It was an unbearable cold day in the North, snow was coming down from the grey sky and the sound of crushing ice under the feet of my little group filled the air. When i started my journey at the pillar of Victory in the havens of Umbar i would have never believed that a place could be so cold. I dont even remember how the Sun looked, rising up in the haven of Umbarlonde. At the moment i was thinking about the camerades and friends the group lost at the long route from Umbar, 3 died in the desert of Harad under the brutal sun of the south, 1 died falling down the Rauros when we were travelling North with our rafts at the Anduin and 2 were killed by Northmen bandits, scum of low blood, after we passed Framsburg, i heart my friend Caramir, shouting out a yell of joy. When i saw the huge and imperious statue of a Dragon with a black corpse and grey wings, casting an enormous shadow at the grey mountains around it, i realized that we have finally done it. We found it. The Citadel of Scatha.
-Unkhaz, the Lieutenant of the gate-
"For Scathas sake" ,Unkhaz yelled at the orcish Warriors right next to him, " if this corridor is not cleaned from snow within the next five minutes you filthy maggots will become the first victims on the long list of sacrifices for the next feast." What a shrack day the tall Orc thought. Lazy Maggots everywhere, arrogant men bothering me and to make matters worse even the last bottle of Orc Draught has gone empty. At this moment a Warrior tapped him on the shoulder. "Dont touch me again you stinking dung!" Unkhaz shouted. "But ..." the Orc tried to answer. "WHAT ?!" the Lieutenant shouted again. "There is a group of people demanding entry to the Citadel." the scared Orc answered. Right when i believed the day couldnt get worse Unkhaz thought, walking to the merlon of the gate.
"What do you seek at these gates ?" Unkhaz shouted.
"The Wisdom of Scatha and the strength of Ancalagon !" a foreign voice answered.
"Who are you and where are you from?" He asked again.
"We are worshippers of the Great Dragons, like you, and we come from the far havens of Umbar to become priests in these holy halls." the voice answered again in a very snooty and demanding way.
Today no mercy is granted to me. More arrogant maggots Unkhaz thought for himself, but he commanded "Move ya stinking feet. A new group of Acolythes arrived. Open the gates and inform the High Priest you lazy scum !"
After the Orcs let us in the huge dome of the citadel a priest, obviously a lower ranked one in the hierarchy of the Cult, in a black Robe named Fuinor introduced us into the matters of the Dragon Clan. He gave us a bunch of Black Robes, Sandals and showed us our new home in the monastery, for each a little, dusty room with a chair, a table and a straw bed. Thats not what i have expected when i started my journey. Soon we experienced our first ceremony in the honor of Scatha in the Great Temple, where it was forbidden to speak. There wasnt much light beneath the Great Fire at the altar at the end of the temple hall and i felt like something is hiding in the shadows around us. The Air smelt of dust and another strange smell. Maybe ashes? When the High Priest entered the temple everybody kneeled down and a feeling of cold and reverence made me shiver, although I wasnt able to see his face under his black cowl. For three hours, atleast it felt like that, the High Priest preached about the wisdom and wealth of Scatha, accompanied by a montonous singing off the lesser Priests. Everything was held in a foreign accent of Adûnaic. At the end of the ceremony a huge boar was carried in by a group of Orcs, while the tension of the singing grew. When the singing reached its most intense point the Priests stopped and the throat of the boar was cut. Blood splashed onto the altar and the Orcs throwed the twitching corpse into the Great Fire. The High Priest said with a loud and firm voice: "May the blood of this creature encourage Scatha to be lenient with our unworthy lives." The ceremony was over. We all went back over the big bridge into the monastery where another Priest gave us the task to learn more about the History and Past of the Dragon Clan and Cult. When i went through the big gorches of bookshelves i took notice of one book, it had a black book cover and the text was written in Adûnaic. On the cover was written in big, curved letters "The Story and Journeys of Ar-Korthon, Voice of the Dragon". I decided to read it in my room and when i opened the book i saw that the letters had a strange dark red colour. I began to read.
The Story and Journeys of Ar-Korthon, Voice of the Dragon
-Background and early days of Ar-Korthon-
The events which will be mentioned in the text are not gonna be more exactly explained, however you can find more about them under the following links:
Ar-Korthon was born into a family of Black Numenoreans, his father was a Lieutenant of the Army of Angmar and died at the battle of Fornost, with a sword in his hand and his mother was the olderst daughter of another Kingsmen family. She died at the sack of Carn Dûm. The ancestors of both families fled from Umbarlonde when the false King Teluhmetar of Gondor conquered the realm. With many other Kingsmen families they fled to Angmar, swore loyality to the Witch King and inhabited the city of Carn Dûm.
