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Morgoth appeared all but defeated to his foes; he remained dormant and hidden until {{FA|455}}. He surged forth suddenly in great wrath, his armies taking the slackened besiegers by surprise. In the winter he cast great rivers of flame over the formerly green [[Ard-galen]] (causing the battle to be known as the [[Dagor Bragollach]]), burning many Elven horsemen alive. His forces beset strongholds on all sides, led by Glaurung and Gothmog, and several Noldor-lords fell in the succeeding combat. Much of Beleriand was overrun and [[Dorthonion]] was taken, as were northern [[Sirion]] and [[Maglor's Gap]].
 
Morgoth appeared all but defeated to his foes; he remained dormant and hidden until {{FA|455}}. He surged forth suddenly in great wrath, his armies taking the slackened besiegers by surprise. In the winter he cast great rivers of flame over the formerly green [[Ard-galen]] (causing the battle to be known as the [[Dagor Bragollach]]), burning many Elven horsemen alive. His forces beset strongholds on all sides, led by Glaurung and Gothmog, and several Noldor-lords fell in the succeeding combat. Much of Beleriand was overrun and [[Dorthonion]] was taken, as were northern [[Sirion]] and [[Maglor's Gap]].
  
In a single stroke Morgoth had broken the Siege of Angband, but the victory was not as complete as he would have preferred. [[Ered Wethrin]], [[Himring]] and [[Hithlum]] had held against him, though just barely. King [[Fingolfin]] was dismayed and enraged by the defeat, and went to Angband in anger. With fire in his eyes, Morgoth's Orcs mistook him for a vengeful spirit and fled from him. There he challenged Morgoth to [[Fall of Fingolfin|single combat]]. Despite Morgoth's power, he held a fear of death greater than any other Valar, and was hesitant even against Fingolfin. When Fingolfin declared Morgoth craven, he scoffed the Elf-Lord and did not dare refuse his challenge. He strode out, his footsteps like thunder on the earth. He was clad in black armour with a spiked crown and shield, with [[Grond (Hammer of the Underworld)|Grond]], the Hammer of the Underworld, and he and Fingolfin fought in a ferocious duel. Flames gashed from the earth with each strike of his hammer, but Fingolfin was faster and avoided each powerful, but slow, swing. The Elf-lord gave Morgoth seven wounds, and though Morgoth shouted in anguish, he was too powerful to be slain. Fingolfin grew weary and was struck down by Morgoth's shield. Thrice he staggered to his feet in vain, his crown and shield broken, and thrice Morgoth cast him down, before Fingolfin collapsed over one of the pits left by Grond.
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In a single stroke Morgoth had broken the Siege of Angband, but the victory was not as complete as he would have preferred. [[Ered Wethrin]], [[Himring]] and [[Hithlum]] had held against him, though just barely. King [[Fingolfin]] was dismayed and enraged by the defeat, and went to Angband in anger. With fire in his eyes, Morgoth's Orcs mistook him for a vengeful spirit and fled from him. There he challenged Morgoth to single combat. Despite Morgoth's power, he held a fear of death greater than any other Valar, and was hesitant even against Fingolfin. When Fingolfin declared Morgoth craven, he scoffed the Elf-Lord and did not dare refuse his challenge. He strode out, his footsteps like thunder on the earth. He was clad in black armour with a spiked crown and shield, with [[Grond (Hammer of the Underworld)|Grond]], the Hammer of the Underworld, and he and Fingolfin fought in a ferocious duel. Flames gashed from the earth with each strike of his hammer, but Fingolfin was faster and avoided each powerful, but slow, swing. The Elf-lord gave Morgoth seven wounds, and though Morgoth shouted in anguish, he was too powerful to be slain. Fingolfin grew weary and was struck down by Morgoth's shield. Thrice he staggered to his feet in vain, his crown and shield broken, and thrice Morgoth cast him down, before Fingolfin collapsed over one of the pits left by Grond.
  
