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The Voice of Rage and Ruin - Part 2

Title: The Voice of Rage and Ruin - Part 2
Rating: Mature
Pairing: Maglor/Finrod
Genre: Slash, Horror, Drama
For Burning_Nightingale

Written for the Ardor in August fic swap. Read more great stories here: http://archiveofourown.org/collections/2014_AinA/works

He and Fingon were hunting in the forest surrounding Himring in a misty autumn dawn. He was telling Fingon how much he missed Finrod and how he despaired of ever seeing him again. Suddenly, a huge wolf leapt from behind a tree going for Fingon’s throat. Maglor was fumbling with his bow, trying to nock an arrow with shaking hands, when Finrod appeared out of the mist and met the wolf in mid-leap. They rolled and grappled on the ground, Finrod with his hands around the wolf’s throat. He and Fingon watched in silent horror as Finrod tore into the wolf’s neck with his teeth, killing the beast. Maglor ran to Finrod who lay on the ground, still as death, with a bleeding neck wound.

He was lamenting over Finrod’s body but when he looked down there was only the wolf, shot through with three arrows. A hand rested on his shoulder and he looked up to see Finrod standing behind him, his golden hair radiant in the rising sun.

He stood and clasped Finrod to him in a big bear hug. “Oh, sweet Eru, you’re here. I thought I’d lost you!” he cried.

“You never lost me,” Finrod said, “and you never will. I did it all for you.”

“Did what?” Maglor said.

Finrod kissed him and now they were in his lover’s bed in Nargothrond. Maglor was undressing him after a formal dinner, slowly unlacing the gold brocade ties on his blue velvet jacket while Finrod chuckled at his careful attentions.

“You’re unwrapping me like a fragile piece of glassware,” Finrod said with a barking laugh. “Get on with it already!”

“I want to make this last. I want this, us, to last forever.”

“Can’t we just think about Námo while we’re doing it?” Finrod teased.

Maglor laughed. “You can if you want, I’ll only be thinking of you.” He sped up the pace and soon had Finrod laid bare before him. He took a moment to savor his remarkable beauty, golden hair, and bright blue eyes that regarded him with heartening love and trust. Maglor tangled his fingers in Finrod’s hair and pulled him into a kiss. Finrod turned it into a competition for dominance that ended with Finrod on top, giving him a devious smile as he sank down on Maglor’s cock. Maglor moaned, raising his hips into glorious heat.

For the first time in over a hundred years Maglor completed himself within his golden lover in his dream. Then afterward they lay together and talked, simply talked like they used to, of court gossip, books, music, and a million tiny things of no import at all. Finally Maglor asked something that had been on his mind for half an Age. “Are you happy in Aman, Findaráto?”

“I never returned to Aman,” Finrod said. “I could never go without you.”

Maglor had no time to puzzle over this. His eyes opened to the first rays of dawn slanting through the window. He sat up and threw the covers aside, feeling clear and refreshed. He was bewildered by the dream but not troubled by it. In fact, it felt like the way things were meant to be. Then the events of the night before crowded in and his heart broke again for Galathwen. He would have to go see about the burial and perhaps face many questions.

When he arrived at Gaerion’s house he found the council and almost everyone in the settlement there to pay their respects. The grave had already been dug in a forest clearing where Galathwen had always liked to tarry when out picking berries. He helped carry the body to its final resting place. Those who knew her best said a few words and Maglor added his thoughts, speaking of her kindness, her sunny personality, and how she had made him feel at home since his arrival. Telieniel sang a song of the sea that Galathwen had always liked, her high, clear voice rising above the trees. A chill breeze blew, sending a skiff of leaves into the grave and Gaerion’s wife shivered and clung to her husband who clasped her as tightly to him.

In the end, when all the tears had been shed, the grave closed, the songs sung, the crowd drifted slowly away. Maglor noticed that Mithdor was nowhere to be seen and asked about him. Lebednel said he had gone hunting before dawn, trying to pick up the trail of the wolf. Silivor and Hinnith came up as they were speaking.

“Terrible business,” Silivor said. “People want assurances that this wolf will be killed, but more than that they want answers. Is there anything you can tell us that might help?” he asked Maglor.

“No, nothing,” Maglor replied. “I wish she had confided in me, but she didn’t.”

Silivor looked unconvinced. “If you think of anything, anything at all that may be useful, I hope you will bring it to the council at once. More lives might be in danger.”

