The Lord of the Rings: Shadow of the East
The corrupted portion of Ariunaa's Maia soul, now in control of her body. She longs to destroy Ebonrath-Sahil, thus unshackling her full power.
The Speaker is a fallen fire Maia who once served the Valië Vána, the embodiment of the Spring of Life, and who represents birth and renewal among living things. Whatever purpose the Speaker once held in Vána’s charge is now perverted. The Speaker is a creature of fire without light and of death without renewal.
Though currently trapped in the guise of an Easterling girl, the Speaker still has extraordinary power. If she succeeds in destroying Ebonrath-Sahil, the sword imprisoning her fëa, she will recover her full strength and may one day regain her preferred mortal form as well.
At first her history was a mystery to Ganoveth and her other companions, but after an arduous quest Prince Thélor Ironfist managed to have a folio carried by Ganoveth’s father translated by the wizard Radaghast the Brown:
Ah! A series of missives written in the tongue of home (Valarin), and by my good cousin, Pallando, it seems! Delightful.
Oh, but you are awfully late in delivering the letter, new friends. The latest is dated 2110 of the Second Age. That is almost 2,600 years ago! That is a very long time even by a Wizard’s reckoning.
Alatar and Pallando. Ah, it has been a long time since I visited with them. They are the Blue, you see, whereas I am the Brown, but we get on well enough. They came ashore in Middle-earth before we others did, and ventured eastward into lands where Morgoth’s evil had festered for many lifetimes of Men. I sometimes wondered what they found there…”
Oh! So it says, so it says.
Alatar and I are too late. Here in the Uttermost East, a great and venomous evil has nested in Hildórien, the awakening place of the Man, erecting a great wall of vines and thorns guarded by animals twisted into fearsome shapes. This power works life as smiths work iron, and so I say for certain that it is not Sauron, as first we feared. His corruptions ever resulted in ruinous things – Orcs and Trolls – but these are wholly different. Monstrous of body, yet fair of form.
Ah, terrible! How terrible. Gandalf and Saruman feared it was so.
Also, we know it is not Sauron for the few Eldar who survive here witnessed the power’s rise and say it names itself Ilutarí – Queen of All – and is clothed in the form of a beauteous woman wreathed in consuming fire. Long centuries ago, she arrived upon a flaming star and presented herself to the tribes of Men. With promises of power and long life, she drew them to her new kingdom and made them to worship her. To the sons she taught war, to the daughters she taught sorcery; within three generations, she had a population bred for conquest.
The Wild Elves and the few Mannish tribes who resisted her promises watched Hildórien with growing dread. Meanwhile, in secret, Ilutarí made an alliance with the Dwarves of the Stonefoot clan, seducing them with her power and terrible beauty. They pledged themselves to her banner and when war broke out they erupted from their mountains and fell upon the Wild Elves in great number.
The Elves and Free Tribes forged a desperate alliance. They fought bravely and well, but were overmatched. Year after year, more lands and people fell to Ilutarí’s great army. Finally, their forces scattered, the alliance learned Ilutarí reposed at a fortress in the Great Desert and made desperate siege against her stronghold. After a bloody battle they threw down the walls, only to find it was a feint. Ilutarí – with the help of her six mighty dragons – had visited the remaining homelands and reduced them to ash.
In the aftermath, she visited the Stonefoot clan once more and promised herself as a bride to the sept lord who proved himself worthy. Conflict erupted between the families, more vicious than any feud the Dwarves have ever known. Few survived, and Ilutarí took no husband from them.
So fell the East, and it has remained fallen.
Well, this is most interesting and most dreadful news. Ah, but there is more.
Few here possess now the will to fight, for hope is only a distant and bitter memory. Before any action can be taken against this ‘Queen of All,’ Alatar and I must first discover her true identity. We move in secret, but Ilutarí’s many eyes roam the dark for any small light of rebellion, and snuff it instantly.
Hm. This next letter is date almost fifty years later! Let us see.
Her name is Narquendë, Speaker of Flame, and is counted among the Vala Vána’s people. She was the consort of Mairon, who later called himself Tar-Mairon, but whom the Elves titled Sauron.
Ah! So she is Sauron’s consort.
I have discovered a strange thing. Before Sauron was wholly corrupted, she tried to persuade him against joining Morgoth. When this could not be done, rather than lose her beloved, she followed him into corruption. This has given me the inkling of a notion, but much more study need be done.
I do not know where my friend Alatar is. He left for lands south near twenty years ago, and has not returned nor sent word. I fear the worst.
The Speaker was Morgoth’s chief servant in the East, and she succeeded where Sauron failed. She destroyed all eastern resistance to Morgoth during the First Age and thus brought most Easterlings tribes under the sway of the Shadow.
In the Second Age she was somehow defeated and her spirit trapped in Ebonrath-Sahil, a blade reportedly crafted by Pallando and entrusted to the Easterling tribe known as Tûz Ebon-Sahil, the Black Spirit Hunters.