Preferred Pronoun: She
Contact: Drop a message in the inbox of this journal. I log in every day and will get it pretty quickly. Also, my Plurk name is tangyminx
Name: Curufinwë (Quenya fathername). Curufin (Sindarin fathername). Atarinkë (Quenya mothername). Curvo (Quenya Epessë). Fëanárion (Quenya surname). Fëanorion (Sindarin surname).
Canon: The Silmarillion
AU: A Curufin who may at times manifest in ghost-form.
Pull-point: About six hundred years after his death.
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Age: Curufin's birth date is not given in the Grey Annals, but his father's is. So I made a very rough estimate, with two different assumptions about the spacing of the births of Fëanor's and Nerdanel's children. At the time of his death, Curufin might have been as young as 1618 or as old as 2805 (Years of the Sun). So I'm splitting the difference and saying he's around 2200 of our years. (Tolkien math supplied upon request.) I'm assuming that people don't get any older after they die.
Appearance: Raven-black hair and gray eyes. I make his eyes a really smoky color, which can at times appear almost black. Probably a few inches over six feet tall (which might make him the short one in the family). A slim-hipped, broad-shouldered man. A lifetime of hard work and vigorous physical activity have given him a very sinewy look.
When he reverts to being pure spirit, he seems to dissolve into a drift of mist the color and texture of a raincloud. But this misty figure is still recognizable as Curufin unless he lets go and loses coherent form altogether. Other characters may or may not see him in ghost-form, depending on how perceptive they are and whether they are willing.
History: The One-Minute Silmarillion: Go!
Curufin was born in the city of Tirion in Valinor in the First Age of Arda, the fifth of the seven sons of Fëanor and Nerdanel. His grandfather was Finwë, King of the Noldor. His grandmother died after Fëanor was born, and Finwë took another wife and had a second family. Later in Middle-earth, Curufin had one son, Celebrimbor.
Fëanor created the Silmarils, three jewels that captured the light of the Two Trees. When Melkor was paroled from Mandos’ Halls, he destroyed the Trees, murdered Finwë, and stole the Silmarils. Curufin swore the Oath of Fëanor along with his brothers, pledging to pursue Melkor (Morgoth) with war and vengeance in order to regain the jewels. Curufin participated in the first Kinslaying when his father decided to hijack the ships of the Teleri to make his exit from Aman. They sailed across the Helcaraxë, deserting Fingolfin’s people and burning the ships. Fingolfin’s folk crossed on foot.
Curufin fought in four of the great Battles of Beleriand. In the Second Battle, his father was slain by a Balrog. Morgoth took Maedhros prisoner and held him for ransom. Curufin and his brothers gave him up for lost, unable to foreswear their Oath. Their cousin Fingon rescued Maedhros, who in gratitude yielded the kingship of the Noldor to Fingolfin. Curufin disagreed but kept silent.
Fëanor’s sons settled East Beleriand, the eldest five occupying the Marches, while the twins roamed Estolad and Ossiriand. After the wildly victorious Third Battle, Curufin helped build the fortifications that barred the southeastern lands to Morgoth’s armies for four hundred years.
In the Fourth Battle, Curufin and Celegorm were driven from Himlad. Instead of fleeing to Maedhros’ fortress, they took their surviving people to Nargothrond. They wrested control of the city from their cousin Finrod. When Beren came to ask Finrod’s help in his own quest for the Silmaril, the brothers sent him off with few followers, to his death.
They kidnapped Luthien and tried to force King Thingol to marry her to Celegorm, but she escaped. When she and Beren captured one Silmaril from Morgoth’s crown, the people of Nargothrond drove the brothers from the city. Celebrimbor foreswore his allegiance to his father and refused to go. The brothers encountered Luthien and Beren again; Curufn was out-wrestled by Beren and tried to shoot Luthien with Celegorm’s bow as they were departing.
Thus, Nargothrond and Doriath declined to join Maedhros’ Elf-kingdoms alliance.
Thingol’s grandson Dior inherited the Silmaril and ruled Doriath. Fëanor’s sons demanded the jewel, and Curufin and Celegorm threatened to kill all of Dior’s people if they came back victorious and Dior had not yet complied. In the disastrous Fifth Battle, all the brothers lost their lands.
