20. Agan's Treachery
It had been several days since Morion was captured and Khamul had not said a single word to Sauron about it. The Maia's attention was solely focused on keeping the queen in line while prodding Pharazon towards war with Valinor. It was folly with a capital 'F', but it also meant destruction of the most grand and permanent kind for Numenor.
"I don't like being ordered around like a servant!" Ceure snarled as she and Vorea strode into the garden where Khamul was finding she spent most of her time.
"What's going on?" Khamul asked, glancing up.
"Agan is nowhere to be found," Vorea said. "And an obnoxious servant of his is ordering us to clean up the temple. I find such a task distasteful in the extreme."
"Go beat the bastard up," Khamul advised.
"He will go running to Sauron," Vorea said. "I do not want to be blamed for the inevitable."
"Then kill him."
"I find such an option unsuitable."
"Then I'll do it," Khamul snapped. "Go look for some fawning toady to replace him."
"One with a bit more respect," Ceure said.
After dispatching the servant, Khamul watched the going ons of the war room for a while, carefully keeping to the shadows where she could not be seen.
"He's really going to build a fleet," Khamul muttered, shaking her head. "He's really going to do it. I can't believe it. Any fool with an ounce of a sense in his head would know Valinor is invulnerable."
She passed the dungeon and glanced inside, expecting to see Morion. To her surprise, he was not there.
"Ah well," she said with a shrug. "He's dead and gone now. All I wish is that it was me who drove the knife through his heart."
Ancalime was damned to a life of eternal darkness. Elendil and his sons would be killed for their rebellion. Andunie would fall, and Numenor shortly after it. For there was no doubt in Morion's mind that it was Sauron's grand plan to bring about the end of the island kingdom.
He thought about sleeping, trying to take his mind off his impending doom. No, he thought. I would just dream again. I do not want to dream about that again.
For as long as he could remember, whenever he went to sleep when sad, angered, or scared, he would dream of flames and darkness surrounding him. He would see flashes of other things, but then it would all end with a glimpse of a black door.
I'll just sit here, he thought. I'll just wait for it. Maybe I can fight the guards. Maybe I can escape. I'll try that. It might work.
The door to his cell opened, and Morion leapt to his feet.
"I would not move if I were you," a dark priest said. He held a long dagger in one hand, pointed at Morion's chest.
"What do you want?"
"Go," the priest said. He gestured for Morion to leave first so he could follow him, dagger at Morion's back.
I don't have a choice, Morion thought, walking out of the cell and down deserted corridors.
"The great lords are deep in conference," the priest said. "They are debating the merits of invading Valinor."
"That would be madness," Morion said.
"It is not for you to say," the priest snarled. "Your life is at an end, but your usefulness is not."
"I will not be a wraith!" Morion growled, about to whirl on the priest, but the dagger pricked his back and he kept moving.
"Your soul will go to Mandos," the priest said. "You have nothing to fear."
The priest led him into a small, windowless room. The walls were painted black, and a single tattered piece of cloth rested on an ebony table.
"Kneel," the priest hissed, pushing Morion to his knees in front of the table. "Do you know what this is?" he asked, gesturing to the cloth.
"No," Morion said. "It looks like part of a flag."
"It is a flag," the priest said reverently. "The only surviving flag of Lord Melkor from the First Age."
So he's a priest of Morgoth, Morion thought. I'm to be a sacrifice to that dark Vala. Fine. My soul will rest in Mandos soon enough. The only thing I'm puzzled about is why he's doing it here, in his private shrine. Why not kill me in front of an audience? I am Elendil's nephew, after all.
"You have no appreciation for what your death will accomplish," the priest sneered. "I have searched so long for you, Andunie lord. So long indeed."
This isn't a normal sacrifice, Morion thought. It's something special. There's something wrong here. Something very wrong indeed.
Before Morion could move, the priest placed his hand on Morion's head and whispered a spell. The lord of the Andunie found he could not move.
"I will allow nothing to endanger this ritual," the priest hissed, wrapping a black cloth around Morion's eyes.
