Fallen from the path he once knew so well
Estarfin was born in the green land of Thargelion in the 275th Year of the Sun, during the years of the Long Peace. His father was great within the Court of Caranthir the Dark, serving as a Captain of his host. During these years of peace, Estarfin grew tall and strong; mighty was he amongst the host of Caranthir. He was a joyous soul, who took great delight in the art of smithing. Forodhir, the master armour-smith of Caranthir, taught to Estarfin secrets of the craft that he had learned in Aman, from the great teacher Aulë. Estarfin also learned much from the Naugrim in that time, although he loved them not.
When Morgoth unleashed the fires of the Dagor Bragollach, Estarfin and Forodhir were away from their homes, in Barad Eithel; as part of a trade envoy to the High King Fingolfin. This had been suggested by Maedhros himself, as a way of helping to cool the rancour between Fingolfin and the Sons of Fëanor, in particular Caranthir. The armour-smiths of Caranthir were unmatched amongst the Noldor at that time, combining the wisdom of Aman with the skill of the dwarves; and the weapons produced in the forges of Fingolfin were highly prized. Therefore the trade envoy was announced, and as a son of a Captain of Caranthir, Estarfin was chosen to lead the envoy with Forodhir.
After a promising start, with Estarfin and Forodhir welcomed warmly by Fingon, and then Fingolfin himself, the envoy ended with disaster. When the Sudden Flames began, chaos and confusion ruled Barad Eithel, as the Siege of Angband was broken forever. Estarfin was within the forges of Fingolfin when the fires consumed Ard-galen, arrayed in his armour but with no weapon upon him. He took up a long spear and a great shield that bore the hallmarks of Aman, and joined the desperate fight at the side of his estranged kin.
After many months, the battle for Barad Eithel was won. Estarfin, Forodhir, and the smiths of Caranthir made ready to depart back to their own lands. The envoy had been a partial success; no trade had occurred between the two houses of the Noldor, but the Elves of Caranthir had won great renown amongst the kindred of Fingolfin. Before Estarfin and his compatriots could depart however, a great and terrible event occurred. Estarfin witnessed the greatest act of valour ever seen upon Middle Earth, when the High King Fingolfin rode away to Angband to challenge Morgoth to single combat. So great was the fury in his eyes, that none of the orcs gathered upon Anfauglith could withstand his gaze, and threw down their arms and cowered in his wake. Seeing a chance for vengeance against the orcs for the despoiling of Ard-galen, Estarfin led Forodhir and the armour-smiths of Thargelion in an ill-advised charge to follow in the King's wake. At first this went well, and the group was able to press into the stunned orcs and slay them with ease.
Estarfin pressed too far, and too fast however. The host of orcs arrayed against them was too great, and one by one, the craftsmen of Caranthir fell to the hewing strokes of the enemy. Eventually, only Estarfin and Forodhir remained of the company. Bitterly did Estarfin regret his pride, but still he fought, slaying any who came within reach of his great spear. Before the orcs could finish their bloody work and cut down Estarfin and Forodhir, Fingon led the Elves of Barad Eithel into battle upon the plains of Anfauglith, and Estarfin and Forodhir were able to escape their fates that day. After the orcs were routed, Estarfin and Forodhir gave as gifts the last of the armour that their smiths had created to the new King, Fingon, in return for the march that had saved their lives. In return, Fingon gave as a gift the spear and shield that Estarfin had wielded during the battle for Barad Eithel, with the words "It is strange that the wounds between our houses are tended with such a bitter blade. And also fitting that these weapons should pass back into the house of the Sons of he who wrought them. Farewell."
When Estarfin and Forodhir eventually returned to Dor Caranthir, they found that all was in ruin, and that their kin had departed. Journeying southwards away from the orc hosts infesting the lands, they eventually came to Amon Ereb after wandering long in the wilds. When Caranthir learned of their return he was overjoyed, as he thought them lost in the battle. Once Estarfin had told his tale however, Caranthir grew wrathful, and spoke cruelly to Estarfin. "Now I see that you are not the son of your father as I thought, he who perished upon the green sward of Ard-galen when the Sudden Flames erupted from Thangorodrim. Keep the misbegotten spear and shield from the holds of the usurper King, and take also this, the name Ehtyar. No title shall you have except this Spearman, and no Lordship shall you hold over any of my household. Begone, and do not come before me again until you have redeemed yourself, and may take back the name that your father gave to you."