They assembled to assault Doriath. Dior killed Celegorm, and Curufin and Caranthir killed Dior but died afterwards. They failed to acquire the Silmaril. Dior’s daughter Elwing escaped to the Havens of Sirion, preserving the jewel to be her husband Earendil’s passport to the West in his embassy to the Valar.
When he left his body -- or rather, when he was ousted from it, by virtue of death from mortal injury! -- at first he wandered, not having full consciousness of who he was or what had happened. He drifted on the currents of darkness, sometimes in the realm of thought and dream, and caught between the worlds of life and death. When he came back to himself, he had enough will left for one thing: to refuse the summons of Mandos. With every bone in his (nonexistent) body, he resisted the call. Despite his great desire to see those he loved once again, he felt an overwhelming aversion to the idea of wasting away in the darkness of the Halls of Awaiting, doing nothing and creating nothing. For him, this went completely against the grain. So he lingered in a contemplative state, sometimes slipping over into the living world and musing on the changes he saw there; sometimes stealthily scouting the borders of the realm of the dead (hoping to catch sight of his loved ones); and sometimes venturing near to the Blessed Realm. But he felt most uncharacteristically diffident about visiting his two living relations -- Maglor and Celebrimbor. Partly this was due to the difficulty of locating himself in Time. And partly it was an instinctive aversion to facing them as a ghost. He didn't think it would be quite polite. Curufin was, in his own way, and despite his rebel status, a very conventional person. Also, in his last years as a living being, he had been virtually shameless. And now, as a dead man, he was ashamed of some of the acts of his past. He was not eager to explain these to those whose love he still desired. But love won out. He went searching, relentlessly, for the living and the dead.
And in his quest, he figured out how to re-embody himself. The spirit remembered the body, and he became a living person again. However, this was a devilishly difficult achievement and he was still a bit shaky at it when Eru whisked him away to the Ered Luin.
Personality: Curufin’s virtues are strength, courage, and perseverance. He is industrious and labors unceasingly in the service of his goals. He is intelligent, articulate, and has an ironic sense of humor. He is capable of strong, loving human bonds, and of unswerving loyalty to his family. During his lifetime, that meant first of all a dogged allegiance to his father’s goals, and later, to his own and Celegorm’s ambitions to become the most powerful of the Nolderin princes. This is where the darker side of his character comes in. That family loyalty was unquestioning; he committed crimes in its name. But he still had some restraint, and he still had some honor – that is to say, a belief in the laws of the Eldar with respect to the sacredness of human life – even after the first Kinslaying. But by the time of the Fourth and Fifth Battles of Beleriand, the corrosive effect of the Oath and the persistence of very bad luck in the war against Morgoth had taken their toll on him. He was one seriously angry man, described even before this era as “of perilous mood.” By the time of the attack on Doriath, he was willing to kill literally anyone who got in the way. There was and there still is a brooding darkness in him, and the fact is, it was probably there even before Melkor began to whisper twisted words into the ears of the Noldor. It derives from something deeper in the blood. The fiery spirit of Fëanor, which Curufin inherits to some degree, casts dark shadows across the heart and mind of the bearer of such a light. However, death is a great awakener, as he will be the first to acknowledge. He can now see how deep was the madness to which he succumbed. Not that he doesn’t still feel the tug at times, but so far as he is concerned, the Oath is now void – he has let go of it, or it has let go of him, or both. He will never kill for the Silmarils again. His focus is now on salvaging whatever is left of his integrity and making productive use of whatever is given to him in the way of life and time. And because his background is so heavily community-oriented, he will pitch in to help in any way he can, and be glad for the opportunity to do something constructive.
(1) He's a First Age techie. Metalsmithing (and gem-cutting) is his forté -- he is said to have inherited much of his father's skill in this respect. But he undoubtedly has other, related skills, including of the engineering sort. Prospecting and mining certainly, and considering that he was a pioneer out on the Marches, I'd say he also has mechanical skills, carpentry, stone masonry, and at least rudimentary architectural skills. And oh, yeah. . . he can row a boat, sail, and navigate.
(2) Highly proficient with weapons -- sword, spear, bow.
