Eöldrim, the Dark Folk
Auteur : José Enrique Vacas de la Rosa (email@example.com) © 2009 per the terms of the CC license: b n a
Eöldrim, the Dark Folk or Gwaith-i-Fuin
In the great family of the Moriquendi and, particularly the Sindar — Teleri that stayed in Beleriand, existed a small elven group that walked a path different from that of their brethren. Those were the members of the house of Eöl, the Eöldrim, servants of the Lord of the gloomy forest of Nan Elmoth, relative of Elu Thingol, king of Doriath.
Eöl loved the night and the stars and among the Firstborn he had the most friendship with the Dwarves of whom he learned and to whom he taught some arts. His biggest creation as smith was a new ally called galvorn (black cristal), a black metal, stronger than iron but light and ductile. He and his people wore armours forgued with this metal. He despised the Noldor, accusing them of invaders and responsibles of Morgoth’s return. This contempt was mutual, because for the Noldor him and his people were sinister and gloomy.
The misfortune of Eöl was shaped when he kidnapped a Noldor to make her his wife. She was Aredhel, sister of Turgon, king of Gondolin. She conceived a son, Maeglin (Sharp Gaze), with whom she escaped from Nan Elmoth when her husband was visiting the dwarves in the mountains. Eöl, as is written in the Lay of Maeglin, looked for her and finally found her in the hidden city of Gondolin, where he demanded their return. He freed her from following him but he ordered his son to return with him. As Maeglin refused, Eöl hurled a javelin against his son, but Aredhel to save Maeglin, shielded her son and the poisoned javelin killed her. This costed Eöl being thrown from the top of the cliff of Caragdûr, where he cursed his treacherous son to follow the same path.
The curse was fulfilled and as is told in the Balad of the Fall of Gondolin, when the love that the courageous Maeglin felt for his cousin Idril, daughter of Turgon, wasn’t returned and, for worse, she loved a mortal, Tuor, a brave warrior of the house of Hador. The jealously madened him and he listened to the promise of Morgoth for which the Dark Enemy promised him the lady Idril in exchange for the secret path that took to Gondolin. That was the end of the city, but Maeglin’s too, as Tuor, during the battle, threw him down the Caragdûr, the same cliff where his father had been executed.
This unfortunate events marked the history of the Eöldrim. When his lord went to Gondolin, his assistant and distant relative and the only friend that Eöl had until the arrival of Aredhel, was left in charge of the fiefdom. This servant of Eöl was Herudú (Nightlord), son of Godwen, and for long years he occupied the place of his lord and friend, believing him to be missing, until he learned of his fate in Gondolin, killed by the hated Noldor because of his noldorin stepmother, through the dwarves. This hardened Herudú’s heart and the contempt that he had previously felt for the Deep Elves was turned in hatred.
When the armies of the Free Peoples readied for the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, Mablung and Beleg Cuthalion, vassals of Thingol that where going to the war under the banner of Fingon, arrived to ask, because of their kinship, help against Morgoth with their excellent weapons and armours of galvorn. But Herudú mocked them, calling them slaves of the Noldor, and denied them any help, as he didn’t want nothing with the murderers of his father and he had sworn to challenge and kill his stepbrother Maeglin may they met someday. In such situation, he decided not to go to a war in which the house of Turgon of Gondolin would involve. When Beleg and Mablung told this, the other elven peoples began to call Herudú, almost in mockery, Herufuindü (Lord of the Gloomy Night). Because of this, his people started to be known as the Gwaith-i-Fuin.
After the disaster in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, Nan Elmoth became a dangerous place for elves, because the orcs and other creatures of Morgoth increased in number as they lurked around Melian’s Waist protecting the forests of Doriath. Herudú brought together his people and left the place, blaming yet again the Noldor. They seeked haven in the houses of the Naugrim in Ered Luin, where they were well received because of the long friendship that Eöl and Herudú himself had had with the lords of Nogrod and Belegost. There they created a kingdom under the mountain, with gates where sorrounded by a forest of towering trees of twisted roots, the daeorn, trees that were born from the seeds and cuttings that they had saved from their home in Nan Elmoth. They called their kingdom Taurgroth (Caverns of the Forest) and for years they kept their friendship with their dwarven neighbours until the Curse of the Silmarils intervened again : the Nogrod dwarves made war against Doriath to recover the Nauglamir — simbol of friendship between dwarves and elves- in which it was mounted the Silmaril that Beren pulled out of the Iron Crown. In this war died the relative of Herudú, Elu Thingol, which made the Eöldrim to renounce their alliances with the naugrim and to close their gates. And while only the dwarves from Nogrod had betrayed the elves and the folk of Belegost had refused to take part in the ruin of Doriath, the Eöldrim no longer confided in the dwarves, fearing that one day the greedy dwarves would betray them as they had done with their relatives.
