Alright, I know some of you are rather tempted to come at me with pitchforks and torches for not updating for so long, so I humbly offer my sincerest apologies. These few years had been hard for me, especially with an increasing load of schoolwork and some family issues. Plus I discovered that this story is now somewhat over my ability to plan and write. I mean, after this chapter I honestly have little idea on where to take it. If you have any ideas to offer, please do so by all means!
Many thanks to those who reviewed, especially Sauron Gorthaur's extremely long and constructive ones!
Rising high over the eastern mountains, Arien shone her brilliant rays through the gloom that hung over Mordor. The Black Land was no longer a realm of evil might, but a desolate wasteland that no one wished to inhabit. The sunlight gradually illuminated the ruined structures that scattered the land, revealing every tower and crevice of the ruined Barad-dûr to the eerie green walls of the still-intact Minas Morgul. It seemed strange that a land shrouded in darkness for so long should be brought into the dawn light like this. The entire landscape now looked ethereal and unreal.
The light further revealed the land beyond Mordor and the Black Gates. A weary army was seen making its way back towards the West. From their livery of a white tree and a running horse, it could be identified as the triumphant hosts of Gondor and Rohan. Victorious from the Battle of the Morannan, they were returning to the White City of Minas Tirith. However, the mood of this group was dark despite witnessing the defeat of Sauron. One of the reasons lay with a tall hooded figure cloaked in black, wearing armor and a sinister-looking helm. He was chained by all four limbs and surrounded by a battalion of Gondorian soldiers, heavily armed with weapons. The discovery of the Witch King of Angmar had ceased all thoughts of celebration and relief. It had to be found out that why the wraith had returned from the dead, and from him made sure whether Sauron would do the same again.
Little did they know the cause of all their doubt was currently been carried ahead in a stretcher by two other soldiers. Sauron was still unconscious and ignorant of the events set in motion around him now. So were the forces of the West ignorant of the true identity of the mysterious young man they found. All they knew was that they had to take him back to the city for proper treatment, lest he die of his grave injuries. From Gandalf they heard that there was a battle with a resurrected Sauron and the young man had helped to fight. The Wizard stated that the Dark Lord was subdued for now, so there was no need for worry. Nevertheless, this news had a large impact on the men and was also a large reason for their unease. They all wished to return to Minas Tirith, rest their weary bodies and solve this perplexing mystery.
I am in chains again. Somehow I know this would not be the last time this happens. The Witch King thought grimly as he made his way the best he could across the plains under the weight of the shackles binding his hands and feet together. He stole a glance towards the horizon where he knew Sauron lay carried on his stretcher. The Maia was already ahead of the army and all that was seen of him and the two carriers were dots in the distance. Aragorn had given the orders for him to be transported as soon as possible to the city. Anger arose in the Witch King again at that sight.
And he stays comfortably carried. None of this is fair. Their reaction would be worse if they discover his true identity. Now only Gandalf and I know the truth. It confuses me why the Wizard chose not to reveal it when he told of everything that happened before the Black Gates. He is also hiding the complete truth of what had happened...
A cruel jab in his side brought him out of his thoughts. It knocked the Witch King off balance for a second, but he recovered immediately and looked down at the soldier who had done it. A spear the soldier held, which was pointed at him. His expression was surprisingly one of irritation, as if he did not fear the wraith at all despite that he towered over all the men at least a head.
I have lost the power to instill fear into all who encounters me also. Anyone could face me without fear if this is so. What now?
"Can you not proceed faster, wraith?! Or shall we drag you in our wake?" The soldier said impatiently.
The Witch King chose wisely to remain silent as he picked up his pace a little. But on the inside he was harboring the thought that if he had kept his powers of sorcery or was armed, these weak mortals would have been dead in the blink of an eye already. He would never tolerate this belittling he was experiencing now. Recent circumstances, however, had taught the Witch King to ignore it if he wanted to stay out of trouble. Trouble mostly found him first though.
He received another blow from the same soldier. The anger he had held within him finally snapped, and he swiftly swung the chains on his hands. The soldier dropped his spear as it rapped his knuckles smartly. Using the chains again to great effect, the Witch King intercepted the weapon and brought it up hard. There was a dull whack of wood against the metal of his helm, and the soldier fell with a crash of armor. At the same moment, a circle of drawn swords surrounded him menacingly.
