History of Tevildo
Tevildo and his fellow cat demons were enthralled by a magic gem known as the Kuilëondo. At first this Gem had been in the possession of one of Morgoth's servants, Gorothir; from Gorothir it came into the hands of Gorlim of Númenor and later the Black Númenórean Fuinur, and following him his foster-daughter Ancalimë, better known as Queen Berúthiel of Gondor. Tevildo's bound spirit dwelt in the Benish Armon, an ancient Daen site of the Coastal-people or Sakalai, the indigenous tribes of the Bay of Belfalas. These Coastfolk revered Tevildo's cat spirit and for centuries had kept alive the Cult of Benish Armon.
Tevildo’s thanes lost their perceptive capabilities outside of Benish Armon, but his domination of these lesser spirits allowed the Prince of Cats, through the Kuilëondo, to call them individually to his current position. This, however, could only be attempted on a night of the dark moon (the day of the month when they were bound by Ancalimë). Moreover, Tevildo’s summons had to be accompanied by a blood sacrifice, whose scent drew the keen-nosed cats to the desired location. The sacrifice had to be performed with a ritual dagger only possessed by members of the cult. In order to remain free of Benish Armon without fana, Tevildo’s thanes had to feed upon mortal thúle.
The incorporeal cats did this by “infesting” a living victim’s body. The effect of this infestation was the gradual corruption of the “host” body from within. Eventually, the victim’s soul was severed and passed away while the corpse became an empty husk, petrified into a tormented effigy of the person. The infestation process could only be reversed by the most powerful healing magic.
Because the Kuilëondo enabled the transfer of thúle as magical energy, Tevildo was able to incorporate some of his own powers as a Maia into that exchange. In this way the Prince of Cats gave assistance to the wielder of the gem beyond the pure availability of extra power. The nature of this assistance depended in part upon the wielder and in part upon the nature of the goal to be accomplished. As a sign of the cats’ power and as proof of their covenant with the Ethir Folk who served them, Tevildo had conferred the power of shapeshifting upon the mistress of the cult, enabling her to assume the form of a large hunting cat at will. This transformation affected the body only, and anything the woman might had been be carrying with her in human form would be discarded. In addition to the accompanying feline abilities, all knowledge and human skills were retained while in cat-shape (though some of these may have become unusable).
Tevildo’s capacity to channel power through the gem extended to his natural Maia abilities to adapt the fana to its environment. This meant that the Prince of Cats was able to grant heightened maneuvering skills to the gem’s wielder (climbing, jumping, hiding, and sneaking) as well as increased speed in accomplishing these maneuvers.
The White Face
Without fana, the naked visage of the Prince of Cats was terrible to look upon, and could drive mortal men to madness. If the wielder of the Kuilëondo was in need, Tevildo could expend enough energy to project a luminous outline of his face about the gem. Except when he was inside Benish Armon, it was very power-consuming for the cat to reveal himself in this way. The result was a greenish flash of light. Those that failed to resist it were left confused by horrible visions of cat-demons lasting for a number of days or even permanent insanity.
- Magic Collar of strength
Tevildo is a character that appears in J.R.R. Tolkien's Book of Lost Tales as the a servant of Morgoth and main antagonist in early versions of the story of Beren and Lúthien. His role was eventually replaced by the sorcerer Thû, who evolved into the character of Sauron and his cat servants replaced by Sauron's werewolves.
- The Book of Lost Tales, Part 2
- MERP: The Kin Strife
- Other Hands Issue 06/06, October 1994
- See Tevildo at Lord of the Rings Wiki