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Keln of the Noldor in Anfauglith
by Brian M. McVickar

Dreams blossom of my ascended Eldar brethren
as I haunt these unredeemed lands of Anfauglith
where the disloyal who spurned their kin to satiate their sins
stubbornly hide from the Valar.

My once-loved folk now descend and wade in these piercing dreams,
lancing me with their feigned pleas to draw me, and thus
cleanse me, into the gleaming, unsullied land inhabited by all
whom Manwë has gathered close to His bosom.

Yet I, who once raised his proven evil blade against proven
blood ties, next raised it higher to guard against
absorption by Manwë as He alighted among my failed
companions to ferry them away in His breath.

As I then held fast to my battle stance, as rigid and rooted
as my soul’s darkened core, my eyes did whither upon glimpsing
the gleam settling over all my once-loved, much as a glowing
gossamer shroud gingerly laid upon a still child.

Swiftly, silently, Manwë swallowed the gap between He and I,
His expression obscured, either by flowing luminescence or mine
own weakened sight, and doubly I trembled with equal parts
whale-sized dread and softening, eager heart.

"To Anfauglith," were His solemn whispered words laid
upon my ears and, as though stricken by a merciless malady made
which mangles the purposely imbedded holy gem within each man,
my misplaced bravery crumbled thusly.

"To Anfauglith with you," His phrase swung again in frozen fashion,
effectively leveling my tarnished soul with a force as swift and
hard as Aulë’s hammer struck on Aulë’s anvil, if the Vala’s strength
were nourished by furious rage not unlike my soul’s permanent fog.

And so I found my blackened, broken self in a short moment swept
up into the bright, beneficent embrace of Sulimo, swiftly
searching His shimmering shape for only some small glance upon
me so that His kind kinship I might someday claim.

Alas, His welcoming gaze, so freely fed to my defeated kinsmen,
chose not to find mine, leaving starvation to freshly gain
permanence within, causing shudders to swell as it settled,
to henceforth never know satisfaction from any unholy morsel.

And though I not couldst sense from which direction we
approached, or if at all, Anfauglith emerged before me out of murky
cover like the ominous, insistent prow of an embittered, stern
ship, whose buried secrets might forever burn the curious kin.

The gray mists split, carved apart by the sharp bright beams of
the Vala, as we spiraled down towards the cold stare of
barren range, this being Anfauglith, and my heart plummeted the
same, shattering across its flat face.

My earthly bearings did now desert, sapped free and fordone,
for as my harried sight witnessed the Valar as a fragile
white pinprick diminishing in the sky, like stray sparks minishing
away from grounded flame, I glimpsed the discarded part of all I was.

Anfauglith marched forward as my residence anew, an abode of
foreboding, cruel terrain, eventually trading the dull smooth range for
moody crags jutting forth from the opaque horizon, shapes as threatening
as giant jagged horns and claws of storied demons rising from living graves.

And so commenced mine supposed eternal, internal mapping of this
land that neither lies near the Nature of Man nor the beloved
Supernature of the Valar and Thier adopted ilk, yet surprisingly here
I hear still an ascendant echo of no origin whispering prayers.

Like shy spoken dreams these prayers do softly bloom within, my
possessed thoughts cower hesitantly, and a fragile voice trickles
across and between my soul’s stolid stones, without tether and
moss-ridden as they are, to finally collect in a sparkled pool of clear intent.

As ripples, prayers skate the surface, giving gently bubbling sound,
which I soon hear rolling into words, then turning thusly into orders
that through plentiful persuasion might soothe and soften a
soul’s stones to shapes seen in thine Supernature.

"Yon Keln," the prayer intones with my betrayed brethrens’ title
spoken directly unto me, "thy desired ascending embrace now lies on
bloodened blade made holy; seeketh this sure cure in Anfaulgith, this
sword once found need find its way to Me."

