The Voyage of Voronwë

by Menelvagor-(Valar)
October 17, 2002

Stories > Authors > Menelvagor-(Valar)'s stories > The Voyage...

After Voronwë dwelled in Nan-Tathren, the land of willows, for many a day, some of his sea-urge came back to him; and he made a raft to float upon the river, but the power of Ulmo ran strong in that river, for it was Sirion the mighty, which flowed up from the north all the way down to the Isle of Balar, where still a remnant of the people of Cirdan lived. And the powerful main current of Sirion took the raft of Voronwë and carried him faster and faster away from the land of willows and slowly he regained the knowledge of the mission he was sent upon by Turgon, King of the hidden city of Gondolin.

For many a day Voronwë floated on his raft upon Sirion, desiring no food, but drinking its clear waters for sustenance. So it was that the last mariner finally reached Cirdan's abode on the Isle of Balar, and the last and largest ship was ready and was prepared to set sail. Now Voronwë, fully remembering the urgency of the mission for Turgon, was eager to go, and quickly he took the ship out into open waters, to seek out the hidden passage into the west.

Soon after Voronwë had set sail, the first storm hit his ship, and he cried out into the wind, "I hail thee mighty Ossë, and I know thou art wroth with any of the Noldor seeking to return against the doom of Mandos, but if thou would counsel thy heart, thou wouldst see that my mission is not to return, but to seek the aid of the Valar in our struggle against Morgoth Bauglir, for in our folly we saw not his power and now we bend under the might of his armies, only few left are able to withstand his might, but they will not for long!"

And then a sudden calm came upon the sea as if the waves were pondering his words, but soon after, the storm hammered upon his ship, trying to make clear his plea was denied. Yet again Voronwë called against the sea: "Even if thou dost not grant us access to the Undying Lands, we will keep searching even if it costs us our lives!" Then the wind battered one last time upon his ship and broke one of the great sails, as if to say "So be it!"

And so it became that for years Voronwë struggled on the sides of the enchanted isles, to the north and to the south, ever battered by the storms Ossë sent at him. And every time his ship survived another storm, he would thank Cirdan for making it so strong and he would call out to the seas: "We will make it yet, despite what you do to defeat us!"

But after a while, with still no success and their provisions gone, Voronwë gave up and steered for home and as he stood on the stern of his great ship he espied from afar Mount Taras, but as he cried to the seas: "So we return home, beaten, but not defeated!" A great storm arose, greater then anything before. Voronwë was awed by its power, and knew now clearly that none save one blessed and aided by Ulmo would escape the wrath of Ossë. Soon his ship was ripped apart by the violence of that storm and a great wave swallowed the ship to its eternal resting place. But amid that wave a figure dark and ominous could be beheld, and lo! it was Ulmo, Lord of Waters, and he caught Voronwë before the ship went down and saved him to serve a greater purpose yet.

So Voronwë's journey came to an end, not by finding the enchanted roads to Valinor, nor by returning in failure to Middle-earth with his ship, but saved by Ulmo from the wrath of Ossë to fullfill his doom.