The Cracks of Doom
“The raging and molten fire at the heart of Mount Doom harnessed by the will of the Dark Lord.”
The Cracks of Doom were formed when a great fissure opened up in the earth after the world was broken during the War of Wrath at the conclusion of the First Age of Middle-earth. Molten fire erupted out of the rocks forming in time Orodruin, a vast mountain of volcanic rock, with a great cone that rose several thousand feet above the Plateau of Gorgoroth. Sheltered by the mighty mountain, the Cracks of Doom ever and anon spewed forth it fiery entrails upon floor of the plain surrounding it.
The fiery chasm was discovered by Sauron, in the Second Age and he saw within its burning wrath the potential for great power. Here he built the mighty forge of the Sammath Naur and from a great outcropping of rock, that extended over the Cracks of Doom, Sauron could call forth the fire from the well of the central cone. With the power of this molten fire, Sauron was able to forge great works of metal. It was there in the heat of Sammath Naur, that the Dark Lord called forth the fire from the Cracks of Doom to forge the One Ruling Ring of Power, with which he deceived the Elves and attempted to assault Middle-earth.
“The light sprang up again, and there on the brink of the chasm,
at the very Crack of Doom, stood Frodo, black against the glare, tense, erect,
but still as if he had been turned to stone.”
(ROTK, B6, C5)
Near the entrance to Sammath Naur, there was a winding stair that one could take down into the deepest levels of the mighty cone. There upon a self of rock, one could stand and see the Crack of Doom in all it’s terrible glory. This ancient stair was often burned and melted in molten fire, but the countless slaves of Mordor rebuilt the stairwell whenever it was destroyed by the fire of Mount Doom.
This place was indeed the dark heart of Sauron’s realm in Middle-earth and became a great source of power for the Dark Lord, who used these elemental powers to control all the lands within Mordor.
Within the well of the cone, the molten fire was ever in turmoil and hundreds of feet below that the great magma chamber would fill to bursting when Sauron called it forth, to fill the Naur Trench that fed the fires and forges of Barad-dûr.
A great power lay in the fiery chasm of Mount Doom and Sauron exploited that molten power for his own devices. The power within the Cracks of Doom was the very power of the earth itself and only by returning the One Ring to the fire, from whence it came, could any destroy the dark magic with which it was imbued at it’s making.
None but Sauron himself, could now tell us how this fiery molten force was used to fashion so powerful a Ring, but with great cunning he was able to call forth these elemental powers deep within the earth and extract their terrible potency, mixing it with his own dark magic to form a power so great that it could rock the very foundations of the earth.
The Cracks of Doom however, exacted a great price for its power. Sauron had to match the power of Orodruin with his own, so that his fate was ever after tied to the fate of the Ring.