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The Wars of the Valar  by Fiondil

48: Many Waters

Years passed and there was great peace in Aman. Námo found himself spending much of his time in his Halls, beautifying them with the help of Vairë and their Máyar. All of them were eager to provide the Second Children with a place of comfort and refreshment of spirit. Chambers were carved out where the fëar of the Children would retire to contemplate their lives in preparation to leaving Eä altogether. Other swan boats were built and there was much speculation about the Mortals and what they would be like.

"I imagine they will grieve to leave behind the only home they will know," Maranwë said to Tiutalion, his brother in the Thought of Atar, as Maranwë gave him a tour of Námo’s Halls.

The Máya belonging to the People of Nienna nodded. "I am sure that you and the other Máyar will treat them gently and offer them solace so they will be able to face their fate with joy rather than with dread of the unknown."

"That is my hope, as well," Maranwë said. "Come. Let me show you the fountain I created. I think you will agree it is quite lovely."

"It cannot be anything but beautiful, my brother, for I know that all that you create you do so with love."

Maranwë gave his brother a shy smile as they continued down the passage.

****

Eventually, Námo was satisfied that his Halls were as beautiful as they could be. He and Vairë looked about in great satisfaction. Everywhere were gladsome fountains and tapestries of great beauty. In spite of the fact that the Halls were built into the hills and no windows looked out into the world, they were light-filled and the air was wholesome.

"Of course, they won’t need to breathe," Námo said with a wry grin, "or even need light, being dead."

Vairë smiled back. "It is still thoughtful of you, though, my love, and shows how much you already care for them."

"I still find it rather odd that Atar would have me build this now when even the Firstborn have yet to arise." He frowned a bit at the thought, thinking he was overlooking something important, something obvious.

"I’m sure Atar has his reasons, love," Vairë said soothingly. "Now, I must go. I promised Estë I would help her and Irmo to construct a lake."

"A lake?" Námo asked in surprise. "What lake?"

Vairë shrugged. "Estë said something about wanting a lake in the middle of the Gardens they’ve been creating. She wants to have an island in the lake as well, a retreat for herself, or so she said."

"A retreat, is it?" Námo gave Vairë a wicked smile. "Does she tire of my brother so soon?"

Vairë laughed. "I do not think so and Irmo seems willing enough for her to have this island for herself. At any rate, I promised I would help."

"Why wasn’t I asked?" Námo looked a bit hurt.

Vairë gave him a kiss on the cheek. "You’ve been so busy with your new Halls, Irmo didn’t want to distract you, but I’m sure they would both welcome your help, as would I."

Námo needed no further invitation and together they made their way north towards the Gardens as they were called by everyone. They were quite beautiful, and everyone rejoiced in them. When they arrived they found Nienna was there as well. She smiled at them both.

"Ah... there you are, brother," she said. "I’d almost forgotten what you looked like, you’ve been so busy of late."

"Not so busy that you couldn’t have wandered by and given me your greeting," Námo quipped.

"True," Nienna averred, "but as it happens I’ve been busy constructing my own house just west of here overlooking the ocean."

"Indeed?" Námo said with a raised eyebrow. "Is your mansion in the city not to your liking anymore?"

"Oh no," Nienna said. "Nothing like that. I just... well, it just seemed right for me to build this house by the sea. I’m not sure why exactly, but I suspect I’ll learn its purpose eventually." She looked less sure of herself than usual and Námo hugged her.

"It seems that Atar is inspiring more and more of us to build what we never thought to. It never occurred to me, for instance, that I would be charged with the fëar of the Secondborn."

They all nodded at that. Irmo then spoke up. "Well, should we get started?"

****

Sometime later they were looking at their handiwork with great satisfaction. Yavanna stopped by at one point and made suggestions as to the types of trees and other plants Estë might want growing on the island and promised to stock the lake with colorful fish as well.

Before she left she gave Námo a questioning look. "So, now that you’ve completed building your Halls, will you and Vairë finally espouse?"

Námo gave her a surprised look and then glanced at Vairë. Something passed between them and without taking his eyes off his beloved, he nodded. "Yes. I think the time is meet."

Vairë nodded as well. She reached out her hand to him, and he took it, then she turned to the others. "We’ll go and tell Manwë."

"I think we should make this an extra special occasion," Estë said. "We’ve all waited so long for this. You don’t know how some of us despaired that you would ever come to an understanding."

Both Námo and Vairë gave her surprised looks that turned rather thoughtful when Irmo, Nienna and Yavanna all nodded.

Námo wasn’t quite sure how to respond to such a revelation and said the first thing that came to mind. "Sorry to keep you waiting."

Everyone just laughed and Irmo hugged him. "Believe me, brother," he whispered in Námo’s ear, "it’s been worth it."

Mollified by those words, Námo nodded and then he and Vairë left to find Manwë and Varda to tell them the news.

