loved Maedhros, too, and Tindómion coming into his life was like someone out of the past.
Aww, thank you for the comments, Gabriel, I really appreciate it. As I say, if you want to read any more about Gil-galad and Tindómion you might want to read Magnificat book 1 after this.
I still feel a bit strange Spiced Wine, reading many chapters and only reviewing one out of the many. But it makes sense, considering how long your series is and it has taken a bit of pressure off. :)
Your descriptions of Numenor's nobility and their immense wealth is so vivid and vibrant.
*Great houses lay behind marble walls, where birds sang and fountains played. Statues reared against the sky, and roofs were overlaid with gold and silver. Enormous litters carried by a score of burly slaves carried bejeweled noblewomen. The men rode fine horses and dressed as brilliantly as peacocks.*
Their wealth seemed almost sickening. And as you mentioned they became arrogant in their dealings with the Men of Middle earth and jaded and greedy with their wealth. No surprises there.
Everything about Numenor seemed corrupt except Tar-Miriel, Who I felt so much empathy for, kept a prisoner in her own palace with a man who favoured things a bit on the dark side.
It was only a matter of time before Numenor fell. All supposedly great empires do when they start down the road of amoral and as you said Sauron wanted Numenor to pay for coming to the aid of Gil galad and driving him back from his goal. Its just sad that the Numenorean people had to suffer for their Kings desires and actions. :(
Author's Response: Well, I’m glad you feel less pressure, Gabriel. I know when I’ve discovered long fics or series I just read like I am devouring it and don’t think to review every chapter, I just read too fast. :/
Númenor...it started off well, but in time it rotted from the core outward. They enslaved other nations, cut down most of the trees in Enedwaith for their huge fleets, and in the end grew jealous of the Elves where once they had been their allies. Not all, of course, those like Elendil and his people were different and spared in the end, but it must have been fairly easy for Sauron to corrupt the king and those who were ambitious. But as you say, I pity the ‘ordinary’ folk too. If Númenor wer truly so dreadful that nothing less than its destrcution was possible, then it was certainly worse than I’ve depicted it here.! Thank you so much for the comment :)
It is so very easy to forget that Vanimore has never seen beyond Angband and the northern lands that surround it.
To have him in awe of the patterns of frost on grass blades, sunsets cinder red and ice yellow and the dance of yellowing Silver Birches. These are miracles in nature that most people take for granted, but from someone who has seen, smelt and tasted only darkness and the vileness of it, it is a wonder beyond imagining. He is so like a child in this respect. :)
It was just wonderful to see him discovering things for the first time and realizing there is beauty in the world. Beyond all the pain and horror he has endured.
This last part, the light show Vanimore's people woke to watch. Spiced Wine! It's got to be the Valar-the War of the Wrath, right? I love Vanimore's desperate hope that the Valar have come to save them all. Its a little sad. :/
Lovely chapter! Spiced Wine!
Author's Response: Yes, it was sad and amazing to write him seeing the beauty of the world (and ever after it was something that he deeply appreciated, acting like a balm on his soul).
And yes, that was the War of Wrath he saw, from a far distance. It was why Sauron sent Vanimórë away, not believing he would survive it or., if he did, would be taken by the Valar. Sauron had more foresight than Melkor.
At this stage, yes, Vanimórë is still hopeful, it took him a long time to lose hope that one day he might be rescued by the Valar. :(
I’m very grateful for your reviews, Gabriel, but you don’t have to review every chapter, which must be quite a boring task for you! If you see anything you like, I always love a comment, but please don’t feel you have to review every chapter :)
I loved the beginning as Sauron enters the camp.
*Silence descended upon the encampment. Through it, Vanimore heard the thin wails of children hastily hushed by their elders. He did not move, waiting until the tent flaps were drawn aside by the petrified guards, and Sauron entered. Only then, almost negligently, did he come to his feet and bow.*
What Sauron did to the child Vanimore cared for. Horrible! Crushing him!
But I loved Vanimore's response. *Blood...it hazed Vanimore's vision and pounded in his brain. He moved, one hand drawing the dagger at his belt. He felt it meet something which deflected it, heard the scrape of steel on steel, then a force flung him back as if he were struck in the midriff by a mace. It smashed the air from his lungs, the table splintered as his body impacted against it. A booted foot pressed against his throat.