2. Early Days
Ar-Korthon was born in the year 1950 of the Third Age in Carn Dûm. In his childhood he was a very nosy guy, exploring the shadows of Carn Dûm and reading many books about the History of Arda, the great Dragons of the first age and the dark arts of the Witch King and his sorcerers. When his father died in 1975 D.Z. the live of Ar-Korthon changed drastically. He decided to join the Black Numenorean sorcerers to learn the dark powers from the Witch King himself and grew in Power and influence, nourished by his hate on the people who killed his father, false Numenoreans and traitors. When Angmar fell and the Witch King disappeared Ar and a small group of fellow Kingsmen managed to escape from the City through a secret gate, while his mother distracted the pursuer. He and his little group fled south, covered by their appearance, like normal men. Some day, in the shire Ar-Korthon decided to write reports about the journey, where this book begins.
-The days as a traveller-
Ar-Korthon began to write his notes at a sunny, warm day on the street from Waymeet to Longbottom in the shire. Even with all these smiling, eating and singing hobbits on the fields around him he felt nothing besides hatred and anger at those who have destroyed his homeland and killed his family. Atleast he had one good friend left, travelling at his side. xXGloimXx, another Kingsman managed to get with him from Angmar to the Shire. The rest of the little group was either killed by some bandits at the street from Bree to the Shire or starved to death in the Lone Lands. In the tavern of Longbottom he heard rumors about a group of Dunledings plotting to free Dunland from the dwarves. Ar had no real destination in mind so he decided to head for Dunland. When he arrived in Dunland he searched a long time for these rebels but never found them. As the wild men were not very hospitable to foreigners he decided to leave Dunland and head back North to search for survivors and maybe a new rising power in his homeland of Angmar. The route along the western side of the Misty Mountains was a very dangerous one, the remaining dunedain and elves were still viligant for travellers heading north.Therefore Ar-Korthon took the eastern route over the fields of Celebrant and the hills of Anduin where he heard a rumor about a new Witch King in Angmar, named faylynn starting to reestablish the power of Angmar. Full of hope Ar-Korthon crossed the Misty Mountains, but as quick as the hope grew, it disappeared soon, when Korthon arrived at the border of Angmar and the shiny, white towers of Caras Imloth appeared at the horizon. With a last bit of hope left Ar-Korthon searched for this new Witchking, travelling from Caras Imloth to Carn Dum, where he found the Orc SaitoHikari and the Kingsman Quicksilver053, also searching for faylynn. While they kept searching for him Ar-Korthon and Gloim left Angmar to the Misty Mountains, letting their past behind once and for all. When they began to climb the first mountain next to Caras Imloth a shadow fell on the stone in front of them. Strained and in expectation of a fight Ar turned around, drawing the blade his father gave him once preparing to use the Black Magic he learned back in his days as a sorcerer of the Witchking against those who had slaughtered his family, but instead of an elf or dunedain he saw an orc, different from those he knew from Angmar. Six feet tall, with a green skin and red eyes. Ar recognized a special symbol, carved into his gauntlets. He saw it in one of the books of the library his family owned. This must be an Orc from Moria, but not a common Orc. This one looks exactly like Nagithas the Indomitable was described in the books. Ar took down his sword and asked the tall Orc, using the black tongue he learned in Carn Dum with a firm voice:
"What is an Orc from Moria doing this far in the North ?"
Nagithas answered, his voice sounded sore and dark:
"I had to convince myself what these filthy elves did to the realm of Angmar. But i could ask you the same question."
After Ar described his situation and background to Nagithas, the Orc offered him place in the mighty faction of Gundabad. Ar accepted this offer, he had lost everything and no home left to return to anyways.
Nagithas last words were:
"Goblin Town should be your destination, tell Yagmurz Nagithas sent you." before he disappeared in the moment when Ar had a look on the frozen fields of Angmar for, what he thought, was the last time of his life.
-The time in the Goblin Clan-
At their journey Gloim and Ar tried to cross a big river at the foot of a mountain, Gloim slipped on a piece of ice and fell into the icecold water, Ar spent the whole day searching for his friend but at the end of the day he didnt manage to find him and eventhough he was depressed he had to continue his journey, lonely and without much food left.
