The Fellowship of the Pen
by Sauron Gorthaur

Prologue: A Note from the Recorder

I'd just like to say that without me this all would have ended in disaster.

Yeah, I know; it's usually the things WITH me that end in disaster, not the other way round, but live with it. Things change. I was desperate. We all were at that point.

Still, I'm not completely sure how I got mixed up with all this mess in the first place. The fact that Middle-earth was in the greatest peril it's ever been in since I've been alive probably had something to do with it. But, still, world-saving is a little outside of my comfort zone. And by "little" I mean like the size of that wretch Saruman's ego.

I'm also not sure how I'm the one who got stuck writing it down. OK, well, maybe I kept a few notes during the Journey – I've always been organized (and I have nice handwriting) – but seriously, it was the only thing that kept me sane. There's only so much hobbit chattering, human smooching, and elven camp fire hymns that a guy like me can stomach.

And well, of course, there were… Them.

And They're enough to drive anyone insane.

I guess it was a pretty important occasion, too. I mean, it was the only time in history that Middle-earth has been united under a single cause for real. Last Alliance? War of the Ring? All that united Free Peoples nonsense? Really? True, there was the Traitor, but he doesn't count. (I did warn them.) But for what matters, Middle-earth was united.

Don't get me wrong: this doesn't change anything back home. The story will go on just the way we left it. I have every intention to start the War back up exactly where we left off. The Journey was just an emergency procedure. We did what we had to. And besides, I can't STAND competition.

So, this is our story. These were the darkest days Middle-earth has ever seen, blah, blah, blah. For the first time, Middle-earth had a true cause and a truly terrible Enemy.

Let's just say: there are some things out there that even I consider evil.