'Slaves own nothing' Sauron chided.*
I know I've got a lot to read. But I can't wait to see where this goes. :)
Author's Response: Thank you, Gabriel. Yes, Sauron wanted to control Vanimórë in all the days he could; he knew Vanimórë caring for a child was both simply how he was (he had wanted to care for his sister too, and did so as well as he could) and an act of defiance. He did not think of the child at all except something in his long game of ‘forging’ his son.
Great chapter! Getting to see Vanimore outside of Angband and in his role as Captain/warrior :)
Reading about all the time that had passed since Vanya's death and Morgoth's rape. Nargothrond's downfall and then Gondolin's With Glorfindel's heroic end, only serves to remind me how tragic a people the Noldor were. Constantly battling against their ultimate doom. :(
And Earendil! Good to see Melkor worried about that. So he should be. :)
So Vanimore has not completely hardened himself against caring for anyone, as we see in the way he fed and clothed the child he found.
I think he just guards his heart vehemently, afraid of what his father and Morgoth would do to him or others if he showed that vulnerability.
He has told himself he does not care but I cannot imagine Vanimore ever being a cold calculating person. As a warrior, yes! But not the real Vanimore. It is something he uses to deal with the violations, which I can fully understand. :/
Author's Response: I remember how free it felt, to write Vanimórë feeling somewhat free for the first time, seeing part of the world. :)
There will always be a great tenderness in Vanimórë that nothing can really ever quash, which is a good thing, as he could have been something rather dreadful ! Thank you very much for your comments, Gabriel :)
Oh my god! Spiced Wine.
Morgoth is abhorrent. I doubt Vanya would have survived the first rape let alone any after that. Unless Morgoth did the same to her as he did to her mother-kept her trapped in her own body alive, through his power. :(
And now Vanimore must deal with this on his own. So sad. How lonely is he.
Author's Response: Thank you, Gabriel. It was upsetting writing this, and it’s the one reason, and the biggest reason, why Vanimórë (later) defies his father as much as he can. He begged Sauron to help him, and Sauron didn’t. The betrayal is almost the worse thing.
Not that I suppose Sauron could actually have done anything, really.
And he was forging a weapon, which, as he says long after, requires heat and hammer blows, not gentleness :/
I love Vanimore's steel, now that he is more learned in the art of combat. He is going to need it, I fear.
What did they do to Valoron! Its almost as if they are giving Vanimore harsh lessons in hardening his heart and teaching him that he has no control over anything. I guess that's to condition him as Sauron's slave perhaps or maybe its just the way of things in that place.
If that's not enough for one so young to endure, now he has had no choice but to kill his sister, simply to save her from Morgoth's clutches. That is so heartbreaking! Poor Vanimore. Things just keep going from bad to worse, for him. To have to end the life of the very person you love above all else. The only light, the only beauty in that hellish place, that kept him going.
In a sense he is being initiated, by the very fire, the very darkness of Angband.
I'm really enjoying this, Spiced Wine. Sad and harsh, as it is, I find myself looking forward to the next chapter. I can see why people rave about it. :)
Author's Response: Thank you, Gabriel :) Vanimórë...well, it is in his blood to be a warrior (on his mother’s side anyhow) and he never consciously uses his Ainu powers, because they are Sauron’s he rejects them and instead they show in his warrior skills.
After he killed his sister, he determined nothing and no-one would break him and determined to become virtually unkillable. And Sauron suspected he would, Sauron was playing a very delicate game with his son, and for a long, long time.
Vanimórë never forgave himself for his sister, although he would not have forgiven himself if she had been killed by Melkor, so he has to live with that all his life. It made him very kind, very tender towards women, which, later, is actually to his detriment, since not all are worth it.
I’m glad you’re liking it. Very early days yet. I started writing this in 2006 and still remember it well :)
Poor Moriel! Forced to watch her husband die and then left alone in a place of darkness where there are the worst kind of monsters that haunt the shadows.
I would think that there would not be many women as slaves in Angband and so when one is captured she is considered a prize above others. Especially since Sauron loves experimenting.
I would have begged for death, but I think Moriel probably would have tried that already, somewhere along the line. So horrible!