When Ar-Korthon arrived at the Valley, where the Gate to Goblin Town was supposed to be, the Sun was limping over the tips of the mountain and there wasnt much time left until the night would come over this valley. When Ar gazed over the place, searching for the entrance he heard voices, raw voices, unmistkable Orcs.
Ar went in the direction the voices came from and short after he found the gate he was searching for, two groups of orcs in front with similar but little different armors with two bigger Orcs in front of each group, propably the leaders, shouting at each other. Listening to them, hidden behind a snowdrift Ar fast learned that one of them was Golburz of Goblin Town, right hand of the Goblin King, Yagmurz, the other one was an ambassador of the Warchief of the Goblin Clan, residenting at a fortress at Eagles Eyrie. Ar wondered a lot why the Goblin King wasnt the ruler of the Goblin Clan but the Captain of Goblin Town, but Orcs were always strange creatures in his eyes. Both seem to argue about the Goblin King not following orders he got from Eagles Eyrie his Warchief. The conversation ended soon when Golburz punched the Orc from Eagles Eyrie in the face and said „We wont follow orders from a weak maggot that didnt show himself for month !“. The group from Eagles Eyrie left soon, carrying their unconscious leader and cursing the Goblin King.
When the group was out of sight and the Goblin Town Orcs were about to enter Goblin Town Ar came out of his hideout, shouting „Nagithas sent me to you, he wants me to join the ranks of the Dark Legions.“ Golburz turned around and looking at the small, sceptical eyes of him Ar fast regretted to have acted that careless. The big Orc shouted „Screw Nagithas, only Yagmurz, the Goblin King can command here, he will decide what will happen to you but normally men end roasted in a fire here.“ After the group of Orcs took all his clothes, his valuables and weapons they pushed Ar through the tunnels and caves of Goblin Town towards the grand cave, where the Goblin King, a grotesque Orc, the biggest one Ar has ever seen, with legs like trees, an enormous gut and an oversized head on his shoulders sat on a wooden throne. The strangest thing was his behaviour though, when Ar was carried in front of him he began to sing a song about Goblin Town, each strophe ending with „Down Down Down in Goblin Tooooooown !“. When he had finished his song Yagmurz asked him, holding one of his enormous eyes close to his face, what a man is doing in his realm, bothering the mighty Goblin King. Ar knew that he had to chose his words wisely to not annoy him, which would have ended with an impaled Ar-Korthon, roasting over a fire. So he told the Goblin King with a calm but firm voice that Nagithas sent him to join the Ranks of the Legions of Gundabad because to have a sorcerer in his ranks would surely be a valuable thing, he mentioned also his building skills and his ability to lead orcs. Yagmurz listened to Ars explanation and when he had finished the giant Orc gave Golburz, the Goblin Prince the command to give Ar a little barrack, some weapons and an armor. There he was, a descendant of a proud family of the old realm of Numenor, one of the best sorcerers of the Witch King, sitting in a filthy dirthole, wearing a rusted armor and having nothing to eat but maggoty bread and some dried meat, surrounded by stinking Goblins.
Ar was nevertheless tired and exhausted after his journey through the Misty Mountains and soon he sank into the straw and fell asleep.
At the next day Golburz waked him, yelling about enough sleep and a task he has to fullfill. Ar had no idea what he was talking about but while Golburz pushed him towards the gate of Goblin Town he explained him his task: to bring him the heads of 100 rangers of the North to prove his value for the Goblin Clan.
Driven by his hatred of the Rangers, who burned and sacked his home and his desire to rise in the ranks of Gundabad he travelled through Eriador, killing one foe of evil after the other. Soon he had fullfilled his task and 100 heads were impaled on stakes in front of the gate of Goblin Town and Ar earned the respect of the Warriors of Goblin Town, who named him Shaarku (or „Old Man“) because he seemed to be much wiser and older than his look would suggest. During the next months Ar-Korthon grew in importance and power in the Goblin Clan, soon he got more important tasks, expanding the caves of Goblin Town and recruiting and training new Warriors among the young Goblins and also gained the trust of the Goblin King, he even became one of his closest advisors.
