Nazgûl Character Glossary
Adûnaphel the Quiet*
Lvl: 32. Race: Black Númenórean. Profession: Bard. Home: Armenelos in Númenór; later Umbar; still later Barad-dûr in Mordor and Dol Guldur in Rhovanion. Aka: Lady of the West (Adûnaic); Umbaratári; Haratári; the Quiet Avenger; Ard Once Vain; the Seventh.
RM Stats: St-62; Qu-99; Em-99; In-100; Pr-100; Ag-96; Co-35; Me-91; Re-71; SD-77. MERP Stats: St-62; Ag-96; Co-35; Ig-80; It-100; Pr-100. Appearance: (101).
Skill Bonuses: Climb45, Swim85, Ride120, DTrap65, PLock85, S&H85, Perc132, Rune65, S&W100 Chan30, Amb13, Li7, AMov80, ADef40, MASt35, MASw55, BDev11, Acro30, Act120, Cont100, Cook.30, AnimT30, Dance90, Div50, Fals75, FAid60, For90, Fren40, Gamb60, Herd30, LWork30, Math40, Med60, Mus120, Nav85, PSp80, Row30, Sail90, Sed165, Sig80, Sing125, Ski30, Smith50, SpMas65, Star70, Subd35, Track90, Trad100, TrapB35, Trick120, Tumb50, WeaW80, Wood20, Admin90, Craf80, Dipl120, Stra110, Tac100.
Adûnaphel was born in her uncle Adûnazil’s home (Bar Forowing) on Númenór ’s North Cape in Forostar in the year S.A. 1823. Her family possessed noble blood and owned extensive lands in Forostar and Orrostar. Even as a young child, she was recognized as being exceptionally beautiful, but her youth was scarred by the death of her very old father (Adûnahil) and she dwelled in remorse for many years. She fought with her unstable mother Alcariel, whose ties with the Eldar had disturbed her father and had been the source of marital strife. Adûnaphel’s despair over her father’s death and the blame she attributed to her mother contributed to her fervent support of her uncle’s small “Adûnaic” faction in the court of Tar-Ciryatan (r. S.A. 1869 – 2029).
Like Adûnazil and his ally Prince Tindomul (Er-Mûrazôr, the future Witch-king), Adûnaphel sought to sever Westernesse’s close ties with the Elves, in hope that the Edain could build along their own cultural line and expand their military and economic strength. Her ultimate hope, of course, was to see Númenórean dominion over all Men. This aim drove her to leave Númenór in S.A. 1914.
Adûnaphel sought her own crown, but no such opportunity existed in her homeland. She followed the course of many of her royal allies and went to Middle-earth. Landing with her retainers at the haven of Umbar, then a small Númenórean anchorage, she settled at Vamag (Har. “Blood Fell”) on the northwestern tip of the great peninsula. There, she erected a citadel that became the focus of her expanding domain.
By S.A. 1939, Adûnaphel overtly controlled much of Endor’s coastal lands between Umbar and the river Hamen, while her agents in Umbar manipulated the growing trade center and the territory to the south. The Lord of Vamag became a major influence among the Haradrim as well, her power and rapacious nature overwhelming the primitive Haradan fishermen and nomads. To them, Adûnaphel was King. She ruled much of western Near Harad as Ard the Vain, preparing for the eventual conquest of Umbar and Far Harad. All seemed well to the Lady of the West.
Tar-Ciryatan of Númenór was a proud King, however, and in S.A. 1987 he demanded that Adûnaphel pay him both homage and taxes. He ordered her to remove her warriors from Umbar and to submit to Númenórean rule. This edict drove Adûnaphel into a rage and she refused to abide by the harsh terms issued from Armenelos. Instead, she sent envoys to Armenelos in hope of reaching a compromise. For the next fourteen years Adûnaphel and her overlord engaged in diplomatic sparring and quiet intrigue, all the while recognizing Númenór ’s supremacy.
Sauron of Mordor saw the dispute as an opportunity to achieve two goals: first, the defeat of a rival for Haradan favor; and secondly, a means of delaying the expansion of a much more potent potential enemy. Sauron’s minions fought a number of small wars with Adûnaphel for control of Near Harad, and the Dark Lord hoped to seize the initiative in the region. More importantly, the Lord of the Rings desired a delay in Tar-Ciryatan’s planned expansion around the strategic firth of Umbar. Only Númenór rivaled Mordor for control over the realms of the Secondborn and, after Sauron’s defeat in Eriador in S.A. 1700, the Evil One required a great deal of time to rebuild his shattered strength. The Dark Lord saw in Tar-Ciryatan what he had long feared — a prideful and hungry Adan monarch bent on taking Middle-earth.
Sauron’s agents, including a pair of Adûnaphel’s captains, kept him well informed about the Lady of the West. He learned of her vanity and her hatred of the Eldar and discerned her yearning for immortality, so in S.A. 2001 he approached her with the gift of a Ring of Power and the prospect of eternal life. Reviled by her own King and desirous of the gifts offered by the Dark Lord, Adûnaphel accepted the Ring and fell under the sway of the Shadow. She became the seventh King (Ruling Queen) of Men to become a Nazgûl.
Adûnaphel the Ringwraith
Adûnaphel remained at Vamag for nearly three hundred years after becoming a Ringwraith, and it was during this relatively brief period that she became known among the Haradrim as Ard Once Vain. Her Black Númenórean subjects called her Adûnaphel the Quiet. While she had once boldly displayed her beauty and strength, the fallen Númenórean lord cloaked herself behind a suit of black armor, never showing her face and never appearing during daylight hours. The woman that claimed kingship over much of Near Harad retreated into seclusion and delt with both friends and foes through carefully selected minions. Mornings at Vamag no longer rang with the pleasant call from her melodious lute.
In early S.A. 2280, Adûnaphel, ruling as Ard, ordered the tribes of her realm to assail Umbar (then a royal haven of Tar-Atanamir). Although she counted few Númenórean warriors in her fold, the Wraith’s army outnumbered the proud defenders. Quality prevailed, though, when Adûnaphel’s forces fell into a trap in the narrow defile at Cirith Glingalas. The well-disciplined Dúnedain broke the lightly-armed Haradrim with spear volleys and turned the ensuing melee into a rout. Adûnaphel’s superior cavalry proved of little use.
The Dagor-i-Glingalas (“Battle of the Gleaming Shore”) effectively ended Adûnaphel’s hope of ruling Harad. Two weeks after the fray, she abandoned Vamag and moved northward, leaving the great peninsula to her enemy. King Tar-Atanamir (r. S.A. 2029– 2221) ordered Umbar strengthened and expanded, making it the greatest citadel in the region.
For the next nine hundred and eighty-one years, Adûnaphel ruled the arid reaches of central Near Harad on behalf of Sauron. She established her new hold and capital at Leaguer on the south bank of the Haman, about four hundred miles from Mordor. The Kingdom of Ard lasted until Ar-Pharazôn’s invasion (S.A. 3261) and the surrender of the Dark Lord (S.A. 3262) before the might of Númenór. With the defeat of her mentor, she retreated into the Black Land.
After the Downfall of Númenór and the return of the Lord of the Rings in S.A. 3319, Adûnaphel directed the campaigns waged by Sauron’s troops in Harondor and Near Harad, and she commanded the southern flank of the horde that invaded South Ithilien in 3429. Her fate, however, was tied to her Evil Master’s, and she passed into the Shadows when Barad-dûr was broken and Sauron was overthrown at the end of the Second Age.
The Third Age
Adûnaphel returned to Endor around T. A. 1050 and entered her ruined home at Lugarlur just after the armies of Hyarmendacil I of Gondor conquered Harad. The removal of Gondorian strength from the Southland occupied the Úlair for the next five hundred and ninety years. From her base in the upper Hamen valley, Adûnaphel slowly reasserted her power in Near Harad and coerced and misled the Haradrim to rebel. Her machinations were interrupted by the Corsair takeover of Umbar in T.A. 1448, but by 1634 even they unwittingly pursued her goals. In that year, Corsair raiders slew the Gondorian King (Minardil),
The Great Plague that ravaged northwest Endor in 1635 – 37 weakened Gondor and led to the abandonment of the Watch on Mordor. Sauron, residing at Dol Guldur in Rhovanion, sent Adûnaphel and the other Nazgûl (except the Witch-king in Angmar) into his ancient kingdom so that they could surreptitiously prepare the land for his return. Adûnaphel, like Ûvatha and Akhôrahil, went to Num, in the south of the Black Land.
With the arrival of the Witch-king in Mordor (T.A. 1975), the Úlairi gathered for the attack on the stronghold that served as the last vestige of Gondor’s guardianship over the Black Land. The surprise assault through Cirith Ungol in T.A. 2000 and the subsequent two-year besiegement of Minas Ithil ended with the taking of the fortress city that served as Ithilien’s capital and housed one of the seven prized Seeing-stones. Renamed Minas Morgul, the marble-shrouded town became the new home of the Ringwraiths.
In T.A. 2941, Sauron came home to the Dark Tower, leaving his threatened hold at Dol Guldur in Rhovanion. Ten years later, however, he felt that the Tower of Sorcery was once again safe. Leaving six of the Nazgûl at Minas Morgul, he commanded Khamûl the Easterling and Adûnaphel to fly north and reopen the fortress in Mirkwood. Ûvatha the Messenger served as the link between the two Úlairi and their Lord in Mordor. Adûnaphel’s return to Dol Guldur in T.A. 2951 marked her last permanent move, for she resided at the Tower of Sorcery until her demise.
In T.A. 3018, the fallen Lady rode into the Anduin Valley, Rohan, and then Eriador during the Black Riders’ search for the Shire and the One Ring. Her journey took her past Isengard and through Tharbad across the Stone Ford, and into the land of the Hobbits. Riding with Khamûl and Hoarmûrath of Dír, she was in the Green Hill Country when the Easterling nearly discovered Frodo and company on the level road to Woody End. She later accompanied Khamûl and Hoarmûrath into the Bolger enclave at Crickhollow, only to be turned to flight by the horns of the Bucklanders. Joining Ûvatha on the road to the east of Bree, the group rejoined their brethren (who had assailed the Company on Weathertop) in the Lone Lands beyond the Weather Hills. The Riders’ pursuit culminated at the Ford of the Bruinen, where Elven magic and the valor of Glorfindel enabled the wounded Ringbearer to escape. The skirmish by the riverside ended when the flood waters claimed the Nagual’s horses. Like those of her brethren, Adûnaphel’s steed perished in the foam summoned by Elrond.
During the months that followed, the Quiet Wraith resumed her residence at Dol Guldur and prepared for the attacks against the Elven Kingdoms in Lórien and northern Mirkwood. Adûnaphel led part of the army of Orcs that assailed Galadriel’s realm across the Anduin, but her assault proved futile. Her retreating horde fled south into the Wold, where they were destroyed by Ents. The Nazgûl went north, joining Khamûl’s host and the onslaught against Thranduil’s woodland domain. Once again, the forces of Darkness lost the day, compelling Adûnaphel to retire. Events at Pelennor Fields and in North Ithilien forced her recall to Mordor.
The Witch-king died before the gates of Minas Tirith, so only eight Nazgûl engaged the Army of the Free Peoples at the Battle of Morannon. Attacking atop Fell Beasts only ten days after Adûnaphel’s return, the Ringwraiths dueled the Great Eagles above the raging battle before the Gates of Mordor. Their melee invoked images of the great sky born warriors of the Elder Days, but the fight was short. As Frodo, Sam, and Gollum stood upon Mount Doom and threatened the destruction of the Ruling Ring, the Dark Lord sent his Nazgûl into a wild flight southward, hoping that they could stay the loss of the One Ring. The Úlairi failed, and Adûnaphel passed out of Ea.
Adûnaphel stood 6’0” tall and was strong, yet graceful of build. Her fine and rather bewitching features hid an inner fire that drove her to shun relationships and commit a number of brutal acts, even while as a mere youth. She enjoyed a very physical life and felt most comfortable in her gold-inlaid black scale armor. After taking a Ring of Power and becoming a Wraith, she abandoned her open-faced “lion’s cowl” helmet in favor of a visored helm shaped to resemble the stylized head of a Fell-turtle.
Adûnaphel’s Principal Items
- (“Fire’s Edge”) +30 Elf-slaying broadsword forged out of black Ithilnaur and inlaid with gold. Its red pommel is capped with a large (500 gp) magic spherical ruby. So long as the ruby remains inset into the sword, the weapon delivers a Heat critical (of equal severity) in addition to any normal critical strike it yields, and the wielder receives a +30 RR bonus versus any fire attacks.
- (“Night-piercer”) +25 Númenórean steel composite bow. Whenever it is fired at night and strikes a target, the target must make a RR versus the wielder’s lvl or become illuminated by a bright yellowish glow for a # of rds equal to the RR failure. Attacks against the glowing target (by anyone) are made without any penalty for darkness, and attacks by the Night-piercer receive an added +25 bonus.
- (“Memory’s Strings”) Lute capable of storing sounds made on its strings for a number of days equal to user’s level. Should user so designate (with 1 rd’s concentration), the lute will play a song on its own, so long as the user is within a range equal to 5’ x user’s lvl. The instrument is a +6 (Channeling/Mentalism) spell adder.
- (“Sorcery Knife”) +15 dagger which strikes as a short sword. Its long, thin enchanted blade gleams with a cold glint. It dissolves when exposed to sunlight and breaks off whenever the knife yields a critical strike. Once the blade is embedded in a victim, the victim must roll a RR versus the wielder’s lvl. Failure results in the blade finding its way to the victim’s heart within a number of days equal to 50 minus the RR failure number (e.g., RR failure by 10 means 40 days). Should the shard reach the victim’s heart, the victim becomes a wraith-servant (i.e., an undead slave) of the knife-wielder, operating thereafter at –50. Failure also results in a debilitating poisoning, and the victim operates with a penalty equal to twice the RR failure number (until he becomes a Wraith).
Adûnaphel’s Special Powers
- 96 PP. Base spell OB is 32; directed spell OB is 30. Adûnaphel knows the Sound Control list to 30th lvl, the Controlling Song list to 25th lvl, and all other Base Bard lists to 20th lvl, and three Open Channeling lists to 5th level (MERP), as well as three Closed Mentalism lists to 10th lvl, and three Open Mentalism lists to 5th lvl (RM).
- In any given round, Adûnaphel can determine the exact location of the source of any one sound made within 100’.
Lvl: 36. Race: Black Númenórean. Profession: Sorcerer/Mage. Home: Barad Carannûn in southwest Endor; later Luglûrak in Nûrn, Dol Guldur in Rhovanion, and Minas Morgul in Ithilien. Aka: The Friend of the Lord (Adûnaic); Herudil (Quenya); the Blind Sorcerer; the Far King; the Fifth.
RM Stats: St-96; Qu-86; Em-100; In-100; Pr-64; Ag-77; Co-51; Me-94; Re-92; SD-54. MERP Stats: St-96; Ag-77; Co-51; Ig-93; It-100; Pr-64. Appearance: (84).
Skill Bonuses: Climb125, Swim75, Ride85, DTrap45, Plock105, S&H100, Perc129, Rune50, S&W145 Chan135, Amb20, Li9, AMov30, ADef30, BDev8, Act105, Cont60, Cook80, AnimT30, Fals90, FAid50, For65, Fren80, Gamb95, Math90, Med80, Mus60, Nav100, PSp90, Row45, Sail85, Sed35, Sig100, Sing35, Smith55, SpMas95, Star30, Subd30, Track70, Trad55, TrapB30, Trick120, Tumb50, WeaW129, Admin95, Craf80, Dipl106, Stra100, Tac119.
Akhôrahil, the second of the fallen Númenórean lords to fall under the enduring spell of Sauron’s Ruling Ring, was born at a manor overlooking the waters of Nísinen in Númenór in S.A. 1888. His father was Ciryamir, the third Friend of Tar-Ciryatan’s brother Ciryatir (making him a cousin of Mûrazôr, the future Witch-king). An obviously brilliant young man, Akhôrahil was spoiled at an early age, for his family enjoyed great wealth and reaped many of the benefits derived from Tar-Ciryatan’s aggressive overseas plundering.
