Forfirith gripped the railing of the ship tightly, causing her knuckles to turn white. Her sailing companions gathered around her as they approached the shore ahead of them. Sweet music drifted towards them on the air as they beheld the green shores of Valinor. Forfirith could not help the few tears that slid down her face. This was her birthplace, and she had thought in all her long years in Middle-earth that she would never return, but now she finally had. She smiled through her tears and hastily wiped them away.
She was the only Noldo on the ship, her companions being all Sindar. She watched their faces silently, their eyes wide as they beheld all the beauty that lay before them.
"Beautiful, is it not?" she whispered, and they nodded their heads.
"I was born here, many ages ago." she added softly. "Long have I prayed to the Valar to return, and Eru has answered me!"
They gazed at her in wonder.
The ship stopped in a small bay. Forfirith knew it to be the bay of the Teleri, Alqualondė. Here was where the Kin-Slaying occurred, and Forfirith felt a wave of shame course through her. Her father, Caranthir (Fėanor's fourth son), had taken part in that terrible event, despite her pleas, and those of her twin sister Amorith and their mother Olwen, who was a Teleri. Forfirith recalled how her parents had argued about what Caranthir was doing.
"You are a Teleri no longer!" he told her seethingly.
"How can that be so? My marriage to you does not change my origin, Caranthir." she replied.
He grew angry with her and hit her hard across the face, causing her cheek to bleed. His young twin daughters looked at him, mortified. They knew that their parents' marriage was not a happy one any longer, but he had never before laid a hand on their mother. The scuffles around them seemed to vanish. Forfirith looked at her mother, tears in her eyes. Olwen calmly rose to her feet. She called her daughters over to her.
"Listen, my daughters, hold true to what you believe. You must not let him ever alter the course of your thinking. Swear not to the oath!" she told them, then kissed and embraced each one softly in turn.
"Ammė?" Amorith said, realizing what was happening.
Olwen turned and smiled softly at her daughters.
"Know I will always love you, and I await your return here." she told them.
Caranthir glared at his wife.
"Do you mean to say that you are deserting us?" he asked her coldly.
She looked at him defiantly.
"My daughters I am not deserting; it is you who I am deserting. They are both strong, they will care for themselves. And if you do them any harm, then may the wrath of the Valar be upon you!" she told him evenly.
Caranthir took hold of his sword and made to attack Olwen, but she vanished before he could reach her.
Slowly, the scene around them returned, and Forfirith remembered the bodies that littered the ground. The waters of the bay were red with blood. She had to hold her tears back lest her father harm her. She felt Amorith's hand grasp hers tightly.
'We must take ammė's words to heart.' Amorith said into Forfirith's mind. 'We must not succumb ourselves to become like our father.'
'Yet we travel with him, so the Valar will curse us!' Fofirith replied.
Amorith looked towards Taniquetil, her gray eyes misty.
"We can only hope that the Valar will understand our position; we have no choice but to follow our father." she whispered.
Forfirith opened her eyes. The memories were strong now. She had tried to forget them, but they always haunted her. She knew it was her guilt at being Caranthir's daughter that troubled her, and made her feel responsible for what occurred. She felt as if she was a Kin-Slayer herself, even though she had never killed anything save a few Orcs in her life.
Her companions were no longer beside her. She saw that they were disembarking from the ship, and she hurried after them. A few of the Teleri were gathered, smiling joyously and welcoming them. Her ears delighted in hearing her beloved language again, Quenyan. She knew the Sindar did not understand the words being spoken to them, but they understood their meaning.
"Mellyn, these are Teleri; we are in Alqualondė. They wish you had a safe journey and welcome you to their city." she told them in Sindarin.
The Sindar nodded, and smiled thankfully at the Teleri. One of them looked curiously at Forfirith. He approached her and asked:
"Aiya, mana esselya?"
"Essenya Vaniė." she replied slowly.
