A light drizzle poured down underneath gloomy skies, and four men found themselves suddenly floating in the sea some two-hundred meters out from the shores of a fishing village located in south-west Baarn.
"Ho! Friend, what has passed?" cried one to another across the small waves.
"I know not, but let us strike out for land."
"Well said, and your two friends also should do likewise."
"They are not my friends, for I do not even know them."
"Nonetheless, they should do likewise."
"I will tell them."
A few more shouts went on, and they all struck out for the shore.
When they had reached it, they gathered together, questioning one another as to what had passed, but none of them knew, and so they settled for it that they had been knocked unconscious during some great storm and had fallen off a ship in which they traveled, but they knew not what ship it was.
"Come, let us all introduce ourselves," said the youngest among them, "I am called Edward Lightchild, and this is my brother. What of ye men?"
"I," said the one whom Edward had indicated and also the eldest among those, the brother of Edward, "am Eddún."
"I am called Rauth," said one who had red hair.
"And I," said the tallest among them, "am Anthar the Glorious."
"Let us then find food and lodging, for my purse feels full at my side," said Edward.
They proceeded then to an inn in the village, took lodging, and ate a hearty meal of ale, beer, and roasted goat's leg.
"I have eaten my full now (many thanks to you, Edward), but tell me, since ye all seemingly have nothing better to do, would you come with me to the capital of the Kingdom of Angothar? I have heard tell that there be good work there," said Anthar.
"I will do so willingly, and also, methinks, my brother," said Eddún.
"Yes, I will," spake Edward.
"Then also I, for what better have I to do? nothing," said Rauth.
"Then it be well, and we shall depart on the morrow, friends," said Anthar gladly.
* * *
The morning came and the clouds had lifted, leaving the heavens clean and blue.
The four companions made ready for departure, going to the market and buying many supplies, for they had little other than the clothes on their backs and the money in their purses.
After all this had passed, and they had all bought what they needed to travel with, they passed out of that town and went north-west, into the mainland.
They traveled for many days, stopping seldom, for each one had great vitality indeed.
Finally they came to a place called Blacweld, for that it was so dark as night.
"Should we pass in?" queried Eddún.
"But of course! For what fear have we of death?" asked Anthar.
"None, but it seems me that there be worse than death lurking yonder."
"Aye, but see! Are we not hallowed of God? It seems me that even though there the person of darkness himself in yon wood, I would pass in. What say you?"
"Truly you speak well, and without fear you speak. I also see the truth and the light of your words. We are not cowards, no, nor even men hall of fear, that we should hesitate to wander thither. Let us, therefore, pass through, that it be well with my mind."
They entered into the wood, and, within an hour of walking, were swallowed in utter darkness. They continued onwards, progressing carefully and with precision, and eventually came to a great clearing. The clearing was little brighter than the rest of the wood, especially so now that it was late in the evening. In the midst of the clearing stood a great dark tower.
"Do we not aspire to penetrate even this black stronghold, my friends?" asked Anthar.
"Indeed," replied Rauth.
They therefore passed into the dark tower, fearing darkness not and defying the prince of darkness himself.