Having left our friends at the Tower’s destruction, and the Jaredites to their barges or vessels, so concluded Words of the Faithful. I was myself unsure whether some new tale would follow their after-labors, having finished in May 2017 the story as far as Pengolodh would tell. And so published a few months later, however knowing it was incomplete.
For a twentieth text in the “Ancient Words” was delivered in early June, and I struggled to translate one word in particular: Rugus. I later guessed it was a name, and this Rugus was involved in a trade: he for a small thing fashioned to catch a bird’s claw. Moreover, as I came to some sense of the text, it was clear the trader was Nazgul, and he received Ifariel’s falcon catch in joy. This twentieth text was excluded from Words of the Faithful, being, it seemed, set apart from its tales. It is included here, and begins these promised Words.
Having published Words of the Faithful, and watching it puzzle and encourage some few readers, I rested from a long and emptying labor. Then came November. I was urged once again to begin writing, recognizing in the telling wise Pengolodh’s style and lore. Our time was now too short, it seemed, for me to enjoy any lengthy vacation from writing these promised tales. So through the winter months—November and December, through January and February into this year 2018—I wrote down his astonishing tale.
What you read was written by hand, as given here, in a single draft (just as Words of the Faithful was composed). While writing the English tale, sometimes I also was delivered short passages; and these I’ve included, being, I suppose, some literal words of them that have slumbered. While I don’t claim to understand all that is currently happening, in their world (or in our own!), it is clear that our good companions in the world of spirits, even among monsters, are not inactive, nor cowards.
I’m not going to tell you this reading will be easy. Pengolodh is a lore master, after all. The narrative moves back and forth across ages, circling to further develop scenes; often with only a slight indication (but always given, so pay attention!). And it draws on published texts, without explicit reference. I offer footnotes when appropriate, and sometimes add a long dash — to mark transitions in narrative time. Take it slow, but don’t stop, for as you move ahead in the text, your understanding of the earlier narrative should improve. And read aloud, when in doubt. Finally, if you have neglected the Silmarillion, you can ignore it no longer, if you wish to understand this tale. The Book of Mormon also may be read again, without bringing any harm to ourselves.
Few friends have asked, “Are you serious?” An elf, Book of Mormon, Manwë, and so on? Really? I’m sure others wanted to ask. So, let me answer: Yes. Really. I wrote what I was told (but kept some private); and this time as before, I encountered many words I had never heard before, or ever considered using. But trusting my source, I learned words like clatchet, suzerain, embouchure, proctor, prodst, and so on. I say this not to convince anyone of the truth of what is written, but to show a little of how the telling proceeded. Rapidly, hand written, exhausting, full of surprises, and with gratitude. Not automatic nor in a trance, but more as a scribe. Better, more careful and diligent scribes they could have found; but perhaps I was eccentric and desperate enough to keep up the project, amid our world’s demands and failures. And yet the tale remains incomplete, I suppose.
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