Ciryamir was awarded the license to create and administer a Númenórean kingdom in Middle-earth on the very day his son reached the age of fifteen, and the next year (S.A. 1904) the family sailed east to the haven of Hyarn in southwest Endor. They landed at Midyears and journeyed up the river Aronduin to the newly-built citadel of Marath Carnadúnê (Q. “Tower of the Red Sunset”; S, “Barad Carannûn”). There, Ciryamir founded the Kingdom of Ciryatandor along the northern flank of the Ered Laranor (S, “Yellow Mountains”; Q. “Orolanari”), becoming a Client-king of Númenór.
Akhôrahil loved the new land and reveled in the virtually absolute power his father wielded over the subject peoples of the area. Like most of Ciryamir’s Adan followers, he assumed himself to be superior and grew proud of his own name — as if it were a title. The Friend of the Lord became rich in his own right and began to experiment with enchantments and incantations.
Unfortunately, the young man’s thirst for wealth and power spurred him to covet his father’s throne. Each year of waiting hurt more than the last. Then, in the year S.A. 1918, Akhôrahil acted upon his desires. Signing a perverse pact with an aged Haradan Priest, he exchanged his eyes for two great gems — the Eyes of the Well. These artifacts enabled him to cast deadly spells and to become the most powerful Sorcerer in the realm. Akhôrahil acquired control of his father’s mind and instilled such despair that King Ciryamir took his own life.
Physically blind, but capable of magically sensing things like a seeing man, Akhôrahil ascended the throne of Ciryatandor on the first day of S.A. 1919. He proclaimed himself the Storm King and married his sister Akhôrahil within a week. Then, he levied a huge tax in order to placate the Númenórean court. Securely in control, the Blind Sorcerer proceeded to arm his young kingdom and conquer the neighboring lands along the southern edge of Far Harad: taking Chennacatt in S.A. 1929, Isra in S.A., 1933, and Kirmlesra in S.A. 1979. By S.A. 1999, his armies conquered Harshandat and claimed the western shores of the wide Bay of Ormal.
The campaigns waged by Akhôrahil’s captains incited the Lord of the Rings to move against Ciryatandor. A sage emissary journeyed south from Mordor, offering the Black Númenórean a wealth of knowledge regarding magic and bearing the unlikely promise of immortality. Excited, the Blind Sorcerer agreed to ascribe to the Dark Lord’s secretive treaty, thereby betraying his own King Tar-Ciryatan. The pact between Ciryatandor and Mordor was sealed when Akhôrahil accepted the Ring of Power from Sauron in S.A. 2000. Thus, the Storm King became the fifth Lord of Men to become a Nazgûl.
Akhôrahil the Ringwraith
Akhôrahil’s greed led to the quick transformation of his position in the court at Barad Carannun. Although he had always been considered bizarre, and while both his retainers and his immediate family feared him, the Storm King still interacted with his aides and household. All this changed after S.A. 2000.
Akhôrahil became a virtual recluse and his wife eventually fled the kingdom with her children, taking them to the Númenórean haven at Eloma. A purge ensued, and the men closest to the Númenórean King perished alongside the courtiers that the Ringwraith considered too bold or independent. New governors assumed control of Ciryatandor’s five provinces. Behind the scenes, Akhôrahil directed the careful metamorphosis of his realm, staying wary of upsetting the Adan monarch in Númenór. Tribute continued to flow westward over the sea to Armenelos, and no open relations with Mordor occurred during the next two hundred and fifty years.
By S.A. 2250, the Storm King presided over a client kingdom that was ostensibly Dúnadan but was in fact Black Númenórean. Akhôrahil ruled a domain that stretched from the Great Sea (Belegaer) to the huge Bay of Ormal on behalf of the Lord of the Rings. These strategic lands straddled all the routes across the Yellow Mountains and into southernmost Middle-earth. Sauron’s hopes of keeping the Men of the West out of Far Harad rested with his Wraith-servant, and preparations for the conquest of Harad and the regions along the northern and eastern coasts of the Ormal Sea neared completion when Akhôrahil declared himself independent of Númenór.
Tar-Atanamir the Great of Númenór died in S.A. 2221, the first King of Westernesse to pass without first relinquishing the scepter. His death brought Tar-Ancalimon to the throne and fostered a renewal of the programs that Tar-Atanamir had abandoned during the infirm years preceding his demise. After reordering Númenór, the new King turned to his colonies in Endor and sought a reaffirmation of their loyalty. His special envoy to Ciryatandor arrived in the spring of S.A. 2250.
Akhôrahil realized that Númenór’s desire for conquest remained unabated, and that Tar-Ancalimon planned to crush pretenders who sought to rule in his stead in the lands claimed by Númenór, The Nazgûl ordered the Númenórean emissary held as a hostage and renounced his ties to his island birthplace. Ciryatandor became an official ally of the Black Land.
Tar-Ancalimon ransomed his messenger and proceeded to plan the reconquest of the territory held in thrall by the Storm King. In S.A. 2280, the same armada that reinforced Umbar brought a fleet that landed in Tulwang, only two hundred miles to the northwest of the Ringwraith’s citadel. Akhôrahil sent an army to contest the debarkment, but they arrived too late. Scouts reported the landfall and the Nazgûl’s warlord ordered a retreat to the foothills of their kingdom. Unfortunately for Akhôrahil’s host, the Númenórean’s force-marched and caught them in arid lowlands near the Oasis of Fult. The Men of the West crushed the Endorians, leaving Ciryatandor’s western borders virtually defenseless.
Akhôrahil fled his kingdom and went north to join his master in Mordor before suffering the embarrassment of seeing his own capital razed. His flight ended the brief era of Ciryatandor’s independence and preserved the prospects for further Adan exploitation in Far Harad and the lands to the south.
Akhôrahil oversaw Num in Mordor for the next nine hundred and eighty-one years. The slave-state served as the Black Land’s breadbasket and the Storm King exacted torment from any subject who threatened Sauron’s plans. His ruthless rule insured the supply of precious food for Sauron’s burgeoning armies. Vast herds of wild beasts fed the vast Orc hordes, while grain from the fields around Nûrnen nourished the Men of Mordor.
Ar-Pharazôn’s invasion in S.A. 3261 precluded the completion of Sauron’s armament, and the Evil One was forced to surrender in the face of superior Adan arms (S.A. 3262). The Evil One journeyed out of the Black Land in order to avert the destruction of his kingdom at the hands of the Númenórean invaders, enabling the Nazgûl to flee into hiding. While Sauron went to Westernesse in bondage, the Ringwraiths patiently awaited his return.
After the Downfall of Númenór in S.A. 3319 and the reappearance of the Dark Lord in Middle-earth, Akhôrahil returned to his castle of Luglurak on the southern shores of Nûrnen. He remained there until S.A. 3429, when he led the host of Num in the army that assailed Ithilien in Gondor. Although the invasion proved successful, the Last Alliance under Gil-galad and Elendil eventually crushed Mordor’s mightiest forces and laid siege to the Dark Tower. Barad-dûr defenses yielded in 3441, and both Sauron and his Nine Ringwraiths passed into the Shadows as the Second Age ended.
The Third Age
Akhôrahil took form again in Middle-earth around T.A. 1050, but for the next five hundred and ninety years he resided in the Far South at Ny Chennacatt in the northern cliffs of the Yellow Mountains. Sauron called him north in T.A. 1640, and ordered the Storm-king to return to Num and quietly replenish the strength of the fief in anticipation for the Dark Lord’s reopening of Mordor. He joined four of his brethren and entered Gorgoroth later the same year. After slowly rebuilding the Dark Lord’s strongholds on the adjoining plateau of Nûrn, the Blind Lord received a visit from the Witch-king in T.A. 1975.
The Lord of the Nazgûl arrived in Mordor after the fall of his kingdom in Angmar earlier that year. He gathered the Úlairi and plotted the final moves required to secure their master’s home. During the next twenty-five years, they assembled their forces and hid the plans to surprise the Dúnadan city at Minas Ithil.
The Fell Riders struck in T.A. 2000, startling the valiant Gondorian garrison but failing to take the city. A two-year siege sued. Culminating with a tremendous melee before the shattered gates of the marble-walled town, the last battle claimed every remaining defender. Minas Ithil and its Palantír fell into the hands of the Ringwraiths in T.A. 2002, thereby ending any hold the south kingdom retained over Mordor. From then onward, the moonlit city was called Minas Morgul.
Akhôrahil stayed in Minas Morgul until the end of the Third Age. Although he frequently journeyed to both Luglurak in Nûrn and Barad-dûr in Gorgoroth, the Storm-king kept to the side of his captain, the Witch-king. Both fallen Númenórean Lords shared a similar past and enjoyed their special rapport. Each was a Sorcerer; so it was only natural that they spent a great deal of time together. Finally, although only fifth in rank among the Nine, Akhôrahil became the Witch-king’s most valued lieutenant.
In T.A. 3018, the Storm-king took part in the search for the Ruling Ring and eventually rode with the Witch-king to the borders of the elusive Shire in Eriador. The ultimately unsuccessful sojourn carried him through the Anduin Valley, past Isengard and the Gap of Rohan, and then through Tharbad and Andrath to the land called Sûza. Akhôrahil stayed close by the side of the Lord of Morgul throughout the search. He entered Bree and was one of the five Úlairi to encounter the Company on Weathertop. When the Nine rendezvoused in the Lone Lands and tried to cut off Frodo at the Ford of the Bruinen, Akhôrahil and his black mount were the last to be drawn into the turbulent floodwaters summoned by Elrond.
The fight at the ford cost the Ringwraith’s their horses but, more importantly, cost them valuable time. Forced to return to Minas Morgul, the Storm King would never again encounter the Ringbearer. The Nazgûl retired and thereafter relied on their Fell Beasts for transport. Akhôrahil and four other Black Riders continued the search for the One Ring from the sky, but others prepared Sauron’s warriors for the coming invasion into the Free Lands.
The Storm-king was one of the four Úlairi to take part in the epic battle of Pelennor Fields, and there he saw his Lord perish in single combat with Éowyn of Rohan. After the ensuing defeat and retreat, Akhôrahil flew to Udûn and joined the other seven remaining Nazgûl for the cataclysmic strike against the Army of the Free Peoples at Morannon. The Fell Riders attack out of the cloudy sky and the subsequent melee with the Great Eagles was cut short, however, for Sauron realized that his end was sealed unless the Ringwraiths could stop Frodo and Sam from casting the One Ring into the fires of Mount Doom. All the eight surviving Nazgûl flew southward, but they never arrived. The Ruling Ring, and all that was tied to it, perished in the wake of its fiery unmaking. Thus, Akhôrahil passed out of Ea.
Features and Family
Akhôrahil stood strong and straight. 6’7” tall, he was a physically powerful figure, albeit somewhat graceless. His blindness added to his already aloof air, conveying the image of haughtiness. Still, he was proud of his bejeweled face and took care never to obscure the beautiful gems that replaced his lost eyes. White garb and grey armor remained his favorite trappings, even after he became a Ringwraith. They went well with his silvery mithril-inlaid helm, which served as the Crown of Ciryatandor.
Akhôrahil’s wife Akhôraphil gave birth to seven children, but only three (Lôkhazôr, Arkhahil, and Ûndaphel) survived infancy.
Akhôrahil Principal Items
- (“Yellow Hammer”) +20 gold steel Man-slaying mace inlaid with copper.
- Bracers of Chennacatt
- Bracers that add +20 to wearer’s DB and enable wearer to parry a foe’s melee blow with a bonus equal to twice his reduced OB (e.g., if wearer elects to parry with 50 of his OB, he can use the bracers and reduce his opponent’s attack by 100). The bracers cannot be used while a shield is carried.
- Eyes of the Well
- Two enchanted spherical star sapphires which have a milky surface in all but one circular area, which remains clear and bright blue; thus they look like eyes. Akhôrahil long ago replaced his real eyes with these astounding gems, one of which serves as a +5 Channeling spell adder and the other of which acts as a +5 Essence spell adder. The Eyes enable the wearer to sense both objects and presences (of a lvl lower than wearer or of a lvl higher if the target fails a RR), regardless of condition or obstructions, within a range of 2000 feet. The wearer, however, must concentrate as if looking, and he can only see things in the direction of his gaze. In addition, the Eyes enable the wearer to know and use any Base Mentalist spell.
- (“Sorcery Knife”) 4 – 20 dagger which strikes as a short sword. Its long, thin enchanted blade gleams coldly. It dissolves when exposed to sunlight and breaks off whenever the knife yields a critical strike. Once the blade is in a victim, the victim must roll a RR versus the wielder’s lvl. Failure results in the blade finding its way to the victim’s heart within a number of days equal to 50 minus the RR failure number (e.g., RR failure by 18 means 32 days). Should the shard reach the victim’s heart, he become a wraith-servant (i.e., an undead slave) of the knife-wielder, operating thereafter at –50. Failure also results in a debilitating poisoning: the victim operates at a penalty equal to twice the RR failure number (until he becomes Undead).
Akhôrahil Special Powers
- 99 PP. Base spell OB is 33; directed spell OB is 45. Akhôrahil knows all the Base Mage, Open Essence, Open Channeling, and Base Animist lists to 10th lvl (MERP), as well as all the Base Sorcerer lists to 30th lvl, all the Base Mentalism lists to 50th lvl, and all the Closed Essence and Closed Channeling lists to 5th lvl (RM).
- Akhôrahil can instinctively feel the air and tell exactly what direction he faces. He can also determine the exact velocity and density of the breeze. The Storm-king’s sense of touch is unparalleled among Men.
Dwar of Waw*
Lvl: 39. Race: Wôlim. Profession: Mage. Home: Waw in southeasternmost Endor; later Barad-dûr in Mordor and Minas Morgul in Ithilien. Aka: Dendra Dwar; King of Waw; Dog King or Dog-lord; the Third.
RM Stats: St-96; Qu-97; Em-92; In-100; Pr-100; Ag-96; Co-61; Me-47; Re-94; SD-91. MERP Stats: St-96; Ag-96; Co-61; Ig-71; It-100; Pr-100. Appearance: (94).
Skill Bonuses: Climb75, Swim80, Ride75, DTrap35, PLock45, S&H75, Perc119, Rune100, S&W117, Chan65, Amb9, Li7, AMov20, ADef15, MASt20, MASw20, BDev9, Acro35, Act75, AnimT165, Cave35, Cont55, Cook25, Div85, Fals25, FAid55, For75, Gamb40, Herd116, LWork30, Math65, Med85, Nav85, PSp60, RMas106, Row75, Sail100, Sig95, Sing20, Smith85, SpMas55, Star95, Subd20, Track65, Trad30, TrapB50, Trick60, WeaW85, Wood35, Admin70, Craf20, Dip145, Stra90, Tac75.
Dendra Dwar was born in Horm on Waw, the Isle of Dogs, in S.A. 1949. His early life proved difficult, for he was the son of a simple Wôlim fisherman and he was forced to work at the age of seven. The labor hardened him for the trials to come, and kept his mind off his mother Ombril, who died during his birth.
In the year S.A. 1965, the K’prur of Hent landed on Waw and burned Horm. K’prur ships savagely stalked the Wôlim fishing vessels and sank all but the few that reached safe hiding in the sea-caves in the cliffs of Waw’s western coast. Young Dwar, his brother Dwem, and his father Dendra Wim escaped, but a wound cost Wim his life several weeks later. Dwar pledged to avenge the attack on his people and the murder of his beloved father.
Realizing that his own people possessed neither the skill nor the aims to defeat Hent, Dwar sailed northward to Wôl, the warlike realm of the mainland Wôlim tribes. There, he learned the ways of the forest and the fields, and became an able warrior. The young man served in the Wôlim campaigns against the Brôdan and Ts’dan peoples to the east. He rose to become a scout, working with the trained warhounds that cast fear into the lightly armed enemies of his mentors.
Dwar’s fascination with warcraft did not prevent him from seeking a more powerful means of exacting his revenge, and in S.A. 1969 he entered an arcane school devoted to the ancient magical arts. Studying under the priest Embra Slil, Dwar became a Mage.
Dwar emerged as the Lord of Dogs in S.A. 1980. Surrounded by a small but capable contingent he wrested the citadel of Alk Waw from the K’prur overseer, establishing a foothold on the remote peninsula in southeastern Waw. K’prur warriors besieged the hold, but packs of huge dogs roamed the surrounding woods and kept them at bay for over a year. Attempts to bum the forest failed, and a series of disquieting supernatural events sowed discord among the attackers. In S.A. 1982, Dwar ordered his fighters to break the siege and sent his warriors forth into battle. Operating in conjunction with nearly two thousand warhounds, they smashed the K’prur line and scattered the army that had occupied Waw for seventeen years. The island was reconquered within a month.