"Drop it!" Another commanded harshly, "Or your life ends here right now. Lord Aragorn gave us the orders to keep you alive, but we will take drastic measures if you try anything desperate."
"The hospitality of towards prisoners never changes, does it? Then the hosts of the West are no better than Mordor if this is so." The Witch King replied curtly.
"Silence! How dare you compare the noble Gondorians with the filthy scum of Mordor?!" The other shot back furiously.
"Filthy scum or not, you Gondorian soldiers have a duty to carry out by bringing me to Minas Tirith without trouble. I hardly find it appropriate if you were the ones who caused it." He held the spear out to the solder, who took it without another word. The unconscious one was taken away towards the back lines. Whispering was now heard among the men, and the Witch King could tell that they were wary. They were also frightened at the same time.
"Do not provoke him..."
"He can even attack while in chains..."
"Watch the wraith closer..."
I despise every bit of this, especially the humiliation. It is much worse than the ones Khamûl had me subject to. I was once a Númenórean king, not the despised wraith I am now. I had my basic pride even while everything I possessed was gone. It seems that I would have to give that up also!
I should have retreated after Sauron's battle with that armored figure and left him be. I should have never turned myself in the first place! But again, I never had time. Aragorn and his companions showed up immediately afterwards with a legion. To escape would have meant a second death for me. Perhaps I was fated to stay with those people somehow. That would explain my strange impulse to turn myself in. This is only going to get worse. Anybody would have known this.
So far, nothing good has happened since I was sent back by Ilúvatar. He must have known this would happen. This must be one of the punishments that he mentioned. I had underestimated the magnitude of it...
The Witch King grimaced and clenched his fists tighter. He longed to vent his simmering anger at something. Everything was unfair, from Sauron being sent back with a new body, the ignorance the lords of the West had of his identity and to the Witch King's humiliation.
Sauron would be dragged into all this if I reveal his identity. He thought of his former master again, Oh, I intend to do that, and present to him a nasty surprise when he awakes. He would not be getting out of this. But why could I not bring my sword against him to end his life? Did Ilúvatar truly pardon Sauron from everything he did? It is the only logical explanation, for Sauron could have never regained his body by any means.
Why then? Why could I not do it? Do I fear Ilúvatar's reaction?
The Witch King sighed inaudibly.
It seems that I cannot harm him now. There is no chance for that. However, I will not stand by and do nothing...
Gandalf was also in a great struggle at the same time. He was walking at the very front beside Aragorn and his companions. They had just finished hearing his account of the strange battle by the Black Gates and were now sharing their concerns.
"None of this makes sense," Legolas said quietly, "The Dark Lord was supposed to perish after the destruction of his Ring. How was he able to take on a physical form and appear again?"
"Perhaps we merely weakened him. It took another fight to defeat his lingering spirit completely." Aragorn mused.
"Then what do you have to say about the Witch King of Angmar? He came back from the dead when it was reported that he was slain in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields!" The elf returned disbelievingly.
"Slain or not, he has not tried to cause trouble among the men so far. Being rather peaceful for the most terrible servant of Sauron, he is." Gimli spoke up
"Who is that young man, Gandalf?" Éomer suddenly asked curiously, "Surely he had enough power to take on the Dark Lord on his own. Is he a warrior of great might?"
"Perhaps." Gandalf said shortly.
And that was his struggle, which was why he wasn't speaking much. It pained the Wizard that he had to speak half-truths like this. He had chosen not to reveal Sauron's identity, and it would probably cost him if the truth was found out. But he could not, for the sake of their previous companionship, leave his fellow Maia lying there dying of his injuries. At least he had to be treated first before anything dramatic happened.
All this went against the very purpose why Gandalf was sent to Arda along with the other Istari. His duty was to help the free peoples fight against Sauron, not to sympathize with the enemy! So many sacrifices were made to defeat the Dark Lord, and so many lives lost. Gandalf could never thank Frodo and Sam enough for their willing role in destroying the One Ring. The two were now proceeding further back in the army, with Frodo also unconscious from exhaustion and Sam watching over him. The Wizard knew that he was now the most successful of the Five at his task. Perhaps his knowledge and familiarity of Sauron's personality had helped along with a large group of good allies. And this very knowledge was a stumbling block to him at the moment.
