PartIII Chapter 6.4
The Dark:  Quest Days 7 & 8

Through the eyes of the narrator and through the thoughts of the Wizard     

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From  the words and perspective

of the narrator

From the words and personal feelings

of the Wizard


On QD 7 the Lieutenant and Wizard had tracked via veiled images in the palantir, the journeying of those of The Light to the ancient city of Númenor; revealed only through new lore. 

Though the Wizard had difficulty connecting then penetrating the shrouded scene, three figures materialised; that of the Rohan maiden and the Ranger King, and a third, an unknown beautiful young woman.  Their words were not discernable, but Saruman saw when the maiden and King left, there was the arrival of a Númenórean prince, then the unmistakable stride and stance of
nnatar, the fair form of Sauron. Then without warning, after a brief animated conversation, the Wizard was horrified to see Annatar brutally strike the woman threw.  Saruman jolted back and screeched in shock; the palantir connection was lost. 

The Lieutenant rushed to the Wizard’s side, but despite all attempts they could not retrieve the connection.



Their forces impede and continue to frustrate ours.  In defiance of our advances, they thwart our every move. 

We traced the Rohan maiden and Ranger King to Armenelos, but our palantir visions are masked and virtually muted.   Yet what I saw was spine chilling.  The maiden and King met with a dazzling beauty, a gracious noblewoman, then they took their leave, just as  Númenórean nobleman entered the chamber, closely followed by Annatar; I could not mistake his arrogant and powerful demeanor.   Though sound and vision were muffled, it appeared that Annatar was threatening the woman, who by gesture and tone stood her ground, then devoid of any hesitation, Annatar drew his sword and plunged it viciously into her.  I recoiled in horror.  The palantir flickered then went opaque. 

The image would not be resurrected even though the Lieutenant and I worked furiously on it.  Time was racing by, and I had Sauron’s papers as a dire priority to translate.  It was decided that I would devote myself to this task, leaving the retrieval of the palantir’s sight to the Lieutenant, who would need urgently to follow up the travels of the other members of the Quest.


The manuscripts the Dark Lord had given Saruman were in the language of the Eldar in Valinor.  Although the Wizard had studied this language, some of the writing was so antiquated it was not readily decipherable.


The documents are written in archaic Quenya, in which I am not fully versed.  Fortunately, the coffer of the Council of the Wise holds a transcription code; a tome of the Lord of Rivendell, bestowed to me as
Chief of the Istari to decode the prophecies of the Elven seer, Elmowé.


The papers recorded the history of the Valar, from the beginnings of Arda.  These spoke of the expelling of the fifteenth Valar, Melkor, from the line, and the momentous potential for a resurgence...


The scrolls chronicle the events of the Valar, notably of the downfall of Melkor, an endless doom cast beyond the Walls of Night, and... and was the impossible possible,  by prophecy, a revivification?! 


Saruman was sure that the Dark Lord would have been able to transcribe these writings himself, but reasoned that the event that made him depart, and which kept him from the citadel, precluded him from doing so. 


What was this ploy of Sauron’s?  No doubt he was capable of the translation? Was this a test – a test of my knowledge and... and trustworthiness?  Perhaps the crisis which called him away prevented him from completing this? No, nothing steps in the way of, or prevents... Sauron!


In any case, removed from the Dark Lord’s presence, the Wizard experienced a growing sense of control by transcribing the text, and uncovering ‘the key’. Saruman knew the Dark Lord would covet this insight, and with this, instill in him the recognition of the usefulness of a Wizard’s acute perspicacity, and even a solidarity between them due to a common Maiar ancestry.


Yet his absence affords me a reprieval of sorts; the mental space to study the prophecy and understand the nuances of the presages of Elmowé; its symmetry and sacredness; geometry and universalness – its order, power and awe...and unity.  For no matter Sauron’s ability to interpret the Ancients’ discourse, the complete meaning is only accessible through the precepts divulged in the cryptic cipher of the Sindar tome.


