Guardians of Glede: Beginnings Book 3: Sorcerers Pool
Isildur and Anarion were borne away southwards and established themselves in Gondor where earlier mariners of Numenor had settled. They shared the rule of the realm and built many works, including Isengard where they made the Pinnacle of Orthanc of unbreakable stone. Doom, were awakened again.
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Sauron gathered a great strength of his servants from the East and the South and among them were some of the high race of Numenor. Two of these were Herumor and Fuinur who had risen to power among the Haradrim. Sauron attacked Gondor and took Minas Ithil.
He destroyed the White Tree of Isildur. But Isildur escaped, taking a seedling of the Tree with him and he sailed from the mouths of Anduin seeking Elendil. Anarion held Osgiliath and drove the forces of Sauron back to the mountains, but the respite was brief as Sauron gathered his forces again. In the meantime Elendil and Gil-galad united and made a League known as the Last Alliance and they marched east into Middle-earth gathering a host of Elves and Men.
Of the hosts of the Last Alliance Elrond said,. I was the herald of Gil-galad and marched with his host.
I beheld the last combat on the slopes of Orodruin, where Gil-galad died, and Elendil fell, and Narsil broke beneath him; but Sauron himself was overthrown, and Isildur cut the Ring from his hand with the hilt-shard of his father's sword, and took it for his own.
The siege of Mordor lasted seven years before this great battle. Many sorties were sent by Sauron, and Anarion was slain in the valley of Gorgoroth.
At the end, "the siege was so strait" that Sauron himself entered the fray. It is said that he wrestled with Gil-galad and Elendil and they were both slain. I do not believe that he wrestled in the commonly understood sense, for in such a form of combat Elendil and Gil-galad would be weaponless. Clearly the combined strength of the magnificent Men of Numenor and the High Elves of Gil-galad could resist the enormous power of Sauron incarnate wearing the Ring, although obviously the Ring could dominate lesser Men.
After Sauron was defeated he "forsook his body, and his spirit fled far away and hid in waste places; and he took no visible shape again for many long years. And so the Ring passed to Isildur. If it had been destroyed, the power of Sauron would have been forever diminished, and he would have remained a shadow of malice in the wilderness.
It should have been cast into Orodruin's fire nigh at hand where it was made.
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But few marked what Isildur did. He alone stood by his father in that last mortal contest; and by Gil-galad only Cirdan stood, and I. But Isildur would not listen to our counsel. Isildur returned to Minas Anor where he planted the last sapling of the White Tree in memory of Anarion, and instructed his nephew Meneldil before leaving him to rule the Southern Kingdom. Whilst he was at Minas Anor he made a scroll discovered by Gandalf, who, forsaking the chase of Gollum, came to Gondor and received grudging approval from Denethor to examine the old books of lore at Minas Tirith.
Isildur wrote of the Ring as follows:. It was hot when I first took it, hot as a glede, and my hand was scorched, so that I doubt if ever again I shall be free of the pain of it. Yet even as I write it is cooled, and it seemeth to shrink, though it loseth neither of its beauty or its shape.
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Already the writing upon it, which at first was as clear as red flame, fadeth and is now only barely to be read. It is fashioned in an elven-script of Eregion, for they have no letters in Mordor for such subtle work; but the language is unknown to me. I deem it to be a tongue of the Black Land, since h! What evil it saith I do not know; but I trace here a copy of it lest it fade beyond recall. The Ring misseth, maybe, the heat of Sauron's hand, which was black and yet burned like fire, and so Gil-galad was destroyed; and maybe were the gold made hot again, the writing would be refreshed.
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But for my part I will risk no hurt to this thing: of all the works of Sauron the only fair. It is precious to me, though I buy it with great pain. Isildur rode north to take up Elendil's realm in Eriador, but he was overwhelmed by a host of orcs that lay in wait in the Misty Mountains. They came upon his camp between Greenwood and Anduin near the Gladden Fields. Isildur had mistakenly thought that all his foes had been overthrown and he placed no guards, and nigh all his people were slain.
There the Ring betrayed him and avenged its maker, for it slipped from his finger as he swam, and it was lost in the water. Then the Orcs saw him as he laboured in the stream, and they shot him with many arrows, and that was his end. From then, effectively until Gandalf established that the Ring held by Frodo was in fact the One, the Ring passed out of knowledge and legend.
Saruman, at the time of the return of the Shadow to Dol Guldur and the formation of the White Council, began to study the lore of the Rings of Power, their making and their history.
This was for his own purpose, for, as it later turned out, Saruman himself coveted the One. But he dissembled and lulled his fellow members of the White Council. Into Anduin it fell, and long ago, I deem, it was rolled to the Sea. There it shall lie until the end, when all this world is broken and the deeps are removed. Elrond was not so confident and expressed the Gandalf the fear that the One would be found, and then war would arise again, and in that war the Third Age would be ended. Elrond was pessimistic, fearing a second darkness, unless an unforseen event delivered victory.
But in his secret thought Saruman desired that none other should find the One, so that he might wield it and order the world to his rule. He had studied the works of Sauron to defeat him, but in that study he came to envy Sauron as a rival. Saruman was of the view that if Sauron became manifest once more, the Ring would seek its master, but if Sauron were driven out, the Ring would remain hidden.
Thus, Saruman was prepared to allow Sauron's power to develop, hoping to forestall the White Company and Sauron, and be ready when the Ring should reappear. He set a watch upon the Gladden Fields, but the servants of Sauron in Dol Guldur were searching there as well. It was clear that Sauron was aware of Isildur's end, and that the Ring was not in the hands of the White Council or their allies. Saruman withdrew to Isengard and fortified it. But he spoke of none of this to the Council, hoping still that he might be the first to hear news of the Ring.
He gathered a great host of spies, and many of these were birds; for Radagast lent him his aid, divining naught of his treachery, and deeming that this was but part of the watch upon the Enemy.
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But ever the shadow in Mirkwood grew deeper and Therefore at last the Council was again summoned and the lore of the Rings was much debated; but Mithrandir spoke to the Council saying: ' it is not needed that the Ring should be found, for while it abides on earth and is not unmade, still the power that it holds will live, and Sauron will grow and have hope. The might of the Elves and the Elf-friends is less now than of old.
Soon he will be too strong for you, even without the Great Ring: for he rules the Nine, and of the Seven he has recovered three. We must strike. Saruman assented. He wished to see Sauron expelled from Dol Guldur, which was near the River, so that he should have leisure to search there himself. But Sauron anticipated the activities of the White Council and cunningly fled from Dol Guldur and re-established himself in Mordor. Unknown to all, the Ring had indeed been found, and was abroad, for in the year that Dol Guldur was assaulted, Bilbo Baggins the hobbit found the Ring in the depths of the Misty Mountains by the lake where dwelt Smeagol Gollum.
Long before, but long after the disaster at Gladden Fields, Smeagol and his friend Deagol were fishing on the Great River near the Gladden Fields where there were great beds of irises and flowering reeds. It was Smeagol's birthday. Smeagol got out of the boat and went nosing about the banks, but Deagol remained in the boat. Suddenly a great fish took the hook and Deagol was dragged out of the boat and into the River. He let go of his line and his attention was attracted by something shining in the riverbed.
He grabbed it, surfaced and swam to the bank. He looked at his prize.