Summary: Dark AU. When all is said and done, the Dark Lord remembers…
Deep, pulsing hammers sounded unceasingly in the hot air. It was grey, grey and
black lit with fire and ash deep in the land of Mordor.
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
Said Dark Lord stood by the sole window in the metallic black room, and looked
out. Across a scorched land scarred by the tangible memories of battles fought-
and won- and lives and loss and an unending search.
But it ended. It did.
A year ago- or had it been a year? Time had melted away, burnt like a sacrifice on
the altar to evil that he had built, that grey day a year-or-so ago.
Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky
Not entire accurate, Sauron reflected with what might have been a smile under
the spiked helmet which revealed only the hint of eyes glinting with malice… at
times. Not accurate at all, in fact.
In the end, not a single Elven-king had been left to bear their Ring. An Elf-lord, a
Lady hidden beneath the mallorn trees and her own power…and a wizard, bent
and old and gray-bearded who wielded fire.
Slowly, he turned to the sphere, something akin to pleasure fleeting across those
eyes. It was serene, and incredibly large, yet not the largest of all that had been
made. It did not need size; its power was felt, known, used. The Master Stone, an
Now it was his.
He smiled, in his mind at least, supercilious and triumphant. This was his victory.
It was black that day, when he took It and when the Three Bearers fell. Not
without a fight: he would give them that. But they did. And the Three were cast
into the fires they had hoped the One would be, and then they knew it was over.
It was perhaps not so very important that they took a very, very long time to die,
and when Elrond did, it was with the name of a she-elf on his lips.
It was a grey day, too, the day the Elves fell. It was grey as he stood upon a ship, a
ship that would have borne Elrond of Imladris and Galadriel of Lórien and Olórin
of Valinor into the West, and sailed across the sundering seas into the uttermost
West and took Valinor for his own. The first thing he did was to search out a
tall, slender elf-maid with silver hair and beautiful eyes, and as he killed her he
whispered into one pointed ear that Elrond was dead.
Then he went to the tower of Avallónë on Tol Eressëa and he took the palantír of
the Elves of Valinor, and grey ships and green shores became the food for legend
and dreams, because the heart-home of the Eldar was gone and it was the end.
And so they fell, first born and first struck down.
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone
He drew out ring mail of mithril, and turned his thoughts to those who fell next.
The Dwarves. This was not such a triumph as was the defeat of the Elves, for the
Dwarves had, in truth, fallen far earlier. They fell when their ancient city was
taken from them, and they never truly rose again.
Oh, but they might have! They might have been great again, if he had fallen, in the
stead of all the free peoples of Middle-earth… but it was not to be.
Their Rings… wasted on them. They had lost the last of their Seven long ago, and
it was not such a sweet thing to watch them fall.
But they did fight, when he came into Erebor that day. They fought and they died,
one by one by one, till the land was all Dwarven blood and broken axes but they
fought on and they would not submit, and he had to admit that Aulë did his work
Strength, endurance, pride… But it was all broken when his power shattered
Khazad-dûm and the great pillars fell, stone that had endured for two Ages
cracking, and the Dwarves fell.
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die
The rhymes he had engraved on the One could really have been done better, he
decided wryly. This was the second inconsistency, for after all the Nine had not
died. Their doom was something very different…
He threw a plant carelessly onto the sill. Ah, not any plant…
No. Not any plant, by any stretch of imagination. The White Tree…
So temporal and impermanent, he’d hardly thought that they had strength left.
The Faithful were dwindling, Gondor and Rohan were slowly but surely falling to
the shadow… And they were so weak. So easily tempted.
The One whispered to them, and they were lost.
It was what he’d always thought. Then one day he took out his stone and looked
in and confronted a Man beyond anything he’d ever imagined.
He was strong where they were weak, great where they had fallen, mighty where
they needed a leader, and the Dark Lord suddenly knew that if anyone could
build the Fourth Age from the ashes of the Third it was he.
He stood before him, laid himself bare for his searching eyes to penetrate… he
came to Sauron, and he said, “I am Aragorn son of Arathorn. And I carry your
He believed him.
That was a mistake, but how could he have thought so? This Man was great. This
Man… this Man could wield the Ring…
Very clever. Very close, so close to victory, but it had not mattered when he
found the two Halflings and the one who had been a Hobbit, once…
He took Gondor first. It had been besieged for long years, after all, and it was
a swift stroke that finally brought the White City to its death, because Gondor
would fight on its knees before it would give up.
Rohan with its horses and fields, its flags and pride, its fair-haired Riders and
its new King. And as he slaughtered the Rohirrim, he realised slowly that they
would rather tear their hearts out than let their horses fall.
And the last of the Faithful who did not submit, all those years ago. But they did
now. Dark haired grey-eyed heroes, but none of it made any difference and they
The secondborn fell third.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in
the darkness bind them
He placed the One Ring before him.
It had not been grey, the day the Hobbits fell.
It had been green and red and terrible black when their world ended, their green
Shire and their pipeweed and their fireworks, in fire and burning grass.
They had stood. They had not run screaming as he had expected… They rallied
before him and came at him with pitchforks- pitchforks!- and saucepans and
rolling pins and they fell one by one…
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.