The Thrall of Gondolin

 By Tyellas

Summary: A cautionary tale of seduction, abuse, and betrayal, focusing on the Silmarillion character of Maeglin.

Disclaimer: These characters and Middle-Earth are the copyright of the Tolkien estate and this fan fiction is not meant to infringe on that copyright in any way.

Story Warnings and Notes: DARKFIC. Slash, BDSM, incest discussion, character death, and abusive relationships, rating NC-17. This story is based on the Silmarillion chapters "Of Maeglin" and "Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin."

Thanks to beta readers Suzana and Aayesha.


When the last fugitive of Gondolin came to the refugee camp at Nan-Tathren, he found a cold welcome. It did not surprise him to find the spears of several elf-guards turned against him in the dusk, nor that they did not let him pass beyond the first willow-glade of the camp. But he did not expect that Idril Celebrindal herself should come to interrogate him, bringing the loremaster Pengolod to mark their words.

"What is your story, Aranwë? Leman of Maeglin!" Idril, the chief lady of the fallen city, was garbed for defense in silvery mail and buckled armor. Her icy eyes flashed and the braid of her golden hair hung down one shoulder like a sword. "You are daring to follow us. Our scouts had you marked from the Gates of Sirion. It is well that you came alone, and none followed you. What know you of the battle of Gondolin?" she demanded.

Aranwë spoke slowly. "Lady, Maeglin betrayed us. I escaped but by chance. And I know not if Voronwë, my son, lives."

"For one who has not walked with us before this night, you know much," said Idril, "and you will tell me all. As battle raged upon the walls, Maeglin seized my son. I pursued them, and he told me what he had long planned. The betrayal of Gondolin to Morgoth, and worse besides; to take me to wife by force, despite his kinship to me. I know not how this treachery came about, and I know not why save for his marred lust. Maeglin perished on the walls, cast down from a great height. Rumor had it that none were as deep in his counsel as you. Tell me what you knew of the mind of Maeglin. Did you plot with him?" The guards lifted their spears.

"No, lady! It was not my will that our city should fall!" cried Aranwë.

Idril was scathing. "No; you gave your will to Maeglin long ago."

Aranwë did not deny this.

"Come, sword-smith," said Pengolod gently. "Tell the tale but once, for I do not forget, and then the matter is done. What secrets did Maeglin hide?"

Aranwë looked at the ground, bound beneath knotted willow-roots, and sighed. Then he began to speak. And though his words were brief, the full tale ran through his mind like fire.



When Turgon, Lord of Gondolin heard of his sister-son Maeglin's love of metals, he set the chief of his smiths to be Maeglin's mentor and guide. By this he hoped to distract Maeglin from sorrow after the double death of his mother and his sire. Maeglin looked on Aranwë at his forge, and liked him well. He was tall, though stooped from his smith-work in a way Maeglin had seen before, clad in a long apron of scorched leather over his plain garb. His fair skin and black hair were such a match to Maeglin's that they might have been kin. Maeglin stood by as he tidied the dimly lit forge at the end of his work, oiling the metal anvils and work-benches before covering them in sueded hides. In response to Maeglin's quiet, he let his warm, deep voice run on in chatter.

"Rumor speaks about your silence last night, as you watched Ecthelion's trial of ansereg. What do you think of our warriors' ritual? They essay the pain so that they might last through battle and torment, having endured much before," said Aranwë, kindly. Maeglin did not reply.

"Are you like many of the Sindar, who reckon it strange and cruel?" Aranwë asked.

"I am no Sindar any more!" said Maeglin. "It could be sterner. I have taken more myself. And dealt it, too."

Aranwë chuckled and looked fondly at the young elf. Maeglin's hair fell like a raven's curved feathers around his grave, beautiful face. Beneath the indigo clothes and strange black-metal armor he always wore, his body combined litheness and strength. Even his rare smiles seemed deep. The young always took themselves so seriously, thought Aranwë, who had lived long. "Well, lad, before you say so in the great halls, perhaps I should kneel and see what you have to offer in the way of a trial."

Maeglin read his intent. The older smith was half beguiled by his beauty, and half wished to save him from making a fool of himself in front of his new folk. Perhaps Aranwë had a point. This was not the first offer he had received, but he thought it the one of greatest merit. The more imposing his first conquest was, the better the tale of him that would run through the gossip-loving halls of the hidden city.

He stepped up to his challenger with a smile. "I accept, Aranwë. More, I would have it begin now, here at your forge. Bar the great door, then return to me!" This took enough time for Maeglin to arrange some things he thought needful. He had removed his steely arm-braces and was rolling up his sleeves when Aranwë returned.

