It’s all downhill from here, but for now we’re headed uphill.
Gollum has to drag Frodo and Sam away from the crossroads, turning towards the darkness in the east. The road turns south for a bit, skirting a rock formation, and then heads up and to the east. The hobbits are downtrodden, having now left the beautiful Ithilien forest. Frodo feels the weight of the ring even stronger now.
After a short time, they can see, looking up, the evil city of Minas Morgul. Surrounded by darkness, it glows with a pale light. Some sort of ghostly head turns atop its tower, and they all stand in awe. Again, Gollum has to drag Frodo and Sam forward.
Today’s Gollum Meter: 73 – “Hey! That’s useful, your dragging!”
Welcome, welcome to Mordor! I can’t say if the three have officially passed into the land, but for the first time they can actually see into it. The Black Gate is a barrier, while Minas Morgul is more true city than outpost. At this point, Osgiliath has become more of the outpost, and some could call Ithilien part of Mordor rather than Gondor. However, it comes back to the point I made earlier about the length of time that evil has held sway over a land. In Ithilien, evil is weaker. Here, where Minas Morgul has been held by the Ringwraiths for such a long time, the evil weight of the ring grows with every step.
But, who’s keeping track of that? Wouldn’t it be nice if we knew how heavy the ring was?
So, what’s next? Go up and knock? I do find it unusual that this stretch of road is so poorly guarded. And…they’re still on the road! If there’s any orc perched in Minas Morgul looking out for travelers, it won’t be long before the three companions are discovered. But, I don’t think anyone really expects people to simply walk around in this land anyway. Bonus for that!
No one dies today.
“Every step was reluctant, and time seemed to slow its pace, so that between the raising of a foot and the setting of it down minutes of loathing passed.”