Now the issue came to Sauron and the Witch King's return. Gandalf had made a guess that either the Valar or even Lord Eru interred with this. This further cemented the fact that the two had to kept alive as long as possible in order to learn of their return. Glorfindel, Beren and Lúthien were the only three who had returned from the Halls of Mandos in the history of Middle-earth. But these two were of the enemy and would have never gotten such a great privilege unless...
Unless something out of the ordinary was about to happen.
"Still, I find it suspicious that someone was loitering around the ruins of Mordor," Imrahil pointed out, "Maybe that young man is a survivor, one of the servants of the Dark Lord."
"He fought against Sauron singlehandedly. His servants would never attempt to face him in defiance, let alone to fight him!" Aragorn observed.
"What about the Nazgûl-lord? Gandalf said that he agreed to fight against his former master after they sensed the Dark Lord's presence. I am very confused about his allegiance." Gimli frowned as he transferred his battle ax on his left shoulder.
Gandalf was also still unsure of the wraith's allegiance. This was the very reason why he had persuaded Aragorn to take him back to Minas Tirith to be questioned. He knew the future king of Gondor would have him executed right away. Plus Gandalf wished to hear of the Witch King's encounter with Lord Eru. It has been a long time since the Creator of Arda showed himself or had a message for his servants.
"But that does not give anyone a reason to release him back at the Black Gates," He was interrupted by Legolas' shout, "What was Mithrandir thinking when he did that?"
There was a long silence afterwards. Everyone looked at Gandalf uncomfortable, particularly Aragorn.
"Indeed. I think we would all like to hear of your reasons." Aragorn stated.
"Of course," Gandalf said wearily, "If releasing the Witch King was a price to pay for the complete defeat of Sauron, would you not be willing to pay it?"
"Well..." Imrahil began.
"It was not possible for me to confront the Dark Lord by myself alone. Only with his help and the young man's was Sauron subdued. I spoke to him a few times and found that his loyalty was never towards his master. He would not cause trouble unless provoked. Question him later to find out the entire truth after the young man is treated. He has much to reveal."
"Does he?" Gimli asked, thoughtful, "Interesting..."
It was by the evening of the next day when the host finally reached Minas Tirith, the capital of Gondor. They had camped near the ruins of Osgiliath, and the Witch King bound head to feet in chains with a tighter guard set around him. At daybreak they set out again, crossing the war-torn Pelennor Fields. The corpses of men, orcs, horses and even the large mumakil piled everywhere. Carrion birds were already circling overhead for a feast on the dead. There were bits of catapults and battering rams scattered around, making progress across the plain difficult. The Witch King had spotted his slain fell beast still lying a distance away. The deceased king of Rohan and his white horse had been removed already. The shieldmaiden Éowyn was also gone from where she collapsed.
The sight of a battlefield still sickens me today, The Witch King thought, The sheer amount of lost lives is staggering. The Battle of the Pelennor Fields was especially fierce. I could say that it was a turning point. Had Sauron won it, then Middle-earth would have been lost.
He felt rather odd as he glanced at the spot where he faced off against the shieldmaiden. That was where he was slain, and yet here he was alive and well as a prisoner.
I wonder did she perish or not...If not, I will say that she would also receive a nasty surprise...
They marched through the ruined mithril gates of Minas Tirith, which the Witch King grimaced at as he remembered he was the one who destroyed it. Then the sound of a horn echoed throughout the entire city, the symbol of long-awaited victory. There was cheering from the citizens when they came out of their houses. Children ran laughing to meet their fathers while the women wept in pure relief. There were joyful shouts as some of the Gondorian soldiers reunited with their families.
Suddenly everything in the Witch King's vision changed. He was seeing another street lined with stone-built houses like the ones in Minas Tirith and walking on a dirt-paved road alone. There were also people lining alongside the road cheering loudly. More variety however, was in this group. Fishermen, sailors, ship builders, traders, shop keepers and their families were all there. He immediately recognized this place from his mind...
"It is the king! He has come to visit again!" Faintly the Witch King could make out the words.
Then he was back in Minas Tirith again, making his way forward in chains as if nothing had happened.
What just happened? The Witch King was confused, I could almost say what I saw was... a street in Númenor. The people mentioned a king visiting. What does that have to do with me then? A meaningless vision?
For the first time he noticed everything was now strangely quiet. No more cheering pierced the chill autumn air. He could sense an atmosphere of fear now instead of joy and relief.
They saw me.
