Quest:Instance: Vóin's Tale
|Starts at||Grimbeorn's Lodge|
|Start Region||Grimbeorn's House|
|Ends at||Grimbeorn's Lodge|
|Quest Chain||The Black Book of Mordor: Epilogue|
|Previous: The Black Book of Mordor: Chapter 14
The Black Book of Mordor: Epilogue
|Walkthrough & Notes|
No combat is involved but quest duration is lengthy due to a large amount of dialog.
Gandalf believes he can reveal the rest of Vóin's tale using the shard of glass you discovered in the locked box inside Khil's home.
Gandalf: 'I believe this will be our last delve into the words of our distant friend Vóin, <name>. Yes, I say friend, for though the tome he left us comes from Mordor and bears the sigil of Sauron upon its cover, I have detected little malice on the part of the Zhelruka who wrote it. He has expanded our knowledge of the past, and for that I call him friend!
Hidden within the secret runes, Vóin speaks of his journey to Mordor.
Gandalf says, 'What further secrets might we uncover here?'
'To Mordor I went then, seeking word of my vanished friend,' Gandalf reads aloud
'My mind wandered on the hard journey. I remembered our adventures together, and they brought a smile to my face even in that dark land. But there were other memories, too, and regrets, and those were less welcome.'
'He had just become king of Gondor, and the crown was an ill fit. The taunts of the Witch-king at Fornost ate away at him. "If my horse had not bolted..." he often began, but one of us was always there to keep him from dwelling upon it. If Magoldir had lived, his words might have kept Earmur from going to Minus Morgul, but Magoldir was dead, and would never return from Durthang.'
'Could I have stopped him? This is the thought that comes back to me again and again, as I write these passages in the dim light of the accursed beacon. He had just become king, and I trusted that his knights would keep him safe. Gondor was no land for Zhelruka,, and I had deeds of my own to perform. I remember his words to me before I returned to the northern mountains. "Go find your city, Vóin. Go find Thafar-gathol!" I embraced him then, and bid him farewell. "I will" I told him.'
'"Good!" he responded. "Perhaps then you will stop talking about it morning and evening!"
Vóin says, I will find you, my friend!
'It was in the city of Minas Morgul that I cam to live, hiding in plain sight among the other wicked dwarves that served the Orcs and their foul masters. It was unpleasant work and cruel, but every disagreeable task elevated my position in the city and brought me nearer to my goal. Other dwarves claim the Zhelruka have no patience? I proved them all wrong, and was rewarded. In time the bossses gave me a new post: steward of the chambers within the tower atop the city.'
'It was there I at least found Earmur, and the few of his knights who yet survived.'
Vóin says, Is this what passes for comfort in the lands of the south?
'Time was no friend of ours,' Gandalf reads aloud
'We will think of something. There is still time.'
'The Witch-king's pride will be his downfall. He think to rob you of the spark that drives you, Eärnur, the fire that so infuriates him. As long as that passion to resist him burns within you, he will not know victory over you.'
'I have stayed here too long. I will be back tomorrow, my friend.'
'Think, Eärnur, think! There is still time, but... there is less now than there was. I have devised a hundred plans, each of them less likely to succeed than the previous one. But that does not mean escape is impossible. Never think that!'
'I do not want to worry you, but... you should know, Silmahtar is... no more. The Houses of Lamentation claim another of our friends.'
'No, we should not weep for him. Let his fate inspire us to escape, and we can mourn him when we are both free of the Black Land! Not just he, but Simmahtar and Calatur both. Think!'
'Like a grinding wheel, time moved ever onward,' Gandalf reads
'I am beginning to worry, my friend. There must be some means of escape, some way to free you from the Nazgûl's grasp. I have searched this tower high and low, and delved into every corner of the vale, but... there is nothing.'
'What is that? What did you say? You have thought of something? At last, Eärnur! Speak! Tell me what you have devised, and I will carry it out!'
'What? Thafar-gathol? Why do you speak its name, here in the darkness of Morgul That is of no use to us now, friend. We must think only of escape!'
'For all the time I have known you, Vóin, you have dreamed of finding your lost city. I do not want you to waste your years here in this tower seeking to prevent something I know to be unpreventable.'
'Yes, I know my doom. Here in the heart of his power, I cannot hope to resist the Lord of the Nazgûl for much longer. He knows this. But he seeks not only a thrall. He wants something else: he wants to destroy my spirit, the fire inside me that so infuriates him. He wants me to despair, to fall upon my own sword, to say with word and deed "you have the victory, and I am bested." You were right, Vóin. That would be no escape, and would bind me to his will.'
'Know you of Egalmoth? He was lord of this city when it fell, but he did not wait in the tower for the Nazgûl to slay him. He rode out, defying the armies of Orc and wraith, and though he came in the end to death, I tihnk his Onslaught will be long-remembered. I cannot do as he did, and I cannot keep the Lord of the Nazgûl from dominating my mind. But I can hinder the scheme he has devised for me, and cheat him of the total victory he seeks.'
'None will know of this save you, Vóin. My own Onslaught will not become song or tale or legend. But will will be the deed of Eärnur, who resisted evil to the last.'
Eärnur says, I cannot leave the tower without alerting the Lord of the Nazgûl...
'There must be further hidden runes elsewhere,' Gandalf insists
Orolang says, Farewell, my friend! Good luck to you!
'This is hard reading,' Gandalf says, looking up from the pages of the Black Book
'Only one of Eärnur's knights could escape, but even that would require the guardians in the Vale to be occupied with some distracting mission. Something was needed to draw their attention away from the bearer of the sword.'
'I knew Macilnis was more fleet of foot than Orolang, and would have the greatest chance of escaping the valley, so I gave to her the sword Orthadel and set her free. Only after she was fled did I go to release Orolang but there was little time to waste: I sent the tower's guardians after him almost immediately, and he let them on a desperate chase... away from Macilnus. Alas, my friend! I had no choice! Anyone could see that.'
Vóin says, The sword, at least, never came back to Imlad Morgul.
'And so ends the hidden runes Vóin left within the Black Book of Mordor, <name>. If the knight Macilnis escaped Imlad Morgul and came to free lands again, Vóin does not tell. And yet... I think we have learned enough from the Black Book for me to suggest some possibilities.'
'I believe Macilnis escaped the bounds of Mordor will in possession of Orthadel, the Rising Star, but not without injury. FOr how long did she journey, and to where did she go? We cannot know for certain, but it seems she did not make for Minas Tirith or word of her would appear once again, and it does not. I think she turned northward in an attempt to put as much distance between herself and the Witch-king as she was able. Did she survive the journey, and live out her days in peace? Did she succumb to wounds freshly-inflicted during her escape, or those she endured during the years of her toment in the dungeons? Was she recaptured by hunting parties sent by the Witch-king? Vóin never learned which of these came to pass, and I cannot say.'
'But of this I am quite certain. Whatever may have been the fate of this knight of Gondor, the blade she carried out of Morgul Vale survived. Orthadel was of Elf-make, wielded first by Magoldir the Elf during the Siege of Barad-dur and later by King Eärnur of Gondor, but in time its history was forgotten, and its name was lost. It became just a sword, handed down from bearer to bearer for many years. Somehow it found its way into the hands of a Dunadan, and became an heirloom of his house.
'That is how it came to the Ranger Golodir, <name>. Yes, though it endured much over the years, I think the sword that would be remade int he forges of Rivendell and renamed Dunachar was once known as Orthadel. And so the Rising Star became the Avenger of the West.'
'Yes, it is conjecture only... but I believe it is true.'
Completed: Instance: Vóin's Tale