Great Eagles


J.R.R. Tolkien



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            Theme       Basis in the novels
Mechanics       Abilities and characteristics
Demeanor       Cruel, savage, evil
Appearance       Size, colour, and eyes
Summation       The conclusion of our studies


The Werewolves (Gaurhoth) were introduced into our game as an evil RRC (Restricted Race Character) that would bridge the gap between the Orcs and the Balrogs. That is clearly thematic, as Sauron (Thû) was a sorcerer closely aligned with werewolves. He, in fact, can take the shape of a werewolf (wolf-Sauron) himself and does so at his discretion. Thus it stands to reason that Sauron would favour these servants in relation to those others previously stated (The Silmarillion P. 187 - 188 and The Lays of Beleriand P. 273).

As taken from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion. Published by Ballantine Books ISBN 0-345-32581-8, Copyright 1977 by George Allen & Unwin (Publishers) Ltd.

P. 187-188
For nigh on two years after the Dagor Bragollach the Noldor still defended the western pass about the sources of Sirion, for the power of Ulmo was in that water, and Minas Tirith withstood the Orcs. But at length, after the fall of Fingolfin, Sauron, greatest and most terrible of the servants of Morgoth, who in the Sindarin tongue was named Gorthaur, came against Orodreth, the warden of the tower upon Tol Sirion. Sauron was become now a sorcerer of dreadful power, master of shadows and of phantoms, foul in wisdom, cruel in strength, misshaping what he touched, twisting what he ruled, lord of werewolves; his dominion was torment. He took Minas Tirith by assault, for a dark cloud of fear fell upon those that defended it; and Orodreth was driven out, and fled to Nargothgrond. Then Sauron made it into a watchtower for Morgoth, a stronghold of evil, and a menace; and the fair isle of Tol Sirion became accursed, and it was called Tol-in-Gaurhoth, the Isle of Werewolves.

As taken from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lays of Beleriand. Published by Ballantine Books ISBN 0-345-38818-6, Copyright 1985 by Frank Richard Williamson and Christopher Reuel Tolkien.

P. 273 (line 2064)
Men called him Thû, and as a god
in after days beneath his rod
bewildered bowed to him, and made
his ghastly temples in the shade.
Not yet by Men enthralled adored,
now was he Morgoth's mightiest lord,
Master of Wolves, whose shivering howl
for ever echoed in the hills, and foul
enchantments and dark sigaldry
did weave and wield. In glamoury
that necromancer held his hosts
of phantoms and of wandering ghosts,
of misbegotten or spell-wronged
monsters that about him thronged,
working his bidding dark and vile:
the werewolves of the Wizard's Isle.


In intelligence, they are much more than simple 'talking-beasts'. They are cunning, diabolical and uncanny in how they seem to know how to choose their fights. They are very difficult to track and the tracker will not know if she or he is being misled. On their own (or even in packs) werewolves can basically come and go unnoticed. Even if they can be tracked, one must consider if the werewolf actually intends for the tracker to find them or if it is in reality a well-planned trap.

They are aligned with Sauron and are rather powerful, though not as powerful as a Balrog. It must be pointed out however, that even the mighty Balrogs fear Carcharoth, the most mighty of the tribe of Draugluin (The Lays of Beleriand P. 343 [in reference to the line '...nor suffer Balrog, Orc, nor beast...']). It must also be pointed out that Carcharoth was created by Morgoth, a Vala, not by Sauron, a Maia (also referenced in The Lays of Beleriand P. 343). Thus, Carcharoth is MUCH more powerful and huge than any Sauron-created werewolf could ever hope to be. That even holds true if compared to Draugluin and wolf-Sauron. Carcharoth was in all aspects, a true nightmare and monster even to the werewolves (as can plainly be discerned in The Lays of Beleriand P. 343 concerning the passages summarized as follows: '...more great and terrible he became...than any beast of earth or hell...').