The priest then proceeded to undress Morion and move his arms so they hung straight out from his sides. With all his might, Morion struggled to break the spell that held him, but it was futile. The priest's power was mighty indeed.
"Great lord!" Agan cried, throwing back his cowl and raising his hands towards the sky. "Accept this offering!"
The Andunie lord was still resisting his spell, but it would hold long enough for the ritual to be completed.
The light in the room, dim already, was growing darker and darker. Soon Agan could see nothing. Then a – strange though it seemed – dark light crackled around the Andunie lord. Lightning raced around him, caressing his skin.
"Yes," Agan hissed. It was working. All his ceaseless searching, his fawning over Sauron, everything was coming to completion.
The Andunie lord cried out loudly before collapsing to the floor.
"My king," Agan whispered, getting on his knees.
Lightning seared his skin. Morion wanted nothing more than to scream, but the spell held him still. Finally there was a terrible burst of pain and he could feel himself falling.
I am dead then, Morion thought. All around me is darkness. No Mandos here. Have I been cast into the Everlasting Darkness for my sins?
To his surprise, Morion stood up. Perhaps I am not dead then, he considered. If I can move, then does it not stand to reason that I am alive? But, on the other hand, how do spirits move about Mandos if they cannot move? I could still be dead. In fact, I likely am.
He was still naked, which Morion found rather disconcerting, but there didn't seem to be anyone else there.
"Where am I?" he asked aloud.
He looked around, glancing behind him, and then he saw the door.
It was the door from his dream. There could be no other like it. And instinctively, Morion knew he was on the wrong side of it.
"Where am I?" he whispered.
A tremendous wall of pressure came out of nowhere, hurling him to his knees.
"Bow before me," a voice – was it really a voice? It was like a whisper on the wind – insisted.
"Who are you?" Morion gasped, though he didn't want to know.
"I am your master."
Summoning every ounce of his will, Morion looked up despite the immense pressure insisting that he bow his head.
A dark figure strode towards him. The only feature Morion could make out was that it was tall. Not as tall as Elendil, but tall. It had almost the build of an elf, he thought, but it seemed like it could be a human as well. It was a confusing creature.
As the figure grew closer, Morion saw that its features continually changed. First its skin was as green as a goblin's, and then it was pale as the northern men's. It had wings, and then it did not. The teeth were sharp, small and pointed, then it was toothless. Its eyes stayed the same though. As black as the deepest abyss, and lacking pupils, iris, or sclera.
"Who are you?" Morion asked again weakly. He was beginning to have an inkling of an idea as to the answer.
The figure knelt down next to him. Its features seemed to have solidified. The build could still have been elven or human, and the face was strong but finely shaped. Its teeth were as sharp as a goblin's, and the canines were quite long. In one long-nailed hand, it clasped his face, drawing pinpricks of blood.
"I think you know the answer to that question," the man – it was most definitely a man – hissed, grinning and baring his fangs.
"I would guess you are Morgoth then," Morion said.
Quick as lightning, the Dark Vala slapped him, sending Morion tumbling to the ground.
"I am Melkor," he snarled, hauling Morion to his feet by his hair. "I have been imprisoned in here for countless years. And through you I will return."
Morion's blood ran cold. "No," he whispered. "No, this cannot be true. You cannot escape. The Valar…"
"Are fools," Melkor snarled. "You have had dreams of the Door of Night, yes? I am trapped behind it, but you…there is something special about you. You are the key to that Door. The Valar locked the Door and threw away the key, but it seems to have landed in you."
"You will never escape," Morion snarled. "I will not let you out!"
"I never asked you to," Melkor said. "I do not need you to do anything. Enjoy your last few moments of life!"
The Dark Vala sprang at him, knocking him to the ground. The fangs crunched down on his neck, not severing any veins or arteries, but causing intense pain.
Morion screamed. He screamed until he was choking on blood. Melkor's claws were tearing through his body.
"Mine!" Melkor shouted in triumph, taking Morion with a thrust.
Morion's eyes rolled up in his head. Blood streamed from his mouth. I am dying, he thought as his body jerked and twitched. I am dying and I will soon be dead. And then this will all be over.
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.