Chapter 4: Felagund's Cunning

On the bank opposite Tol-in-Gaurhoth, Beren stood with Felagund and his son, Dior. "So," he said, "that foul spirit, Sauron, has taken Lúthien. Huan has led us well, but what contrivance shall rescue her from such darkness?"

Felagund gazed long upon the isle and at last he said, "I doubt not that Lúthien will attempt an escape although how successful it can be when Sauron is about, I do not know. Sauron is cunning in his ways and will doubtlessly be awaiting you to catch you in his snare even as he has caught Lúthien. For Morgoth would reward Sauron with much power should both Lúthien and Beren come into his hands. Therefore, let Huan and myself go forth and discover where Sauron has imprisoned Lúthien."

And, although he was loath to let his friend go forth into peril, Beren saw the wisdom of the elven king's words, so he stayed upon the bank with Dior, while Felagund and Huan went towards the vast bridge upon which Lúthien had fought Sauron. There they waited in great anguish of mind while overhead it grew darker and still there was no sign of their friends. And as night fell, a great cry of rage rang from the highest tower and Beren leapt up. "They have been caught!" he cried.

But Dior said, "Nay, Father, I do not think that it is so. Rather, I think that my mother has escaped the grasp of her captor."

"Perhaps that is so," replied Beren. But fear still clouded his thoughts.

At long last, Felagund returned and with him, Huan. "Heard you that cry?" said Felagund. "I think that Lúthien the Fair has gone missing."

"They will already be searching for her throughout the tower," said Beren, "and will be blind to us. Now, methinks, is the time to make our attack."

"Nay, Beren," said Felagund, "haste is unwise. But, methinks, a diversion would not be out of place. If Lúthien is indeed loose in the tower, then it will do us little good to seek her, for we know not where to look. The tower is large and filled with our foes so we could not get far. Rather, let her make her own way out, aided by her shadowy cloak that she wears often. And, if she had no fear of pursuit, I think she would find her way out with ease."

"But how shall we draw out the forces of Sauron, for we number but four," said Beren. "Surely we shall be caught, and what then should we do for Lúthien?"

"But list to me," said Felagund, "and I will tell you what we shall do."

~o~o~

Great and terrible was the rage of Sauron when he saw that his prisoner had escaped from his grasp, and he bent all his dark mind on the recapturing of his jewel. Werewolves he sent forth and orcs, along with vampires to search while he himself stood at the top of his tower, brooding. "For," he thought, "they shall soon bring her back and then I shall punish her greatly. She cannot flee far in the fortress where I rule as Lord." But not one of his servants brought him news of Lúthien.

And as he gazed out the window, his eyes clouded in thought, a cry came up from the bank below, a mighty challenge that stung his pride and his evil heart. "Come Sauron," it said, "and I shall give you another beating upon this bridge as I gave you all those years ago. Can you still feel my teeth at your neck, vile spirit? Do you remember how my mistress sent you crawling to your master while I snapped at your heels? Yes, Sauron, I am Huan and I am ready for you." And at that a loud baying went up.

Indeed, Sauron did remember the strength of that grip, that hold he could not break. He remembered the fear that had taken him and he remembered most of all the shame he had suffered, and the anger that he had felt all those years ago returned so that he flew into a great rage. He summoned all his servants from their task and they came with him to the bridge for even in his anger, Sauron was cautious and he feared that he might once again feel that terrible grip on his throat.

And Lúthien too heard the voice and she knew it to be the voice of Felagund, not of Huan, but when she heard the baying, she knew that Huan was with him. And with them, she doubted not was her husband and son. She rose from her hiding when she realized that she was truly alone and that all Sauron's servants had gone forth with their master to answer Felagund's challenge. Because of Felagund's voice, she now knew in what direction to traverse, so she carried on with a renewed spirit.

~o~o~

Now, when Sauron emerged on the bridge, Huan was not there to meet him, and Sauron, in his pride, thought that Huan had become faint of heart, so he was even more determined to kill him. So, when he heard again the baying of Huan in the woods, he followed it, leaving but a few orcs to guard the gate.

But as he vanished into the woods with his great host, Beren and Dior leapt forth from the shadows, slaying the guards, as they rushed into the tower. Without a thought for themselves, they flew through those dark halls calling out Lúthien's name all the while. And at long last, they heard an answer and there was Lúthien coming towards them from the end of the long hall. Happy was that meeting, as Lúthien embraced both husband and son. They made good their escape for Sauron was still in the woods, chasing phantoms and shadows. So, Beren told Lúthien of Felagund's scheme, saying, "Sauron's pride shall ever be his downfall. He shall not catch Huan or Felagund, and neither shall he have us. Come, let us meet with the bold Felagund and the brave Huan and see how they have angered the Lord of Tol-in-Gaurhoth."

And so they found their friends in hiding and watched with mirth as Sauron followed shadows created by Felagund's power. And, laughing, Felagund said, "See how he takes my bait. It is strange that he who creates so many phantoms and shadows of his own should be beguiled by his own craft."

And then, when they grew weary of watching, they left and returned to Nargothrond, where they dwelt with the elves, for they saw the folly of returning to Tol Galen where Sauron knew that they dwelt. And so they were happy, living amongst friends and neither Sauron nor Morgoth troubled them ever again. And so thus was a story ended where darkness again was conquered and light shone out o'er Beleriand.

The End