“I fear that also. We must all take precautions until the wolf is caught. Anyone with pertinent information needs to share it,” Maglor said with equanimity.

Hinnith looked at him with sympathy. “I know what she meant to you, Daelir,” he said. “I am sorry.”

“Thank you, Hinnith.”

They departed and Maglor went back to fetch his bow. He could not sit idly by and do nothing with a killer wolf out in the woods. He went out and tried again to find the trail but there was no sign. He tried to remember everything Celegorm had taught him about a cold trail. Walk in an ever widening circle, look for places where a wolf might go for a meal or to dig a den, listen for the halt of birdsong or the movement of prey animals that can indicate a predator nearby. He stepped lightly over leaf and twig so as not to give his position away. He searched methodically for hours but no sign of the predator could he find. The birds continued their singing; the squirrels ran through the trees without a care. His frustration mounted as the sun dropped low and the first stars began to twinkle above.

The night sounds of insects and small, scuttling things filled his ears. A vole ran over his foot, hurrying into a fern to his left, an owl hooted in the branches overhead. Then he heard it, a soft, almost imperceptible scuff upon the leaves ahead. The full moon shone above, illuminating the night like day, when a wolf came trotting from the trees. It was one of the biggest he had ever seen, pale grey as a morning mist with a bushy, ragged coat.

Maglor’s heart sped up but a feeling of calm washed over him. Silently, as only an Elf could, he drew and aimed an arrow. The wolf turned, heading for the settlement at a brisk pace. Maglor cursed that he was not closer, but he couldn’t move without giving himself away. He considered not taking the shot but rather going back to the settlement. What if this was his only chance? If he could even wound the beast they could track it back to its lair. Making his decision, he loosed his arrow.

Unfortunately, his location was poor, his aim was slightly off, and the arrow whizzed past the wolf’s head, striking only its ear. The wolf howled in pain, then bolted at breakneck pace through the trees.

Cursing, Maglor ran after it, following the blood trail easily in the light of the moon. He wished Mithdor was with him for even though the trail was clear at first it became increasingly harder to follow as it neared the settlement.

He continued in the direction the wolf had gone, finding a few drops of blood here and there before coming out of the woods near Celebrior’s house. He searched the area but was stymied again. Slinging his bow over his shoulder, he knocked on the cottage door.

“Who is it?” came a voice from within.

“It’s Daelir,” Maglor called.

The silversmith answered the door, knife in hand, looking past Maglor into the darkness.

“Come in, Daelir, quickly. I do not want the door open to the night.”

Maglor entered and saw Celebrior’s wife looking at him curiously.

“I saw the wolf in the woods tonight,” Maglor explained. “I shot at it but missed. I did manage to nick its ear though. A small wound, but perhaps that will be enough to drive it to new hunting grounds. It came in this direction so I thought you should be warned.”

“Thank you for letting us know, Daelir. We will keep the place locked up tight and I will sleep with my weapons near.”

“I must go. If you see Mithdor, please ask him to come by my place. I need to speak with him.”

“I will. Thank you again.”

Maglor nodded and left.

He kept a sharp eye as he left the cottage. The moon was high in the sky now, and everything was peaceful and calm, belying the events of the past couple of days. Maglor went to Mithdor’s cottage, desperate to talk to him. There was a light burning inside. Maglor looked in the window but the cottage was empty. Where would Mithdor be this time of night? If he was still stalking the wolf Maglor hoped he would have better luck.

He was on his way back to his cottage when a scream rent the night. He ran in the direction of the sound and came to Gaerion’s house where he found the door wide open and Gaerion dead on the floor, his throat savaged even as Galathwen’s had been. There was a long knife with a blade of true silver across the room, probably knocked from Gaerion’s hand. His wife was still screaming and cowering in a corner.

“Where is the wolf?” Maglor cried. “Which way did it go?”

Wild eyed, Gaerion’s wife pointed to the door but seemed incapable of speech, until Maglor started to leave. Then she shouted, hysterical, “Don’t leave me! Please!”

Maglor hesitated. If he stayed the wolf would get away, but she was so frantic he couldn’t walk out. He shut and barred the door and went to her, sitting beside her on the floor, holding her while she sobbed in his arms for nearly a half hour. When she was finally able to speak she said, “There was a thud at the door. Gaerion took up his knife and opened it. He said earlier if the wolf came for him he would kill it. But he wasn’t fast enough. The wolf was on him before he could strike. The knife flew from his hand when the wolf got him by the throat. Oh, Daelir! Why would it come for Gaerion? He was the kindest man I ever knew.”

