The Shadow withdraws into the confines of Mordor
The Dark Tower of Barad-dûr lay hidden deep within the veil of shadow that Sauron wove about himself
The tides of war had turned against him, with forces unforeseen…
Mount Doom rumbled in the distance, deep with it’s furnaces the fires were for the moment spent. The winds of the world had changed and the Shadow of Mordor had been driven back over the mountain walls of Mordor.
The Dark Lord brooded in sleepless thought, as the Shadow about Barad-dûr swirled in restless malice.
The first major stroke of the hammer, had failed to crush his enemies. Gondor had been wounded deeply, but it had stood against his forces and survived. Grond had burned. His armies had been slain in the wreckage before the broken gate of the city. And the most terrible blow of all… the Lord of the Nazgûl, his most deadly servant had been utterly destroyed upon the field of battle. Sauron did not yet know how this was achieved. Had his enemies used the power of the Ring against him?
Sauron’s black fleet from Umbar had somehow been over taken by force and used against his forces upon the Pelennor. This kingly heir of Isildir has proved to be more than just a wandering ranger of the north and had shown his blood line to be true. Even now this would be King marched upon the western wall of Mordor, making for the Black Gate. They had dared enter the Morgul Vale and had set fire to its fetid waters. The City was even now burning, the smoke from it’s fiery ruin could be seen rising above the Tower of Cirith Ungul to the west. Such insult cannot go unpunished… but now is not the time. First the fly must be drawn into the web, then the spider can feed upon it at it’s leisure.
Sauron had no doubt, that this heir of Númenor was marching to his very door to declare himself openly as the Lord of the Ring. Such arrogance must be met with and an equal measure of raw power. Sauron would have been in real fear, if this Aragorn had taken the One Ring to a hidden place to perfect his use of it’s power, but the foolish man emboldened by victory, had now stuck out with a force much too small to stand against the full might of Mordor. Even with the Ring, this heir of Númenor would be swallowed by the armies of Mordor!
Sauron looked out over the plain Gorgoroth, as the last of his forces were moved into position within Vale of Udûn. The vast might of Mordor was now concentrated just inside the walls of the Black Gate. Once the fly was caught in the trap, the Ring would be taken and all of Middle-earth would be under his dominion at last.
Things had not been moving forward as planned. Spies had entered Mordor from the west, even as the Witch-king of Angmar fell in battle. The destruction of Gondor had slipped from his grasp. Isildur’s heir had risen unseen out of the shadows of the North. This Gandalf Greyham, thought it have been killed in the Black Pit of Moria, had somehow returned. Messengers had come bearing news that was the Balrog of Khazad-dûm that been destroyed and that this grey Istari now carrying the mantle of Saruman the White. This Mithrandir had become a being much stronger than the Dark Lord could have imagined.
The greatest blow, had been the failure to capture the One Ring of Power. Perhaps he had moved too quickly, before all of his plans for war were truly ripe. Yet if the loss of his armies before the Gate of Minas Tirith, was the catalyst that would bring the One Ring to the very gate of Mordor, than it was worth the death of every creature slaughtered upon the Pelennor. With the Ring once more upon his hand, all of these other concerns would be come mere trifles.
The battles to the north were not moving as quickly as he had intended. The Elvish-witch of Lothorian had repelled the forces of Dol Guldur twice, and now a third assault was moving against them. Battle was raging under the trees of Mirkwood, but there was no victory yet. Laketown was burning and Dale was over run, but Erebor still held out against him, the dwarves like rats in a refuge behind it’s gate. The forces from Moria that had been making for the fields of Rohan had been waylaid and destroyed by some unseen force in the woods of Fangorn. The armies of the Dark Lord were being met with forces far stronger then he had anticipated, but all was for naught, because the One Ring of Power was even now walking openly to his door.
The mind of Sauron was bent solely upon this small force, that even now marched north along the Mountains of Shadow. This army had issued forth from the city of Minas Tirith days before and dared march against the full might of Mordor. The Great Eye in the Dark Tower looked to the Black Gate, where the battle for Middle-earth would be decided!