The Black Spear
Volume II, Chapter 5.
Somewhere in the East of the Middle-Earth, by the foot of
low mountains covered by the forest, the small fire was burnt,
skillfully hided from strange eyes in a deep pit among the old pine
tree's roots. Dry wood gave almost no smoke; the food was
bubbling in a shabby, sooty pot. Three unsaddled undersized
Hazg's (1) horses nibbled the grass nearby.
Lying on his back, Folko stared thoughtlessly at the sky,
high and clear, only slightly covered with light clouds hanging on
an enormous height. The dwarves talked to each other in a low
voice near; Thorin polished his axe as usual, the Small Dwarf
slowly stirred in a pot.
The situation the friends found themselves in could be
called hopeless - that is how Folko characterized it, but despite
that, strange, deathly calm controlled him as if his own fate became
unimportant to him. Had cast aside everything, they strived for
their aim - the enemy proved to be stronger, and now they found
themselves in unknown parts of Middle-Earth where they knew
neither roads, nor rivers, nor peoples, nor languages; their food
sacks showed them the bottoms already; their only non-enemies,
the Black Dwarves (2), turned them out the door without a single
word... The friends have lost too much time, the trace of the
Leader (3) was already lost.
In earlier times Folko would fall into a black despair of all
these thoughts, but now they caused him to act only. They are lost
in unknown world's end - but even here there is somebody on
whose help they could rely on. Folko remembered the Eastern
Elves. The gift of Forve, the Prince of Avari, the ring tuned on the
hobbit's gist, and the blade crafted by a tutor of this great person's
craft masters - they were near their birthplace now, and the strange
confidence strengthened in him that they will help him to find a
way towards the hidden Elvish fortresses. He recollected
thoroughly all the little that he knew about this country - according
to all signs, they already were not far from the borders of the
Middle Kingdom (4) and from Cuivienen, the Waters of
Folko sat and looked to the East. The forest plain went
down smoothly, the countless tree's tops merged in a uniform blue
cover far away. Even experienced hobbit's eyes failed to find any
hint for a path there.
All three understood now that their hunt for the Leader
finally failed. What to do now? Either break through back to the
West and try to expiate their involuntary sin joining Gondor's
army, waiting for the inevitable beginning of the bloody fight
somewhere on the banks of Anduin? Or to give up and return to
the Shire? (This opportunity, however, was thrown away by Folko
from the very beginning.) Or to offer their service to the Middle
Kingdom following Naugrim's (5) advice?
The hobbit scratched his teeth. Unfulfilled Duty made him
bend to the ground better than any Ring, and, maybe because of
understanding of intolerableness of this burden, the most ridiculous
idea for their situation came to Folko's head.
The Great Orlangur, the Spirit of Cognition, the Golden
Dragon of Those Who Seek the Revelations, the last among the
last hopes. If even he gives no answer - then nobody in the world
would give it, except only if they would probably reach the
But how to find him? Where to search for his magic cave
encircled by the crowds of the terrible monsters? Who could help
them except the Avari?
Folko took out Forve's ring. The stone in it became blue
again, and the fiery butterfly flapped its wings slowly and
regularly according to the hobbit's breath. Carefully he put the
precious thing right before him on the white rag spread above the
grass. Then the most difficult task was ahead. The vague guesses
that it is possible to make the ring's previous owners know about
themselves were not more than guesses and it was nothing that
could give a hint how exactly he can do it. The only thing left to
rely on - the intuition.
The hobbit closed his eyes and tried to imagine the stone as
clearly as possible. The fiery butterfly was the hobbit's gist, his
mysterious twin - the time had come for it to break the ties and set
off for a journey. The hobbit's will shut off the strange thoughts
one by one, concentrated on the stone and only on it. It proved to
be not simple, unwilled senses tried to break into the consciousness
from all directions like sharp needles - and retreated breaking
against the hard barrier of his own will. And then it seemed to him
that the stone is growing little by little, hiding the golden setting,
the complicated iridescent interlaces of fiery threads inside the
body and the wings of the butterfly became visible. Overcoming
dizziness, Folko glanced over the edge of the ledge on which the
creature was sitting - his breath stopped, but the sickness
disappeared at once because it was no stone anymore! Under the
azure dome of the sky the beautiful creature was soaring like a
fiery eagle. Folko did not feel his own body any more; the fresh
wind was blowing into his face, invisible wings spread out and he
His perfect guide rushed along before him cleaving the air.
And somebody's voice, calm and sensible, began to whisper to
"Two days of travel to the North. One day to travel up the
river. Turn to the East from three yellow cliffs. Wait near the Eight
Oaks in one day of travel away from the river."
And he rushed over the land, seeing all these signs and had
noticed tiny silver figures standing by the mighty row of the forest
giants on the top of the hill. The Elves heard and recognized him.
Yet he had time to see them raising hands in greeting, and
then the vision had disappeared at once.
So the friends moved to the North, exactly following the
directions. Two days passed - and they saw the river, wide and
slow that stayed nameless for them. They turned to the Dawn from
the yellow cliffs going deep into the free oak forests intermitted by
the wide meadows. Folko was perplexed - the landscape like this
could be found somewhere in the South Enedwaith but not here,
in the severe and cold North-East.
- The Elves labored here, no doubt - remarked the hobbit.
For a very long time didn't they see cheerful countries. The
Darkness was remembered here but its creatures dared not to show
themselves here, retreated before the proud power of the giant
oaks that raised like the fortress' towers.
The light South wind was blowing, silver ripples wrinkled
the mirrors of small ponds scattered here and there; the springs
hidden in the green grass bubbled going to the East and the giant
eagle was soaring very high above, in the sky unusually high and
clear, making wide circles.
- The Waters of Awakening are near. - said Folko in an
excited voice. - I feel it.
- Well - well... - murmured Thorin uncertainly. - As for me,
I don't care, Awakening or Slumbering, if only it could give any
result, if only they could show us the way.
- According to Naugrim, Forve and the others, the Great
Orlangur must know everything. - objected the hobbit.
- We'll see. - answered Thorin still skeptically. - Strictly
speaking, it's not about him, although all these Dragons are very
suspicious to us Dwarves, no matter whom they may be. And do
you remember that it is necessary to break through the crowds of
unknown monsters to his cave?
- Unfulfilled Duty is worse than any monsters. - answered
the hobbit gloomily, and Thorin fell silent, agreeing with his
- Wait a minute, what's there, before us, aren't there those
eight oaks we are searching for? - the Small Dwarf has meddled
in the talk pointing to the East.
Behind the small lake covered by a light haze the mighty
hill towered, nut-grove was on its green slopes and on the naked
top, amidst the young growth, so great eight oaks were standing
that even imperturbable Small Dwarf whistled with amazement.
Their tops joined, the branches intersected forming the real tree
castle on the height more than a hundred feet. It immediately
reminded to the hobbit the description of the Fair Lorien given in
the Red Book.
When the friends walked round the lake and went up by the
smooth and very long slope, finally reaching the feet of the Great
Oaks, the silver figures of the Avari appeared silently from the
green depths of the foliage not disturbing even a single leaf, like a
night shadows, and one of them raised his hand - just in the same
gesture that the hobbit saw following the strange air routes behind
the fiery butterfly from the ring.
- So, we met again, Folko Brendybuck, son of Humfast! -
said Forve the Prince in a clear and loud voice and the hobbit
bowed low before the king like Elf. - Did my gift help you? You
can feel a lot, a lot of things are opened to you - even if you don't
always understand it by your mind, but it's not always necessary.