Warden of the High Pass
One day he gave Ar-Korthon the task to build an outpost of Goblin Town at the High Pass to prevent the foes of evil to cross the Mountains and to clean the High Pass from the shortlings, who had buildt plenty strongholds there, always threatening Goblin Town. Ar led a group of Orcs to the High Pass and soon the towers of Gumbull Ogh casted their shadow on the snow and the heads of those who tried to enter the territory of the Goblin Clan decorated the huge walls of the fortress. Ar, first promoted to the Lieutenant, then to the Captain rank, has been given the command over his work. By his Orcs he was now only called „Warden of the High Pass“, „Shaarku“ or „The Goblin Architect“ and was known to be one of the most loyal Commanders of the Goblin Clan. One day a lone traveller came to the gates of Gumbull Ogh and demanded to meet the Captain of this fortress. Ar-Korthon recognized his old friend Gloim immediatly when he saw the silhouette of the man through the snow shower and Gloim became one of his overseers, fiercely loyal to his Captain
These days many groups of men, dwarves and elves tried to conquer Gumbull Ogh and many Orcs died to these filthy maggots, but Ar-Korthon always managed to hold the High Pass for the Dark Legions of Gundabad. One day when Ar-Korthon was inspecting the storage even Mewarmy, the Lightbringer came to Gumbull Ogh and tried to sneak behind Ar to assassinate him. The abilities he learned in his time as a sorcerer under the Witchking warned him though and Ar managed to get out of the storage before Mewarmy could draw his blade. He closed and locked the door and the great heroe, Mewarmy the Lightbringer was locked into a storage at the High Pass, Potatoes, apple wood and carrots suurounding him. Ar-Korthon had heard much about this Warrior and always respected worthy opponents and he offered Mewarmy a deal containing that he would let Mew out of this storage and give him enough food to get back to his kin if he helps Ar to drive some dwarvish bandits out of the High Pass, who had ambushed some Goblins and had stolen the armor of the Warchief Ongdadul, the Vaulted of Mount Gundabad and many more valuable things. Mew accepted and for the first and last time Ar-Korthon, later called the Voice of Scatha and Mewarmy, the Lightbringer fought side by side. The Dwarves fast vanished from the High Pass.
These were overall great times, Ar improved the recruiting process of Gundabad a lot, he invented that every young Goblin had to mine, farm or cut wood at the High Pass, he helped Yagmurz to gain the upper hand in the conflict with the Warchief who was only called the „Eagle of Eagles Eyrie“ and was at his side when Yagmurz gained the honor of ruling the whole Goblin Clan. Under his command as the Warden of the High Pass also the last dwarven stronghold at the High Pass, Aflutab was conquered by Ar-Korthon using negotiation and cunning instead of raw power and convincing that dwarf, that is today the King of the Grey Dwarves, VetusGeneral, to leave it to the Orcs of the Goblin Clan.
Nevertheless this periode in Ar-Korthons life ended soon after the coronation of Yagmurz, the Goblin King, when even this Orc died, buried under tons of stone after a collapse of one of the caves of Goblin Town. [Cpt. Percy], one of those Orcs Ar had fought various battles side by side also spoke often about leaving the Misty Mountains and travelling with some loyal warriors through Middleearth to burn and plunder the villages of the free folk. The Goblin Architect knew that it was about time to leave the Goblin Town, eventhough it as the closest thing to a home since he had to flee from Carn Dum and he decided to head towards Angmar to search for some old friends, he felt like there is a destiny and task he had to fullfill, but he had no idea what it could be. When he came along the huge mountains of Mount Gundabad and Mount Gram he met an old friend he knew from his early days in Carn Dum, Narukhor II. , who had found a new home in the Northern Misty Mountains and who had also joined the ranks of Gundabad. Ar told him to get to Goblin Town to take the lead over the Clan he, Golburz and Yagmurz formed over many years.
A Stirring in the East
Three days after he met [jonny] Ar-Korthon sat on a rock under the shadow of Mt Gram, thinking about his destiny, he felt a stirring in the Air, the winds raging around his head whispered a name in his ear again and again: „Scatha, Scatha, Scatha ...“. Ar knew that Scatha was one of the last big dragons remaining in Middleearth, he also knew that he lived somewhere in the eastern grey mountains. He wasted no time, knowing that this was propably the sign he was waiting for and travelled aside Gloim towards the Grey Mountains,at his way he crossed Mt Gundabad, the mountain where once Durin I. awoke and Dains Halls with its great library, the hall of Dragons and the huge statues, guarding the gate.
Ar-Korthon arrived at night at Scathas Lair in the year 2000 T.A. Snow and ice were lashing against his armor, there was a chill in the air and the sky was darkened. First Ar only saw a huge valley but at a second look he recognized that a fight had left his marks at this place, Ar Korthon saw the dead, burned corpses of atleast ten dozens of men and 3 dozens of dwarves, charred trees were still smoking and the corpses were not cold yet. A big fight must have happened here but Ar didnt see Scatha, not even other creatures like Orcs who could have been the opponents of this scum.