(3) Military skills -- in their territory, he was joint commander with Celegorm. So, expect him to be a good tactician.
(4) Excellent horseman.
(5) Skill with languages. The Noldor usually have this. And he is said to have been one of the few Eldar to learn Khuzdul, the language of the Dwarves.
(6) Verbally adroit. Well-spoken when he chooses to be. Uses rhetoric as a weapon. Well educated, as his father was, though scholarship did not turn out to be his bent.
(7) Sensitivity to the thoughts, feelings, and motivations of others in the sense that all Elves are, and the Noldor in particular. The term used is sanwe-layta. An ability that is not identical with telepathy, but is somewhere in the ballpark. (But with him, and even amongst the the oldest and most proficient Elves, this ability is not consistently manifested, as must be obvious from even a cursory reading of LotR and the Silmarillion.)
(8) A positively sorcerous ability to conjure a vision in the minds of others, using voice and language as the vector of this magic. The result is a hypnotic trance that may be lasting. (This is akin to the skill of the Elven minstrels that Tolkien describes in his essay, "On Fairy Stories," though Curufin is not a minstrel.)
(9) Foreknowledge -- "My heart warns me . . ." is the phrase he uses. Not a frequent experience, and it seems to be about bad things happening in the near future, not good things. But I have to assume that the potential to foresee good things was actually present. (Note: He has this ability in canon but won't be manifesting it in game.)
(10) He would have the normal accomplishments of an Elvish gentleman -- singing, dancing, playing an instrument. His musical skills would not be on a par with those of his brother Maglor, but I'm sure he could hold his own on karaoke night in the great hall or at an open-mike event.
(11) The Elvish body comes with certain perks: immortality, lack of susceptibility to physical illnesses, resistance to injury, and a tendency to heal rapidly when injury does occur.
(12) The Elvish mind comes with an affinity for living things and for all parts of the natural environment, and an ability to listen to or communicate with them. Curufin has this, but during his canonical lifetime, he tended to employ it as many of the Noldor did -- as an aid to making use of people and things. He may now be willing to try it for the sake of understanding.
(13) Elves do not necessarily need to sleep. He can rest by dreaming with his eyes open.
(14) Sometimes he reverts to his former ghostly nature. This is normally involuntary, and it is apt to happen when he experiences flashbacks or moments of intrusive memory from the worst times in his life -- as when the killing madness was upon him as a result of the Oath, or when in his heartlessness he turned his back on his son. Like many survivors of war and other extreme situations, he has a bit of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
(1) A really deadly sword that glows with a blue light in the presence of Orcs. A scabbard to go with it.
(2) A couple of daggers -- one in his boot and the other up his sleeve.
(2) Armor: A Dwarf-made chain mail habergeon, a helm, and shoulder-guards. Steel-studded leather gauntlets. Chausses for his legs. Greaves for his shins, but he doesn't like these. They give him ankle blisters.
(3) A double-reflex horn bow and a quiver full of arrows.
(4) A leather satchel with several compartments, containing some small articles: a honing stone for the edged weapons, oil and chamois-cloth for polishing the same, a utility knife, a small tinderbox containing flint and steel, and some personal jewelry -- a silver ring with a hematite bezel and a necklace of delicate black steel chain links with a hematite pendant.
(6) A coal-black horse. This is the one Beren confiscated from him and abandoned to run wild in the vales of the Sirion River. (Added by item request, 6/6/16.)
Anything else: (I moved the post-death experience paragraph from here up to the History section, since I'm changing the claim from Canon character to Non-canonical AU.)
The re-embodying without divine intervention might need some explanation. Tolkien discusses this possibility in one of the later published sources. (I can find the reference if anybody wants it.)
As for the persistence or recurrence of ghostliness in Arda Marred, here's my best guess: when Eru scooped him up and re-sung him into being, Curufin's formerly ghostly nature was accidentally included as a part of the package, so to speak -- either by mistake, or simply because his case was a confusing one. Thus, the energies of which he's made may radiate in either the living or the pure spirit spectrum. Although he will ordinarily manifest as a living person, he will have episodes of reverting to ghost-form. This is his own personal form of dissonance.