Hail to you! I am glad to see you and your friends here, in these
lands belonging to our realm! But now, while refreshments are
being prepared, tell me: what had happened to you after our first
meeting? We followed the events as it was possible - the news of
fights and campaigns, of creation and destruction reach us, and we
know about the skirmish that took place on the grey banks of
Hoar(6) - but tell me what did you learn about the Leader!
Not soon could Thorin and the Small Dwarf overcome
their amazement - both saw the First Born for the first time and
gazed at them with admiration.
Several variously armed Elves surrounded the friends; one
of them looked at Thorin's armour as a real expert and gave him
the full goblet.
- Oh, yes! - smiled Forve. - Let's drink some invigorating
juices of Earth - for the success of what we had begun!
The hobbit felt giddy of extraordinary, subtle aromas that
came down to him like a wave when he made a first sip from a
finely crafted cup. Meanwhile, while other Elves have placed
food and drinks on a field table covered by a green table cloth. By
a welcoming gesture the Prince invited the friends to the meals.
But it was not Avari's habit to postpone the serious talks.
Had Forve heard the rest of the friend's story, he fell in thought,
his fair face dimmed.
- Well, if you are seeking the Great Dragon - it's my duty
to show you the way to him. But he is worried a little by small
scuffles between the Men. So. If all your suspicions are groundless,
he will simply answer nothing to you.
- But wouldn't the Great Orlangur warn you or the rulers
of the Middle Kingdom of so great a danger approaching? - asked
Folko with a full mouth.
The Prince hung his head in thought.
- The Great Orlangur is not our ruler. He doesn't wrap us
up in the suffocating curtain of his universal care... The blows that
fall on us we must parry by ourselves. That's why he might not
send a warning - because according to his inconceivable plan we
also must pass severely suffers. So don't expect an answer from
him as a direct order! He will eagerly tell you about deep stratums
of Universal Powers, but only if you are wise enough, in this case
his answers will be useful for you, only then you can get some use
for yourself from them.
- On the way here, - began Thorin gloomily, - we met both
friends and foes. But if all the foes are ready to join the Leader all
as the one, then our friends... everybody could find a thousand and
a one reason why he in no way can march with armed force against
this newly-appeared Black Spear. Why it is so?
- The thing is, my honorable Dwarf, that the Free were your
friends. In the first instance, Freedom is the presence of their own
immutable Duty. It is not the habit of the Light to attack first, it
only parries the blows, that's why all who gave you shelter
answered like that they would fight if they are attacked themselves
only. There are too many other worries for them now.
Thorin tried to raise an objection but the Small Dwarf
stopped his friend:
- Durin will judge between us, but would the Great Dragon
show us the way to the Leader anyway? Would he reveal the root
of his power? Would he explain us how to save the world from
Olmer? If yes, then we are three times stupid that lost the time
instead of going to bow him as a first thing. But if we hear the
vague magic idle talks again - what's the purpose for us to drag
- And by the way, - meddled Thorin again, not giving even
a second for the Prince to answer the Small Dwarf. - What about
your citizens, the mighty and glorious Prince Forve? Wouldn't
you, who already had fought with the Leader's detachments when
Oton tried to break through to the House of the Tall (7) - wouldn't
you move with all your great strength against him?
- We will maybe, - said Forve slowly, looking firmly and
directly to the Dwarf's eyes. - It will happen probably. That's why
the answers of the Great Orlangur are of the great importance for
us as well. That's why I personally was seeking a meeting with you
and why we met each other so easily here, on the very North-Eastern
border of our domain. We will pass the way to the Golden
Noiseless, like a forest ghost, one of the Prince's warriors
appeared near him and said a several words in an ancient Elvish in
a low voice. Forve turned to the friends, his big eyes narrowed.
- The eagles have noticed the ulag (8) coming down, - said
he in a low voice and his tone promised any good neither the ulag
himself nor those whom it flew to. - We must intercept them! For
a very, very long time nobody dared to walk in our lands...
- So what, will we pursue them? - inquired the Small
The Prince nodded and then the Small Dwarf spoke again:
- But what about the Great Dragon? I would like to hear
anyway whether he would give us an answer or not? And if yes,
then what answer?
- The Great Orlangur can reveal the nature of this Leader
to you. - answered Forve. - But don't hope too much that he will
be imbued with your passion to destroy him! Try to understand,
tangar (9), the Golden Dragon is on neither side, he is neither
Light nor Darkness, he is the Third Power! How can I tell you
beforehand what he will proclaim to you? We must reach him -
and hear everything by our own ears!
The feast was over just in a few minutes. The horses were
brought from somewhere and Forve led his small unit to South-East.
The Elves rode in silence. Shining armours were hidden
under shabby grey cloaks, gems did not shine, the silver of
incisions did not sparkle, only wonderful hair of the warriors itself
like both gold and silver but much fairer because of its life curled
in the air.
The hobbit couldn't understand for the first time how the
Elves can choose the right direction, but then he noticed the small
black dot above the horizon - the eagle circled above one place,
showing the way.
Before the sunset Forve ordered to make a short halt. Some
nice scenting liquid was give to their horses - and they cheered at
once. The beverage restoring strength was presented to the friends
as well. Folko immediately how the pain leaves his tired legs as if
he didn't spent long hours in a saddle.
They rode until the deep dusk leaving free oak forests
behind, crossing small rivers, overcoming ravines barring the way
sometimes. Despite the beverage, the strength began to leave Folko
little by little - and the Prince have given the order to stop as if
guessed his thoughts.
- We can't go closer. - said he by his lips only but was
heard by everybody. - We must find out, who are they and how
numerous. Then we'll decide what to do.
The hobbit and the dwarves looked at each other and Folko
stepped forward resolutely.
- I'll penetrate there. - said he, looking into the Prince's
Forve was not smiling as the hobbit feared but nodded
- Very well. But Amrod and Bearnas will cover you. Fixing
their armours, the dwarves settled themselves in the first row of the
warriors ready to attack. The bushes closed behind the hobbit and
his two companions. The scouts crawled forward with caution
merging with the grey night shadows. Firstly they were forced to
crawl along the slope smoothly going up, in the thick young
growth but soon the slope changed into a flat top - and they
noticed a watchman. A short figure was sitting on a stumb in the
shadow of the oaks. When saw the big bow, Folko recognized the
Hazg and was just about to take out his throwing knife but Bearnas
softly stopped him. The Elf took a pinch of a white, sharp smelling
powder out of the box on his belt. Having said to Amrod and the
hobbit to wait, Bearnas disappeared in the bushes. Just a little time
after that it seemed to Folko that a light cloud wrapped up the
watchman's head and disappeared at once. The watchman began
to bend to one side until he fell from the stumb. His sleepy snoring
reached the hobbit's ears. Bearnas stood up from the shrubbery in
two steps from the watchman and waived to the friends to come
The forest ended. They were looking down into the narrow
hollow between two mighty hills: down there, in the midst of nut-grove
the small fire was burning, hardly could be seen. Couple of
dozens of the Hazgs were sitting around, their horses nibbled the
grass a little further.
By the gesture Amrod showed that they may return - the
task proved to be easier that they expected but the hobbit stopped
- I want to listen what they are talking about. - said he, - it's
not that thing during interrogation... And to say more, what if we'll
not manage to capture that one who knows more than the others?
