Posts Tagged ‘Old Man Willow’

#67: Meet My New Best Friend, Celebrimbor

Jun
23

Date: July 12th, 701 S.A.
My Mood Is: full of camaraderie

I don’t usually make friends, because it always turns out badly. My first friend ever, back in the Timeless Halls of Eru Ilúvatar, was Huan, that total idiot who betrayed me to the Valar traitors.

Then there was Melkor, whose was like a best friend, big brother, and boss all rolled into one. I have a lot to be grateful to Melkor for — too bad he was also a total idiot, and got his stupid ass exiled to the Outer Dark.

There was Melian, and the less said about Melian, the better.

And finally I had Carcharoth, who was to me what I was to Melkor — friend, brother, aide-de-camp. That idiot got a Silmaril ulcer, and then his ass killed by Huan, thereby proving what I always suspected; you can’t rely on anyone.

So Annatar, Lord of Gifts hasn’t had any friends to-date, unless you count Young Man Willow, which is pretty silly, because he’s a tree. A sentient, malevolent tree, but still.

All that has changed. About six months ago I was on my way back home through Eriador, wondering what I was going to do to get Gil-Galad and Galadriel around to my way of thinking, when I noticed an Elven settlement in Eregion, a woody area in the shadow of the Misty Mountains, just West of the Dwarven city of Hadhodrond. (I was going to say “great Dwarven city of Hadhodrond,” but if you’ve ever seen a Dwarven city, you’ll know the work is highly overrated. Big rooms full of unnecessary columns? Bottomless pits that serve no purpose, right in the middle of a room? Endless stairs leading nowhere? Pointless. But I digress.)

Now, Gil-Galad and Galadriel never mentioned an Elven city in Eregion. I knew it was Elven, rather than Mannish, because it was made of white stone, beautifully designed (for non-Maiar), and didn’t stink of sewage. So I stopped by.

The city is called Ost-in-Edhil, the “Fortress of the Elves,” which is laughably pretentious, considering the Elven predilection for exposed rooms, low railings, and a complete lack of military preparedness. It’s the home of something called the Gwaith-i-Mírdain or Guild of the Smiths, a society of rather clever Elves dedicated to learning the secrets of Aulë, the Retard God of Smithcraft.

Their leader is named Celebrimbor, and he is the only living grandson of Fëanor, the batcrap crazy Elf who created the Silmarils and got stomped to death by Gothmog. Celebrimbor has inherited his grandfather’s talent, intelligence, and most importantly, his willfulness. When Beleriand was destroyed and the Valar offered all the remaining Noldor the chance to return to Valinor, Celebrimbor told them where to stick their offer.

Now one of the reasons I failed to make a positive impression on the other Noldoran exiles was my lack of a decent backstory for Annatar. Galadriel especially was suspicious, although I don’t think she ever suspected my true identity. So I had been thinking about what to say, and what I came up with was perfect for Celebrimbor and his Guild.

What’s more, it’s pretty much true — Celebrimbor is smarter than Gil-Galad and Galadriel put together and multiplied by ten, so he might detect a lie. I said I was a Wizard (well I am pretty wizard) from the Uttermost West (I have in fact visited there), a Maia of Aulë (I worked under him in the Timeless Halls) sent to aid the Elves and Men of Middle-earth (sent by myself, but I didn’t mention that).

And it worked! They totally bought it. At once they offered me gold, mithril and jewels if I would teach them the secrets of Aulë. I didn’t mention that the so-called “secrets of Aulë” are in fact the secrets of Sauron, and that they were learning from the true source. But I can bide my time, until all the truth is revealed.

Celebrimbor is an exceptionally cool guy. He hangs on my every word, and he’s an excellent student. So far I have showed him how to make a proper blast furnace, mithril filigree, tempered steel blades, and a wankel rotary engine.

We have plans to work on a bunch of projects together, most of them metalworking, but also some engineering, architecture, alchemy and even calligraphy. It is great to find someone I can finally have intelligent conversation with. I mean, Carcharoth was loyal, but the repartee at dinner in Tol-in-Gaurhoth was hardly Algonquin Round Table-quality, whatever that is.

This is so great. Soon I’ll have a whole city of brilliant, specially-trained Elves under my control. Then we’ll see what Gil-Galad and Galadriel have to say to that!

#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!

#63: Hey Galadriel — See You Next Tuesday!

