"They were just children!" Elwing shrieked, viciously pushing her cousin away.
"Elwing…" Celeborn attempted to console his young relative, but she refused to be comforted.
"You left them! You left and now…they're gone." The young elith collapsed on the ground, sobbing. She clutched her stomach, fighting the physical agony which assailed her. Agony and guilt. She should have been there. She should have made certain her brothers were following. She should not have left them.
The attack happened so fast she could barely separate the jumbled, nightmarish events, but it seemed like slow motion at the time. The elves of Doriath knew that a battle with the sons of Feanor was possible. Elwing's father, King Dior refused to relinquish the silmaril he had inherited from his parents. They were prepared to defend Doriath, but they were not prepared for the savage brutality of the Noldor. The Noldor killed without conscience.
She remembered being kissed by her mother. She remembered her father tying the silmaril in a pouch around her neck. She remembered running through the woods, clutching her brothers' grubby hands. She remembered being jostled by panicked elves, desperate to escape.
She did not remember how she lost her brothers in the crowd. She did not remember when her cousin Celeborn picked her up. She did not remember how she came to be where she was, by the Sirion River, surrounded by other shocked refugees.
"I have to go back," Elwing said. "I have to find them." She stood up and tried to rush back the way she had come, but Celeborn grabbed her. "Let me go!" She fought against her cousin, but he wrapped his arms around her and held her, gentle but unyielding.
"No, child," he said quietly. "Not this time."
Elwing turned toward his chest and cried. Elured and Ellurin were gone, and it was her fault.
* * *
"They were children!" Maedhros spat, as he gripped the servant's tunic. The impudent elf still looked defiant. Maedhros wanted to kill him.
"Maedhros let him go," interjected Maglor. Maedhros restrained himself from striking the cocky servant.
"You left them. You left them to starve in the woods, and now they're gone," Maedhros' voice was quiet, deadly, and livid. The shallow wound in his side began to bleed again. He felt lightheaded. He roughly released his captive and turned away. Guilt and bitterness assailed him. He was so sick of this oath, so sick of this curse.
His brothers had died trying to fulfill a madman's vow. Celegrom, Caranthir, Curufin were slain by the elves of Doriath, who were slaughtered in turn. King Dior was a fool. A dead fool. And now his wife was dead, and his twin sons were… Maedhros refused to complete the thought.
He slumped onto the ground, barely noticing Maglor approaching to inspect his wound.
Celegorm's servants, while searching for the silmaril, stumbled upon Diors' young sons, Elured and Elurin. To avenge the death of their lord they took the children deep into the woods and left them to starve.
Maedhros had heard them bragging about their cowardly deed, and fury replaced his sorrow. He threw off the healer who was attempting to stitch up his side and left his grieving brothers to scour the woods, searching for the twins. He did not find them and was forced to return before he fainted.
"I have to go back. I must find them," he said, exhausted. He tried to rise but Maglor gently pushed him back down.
"Not this time, brother," said Maglor. "You must heal. We will look for them later." Both brothers knew he was lying. Dior's sons were lost, and it was Maedhros' fault.