As the days of the Dark Lord’s absence passed, Saruman savored the freedom and the dependence of others, especially the Lieutenant, who, lacking the direction of the Dark Lord and Captain, relied heavily on the wisdom and commands of the Wizard. 

With Maiarian spells, Saruman secretly recovered the picture from the palantir as the Queen was slain, from this came a revelation which elated the Wizard, a trump card to be deployed at the right moment...




Another day freed from Dark decree seems likely; Sauron has not yet returned to the citadel.  I have used this respite to my advantage.  The Lieutenant critically seeks my counsel; now this warrior of The Dark owes me allegiance.

But of much more significance, through Maiar powers of reconstruction, I have  restored the view of the palantir of the Rohan maiden’s queen, just following the instant of the slaying...  and have an understanding of the outcome, and...and uncovered the identity of the WitchKing... the Dark Lord’s Captain – and the renunciation!


At first, Lieutenant and Wizard heard little of what had occurred with the Dark Lord’s mission, but slowly a story emerged.  The Eight Nazgûl had assembled on the orders of the Captain in the underground garrison.  This is where, hidden beneath the plain, the barracks of the vast army of orcs were amassed, waiting to be presented to the Dark Lord.  Apparently an immense subterranean forge was also being built; prepared for a ceremony on the night of the dark moon.  Saruman surmised that this must be connected with the vial, but rumour had it that this forge was being built to fashion further Rings of Power; no-one spoke of anything else.  Saruman was wary of the loose talk, for these were of secret actions, realising that rapid and deadly reprisal would come to anyone caught spreading such stories. The Wizard, stood aloof and listened, guardedly but intently, mindful did not contribute to the excited discussions and surmisings.


Rumours abound!  Something has happened at the Orc fortress that has caused Sauron to fly there to resolve...resolve in his totalitarian manner.  He is reluctant to ever leave his citadel, so they say it is a calamity demanding his attention.  Woe to the one who is responsible, for the full fury of his flight will be meted upon this being.  I shudder at the thought...

Moreover, careless tongues are wagging about a huge furnace built in the fortress; they say to reforge the Rings of Power.   It is dangerous to spread gossip.  Sauron does not tolerate tattling and his retribution will be swift and merciless.  I have harkened but cautiously not contributed to the debates, or be seen to be offering an opinion.


Saruman had found concealed in the maxims of an oracle, clearly what the Dark Lord coveted, for it told of the vial and its devastating capabilities.  Saruman declared none of this to the Lieutenant, being guarded in thinking of it lest a fragment of its essence slipped out.   


I am self-assured that I have located the schema Sauron was seeking.  It provides the link to releasing the spirit of the vial and channeling it baleful force.   I have purposely not divulged this discovery to the Lieutenant, and am vigilant of dwelling on it for fear of unwittingly revealing its existence.


The Dark Lord and Captain did not return until late in the evening of QD8; however no summons was issued for the Wizard even then.  Saruman endured relief and anxiety in this silence of the Dark Lord, for Saruman felt free from the domination of his will; deducing that the Dark Lord must have pressing matters on his mind. 


The Dark Lord returned in the early morning hours, or so I have been informed; yet I have not been summoned to his hall.  A strange sensation wells within me, a fusion of disquiet and solace; a part charged with angst created by the lack of contact overridden by a mood of overwhelming reprieve.   Sauron’s oppression of me has been appeased; his vehemence must be focussed elsewhere.


Saruman exploited the lull to bolster and check the reasoning behind the insights the Dark Lord would demand. 


With this release, I have confirmed my translations and interpretations.   I am ready for his inquisition.


The Lieutenant and Wizard continued to wait; there was much they had to divulge from their tracking of The Light. They were confident that with their revelations The Dark was undestructible... yet...


The Lieutenant and I hold ourselves in readiness for the command when it comes;

soon the Dark Lords will be invincible... yet...


‘Oft evil will shall evil mar.’

(Tolkien, TT, ‘The Palantir’)