May
5

Date: June 23, 501 S.A.
My Mood Is: resilient

Well, my new adventures as Annatar, Lord of Gifts haven’t gotten off to the promising start I was hoping for when I invented the “new me.” But I can’t give up — the road goes ever on and on. Hey, that might make a good song.

I took on my new, more pleasing form; and fashioning myself a hefty walking staff from a limb donated by Young Man Willow, I took off for Lindon. I was hoping to not have to walk the whole way — indeed, I considered assuming my true form and flying — but I figured if I’m going to relate to these Children of Ilúvatar, I had better learn to live like them.

So it was walk, walk, walk. I kept an eye out for horses, those gangling beasts that Men rode into battle against Melkor — a preposterous mode of transportation, but better than all this walking. No luck. Apparently, horses are not sylvan creatures.

Every once in a while I came across a settlement of Men — usually mud huts, or tiny villages on stilts out on bogs. These Men wear their hair in dreadlocks, sport leather skirts and paint their faces blue. They must be the dumbest beings I have ever encountered. Seriously, I have traded wittier banter with cave trolls.

The largest Mannish settlement I visited was called Brehyll, a village of about 20 huts located along an old east-west Dwarf road. Its occupants survive by grinding acorns into pancakes and selling watery beer to passing Dwarves. They didn’t know what to make of me — they called me a “wizard” and asked me to make it rain. This was trivial, so I did — and they went ballistic, declaring I must be an agent of their beloved god, Manwë Súlimo.

You would have been proud of me — I didn’t overreact too much, and I hardly killed anybody. It seems these Men used to worship Melkor, but had recently come into contact with some Elves living to the north, who had taught them to worship the Dickless– I mean Manwë.

So I apologized profusely, and asked how to find these Elves. They sounded like they might be the kind of people who could use my advice. And maybe, eventually, after seeing how much I was doing for them and how little the Valar were willing to contribute, these Elves might turn their worship to Melkor, or better yet to me.

They lived in a place called Lake Evendim, in the north of Eriador. It was cooler there, and there were fewer trees, which was all the better to me. It turned out to be a mixed settlement of a few hundred Noldor, Sindar, and Green-elves. For some reason they had splintered off from Lindon, under the leadership of a Sinda called Celeborn and a blonde-haired Noldo named Galadriel.

Galadriel. She is going to be a problem.

I mean, this guy Celeborn, he’s friendly, charismatic, fun to hang out with, and dumb as a bag of Orcs. If the other Sindarin Elves are as gullible — I mean trusting, I won’t have many problems. But his wife…

First, the positive. She’s hot. Really smoking hot. Hey, I’m not going to go there — I still think it’s basically bestiality, a Maia and an Elf — but I can appreciate that she is very attractive. Were Melkor to return from the Outer Dark and I to go back to my former ways, I could totally see raping her to death.

What? That’s totally a compliment.

But the negatives far outweigh the golden hair lit by the sun, the skin like a gossamer cloud, and the great rack. She’s the niece of Fëanor, the guy who made Melkor’s shiny rocks; which means she’s pretty much the most powerful Noldo left in Middle-earth (although she is not High Queen of the Noldor — note to self: look into this.) She is much smarter than her dimwitted husband, and appears to possess strong psychic abilities.

The moment I was presented to her as “Annatar, Lord of Gifts, a Wise Wizard of the South,” she attempted to penetrate my mind. I cut her off, quite easily — but this aroused her suspicions. While I chatted with her inane husband, she probed me with telepathic questions.

“Who are you? Do you come from the Uttermost West?”

“Open your mind to me. Why do you conceal your fëa?”

“I sense evil in your staff. It comes from a tree with a black heart.”

What? An evil tree? How can a tree be evil? It’s a freakin’ tree!

They let me stay for about a week. There were feasts, and a lot of singing. A lot of singing. Singing is okay, but too much singing is the reason I left the Timeless Halls of Ilúvatar in the first place. Most of them were songs from something called the Quenta Silmarillion, which is supposed to be the story of the Valar and the Maiar and the First Wars, and the Lamps and the Trees and the War of the Jewels. But boy oh boy, are they getting their facts wrong. Once I am advising these people, I will be rewriting quite a lot of this Silmarillion. Good thing I’ve been keeping this blog as a reference!

The whole time I’m at Lake Evendim, this Galadriel is undermining me. Whispering against me behind my back. Shooting me icy stares. Following me around, trying to catch me in some kind of misdeed. My mind was closed to her, but hers was like a smashed open coconut to me. All suspicion and doubt.

