The DarkElf Meets Turgon

- Lothithil

The leaguer of Gondolin has not been broken
Says Glorfindel in my ear
Himself alone and some few messengers
The King trusts to travel without
Always by the avenues of the sky,
And by secret in the darkness
My eyes covered, I will have some hope
Of leaving Tumladen if I choose
And if the King permits it
I am assured that it will not be
By my own wish that I leave

As my eyes are freed, and the morning
Breaks over the green hill
Reluctantly I agree
This land is more beautiful
Than any I have yet seen
Like an echo from the vision
That illuminates my mind
A glass city on a great mound
Nestled in a valley of warmth and colour
Encircled by mountains strong
Bones of the Earth, a fence of stone teeth
And all within music and light

Seven circles has his city
And Seven gates to pass
Each greater and more lovely
And stronger and attended
No place had I afore seen that measured
Abreast to this display of strength
Stream winding down into the valley
Fresh as green spring here in the midst of winter
What power does this King possess
To turn aside the weather?
I walk in a trance of wonder
Heeding little else but the vision
To my dark eyes almost painfully fair

Thorondor is gone with my stammered thanks
Watching him fly, I am filled with regret
That I could not remain with his folk
Where I had found an acceptance and love
Previouly unknown
But I am not sad, indeed I am smiling
And my bow is unstrung, my hands untied
In this place maybe I have found a haven
I have seen the strength of the Darkness
But it seems now diminished by this Valley of Light
Surely nothing can stain this jewel?
Eagerly I follow my shining guide
As he leads me into the streets that thread
The gleaming towers of Gondolin

"My Lord Turgon is waiting in the city." We are walking now, past the last gate, and I am robbed of words to describe the wonder I see. Casually Glorfindel steers me by the elbow, for my feet falter as each corner is turned and a new marvel revealed. "He is eager to speak with you, for his only news comes from Lord Thorondor, and the Eagles' news is somewhat bare of meat for the tastes of the king," Glorfindel chuckled.

And he leads me to an exquisite garden. Three Elves wait there. My eyes fall upon a maiden, so sweetly lovely that I am suddenly shy, consious of my own rough garments of raw leather and weave, and the soil upon my hands and face. Yet no disgust or reproach is in her countanence; she welcomes me, and smiles gently at my flushed face. "Idril, daughter of the King."

Beside her is a tall Elf, so close in appearence to her that I see that they are near kindred. He is regal, commanding and wise. I bow as I learned in Doriath my best greeting but I am clumsy, and I hear a whisper of mocking laughter from behind the King as I stammer a greeting. "My Lord Turgon, King of the Gondolin." He looks upon me with interest, and my burning embarassment subsides under his kindly regard.

Fair also, face and hand strong and noble-looking, he stands behind Turgon and offers only a smirk in greeting. Glorfindel names him, "Maeglin, sister-son of Turgon," and I instantly am filled with a loathing so strong my hand moves on its own, seeking the hilt of my blade. Glorfindel's hand closes on my arm; his eyes are puzzled.

Thoughts of stone; I build a barrier between myself and the one called Maeglin. I can feel him trying to see inside my head, and read my thoughts. A frown creases his fair skin when he finds that he cannot do so.

I turn again to the King. My sword I draw, and I lay it upon the stones before Turgon's feet. "Lord, I am at your service. I seek refuge and respite in your fair land, and swear ever to keep it's secrets. Your enemies are my enemies."

Turgon spoke then, and his voice was not unlike deep melodies of singing water. "You shall abide here, and be welcome. But sit now and tell me all that you have seen and heard, for ever I hunger for news of the world. Tell me, what news of Fingon, my brother?"

"Of Fingon I know nothing, lord, save what the Hen-eagle told. Came I most recently from Orodreth's ruined tower, where I saw the ending of Lord Finrod Felegund." And my tears run still, from out of my wounded heart.

Maeglin's eyes glinted darkly and he spoke softly in Turgon's ear, but all the while his eyes wandered between me and the king's daughter. A longing unwholesome I saw when his glance touched her, and I cut him with my own stare. His regard was like the laughing of a wolf. "Beware, lord! Those captured by Gorthaur are said ever to serve him still, entralled by his dark power."

Not even the closeness and speed of Glorfindel can intercept my action. Swift as a striking snake, I take up my sword and face Maeglin, mute with fury.

Turgon stands between us, and my anger ebbs. "I have taken your sword," he said. "Slay only those I command of you." To Maeglin he spoke then, and those his words were gentle, sterness grounded them. "If she were a thrall then the Lord of Eagles, Manwe's own lieutenants, would have smote her body upon the mountains, and ended her in pity. I can see that she is no slave, nor would ever abide in captivity. Like my sister, Aredhel she seems, both wilfull and loyal. Stay your tongue, Maeglin, and speak only greetings to..." Turgon turned then to me, and asked kindly, "By what name are you called?"

My eyes seek my boot-tops, and Glorfindel steps forward with grace. "My Lord, she is know as Morlothiel, for in the darkness before the Sun she bloomed in the valley of Cuivienen, and from there she has fought the dark leagues alone, striving always against the Foe."

Turgon took my hand, and placed his hands around mine on the hilt of my worn sword. "Welcome to Gondolin, Morlothiel."