PartIII Chapter 7.2
Happenings on Quest Day 9 in The Dark
[Expressed in a varied form of the Tolkien’s Sigurd and Gudrun]
At sunset’s close
the Wizard was summoned
to the Master’s presence
at the mid-of-night.
Saruman rushed to check if the Lieutenant had been likewise commanded. The Lieutenant had not.
The Lieutenant gave Saruman disturbing news on the state of the Dark Lord.
A message heard
of a turmoil
of Nazgûl treason.
There had been some treachery regarding the Rings.
The Captain had gone to resolve the issue at the underground fortress; however the Nazgûl Second in Command, Khamuulpn, challenged the order relayed from Sauron.
The Captain sent a dispatch that Sauron should deliver the commandment himself.
The Dark Lord
livid and resolute
vengeance to mete
upon the mutinous.
When Sauron arrived he spoke to his Nazgûl; it was told that his utterance beat as the base war-drums of Barad-dûr, and exploded from his mouth with the blaze and frenzy of the fiery volcano.
The Dark Lord
issued his dictum,
queried its wisdom.
Sauron did not respond, he requested his Captain to at once assemble the troops separated in legions by their Nazgûl commander.
The troops stood
in terrified silence
sensing the raging
retribution to be wrought.
Sauron uttered in a thunderous tone:
‘Ghaash throquub Khamuulpn agh uuk tab Lughornu’
All trembled at his proclamation.
An exploding inferno leapt from the earth, consuming Khamuulpn and legion of orcs.
The legion not asked
where their loyalty laid
slaughtered for alliance with
with one who slighted.
Sauron glared at his Captain, and hissed:
‘Retrieve the Ring!’
and walked off.
The Captain controlled
the clamor that ensued,
for discord and dissension.
The Captain cried out to the hordes of Mordor’s army:
‘Matum u’ ûshtum!’
The troops responded in a tumultuous echo, roaring:
‘Matum u ûshtum!’’
A chamber in the Tower
The Lieutenant and Saruman were together.
‘The Lord demonstrated a decisive lesson to his troops, destroying those who would threaten our cause,’ the Lieutenant declared zealously to the Wizard.
Saruman knew well the Lieutenant’s fierce allegiance to whatever Sauron would decree.
The Wizard did not
reply to these words
knowing the warning
was willed for all.
The Captain’s servant burst into the room and dashed up to Saruman, puffing and shrieking.
‘Wizard, you have been called to an audience with the Dark Lord. We did not know that you had left your apartment!’
Saruman rejoined peevedly:
‘I was not to attend until the mid-of-night.’
‘Our Lord made other plans so as to see you earlier. He has now been waiting... waiting. You must hurry,’ beads of sweat breaking out on a furrowed petrified brow.
The Wizard fetched
those Sauron’s files,
with the evidence
of the Ent’s discoveries.
Hurrying behind the sprinting servant, the Wizard reached the hall, breathless and agitated, not the way Saruman had wished to face the Dark Lord.
from deep being
the Wizard entered
evil’s Lord’s hall.
Saruman was shocked to see that sitting with the Captain, was Pallando, one of the Blue Wizards.
A mysterious Maiar
on missions to Middle-earth
clouded by secrecy
Sauron to resist.
But here Pallando was seated in conference with the Dark Lord’s captain. The Dark Lord himself was absent.
Saruman walked over to the table.
The Captain looked up and tauntingly asked:
‘You know Pallando, do you not?’
then turned to read
a timeworn tome.
‘Of course,’ retorted Saruman, taking a seat near but not next to Pallando.
‘Pallando has been petitioned to help unravel the travels and goals of The Light; and has already provided valuable insights. But presently, we need to…,’ however, before the Captain could finish the sentence, the door of Sauron’s private chamber opened; he strode into the hall.
An aura of darkness
seething with anger
emanated from him,
engulfing the three.
‘I have discerned and suffered the strength of The Light, and demand it extinguished directly! I will hear of no more excuses or proposals, I will hear only that this has been achieved,’ he then faced Pallando, ‘You have been a powerful emissary for me previously…’
Saruman was stunned
by Sauron’s statement,
it was Sauron’s scheme
to inflict this strike.
Then, the others not perceiving any hesitation that had occurred by the interchange of mind between Dark Lord and Saruman, he resumed:
‘…Blue Wizard, the Chief of the Istari will enable you to travel to the source of The Light at the fall of Quest’s Day10, where your presence will be trusted. If the Rohan maiden succeeds in returning, you will destroy her.’
