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Noldolante

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Manwe and Varda sat at the Ring of Doom with Finwe and his sons seated before them. Near at hand were all the princes and lords of the Noldor. Ingwe too was present and many Vanyar were among the crowd of Noldor.

Many people spoke in turn, and the magnitude of the unrest was revealed to the Valar. Then Manwe took council with Mandos, and all the Aratar held converse without word. The Eldar sat in silence. Then Yavanna said, "If the Noldor hold that we are not to be trusted but the Vanyar disagree, then we can guess the cause of the suspicion. Tell us, fair people of the Vanyar: do you feel as the people of Tirion do - as pawns and our thralls - that we have ill will towards you?"

Then the Vanyar said "nay".

Manwe spoke "Then verily it is as thou say Kementari. The Noldor have remained too distant from our city. If they would dwell among us again--"

"We would not!" cried Tyelkatano of the Noldor beloved of Elewende Maicanaro's sister , "What of the new race? Will there truly be a new people...weaker than Quendi, and more eager to do the will of the Valar? Thriving in the wide lands abroad."

"Tell me where you heard this!" commanded Tulkas.

But the Noldor were silent, and the Valar took council by thought once more. This time their thought grew urgent, Maicanaro noticed. Though he felt some admiration for the boldness of Tyelcatano, he did not feel comfortable at the though of his sister becoming involved in anything between elf and vala.

He looked across the crowd and met her eyes. Her brow was lined with anxiety. Then Elwende smiled to Maicanaro, reading his concern for her. But as he returned the expression of warmth a great shout went up! So thunderous that all save the Valar reached up to stop their ears. Tulkas clenched his enormous hands into fists and his eyes shined like white fire.
The ground shook as he sped away.

Maicanaro turned to Morfindesse, "Did he say 'Melkor'?
 
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Morfindessë took her hands from her ears and shook her head several times. Her eardrums were ringing from Tulkas' shout.

- Yes, he definitely did, she said. Remember what that bird, Rimpalómë, said ? He seems to be right ; the Prisoner is at the heart of everything. But fooling us is one thing, and fooling the Valar quite another. How...

She suddenly stopped, for Fëanáro had again stepped forward in the Ring of Doom. The talking died, and silence fell on the assembly. Straight walked Fëanáro, his brow held high ; although he wore no sword, his bearing was one of a warrior seeking challenge. A vessel was beating on his temple ; his jaw was set. When he spoke, his voice was hard with cold anger.

- Today, lies and deceit was exposed, said Fëanáro. But some things were true indeed. If the Valar seek not to keep my people in thraldom, why was it that none spoke of the coming of the Followers ? Why are we kept, as if in bounds, behind the shores of the Sea, treading paths we know but too well now ? Why were the Valar, mighty in Arda, unable to keep one of their kin from deceiving us ?

To these questions, none answered, save Nienna, the Wise :
- Proud is thy heart, son of Finwë. If thou would but seek understanding, many griefs would thou avoid, and many answers thou would find.

- Proud I may be, said Fëanáro, but my questions remain unanswered.

- Thou were not summoned here to question, but to answer, said Mandos. Thou it was that broke the peace of Valinor and drew your sword to your kinsman. Truly, thou were deceived, and the deceiver shall be punished, but you can't be held guiltless in these deeds. Thou speaks of thraldom. If thraldom it be, thou can't escape it : for Manwë is King of Arda, and not of Aman only. And this deed was unlawful, whether in Aman or not in Aman. Therefore this doom in now made : for twelve years thou shalt leave Tirion where this threat was uttered. In that time take counsel with thyself, and remember who and what thou art. But after that time this matter shall be set in peace and held redressed, if others will release thee.

Nolofinwë then stood up and went to his brother's side. Morfindessë caught a glimpse of his fair face, ridden with anguish as he beheld Fëanáro's grim expression ; the silence was thick, as those assembled waited for one of the sons of Finwë either to ask or to give pardon.
 

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Nolofinwe looked at Feanaro and said 'I will release my brother.'

