Fell Beasts (For. "Winanbanar", or "Friend-slayers"), also called Winged Shadows or Hellhawks, were horrible and terrifying creatures presumably bred by Sauron from lesser relatives of the Unbirds or Altalantecuimar. The beast most resembled a huge, featherless bird, but its skin was tough and leathery. Its wings were membranes stretched on bone, like those of the bat. It stank of rotting carrion, its favorite food, and its body was so foul that its blood and excrement polluted or killed even the hardiest of plants.
Exceptionally useful to evil beings in need of strong and fearless steeds, Fell Beasts were strong fliers and mighty warriors.
Detailed DescriptionLarge, black, flying beasts with whip-like tails and great bat-like wings have been sighted in the night skies of Rhovanion; some herders in the East Bight claim that these creatures have claimed more than one of their strays. The reports have given birth to a revival of the old, doom-saying tales of the coming of a great Darkness. Few have failed to suspect Dol Guldur as the source of the unsettling events.
In recent years, "Fell Beasts" have made their home in the highlands of Mirkwood, usually in high caves or on shelves beneath overhangs of rock. A number of them are spread throughout the Emyn Guldur. These creatures grow to lengths of 30 feet (with 30-35-foot wingspans) and may be distant relatives of ancient Cold-drakes. Sauron seduced their ancestors in the Elder Days, so hatred and the curse of Darkness runs in thehot blood of these gruesome descendants. Unlike the great Urulóki of Morgoth, they cannot breath fire, but they nonetheless remain formidable. Their huge claws (up to 9") and awesome jaws (which hold 6" fangs) have persuaded many that death can be a swift affair. In addition, their love for the dark sky — together with an uncanny ability to glide quietly — allow them to strike at night with utter surprise. During daylight hours they favor the direct approach; using their considerable speed, they simply dive upon a foe with outstretched claws. The impact alone can be devastating. Perhaps worst of all, they often stalk in pairs; for unlike Dragons, they are relatively "cooperative" creatures.
Large Fell Beasts can support the weight of two strong men and are frequently used as mounts by Sauron's Nazgûl. Occasionally the Half-Troll warlords employ them as well. Their coming may have coincided with the opening of Angmar, since communications with that remote northern realm are tenuous. Even as messenger-bearers, however, they have a disquieting effect on the neighboring countryside.
Fell-beasts of note
- Retrieved from [Realms of Arda]; original reference: [ICE MERP 2012, ICE MERP 2019]