In thought to himself: ‘For I have reckoned that the maiden is the key to this plot against my resurgence.’
As a sycophant speaks
Pallando swore swiftly
to mercilessly murder
the Maiden of Rohan.
Sauron then turned toward Saruman, reveling in the shock he had felt permeate the Wizard:
‘Tell me Wizard, what has transpired in the days I have been attending to an irksome matter,’ he gibed, diverting his glare to the Captain.
Saruman comprehended his purport fully.
Even for the loyal
errors would unleash
the wrath and lash
of a vengeful Lord.
Saruman’s thoughts were interrupted by Sauron:
‘I tolerate no insurrection and cannot abide the infuriating aggravation of failures in trusted ones, though that was yesterday and will not recur. For the now, Wizard, give me your account of what you have done about The Light’s travel; we will speak privately about the other matter.’
Sauron sat back
shutting his eyes,
his spirit to strike
like a coiled snake.
Saruman proclaimed, based on the Dark Lord’s instructions, focusing on the movements of the Rohan maiden and Ben-adar’sinvolvement in the Quest. Saruman looked at the Dark Lord to gain an acknowledgement of the aptness of these choices.
Eyes still shut
Sauron sitting sternly
no muscle stirred
as he said nothing.
Saruman undaunted, proceeded to explain the events of Quest Day 7 in Armenelos, where the Rohan maiden and Gondorian King had met… Saruman looked over to the Captain, and was about to continue, when Sauron shrieked:
A screeching command
striking the Wizard
as shards of spite
Saruman expected to be instantly devoured by the Dark Lord’s rage, but that did not happen.
Instead Sauron suddenly rose to his feet, demanding:
‘I have observed what you witnessed Wizard; I wish this to be shown by way of my palantir.’
Sauron then strode over to his chamber, and disappeared through the doorway. The Captain, Saruman and Pallando followed. Saruman wondered as walking:
How Pallando sealed
for sanctioned access
to the secret chamber.
Saruman was ahead of Pallando, and swung around to watch this Wizard’s amazement on entering.
was a sweeping palantir
salvaged from lore’s
Stone of Osgiliath.
A soaring vaulted ceiling was enveloped by a fresco of a baneful black sky, emblazoned by menacing moon-shaped bodies and storming stars. This fearsome form extended down the walls where a mural of the mountains of Mordor soared, dominated by a formidable erupting Mt Doom. The scene was completed by a floor of mosaic marble, depicting the conquered lands and peoples of Middle-earth.
Sauron prided at
the awe of Pallando
as Dark’s doom led
new lore from old.
Nevertheless, from the Dark Lord there was no sign that this astonishment impressed him in any way. He made no mention of the wonder of his palantir; he took his place, motioning the Captain and Pallando to sit alongside, with Saruman opposite them.
Almost whispering, forcing his underlings to listen:
‘Master Wizard you may resume, I will focus the images via Dark’s palantir.’
Saruman savoured the salutation,
recognising that Sauron
used no praise
Saruman started to recount the happenings at Armenelos on Quest Day 7, and from the far wall arose a life-size representation of the recitation, opening up in a regal stateroom. However, the palantir’s and their field of vision was obscured and the discussion of those present was muffled and not discernable.
From Middle-earth myth,
the Rohan maiden, and
the last Dúnedain Lord,
transposed to new lore.
Gradually from a murky haze Aragorn and Éowyn appeared in solemn conversation with a ravishing young woman, whose glamorous raiments bespoke of Northern nobility. As the noblewoman’s face came in view, it was obvious to all, the striking resemblance of both women. After a seemingly emotional farewell, Aragorn and Éowyn withdrew. The image began to flicker violently, as if something interfered with its transmission, Sauron fumed with fury, just shadowy forms were visible of:
Two towering beings
voices grew fervid,
struck, she fell.
Saruman glanced over the Captain, who recognised the event and reeled with its sight; instantly the image vanished.
Sauron glowered at Saruman, and growled:
‘You lost your concentration Wizard. The image is not recoverable.’
Saruman understood; Sauron wanted nothing more to be seen, although he had seen it all.
the Quest’s intent,
Saruman sensed it
but hesitated to say.
Breaking the silence that ensued, Pallando interjected:
‘A connection betwixt the women, my Lord.’
‘Yes’ mocked Sauron, ‘the connection,’ maintaining his scowl fixed on Saruman.
Saruman answered in a hushed but confident voice:
‘The meaning and power of righteousness.... righteousness against The Dark...’
‘Was this found?’
with a reply.