Unfortunately for the Wôlim, Dwar established himself as the High-lord of their isle and refused to reconvene the Elder Councils. Waw became the Isle of Dogs, the domain of the Dog-king, and no one dared defy his harsh edicts. Dwar tightened his control in the ensuing years, making Horm a monumental port and turning the southwestern forest into a preserve for his hounds.
In order to satiate his desire for power and vengeance, however, the Dog-king proclaimed that he was heir to all the surrounding islands and coastal realms, notably the peninsular kingdom of Hent to the north. His wrights constructed a fleet during the next year. Between S.A. 1985 and S.A. 1998, the Dog-warriors pillaged port towns and terrorized the coasts for hundreds of miles. All of the islands bet ween Waw and the mainland — as well as the great Avar Elven isle of Címóníemor to the south — were incorporated into Dwar’s Kingdom. The Lord of Dogs reached the height of his power and poised his minions for the assault on Hent.
Then, Dendra Dwar vanished. His soul consumed by greed and hatred, Dwar of Waw accepted the offer of immortality and took a Ring of Power from Sauron of Mordor. Although his armies conquered Hent and laid waste to its structures and populace alike, the Dog-king was nowhere to be seen. Dwar’s nephew, Dendra Swip, assumed the mantle of Lord of Dogs during the celebration of the victory his uncle had savored most.
Dwar the Ringwraith
Dwar remained in Waw, despite his apparent demise, for an-other two hundred and fifty-two years. During this era, he manipulated the line of his heirs and ruled from the shadows while residing in the solitude of Alk Waw. The years brought unceasing wars, as the folk from the Isle of Dogs pursued continual campaigns of plunder and conquest. Peace came only after Dwar’s departure for Mordor in S.A. 2250.
From S.A. 2250 through S.A. 3262, Dwar lived at Barad-dûr in the Black Land, where he bred the War-wolves of Mordor. The offspring of his labors haunted Endor for centuries to come, but the culmination of his work awaited a later day. When the Númenóreans of Ar-Pharazôn captured Sauron, Dwar fled back to Waw.
The Dog-king went back to Mordorin S.A. 3320, a year after the Lord of the Rings escaped the Downfall of Númenór and returned to the Dark Tower. Dwar resumed his work, preparing for the oncoming struggle against the Dúnadan successor states of Arnor and Gondor. The War of the Last Alliance of Elves and Men claimed the lives of the finest of Dwar’s foul hounds. Most perished at Dagorlad; others died in the defense of Mordor or were hunted by the Elves and Dúnedain in the nearby hills. Dwar himself followed the fate of Sauron, so when Barad-dûr fell and the Evil One lost the Ruling Ring, the Lord of Dogs passed with his Master into the Shadows.
The Third Age
Dwar reformed and reawakened in T.A. 1051. While briefly at the side of the Dark Lord in Dol Guldur, he flew east to Waw later the same year. There, he resided for the next five hundred and eighty-nine years. Once again assuming his place as the ultimate power on Waw, the Dog-king incited his kinsmen to rebel against the extremely strong (but relatively benevolent) yoke of Lochas Drús. Settlers from the Isle of Dogs seized Címóníemor in T.A. 1507 and Waw declared itself independent a hundred and ten years later. Ironically, Dendra Dwar II refounded the kingdom.
Sauron recalled Dwar to the West in T.A. 1640. His work done in the East, the Dog-lord went into Mordor with the other Úlairi and began to prepare the realm for the Evil One’s eventual re-emergence. Dwar remained in the Black Land, breeding horrible lines of War-dogs until T.A. 2000, when he participated in the Nazgûls’ capture of Minas Morgul. He lodged in the captured capital of Ithilien until T.A. 2063.
The Dog-king followed Sauron eastward during the Watchful Peace (T.A. 2063 – 2460). His exploits carried him across southeast Endor, where he continued his age-old effort to subjugate the peoples of those rich lands. Contested by the Blue Wizards Alatar and Pallando, his success was somewhat mixed. When he departed again for the West in T.A. 2941, much remained undone.
Dwar returned to Mordor when Sauron abandoned Dol Guldur and reentered the Black Land. The Nazgûl took a hold at Minas Morgul and joined in the rebuilding of Barad-dûr that began in T.A. 2951. When his work there ended, he returned to breeding wolves and hounds.
Dwar’s next task, like those of the other Ringwraiths, focused on recovering the Ruling Ring. He accompanied his fellow Black Riders into the Anduin Valley, through Rohan, and on into Eriador. When the group split along the roads through the lost kingdom of Cardolan, he went north with the Witch-king and four others through Andrath to Bree. Soon thereafter, Ûvatha departed to join Khamûl and the other Riders, but Dwar, the Witch-king, Akhôrahil, Indûr, and Ren attacked the Company on Weathertop and succeeded in wounding Frodo. The Nazgûl pursued the fleeing Ringbearer and his compatriots to the Bruinen Ford, but the enchanted floodwaters crushed their hopes. Dwar, the third to reach the river, felt the full force of the torrent and lost his dread steed.
The Dog-lord returned to Mordor and resumed the search for the One Ring during the coming months. Flying a Fell Beast, he engaged in the fruitless hunt until the eve of the attack on Gondor. Dwar then flew home to Mordor. Assigned to the main army that gathered at Udûn, he missed the Battle of Pelennor Fields that claimed the Lord of the Nazgûl; however, he took part in the aerial fight above the Battle of Morannon, and the subsequent flight to intercept the Ringbearer on Mount Doom. The Lord of Dogs finally came to an end while en route to the Orodruin, for the breaking of the Ruling Ring unmade his own Ring of Power and robbed him of his only link to Eä.
Dwar stood 6’4” tall and possessed a stalwart build. His pale hazel eyes and ruddy complexion typified Waw’s Wôlim. He covered himself in magical, steel-reinforced cloth armor that was dyed in patches of grey, black, and white and vaguely resembled the coloring of a War-hound. His enchanted helm, shaped like a stylized Wolf-head, followed the same theme.
Dwar’s Principal Items
- (“War-dancer”) +25 magic falchion forged out of Ithilnaur and inlaid with white gold and pearl. Its pearl-tipped pommel is actually the end of a +25 dagger (which is sheathed in the hilt). The sword will “dance” out of the wielder’s hand for up to 10 rnds (even when wielder is unconscious and/or prone), parrying blows against the wielder with 50% of wielder’s usual OB (including the bonus from the sword).
- (“Air-cleaver”) +25 enchanted Braric Killing-bola made of silvery Ogamur. The weapon strikes as a Flail and delivers a Grappling critical strike (of same severity) in addition to any regular critical strike it yields.
- (Wôlor Priest’s Ring) Made of gold-inlaid steel and inset with petrified wood, it is a x4 (Essence/Mentalism) PP multiplier. The ring glows with a blue-green aura whenever it is consciously pointed toward running surface water (within 1000’).
- (“Sorcery Knife”) +25 dagger which strikes as a short sword. Its long, thin enchanted blade gleams with a cold glint. It dissolves when exposed to sunlight and breaks off whenever the knife yields a critical strike. Once the blade is embedded in a victim, the victim must roll a RR versus the wielder’s lvl. Failure results in the blade finding its way to the victim’s heart within a number of days equal to 50 minus the RR failure number (e.g., RR failure by 9 means 41 days). Should the shard reach the victim’s heart, the victim becomes a wraith-servant (i.e., an undead slave) of the knife-wielder, operating thereafter at –50. Failure also results in a debilitating poisoning, and the victim operates with a penalty equal to twice the RR failure number (until he becomes Undead).
Dwar’s Special Powers
- 117 PP. Base spell OB is 39; directed spell OB is 40. Dwar knows all Base Mage lists to 30th lvl, and all Open Essence lists to 25th level (MERP), as well as all Closed Essence lists to 20th lvl, and four Open Mentalism lists to 10th lvl (RM).
- Dwar can emit sounds that can only be heard by canines (e.g., wolves, dogs, jackals, etc.), and he can speak to any such creature within 2000’ feet.
- In any given round, Dwar can control (absolutely) a number of dogs whose lvls total no more than 39 and who remain within a range of 2000 feet. He can control additional dogs within 1000’ by concentrating (each dog receiving a RR versus a 39th lvl attack).
Hoarmûrath of Dír*
Lvl: 33, Race: Urd. Profession: Animist. Home: Urd in north central Endor; later Barad-dûr in Mordor and Minas Morgul in Ithilien. Aka: King of Urd; Tar-Formen (S. North King’); Ice King; the Cold One; the Sixth,
RM Stats: St-51; Qu-97; Em-100; In-100; Pr-84; Ag-79; Co-99; Me-100; Re-89; SD-49. MERP Stats: St-51; Ag-79; Co-99; Ig-95; It-100; Pr-84. Appearance: (92).
Skill Bonuses: Climb90, Ride85, DTrap50, PLock20, S&H85, Perc116, Rune70, S&W80 Chan45, Amb8, Li10, AMov25, ADef40, MASt40, BDev14, Act75, AnimT105, Cook25, Dance45, FAid55, Flet35, For127, Herd55, LWork65, Math45, Med90, Mus45, Nav114, Sig75, Sing45, Ski90, SpMas45, Star55, Stone30, Subd40, Track114, Trad20, TrapB80, Trick60, Tumb30, WeaW129, Wood111, Admin75, Crafl85, Dipl55, Stra70, Tac75,
Hoarmûrath was born in the Forest of Dír in the land of Urd in S.A. 1954. His home, one of the northernmost settled domains in all of Endor, spawned a rugged race of hunters and trappers. Hoarmûrath’s band spent much of their time roaming the southern flanks of the Iron Mountains (S. “Ered Engrin;” Q. “Orongreni”) and plying the vast, icy waters of the Sea of Ilium and the Bay of Utûm (Utumno). His mother, Emûrath of Uab, commanded the allegiance of most of the Urd clans, and served as the Matriarch of the Urdar until her death in the Umli Wars (S.A. 1962 – 75). Her daughter Amûrath replaced her according to the Urd matriline, permitting Hoarmûrath to become the Master of the Household. As brother of the queen and uncle of her heir, he enjoyed the highest status accorded a male of the Urdar.
Hoarmûrath’s close relations to the Avar Elves to the south, however, influenced his views and set him on a course of rebellion against his family and Urd traditions. The Avari taught him much about magic and power, and opened the young Animist’s eyes to the ways of the rest of Middle-earth. In time, Hoarmûrath quarreled with his sister over the course of relations with the Umli and other neighboring peoples. He preached war, hoping to extract valuable territory from the Myri and Angela tribes. Amûrath ordered her brother exiled, but he refused to leave. A struggle followed and Hoarmûrath’s zealous retainers slew his sister.
Rather than face the penalty of death on the frozen sea, the Master of the Household proclaimed himself the first King of Urd. Supported by Avar warriors and a strong faction among the more warlike bands of Urdar, Hoarmûrath of Dir crushed his opposition and ordered the slaughter or banishment of the Urd Priestesses. In S.A. 1992, he became the Lord of the Urdar.
Urd war-bands struck out into the surrounding lands during the next five years and, by S.A. 1997, Hoarmûrath ruled much of the great wooded territory between the Northern Seas. Avari groups retained their dominion and extended their influence with the Ice King’s aid, but the union soon gave way to bitterness. Elven immortality and wealth haunted Hoarmûrath, and the Urdar turned on their allies in S.A. 1999. Two great battles followed, but both resulted in Avar victories. Desperate, the King of Urd invited help from Sauron of Mordor.
The Lord of the Rings sent Khamûl to the court of the Ice King in S.A. 2000. The Easterling — still fair-seeming and glowing with the power of his own Ring — approached his future compatriot with the gift of a Ring of Power and the prospect of eternal life. Enamored of the Evil One’s offering, Hoarmûrath accepted the Ring and fell under the sway of the Shadow. He became the sixth King of Men to become an Úlair.
Hoarmûrath the Ringwraith
Hoarmûrath’s new prize invigorated him. Two years after Khamûl’s visit, the Urdar were stronger than ever, and the Ice King led his army southward. The War in the Woods (S.A. 2002 – 2053) ended with an Avar retreat, leaving Hoarmûrath with a vast kingdom. Styling himself Lord of the North, the reclusive Urd King savored his successes and erected a strong royal government over the course of the next two centuries.
In S.A. 2250, Hoarmûrath departed a cool, forested domain punctuated with stone citadels. His long reign as Sauron’s client established a new order in northeastern Endor. Once his kingdom and successor seemed sure, the Lord of the Rings called the Ring wraith to Mordor. The need to confront the growing might of Númenór outweighed any considerations the Dark Lord reserved for the North.
For the next one thousand and eleven years, Hoarmûrath resided in Mordor beside the Evil One. The Ice King frequently visited his home to reorder the kingdom he had left behind, but the majority of his tasks centered on the Black Land in the West. He oversaw the construction of the defenses surrounding Udûn, including the Gates of Mordor (the foundations of which were strengthened with the power of the Ruling Ring), and briefly lived in the citadel that the Dúnedain razed to make way for Durthang. The Nazgûl fled eastward, however, following Ar-Pharazôn’s invasion in S.A. 3261 and Sauron’s surrender the next year. With the Lord of the Rings imprisoned on Númenór, the Ice King returned to Urd.
After the Downfall of Númenór and the Dark Lord’s return in S.A. 3319, Hoarmûrath flew back to Mordor and participated in the campaigns waged by Sauron’s troops in Rhovanion. Later, he commanded the northern flank of the horde that invaded South Ithilien in 3429, but Barad-dûr’s fall twelve years later ended his early life. Hoarmûrath passed into the Shadows when the Lords of the Last Alliance entered the Dark Tower and overthrew Sauron at the end of the Second Age.
The Third Age
Hoarmûrath returned to Middle-earth around T. A. 1050. Entering his ancient hold in the Forest of Dir, he slowly reassumed his strength and refounded his lost kingdom. For the next five hundred and ninety years, Urd tribes and subject peoples ravaged the North. Avar warriors contested the resurrected realm’s plans, but once again felt defeat. By T.A. 1640, the Kingdom of Urd was again strong and secure.
Gondor abandoned the Watch on Mordor after the Great Plague that ravaged northwest Endor in 1635 – 37. The retreat gave Sauron (who then resided at Dol Guldur in Rhovanion) the opportunity to send eight of the Nazgûl (those other than the Witch-king, who stayed in Angmar) into the Black Land. Hoarmûrath joined the other Úlairi in Mordor, where they quietly prepared the land for the return of the Lord of the Rings. The deserted Dúnadan tower of Durthang served as the Ice King’s new lair.
All of the Nine gathered upon the return of the Witch-king to Mordor in T.A. 1975. Assembling for the surprise assault on Minas Ithil in T.A. 2000, they stormed the stronghold that served as the last bastion of Gondorian guardianship. A two-year siege followed, but the marble fortress city finally fell. Ithilien’s capital became Minas Morgul the Tower of Dark Sorcery, and served thereafter as the hold of the Ringwraiths. Its prized Palantír eventually went to Barad-dûr.
The Lord of the Rings left his threatened fortress at Dol Guldur in T.A. 2941 and returned to Mordor. Ten years later, his minions began rebuilding the Dark Tower, and three of the Ringwraiths flew back to Dol Guldur to reopen the citadel. Hoarmûrath stayed in Minas Morgul.
In mid T.A. 3018, the Ice King accompanied the horde that attacked Gondor’s defenses along the Anduin at Osgiliath. Although the forces of the South Kingdom lost the ford that joined the mined districts of their abandoned capital, they fended off their assailants’ attempts to extend the war into Anórien. The battle lines stabilized and the Nazgûl turned to their search for the One Ring.
Hoarmûrath rode with the other eight Black Riders up the Nan Anduin in hope of finding the Shire near the Gladden Fields. Failing to find the Shire, they turned south, skirted Lórien, and rode through Rohan and past Isengard into Eriador. Their search took them up the Greenway to Tharbad and beyond to the crossroads in old Cardolan that served as the junction with the road to the land of the Hobbits. There, Hoarmûrath, Adûnaphel, and Khamûl split from the others and rode toward the Stone Ford. As the three headed into the Shire’s South Farthing and on to Sackville, the Witch-king and the other Riders went directly north toward Androth and Bree.
