With the Valar at ease and celebrating the fruits of the Spring of Arda with a grand feast, Melkor returned and settled in the far north of the world where the light of the lamp Illuin was dim. Here, he erected in secret the titanic underworld stronghold known as Utumno, situated in the Iron Mountains (Ered Engrin). It permeated a deadly cold in the northernmost reaches of Arda as Melkor and his evil servants plotted and toiled to despoil the works of the Valar. Melkor blighted and poisoned the earth, causing living beings to fall sick and rot. As the Valar began searching for Melkor, the only possible source of the diseases, Melkor struck first and toppled the Lamps of the Valar. The fall of Illuin and Ormal threw the seas into chaos and ignited the world. Fire ravaged the surface of Arda and its Spring burned to cinders. The symmetry of the world was lost and the Valar managed nothing more than save what little they could from the inferno. With all their power devoted to stopping the tumult of the world, the Valar were unable to assail Utumno.
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