The only thing worse than Moriel's experience, would be for children to be taken and enslaved or as in Vanimore's and Vanya's case born into the dark Lord's realm.
And Vanimore is so sweet and still so very innocent. He seems quite protective of his sister and tries to be her pillar of strength even when he doesn't feel it himself.
Sauron is his usual self. No surprises there. I'm almost afraid to think what their lives will be like as they grow. I have already read of Sauron's fatherly affection towards them. :(
A real heartwrenching chapter, Spiced! :)
Author's Response: Thank you, Gabriel.
Móriel was mad by the end, and yes, she would have begged for death, but Sauron (And Morgoth kept her alive).
This wasn't, as we'll come to see, the first time Sauron had attempted this, but the other 'experiments' were failures.
Vanimórë adored his sister, which ended up being incredibly important. If he had not loved her, he would have grown into a very different person.
His relationship with Sauron is...complicated. Not now, of course, but when he becomes older. Sauron really never ceased (until much later) to mould his son, to 'test' him, working toward his own goal. Morgoth thought Vanimórë was being trained to be the ultimate warrior and commander, to lead Angband's legions - Sauron, however, had rather different plans....
Thank you again, and I hope you have a good weekend. :)
Even reading this again, the moment he calls her Vanya makes me cry.
Funny to hear New Cuivienen described as a place of peace, given the happenings in Magnificat!
I had forgotten Van accidentally killing the whore :-( does Elgalad know , at this point, what Van is capable of doing to him? Or does he truly think it doesn't matter, either because he is a Power too, or because of their love?
Author's Response: Funny to hear New Cuivienen described as a place of peace, given the happenings in Magnificat!
LOL! Yes, it was *supposed* to be - and it would be if it were not for the Noldor :D
Ebbingnight had an idea about the prostitute that was very much spot-on. It's Dana doing this; she does not want him to have any other women, and so she caused the woman's death. Van *might* have harmed her, but I honestly think he's too controlled without some-one 'lending a hand' so to speak.
Elgalad knows that in the long game, he has to die. :( Vanim
It's a strange thought, that Van and Elgalad should need to get to know each other - but at this point I suppose most of their memories together are of a child and his guardian, so it makes sense that they need the bonding time.
It did occur to me whilst I was reading this chapter that I'd love to see some artwork of Van in a turban. Shame I'm so useless at drawing! And I'd forgotten that Van wrote The Garden of a Thousand Delights. Love it ;-)
Author's Response: Yes, at this point, they've not spent all that much time together after being apart since, well TA 1981 was when Nimrodel fled from Lothl
I'm treating myself to a re-read, in the light of the reveal about Elgalad :-)
I love the peace at the beginning of this chapter - it's almost a sense of pastoral tranquility, after the epic finale to Dark Prince. And I really like the parallel you draw between Van and Glorfindel at the end, when Glorfindel points out that Legolas is as safe with him as Elgalad is with Van. They are as perilous as each other, in their different ways, and I think that plays out very clearly in your Magnificat arc.
Author's Response: I remember when I wrote this, ad thought it needed to start very peacefully, considering how it was going to end!
Yes, Glorfinel and Vanim
This was glorious, magnificent and so heartbreakingly sad at the same time, pardon my french but DAMN this was great! Your work is addictive for sure, i have plowed through the last chapters at break neck speed and this story offered so many shocks and surprises and tense moments. I almost fell off my chair when i read about his sister, and the scene in Moria where he seems to be on Saurons side, oh my, i almost believed tha the had turned to "the dark side". The end was wonderful, but so bittersweet. I am going to read the rest of your work as well, you are so talented. Thanks for posting these great tales, the mark of true art is that it makes the reader or viewer think, and your work does that, it does make one think and contemplate the experience. So this is truly art!
Author's Response: Aww, you made me cry! I remember finishing this and feeling like a chewed rag; I was exhausted and sucked dry! It's such a thrill to know some-one reads it years later and likes it! Oh, yes - that Moria bit - for a while *I* wondered if he had turned to the 'dark side', too! I swear I was just hitting the keys for Vanimr
I finally managed to read the last chapters of this, it was almost too exciting to read, like a tv series with just a few episodes left and you want to know what will happen and yet you dont because you fear it will be something bad. But it was magnificent as always. I really loved the way you portrayed the transformation of Vanimore into a power and i like the way you describe the valar too. They do somehow remind me of medieval church leaders, completely absorbed by their own righteousness and completely unable to see things from other angles than their own, and terribly achingly afraid of loosing power or face. I will keep reading your work, i use it as a reward to myself, today i managed to finish 12 pages of my current novel, so i deserve it :) Your stories are among the best i have ever read, thanks for posting them !
