“Therefore Feanor halted and the Noldor debated what course they should now take. But they began to suffer anguish from the cold, and the clinging mists through which no gleam of star could pierce; and many repented of the road and began to murmur, especially those that followed Fingolfin, cursing Feanor, and naming him as the cause of all the woes of the Eldar.”
Silmarillion, the Flight of the Noldor
Helcaraxë, also called the Grinding Ice was an icy strip of land between Aman (Valinor) and Middle Earth. How it was formed is still just speculation, it is known that is mostly formed by ice packed together, where in the freezing waters clashed hills of ice sourrounded by vast fogs of deathly cold, covering the northernmost parts of Belegaer the Great Sea. It was the only connection between the realm of the Valar and the wild lands of Arda. The first time Helcaraxe was mentioned was in the episode of the flight of Melkor and Ungoliant after they destroyed the Trees Laurelin and Telperion.
The second, most known episode with Helcaraxe as protagonist is that of the Flight of the Noldor. After being abandoned by Fëanor on the beach of Araman, Fingolfin and his people braved the frozen waste on their journey to Middle-earth. They endured great hardships here and lost many kinsmen, including the beloved Elenwë, wife of prince Turgon. The freezing Helcaraxë greatly diminished the number of the followers of Fingolfin, they were less than half of the host by the time they arrived in Middle-earth, their landing marked by the first rising of the Moon. The Helcaraxë ceased to exist after the War of Wrath at the end of the First Age, destroyed by the fury of the Valar during that last war against Melkor.
This maiden is a scout of the host of Fingolfin, her job to brave the icy cold to make sure that the path is safe enough for the rest of her people to traverse. Her armour is heavy and protects her from the wind. Her shield is now used as a windscreen, embedded in it are two emerald stars, the symbol of Elbereth. Although the Noldor are now marked as exiles and left to fend for themselves, this maiden still invokes the protection of the Star Kindler, raising her hands in the air, shouting against the ice and blizzard “Cam en-Elbereth, the Hand of Varda is with us!”
Helcaraxë is the Quenya for “ice fangs”. In the book “Of The Lost Road and Other Writings” edited by Christopher Tolkien, the first chapter called Etymologies offer a small vocabulary of elvish words and “roots”. For Helcaraxe, the first element “hel” derives from the root khelek, a primitive quenya word for “ice”. The second root “karakse” is translated as “jagged hedge of spikes”. Other translations Tolkien wrote of Helkaraxe are: “Elcharaes”,” Helcharaes” or “Helcharach”.
Cam en Elbereth, “cam” is the sindar word for “hand”, while quenya would have been more appropriate (“camba” or “maqua” as hand), I preferred to not alter the name of the shield, it is good as it is :p
head: Malledhrim Helm of the Awakened, white dye, tier 6 crafted heavy, recipe barter in Mirkwood, acquaintance reputation
shoulders: Sellsword Shoulder Guards, white dye, crafted tier 6 heavy
chest: Sellsword Armour, white dye, crafted tier 6 heavy
gloves: Sellsword Gauntlets, white dye, crafted tier 6 heavy
legs: Sellsword Leggings, white dye, crafted tier 6 heavy
feet: Sellsword Boots, white dye, crafted tier 6 heavy
shield: Cam en-Elbereth, level 50 world drop in Angmar
sword: Defender of Gwingris, Eregion quest reward
It is December! And with the start of December starts Rhiw, the winter season, which means more winter themed outfits 😀 Although this outfit is not very original as it uses a whole set, I wanted to focus more on the atmosphere. The shield is a lucky drop my younger minstrel got after fighting a cargul in Angmar, and the sword is a beautiful reward from one of the early quests in Eregion, it has a nice leaf shape.
**map excerpt from the Atlas of Middle Earth, J.R.R. Tolkien, revised edition by Karen Wynn Fonstad