The Elves looked at each other and nodded silently. Having
said goodbye to them by a glance and having the knife in his teeth,
Folko crawled cautiously down the slope hiding in the thick nut-grove;
the Elves put arrows on their bows being ready to shoot.
Soon Folko was in the bottom of the hollow. He didn't feel
fear like earlier; even the usual excitement disappeared. He had a
task and was obliged to fulfill it in the best way. Hidden in a tall
grass he began to listen. The Hazgs were talking in their strange
dialect, though not completely, Folko could understand what they
are talking about - not for nothing had he spent several months in
the same unit with the warriors of this tribe (10). An old, grey-haired
Hazg was speaking, four young warriors were listening to
him; the rest most likely were sleeping after the supper. All the
calm flew away from Folko after the very first phrases understood
by him, the heart began to beat hard, his forehead covered with
perspiration - the talk was about the Celestial Fire and how the
Leader is binded to it!
- The great power is hidden in the Celestial Fire, - told the
old man in a slightly singing voice, - great is it and vague to the
Mortal man. It is well known that Earnil, our great Leader is
searching for the places of the fall of this Fire, a lot of units were
sent to find them - like mine. (Here Folko grasped that obviously
two different units met here.) And we found it! We found this
place! From the ancient times, far away over Mordor where I
happened to be for trade... - then the unclear names of countries
followed, they told nothing to the hobbit, - there existed strange
legends about how in the year of the Great Battle on Anduin the
great fire came from the sky and burned the soil to its stony
basement. For a long time I thought that it is lies only - until I
visited this place by myself. Let the fate save you from that, my
brothers! If it were not the Leader's task, I would never approach
this place closer than three distances of the bow shot. The dead
terror is drowsing in this hill, half-cut as if the fiery sword of the
Powers of the Sunset had fallen again on our world like in the days
of the Fall of the Northern Fortress (11) long time ago. I only
could glance into that hole - and I felt myself so sick that even now
I can't remember how I managed to get out of there. And the local
dwellers say that in dark autumn nights the slightly glowing shape
of the warrior in the wonderful armour can be seen in the bottom
of that pit... But only two such brave men were found during all
three hundred years that passed... And we sent the ulag and
received an answer and a lot of gold was given to our families in
the Free Region (12), and the Leader personally rode there. There
he must have got something really important for the war - like that
it was said to us.
- Yeah... - one of the warriors shuddered, - And how many
places of this sort exist?
- A lot, - answered the old man, - I personally ran into these
places not once and not twice. But not any Celestial Fire is needed
for the Leader. Only eight places like that were found until this
time, and my unit have found the ninth, and, as I understood from
the Leader's words, it's the last one.
The words were said. The talk beside the fire was going on
while the hobbit clutched the iron of the knife with his teeth in
order to suppress a shout. Like blinding lightning had flashed up
in his mind driving away the darkness of ignorance densed there
long time ago. Losing consciousness, Folko squeezed his head by
both hands, his mouth was full of blood from cut lips but he didn't
pay attention to that - the terrible guess burned his mind like a
scorching iron and he wanted to howl, to cry out, to shout because
all their wise reasonings proved to be useless; the single talk,
eavesdropped due to the will of blind fate - and everything was set
on their places. NINE! The number of doom for the Middle-Earth.
The number of the terrible Nazgul whom the Darkness gave the
birth to, the Black Riders of Sauron! Did they really not... Did
they not leave the world in the days of the end of the Third Age?
Did the all-burning flame of the Mountain of Doom not devour
them? Did their dark remains really return to the world somehow -
and now Olmer is collecting the certain parts of their ancient
supernatural power? How simple is all this! How simple!
Folko didn't remember how he crawled away from the fire.
It was not right indeed - he had to listen to the complete talk and
so on... but the hobbit could think of one thing only in these
minutes. He slipped in the grass like a grass-snake - and soon he
found the Elves waiting for him. Hardly speaking with his shaking
lips, he could say only one thing: "To the Prince! Hurry!". Amrod
and Bearnas did not understand what had happened but what they
learned at once is that it's something important. Their faces
changed, eyebrows knitted; not losing a second, they hurried back
nearly dragging the hobbit on their hands.
Forve, the Dwarves and the other Elves listened to the
hobbit's story, indistinct against his will, without interruption. The
Prince's face became even more gloomy, his eyes widened nearly
to the half of his face, severe warriors' spirit was rising from the
depth of his thoughts becoming stronger.
For a long time nobody dared to break the silence. Only
Thorin groaned scratching his beard furiously.
- Well, so this is supposed to be the answer... - said Forve
in half-voice as if talking to himself, looking somewhere in the
space. - If all this is true...
- Looks like that. - began Thorin hoarsely. - Whatever you
look at - it's quite resembling! Do you remember, Folko - they
said to us: the Leader changes, changes so much that even his
companions in arms begin to frighten! It was you who said - looks
like the One Ring is in his hand! What can he search for in the
places where remains of these damned Nazgul lie? Their Rings
probably or what? Aren't all the Nine Deadly Rings belong to him
- Save us the Great Orlangur from that! - muttered the
Prince becoming visibly pale.
- Looks like he didn't. - remarked Thorin gloomily
clenching his axe with excitement. - We must go to him, now! And
as for the Elves - they soon will be forced to clean the rust from
their swords if it appeared there by chance!
- Yes, we will... - echoed Forve.
- Where to now? - inquired the Small Dwarf in a business
like manner, being the first to come to himself. - Is it so necessary
now to drag ourselves to this Golden Dragon if we already know
- But what else to do? - wondered Thorin.
- What do you mean what? To raise the Elvish armies! If
the noble Prince himself considers that his people will be forced
- No, we must go to the Great Orlangur in any case. -
objected Forve. - Firstly, all this is not more than our guesses.
They are looking very, very like the truth, terribly near to it, I dare
say, but we must be completely sure. And as for my people, they
can't fight alone against the whole, - the Prince stressed the last
word, - I repeat, against the whole East. We need the Union! The
armies of the Middle Kingdom, of Gondor, Arnor, of the Western
Elves and Dwarves, of the Black Naugrims are necessary - then we
will stop Olmer. I must talk to my grandfather as soon as possible!
He is the High Kink of the Waters of Awakening, he is the witness
of all the Middle-Earth's ages, I think we can find the way out
basing on his wisdom and the Great Orlangur's advises. Let's not
loose our time!
- What about this Leader's unit, my Prince? - asked one of
- Let them go. - said Forve without hesitation. - They are
scouts, they have fulfilled their task. Let them go. Let Olmer stay
ignorant concerning us, the Avari. We yet will not attack him
openly - we'll strike suddenly and so that our blow will be
remembered for a long time by him.
- It is not my habit - to let the enemy go without forcing
him to try my axe's sharpness on their own neck. - grumbled
Thorin. - You Elves are the wonderful archers - why not to shoot
all these guys right now, using the darkness?
Folko noticed an open disgust on the faces of the Elves -
not towards Thorin and not to the way of his thoughts but to the
supposed deed. The Dwarf felt that and became tensed at once.
- As far as I remember, the Elvish archers shoot quite
skillfully from the ambush when Oton's unit was breaking through
to the House of the Tall. - said he angrily. - What prevents you
- You even can't imagine what could happen if Oton breaks
to the House of the Tall. - answered Forve in a low voice, shaking
his head. - It's against our habit to strike from ambush, to the back,
and believe me, we suffer much when we are forced to do so... But
the treasures of the House are too precious! Would they come to
the dirty hands - nothing will survive - probably the Great
Orlangur only. That's why we keep watch there. But this unit is
not dangerous for us. We have found out why it is here. Now we
must think what to do further.