However, one of the sons of the selfproclaimed king Herudú, Curugond (Skilled in the Stone) disagreed with that decision and left the home of his father with some loyals and together they searched for the dwarves of Khazad-dûm, that had had nothing to do with the Ruin of Doriath. Again, they were well received and Curugond founded a kingdom in the southern Misty Mountains, in the slopes of the old forest of Fangorn, Heledhiâ, the Cristal Chasm, for the caves where they built their kingdom in exile were filled with glittering cristal.
When the exiled Noldor built Eregion, Curugond betrayed the oaths of hate of his father and started to trade with them and Celebrimbor highly appreciated Curugond’s wisdom. Even it is believed that Curugond may have taught him the secret of galvorn. However, the friendship between both kings did not last after the arrival of Annatar (Sauron), who was warmly received by Celebrimbor and of who suspected Curugond as Annatar wanted with flattering presents and kind words to learn the secret of Eöl’s strange metal. Curugond warned Celebrimbor (as did Cirdan and Elrond), but the smith-lord did not pay atention and the Gwaith-i-Fuin returned to the mountain…
All but one, Mîrîa (Jewel of the Abyss), the beatiful daughter of Curugond, who had married Tar-Gildor, Captain of the Eregion Guard. When the armies of Sauron sorrounded Eregion, it is said that in the caves of Heledhiâ was heard the crying of princess Mîrîa for her husband, killed during the siege. Then, his brother Kalnar (Bright Fire) rebelled against his father, who had forbidden to help the Gwaith-i-Mirdain or his daughter –who had chosen the fate of Eregion marrying Tar-Gildor-, and gathering all the brave men willing to follow him to save his sister. Many followed him and no one returned. That marked the fate of the kingdom of Heledhiâ.
Of Kalnár’s expedition, few survived the war (only Kalnár, his sister Mîrîa and twelve courageous warriors). The others where victims of the fire and steel of the orcs or where captured and sent to the Barad-dûr to wrench from them the secret of galvorn. They were tortured for months, but none of them revealed the secret. This survivors tried to return to Heledhiâ, but the gates were closed and they continued until they reached Rivendel. There they were received by their remote relative, Elrond Halfelven, with the other refugees from Eregion. But soon they left Rivendel making good use of the peace that Middle Earth enjoyed when Sauron was taken to Numenor as hostage, as some of the noldori refugees has been smiths in Eregion and they still coveted the secret of galvorn and Kalnár accepted to teach them where they willing to accept him as their lord and to follow him to a new land to create a new kingdom. They crossed the Misty Mountains and settled in southern Greenwood, far from the domains of the Sîrgiltaur (Oropher?), father of Thranduil and lord of the elves in that forest. There they created Palanbaror (Land of the Faraway Home). Some artifacts and weapons were crafted there and where given to Sîrgiltaur, to Celeborn when he did found Lothlorien and carried to Rivendel to pay Elrond’s hospitality.
With the Great Disaster that was caused by the Fall of Numenor and the Change of the World, Taurgroth survived in the north of the Blue Mountains, in the birthplace of the Lhûn river, near the frozen lands of the lossoth, where those barbarians tell the travelers about the misterious naydui, black spirits who roam in the forests and mountains under the moonlight.
When Isildur and Anarion founded Gondor and started to build the fortresses that would protect the borders of their kingdom, an expedition explored the south of the Misty Mountains while Orthanc was being built and they found a « Caves of Cristal where silence lives, near the forested slopes of Fangorn ». Heledhiâ was empty or the few who lived there seeked refuge in the depths of the Earth… And perhaps it suffered the very fate that the neighbouring Khazad- dûm would suffer thousands of years later.
When the Necromancer of Dol Guldur started his reign of terror, the elves of king Thranduil lost contact with the eöldrim of Palanbaror and believed that they had left or succumbed to the shadows expanding in the forest. There were even rumours about the presence of a dragon in the area who slept over the treasures of the gwaith-i-fuin.
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