Changes from previous chapter, and changes made in chapter one are as follows
. Name change of first awakened among Imin’s clan from Hissaeldir to Ingwë, to better match the lore
Chapter 2 Behold the Valar
Time stretched on, unfelt by elvenkind. The elves who in all their travelling found they were the only beings who knew the ways of language and coherent communication. Every being they came by they tried to talk to it, for elves loved to talk and hear the sound of new speech. They talked to the animals the rabbits and the deers, but got no reply. Finally out of jest Enel talked to the trees, and the trees replied. It was no coherent word that came from the trees just murmurings and groans, but the trees themselves couldn’t be talking, thought Enel for the sound was coming from within the deep forest. For days Enel and his people called out to the trees inviting them into the clearly to talk, after the third day they heard among the murmuring, footsteps. Giant heavy footsteps that shook the earth, emerging from the forest came a tree, but not a tree. It had two thick legs, its roots acting as toes, a small torso and two giant arms sprouted out the sides, with strong roots for fingers. It’s face was hard to make out as it was sunken in and surrounded by twigs, leaves and ivy all that made up its head with more twisted bark protruding out the top of his head. Set under its deep brow were two small amber eyes a long nose and lips that could be seen making the murmuring sounds. Enel and his people took to task in communicating with the tree creature, they taught it the basic Eldarin words and the names of things, and so, the four Ents, Fangorn, Finglas, Fladrif and Fimbrethil (wife of Fangorn) as the elves named them went of into the forest to do their job of shepherding the trees, but before leaving, they warned the elves of a coming darkness that would befall these lands. Such a darkness that it would cover the whole of the world of it could, a being of immense strength and cunning, who roamed the lands, from east to west plotting and destroying beautiful works since the very being of the creation of the world. The name of the darkness, is Melkor, the great enemy.
After the learning of this name, most of elvenkind felt fear for the first time, Imin made a note to be weary of any who they meet in Cuivienen. Time past and news of a rider came to Imin from Tata. “The guards who I placed on the edges of our encampment tell of a horseman robed in black who is prying on the elflings, we must be alert Imin First Elven, I feel a growing evil of the darkness encroaching upon us” Imin, who even among the other clans was seen as the leader of leaders, had the finale word when it came to decision making. If this was indeed the darkness being known as Melkor then why not confront elvenkind rather than hide in the shadows thought Imin. Days past and the paranoia grew, to keep them safe Imin ordered that all elves would be accompanied by a guard if they were to wonder to the edges of the bay, Enel proposed to his people that they always sing aloud when leaving the encampment and if the singing stopped it would be a signal of danger.
Despite the precautions Tata reported of two Elflings disappearing, the community was now on high alert. Imin, Tata and Enel set up a hierarchical chain of command, so that every clan had a member who would always have contact with their leader and relay any important information, the chosen elves became Ingwë from Imin’s clan who had begun calling themselves, the Manyar (later to be known as the Vanyar decendents of the clan of Imin Edhellen) from Tata’s clan Finwë was chosen, he and his clansmen called themselves the Tatyar (meaning second ones, this later would change to be the Noldor) and finally from Enel’s clan Enwë is chosen he has taken to calling his self the Nelyar (will become known as the Teleri meanig the last ones)
The new lieutenants of the elves, were respected greatly, and I some ways more so than their leaders as they had been elected by the whole of elvenkind. Ingwë once overheard his clansmen speak of their love for him, in the green fields a stream would run by making an ideal spot for gossip, but Ingwë was sound of hearing and heard all their mutterings ” Ingwë is a great leader, it comes easy for him, unlike lord Imin who always relies on lord Tata and lord Enel” said one of the elves among the group, there was a great deal of agreement, this worried Ingwë and so he decided to relay it to Imin once everyone lay under the stars in sleep. Imin sat on a chair outside the back of his tent, overlooking the rest of the tents below the hills and near the steam, most elves were sleeping but he couldn’t. Plagued by nightmares of elves being slaughtered by an unseen evil had kept him awake for most nights ever since he heard the name Melkor. “My lord” came a voice Imin new to be Ingwë, “I an back here, don’t wake Iminyë”. “My