Arafinwe sat near with his children. He and Findarato spoke softly to eachother in musical voices. Golden and fair they stood now, and as Vanyar they apeared to be thought Maicanaro; but Tirion was their home, and Feanaro their close kin. Then Arafinwe with Findarato at his side pleaded with Manwe that the rift between his brothers might be given a chance to heal ere they were sundered. 'For the deeds of Melkor are newly revealed, and in the midst of an enemy our kin might be united, remembering their love of one another and of our father their king.'

But even as he spoke Feanaro turned from his brothers the children of Indis, and was gone from the city.

Maikanaro was moved by the words of Arafinwe, and his heart ached when Feanaro turned away; ached at he rift between brothers. Then he grieved for the loss of innocence of Aman; knowing that from this day forth things could never be the same. Like Arafinwe, he wished for the preservation of peace and happiness among his people. In that moment he was ashamed of his pride of his new sword, and turning to Dagorlin said, 'I hope never to wear that blade again, and swear that I will do so only against Melkor.'
 

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Dagorlin said nothing, but sat in thought. Maicanaro realised that many of the Noldor would face a decision. In Feanaro truly is banished, then his sons will go with him, and many others besides.

'I must speak with my sister.' he told Morfindesse and Dagorlin, 'then it is back to Tirion. Stop by the shop anytime. You too Rimpalome.' then he worked his way through the crowd to Elewende and Tyelkatano.

'If Feanaro is to leave Tirion then I must go with him' said Tyelkatano to Elenwe as Maicanaro drew near, interrupting. 'Do you not first wish to learn whither he goes?'

'Far from here, if I am to guess.'

'It is likely.'

'Will you leave Tirion, Maicanaro?'

'I may. I think we should discuss the matter after we know more. Let us meet at my house within the next few days. Both of you.'

'We will be there, brother.'

'Goodbye then, I have grown weary of the crowd, and desire the quiet of my workshop.'
 

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Dagorlin

Words are strange things are they not? On the surface they are merely thoughts given voice, given form and expression. Words can be weapons of course, yet they can also be tools, they can destroy and they can shape, cut and caress. I knew a scholar amongst the Noldor who lay such store by words, he believed the soul could not exist without them. Words are to the soul what blood is the body - or so he held. The brain beats as well as the heart, syllable follows syllable in a constant rhythmic stream of being. Whether this is true I cannot say. It is plain though that the history our people is wrapped up in them. We are the speakers, the talkers, and some of us? Well some of us are listeners too. So it was that I sat there and I listened, turning these words over in my mind as if they were shells on the shore, looking for something hidden beneath each one, some deeper reason the House of Finwe was tearing itself before my eyes. The answer to the riddle of course was an obvious one, but being such there were still those who refused to see it, or simply could not see it. Perhaps it was time I sought out my father.
 
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Morfindessë sat long in thought, beside Dagorlin. She felt a thread had broken ; although the scene had appeared less violent than the outburst in Tirion, it was only here, in Valmar, that evil had been sealed. For hot anger could be forgiven, but such resentment ? Morfindessë felt deeply the wound that had been born to Finwë and the sons of Indis — to reject forgiveness, to enclose oneself in one's pride ? Was it a newfound independence ? Fëanáro had long been free in his actions, but had kept whatever faint restrain a peaceful life implied. Had he now perceived them as chains, and decided to cast them away, to be his own master, and seek his ultimate freedom ?

And yet, Morfindessë couldn't bring herself to believe that such a freedom was to be found in utterly loneliness. For this would probably be Fëanor's fate, unless his father loved him dearly enough to forgive his son's cruelty, and stand by him.
She also wondered if this last possibility couldn't be the worst. Fëanor had just loosened himself from the last bonds that tied him to his family. They would grieve it, and healing would be long indeed, but the pain would come to pass. If Finwë didn't renounce his eldest son, the rift would be made wider still ; Fëanáro's freedom would have a bitter taste, and Finwë's love would be hopeless. Sometimes, parents have to let their children go, but would Finwë have this bitter wisdom ?

Morfindessë then thought of her own parents, living far from crowd and noise in the northern moors. She suddenly yearned for their freedom ; cut from Tirion and this hassle, they led their life in peace.
But youth pulsed still fast in her veins, and she wouldn't lead this secluded life. Even if she disapproved of Fëanáro's actions, she wouldn't be too quick to condemn him, for he was the only prince of the Noldor who may defy the Valar, and bring his people to Middle Earth, where stars shone untroubled.
 
