Balrog of Morgoth by Curtiss Shaffer

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…Something was coming up behind them. What it was could not be seen: it was a great shadow, in the middle of which was a dark form, of man-shape maybe, yet greater; and a power and terror seemed to be in it and to go before it…It came to the edge of the fire and the light faded as if a cloud had bent over it. Then with a rush it leaped across the fissure. The flames roared up to greet it, and wreathed about it; and a black smoke swirled in the air. Its streaming mane kindled, and blazed behind it…“What is this new devilry?”, fear fell over the son of Thuranduil. “A Balrog”, Gandalf returned. “A demon of the ancient world. This foe is beyond any of you. Lead them on, Aragorn. Do as I say! Swords are no more use here! Over the bridge!” cried Gandalf, recalling his strength. “Fly! This is a foe beyond any of you. I must hold the narrow way. Fly!” Aragorn and Boromir did not heed the command, but still held their ground, side by side, behind Gandalf at the far end of the bridge. The others halted just within the doorway at the hall’s end, and turned, unable to leave their leader to face the enemy alone…The Balrog reached the bridge. Gandalf stood in the middle of the span, leaning on the staff in his left hand, but in his other hand Glamdring gleamed, cold and white. His enemy halted again, facing him, and the shadow about it reached out like two vast wings. It raised the whip, and the thongs whined and cracked. Fire came from its nostrils. But Gandalf stood firm
“You cannot pass!” Gandalf said defiantly. “I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor. You cannot pass. The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udun. Go back to the Shadow! You cannot pass.” The Balrog made no answer. The fire in it seemed to die, but the darkness grew. It stepped forward slowly on to the bridge, and suddenly it drew itself up to a great height, and its wings were spread from wall to wall; but still Gandalf could be seen, glimmering in the gloom; he seemed small, and altogether alone: grey and bent, like a wizened tree before the onset of a storm.From out of the shadow a red sword leaped flaming. Glamdring gleamed white in answer. There was a ringing clash and a stab of white fire. The Balrog fell back and its sword flew up in molten fragments. The wizard swayed on the bridge, stepped back a pace, and then again stood still…

Comments

  • Carmel Williams
    Carmel Williamsover 3 years ago

    This is great Curtis! What medium have you used?

  • Thanks Carmel! It was more of a process or combination of media rather than just one. It started as the sketch that is also posted in my portfolio. From there, it went to Photoshop. I inverted the image and transferred it to RGB and added some multiple lighting effects until I achieved the layers that I was looking for. From there I used a Wacom Intuos 4 pad to add more detail. There’s a huge learning curve with the Wacom, that I’m still trying to overcome, but little by the little, the effects are very different than anything I’ve worked with before. Thanks again and best wishes.

    – Curtiss Shaffer

  • Carmel Williams
    Carmel Williamsover 3 years ago

    Wow, that sure is some process!! Keep at it because your work is great! I love Tolkien as well! :))

  • ellamental
    ellamentalabout 2 years ago

    Frigg’in Fandamntastic work!!!!

  • Thanks Ella. I love your screen name too! It made me laugh.

    – Curtiss Shaffer

  • eon .
    eon .about 2 years ago

    OK you saw it Too …Ive seen this in a dream ..Its better on your site though " – ))

  • LOL!!! Thanks Eon!

    – Curtiss Shaffer

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