Stung by the pronouncement, Estarfin departed from the camp of Caranthir upon Amon Ereb, and made his way westwards, to dwell at the base of Ramdal, the end point of the Long Wall. There he remained for many years, foraying forth to hunt the servants of the enemy. It was during this time that he heard of the Union of Maedhros from the Green Elves that he met on his travels. Estarfin was keen to join the host of Caranthir that would march, and so returned in shame to Amon Ereb. There he was reunited with Forodhir, and that meeting at least was glad. Estarfin was disquieted to see the sheer quantity of men that would march with Caranthir, but kept his peace. The men that had fought at Barad Eithel were brave and strong indeed, so would these men prove in battle.
When the time finally came to march upon Angband, Estarfin marched with Forodhir by his side, carrying his great spear and shield. They went with the large group of men, as Estarfin Ehtyar was still shunned by the Lords of Caranthir. At first, all went to plan as far as Estarfin could see. The army of Maedhros marched west upon Anfauglith and engaged with a great rout of orcs. The spear of Estarfin reaped a great tally in that battle, and none could stand before the fury of Estarfin and Forodhir, a light of joy within their eyes as they took revenge for all of the hurts that Morgoth and his servants had inflicted upon them. The orcs of Morgoth could not stand against the host of Maedhros for long, and were eventually overrun and slain by the Noldor and Easterlings. Estarfin was not impressed by the mettle of these men, seeming less brave than the men of Barad Eithel, and less willing to join with the main host of Maedhros in battle.
As the host marched westward, Estarfin espied a blue and white banner flying high above a battle ahead, ashy dust swirling through the air and hiding all else. As the vanguard of Maedhros came within bowshot of the swirling figures, Maedhros himself took his silver horn and let forth a great ringing note, which was taken up by many of the Noldor. The orcs with their backs against them turned and quailed, knowing that their doom was upon them. Hope was kindled upon the fatigued faces of the Elves of Fingon, and even from afar, Estarfin and Forodhir saw some faces that they knew. As the host of Maedhros advanced, a new peril emerged from the Iron Prison. Flame and shadow erupted from the black gates, and closed swiftly with the forces of Maedhros. Entire companies of the vanguard were lost in the initial conflagration that was brought forth from the dragons and balrogs of Morgoth. Few of the front ranks of the Noldor remained standing after that initial blast, and those that did appeared rooted to the spot. Estarfin and Forodhir were far back in the ranks of the Noldor, but still they felt the heat upon their faces. As they looked to the front, they saw a tall Elf, arrayed in mail, draw his sword and brandish it high in the air.
As the host of Maedhros prepared a desperate charge against this new foe, the sounds of battle came from behind Estarfin and Forodhir. Turning in confusion, they saw a terrible sight. All about them were the fallen bodies of Elves, and men were advancing upon them with murder written across their faces. Unsure of what was happening, Estarfin and Forodhir wavered, holding their weapons but making no use of them. Then, a group of the Easterlings hewed a tall Elf with dark hair standing near to Estarfin, and hot blood hit his face. After that, events became a red blur to Estarfin. He hefted his spear and shield, and charged with Forodhir into the traitorous men. He cursed them as he slew them, and none could withstand his fury. The spear that he had been given by Fingon carved through shields, armour and flesh. Estarfin pressed deep into the melee, aware only in passing of the shapes of his fellow Elves beside him, and feeling only rage, and the hot spray of traitorous blood. It seemed at times that the traitors before him threw down their weapons, or pleaded their innocence. The spear of Estarfin did not slow however, and any that came within range fell.
Estarfin became dimly aware of the great horn of Caranthir ringing in the air, but knew not what it meant, so far gone with blood rage was he. It was not until there were no more men before him that he turned, and gasped. A long and wide road had been cut through the ranks of the Easterlings, and only Forodhir stood beside him. Both were so drenched in blood, that it was impossible to tell them apart. They saw the hosts of Maedhros following the bloody path that they had cut eastwards, and rushed back into the fray to lend aid to their Lord, ignoring their burning muscles and many wounds. As they drew nearer to the company of Caranthir, Forodhir fell at the side of Estarfin, a spear head of one of the Easterlings embedded in his side. At that moment, what little restraint remained to Estarfin broke forever. He screamed an Oath that he would never forgive the treachery of men, and dived into the nearest group of Men, all of whom had thrown down their arms in the face of the might of Caranthir and his Captains. He did not stop until all about him were dead or dying, his eyes wide but unseeing. He saw then that Caranthir himself had come near, two of his Captains supporting him as he limped away from the field. Estarfin moved to Caranthir’s side, and none dared to rebuke him. Seeing the blood-drenched Elf before him, Caranthir relented of his previous judgement. "Stained with the blood of the guilty and the innocent alike you are. Therefore I name thee Yarehtar, The Bloody Spear. You are not Noldor, you are not a warrior, you are an instrument of vengeance only. May Eru show mercy to any kin that stand against you, for you shall not."