lord, i have news” Ingwë started, “does it pertain the the black rider?” asked Imin who still was looking out over the slumbering elves. “No my lord” replied Ingwë who grew more nervous, “it’s about my leadership” he finished quickly. Imin had a smile on his face “oh, what of it?” He asked casually, “my lord the clansmen, they see me as greater than you. I heard their gossiping just recently and I have heard this talk before, they see me as a their leader more than you” Imin’s smile was broader than ever, and he laughed “at least one thing I do has gone to plan” he said laughing openly. Ingwë, who did not expect such a reaction flustered, “but my lord, you are greater than me, i who have spent more time with you than the rest of the clan know this. You are the one who trained me how to be a leader, who taught me to resolve disputes, how to carry myself even among the clansmen. It’s all because of my lord that I have gained such admiration among the clan. It’s all because…” Imin looked at Ingwë, he looked like someone finding out a great secret. Before he could talk, Imin needed to clarify his actions, “Yes Ingwë, ever since your awakening I have been pushing you to become a leader of the clan, I have told you this before, my mission is something else, leading elves and being an elven king is not for me, it’s for you” If Ingwë has looked shocked before his face now was beyond emotion, as he proceeded what he had heard, imin gave him time. Finally Ingwë spoke, ” if that is to be my destiny, if it by your will that is enough for me. But I want to know the truth” he said and a fierce determination shone in his eyes, Imin sighed he knew one day he would have to reveal this information, information that not even Enel and Tata were aware of. “What do you want to know?” He asked of Ingwë, who wasted no time, “firstly what is your mission, and what will become of you when I am known as an elven king? I would hate it for you to serve me as that I can not allow” “My mission, is to witness the destruction of the elves from this part of the world. As I am the first elf to wake, I shall be the last to leave” replied Imin, closing his eyes as if seeing the very destruction he had mentioned, “the destruction of the elves?” Said Ingwë in horror “surely that cannot happen, and why should you be alone I will stand with you!” Shouted Ingwë into the quiet, realise his mistake he clasped his hands over his mouth, “don’t worry they still sleep” said imin ” as for being alone, I won’t be, Tata and Enel will be at my side, but I will be the last elf to leave this land. This will take place in the far future Ingwë, not many elves from these clans will be here that long, you included”
The elves below began waking up, Ingwë left for he needed rest. Imin stayed awake, as he still felt no need for sleep. As the elves were under darkness mostly besides the stars, venturing away from the rest of the community was always risky, but as the elves needed resources they had to take the risk. Imin who wanted to confront this black rider himself rode out with Tata and Enel ahead of the elves gathering herbs, deep into the forest they went, putting keen eyes and ears to test. It was behind them they heard the shout, “retreat to our kin!” roared Imin, withdrawing his sword and galloping back from where they came. When they reached the source of the shout they were met with a very odd scene, the elves were standing in a clearing, all looking to a rider who could only have been the black rider, except there was nothing menacing or evil about him, nor anything black. Imin, Tata and Enel rode in front of the elves, to better see the rider. The rider was elf like in appearance a male, tall and strong, his auburn hair and beard had a warm glow about them and on his head was crowned a wreath of gold leaves, masterfully crafted. To his side, strapped to his belt hung a mighty horn, inlaid with gold and silver carving it looked not of this world, thought Tata. Indeed the rider himself looked not of this world, he certainly wasn’t an elf.
“A rider you are, but there is nothing black about you in appearance” said Tata “could it be a hidden blackness that plagues us?” Tata asked as he glared deep into the riders eyes, looking for a lie. The rider smiled and raised both hands palms up, a gesture of peace, “I am Oromë, a Valar of Iru Iluvitar and I have been searching for the children of Iluvitar for some time” he spoke softly yet his voice carried far and even the furthest elf could hear. “I am not the black rider, I know of him as he is an enemy to me also, he is Melkor, the foe of all that is good” this settled it for Imin, for he could not see any hint of a lie in his speech. Nor could he see any filth in his appearance, indeed he was more beautiful than most of the elves. “Come with us to our encampment, there we will tell you our tale and you will enlighten us to this terrible enemy” said Imin.
