This story begins in the year 206 of the First Age of Arda. The history of the Elves up to this point has been well documented (see footnotes: F1). Dior Eluchíl, the king of Doriath, was slain by the Noldor in their attack on Doriath to seize the Silmaril. Elurín, Dior's young son, was left to die in the woods by the servants of Celegorm. What is unknown to most is that Elurín was found by the Nandor and taken back to his boyhood home at Tol Galen.(F2) Here he grew to manhood and wed one of the Nandor, Aglaranna. In the year 230 she gave birth to a son who she named Beren Adchamion, because he reminded her of his great-grandfather, Beren Erchamion, who had cut the Silmaril from the iron crown of Morgoth. (Family Tree)
Beren had been born in the darkest days for the Elves of Arda. Morgoth and his minions had overrun almost all of Beleriand. As Beren grew to be tall and mighty among the Elves of Ossiriand, he came of mind to reclaim the kingdom of Doriath from the Noldor. Then in the year 250, when Beren was but 20 years of age, the Valar decided to end the reign of Morgoth, at the prayer of Eärendil and Elwing. (F3) As the army of the Valar was marching toward Morgoth's fortresses in the far north, Amrod and Amras of the Noldor sent out a rally to all the Elves to take up arms and join them in the war against Morgoth. Because of the slaying of Dior, Elurín refused the call, and forbade Beren from fighting alongside the Noldor.
Beren was torn between his hatred of the Noldor, and his hatred of Morgoth as the supreme evil of the land. That night he slung his bow and went off down the river Adurant in search of stray orcs, as he was wont to do. Falling asleep beside the river, There came to him in a dream Ulmo, the Elven god of the waters (PIC), and spoke to him: "A destiny Thou hast to fulfill... Thine might there will be need of in the days forthcoming... Adchamion you shall be in deed as well as name." Then Beren awoke, and rising from the waters of came a glittering two-handed sword. "Behold Valardruil! Forged in Valinor in the days of bliss by the hand of Aulë!" And Beren took the sword in his grasp, and the blade was of flawless Mithril, and set into the golden hilt was a silver leaf of Telperion encased in crystal. (F4)
So Beren returned to Tol Galen, and called all the Elves of Ossiriand to war. Seeing the sword as a sign from the Valar, Elurín no longer forbade his son from going to war, but nor would he join him. Then Beren led a great host of Nandor to the northern wasteland under the banner of the house of Elwë. He came to Morgoth's stronghold of Thangorodrim from the east just as the Army of the Valar was approaching from the west. Ahead of him, between Morgoth's evil hordes and the valiant Nandor, stood the Army of the Noldor under the banner of the house of Fëanor. Beren made camp and prepared his troops for battle.
During the night, A messenger from the Noldorin camp appeared at Beren's tent. The Noldorin Lords wished Beren to place his troops under their command to "help with the destruction of Morgoth and the retrieval of the Silmarils". Beren was furious. Not only was the Noldor's obsession with the Silmarils responsible for Dior's death, but Beren also knew that the Valar would not allow the Noldor to seize the Silmarils. He sent the messenger away and resolved not to take part in the upcoming battle, nor aid the Noldor in any way and thus become entrapped in the "Doom of Mandos". (F5)
Dawn broke the next day and the battle was joined. Fighting on the side of good were the Valar, Maiar, Eldar, and Edain. Fighting for Morgoth were Orcs, Trolls, Easterlings, Balrogs, great winged Dragons, and all sort of foul beast. Beren watched as the Noldorin army cut into a horde of orcs in front of them. Suddenly a Balrog fell upon the rear of the Noldor, and they were cut to pieces and began to rout. (PIC) As Beren watched in horror it suddenly seemed to him that he could hear the voice of Ulmo through the sword Valardruil, urging him to battle. He shouted the order to attack, and the Nandor rushed toward the orcs and loosed volleys of arrows from their Elven long bows. However, the woodland Elves would not face the Balrog, and Beren found himself alone facing the terrible monster.
The Balrog approached him, and Beren stood unflinching. The massive sword of the Balrog was raised and came down, but Beren leapt aside and the sword rent the ground. Beren wheeled and slashed with Valardruil across the Balrog's giant forearm, cleaving the thick hide. As soon as the Holy sword touched the blood of Morgoth's servant, the radiant light of Telperion burst forth from the Mithril blade. The Balrog was blinded by the light of Aman, and fell backwards upon the plain of Angfauglith clawing at it's eyes. Beren seized the chance and leapt upon the Balrog's chest. and with all his might he drove Valardruil into it's neck. The foul black blood spewed from the Balrog's neck and then burst into flame. The flames spread and engulfed the Balrog. Beren sat upon the plain, weary and dazed.
