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Author's Note: I awakened one night and this was in my head, although I do not recall dreaming anything before I wakened in the darkness. Recently, I have been listening to Martin Shaw's reading of THE SILMARILLION on audiobook CD-ROM, and all I can think is that the cadences of Professor Tolkien's history of the First and Second Age stoked my imagination.
Disclaimer: This work is not intended to infringe upon the intellectual property rights of the Tolkien Estate, or any of it's licensees. I am receiving no monetary recompense for this piece of fiction.
The Beginning of the War of the Ring
After the taking of the Ring at the hands of Isildur, Sauron's feš had fled his maimed body for a time; leading the leaders of the Last Alliance of Elves and Edain to presume him dead.
They'd left the corpse on the slopes of Orodruin, as carrion for whatever fell beasts still survived in Mordor, hurrying to speed their way home to lighter, cleaner lands, certain that their future was safe--despite the misgivings of Lord Elrond and Lady Galadriel about Elendil's surviving son's insistence on retaining the Ring as weregild.
When the hosts of the light had withdrawn from the desolate wasteland of Gorgoroth, beyond the gap of Morannon where watchtowers would eventually be constructed; life of a sort returned to Mount Doom.
Orcs who had managed to flee southward from the victorious hosts crept back, under the dominion of the greatest of Sauron's servants, the Nazgul Angmar; who, although weakened when the devastating blow by Narsil removed the Ring from the Dark Lord's hand, was still bound to the fallen Maia. One by one, the Nine regrouped and searched for their Lord's body, commanding the remnants of the evil forces to paw through the piles of hideous dead until it was finally found.
Remarkably, the cold flesh had not decayed in the days and weeks since the disastrous skirmish that had turned incipient victory into astonishing defeat, and they bore it hence from Mordor by secret ways, to a place of hiding beyond the Mountains of Shadow, on a mount in the southernmost reaches of Greenwood the Great.
The Witch-King commanded his fellow Nazgul, and the magics and sorceries they did there began to darken the forest, corrupting the living trees and poisoning the very land upon which the tower of Dol Guldur stood. In time, the wounded Dark Lord's feš found its way back to the nine-fingered body that his servants protected, and he began to plan. His desire for vengeance against Men and Eldar consumed him almost as much as his desire for the recovery of his Ring and his Power.
But in order to fight back against the heirs of Elendil and the rulers of the Elven kingdoms, he would need armies. And so, in the ever growing corruption that crept outward from the shadowed tower to ultimately change Greenwood the Great into Mirkwood, he began to breed replacements for the thousands upon thousands of orcs who had perished in the first war.
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