The Fall of Thuringwethil

by Enerdhil-(TV)
February 28, 2007

    Sitting upon his Iron Throne, Sauron Gorthaur, newly crowned lord of Tol-in-Gaurhoth, brooded upon the lightning in the north. In the Towers of Thangorodrim. In his old home of Angband. Something was very wrong. Or, if Sauron was lucky, very right. The Noldor had come to the Gates. Morgoth had answered. But had his master survived?
    Dagor Bragollach, as the elves were already calling it, had been incredibly devastating. The Noldor were scattered, broken even, but did Morgoth expect nothing? The elves had hidden reserves of strength. And they had unleashed whatever it was in before the Towers, and it was great in might. Sauron knew it was even now. Morgoth had cried before it. Great and terrible were the sounds of his master’s anguish, and he could not mistake them. He had heard them before, when his master was nearly consumed by the Unlight; when he returned to Middle-Earth. The bloated mass that Gothmog, with his Balrogs, had driven off had made it then; the elves made it now.
    No matter what it was that the elves had unleashed, Sauron knew he could not be ignorant to this development. So he had sent Thuringwethil, the Woman of Secret Shadow, to spy quietly what had occurred in before the Towers. And he hoped, in his heart and mind, deeper and more secretly guarded than any of his secretes, a treacherous thing.
    Could Morgoth Bauglir, Melkor, Greatest of the Valar, have fallen?
    Sauron did not even dare to hope it. But he was treading in waters where venomous snakes strike whether one dares or not. Though he knew what could kill Morgoth would surely be able to overthrow him, it concerned him little. He recalled a day when he was free. No, not even when Morgoth was banished by Manwë, was Sauron free. He was still under Morgoth’s influence from afar. The entire earth was; why should he, Morgoth’s lieutenant, be spared? No, he remembered when he worked tirelessly with Aulë the Smith, free of care and servitude. But Melkor had come and seduced him. In truth, Sauron did not regret his decision. But he envied the life Annatar had lived. He wanted to be free.
    So he did indeed dare to hope.
    The lightning had long since ended, and Morgoth had uttered one last cry amidst the sound of rushing winds. What had the Noldor used?
    Thuringwethil entered silently into her brooding lord’s chamber. Naked in her stealth, she clothed herself in her long, vampiric wings, and bowed. “My lord,” she said, “I have news.”
    “Speak, my dear. Tell me, what happened before Thangorodrim?”
    “Fingolfin, High King of the Noldor, is no more. He rode along before the tall Towers, and challenged Morgoth to single combat. There they struggled…” and now pausing, perhaps for effect, but it maddened Sauron, “and they took each other’s lives.”
    For the first time since he labored long as the Lord of Gifts, Sauron’s heart beat. A single black beat, but a beat of joy, nonetheless. The silence came again, because Sauron Gorthaur is the Abhorred, and is now Dark Lord of Middle-Earth. “Summon Draugluin. I have need of my general.”
    “That is well, sire. Gothmog, Lord of Balrogs, with Lungorthin the White, his newly named lieutenant, have named themselves Lords of All Fates in Arda.”
    Most hated Gothmog.
    “No matter. My rival cannot stop my rise to power. I am the rightful successor, and I do not think I will have need of him long. However, I will not need the armies, as you think, my dark lady. Orcs are of no use. Bring me the three greatest of your vampires, and Draugluin, and I will be Lord of All Fates in Arda.”
    Thuringwethil smiled, and left to do her master’s bidding.
    Coming now upon the frozen wastes before Thangorodrim, Sauron, Draugluin, and three great shadows rode towards the Gates, sounding their horns. The Gates opened before they arrived, and forth came Gothmog, in flames, to answer their call.
    “Welcome, Lieutenant of the Most High. What brings you to Thangorodrim?” Gothmog asked, in mock geniality.
    “Not to parley words with you, old and rusted tool. Get thee off the Hell Throne; take from thy brow the Iron Crown; they are mine to possess, and rightfully so.”
    Gothmog, smoldering in what Sauron took to be anger, asked, “What do you mean, Abhorred?”
    “There is no more need for pleasantries, Bastard Son. Get you gone, lest it be your doom.” Meanwhile, the three dark shapes took from their cloaks bows with black darts.
    Gothmog growled. “What is the meaning of this, coward? Are you finally so bold as to show your true colors, but even before the Gates of your master, who will punish you should I fall?”
