"Spring knows them and Summer too and in Winter still they are among us, but in Autumn most of all do they come out, for Autumn is their season, fallen as they are upon the Autumn of their days. What shall the dreamers of the Earth be like when their Winter come?"

From the Book of Lost Tales 2

As happens to people many times these days, I found myself between jobs. It would be a temporary condition; one assignment had ended sooner than expected so time would pass before another began. Through a friend, I found a temporary job much to my liking.

An area was becoming a Museum. Construction of the building was complete and installation of exhibits started. Landscaping and placement of benches on the grounds was underway but much of the land was little more than brush. I became the night watchman, chasing off trash dumpers and druggies. The work was safe; I would call the police if anything bad happened. The nights were clear and crisp. The pay kept me in food. The land was haunted.

This last I did not believe although many that worked there assured me it was so. It had been seen, a glowing form vaguely human though not frightening or moving. Because I said I did not believe, I was hired. I spent the nights exploring the museum and the land, and remembering old histories and tales I knew. Until I saw the ghost.

It was one of the clearest, coolest nights since I had started working. I saw nothing then I saw a glowing form vaguely human and not frightening. It did move, it raised an arm and waved to me and I could feel in my mind more than hear: "Come, come." I followed as it moved strangely, neither fully walking nor floating yet doing both until it reached a fence at the top of a hill and vanished. As I came to the foot of the hill, I found a man lying there. He looked to be a drunk who had climbed the fence for some reason and had fallen and injured himself. I told the ambulance team and my employers I had found him in my wanderings, and said nothing of the ghost.

Of course, I looked for the ghost to appear again but as the days passed and it did not, I fell into my old habits. I walked through the rooms looking at the exhibits as they took form. Many of the objects brought back half memory half imaginings of older days and ancient stories. I would try to recall what I glimpsed. Then one night, as I was leaning against a tree trying to remember some lines from and old myth, I felt my heart fill with joy, the feeling was if an old friend or lover had suddenly returned. A glow came from behind me and he appeared in my sight.

The ghost was male, very tall, and lithe. Though the glow was not as blinding close up I could not tell if he had long hair or bright glow, clear eyes or the light as of the sun, pointed ears or beams shining from his hair. Again I felt more than heard: "Greetings, I am Star-Lover, a lingerer of the Quendi or as you of the race of Men might say the spirit of an Elf. I come to you because you are kind and love things old and fair."

I felt from him a need for understanding, first of his words then of his soul. To be sure I spoke as well as thought: "Elf? To us they, ... you are mere legend, less, stories made up by other men."

"Some of us have spoken to other Men and they have said tales of our lives. Each talebearer has colored their story with their heart-yearnings, each story is thereby different. Each has told of a different Clan of Elf and thereby many different kinds of us are known. To you I give another set, one that was ignored by other Clans. I would talk to you and have tales told of we Moriquendi."

Held as if in a spell I could only ask, "What is that?"

"The Elfs of which you have been told are Caliquendi, Elfs of the Light, who went to Aman and saw the Valar. Men would say 'those who went to heaven and lived amongst the light of the gods'. I am Moriquendi, one who did not see the Valar. Though some think it an insult to be so called, I am an Elf of the Dark, one who did not see the gods and it is of the Dark Elfs I would speak and have you speak."

Though many of his words were strange to me, I felt I understood them. Star-Lover or those he brought to me never threatened me. So from my elf friend Star-Lover I learned and from his friends I learned more and now what I have learned I give in these Dark Elf chronicles.