Already he was fading along, was Thingol Ellu, for having departed the sheltered halls and wandering about without, alongside Joseph of Eressëa, or later within the fenced horrors of Mordor, those fumes of Gothmog-Gorgoroth begot, drained out what remained of his fleshy vitality – that spectre’s capacity to remove as if into flesh, and there to accomplish small deeds, one at a time, by great strain of mind and effort. So though wrought in malice for those Noldor who after ventured out from those lands, weary with a weight none among them comprehended, though being understood in its course and implications – so too had Thingol been caught and enmeshed, the longer so having ventured so near to its source, and there remaining. (We have spoken before of this.)
Perceiving little or even naught of his fading out, Grey Mantle kept his person about the dangers, and yet even as he looked as in hiding upon the hosts liberated of chains most black, had any knowing aforetime glanced back, doubtful would any – even Izilba and Dyacôm – perceived of his shape, so thinned had he become to eyes of light. But no wraith was he!
More golden in beamwork had he become, as a gem of endless turning upon perfect facets, so he radiated golden hues, to those spirits with eyes for seeing such. Yet when he descended in a wrestle with Eru a-mud, pulled was he to a same gold glancing beam, wrought of no man’s hand, but to him well known, and rued: the Falcon Catch of Ifariel (as it is known elsewhere), buried under slops of sliding waste, churned about, as a stone under sea, and how it came to this place, he guessed not. For many years it rested amidmost his hoard of treasure obtained in trade, by wayfarers awander lost in Neldoreth, and the fee for their rescue and outsiding her mazing turrets of trees, was something precious to the soul thus distraught, and so the falcon catch came to his halls Meneg[-]rotta, and it was not lusted after by dwarf, for little gold only was woven, spun about in traceries at the clasp and throughout the sheathing whereon rested a fowl kept. Whose it was, whence came it, and by whose guidance was this fowler mislead, by price led forth into light fit for man and elf, never none bothered to make note.
It may be guessed (by us!) of whose gentle clasp it was wrought, perhaps an heirloom of Nerdanel spouse of Feanaro, whose flames burns without consuming; but only a guess. Yet by his power put forth was this little thing, petty to his eye for a great many glances as he walked upon the floors of treasury, yet now did it most precious appear, a being lovely, shining under the muck, raised forth of the earth, and to it came Joseph in after days, as the friends surveyed the wreck, and measured its destruction over the plains. He taking it, held it before his eye, and peering through as though a glass for looking afar, did see ablaze a wondrous image of a man turning about the inside, as upon an inner wheel, and here for a third descent appeared Eru- potter, at his wheel and upon it, throwing something of his will, and himself thereto also a-shaping.
Little to the eyes of Man appear his wondrous hands’ shaping all that is to the glory set before the Fate of they who remain in Faith His children, prophesied this man, and most glorious be the mud and daub house he slaps upon for you, Thingol housemate, a place for thy spirit to burn ever golden, but not by that glow itself consumed; as a gem of Feanor, replied Ellu king, rolling a stick branch broken of that nearly dead tree upon his thighs, while in the mud he plopped and stayed, and then with a great toss of the stick, he faded further before Joseph’s eyes, and more golden scattered his light, even as the sun descended into the western slopes by Vanyar up- churned, in their wrath to uncover and unmake that Demon of Hellfire, Melko-whelp Gothmog, an enemy without compare in devious malice, save his master’s own incalculable evil.
So it was in after days, when the building of his furnaces grew apace, and word of Thu’s immanent arrival drove those slaves into madness of frenzied labor, that to one wraith arest in the buzzing, sawing, clanking, clamor came these friends, as in mood of offering counsel, unsolicited. And as we’ve told elsewhere, as though in afterthought was this wraith offered in trade a trinket of their serving man’s possession, a clatchet [?] ornamental, in exchange-barter to bear away the slumbering as- corpse Rugus, who later found a way to those Zheradin, and with them stayed awhile, in their nurturance, and supplication that he remain, to receive of them succor to every wound. So it was by him (as it turned out, pretend) worry of this Rugus’s fears of darkness full, that Zhera’ revealed a notion to his brother, and the same came to those caves before mentioned in two tales (now); and also how that fowler’s catch was treasured as a holy gem of Valinor, weighed as the whole host under his keeping amid the strong places of Thû his master, for to the yet secreted chambers of his heart, brought that catch the recall of children, and the words of Eru by Zilpharon delivered, there to abide all wickedness without.
And this wraith (Maglor of song renown) set up[on] that now dead tree, this thing of golden perturbances among a gathering black haze, and it was said, There the master set it high thereon, to tempt his enemies to land upon branches of poisoned trees, drowned in fumes, as of old did Melko-Eruhin do as his father bid, and take his spear to thrust through the bark of that Tree by the Powers-Vala worshipped as an idol of his; So also now that catch would bring down, it was rumored in markets thereabouts (in the south and east of his growing domain) all that his brothers’ wicked and idle set forth in airs as spies, against the Eru who in darkness abides, gnawing impatient, eager to see the false light-golden, by blood extinguished.
Yet even here in Hell’s Gatehouse, spun the will of Eru, as upon a wheel the potter makes as he will, throwing some new whim into shape, shaping its boundaries and raising its shape, until put into a fire of measured heat, and crackles (as ever his hands’ work) ablaze he may set the pot out to catch some rain drops, if only to water and feed a single lily; so under that tree’s dead roots did root about a seed, and from this seed would (and did!) sprout forth lovely whiteness, to be born over many lifetimes of sowings until at last from its petalled cup did one drink a nectar, and thus was he changed wholly (but of this change we do not yet speak).
Yet also Thingol was no longer steward over this realm, and with Ki-Abroam did depart upon a slight bark, westward to Eressëa, leaving Zimulof to seek out those things he hoped (fancied!) might restore the world to semblance of his heart’s joy-beyond, upon Eressëa, whither he returned to abide alongside Asenath, awaiting their daughters’ arrival in future time. But not so, has this hope come to pass, nor shall it be, save all who labor now labor unceasing, with an eye single to his glory, and to His Father whom he raised up. So shall ye do, and we are beside thee, and thou near to us.
Next will we to tell of Thingol’s finding, there outside the bounds of those islands amidmost being the Lonely One, and how it was that lilies were burned in a consuming hunger and lust for never-dying; and that finding no hope now of return, Ki-Abroam did a deed to cleave as it were an epoch, by the swinging of a magic ax.
And later more so, who it was that found the golden strain, (of Thingol king departed), and there wove of it another bracelet, to link as one chain all that had hitherto been recorded upon brass plates, in engravings most ancient.