Hoarmûrath and his companions nearly captured the halflings as they traveled through the Green Hill Country. Khamûl’s acute sense of smell almost uncovered Frodo’s hiding place below the road, but the Hobbits escaped into Woody End in Tookland. Although Hoarmûrath and his companions tracked them through Buckland (where they entered the Bolger yard in Crickhollow), the three Black Riders did not see the lucky halflings again until the challenge at the Bruinen Ford.
Hoarmûrath and the other two Nazgûl met Ûvatha on the Great East Road beyond Bree, and joined the other five Ringwraiths in En-Eredoriath (S. “The Lone lands”). Running their prey down at the Bruinen Ford just west of Rivendell, the Úlairi — including Hoarmûrath — found themselves engulfed in the magically summoned floodwaters that Elrond used to cover the Hobbits’ flight.
After the disaster at the Bruinen Ford, Hoarmûrath returned to Minas Morgul, mounted a Fell Beast, and briefly resumed the search for the Ring while Sauron’s armies prepared for the assault on Minas Tirith. The attack against the Gondorian capital stalled when the Witch-king died on the Pelennor Fields and Aragorn II led the Army of the Dead in a charge that broke the Mordorean horde. Hoarmûrath fled homeward with the other Fell Riders that participated in the onslaught. A more climactic battle occurred less than two weeks later, as the Army of the Free Peoples assembled on the arid slag-plain before Morannon. There, the eight Nazgûl briefly engaged the Great Eagles above the chaotic conflagration but, at the height of the duel, Hoarmûrath and others turned away to follow the Dark Lord’s orders. Flying to stop Frodo and Sam from destroying the One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom, the Ringwraiths broke off the attack. Their Lord’s fears proved true, though, and their desperate journey ended before they reached their goal. With the Ruling Ring’s destruction, Hoarmûrath and his brethren passed out of Ea.
Somewhat stocky and exceedingly strong and vigorous, Hoarmûrath stood 6’1” tall. He was among the tallest of the Urdar, and his prideful manner served as testimony to his inherent conceit. Blue-eyed and exceptionally fair, he embodied the ideal of Urd leaders.
An Animist, Hoarmûrath wore the priestly garb in which he was raised. His pale grey robes covered magical hide armor sewn from the skin of a Cold-drake. His simple crown perched upon a helm styled after the head of an Ovir, the great white Ice-bear indigenous to the Far North.
Hoarmûrath’s Principal Items
- War Mattock
- (“Snow Hammer”) +25 Dragon-slaying war mattock forged out of clear Laen and inlaid with the horn of a Drake. Wielder is immune to natural cold and receives a +25 RR bonus versus magical cold attacks. Mattock serves as a fine ice axe and wielder receives a +25 bonus to all assisted ice climbing maneuvers.
- (“Hue Changer”) A +25 dírwood spear which can be thrown 200’ without suffering a range penalty, it is useful as a fine harpoon. Wielder and all he carries can change color with 1 rnd’s concentration (up to 2x per day).
- (“Ovir Crown”) Helm adds +15 to wearer’s DB and serves as a x5 (Channeling) PP multiplier.
- (“Sorcery Knife”) +15 dagger which strikes as a short sword. Its long, thin enchanted blade gleams with a cold glint. It dissolves when exposed to sunlight and breaks off whenever the knife yields a critical strike. Once the blade is embedded in a victim, the victim must roll a RR versus the wielder’s lvl. Failure results in the blade finding its way to the victim’s heart within a number of days equal to 50 minus the RR failure number (e.g., RR failure by 15 means 35 days). Should the shard reach the victim’s heart, the victim becomes a wraith-servant (i.e., an undead slave) of the knife-wielder, operating thereafter –50. Failure also results in a debilitating poisoning, and the victim operates with a penalty equal to twice the RR failure number (until he becomes Undead).
Hoarmûrath’s Special Powers
- 99 PP. Base spell OB is 33; directed spell OB is 25. Hoarmûrath knows all the Base Animist lists to 30th lvl, all the Open Channeling lists to 30th level, and all the Base Ranger lists to 5th lvl (MERP), as well as all the Closed Channeling lists to 20th lvl (RM).
- Hoarmûrath can gaze at any object and know its exact temperature.
Indûr Dawndeath (Jí Amaav)*
Lvl: 37. Race: Kiran. Profession: Mage. Home: Koronandë in Korlan (in southernmost Endor); later Amaru in Mûmakan; still later Minas Morgul. Aka: Ji Indûr; Jí Amaav (II, III, and IV) of Mûmakan; the Shadow of the South; the Cloud-lord; the Fourth.
RM Stats: St-97; Qu-96; Em-100; In-78; Pr-94; Ag-99; Co-58; Me-99; Re-100; SD-76. MERP Stats: St-97; Ag-99; Co-58; Ig-100; It-78; Pr-94. Appearance: (93).
Skill Bonuses: Climb115, Ride75, PLock75, S&H85, Perc152, Rune75, S&W100 Chan35, Amb5, Li8, AMov45, ADef55, MASt15, MASw15, BDev10, Acro90, Act75, Cont25, Cook25, Dance10, Div80, Fals30, FAid40, Math45, Med50, Mus60, Nav85, PSp105, RMas30, Sig45, Sing40, SpMas45, Star55, Subd15, Track100, Trad85, Trick70, Tumb55, WeaW90, Wood35, Admin100, Craf55, Dipl95, Stra120, Tac115.
Indûr Dawndeath was born Jí Indûr in the city of Korlan in the year S.A. 1955. Heir to the fortune of the wealthiest oligarchic family in the Kiran republic of Koronandë, he was the youngest man ever elected governor in any of the realm’s six districts. He later became a powerful representative to Koronandë’s twelve-member assembly. There, he lobbied for the creation of a central government which could contest the growing might of Númenór, for the young merchant-lord feared the loss of his precious commercial interests in the region around the Bay of Ûsakan. The Númenórean colony of Tantûrak (founded ca. S.A. 1300 as Lond Hallacar) grew rapidly during the reign of Tar-Ciryatan, and ships once bound for Korlan began docking in the Adan port of Sarûl. More importantly, though, warships starred frequenting the bay and Ji Indûr perceived a threat to his people’s independence.
Indûr slowly accumulated support among the wealthy merchants and warriors of Koronandë, as well as among many of the Elves of nearby Taurondë. Elven sentiments varied like those of the Kirani, but the majority feared that the growing Númenórean prejudice against the Eldar would eventually lead to war. With the support of key figures among his own people, and the tacit approval of the Kirani’s Firstborn allies, the young representative seized control of the assembly in S.A. 1977. Koronandë became a kingdom the following year when the advisory council oligarchs that replaced the republican assembly elected him King of Korlan. Hundreds of freedom-loving Kirani resisted the change, and civil rebellion racked the realm for the next twenty-three years.
The arrival of the “Magician” in Tantûrak in S.A. 2000 polarized support for Ji Indûr and appeared to doom the rebel cause. Relations between the Adan colony and the Kirani reached the edge of war and, out of fear, the people of Koronandë sought unity. Confident, the young monarch called for a great public celebration. His plan to gather popular support for an unpopular war and an illegal regime failed, though, when Korlan’s governor Loran Klien stood at the rostrum above the crowd and offered a return to republican rule. The Kirani spontaneously applauded the age-old solution and rioting ensued. The self-styled King of Koronandë fled east to Mûmakan.
Sauron’s agents had resided in the home of the Mûmakil (Oliphants) since the mid-eighteenth century, S. A., and Jí Indûr’s cordial relations with the Dark Lord’s minions enabled him to find a refuge after his overthrow. The tall Kiran provided the Lord of the Rings an opportunity to further his sordid goals in the Far South, while Sauron offered the exiled King a new throne. This heinous pact doomed the Mûmakani. The Evil One gave Indûr a Ring of Power in S.A. 2001, and later the same year the Ringwraith captured the throne of Mûmakan on behalf of his evil mentor.
Indûr the Ringwraith
Jí Indûr was crowned Jí Amaav II of Mûmakan. His people believed his arrival to be the second coming of the legendary First- king — the God-lord Amaav — and the Nazgûl had little trouble seizing control of the troubled nation. Ruling from the holy city of Amaru, Indûr united the semi-nomadic tribes and laid plans for further conquest. His reign lasted 1261 years, during which the Mûmakani became a corrupt people that subjugated Gan, eastern Dûshera, and most of the great southern archipelago.
Mûmakan’s expansion to the west proved unsuccessful in the face of opposition from the Ardan Council and the inherent strength of the Elves, Númenóreans, and Kirani that dominated the region. This situation led to the Ringwraith’s pact with the Magician of Tantûrak in S.A. 3000. With Mûmakani support, Tantûrak threw off the yoke of Númenórean rule and declared itself an independent kingdom. Ar-Zimrathon of Númenór failed to crush the rebellion, so the sundering succeeded. A few months later, Tantûrak and Koronandë abdicated the treaty of peace, leaving the Kirani surrounded by hostile neighbors. The coming years proved dark, as the Kiran republic became a disarmed and exploited land. Only the uncertain jealousies lingering between Tantûrak and Mûmakan prevented its outright conquest.
Ar-Pharazôn, the Golden king of Númenór, terminated Indûr’s reign and ended the independence of Tantûrak in S.A. 3262. His invasion of Endor brought most of Westernesse’s former holdings in Middle-earth back into the Adan fold and culminated in the capture of the Lord of the Rings. Mûmakan became a Númenórean subject state, its empire shattered. Jí Indûr retreated into the East
Númenór perished in the Downfall of S.A. 3319, enabling the Evil One to escape home. The Nazgûl went to Mordor upon Sauron’s return to Endor. For the remaining 121 years of the Second Age, Indûr engaged in the struggle against the Last Alliance of Elves and Men but, like Sauron and the other Úlairi, the Shadow of the South passed into the Shadows outside of Arda.
The Third Age
Indûr returned to Middle-earth around T.A. 1050 and spent the next two centuries regaining his strength on the isle of E-Sorul Sare. His influence in Mûmakan grew slowly, but by T.A. 1250 his servants successfully maneuvered the disarrayed tribes into a coalition commanded by his lieutenants. This loose union once again stirred the warlike Mûmak-riders into an aggressive policy of expansion.
In T.A. 1264 Sauron ordered Indûr to fly to the Citadel of Ardor and seek an “alliance” with the Elven Ardan Council, but the age-old rivalry for control of the Far South persisted. Stalled by the evil group in Ardinaak, the Ringwraith considered the meeting an affront and counciled the Dark Lord to avenge the rebuke. Sauron preferred to wait, however, for without the Ruling Ring the Evil One regained his strength very slowly. Indûr’s rivals received an uneasy peace that never sat well with the Úlair.
Under the “Magician’s” sway, Tantûrak declared war on Koronandë in T.A. 1365. The conflict raged for seven years, and the Kirani appeared to be on the edge of collapsing when the nations signed a treaty in T.A. 1372. Indûr’s intervention saved the Kiran kingdom from defeat, but it began an era of Mûmakani influence. This period was marked by the spate of ritualistic nocturnal assassinations that gave birth to Indûr’s association with murder. Time after time, his enemies perished in their sleep, to be found at dawn — brutally executed.
Indûr ruled Mûmakan as Jí Amaav III from T.A. 1264 through 1640 and as Ji Amaav IV between T.A. 2460 and 2941. During the rest of the Third Age, he stayed in Mordor (1640 – 2000) or at Minas Morgul (2000 – 2460 and 2941 – 3019). He traveled with the Witch-king on the search for the One Ring in T.A. 3018, encountering the Company on Weathertop and losing his mount during the confrontation at the Bruinen Ford. Later, he oversaw the preparations for the Mûmakil assault during the ill-fated campaign against Minas Tirith. His end came after the skirmish with the Great Eagles over the Battle of Morannon, for as Indûr and the other Fell Riders flew to intercept the Hobbits at Mount Doom, they became engulfed in the destruction resulting from the unmaking of the One Ring. Thus, the Shadow of the South disappeared from Ea.
Indûr stood 6’9” tall and, like most Kirani, was slight of build. Dark-skinned and black eyed, he embodied the ideal of his people. After becoming King of the Mûmakani, however, he favored the garb of the Mûmak-riders: grey cotton breeches with leather riding patches, a grey cloak, a light mail shirt, and an open-faced, ivory-inlaid helm topped with an ivory Oliphant.
Indûr’s Principal Items
- (“Dawnsword”) +35 Elf-slaying scimitar forged out of white Eog and inlaid with ivory. Whenever it strikes a sleeping target, the victim must make a RR vs wielder’s level. RR failure results in victim’s soul being slain, instantly killing the body.
- (“Cloud Bow”) 4 – 30 lurak-wood composite bow. When fired from mist (e.g„ firer is in fog or in a cloud), the firer suffers no visibility or range penalty.
- (“Helm of the Mumak-king”) Open-faced white, Ithilnaur helm inlaid with ivory. The enchanted ivory Mûmak statuette that crowns the helm is a x5 (Essence) PP multiplier. It also gives wearer a 4 – 50 riding bonus whenever he rides a Mûmak, and it enables wearer to command the Mûmak with absolute authority.
- (“Sorcery Knife”) +25 dagger which strikes as a short sword. Its long, thin enchanted blade gleams with a cold glint. It dissolves when exposed to sunlight and breaks off whenever the knife yields a critical strike. Once the blade is embedded in a victim, the victim must roll a RR versus the wielder’s lvl. Failure results in the blade finding its way to the victim’s heart within a number of days equal to 50 minus the RR failure number (e.g., RR failure by 25 means 25 days). Should the shard reach the victim’s heart, the victim becomes a wraith-servant (i.e., an undead slave) of the knife-wielder, operating thereafter at –50. Failure also results in a debilitating poisoning, and the victim operates with a penalty equal to twice the RR failure number (until he becomes Undead).
Indûr’s Special Powers
- 111 PP. Base spell OB is 37; directed spell OB is 35. Indûr knows all the Base Mage lists to 30th lvl, all the Open Essence lists to 25th level, and one Base Ranger list to 5th lvl (MERP), as well as all the Closed Essence lists to 20th lvl, and one Open Mentalism list to 5th lvl (RM).
- Indûr can concentrate and see through plants (Olvar).
Khamûl the Easterling
Lvl; 40; 50 after T.A. 2460. Race: Womaw (Avaradan). Profession: Ranger. Home: the four capitals of Womawas Drús; later Dol Guldur in Rhovanion; later Barad-dûr Aka: Komûl; Shadow of the East; the Black Easterling; Komûl I, Hionvor of Worn Shryac; Mûl Komûl; the Dragon-lord; the Second.
RM Stats: St-90; Qu-99; Em-87; In-100; Pr-100; Ag-91; Co-99; Me-63; Re-101; SD-88. MERP Stats: St-90; Ag-91; Co-99; Ig-82; It-100; Pr-100. Appearance: (93).
Skill Bonuses: Climb107, Ride85, DTrap40, PLock75, S&H85, Perc107, Rune40, S&W60 Chan80, Amb19, Li9, AMov70, ADef60, MAS130, MASw30, BDev20, Acro15, Act75, AnimT90, Cave30, Cont35, Dance45, FAid45, For90, Math55, Med70, Mus40, Nav85, PSp55, RMas40, Sail60, Sed60, Sig90, SpMas35, Star55, Subd35, Track109, Trad35, Trick70, WeaW85, Wood25, Admin85, Dipl134, Stra123, Tac133.
Born at Laeg Goak in easternmost Endor in 1744, Second Age, Komûl was the eldest son of Mui Tamil, the High-lord (Wm. “Hionvor”) of the Womaw. His mother, Klea-shay, was popular despite her Shay heritage, but died while the young heir was only seven; Tanûl’s Elven consort Dardarian reared Komûl and served as his principal advisor until he assumed the throne of Womawas Drús in S.A. 1844. Komûl’s relationship with the manipulative Dardarian corrupted his outlook and led to his incessant longing for immortality.
