#23: Why We Didn’t Win The War

Sep
20

Date: Before the Sun and Moon
My Mood Is: resolute

Well, the First War is over. That’s what we’re calling it because it won’t be the last, let me assure you.

We didn’t lose. We just didn’t win. It was pretty much a draw, except they lost more guys than we did. Still, like I said last time — while our side has a greater Host of Maiar than the Rebels do, they have 14 Valar, and we only have one.

I said “14.” You’re probably thinking, wait, aren’t there 13 rebel Valar, who turned against their rightful lord Melkor? Well, not any more. Eru changes the so-called “rules” whenever He damn well feels like it. And once again, our side gets the shaft.

If I never mentioned Tulkas before now, that’s because he was a person of absolutely no consequence. He’s a chthonic spirit, a being of stone and metal and brute force. He’s also really, really dumb, and I think Melkor tried to recruit him early on. It must have gone quite badly, because Melkor doesn’t talk about it.

But he never took sides in the Ainulindalë — I guess he just stood in back and hummed. He denied both Melkor and Manwë, and took no counsel but his own. When we came down into Arda, he stayed behind, to spend all eternity praising Eru and pulling his pud like the others.

We had victory in our grasp. Melkor beat back the combined force of the rebel Valar, and finally broke through to face Manwë alone. (A coward, Manwë hid behind his so-called “followers,” even the women.) Manwë ran as Melkor gave chase, stabbing at Manwë with his mighty spear, and leaving great chasms in the earth whenever he missed.

Meanwhile the Hosts, under my command, routed the Army of the Maiar. We drove them further and further south, hoping to press them against the southern firmament, and there finish them. In the form of a great werewolf, I alone slew 12 of the Maiar; Gothmog, in the guise of a balrog, eight; and Carcharoth, inspired by me to take wolf form, six.

We lost 14 of our guys, wounded until they became mere shadows, unable to take form again while the World lasts. It’s okay, it wasn’t anyone important.

So, as I say, we were winning. I was pinning down the Maiar in the south, while Melkor beat down on Manwë.

Then the Door of Night, the gate in the firmament of Arda through which we entered, and which was sealed behind us by Eru “for as long as the World lasts,” was flung open. Needless to say, we all turned and looked. There was Tulkas, clothed as a burly blond elf and wielding no weapon. He charged forth, and fell upon Melkor like an animal.

I won’t belabor what happened. Melkor lost. He was injured and drained from fighting off 13 Valar — and Tulkas fell on him without honor or mercy. (You think our side has no mercy? I spared Olórin, didn’t I?) As soon as I saw what was happening, I broke off from the southern fighting, and sped north across thousands of leagues to aid Melkor; the best among us, Gothmog and Lungorthin and Draugluin and Carcharoth, followed in my train. But we were too late.

When we arrived, Melkor had already fled. In fact, he didn’t just flee back north — Tulkas chased him out the Door of Night, and into the Outer Dark!

I couldn’t believe it. Melkor had fled Arda!

That was the end of the war. I couldn’t keep the news of Melkor’s flight from the Host — they routed, and in the end we ended up scattered and dispersed. I did my best to round up as many as I can, and soon most of the Fire and Dark spirits had rallied to me.

We no longer had a leader or a hiding place. I did not know what to do, so I led the remnants of the Host into the Outer Dark.

The Outer Dark is VERY dark. And VERY cold. There is no life in the void.

From Arda, one can’t see through the firmamment into the outer dark. But from the Dark, one can see in.

The world was utterly ruined, both our magnificent work and the so-called “improvements” of the rebels. The whole place looked like it had been thrown in a blender and pureed. Whatever a “blender” is.

After a while I found Melkor, brooding in the inky Void.

At first, I was furious with him. But then I saw what had become of Melkor, and man, was he a mess. Melkor is of course the fairest and most beautious of the Valar, being second only to Eru. But now he bears the scars of the First War, and his face is twisted by rage. Righteous rage, I feel it too.

One might be tempted to see this outcome as a complete rout. But after speaking with Melkor, I can see it was a kind impromptu strategic retreat. Right now, the Valar can neither see us nor reach us. But we can watch them, and bide our time.

So, the Valar are not yet destroyed, but only because they cheated by calling in a last-minute ringer.

Next time, they won’t take us by surprise.

 

One Response to “#23: Why We Didn’t Win The War”

  1. […] of the making of any of this. It must have been formed after my anterior advance at the end of the First War, maybe by accident, or maybe as Melkor and Tulkas wrestled. Who knows? But if I had sat down and […]

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