He beheld the stars first, before even knowing himself, and beloved have they ever been by he whose name recalls their glittering silver-white starlight: Silwë. he wandered far in the twilit sparkling newness of the world, seeking new vantage Points from which to watch the stars glimmer, mirrored by the glassy surface of now-lost Cuivienen.

In the days before the Sun and the Moon, the Ñoldor had been second to follow the path of the Vala Oromë upon the Great Journey from the East, through the darkened Greenwood and over the mountains, and across the great sea to Aman, the Undying Lands. This is where Silwë dwelt, near Tirion-upon-Túna, under the light of the Two Trees.

Silwë in Tirion during the Years of the Trees

Tall he was, and slight of frame, fair of complexion with raven-dark hair that fell long and straight down his back and around his hips, and he adorned it with the trappings of his craft: beads, cut gems, circlets and chain, small bells and carven hair-sticks. Many of the Eldar in their days of bliss beyond the Sea enjoyed the playing of music, but he preferred to sing, and enjoyed fine clothing and wine and Miruvórë. Though in his way he was vain, and loved ritual, formality, and all things pleasing to the eye, he was kind and gentle, witty and erudite, and ever seemed lost in thought.

At forge and bench in the halls of the Aulë, the Smith—the Vala who favored the Ñoldor and brought into the world the dwarven-folk, who in those days slumbered still in stony peace, awaiting their awakening—he found his calling, and ever after has he been counted among the Jewel-smiths of the Ñoldor. Silwë, as did his kinsfolk, loved knowledge, and learning, but the arts and lore of metal and jewels enchanted him. The art of making they learnt, things mundane and deeply esoteric, and wrought exquisitely powerful objects—those now known in legend yet unmade—that touched the very fabric of creation, it seemed.

Oft were these deemed enchanted by many who saw them in later days. “Sorcery,” accused those who knew not what the Ñoldor knew, “or perhaps the tools by which sorcery could be done!” He would not answer such accusations, simply smile cryptically. He found the idea delightful in private—a sorcerer! Perhaps he was, for by naming things they are made real.

Silwë and his cat

He dwelt in a small home outside near a brook, which overlooked at some distance the Sea. There he had a workshop and a forge of his own, and it contented him to work at his art both alone and with the other Ñoldor smiths of the West. He did not take a wife, nor did he have family; but he was happy, liked by neighbors and kept company by a large orange cat he called Airwë. Sometimes he walked to the seashore, gazing at the stars, and there he enjoyed the company of the Falmari of Tol Eressea and Alqualondë, bringing them glittering gems they scattered in the tide pools like stars brought from the heavens, and they in turn brought pearls from the depths of the deep sea, and braided the garlands into the ebon cascade of his hair, and taught him to sing the lilting Falmarin music that made him think of shimmering foam on crystal seas and the cries of birds.

And so it was for many years, happy at his work and his learning, with his cat and his anvil and his forge, his jewelry, fine robes and his carven hair-sticks. The Ñoldor had not yet learned fear, nor had they grown bitter… But unrest they felt stir, subtle and intangible, and they knew it not.