The Silmaril was born twice.
The first birth was carefully guided by the hands of a master-craftsman who was both the patient midwife and loving mother; expectant father and proud creator.
Of the time before, when it had been particles or components on a work bench while bright, fire eyes stared at it, nothing was recalled.
It supposed there would have been a fire; there was always a fire in that womb-like room. It knew this because in the years to come it would spend time in many forges, all different but all very much the same in certain ways.
That fire would have burned hot, but that heat was nothing compared to what happened within the crucible. The heat of flames was likely enough to sear down to the bone, but it did not burn not in the way the light, the essence, and the sheer sensation of being did.
From the crucible they did not know what had happened next. Perhaps, maybe there had been a mould, or perhaps tools for cutting facets but none of that was recalled.
Sometime after the time of particles, crucible, fire and shaping, something truly great had happened; something so marvellous that no one could recreate it ever again.
No one would ever be sure exactly what had happened in that workroom-cum-delivery-suite save the Silmaril.
They technically should not have known either. They should have never have been able to tell of when their creator placed little piece of himself; something fundamental and invaluable, into it.
But they could tell of that moment.
Awareness came when that brilliant essence pushed into it, surged as light poured in and filled past capacity what was a new being entirely; one made of silma not flesh, one that could not think but thought none the less, could not feel but still felt.
If it had, had a voice it would have wailed. It would have shrieked like any new born, shaking and quivering in mother/father/creator’s hands.
Like a dreamer opening their eyes they knew their half-life as things, but also as beings. They could not comprehend it though. They could not think about it. There was no room for thoughts for they had no mind to think thoughts in.
Mother/father/creator had made them, and they simply were.
With no mouth to shriek with, it lay still instead, and drew in the light of the skylight. They sent the glow of the trees up into mother/father/creator’s face with the beauty of a child’s first word.
They twisted the gold and silver within their facets joyfully, and then sent that light away, shimmering with new hues of every colour in the spectrum. Some of them colours only they could perceive.
They rejoiced! They lived! They revealed in the feeling of light within their facets.
There had been a laugh high above it filled with triumph. It rang with silver tones and golden notes.
Even without ears they heard it. They knew his joy.
They sent more light at him.
Had they lips, tongue and teeth they would have said, look at me; look at how I shine. And then they would have said, I love you.
Gently they were each taken up, inspected, and then they had been nestled together in a velvet cloth.
It was the first touch of their facets together, and it seemed to last an eternity though it was really only for a moment. But such a moment in which it realised what it was; it and the other two that made the whole.
They sang to one another, explored the new concept of self as individuals and a trilogy; as Silmarilli, safe there within their swaddling.
Light was an easy language to learn, and they mastered it swiftly. They developed vocabulary, created metaphors and similes. Together they sang enough songs and poems of light to fill entire libraries, if only there had been one who understood them, and some way to record them.
In time they would learn new emotions, and learn to reflect that emotion like they reflected light. They would learn to communicate in this fashion; to speak to one another in a primitive fashion, singing each emotion out in a crystal tone no pointed ear could hear.
They sang to the people who beheld them: Look.
They sang to the trees: Look.
The trees did not like them, and sent harsher light at them but they reflected it easily; shimmered all the more brightly, and grieved the rejection of their forbearers.
They sang to their mother/father/creator: Love.
The second time the Silmaril was born was not as carefully choreographed as the first.
It was centuries and centuries later, it could not tell time, but it knew it had been a very long time indeed since they had last seen mother/father/creator.
Many things had happened, bad, horrible, awful things. It tried not to remember those.
Its facets were dim, its surface smudged though the silima had refused to chip or scratch in all the age that had passed it by. It was feeling stained and marred by all the hands that had held it.
It had learnt a plethora of new emotions: sorrow, disgust, greed, lust, desperation in its many bitter tones, and heart break.
Separated from two thirds of itself, one of which had been in reach only days previously, it burned hot in grief.
It burned in rage.
It burned with aching loneliness.
And finally it burned, and burned, and burned, and burned the hand that clutched it, smothering it with a taint of impurity which was corroding the very silma that should have kept it safe.
It could feel the lives the hand surrounding it had taken. Throats cut, arterties stabbed through, orders given for arches to lie in wait, years and years and year and years of fighting and killing and it never ended.
It burned hotter, and purer than it had ever done before, screaming silently as it tried to rid itself of the impressions that were assaulting it.
It screamed for mother/father/creator whom it had not beheld in a great many years. Long gone were the days of resting proudly over a smooth brow, while experiencing the giddy thrill of balancing in their settings above the river of lightening that had been their mother/father/creator’s amazing mind.