“I don’t know,” Maglor said. “There has to be a connection, but I don’t see it. Did your husband know Galathwen, perhaps from long ago?”

“If he did he never mentioned it. Why would that matter?”

“Galathwen had a secret she wouldn’t tell me. I found a letter in her effects that I still have not figured out, but which seems to indicate a connection to the Fëanorians somehow.”

“That cursed lot?” she said with contempt. “Gaerion knew nothing about all that. He was a good man."

Her words cut Maglor like a knife but worse, they only deepened the mystery. All the old feelings of guilt and sorrow washed over him. He had cursed himself to wander the shores singing his laments but surely the others had found a measure of peace on the far side of the sea. He heard Finrod's voice from his dream, 'I could never go without you.' A sudden terrifying thought struck him of Finrod wandering houseless, refusing the call of Mandos, waiting for him to sail or die. That would be the cruelest fate of all.

With a heavy heart he helped Gaerion’s wife clean and wrap the body for burial. He gave her the knife and instructed her to bolt the door when he left and not stir until daylight, which she emphatically agreed to do. She thanked him for his kindness, tears welling in her eyes. Maglor gave her one last hug and took his leave.

Two deaths in as many days, Maglor thought, his mind in a whirl. He was angry with himself all over again for missing his shot at the wolf. How many more would die before the creature was killed because of his carelessness? He went back to his cottage, putting away his bow and quiver. The night was cool so he lit a fire before going to bed. He lay beneath the blanket watching the flames leap and dance, worrying the details over in his mind. The light of the moon was beginning to wane by the time he fell into a troubled sleep.

He awoke at morning light with a stale taste in his mouth and a pounding head from lack of a proper rest. A bit of Galathwen’s jam on the now stale bread served as breakfast. He waited as long as possible before setting out. Word was certain to have spread of Gaerion’s death and he was not looking forward to another funeral. Still, he had to go, Gaerion was the head of the community and perhaps Mithdor would be there this time. He was hoping to get a chance to talk to him about the hunt and wounding the wolf.

The dawn was cold and grey. A stiff wind blew hard from the north, forcing Maglor to pull his cloak tight around him. Autumn was truly over. Maglor thought again of leaving. If he had not stayed he would not be a party to the current tragedy, but now he was and he couldn’t just turn his back on a group of people who had been so kind to him.

He arrived at Gaerion’s house to find Hinnith digging a grave under the pear tree in front of the cottage. Gaerion’s wife was crying softly and wiping at her eyes with a handkerchief. There was a knot of people around her talking about Gaerion and what the two of them had meant to them. With the shock of a second death, everyone was especially somber and spoke little. Celebrior and Hinnith made heartfelt speeches, but Mithdor, who Maglor spotted coming late, said nothing.

Afterward, Maglor approached him. “I’ve been wanting to speak with you,” he said. “May we go somewhere more private?”

Mithdor was wearing his hair in a loose ponytail instead of his customary braid. Maglor thought the look flattering. He pushed the thought away, wondering where it had come from. He did not know the man well; it was unseemly to be thinking such things, especially on the day of a funeral.

“I suppose,” Mithdor said noncommittally. “What do you want to discuss?”

Maglor thought that an odd question under the circumstances. “I heard you were hunting the wolf yesterday. I need to tell you what happened last night.”

Mithdor looked uncomfortable. “Very well, but I can’t stay long. I have other business to attend to.”

As they walked along in silence, Maglor wondered at his friend’s change in mood. Perhaps he was angry at himself for again failing to find and kill the wolf. If that was the case, Maglor could certainly understand. He felt the same.

When they entered Maglor’s house, he offered Mithdor a seat, which he accepted, and some tea, which he politely refused.

“You said you had something to tell me,” Mithdor said. There was a note of impatience in his voice.

“Yes, I was out hunting the wolf last night before it got to Gaerion. I didn’t have a clear shot but I hit the beast’s ear, wounding it. I tried to find you but you weren’t home. Lebednel told me earlier that you went looking for the wolf before dawn.”

“And so I did. I was out hunting most of the day and night but I found nothing. By the time I returned, the wolf had struck again.” Mithdor sounded almost defensive.