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After resting and bathing, Maicanaro headed back to his shop. He sometimes wondered why he didn't bring his bed here and make it official the place was home. But when he noticed the jewels left out upon his table, he remembered his gift idea for the wedding. He knew not why, but there was a feeling of foreboding and of urgency connected to the idea.

Yet on the surface it seemed a splended set of gifts, and moreover the crafting would be a challenge to Maicanaro. Therefore his enthusiasm grew, and a grin spead across his face as he pondered how it might be done.

'Must go the library of Rumil,' he muttered on his way out the door.
 

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Dagorlin

Dagorlin's thoughts as he reached his Father's manor were not of the tangled lives of the Sons of Finwe, nor even of Morfindessë, and how their brief time together had been eclipsed by events at hand, again leaving things unsaid between them. No, his only thought was of the long road that had brought him here. And of how he had not rested for days, not since the night prior to his landing at the Swan Havens; nor had he bathed, so it was to this now that he turned his mind. Upon his arrival the family steward welcomed him and had told him that his Father was still with Finwe, and that he would be staying by the King's side until the present crisis was over. But a bath was prepared, deliciously hot and scented with sandalwood just as Dagorlin liked it. He eagerly sank into it, putting all cares aside for the present, feeling the knots in his limbs loosen, and at last fall free. Until finally his mind drifted into slumber, and his soul was free to soar, at least for a little while.
 
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A small elf with a curly head of hair tied back, came gracefully round the corner in a blue robe. His leather slippers patted lightly against the marble floor. The elf barely glanced up, "Hello Maicanaro," only to disapear into ana isle. "You know where to find everything," the voice called before Maicanaro could respond to the greeting.

So Maicanaro shrugged, he couldn't argue with that. He strode back towards the craftsman educational books. There was a small subsection dedicated to jewels, and he loaded a stack of these into his arms and carried them to a desk. There he pulled a sheet of parchment from a drawer, and began combing through the books.

But as the hours passed Maicanaro could not find what he sought. He sat staring blankly with a 'Greatest Secrets of Aule' open in front of him. It appeared he might have to ask someone for help. He thought, Aule or Feanaro perhaps, but neither of them likely to spend long hours giving private lessons. From behind, Rumil's familiar voice spoke, "Greetings Maikanaro. Are you finding everything you seek?"

"Hello Rumil. Perhaps you might help me with something."

"Yes?"

"I need to know how to make a gem that can see."
 
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The path leading to the Green Mound was steep, and Morfindessë soon slowed her pace to a walk, pleasuring herself, as always, with the double shade everything now had. She had slept in Valmar and, before leaving, had wished to visit Ezellohar one more time.

As she got closer to the Trees, the light shone so clear that it would have been blinding for any creature with eyes less keen than an Elda's. Now and then, a soft western breeze brought a flickering golden petal to her face, for Laurelin was waning, whereas Telperion was growing stronger every minute. It was the third hour of the day, when the silver Ninquelótë was blooming with bright dew.
The rumor of Valmar soon faded in the distance ; a bird's thrill was the only sound on top of Ezellohar, always a quiet place at worst, but calm as a sheltered mountain lake this day. If it hadn't been for the slight wind that blew, some would have called it oppressive, thought Morfindessë.
The short grass that grew under the Trees was alive with an ever-changing pattern of shadows and lights, that shifted with the wind and the Trees' own radiance. In the morning of Valinor, the stars were dimmed behind the branches that rose higher than any tower in the dark sky — but who needed the Tintallë's constellations when, gazing upwards, living stars drifted and fell on one's face ?
Morfindessë caught a drop of Telperion's dew in her hand, where the flesh shone red with her living blood, and marveled at the white fire that rested within her palm. Before it could fade, she tilted her hand ; the wind caught it and bore it away.

Raising her head, she saw someone not far away ; for a fleeting second, she thought it was Dagorlin, for the bearing was the same. But the Noldo's hair was dark as raven's wing and, looking better, Morfindessë recognized Curufinwë.
 
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Rumil looked up thoughtfully, his sharp chin nestled between his thumb and forefinger which seemed to be supporting the angle of his head. Maikanaro watched him and waited.

