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Suladan
Suladân
(or Sulladán in Near-Harad) also known as the Serpent Lord, lived during the War of the Ring, and the time when the grassy lands of Gondor, Rohan, and Dale and the sunny, scorched domains of Harad, Rhun, and Khand were in constant conflict, and lead the Desert-Men forces (Haradrim, Easterlings, Variags) with merciless precision. He was considered a mysterious being, perhaps even a monster of sorts, by the soldiers of Gondor, a shadow that would strike like an assassin and kill without fault, and even by his own loyal troops. Unlike his Haradrim soldiers, whose weapons were of haphazard assortment, some faulty, or mottled together from pieces of other weapons, Suladân reserved for himself the finest armour, swords and poison darts, and used them with the deadly efficiency expected of a Leader of the Sandy Regions. Even the fine equipment of Rhun and Khand could not match Suladân's finery. He is said to have been killed by King Théoden, during the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, though this is uncertain, and the only possible proof that he was present at the time lies in the mention of a warrior, whom Théoden refers to as "the black serpent".

"Farewell, Master Holbytla! My body is broken. I go to my fathers. And even in their mighty company I shall not now be ashamed. I felled the black serpent. A grim morn, and a glad day, and a golden sunset!" -King Theoden of Rohan, last words.

Little more is known of his war against Gondor, or the battles he fought in, nor the real truth of his death, or its circumstances, which still remain as mysterious as the man himself.

Appearance

It was no coincidence that Suladân was considered a monster, even among his own troops. However, there were no disfigurations. His head was always covered by a red-linen war mask under a snake-skull-shaped golden-brass helmet, and even his highest ranking underlings had never seen beneath the mask. Added to this, his dress was highly extravagant, with purple cape and all-red clothes, inlaid with jewels, and serpentine symbols. His sword was a crooked scimitar, angled so as to decapitate a foe with ease. His armor consisted of pauldrons, vambraces with ivory blades, tassets, greaves, foot-plates and hand-plates, as well as a cuirass... all composed of golden-brass.

Legacy

Few had ever heard the name of Suladân, and indeed it was not uttered for many years after his passing, but he was briefly mentioned in The Return of the King, or at least, the "black serpent" was. Apart from this, he only appeared in a number of fairly minor battles with Gondor.

Fan-Modules

The Harad Timeline mentions a prophecy about a "Serpent Lord".It is possible that Suladân was this promised ruler, or at last took his role and used the legacy for his rise among the Haradrim tribes.

References

  • One Wiki to Rule Them All
  • Games Workshop - The Lord of the Rings: Strategy Battle Game

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