As Hionvor and Mûl (Wm. “King”) of the Womaw kingdom, Komûl I presided over the strongest realm in eastern Middle-earth. His people had descended from the remnants of the First Tribe of Cuiviénen (Q. “Awakening Water”), the same lineage that produced the Edain of western Endor. Elven blood coursed through the veins of Womaw Hiona (Wm. “Lords”; sing. “Hion”), and their mastery over other Men was spurred in part by their longevity. Heavily influenced by the Avari, the Womaw of Komûl’s day practiced both Wood-and Word-magic and enjoyed the benefit of a rich and practical cultural tradition. Their political and military sophistication enabled them to dominate the eastern coasts of Middle-earth for thousands of years. This hegemony withstood its strongest test during the middle of the Second Age, but Komûl I was lost in the struggle.
The distant Númenórean cousins of the Womaw comprised the only group of Men who could challenge the supremacy of Womawas Drús, and as early as S.A. 900, the Dúnedain established trade embassies in Womaw-influenced territories. During the next 650 years, the Númenóreans swayed many of the Womaw’s southern neighbors and built fortified colonies in the isles of southeastern Middle-earth. The Men of Westernesse forced Womaw concessions and threatened the stability of the eastern kingdom. By the one hundred and fiftieth year of Komûl I’s stormy, militaristic reign (S.A. 1994), Womawas Drús appeared resigned to outside domination and many of the Womaw Hiona had disclaimed their allegiance to the High-lord. Proud and desperate, Komûl sought help elsewhere and turned to his age-old ally Dardarian.
Dardarian met Komûl at the Isle of Sunrises, at the easternmost point in the Middle Land. There, the Elf-queen seduced her stepson, using her exceptional beauty and charm and, most importantly, an offer of immortality. Komûl agreed to an alliance between the Womaw and Dardarian’s Avar kingdom of Helkanen. This union led to Númenórean concessions (under the First Acknowledgement) the following year, preventing any outright conquest and relegating Dúnadan interests to centers of commercial rather than strategic value.
Unfortunately for the Womaw, Dardarian’s pact led to the downfall of their Hionvor. Unbeknownst to Komûl I, Dardarian served Sauron of Mordor. In S.A. 1996, only a year after the First Acknowledgement, Komûl accepted the instrument that conferred the gift promised by his lover. Taking one of the Nine Rings of Men, Komûl became the immortal slave of the Lord of the Rings. His reign over Womawas Drús ended abruptly.
Komûl disappeared from Laeg Goak in the spring of S.A. 1997, after nearly seven months of virtual isolation from his people and his court. These seven months were marked by palace intrigue and a bloody transition to a new order. Over three dozen of the Hionvor’s trusted advisors perished in a purge that nearly ruined the kingdom. The outer Hiona gathered in preparation for a revolt, and Komûl departed in favor of a Númenórean-supported faction led by his popular cousin Aon. Almost no one in Womawas Drús realized the critical nature of theft King’s abdication, but Komûl’s dethronement probably saved the Womaw from the Shadow. The deposed monarch could do little more than swear a vengeful oath, a curse that he would act upon many millennia later.
Khamûl the Ringwraith
Komûl appeared at Barad-dûr in Mordor around S.A. 2000. He was known thereafter as Khamûl, in accordance with the Black Speech pronunciation of his given name. While at the Dark Tower, he served Sauron as the Master of the Hold, and his responsibilities included administering the maintenance of the citadel and its garrison. This wardship remained in his capable hands until S. A. 3350, when Ûrzahil of Umbar became the Mouth of Sauron and the Lieutenant of the Tower.
Khamûl fled Mordor when Sauron was captured in S.A. 3262. Retreating into the East, he first went to Nûrad and, after a brief stay, he proceeded into the Shay lands of his mother’s people. He remained among the Shay until S.A. 3319, cultivating a network of servants whose greed fomented a sundering of the Five Tribes. This corruption continued after Khamûl returned to the Black Land, and by S.A. 3400 Khamûl’s agent Monarlan brought three of the tribes under the Shadow.
The Easterling remained in Mordor during the War of the Last Alliance (S.A. 3429 – 3441), sallying forth only during the campaign in Ithilien that opened the conflict. During the first four- and one-half years, he resided at Lug Ghûrzun (BS. “Darkland Tower”) in eastern Num (BS. “Ghûrzun”); but in S.A. 3434 the army of the Last Alliance of Elves and Men forced its way through Udûn, so Khamûl returned to his Master’s side. The Ringwraith stole into Barad-dûr during the night before the outset of the long siege.
When the Dark Tower fell in S.A. 3441, the Nazgûl met the vanguard of the Elven host and fought a long, brutal melee. Unprotected, Sauron was forced to engage his foes in personal combat. This proved to be his undoing for, although he slew both Elendil the Tall and Gil-galad, the Evil One lost his One Ring (and his ring finger) in the fray, and his spirit passed into the Shadow World.
The Third Age
With the departure of the Lord of the Rings, the Nine lost the ability to maintain form. They followed the Dark Lord into Shadow as the Second Age ended. Their exile coincided with Sauron’s and lasted over a thousand years. The first to return reassumed form in Endor around T.A. 1050, some fifty years after the reappearance of the Evil One.
Unlike his brethren, Khamûl briefly took up residence with Sauron at the citadel of Dol Guldur in southern Mirkwood. The Dark Lord hid behind the guise of the “Necromancer” and slowly rebuilt his strength. Then, about T.A. 1300, he renewed his struggle against the Free Peoples, sending the Witch-king to Angmar in the northwest Misty Mountains in hopes of crushing the successor states of Amor.
Khamûl left his command of Dol Guldur’s garrison upon the departure of the Witch-king, and for the next three hundred and forty years the Easterling lived at Sart and Mang in the Mountains of the Wind. From these two rocky strongholds, he sought to gain sway over the peoples of southeastern Middle-earth. Often working in unison with Dwar of Waw, Khamûl fought the influences of the Istari Alatar and Pallando and vied with the Blue Wizards for control of the region. His success was only partial but, by TA. 1635, the Dark Lord was satisfied and ordered the Second of the Úlairi back to Dol Guldur.
Khamûl’s arrival coincided with the advent of the Great Plague that ravaged northwest Endor, so for the next four years he stayed in Rhovanion as Sauron’s chief servant. He was Keeper of the Hill of Sorcery and remained in residence there until the end of the Watch on Mordor in T.A. 1640. Late that year, he entered the Black Land and began work on rebuilding the Evil One’s domain. Three hundred and sixty years later he accompanied the other Nine in the surprise assault against Minas Ithil. Two years later, the Úlairi took the surrounded city for the Dark Lord, capturing the Palantír. Minas Ithil became the home of the Ringwraiths and was henceforth called Minas Morgul.
After Gandalf threatened to uncover Sauron’s deception as the Necromancer of Dol Guldur, the Dark Lord went into the East. Residing in Chey lands, the Lord of the Rings bided his time and expanded his dominion over the Men of eastern Middle-earth. These so-called quiet years in the West constituted the era of the Watchful Peace (T.A. 2063 – 2460). During this time, the people of Khamûl’s mother, the Shay, fell under the Shadow. Khamûl’s father’s people opposed the Evil One, but they lost most of their kingdom in a series of dire wars. Finally, Khamûl the Easterling left Minas Morgul and returned home to Goak in northwestern Endor. He entered the defeated realm of his forefathers after crushing the Womaw in the snows of Yule, T.A. 2400.
Sauron returned to the West three years before Déagol found the lost One Ring at the Gladden Fields. Khamûl followed, having decimated the strength of Womawas Drús. He left the once-splendid lands east of the Orocarni (S. “Red Mountains”) in the hands of Sauron’s brutal nomadic vassals, and he returned to Minas Morgul. During his frequent trips to Dol Guldur, the Easterling continued his close association with the Hill of Sorcery, as well as his relative independence from the Lord of Morgul. On one such visit during Sauron’s last stay at Dol Guldur (T.A. 2460 – 2941), Khamûl’s warriors captured the Dwarf-lord Thráin II and took his Ring of Power. From T.A. 2845 to T.A. 2850, the Easterling tortured his Dwarven captive, but during the last year of his imprisonment Thráin II gave Gandalf the key to the side entry into Erebor (S. “Lonely Mountain”). The failure of the citadel’s guard to stop the Grey Wizard’s covert entry — coupled with Khamûl’s inability to derive concessions from the Dwarf-king — led the Dark Lord to chastise the Ringwraith, but the Easterling remained one of Sauron’s four most powerful servants (the others being the Witch-king, Gothmog, and the Mouth of Sauron).
In anticipation of the White Council’s attack on the Hill of Sorcery, the Evil One briefly abandoned his hold in southern Mirkwood in T.A. 2941, retreating home to Barad-dûr. From that time onward, he stepped up his search for the Ruling Ring and labored to prepare for the conquest of the West. Ten years later, Sauron felt comfortable enough to openly declare himself once again and, following his proclamation, he ordered his minions to reopen Dol Guldur. Khamûl went northward to the Hill of Sorcery with Adûnaphel, where he kept watch on Rhovanion and, more importantly, Lórien. He communicated with the Dark Lord via Ûvatha, the ninth Nazgûl and the Easterling’s chosen envoy. The Witch-king and the other five of the Nine stayed in Minas Morgul, awaiting the coming conflagration.
War clouds gathered quickly and loomed ready to break by T.A. 3017. Then came the catalyst — the capture of the Stoor Gollum (Sméagol) in Mordor. Sauron learned little of immediate value, but realized the worth of the fallen Hobbit, knowing that Gollum’s insatiable quest for the One Ring would eventually lead him to his long-lost prize. The Dark Lord’s plan went awry, though, when Gollum fell into the hands of the Ranger Aragorn. Seeing the threat presented by his enemies’ discovery of the Ruling Ring, Sauron resolved to act before a rival could come to the fore.
In the late spring of T.A. 3018, the Witch-king and the Nazgûl occupying Minas Morgul led an army down the Ithilduin Valley and into Ithilien. Their foray swept away the few Gondorian defenders that stood vigil over the ruins of Osgiliath, and the servants of Mordor broke the giant bridge that spanned the mighty Anduin. Despite the surprise and fury of the onslaught, however, Gondor’s army gathered on the western side of the Great River, standing firm against any further advance.
As the battle raged in Ithilien, Khamûl and Adûnaphel led the Orcs of Dol Guldur against Thranduil’s Elf-kingdom in northern Mirkwood. Their plan was to crush the Silvan Elves and capture Gollum, but the scale of their assault proved too modest to afford any significant victory. As the Elves melted northward through the wood, they inflicted tremendous losses on Khamûl’s underlings.
Sauron tested his enemies with this two-pronged offensive, but his ultimate purpose was to conceal the further exploits of his Ringwraiths. The Evil One hoped to tie his armies’ movements to those of the Nine, thereby misleading the leaders of the Free Peoples. Within weeks, the Nine gathered for their principal mission and set out across the Anduin in search of the Hobbit that held the Ruling Ring.
Khamûl rode with other eight Black Riders up the Nan Anduin in hope of finding the Shire near the Gladden Fields. Unfortunately, their quest proved to be a time-consuming detour, for they found only ruins of ancient Stoor settlement, together with a few abandoned homes that had enjoyed recent use. They failed to find the Shire, but realized that it must be in Eriador. Turning southward, they skirted Lórien and rode through Rohan and past Isengard. Their search took them to Tharbad and up the Greenway to the crossroads that served as the junction with the road to the land of the Hobbits. There, Khamûl, Adûnaphel, and Hoarmûrath split from the main party and rode toward the Iach Sarn (S. “Stone Ford”; also “Athrad Sarn”) and on to Sackville. The Witch-king and the other Riders went directly north toward Andrath and Bree.
Khamûl’s party crossed paths with the Hobbits in the Green Hill Country and the Easterling’s keen sense of smell nearly uncovered Frodo’s hiding place below the road, but the halflings escaped and the three Riders did not see them again until the encounter at the Bruinen Ford. Although Khamûl and his companions tracked them through Buckland (where they entered the Bolger yard in Crickhollow), they failed to run down the elusive Hobbits.
The Easterling’s party joined Ûvatha on the road east of Bree and rode toward the Lone Lands, where they met the other five Ringwraiths. Racing the Company in hope of cutting them off from the safety of Rivendell, the Riders found their prey at the banks of the Bruinen. There, Khamûl avoided the initial rush of the waters summoned by Elrond; however, his horse panicked like the others and died in the gushing stream.
Following the debacle near Rivendell, Khamûl and Adûnaphel returned to Dol Guldur and prepared for the war. Their orders were simple, but their mission was ambitious: Sauron charged the Orcs of the Naked Hill with the task of crushing the Elf-kingdoms in Lórien and northern Mirkwood. Both assaults failed, forcing Khamûl and Adûnaphel to retire back to Mordor just before the Battle of Morannon.
The Witch-king died on the Pelennor Fields, and Khamûl assumed leadership over the other Fell Riders during their airborne attack against the Army of the Free Peoples. Battling the Great Eagles above the chaos that gripped the barren slag-fields outside the Gates of Mordor, Khamûl faced Gwaihir himself — only to turn in apparent retreat. Sauron’s orders to stop Frodo and Sam from destroying the One Ring in Mount Doom took precedence over any challenge, and the Easterling was forced to lead his fellow Ringwraiths on a fruitless flight to save the Lord of the Rings. Gwaihir gave pursuit but, with the destruction of the Ruling Ring, there was no need for further combat. Khamûl and his brethren passed outside of Eä with their fallen Master.
Features and Family
Khamûl stood 6’3”, average by Womaw standards. Originally, he weighed 195 pounds and had fair, beardless skin, grey-blue eyes, and long, straight black hair. These features denoted a Womaw of high lineage. He wore a deep blue Dragonhelm and deep blue and black Dragon-skin, half-hide plate armor.
No one among the Womaw was a better hunter or tracker than Khamûl. Even as a child, he could run like a deer, remaining quiet as he passed through the dark woods of his cool homeland. His sense of smell was exceptional, and half-joking bards spoke of his “hound heritage.” Somber, solitary, and clever he excelled in contests of stealth and duplicity. These qualities served him well in the face of the complex problems that confronted him as Hionvor, and they made him an admirable choice as the Dark Lord’s chief tracker and as the caretaker of Sauron’s citadel at Dol Guldur.
Khamûl’s Womaw wife Komiis gave birth to three children: a daughter, Womiis, and two sons, Womul and Komon. Of his three offspring, only Womiis remembered her father.
Like all of the Ringwraiths, Khamûl feared common water — knowing that the spirit of Ulmo resided in its sparkling depths. The Easterling’s aversion, however, exceeded the trepidations of his brethren, for the memories and fears of his early life became magnified by the magic of his Ring of Power.
Khamûl also suffered in daylight more than his companions. This weakness, however, was offset by his acute senses of smell and hearing.
Khamûl’s Principal Items
- (“Water-skimmer”) +25 magic Elven Killing-bola (“Gé”) made of bluish Cuivac wood from the land of Helcar Sael. In addition to any normal critical strike of “B” or greater severity it delivers, it also yields a Crush critical of one less degree in severity (e.g., in addition to a “B” Unbalancing critical, it delivers an “A” Crush critical). When cast over water, its projectiles can be skimmed, giving the bola a bonus equal to +40, enabling strikes around comers with angles of 45 or less degrees, and eliminating normal range penalties.
- (“Stinging Tongue”) +15 Mallorn-inlaid composite Blowgun. It is an Elf-slaying weapon. When poisoned darts are used and it yields a critical strike, the victim must make a RR versus an attack equal to firer’s lvl + poison’s lvl.
- +10 deep blue full helmet shaped like the head of a Fire-drake. Adds +10 to all of wearer’s RRs and enables him to cast spells as if he were 60th lvl.
- Deep blue and black Dragon-skin, half-hide plate armor that is unencumbering to the wearer, yet protects like full plate armor (AT 20).
- (“Sorcery Knife”) +30 dagger which strikes as a short sword. Its long, thin enchanted blade gleams with a cold glint. It dissolves when exposed to sunlight and breaks off whenever the knife yields a critical strike. Once the blade is embedded in a victim, the victim must roll a RR versus the wielder’s lvl. Failure results in the blade finding its way to the victim’s heart within a number of days equal to 50 minus the RR failure number (e.g., RR failure by 26 means 24 days). Should the shard reach the victim’s heart, the victim becomes a wraith-servant (i.e., an undead slave) of the knife-wielder, operating thereafter at –50. Failure also results in a debilitating poisoning, and the victim operates with a penalty equal to twice the RR failure number (until he becomes Undead).
