In the 38th year of the Fourth Age of Middle-earth, King Elessar rules over the lands of Gondor in the South and Arnor in the North together with his queen Arwen Undómiel. There has been peace for almost forty years. The last remnants of the Dark Lord’s forces are now scattered and defeated. The few Eldar left in Middle Earth are wandering companies uninterested in the plight of Men. Only Thranduil of Eryn Lasgalen holds on to the ways of the past and maintains his realm against the failings of time.
Rumours of trouble are growing in the East. Its origin could only be guessed at by one person, and he left the shores of Middle Earth at the end of the Third Age. Names are being whispered in taverns and marketplaces: Morinehtar and Romestamo – the twin “Serpent Lords” (or Alatar and Pallando as they were once known). These two were not the greatest of the five Istari who came to Middle-earth, but their powers have grown and there are none now left with strength enough to oppose them, or so they deem. They have fallen, like their kin Saruman before them, and now lead secret cults of men, practicing in the ways of the black arts, and worshipping the Darkness.
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