After a few moments of brow wrinkling and 'hmmming' and 'mmm hmming' to himself, Rumil pointed to the book lying open at Maicanaro's desk. 'Which book is that?' he snapped.

'Secrets of Aule: A Guide to Jewel-making.'

'Ah yes,' said Rumil, '...promises to yeild results surpassing your greatest imaginings or your payment refunded in full." Many was the time that I was told by a disgruntled Noldo to demand said refund. A good book for its time, but you will find that it mostly contains information that is common knowledge to established jewelsmiths or obsolete methods. The Vanya who authored it has long since retired to Valmar.'

'What do you suggest?' asked Maicanaro.

'Theories of Artistic Crafting' might be of some help, if you can bear the Tengwar of Feanaro, I am afraid the silly system reads from left to right. Moreover the-'

'Rumil' said suddenly the curly haired elf called Quengoldo, 'I am sure Maicanaro is familiar with Tengwar. The system has been in use by all including yourself for 240 years of the trees.'

But Rumil just waved an arm at the young elf, and left to pull 'Theories' from a self.

In his absence Maicanaro began flipping through a large and colorful beastiary for children, called 'Creatures of Distant Lands and Seas' This had been left atop the desk next to his.

'Here you are Maicanaro,' said Rumil returning with the book, 'take that too if you would like.'

'Thank you Rumil, you were helpful as always.'

'Helpful or not remains to be seen. Goodbye Maicanaro, and mind I don't have to send Quengoldo after those books!'
 

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To Morfindessë's surprise, instead of ignoring her, Curufinwë greeted her and came to her side.

- I didn't think you were still in Valmar, she said. Didn't your father leave yesterday with many of his House ?

- Some of us had to remain behind ; many things had to be taken care of.

- Where shall you dwell, asked Morfindessë, now Tirion is forbidden to you ?

Curufinwë had a vague gesture of the hand before answering.

- Formenos, I think. Not too far from Tirion, but still remote enough to be a suitable exile-place.

Formenos ? That was quite close to where her parents lived, thought Morfindessë. It looked like their days of peace were gone.

- Will you leave Tirion, too ? asked Curufinwë. Don't misunderstand me ; this is not a personal question — merely an opinion poll of sorts.

- Not yet, said Morfindessë. My heart is tied to one who loves the shores of the Sea. If he leaves Tirion, then so shall I. But if he chooses to remain near the Havens of Alqualondë, I shall be happy to stay.

- Teleri ?

- His mother. He is like the light of the Silmarils to me, both Laurelin and Telperion mingling their rays. He is of Noldo mind and Teleri heart — the best of each people, if you ask me.

Morfindessë turned her head and caught a flower from Laurelin, that was now a dull copper.

- And yet, each may come to fade, as the Trees do, said Curufinwë. Only the Silmarils are steadfast.

- Steadfast they may be, but their beauty is still second to the Trees, for these are alive, and ever changing. I know the Silmarils do change, and sometimes shine differently, but I would rather sit under Telperion than wear the Jewels on my brow.

Curufinwë laughed, and said :
- I see why you love a Teleri heart. Jewels have little hold on you. You are wise, Morfindessë, but don't let yourself be blinded by wisdom. Sometimes, it is good to be rash.

- Don't flatter yourself, then, for your brother Tyelkormo fits more this description than you.
 

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Dagorlin

When Dagorlin finally sat down to eat, he found that his appetite had left him. Taking a seat at the low table with his Father's household, he picked at some leaves and toyed with an apple, but found he could not work up a hunger. The meal as always was a triumph, the family cook being something of an artist - a veritable Feanor of Food! But tempting though the smell of roasted fowl was, Dagorlin quickly excused himself and headed outside to the garden. Dagorlin always felt at ease in the garden; it was a simple affair, tended mostly by his Father and filled with sweet smelling plants. Jasmine was a favourite here and could be found in many colours, indeed the centerpiece of the garden was a pair of light wooden frames, cunning crafted by Dagorlin into the shape of The Two Trees forming something of a bower, and up which Dagorlin's Father had trained jasmine to climb, one was wrapped all in yellow jasmine, and the other jasmine of the purest white. The mingled scent of this display was quite something, and it was here that Dagorlin set himself down to rest.

