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====Sauron's Teachings====
 
====Sauron's Teachings====
Sauron taught the people of Númenor many things, and in most of his speeches he spoke against the [[Valar]], whom most Númenóreans already feared and disliked. Eventually, however, the Maia's teachings began to focus more upon [[Darkness (concept)|Darkness]]. He told his listeners that "Darkness alone is worshipful, and the Lord thereof may yet make other worlds to be gifts to those that serve him, so that the increase of their power shall find no end." These words reached the ears of Ar-Pharazôn, and he spoke to Sauron in secret in order to learn more about the Lord of Darkness. Sauron told the King that this Lord was [[Morgoth|Melkor]], and that [[Ilúvatar|Eru Ilúvatar]] was only a lie devised by the Valar to keep [[Men]] from rebelling against them. The Maia thus himself lied to Ar-Pharazôn, and said that by serving Melkor, the "Giver of Freedom", the King would escape from these untruths of the Valar, and become stronger than them.
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Sauron taught the people of Númenor many things, and in most of his speeches he spoke against the [[Valar]], who most Númenóreans already feared and disliked. Eventually, however, the Maia's teachings began to focus more upon [[Darkness (concept)|Darkness]]. He told his listeners that "Darkness alone is worshipful, and the Lord thereof may yet make other worlds to be gifts to those that serve him, so that the increase of their power shall find no end." These words reached the ears of Ar-Pharazôn, and he spoke to Sauron in secret in order to learn more about the Lord of Darkness. Sauron told the King that this Lord was [[Morgoth|Melkor]], and that [[Ilúvatar|Eru Ilúvatar]] was only a lie devised by the Valar to keep [[Men]] from rebelling against them. The Maia thus himself lied to Ar-Pharazôn, and said that by serving Melkor, the "Giver of Freedom", the King would escape from these untruths of the Valar, and become stronger than them.
  
 
At this time Ar-Pharazôn began to worship the Darkness and Melkor its Lord. He practised this new religion in secret at first, but soon displayed it openly, and "his people for the most part followed him". The King made ascending the [[Meneltarma]] (which the worshippers of Ilúvatar had formerly done, in order to make offerings on its summit) a crime punishable by death. Sauron then advised Ar-Pharazôn to destroy [[Nimloth of Númenor|Nimloth]], the White Tree of Númenor, which was the last symbol of the Númenóreans' ancient friendship with the Valar and the [[Elves]]. Ar-Pharazôn was reluctant to do this, because he had heard of Tar-Palantir's prophecy that the Line of Kings would end when the Tree perished.<ref name="Akallabeth"/>
 
At this time Ar-Pharazôn began to worship the Darkness and Melkor its Lord. He practised this new religion in secret at first, but soon displayed it openly, and "his people for the most part followed him". The King made ascending the [[Meneltarma]] (which the worshippers of Ilúvatar had formerly done, in order to make offerings on its summit) a crime punishable by death. Sauron then advised Ar-Pharazôn to destroy [[Nimloth of Númenor|Nimloth]], the White Tree of Númenor, which was the last symbol of the Númenóreans' ancient friendship with the Valar and the [[Elves]]. Ar-Pharazôn was reluctant to do this, because he had heard of Tar-Palantir's prophecy that the Line of Kings would end when the Tree perished.<ref name="Akallabeth"/>

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