The Second Darkness Creative Writing Project began around February, 2004, as an informal roleplay in a virtual chat environment. Nothing was planned in those early days, but rather the participants enjoyed informal roleplay when they would meet in this virtual chat environment. Nothing at that time was an "official roleplay," but after a few months of participation, it became apparent with "The Anduin Adventure" that the participants had transcended from the impromptu to a structured format of adventure, thus the Second Darkness was born.
The site was created in June 2004 to serve as an archive for roleplay logs and short stories written by the writers. Although the Second Darkness transcended from a roleplaying experience to a creative writing project, it retained the roleplaying aspects. The writers often met once or twice a week and engaged in creative live writing, usually with text introductions and transitional sections written beforehand.
The premise of the Second Darkness is an "alternative universe" situation, based on the premises that Eowyn failed to kill the Witch-king and Frodo failed in his quest and Sauron regained the Great Ring of Power. For daring to try to destroy the One Ring, Sauron tortured Frodo almost to the death, then sent him to live in the semi-arid land of Nurn, giving him a Ring, nine slaves and much gold. As time passed, one by one Frodo's slaves disappeared, died or betrayed him. At last, the Halfling was taken to the Shire, where the Ring wrought its final revenge.
The Witch-king also embarked upon a similar quest to wreak his revenge upon Eowyn for trying to slay him. Will he be successful at last, as the Dark Lord was in bringing havock upon Frodo's life?
One of our main inspirations for the storyline of revenge in Second Darkness is Melkor's vengance upon Húrin in The Silmarillion and Narn I Nîn Húrin in Unfinished Tales.
Húrin, captured by Melkor's soldiers during the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, the Battle of Unending Tears during the War of the Jewels, was taken before Melkor and Húrin dared to mock him. For this, Melkor took a horrible vengeance upon Húrin and his family, which led to the tragedy of the love between Húrin's son and daughter, Túrin Turambar and Nienor Níniel, who had wed unknowing that they were actually brother and sister. When this terrible realization came upon them, Nienor flung herself to her death over a cliff, and Túrin upon discovering that Nienor had killed herself, then impaled himself upon his sword.
After being imprisoned by Melkor for twenty-eight years upon a great rock seat and being cursed to see through Melkor's eyes, Húrin had witnessed the unfolding tragedy of his family. When at last he was freed, he wandered in desolation looking for his wife. When he found her at last, she was grieving at the grave of Túrin and Nienor. Both of them trapped by the machinations of Melkor, the revenge wreaked its final havoc as Morwen, Húrin's wife, died that very night after he had at last found her, and later Húrin cast himself into the sea.
The sequel to Second Darkness, The Circles, is an expansion of earlier themes and the development of new themes and characters. The Circles does not always correspond with the timeline and turn of events in Second Darkness, but is a deeper, more developed story with far more mature themes. The premise is much the same: Eowyn does not slay the Witch-king and Frodo fails in his quest. Gondor falls and after a bloody war and fight for survival, Rohan endures, clinging to life and hope.
During the early incursions into Rohan, two sisters, twins, are captured and are taken to a life of slavery in Mordor. There, they find themselves unwittingly enmeshed in the machinations of the Dark Land.
For the extensive research that goes into creating the Second Darkness, the writers use the books below, plus relying heavily on many other sources pertaining to life in medieval times.
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Silmarillion edited by Christopher Tolkien
Unfinished Tales edited by Christopher Tolkien
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Morgoth's Ring edited by Christopher Tolkien
Assorted books in the History of Middle Earth series, edited by Christopher Tolkien
All topography is based upon the maps found in The Atlas of Middle Earth, Revised Edition, by Karen Wynn Fonstad.
The Thain's Book
Regia Anglorum - Articles about life in Anglo-Saxon and Viking times.
Many other sources too numerous to mention.
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