However, Sauron was impatient for an answer; Saruman was forced to declare a position:
‘The insight of men is barren; it is not in their nature to learn and adapt from the significance of experiences, wholly driven by self-seeking motives... ’
Sauron’s retort was swift and rejecting:
‘You dangerously underestimate their powers, Wizard!’
Sauron sullen, was set
to dispatch Saruman,
then remembered marked matters
with masked meanings.
‘Wizard, what of the Shire folk with the Ancient One?’
Cautiously in chilling trepidation Saruman explained that their palantir’s trail barely traversed a few hours, and it was clear that the Shire folk revelations with Ancient One (and an unknown another) had spanned long afore and were continuing further than the palantir’s sight.
Sauron would not countenance justifications, and impatiently directed Saruman to begin; the portraits sprung to life and engulfed the four.
Of lives and deaths
the deeds unfolded:
of those many knew
and those not known.
An adventurer’s lot
in an arctic land
A soldier’s torment
in a trench’s tomb
The harrow of innocents
by white hooded horrors
A scientist slain
by systematic studies
An aviatress’s final flight
in a flying machine
An author, downcast
dying in exile
suffering and murdered
A Fuhrer’s rise, downfall
and dark-hearted destruction
A cataclysmic spearhead
of science unleashed.
A screech of fatality
and spark of transformation
as the palantir’s images
imploded and perished.
Saruman slumped over with exhaustion. The Captain and Blue Wizard were speechless; even Sauron seemed affected. The four lingered in contemplation: ‘What was being heralded, what design, what mastery was intended and could be gained?’
Sauron broke the agitated hush assertively conjecturing:
‘They search for a trace of The Dark in the future, and of our demise, and by this, acquire the means to obliterate us for all-time.’
Saruman did not concur
with Sauron’s surmise
But Sauron motioned
the meeting was over.
The three stood up to depart but Sauron snarled at Saruman:
‘Hold Wizard, we have more to settle.’
Saruman sat down again with an inward groan. The Captain tarried, but following a whispered vehement exchange with Sauron, departed with Pallando.
Sauron drew beside, and towering over Saruman, charged:
‘You have a document for me, and I have an additional pursuit for you:
‘Intercept the dwarf
recover Durin’s Ring
hidden by dwarven masks
since Celebrimbor’s making.’
Saruman was astounded, had not Sauron retrieved all Rings of Power, were these Rings not all in his possession, save the Elven Rings; however, Sauron was not in the mood to explain.
Seeing Saruman in a quandary, Sauron irately reiterated:
‘Bring me the topaz ring the dwarf wears, slay the dwarf. What now of the perceptions from the Ent?’
The Wizard tendered
the transcript of discoveries
Gleaned by the Ent
For Gandalf and hobbits.
Sauron was at first amazed by the extensive array, then he gloated over having access to The Light’s source of deliberation.
‘Ah, herein lies the weapon they seek to defeat The Dark. They are unaware of our advantage – and they remain vulnerable and teetering on the precipice of disaster, for even if the dwarf and ring escape our reach, the maiden will not, and it is with her annihilation that The Light will finally expire; totally, utterly, for all time.’
Saruman saw surprisingly
a fleeting streak
of scorning satisfaction
in Sauron’s mien.
Sauron realised that the Wizard had perceived this moment of open feeling, and withdrew immediately in a jeer:
‘Does The Light contemplate I am like the Fuhrer of their vision. Though we both have impelled thousands with an iron hand, do they’, and he paused snorting in disdain, ‘think that I would be weak and cower in a hovel, and hysterical in being overthrown, kill myself. Is that what they are willing for my end?’ Sauron shrieked in a heinous howling laugh.
The roar ricocheted
with rumbling waves
shooting shivers of scorn
shattering Saruman’s senses.
Consumed by contempt, Sauron continued:
‘This is but Light’s feeble folly, for how could a pathetic despot suchlike this Fuhrer, trusting in a belief in his stand in this transitory tempest of time, championing a race of which he could never be a member, reflect where and who I am; and... once I have absorbed the essence of Melkor, with the twice passing of moons... on the Night of the Dark Moon, it will, must, come to pass...’
Foreseeing the frenzied
fiat for assurance,
Saruman rapidly confirmed
‘All is in readiness!’
Sauron did not acknowledge Saruman’s warrant, but strode to the western wall of the room on which a massive blackwood cabinet was positioned. Saruman had jumped to attention, but remained at the table watching Sauron’s every movement. From the cabinet Sauron removed a huge leather-bound manuscript, opening it at a page, and intently pored over an entry, referring to the Ent’s list of discoveries. He looked back at Saruman:
‘As you have recorded, so prophesy predicts.’