Khamûl’s Special Powers
- 120 PP (later 150 PP). Base spell OB is 40 (later 50); directed spell OB is 40 (later 50). Khamûl knows the Path Mastery list to 30th lvl (later 50th lvl), the Moving Ways list to 25th lvl, and all other Base Ranger lists to 20th lvl, and four Open Channeling lists to 10th level (MERP), as well as five Closed Channeling lists to 10th lvl, and three Open Channeling lists to 5th lvl (RM).
- Khamûl can distinguish the exact location of any source of a given odor, so long as the source is within 100’ and the source fails a RR versus a 25th lvl attack.
- Khamûl can distinguish the exact location of any source of a given noise, so long as the source is within 100’.
See ICE’s Southern Mirkwood, Haunt of the Necromancer 26 – 27, 33 – 47, 55. Read LotRI 116, 238 – 39, 284 – 86; LotRIII 462, 466 – 67; UT 338 – 39, 344, 348, 352.
Er-Mûrazôr (A. “Black Prince”) was a Númenórean Prince, the second son of King Tar-Ciryatan (Q. “Ship-builder”) and the younger brother of Tar-Atanamir the Great. He was born in the year S.A. 1820 and given the name Tindomul (Q. “Twilight Son”). Like his brother, however, he was exceptionally proud and was a fierce supporter of Númenórean interests. Fiery and given to rash aggression, Er-Mûrazôr became embroiled in the campaigns of rapid conquest in Middle-earth. There, he encountered Sauron and fell prey to the Dark Lord’s promises of wealth, power, and immortality. Around S.A. 1998, the Dark Sorcerer accepted a Ring of Power and became the first of the nine Nazgûl. He was known thereafter as the Witch-king or the Lord of Morgul. (For more about Er-Mûrazôr see “The Witch-king” entry.)
Ren the Unclean*
Lvl: 32. Race: Chey. Profession: Illusionist/Mage. Home: Ulk Chey Sart, later Barad-dûr and Minas Morgul Aka: Ren the Insane; Ren the Clean; the Illusionist; Fire King; King of Chey Sart; Lord of the Chey; the Eighth.
RM Stats: St-79; Qu-101; Em-100; In-37; Pr-81; Ag-100; Co-54; Me-99; Re-100; SD-44. MERP Stats: St-79; Ag-100; Co-54; Ig-100; It-37; Pr-81. Appearance: (11).
Skill Bonuses: Climb127, Ride75, DTrap75, PLock95, S&H75, Perc132, Rune70, S&W65, Amb2, Li5, AMov10, ADef5, MASt30, MASw30, BDev6, Act80, Cave90, Cook25, Fals75, For90, Fren20, LWork30, Math35, Med50, Nav65, PSp10, RMas45, Sig25, Sing102, SpMas45, Star35, Subd45, Track100, Trad55, TrapB75, Trick132, Admin35, Dipl40, Strd95, Tac80.
Ren the Unclean was born at Ulk Jey Ama in the eastern Ered Harmal in S.A. 1969. The son of Sen Jey the Illusion-weaver, he grew up near Heb Aaraan, amidst the enchanters who taught beside the magical Springs of Fog. His apprenticeship ended in S.A. 1987, when the eighteen-year-old Illusionist went east to visit his uncle Ul Fen Jey, a lord who held sway over the Ahar of the Numahar River vales. There, near the legendary Grass Tombs, Ren met the woman he married in S.A. 1992, Elyen.
Ren and Elyen returned to Ulk Jey Ama in S.A. 1994. Raising two children — a son Fen and a daughter Fyen — they remained in the cool mountain town for four years. The Illusionist composed a tome on enchantments while his wife raised horses and sheep and mastered the Chey’s favorite instrument, the multi-chambered drum.
This idyllic repose ended in S.A. 1998, when the worst of many plagues swept through the central plains and struck the Jey households. Overwhelmed by fever, Ren barely survived the year. He prevailed, though, and briefly returned to his work. All seemed well, for the Illusionist was ostensibly healed.
Sadly, the illness twisted Ren’s mind, instilling him with delusions that slowly eroded his sanity. He began to fancy himself as superior to other Men, and spoke of himself as the Fire King — the son of the exalted Volcano, Ulk Chey Sart (Ch. “Home of the Chey Nation”), that stood in the center of the southern Chey plateau. Horrified, Elyen attempted to restore her husband’s mind and sought the aid of healers from lands as far away as Rycolis and western Khand.
Ren’s lucidity eventually disappeared and the Illusionist left home on a pilgrimage to his purported mountain home. He gathered a cult of followers throughout the winter of S.A. 1999– 2000 and declared himself Overlord of the Chey. As Fire King, he plunged into a campaign of ruthless subjugation that played on the themes of nationalism, prosperity, and terror. Variag and Nûriag warlords who held sway over the northern Chey territories fled as the tribes quickly fell under Ren’s control. By the end of S.A. 2000, the Illusionist was truly King of the Chey.
Sauron of Mordor watched Ren’s march across Chey Sart and saw great potential in the insane enchanter. He sent his agents to the Fire King’s refuge at Ulk Chey Sart, offering greater prospects for conquest, wealth, and power. Ren agreed to a coalition and exchanged gifts. In S.A. 2001, the Illusionist accepted a Ring of Power from the Dark Lord and became the eighth of the immortal Nazgûl.
Ren the Nazgûl
The transition that gripped the Chey brought terrible forces to the forefront of their society, since many of the superstitious herders embraced the religious fervor that elevated Ren to the throne. Unbelievers (the so-called “unclean”) died in countless purges and many, including Ren’s family, had once been close to the Fire King. The Jey clan suffered dearly, for the Illusionist refused to protect those who resisted his quest. Between S.A. 2001 and 2102, the already weakened population of the thirty-six tribes fell in number by a full third. Their count stood at half of what it had been before the Plague of S.A. 1998.
Once secure as master of Chey Sart, Ren pursued the goals that most pleased the Lord of Rings. Attacking to the northeast and south, the Fire King’s mounted warriors overran the lands of Dalpygis, part of Khargagis Ahar, Heb Aaraan, and Orgothraathin the First Chey Expansion (S.A. 2155 – 2693). Ren built an empire rooted in the Shadow, establishing an elaborate system of horse-roads and garrison holds in order to insure the consolidation of his conquests. Then came the Second Chey Expansion (S.A. 2899– 3261), when the Kingdom of Chey Sart grew to its height. Vaag, Acaana, and western Gaathgykarakan fell in the first few decades, and Ren’s armies turned northward to concentrate on the incorporation of the Khargagis Ahar and the rich territory of Rycolis. These wars raged for two centuries, until the Variags of Ûvatha joined the Chey and turned the tide of resistance. Ren was at the apogee of his career when Ar-Pharazôn of Númenór landed with his Adan army at Umbar and captured Sauron.
During the Dark Lord’s imprisonment in Númenór, the Illusionist remained at Ulk Chey Sart but, after the Akallabêth of Westernesse, the Ringwraith left his domain and joined his Master in Mordor. Ren stayed in the Black Land throughout the War of the Last Alliance (S.A. 3429 – 3441), fighting on behalf of the Evil One in Ithilien (S.A. 3429) and at the great battle of Dagorlad (S.A. 3434). This period marked the last portion of the early years of the Fire King’s glory. When Barad-dûr fell after the seven-year siege and Sauron fell before Isildur, his One Ring cut from his evil hand, Ren and the other Úlairi passed into the Shadows outside Arda. The Illusionist did not return to Middle-earth until T.A. 1050.
The Third Age
After his long exile, the Dark Lord stirred again and resurfaced in Endor around T.A. 1000. He summoned his Black servants from his covert throne in Dol Guldur fifty years later. Like his brethren, the Illusionist reentered Middle-earth, arriving at his old volcanic hold of Ulk Chey Sart. There, he began rebuilding his strength and plotting the renewal of the Chey Kingdom. Ren expanded his lair into a great underground citadel and laid the foundations for his future capital on the wide ledges surrounding the fiery mountain. He marshalled an army of disenchanted Chey warriors and began subjugating the neighboring tribes in T.A. 1235, all the while concealing his identity behind his guise as the “Fire King.”
Ren unified the six major tribal groupings in T.A. 1264. As Al Chey Sart, he ruled his kin through 1640 and again between T.A. 2063 and 2941. These eras constituted periods of relative prosperity for the thirty-six Chey tribes, for they frequently extended their rule into the grasslands of the Khargagis Ahar and they avoided the oppressive spectra of Variag or Nûriag dominance that haunted them during other times.
The Fire King stayed in Mordor (1640 – 2000) or at Minas Morgul (2000 – 2063 and 2941 – 3019) throughout the other years of the Third Age. Ren rode with the Witch-king on the search for the Ruling Ring in T.A. 3018, and was one of the five Ringwraiths to assail the Company on Weathertop. Later, he was swept away in the magical flood that determined the skirmish at the Bruinen Ford.
During the last part of the War of the Ring, the Fire King helped organize Mordor’s main army. Ren stayed at Barad-dûr while the Lord of Morgul led the grand but doomed assault against Minas Tirith. Following the routs at Pelennor Fields, at Lórien, and in northern Mirkwood, he joined the remaining seven Nazgûl for the aerial attack at the Battle of Morannon, where the Úlairi fought the Great Eagles. In the end, however, Ren the Unclean perished with the Dark Lord and the other Fell Riders in the wake of the cataclysmic unmaking of Sauron’s One Ring.
Relatively short for an Úlair, but tall for a Chey, Ren stood 5’10” and weighed 195 lbs. He had black eyes, reddish-brown skin, and black hair, but his flowing robes and full helmet (shaped like the head of his father, in accordance with Chey tradition) shrouded his rather ugly features. Ren’s beautiful red and white garb also belied his awful, careless nature. Pitiless, the Fire King possessed no regard for others, and his acts of sheer savagery gave birth to his name.
Ren’s Principal Items
- (“Burning Blade”) +25 two-hand sword made of Galvorn and forged in the furnaces of Angband during the First Age. The blade immolates upon command, setting fire to any organic object it strikes (object/victim receives a RR when struck and 1 RR/rnd thereafter until it/he succeeds). Magical flames, they damage the target with the equivalent of one +25 point-blank Fireball attack during each round that the target burns.
- (“Believers’ Bane”) +25 composite bow of apparently plain materials that instills Illusions spells into its projectiles. User need only expend the PP and be capable of casting the spell inherently in order to store a given Illusions spell into an arrow. The spell is then cast at the point the arrow strikes or, if the arrow itself is cloaked in an Illusion, at the moment the arrow leaves the bow (making it analogous to a very powerful Phantasm).
- (“Helm of Sen Jey”) +10 brass-inlaid mithril helmet shaped like the head of Sen Jey, Ren’s father. The flowing “hair” provides protection for the ears and rear of the neck. The wearer possesses the memories of Sen Jey, as well as a feeling for the emotions they once invoked.
- (“Sorcery Knife”) +10 dagger which strikes as a short sword. Its long, thin enchanted blade gleams with a cold glint. It dissolves when exposed to sunlight and breaks off whenever the knife yields a critical strike. Once the blade is embedded in a victim, the victim must roll a RR versus the wielder’s lvl. Failure results in the blade finding its way to the victim’s heart within a number of days equal to 50 minus the RR failure number (e.g., RR failure by 11 means 39 days). Should the shard reach the victim’s heart, the victim becomes a wraith-servant (i.e., an undead slave) of the knife-wielder, operating thereafter at — 50. Failure also results in a debilitating poisoning, and the victim operates with a penalty equal to twice the RR failure number (until he becomes Undead).
Ren’s Special Powers
- 32 PP. Base spell OB is 32; directed spell OB is 25. Ren knows all the Base Mage lists to 10th lvl and all the Open Essence lists to 20th level (MERP), as well as all the Base Illusionist lists to 30th lvl, all the Closed Essence lists to 20th lvl and one Base Alchemist list to 5th lvl (RM).
- Ren can immediately perceive any illusion as such, so long as the illusion originated from a source of power below 32nd lvl; otherwise, Ren must make a RR to discern the unreal nature of the ruse.
- Voice of Pain
- Ren can emit a shriek (up to 3x/day) which affects everyone of a certain race (e.g., Elves or Men) or every animal of certain type (e.g., Dogs) within 50’. RR failure of 01 – 50 results in victim(s) being stunned for 1 – 10 rnds; RR failure of 51 – 75 results in victim(s) being stunned for 1 – 100 rnds; RR failure of 76 – 100 results in victim(s) permanent loss of 1 – 50% of hearing; and RR failure of 101+ results in victim(s) permanent loss of 100% of hearing.
Ûvatha the Horseman*
Lvl: 31. Race: Variag. Profession: Warrior/Fighter. Home: Khand; later Minas Morgul, Barad-dûr, and Dol Guldur. Aka: King of Khand; Lord of the Variags; the Slayer; the Long Rider; the Ninth.
RM Stats: St-100; Qu-99; Em-10; In-94; Pr-97; Ag-100; Co-98; Me-89; Re-97; SD-33. MERP Stats: St-100; Ag-100; Co-98; Ig-93; It-94; Pr-97. Appearance: (99).
Skill Bonuses: Climb127, Ride133, DTrap30, PLock.35, S&H112, Perc90, Rune5, S&W10, Amb20, Li3, AMov75, ADef25, MASt55, MASw70, BDev31, Acro45, AnimT95, Cave15, Cont85, Cook25, Dance20, Div15, Fals10, FAid15, Flet20, For100, Fren80, Gamb75, Herd90, LWork30, Nav100, PSp5, RMas30, Sig100, Star75, Subd90, Track127, Trad70, TrapB55, Trick55, Tumb65, WeaW605, Admin139, Dip115, Stra117, Tac149.
Ûvatha the Horseman, the Ninth and most undisciplined of Sauron’s Ringwraiths, was bom in the Caves of Ôlbamarl as Ûvathar Achef in S.A. 1970. His father Kîonid Achef was an exiled Variag Prince from Láorki in eastern Khand. The young warrior shared the pain and uncertainty of his family’s continual flight, and the nomadic life that he led throughout his early years hardened him for the trials to come. Ûvatha rode a horse earlier than any Variag thought possible, and he killed a man before he reached the age of seven. When he was nearing the age of eighteen in S.A. 1988, he led the light cavalry wing of his father’s rebel army at the Battle of Noz Peka (V. “Knife River”), where his gallant charge against the Variag King’s Guard decided the war that restored his family to the throne of Upper Khand.
Kîonid Achef died at Knife River, so his brother Mîonid took the second most powerful throne among the Variags. Kîonid’s son, in keeping with Variag tradition, was ordered executed; but young Ûvatha escaped and rode westward to Sturlurtsa Khand, the capital of Lower Khand. There, the Horseman earned his nickname and garnered the support of King Ûrig Ûrpof, the Lord of two thirds of the Variag people. He was appointed Warlord of the main army of Lower Khand in S.A. 1999 and deposed the Ûrpof Dynasty the following year. Turning on his uncle’s domain, he crushed the horse-warriors of Upper Khand in S.A. 2000, uniting Khand for the first time in recorded history. Two years later he accepted a Ring of Power as a gift from the King of Mordor, becoming the ninth of the nine Wraith-kings in the service of the Lord of the Rings.
Ûvatha the Nazgûl
Mordor was always an important ally of Khand, and the Dark Lord knew the Variags quite well. His evil influence perverted their already brutal culture well before the rise of Ûvatha. After the unification of Khand under the Horseman, though, the harsh Variags became one of Sauron’s most useful and most heinous tools of conquest. They assured the security of Num’s open eastern border and decimated the peoples that threatened Adûnaphel’s rise in Near Harad. For the next twelve hundred and sixty years, Ûvatha’s people preyed on their neighbors and extended the Shadow to the south and north of their plateau kingdom. Variags controlled the trade along the Ered Harmal, and vied with the powerful Númenóreans for the hearts of Harad’s Merchant-princes.
