What is now told consists of guess-work and investigation without ceasing by the Elendilli, as they sought to comprehend and discover the purposes of the faring-forth of the Undead Six, first to Foramenos, then southward into East Beleriand.
Under dim moon, flying at night afloat before the stars in the north, the Nazgû arranged their devices to the gathered form of a wraith-dragon, drawn by strong cords; their four air-ships blown by fire, stretched into wings, tail and neck-to-mouth, by taut wires; descended upon rustic villages scattered in northern plains, sending before their descent a fall of smoke-reek, fumes that brought nausea and vomiting, and burning of the insides. In such manner they came first upon, in their hunt for Izilba, the men of Alcû [Arclû], he a fat-man self-titled grandly as the Shield, for among their penned womenfolk were some, it seems, that kept crystals given by servants of Thû, for listening to all that might be done in his despite. Thus they rained terror upon these rude folk of Ar-uenna, self-appointed bringers-forth of High Born kings, or would-be.
Next they descended in terror and fullness of dread, being in wrath for the contempt of their master, having failed along the coasts, setting as bait the captive girls of slavers heading east, having raided coastal towns and homesteads, from the far south of Miriam’s home, to the north under dread-fog. Yet here, in their descent upon the men of Isildur, a company kept by Elendil for speedy search and exploration, even as their prey was near to their grasp, the masters of slave-masters, themselves bound to one that does not release, were driven away, scattered amid their slaughter, by hosts of Manwe, that in former days appeared unto men as eagles of great expanse, whose pinions brought the winds.9As indicated, this section consists of some guesswork. In glory seven arrived from the Heavens, daunting all shades and slaves by the brilliant light upon their countenances; and the fury, as their power was sent forth, but small to them, in terror it ran among the darkness, burning.
Yet in this intervention came the searching out of caves and tunnels by Elendil and his band, and finding the Paths of the Dead, and therein a womb-sacrifice offered to Melko, under the guise of inducing an heir of Earendel to free all the lands of one they verily worshipped; thus also came the Six, loosing upon the corridors a reek of Nimloth-preserved, white-pale smoke that confounded the vision and the mind, revealing phantoms and false-faces before trusted allies. Wise in the deceits of Thû, Elendil and his men fled before the fume-living, yet the reek spread forth southward from the tunnels and crevices; being taken as the awaited and much-anticipated sign of the High One’s birth, the folk of the coastlands repented for a time for their worship of Meleko.
Thus was Zhera’s son Dyacôm spared the tossing from a precipice, he being recovered by one of unknown name or race (unknown to the boy, of course); and for superstition chained in a shed, gagged at the mouth, yet according to the boy’s report, not cruelly treated, beaten or starved.
Perhaps believing this foundling-boy tongued by Elven- cunning to embody a power of preservation, by the men of these lands was he carried forth, under skins of deer, wearing an evil-mask as if a goblin-boy; so in time he passed east, until arriving at the field of battle some three days west of Sirion-grey, under the high-up watch of Izilba.
Higher up – lofted by flames, carried as if a black dragon – Ancalagon of old, some cried in the night as they descended, in flame-blowings, their canopies sewn with human sinew, and bearing evil-runes, glimmered by crystals and gold-scales, incarnate dead- walkers descended in the dawn of the Day of Bright-Clear, concealed by fogs rising, climbing the range from which Izilba and Miriam awaited the passage of the fearsome host of men, led, as it were by the fiery spirit of Feanaro King Ngolderin, though verily it was not, and they were all deceived:
Blinded by their pride to assail the foolish ill-conceived foray of villagers east upon Utumno of nightmares renown; blinded by vengeance to remove the contemptuous sneer of Thû from before their face, they saw not their prey high upon a promontory outlook, nor displayed the dreadful airship Ancalagon, but landed afar off, sent a cloud of death-fume out of many tunnels under the earth in that place; and in terror daunted the simple men to self-kill, and to waste their strength upon brothers suddenly, at if misshapen into wraiths.
Of these companies of dead-men, many were indeed carried captive to Hell-Udûn, even as witnessed to sickness by Izilba and her maid quickened. Yet also it was here, alerted to the tunneling’s employment by spirits unauthorized, and evil-bearing, that Thingol came forth in the night without dark, furtively observing what he might, to forestall his enemy’s designs in the future; rather than to prevent these men from their sought-for fate. Yet last of all he came upon the wagon piled with deer-skin, and carcasses bleeding; and sensing therein a child of noble lineage, put forth his powers to overturn the cart, and unmask the child. King Greymantle, most ancient upon Beleriand, then offered the child to eat a fruit of the netherworld, seeing in his face (the boy’s) a fear, and yet no power of body to move or stay; by this fruit the boy was a-swoon, and again Thingol spent his powers, being buried with the child in the sands, until a tunnel opened, and he was carried in sleep to the Middle- realm, remnant of ancient Doriath.
The Nazdil and their masters fled before the glory of Lothien, among whom was found in the vanguard, Glorfindel, destroyer of Balarauka, himself in that affray upon the mountain pass, come to an end; and sent in spirit west whither all our kind fly from the body-hroa.10As told in “Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin,” in The Silmarillion. A thing not comprehended, was the presence in body of Glorfindel, and it is supposed that news of his living was given in shame to Thû Black-Stench (Morthu). Perhaps his presence alone on the guard-fronts of Lothien kept safe Miriam during labor and laying-in, though none knew then the evil that hunted them; being distracted by their own vanity, as ever is their kind, sick and blind to what is good.
Let this be as cunning-magic to you – all readers hereof! – that in good – being, doing, contemplating – invisible you become, to workers of dark-malice in spirit or flesh, thus you may confound all your enemies, so the mystery of Tom Bombadil’s mastery may in part be revealed, for he is good; and has been since the founding of Arda-in-land.