It had been so long since she had spoken Quenyan, or even used her true name. "That is my true name, but I have been called Forfirith for awhile now."
"Man ranta nosselyo?"
"Olwen—ammė." she told him.
He nodded to himself. Forfirith felt slightly anxious. But he smiled at her.
"Fear not, Vaniė. You are known to me. I was asked to search every ship that came from Middle-earth for you. If you would kindly follow me." he told her.
She nodded and fell behind him. She could hear the Sindar conversing excitedly; they had found someone they knew.
She smiled to herself.
"Ah, I have forgotten to introduce myself. Essenya Arquen, I am akin to Olwė." the Teleri told her.
Forfirith was quiet as she followed Arquen through the city of Alqualondė, her senses absorbing everything. She admired the white marble streets of the city, which seemed to glow with a light all of their own. The mansions of the Teleri were made of pearl. Forfirith stared in wonder at them, recalling from her elfling days the visits she had made to this city with her mother when Olwen desired to see her family.
At last they reached a grand mansion. Arquen knocked once on the door before a servant opened it. He beckoned Forfirith to follow him. The servant closed the door silently behind her then went off. Arquen seated himself in a chair in the hall, watching Forfirith as she gazed all around her, memories of old stirring deeply within her. He knew all about her: who her father was, that Amorith was her twin sister.
There was the sound of approaching footsteps, and Forfirith turned quickly. A strange feeling overcame her, one of deep nostalgia. Arquen excused himself then and left her standing alone in the hall. After a few moments, a lady came into the hall, with Arquen behind her. There was a knowing smile on his fair face. Forfirith looked at the lady and gasped. All the years that they had been sundered had not changed anything in Olwen. Her hair was still silver; her sapphire eyes still lit up mysteriously. Her gentle and caring face appeared all the more beautiful to Forfirith.
"I am home." Forfirith told her calmly as tears streamed down her face.
Olwen moved quickly to her side and the two embraced lovingly. When they broke apart, Olwen looked over her daughter critically.
"But where is Vanimė? Did she not come with you?" she asked.
Forfirith shook her head.
"She did not. But have no fear, ammė, she is well. I saw her before I left, and she sent you this." Forfirith said, handing her mother a wrapped package from within her cloak.
Olwen took it and removed the wrapping to find a small but thick book.
"What is this?" Olwen asked, looking at the book curiously. It was silver in color, with the title written in Quenyan. She hugged the book closer to her bosom.
"Vanimė sent this to you so you would know what happened to us. She wishes for you to understand why she did not come with me, though she greatly desires it." her daughter replied.
Olwen handed the book to Arquen.
"And what of your father?" she asked, a slightly bitter tone in her voice.
"He died trying to get one of the Silmarils." Forfirith replied.
Olwen was silent for a few moments.
"I did love him at first, before the madness of those times seized him." she whispered.
Forfirith placed her hands on her mother's shoulders soothingly.
"Vanimė and I both know this, and we were saddened when news of his death reached us. He was, despite everything, our father." she said.
Olwen nodded and sighed.
"Nothing can change that." she said.
Forfirith nodded, biting her lower lip to keep herself from weeping. All the days she had spent in Middle-earth flashed before her, each memory as clear as if she were reliving them. Images of her sister when she had last seen her surfaced in her mind. Forfirith remembered how happy Vanimė had been. Forfirith was relieved that her sister was finally content. She would not have left for Valinor if Vanimė were otherwise.
"Vaniė?" Olwen asked gently, placing her hand lightly on her daughter's arm.
"I am fine, ammė. I was simply thanking the Valar that I am here at last." Forfirith said.
"Welcome home, my daughter." she told her. "You have been sorely missed."
Ammė-Quenyan word for mom
Mellyn-Sindarin word for friends
Aiya, mana esselya-Quenyan for 'Hello, what is your name?'
Essenya-Quenyan for 'My name is'
Man ranta nosselyo-Quenyan for 'Who is part of your family?'