"Off with all this," said Maeglin, dragging impatiently at Aranwë's burned leather and linen forge-garb. The impromptu roughness titillated Aranwë, after the somber rituals and prepared spaces of full ansereg.

"As you wish, lord," said Aranwë, perfectly correct, and he saw Maeglin's eyes shine at that. Maeglin threw the smith's hide apron over an ordered pile of metal bars waiting at the back of the smithy, and dragged and bent Aranwë to kneel face-down over it.

"You might have bid me hither. The rite of ansereg is to place yourself in the other's hands and power."

"Be quiet! You talk more than anyone I have ever met. You will have what you wished. More than you knew you wanted." The tall smith's hard legs and broad, muscle-finned back were exposed to him. Maeglin took up Aranwë's heavy belt, and trailed it over the bent body, to judge the distance and pace of his strikes. Last night, the elf building up blows on Ecthelion had started out slowly, pacing the pain. Maeglin decided to do the opposite.

Aranwë shouted as the belt slashed his back. As a snapping hail of leather struck without preamble, he gritted his teeth and clung to the pile of metal and leather beneath him, cursing himself for not taking Maeglin at his word. Instead of belaboring his hardened shoulders, Maeglin strapped across his ass and thighs, even his calves and, for a brief agony, the sole of one foot. The younger elf had a steel-smiter's strength, beating Aranwë's flesh down long and heavy until the blows rocked his bones. Just when Aranwë thought he would have to cry out, Maeglin threw aside Aranwë's belt for his own. The scant half-minute for the change was all the respite Aranwë got. Maeglin's belt might have been made for evil purpose, a narrow strap of hard leather tipped in metal. The doubled length felt like razor-cuts. Worse, Maeglin wielded the full length of it like a scourge. Aranwë sweated at the thought that Maeglin might labor so for as long as it took to hammer and shape a long blade.

But Maeglin thought to save his arm's strength. After one last lick with the belt-tip, he threw it aside and reached for the water-trough used to cool hot iron. He had found some arrow-canes waiting to be pointed and fletched, and had placed them there to soak supple. The one he swished in his hand cut the air like a whip of wood. Aranwë winced at the sound. Maeglin saw the fear and felt desire rise in his throat and groin. He thrust aside the thought of how he'd like to see tender Idril flinch before him, and turned to the more familiar pleasures at hand. It was sweet to torment the long smith with the dancing cane, sweet as red meat to the teeth.

Aranwë shivered at Maeglin's new torment. There were two blessings to the lightning cane-strikes. After the first body-cry of pain, a weird cool spread from each blow. And Maeglin was spacing the strikes so that the marks might show well. Following the tumultuous belt-beating, the hurt that he could pace and ride seemed like mercy. The caning began at mid-thigh, running right up to the very tip of the backbone. If a blow seemed overly faint, Maeglin repeated it, doubling the agony. Then, six cane-strikes were branded into each wide shoulder. Aranwë strangled down his cries, gnawing at the leather on which he sprawled.

After the last shoulder-strike, Aranwë unbit the leather but did not relax. Maeglin still lurked behind him, like a sweeping storm. Then the storm closed in. Maeglin knelt over him and ran a hot hand over the bruised flesh and its marks. "On the floor," said Maeglin, his voice sibilant from his fast breath. The two sank down to the slate flagstones, Aranwë dragging the leather with him.

He hissed as Maeglin turned him over, but forgot his suffering when he saw his tormentor again. In the dimness of the forge, Maeglin's dark and pale beauty seemed lit from within, reason enough for him to demand anything from anyone. For the first time that Aranwë recalled, there was a true smile on Maeglin's face, unshadowed by wryness or disdain. And it seemed a rich reward when Maeglin reached down to smooth his hair back gently, saying, "You took that. Perhaps there is something to your ritual after all."

"My lord," Aranwë whispered.

"And you are quiet, too, now," said Maeglin, turning his hands between the smith's marked thighs. "Last night, they stopped at this in their ritual. But I would go on." He stroked the back of his hand over Aranwë's stiffening cock. "Will you let me have you as I wish?"

"Yes! Ah, yes!"

Maeglin was plunged into his keen silence again. He drew over a jar of the thick, clear grease used to oil swords and knives for the sheath. His intent was obvious as he laved generously between Aranwë's cane-bruised thighs, and his victim spread and settled to ease his way.

