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Forging for Protection and Defense  by Larner

For many for their birthdays--Erulisse, RS, Elveses, Starlight, and Radbooks.  This has been in the works for a few weeks--I rejoice it is now ready for posting!

Forging for Protection and Defense


            The Elven smith examined his lord’s guest with interest.  It was long since he’d been asked to forge armor for anyone, much less for a Man; but this was the descendant of Elrond’s brother Elros for whom he was to devise protection, after all.

            “Elendil the Tall, they name you?” the smith asked.  “A name that was well deserved, I must say.”

            The Man returned a wry shrug.  “It seems that my body was reluctant to stop growing,” he answered.  “I was surprised to find that I am taller than Elves as well as other Men.”

            The smith nodded.  This would be challenging, constructing suitable armor for this giant of a Man.  No armor available within Elrond’s house would fit him, however.  “Then tell me, Lord Elendil,” he began, “what are to be the emblems of the kingdoms that you and your sons are founding?  And this is the sword you will bear?”

            “Yes, the sword Narsil, which was given me by my father Amandil ere he sailed west to beg the mercy of the Valar, and that came to him from our great-father Elros Tar-Minyatur himself.  How it came into his hands I am uncertain, although it is said that it was perhaps a gift to Barahir or Beren from Finrod Felagund in the depths of time.”

            The smith paused in his reaching for the sword as he lifted his eyes to meet those of the Man.  A muscle in his cheek tightened.  I should have foreseen that this would be true, he thought.  Telchar’s work.  It had been so long since he had seen and examined the blade, which had been gifted by the greatest of all Dwarf smiths to Findaráto in thanks for aid that the great King of Nargothrond had given to the Dwarves in helping stave off an attack by the Black Enemy’s forces.  The Elf had once studied in Aulë’s forge, and had heard from the Smith of the Valar himself the tale of how he’d fashioned the Dwarves as his own peculiar people.  How proud he must have been of Telchar and the Dwarf’s great skill!

            It was certain that this sword had never been intended for use by a Dwarf, considering its great length.  He took it into his hands and pulled it from its sheath, looking once more on the mithril inlay that named the sword and that formed the runes of protection and power set upon its blade, and the devices that proclaimed it the sword of Kings!  Elendil and his sons planned to found great kingdoms here in Middle Earth intended to rival or perhaps even best their lost realm of Númenor?  Then it was likely that this blade would see much use, for Angmar would not respond well to the founding of a new realm to its south.

            He reverently ran his fingertips down the blade, and stopped.  There was evidence of a curse laid upon the sword, and the sword was angry about it!  He looked again into Elendil’s face.  “Did Sauron ever touch this blade once he was brought to Númenor?” he asked.


            “I believe you might have known him to be called Zigûr, the Wizard Pharazôn took back to the Star Isle in chains.”

            The Man’s face darkened.  “Him, the accursed one?  Yes, he set hands upon it once, back when my father was commanded to come to Armenelos to the dedication of the temple he had built to the worship of the one he named the Giver of Life.  My father wore Narsil upon his hip, and Zigûr insisted on examining the blade, daring to set his hand upon the bare steel.”

            This confirmed it, then.  “He sought to weaken the sword, but could not overcome the spells set upon it at its forging.  It will last as long as the hand holding the hilts is living; but should the wielder fall, then the blade will most likely fail as well.  But such are the spells set upon it that even though broken it will still seek to cause great hurt to the one who slew its bearer.  Keep it well, and instruct your sons that if it should ever break, its shards must be kept carefully until the time is come for it to be forged anew.  Then it will serve ever to avenge itself upon its enemy’s creatures.”

            Elendil was made thoughtful by these words, and agreed that he would heed them and see his sons and grandsons so instructed.  And at last the talk turned to the emblems that he, Isildur, and Anárion had agreed should symbolize the twin realms they had envisioned.  Designs were sketched and considered, and in the end the manner in which the armor would be decorated was agreed upon.  The steel would be blackened that starlight should not betray the wearer should he seek to approach the enemy in the hours of night, but on it the image of Nimloth the Fair, felled at last on the orders of Pharazôn and burned upon the altar of Sauron’s temple, would proclaim its wearer one of the Faithful, returned now to Middle Earth but still as dedicated to the Valar and true, wise rule as had been Elros himself.  The White Tree and the seven stars—good choices.

            Long he worked to craft the armor for the High King of the Men of the West, and as his mind entered the Path of Dreams he often saw Elendil wearing it, although at times he saw another, not quite as tall but certainly as tall as the tallest of Elves, wearing it, one who reminded him more strongly of Elros Eärendilion as he’d seen him last at the end of the War of Wrath, only bearded.  A glimpse, perhaps, at the future?  Only time would tell.



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