- What's further... - grumbled the Small Dwarf digging the
ground by his boot's toe. - How much can we really think out?
What else this your Dragon can tell us?..
Forve looked at him attentively.
- Don't give in to dejection, my friend. - said he. - Your
suspicions will vanish like a smoke if you talk to the Great
Orlangur personally. It's a great luck, believe me, - to talk to the
Third Power. You can count by your fingers all those Mortals who
dared to do that - and two hands will be quite enough.
- And how long will it take us to reach his cave? - asked
Folko impatiently, eaten by the eternal hobbit's curiosity.
- Twelve or fourteen days from here. - answered Forve. -
And then I must go to the Waters of Awakening, I would be happy
if the circumstances were favorable and you could be my guests.
But alas! I foresee that the dark days are ahead for all of us. -
finished the Prince in a sad half-whisper.
- So why we are standing here? - inquired Thorin in a
caustic manner. - If we really exercised clemency to these Hazgs -
why do we linger? To Orlangur - well, let's go to Orlangur!
- You're right. - answered the Prince and ordered to leave.
The days of the journey with the Elves along their
flourishing, cared and peaceful country were the real bless after the
long months of wandering. They didn't idle but didn't rush either.
The Elves sang in the evenings - sometimes in a choir, sometimes
solo, and their songs, more fair that the hobbit had ever heard,
made tremble the strings of his soul unknown before; he marched
to the depths of the centuries with the singers, he heard the shouts
of battles that left unknown to the West, the histories of great
passions, meetings and partings, bitter victories and defeats making
you to clench the teeth and hold the sword more firmly...
The landscape changed little by little. The forests became
thicker, the clear spaces became scarce; the oaks gave place to
mixed thickets, nearly impassable. The marshes appeared, the
black stagnated pools where the fallen trees decayed slowly in the
dark water; the heather grew on higher places, the ripe red
bilberry reddened on the stumbs. More and more often the dark-green
spears of firs pierced narrow tops of the trees covered by not
yet yellow leaves.
- Our border is here. - said Forve answering the silent
hobbit's question. - The Great Orlangur changes nothing by
himself, he doesn't improve or alter. The wild nature is his world;
this is it on which his thoughts visible to us are concentrated, but
who knows what really his all-penetrating mind is worried of? Be
ready, the Golden Dragon cave is guarded - his own offsprings, the
terrible creatures of the other world's origin... it is known that the
Great Orlangur had surrounded his dwelling by them in order not
to be disturbed for nothing; that who have the strong will can pass
anyway. Don't fear anything! The Orlangur's envoys don't kill.
And, as if in respond to his words, the strange winged
shadow slipped above their heads sprawled in fast and noiseless
flight and disappeared behind the tops of the trees. Folko just
seized his bow but Amrod hold back his hand.
- It is not necessary. - said the Elf calmly.
In the night Folko sleeplessly fidgeted from side to side on
his couch made of a fern in a hurry. For the first time he mused on
seriously on whom he has to talk with about his nearest future. The
stories about the Spirit of Cognition stayed nothing more than
wonderful, slightly dreadful tales until the last days. And then, now
he goes himself to this supernatural creature of another world; he
is going to ask questions and to get the answers. Folko didn't know
from where did the awareness that it is he who must ask came -
simply one more invisible burden have been laid on his shoulders.
Despite the Prince's warnings, the night passed quietly.
And in the morning, when they continued their journey, hardly
breaking through the fallen trees, the forest was still quite and
lifeless around them.
- So, where are these monsters? - addressed Thorin to
The Elf shrugged his shoulders silently, but astonishment
was in his eyes.
The place became higher gradually, the black stagnate
marshes disappeared, giving place to the dry pine forests. The
horses' hoofs stepped upon the solid carpet of moss; the raspberry
bushes could be seen on the edges of the grassy spaces, but they
disappeared soon, the dense layer of fallen needles has spread
before them, the giant mast-like pine trees have raised their tops
somewhere to the very sky making a slight noise in the Eastern
wind. The Prince stopped his horse and wiped perspiration from
his forehead while it was not hot at all.
- For the first time it's like this. - said he voiceless, and the hobbit
saw how the slim white Elf's fingers squeezed his sword's shaft
decorated with mithril. - This ever happened neither to me nor to
anybody of our people. It's unprecedented! Not even a single
- Maybe they will appear further? - supposed Thorin.
- I doubt. - the Prince shook his head. - These forests are the
nearest place to the cave. If you reach this place - then the Great
Orlangur will accept you...
The Small Dwarf who kept the gloomy silence all the way
long, made an ugly face and spitted in anger.
- For nothing did we drag ourselves here. - proclaimed he. -
No, you do what you want, I'll not make even a single step further.
I don't trust these Dragons! Watch for yourself, cause they gonna
swallow you! Maybe he lured us here for that purpose!
- You ought not to speak so confidently about the matters
that you don't know well enough. - the Prince upbraided the
Dwarf softly. - The Great Orlangur doesn't need the food like that,
I assure you.
- You Elves look how lean you are, maybe he doesn't need
you while me and Thorin he will swallow for sure, and will take
a bite of the hobbit as well!
Forve sighed slightly one can hear, looking down at the
Small Dwarf like at a disobedient child; and the Dwarf has felt
that obviously because he frowned and sniffed obstinately.
- Don't be stubborn, Strori. - said Thorin in a half voice. -
What came upon you?
The Small Dwarf still kept silence and it seemed to the
hobbit who looked at him with astonishment (the Small Dwarf
always was famous for his common sense), it suddenly seemed that
not at all the fear to be swallowed alive stops him but something
much more deep, not only the fear for his life but also...also...
Folko finally failed to define that. The Small Dwarf obviously
feared to meet the Dragon but it looked like that he feared not for
all three of them but for himself only, as if it was him, the Small
Dwarf, whom some danger threatened there. Found himself in
complete confusion, Folko said nothing.
They could not persuade the Small Dwarf finally. At last
Thorin, being driven to distraction, waved his hand.
- I never thought that you are such a coward! - growled he.
The Small Dwarf twitched as if slapped in the face but
replied nothing while Thorin certainly thought he will.
- Well, fine! Be here then! Wait for us! U-uh... - Thorin
swore intricately in a strange language and turned off.
The Prince left three warriors with the Small Dwarf and the
company moved on. Folko rode lost in guesses. The Small Dwarf
threw himself fearlessly in all desperate and hopeless fights that
happened not once on their long way, but it was him who always
called for their prudence, called them not to run into trouble when
it was possible to avoid it - but, being put in his oar, he never
retreated. For the long time the Small Dwarf hold back Thorin by
all means from the suicidal attempt to murder the Leader in his
own camp but when it came to fight - he didn't waver. What could
frighten him now? To frighten so much that he even forgot the firm
law of their company: "Where two of them go, there goes the third
Having no answer, the hobbit looked askance at Thorin.
The Dwarf rode being extremely gloomy, he crumpled the shaft of
his axe and muttered something illegible.