This was fortune indeed, thought Aranwë, that Maeglin would have him face to face. He felt two fingers probe and pulse inside him, then a third stretched him. Maeglin's second hand reached up to caress his chest, linking them without speech as he coaxed Aranwë to pleasure. When Aranwë felt a fourth finger strive to press inside him, he leaned up to see. Maeglin was not changing his position, staying intent on penetrating Aranwë with one hand. He moved his free hand and began to smear sword-grease over his penetrating fingers and wrist, stroking up towards the elbow. Aranwë swallowed and braced himself to endure. But Maeglin reached up with his free, oil-smirched hand and touched Aranwe's breastbone again, leaving a stain over his heart while their eyes met.

"Be patient. Feel what I shall give you," breathed Maeglin. "Close your eyes."

Then Maeglin did something new. He began to sing. The music was a chanting song of unlocking, persuading, surrender. It blended with the thrumming of Aranwë's pulse and overrode his racing thoughts. The probing hand began to move again, to the song's rhythm. Twined in the beckoning music of Maeglin's voice, Aranwë could not track when the thumb was worked inside him to join the fingers.

At the peak of the song, Maeglin moved his arm forward, and shoved the cupped flat of his hand home into the orifice. A shot of pain ripped Aranwë for a moment, and he twisted and gasped. Maeglin held still, continuing to sing softly, then slowly slid his greased wrist in further. Aranwë was surprised when this stilled the pain, but he was not thinking that the wrist was narrower than the fist. Once the tearing faded, and the disbelief, Aranwë was shaken with unexpected delight. He could barely think, only turn and cry and lust.

 Maeglin knelt close over the bliss and ruin of Aranwë, rapt in his own dark joy. The clamping life and heat of the channel where he thrust called him on. His entire being was focused on his one hand and its work. This was power, to have this elf-man pinioned so that the least move of his hand was doom! He snarled as he forced his arm to slow, working from the elbow instead of pumping from the shoulder.

First the pain had been followed by wonder, and now Aranwë rode the overpowering sensation, moaning and bending like a wind-wracked pine. He had never felt such a terrible pleasure, not even in the lost arms of love. Maeglin felt the change in him and turned his arm, drawing out just a touch, until the hard curled hand hit a spot that pulsed back. Aranwë's entire body rang with bright fire. The very air seemed alive against his untouched hardness. When he came, and came, and came, he shouted until the stone roof rang, beyond pain or will.

To Maeglin, the cries heralded his triumph, and he knelt still, slowing his arm's movements to a stop, until Aranwë's dazed eyes met his. They looked into each other's faces. Aranwë was lost in the sharp glance before him. Maeglin coaxed his wrist and hand free, and watched his victim slump back, as if he had drawn the elf-man's heart and will out clasped in his fist.

Aranwë looked up at the young stranger dark above him, blocking the light. Maeglin leaned close. The snake-touch of Maeglin's flickering tongue ran from his belly to his collar-bone, lapping up his come. Aranwë's heart hammered. Although Maeglin was silent, the touch of his mouth spoke of complicity, shared desire, secrets. Then Maeglin, standing up, went to rinse his hands in the water-trough without a word.

Aranwë watched his grace as he walked and bent. "Maeglin, I - I long to ease you. However you may wish."

Maeglin smiled very slowly. "You are much improved beneath my hands; first you are quiet, and then you have manners."

The tall young elf came back, and instead of bending, stroked Aranwë with the steel toe of his boot. "It makes me hunger, to see you so willing! You shall not have long work of me." Now Maeglin knelt on top of him, straddling armored limbs around his chest. Aranwë shrank back from the chill of the metal leg-guards, even as Maeglin stroked the indigo fabric at his own crotch. "I shall take you again, for my own pleasure, this time," he said, and laughed to feel how that jolted Aranwë.

"Oh, on second thought, I will not," Maeglin said. If it was a joke, it was the first one Aranwë had ever heard from him. "You are ruined for that this night! No, I shall have your mouth instead." With two smooth moves, Maeglin's legs trapped Aranwë's face. The downed elf-man would have to stretch and strain his throat to please the one above him, but as he watched Maeglin free himself, he counted that the least torment of his life.

Maeglin was as fortunate in his elegant measure as in his fair visage. As he stroked his phallus against Aranwë's face, not letting him taste the steel and velvet of it yet, Aranwë sighed. "You are beautiful, even to what modesty hides. Straight as a spear, fragrant as musk."

"You want me so badly," murmured Maeglin, eyes narrowed. "Then beg for it."

Before he had taken off his smith's leathers for Maeglin, he would have laughed to scorn anyone who bid him plead. "My lord, please, let me taste you, let me take you in. I want nothing more, I beg."

