Posts Tagged ‘Second War’

#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!

#28: Where Have All The Asshats Gone?

Oct
26

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

This is really weird, I don’t know what to do with it. As I said last time, we absolutely pounded the Valar and their minions in the Second War. If not for the tumult of the Destruction of the Pillars scattering our forces, our victory would be complete, and I’d be wearing Manwë’s head as a codpiece.

Instead we hid out inside Utumno, while the flames of the ruined Illuin and Ormal decimated our enemies. After a while the tumults subsided, and we waited for the Valar to send a representative to sue for mercy.

No one ever showed up.

So Melkor commanded that I go out and take a look around. Middle Earth was a freaking mess. The continent, which was once a pleasing polygonal shape, was now all jagged and broken. The land was scared and burned, although many living things had survived.

But the Valar were nowhere to be found.

And believe me, I looked. North to south, east to west. I searched the upper airs and the lower depths. I scoured the newly formed coastlines, and peered into the burned forests. No Valar, no Maiar.

It’s really weird.

I thought maybe they went out over the Walls of Night into the Outer Dark, to hide from our wrath. But I stuck my head out there, and there’s nobody home.

I went back and reported all this to Melkor. Carcharoth suggested maybe they all fled back to the Timeless Halls, to cower beneath Eru’s skirts! I certainly hope that’s true.

But while Carcharoth wanted to run right out and start ordering the world in the fashion we desire, I disagreed. The Valar might still be out there somewhere, and I didn’t visit every remote corner of the disc. Melkor agrees with me — we bide our time until we’re certain the Valar have fled.

Meanwhile I’ve got the balrogs digging ever deeper — even after we take over the world, we’ll still need a secret hideout, and Utumno is getting bigger, better and deeper all the time.

As a side note, although no one even noticed until now, but Ungoliant has disappeared. Nobody’s seen her since the First War — and nobody missed her either, until her name came up in conversation today. I say “good riddance,” but Melkor is pretty pissed that one of his followers would abandon him. Granted, we can’t have everybody running off and doing their own thing, not when we’re so close to victory.

But Ungoliant is a darkness spirit, and with the lamps gone, well everything is dark. Hunting her down is going to be a bitch.

#27: We Won! Suck it, Valar! You Lose!

Oct
13

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

We won the Second War! Okay, maybe not a total and complete victory — Manwë and his filthy Valar slaves still live. But their forces are completely routed, and we have destroyed everything they accomplished! It’s party time!

The Valar finally figured out we had returned to Arda when the Corrupting Miasma killed off all their precious plants and animals. While they were still standing around with their dicks in their hands, we attacked.

For the second time, the Hosts of Fire and Ice and Darkness and Death came screaming out of the North, riding on waves of flame and pestilence. Black-clad Melkor led the way, with faithful Wolf-Sauron at his side. Draugluin and Carcharoth kept the Hosts in line, acting as my lieutenants.

We came down upon Almaren like an avalanche, interrupting some festival or wedding or something. The Valar had set out guards, but they assumed we were newly returned to Arda, and did not think we had been preparing all this time. They were taken almost completely unprepared.

We overthrew Almaren, and Melkor overturned the island with his hands. Many faithless and cowardly Maiar were destroyed and their souls reduced to wandering shades. That’s what they get for following the Dickless Prick.

I led the Hosts as we drove the Valar and Maiar south. They were never able to get their act together, and we kept them on the defensive. Meanwhile, Melkor snuck off — he had an important job to finish, one that would give us a decisive advantage.

After many hours of battle, whatever an “hour” is, I faced off against my old boss Aulë. When I was spying on Almaren, I discovered this idiot has been taking credit for “creating Arda.” Are you fucking kidding me? After Melkor and I put in 90% of the actual work?

So I cornered him, and mocked him. “Who art thou, craven Aulë, Lord of Mud, to claim as yours what is rightfully Melkor’s?” Wow, he sure didn’t like that “Lord of Mud” bit. He tried to smash me with his axe, but I am way too quick. I bit at him and rent his flesh, and he screamed like a girl.

Suddenly, the shadows moved. That never happened, since the Two Lamps were immobile — but I knew what to expect. Most of the Maiar and Valar battling on the plain did not notice, but Aulë and I watched as Illuin slowly fell from the sky, the great pillar Helcar twisting and collapsing beneath it.

Aulë was clearly horrified — perhaps he had a better idea of the coming cataclysm. As I said, they broke the friggin’ Laws of Physics to build the pillars Helcar and Ringil. Sure, magic always defies Physical Law, but even magic has strict rules, and the Valar broke those rules to create two towers 10,000 miles in height, each supporting a miniature sun.

When Helcar and Illuin struck the disc of Arda, well, it would have been the most beautifully spectacular piece of wanton destruction I could have imagined, if I had been witnessing it from the safety of the Outer Dark. Unfortunately, I was standing on the disc at the time.