‘We have their measure
for the prophesy marks
their prospects are placed
to plunge to oblivion.
Sauron snorted savagely with success. Saruman grimaced at his intensity. The Wizard was spent by the pressure imposed by his edicts and expectations. Sauron perceiving Saruman’s faltering, announced in a conciliatory timbre:
‘I did not finish the image at Armenelos, for the Captain knows well that I beheld the refusal, and there was no need to show the steward’s first-born with the Ancient One, for the warrior is not needed, now that I have the Blue Wizard.’
The Wizard savored
a relief of sorts
for Pallando’s mission
meant purposes elsewhere.
However, Saruman, distrustful of Pallando, suspected threats for The Dark, and guardedly mentioned:
‘There is grave risk in trusting the Blue Wizard... completely.’
A snide sneer formed on the Dark Lord’s lips. He gestured for Saruman to leave, and brusquely escorted the Wizard to the door; thereupon he lent over the Wizard and scoffed:
‘I trust no one at all.’
In Saruman’s chamber
When the Wizard returned to his chamber, he slumped into his chair. This is his tortured mind’s account of his ordeal.
‘I walked in a stupor back via Dark’s corridors, reliving the terror of the shattering sound of Sauron’s ‘Stop Wizard’.
At meeting’s moment
As means of preservation
I relegated the mandate
To my mind’s far-reaches
But now, that the desperation to survive had passed, the terrifying tone came flooding back. I could not find a release from it and the dread that annihilation was to be meted out at the instant of the utterance.
I stopped walking and leant against the wall, with my body quivering uncontrollably, then my legs gave way and I fell to my knees. I sprung back up, relieved no-one was in the corridor to see the Great Wizard’s swoon, yet sensing that Sauron....
Desperate for refuge
I rushed to return
to the space and
shelter of my chamber.
I stumbled to my chair, and tried to order my mind. If only I could meditate, I could gain some restorative grounding, but I could not even recall the chants themselves.
I staggered to the window, the darkness gushed within, dense and dire, though I could detect the glimmer of stars, for although cumulous clouds shrouded the sky, a ferocious gale charged at these like a raging bull, casting them northward, north to the northern lands, where the young noblewoman had come and been executed. There was for me, as she:
No hope or pardon
From the chosen path,
none to retreat to
or negotiate anew.
It was as if my thoughts were being consumed by Sauron. The Dark Lord would savor satisfaction from this, and moreso if I totally succumbed to his will. I am indeed fearful of reflecting on my feelings, for it as though Sauron could penetrate the deepest depths of my inner-self, beyond verily my self-knowledge and consciousness.
In another sphere
My sovereign command
of words and state
Seduced the world.
But not the Dark Lord; not here, not now!
My greatest faculty has become useless; by what mode can this be turned? How can I glean a reprieve... where does any hope reside? Where...and by...??
The ring, only the ring offers respite!
The code of Rings
uncovered and copied
a Ring of Power
reared in Isengard.
I have dared not wear it, for it stands as an open challenge to those of the Dark Lord; nonetheless I suspect he has sensed its existence. Hidden away, dormant, it has not been discovered nor mentioned by him; solely in its wearing are its powers released.
Encased in Istari’s armlet
Beneath gilt and gems
The golden ring lay.
Ah, Ring of Isengard, from the might of the Elves Of Eregion, I call upon your awakening and aegis as you draw-in the flame of being from the Istari!
It is with boundless relief that I sense my deliverance from oppression. Sauron will likely discern this, but I have the now to live, to recover a semblance and containment of self! My spirit’s force surges as effortlessly as the very blood of my being pulsates. What it is to revel in this liberation, to toy with choices and motivations of others, unfettered to contemplate and reason:
Of Gandalf’s deeds
doomed to failure
but nevertheless free,
freedom to pursue
Of the staunch Nazgûl
slain and erased
for merely questioning
not refusing or mutinous.
what of Pallando’s motives,
masters and modus
to The Dark Lord
Of the daunting potency
Of the Dark Lord
merged with his Master
I am elated, as if my meditations were singing freely as the mellow base voice of a Carcassi cello. And yet, yet, there looms ever, a sense of gloom, reflecting this liberty is a stark short-lived taunt, for Sauron will not tolerate it. As for the nine Kings of Men accepting the Rings; obsessed by coveting power itself, but thus connected to the Dark Lord, they would have been devoured by him, their minds ever open and tied to his.
It is this doom
that likewise dawns
for me, inexorably linked
Or lingeringly destroyed.
