Of Martuleon and the Dagor Bragollach



     Over six centuries had passed since the coming of the Noldor back to the Shores of Beleriand, and Fingolfin's siege was a wall about the fortress of Angband as Martuleon looked out from the hills of Dorthonion across the expanse of the Ard-galen.  The Younger Noldo seethed inside of his skin, for he wished this siege ended and Morgoth brought out from his fortress in chains.  His right hand came up to his chest and lightly touched the scar that lay over his heart, a remembrance of his youth and a fuel to ignite his hatred for the orcs.  He wished not to be bitter, but for a Noldor at that moment it was nigh impossible.  He had never seen the lands of Valinor, but in his minds eye was a picture he kept from the stories his mother used to tell.  Now his people were banned from that place, and forsaken by the very Valar who beckoned them there long before in twilight.  He looked around thinking this fight was not his, was not his peoples, and if Manwe himself appeared in front of him, this elf would tell him so.

     A company of riders rushed past on their way to the redoubts and siege machines, cloaked and hooded, of the house of Hurin.  He pondered on them for a moment.  Courage was not lacking in these Avani, these men of arms that pledged themselves to High King Fingolfin.  It made Martuleon smile, such courage, such fealty.  Do the Valar know that though they had forsaken his people, others, though lesser than an Ainu still had their interests and the interests of Arda at heart?  He pondered that a moment, thinking they knew, but still would not act.  What oath could be so terrible that a patron would abandon its subjects.  He had not even seen a silmaril, and had doubt that it could be of such radiant beauty that he would be standing in the middle of a war for them.  A giant coughing blew his ears, and he went into a combat stance.  A heavy wave of air rushed past his face, as a sound louder than anything he had heard echoed itself from the north.  He peered in that direction, and what was only moments ago a clear and cold sky, was now a black bellowing cloud of dust and flame.  His first thought was of his parents, his bonded, and his child, who were at that time in the north reaches of Hithlum

     Martuleon made for his steed, the men of Dorthonion rushing about him.  At this moment he was just north of the pass of Sirion.  His eyes began to fill with tears, for the insight of his people was strong, and he knew that he would come only too late if the Armies of Morgoth were truly issuing forth from the Hells of Iron.  He blinked his eyes as he reached his steed.  He would not except defeat, and he would not lose his family to the orcs he knew for certain were on their way.  He cursed Morgoth thrice upon the name of Eru, and road hard in a north western direction.

     The next many hours were to him just a blur.  Before he reached the foothills of Ered Wethrin, there were seen rivers of flame pouring over the hills and plains of the Ard-galen.  He came upon the mountains, and rushed by the defenders of Bared Eithel, screaming "sword, spear" as he road.  A lone Sindar, hair silver and eyes the color of spring, a miracle in the doom of war, stood only yards from the western gates of the fortress, his hands filled with a pile of Armaments.  Martuleon began to say something as he grabbed for the weapons, but the Sindar bade him hush, and was already strapping the gear he had gathered to Martuleon"s steed.  The only words that the Sindar spoke were "Hush Child, I know your plight, tis family you seek to aid."  It took only moments to secure the gear, and as the Grey Elf handed him lastly a sword and a short spear, Martuleon looked down into his eyes.  There was hope there, and sadness as well.  And something Martuleon could not place, an urging of sorts to be gone about his plight.  The Sindar touched Martuleon's cheek for only a moment, then slapped hard the posterior of the Noldo's horse and sent him galloping away.  As Martuleon rushed through the gates and to the passes beyond he thought his elven ears heard behind him "May Varda keep you as she keeps the stars youngling."

     His Ride was fierce and he did not stop for anything, the haunches and flanks of his steed streaming with sweat, his own breath shallow and tasting of the cold highland air.  He passed many on his way, elves armed to the teeth with armor and weapons of silver and blue,  men upon horseback coming to the call of their lords, and others of different causes.  He paid them no glance, no word, but road hard as if upon the very wind itself.  At last he came within five miles of his home, stopping beside a clear spring he had knowledge of from his youth.  As he unpacked his horse and began to lay what the Sindar had so graciously given him upon the ground, he looked around.  He had not passed many for the last hour, and an eerie silence held all of northern Hithlum within its grasp.  None of the enemy he knew could not be far away were within sight, but a nagging suspicion crept over him.  He looked down upon the weapons and armor he had obtained, and frowned.  There lay a leather hauberk, A steel helm polished almost white, a plume of blue issuing from its top.  Also there was a hoodless cloak bearing the signet of Fingolfin, a broadsword, silver hilted and gleaming, and a short spear to match.  He also had his longbow, but it was of poor craft, made only for hunting and not suited as a tool of war.  He sighed and armed himself, looking at his horse and wondering if it would make it through the last legs of this journey.  Its breath was ragged, and it drank deep from the spring.  Five minutes for the beast was all Martuleon could spare.  He took the traveling mug he carried with him and filled it many times, pouring it over the frothy skin of his steed, and as he done so a rustling sounded to his right.