In accordance to the writings from the referenced materials that follow, it must also be noted that the werewolves in this theme seem to possess some mystical abilities. Though only three abilities (aside from their supernatural prowess in melee combat, cunning to match that of any human and the ability to speak) could readily be discerned from the text. They shall be outlined as follows:

The most potent ability that the werewolf possess is their ability to cloak themselves in shadow. As can easily be discerned throughout the following text references, werewolves in this setting are often described as a 'set of eyes' in the darkness (The Silmarillion P. 207 and P. 301 and The Lays of Beleriand P. 277 and P. 298) or as a nearby 'disembodied voice' (The Lays of Beleriand P. 298). In one reference to Draugluin there is even mention of the 'dark spell' upon the coat of the creature (The Lays of Beleriand P. 332).

Similarly, it stands to reason that if Sauron was described as a dreadfully powerful sorcerer who was also known as the master of shadows, that he might imbue his werewolf creations (The Silmarillion P. 198 in regards to '...fell beasts inhabited by dreadful spirits that he had imprisoned in their bodies...') with like abilities. Thus adding further, though admittedly circumstantial evidence of this argument (The Silmarillion P. 187-188)

There also seems to be some evidence of the werewolf being able to strike dread into the hearts of their victims, especially when gathered in a large number such as a pack.

Some have speculated that the werewolves in this theme possess the ability to control the minds of their victims but there does not seem to be any evidence to support that notion. It seems rather, that those who believe thusly might be mistaking mind control abilities with the ability to instill fear and loathing (The Silmarillion P. 196 and The Lays of Beleriand P. 298, P. 273 [ in reference to their 'shivering howl'] and P. 343).

In the example in The Silmarillion P. 196, if one were to interpret the passage, '...the heavy hands of Sauron's hunters.' as meaning fear (Which certainly seems a plausible interpretation. But it may also simply mean that wolves howled in the background and some Orcs then stepped forth to waylay Gorlim.) and read that in conjunction with the reference to the wolves baying, it seems to support the notion of fear being an overwhelming part of a werewolf's howl.

As well, in the reference to the passage in The Lays of Beleriand P. 298, Beren looks into the darkness and sees his death in a set of eyes. This can also be interpreted as a mantle of fear surrounding these fell creatures.

There is also the mention of the dire spirits that are housed within the bodies of the wolves and how their wild voices echo about the caves and valleys where they dwell. This seems as well, to support the notion that fear is an integral part of the aura that surrounds these creatures.

There is a final factor concerning this aspect however, though more abstract to be sure, that also lends some small credence to this notion. That being: that when Sauron himself was in wolf form before Lúthien and Huan, he caused great terror in them both (The Silmarillion P. 211 - 212).

Though it must also be pointed out that Sauron is a Maia and is also the most evil and powerful servant of Morgoth (The Silmarillion P. 187 - 188 and The Lays of Beleriand P. 273). That power to incite utter horror could quite easily be unique to him alone when one considers that his creations, the werewolves are not Maiar and neither are they as powerful as he is.

Still the argument seems sound that if the werewolves are his most favored creations and minions, would he not endow them with like abilities but perhaps just to a lesser extent? The cited references hint at such a possibility in any case.

And lastly, the references that have been collected also hint at the werewolf's ability to render wounds unclean and poisonous (The Lays of Beleriand P. 298). That reference refers to an ordinary werewolf preparing for battle with Felegund who is attempting to preserve the life of Beren. In that reference it describes Felegund's lack of concern for any forthcoming physical damage but as well, the 'venomed wound'.

Similarly, references are made to 'vapours of his breath' in regards to wolf-Sauron and Carcharoth, and can easily be interpreted as 'envenomed' (The Silmarillion P. 211 - 212 and The Lays of Beleriand P. 343). As well, there is the account of Beren's poisoning after having his hand bit off by Carcharoth upon the bridge (The Silmarillion P. 220 - 221). Though here again the majority of the cited references deal with wolf-Sauron and Carcharoth. It must be pointed out that in the first cited reference (The Lays of Beleriand P. 298) the werewolf in question is not unique, but rather a simple, mundane werewolf sent to torment Felegund's host. Thus these later references citing situations involving wolf-Sauron and Carcharoth simply add circumstantial strength to the argument.

