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The Coming of Angle-land - By Jaya

The land called Middle-Earth saw little change over the millennia. It stood, much as the song of the mighty Valar had shaped it, between the Great Western Sea and the lands of the East. Low-lying plains were flooded, forests thinned or grew, swampland turned to prairies - but the great mountains remained the spine of the land, and the animals lived in harmony with the nature around them. This world of lush woodlands and parched deserts became home to the Children of the great Lord Ilúvatar.

The Eldar, the Firstborn, the fair immortal Elves of myth and legend were beloved of the Valar and were welcomed to the haven of Aman, near the Valar's own home, when their time in Middle-Earth drew to end. But the Followers, Secondborn, called Men by the Eldar were bound to the Earth. The flame of their spirits blazed brighter than their fair cousins, but burned out all the more quickly, rendering their life but a brief span in the eyes of the immortal. Another race ruled this land along with the First and Secondborn, that of the Dwarves: the hardy Children of Aüle, the Valar who loved stone and coveted the jewels cut and carved by his stout, hardy children.

Many battles were fought between these three peoples, and allies were won and lost. But no grief was great enough to keep the races fractured against the Dark Forces, those creatures made by the twisted evil of Morgoth the fallen Valar, who is sworn to have Middle-Earth for his kingdom. Orcs, tortured and mutilated forms of Elves; Balrogs, fearsome monsters of shadow and flame; fierce Dragons, the bane of all mortal beings; and Wargs, wolf-like beasts of sharp claws and razor teeth. Against this darkness, the armies of Men and Elves and Dwarves would oft unite to banish their foes.

Middle-Earth saw many Ages as measured by those it sheltered, each marked by the defeat of a great malevolence. Since the Awakening of the Elves in the twilight of the World, before the coming of the Sun and Moon, Darkness existed alongside the light. It has always relied on the choices of individuals who determine the tilt of the balance. To defeat the Darkness, sacrifice has always been required. The Elven noble who left his family and his people to appeal to the Valar for help to bind the evil saw the close of the First Age and the dawning of the Second. This Age ended with the deaths of each of the High Kings of Men and Elves to herald the defeat of Morgoth's chief follower. The Third Age ends with the loss of the Elves's greatest treasure, the Evenstar, who gave her immortality for the love of a Mortal Man, that he might become High King and bring about the second defeat of Morgoth's lieutenant. But always the shadow of evil waited, biding its time until its strength was returned.

Each time, the combined might of Mortals and Immortals drove the evil back, but as more Ages passed the strength of Elves and Dwarves grew dim as Men came to dominate the lands. Eventually, the Elves faded to the Undying Lands in Aman, filled with sorrow for the loss of their homelands. Only some of these fair beings stayed behind, but they, like the Dwarves who delved ever deeper away from the Sun into their caverns, were hidden away from the world of Men. Few walked among the Mortals, but their true nature they concealed, keeping constant vigil for the rise of evil once again. Sadly, the memories of Men are fleeting, and the day came when stories of other creatures moved from history to legend, and from legend to myth, until much that should not have been forgotten was lost.*

But as always, the darkness crept back into the lands of the world and the hearts of Men are easily corrupted.*

On the eve of the Fifth Age of Middle-Earth, brother turned against brother and Darkness overwhelmed the face of the earth. The last descendents of the Numènor, the noblest line of Men who named kings for ancestors, gathered from the far reaches of Middle-Earth to their ancient home. The Angle, forested hills bordered on one side by the towering peaks of the Misty Mountains and surrounded by rolling plains. Their enemies closed in around them as they prepared to make one last stand to preserve their homeland and their future.

It was in this moment, when the Numènorean descendants were vastly outnumbered and all hope had faded, that their chieftains cried out to the Valar and to the great Lord of All, Ilúvatar. Then Ulmo, the lord of waters caused the sea to rush in, covering the plains around the Angle and swallowing whole all those allied with darkness. Evil was banished and the folk of the Angle, safe in the highlands of their home, were spared to begin life anew.

More time passed and the song of the Valar healed Middle-Earth. The Angle remained an island, separated from the world for many years before its folk began to spread around the world. The descendents of these people ultimately forgot their homeland, but the rolling hills and peaceful forests of Angle-land forever called to its children.

In the mists surrounding the island, some say they still see mysterious little creatures, like the Hobbits of old. And mayhaps even some Elves walk the mists, returned to their birthplace in Swan ships of surpassing beauty and grace, for those who chose to forever remain in Middle-Earth dare not reveal themselves to modern Men. It is these fairy-creatures who will forever guard the fair Angle-land, even as its people grow to cover the world.

But whatever the source of these strange specters, as more Ages of Men pass, the mists around England will forever be a source of rumor and myth, and the fertile expanses of its green pastures will forever be a haven in dark times.

*Names and places taken from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.
*Source is quoted from The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring movie.

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