The pieces of the pillar struck the Earth and the whole disc sounded as a drum; a wave of pulverizing force, a crest of destruction ten miles high and 100 deep, spread across the face of the world at twice the speed of sound. Then Illuin hit, and he exploded as he hit like a great egg of pure flame. I don’t know where the Valar got that light, because it wasn’t from the fire spirits — it was silver and cold and deadly, and washed out over the world like water.

But Melkor, in his wrath, was not finished. While we, Hosts and Valar and Maiar alike, fled the destruction in the North, he flew South, and assailed the pillar Ringil, which held aloft Ormal, the golden lamp. She fell, and with a second wave of decimation she let loose a tide of red fire across the South of the world.

Of course we wanted to destroy the accursed lamps, just because the Valar had crafted them. But also, we knew perpetual darkness would give us back our tactical advantage.

Now, sometime around the destruction of Ormal, Tulkas woke up. That little pig Curunír failed in the one damn thing I told him to do. Tulkas rose up above the fury of the twin holocausts that were practically unmaking the world, and called out a challenge to Melkor.

Too bad for Tulkas. As you might guess, the destruction was too much for any of us to endure, and far worse than we expected. Again, let me stress — the world is not designed to support giant, physically-impossible pillars. Leave world-building to the experts, folks — that is to say, me and Melkor. Anyway, I rallied all the surviving Hosts, and we retreated back to Utumno.

Let me say this — I designed Utumno, even the doors, which were my idea. Not only did our fortress survive the twin cataclysms, but the accursed Valar could not penetrate the walls to assail us. We sat inside, comfy cozy, congratulating ourselves and drinking ale, while the Valar and Maiar outside beat on the walls and fell victim to fiery death from the flames of Illuin.

Niiiiiice.

Seriously, this could not have gone better. We lost, I dunno, a few hundred of the lesser spirits, no one important. But I’d say we wiped out a good third of the enemy Maiar. We didn’t get any Valar, which is too bad. Next time.

I’m tired, I gotta sleep. It was a really, really good day.

#26: I Don’t Like Ale, Not at All

Oct
3

Date: Before the Sun and Moon
My Mood Is: hung over

Ugh. My head is pounding, my mouth tastes like crap, and my whole body aches. If this is what happens after a night of getting drunk, I’m never doing it again.

Here’s what happened. We’ve already begun our final assault on the Valar, and those boneheads are just beginning to figure it out. Melkor has created a Corrupting Miasma, and it’s spreading out from Utumno league after league, killing all life that it touches. It’s pretty cool. Meanwhile, we’re getting ready for the big fight.

For me, that means making sure our buddies inside Almaren are ready for us. One of the most important is called Curunír, a clever little fellow who resents the way Manwë lords it over all the other Ainur. Personally, I think it’s Curunír who would rather do the lording; he’s really one of us.

Curunír is a spirit of craft like me, but he didn’t come over to our side because he’s a frightened little pussy. But he concocted a potion that will put anyone to sleep, and his job is to keep Tulkas unconscious. Just a few drops every once in a while should keep that big blond idiot blissfully asleep, until Melkor comes to put a spear through his eye.

Now, while I’ve been sneaking around amongst the Valar, I noticed that they’ve taken to fermenting barley and drinking the ale this produces. I freaking invented fermentation, so I certainly understand the principle. Still, it’s a weird thing to do, intentionally imbibing poisonous alcohol to depress the central nervous system. I wasn’t going to let the Valar get anything over us, so when I got back to Utumno, I brewed a batch on my own.

It was pretty damn good. Melkor praised it as well as my brewing arts, and pretty soon we had a party going. The stupid Valar only drink a few bowls, and “sacrifice” the rest to Eru. Morons. We drank the whole damn thing. It was wild.

Let me tell you, Melkor is not a fun drunk. He gets all morose and angry, and starts complaining about every wrong thing anyone ever did to him. Especially Eru. Oh, did he go on about Eru. He also said some weird stuff about he and I being “special friends,” so much closer than anyone else. I should be thrilled, but I don’t know, it just came across as creepy.

I did learn something I didn’t know. Have I mentioned Varda? She was pretty big back in the old days in the Timeless Halls. She was chief of the female air spirits. I never thought much of her — she had a reedy singing voice.

Anyway, she’s shacked up with Manwë the Dickless Prick. I happened to mention it in passing the other day, whatever a “day” is. When Melkor got drunk, he started in on a long tear — it seems he and Varda were an item, back before the Ainulindalë. This might explain some of the bad blood between Melkor and Manwë.

Seriously, what would a chick like that see in Manwë anyway? He’s a sniveling little worm!

The next time I write should be after the final assault, when we destroy the Valar and feast on their flesh! Victory is ours!