Sauron looked deeply into the Palantir of Barad-dûr
He saw an unexpected face looking back at him, a prisoner that must be held captive in the Tower of Orthanc
One of the Halflings, not the one who possessed the Ring, Sauron would have felt it’s presence… but this creature may well know where the Ring lay hidden!
The callow face if the little imp was filled with fear, soon Sauron would have the halfling here in the Tower of Barad-dûr, where it could be questioned slowly, oh so slowly.
When the Palantir began to stir and a face appeared from the seeing stone in Orthanc, Sauron had believed it was Saruman reporting. Too long had the little white wizard been absent from the palantir in Isengard.
The Dark Lord desired a report on the war in Rohan, but more importantly Sauron wanted to know the fate of the captives taken at Parth Galen. Saruman had tried to conceal this bit of intrigue from Sauron, but the Dark Lord knew that the Ring came south along the river and that nine days ago two captives had been taken on the western bank of Anduin. Uruks had been sent across the river to retrieve them and one of the Nazgûl, upon a fresh fell beast had waited on the eastern shore, but no word had ever come.
The face of the halfling swam in a sea of fear. So… Saruman’s Uruk-hai must have taken this captive to Isengard and now the wizard has forced the vile little urchin to look into the Palantir for his pleasure. Sauron desired to question him… but not now. First this creature must be brought back to Mordor. He looked on the face once more, laughing cruelly.
“Wait a moment! We shall meet again soon. Tell Saruman that this dainty is not for him. I will send for it at once! Do you understand? Say just that!”
The face crumbed in terror and Sauron released it from the seeing stone. A winged Nazgûl was immediately summoned and ordered to fly with all haste to Isengard. One of the Nine had already been to the Tower of Orthanc hours before, but Sauron would take no chances with his prize. This halfling must be brought back to the Houses of Lamination, where this impish creature will be stripped of everything it has ever known!
Sauron looked out across the plain of Gorgoroth, everywhere his plans for war were in motion, but it was not yet time for the final stroke upon the West. Sauron desired the Ring, for when it was once more upon his hand, he would himself march out of the Black Gate and lead his armies in war. Sauron believed he already had the strength to crush any resistance, even without the One Ring, but the Dark Lord knew that with the Ring, he could make all of Middle-earth into Mordor.
The Ring was close… he had felt it’s presence somewhere near Amon Lhaw and Amon Hen only days before. It was now somewhere upon the fields of Rohan and it was either moving south to Minas Tirith or west to Edoras. The Rohirrim were now engaged in the north with the armies of Saruman. Things were moving faster in Rohan than planned. Sauron wanted Isengard to keep the the forces of Rohan busy in the north, while he put forth his full strength against Gondor. However, the time was not yet ripe for the full power of Mordor to be revealed, the fate of the Ring must first be determined. With the Ring once more in his possession, victory would be assured. Time passed as Sauron considered all of the possible routes to war. His desire for the captive in Orthanc was growing, the second Nazgûl must already have reached Isengard and even now be returning with this creature that called itself a hobbit.
Suddenly, the Palantir of Barad-dûr began to glow, the Dark Lord sensed that this was coming from the seeing stone of Orthanc. Suddenly a face appeared, but it was not Saruman… or the halfling… this face was unknown to Sauron and yet it was strangely familiar. It held the visage of a man… a man with the bloodline of Númenor. Sauron commanded the face to speak, but it resisted. To the complete astonishment of the Dark Lord, this face wrestled the Palantir from his grasp, but not before this figure had shown him a sword and declared himself the heir of Elendil. The Palantir of Orthanc after a great struggle had been wrenched from the mind of Sauron and his screams of rage echoed through all of Mordor. Lighting crackled and thunder rolled through black clouds of shadow that swirled about the Dark Tower. Orodruin erupted in a raging torrent upon the plain of Gorgoroth!
A sudden doubt and fear came over the Dark Lord. Did this heir of kings hold the One Ring? Was he even now gathering the armies of Rohan and Gondor to march against him? The time for war hath come at last, it was sooner than he had planned, but now there was no time to waste. Sauron sent out messages to the commanders of all his armies, ordering them to begin moving into position for the final assault upon Middle-earth.
The Dark Tower was shrouded in Shadow, the mind of Sauron deep in thought.