****

It was decided to hold the wedding in Námo’s Halls. Varda insisted, saying that until the Secondborn came into existence the Halls would simply stand empty. "We might as well put them to some use in the meantime."

Námo at first objected, saying that there wouldn’t be enough room for them all if they remained in hröa but finally agreed when Vairë indicated her desire to be wed there. "We can hold the ceremony in the main hall," she suggested. "It’s the largest after all."

"And the Máyar need not be physically present to attend, as well you know," Varda pointed out. "It makes sense that only your and Vairë’s Máyar should be present as well as any others you feel should be physically there."

"I would like for Eönwë, Olórin and Fionwë to be there," Námo said with a nod, "since they were under my lordship, if only for a short time."

"Then it is settled," Manwë said with a smile. "Let us plan the ceremony together while the others make the place as festive as possible."

So the announcement was made and all were glad at the news. The other Ayanumuz and their Máyar assisted the People of Námo and Vairë in decorating the main hall with festoons of flowers. Some of them under Aulë’s direction created beautifully crafted circlets for the couple. They were made of mithril and white gold in the shape of nermir, their wings jeweled. In the center of each circlet was set a cabochon the size of a pigeon egg — Vairë’s was a pink opal while Námo’s was a rainbow moonstone.

It was decided to hold the ceremony at the Second Mingling after all was readied. The arches that led to other parts of the Halls were garlanded with flowers of every color and the fountain, which was the main feature in the chamber, was bedecked with roses. Námo, Vairë, Manwë and Varda stood beside the fountain while the other Ayanumuz encircled them. Námo’s and Vairë’s Máyar, including Eönwë, Olórin and Fionwë, stood where they could against the walls. The door leading to the outer world stood open and many of the other Máyar were before it, though in truth, all the Máyar wheresoever they happened to be were able to see what was happening.

The ceremony began with a paean to Atar followed by an ode to love sung by all save the marrying couple. Estë came forward and crowned Vairë with the circlet made for her while Irmo did the same for Námo. Then, as the music faded, Manwë spoke.

"We have all looked forward to this day with great anticipation. It gladdens me to be witness to the espousing of Námo and Vairë. They have both suffered greatly at the hands of our Fallen Brother and it is a testament to the power of their love for one another that they have been able to overcome many obstacles so that we are able to gather here this day to hear their vows."

With a nod from Manwë, Námo took Vairë’s hands and gazed deeply into her violet eyes, so full of love and joy for him. "Vairë, thou art the heart of my heart and my soul’s rest," he began, speaking clearly so all might hear. "In thee I have found my truest self and I would cleave unto thee for all the ages of Atháraphelun and beyond. Thou art the very air I breathe and I shall love thee with all my being. May Atar sanctify our love before these witnesses."

Then Vairë spoke. "Námo, since I first became aware of thee in the Timeless Halls, I fell in love with thee, though thou knewest it not. For long ages I feared thou never would, but circumstances changed thy feelings for me and while we have sometimes faltered along the way in our resolve for one another, I knew this day would eventually come and so I cleave to thee with great joy, for thou hast my heart in thy keeping now and for all the ages of Atháraphelun and beyond. May Atar sanctify our love before these witnesses."

"Rimba neni lá polir luita melmë, oloiri lá polir orqueris," Námo then intoned before bending down to kiss Vairë sweetly on the lips, a kiss which she returned with great eagerness.

All around them there was a sigh of pleasure or perhaps of relief as the last two Ayanumuz who would ever espouse in Eä continued to kiss one another. Manwë stepped forward then and took their hands, forcing them to unclinch with shy smiles. "As vice-gerent in Eä to Atar I hereby declare Námo and Vairë formally espoused and offer my blessing for their happiness." He then took Vairë into his embrace and kissed her gently on the forehead before doing the same with Námo. Stepping back, he allowed Varda to give the newly wedded couple her own kiss in blessing. One by one, each of the other Ayanumuz did the same while the Máyar sang a joyful song praising love.

As Tulkas and Nessa, the last of the Ayanumuz to offer their blessings to Námo and Vairë, stepped back, they were all suddenly surrounded by a host of nermir and the sense of love that flowed from the Timeless Halls and filled them all was nearly overwhelming. Námo and Vairë clung to one another, kissing under a canopy of jewel-toned wings as songs of praise continued to be sung by everyone else.

****

Rimba neni lá polir luita melmë, oloiri lá polir orqueris: ‘Many waters cannot flood love, great floods cannot overturn it’. This is as close to the biblical quotation as I could get: ‘Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.’ — Song of Solomon (Song of Songs) 8:7.

Rainbow Moonstone: A symbol of passionate love as well as of truth in self-reflection and showing what ‘is’.

Pink Opal: The opal is said to be the most powerful of healing stones, and the pink opal fosters compassion and a gentle resolution of painful memories. It is also a stone of hope and of love, but only to faithful lovers.





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