Estarfin journeyed with Caranthir and the remaining host of Maedhros all the way to Mount Dolmed, far to the east and south of the accursed Anfauglith. On this long march, Estarfin learned of all the sorrow of the battle. Of the death of Fingon, the full treachery of the Easterlings, and the complete defeat of the forces of the Noldor. Estarfin marched constantly at the side of Caranthir, and so overheard many conversations between him and his brothers. It was Maedhros himself who first named it, Nírnaeth Arnoediad, the Battle of Unnumbered Tears, and none could disagree with that name.
When the host reached Mount Dolmed, they found nothing but abandoned forts, cold and bare. For many years, the Sons of Fëanor dwelt there in despair, and nothing but evil news reached their ears. The destruction of Nargothrond, and the death of Thingol were chief amongst these. Not even the harshest of the Sons could feel anything but loss at these tidings, for they knew that the utter defeat of the Noldor grew closer. However, after many years, new tidings reached the ears of the Sons, and Caranthir called a council of his greatest warriors. To his surprise, Estarfin Yarehtar was included in this fell meeting. It was there that Caranthir revealed to them that Dior of Doriath now wore a Silmaril upon his breast, and would not yield it to the rightful owners, the Sons of Fëanor.
After Caranthir revealed his plan, few of his followers were eager to march upon Doriath, knowing that this would lead to another slaying of their kin, and feeling that enough evil had befallen due to the works of Fëanor. Estarfin offered his spear however, and would not turn from the darkness that lay before him. During the depths of winter, the grim company under the leadership of Maedhros took the dark road that led to Menegroth. Great were the sorrows that befell there, and no song of the Elves will speak of such terrible events. King Dior was slain, as was a great many of the host of Doriath. But more evil for the Noldor, great Lords from across the Sea fell there too. Chief amongst these were the brothers Caranthir, Celegorm, and Curufin. The lamentations of all were great, and the Silmaril slipped from the grasp of the remaining Sons once again. Lordless, and with the blood of his kin upon his hands, Estarfin left the deserted and bloody halls of the once glorious Menegroth, and journeyed once more to the desolate dwellings upon Mount Dolmed.
Many years did Estarfin remain there, dwelling upon the awful deeds of the Noldor, and the part that he had played in them. His regret and his hatred of Men gnawed at him in the dark, and drove him deep into despair. Few Elves have journeyed so far into black despair and yet remain within their physical form, but the fear of the judgement of the Valar in the west drove Estarfin to cling to life in Beleriand. Estarfin had little contact with any during those long years. The glorious host of Caranthir had been greatly reduced during the Nírnaeth Arnoediad, and many more had fallen during the Second Kinslaying. Leaderless, and directionless, the remaining host had drifted apart, many being drawn to the remaining Fëanorian Princes, for there were few other safe havens during those dark years. What little news that came to Estarfin was all of woe; the power of the north spreading over all the lands, and destroying anything beautiful that it found. The fall of the fair city of the High King Turgon, Gondolin the Great, last refuge of the power of the Noldor in those years was the greatest of the many tales of loss. Without a King, without a purpose, and without hope dwelt the remainder of the proud Elves from across the Sea. After many years sat in darkness, nursing his grief, Estarfin once again sought out the company of his kin. The great minstrel Maglor seemed a Lord less likely to lead his people into bloodshed once more, and so Estarfin left his dwelling of solitude, and walked the road to the camp of Maglor upon Amon Ereb.
Few were the Noldor that remained to Maglor, and Estarfin was welcomed by weary hearts and wary glances. Another slayer of kin was not to be welcomed, but such reinforcements as could be found were required to bolster the forces of Maglor. Estarfin found little comfort from the dour Elves of Maglor, and no welcome at all from Maglor himself. The name Yarehtar followed him still, and the great spear that he carried was recognisable to many. Soon enough though, rumour passed through the camp that the Silmaril of Doriath had resurfaced in the great Havens of Sirion, the last remaining stronghold of Elves upon Middle Earth. Many messengers were sent to the Havens, and for many years it appeared as though the remaining Sons of Fëanor would allow peace to reign. The order to march was eventually given though, and none were glad. Every face that Estarfin beheld was etched with grief and doubt. Estarfin himself took up his armour, shield and spear, and marched with grim heart south, to the fair Havens.
