Authors Note: Some could say this is sacrilege, I hope its not. I don’t own anything here except perhaps for the concept that was crafted from elements of the Simarillion and the more obscure legends in the Lord of the Rings. The rating at this time is R mostly for tense situations. I have used some elements of the film version, in particular Arwen’s replacement of Glorifindel’s ride to Rivendell since I feel it adds more to her character’s development.
It was meant to be a time of peace.
The War of the Ring had come and gone and the realms of Arnor and Gondor had been united under the leadership of Isildur’s heir, Aragorn Elessar, once called Strider who was of the Fellowship of the Ring. The initial years following the end of Sauron's evil reign and the destruction of his kingdom in Mordor had been years fraught with toil. It might seem to those watching that the vanquishing of so evil a foe would signal the dawn of a more civilized age. Unfortunately, they would have been disappointed. The Fourth Age began as all things borne of great conflict often do, with unsteady feet, searching for its place in the new world, through the ashes of the old.
As the halflings learnt upon their return to their beloved Shire that even with the death of Sauron, his minions still continued to invoke his evil across the land. Saruman the White, escaping the siege of Isengard, turned his vengeful eye toward Hobbiton. In his hatred, he was determined to bring ruin to the homecoming of the ring bearer and those with him who had brought Sauron to his end. Fortunately, he died at the blade of his own minion Wormtongue without causing irreparable harm to the Shire. However he was not alone. In the War of the Ring, Saruman had gathered many allies to align themselves with Sauron and created an army that would have consumed all of Middle Earth. Whilst many of these had been vanquished at the Battle of Pelennor, some had survived the carnage to escape into crevices and the dark places of the world, to hide until such time when they would be called upon to serve evil once more.
The time that came after the War of the Ring was not only a time of peace but also of restoration. Much that had been destroyed was once again rebuilt. The King, who remembered the promise made to his fallen comrade, Boromir, to never let the White City falter, restored Minas Tirith which had suffered greatly in the siege of Gondor. In Isengard, Gandalf the Grey attempted to rebuild the splendor of his ancient order to what it was before Saruman had defiled it with his treachery.. In Moria, Gimli led the Dwarves against the Orcs who had slain Balin and retook the grand city. Legolas returned to Mirkwood, taking his place as a Prince of the Wood and giving aid to the lands whose forests had been ravaged by war.
In the meantime, the Enemy lay in the shadows, watching.
He waited in silence, allowing the victors to savor their prize and their peace, feeding their complacency in the belief that the danger of the dark times had indeed passed. Meanwhile, he planned a secret restoration of his own. Sauron had placed too much of himself in the One Ring and that had been his undoing. Such power could not be contained in a vassal of gold, fashioned from any mountain. It was a living, breathing thing. If the enemy had learnt one thing with perfect understanding from Sauron's utter defeat, it was never to move too quickly.
The One Ring was too well known, too remembered, for it to slip past the forces that had stood against Sauron. All it had taken to bring the dark lord undone was one determined hobbit, a creature so insignificant to imagine it capable of defeating one of the Maiar was unimaginable and yet that was precisely what had happened.
No, he was not so foolish as to place his power into a ring. He had been waiting from ancient times, a creature weakened by a blow that should have killed him, recovering in secret and allowing those who might remember him to believe that he was dead. In truth, much of what he was, was no longer and his anonymity ensured his continued survival. When Sauron had first come to power, he had considered offering his services to the dark lord but chose to wait until Sauron had become master of all before making his presence known. However, Sauron had not prevailed and upon Isildur’s fateful blow and the loss of the ring, he had chosen to withdraw into shadows and wait for another opportunity.
Even with the dawning of the Third Age and the great peace that had settled over the land, he knew that Sauron’s evil was not ended. The One Ring had survived and while it remained in the world of Middle Earth, its power was still potent. It was only a matter of time before it made its presence known again and as history tumbled along in its own clumsy way, Sauron was finally defeated and vanquished forever. The Third Age slipped into the past and now there was a new hope stretching itself across all of Middle Earth and in its splendor, it made those who could be a threat to the Enemy weak and so the time had come at last to act.
His ring would not be made of gold; nor would it be subject to the whim of its bearer. No, his "ring" would be one of flesh, a person sculpted, as one would a statue; molded to fit his will. Saruman had attempted to build the superior soldier in the Uruk Hai. The Enemy's ambitions would have made the wizard's jaw fall open in astonished wonder.
The Enemy had no need of soldiers when what he desired to build was a god encased in the body of a king.
And he found many that would help him. The Orcs and the Uruk Hai, who found themselves without a master following the demise of Sauron, were being hunted into extinction by the new king. When the Enemy told them of his plan, they savored the delicious irony of it all and were eager to help him carry it out in any way possible. There was little they could do for the moment except wait.. For the plan required one last, culminating event for him to be able to set it in motion. He ordered the Orcs and the remaining Uruk Hai to the secret city, aware that only in its confines would they know any peace from the hunters who sought to end their races once and for all.
The secret city like the Enemy himself had been forgotten in time and even the ones who considered themselves aged and knowledgeable in the ways of the ancient, no longer remembered the places he knew. He journeyed with his small army of Orcs and Uruk Hai to the hidden fortress deep within the earth. Far away from all the knowing of all creatures above, he kept watch on the outside world through one of the palantirs that he had acquired over the years. He watched over the Kings of Gondor, Mirkwood and all the lands of Middle Earth, waiting for the time when they would begin the course for which he had planned for so long.
And then it came, as anticipated, for the lives of mortal men were terribly predictable for all their short-lived passion. It had come from Gondor, also as expected and it brought a cry of satisfaction running through the secret city. He, himself , rejoiced most of all when the City of Minas Tirith made a most joyful announcement. The White City's elation almost rivaled that of his own minions though their reasons for celebration could not have been more different opposite. The Enemy smiled in pleasure for the culmination of so many years of waiting and calculating had finally reached apogee and it was time to begin.
To the King of Gondor, a child was to be born.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.