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and still good days lie before us - for a while

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And so winter came to pass, a season now had Beleg Cúthalion spent with Túrin and his band of outlaws. The Gaurwaith, they were aptly named, wolf men in the Sindarin tongue. So different from the soldiers of Doriath, Beleg often thought. They possessed a hunger within them. Not the kind brought on by famine, but the kind of hunger that seemed so prevalent in the race of men. But Beleg was a bowman, not a scholar, and thus turned his thoughts from the nature of men to the growing danger at hand. 

The servants of Morgoth pressed ever closer from the north, bolder with each passing day. It was not uncommon now to return from the woods with wounds dealt by orcish blades. Being an elf, Beleg recovered swiftly from injury, but the same was not true for the rest of his party. He often found himself attending to the injuries of other men, though their gratitude was not freely given.

Most scornful of all was Andróg, who looked at him little and did not speak as Beleg wrapped his wounds. He did not thank Beleg when he was done attending to him. He only nodded slightly and walked away. Beleg sighed as he watched him disappear behind one of the many corners of Bar-en-Danwedh.

“You know why they resent you of course,” came a voice from behind him. Beleg did not flinch. He had keen senses and could recognize the pattern of those footfalls anywhere. Túrin came to sit beside him on the bench as Beleg washed his hands of dried blood.

“Because I am an elf and they believe me to be their enemy? It is you who have made them suspicious of my people,” Beleg said. His words were bitter but his voice was not. Beleg was not one to be spiteful, even at times when he deserved to be.

“It is because you are more dear to me than any of them, and they realize that. When I am with you they are reminded of how different I am from the man that they know.”

Beleg shook the water from his hands. “But they are right. You are different. You go by a different name among these men. Neithan, the wronged. Yet I travelled here against all my wisdom not for Neithan of the Gaurwaith, but for Túrin son of Húrin. If I am truly as dear to you as you say, then come with me back to Doriath!” he cried, but he knew that it was for naught. The pride of Túrin was as strong and unyielding as a steel blade. Beleg had pleaded with him to leave many times to no avail. The last time he had visited his friend in Brethil, their parting was not a glad one. Yet here he was once again.

“My friend, I have told you before,” said Túrin and he put his hand on the elf’s shoulder. “Name any other deed and I shall do it for you, but I will not return to the Hidden Kingdom.”

“Very well,” said Beleg. He stood up and Túrin’s hand fell away. “I have a request then, if you would grant it.” He walked over to one of the little shelves sunk into the stone wall, carved out by the clever dwarves who had once lived there. Upon the stone ledge sat a helmet glinting in the torchlight. It seemed fitting that it was being kept in the old fortress, Beleg thought. It too was of dwarven craft after all. 

Truly the helm was a work of art, a testament to the skill of those who had forged it. It must have been thousands of years old and yet the surface remained shining and smooth. Along the crest ran the likeness of Glaurung the Great Worm. A challenge to Morgoth, a taunt. 

Beleg took the helmet from the shelf and felt the cool heaviness in his hands. “Your father wore this helmet once, and his father before him.”

“Yes, I know this. My mother told me tales of the Dragon-helm of Dor-Lómin in Hithlum when I was small,” said Túrin. Beleg could not tell if the look on his face was a smile or a grimace.

“Not all can bear its weight,” said Beleg. He took a step toward his friend and pressed the helmet into his hands. “But I hope that you might find the strength to. There is a stirring in Taur-nu-Fuin. You may refuse your summons to Doriath, but at least wear the helm and take up arms against the evils of the north”

Túrin held the helmet and regarded his reflection in the engraved metal. “Perhaps it is time for me to finally take up this mantle.” He donned the helm, feeling the rush of terrible power that accompanied it. Beleg looked at him standing there, tall and fearsome, and he was glad. 

“Would you not join me, Cúthalion?” Túrin said. A faint grin was visible in between the gaps of the helmet. This was rare, he was always serious in his youth and only grew more grim with age. “The people of Brethil would lay easier in their beds knowing that the Strongbow was helping defend their land.”

“They do not know who I am.”

“They will.”

And laughing Beleg said, “Yes I will join you. Have I not already?”

The dragon helm was meant to serve as a reminder to Túrin. He was supposed to see it and remember who he was and who he came from, but Beleg was not sure if he had succeeded. Túrin was a curious man. The more he tried to distance himself from others, the more people were drawn to him. Beleg did not possess the divine sight of Melian, but he knew in his heart that there was a current of fate surrounding his friend. All that came into contact with him were pulled in and could not escape. Some would ride the water but all the same, some were bound to drown. Beleg hoped he would not be one of them.