Posts Tagged ‘Eriador’

#78: In Which I Reconsider My Strategy

Apr
4

Date: July 10, 2030 S.A.
My Mood Is: contemplative

Well, here I am in Lugbúrz, looking out over my vast minions and domains, and considering that carbuncle on my ass known as Eriador. It seems I can invade and hold every inch of Middle-earth except the northwest. Every time I conquer the western lands, someone comes sailing over the Sundering Seas and beats me back.

Why do the Valar, and their Eldarin and Númenórean toadies, care so much about Eriador and its inhabitants? Why do they care nothing for the Easterlings and Southrons? Hell, I don’t even bother to post an eastern defense anymore. Nobody’s coming from that direction. It seems that as long as I’m willing to let that ponce Gil-Galad alone, the Valar and the Númenóreans will let me be.

Needless to say, I am not willing to let Gil-Galad alone.

Like I said in  my last post, I’ve been thinking a lot about the good ol’ days in the First Age. You know, when Men were Men, Balrogs were Balrogs, and I was a ravenous giant wolf preying on delicious Noldoran rebels. What went wrong? Why did it have to end?

I’ll tell you. Melkor screwed it all up, and I just made the same mistake.

We always thought our greatest strength, mine and Melkor’s, those of us on the side of RIGHT and JUSTICE and ORDER, was the Armies of Fire and Ice and Darkness and Death — our balrogs and trolls and giants and vampires and werewolves and Watchers in the Water. We thought might and force were our greatest tools for victory.

But the War of Wrath proved this wrong. This latest War of the Elves and Me proved it wrong. Might is not our greatest strength — MY greatest strength.

THE RING is my greatest strength. Corruption. Influence. Quiet power. Look at our great successes in the First Age — the fall of the children of Húrin, last Lord of Dor-lómin; the treachery of Maeglin that led to the fall of Gondolin. All of our best work came about because of lies and deceit, not claws and steel.

This needs to be my new tack. Forget armies — for now, anyway. I have 16 greater Magic Rings burning a hole in my front pocket, I might as well get some use out of them. If I can’t pervert the Elves to my service, certainly Men and Dwarves are more… suggestible.

I even have my Eye on a primary target. For the last few centuries, the accursed Númenóreans have been colonizing the western coasts, bringing the lesser men of Middle-earth their corn and wine and architecture and new ways of doing long division. One of these so-called “sea kings” is Er-Murazor, a wealthy Númenórean not overfond of Gil-Galad and that gap-toothed bint Galadriel. My spies tell me he fears death, and seeks a path to eternal life.

Well, El-Murazor, I can give you life everlasting. It’s nothing for Sauron Gorthaur, Lord of the Maiar. Just take this ring, this tiny little ring that the Elves made. Isn’t it pretty? Take it, and live forevermore.

BWA HA HA HA HA HA!

Oh hey, lunch time, gotta go.

#74: No, I Am Not Compensating for Anything

Oct
3

Date: March 27th, 1601 S.A.
My Mood Is: jubilant

I AM A GOD.

We all knew that, of course, but isn’t it nice to see it in person?

Ladies and Gentlemen, Slaves and Thralls, I give you — Barad-dûr, the Dark Tower! Five thousand feet tall, 1,400 rooms, 223 staircases, 118 separate prisons and torture chambers; 450 storeys from the deepest forgotten lockhole in the lowest dungeon, to the very pinnacle where my inner sanctum, the Window of the Eye, looks out over all of Mordor!

And it took a day to build! Yes, a DAY!

Of course, I spent about half a millennium gathering together the millions of tons of iron and obsidian; planning and preparing; and building the veritable city of  outbuildings that support the main structure. And there was the problem of building foundations that would support a mile-high tower. But with the ONE RING, my friends, all things are possible. I just willed the darn thing into existence, and a few hours later, there it was! It was just like the good ol’ days, before the Revolt of the Treasonous Valar, when we Ainur just made anything we wanted, whenever we wanted, from the Flame Imperishable!

I LOVE THIS RING!