Low mutterings and whispers floated across the air. There were fingers pointed and exclamations uttered.
"Why, isn't that the Lord of the Nazgûl?"
"What is he doing here in our city, which no enemy had ever passed under its gates?"
"Was he not slain earlier? Then the news was not accurate..."
The inhabitants of a large city intrigue me sometimes. News spread like wildfire among them, and so does emotions and reactions.
The Witch King scowled as he concentrated on what the people were saying. Unknown to most, he disliked any kind of attention, whether welcome or unwelcome. Now Minas Tirith would likely become an uproar because of his presence, possibly made worse if Sauron's identity was revealed. The Maia was perhaps already in the city.
The silence became even more pressing when the group proceeded on level by level until the very top, where the Tower of Ecthelion stood in the Citadel. Many soldiers had already left for their homes until only the ones guarding the Witch King remained along with Aragorn's group. The two halflings left for the Houses of Healing on the Sixth Level earlier. Soon the two small groups separated, and the guards promptly escorted him behind down a small doorway set with a solid iron door beside the Tower. At first everything was dark as they proceeded down the shallow steps, and the Witch King could only make out small shafts of light shining through holes in the ceiling. When he got used to the dimness, he could see that he was in a rather large dungeon. Empty cells lined both walls, barred by thick bars. His and the soldiers' footsteps made dull clanks on the cold stone ground, slippery with green algae. A musty dank smell hung around the dismal place.
"You will stay here until you are called to be questioned. Do not attempt to escape or make a break for it. We will chain you to the walls of your cell." One of the guards said gruffly.
The Witch King again said nothing as he allowed one to lead him into a cell and attach the chains on his limbs to iron rings set in the wall. Then the door was swung shut with a rusty sounding clang, and the key turned in the lock. After the sounds of their footsteps receded, all was silent except for the drip drop of water somewhere in the dungeon. He then sat down heavily on a ledge that served as the bed with a rattling of his heavy shackles.
So now I am shut in a dungeon as a prisoner. Could this get any worse? Possibly, when they come to interrogate me. What I do not get is why I was sent back to endure this. Come to think of it, Ilúvatar never mentioned the clear purpose of sending me back. I asked and he only gave that odd piece of poetry. The Light and Fire of the Final Dawn indeed! Nothing makes sense in that...
I have to know the reason. If the purpose of my return is to rot in a dungeon for the rest of my years, then I would rather refuse the second chance. I must know the reason for my return, and also Sauron's. Ilúvatar better come up with a good explanation for why he sent back that despicable Maia.
I have been falling unconscious frequently in those past few days.
That was the first thing Sauron thought when he came to. There was a pounding ache in his head, and the soft surface beneath him did not help at all.
First in the Void, then being sent back in front of Mordor, and after the battle against myself. I am Sauron, for goodness sake, not a swooning drunkard!
Still I have to thank Eru for not taking away all my powers. I would have been dead again without them. Hmm... where exactly am I now?
He knew he was no longer in Mordor, for the air smelled sweet with greenery. He opened his eyes to see a high vaulted stone ceiling. There were sounds of activity around him, whispers and clinking of glass punctuated occasionally by groans of pain or discomfort. Sauron sat up, looking around at his surroundings. He was currently lying in one of the soft beds that lined a spacious hall neatly. All of them were occupied by others with white bandages around heads, arms or legs. Robed people hurried around, bringing food or bottles containing unknown contents to them. Many of the wounded now turned their attention to Sauron. Their expressions were of awe and wonder as they spoke in low voices among themselves.
They must know who I am, He thought wryly, How quaint.
Then why are they whispering like that? It seems hardly the correct reaction to see Sauron himself among them.
"From the reports, he bested the Dark Lord himself in single combat..."
"Incredible! How did he do it...?"
Ha! Sauron was now very amused, They think of me as a hero. If they only knew the truth! Maybe I should keep my true identity hidden. Then after I recover, I could just walk out of here with perhaps a large group of new followers. This is much better than I had expected to happen after I was sent back...
One of the robed healers, a middle-aged woman with a kind face, noticed Sauron and came over.
"You finally wake," She said cheerfully, "I am amazed that you did so quickly. The broken ribs and arm are going to take at least months to recover, so you should get plenty of rest in the meantime."
"Where am I?" Sauron asked groggily. He was still trying to rub sleep from his eyes. He noticed that his wounds have been treated carefully, his left arm now in a sling and his side swathed in bandages.
