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Balrog1

A Balrog

Few creatures of this kind survived, most were destroyed in the wars against Elves and Men. Indeed, according to the Wise, the Balrogath of Utumno and Angband was always limited in numbers: "No more than seven," were the words of many an old sage. Yet Balrogs, unless slain by some mighty force, were immortal, as they were true Umaiar,fallen spirit-beings of the kind that had aided in the creation and maintenance of Ambar. Little wonder, then, that they commanded such power and such awe. The powers and abilities of Balrogs were legion: their very presence was so great that all quail before them, if only for a moment in the case of the valiant; they could seize control of a foe's will and mind, forcing him to do their bidding or shattering his mind beyond repair; they could burn with a fire as fierce as that of a volcano under almost any conditions, and only total immersion in a large quantity of water could douse the flames, which immediately rekindled as soon as the Balrog reached a drier environment; they could throw certain spells with the skills of the most powerful Magician. Their specific areas of spell mastery were those of fire (of course), detection, and contacting other evil spirits and beings. Balrogs' thought processes were unlike those of mortals and nigh-impossible to fathom, seeming almost bestial in some cases, but it was known that they were fiercely loyal to the Black Foe of the World and that they had long memories for spites and insults against him.

They were immensely proud and had a certain aesthetic bent that revealed itself whenever they had the opportunity to be in charge of constructing a fortress or other building. The throne room of the Balrog of Moria was a good example: a vaulted cavern was lit from above by the eerily beautiful flickering of living flame from the heart of the world and furnished with columns in the shape of flaming Dragons (one of the few other types of creatures that Balrogs respected) and arching red bridges of the magical glass called laen. Spirits of Fire, the Balrogs displayed the character and power of the most fascinating of destructive forces in every facet.

Individuals

great Balrogs (Balrog Lords)

lesser Balrogs and Rogmuls

See:

Notes

Tolkien's late statement that there were no more than seven Balrogs, equivalent to the seven princes of Hell in in Christian demonology, contradicts the earlier depiction of the Balrogs, as there was a far greater number of them in the book of lost tales and even the published silmarillion.The discrepancy has been solved by many game masters by assuming that there were only seven True Balrogs but there was a far greater number of lesser Balrogath, minor Fire-spirits who were only the servants of the seven Balrog Lords.

References

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