After a while Dagorlin began to feel restless again, he could not get comfortable in the spot he found in the jasmine bower and he began to feel agitated. The recent events in Valinor, despite all his misgivings about them, had begun to stir his Noldo blood. He was excited by it all. Curious, eager to know which direction events would turn next. A small part of him balked at this, telling him to forget all about the Noldor and their petty squabbles; and yet another part of him was exulted by the talk that flew through the streets of Tirion. Some said that Feanor would surely take this opportunity to cut all ties to the Valar and make his own way to the wide-lands to the east of the Belegaer, and in his mind Dagorlin saw a new world opening up before him, a world of coasts and coves, beaches and bays - and his soul ached for it. If Feanor rebelled, would he follow? Truthfully, he knew not. The steady part of Dagorlin, though, would stay in Tirion until Morfindessë returned, until they spoke and until he learned her mind. He would stay in Tirion until then.

For good or for ill, he had ties to the Noldor even his Telerin blood could not break.
 

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Leaving Ezellohar, Morfindessë couldn't help turning back every now and then. She would have stayed longer, but Dagorlin was waiting for her in Tirion — and she had disliked the end of her conversation with Curufinwë.

- Tyelkormo ? had he said. Yes, he is of quick temper. But so are many. Temper only needs the right argument to rise ; for all your even disposition, could you swear to remain calm, and cold-headed, if you were wounded in the right place ? If what is most precious to you was taken from you, unrighteously or not ? Or even if you were suddenly given the right to fulfill your most hidden dreams ? No, Morfindessë, no one is wise, when put to the test.

- No one in your House, maybe, but I trust some would hold their honor dearer than the short benefits brought by a prompt anger.

- What are honor and wisdom ? Is it holding your rank, or the given word ? Honor can be found in many places.

- Staying true to oneself would satisfy me.

- What if staying true to yourself, as you put it, precisely involved acting on your impulsions ? Wouldn't it be folly to repress your nature ?

- I don't know, answered at last Morfindessë.

She had been troubled by these words. Curufinwë had unsettled her, and awakened new daydreams of Middle Earth, where wide lands of unknown beauty lay.
As she turned one last time to watch the Trees, far on the road, she thought their light was dimmed — but perhaps the only darkness lay in her heart, where doubt had found a new place. She needed, more than ever, to speak with Dagorlin, secretly hoping his mariner's soul would be at one with her own wandering mind.
 

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When Maikanaro returned to his shop he was met by his parents, and there also was his sister Elewende with Tyelkatano. They invited Maicanaro to a picnic dinner. Over dinner, a few matters of importance were discussed.

The parants of Maicanaro were staying in Tirion, but Tyelkatano was not. Because of this they decided to move the wedding up sooner, so Elenwe could go to Formenos with Tyelkatano as his wife. Maicanaro promised to have the rings completed, and when they asked of his plans he told everyone that he could see more reasons to stay in Tirion at the moment, but that he thought this might change in the future.

The truth was that Maicanaro had naturally grown attached to his shop, though many who were friends or who he worked with would probably leave Tirion. Maicanaro would go where his work was most needed.
 

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Dagorlin

Dagorlin was lazing in the jasmine bower when Morfindessë came to call. Telperion was in full flower and Laurelin at its lowest ebb, a soft silver twilight permeating the garden. She was dressed in a simple mantle of blue, belted around the waist by a girdle of cunningly wrought silver, her hair was unbound and fell about her pale face like the dark wings of a raven. He was surprised to see the elf-maid, not expecting any visitors here at his Father's house, but his heart was glad for he had long wished to see her alone, and had begun to feel as it fate was conspiring to keep them apart.

'Ah! Here she is!' Dagorlin smiled as he got to his feet and offered his lady a playful bow. 'So all I have to do is think of you for you to appear before me? If I had known this earlier perhaps my time at see would not have been so lonely?'

'Am I to take it then that you never think of me when you are off a-voyaging brave mariner?' Morfindessë laughed, her wit more than a match for her friend's.

'Ha! You have me there dearheart!' Dagorlin laughed, throwing his arms around the maiden. 'Come, sit with me, let us talk a while.'

