Fall of Númenor (3319 S.A.)Fall of Númenor (3319 S.A.) - It took decades for Sauron to bring down Númenor, but eventually he succeeded.  He did so by turning Númenóreans away from the Valar, the enemy of his master, Morgoth.


"And seeing the favour that he had of their lord all councillors began to fawn upon him, save one alone, Amandil, lord of Andúnië.  Then slowly a change came over the land, and the hearts of the Elf-friends were sorely troubled, and many fell away out of fear; and although those that remained still called themselves the Faithful, their enemies named them rebels.  For now, having the ears of Men, Sauron with many arguments gainsaid all that the Valar had taught." ~The Silmarillion (Akallabêth)


Having discredited the Valar. he sought to replace them with reverence for the original Dark Lord.


"And Ar-Pharazôn said: 'Who is the Lord of Darkness?'  Then behind locked doors, Sauron spoke to the King, and he lied, saying: 'It is he whose name is not now spoken; for the Valar have deceived you concerning him, putting forward the name of Eru, a phantom devised in the folly of their hearts, seeking to enchain Men in servitude to themselves.  For they are the oracle of this Eru, which speaks only what they will.  But he that is their master shall yet prevail, and he will deliver you from this phantom; and his name is Melkor, Lord of All, Giver of Freedom, and he shall make you stronger than they.' ~The Silmarillion (Akallabêth)


Finally, Sauron achieved his goal.


"Then Ar-Pharazôn the King turned back to the worship of the Dark, and of Melkor the Lord thereof, at first in secret, but ere long openly and in the face of his people; and they for the most part followed him." ~The Silmarillion (Akallabêth)


Fall of Númenor (3319 S.A.)They even built a temple to Melkor.


"But Sauron caused to be built upon the hill in the midst of the city of the Númenóreans, Armenelos the Golden, a mighty temple...Thereafter the fire and smoke went up without ceasing; for the power of Sauron daily increased, and in that temple, with spilling of blood and torment and great wickedness, men made sacrifice to Melkor that he should release them from Death." ~The Silmarillion (Akallabêth)


From that point on, the Númenóreans became oppressors.


"And they sailed now with power and armoury to Middle-earth, and they came no longer as bringers of gifts, nor even as rulers, but as fierce men of war.  And they hunted the men of Middle-earth and took their goods and enslaved them, and many they slew cruelly upon their altars...Thus Ar-Pharazôn, King of the Land of the Star, grew to the mightiest tyrant that had yet been in the world since the reign of Morgoth, though in truth Sauron ruled all from behind the throne." ~The Silmarillion (Akallabêth)


Now that he effectively ruled Númenor, Sauron intended to use its power against the enemy of his old master, and he played upon the Númenóreans' desire to escape death.


"And he said: 'The Valar have possessed themselves of a land where there is no death; and they lie to you concerning it, hiding it as best they may, because of their avarice, and their fear lest the Kings of Men should wrest from them the deathless realm and rule the world in their stead.'...Then Ar-Pharazôn, being besotted, and walking under the shadow of death, for his span was drawing towards its end, hearkened to Sauron; and he began to ponder in his heart how he might make war upon the Valar." ~The Silmarillion (Akallabêth)


Fall of Númenor (3319 S.A.)And that is what he did.  He assembled the mightiest fleet that Númenor had ever mustered.  What he did not know, what Sauron never told him, is that the land of the Valar, Aman, cannot be trodden on by mortal man.  Ar-Pharazôn sealed the fate not only of his fleet, but of his entire nation.


"Then Manwë upon the Mountain called upon Ilúvatar, and for that time the Valar laid down their government of Arda.  But Ilúvatar showed forth his power, and he changed the fashion of the world; and a great chasm opened in the sea between Númenor and the Deathless Lands, and the waters flowed down into it, and the noise and smoke of the cataracts went up to heaven, and the world was shaken.  And all the fleets of the Númenóreans were drawn down into the abyss, and they were drowned and swallowed up forever...In an hour unlooked for by Men this doom befell on the nine and thirtieth day since the passing of the fleets.  Then suddenly fire burst from the Meneltarma, and there came a mighty wind and a tumult of the earth, and the sky reeled, and the hills slid, and Númenor went down into the sea..." ~The Silmarillion (Akallabêth)


Thus ended the greatest Kingdom of Men of the Second Age.