In S.A. 3259, the Horseman led his main battle army across Relmether and over the Talathrant. For the next two years, the Variags fought beside the Chey warriors of the Úlair Ren the Unclean, leading to the Chey conquest of the Khargagis Ahar. Ûvatha’s warriors received half of the booty exacted from the defeated Ahar and then returned home to Khand. Just as they arrived, however, the first armada of the Númenórean King Ar-Pharazôn arrived at Umbar. Their invasion and the subsequent overwhelming show of Adan arms led to the surrender of Sauron of Mordor a year later (S.A. 3262). As the Lord of the Rings resided as a captive on the island-continent of Númenór, the Variag King hid from the forces of Westernesse in his secretive hold at Ôlbamarl in the mountains of northern Khand.
The Dark Lord resumed his reign in Mordor in S.A. 3319 after the Downfall of Númenór. Ûvatha came out of hiding and went into the Dark Land in order to serve his Evil Master. Acting as Sauron’s Messenger, the Horseman participated in the campaigns waged by Sauron’s troops in Rhovanion and Ithilien beginning in S.A. 3429. Ûvatha was at the Dark Tower in S.A. 3434 when it was besieged by the Last Alliance of Elves and Men, and he passed into the Shadows when Barad-dûr fell and Sauron lost his Ruling Ring at the end of the Second Age (S.A. 3441).
The Third Age
Ûvatha reappeared in Middle-earth around T.A. 1050, returning to his old abode at Ôlbamarl in the southwestern-most spur of the Ephel Duath. Fifty years later, he crowned himself King of the Variags while he stood over the bloody body of his predecessor Ûonid Irbo. A five hundred and forty-year (T.A. 1100 – 1640) reign of terror followed, as Ûvatha unleashed the unforgiving Variag tribes on the unfortunate lands to the south and north. The empire of the Kingdom of Khand expanded rapidly across northeastern Harad and southern Rhûn, and gradually extended to the western banks of the great river Talathrant and the southern shores of the Sea of Rhûn. Tribute came to the Court of Ûvatha from the Nûriags of Nûrad and the Asdriags of Eastern Rhûn, the Variags closest kin. Only the presence of two other Úlair kingdoms — the domains of Adûnaphel of Near Harad and Ren of Chey Sart — prevented the Lord of Khand from laying claim to all of central Middle-earth.
Ûvatha administered his holdings through a loose but ruthless system of patronage, and his departure from Sturlurtsa Khand in T.A. 1640 marked a steady decline in Variag fortunes that lasted until his return in T.A. 1854. While the Variag King joined seven other Ringwraiths and laid the foundations for Sauron’s re-emergence in Mordor, his own minions began carving out their own fiefs. Peace settled over the Kingdom of Khand and the subject peoples gradually broke away from the Variag yoke.
The erosion of Variag power incensed Ûvatha and worried the Lord of the Rings, so the Horseman rode back to Khand and resumed his rule. This act set the Evil One’s plan in motion, for it served as the catalyst that stirred the chain of events resulting in the first major Easterling migration into Rhovanion. Ûvatha quickly reordered his elite retainers, crushed the local Lords who appeared self-serving, reassembled his cavalry army, and began a vicious campaign of reconquest.
The Nûriags became the first victims of his vengeful wrath and, as they retreated northward into Rhûn to escape their more powerful cousins, the relatively brutal tribes of Nûrad drove the peoples they encountered westward. Asdriag groups migrated across the Talath Harroch (S. “South Horse Plain”) of southern Rhovanion, while the Sagath and Logath confederations moved west along the shores of the Inland Sea. The latter migrated in great wagons and came to be known by the Northmen and Gondorians as the Wainriders. Pushing into Rhovanion, they battled the Kingdom of Gondor and its Northman allies for forty-three years (T.A. 1856- 99) before forcing the Dúnedain across the Anduin. Sauron’s plot to destroy Gondor’s hold on Rhovanion succeeded brilliantly, without betraying the presence of the Lord of the Rings.
Ûvatha returned to Mordor in T.A. 1940, creating turmoil in Khand. Unfortunately for the Variags, his departure from his homeland coincided with the arrival a new threat from the East. A collection of fierce Igath tribes, the easternmost of the Wainrider confederations, pushed through the Gap of Khand in search of new pastures. This set the stage for the rise of Ûvathar Achef (Ûvatha I). A descendant of Ûvatha, Ûvatha laid claim to the Variag throne by solving the dilemma presented by the multitudinous Igath. He rode east and met with Avas III, the High-chieftain of the Wainriders, offering them free passage through Khand in exchange for peace. The Igath balked, citing the difficulties he would encounter if he were forced to face Gondor alone. Ûvatha then proposed an alliance between the two nations and the neighboring Haradrim. The Igath, Haradrim, and Variags marched together toward Ithilien in T.A. 1944, hoping to crush the South Kingdom, while the Gondorians faced the threat of another Wainrider army in the north. It was a brilliant plan, but the undisciplined horde led by Avas and Ûvatha was defeated by Gondor’s Southern Army. The tactical mastery of Eärnil II prevailed, ending the threat created by Ûvatha’s diplomacy.
In T.A. 2000, Ûvatha joined the other Nazgûl for the surprise attack on Minas Ithil. The Horseman remained for the two-year siege that followed, but he returned to Khand when the marble fortress city finally fell. His arrival home in T.A. 2003 marked the beginning of his last reign as the King of the Variags.
Threatened by the White Council, Sauron left his fortress at Dol Guldur in T.A. 2941 and slipped back into Mordor. He made his presence known ten years later, when he announced himself as the King of Men and ordered the rebuilding of Barad-dûr. As the stones began rising from the magical foundation of the Dark Tower in T.A. 2951, Ûvatha and two other Ringwraiths (Khamûl and Adûnaphel) flew back to Dol Guldur and reopened the citadel.
The Horseman served as Sauron’s best link to the Hill of Sorcery, and he made frequent journeys to both Barad-dûr and Minas Morgul. For the next sixty-seven years, Ûvatha acted as a tireless courier carrying messages between Khamûl, the Witch-king, and the Lord of the Rings. This permitted the Dark Lord to plan the buildup of the two armies he assembled outside of Gorgoroth (those of Dol Guldur and Minas Morgul). Both of these forces attacked the Free Peoples in mid T.A. 3018, beginning the War of the Ring. Khamûl commanded the forces based in Mirkwood and gave the Variag King a command in the abortive strike against Thranduil’s Elven realm in northern Mirkwood.
Following his defeat, Ûvatha rode with Khamûl and Adûnaphel south during their search for the One Ring. The Black Riders traveled into the Nan Anduin, where they joined the Witch-king and the other five Úlairi on the quest to find the Shire. First, they looked near the Gladden Fields, but then they turned south, skirted Lórien, and rode through Rohan and past Isengard into Eriador. Their sojourn carried them through Tharbad on the Gwathló and into old Cardolan. Splitting at the junction with the road to the land of the Hobbits, three Nazgûl (Hoarmûrath, Adûnaphel, and Khamûl) rode toward the Stone Ford; the Witch-king and the other Riders went north through Andrath and on to Bree. Ûvatha traveled with main group, but broke away near Bree in order to deliver the Black Captain’s orders to Khamûl and the other two Nazgûl that chased the Hobbits east through the Green Hill Country and Buckland.
After the Variag King rendezvoused with the Easterling’s party on the Great East Road beyond Bree, he rode with the three Ringwraiths to En-Eredoriath (S. “The Lone Lands”), where they met their five brethren. Riding the Hobbits down at the Bruinen Ford near Rivendell, the nine Wraith-kings found themselves engulfed in the magical floodwaters that Elrond summoned to safeguard the Hobbits’ flight. Ûvatha, the fastest and most impetuous of the Nine, was almost to the east bank when he was swept away in the torrent.
Ûvatha returned to Dol Guldur after the embarrassing defeat at the Bruinen Ford. There, he mounted a Fell Beast and resumed his role as the Evil One’s messenger. His subsequent flights insured the coordination of the Nazgûls’ search for the Ring and the simultaneous mobilization of Sauron’s three principal armies. Ûvatha flew south to Mordor for the last time as Khamûl and Adûnaphel led their two columns out of Dol Guldur, beneath the dark canopy of Mirkwood.
The Horseman arrived at the Dark Tower as the Witch-king began the assault on Minas Tirith, and he remained with Sauron until the opening of the Battle of Morannon. He then flew as one of the eight Nazgûl that fought the Great Eagles above the parched battle plain where the vast Host of Mordor engulf ed the army of the Free Peoples. His fate was not decided at Morannon, however, for Ûvatha and other Ringwraiths broke off the engagement in order to stop Frodo and Sam from destroying the One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom. Flying south toward the Orodruin when the One Ring was unmade, the Variag King perished with his compatriots in the epic cataclysm that ended Sauron’s presence in Ea.
5’11” and 190 lbs, Ûvatha was large for a Variag, but he was short compared to the other Nazgûl. His reddish-brown eyes, grey skin, and black hair typified the Variag norm, as did his garish red and black garb. Ûvatha wore a light, red, kine-skin breastplate, black pants, a black shirt, black knee boots, and a dark grey cloak. Open-faced and shaped like a bat, his delicate magic helm served as his principal armor.
Ûvatha’s Principal Items
- (“Horse-tamer”) +40 Horse-slaying lance made of reddish Narig-wood from Nûrad. When its gilded tip is set into a track made with a# of days equal to the wielder’s lvl, it gives the wielder a +40 tracking bonus (versus the maker of track).
- (“Stormless Bow”) +20 gold-inlaid short bow that fires arrows that strike as if fired from a heavy crossbow. The flight of the bow’s arrows is unaffected by wind, and the wielder’s aim never suffers due to weather conditions.
- (“Listening Helm”) +15 gold-inlaid helmet shaped like a bat (the “wings” forming ear and neck armor). The wearer possesses the senses of a bat, including acute (2x normal) smell and the ability to locate unseen or obscured objects using rebounding sound waves (i.e., radar-sense).
- (“Sorcery Knife”) +10 dagger which strikes as a short sword. Its long, thin enchanted blade gleams with a cold glint. It dissolves when exposed to sunlight and breaks off whenever the knife yields a critical strike. Once the blade is embedded in a victim, the victim must roll a RR versus the wielder’s lvl. Failure results in the blade finding its way to the victim’s heart within a number of days equal to 50 minus the RR failure number (e.g., RR failure by 19 means 31 days). Should the shard reach the victim’s heart, the victim becomes a wraith-servant (i.e., an undead slave) of the knife-wielder, operating thereafter at –50. Failure also results in a debilitating poisoning, and the victim operates with a penalty equal to twice the RR failure number (until he becomes a Wraith).
Ûvatha’s Special Powers
- 31 PP. Ûvatha knows two Open Channeling lists to 5th level (MERP & RM).
- Ûvatha can fire a bow from a galloping horse with an additional +10 OB, even while riding bareback.
- Ûvatha can throw any dagger twice its normal range (with range penalties modified accordingly).
Lvl: 60 Race: Dúnadan (fallen Númenórean). Profession: Sorcerer/Mage. Home: Armenelos and Rómenna in Númenór; later Barad-dûr in Mordor, Carn Dûm in Angmar, and Minas Morgul in Ithilien. Aka: Lord of Morgul or Morgul-lord; the Wraith-king; the Witch-king of Angmar; the King of Angmar; Mog of Angmar; Lord of the Nazgûl or Nazgul-lord; the Sorcerer-king; the Black King; the Black Captain; Chieftain of the Ringwraiths; the First.
RM Stats: St-101; Qu-101; Em-(100); In-101; Pr-90(120); Ag-100; Co-101; Me-101; Re-101; SD-40 (100). MERP Stats: St-101; Ag-100; Co-101; Ig-101; It-101; Pr-90. Appearance: (05).
Skill Bonuses: Climb75, Swim80, Ride102, DTrap35, PLock75, S&H85, Percl52, Rune75, S&W100, Chan90, Amb9, Li10, AMov35, ADef35, MASt40, BDev20, Act75, AnimT65, Cove15, Cook25, Dance35, Div10, Falsi5, FAid5, For50, Fren20, Herd65, Math45, Med35, Nav85, PSp100, Row5, Sail75, Sig55, Smith65, SpMas45, Star55, Subd25, Track100, Trad55, Trick60, WeaW85, Adminl39, Archl33, Craf115, Dipl149, Stra151, Tac120.
The Númenórean Er-Mûrazôr (A. “Black Prince”) was the most gifted and powerful of the many great Lords of Westernesse. Although only a Prince, his might outshone all but a few of Númenór’s Kings and, in the end, he lived longer than any of the Adan sons. Mûrazôr’s tale covers over six and a half millennia and is one of Man’s great tragedies.
The Black Prince was born in the year S. A. 1820 in the port city of Andúnië in the province of Andustar on the island of Númenór (Andor). As the second son of King Tar-Ciryatan (Q. “Shipbuilder”) and the younger brother of (Tar-) Atanamir the Great, he traced his lineage to the first King, Elros Tar-Minyatur. His mother gave him the name Tindomul (Q. “Twilight Son”), for he was born during a solar eclipse and his hair was blacker than any she had ever seen. Those Lords of Tar-Ciryatan’s court who favored the use of Adûnaic (signifying their displeasure with the Eldar and the Ban of the Valar) called him Mûrazôr.
Like his brother, the proud and greedy heir to throne, the Black Prince supported his father’s ambitions and lobbied for the increased exploitation of Middle-earth. Tar-Ciryatan sought great wealth and sent his huge fleets to Endor in order to exact tribute, and both his sons embraced the benefits of his often-ruthless policies. Both embodied their father’s penchant for material things and power, which was hardly surprising in light of the fact that they witnessed their father force their grandfather from the Númenórean throne.
Atanamir, however, enjoyed the privileges and attention accorded to the heir to the Adan throne, and Tar-Ciryatan showed him his prideful love in a way he never exhibited to Mûrazôr. The jealousies inherent in the family character eventually grew to frightening proportions in the Black Prince’s heart, fomenting hatred and unbounded desire. Always aggressive and fiery, Mûrazôr resolved to leave home and found his own empire in the vulnerable expanse of Middle-earth. He assembled a small fleet and set sail for Endor in the spring of S.A. 1880.
The sixty-year old Prince landed at Vinyalondë (Lond Daer) in Eriador, at the mouth of the Gwathló in Enedwaith. There, he debarked at the ancient haven amidst little celebration and, within weeks, he engaged in a brief struggle for dominance over the strategic port His plans to carve out a kingdom in the fertile lands that Sauron’s hordes ravaged in the war with the Elves (S.A. 1693 – 1700) failed, forcing Mûrazôr and his followers to voyage southward. In S.A. 1882 the Black Prince’s ships dropped anchor in Umbar, where the Númenórean Lord proclaimed himself “King.” Although successful in wresting control from the local colonists, he ruled only for a few months. The Númenórean adventurer’s pretensions of rule faced an inevitable and overwhelming challenge from his father, Tar-Ciryatan, who ordered his recalcitrant son to return home to Westernesse. Mûrazôr refused to follow the Adan King’s bidding, but he dared not remain in Umbar in defiance of the edict from Armenelos.
The Lord of the Rings perceived the Prince’s displeasure and offered him a means to achieve his goals. Sauron realized that both Mûrazôr and his older brother Atanamir sought to hold onto their youth, and that they feared aging more than any corporeal foe. Atanamir showed his terror of death when he later refused to surrender the Scepter of Númenór until he died. The Black Prince, on the other hand, exhibited this fear by speaking openly of his bitterness toward the immortal Elves to whom he was related (through Elros Half elven). Ever-vigilant and perceptive, the Dark Lord sought to corrupt Mûrazôr by bringing the dissatisfied Númenórean to Mordor.
The Black Prince went to Barad-dûr during the first week of S.A. 1883 and became a pupil of the Lord of the Rings. During the next one hundred and fifteen years, he expanded his knowledge of enchantments and spell-casting, becoming an exceedingly powerful Sorcerer. Mûrazôr’s knowledge of the Black Arts was second only to Sauron’s, and he quickly rose to become the Evil One’s most trusted lieutenant. His lessons learned, he submitted his spirit to his Master, who gave him a Ring of Power in S.A. 1998. The first of the nine Nazgûl, the Black Prince was known thereafter as the Witch-king or the Lord of Morgul (S. “Dark Sorcery”).