Now I’m exhausted, but who cares? Once I get the Dark Tower truly up and running, I can set out in war against the insipid Elves of Eregion and their Lindonian allies. Soon all of Eriador will run red with THE BLOOD OF THE NOLDOR! AND THE ELVEN RINGS SHALL BE MINE!

Cough cough! Crap, I’m too tired for all this yelling.

The designs for the Dark Tower went through several iterations, actually. At one point it was like a 10-mile-high needle, meant to penetrate the clouds and keep watch on all Middle-earth. Then I thought of having to climb up and down one 60,000-step staircase all day long, and ditched that idea. Then I got all caught up with an article I read in an in-flight magazine, whatever that is, and decided to go ranch-style — one storey tall and 20 miles wide. That was sure stupid.

I even had a version — the plans were laid out and everything — with giant obsidian horns on the top of the tower, and I would manifest between the horns all day long as a giant flaming eye! I would look like a humongous lighthouse! Isn’t that the dumbest thing you ever heard???

No, the version I built is the best version. I have replaced my lame Annatar robes with some appropriately spiky black armor, and I shall sit at my new Window of the Eye and keep watch over my minions. And soon, when all is ready, I SHALL MARCH ON ERIADOR AND CLEANSE IT OF THE ACCURSED ELDAR!

Cough! Cough! I gotta lie down.

#66: It’s a Fixer-Upper, But I Think I’ll Take It

Jun
11

Date: January 1, 701 S.A.
My Mood Is: ecstatic

Happy New Year and New Century!

The Men of Middle Earth count the current “Second Age” calendar from the Sinking of Beleriand by the faithless and lunatic Valar. Most Men never saw nor heard of Beleriand of course, but they did notice the massive earthquakes and weather disruptions when their entire continent shifted 300 feet to the left. And by Second Age, they mean the era after the glorious First Age, when Melkor was rightful Lord of the Earth.

Some idiot Men wanted to celebrate the end of the century in 699, but I set them straight. It’s called math, people!

Anyway. I’m no longer in Harad, but let me tell you about it before I get to the big news. After I spent some time lording it over the Easterlings, I left them with my hand-picked priesthood in charge, and very specific instructions to keep building armies and preparing fortifications. This is for their own protection – you never know when some crazy Elven exiles from Valinor will show up demanding shiny rocks and killing everyone whose skin doesn’t have an albedo over 70%.

I traveled south to the Haradwaith, a dusty desert land ruled by the hearty Haradrim. Let me tell you, these people can build a freakin’ pyramid. They were harder to bring around to my way of thinking than the Easterlings, being prideful and devoted to the worship of Námo in various mythological guises. Killing the Haradrim indiscriminately didn’t do anything to gain their loyalty, as they all thought they were going to a blissful eternity in the Halls of Mandos. Yeah, right – as if the Valar would condescend to let the Younger Children of Ilúvatar set foot in Aman, much less hang out in the “blissful” little slice of Hell that is the Elven afterlife.

In the end it was money that brought them around. I taught them how to mine for gold, which they had never seen before; and then how to trade with the Easterlings for jewels, which were also a novelty. Now the Haradrim adorn their graves with the riches of the East and dedicate them to me, which is nice.

But I had been gone from Eriador for a long time; and I missed the forest, believe it or not, and Young Man Willow. Plus, I did not want to leave the Elves out of my plans for too long — I still needed a plan to deal with them. So, leaving my proxies behind as sheiks, I set out to return to Eriador.

My Haradrim friends warned me to avoid something they called the “Fenced Land,” a vast plain surrounded by mountains that sat smack in the middle of my way home. Intrigued, I decided to check it out.

Holy Crapping Eru. Friends, I am HOME.

I mean, forget Tol Sirion, that was a freaking marsh. Angband? Nice, and pretty impressive for its era, but in the end it failed, didn’t it? Utumno? Yeah, that was just a big hole in the ground.

This place, this “Fenced Land” — well first of all it’s not a “plain,” it’s a whole country. It’s roughly square, about 300 miles by 200 miles; and there are high, tall mountains on three sides, North, South and West — all the directions the Valar might attack from.