“That’s what I wanted to ask you, if you had seen it, and to tell you it was wounded. I had hoped it wouldn’t come back to the settlement but as soon as I shot it, the wolf headed straight for Gaerion’s house. What do you think we’re dealing with here?”

“What do you mean?” Mithdor looked at him suspiciously.

“This is no ordinary wolf, it seems to be targeting certain people. It passed by Celebrior’s house to attack Gaerion.” Maglor said. “Here, let me show you the letter I found in Galathwen’s house.”

He showed the letter to Mithdor who read it over and handed it back. “So, what does that prove?”

“Don’t you see? Galathwen had a secret she wouldn’t share and was killed. Gaerion was attacked and what do we really know about him. His wife said he had no connection to Galathwen but I wonder.”

Mithdor got to his feet and confronted Maglor. “You’re the one who doesn’t see,” he said, sounding angry. “Why don’t you just leave and continue your wandering ways. I know you were thinking of leaving before the snows fell. You need to go and it needs to be now.”

Maglor was shocked at Mithdor’s words. “You know something,” he said, astounded. “What is it? Tell me Mithdor. I have always considered you a friend.”

“You were wrong to do so. I have no friends. Just take my advice and go, go before sundown. It’s your only chance.”

He stood to leave but Maglor grabbed him by the arm. He had questions that needed answers and did not intend to let Mithdor go without getting them. Mithdor went to pull away and when he did, Maglor saw blood on his hair. Without thinking, concerned about his friend, he pushed the hair aside to reveal Mithdor’s wounded ear. The top part of it was severed and the scab had come loose, causing it to bleed anew. Mithdor clutched at the wound and pushed past him, running from the house while Maglor stood and watched him go, too stunned to give chase.

His mind reeled. Mithdor had the same wound as the wolf. Maglor remembered how Sauron had the power to transform himself into a wolf, and had surrounded himself with evil spirits in wolf form. Could Mithdor be one of these spirits? How then did he have the shape of a man? Maglor’s heart nearly burst at the thought that one such as Mithdor could have murdered his beloved Finrod. An anger he had not felt since the old days rose in him and he took up a knife and went after Mithdor. If he was such an evil creature, Maglor would make short work of him. He had at least two deaths to avenge, perhaps many more.

Maglor ran in the direction he had seen Mithdor go and caught a glimpse of him as he disappeared into the woods. Without hesitation, Maglor followed him under the eaves of the sun dappled forest. He saw Mithdor dodge around a tree ahead and picked up speed to catch up. Mithdor ran through the woods like he was born to it while Maglor struggled along behind, barely able to keep him in sight. With a start he realized where Mithdor was heading, into the part of the woods where he had seen the wolf last night.

Maglor took a shortcut, coming up behind the tree where he had taken his shot. He hid behind it, glancing out into the clearing. After a moment, he was rewarded when Mithdor came running through the woods, still holding his bleeding ear. He glanced behind him and when he didn’t see Maglor following, he slowed, leaning against a tree, panting.

When he had caught his breath, Mithdor looked around the clearing, a frown on his face. Suddenly Maglor heard a voice in his head. “You just couldn’t leave it, could you, Makalaurë?”

Maglor had not heard that name in too many long years to count. “How dare you taunt me, servant of Sauron,” he said, stepping from behind the tree with his knife at the ready. “I don’t know who or what you are but this must end now.”

Mithdor looked at him sadly. “Yes, it must. Please, leave before sundown. Save yourself.”

Maglor came warily closer, but Mithdor showed no sign of either fleeing or fighting. He sagged with a weariness Maglor often felt himself, the weight of years and memory.

“Why, Mithdor? Tell me why you killed those good people. Tell me why I was to be your next victim. Don’t you think I deserve answers before the end?”

“It is the end,” Mithdor said. “You were to be the last, but I can’t do it, Maglor. I thought when the time came it I could release you from the years of pain and guilt, as I did with Galathwen and Gaerion, as I have done with all the remaining Exiles.”

Maglor narrowed his eyes. “What are you talking about, demon? Exiles? Gaerion was a Sindar, married to a Green Elf. Galathwen was Telerin. Lies will not help you now.”

“How could you have been so close to Galathwen and not know?” Mithdor said. “How could you have lived in this community for over a year and not know Gaerion was no Sindar? Or have you blinded yourself to the truth before your eyes?”

“Since you seem to know me, you know I, of all people, would be the last to question others about their past. They never shared their stories with me. Galathwen was on the verge of doing so, and then you killed her.”

