Fire of Orthanc

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The Devilry of Saruman, or the fire of Orthanc, is a type of mysterious explosive substance that was supposedly created by Saruman at Orthanc.[1]

History

It was used by Saruman's army of Uruk-Hai and Dunlendings to blast the culvert of the Deeping Wall during the Battle of the Hornburg at Helm's Deep.[1] It is unknown whether it was just a single substance, or if it was made up of a list of an assortment of ingredients, which would potentially most likely would have included gunpowder. Saruman is also said to have possibly have used it in the Battle of Isengard against the Ents. It may possibly have been the cause of the death of Beechbone.

It is possible that a similar substance was used by the Witch-king's forces to blast breaches in the Rammas Echor at the onset of the Siege of Gondor.[2] The Wild Men when later speaking with the Rohirrim said the destruction of the wall was caused by "earth-thunder".[3]

References