Deck: Lord of the Rings Oracle
Card: Saruman – The False Counsellor
Saruman wasn’t always the bad guy we know from The Lord of the Rings. He began his existence as a Maia (god-like entities one tier below the actual gods of Middle Earth), like Gandalf, like Sauron. He was the eldest of the five Istari (wizards) to arrive in Middle Earth to oppose Sauron, as well as the first of them to arrive. He was the chief of the White Council, and was the most powerful and skilled of the wizards. So what changed? As he studied Sauron’s tactics, his devices and strategy, so that they may better oppose him, he began to admire Sauron’s power and skill. And, eventually, this admiration turned to emulation. Emulation turned to competition. Saruman fell to greed and the lust for power into the darkness he was sent to dispell.
Saruman’s greatest power was that of his words, and he used it extensively for personal gain during the War of the Ring. His silver tongue could persuade the mightiest to lay down their swords, and make the most evil of entities believe he would bow to their will while acting and doing otherwise. His spells could enslave the minds of others, and his voice could bring down mountains. Saruman is best known as the false counselor, as he worked through his servant Wormtongue to enslave the mind of King Theoden of Rohan.
Saruman appears at this time as a warning. There lies within your ranks of trusted advice givers someone who may not be working for your benefit, and has ulterior motives of their own. Be they small or be they large, the fact is they aren’t concerned with you and your situation, but how it can benefit themselves. Because this is Saruman we’re talking about, the false adviser won’t be obvious to you. But consider Saruman’s origin, and his fall from grace. In the beginning he was a trustworthy and reliable ally, but over the course of time and experience had turned his back on his purpose to seek the path of self gain. Before seeking advice from your nearest and dearest, consider what that person might have to gain by giving you advice one way or the other.