As taken from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion. Published by Ballantine Books ISBN 0-345-32581-8, Copyright 1977 by George Allen & Unwin (Publishers) Ltd.

P. 196
On a time of autumn he came in the dusk of evening, and drawing near he saw as he thought a light at the window; and coming warily he looked within. There he saw Eilinel, and her face was worn with grief and hunger, and it seemed to him that he heard her voice lamenting that he had forsaken her. But even as he cried aloud the light was blown out in the wind; wolves howled, and on his shoulders he felt suddenly the heavy hands of Sauron's hunters.

P. 207
He cast them therefore into a deep pit, dark and silent, and threatened to slay them cruelly, unless one would betray the truth to him. From time to time they saw two eyes kindled in the dark, and a werewolf devoured one of the companions; but none betrayed their lord.

P. 211-212
Therefore he took upon himself the form of a werewolf, and made himself the mightiest that had yet walked the world; and he came forth to win the passage of the bridge.

So great was the horror of his approach that Huan leaped aside. Then Sauron sprang upon Lúthien; and she swooned before the menace of the fell spirit in his eyes and the foul vapour of his breath. But even as he came, falling she cast a fold of her dark cloak before his eyes; and he stumbled, for a fleeting drowsiness came upon him. Then Huan sprang. There befell the battle of Huan and wolf-Sauron, and the howls and baying echoed in the hills, and the watchers on the walls of Ered Wethrin across the valley heard it afar and were dismayed.

P. 220-221
...Of all the terrors that came ever into Beleriand ere Angband's fall the madness of Carcharoth was the most dreadfull; for the power of the Silmaril was hidden within him.

Now Beren lay in a swoon within the perilous Gate, and death nigh him, for there was venom on the fangs of the wolf. Lúthien with her lips drew out the venom, and she put forth her failing power to staunch the hideous wound. But behind her in the depths of Angband the rumour grew of great wrath aroused. The hosts of Morgoth were awakened.

As taken from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lays of Beleriand. Published by Ballantine Books ISBN 0-345-38818-6, Copyright 1985 by Frank Richard Williamson and Christopher Reuel Tolkien.

P. 277 (line 2231)
Even as he threatened, so it fared.
From time to time in the eyeless dark
two eyes would grow, and they would hark
to frightful cries, and then a sound
of rending, a slavering on the ground,
and blood flowing they would smell.
But none would yield, and none would tell.

P. 298 (line 2592)
A devil's laugh they ringing heard
within their pit. 'True, true the word
I hear you speak,' a voice then said.
"Twere little loss if he were dead,

P. 298 (line 2610)
The slow time passed. Then in the gloom
two eyes there glowed. He saw his doom,
Beren, silent, as his bonds he strained
beyond his mortal might enchained.
Lo! sudden there was rending sound
of chains that parted and unwound,
of meshes broken. Forth there leaped
upon the wolvish thing that crept
in shadow faithful Felagund,
careless of fang or venomed wound.
There in the dark they wrestled slow,
remorseless, snarling, to and fro
teeth in flesh, gripe on throat,
fingers locked in shaggy coat,
spurning Beren who there lying
heard the werewolf gasping, dying.

P. 301 (line 2696)
Still Lúthien sang. A creeping shape
with bloodred tongue and jaws agape
stole on the bridge; but she sang on
with trembling limbs and wide eyes wan.
The creeping shape leaped to her side,
and gasped, and sudden fell and died.

And still they came, still one by one,
and each was seized and there were no one
returned with padding feet to tell
that a shadow lurketh fierce and fell
at the bridge's end, and that below
the shuddering waters loathing flow
o'er the grey corpses Huan killed.

A mightier shadow slowly filled
the narrow bridge, a slavering hate,
an awful werewolf fierce and great:
pale Draugluin, the old grey lord
of wolves and beasts of blood abhorred,
that fed on flesh of Man and Elf
beneath the chair of Thû himself.