Maeglin shifted the angle of his body, and Aranwë arched his neck painfully to bridge the small gap. He tongued the tip of Maeglin's cock, sliding the foreskin gently. Maeglin bent further, inciting Aranwë to take the full length in his mouth. Once that was done, he shifted forward even more, locking himself in the other elf-man's throat deeply. He began to move in sharp thrusts, choking Aranwë breathless.

"You are wicked, to call me on to further lusts. Ah, your heat and your hunger, your mouth-" His speech cut off as he buckled and came in dead silence, hands clenched to claws against his own armored thighs.

Maeglin stood again as lightly as he had settled, and without caress or thanks. Aranwë remained exhausted on the floor, breathing deep, still tasting traces of Maeglin's bitterness.

"What do you think of my way?" asked Maeglin.

"That... was as the lightning above the peak of Caragdur. But it was not ansereg. How did you learn that?"

"From Eöl," said Maeglin, simply.

Aranwë staggered up, horrified. "From your father! This is not a matter for kin of any closeness!"

"You are swift to say that, here in Gondolin," snapped Maeglin, face tight with pain.

"It is the way of all Elves, of all speaking folk. But you are not to blame. Your father did you a great ill, to hide you from your people and use you so." Desperate that Maeglin not turn from him, he went on. "I swear by my forge, hallowed to Aulë, that I do not judge you and I will not flee you, whatever you say to me. Do not let yourself be bound by Eöl's untruths and strange ways, but start anew."

Maeglin turned back to Aranwë, eyes ravenous and brilliant. "I may speak to you freely? Will you keep my secrets?"

"Yes, and swear oath to that as well," said Aranwë gently. No wonder Maeglin had been so cold and quiet in the bright halls, shadowed by such deeds.

"Let me hear you swear it!" He stood imperious and still as the marked elf-man, placing one hand on the anvil, repeated the enriched oath.

Maeglin smiled at the one he had mastered with pleasure and pain, and bound with a deep geas. Seeing Aranwë brighten at the smile from him, he decided to seal the smith's bondage with words. "Yes, I will free myself from the ways of Eöl. Will you teach me better?"

Aranwë's hearers each shuddered at the story he had begun. Then Idril spoke. "Clearly, you failed in your teaching. Add this to your memory, Pengolod. Maeglin but began by binding Aranwë to him. I knew of the cabal that Maeglin gathered; the proud, the willful, some over-fond of battle and quarrels. The rites of ansereg grew strange and dark under them. And Maeglin's power spread when Turgon sealed the gates against all comers. Then that dark one's whims and scandals filled too much of our minds, as a thin replacement for fresh news of our kin. Maeglin drew you all like a lodestone draws iron-dust, sticking at naught to bind elves to him."

Unexpectedly, Pengolod spoke. "No, lady, he shirked at one thing."

Idril started. "What was that?"

"Never was he known to take a trial of ansereg himself, for all that he loved to mete it out."

"That is fitting. I knew not; I listened only to what was said. And I should have hearkened to the silences, too. What say you to that, Aranwë?"

Aranwë continued. "You see the seed of Maeglin's treachery in these deeds. I knew of it scant time before, mere hours, my lady, and yet was not free to act until too late."

"I will be the judge of that," said Idril.



Aranwë stood in the door of Maeglin's dark-draped chamber. No lamps were lit. Instead of pacing about in half-armor, as was his wont, Maeglin was reclining on his bed, his nudity white against the indigo sheets. "Come to me," he said softly.

Aranwë drew close. When had his desire of Maeglin become tainted with dread? It might have been the day he realized he bore deeper scars from Maeglin than from his smith-work. Or perhaps some caprice had burned Aranwë's heart too much. Maeglin had always swung between kind and cruel, heedless and fond. It was very like Maeglin to summon him this evening, when all the rest of the city was preparing for festival.

The strong young elf was using all his charm tonight, offering soft glances and gentle embraces. In this mood, there was no need to fear his hands; only the strange thoughts he would speak. At times merely the thoughts of Maeglin made him shudder. But Aranwë came back, again and again, for the sake of pleasures he could not forego, for his oath, and for the rare tenderness of Maeglin. Once Maeglin had spoken his shadowed mind, he might show that tenderness tonight, and that hope led Aranwë on to the dark bed.

Maeglin gloated as he watched Aranwë step near carefully. Of course he was wary; he was no fool, thought Maeglin. When Aranwë had sworn silence by his forge, that had been the first step of his rise in Gondolin. How would he have borne the torment of longing for Idril without being able to speak freely to at least one? And now, with everything almost within his grasp at long last, this one would set him free from the only torment that remained.

