excerpt – The Leryavalatúrë: Return of the Ring

[the prose is mostly written as sort of stage directions to myself. This will hopefully end up being both a script(s) and a novel(s). After writing the Dagor Dagorath prelude in full prose and realizing I had no heart for the task of chopping it up into a script, I decided to write the rest sort of midway between both]

This is a dream sequence.

Caldaran is walking along a beach. Rising up on the land side are blue-white glacial cliffs, hanging with dripping icicles. The narrow strip of beach is sandy and mostly thawed. Shallow waves lap on the shore. Patchy ice floats in the sea on his other side. The sun is setting, but still golden and bright. Big chunks of ice, polished like clear crystal boulders, are scattered along the beach. He approaches one, marvelling. He crouches, runs his hand along its smooth, slippery surface.  
“Beautiful, aren’t they?” a voice says behind him. He whirls around and sees an ethereal form.
“Who are you?” Caldaran asks, breathless with surprise.
Her form compresses, condenses, solidifies, appearing human. “I am known by many names,” she smiles. “Choose one.”
He studies her a moment, then, “Hirilvala…” he hesitates, “Nienna?”
She nods.
“Why are you here?”
She smiles again: “I might ask you the same.” She waves her hand, gesturing at the ice-boulders strewn along the sand. “The artifacts of your grief are all around us. So, why am I here?”
Caldaran looks back at the crystal ice boulder with surprise. His hand is still on it. He lets go, rising slowly, looking along the beach at the others, then back at Nienna with confusion.
“What troubles you?” She clarifies, gently.
He pauses, floundering for a moment. Then asks, “why is it—why must sorrow water seeds?”
“Ah,” she says with understanding. She looks up at the glacial plain rising like cliffs above them. “All of this,” she gestures, “is something still unfelt, something yet unknown. This unknown-waiting-to-be-known is an inheritence born to us from Eru Illuvatar’s own ignorance.” She half-smiles, “that He had any ignorance at all remained for a long time unknown.”
She turns back to see Caldaran’s confused expression. She begins again: “why sorrow, you ask? Do you see how clear this is?” she indicates the ice boulder beside him and he looks. “Sorrow delivers such clarity, where once there was ignorance, or confusion.” Then she holds out her palm, and just above it an orb of silver glowing light forms. “You gave this a name. What is it?”
“Sámacálë,” he answers.
She nods. She holds out her other palm, and just above it an orb of golden light forms. “And this?”
“One is born of sorrow, the other of joy. What is the wisdom learned from sorrow?”
Caldaran is quiet for a moment. Then, “joy must follow.”
She nods with a smile. “When Eru orchestrated the world, at the beginning of all things,” she slowly lowers her hands and the orbs rise to float between them: the silver orb grows small and faint, the golden one bright. “This was a thing He did not yet understand. He thought only of His own joy, unaware of the greater expanse of void beyond the edges of his knowing. So out of His unknowing, one of us Nine his equal in sight was born, so that He might someday come to know it.” The silver orb grows once more in size to equal the other and glows bright. The orbs begin to attract, then repel, repeatedly, clashing violently with one another, as if in battle.
“Melkor,” Caldaran says with surprised recognition.
Nienna nods. “Eru’s heart had a great shadow, unknown and unseen. It eclipsed Melkor’s light and left both in confusion. As Eru’s determination to overpower, to deny this confusion grew, so too did sorrow.” She captures the two combating, repelling orbs back on her palms. She looks on them softly as they become once more still. “My heart could not bear my Father so limited in sight, that He could not feel tenderness and love for the innocent desire of *this* one,” she gives the silver orb a slight, gentle bounce, “but instead chose to fight.”
She looks up at Caldaran with solemn eyes and he meets her gaze. “This fight shaped all that we in Arda have ever known. But held with love, now behold this light,” she slowly draws her palms together and the two orbs are drawn toward each other, they twist and dance and pulse and blend, forming an even brighter incandescence. Caldaran looks on it with wonder.
She pulls her hands gently apart and with them the orbs. Then she looks up at Caldaran and gives him a half-smile. “So, what is it *you* fight?”
He looks at her, taken aback. “Nothing.”
She smiles more fully. She releases her hands and the orbs hover again between them. The silver orb is drawn like a magnet to his brow. It stretches and lengthens to become a vertical column of light that stretches upward and downward along the axis of his midline and beyond. Then the golden orb floats closer at the level of his heart, also as if pulled by a magnet. Eyes wide, Caldaran watches it approach. But as it draws near his chest, it is repeatedly repelled by the silver/white column of light.
“There,” Nienna smiles again, bringing her palms back up and the orbs are drawn back to them. “Your mind fights the innocence, the wisdom, the desire of your heart.”
His face falls and he begins to cry. At their feet, one of these ice crystal boulders begins to form, small at first but grows. As it bumps up against his feet, he looks down and steps back. Then he stops crying, and the small boulder stops growing. He rubs his face with his arm. “But *how* can I put an end to this fight?” he implores.
She smiles. “Welcome joy into your heart.” Then she releases the golden orb, curling her fingers to keep the silver one in place. The golden orb is drawn to his heart and lights up his whole chest. Caldaran looks down with delighted surprise. Nienna opens her palm again and the silver orb floats free, drawn back to his brow. As the vertical column forms, he vocalizes a brief note of pleasure when the two lights meet and touch, but he flinches reflexively as if from pain and cuts the note short. The golden orb pops back out of place as if repelled in response.
He watches the golden orb float gently back to Nienna’s hand with dismay. She holds her palm out for the silver orb too. “Think not too much of sorrow,” she says, with a note of consolation. “But know it for what it truly is: a displacement, an upswelling tide; one that rises in volume to match the pressure of joy already dawning inside.”
He looks up from her palms with surprise. The scene is quickly fading away
“Keep faith in sight. Orëistima *is* your birthright,” her voice says in the dark with a note of finality.