With the Palantir of Barad-dûr, Sauron calls forth the first assault!
The Dark Lord has within his possession the Palantir of Osgiliath, thought to have been lost in the Great River and washed out to sea.
This is a deep secret the not even the Istari are aware of… it gives Sauron great power over the remaining Seeing Stones.
The Wise believe that the Stone of Osgiliath was lost when the city fell. However, it was found by Sauron after his return to Mordor in the Third Age.
The greatest of the seven palantíri of Middle-earth was the Stone that stood in Osgiliath, the ancient capital of Gondor. For 1,500 years or more, it was held beneath the Dome of Stars that gave the city its name. While most of the palantíri were small and portable, the Stone of Osgiliath was much larger, and could not be lifted by a Man. The greatest of the Seeing-stones was also the first to be lost. During the early reign of Eldacar, a rebellion arose that came to be known as the Kin-strife. During this civil war, the city of Osgiliath was besieged and burned by the rebels, and the Stone was lost in the waters of the River Anduin.
In the Throne Room of Barad-dûr sat the largest of the palantíri, the Seeing Stone of Osgiliath! The Seeing Stone of Minas Morgul was kept in the dead city until it was taken North by Khamul the Easterling, the Nazgûl Lieutenant and one of the Nine. It was kept in Dol Guldur until it’s fall at the end of the Third Age of Middle-earth. None but Sauron and the Nine Nazgûl knew of this.
Sauron called upon Khamul in the second week of June 3018, giving him the command to launch an attack on the Elven Kingdom of Mirkwood, spies have discover a weakness in the imprisonment of the creature Gollum and the reason for the attack is to free this creature. The consuming desire that this Sméagol has for the One Ring will help in discovering the still hidden land of Shire. Sauron instructed the Ringwraith of Dol Guldur to assemble a force and attack on the night of the new moon when it will be darkest. Sauron sent to Khamul a vision of a small boney creature high in the top of a great tree. A small spider of Mirkwood crawled up to him in the very darkest patches of the leaves and gave to him a message, that on the night of the new moon a force of orcs will come to take him. The vision faded and Khamul bowed to the command of his Master.
At the same moment that Khamul communed with the Dark Lord in the Palantir, a caravan could bee seen traveling over the Haunted Pass and down into the dead city of Minas Morgul. A great black steed had been sent to the Lord of the Nazgûl from the Horse Plain east of the Dark Tower where the Steeds of Mordor were raised. The lands East of Gorgoroth are a less hostile region that are able to sustain life. The grasses of these plains were brittle and filled with nettles & thorns, but such is the lot of the fell steeds of Mordor.
It was rumored at the end of the Third Age that Sauron stole his black horses from Rohan. It is true, that this was done, but only to horse his lesser servants. The Ringwraiths and the Mouth of Sauron only rode upon the great Black Steeds bred in the Shadow of the Dark Tower. No horses of Rohan could have withstood the terror of their masters.
The black horses of Mordor were bigger and more beastly, fed with fell grains grown in rotted Morgul loam. It is said that their eyes glowed red and smoke flared from their nostrils.
Such a beast was led across the Pass of Cirith Ungol and brought forth to be the steed of the Lord of the Nazgûl. For Sauron was ready to probe the defenses of his enemy. His first attack would be aimed at the ruined city of Osgiliath. The Witchking would ride forth in the darkness of the new moon, even as a similar attack upon the woodland realm to the north was taking place. Sauron’s first assault upon Gondor was about to begin.The Dark Lord was not ready to cross the great River yet, because he first needed to take the strategically important eastern half of the city so that he could begin amassing a large force to cross the river when the time was ripe.
Plans long laid were coming to the point of fruition… the Shadow was rising at last!
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