Being busy with thoughts of the Small Dwarf, the hobbit
did not look aside at all; the ascent was over meanwhile, the forest
also, the unit has ridden to the spacious grassy plateau. Far away,
beside the group of the high elm-trees, some black patch could be
seen. Folko's heart began to beat hard - it was the entrance to the
Folko looked around. The grass that could hide him
completely had spread in green waves; in still warm sunlight - it
was the last week of August - the small flying creatures enjoyed
their existence thoughtlessly. Something rustled, scratched, darted
in the depths of the green thickets, invisible life of those was
humming there, for whom this meadow was a really thick forest.
No any traces of paths or roads, no buildings anywhere. The
hobbit's horse stepped forward once, twice - and, like some
sharply outlined circle was passed, the blinding light of giant alien
Power broke into the hobbit's mind. Folko screwed up his eyes
covering them by his hand like against the Sun. He never faced
anything like that earlier; and if the power of the Great Orlangur
exposed to the World is so strong here, a great deal far, then how
does he look like himself, in his dwelling?
But a short time later Had felt himself at home in this
stream of power flowing to him and through him, like one can get
accustomed to the bright light of day after the full darkness. He
tried to feel this Power, he tried to reach its source with invisible
fingers of his own feelings - but could understand nothing, the only
thing left in his mind was tranquility. Unprecedented, impossible
tranquility of such a giant Building that the dark Morgoth's and
Sauron's depositories and the shining palaces of the Rulers of
Valinor grew dim before it. Everything real, everything happening
and taking place did this Power absorb - everything was its food
for reflections, inconceivable for the mind of the Mortal or the
First Born. Universal comprehension and tranquility... Tranquility
and universal comprehension...
The hobbit forced his horse to go forward. Forve, unusually
stern and tensed like a bow ready to shoot moved beside him.
Thorin followed them, with the armour mask on his face for some
reason. All other Elves stayed by the border of the circle of Power.
It was hard to ride - like moving apart the viscous marsh...
to say more precisely, not the marsh, the marsh is something vile,
sticky and cold, full of ugly creatures; in this case the air itself
became dense and like pushed the walker to his sides, and then the
sky has changed its color. From the blue, high, with the giant
towers of clouds here and there it became softly green - exactly as
the grass in the spring. The bright lights began to shine through the
greenish glow, the hobbit recognized the familiar constellations.
Not having time to surprise, he noticed some stirring by the
entrance, his hand rushed to the weapon by itself and, like
answering to his reckless move, the shadow sprang forward with
the growl, appearing right before him.
Dumbfounded, Folko gazed at an unbelievable miracle: the
creature consisted like of three bodies, it had three heads, six hands
and legs; but the most striking was that these three bodies belonged
to nobody else but to the twins of the hobbit, the Elf and the
Dwarf. And, according to all signs, these twins were in quite an
unfriendly mood: the Dwarf raised his axe for strike, the Elf
unsheathed his sword, the throwing knife was in the hobbit's hand.
- Take off your weapons. - heard Folko the whisper of
Forve, light like a wind. - I was terrified myself but now - take it
away! I know the creatures of this sort.
Obeying, the hobbit and the Dwarf got the better of
themselves and the terrible creature retreated immediately,
growling with satisfaction. And they heard a short phrase - each of
then in his own language - "come in".
The entrance to the cave, wide, overgrown by the strange
emerald-colored moss opened before them welcoming. The fluent
descent was laid with smooth river stones. Somewhere from the
depth the slight golden shine was going mixing with the emerald
glow of the walls and ceiling. Forve dragged the hobbit by the
sleeve. It was necessary to go inside.
It would be not correct to say that Folko Brendybuck
entered the Great Orlangur's dwelling in a firm pace and with his
head raised proudly. His heart was beating hard, his mouth was dry
and his knees shivered perceptibly. He looked at Thorin stealthily -
and felt some sort of relief because the Dwarf was not looking too
confident either. Forve was pale as well although he probably
entered the cave not for the first time; anyway it was no time for
the hobbit to think of new fears anymore. He forced himself to
raise his eyes, looked forward - and saw the Great Orlangur!
There, in the depth of the giant cave that was impossible to
take in, brightened by the soft greenish shimmer emitted by the
dense mosses hanging down from the walls, on the stony eminence
covered by the wonderful grass-carpet, the infinite winds of the
long and proportional body were shining with a golden light. The
heavy head with a scintillating crown rested on a low parapet, the
heavy eyelids were half closed - but even in the narrow split
between them the hobbit could see the wonderful clear blue color
of the Golden Dragon's eyes.
- Come closer, the Born. - the hobbit have heard the low
and quite voice speaking the words inside his mind. - come closer,
sit down and ask your questions.
Only now did the hobbit notice the stony benches beside
the parapet located so that the looks of the guests and the host
were on the same level - the Great Orlangur did not need even the
smallest signs of subordination and submission of those who come
to him seeking knowledge.
The Dragon's eyes stayed half closed all the time while the
Elf, the Dwarf and the hobbit went to their places. When they sat
down, the Great Orlangur talked again:
- You aspire to make a change in the world. You have
conceived an action. Tell me, what help would you like to get?
The silence fell. Folko tried to open his mouth but some power, a
hundred times stronger than his own, had clenched his jaws. Not
turning away his look, mesmerized, he stared in the narrow at the
narrow split between the heavy eyelids of the Golden Dragon. He
couldn't move and felt only one thing - impossible, unimaginary
rest that filled everything around. No powers, no Rings, neither
Ungoliant (13), nor Valinor could declare themselves here in this
cave. Cognition and comprehension only... Forve had said that
Orlangur is above both the Good and the Evil, he is neither Light
nor Darkness - and not a mixture of them.
The time had slowed its rush, the seconds lasted as an
hours; Folko didn't turn away his gaze, the Great Orlangur waited
The Prince's voice reached the hobbit's ears:
- Hail and respect to you, the Great Orlangur. We came
here to seek your advice in this moment, really hard for the
Middle-Earth. The new Power have risen between the Men and we
suspect that its bearer, the man named Olmer, or Earnil, or the
Leader - he is named differently by the different tribes - have
gathered the remains of the Power belonged to the Nine Spectres,
to the Nine Dark Servants of Sauron. He calls the numerous armies
together in the East preparing invasion to the West, aspiring to do
away with the Elves - firstly in the West, then probably in the East
as well. These two valiant warriors tried to murder him while
knew nothing of the magic he really possesses. We reckoned that
when murder him, they will pull out the root of the poisoned
cereal of the bloody war that might turn into dust the homes of
Folko Brendybuck and Thorin Dartul. They had accomplished the
attempt to murder him but had no success. Olmer, the man with the
terrible gifts of the Vanished darkness have disappeared
somewhere in the spaciousness of the Middle-earth. Could you
please give us a hint where to search for him? Where to find, and
the most important thing - how to manage him? Because I foresee
that the Avari would not to stay above the fight, they will be
forced to join it like in the ancient days of Sauron's offensive.
What would you answer us, or I must tell you the whole story from
the very beginning?
The words said by the Prince like have drew off the
hobbit's numb, he turned red of the sudden shame blaming his
shyness. He felt much hurt - to be fair, it was him who had to
address the Spirit of Cognition!