"The Houses of Healing on the Six Level of Minas Tirith, capital of Gondor. It is rather far from where you were found. Lord Aragorn had you brought over as fast as he could because of your injuries. You have him to thank for your life, which would have been lost had you delayed in being treated." The woman continued to rattle off.
Minas Tirith?! How... do they actually know who I am? Did they know that they just took me, the former Dark Lord of Mordor under their roofs to be treated for his injuries? Probably not. They would leave me to die if they knew who I am. Now that it seems I would live longer. I should enjoy this peace while it lasts.
"By the way, how did you get into a fight with the Dark Lord? Was it true that you actually challenged him to single combat? Then why were you lingering around the Black Land in the first place? " The woman suddenly asked.
"Leave me alone," Sauron groaned, already feeling overwhelmed by the healer's torrent of unwelcomed questions, which was making his headache worse.
She looked taken back, "Alright..."
Then there were the steps of heavy boots in the Hall. A legion of Gondorian soldiers appeared in the entrance armed heavily. Their captain stepped out and addressed the woman.
"We have a problem;" He said grimly, "This man is to be brought before Lord Aragorn at once."
"Surely you could wait! He is still recovering from his injuries, and the wounds would certainly worsen if he moves so soon!" The woman exclaimed.
"This is urgent, and much more serious than you think. Seize him!"
"What...?" Sauron was dragged out of bed by two soldiers roughly and deposited on his feet. He winced as his ribs gave a painful twinge of protest. They cared not however, for they seized him tightly by both arms and marched him out the door.
Ughh... it seems like my identity has been revealed without my knowledge already. Time to face those annoying lords of the West.
"We all wish to hear of the method of your return and your purpose," Aragorn said sharply, "You will do well to hold nothing in secret, Witch King of Angmar."
"I have nothing to hide. Question me as you see fit." The Witch King said without emotion. He had decided to face this without them, and get it over quickly.
He had been brought out of his cell still in chains for the interrogation, which was interestingly held in the Tower itself at the hall where the kings and stewards had once sat. It was rather crowded, for most of the occupants were the soldiers standing guard at the entrance and those around him. Aragorn, Gandalf, Éomer, Imrahil, Legolas and Gimli were all looking at the Witch King intently. There was even a reedy-looking scribe with a long piece of parchment and a quill pen, ready to record everything down.
"You perished during the Battle of the Pelennor Fields under the swords of the shieldmaiden of Rohan and her halfling companion, did you not?" Aragorn started the questioning.
"Indeed I did. There was no way I could have survived that."
The furious scratching of the scribe's quill was heard.
"You have traveled to the Hall of Mandos?" Gandalf joined in.
You know what happened, Wizard. Why question me further? The Witch King was again irritated.
"Of course. It was crowded with the spirits with the slain, and I exchanged words with the deceased king of Rohan himself."
There were astonished mutterings in the hall as the soldiers whispered among themselves. Éomer now wore an expression of shock while the others kept their expressions of stony grimness. The Witch King saw Gandalf whisper into Aragorn's ear.
"You will have to prove your words true," He said flatly, "Describe the hall to us, and Gandalf shall authenticate your descriptions."
The Witch King did so without much hesitation.
There were more whisperings, now among the six that stood before him. Gandalf was nodding in confirmation.
"So it is now proved that you have been there. Then tell us, how did you return?" Aragorn asked dubiously, "I highly doubt Lord Námo would release spirits of the deceased—"
"Wait! Ask him about the young man first. Something about this whole situation bothers me greatly." The Witch King heard Imrahil mutter to the man.
"Fine then. Do you know the young man who had fought against Sauron? He was found near the ruins of Mordor, so there is a high possibility that he was a servant of the Dark Lord." Aragorn complied.
It is time to reveal the truth. Sauron, you are going to regret your return for the rest of your duration on Middle-earth.
"Know?!" The Witch King laughed bitterly, "Yes indeed. I had known him for thousands of years. How could I not recognize him, the master who oppressed the free peoples of Middle-earth and his own servants alike? Why, the same young man whom you took behind the gates of Minas Tirith to be treated for his injuries is the infamous Sauron Gorthaur himself! Even you yourselves know of him!"