Much of the plain itself is covered with various kinds of unpleasantness — forests, glades, glens, brooks, reflecting pools, meadows, blah blah blah, all stuff I can get rid of. But there’s water, which I now understand is important if you need servants (remind me to tell you about that little disaster back when we first set up in Angband — hundreds of Orcs dead of dehydration, and we had no idea what was going on). In fact there’s a big inland sea in the South.

But best of all, and here’s the kicker — in the northwest of the land, there’s a volcano. A big ‘ol beautiful active subduction stratovolcano, just like Pappy Sauron used to make, right where the Belegaer Plate slams into the Endorian Plate, forming the Ephel Dúath. It’s magnificent.

I have no recollection of the making of any of this. It may have been formed by the collapse of the Two Lamps at the end of the Second War. Who knows? But if I had sat down and designed my own country to rule over, a country that could also serve as a fortress, I could not have done a better job.

This is exactly the stroke of good fortune I’ve been waiting for. I’m going to call it Mordor, the “Black Land,” because of all the lovely volcanic obsidian.

I forgot to mention there are some Orcs already living here, refugees from Beleriand who fled before the War of Wrath, an act of faithlessness for which they will have to pay with sincere apologies, community service, and prolonged beatings. Also there are some Men here, the descendants of Edain who refused to fight with the Noldor. That’s good because it means I don’t have to feed the Orcs.

My plan is beginning to come together. First it’s time to return West, see what the Elves have been up to in my absence, and check if they’re more receptive to the overtures of Annatar, Lord of Gifts. Then we’ll see.

Mordor is SO COOL!

#64: Gil-Galad Was an Elven-king / Who Didn’t Know a Freakin’ Thing

May
19

Date: June 25, 501 S.A.
My Mood Is: aggravated

Un-be-LIEV-able!

After dealing with Galadriel and her brain-donor husband, I knew I had to get to Lindon quick before they could send word to this Artanáro, High King of the Noldor. So I forgot about walking, and just transfigured myself into a vampire and flew the roughly 300 miles to Artanáro’s capital.

Traveling over Western Eriador as a giant anthropomorphic bat-creature, dripping venom, proved to be disturbing to the few Elves and mortals living below. I really must learn how to transform into a flying creature that is less alarming. Anything but an Eagle — I HATE those guys.

Anyway. Lindon is just on the other side of the Ered Luin, a line of mountains that used to be the border between Beleriand and Eriador. Technically these Elves still live in Beleriand, the part not sunk into the sea by those oh-so-good and oh-so-merciful, continent-sinking mass-murdering Valar. Just like an Elf to cling to the past.

As I came down upon Lindon, I searched for the Noldoran capital. It took me a while to find — a group of white stone buildings with peaked roofs — because it was located on the ocean. Why on Arda would anyone want to live near a sea of brine-filled, stinking fish-piss? I can’t imagine.

I saw a regiment of Elves waiting for me. Fortunately, they didn’t see me in vampire form — I shapeshifted, and appeared from the trees as if from nowhere. Very impressive.

Well, the Elves of Lindon had been “warned” about my approach. I was flabbergasted — after all, I flew here! But then I remembered — Galadriel was psychic, and so it followed that her brother Artanáro was as well.

They didn’t call him that here — he proclaimed himself as Ereinion Gil-galad, which means “Heir of Kings Star of Radiance” in Elfy-talk, which demonstrates how lousy these Elves are at poetry. Just another thing to educate them in.

This Gil-Galad informed me that he didn’t know who I was, or whom I served, but that I was banned from Lindon, and must return to Eriador the way I came.

I may be the New & Improved Annatar, Lord of Gifts, Counselor to the Children of Ilúvatar, kind and just and wise and forgiving — but no one talks to me that way. He had about 20 Elven warriors with him, none of whom could have bent a hair on my head. Gil-Galad himself had a nasty-looking spear chock-full of amateur enchantments, but I was about as afraid of it as you would be of a toothpick.

Still, slaying the High King, even if he deserved it, would not make me any friends amongst Elves or Men. It might impress some Dwarves — but who needs Dwarves?

So I smiled, expressed regret that I would not be staying, and headed back East, gritting my teeth and grumbling in High Ainurian about how best to torture to death the meddlesome Galadriel.

