The Fall of Vrainn: Witchking of Angmar

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Review Chain

Enjoy my own take on LoTR lore.

Like all architecture in Armenelos, capital of the golden isle of Numenor, the arched passageway leading down into the depths of the city’s prison loomed elegantly above. The walls, intricately carved, told the story of Ungoliant’s mighty feast on the Trees of Light in marble pictograms.

Vrainn paused, silencing the echoes of his mithril boots in the corridor until every sound was eaten by the dark passage ahead. His fingertips rested on the image before him: Morgoth’s mighty hand grasping the Jewels of Faenor. Beams of light shown through his fist.

So much destruction and ruin, for so small of things.

Why the greatest of all the gods would spell his own ruin for trinkets with no inherent power puzzled Vrainn. It was a prime example of how power and intelligence were not always synonymous. He smiled, looking upon the mighty form of Morgoth with a sense of superiority.

If I had such power…

From deep within the prison hall, a voice came resonating like specter from worlds unknown, neither piercingly brash, nor endowed with authority, but saturated with kindness and tender meaning. “How come you, now, King’s Ear? To whittle mine solitude awhile?”

Vrainn turned, peering down the prison hall and into the dark. How Sauron the Gift Giver knew it was he who approached was a mystery: a testament to his residual power. Or wisdom.

With an impressed smile, Vrainn picked up his pace, gliding his gauntlet over rivulets and lines of the wall carvings. His fingertips skipped across the cell’s adamantine bars. Turning fully to the prisoner, he grasped the steel with both hands, leaning forward to gaze upon the pride of the Numenorian kingdom.

The barred window high in the cell cast a series of yellow rectangles upon the stone floor. Like a faint lantern, the beams scattered and illuminated the prisoner as he reclined against the wall. His hair hung flat atop his shoulders like strands of silver in the moonlight. His face, strong yet thin and attractive, gave him the appearance of the High Elves. And his body was lean and elegant beneath the tattered robes.

Sauron, the trophy of Numenor, retained a light of serenity and calm despite his lowly condition. He turned icy eyes to Vrainn. “Stay a moment, o great sorcerer of Men, and lessen mine despair.”

How wily were his words! “You will not cast your spells on me, wraith! I have set an omen.”

“Alas,” Sauron replied, innocently, “you have long since barred what crafts I had. These walls confine my power.” He leaned his head against the wall, half-closing his vibrant eyes. “And even if it were not so, not even I could contend with your mighty spells.”

It was true, Vrainn had been the man that Sauron himself surrendered to at the Battle of Riven Beach. “I did not come to whittle nor lessen your despair.”

“Oh?” Sauron replied, turning his head. “How may I serve, then, the lords of Men: the Valar’s Chosen?”

Suddenly ashamed for the purpose of his visit, Vrainn held his tongue. But as he stared into the prisoner’s eyes, he was compelled to speak. “My acolytes, those who bring your sustenance, said that not all of your power has failed you.”

“Hm,” Sauron mused. “Fools often speak of things they know not.”

Enraged, Vrainn shook the bars sending thunder down the halls. “Do not play word games with me, parasite!”

Unmoved, Sauron smiled. He stood fluidly, as a god would ascend from his throne, and came close. Vrainn was enthralled by the handsome lines on his lips and dips beneath his cheekbones. The prisoner gripped the bars above Vrainn’s gauntlets and calmly replied, “Words are what make the world. How much I have to teach you.”

Vrainn’s heart raced, though he hid the tremors in his chest. “They said you speak of the future: oracles of things to come.”

Sauron smiled. “I am the Giver of Gifts, o Lord Sorcerer. Ask of me, and mine gifts are free.”

Free? What grain of sand among all the shores of the world were free?

As though reading his mind, Sauron answered, “Words are free, my lord.”

So be it. “Words then. Tell me, will I inherit the throne from Ar-Pharazon? Am I not worthy? Have I not proved my worth, my wisdom and power to rule Numenor?”

A moment of silence passed as Sauron released the bars, turning his back and striding to gaze out the high window. “No.”

Vrainn’s heart filled with wrath. Of all the king’s advisors, he was the greatest.

“Your talents are far too mighty to rule only one small islet of the world. You, Lord Sorcerer, are destined to rule all the lives of Men.” He turned again with a smile, approaching with extended fist. An array of light shone brightly from between his fingers, igniting the room with holy splendor. “The lives of Men; and Dwarves; yea even the mighty Elves. The woods of Lorien will tremble before your presence, and Moria shall yield all of its riches at your feet.”

Opening his fist, the blinding light faded, and there upon the Giver’s palm lay the smallest of trinkets. A silver ring, wound with gleaming wire and inset with a single topaz sat atop his fine skin. “This is for you, Lord Sorcerer. Take it freely, and with it you will find the power and wisdom to bring eternal peace to all the lands and seas which you set your eyes upon.”

Hesitantly, Vrainn loosened his grip from the cold adamantine bars. Reaching into the cell, he pinched the ring, and held it to his eyes. “So beautiful. So precious,” he whispered.

“And so small a thing,” Sauron returned.

Tempted by the oracle’s words, and the perfection of the ornament, Vrainn removed his gauntlet and slipped it onto his finger, finding that it fit perfectly. His own, his precious ring of power.

In the confines and sacred temple of Vrainn’s mind, Sauron’s voice came in like a gentle river.

And free, Vrainn. I give freely.


Submitted: December 05, 2020

© Copyright 2021 C. S. Spence. All rights reserved.

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niah

As always C.S. Spence well written and worth reading.

Fri, December 11th, 2020 8:20am

Author
Reply

Thank you so much for reading! I'm glad you liked it

Fri, December 11th, 2020 7:25am

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