No more in silence did they fight.
Howling and baying smote the night,
till back by the chair where he had fed
to die the werewolf yammering fled.
'Huan is there' he gasped and died,
and Thû was filled with wrath and pride.

P. 332 (line 3394)
ere he was nigh. Now there he laid
before their feet, as dark as shade,
two grisly shapes that he had won
from that tall isle in Sirion:
a wolfhame huge - its savage fell
was long and matted, dark the spell
that drenched the dreadful coat and skin,
the werewolf cloak of Draugluin.

P. 343 (line 3686)
Then Morgoth of Huan's fate bethought
long-rumoured, and in dark he wrought.
Fierce hunger-haunted packs he had
that in wolvish form and flesh were clad,
but demon spirits dire did hold;
and ever wild their voices rolled
in cave and mountain where they housed
and endless snarling echoes roused.
From these a whelp he chose and fed
with his own hand on bodies dead,
on fairest flesh of Elves and Men,
till huge he grew and in his den
no more could creep, but by the chair
of Morgoth's self would lie and glare,
nor suffer Balrog, Orc, nor beast
to tough him. Many a ghastly feast
he held beneath that awful throne,
rending flesh and gnawing bone.
There deep enchantment on him fell,
the anguish and the power of hell;
more great and terrible he became
with fire-red eyes and jaws aflame,
with breath like vapours of the grave,
than any beast of wood or cave,
than any beast of earth or hell
that ever in any time befell,
surpassing all his race and kin,
the ghastly tribe of Draugluin.

Him Carcharoth, the Red Maw, name
the songs of Elves. Not yet he came


Werewolves are completely loathsome and evil in all ways. However, they are also very clever and are constantly watchful for any opportunity to create havoc and strife. They are very bloodthirsty creatures and being that they are also possessed of a high intellect and cunning, they are also very adept in the ways of war and subterfuge (The Silmarillion P. 198 and The Lays of Beleriand P. 343).

Werewolves are savage and animalistic in nature. They absolutely will never take orders from any being weaker than they are and often will only take orders grudgingly from those that are stronger. However, they will always follow the will of Sauron unerringly.

In battle, the werewolves are voracious. They fight to the death (most certainly to the death of their victim to be sure) in most instances, running away only if the odds are clearly not in their favor or if they have some other horrific agenda. Similarly, they might turn away from battle if they are ordered to do so by a stronger one of their kind or Sauron himself or perhaps one of Sauron's trusted generals.

As taken from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion. Published by Ballantine Books ISBN 0-345-32581-8, Copyright 1977 by George Allen & Unwin (Publishers) Ltd.

P. 198
At length Morgoth set a price upon his head no less that the price upon the head of Fingon, High King of the Noldor; but the Orcs fled rather at the rumour of his approach than sought him out. Therefore an army was sent against him under the command of Sauron; and Sauron brought werewolves, fell beasts inhabited by dreadful spirits that he had imprisoned in their bodies.


Werewolves are often described as having darkish fur, dark brown and black. However, in more than one reference (The Lays of Beleriand P. 284 and P. 301), there is mention of 'grey' corpses and fell and so forth. Thus it seems that werewolves can come in various shades and are not limited to the darker ones.

Sometimes it is noted that they might be seen in the darkness only because of their glinting eyes (The Silmarillion P. 207 and The Lays of Beleriand P. 298). In the citation from The Silmarillion P. 207 where it states, '...eyes kindled in the dark...' the notion of 'glowing' or kindled eyes is brought to the fore. Thus, it seems that werewolves may suitably be described as having 'glowing' eyes possibly in such a fashion as one might expect by shining a light into the eyes of any animal at night.