What followed at the Havens was sheer madness. Elf against Elf, smoke, fire, fear and confusion. Estarfin soon lost contact with the host of Maglor, but still he carried on mechanically, slaying any that came before him. He no longer cared if those who perished before him were friend or foe, old or young, tall Lord or fair Elf Lady. Tears traced lines through the soot on his face, and he despaired. The blood of the innocent was upon his hands once more, and this time he knew that he was damned. There could be no forgiveness in the West for such passionless evil. There was no reason behind the hewing spear thrusts, simply a will to carry on, to find meaning in the service of the great Lords of the Noldor. Finally, before madness took hold, Estarfin lowered his weapons, turned his back on the fiery madness, and walked into the night. The sounds of battle in vain, the burning of the Havens, and the screams of the dying followed him into the night.
After the madness of the Havens, Estarfin made his way slowly to the near-lifeless fortresses upon Amon Ereb. Soon, the remainder of the host of Maedhros returned from their evil actions. Maedhros and Maglor alone remained of the seven great Sons of Fëanor, and the once great and proud host was but a shadow of its former size and glory. The following year was spent in bitter silence, and few words were spoken upon Amon Ereb. Estarfin went not abroad, but remained locked in cold halls of stone, with none but his memories for company. But Amon Ereb was not spared from the cruel attentions of Morgoth Bauglir, and soon the great hill was under attack by a great force of orcs, Easterlings, and worse besides. The defences of Amon Ereb were shattered, and all that dwelt there were scattered in the wind. Estarfin fled to the dark forest of Taur-Im-Duinath, and found no peace there beneath the old and gnarled trees, but was hunted like a wild thing by the orcs of Morgoth.
Of the coming of the Valar and the host of the West, Estarfin knew nothing, until he heard the great ringing of silver trumpets from the west. Soon he emerged from his hateful hiding place within the old forest, and saw the sea of standards upon the shoreline, next to the mouth of Sirion. Hope again stirred within his heart, as it had not done since the Nírnaeth Arnoediad. He marched towards the standards of the Valar, the Vanyar, and the Noldor who had remained in Valinor, and was glad once more. So many fair Lords of the Eldar were arrayed before him that he wept with joy, but behind the joy came the stab of regret and remorse for the blood that was upon his hands. He was not the only survivor of Beleriand that joined to the host of the Valar upon the shores of the sea. Maedhros, Maglor, Noldor, Dark Elf and Man joined the host. Bitterly did Estarfin look upon his Oath to never forgive men for their treachery, but he was no oathbreaker. He moved to camp as far from the Men as possible, with the Lords Maedhros and Maglor. Estarfin could not fail to notice that yet more of their host had perished, either in the assault upon Amon Ereb, or from the long years in the wild following.
Of the War of Wrath, little needs to be written. Estarfin marched with the glorious host, with hope and pride within his heart once more. Many servants of Morgoth fell beneath his spear, but the passion of battle was gone from him forever. He fought to kill, and to survive; not for pride or vengeance. He did not celebrate when Ancalagon the Black was thrown down and cracked Thangorodrim. He felt nothing when Morgoth was dragged from inside his Iron Prison, wrapped in a great chain and humbled before the host of the Valar. All he felt was emptiness, and the desire to be away from the hosts of the Valar, before retribution could be meted out to the exiles.
As the host was celebrating the victory, and mourning the slain, Estarfin slipped away, and left Beleriand forever. The land had been smashed by the years of the fury of the Valar, and the lands that he had loved were become barren and broken. In many places the sea crept in through deep rents and fissures in the earth. Crossing the Ered Luin, Estarfin began his age-long solitude. First he dwelt within the forest of Eyrn Vorn, but he loved not the dark wood. He craved to be near, and yet removed from any that remained of his kin. He went north, and found the newly created kingdom of Lindon, under the new King Gil-Galad.
Parnard, Danel, Ruineth
All that he loves is taken from him.
Men, failure, the servants of the Enemy and the relentless onslaught of time.
As the seasons slowly pass him by his motivation slips away, for his purpose has been taken from him.