Smoke, and ruin, and wreckage, and fire – everywhere chaos. To think that the Anfauglith was once a plain of peace and beauty was inconceivable, for the ruined bodies of the slain were everywhere. Broken banners and shattered shields and corpses of all manner of creatures littered the field like dark flowers in a meadow of nightmare. Fair Vanyar, grim Easterling, abhorrent Troll – all and more would no longer walk the world.
Thus the War of Wrath and the ending of the great battles of Beleriand was ended. The hosts of Valinor sang songs of victory and hope – yet their fair voices covered the loss and sorrow they felt in their hearts for such slaughter. From the broken chasms of Angband the dark majesty that was Morgoth was pulled forth in shame and utter defeat, bound in the chain Angainor and brought out by mighty Tulkas the Wrestler.
Behind the spectacle walked a fair-guised figure, though a shadow was over his face, and against the arrayed might of the victors he seemed but small. Though his hands were not bound, Valarian guards walked at his rear, watching his every move with suspicion and scrutiny, for even in defeat the wiles of Sauron Gorthaur were sly and dangerous.
However, their fears were unfounded. Wearing his form of fairness, Sauron glanced up at the devastated ruin that was once the three peaks over Angband. The dark rock had been torn asunder by the fallen body of the dragon Ancalagon the Black, whom Earendil himself had wrested out of the sky after much battle and toil. For the first time in millenia, Sauron, though capable of deeds of great despair and shadow, felt his heart sink.
Thoughts began to fill his mind. The crippling dismay he felt at the loss of his master was undescribable. He looked now at the pitiable form of Morgoth, dragged across the dirt like a disobediant slave, crying and thrashing almost in mimic of an enraged child. Sauron watched with a blank stare. His master gave no heed to him, did not recognize his presence. Did he even care for his safety?
Sauron could not believe what was going through his mind now, yet he thought them anyway. The majesty of the Lords of the West filled him with awe more than bitterness, filling him with desire to be among their ranks, to sing the songs of victory and celebrate among them once more. Was his decision to choose the side of Melkor the right one?
The fallen Maiar caught the glance of Aule the Smith, his former master before he had been seduced by darkness. The look on the Valar Lord’s face filled Sauron – a lieutenant of darkness – utterly with shame. He bowed his head, slinking into himself. A once-great captain of the shadow now felt like a wayward son.
Clear trumpets rang through the air, causing Sauron to look up. Eonwe, Herald of Manwe, and his company marched to meet Sauron and his wardens. The battle aspect of the Maiar warrior was glorious and terrible to behold, making the Sorcerer feel even smaller than he already felt.
Eonwe’s voice was clear and strong, and his words like ice upon Sauron’s face;
‘Sauron the Sorcerer, Gorthaur the Cruel, Lieutenant of Morgoth the Lord of all Darkness, how do you plead to the abominable crimes you have committed upon the children of Iluvatar, and the world itself?’
Sauron lowered his gaze to the floor, and kneeled before the herald. ‘Lord, I cannot justify the acts I have done, for all were dark indeed, and for dark purpose. I chose the path of selfishness and greed, which ultimately has led to my defeat and downfall, when now I believe that I should have remained on the path of righteousness, as you have done, my old friend.’
Eonwe stared at him searchingly. ‘Ever your words have been poisonous and sly, Sauron Gorthaur. How can I trust that what you say is the truth?’
Now Sauron stood up, though his eyes were still lowered. Several of the guards were startled by his movement, and readied their weapons, but Eonwe gestured for them to be at ease.
‘I can no longer give you my word, Eonwe,’ said Sauron, ‘For what I have done has lost me that right. I can only tell you that my words do not lie because the full host and glory of Valinor is assembled for me, and my former master lies cursing in the dirt. Verily, fear is my master now. Fear, and doubt. I would be a fool to cross the Valar for even a second again.’
Even the most stalwart of the guards seemed to be convinced by these words. Eonwe, however, held his expression. ‘Aforetime, we were great friends. Together we dwelt in the Halls of Eru, and you answered to a different title. You were once Mairon, the Admirable, and I loved you as a brother. I would give anything for you to cast down the mantle of Sauron the Sorcerer and become what you once were again.’
Sauron now looked up into Eonwe’s eyes. ‘Mairon… It has been so long since any used that name that I almost forgot it myself. It would gladden me to be called that once again, but all I can do now is but beg and sue for pardon.’
Eonwe sighed heavily. ‘For my part, I believe that you can come back into the fold of the light. But, it is not my part to pardon those of my own order. If you truly desire to return in bliss and peace to Valinor, you must come to Taniquetil, and be judged by the Lords of the West. I apologize, old friend, but no more can I do but command this of you.’
With that, Eonwe turned away and returned with his followers into the assembled host of Valinor. The guards surrounding Sauron left him without a word. The fallen Maiar surveyed the destruction about him a final time, then turned and left. It would take some time before he decided upon the fate of his future, and irrevocably, that of the world.