Fourth of the five great battles of the Wars of Beleriand fought between the Elves and their allies and the forces of Morgoth. The First, Second and Third Battles had all ended in at least a partial victory for the Elves (and indeed the Third Battle - called the Glorious Battle - had seen the utter defeat of the Orcs and the setting of the centuries-long Siege of Angband).
The Fourth Battle was a turning point: the unforeseen resurgence of Morgoth after nearly four hundred years of quiet. Spreading rivers of fire across the plain of Ard-galen, he sent vast armies of Orcs out of the north, led by Balrogs and the Dragon Glaurung. Many of the outer defences of Beleriand were swept away in this assault, and after the Fourth Battle (better known as the Dagor Bragollach, the Battle of Sudden Flame) Morgoth would never be contained by the Eldar again. From this time on, his power continued to grow across Middle-earth until the War of Wrath that brought the First Age to an end.
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