In the third age of Middle-earth, when war was afoot in most of Arda, there were whisperings of a cult, an exclusive band of Men coming out of the Far East. People spoke of these terrible Men with fair countenances but dark deeds behind them. They spoke of wizardry, necromancy and occult practices. There were tales of victims burned at altars and the blood of disbelievers being spilt. They spoke of tales of honor and kindness to those who submitted and tales of unspeakable horror unleashed upon those who didn't. Men spoke of the Holy Doom, The Aina Amarth.
Ar-Pharazon and the invasion of the East
Right from when he was a boy, the splendor and the riches of Numenor pleased his eyes. By the time he was a man, he was more eager and restless for power and wealth than even his father, the King Gimilkhad. Being extremely ambitious he had fared often abroad and with brutal cruelty had won many great battles both by land and sea. He seized the scepter at an early age and wedded Miriel his cousin against her will. The seed of evil was planted, and its fruits were soon to be borne.
His tales spread far and wide and his desire to increase in might and splendor made him look towards the vast lands of Middle-earth. Soon the Numenoreans made great settlements upon the western shores of the ancient lands, for their own land seemed to them shrunken and they had no rest or contentment therein, and they desired now wealth and dominion in Middle-earth. Great harbors and strong towers they made, and there many of them took up their abode, but they appeared now rather as lords and masters and gatherers of tribute than as helpers and teachers.
Sauron envied the power of Numenor and desired it for himself. The emperor of Numenor was soon aware of him and wished to vanquish his only threat in Middle-earth. With a huge armada he set out and imprisoned Sauron himself. The greatest of evils arose from these actions. Sauron, being the most faithful servant of the Dark Lord Melkor himself, seduced Pharazon towards darkness. Ar-Pharazon in due course of time sailed with his fleet intending to declare war on the Valar themselves but was imprisoned in the Caves of Forgotten, until the Last Battle and the Day of Doom.
"Then Manwe upon the Mountain called upon Iluvatar, and for that time the Valar laid down their government of Arda. But Iluvatar showed forth his power, and he changed the fashion of the world, and a great chasm opened in the sea between Numenor and the Deathless Lands, and the waters flowed down into it, and the noise and smoke of the cataracts went up to heaven, and the world was shaken. And all the fleets of the Numenoreans were drawn down into the abyss, and they were drowned and swallowed up forever. But Ar-Pharazon the King and the mortal warriors that had set foot upon the land of Aman were buried under falling hills: there it is said that they lie imprisoned in the Caves of the Forgotten, until the Last Battle and the Day of Doom."
The Silmarillion, Akallabeth
Yet, this catastrophe was but the beginning. For Iluvatar turned his powers upon the Island of Numenor, the jewel of Mankind, and the land began to quake. A mighty wind bore down on Numenor and the waves reared up and fell upon the land, plunging Numenor into the abyss. The seas of Arda were churned into great turmoil flooding the western coasts, ravaging communities along its length.
"And all the coasts and seaward regions of the western world suffered great change and ruin in that time, for the seas invaded the lands, and shores foundered, and ancient isles were drowned, and new isles were uplifted, and hills crumbled and rivers were turned into strange courses."
The Silmarillion, Akallabeth
Those Numenoreans who had managed to survive the floods could scarcely believe the scope of destruction that confronted them, and knew not what to think of its source. Survivors began looking for answers and wondering about the fate of the Island of Numenor, as they buried those family, and friends and neighbors that they could find. Within days, the first of many boats, a fishing boat, arrived safely at its home port, bringing horribly terrific tales of sailors who had survived the fury of the ocean. Thus came to be known the full extent of destruction on that dark day.
