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Note: Written for ALEC's Celebration of Life challenge, but submitted there as one story. Here it will be posted in two parts.
Betas: Many thanks to Fiondil and Alassiel.
Summary: A young King Ingwe ponders a new annual festival celebrating the innocent joys of the Elves' new life in Valinor.
A First Festival in Aman
The blessing of the Two Trees mingled in their fullest radiance, bestowing precious light in abundance. Crops grew, trees bore fruit, livestock bred, and many elflings recently added unto the houses of the Vanyar were brought forth for presentation. The holy Valar themselves came down and walked among us, casting their approving eyes on all they met. Vanyamar is at last fully wrought and I, Ingwë Ingaran and Vanyaran, am content.
As I stand here on the balcony from which I will address my people who gather in the square below, I feel at peace. There is no place that I would rather be at this moment than where I stand now. My people have followed me from darkness and dread along the uncertain, untried road across Endorë to Aman, to Tirion, to our new and final home here in Vanyamar.
No more will my Children, my beloved folk, and I see death.
No more will evil threaten us. No more will we struggle on untrodden paths through wild and dangerous lands. No more will we know fear. No longer will doubt nor dread cloud our bright minds. No more will darkness trouble us. The stars are gone as well, obscured by the greater light of the Trees, but we no longer crave their guidance to direct our path through the wilderness. Uncounted years of travail are behind us, and now at last, at long last, we know a peace and security which will never end.
Dwelling at the feet of the Powers themselves, nothing can assail us. We shall grow and thrive as never before deemed possible! Already have my folk entered into the service of the Valar, learning lore we never before imagined.
Already we have grown great, far greater than we ever were in Endorë.
My wife sets my second born son into my arms, so that I may present him to my folk. The babe coos in delight against my chest. I never knew my heart could hold such joy! I raise him so that his eyes look upon the sea of faces arrayed below us in the packed square. Never have I seen so many elflings in one place! Never did I know there could be so many Vanyar – and I thought we were many in Cuiviénen!
Already Lord Manwë has decreed that this day shall be celebrated every year in festival as grand as what we share in now.
I stand in such awe of all that I have seen and heard that I cannot wait to see Athar Cuilë next year and even a thousand yéni from now. From now until the end of Arda itself, we shall keep this day and celebrate our learning and lore and abundant blessing; we shall celebrate untainted life!
Athar Cuilë – Festival of Life
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