Suddenly the Dragon raised his eyelids quickly and looked
straight at the hobbit with his bottomless eyes, blue like the sky
itself - directly into his soul; the last depths of mind had reached
this gaze, and everything that formed the hobbit's gist became like
doubled and Folko understood that his bodiless twin has appeared
in the Great Orlangur's mind. It was impossible to hide or conceal
anything and Folko opened himself going to meet this piercing
stare - in order to the Great Orlangur knew that he has nothing to
- Since long I've been waiting for you. - heard Folko the
soundless voice of the Golden Dragon in his mind. - I even ordered
my children not to disturb you in order you came here without
efforts unnecessary in this case. The strong indignation arose in the
balanced being of the World, the Scales (14) have oscillated. This
man whom you named in the different ways - this Leader really
possesses the great power. Valiant you are going against it! I can
feel his power and feel yours as well that is growing mature there,
on the very sunset edge of the Middle-Earth, the power aimed at
the Leader. I watched him and you and when you turned your way
to me, I decided that you must reach me. So, you want to know
what is the nature of the Leader's power, isn't it the new
embodiment of the Eternal Enemy?
Orlangur paused and, despite the fact that the hobbit
listened at this voice as did never before, the thought flashed that
perhaps the Golden Dragon is somewhat too loquacious.
- Yes, I'd like to tell you, - went on the Great Orlangur
meanwhile, - that his power is really from the Nine. I knew them -
both as the Men and as the Spectres. They were the famous
warriors and generals, having mighty will, fearless and power
loving. Aspiring to the power with passion, they took the Rings of
Power from the hands of Sauron - as you call him although his
name is completely different. This story is well known by you. But
I doubt that you know not only the Rings affected their bearers but
the Men wearing them affected these really terrible creations of the
mighty Spirit as well. Because action is equal to the counteraction,
something, acting on something can't stay unchanged, it is the
subject for the influence of the object of its actions. This is the
universal law and it is inexorable. The Rings had changed their
bearers, the bodies had scattered into dust - only the skeletons
supported by the magic powers retained the likeness of life, the
Nine Ring-bearers had become the most terrible and faithful
servants of Sauron, absolutely loyal to him because he was the
source of their existence. They became the creatures of Darkness
everything human was erased in them - but the Rings didn't stay
unchanged too. For the power of the Men had transformed them as
well, very little, but did however, carrying the human principle in
them. And little by little, from the initially destructive substance,
the Rings turned into the complicated of to the first glance
incompatible essences. The bearers added to the power of the
Rings - to the ability to rule and subordinate, to the ability to
control the other world's powers - the ability to fascinate the
people, the art of the warship and the art of building the states, the
ability to go deep into the needs of the small and weak, everything
without what no leader can succeed... And the initial substance of
the Rings was not itself anymore. No, it didn't vanish anywhere,
it still dominates in the remains of the Rings threatening its owner
by the terrible end but much human was added to it. You would
ask me - how did Olmer acquire these powers? I'll tell you.
When the Omnipotent Fate had decided the lot of the One
Ring and it fell down to the fiery abyss of Orodruin along with the
creature named Gollum, the time was called for the other Nine as
well that were totally subordinate to the One and depended on it.
The Sauron's power was ruined, he was depersonifying leaving
our world and going to the Nothingness for a time. And the Nazgul
couldn't not to follow their ruler. I remember - the deepest of the
deepest bones of the world shuddered when the Purple Flame, the
Fire of the depths set by Melkor himself took the Great One Ring.
The initial gist of the Nine Deadly Rings attracted them inexorably
to follow the Main One and in this very moment the most terrible
thing happened. For now, when lost the power of Sauron
maintaining their being, the Ring-bearers suddenly, for the last
short seconds, had got the ability to comprehend and to feel like
the Men again, they had remembered their human past - and
became aware of those unimaginary - by your minds - depths of
requital where they were going to fall. That was the retribution
imposed by Iluvatar according to Manve Sulimo's request. I
remember their cry - the terror inexpressible by words was in it.
And then the raging Fire took them - many saw this, as well as
those two little ones from the far country to the Sunset who
managed to bring the Main Ring to Orodruin.
But then something had happened that happens sometimes
in our world, defeating all intentions of the Powers of the Sunset
who like the rest too much and think that they can foresee
everything at all. The Purple Flame did not devour the Ring-bearers.
The union of incompatible gifts, the union of the initial
powers and the human will be proved to be too hard for it. The
raging depths blew up in the fiery spasm not seen before and those
eight Nazgul who had plunged into the fire were thrown back into
the world by the strength of this explosion. They perished but the
fire had only licked their skeletons, only partially had gnawed the
Rings. As the flashing meteors they crossed the sky and collapsed
to the ground like the Celestial Fire coming down from the upper
spheres from time to time. That's how they ingraved in the memory
of those who saw the places of their fall. The Rings remained in
the World, free, left to their own. They were not golden anymore,
they became black and charred as if were made not of metal but of
plain wood. But they remained whole! They left to lay waiting for
the hand that will dare to pick them up. The Powers of the West
forgot about them thinking that all labors of Sauron were
destroyed completely but it was not so. The Rings themselves,
been in the second time in the furnace that gave birth to them, had
changed much. It was the initial darkness put in them by Sauron
that perished first in the flame. It was akin the Purple Fire and
those invisible parts put in these slim golden rims by the Master of
Mordor were burning and melting in it. But that what was given by
the Men to the Rings proved to be much stronger, as I knew
before. It couldn't escape the partial destruction but much more
came off unscathed. This is the point explaining why the Leader
didn't turn into the precise likeness of the Nine.
- And the Ninth Ring? - asked Folko greedily. - It must
belong to the Ghost King himself who was slain on the Pelennor
- That's true. - answered the Great Orlangur, - It was that
Ring that was the last to be found by Olmer. The thing is that the
Ghost King did not vanish without leaving a trace either. The
empty armour and cloak left where he was slain while he was
thrown far to the East and fell to the ground there, exactly like his
companions several days later.
- But how did Olmer acquire the power? - asked the hobbit
He already felt himself quite at home and had no fear. The
Golden Dragon spoke without a hurry and in details - like the old
and wise councellor, Gandalf probably could speak so.
- You already guessed much by yourselves. - The Spirit of
Cognition began, - Yes, he was searching for the places where the
Nazgul fell, firstly unintentionally, then with the purpose - and
took the remains of the Rings. His power grew as he found each
new Ring and finally he became capable of what was possible for
the Spirits only in the ancient times.
- But what it began from? When? - asked Thorin in a hoarse
voice, - For I knew Olmer long time ago, when I myself was
- How it began? Wondering in the East with the company
of gold-diggers, he ran into the place of one of the Nazgul's fall.
The belief exists among the hunters for the yellow metal that the
gold attracts the Celestial Fire, the veins must be found where the
Flame from the Spheres had stroke. That's why it's the gold-diggers
who have the most precise knowledge about the Celestial
Fire. They searched for these places with purpose.
That's how the first Ring found itself in Olmer's hands.
Most likely, he didn't understand at that time what exactly had he
found. He could consider it as the magic talisman, for his business
had improved dramatically. Distinguished by the great abilities
even without the Ring, he united all free and dashing people of the
Rhun lands around him. But as soon as he picked up the first
Deadly Ring, the Balance of the World started. The new weight
had fallen to its dark pan - from your point of view.
Quite soon Olmer understood that the thin black rim that he
found is the thing far not simple and began trying to find out what
is this and where it came from. But then he found the second one -
and felt how his power had increased. The further is simple. The
mighty and power loving mind had got the desired magic means to
embody his plans. For a long time was Olmer delirious of power,
of his own kingdom - but not only that led him. He began to raise
the neighboring tribes tempting them by the struggle with the
Elves, playing on the ancient fear of death, for a long time
possessing the tribe of the Younger Children of Iluvatar. But these
were not the empty words for him that are said for deceiving. He
believes in them reverently - and that's why he is especially
dangerous to those who think in a different way. The people feel
his sincerity - and the more willingly do they follow him. The
Rings only had improved his natural abilities - and for a long time
not more than the mighty, lucky and fearless Leader was before
Olmer's supporters, acquiring new and new power, finding the
way to the people's hearts not by the fear and lies but by the
boldness and understanding. For a very, very long time was the
destroying work of the Rings go on unperceptibly. Only recently
something visible began to appear.