Oh, and the snarky comments! “Perhaps the great Lord Annatar could enlighten us on his views on the Gift of Men.” Or “Will the Lord of Gifts see fit to share with us his thoughts on the fate of those Eledhrim whose fëar refuse the summons of Mandos?” Jeez, can you please shut up?

Wait, some Elven spirits refuse to go to the Halls of Mandos? Note to self: look into this too.

Figures this chick was trained by Melian back in Doriath. I am hardly surprised.

The upshot is, Celeborn politely and regretfully kicked me out after a week, caving to his shrew of a wife. It’s okay — once I get in good with Artanáro, the High King at Lindon, this Galadriel is going to have to listen to me. Or else.

I mean — or else we’ll have a long, constructive conversation, leading to a shared consensus. The new me doesn’t make threats!

#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.

#58: Time to Defeat the Valar Once and for All!

Jan
25

Date: March 25, 582 F.A. (Years of the Sun)
My Mood Is: reticent

It’s my birthday. Yes, I have a birthday, remember? If I can make an entire planet, I can have a frikkin’ birthday.

Anyway, I was minding my own business, baking a delicious cake out of milled flour, honey, yeast, nutmeg, and the blood of slain Mannish infants, when I was disturbed by a horde coming down into the forest glen.

I should mention that I haven’t really done anything since my last post. If you’ll remember, I learned from that idiot Balrog that Melkor was finally getting the upper hand in his pointless War of the Jewels against Elves and Men. I figured I’d probably better come out of hiding and go back to Angband — but I would need a good story.

The story I came up with was this: Soon after defeating Huan and Lúthien Tinúviel at Tol-in-Gaurhoth, I heard about a guy in the Far East of Middle Earth who knew how to make those Silmarils that Melkor has such a boner for. I decided to run off and look for him, but I lost track of time.

No, stupid, there’s no guy making Silmarils. Pay attention. It’s a lie. And Melkor’s such a dunce, he’ll probably believe it.

Anyway, that’s the plan. Sure, it’s been about 70 years since I ran into that Balrog, and I haven’t gotten around to heading back to Angband quite yet. I like it here in Eriador — it’s quiet, and there are a lot of tasty Men, Elves and Dwarves to eat, none of whom have ever trained under the stinking Valar. If I didn’t occasionally run into that Iarwain Ben-adar jackass, this place would be paradise.

Besides, I’ve grown quite fond of Young Man Willow. When Melkor and I destroy the Valar, and burn all the world’s trees in a hellish worldwide conflagration, I think I’ll spare him.

Look, I’m billions of years old. If I want to wait 80 years to get around to something, it’s my prerogative.

But back to the horde. I was busy baking my birthday cake when about a thousand Elves came pouring over the horizon. At first I thought it was an invasion — but they were singing and laughing and carrying on, and I remembered this was Elves we were talking about. An Elf army is about as scary as a Gay Pride Parade, whatever that is.

I assumed a pleasing, Elvish form, and mingled. That’s how I learned some really amazing shit. Melkor was victorious in The War of the Jewels. The Noldor, the Sindar and their Mannish lackeys were destroyed or routed. Melkor was now Master of All Beleriand. Indeed, these Elves were the vanguard of a mass exodus of defeated mortals out of Beleriand.

So why were these Elves so frickin’ happy? It was hard to follow, but I guess there’s this half-Elf mongrel called Aaron Dill or something like that who sailed a magic boat to Valinor and begged the Valar to help all the poor, defenseless, idiotic mortals that the Valar had left to their own devices for the last Age. (I know what you’re thinking — isn’t there a rule that says mortals cannot visit Valinor? Yes! But the Valar never met a rule they wouldn’t break whenever they felt like it. Hypocrites!)

So now the Valar, who were happy for the last five centuries to let Melkor and me torture and kill as many Men, Elves and Dwarves as we wanted, have now mobilized — AFTER we already won — and are at this moment marching with their Maiar lackeys and a handful of mortal slaves on Angband.

Idiots!

I was so thrilled to hear this news, I immediately slaughtered all the Elves. Finally, the chance to kill Manwë the Dickless Prick, have my revenge on Huan and Melian, and destroy the Valar once and for all!

Now, I haven’t left for Angband just yet. I don’t want to miss any of the good fighting. But I figure if I arrive during the battle, my sudden reappearance will seem like a miracle for our side, and everyone will be less concerned with where I’ve been all this time.

So I’m just chilling, for the moment. But soon — SOON! — I’ll be off to Angband, and VICTORY!

#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?