- This page is about the NPC. For the attackable mob in the Court of Seregost instance, see Lhaereth the Stained.
Lhaereth the Stained, the Lady of Blight, is an ancient being who was one of Sauron's oldest and most loyal servants. She is infamous as a brewer of plagues and poisons, and is known in Easterling nursery-rhymes as "Sweet Lara".
She is said to have served "for centuries and ages" and to be "of the first days", probably meaning she has been loyal to Sauron since the First Age. More than a mere lieutenant, she loved Sauron, though he did not reciprocate. Her exact nature is a mystery. She is clearly akin to the Merrevail, and many of these are among her followers, but she claims to be the last of her kind. According to the memories of the Blood-bathed Watcher in front of Seregost, she had a daughter in the distant past who fell in love with a mortal Man. This love ended in blood and tragedy, and her daughter's spirit may have been bound in this Watching-stone.
Sometime after Sauron came to Mordor, he built the fortress of Seregost in the Broken Vale as a reward for her loyalty. There she worked to develop diseases that could devastate whole armies and kingdoms. The corrupting influence of Lhaereth and her works transformed the Broken Vale, staining its waters and twisting its inhabitants. The Broken Vale became Agarnaith, the Bloody Gore.
At the time of Sauron's defeat in the War of the Last Alliance, Lhaereth had temporarily abandoned him. She afterwards found him recovering in Dol Guldur and expressed her remorse, though she rationalized that she would have perished had she remained at his side. She offered to help him to heal and recover his strength, and to serve him forever, in exchange for a boon she had previously requested: a child. Sauron agreed to give her "one child only", and only after "[his] victory is complete, and [his] rule stretches from the Sundering Sea to the Uttermost East."
In the mid-Third Age, the Lady of Blight released her greatest work yet. This Great Plague first appeared in Rhûn, leaving whole cities empty. It then spread to Rhovanion, and in T.A. 1636 it struck Gondor and claimed the life of King Telemnar and his children. Much of Eriador was also left desolate by the plague, and the remnants of Arnor were weakened and left vulnerable to the Witch-king of Angmar. Her Great Plague did not mean certain death for its victims, however: it was discovered that athelas leaves could be used to treat the disease. For this flaw, Sauron considered the Great Plague a failure. As punishment, he granted Seregost to the Black Blade of Lebennin, and he rejected Lhaereth's offers to make a new plague. Sometime since then, Lhaereth has reclaimed Seregost.
Now that Sauron is gone, she will never get the child she desired. However, it is said that she plans to wed Dulgabêth the Black Word, the former Mouth of Sauron, who now calls himself Sauron's Heir. She is also preparing to unleash a second Great Plague, not on Sauron's behalf but to make Gondor pay for his death.
Lhaereth (The Plateau of Gorgoroth)
Lhaereth the Stained is mentioned many times during adventures in Mordor, and she is encountered during the meeting of the Masters on Amon Thaur.
The infiltration of the Court of Seregost occurs after this; for Lhaereth as an enemy there, see Lhaereth the Stained.
-  Instance: Union of Evil
- "I have a gift for you, my love."
- "One of my slaves carries it. Let me retrieve it for you."
- "I am the last of my kind."
- "For my long and loyal service, Sauron promised me a child."
- "One child only," he said to me.'"
- "'But after my victory is complete, and my rule stretches from the Sundering Sea to the Uttermost East.'"
A memory of Lhaereth is later observed in Gostador under Dol Guldur, in Mirkwood. The shadowy impressions left in that place reveal how she found Sauron near death following the War of the Last Alliance and reentered his service, and how Sauron reacted to her Great Plague's lack of complete success.
- "Lord Sauron... I thought you dead, but you cling to life."
- "I was overproud, and foolish. I abandoned you when you needed me the most."
- "Yet had I not done so, I would surely have been slain, and could not help you now."
- "I could help you, Lord Sauron. I could minister to you in your weakness."
- "You will be strong again. I will see it done."
- "The Blade of Lebennin has declared himself Lord of the Blood-fort! But it is mine!"
- "I will... I will make a new plague!"
- "This time will be different! I promise this plague will be more effective!"
Lhaereth (Morgul Vale)
Lhaereth is encountered again in Minas Morgul. Her followers seek on her behalf for the Halls of Black Lore, where she might learn of the location of Morloth, the Dark Tree. She seeks to use the fruit of Dark Tree to allow Sauron to return to Middle-earth and grant her the heir she was promised.
- ↑ a b c d Chapter 3.5: The Song of Sweet Lara
- ↑ a b c Song of the Stained
- ↑ a b Responses to the Word
- ↑ a b Chapter 4.1: The Meeting of the Masters
- ↑ a b Instance: Union of Evil
- ↑ The Bloody Watchers
- ↑ a b c Instance: Whispers from the Long Years
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
- ↑ The Court of Seregost