Mithdor gave him a haunted look. “You are not the only one in pain, Maglor. You are not the only one who suffered for the oath, who still bears the scars. Your friend Galathwen was once betrothed to a follower of Curufin. Even though she was half Telerin she took part at the kinslaying at Alqualondë. When her lover was killed by a Telerin seaman, she slew him in anger and sealed her fate, sharing in the Doom of Mandos.”

Maglor’s jaw dropped to hear this. “The letter I found in her effects. I thought the author’s name was familiar. So Galathwen was really Móriel?”

“Yes, she changed her name even as you did. One can hide the past but never escape it.”

“And Gaerion?” Maglor could scarcely believe what he was hearing. “Why did he deserve to die?”

“Eglel’s father was a follower of Celegorm. Eglel, Gaerion’s real name, was but a youth when he took part in the sack of Menegroth. It was he and a companion who left Eluréd and Elurín to their fate in the woods.”

“But his wife. . .”

“Never knew,” Mithdor finished. “He ran away in his shame and, claiming to be a refugee of Menegroth, spent his life deep in the Greenwood, living with the Sindar and Silvan Elves. It was there he met and married his wife.”

“How did Galathwen and Gaerion know you were coming for them? They both seemed to know.”

“They were the last. I had stalked them for years. Both managed to elude me for they had heard of a wolf killing Exiles before I managed to track them down. How they both ended up here I don’t know, but I don’t think they knew of each other. The sheep was an unfortunate tip off. Ironically, they were killed by Hinnith’s dogs and not me at all.”

“But how did you transform back after you killed Galathwen? You met me in the woods.”

“After the blood lust subsides I become myself again.” Mithdor said. “It is a curse, Maglor, you do not understand how quickly it takes me, how I disappear until only the beast remains.”

“So you tracked both Galathwen and Gaerion here and took vengeance,” Maglor said in disgust.

“No!” Mithdor said emphatically. “Not vengeance. I sought to give them a chance for redemption. I sought to bring them peace.”

“By sending them to Bannoth? Who are you to make that decision?” Maglor was so angry he could have ripped Mithdor apart with his bare hands.

“I did not make it. I have only suffered for it,” Mithdor said. “I did it all for you.”

Maglor remembered his dream. Finrod had said that to him. He was struck by a sudden revelation so overwhelming it took his breath away.

“Findaráto?” he said, his voice shaking. “Oh, no, my love, no!” His anger fled as Mithdor’s disguise fell away to reveal the only person he had ever, could ever, love. Maglor fell to his knees, dropping his knife, tears welling in his startled eyes. Finrod stood before him in all his golden glory, the only difference was his bicolored eyes, one grey as mist, the other Finrod’s brilliant blue. “I thought you were in Aman. I thought you were happy!”

“I could never go without you.” Responding to Maglor’s wondering look he added, “Yes, I know of your dream. I looked into your mind and saw your nightmare after Galathwen was killed, and I stepped in. I wanted you to know I was still with you, even though it is forbidden.”

“Forbidden?” It was more than Maglor could take in. He thought he must be wandering the paths of dreams even now.

“It is time you know everything,” Finrod said. “For that I must go back to the beginning. When I killed the werewolf that came for Beren I was wounded unto death, but I did not die. While I hovered between this world and Mandos, Námo appeared to me. He could not remove the curse of the werewolf, and could not admit me to his halls because of the evil enmeshed in my fëa. So he tasked me to bring the Exiles home. Only by fulfilling the Doom could the world at last be freed from the evil of Sauron and Morgoth, until the Dagor Dagorath cleanses this evil for all time. Only then could the evil within me finally be destroyed. I had no choice, Maglor. Now you are my last, and I finally feel the rebellion your father felt when pushed to his limit by the Valar. I came to Middle-earth for you and I will not leave without you.”

“And so you have been hunting the last of the Exiles upon these shores in the form of a wolf,” Maglor said, openly weeping now. “Oh, Finrod! I stayed because I imagined you happy in Aman. I despaired when I imagined you wandering houseless, refusing the call of Námo, but I never imagined this. How you must have suffered. It is unthinkable. If killing me will free you then you must do it. My life is nothing to me now. I have been living in pain far longer than I ever lived in peace. Take my life and save yours, and my soul will be healed at last.”