    Sauron’s mind was muddled by this statement. “What do you mean? Morgoth is fallen.”
    “Fool. Morgoth the Mighty can never fall. Still, if you should tempt his wrath and mine…” A fiery whip emerged, and its throngs smote the three shadows upon their wings of black night. Two were slain before they could unleash they deadly darts, dissipating into nothingness, and the other was wounded beyond help. Draugluin leapt towards the Balrog, who smote done the Sire of Werewolves with his fiery hand. Then, holding up his black axe, he unleashed it upon Sauron’s steed, a great and black warhorse, beheaded by the fell stroke.
    Falling to the ground, Sauron pulled forth his great mace. His mind, cunning and conniving, had already guessed his doom. Thuringwethil had lied. The Dark Lady, for whatever reason, had damned her lord and master. But, though he doubted he would survive Gothmog, and knew he could not survive Morgoth’s ensuing wrath, he nevertheless defied he doom, to the very end, if need be.
    But it was not to be. A black messenger, of race unknown, came forth, and cried, “Abhorred! Lord of Balrogs! Cease thy actions, lest you displease your master! I came speaking for him! Turn aside your mighty wrath, Lord, and come back into the depths. You will not be punished for your actions, for they were just and wise. And, Abhorred, go back to your realm, and deal with treachery in your ranks, lest your master be forced to deal with those in his. This is all the Lord of All Fates has declared.” Then the messenger, quailing before the great powers before him, turned back into the depths of Angband, running as he left.
    Gothmog put aside his weapon, spat upon the dying vampire, and said, “I will not forget this, Lieutenant. Another day.” And then, he too, was gone.
    Sauron let go a long held breath, and walked over to the panting Draugluin. “Are you well, my general?”
    “Well enough, my lord. Shall I bear you back to Tol-in-Gaurhoth?”
    “Yes, I wish that very much. I have work to do.”
    As he mounted the great werewolf, a croaking voice came forth. “My lord. Do not be too harsh with Thuringwethil. She only does what you taught her to do,” the dying vampire pleaded.
    Sauron looked at the dusty blood leaking from the shadow, and merely said, “Draugluin.”
    Snarling, the great beast closed his maw upon the shadow, and off were him and the Abhorred.
    Sitting in the oversized throne of her late master, Thuringwethil indulged herself in immortal blood. Sitting at her feet were two of her vampire consorts, groping at her throne, humbling themselves for her attention. In the week Sauron had been gone, Tol-in-Gaurhoth had become a place of bloody carnal sins. Blood orgies, demonic rituals, and other such perverse acts had filled up Thuringwethil’s time as ruler. The werewolves had been thrown from the tower, languishing in the yards. The orcs hid below, in the pits, begging that the vampires would not come again and take them for their rituals.
    That is, until, Draugluin howled at the rising of the moon, with Sauron mounted upon him. Then Thuringwethil knew her designs had failed, and she was damned.
    So the Great Battle of Fur and Fang came into passing. The werewolves, led by their Sire and by their Lord come again, sieged the tower, against the vampires, some of whom threw themselves before the flame to protect their Lady, but most pledged fealty anew, and begged for forgiveness, which was given to those not close in Thuringwethil’s service. Until, finally, Tol-in-Gaurhoth was won, save for the throne room.
    Beating it down with his mace, Sauron Gorthaur came in alone, bathed in the dark glory of his rage. Thuringwethil threw herself at his feet, and, suing for pardon, said, “My lord! Forgive your wayward servant! Let her back into your ranks, forgive her, and embrace her, as you once did. Just don’t end her before she has a chance to repent and make amends for her sins!”
    Sauron said nothing, but took out his poisoned dagger, and slit her throat, ending her pleas. Then he called in the vampires he pardoned, and, with the werewolves standing guard, forced them to watch as he went into his bloody work, and skinned their late Lady. Then he pinned it above his throne, and dismissed the terrified vampires with, “Go, and do not forget her blood.”
    In the long hours of the night that followed, Sauron, still covered in the blood of the Woman of Secret Shadow, in his still bloody throne room, brooded upon the developments of late. True, his situation with his master was compromised, Gothmog was made surer of his attentions than ever, and his ranks had been reduced by this uprising. But he would survive this, for he was Sauron Gorthaur, and he was the most cunning of those who flock to the banner of Morgoth Bauglir, and it would be he who would survive the inevitable fall of Angband. It was just a matter of time.