The hall immediately erupted into chaos at the Witch King's words as the occupants exclaimed in horror. Aragorn and Legolas both turned pale as a sheet while Gimli's mouth literally dropped open in shock. Éomer and Imrahil both placed their hands on the hilts of their swords. Gandalf was looking at the Witch King with an unreadable expression. The scribe actually gave a horrified sounding squeak, and then resumed his writing more ardently than before.
"Is what... you said... true?" Gimli managed to stutter in utter shock.
"If you doubt my words, then go and retrieve him." The Witch King said calmly.
"This is no casual matter, wraith!" Imrahil shouted, "If the Dark Lord has survived and is now residing in the city, everyone is in danger!"
"Not to mention that all the sacrifices and battles we fought were in vain! Hurry and bring the young man from the Houses of Healing. He must be also questioned!" Aragorn immediately ordered.
More than half of the soldiers ran out with a loud clattering. Aragorn was now conversing with Gandalf worriedly, his brow creased in a deep frown. Legolas had his bow strung and an arrow at the ready. Imrahil could be heard muttering,
"I sincerely hope this is all a hoax from the wraith..."
I wish it were, The Witch King thought, I have not thought about Sauron doing something to Minas Tirith while behind its gates.
Despite the grim situation, he could not help but feel a twisted sense of satisfaction. Finally in thousands of years, he was able to exact his revenge on the master he despised. Sauron definitely deserved it more than anyone else. If the Witch King was forbidden to attempt on the Maia's life, then at least he could make him pay in some other way.
"What is the meaning of this? Soldiers come in and drag me out of bed unceremoniously to be questioned?! Surely you should show more grace to the wounded!" He heard a furious shout. It was Sauron himself flanked by the soldiers, who brought him to stand right beside the Witch King. He gave him a quizzical look.
"Well hello, Witch King" Sauron said sarcastically, "I suppose you were the one who dragged me into this mess."
"Cease your rhetorical speech, Sauron, and declare to them your identity yourself!" The Witch King snarled, "Tell them the one whom they took into their safe havens is the Dark Lord of Mordor in person, the Great Enemy the free peoples of Middle-earth have been fighting for the past two Ages!"
"Cease the dramatic speech yourself, wraith. You had always annoyed me to no end with your so-called reasons for rebellion and your immature antics. Now today you had annoyed me even further by revealing my identity without permission! I have no reason to be dragged into this complicated situation you created." The Maia angrily shoved the guards holding him away and advanced upon the Witch King.
"He has revealed enough of the truth. Stop him if you value your lives!" Éomer cried out.
Sauron's good hand emitted that same light that had preceded the appearance of his scythe. The Witch King knew he was going to attack him, but he was not concerned about it at all. There was no way that the former Dark Lord would make it without being restrained.
But the light went out just as quickly as it appeared, and for a second Sauron stared at his empty palm before getting tackled by a group of soldiers. He went down with a shouted oath and a grunt of pain. When he was finally allowed to get up again, he was bound also in the chains brought earlier. The soldiers gather around him in a circle with their swords drawn, flashing in the light blindingly.
"It is true..." Legolas whispered.
"The Dark Lord... back in Middle-earth as if we never defeated him at all!" Éomer said frustratingly.
"Gandalf, you must have known of this." Aragorn turned to the Wizard, an accusing look in his gray eyes, "Why did you not tell us?! I thought you were the one most dedicated in defeating Sauron! Please explain yourself!"
The situation is becoming worse, the Witch King realized, They know of Sauron's identity, and now they are placing the blame on Gandalf for not telling the truth earlier. But that was the Wizard's choice. He chose not to reveal it...
"I have my own reasons. If you had noticed by now, none of the two had attempted to make a break for it. According to my understanding, they had lost all their powers and are no longer a notable threat to us. It is safe to approach them." Gandalf said calmly.
"But that still does not explain why you did not tell us the truth." Éomer pointed out.
"So you do not find it strange that these two of the enemy were sent back to the living?" Gandalf was aware of the danger he was in, "That they were given a second chance despite all the crimes against the people of Middle-earth they had committed? Nothing like this has ever happened in history! Are you not going to find out the true reason behind this phenomenon, which may be the herald to some momentous event that is about to happen?"
"You deceived us, Mithrandir! Never did I expect such deeds out of you, you who helped us so much in our quest to bring down the Dark Lord." Legolas accused.