     Three orcs burst forth from the undergrowth, armed in black iron and swords jagged of edge.  One Held a menacing hooked short sword and a whip of dark leather.  That one he killed first, the spear he held piercing deep into its chest before the orc knew its life was forfeit.  The other two advanced quickly, and came upon Martuleon from both sides.  The one to the right swung first, his blade catching the guard of Martuleon's sword, and with the elf's skill he disarmed the beast in that moment.  The other came in with a jabbing motion, thinking to end the elf with many pierces to his chest.  He caught Martuleon's shoulder, but was killed only moments after as the elf's blade cut through the leather around its throat, almost severing its head.  The last orc screamed in fury and its arms came down over Martuleon, causing him to drop his blade.  Large fists then began to rain blows down upon the elf's head, causing disorientation and sparkles in his vision.  Martuleon squirmed and twisted, breaking free of the orc, and hand to hand combat ensued.  They rolled upon the ground, a match of strength, and Martuleon was losing.  At the last moment the Elf glanced down and spied a dagger still sheathed about the orcs side.  His hand fell upon its hilt, and he quickly stuck it down the crease of the orcs shoulder and neck, severing its spine.  He ran for the spear then, plucking it from the chest cavity of his first victim, and moved for his horse, picking his sword up as he went.  Twice he came upon other small bands of orcs, taking the first group out with his bow, and bordering the other group on his way to his home.

     Two hundred yards before the threshold of his house, the horse he rode fell dead, the strain of the ride too hard, and the pace too great for the beasts life force to take.  Martuleon did not stop, sword in his off hand, and spear in his main, he went at a run towards his home.  he fell short only forty yards from its door, seeing the body of his father laying across another corpse who's identity was unmakable.  In his fathers hands were two swords, held in a death grip.  The old man went out fighting, and Martuleon knelt long enough to close his fathers eyes.  The Body underneath was that of his mother, and it was badly ravaged, her face a bloody mass of almost indistinguishable features.  His eyes welled up with tears, but a scream echoed forth from inside his home, and all was forgotten as he rushed to the door.  What he saw when he entered, and the events that followed, the elf has never forgotten.

     As he entered he saw a body laying draped over a chair, small and lithe, and knew it immediately to be his son of only thirteen years.  Standing in front of it was his bonded, Elellossë, a spear she held piercing deep into the chest of one of two orcs encroaching upon her.  There was a look of fury upon her face, and as Martuleon started forward, she looked at him with her deep grey eyes.  It seemed as if time had stopped for that moment, but the other orc, seeing his chance, cut her down before a second had passed.  Martuleon screamed in rage, and sent his spear through its neck.  He rushed upon the other, stabbing multiple times, though it was already dead by Elellossë's own hand.  He held his beloved within his arms and looked down into her eyes.

     "Martuleon", she said as one weak hand came up to touch his cheek, "I knew you would come."  "Our son, they.." but Martuleon cut in at that moment

     "Hush now, Áni apsenë, my lóte, my melindo", he spoke as tears filled his eyes.  He knew that her wounds were mortal.

     "There is no forgiveness needed melindo, you came as soon as you could," she spoke with a voice growing weaker by the moment.

     Martuleon held her tight to his chest, his tears falling into her hair, his heart pounding in his ears, his soul feeling as if it slowly leaked from his body.  He could do naught to help her, for the wounds were grievous, and she would not survive the next moments.  He stared off into nothing as he cradled her to him.

     She stirred then, and reached up for the last time to touch his cheek, and as he began to sob she placed one slender finger upon his lips, and said "cry not, my most sarta melme, for we shall see each other again, though it may seem long, it is only a moment in the ballads of the Ainur."

     "I cannot go on without you Elellossë, I cannot bare this life without you," he said simply through racking sobs and chills.

     "You can and you will melme, you must, "she said as her breath became more shallow and more ragged.  "Promise me that our sons death shall not be in vain, that one day you will stand upon the falas and watch the ships of the Valar come to Ardas aid.  Promise me my most beloved."

     Martuleon took a deep breath and in a barely audible voice said, "I promise Elellossë."

    "Then now I go to our son, who awaits me at the halls of Mandos.  Find happiness in this world my love, and forever remember that I await our reunion," said Elellossë in the last moments of her life, and then she died.

     Martuleon sat there for what seemed like hours, and held the body of Elellossë as if it still had breath.  Then he rose, and carried the bodies of his wife and child from their home, and then laid them beside that of his parents.  He then made a fire, and burned his home to ash.  The orcs stayed far away, for the fire could be seen for many a mile and it was a beckon of light to those that fought not far away.  He then buried his family in the spot where his house stood, in a giant mound, naming it the mound of unjust loss.  He then made for the fortress of  Bared Eithel and to the throne of Fingolfin, High King.