Title: Where the Shadows Lie
Rating: Teens. Quite dark.
Summary: What if Maglor had submitted to the Valar after the War of Wrath?
“They swore an oath which none shall break and none should take, by the name even of Ilúvater … so sworn, good or evil, an oath may not be broken, and it shall pursue oathkeeper and oathbreaker to the world’s end.” [S 9]
When almost all else was lost, still at times he remembered the last choice.
“I will submit. I will go to Eonwë, and unless you kill me you cannot prevent it.”
“If you will break the Oath, then fall upon your sword tonight. Or if you must live, flee far from here. But as I love you, brother, do not carry the Oath into Valinor!”
But he had been besotted with the hope that all their crimes could be forgotten, and all could be as though the blood of Elves had never stained his hands. He had believed the right to the works of their father would be granted in the end. It had not been so. Long too the memory lingered of the hour he had been told his hands could not profane the holy light.
But the Oath of Fëanor even Manwë could not loose. Vain it might be, but not void.
They did not slay him. The Valar would not shed blood with their own hands, nor permit the Elves to do so, not even the blood of one such as him. Not even when, in his torment, he begged for death again and again.
It took a long time for the power he had summoned so long before to claim him altogether. His spirit had been nurtured in the Tree Light and his will was strong, he fought hard, but the summoned power was stronger.
The Valar had learned some things; he was not allowed weapons. Even when he fought with one of those that guarded him, and wrested the Vanya’s own knife and slew him, still the Valar did not take his life.
It was hard now to find any to bring him food. Sometimes he refused to eat for days, but always he took food again in the end. The Oath would not have him dead, and at the last there was nothing else left to him but the Oath and the knowledge of his eternal failure.
His wrists were kept secured, since the day he had tried to tear out his throat with his fingernails. Now though, he no longer fought like a crazed beast, no longer screamed his curses. And he no longer wept.
What almost broke the guards was the day they saw he was Calaquendi no longer. Behind his eyes was only Everlasting Dark. Most times he watched through his tangled hair in stillness, but at others he chanted softly. The sound could not be called song, but there was power in him still, the power of one who had been great among the Noldor.
At times his voice was strong enough for the guards to hear the curses that he called in rhythmic softness. And shadows fell in Valinor.
Animals died without reason, or ran mad and could not be calmed. Crops withered, wells failed. Not to starvation point, for this was the Land of the Valar, and they could heal what was marred, but still fear grew, and still the Kinslayer chanted as his new power strengthened.
An avalanche broke loose and killed several Elves in a settlement by the mountains. A fishing boat sprang a leak for no reason and three were drowned. Two travelling from Tirion to Valmar never reached their goal and no trace could be found of them.
The fear grew greater.
Why do they not kill him? It should have been done long ago.
Would that free us? Have you not heard of the Unhoused, and the evil they wrought in the Far Lands?
Have any thought to remove his tongue?
The Valar are to blame. They brought him here…
Sometimes the shred of self that remains to him wonders who it is he can hear laughing.
Endnote: So where did this come from? Well there are references in Tolkien’s writing to the surviving sons of Fëanor attempting to break their Oath after learning the Silmaril was in Sirion and 'torment' (Tolkien’s word) falling on them as a result. Assuming the Valar could not loose the Oath, and I think the evidence is against it, I don’t see that it would be any different in Valinor.
Also at the end of the Silmarillion Tolkien describes the brothers’ right to the Silmarils as void but the Oath itself as vain. Tolkien chose words with precision, so I think a significant distinction is being made here and the Oath was not void whatever Maglor hoped.