Days passed as women wailed for their sons and husbands who had been taken to the depths of the sea. Men wept for their families who were drowned, and cursed those who had destroyed their kinsmen. Some laid their anger solely on Sauron, who had convinced Ar-Pharazon to invade Valinor. Yet there were others who went further, and spoke most dreadful words against the Valar and even Iluvatar himself. And they said, "Sauron could not have destroyed our homeland in such a manner, with such ease, the only ones who could wield such terrible power lie in the Deathless Lands of Aman and beyond. Why now? If Sauron did bring about these events through his deceitful ways, why did they not let loose this fury on Sauron himself, in times before? Why was Mankind made to suffer?" Words such as these fueled the angers of those who would listen, so that wrath came near to the edge of swords. It was at this time of ideological conflict that Elendil and his followers arrived on the western shores of Middle-earth. Word spread through the survivors of the tale of Elendil's escape from the ruin of Numenor and of his opinions on what had happened to cause such devastation. Many of the survivors were appeased with the words of Elendil and joined with his followers, accepting his version of the events. Many still fiercely grieved the deaths of their friends and family at the hands of the Valar and Iluvatar, but there were few who dared to openly speak against Elendil, yet the name of Ar-Pharazon was not forgotten to all. In the dark alleys and back rooms throughout the western lands of Mankind, one could still hear the name of Ar-Pharazon spoken in veneration.
The foundation of Aina Amarth
In the third age of Middle-earth around 1000 TA, strange folks came over the sea from the west. These were called the Istari. They were members of an ancient order and were said to be sent by the Valar themselves. Many followed their footsteps and were fascinated by the knowledge and power wizardry could give them. Every race came forth to learn from them, but Men of all races came more eagerly than the Elves and dwarves. Elves were immortal, and dwarves masters of crafting, but Men had no gift visible to them, and desired power. Dunedains, Dunlendings, Easterlings, Numenoreans and Eorlings were all longing for the land in the west. They knew that the Istari was their first step of their journey westward.
As the first shadows were found in Mirkwood, appeared in the west of Middle-earth the Istari, whom Men called the Wizards. Of Curunir, Mithrandir and Radagast many tales speak. However little is said about the other two Wizards, who passed into the east. Curunir wore white garbs, Gandalf wore gray and Radagast brown, the other two were supposed to be the Wizards in blue. They were the Ithryn Luin, or Blue Wizards. Some tales name them Alatar and Pallando, some call them Morinhetar - Darkness Slayer - and Romestamo - East helper.
The Blue Wizards avoided Mordor and parted ways. Alatar went southward through Harad and Pallando east through Rhovanion. Many were the races that laid their eyes upon these magic Men. Interest grew in their hearts and they were all intrigued by the actions of the Blue Wizards. Black Numenoreans followed Alatar who opened their eyes to knowledge, cunning and wizardry. Some fled in fear and some followed in their shadows, always close and listening to their words of magic.
The Ithryn Luin came often alone among the Men of the East, who deemed them great Men of Power, and some became close in counsel with the Ithryn Luin. Thus Men of the East began to learn from the Ithryn Luin much of subtle craft and lore, and rumor of these great and powerful Men began to spread through the east. Before long, Men of many origins and from all directions began seeking out the Ithryn Luin to join with them and learn what they could of all manners of lore, and ask them what questions they would have answered. But the Ithryn Luin knew what the hearts of these Men desired; therefore their first teachings were reserved for warfare and sorcery. Then, slowly the Ithryn Luin allowed ideas to filter into their teachings that were starkly different from those that Men of the East knew and believed. The Ithryn Luin began singing songs and playing music for their followers, and within these songs, one could hear of Iluvatar, the Valar, the Eldar and Mankind, and their deeds. Yet, their followers took no notice, their knowledge grew, they questioned more and more, and they began to form their own opinions.
It came at this time that one of the Numenorean followers of the Ithryn Luin humbly asked of the homeland of his people, and its destruction. Of which, the Ithryn Luin spoke on great length, describing the beauty and majesty of the land and its people, and the growing jealousy towards the Eldar and Valar. Those followers who heard this tale could scarcely believe the extravagance and power achieved by the Men of Numenor. Yet, when the story came to Sauron's deceit, the Men grew wary, murmurs spread through the listeners in disapproval of this slander against Sauron, but was completely forgotten as the true nature of the destruction of Numenor was related. The Men erupted in an uproar over the destruction, the jewel of Mankind.
