After the Dagor Aglareb, the great defeat of Morgoth early in the First Age, the Noldor set a siege around Angband to contain their enemy. This Siege of Angband held back Morgoth's forces for the most part, but still his creatures attempted forays into Beleriand from time to time. The most significant of these took place two centuries after the Siege was established: Glaurung the Dragon emerged, and rampaged across Ard-galen until Fingon was able to drive him back to his master in Angband.
After this, nothing more was heard from Morgoth for many long years, and so began the time known to history as the Long Peace. During this period the first Men arrived in Beleriand, allying themselves with the Elves, and both races lived undisturbed even by rumours of Morgoth from the North.
Meanwhile, in the depths of Angband, Morgoth laid his plans and built his armies, until he was ready to launch a vast assault on the Eldar and their new allies, the Edain. So the Long Peace came to an end, one hundred and ninety-five years after it had begun, with rivers of fire bursting from the northern mountains. Now fully grown, Glaurung led the armies of Morgoth, followed by Balrogs and swarms of Orcs, and thus began the Dagor Bragollach, or the Battle of Sudden Flame. After that battle, Beleriand would never know any kind of peace again until its destruction at the end of the First Age.
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