It had been so many years since the silmarilli had truly blazed; absorbing and throwing out, for the world to see the stupendous inferno of spirit beneath them; the light barely held within flesh.
It did not know what had happened, why it had left that safe haven, and been handled roughly by so many impure or pure hands; all belonging to strangers.
It wanted to go back to its day within a diadem atop of the head of the Spirit of Fire.
Suddenly it was falling; the air moving around it fast, and hot.
In one horrific moment the Silmaril breached the impurity gnawing at it, and saw not the sins but the mind behind them.
Thoughts of mother/father/creator rushed through it, and it would have wailed in horror if it had, had the voice to do so.
The one that held it was one ofmother/father/creator’s fleshy creations! The one that always invoked such a deep and abiding emotion beneath that pale brow; hot raw love, purer than a diamond, redder then a garnet, and more intricate than a black opal.
The strength of that had emotion had always made mother/father/creators emotions for the Silmarilli seem like cheap glass in comparison.
Immediately the fire in the Silmaril went out. The light it gave off dimmed completely.
But it was too late.
Oh it was much too late.
Fire of another, more natural, kind roared up around it and took the place of the Silmaril’s light and heat. The Silmaril, trapped in a cage of flesh and bone, went flying as death spasms loosened the grip on it, and that very flesh and bone began to melt from a searing inferno.
There was only one emotion the Silmaril could reflect into eyes that were seeping away as they continued to fall into the heat: Regret.
It shimmered in it in hues of slate grey and molten orange.
Regret, it sang out in warbling unheard notes, Forever Regret.
I/we am/are sorry.
For the Eldar concerned this was the end of the sorry saga they would call the Silmarillion; The perfect trilogy had been torn asunder, one going to the sky, one going to the sea, and one going to the hot, fiery earth.
The earth which embraced the Silmaril that fell within it; tumbling between blistering hot rocks until it came to rest within the rapidly crumbling chest cavity of a cremating skeleton.
This is how it all ends, wrote many scholars, in fire and death. The Silmaril remaining trapped beneath the earth, in the ocean, and riding the sky, until Fëanor, rightfully chastised and meek, returned from beyond the Doors of Night to do as he should have done in the first place.
For the Silmaril cast into the embrace of the earth, nothing was further from the truth.
What some forgot was that, while the air had no substance, and the sea's fertility was fiercely guarded by Ulmo, the earth was fertile and feminine and free for all.
The earth had everything in it to make a body, gold, silver, calcium and magnesium to name a few. The earth had a fire in it, more than the hot, poisonous flames that licked at the edges of the chasm that the Silmaril had descended into.
Melkor had searched for this flame once.
This flame was raw and untamed; this flame came from some unseen other, and as the Silmaril managed to long, for the first time in its existence, for a mouth to apologise, and for hands to make things right, it lunged and consumed the gem.
This birth was violent and it was messy.
There was fire scorching at flesh that was only just forming, and yes fëa and light that already existed pushed into new, and bizarre formation, but all that was overwhelmed by PAIN.
New fingers clutched desperately about a forming body, trying to find purchase on the molten rock around it.
It scrambled away with an animal instinct only one possessing a brain could have; fleeing even before it realised what had happened.
What was in the Silmaril was no longer clasped by silma, but caged by organs, bone and then flesh. That flesh which might have been pale, but rapidly turned pink, then red, and then then blistered inside the forge of Arda.
The Silmaril used legs for the first time, scrambling up black glass rock which tore the baby soft skin of its feet and hands to shreds.
Lungs drew air in which promptly burned, a heart pounded till nausea introduced itself while a face scrunched up in a mask of agony.
Still it drove itself on to find a place where the rock was cold, crawling beneath an outcropping, and curling up, unobserved by those who were nearby.
It shrieked and wailed in shock, but a harsh wind stole the noise away, and none of those rushing to ascertain that Prince Maedhros had indeed committed suicide heard it.
It shook and quivered on the stone as it finally took notice… truly took notice like it had never been able to before. Hands, eyes, feet, skin. The world was familiar yet so completely alien. People were shouting nearby, but it dared not leave the shadowed outcropping yet.
Truthfully it was incapable of doing so, its injuries severe. It curled unconsciously in a foetal position to try and find relief from the new type of fire raping virgin nerve endings.
There was no velvet to safely be wrapped up in; the Silmaril spent its first night curled up alone, sobbing, and naked. Bare to all elements with not a single voice raised in delight to herald its creation.