The Valar , angelic beings, enter into the world and try to shape it after a vision given to them by Eru. The initial shape of Arda, chosen by the Valar, was of a symmetrical continent lit by the Two Lamps. Two main continents were created that are of concern to the story: Aman in the west, and Middle-earth in the east. Following this, Melkor hid himself from the Valar in his fortress Utumno in the north of Middle-earth. He also surrounded himself with horrible beasts, many of them Maia in the form of fell animals, known as Balrogs. Middle-earth, by contrast, was in perpetual darkness, and was seldom visited by the Valar.
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Quenta Silmarillion is Quenya translated as the "Tale of the Silmarils". The Sindarin title is Pennas Silevril meaning the same. However the lamps were destroyed by the vicious Melkor. Two main continents were created that are of concern to the story: Aman on the far West, and Middle-earth to the East, over the Great Ocean. Following this, Melkor hid himself from the Valar in an enormous fortress, Utumno. He also surrounded himself with horrible beasts, many of them Maiar in the form of fell animals, known as Balrogs.
Balrogs were to remain his most faithful servants and soldiers ever after. The Valar then made for themselves a home at the utmost West, upon Aman. However everywhere they went, Melkor followed them spoiling the fruit of their labour and damaging their achievements. Utumno did not protect Melkor, however. He was taken prisoner and sentenced to three ages about 9, years of imprisonment.
Utumno was laid bare; but all its evil was not destroyed. Elves are described as anthropomorphic beings, who, however, are immortal and possess many virtues beauty, health, ability to communicate with nature , beyond the share of Men.
The Elves were met by the Valar and invited to join them in the West; however Melkor managed to reach some of the Elves even earlier. It is said that from them he bred the hideous race of Orcs whom both he and his follower Sauron used as soldiers. Some of the Elves refused to go westward. They became known as the Avari. A third house, called the Teleri lingered on the eastern shore of the Great Sea and in the west of Middle-earth. The groups of Teleri that remained are termed Sindar , Nandor and Falathrim.
See: Sundering of the Elves. At some time between the imprisonment of Melkor and his release, the Valar created the Two Trees, Laurelin and Telperion , which filled Valinor with light. The Silmarils contained the light of the Two Trees of Valinor. However he returned to evil quickly.
Through a vicious design he managed to destroy the Two Trees and to steal the Silmarils. Then he fled eastward, to the Middle-earth. For this he and his followers were forbidden to approach Aman ever again. There he joined with the Sindar, who had been in Middle-earth all along. Morgoth, having returned to Middle-earth, fortified his previous secondary fortress, Angband with its capital at Thangorodrim.
From there he waged war upon the Sindar. They adopted the Sindarin language instead of their native Quenya. As time passed, Morgoth gathered more and more force. Three hundred years after the coming of the Noldor to Beleriand, Middle-earth witnessed the awakening of Men, the Secondborn or the Followers.
Most of them allied with the Elves in order to defend Beleriand from Morgoth. However neither elvish skill, nor mannish resolve succeeded in defying him. One after another, the domains of Elves and Men were destroyed and filled with evil.
He was allowed to land in Aman, and to plead with the Valar for mercy towards the Elves and Men. The Valar agreed to pardon the Noldor. They set out to fight Morgoth and were victorious. Morgoth was expelled from Arda. However during the conflict, the very continent of Beleriand was destroyed and sunk, thus forming a new shoreline for Middle-earth, hundreds of miles to the east.
The Valar offered Elves their forgiveness and the right to come to Aman. Many of them did indeed leave Middle-Earth, weary of centuries of warfare against the ever-growing evil. His Silmaril became a bright star. One Silmaril was sunk in the water of the Great Ocean, and the third was lost in the depths of the Earth.
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Many Ainur accept, taking physical form and becoming bound to that world. The greater Ainur become known as the Valar , while the lesser Ainur are called the Maiar. The Valar attempt to prepare the world for the coming inhabitants Elves and Men , while Melkor, who wants Arda for himself, repeatedly destroys their work; this goes on for thousands of years and, through waves of destruction and creation, the world takes shape. Valaquenta "Account of the Valar" [T 4] describes Melkor and each of the 14 Valar in detail, as well as a few of the Maiar.