Player name: Haze
Contact: PM Curufin’s journal at so_dark_a_road or Plurk at tangyminx
Characters currently in-game: None.
Character Name: Curufin Fëanorion
Character Age: 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.)
Canon: The Silmarillion
Canon Point: Post-death.
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, with sons Fingolfin and Finarfin. Later in Middle-earth, Curufin had one son, Celebrimbor.
Fëanor created the Silmarils, three jewels that captured the light of the Two Trees. When the renegade Vala, Melkor, was paroled from his captivity in the Halls of Mandos, he destroyed the two sacred Trees of Valinor, 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, and not to turn aside from this quest for any reason. 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 and Finarfin's folk (minus Finarfin) crossed on foot, with much suffering and loss of life.
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 – he demanded that the Fëanorions either leave Middle-earth or depart for the far south. Curufin and his brothers gave their elder brother 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. (But in a fury.)
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 southeastern Beleriand 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 son of Barahir came to ask Finrod’s help in his own quest for the Silmaril (which he wanted because Lúthien’s father, King Thingol, had demanded it as her bride-price), the brothers sent Finrod off with few followers, to his death in that quest.
The two brothers kidnapped Lúthien and tried to force 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 Lúthien with Celegorm’s bow as they were departing.
Because of the actions of Curufin and Celegorm, Nargothrond and Doriath declined to join Maedhros’ proposed alliance of Elf-kingdoms to defeat Morgoth.
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. But in the disastrous Fifth Battle, all the brothers lost their lands.
Nevertheless, 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 to ask their help in saving Middle-earth.
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. (And now, to friends.) During his lifetime, that meant first of all a dogged allegiance to his father’s goals, and then to those of his elder brother Maedhros, and later on, to his own and his brother 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 of his and his brothers’ quest to regain the Silmarils. 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 of darkness, 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) 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 ruby ring, a silver ring with a hematite bezel, and a necklace of delicate black steel chain links with a hematite pendant.
(5) A really hefty pack with his forging and gem-smithing tools in it.
(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 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 his brother 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.) (Note: He will not use this ability unless by permission of the players of his conversation partners.)
(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. Note: This ability is another that he will not use except by permission of the player whose character would be the recipient of such a vision.)
(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, rather than 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 in game, this will probably diminish to nothing more than a vague feeling of apprehension if something nasty is about to occur and the players have warning of this.)
(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.
(1) He periodically experiences flashbacks, characterized by moments of intrusive memory from the worst times in his life -- as for instance 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. Accompanied by distraction, depression, and physical manifestations like sweating and hyperactivity. Like many survivors (and perpetrators) of war and other extreme situations, he has a bit of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
(2) Ruthlessness. (However, he is not nearly so likely to manifest this now as he was during his lifetime. If he does, he’ll direct it towards whatever threatens the community. )
(3) Murder. Amongst the community of Elves, he will carry the name of Kinslayer from now until the end of time. (Not likely to repeat his old errors in this respect, though!)
Previous Game and Time: Arda Marred. 4/18/16 to the present (11/30/16).
Jolted by the abrupt unhousing of his spirit, by the violence of his own demise and that of the two brothers who died with him, and by the awful failure of his quest and the ruin he left behind him, Curufin was stricken with sorrow, horror, and remorse. But he was able to perceive his mistakes and to decide to take another path. Freed of the devastating curse of the Oath, he finally had the time and space to think of the person he once had been, and to wonder who he was now, and to act on his most fundamental impulses -- which were not rage and destruction but curiosity, industry, love, loyalty, and generosity. When the Eru of Arda Marred caught him and re-sung him into existence in that world, he was given the opportunity to prove his sincerity.
He immediately looked around to see what he could do for the community in which he found himself, the village of Deepwood, and he worked very hard to make that dilapidated world a better place to live. He built a workshop and forged tools for building and weapons for the protection of the settlement. He took up sword and spear and bow, and with others, patrolled the river valley above which the settlement was placed, keeping it safe from roaming Orc-bands. He took two friends and went up to the old Dwarf city of Belegost to clear the blocked mountain pass of its load of dangerous and unstable landslide debris, to create a safe place for people to cross the Blue Mountains. He made light-jewels to illuminate the darkness of the settlement’s homes. He risked his life up on the mountain heights during a lightening storm to search for a missing Dwarf whom he had never met. He connected with his mother Nerdanel and his brother Maglor, the only members of his family who were there with him. He and Maglor renewed their fraternal relationship and spoke often of how their family had taken a wrong turn and why, and of how they had come to regret their actions, and together they negotiated the difficult problem of what and when and how to tell their cousin Finrod, whose timeline was different from theirs -- he did not remember Nargothrond. When Curufin finally spoke to him, it was a positive experience, though there was not much talk of the past – Curufin came to his house with a shovel and pick and a strong back to help him deal with a yard maintenance problem. He reached out to others and tried to help those who were in pain and trouble. He crafted new medical equipment for the settlement’s physician and fixed the old. He befriended an isolated and injured soldier of a futuristic world and kept him supplied with food, water, light, and company. He collected some new family: Riley, an adolescent with a sarcastic sense of humor, who was already Maglor’s adopted sister; Gregory, a young mage and irredeemable punster with whom he became close friends; and Windkin, a desperately lonely Elf of another world and lineage. Curufin and another friend, Tauriel, organized a music festival and prayer-offering event at which any attendee could ask Eru, the resident God of Arda, for a vision of what they could do to help the community or the world. He helped design, build, and crew an airship in order to assist some of these visionaries to sail far to the east and fix some of the instant-transport stones, the palantiri, in order to help create a transportation network that spanned the continent. And in response to his own vision, he gathered a group and went west to clear the old fortress of Tol Sirion of troublesome werewolves, who were bound to become a danger to Deepwood in the coming winter. The most surprising thing that happened was that he, the former rebel against the Valar, connected with the few of them who were living in Arda Marred when he got there: Vaire, Mandos, and Manwe. And even they had to admit that he had grown as a person since the days of the Rebellion. And oh yes, and he spoke once with Morgoth and several times with Sauron. (Can’t say those were felicitous conversations, but Curufin held his own.) He is in some ways the same person he always was – proud, confident of his abilities, a bit arrogant, and still capable of anger and defiance. And in other ways, he is very different. He has found that his passionate and curious and loving side has not died, and that there is a point to giving it an outlet.
Action Log Sample: Here.