Tackling the Elves is not going to be as easy as I thought. I’m going to try Men next, they’re much dumber and more pliable. Unfortunately, they’re like flies — short-lived and odorous. Once I have Men under my domin– tutelage, maybe the Elves will come around.

#62: Presenting Annatar, Lord of Gifts!

Apr
28

Date: April 28, 501 S.A.
My Mood Is: buoyant

Well, it’s been a few centuries, but I think I have things all worked out. I’ve been living a simple life in the forests of Western Eriador, which is very pleasant as long as I can avoid Iarwain Ben-adar, that annoying little fuckstain.

Sorry, sorry. The “new me” doesn’t use language like that. And Iarwain is free to pursue his lifestyle of singing, scampering, lily-collecting, and making my fucking skin crawl with his insipid banality.

Sorry.

Anyway — working things out. As it stands, most of the Men left in Middle-earth live in the East beyond Rhovanion and south below the Ephel Dúath, although there are a scattering of them here in Eriador. There are a couple of Dwarf cities, notably the Dwarrowdelf in the Misty Mountains and Belegost in the Blue Mountains (the latter is in ruins, but a large number of Dwarves live in the region).

And then there are the Elves. There are still lots of those, in settlements all throughout the big honkin’ forest that covers most of the sub-continent. The major Elf nations are: a Nandorin kingdom at Amon Lanc; another Nandorin kingdom at Lórinand; Edhellond, a Sindarin sea-haven way down in the Belfalas; Eregion, where a remnant of the Noldor still dwell; and finally Lindon, the Land of Seven Rivers, where the Noldorin High King rules over Elves of all tribes.

Aren’t you impressed that I have learned about all these little mortals and their nations? I keep notes on Post-Its.

So the way I see it, as the wisest and most powerful being left in Middle-earth, I have a responsibility to offer my aid to all these little kingdoms — Men, Dwarves, and Elves — and to help them run things more efficiently. You know — agricultural policy, land management, economic policy, that kind of thing. Certainly none of these Children of Ilúvatar has ever completed a formal course in Public Policy! Fortunately, I have a strong sense of Noblesse oblige.

To begin my new career as a senior political adviser, I needed a new name. I thought about this for a long time. Obviously, “Sauron Gorthaur” wouldn’t do, as that name has become associated with certain unfortunate mistakes made, in my name by subordinates, during the Melkor administration.

So that left:

a.) Tevildo, Lord of Cats: Absolutely not. This is from an embarrassing period in my past and I won’t discuss it. Anyway, it lacks gravitas.
b.) Mairon the Admirable: My original name. Eru had hardly sliced my parts off the sprues and cemented them together before he named me Mairon. By the time I hooked up with Melkor I was going by “Sauron”; but while I dated Melian she always called me Mairon.
c.) Thu the Hunter: The Elves of Dorthonion and Dungortheb used to call me that. I was hunting them, of course. Good times. Hardly appropriate now, though.
d.) Mr. Spottybottom: We used to get really, really bored during the long dull centuries in Angband, and we would make silly bets. One time I lost a bet (something about spinning hard-boiled eggs), and had to let everyone call me “Mr. Spottybottom” for a month. It’s okay — Draugluin had to go as “Lady Vaginastank” for an entire year.

Clearly I needed some new ideas. After many years of thought, and some late night brainstorming sessions with Young Man Willow, I came up with these:

a.) Aulendil, the Servant of Aulë: From a practical standpoint, this would be a great name. I taught Aulë everything he knows, and will be sharing many of the same skills with the Children of Ilúvatar. Elves love Aulë; Dwarves worship him as their creator; and Men seem to really enjoy diaereses. But unfortunately, I would have to vomit every time I said it.
b.) Artano the High Smith: Same idea as above, but with no mention of my former boss.
c.) Tom Bombadil: One day I overheard some Mannish children talking about that “wonderful ol’ Tom Bombadil who lives down by the Baranduin River,” and how “handsome” and “amazing” he was. I have no idea how the little sweethearts came up with that silly name for me, but I did briefly consider adopting it. Again, though, not enough gravitas. I am a Maia, fer crissakes.
d.) Annatar, Lord of Gifts: This name has it all. Everyone likes lords — if there were no one to tell you what to do, how would anything get done? And everyone likes gifts!