Voice of Scatha
When he began to climb over a flank of a mountain the ground he was standing at started to shake and only a short distance from Ar a huge, golden eye appeared,where Ar suspected solid rock a few seconds ago. No, this wasnt a mountain, this was a great Dragon of old ! Ar had to kneel down in front of this enormous, glorious creature and Scatha began to speak, Ar had never heard such a powerful voice and the words coming out of Scathas mouth seemed to be the wisest words Ar had ever heard.„You are late, Ar-Korthon of Numenor“, Scatha said, „I will die soon, the time of my corpse on arda is over, wounded by the Rohirrim scum“.Ar-Korthon answered „I am infinitely sorry, master, i am ashamed of myself that i wasnt able to save you!“„There is no time left to talk, but you must know that your destiny, Ar-Korthon of Numenor, in which the old blood is still strong, is to be my voice, the Voice of Scatha. You will build temples an shrines, you will let Middleearth know the power and wisdom of the dragons of old. You are from this day on the Dragon Prophet.“The last words of Scatha were „Scatha, Glaurung, Ancalagon!“ and his last breath ignited the few trees, still standing in this valley. When the last glimpse of live left Scathas body Ar felt like a newborn man, eventhough a godlike creature had faded from Arde, which was surely a great loss and it the sorrow came close to the horrible feeling he had when he had to see how the soldiers of the free folk captured, tortured and killed his mother back in the most horrible night of his life, he knew suddenly exactly what to do. He knew how to fullfill his destiny and he knew things about events that happened when even the Witch King was a newborn. He had memories from the doom of Angband until the last fight of Scatha.
The foundation of the Dragon Clan
The new knowledge and power that was pulsing in his blood was used in the following years to form a new power in the chilling North, the Dragon Clan. He united the Orcs of the Grey Mountains and the Tundra and started the construction of the citadel of Scathas Lair, which towers are casting a shadow on the surrounding mountains today. As the High Priest of Scatha, Voice of the Trinity and Warchief of the Dragon Clan Ar-Korthon joined the ranks of the mighty Warchiefs of Gundabad, which had in the meantime another new member: his friend and ally Narukhor II. The Dragon cult grew to one of the major religions of the North, while many northern evil factions joined the Dragon Cult, including Angmar, the Goblin Clan and Dunland, the word of the Dragon has been carried to the ears of various folks, from the Hillmen of Rhudaur to the Moredain of the Savannah, while the center of this Cult was at Scathas Lair, where Ar-Korthon still preaches the word of Scatha. Various other temples exist today, one among the most important and oldest is buildt at the valley of Withered Heath, where the Dragons once bred out their descendants and the priests preach the about the strength of Ancalagon.
A Black Wing
For a long time Ar-Korthon worked for the strength and reknown of the Dragon Cult and spent a lot of effort and energy in his political and religious goals. In the meantime many Priests were educated in the monastery of Scathas Lair and Withered Heath, one of them was the masked priest Kryx, who became the right hand of Ar-Korthon and Priest of Glaurung. It is known that he never revealed his face to anyone besides his High Priest. During this time the Dragon Clan became a known powerhouse in the North of Middleearth and the shadow of a black wing fell onto the free human, dwarves and elves of Rhovanion. After this era of growth and Power the time approached when Ar-Korthon felt the weight of the position he was in and one day he realized for the first time that his time on Arda was coming to an end. After this day he was only seen at the Temple and Monastery at very rare occasions. He spent months and years alone in his chamber, thinking about his life and the origins of his family and an idea was formed in his mind, slow first, until it became a huge desire. He wanted to see the land his family fled once from again, he wanted to wander the deserts of Harad and the Cloud Forests of the South. After one year of brooding about this idea Ar-Korthon made finally a decision.The Priests of the Dragon Clan gathered in the monastery and Ar-Korthon announced that his time in the Dragon Clan was over and his right hand, who had organized the Dragon Clan during the last years anyways, Kryx would become the new High Priest of the Dragon Clan. Ar knew that he would lead the Clan very well and after three days of prayer he left the citadel he built once with his bare hands. After some time of travelling he turned around and still saw the towers of Scathas Lair at the horizon. He knew that he fullfilled his vow to Scatha. He breathed heavily and it was the first time for an era that he felt free again.
-To be continued-