Date: July 12th, 701 S.A.
My Mood Is: full of camaraderie
I don’t usually make friends, because it always turns out badly. My first friend ever, back in the Timeless Halls of Eru Ilúvatar, was Huan, that total idiot who betrayed me to the Valar traitors.
Then there was Melkor, whose was like a best friend, big brother, and boss all rolled into one. I have a lot to be grateful to Melkor for — too bad he was also a total idiot, and got his stupid ass exiled to the Outer Dark.
There was Melian, and the less said about Melian, the better.
And finally I had Carcharoth, who was to me what I was to Melkor — friend, brother, aide-de-camp. That idiot got a Silmaril ulcer, and then his ass killed by Huan, thereby proving what I always suspected; you can’t rely on anyone.
So Annatar, Lord of Gifts hasn’t had any friends to-date, unless you count Young Man Willow, which is pretty silly, because he’s a tree. A sentient, malevolent tree, but still.
All that has changed. About six months ago I was on my way back home through Eriador, wondering what I was going to do to get Gil-Galad and Galadriel around to my way of thinking, when I noticed an Elven settlement in Eregion, a woody area in the shadow of the Misty Mountains, just West of the Dwarven city of Hadhodrond. (I was going to say “great Dwarven city of Hadhodrond,” but if you’ve ever seen a Dwarven city, you’ll know the work is highly overrated. Big rooms full of unnecessary columns? Bottomless pits that serve no purpose, right in the middle of a room? Endless stairs leading nowhere? Pointless. But I digress.)
Now, Gil-Galad and Galadriel never mentioned an Elven city in Eregion. I knew it was Elven, rather than Mannish, because it was made of white stone, beautifully designed (for non-Maiar), and didn’t stink of sewage. So I stopped by.
The city is called Ost-in-Edhil, the “Fortress of the Elves,” which is laughably pretentious, considering the Elven predilection for exposed rooms, low railings, and a complete lack of military preparedness. It’s the home of something called the Gwaith-i-Mírdain or Guild of the Smiths, a society of rather clever Elves dedicated to learning the secrets of Aulë, the Retard God of Smithcraft.
Their leader is named Celebrimbor, and he is the only living grandson of Fëanor, the batcrap crazy Elf who created the Silmarils and got stomped to death by Gothmog. Celebrimbor has inherited his grandfather’s talent, intelligence, and most importantly, his willfulness. When Beleriand was destroyed and the Valar offered all the remaining Noldor the chance to return to Valinor, Celebrimbor told them where to stick their offer.
Now one of the reasons I failed to make a positive impression on the other Noldoran exiles was my lack of a decent backstory for Annatar. Galadriel especially was suspicious, although I don’t think she ever suspected my true identity. So I had been thinking about what to say, and what I came up with was perfect for Celebrimbor and his Guild.
What’s more, it’s pretty much true — Celebrimbor is smarter than Gil-Galad and Galadriel put together and multiplied by ten, so he might detect a lie. I said I was a Wizard (well I am pretty wizard) from the Uttermost West (I have in fact visited there), a Maia of Aulë (I worked under him in the Timeless Halls) sent to aid the Elves and Men of Middle-earth (sent by myself, but I didn’t mention that).
And it worked! They totally bought it. At once they offered me gold, mithril and jewels if I would teach them the secrets of Aulë. I didn’t mention that the so-called “secrets of Aulë” are in fact the secrets of Sauron, and that they were learning from the true source. But I can bide my time, until all the truth is revealed.
Celebrimbor is an exceptionally cool guy. He hangs on my every word, and he’s an excellent student. So far I have showed him how to make a proper blast furnace, mithril filigree, tempered steel blades, and a wankel rotary engine.
We have plans to work on a bunch of projects together, most of them metalworking, but also some engineering, architecture, alchemy and even calligraphy. It is great to find someone I can finally have intelligent conversation with. I mean, Carcharoth was loyal, but the repartee at dinner in Tol-in-Gaurhoth was hardly Algonquin Round Table-quality, whatever that is.
This is so great. Soon I’ll have a whole city of brilliant, specially-trained Elves under my control. Then we’ll see what Gil-Galad and Galadriel have to say to that!