So from now on, I am Annatar, Lord of Gifts. And this is Annatar’s Blog. Soon, I will be taking off for Lindon, where I intend to present myself to the High King and allow him to take advantage of my services as a counselor.

Yes, this is going to work out perfectly!

#61: It’s a New Age — the Age of Sauron!

Apr
1

Date: January 2, 38 S.A.
My Mood Is: optimistic

Well, I’m definitely feeling better after the complete and abject disaster that was the War of Wrath. The truth is, losing Tol-in-Gaurhoth, Angband, most of my friends and servants, and especially Melkor may have been the best thing that ever happened to me.

Of course I didn’t take up Eönwë on his ridiculous offer to accept my surrender. But I’m not sorry I let him live, and Olórin and that other guy, the sniveling one. And even Melian. It’s the new Sauron — wise, merciful, and forgiving.

But anyone who thinks I’m going across the sea to Aman to kiss the speckled white ass of Manwë Súlimo can suck my werewolf schlong.

Sorry. That wasn’t the new Sauron.

Anyway. I have settled permanently in Eriador, in the western end of a massive forest, near Young Man Willow and the River Baranduin. No tower or fortress or anything, at least not yet; I’m enjoying just living amongst the trees. New Sauron and all that.

I’m done with wearing a werewolf form, actually. I have to be careful about choosing a hröa — I noticed that every time Melkor suffered a defeat, he lost part of his ability to shape-shift. Must be some piddling little rule of Eru’s that He forgot to mention — again. But as a result, I’m sticking to pleasing, Elvenoid shapes; usually a tall, handsome, dark-haired Elf of seemingly Vanyarin lineage. I’m avoiding Melkor’s whole spiky-armor giant-spaulder pointy-boot glowing-red-eyes fashion-disaster thing, and going with simple blue robes that say “I’m a really wise guy and I’m here to help you.”

See, here’s what I figure. On the one hand, the Valar have made it perfectly clear they have no interest in the proper administration and development of Middle-earth. The only time they interfere is when Melkor or I get too successful; then, wracked with jealousy, Manwë and his buddies submerge a continent. So it’s in my best interest to not attract the attention of the Valar.

On the other hand, most of Melkor’s enemies are gone. The Valar have gone home, obviously. Just about all the Noldoran Elves, and a good number of the rest of the Eldar, have left Middle-earth to go live in Aman. And all the Men who defied Melkor and aided the Valar have been relocated to an island far off across the Belegaer, where they can’t harm anyone. That just leaves a literal handful of Eldar; the Avaran Elves; a few million Men who have never heard of the Valar; and some Dwarves.

And me. The new Sauron.

So I’m going to let a few centuries pass, and let the Valar (and the remaining Eldar) forget about Sauron Gorthaur. Then I’ll reappear under a new name, and set about creating a New World Order, with Men and Elves living and working together in peace and prosperity. All under the benevolent eye of the only Maia with the steadfastness to hang around and do the right thing.

The new Sauron, Lord of the Earth. Benevolent Lord of the Earth.

Then when all the Children of Ilúvatar are on my side, we can see about getting rid of some of these trees and installing a volcano around here.

#57: Three Idiots, One Day

Jan
9

Date: October 19, 510 F.A. (Years of the Sun)
My Mood Is: pondering

Had three very strange encounters today.

I’ve been living in out in Eriador in the East. I said “living,” not “hiding.” It would only be “hiding” if I cared if Melkor knew where I am, which I don’t.

Anyway, Eriador is almost entirely forested. There are a few Elves living out here, the so-called Avari, who were too smart to follow the summons to Valinor; some Dwarves; and a good number of Men. So, there’s plenty of food. I’m still in the form of a great werewolf, most days, so it’s easy to hunt.

The nice thing about Eriador is, all of Melkor’s crap is over in Beleriand by the sea, where Ulmo can interfere. Eriador is far, far from the sea, and always will be.