The years passed, the units, especially sent to all sides had
found the new Rings one by one, not knowing what they are
searching for. The hidden channel of communication appeared
between the Ring-bearer and the Tied, with Melkor himself whose
body, whatever it is - is chained but the spirit is free. Stealthily the
Chained began to give Olmer a shove towards the more resolute
deeds but at this moment "the scythe ran onto the stone" as they
say. The spirit of the Chained is weak - and the Leader is of those
who resist any violence from the outside. Olmer continued to act
according to his own mind.
Not only the Men began to reach for him little by little. The
Orcs also felt that the "new Master" had appeared. I am sorry for
them - as for all who lives in the Middle-Earth and I'd like to save
them from the final destruction. You know what happened then.
Olmer had gathered the big army, fortified in the lands behind the
Empty Mountains in the far East - and proceeded with the hunt for
the Rings. Little by little, step by step, he had puzzled out their
secret - but not completely. He still doesn't understand what
exactly he will turn into. He supposes that despite everything, the
Nine were the Men. The truth is hidden from him yet, although he
understands that he will be forced to part with much of his human
past. And just recently his scouts have found the last, the Ninth
Ring, the Ghost King's Ring - and he rushed for it. As soon as it
will be in his hands - the exterminating war will break out. Did I
answer your question?
The voice speaking in the hobbit's mind became silent and
for some time all of them sat motionlessly, trying to comprehend
what they have heard. Their guesses proved to be true - but what
to do now?
- Thank you for the answer, the Great, - Thorin broke the
silence. - We have learned everything that we waned to know
about the nature of this power, where it came from, why and how
it arose. But now we'd like to ask more - how we can manage it?
How can we defeat Olmer?
- You had lost the last opportunity to kill him when he
slipped by you in the canyon. Now you can't reach him. I can't
foresee the future in such small details to tell you where he will be
in some definite day. But... he has found the Ninth Ring and it will
definitely drive him to Dol-Guldur. The black chain must be
- Why ?! - surprised the hobbit.
- Because it is Dol-Guldur where the Nazgul nested for
long centuries - while their master, Sauron, was depersonofied,
Dol-Guldur is the symbol of the freedom of the Nazgul, there the
parts of their power changed by the Fire of the Depths can unite
into the new gist. Something stronger than knowledge will drive
Olmer there. But nobody knows when he will be there. You may
try to intercept him there, by the Castle on the Marshes.
- The Great, but why don't you, so omnipotent, so all-knowing,
so invincible, why don't you leave this cave and help
Folko understood that it's senseless to speak like that but
these words came from him against his will. He wished so much
that somebody powerful had come and brushed off this Leader
saving them from this heavy burden. Everybody refused but the
hope still remained that some time they will meet the more
powerful who will agree. This hope vanished now - nobody was
more powerful that the Great Orlangur in the Middle-Earth. The
weak hope certainly remained - for the Ents and for Tom
Bombadil who is still living in the Old Forest...
The Dragon's eyes closed slowly.
- To help you? - echoed he, - But don't I actually help you?
- But it's not enough! - exclaimed Folko with passion,
paying no attention to the warning handshake of the Prince. - For
your appearance only can restore the peace and calm! And
otherwise - it was you who told that - it will be exterminating war,
thousands perished, the cities burned down, the blood, the death,
the grief! What all this for if we can avoid it?
- You offer me to become the universal supervisor and to
deprive the Men of the greatest gift of Iluvatar - the free will?
- Don't distort the meaning of my words! - the blood rushed
to Folko's head, - But why wouldn't you prevent this war?
- But what's the difference between this war and those that
were before it or the future ones? Once meddled, one can't stop
himself. Try to understand, hobbit, the Men are free and the power
that could order them how to behave doesn't exist. It is far, very
far to those times when the wars will disappear. The force now is
the only mean to resolve the contradictions among the powerful.
It will be no Olmer anymore - then somebody else will arise. It
was just a chance that it was him who found the Deadly Rings, but
even if they really vanished without a trace, the Men will never
reconcile themselves to their Fate. Deep, very deep had Iluvatar
put the nonremovable root of the hidden enmity between the
Mortal and the First Born. Painful is the parting with the
wonderful World, hard and exhaustive is the strengthless old age,
illnesses, famine - all this is following the Human race. But at the
same time the wonderful, immortal First Born Elves are near!
Why, for what great merits the eternal life was given to them? For
a lot of centuries does this question torture the Men. And while the
Death is not defeated, until that time the desperate Men will arise
who will desire to revenge the Elder Children of Iluvatar - or, as
the worst case, their allies. This is the first.
And the second. Everything that happens is well founded
and well grounded always. Everything is based on something, there
are no causes without consequences and no consequences without
causes. The mighty states of the Sunset broadened their borders
with sword and fire not for one century attacking the East - and the
Eastern tribes have forgotten nothing and nothing have forgave. I
am not a judge in the Men's arguments - the strongest must win.
Would Gondor fall - but the Nature doesn't tolerate the emptiness
- the new young states will arise on its place, neither better nor
worse than it. The wicked and kind kings - according to your
measures - may change each other but the essence is the same. And
to say more... the first king of the United Kingdom of Arnor and
Gondor, that who was called Elessar in this life, yet before the
beginning of his reign, had accomplished something that had
pushed down the dark pan of the Scales - and this had to echo in
the next centuries inevitably. You remember that - he had thrown
the spectres into the fight, those who were obeying the oath given
to one of the ancestors of Aragorn. And they wiped out the
Sauron's allies that had come from Umbar...
Folko remembered that, and Thorin as well. The tower of
Orthanc muttered (15) something about that, making hints about
the terrible Aragorn's mistake.
- It's useless to wait for the help from the Valars, - went on
the Great Orlangur, - Aragorn had violated their Precept. One can
discuss for a long lime whether it was inevitable or not - the fact
remains the fact. And the father's sins will strike the children.
Folko was silent, depressed, his cheeks were in fire but the
excitement and anger that made him fearless were dying away. The
inexorable logic of the Great Orlangur didn't leave any loop-hole.
"He doesn't care anyway, - thought the hobbit, - What's the
difference for him how the kingdom in the mouth of Anduin will
be called? The world, bubbling as a boiler, eternally changing, is
his pleasure. Yes, he is cruel - according to our measures. He will
not provoke the war - and he will not prevent it. Neither Light nor
Darkness for sure!"
- The Great, but what we, Avari, should do? - asked Forve
with caution, - We can't leave our sunset brothers to the mercy of
fate! And you always was gracious to us remembering about the
great Duty that is jointly laid on us - to prevent Dagor Dagorrat.
Give us a hint, what to do?