In wildered form did I crumble swiftly, now knelt from sudden good
liking and by no small promises from such divine mind, troops of
tears then marching over scarred cheeks, doubtlessly culled forth
in luminous pleasance at sudden renewed hope to lighten pitted spirit.

Renewed greatly, despite demeaning stares from the dark sharp
peaks that shadow heavily the land and I, the crushed shards of my heart,
forgotten by all ascended, gathered and slightly mended with mounting
momentum to claim divinely heralded prize hiding about.

Hath I my wild steed, in length Anfauglith wouldst then be much
minished, but alas I cross unaccompanied, scaling the pointed
crags, plodding over the hammered ranges, whilst newly lit
inner fires were ever stoked by plentiful prayed promises.

Ere I approached menacing stone forests, a lone encampment I
espied built of black rock hewn to pearled smoothness,
curved round a crouched lone figure, cloaked, cradling his own
evil blade, lit faintly from stabs of scurrying lightning.

As I warily drew nigh, ever cautious for long had mine duplicitous
hide been angrily sought by lords a-plenty for their chilled
great halls as mere pallid embellishment, my sword soon
did peek outward from its fitted sheath, sighing its pitched battlecry.

From the lone figure no faint motion mine eyes did glimpse and
thus my blade, which hath fed on familiar blood, now muted,
returned unsated to its enveloping skin, whilst mine own silenced
presence bested swiftly the hollow wall parting he and I.

His strange blade, hilt fretted in rondured gems of azure, held allure by
lighted mists swelling round yet created not from its mass, whilst past
prayers hie thee mine senses to wonderment upon said sword;
Couldst thou be much noted glamoured relic to open sacred ports?

Then swiftly, as a hungered hawk towards slowed prey, did catapult
blade and owner ere mine worn-weary stance might gather strength
and with bullish force and much puissance lay a crushing swinge
which marred prior dented byrnie, toppling my surprised form thusly.

Wellnigh fordone, haply as never before, a stricken soul did I now
birth, yet inly wished still hurried scathe upon this darkened drake
and his assault, and thus to the demasked hilt of my awakened weapon
my grasp did marry and hoist high o’er Anafulgith.

Once met, our swords screamed, committed steel beings smite the
other, deep cleft sought, enthralled in ever metal clatter to tilthe
thine blood-starved owner’s fury, and about me the clouded air
did ring with such clamour, much that crossed yon pitted peaks.

My foes’ desired eternal wrack hath with suddeness swallowed prior inly
fire of mine to heed divine rede, claim ascending treasure, and thusly
hie my travail’s close, yet for now his lustihead fades by sledge-blows
delivered often, the raged blade pricked by flooding strength.

And with the scraped sound of cleaved vambrace, the lealty of my
sinister sword was proven fain, the dark foe’s wielding arm thus hewn
through, hand and weapon once mighty in thews, now sent to ruin
upon rock, whilst wildered he toppled to great grievance.

And thusly from atop his head tumbled forth a crown unforeseen,
black iron pitted, misshapen by rage, yet wondrously bejeweled by
forged luminescence, crafted by skill, such as no others in time ere mine nor beyond,
now sullied, ever cursed — The Silmarils!

None other than Melkor of the Vala, this dark power, from the young age of the Silmarils
expunged from Valinor’s light, now soundly felled by mine own traitorous steel,
now wrecked and pain-wracked, one less limb from which fury might stab forth,
bent crown of kept Eldar pride underfeet of I who might freely mock.

Had my blade and I, long since sadly bloodened with foes both familiar and new, been rebirthed into Holiness?
Shadowed beneath the cliffs and crags of menace, I knelt, nigh grief stricken Melkor,
ever enemy of the Eldar, whilst forth from my lips emerged grace-filled words with
the radiant halls of Valmar targeted, and thusly mine sword and I, its kindred-spurned owner,
pressed for the flight of Manwë and the sight of my gathering folk across the West, in Valinor.

Brian M. McVickar

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