I like living in the forest. The trees shelter me during the day from the heat and light of the accursed Sun; and at night I don’t have to look at the useless Moon or at Varda’s filthy stars, which mar the perfection of the Celestial Firmament that Melkor and I built with our own hands. You know, back when Melkor wasn’t an incompetent boob more concerned with shiny gems and the affairs of mortals than with achieving our revenge against Manwë the Dickless Prick and his Valar Traitors.

Anyway.

So I’ve been living out here, taking it easy, bossing around the local wolves and trolls, and snacking on a wide buffet of  mortal creatures — even Dwarves, when I’m hungry for something stringy and gristly that tastes like ass. It’s worth it to hear them scream.

This morning I was sleeping under a huge willow tree down by the river — a nasty, mean-spirited tree with a heart of pure blackness, so we get along fine — when I was awakened by singing. Why is it that every bad thing in my life starts with singing?

At least it wasn’t the thin, reedy, fingernails-on-a-chalkboard-whatever-a-chalkboard-is singing of an Elf, nor the gruff atonal caterwauling of a Man, nor the deep, flatulent intonations of a Dwarf. No, this was proper singing. Ainu singing.

I immediately threw on a pleasing anthropomorphic form, the kind of thing I used to wear when sneaking around Taniquetil or the borders of Doriath. I hid in the bushes, and saw a woman approaching — clearly a Maia, but one who had taken on the form of a Mannish princess, for some unfathomable reason. She was fair-skinned and blonde-haired, like the accursed Edain of north-eastern Endor; and she wore a green dress shot with silver, and a gold belt.

I needed to know why she was there — was she a spy for Manwë, or worse yet, for Tulkas? Was she somehow related to Melian? I stepped out into the open and greeted her.

Here’s what I learned. Her name was Golodhbereth, and she was one of the lesser of the minor nature spirits, a Naiad; and a servant of Yavanna, the slut wife of my former boss Aulë. She had wandered out of Aman and into Middle-earth because she was “collecting flowers.”

And you know what? This chick was so mind-bendingly stupid, I could believe it. Seriously. I’ve had more enlightening conversations with piles of Orc dung.

So, I had options. I could have seduced her, or better yet raped her; but I’m not really interested in that sort of thing, and I’m saving up all my raping and killing energy for when I encounter Melian again. I could have destroyed her, damning her spirit to wander formless and cold across the face of Arda until the Final Battle — but someone might miss her (unlikely, but a possibility), so I decided to spare her. In the end, I just sent her on her way, down to the river, to collect “water lilies,” whatever the hell those are. I wasn’t terribly worried about her reporting my position to her friends in Valinor, because (a) she didn’t know who I was and (b) she probably forgot me five minutes after leaving me.

I changed back into Dire Wolf form and laid back down, and was just settling into a wonderful dream about ripping apart and consuming Manwë’s twisted hröa, when I heard more goddam singing. Yes, Ainu singing, although the worst I had ever heard.

In fact, I recognized it — don’t you?

“Hey dol! merry dol! ring a dong dadar!
Iar Wain, jolly wain, Iarwain Ben-adar!”

It was him.

Since Melkor and I had arrived on this shitty little disk of rock so many geological eras ago, we had not seen hide nor hair of Iarwain Ben-adar, the mysterious and unidentified spirit who alone had preceded us into this universe. We had decided it was some poor joke by the typically hilarious Eru Ilúvatar, and forgotten all about it.

But here he was, tra-la-la-ing along the forest path like some ruddy Mannish homosexual, mincing and prancing like he owned the forest. MY forest.

So I attacked, leaping into the air with slavering fangs three feet long, claws of blood-stained Adamant, eyes like twin wheels of fire. I fell upon him like a mountain of black, overpowering death.

Something went wrong, and the world twisted, and a moment later I was on my back, dazed, while Iarwain Ben-fucking-adar continued on his flouncing way like nothing had happened.

I leapt to my feet, summoned a storm of lighting and smothering darkness in the sky overhead; covered the forest floor for miles in all directions with a greenish miasma that sucked the life from all things; howled a terrible howl that chilled the Sun, froze the blood, and was remembered in the whispered mid-winter tales of every mortal tribe living within a thousand miles for centuries to come; and leapt again, ready to rend the limbs from the poncy little poltroon, consume his soul and crap it back out down his throat.