- Nobody has the power to hinder you from realization of
your free will, - answered the Golden Dragon patiently. - If you
consider that you must defend the West with the weapons in your
hands - well, nobody can stop you. But you should remember that
the Western Elves always had where to retreat, they are awaited
there, behind the Sea - while you have only one home. And you
will be much needed when the time comes and the success of
saving the World from the destruction, inevitable in the opposite
case, will depend on the strength of your spirit. You can't cover
everybody who is attacked by the bodies of far not numerous
armies of the Waters of Awakening. If Olmer turns to the East...but
he won't. The Rings will drive him to the West inevitably. The
Sauron's and Melkor's hatred is not turned to you, the Elves of the
Sunrise despite the fact that you stopped the attack of his armies
some time taking to flight the Nazgul themselves. However, if
Olmer defeats Gondor and Arnor, he might want to strike you the
next... But I doubt that he will realize this wish.
- Why? Why wouldn't we meddle in immediately if sooner
or later he drives his armies against us in any case?
- Do I forbid you? If this is your wish, make it real! But
remember the one thing only: now it is yet possible to turn the
Olmer's war with the west to the channel of the war of the Men.
But if the united forces of the Middle Kingdom, of the Black
Dwarves and of the Avari are thrown to the pan of the scales - the
strength of the push to the Light pan might be so much stronger
than the Olmer's push that the Scales may completely lose the
balance. And then... - the Orlangur's voice fell to a whisper, - the
power of those who is aspiring to break the chains of Melkor will
increase dramatically. And if he receives the freedom suddenly -
all your plans worked out so carefully and so carefully carried out
would collapse, the long centuries of labors would become
senseless - Dagor Dagorrat would break out when we are not ready
to prevent it yet.
The terrible silence fell - more precisely, it almost has not
been broken, but when the voice of the Great Orlangur became
silent in their minds, Folko felt the blood got cool in his veins.
How complicated this World is! It proved to be useless to try to
extinguish forever that he considers as the Evil - otherwise that he
considers the Good will not survive either.
- Olmer's fate will be defined in the West, - went on the
Great Orlangur, - The Elves, the Dwarves and the Men have the
means to stop him here, in the Eastern lands without breaking
balance of the Scales. But the Sunset countries will be forced to
think about their defense by themselves, not counting on the help
from the outside.
"Don't believe in the East", - suddenly the Radagast's (16)
words said to the hobbit in the first day of their acquaintance three
years ago came to the surface of his memory. Now he understood
the meaning of the strange prophesy. "Fear the North" - it became
true; the danger came from Angmar and the new blow will fall
from there as well probably; "Don't believe in the East" - means
not "don' trust" but "don't believe that the magic escape will come
from there". "Don't wait for the South" - it still remained vague...
- How soon may Olmer reach Dol-Guldur with the last
Ring? - asked Thorin in a hoarse voice, - I have understood your
words, the Great, but tell us at least this so we had something
- It's sixty days on horseback from the place of the Ghost
King's fall to the ruins of Dol-Guldur, - answered the Dragon.
- Will he start there as soon as he has the Ninth Ring? -
went on the dwarf with his questions.
- It's hard to say. The thing is that the Junction of all of the
Deadly Rings in one will increase their destroying, unhumanizing
strength many times while Olmer fears this outcome instinctively
and wishes to have a victory being a Man still. That's why he
might not to make this Junction right away. Only if his cause turns
bad - then, only then he will do it in order to attract the most
faithful servants of Sauron to his side who now inhabit the far
countries to the South-East from Mordor and yet not recognized
him as a "new Master" and, the most important thing, to increase
his own power a hundred times.
- Will it be possible to murder him when the deadly Chain
is completed? - didn't stop to ask Thorin.
- Yes. But the different means will be required for that, not
the ordinary swords and spears. The elvish weapons will be deadly
for him only - like those arrows that the hobbit has.
Thorin nodded his head silently. The Golden Dragon's eyes
have closed completely meanwhile. The three outcomers
understood that it's time to leave.
(1) The Hazgs. It is one of the Eastern tribes. Famous archers.
Long time ago (after the Fall of Tangorodrim) they inhabited
Eriador. Then they were driven to the Far East by the
(2) The Black Dwarves. The most powerful tribe of the Dwarves.
They don't belong to the family of Durin's Children tribes.
Supported by Aule himself who often visits them. According to
Perumov, it was the Black Dwarves who crafted Nauglamir and
fought for it with the Elves of Elu Tingol. They were the first to
meet the Great Orlangur while he entered the Middle-Earth.
(3) The Leader. Olmer of Dale. One interesting detail: later in this
book it is said that he is the descendant of Boromir and the story
about it is introduced.
(4) The Middle Kingdom. The very first Kingdom of Men in the
Middle-Earth. Was visited by Orome once in the ancient times
who gave a lot of skills to its people. Now it had isolated itself
from the outer world devoting itself to prevention of Dagor
Dagorrat. During the meeting of its kings (described earlier in this
book) the Great Orlangur said:
"You, the Mortal Men, must become equal to the Gods
(Valars). For a long centuries you and your descendants must
collect power and knowledge and after that break through the
Walls of Arda, find Morgoth outside and tie him forever so that he
never would get freedom again, and even to take the consciousness
from him if you are strong enough... Not for nothing did Eru
Iluvatar consider the death as the greatest gift. Your spirit that
leaves Arda is very strong but these strengths are slumbering in it.
But it is possible to wake them up - and then the two Worlds will
belong to you and the nature of Valars will become your nature
and you will become equal to them in power..."
(5) Naugrim. An interesting character invented by Perumov. He is
the son of one of the Blue Wizards.
(6) Hoar. The great river of the East. Goes from the North to the
Sea of Helkar.
(7) The House of the Tall. The Tall - one of the Spirits who aided
the Valars in the building of the Middle-Earth. Then he settled in
the far East. Living there, he devoted himself to crafting of various
magic things. Forve said: "Palantiri... are only a miserable likeness
of what was crafted by the Tall..." He was a friend of Aule. Then
he left for a long journey "to the feet of the World", as he said.
Nobody knows when he will return. All things he created are still
in his House and the Elves, the Black Dwarves and the men of the
Middle Kingdom guard all the paths to it.
(8) The ulag. The small creature, a sort of the winged lizard. It can
fly extremely high using the strong streams of air in "the
stratosphere". Thus it can reach very distant places just in a few
days. Olmer used them as a means of communication with his units.
(9) Tangar. Another name for the Dwarves belonging to the family
of the Durin's children.
(10) In order to reach and murder the Leader the three friends
came to the territory controlled by him. The Leader was not there.
So they were forced to pretend to be his supporters. Then they
were included in the unit sent to get the treasures of the House of
(11) The Northern Fortress. -Tangorodrim.
(12) The Free Region. The territory in the far East controlled by
(13) Ungoliant. Perumov uses this term to name the domains of the
darkness outside the Walls of Arda.
(14) The Law of the Scales. One of the basic concepts introduced
by Perumov in his book. According to it, the final victory over the
evil is impossible and will be fatal for the entire World. It must be
eternal balance between the Good and the Evil.
(15) Sometime before he left, Saruman gave his dwelling the
ability to memorize and repeat in the random order everything that
was spoken inside. That was one of the purposes for Aragorn to
forbid anybody to enter the Tower. But the three main characters
managed to enter it (with the help of Treebeard) and heard a lot of
(16) According to Perumov, Radagast stayed in the Middle-Earth
refusing to return to Valinor. But as far as the Wizards' mission
was completed (as the Valars thought), he was deprived of the
most part of his power. He was living in Bee as the weapon's
merchant. Later he helped Folko and his friends as much as he
could. Was slain in the final battle when the Leader captured and
destroyed the Grey Havens.