And so the two of them set down in the sweet smelling bower, and for a while Dagorlin spoke of his latest voyage, of his family back in the Swan Havens, of his Father and the doings of his Father's household; and Morfindessë too spoke of little things, of quiet fancies, of her parents. Both of them seemingly unwilling to speak of that which lay before the Noldor now. as if to name it was to give it power. For surely the Noldor stood at a crossroads now, and all roads led into shadow, to destinations unseen. Yet being Noldo they could not stand stand still, but must walk forward and soon the time would come to choose one, and to walk it blindly. Yet hand in hand they could find way - if they walked the road together what could harm them?
 

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Long they stayed silent in the changing light, under the soft jasmine. A western breeze would now and then shed some sweet-smelling petals on their heads.

- Shall you go to Formenos ? finally asked Morfindessë.

Dagorlin sighted, and answered :

- Maybe ; I don't know. My father is there, since he serves the House of Finwë, and the King left Tirion. But Formenos is further from Alqualondë than Tirion, and you know how I love the Sea. If you were alone, what would you do ?

- I would follow the House of Fëanor, said his lover, for my heart tells me that in them lies our people's doom. I crave, as you do, for the unknown shores and untrodden paths of Middle Earth — maybe far from the Trees, but the stars brighten this eternal night. Only by the House of Fëanor will we ever be able to leave Aman, for only them are mighty enough to rise against the established powers.

- The times are troubled. Who knows what doom our princes shall lead us to ? I am not of one heart for the House of FĂ«anor. They probably don't know themselves what they should do. They are putting to the test their newfound feeling of freedom, and they forget we are but guests here, in a land at peace. Were they to rebel, who can tell what the Valar would do ? But I can't remain away from this. Although they are different from me, we are of a same spirit. If you would stay with me, I would go with them.

Putting her right hand in Dagorlin's, Morfindessë answered :
- Yea, I would stay with you. Before Mandos, I say it, for it is my dearest wish.
 

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Dagorlin

'It is settled then!' Dagorlin smiled. 'Whatever road we walk, we will walk together. It lightens my heart to have this in the open now; there are too many secrets in Tirion as it is.' He pressed the elf-maid's hand more tightly into his own, and planted a soft kiss upon her brow. 'Imagine walking the wide open lands together where even the stars are strangers to us? A fine life lies before us! Aye... and a fine ship I have to carry us when the time comes!' Dagorlin jumped up and let out a silvery laugh, pulling Morfindessë to her feet he spun her around in a giddy dance before she finally came to settle in his arms. 'But perhaps the time has come for us to part... if only for a little while. You to Formenos to see your kin, and I to the Swan Havens to let my mother know she need not worry so much about me in days to come!'
 

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Maicanaro stood outside near the forges. He leaned against a pillar with his arms crossed. A bunch of elves stood round in aprons, dirty and sweaty. But Maicanaro was cool and clean, having spent his day reading and chatting.

There was an excitement in the air of Tirion, and everyone was talking about who was leaving. But among the smiths the topic had turned to plans for Formenos's building. Not a sole among them lacked enthusiasm, and doubtless many projects would be abandoned in favor of new ones. Images were conjured as they spoke of the endless design possibilities a new city would bring, and Maicanaro found his own gusto for the seeing stones was waning.
 

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The Wedding​


Over the next few months Maicanaro worked endlessly in the creation of two jewels. Small but clear they were and wrapped in spells that allowed them to communicate with eachother. In the creation of these it is said that Maicanaro had small help of Yavanna and Irmo, and some say that he was seen leaving the gardens of Lorien with a phial of Este's tears.

But Maicanaro was not a master of this craft, and the stones could scarcely be commanded by their bearer, therefore they only showed to eachother visions of their own choosing. But they were later named the Mirequettar, and were seen to have other abilities.

Maicanaro turned the stones over in his palm, and closing his hand around them said one last spell. The enchantment was a command to sleep until awakened by undying love, and to there give loyalty and service at any need. Then sighing, he set them each next to a small ruby; one in a golden bracelet, and the other a necklace.

It was the day before he was to ride to Formenos for the wedding, and he decided to spend it sleeping, for great weariness had come over him from the creation of the stones and moreover had not rested much in during their making.
 

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