Author's Response: Thank you so much, Nuredhel! I am so thrilled to know that you enjoyed the last chapters :) I love it when any-one reads and comments on my older works, as they're all tied in
This is addictive, i started reading and i didnt stop for over sixty chapters and was like "I have work tomorrow, got to go to bed, just one more chapter...." This is amazing, the dept of the emotions, the very layout of the story, the way it drags the reader in. Just stunning! You are able to create characters that has so many layers, that are beliveable and multi dimensional, that is quite rare. I have an idea for some fan art for this if it is okay, it has inspired me. I am going to read more tomorrow, so expect more reviews. I just hope i will be able to do some other stuff too beside reading your great story!
Author's Response: Oh, how very kind, Nuredhel :) I am so glad that you have found this interesting :) Thank you so much for letting me know; it made my day!
Oh, this was magnificent!! I started Reading this and got utterly hooked! Amazing story, and i was rushing towards the end. A really good story does something to you, it inspires and creates images and by Eru, this most certainly did! I loved it, the characters, the atmosphere, the excitement and the creepy darkness. You describe feelings and people's reactions so well, this is better than many books i have read. I am quite in awe, you have gotten yourself a New fan for sure.
Author's Response: Oh, my gosh! A review on an old fic! I always think they will be spam!
Than you so very much. I am thrilled to know you enjoyed it, and it's very kind of you to say so. I love the characters too, so I am really pleased to know you did too. Thank you, Nuredhel. :)
The King smiled and lifted a hand to the alabaster face gilded by morning light.
"Go well, then, with my love. And be careful."
I do enjoy your Thranduil. He is so warm and gentle with his son, and with Elgalad...so very unlike PJ's Thranduil in the Hobbit films :/ and of course there's all the wonderful, complex, angsty stuff with Bainalph still to be covered *sighs*
The palm of his hand was burned white, the facets of the jewels traced on it in silvery lines, flames danced over the patterns, white as ice.
Interesting that it burns Van and not Glorfindel; I never noticed that before.
Author's Response: I have always rather liked Thranduil, although I don't mind at all how he is portrayed, as long as the stories are good :) And PJ's Thranduil was certainly a stunner, of which I approve (there could be a whole film just about him really). But I do think he would have loved and been proud of his son. I know my 'other' Thranduil in the other series is different, but I like writing that too, as I can imagine him as being a basketful of angst, to be honest! Well, he is in this series, a bit, but not with legolas!
Yes, the Silmaril burns Van, but in fact, it's from where the Silmarils were 'hallowed' by Yavannah, and a'No mortal flesh, nor hands unclean, nor anything of evil will might touch them but it was scorched and withered.' This (in this AU) is why they burned Maglor and Maedhros. But as for Glorfindel, he'd already worn them - F
''For some reason I do believe that thou hast some sense of honor, Gorthaurion. Much as I wish there was no binding between us, there is. I will know how to find thee.'' He bowed formally. "And then it ends."
The uneasy partnership of Van and Maglor working together makes for a fascinating dynamic. I also really liked Elgalad's little moment of jealousy, when he goes barging into Maglor's room unannounced. I wonder what he'd have done if he *had* found Van there!?
Author's Response: I do love Van and Maglor together, I have to say. They probably comprehend one another in a way that Elgalad can't (or cannot yet at this age). Yes, I wonder what he would have done, too!
A fitting but brutal punishment. I guess that's Van all over.
His little wink at Maglor is a great touch...I do feel sorry for Maglor, though!
Author's Response: Van can be very brutal - at times he can be very like Sauron, though he would probably not admit that.
I spend my whole life feeling sorry for Maglor :(
Ah, the game's afoot ;-) I forgot Maglor gains a canine friend! Love it.
Author's Response: Aww, I put the dog in because it would remind him of Huan :)