Aranwë undressed and lay cautiously upon the bed. Maeglin cast the dark linens about them, cocooning them. He caged the frightened, entranced elf-man in his embrace, sliding smooth as an adder, biting like a viper, but with eyes tender and dark as those of a deer. Aranwë looked up as Maeglin lay on top of him, pinioning his arms. "Dearer than father. My smith and my anvil. I must ask you something. Tell me, is there any torment that cannot be borne?"

"From your hands, lord?" He braced himself to hear some unclean dream of Maeglin's, even as he treasured the feel of Maeglin's smooth body against him.

"Such flattery. Tell me, what would you say if...if I said I wished to sear your eyes out with hot iron?"

Aranwë went rigid. Blinded! To be maimed like that was one of the black threats of Morgoth and Sauron.  "I could never bear that. For I live for my craft. And I do not see how it might please you."

Maeglin stroked his face with a wry expression. "Nor would one so marred ever be fair to look upon again, bearing scar-pits for eyes."

Then Maeglin nuzzled close. "Ah, it eases me to hear you say that, after all you have suffered from me. That you should say so to the one who mastered you; I am consoled for saying it to the one who mastered me." In the dimness, his eyes shone. "To Morgoth."

Aranwë felt denial flash in his spirit at the very name. Maeglin felt him tense and doubt, and began to speak hastily, pressing him down with sweating hands.

"I tell no lie, and you swore never to judge me. I do not forget! Listen to me! Remember when I went to Himling in secret, prospecting last year? I was taken then. To him. There is no denying Angband; it is greater than any elf's dream. They have a strong way. Why should I not, as well? Why should I fall to torment, when I was offered all my desire? Morgoth seeks regents, more wise and high than orcs and worms, to complete his dominance. I shall have the lordship of Gondolin! The city will be little spoiled in its taking; I shall make sure of that. And also I shall have the hand of Idril. Not to mention the rest of her," said Maeglin. His voice had veered from a nervous rasp to a purr as he spoke, and the thought of Idril roused him hard.

Aranwë was passive with horror as Maeglin, still so beautiful, parted his legs and slowly penetrated him. After all the times he had begged for Maeglin's hand and arm, the lesser taking was all too easy, without aid. The fey elf whispered, hot with lust, "Kind Aranwë! Do not fear. I will not send you from me. Share in this with me, even to the chained favors of Idril." Aranwë's mind shuttered itself against what Maeglin spoke next, spinning out the lurid idea until he found release in it. As he always did, Maeglin came silently, with a flush of heat over his body, this time biting Aranwë's shoulder hard enough to draw blood. But Maeglin's words had become so dread that Aranwë was glad of the silence, even at its painful price.

Incredibly, when he pleaded that it was his shift to stoke the forges, Maeglin let him go. Feeling chill and empty, he actually went to his smithy, where Maeglin had first claimed him. He stood close to the embers of the forge, gazing at them as if they might clean his mind. After so much time that the stars had wheeled towards dawn in the sky outside, Aranwë sighed. He went to place his hand on the anvil and ask the sacred forge forgiveness for the oath he was about to break. But before he felt the still metal, he heard: horns blowing, screams, the alarms of war breaking the long peace of Gondolin.



"So Maeglin, twisted by his father, fell as a thrall of Morgoth, under threat of torment and doing his bidding. The tale is blacker than I thought." Idril was pained. "Might we have stayed Maeglin from his darkness, had we known? And he laid hands on my little son!" Her anger relit, she turned to Aranwë.

"I might say that you betrayed us all that last night, by your silence. And I might say that you saved me all those years, by letting Maeglin vent his will on you. Here is my judgment. You may live, but not bide here, knowing Maeglin's stained thoughts of me. Wherever I dwell, you are outlawed. You shall be taken forth at dawn and escorted far. Galdor, go to the camp-steward. Make ready supply for Aranwë. Then bring Voronwë hither, for he lives. But do not expect more kindness from your son than you have had from me." With a ring of metal, Idril and the guard Galdor swept away to hasten his departure. Aranwë bowed to the cold mercy of Idril, though she did not look back.

Pengolod and the other guard remained. The loremaster looked sadly at him who had been forge-master, before the son of the Dark Elf came. "Many envied you, that you were embraced by Maeglin, high-born and fair," he said quietly.

For the first time, Aranwë's eyes flashed with a hint of spirit. "What tale will you tell to those who envied me? Will you teach them better, Pengolod?"  


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The Thrall of Gondolin


The Third Way

Chains of Anghabar

Pride of Place



Genfic -

The Prince

Idril's View

The Sting