Fairer Sex, The: 1. Prologue: Survivors

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1. Prologue: Survivors

Somehow they had escaped.



In the midst of utter destruction, they had somehow survived where many
of their kindred had not. Allies, who had fought with them, now lay buried and
forgotten, their corpses becoming nothing more than sustenance for the bottom
feeders on the seabed. They themselves had narrowly escaped such a terrible fate
and their own number had been greatly reduced during the exodus from their
ruined city. Now there was only a handful where there had been many and the
survivors were at a loss over what to do next.


At the time, their imperative had been to escape the rising deluge of water
that filled the cavern where their city was sheltered for so many ages. Fleeing
the tide of the cold sea that pursued them amidst the destruction of falling
rocks and boulder like fragments of crumbling ceiling, they had thought little
of what would come once they escaped the immediate peril. However, upon emerging
once again to what was relatively steady ground, they discovered that the danger
had not passed even though they were for momentarily safe. For so long, their
city had protected them. It kept them safe from the outside world and as they
sat at the feet of their master whose schemes would have made it possible for
them to leave their city and emerge into the world again, it never even occurred
to them that he might fail.


Or worse yet, be killed.


But killed hie was and the great plan had failed, the one the Master had
assured would return them to existence they knew before the sunlight had filled
the cracks of the world with its blinding light. Before the First Age of the
Sun, the world had been as a paradise to them, a time where they were filled
with the sinful delights of pleasure borne out of pain. When the dark lord
Morgoth had ruled the world, they had been at the height of their power. To
them, it was a time still spoken of in whispers of awe and reverence. To make
the world as it once was, they had served their new master when Morgoth had been
banished to the void and the shape of Middle earth changed beyond recognition in
the War of Wrath.



In the face of the cataclysmic battle that had been fought and the
subsequent destruction of Beleriand which took with it Angband and much of
Morgoth’s army, they had been driven to hide out of fear. During the war, their
value had always been in concealment and subterfuge. They were created as a
covert weapon unlike the Balrogs whose purpose was destruction in all its grand
chaos. They walked among the enemy, listening and reporting back their
observations to their master. When Morgoth had been vanquished, it was easy
enough for them to hide and with the Valar more concerned with the Balrogs,
firedrakes and other demon spirits fighting openly, it was easy to be
forgotten.


With the end of the war, they had bound themselves to a new master and for
many ages, they served him well and were contented to remain within the city
under the sea. Their new master had also served Morgoth and like them, wished to
serve the dark lord again. His plan was audacious to say the least but it would
bring Morgoth back to them and there was nothing they would not do to see that
accomplished. After waiting for so long, the vassal in that Morgoth would
inhabit upon his return was finally conceived and the master’s plan was finally
coming to fruition.


It should have worked.


It would have if not for the determination of the she elf and her companions
to save her child from the blessing of Morgoth’s spirit. They had underestimated
her and were paid dearly for their mistake for the she elf had aided the death
of their master and brought down their city upon their heads. The plan lay
ruined forever beneath the sea, along with the carcass of their master and the
allies who would have helped them usher in a new order if only Morgoth been
allowed to inhabit the body of the child slumbering within the she elf’s
womb.


After their escape, the survivors banded together, united by their confusion
and fear because for the first time in their lives, they had no leader, no one
to tell them what to do. Many were prepared to find other enclaves in the dark,
to hide again. It might have transpired this way if one of them had not made the
suggestion that perhaps what was needed was a new plan, one that they would
carry out themselves, without the need of a master to guide their actions or
allies upon whom they could rely on. Perhaps they could not bring Morgoth back
to Middle earth but they could change it to suit their needs.


Emerging into the sunlight for the first time in eons, they soon learnt how
to move safely through this world they had feared for so long. While they
traveled sometimes during the day, under guises that ensured no one would accost
them, mostly their journey took place by night. It appeared that exodus was not
an uncommon thing in Middle earth these days. The Eldar were also leaving the
shores of Middle earth. Arda was being left to the race of men and this suited
them well for men did not have the sight or the senses to perceive them as the
elves did. Even if they did encounter the First Born, they had means of
concealing themselves. They were aware of craft that was old even when the Eldar
were first awakened at Cuinvienen.


If they had to, they could remain hidden from anyone.


They crossed the Misty Mountains, visited the ruins of Dol Goldur before
crossing Mirkwood to take the river into the Sea of Rhun, into the lands that
were laid claim to by the folk known to the rest of Middle earth as the
Easterlings. Like they had been after Morgoth’s banishment to the void, the
Easterlings were similarly displaced. They were a warrior people, bred to fight
and relishing victory and battle in all its forms. The enforced peace they had
no choice but to endure, thanks to the destruction of Sauron, was a found
festering upon their pride. The new arrivals finally found the instrument with
which they could secure their place in Middle earth as well as strike a blow of
vengeance against the she elf that had ruined everything.


It was an easy enough matter to infiltrate the Easterling ranks with none of
the race having the slightest inkling that there were those among them that were
not men but something else completely. The new arrivals were swift to
consolidate their power and though they did not overtly reveal themselves, they
found that the Easterlings were easily manipulated because of their inherent
dislike for the Reunified Kingdom. The power of the Easterling had well and
truly been broken by the defeat of Sauron. The loss left deep wounds upon their
pride that was worsened because of the peace they were forced to accept.


The lord of the Easterlings had begrudgingly entered negotiations with Minas
Tirith to establish new lines of trade and commerce so that his people could
begin to prosper after so many years of war. Though the idea of peace was
abhorrent to the men of the southern lands, the fact remained that without
Mordor they were starving. For years, the dark lord had kept them fed by
allotting them portions of tributes gathered from other lands subservient to
Mordor. The arrangement ensured that the armies of men under his yoke could
focus singularly on the business of war.


Unfortunately, with the demise of Sauron, this delicately poised balance had
shattered and suddenly, men who had lived all their lives as soldiers were faced
with the reality of starvation. So few Easterling resources had been directed
towards agriculture and pastoral farming that without Mordor’s aid, the southern
lands were quickly descending into poverty. Thus, the need to forge an alliance
of some sort with their old enemies was not only a necessary evil but also an
urgent imperative. King Elessar, aware of the deteriorating situation had
extended the hand of friendship, hoping to bring order to the realm by a gesture
of goodwill.


The years following the war had been good ones for Gondor and its surrounding
neighbors, a gift of grain was thus offered the Easterlings as an overture of
friendship to solidify relations between the former enemies. The Easterlings
were proud but like the Corsairs and Wainriders who were driven to make similar
agreements, they had little choice but to accept Gondor’s offer of aid. The
negotiations had continued over a number of months as both sides were cautious
of each other and rightly so. It was no easy thing to shirk years of hostility
in order forge something better and while Elessar was willing to make
concessions to leave the Easterlings with their dignity, he would not relinquish
the sovereignty of Gondor to dictate some terms.


The culmination of all this was a treaty that was historic in every sense of
the word. It meant that for the first time since the race of men had emerged
from Hildorien, they would stand together as one. Across Middle earth from Rohan
to Dol Amroth and Ithilien, the respective leaders of each realm were converging
upon the White City for a gathering that would welcome the Easterlings as their
neighbors.


Unknown to any of them, not even the Easterlings, they would have some
unexpected guests.



This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.

Story Information

Author: Scribe

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Era: 3rd Age - Post-Ring War

Genre: Action

Rating: Adult

Last Updated: 04/07/03

Original Post: 04/03/03

Go to Fairer Sex, The overview

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