When at the safety of the encampment Oromë handed his great steed to Ingwë “he hungers, feed him but not too much, as he can eat all the food you have, once he starts” he said smiling to his horse. Tata and Enel lead Oromë to Imin’s tent. Sitting now in a circle, refreshments were served and after some silence Imin spoke “Tell of this rider, Melkor as I believe him to be called. Why does he hunt my people and seek to destroy all that is good?”
“Because he is all that is evil” replied Oromë, and he sighed heavily and at once began his story, ” Melkor, as he was first known to my kin before his atrocities, He who dared to challenge the might of Eru Illuvitar. I say he is my kin only in race, we the Ainur first created beings of Eru Illuvitar, we shaped this world, Arda, first through the great song of iluvatar, even then Melkor sought to overpower and corrupt the song to his own tune. Due to this act of disobedience he was cast out and never again did he share the same mission as the rest of the Valar seeking instead in his jealously of his brother Manwë who became our leader, to destroy and corrupt all we created in Arda. For example in preparation for the awakening of the children of Iluvatar we created two great lamps that shone over middle earth. We made our home under these lamps basking in their magnificent light. Melkor who had left Arda after we waged war against him slowly crept back unknown to the rest of us. With him came Mair spirits who liked the song Melkor had sung during the early years. Are you still following me?” asked Oromë more in particular to Tata who wore a frown. ” what are the Mair spirits? Are they the same beings as the Valar?” Asked Tata. “the Mair are beings that were created along with the Ainur, although they do not possess the same amount of influence over Arda as we do, that are still formidable beings and have high intellect having been in the presence of Eru Illuvitar during the original singing of the songs.”
“Please, continue” said Imin who had his head bowed and resting his forehead on his fists, taking in the history of the world. “Of course, so Melkor returned to Arda with his Mair followers. With their help he created a fortress in a dark part of the world far away from the Valar deep in the northern part of Arda, the fortress he named Utumno. But he did more than that, like I said we Valar have the ability to shape this world as we se fit, so Melkor expanded and raised the mighty mountains in the east to block of his fortress even more the rest of the world. A foul darkness and decay arose in the north, such that even the light of the lamps were hard pressed to penetrate it, this was a clear sign to the Valar that Melkor had returned. The search to capture Melkor had barely begun, when Melkor rode out from Utumno with a host of Mair and sough one thing, the destruction of the lamps. He achieved his goal the great lamps were cast down, where they fell, the lands were destroyed. Searing fire and poured out of the broken lamps scorching the ground, Illuin the northern lamp, when it fell it broke the ground and the sea of Helcar was formed, of which Cuiviénen is a bay. After the loss of the two lamps, Middle Earth was plunged into darkness and the home that the Valar has made for themselves, destroyed. In their sadness the Valar left middle earth and vowed to never again return. They settled on the continent of Aman and created barriers and safe ways to Aman that only they knew, so that Melkor or any evil could ever approach the sacred lands. The Valar created Valinor in Aman and live there to this day, but I did not go for I still love these lands even though they are forever tainted by Melkor” Oromë sighed deeply this seemed to be the end of his tale.
“It sounds like this is all the fault of the Valar” said Enel who glared and Oromë “Instead of retreating, the Valar should have captured or destroyed Melkor for good, now because of him this world is plunged into darkness and he is still out there” there was silence as Oromë and Enel held each other’s gaze. “Indeed it is” said Oromë “we should have stopped Melkor, but we didn’t. When the lamps were destroyed we did our best to clean up his mess, when we had finished Melkor had retreated to his fortress, the Valar were tired, tired of the contanst battle, of our creations being destroyed again and again. So they left middle earth in the hands of Melkor. It wasn’t the best choice, I admit” he finished and looked to the floor in shame.