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- Melkor was the most powerful of the Ainur, but turning to darkness, became Morgoth, source of all Evil in Middle-earth. He was the original Dark Lord before Sauron.
- Once the greatest of Eru Ilúvatar's followers, the disaffected Melkor created discordance in the Ainulindalë ("Music of the Ainur"). He sought to set himself up as master of the world and a creator in his own right.
- Melkor was not called "Morgoth Bauglir" until he destroyed the Two Trees of Valinor, murdered Finwë, the High King of the Noldor Elves, and stole the Silmarils, inciting the great War of the Jewels that dominated the First Age.
- The darker name, Morgoth Bauglir, the "Black Foe of the World", was then bestowed by Fëanor, son of Finwë, and the Elves called him thereafter by that name alone.
- The name Morgoth is Sindarin and means "Dark Enemy", "Black Foe", or "Black Foe of the World". Bauglir is also Sindarin, meaning "Tyrant" or "Oppressor". Fëanor actually named him in Quenya, Moriñgotto or Moriñgotho, and this was later translated into Sindarin as Morgoth.
- From his stronghold of Angband in the north of Beleriand, Melkor terrorized Middle-earth and transformed or gathered to him many of the monstrous races that continued to threaten the Free Peoples in later ages -- Orcs, Trolls, Dragons, Balrogs, and others.
- Morgoth was finally defeated in the War of Wrath, a cataclysmic battle with his fellow Valar that flooded Beleriand, altered the landscape of Middle-earth, and ended the First Age. The Dark Lord was then banished to the outer void, where he remains to this day. His lieutenant Sauron carried on his work, establishing himself as the second Dark Lord.
The First Dark Lord: Morgoth
- Morgoth descended into the World at its beginning, and battled with the Valar from his fortress in the north of the world for ages uncounted -- before the awakening of Elves and Men. The Valar defeated him and imprisoned him for three ages, but on his release he returned to Angband, north of Beleriand. During the First Age, the Noldor made hopeless war upon him for the return of the Silmarils, but at last the Valar came to their aid and overthrew Morgoth, banishing him forever from the World.
The Second Dark Lord: Sauron
- Sauron was the ancient lieutenant of Morgoth, and after the first Dark Lord's defeat, he took on his mantle and became a Dark Lord himself during the early Second Age. Taking the land of Mordor to dwell in, he corrupted the Númenóreans. Though he was defeated at the end of the Second Age, and his Dark Tower of Barad-dûr was thrown down, he rose again during the Third Age, and was finally defeated with the destruction of the One Ring in 3019 (Third Age).
- Originally a Maia of Aulë's people, Sauron was early corrupted by Melkor and became his most trusted lieutenant. In the wars of Beleriand, Sauron, master of phantoms and shadows, was the most feared of Morgoth's servants, but after the War of Wrath and the expulsion of the first Dark Lord, Sauron rose to become the Dark Lord, greatest enemy of Elves and Men in the Second and Third Ages.
- Sauron is important in Aragorn's history because Sauron was partly responsible for the downfall of Númenor, where Aragorn's Dúnedain ancestors fled from. Sauron was defeated by Aragorn's line three times. The Dúnedain owned the seven palantír stones that were brought to Middle-earth, and so Aragorn was able to wrest control of the palantír from Sauron.
- Sauron is one of most powerful Maiar whose power only grew stronger with the forging of the One Ring.
- In the First Age he was know as Gorthaur, Warden of Angband, and first in command after Morgoth.
- For some four centuries, the forces of the Noldor had besieged Morgoth in his northern fortress of Angband, holding the northern mountain fences of Beleriand and their passes against his forces, until the Dagor Bragollach, the Battle of Sudden Flame, in I 455. For two years after the Dagor Bragollach itself, Finrod's tower of Minas Tirith, an elven outpost against Angband, had guarded the Pass of Sirion against Morgoth's forces. Then in I 457, Sauron himself came against the tower; he cast a spell of fear upon the Elves who held it, and they were slain or fled back to Finrod in Nargothrond.
- Sauron then took Minas Tirith to dwell in, and watched the Pass of Sirion himself from its topmost tower. The isle on which it stood, which had been called Tol Sirion, was renamed Tol-in-Gaurhoth, the Isle of Werewolves.
- From there he commanded orcs, wargs and ancient werewolfes. But he was defeated by Huan and Lúthien, who had come to save Beren from captivity. Sauron was able to change into many different formes, for example a Master of Werewolfes in battle with Huan, and after, a great vampire while he was escaping back to Angband.
- With the fall of Morgoth, Sauron hid in the deeps of Angband so he escaped the Valar and elves in the War of Wrath. Many years later he showed himself again, taking on the mantle of the heir of Melkor.
- He began revealing himself once more, and by SA 1000 he gathered his power and established himself in the land of Mordor in eastern Middle-earth and began building the dreaded Dark Tower of Barad-dûr near Mount Doom. Around SA 1500, Sauron put on a fair visage and called himself Annatar (or Antheron), the "Lord of Gifts", thus befriending the Elvish smiths of Eregion.
- Sauron was impersonating a minister of the Valar, a craftsman of great power and knowledge. He taught the elf-smiths to craft magic rings of power, and Celebrimbor the leader of Eregion crafted three elven rings called Vilya, Narya and Nenya which he gave to three great elf lords: Galadriel, Elrond and Gil-Galad. In secret Sauron returned to Mordor where he, in the fires of Mount Doom, forged a Master Ring, the One Ring to Rule them All. He forged it from the fire and he crowned it with the darkness. He put it on with words:
- "sh nazg durbatulûk, ash nazg gimbatul. Ash nazg thrakatulûk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul."
- In language of man:
- "One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them."
- The Elves heard Sauron and they saw his treachery so they hid the three elven rings far from his reach.
- In Eregion when Celebrimbor forged the three Rings, Sauron made many other, lower rings. They were given to the other races, Nine to Men and Seven to Dwarves, and Sauron mastered them. As the ancient lyrics say:
- Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
- Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
- Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
- One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne,
- In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie,
- One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them,
- One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
- In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
- Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
- Three were hidden, seven lost and nine, nine for men were given to great human kings and sorcerers but under Sauron control they became know as the Nazgûl, the most deadly servants of the Enemy.
- In the One ring, Sauron installed a great part of his power so the destruction of the ring would severely weaken its master, but ring was giving him great power while he wielded it. With it, Sauron showed his true colors, gathered his armies and began a great war for Middle-Earth.
- Sauron himself makes a small appearance in Vol I. Book 9 as the red eye, when the player escorts Sara Oakheart through Barad Gûlaran, where she later reveals herself as Amarthiel and asks him where the ring Narchuil is.
- He also appears as the red eye in the instance Sammath Gûl, as the players approach Gorothúl, the third boss.