As Morgoth placed his foot on Fingolfin's neck to break it, Fingolfin in one last strike ran his blade through the Dark Lord's foot, and Morgoth's blood filled pools made by his hammer. The enraged Morgoth crushed Fingolfin, though he was left with a permanent limp from the injury. Morgoth wished to rend the corpse and feed it to his wolves, but could not desecrate the fallen King, for [[Thorondor]] flew in, scratching Morgoth's face and escaping with Fingolfin's body.<ref name="Ruin">{{S|Fingolfin}}</ref>
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As Morgoth placed his foot on Fingolfin's neck to break it, Fingolfin in one last strike ran his blade through the Dark Lord's foot, and Morgoth's blood filled pools made by his hammer. The enraged Morgoth crushed Fingolfin, though he was left with a permanent limp from the injury. Morgoth wished to rend the corpse and feed it to his wolves, but could not desecrate the fallen King, for [[Thorondor]] flew in, scratching Morgoth's face and escaping with Fingolfin's body.
  
 
====The Quest for the Silmaril====
 
====The Quest for the Silmaril====
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It was said of Morgoth that "his might was greatest of all things in this world." He was the most powerful being in existence, second only to Ilúvatar, and perhaps more powerful than every Vala put together. Fitting to his name, Morgoth eventually took a form great and terrible, and soon was unable to leave it. He received many scars and wounds over the ages: his hands were burned forever when he touched the Silmarils, Fingolfin wounded him seven times during their battle and inflicted a wound to the foot that caused him ever after to limp, and Thorondor scarred Morgoth's face.
 
It was said of Morgoth that "his might was greatest of all things in this world." He was the most powerful being in existence, second only to Ilúvatar, and perhaps more powerful than every Vala put together. Fitting to his name, Morgoth eventually took a form great and terrible, and soon was unable to leave it. He received many scars and wounds over the ages: his hands were burned forever when he touched the Silmarils, Fingolfin wounded him seven times during their battle and inflicted a wound to the foot that caused him ever after to limp, and Thorondor scarred Morgoth's face.
  
When Morgoth first took visible form he was said to be of greater power and majesty than any other Vala, as a colossal mountain wading in the sea with its head above the clouds, his appearance both of splendour and terror. As a physical being Morgoth was described as highly imposing, and was reckoned to a tower compared to the warrior Fingolfin, and the shadow of the shield he wielded was like a stormcloud. Ever since his downfall, Morgoth held a desire for power; above all else, however, Morgoth held deep hatred of the mere existence of intelligent or beautiful life. Unlike his servant Sauron, Morgoth's ultimate goal was solely the destruction, not control, of all that he despised. He was nonetheless persuasive, and could sway and corrupt many forms of life to become his willing servants.<ref name="Ruin"></ref><ref>{{MR|Myths}}</ref>
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When Morgoth first took visible form he was said to be of greater power and majesty than any other Vala, as a colossal mountain wading in the sea with its head above the clouds, his appearance both of splendour and terror. As a physical being Morgoth was described as highly imposing, and was reckoned to a tower compared to the warrior Fingolfin, and the shadow of the shield he wielded was like a stormcloud. Ever since his downfall, Morgoth held a desire for power; above all else, however, Morgoth held deep hatred of the mere existence of intelligent or beautiful life. Unlike his servant Sauron, Morgoth's ultimate goal was solely the destruction, not control, of all that he despised. He was nonetheless persuasive, and could sway and corrupt many forms of life to become his willing servants.<ref name="Ruin">{{S|Fingolfin}}</ref><ref>{{MR|Myths}}</ref>
  
 
Morgoth wielded [[Grond (Hammer of the Underworld)|Grond]] in battle, a weapon he presumably forged himself in [[Angband]] (unless Sauron or [[Gothmog]] had held it safe after the [[Battle of the Powers]]), and was clad in black armor, with an iron crown. Despite his strength initially, he continually spread his residual influence, corruption, and might thin across Arda after his treachery and suffered several defeats, and his power slowly, though significantly, weakened. He alone of the Valar had a deep fear of death, and even against inferior foes he held a hesitance to ever risk his own life.<ref name="Ruin"/>
 
Morgoth wielded [[Grond (Hammer of the Underworld)|Grond]] in battle, a weapon he presumably forged himself in [[Angband]] (unless Sauron or [[Gothmog]] had held it safe after the [[Battle of the Powers]]), and was clad in black armor, with an iron crown. Despite his strength initially, he continually spread his residual influence, corruption, and might thin across Arda after his treachery and suffered several defeats, and his power slowly, though significantly, weakened. He alone of the Valar had a deep fear of death, and even against inferior foes he held a hesitance to ever risk his own life.<ref name="Ruin"/>

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