Twist, blank, and I’m on my ass again — and he’s hopping down the bunny trail. WTF?

Fine. Whatever. Who cares? Big deal. Let him go down to the river. I hope he finds that Golodhbereth chick, they deserve each other.

Unhappily, I found my spot under Young Man Willow and laid back down. I was just settling into a wonderful dream where Melian was begging me to take her back, but I didn’t care and was ripping her intestines out through her nostril anyway, when I smelt something burning.

At least no one was singing.

I looked up and saw that the forest was on fire. Well, that was cool, burning was what trees were best at. I decided to head over, because I was still pretty bummed out by my run-in with that asshole in the feathered cap, and living things dying agonizingly in flames always cheers me up.

So imagine my surprise when I saw that the flames were being left in the wake of the passing of a Balrog. I recognized him — a fellow named Lungorthin, one of Gothmog’s crew.

Now see, if I were hiding in Eriador, I would certainly have avoided letting Lungorthin see me. Also, I did not reveal myself to Lungorthin because I was desperate for the company of one of my own kind after years in exile. That would be pathetic.

No, I approached Lungorthin to be polite.

He was surprised to see me. Apparently, the belief around the Angband water cooler (whatever a water cooler is) was that I had been destroyed along with my tower at Tol-in-Gaurhoth — as if! Sauron Gorthaur the Deceiver, Lord of Werewolves, Chief of the Maiar, destroyed by that half-breed whelp Lúthien Tinúviel? Puh-lease. She’s lucky I let her live.

Strangely, I guess those Balrogs I ran into in Taur-nu-Fuin never reported to Melkor that they had seen me. Let me tell you , it’s all phone calls and telegrams with those people in Angband — rumors spread like wildfire, but genuine information is hoarded like Silmarils. (Whatever a phone — oh, you get the picture.)

Lungorthin filled me in on what’s been going on in the four decades or so since Melkor let Melian’s little brat steal one of his shiny rocks from right off his noggin. The big news, as far as Lungorthin was concerned, was that Gothmog was destroyed, slain while killing an Elf-lord of Gondolin. Yes, Melkor finally found Gondolin, and Nargothrond, and destroyed them both. Carcharoth, that traitorous little dumbass, was dead too, killed by Huan, of all people.

But the big news was this — that little bitch Elu Thingol was killed by a bunch of Dwarves (fighting over that damned Silmaril), and Melian bailed on all the Elves and went back to Aman!

What!?

At this point, I stopped Lungorthin. For one thing, it was a lot to absorb. For another, it was beginning to look like the tide had turned for Melkor, and through sheer luck the old moron was actually achieving his goal of ridding Beleriand of the accursed Noldor and Edain.

Which made me look like a complete and total dumbass for quitting and going to Eriador. And what was I going to tell Melkor? That I got lost? I didn’t keep track of the time? I had something important to pick up in the Hithaeglir, and I forgot to mention I would be gone so long?

I realized the only thing I could do, while I mulled all this new information and formulated a plan, was kill Lungorthin. I couldn’t have him heading back to Angband and concocting some lie about me hiding out under a willow tree in Eriador getting fat on Elf-flesh.

So I leapt to my feet, summoned a storm of lighting and smothering darkness in the sky overhead — you know, the works. Now let me assure you, I could easily have killed Lungorthin. He’s quite subordinate to me, and doesn’t carry any weapon but a big flaming whip. Unfortunately, he’s fast. Balrogs may not have wings, but they can run like they’re flying. I chased Lungorthin for hundreds of miles, until he wormed his way down a hole under the Misty Mountains and I couldn’t find him again. Asshole.

Well, he’s not getting out of there. I’m going to keep an eye on Eregion, and if Lungorthin so much as sticks his ugly flammable nose out for some fresh air I’ll have his head.

So. Melkor is consolidating his hold over Beleriand. Melian fled back to her Valar friends in Aman, taking all her power with her. Things are beginning to look up.

How the hell am I going to get back into Melkor’s good graces?