Finrod came and knelt before him. “Tonight is the last full moon of autumn. It has to be tonight. Please go, go before sundown. I cannot control the change. When the wolf takes me I can only fulfill my charge. I would rather die a thousand deaths than send you to Námo’s halls.” He raised his head and shouted at the pitiless heavens. “Do you hear me, Námo? My work is over. I have done all you asked but this I will not do!”

“No,” Maglor said flatly. “I will not allow you to suffer this curse because of me. You must do it, Finrod. You must finish what you started. Please, free us both. I will wait for you as long as it takes. Until Dagor Dagorath if need be. Trust that we will be together again and cleanse your soul of this evil.”

Finrod gave him a look of utter desolation mixed with inexpressible longing. He took Maglor in his arms and kissed him with a hopeful tenderness, as though asking permission. Maglor, without hesitation, returned it with heated intensity as if he would devour him. Being here like this with Finrod swept away all the pain, all the fear, from Maglor’s tortured life. To hold his lover again, in reality not a dream, to feel those strong arms around him, the beat of his noble heart, was all he had ever, would ever, long for. They lay together and made love in the glade, Maglor refusing to even consider it might be for the last time. This moment was theirs and theirs alone, pure and true. Maglor knew with certainty his time today with Finrod would sustain him through all the torments of Mandos to come.

Then, all too soon the moment was over and they lay naked and unashamed in each other’s arms until the sun began to wane. Finrod kissed him one last time then rose from the forest floor. That is when Maglor, horrified, saw the knife in Finrod’s hand.

“It is too late. I wish you had gone, Maglor for I cannot be the instrument of your doom. Eru and all the Powers forgive me.”

Finrod raised the knife to plunge it into his throat but he could not match Maglor’s speed. Maglor grabbed Finrod’s hand, trying to wrest the knife from him. Finrod had amazing strength, but Maglor was motivated by desperation. They fell to the ground, wrestling for the knife as the sun failed, and the full moon blazed forth.

The knife dropped from Finrod’s hand as it shrunk into a paw, shaggy grey fur sprouted from his body, his face elongated into a fierce muzzle full of razor sharp teeth. Now Maglor was struggling for his life as the wolf that was Finrod growled and snapped at his neck. There was nothing recognizable in the wolf’s red-eyed gaze.

Maglor fought with all his strength to keep those teeth from finding their mark, but then he realized it what he had been waiting for. He released the wolf’s throat and bared his own, at the same time grabbing the knife.

As the wolf sunk its teeth into his neck, Maglor plunged the knife into its throat. Their blood flowed and mingled on the carpet of oak leaves under them. The wolf transformed slowly back into Finrod and they gazed upon each other with love and gratitude as the light faded from their eyes. . .

Maglor felt weightless, like he had laid down a heavy burden he did not know he carried. He opened his eyes slowly, his only thought for Finrod. He expected to see the terrible visage of Námo frowning upon him but instead he found himself within the Máhanaxar, the Ring of Doom, standing next to Finrod. They were both dressed in fine attire, Finrod in blue velvet with gold brocade, he in red velvet with silver. The Valar were in council and they were the subject under discussion.

Varda smiled at them benevolently, and Ulmo looked upon them with favor while the rest of the Valar sat in stony silence. Maglor reached for Finrod’s hand and they stood together, squaring their shoulders proudly, ready to face their judgment.

“Normally, you would both be in Mandos right now,” Manwë said, “but seeing your love and the sacrifice you were willing to make for each other has moved us to intervene. Námo has been convinced to embody you here before us that we might deliver our verdict directly.”

Maglor glanced at Námo then quickly looked away. The Vala was glaring and sullen. He wondered what it had taken for the others to convince him that he and Finrod deserved any sort of special consideration.

“We will accept the decision of the Valar,” Finrod said in a strong, clear voice. He squeezed Maglor’s hand reassuringly. Maglor was not as convinced as he of any positive outcome of all this, but was willing to let Finrod speak for them both.

“Our decision, almost unanimous,” he said with a glance at Námo, “is to consider your debts paid with your deaths. Your suffering has not gone unmarked, nor have your sacrifices. Ulmo, having heard Maglor's lamentations on the shores of the sea, spoke quite eloquently on his behalf. Finrod, the wisest and noblest of the Noldor, has cleansed his fëa and kept his honor despite the curse of Sauron. You both may go now with our blessing.”

Maglor and Finrod embraced with full hearts and many tears. Maglor looked into Finrod’s beautiful blue eyes, the curse of the wolf gone forever.



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