June 11, 2000
Stories > Authors > Eru's stories > Saruman
My busy hands pause and the pestle which has been
working in the mortar hangs idle, forgotten. A wisp of sulphurous
smoke rises lazily from it's polished interior as I listen, head cocked
slightly to one side. Was that the summons? Is He calling me
again? My mind shrinks away from the thought of Him. But the
fear is replaced by anger. How dare He treat me as one of his slaves!
I, the chief of my people and one of the Ainur! How dare He!
As always though, I abandon my activities and take the long stair,
winding ever upwards to the very top of my tower.
I pass narrow windows which afford me a panoramic
view of my domain. Nan Curunir they named it - Vale of the Cunning
Mind - and I smile in satisfaction; if only they knew the truth!
Stretching out from my pinnacle of Orthanc, which the men of Gondor carved
from the hollow of an extinct volcano, I can see the roads and fortifications
which I have added to this place. They now will serve my purpose,
for this is a great fastness in a lair of enemies and I am beset on all
Standing not half a mile from the tower is the great
outer wall, tall and indomitable, and beyond that to the north is great
Mathedras, the last white-capped peak in the southward sweep of the Misty
Eventually, the age-worn steps reach a black iron door, a door to which
only I have the Key. The well-used lock turns easily and I open the
door to reveal the Chamber of Seeing.
A single high-backed padded chair of Dyr wood stands
behind a table of black obsidian in the centre of the circular, domed room.
Runes of power on the marble floor circle the table, warding against unwanted
visitors. The table and chair are only incidental to the room's main
feature, however. Atop the table, resting on a simple mithril pedestal
is a glass sphere, twelve inches in diameter: The Palantir of Orthanc.
As I sit down, it's surface is plain, even dull.
Then I gaze compulsively into its depths, reaching out to the only place
which it will now allow me to view.
The Palantir suddenly clears and I see dark,
swirling clouds over tall, cruel battlements. Winged beasts bear
riders clad in black across the sky on some mission of their Dark Master.
My Dark Master. Then He comes and gazes with a cruel intensity upon
me, and my will evaporates.
Sometime later, I descend from the Chamber of Seeing
and return to my work, content that I am Master of Orthanc and satisfied
with my plans to assail the foolish people of the West.
Soon I shall recover the prize which was lost long
ago, and then He will bow before me, Saruman of Many Colours!