So in short time, though too late it was for one, that to this lonesome gathering of forsaken, wastrel souls came a few more strays, every so often; men and women, though most again departed, wanderers looking for naught, but never willing to stay and tarry with any offering home and confidences.
And there was among a latter sort, a youthful “sprite,” and coming among this forsaken folk, where dwelt among one praised high in all of Arda, was she who in former days had been hailed as High Queen Ifariel, now humbler name without title, as a castaway from some long ago broken vessel, of no particular import, she arrived; yet without groveling, bearing still that high import, as a strong assurance to those trained in administration of valued goods: Here was beauty, all did see; though none saying aloud, desired for her elsewhere to reign; or retain her house, or to no longer look upon their fallen state, as in a mire.
And one day – being resident there nearly a moon’s passing – she walked afar into the woods dying, surrounding that plain, and though it was several days journey, the Old Man also attended her, as if her escort, and not as some whispered, to be dropped in a sheltered, shadowed hollow, and left to fate.
Never again did Ifariel look upon the works of Evil as
mere play, for in the years intervening, having her beast by Izilba whose name she reverenced, though that beast’s slayer; so was the Grey One mighty to bring forth out of Kiliath one by long descent, akin; and in heart held closer.
Thus in the after chaos of her departure, Izilba was enstoried among those folk – the Kiliadrin – of the Gorge Lit – and they who survived the pitfalls and vaporous plumes, and sulphuric fumes’ burning, did gather what remained, and indeed departed; and wanderers, they were, way-weary, furtive, scandalized by their own recent deeds, and reaching as in the darkness to repent, and return to that light beheld by their forefathers in now broken stories and lore beyond their patching. And many died, being burdened by sorrow, and beset by sickness rampant, abrupt to kill, and lighten their passage through lands now mostly desolate, or in fear of all strangers; and also fearing likewise, the Kiliadrin kept themselves apart, often fearing even to appear a gathered folk, and thus severed clans to return to set mountain places, every third day of a month, there to report if by spy or scout alone (and not the full party) the discoveries roundabout, and what paths taken, and to design maps so that they may set forth soon upon a surer route, safely, to find some other hidden realm, there to abide the world’s end, if may be, and abide amid a returning light, borne now in joy inside and shared among themselves, recuperating of sickness’ encroachment.
And a settlement they established, by the shores near those waters called the Red Sea – though in those days it ran into the Sea Inner, and but a wide channel, carried her waters beyond to Ekkaia, the Seas Encircling, mingled with all waters, even those smoothing the beaches where landed those Zheradin, and whose feet were thereon laved, as these folk kneeled in supplication to the Eru, god of their newfoundland.
And running again through the Airs, water descends, and clean again by burning light rays, lofted over mountain ranges, to freeze or in droplets gathered, to dive upon the lands, and roll again, passing – should one droplet as a leaf be traced – by those ramshackle homesteads by Kiliadrin raised, humble, and poor, sufficient to dissuade any passersby from evil deed, robbery, or worse design.
Then it was but a small folk who remained to settle there, others having perished, or famished resorted to bestial ways; or strayed out, to be not recovered, though searched for in hardship and delay. And near to a river’s new flowing path, they met often afloat parties in movement, among the swirling masses set in motion, and spun into a frenzy by the world’s uplifting, and downturning; and new ways for travel or traffick were made, while old paths could no longer be trod.
So it seemed to none strange that a Queenly One, without retainer, but neither alone, did into that lesser cut in the desert floor stumble in descent, a beggar for food and drink, and here were retained in store a wholesome store, for when at the arising of Rugus to chieftain of that throng outcast, and in sin a swirl, to long planned advantage he set their course, and all abided his rule, for if he was given wholly over to lust of flesh, also he was by their hearts easy to comprehend; and believed in, as one knowing the way to survive whatsoever come.
Zimulof K adopted no name, but what was by them bestowed, Old Man (in your tongue, obviously). And old he was, though none knew nor if knowing, would’ve believed how aged indeed; and he sought to slumber into the Full Night of Death, here in rest, if little peace came to his soul: whence the abiding evil, surrounding? And whither good workers in Arda’s fields? No longer could he name even in thought, Asenath, and at times doubted his own mind’s recollections of their life together beyond, strewn the wreckage of a cast off coffin, and the high purple hills, a golden flowing, he dimly saw now; yet in that night, as he was borne by a dragged sled, out came stars, and forth arising were those Seven Sisters (so called) by Ifariel; and she telling him of the “folklore” of her clan – neglecting to speak too plainly of its real sources in Kiliath’s destruction – restored to him, estel, hoping trust and that whirling inset Eru spun again within his mind’s eye; and all spinning above him, he knew without grief of doubt, remained clay for that potter to take of, and to roll and to shape warming, then to throw again into shape, what maybe ground misshapen.
Peace of Eru enveloped his being, and thus was he carried across the Void, from mortality again to the soul’s lasting perch, without death; and he died in that night, though Ifariel and her “retinue” (as he called them) believed him but sleeping, and peacefully, without grudge or effort.
In the morning then, one was sent to tell Rugus his father had passed away, as all men, in that night; and Rugus closed his door to all the world, and wept, bitterly, having now feared the doom (or fate) of Zimulof Kloshtuz – mighty man Ancient, and renown >though< by deeds not to him attributed, in after days and by deeds to him named, never contemplated – his doom bent awry, by the overwhelming desires and daily urges of his person [Rugus’s], soul wrought in flesh, in confusion, desperation to settle accounts.
So here he ended, Rugus replied to the messenger, One who ought to have lived among Ainur, and walked in the Valar’s Courts, eyes not averting. And he locked the door, though beyond it, all did hear sobbing, and pleas-begging to forgive his delay, until the room quieted, and Rugus again slept, exhausting his spirit;