While to most of those who listened, this tale was not well known before, the Numenoreans had heard it many times and had heard much of Ar-Pharazon from the tales of their fathers, though they had not heard of his imprisonment. Amongst themselves they spoke of this revelation, while the Ithryn Luin tried to regain order over their followers and dispel any inflammatory rhetoric. From this the Ithryn Luin realized that it would take much time for the Men of the East to free themselves from the lies and deceits of Sauron and Melkor. While the Numenorean followers listened long to the teachings of the Ithryn Luin, they conceived many of their own ideas, and began to set forth their designs.
Over the next few years, the Numenoreans grew in prominence amid the followers of the Ithryn Luin, who began to give ear to what they would say concerning Ar-Pharazon, Numenor, and all of Mankind, "Mankind has been the bastard child of Iluvatar and the Valar, terrorized by Melkor and Sauron since Men came into existence, held by Elves to be lesser beings, named by Elves, Usurpers, the Strangers, the Inscrutable amongst others. In ways Men have been subject to the Elves and Valar, and Sauron and Melkor, throwing their short lives away for the causes of these beings. Elves would ask us to die in battle for their jewels, and have us die defending their borders, as after a thousand years they have grown weary of the struggle. Melkor and Sauron have used Mankind as fodder throughout all their conquests for the domination of all. And the Valar, sitting in Valinor, watched without interfering as Mankind has suffered at the hands of their kinsman, from Melkor, Sauron and the Eldars. Why should we be listening to any of them? Why has Mankind and the other folks of Middle-earth even had to deal in the first place with Melkor and Sauron, when Iluvatar destroyed Numenor for much less. Powerful are the Valar and Sauron, dreadful still is the power of Iluvatar. Yet, there is one who had the will to challenge Sauron, the Valar, and Iluvatar, and who will one day walk again. And until that day, the Day of Doom, we will spill the blood of all those who will exploit Mankind, and gather strength and weapons of all kind in preparation for the coming of Ar-Pharazon, the Holy Father, Amarthatar, who will lead those faithful on to immortality." Many of the followers of the Ithryn Luin were swayed by these words, and turned away from the Ithryn Luin.
The Numenorean treachery was unknown to the Ithryn Luin, who believed the time was right, and were prepared to understand the minds of the Numenoreans more precisely. The Ithryn Luin spoke of Sauron, calling into question the allegiance of their followers to him, asking "Why do you pledge your lives and deaths to the Dark Lord? Why suffer his torments and deceit? What have you gained in return besides the deaths of your friends and family, and your children?" Much more did the Ithryn Luin convey to those who would listen, and there were many that agreed with what was said, yet even so, many also became afraid that Sauron might become aware of these happenings and let loose his wrath upon them. Persisting, the Ithryn Luin spoke of the Valar as noble servants aiding Middle-earth and its peoples in their struggles, that Iluvatar watched from on high, and had prepared a place for Mankind to go after death, which they called a gift. The words of Melkor and Sauron were not that easily forgotten though, and whispers spread throughout the crowd. With this the Numenoreans saw their chance, and three of their elders came forth from the crowd. With cunning, they appeased the Istari and slowly isolated them from their followers. They learnt all that could be learnt from the Blue Wizards. They clad themselves in blue and they preached of their religion, the union of all Men, and of their Holy Father - Amarthatar.
Eventually the three Numenoreans assumed control of the group, naming themselves the Turamarth, and their cult The Aina Amarth. Not long after, on a moonless night, the Turamarth called for those who would follow them, and together they disappeared into the night, henceforth only heard of in the east through rumors.[ Return to Main Page ]
Last updated June 13th, 2015