My mind wanders, I must stay focussed! What of this additional assignment; to locate the dwarf and retrieve a ring. It is written that Sauron had repossessed the seven dwarven rings, which he claims no longer to have one of these; what could have happened? Perchance, the palantir with the sight of the Isengard Ring, will find and lock on to the dwarf and this ring.
Ahh, I feel the connection of the rings, forged in different fires, yet from the same dark-code, covenance and decree.... Yes, yes, they seek; call out to one another across time’s tide and space...
‘Twas Quest’s Day 9
the dwarf was travelling
from an age deep
in Middle-earth’s days.
I behold the dwarf close to The Light, almost out of Dark’s control, but I can... yes, my ring can hinder the dwarf’s passage... impede arrival... suspended in a vortex and the link to the temporal setting shattered... forcing the dwarf into that of The Dark.
No.! The dwarf struggles valiantly with dark’s forces, desperately writhing, opposing the divide that lies before, unaware what bars Light’s path...
A bolt of fire
Dark’s brace broken,
the dwarf lunges forth
into Light.’s lair.
Could it be so? Foiled by The Light, only The Ancient One, Ben-adar could so intervene. Sauron’s response will be bitter, albeit, he intimated the chance of failing and had in readiness an alternative plan. I feel not devastated by the dwarf’s escape, my lack of success... my ring accords me insight to options...a courage, a resilience, to face the Dark Lord with said news....and I am assured that he needs me for the Night of the Dark Moon.
What, who bangs at my door – demanding attention?!
Saruman did not know how long someone had been banging at the door, lost in this new free-rein of reasoning. Jumping up startled, and rushing to and opening the door, Pallando unceremoniously brushed past, announcing anxiously:
‘Saruman, what were you doing, did you not hear the knocking?’
Saruman did not answer other than to say:
‘Pallando, what brings you here so late and in such a state?’
For the Blue Wizard
normally well-bred and calm
appeared anxious and bedraggled,
agitated with urgency.
‘Your fragmented images of men provided a mere part and distorted view, however, there is a course to capture the whole,’ Pallando rejoined haughtily.
Saruman scrutinized Pallando, was this Wizard really of The Dark; feeling resentment towards this intruder, who was a rival for the Dark Lord’s favour:
‘What is your meaning?’
‘The other-one in the vision you saw, was Alatar, a comrade Blue Wizard.
‘Allied by ancestry
all Alatar’s visions
with our minds’ linking
lie bare and limitless.’
Saruman did not respond directly pondering: ‘I have misjudged you; you are the servant of The Dark.’
Pallando, then seeking an urgent reply:
‘Saruman, what is your answer, your counsel?’
‘If you could do this, it will mean hours of viewing.’
‘Just so, but we have the rest of the evening and the morrow.’
Saruman paused to query,
Pallando pronounced proudly
‘The Dark Lord decreed
It to be done’.
‘You have spoken already to our Lord of this?’ Saruman retorted.
‘Precisely, and he commands that it commence immediately.’
With that Pallando strode to Saruman’s palantir, and moving the table on which it was positioned so dark moonlight poured over it, sat down and began to chant.
You know nothing
of palantir nuances’.
‘I have brought everything I need. We work together, or if not, the palantir becomes mine, but the Dark Lord will not view your refusal lightly.’
Pallando glared at Saruman, and Saruman felt the eyes of Sauron through this glare; then Pallando continued:
‘The reckoning is sound
In summoning Alatar
Light’s visions are mine
For Dark’s mastery.’
‘The endeavour would be better with you, but I can manage without you Great Wizard of Isengard; the choice is yours, however, whether I track these visions and use this palantir, is not.’
Pallando loomed in defiance of Saruman, with the abetment of Sauron.
‘I can facilitate the working of the Palantir until my meeting with Sauron,’ Saruman reluctantly acquiesced.
‘We are compelled to have completed the recording by morrow’s nightfall, when our Lord expects us to report to him.’
Saruman’s hackles rose
this upstart secondary
had wheedled a way
into Dark’s inner-will.
However, Saruman knew how unwise it would be to question, so sycophantically suggested:
‘Then we should begin without delay, as our Lord has commanded.’
Pallando started to chant again, in the archaic language of the Wizards. Soon the palantir commenced to pulsate with crystal azure beams, deepening to that of midnight sapphire, then as if scenes arising from memory, visions emerged.
Unmistakably the first
the foremost Valar, Manwë
then a passing parade
those powerful and powerless.
For the two Wizards
absorbed thus timelessly
time drew to dawning
on Quest Days’ Tenth.