As far as size and general appearance of any werewolf save that of Draugluin, Carcharoth or wolf-Sauron, one must assume that they are identical in appearance to a normal wolf since no ready descriptions were found in the texts. However, it should be realized that they are larger and certainly more fierce than a regular wolf. Since they are described as having been ridden by Orcs (The Silmarillion P. 210 and The Lays of Beleriand P. 331) it will therefore be assumed that their size is closer to that of an average pony. Since the largest size of a pony is listed as being 58 in. (Webster's College Dictionary P. 1025) that would make the average size of a standard werewolf approximately 4 to 4.5 feet in height at the shoulder. Of course there is no question about Draugluin being a bit larger than the average werewolf (perhaps as large as the largest pony as defined), wolf-Sauron being a bit larger than Draugluin and Carcharoth being a bit larger than both of them (likely closer to the size of a horse).

As taken from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lays of Beleriand. Published by Ballantine Books ISBN 0-345-38818-6, Copyright 1985 by Frank Richard Williamson and Christopher Reuel Tolkien.

P. 284 (line 2342)
Three days they ride by holt and hill
the wolves of Thû to hunt and kill,
and many a head and fell of grey
they take, and many drive away,
till nigh to the borders in the West
of Doriath a while they rest.

P. 331 (line 3374)
'I know not! But good Huan's heart
is wiser, kinder than thou art,
grim lord, more open unto prayer!
Yet long and long I pleaded there,
until he brought me, as I would,
upon thy trail - a palfry good
would Huan make, of flowing pace:
thou wouldst have laughed to see us race,
as Orc on werewolf ride like fire
night after night through fen and mire,

As taken from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion. Published by Ballantine Books ISBN 0-345-32581-8, Copyright 1977 by George Allen & Unwin (Publishers) Ltd.

P. 210
Now Huan devised a plan for the aid of Luthien; and coming at a time of night he brought her cloak, and for the first time he spoke, giving her counsel. Then he led her by secret ways out of Nargothrond, and they fled north together; and he humbled his pride and suffered her to ride upon him in the fashion of a steed, even as the Orcs did at times upon great wolves. Thus they made great speed, for Huan was swift and tireless.

As taken from Random House Webster's College Dictionary, 2nd. ed.. Published by Random House ISBN 0-375-40741-3, Copyright 1999 by Random House, Inc.

P. 1025
Pony - 1. a small horse of any of several breeds, usu. not higher at the shoulder than 14.5 hands (58 in/146 cm).


In summary a list has been compiled to denote the various abilities and so forth concerning the werewolves on this MUSH. This is being provided as a 'quick find' resource. For actual citations and detail please consult the proceeding passages.

  1. Sauron created the werewolves of Wizard's Isle of which there is a large number, but that number is not set in the texts. Morgoth created Carcharoth.
  2. Werewolves are nearly as intelligent if not as intelligent as humans.
  3. Werewolves can speak in languages understood by Men and Elves.

Werewolves are able to mystically hide in darkness. It is uncertain exactly how this is done. However, it seems most logical to explain it as either being exceptionally stealthy or being able to magically manipulate darkness about themselves but *NOT* to any great degree. They can only affect themselves and their immediate vicinity.

Werewolves are able to create an aura of fear about themselves. Much like one would naturally expect from a pack of normal wolves for example. In role play, the characters opposite the werewolf character may choose to react however they wish to this as it is not an overly powerful ability. The werewolf's poses should reflect that there is something slightly mystical in the way it bays that might cause a degree of trepidation.

Werewolves have an unclean bite that can cause a bad infection/poisoning. This 'poisoning' can even affect elves, though the degree that it can do so is uncertain (simple illness, incapacitation or death) and should be left up to the Elf character being mauled. Though it is clear that it can cause death in humans.

Werewolves may be described as being pretty much any color that the player wishes. They may also be described as having glowing eyes (though the color of that glow is uncertain in the texts and should likely be voted on by the RRC Board, the current werewolf players and the CW of Angband in order to be uniformly set). They may also be described as being large (the largest being 58 in. in height at the shoulder). However, in all other aspects, they should be described as appearing as a normal wolf.

Credits: Gaerelin and Ulmo

Realms of the Werewolves

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