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- "Then he was filled with a red wrath and shouted aloud, and displaying his standard, black serpent upon scarlet, he came against the white horse and the green with great press of men; and the drawing of the scimitars of the Southrons was like a glitter of stars."
- —Description of Suladân
Suladân, also known as the Serpent Lord, lived during the War of the Ring, and the time when the grassy lands of Gondor, Rohan, and Dale and the sunny, scorched domains of Harad were in constant conflict, and lead the Desert-Men forces (Haradrim) with merciless precision. He was considered a mysterious being, perhaps even a monster of sorts, by the soldiers of Gondor, a shadow that would strike like an assassin and kill without fault, and even by his own loyal troops.
Suladân was already a renowned chieftain in the armies of Harad when he ventured into ruined Karna and found sword of Mardat. Since then, the name of the Serpent Lord has once more become a famous one throughout Harad, and grows further still with each victory.
Unlike his Haradrim soldiers, whose weapons were of haphazard assortment, some faulty, or mottled together from pieces of other weapons, Suladân reserved for himself the finest armour, bows and poison darts, and used them with the deadly efficiency expected of a Leader of the Sandy Regions. Even the fine equipment of Rhun and Khand could not match Suladân's finery. Suladân was said to be a keen Archer in the southern lands. He is said to have been killed by King Theoden, during the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, though this is uncertain, and the only possible proof that he was present at the time lies in the mention of a warrior, whom Theoden refers to as "the black serpent".
- "Farewell, Master Holbytla! My body is broken. I go to my fathers. And even in their mighty company I shall not now be ashamed. I felled the black serpent. A grim morn, and a glad day, and a golden sunset!"
- —King Theoden of Rohan, last words.
Little more is known of his war against Gondor, or the battles he fought in, nor the real truth of his death, or its circumstances, which still remain as mysterious as the man himself.
It was no coincidence that Suladân was considered a monster, even among his own troops. However, he had no disfigurations. He wore golden plated armour high above the likes of any eastern craftsmanship. Turquoise stones and jewels were encrusted into his armour. His sword is that of Mardat, the former serpent lord of Harad. It was a crooked scimitar, angled so as to decapitate a foe with ease. His helm was the shape of a Golden serpent. On his back he wears a large red banner with the symbol of the eye of Sauron in black. He rides a white war horse, trained by the serpent guard, plated in fine gold armour. He wears fabrics of grey, red and rich purple. Suladân's hair is grey and long, with a grey beard and moustache. He was a true terror to behold on the field of battle.
Few had ever heard the name of Suladân, and indeed it was not uttered for many years after his passing, but he was briefly mentioned in The Return of the King, or at least, the "black serpent" was. Apart from this, he only appeared in a number of fairly minor battles with Gondor.