1. The Hill of Seeing
An evil, deep and menacing, stirs within the head of stone. The stone lies on its side, nose corresponding with the icy soil. Ear pointed to the earth, it listens to those that approach. Footsteps are near, and for the first time the cold stone eyes are aware, searching for the source of this new movement. The stone is needed, for with what else would the eyes of Sammath Naur use as its spying glass?
The minuscule vibrations of something small become greater. Out of the corner of one stone eye, it sees it, a creature, with dark curly hair atop its head. For a moment the stone’s eyes flicker red, but not to the observation of the thing walking by. The granite eye that is not covered by leaf and mud watches the creature silently, for it knows what it is, and what it bears.
While the eye waits, swirling more and more with fire that consumes, the creature moves slowly, stepping on large but light feet towards the carved stone. Its tentative hand reaches out, brushes the nose with fingers worn by travel. But the eye can sense what else the hand has touched. For a moment the eye and the creature connect, and a great fire spreads into the arm of the creature touching the stone, and it pulls back, gasping, reaching its hand up to fondle some unseen trinket.
The being before the stone eyes is frightened, for the stone can see it in the creature’s gaze. There is a long moment before its tiny hand reaches from out of the vest, its gaze locked on the stone statuette before him.
“Alone in the dark…” is all it murmurs, and when a single tear slips down from the creature’s eye, it swipes at its cheek as if ashamed. The stone eyes narrow mockingly, but the creature still doesn’t perceive it. Instead it employs the stone. It climbs atop the nose and fingers the granite, smoothed out by years of endurance through sleet and squall. The statue’s wickedness can feel the creature’s movements, read its thoughts, but the creature does not notice, for its mind is too occupied with what lay ahead. What death would this creature conquer? What loss would it endure?
The thing is frightened. It curls up on the stone as if it were softer than air, though it shivers in tremors, teeth clattering. Its back is now to the stone eye, but they still see, persisting on watching as its foul hand reaches into his vest. A shimmer of gold, and a wheel of fire spreads. At once the eye realizes, and in the blackness of lands burnt by fire and molten rock comes a dark figure, clothed in the death of night. Even in stone, the creature will never be rid of the eye, for he does not understand that it is behind him. Silent. Watching. Hidden.
Lorz akashuga! Hont-izg ghaash!
The spell is immediately broken for the creature, and he gasps. But when the eye of the stone sees another -- bigger and brawny -- in its path, it senses its weakness at once. It will be easy to claim this one, for he is greedy in the ways of his satisfaction.
The smaller creature is so startled that he leaps off the statue, his feet landing heavily on the ground and sending tremors through the stone’s ear. The larger speaks to him, but in his face the little one sees the wrongness, begins to back away. There is a bicker between them, and no longer can the stone eyes hear their speech, for its invisible gaze is fixed on the bane about the little creature’s neck.
“Give it to me!” The large one yells.
Force without wisdom falls of its own weight, and the cold eye noiselessly laughs. The big one falls on an unseen entity. Should one man—this man—fall of his own accord, his folly is the death of him. He does not see that the little one flees, though the smell of his fear was left behind. But even in the creature’s invisibility, the stone eyes no longer need to find the creature, for he is right in front of the wheel of fire. He had put on the Ring. In his mind, the little one berates himself, for he did not recognize that the strongest might weaken.
Clouded by fire and ash, the eye reaches out for the Ring. Burdened longing flashes within the blaze about the pupil, dilated and black, and bears down at speeds greater than the Altar.
Thundar, thup-triin, thraang!
But the creature and the Ring is gone from its sight, and in the few seconds of slipping the band off his finger, the eye screeches, and begins its search once more. Its purpose is still there, but it has failed in its task. In the profound South it flees, atop the mountain of fire, burning with ash and filth. Always looking, always watching in an unseen entity, as a stone eye in the deep.
Lorz Akashuga! Hont-izg ghaash! translates as 'Stupid Halfling! It sends flame' and Thundar, thup-triin, thraang! translates as 'hoof, whip, mad and rage'. It sounds quite stupd in the common tongue, but then again, so does the Dark Lord.
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.