"Cease this now!" Aragorn suddenly shouted, his voice ringing and clear over the tumult of shouts and protests, "I want answers, and I want them when these two are shut securely in the dungeons. Gandalf will explain himself in detail without them influencing the people's emotions and thoughts in this room. Take them away!"
Before the Witch King could actually process that the Wizard had just openly got himself in trouble just to keep him and Sauron alive, he was dragged by his chains along with the Maia. When they arrived at the cell where the Witch King had been taken from, they were literally thrown in and chained tightly to the wall. Sauron tried to fight again, kicking at the guards furiously and yelling out threats. But they struck him in the face, which finally made the other stop struggling and fall silent. The cell door closed with a despairing clang, seemly reminding the Witch King of his much-less-than-ideal situation again.
I will review, He decided, First I become restrained and captured, then Sauron decides to come along and deceive them into taking him under their shelter, then I am further humiliated and shut in a dungeon, in the same cell as my former master. This should be interesting—
"You!" The Witch King was interrupted rudely from his thoughts by Sauron's furious voice, which took on a nasty grating tone, "How dare you reveal my identity with such blatancy?! I was injured and under the awe of the people of this pathetic city. I would have left with the blessings and honors had you not decided to interfere. You have always been a stumbling block to my plans, Witch King, and this is the last time you have done so!"
"Stumbling block? Had I not served you faithfully for thousands of years?" He returned sarcastically. Now that Sauron had decided to pick an argument with him, he found this a perfect opportunity to have a little heart-to-heart with the Maia.
"Only to betray me during the most crucial battle for Middle-earth! And look what happened afterwards. My Ring was destroyed, I was humiliated before the Valar, and I was sent to the Void and almost strangled to death by my master—"
"And then you were forgiven and sent back by Eru Ilúvatar." The Witch King interrupted dryly.
Sauron actually froze in the middle of his tirade with a shocked expression. However, he recovered quickly with a snort of dismissal.
"I suppose a certain informative deity let you in on that particular piece of information. Then you should have known not to reveal my identity. I was sent back by Eru, touched by his power and restored. Of course you, an ignorant wraith, would never know what this symbolizes."
And here is the most unreasonable being I ever had the misfortune to meet and serve. Somehow Sauron's level of annoyance has increased tenfold upon the complete loss of his powers. Ignorant wraith indeed! Does he have any idea of the true significance of mine restoration? Sauron remains selfish as ever.
The Witch King decided to ignore Sauron from now on as he tried to come up with a way out of his current situation. Without his sorcery it would be difficult to break out of this cell; again he lamented over the fact of losing them. He was definitely sure that Ilúvatar did not intend for him to remain imprisoned. There must be something else the Creator had intended, and that odd piece of poetry was his only clue.
Mercy of Eru Ilúvatar incarnate,
In the Light and Fire of the Final Dawn.
Upon them, they carry Arda's fate,
On their dawning the battle will be won.
The Light and Fire, seemly come too late,
Shall herald the call of the Final Day.
The Witch King had no idea what it meant, for none of the words seemed to relate to his situation. It seemed to hint upon a massive battle in the future and the so-called Final Day and how light and fire will play a part in it. The prophecy was far-fetched and unreal, totally unrelated to the reason of his return, or Sauron's for the matter. He could puzzle it for the duration of his stay in the dungeons, but so far it was probable that the Lords of the West would not leave them like this for long. Sauron was too large of a threat to ignore and imprison.
His predictions were correct. Later one of the guards solemnly informed them that they were to be executed at daybreak two days from now. At this Sauron finally ceased his infuriated ranting and was reduced to disbelieving silence. The Witch King allowed himself a brief sense of relief in the blessed absence of scathing words directed him before realizing that if something did not happen soon, he would be suffering a second death. It would mean the Halls of Mandos and all the accusations again perhaps without Ilúvatar's intervention.
I have expected something similar happening, the Witch King thought, In a way I do not fear the aspect of death after having gone through it once. But knowing that it will be happening so soon is jarring. Did Ilúvatar know that this would come to be?
But that shall not be my main concern. If I am truly to be executed in two days, I have to take action soon. As for Sauron, he can perish for all I care. It does not matter that he was also restored because of Ilúvatar; even I have to question his intentions of sending Sauron, of all beings of Mordor, back to Middle-earth.
And so the Witch King brooded, much to Sauron's silent resentment of having the wraith ignore his every word. Again he was thinking of a strategy to escape this situation, but he would not be including the Maia within it.
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