On the second day the army of the Valar prevailed. Morgoth was chained and banished from the world. The Silmarils were seized by the Valar but later lost. So great was the fury of the war that it left Beleriand rent and riven. The sea swallowed most of the western lands leaving only islands west of Lindon. It was on the isle of Leithien that Beren and his company were to live for the next thousand years.
Upon a time a great fleet of swan ships appeared off the coast of Leithien. They bore many Vanyar from Valinor, sent on a mission by the Valar to tame the far eastern land of Tamriel. They brought with them many Valaturi... holy weapons forged by Aulë. Beren held still Valardruil, the most holy of the Valaturi since it was forged in the days of light, and held the leaf of Telperion; and he judged it his fate to sail with the Vanyar.
With then was an Istar, the blue wizard Alatar (F6). During the long voyage Alatar taught Beren much of the art of Elven Spellweaving. Because of his Maian ancestor, he found that he had a natural talent for magery. After many months they arrived in the land of Tamriel on the shore of Summurset Isle. (F7)
The leader of the Vanyar was King Aldaron, and Beren became his top General and advisor. The island was inhabited by evil dragons, and the Vanyar were successful in slaying all of them. The Vanyar established their kingdom on the isle, and the Elven cities rivaled in majesty those at Valinor. There were Nandor and Avari living at the time in eastern Tamriel, and being jealous of the Vanyarin achievements and coveting the Valaturi, they made war upon the Vanyar.
After much bloodshed Beren advised Aldaron to call for a truce, and Aldaron sent Beren to the rival Elves to invite them to a council of peace. It was at this council that Beren devised the idea of the Eldarin Corin... a guild formed of the Elven races who's duty it was to keep the Valaturi safe from misuse and to protect the land from evil forces. Beren became the leader of the Eldarin Corin, and began his search for noble Elves to join him.
His travels led him to the Wrothgarin mountains of Tamriel. One day he stumbled upon a cave, and was drawn to explore it. He came to a magical force field blocking the passage, and all his spells to dispel it failed. Just as he was about to retrace his steps, he noticed Valardruil begin to glow. Touching the sword to the field, the light of the Valatur leapt to the field and diffused it. Upon a pedestal behind was an ancient golden helm with a figure of a dragon upon it, with it's wings swept down to form the face-guards. Having no place to carry the relic, he placed it upon his head and continued down the passage.
In the darkness ahead he saw two gigantic red eyes glowing. With sword in hand he advanced cautiously ready for battle. The passage opened into a large chamber and there was a Golden Dragon... unmoving... just looking at him.
The dragon spoke to him, not in words but through telepathy. "Greetings Beren Adchamion. I have been waiting eons in this place for thine arrival." "Waiting for me?", said Beren, "Who are you?". Beren had fought dragons before, and knew that they would use deceit to gain advantage in battle. He kept his guard up. "I am Skakmat, the last of the race of the Elder Dragons upon this land. I am sworn to be thine servant." Beren suspected a trick. "Why me?" he asked. "The blood of the Valar flows through thine veins. The light of the Valar flows through thine sword. Only by the will of the Valar could thee have entered here, and don the Dragon Helm of the Valheru." "Valheru?" Beren asked.
The Dragon caught Beren in his gaze, and he fell into a swoon. In it there came to him a dream. A vision of a time long past. He was flying high above a world. He saw an island below, and in the distance to the north and south stood two great lamps upon pillars that illuminated all the world. He was in a time before the Elves appeared upon the earth... before Aman had been raised from the sea... before any sign of evil had marred the land. He was seeing through the eyes of Skakmat, a distant memory in the Dragon's mind. At his side flew other Dragons, each with a rider upon it's back, with golden mail and silver talbards. These were the Valheru. The Dragonlords from a distant world, come to conquer the world below.
The Valar came up from the island to meet the Valheru and their Dragon-mounts in battle. The Valheru were strong, but the Valar stronger. Skakmat was hit by a bolt of light from the Valar. He saw blinding white... then darkness. His Valheru master fell to the earth and died. Skakmat fell to the earth and survived. The Valheru retreated back to their own world. The Valar imprisoned Skakmat deep below the rocks. With his Valheru master gone, he swore to serve the Valar if ever he should be set free.
To Be Continued....