The Lord of the Nazgûls
Throughout the rest of the Second Age, the Witch-king stayed in Mordor and served Sauron by coordinating the efforts of the other Úlairi. These years comprised the period of his complete transformation into a hideous Wraith possessed of an exceptional command of sorcery. His role as the Lord of the Nazgûl testified to his awesome magical skills. Ironically, Mûrazôr was the only Ringwraith who had not presided over a kingdom of his own for a considerable period prior to accepting his Ring of Power; however, his origins as a Prince of the Edain of Númenór provided him with inherent abilities that far exceeded those of his undead peers.
The Lord of the Rings gave the Black Captain all of the trappings of a King for, aside from Sauron himself, the Lord of Morgul was the mightiest servant of Darkness in Mordor’s hierarchy. No one, not even Gothmog the Half-troll Warlord (and, later, Lieutenant of Morgul) or the Mouth of Sauron, enjoyed such trust from the Evil One. Their relationship flourished throughout the latter part of the Second Age, as teacher and pupil sought to build an unassailable kingdom and establish dominion over Men.
Unfortunately for the masters of Mordor, the corruption of Westernesse that they sought for so long produced a policy of imperialism. The goals of Númenór’s Kings came to mirror, at least in part, those of the Dark Lord. Both powers sought to unite the Secondborn under one absolute monarch. Inevitably, this rivalry between Sauron and the Witch-king’s Númenórean brethren erupted into outright war.
Ar-Pharazôn, the strongest of Númenór’s later Kings, led an Armada to Endor in S.A. 3261 in hopes of crushing the forces of Mordor and establishing hegemony over Middle-earth. Landing at Umbar, he marched northward across Near Harad (then contested by Númenór and Mordor’s client, Adûnaphel the Nazgûl) and met the Host of Mordor near the river Hamen in early S.A. 3262. The Adan King’s army appeared too potent for the Evil One to contest, so Sauron surrendered and went to Andor as Ar-Pharazôn’s prize captive.
The capture of the Dark Lord left the Witch-king briefly in control of the Kingdom of the Shadow, but the omnipresence of the Edain forced the Ring wraiths and Sauron’s other minions into hiding. This prevented the Lord of the Nazgûl from waging any significant campaigns in his Master’s absence. Although the Black Captain and the other Úlairi contested Númenórean advances in certain regions of Middle-earth, the Witch-king operated very quietly until Sauron’s return after the Downfall of Númenór in S.A. 3319.
The Lord of the Rings’ reappearance in Mordorin S.A. 3320 sparked a renewal of the wars of conquest against the Free Peoples of Endor and brought the Ringwraiths out of hiding. For the next one hundred and nine years, the forces of the Shadow regrouped, grew, and mobilized under the guidance of the Chieftain of the Nazgûl. Then, in S.A. 3429, the Witch-king led an army into Ithilien and assailed Gondor, the newly founded South Kingdom (which, like Amor in the North, was one of the Kingdoms in Exile). King Anárion of Gondor (the co-ruler with his brother Isildur) successfully defended the west bank of the Anduin, however, dealing a stalwart blow to the Black Captain’s plan to subjugate the South Kingdom before the arrival of any Dúnadan relief force from Amor.
The ensuing standoff lasted five years, until the Wraith-king was forced to retire toward Morannon in the face of an army from the North led by Gil-galad and Elendil the Tall. Joined by the Dark Lord’s main horde, the Witch-king turned on his pursuers in the fields of Dagorlad, before the gates of Mordor. There, the Last Alliance of Men and Elves vanquished the Lord of the Nazgûl’s warriors and broke the defense of the Black Land. The victors chased the shattered remnants of the Sauron’s army to Barad-dûr, and then they laid siege to the Dark Tower for seven years. Anárion died under a stone cast from the battlements in S.A. 3440, but his death was avenged the following year. The Last Alliance finally entered the hold of the Lord of the Rings in S.A. 3441, ending both war and the Second Age. Sauron slew both Gil-galad and Elendil, but King Isildur of Gondor cut the Evil One down and sliced the One Ring from his twisted hand. Thus, the Dark Lord and his nine Úlair servants passed into the Shadows.
The Early Third Age
The Kingdoms in Exile enjoyed great prosperity during the early Third Age, for it was not until T.A. 1000 that Sauron stirred again in Arda. Gondor conquered a vast realm, while Amor established dominion over most of Eriador. Despite constant wars with Harad and the sundering of the North Kingdom in T.A. 861, the Dúnedain reached great heights of power.
As Gondor reached the apogee of its might in T.A. 1050, however, the Nazgûl returned from the Shadows and began re-building their strength in Middle-earth. Their Lord, the Witch-king, went to Dol Guldur in Rhovanion, where Sauron hid under the guise of the Necromancer. The Black Captain remained in the Dark Lord’s hold for the next two and a half centuries. From this secure refuge, he plotted the destruction of the weaker of the two Dúnadan kingdoms. The Witch-king understood that care was in order, knowing that the loss of the One Ring at the end of the Second Age significantly weakened the forces of Darkness.
By T.A. 1300, the methodical plan to crush Arnor was complete, and the Lord of the Ringwraiths flew north to the plateau that rises between the two northern western spurs of the Misty Mountains (Hithaeglir). This cool, high plain overlooked the wilds along the northeastern frontier of the realm the Black Captain planned to destroy. It was there that he founded his own kingdom: Angmar (Q. “Iron Home”), the land of the Witch-king.
The Wars in the North
The Lord of the Nazgûl ruled his new domain from the mountain citadel of Carn Dûm (S. “Red Fort” or “Red Hold”), a giant cavern-fortress built into and around the last peak in the northern Hithaeglir. Never revealing his true identity, he gathered two hosts: an army composed of over thirty Orc tribes commanded by the Olog warlord Rogrog; and the Angmarim, a force of over ten thousand Men drawn from the Dark Lord’s subject peoples in Eriador, Rhovanion, and Rhûn. These warriors deployed in holds along the ridges north of the Ettenmoors and the Oiolad (S. “Cool Plain”). Holds like Morkai and Mount Gram threatened all of the North Kingdom’s upper frontier, but they initially concentrated near the sparsely-populated northeastern border — above the relatively vulnerable and rude realm of Rhudaur (S. “East Wood”).
Amor’s breakup in T.A. 861 left three ostensibly allied successor states: Arthedain in the northwest, Cardolan in the south, and Rhudaur in the northeast. Both Arthedain and Rhudaur lay near Angmar, but the latter of the two northern realms was far weaker. Arthedain enjoyed a very large proportion of Dúnadan residents and harbored both of Amor’s capitals and most of the lost kingdom’s major castles. Rhudaur, on the other hand, contained relatively few of the Dúnedain, and most of its often-disgruntled population was scattered in the rugged countryside. It appeared to be a natural target for the Witch-king’s hungry armies so, in the first five decades after Angmar’s rise, the Black Sorcerer’s hordes overwhelmed the East Wood and brought its surviving population under the Shadow. Rhudaur ceased to exist as an independent and free nation by the middle of the fourteenth century, T.A.
The conquest of Cardolan (S. “Land of Red Hills”) served as the Morgul-lord’s next goal. While much stronger than Rhudaur, it lacked Arthedain’s military resources and natural defenses. Its capital and main city, Tharbad, sat on the lowlands along the river Gwathló and much of its border with Rhudaur was composed of a sparsely-defended hedge wall. Cardolan’s strategic value also invited attack, for Tharbad straddled the road between Amor and Gondor, and the capture of this vital artery meant the isolation of Arthedain. Just as important, the Witch-king could virtually surround Arthedain’s heartland with the taking of its southern neighbor.
These factors led to the subsequent attack on Cardolan. Rhudaur declared war on the Land of Red Hills sometime before T.A. 1350, and fighting raged along the Mitheithel and near Amon Sûl (Weathertop) for the next fifty-nine years. With the help of the Arthadan army, the Dúnadan Princes of Cardolan bested their old allies, however, and the King of Angmar was eventually forced to commit his own troops. After building his supply routes through Rhudaur, the Witch-king ordered his forces to join the war and directly assault the dike and hedge wall that guarded Cardolan’s northeastern bounds. The Angmarim crossed the open Lone Lands and smashed through the Dúnadan defenses south of Weathertop. Surrounding the great Arnorian citadel that housed one of the three Palantíri of the North, the host of Angmar cut the defending forces in half and drove the Prince and his retainers through the Barrow downs (Tym Gorthad) and into the eaves of the Old Forest. The last ruler of Cardolan died as Tharbad fell.
Arthedain’s main army barely survived the battle that took place at Weathertop. Withdrawing into the surrounding hills with the Seeing-stone, they yielded the tower on Amon Sul and retreated home to Fornost. The Angmarim razed the citadel after wiping out its few remaining defenders — brave fighters who fought to cover the retreat of their brethren. Once again, the Lord of the Nazgûl prevailed. Cardolan passed into his fold.
Arthedain survived five hundred and sixty-six years after the collapse of its last sister state. Facing overwhelming odds, the Dúnedain of the last successor kingdom doggedly drove off a number of major attacks along its eastern and northern boundaries. Many of Arthedain’s beleaguered people relocated toward the frontier and concentrated in Fornost or in manors and settlements near the kingdom’s border-forts, enabling the Edain of the North to react to any significant incursions. (This shift invited the Hobbit migration into Arthedain’s Shire in T.A. 1600 – 40.)
Nature intervened as well, for the buildup of Angmar’s forces in Cardolan prior to T.A. 1636 ended with the onset of the Great Plague. The pestilence that struck during the winter of 1636 – 37 devastated Cardolan’s remaining residents, but it also decimated the Witch-king’s southern army. Angmarim in Rhudaur and Angmar also fared poorly — much more so than the Dúnedain — forcing the Lord of the Nazgûl to rebuild his shattered forces and delaying the final confrontation for another three centuries.
Arthedain’s end came in the War of T.A. 1973 – 75. After nearly a decade of massing on the Arnorian frontier, the Witch-king poised his armies for the killing blow and King Arvedui realized that the Host of Angmar could not be stopped without aid from the South Kingdom. He urgently appealed to Eärnil but, before the Gondorians arrived, the Black Sorcerer initiated his felling strike. Angmar’s armies overran Arthedain in T.A. 1974, sending Arvedui into hiding in the Dwarf-mines of the Nan-i-Naugrim in the Blue Mountains of Lindon. Arvedui died in the Ice Bay the following year while seeking aid from the Lossoth of the Far North. Both of the Palantíri his retainers had rescued during the slaughter in Arthedain perished with him. Their loss fittingly symbolized the end of the North Kingdom and the completion of the Witch-king’s primary goal.
Although the Lord of the Nazgûl crushed Arnor, he faced a much greater foe. Gondor’s relief army landed as Arvedui fled northward and marched to challenge the victors. Meeting the Witch-king near the ruins of the ancient Arnorian capital of Annúminas, Eärnur of Gondor and his Eriadoran allies vanquished the Host of Angmar and drove the Black Captain from the field. The Wraithlord’s Iron Home fell later the same year, ending the saga of the Northern Wars.
Following the fall of Angmar, Sauron sent his exalted Lieutenant to join his eight companions in Mordor. There, the Witch-king gathered the Úlairi and planned the surprise attack against Minas Ithil, the Gondorian capital of Ithilien and the key to the valuable cleft of Cirith Ungol (S. “Spider Pass”). The Ringwraiths quietly assembled an army in Gorgoroth and unleashed its fury in T.A. 2000. Quickly surrounding their prize, they cut the town off from the rest of Gondor and settled into a two-year siege.
In T.A. 2002, the Witch-king entered Minas Ithil and made the white marble city his new home. It remained the Black Captain’s abode until his death. The Men of Gondor mourned the loss, renaming the Tower of the Moon Minas Morgul — the “Tower of Dark Sorcery.” From that point onward, the glow of the town’s moonlit walls signified Evil and shone like a symbol of the Witch-king’s terror.
The Palantír housed in Minas Morgul’s Tower of the Stone served Sauron well throughout the next millennium. Its presence, coupled with the strategic and emotional value of the city itself, compelled the Dúnedain of the South Kingdom to try to recover the fortress-town. Ever-deadly and always wily, the Morgul-lord played upon their desires and desperation, twice challenging Gondor’s champions to single combat. The Witch-king slew Prince Aeardur of Lond Emil (Dol Amroth) — the last of the First Line of Princes in Dor-en-Emil — in T.A. 2004, and he cut down King Eärnur in a duel in T.A. 2050, ending Gondor’s Line of Kings. Both times, the Dúnadan challenger died before the silvery gates of the city. Eärnur’s death marked the beginning of the era of Ruling Stewards and signified the end of any pretense surrounding the recapture of Minas Morgul and the western pass into Mordor.
The Prelude to the War of the Ring
The Witch-king oversaw the Black Land for the next eight hundred and ninety-one years, until the return of Sauron from Dol Guldur in T.A., 2941. His minions multiplied, fortifying the Morgul Vale around the mouth of Cirith Ungol. Minas Morgul became a nearly impenetrable bastion haunted by the shrieks of the resident Ringwraiths. All the while, the Dark Lord’s Black Captain prepared for the coming war and guarded his Master’s homeland.
The Witch-king only launched one attack into the neighboring province of Ithilien during this respite, an Uruk attack against the exposed and underpopulated city of Osgiliath (S. “Fortress of the Stars”) on the Anduin. The former capital of Gondor sat astride the best route across the lower part of the Great River, and its huge stone bridge loomed as the most convenient route to Minas Tirith. In T.A. 2475, the Uruk-hai swept out of Minas Morgul and drove through the old city under the cover of a befouled night sky. Although retaken by the Dúnedain, Osgiliath’s bridge — and the lofty Tower of the Stone that held the Master Palantír and rose above the center of the river — fell into the Anduin. The Fortress of the Stars became a deserted and ever-threatened stronghold as the rest of Ithilien came under the Shadow.
Work began on Barad-dûr in T.A. 2951, ten years after the Evil One’s arrival in Mordor, and the minions of Darkness gathered in Gorgoroth and Minas Morgul for the next and ultimate assault on Gondor. Sauron was desperate in light of the possibility that the lost Ruling Ring would fall into the hands of a worthy foe. He resolved to destroy the Free Peoples before they could gather under the banner of another King. The preparations lasted sixty-seven years, so it was not until T.A. 3018 that the Host of Mordor and the Lord of the Rings stood poised for the Great War.
The Search for the Ring
With the end of winter, the Witch-king led Sauron’s southern army against the garrison at Osgiliath, throwing the Gondorians across the river. The Black Captains’ forces pursued the defenders onto the western bank and through the west quarters, securing the city for the Dark Lord’s coming invasion. Gondor’s army reacted with greater strength than anticipated, however, and the southern horde progressed no further. As the lines stabilized, the first test of the Free Peoples ended with the Witch-king’s departure on the quest for the One Ring.
The Chieftain of the Black Riders rode with the other eight Úlairi up the Anduin Valley in search of the Shire. Reaching the old Stoor-homes at the Gladden Fields (where Déagol and Sméagol found the Ruling Ring), they routed the few residents and uncovered nothing of any import. Sauron’s Lieutenant realized that they had mistaken the ancient settlement for the real land called Sûza (Kd. “Shire”), so he ordered his companions to turn south and head for Eriador. They skirted between Lórien and the cliffs to the west and rode through Rohan and past Isengard into Eriador. Taking the Greenway to Tharbad, the Nine crossed the Gwathló and entered old Cardolan. Eventually they split into two groups, with Khamûl leading two Riders directly through the Shire while the Witch-king took the others north toward Andrath and Bree in hope of cutting off any support or opportunity for flight.
After failing to capture their prey, the Nazgûl gave chase along the Great East Road. Ûvatha the Messenger broke off to deliver word to Khamûl of the Hobbits’ escape route. The Morgul-lord and his four other companions rode toward the commanding summit of Weathertop, where the view of the road and the neighboring expanse of En-Eredoriath (S. “The Lone Lands”) offered a means of insuring that they could intercept the fleeing halflings. Seeing firelight on the peak, the five Ringwraiths followed the most recent tracks up the hill and attacked the resting Company in hope of attaining their Master’s prize. Three Nazgûl advanced as the Hobbits formed a tight circle around the fire. The Witch-king stabbed Frodo in the left shoulder with his Morgul-knife as Strider leaped forward to intercede. Luckily, the firebrand and Aragorn’s bravery enabled the Hobbits to survive the nocturnal visit, as the five Úlairi retired.
Frodo’s wound proved unmendable without aid from a high Healer, for the Black Captain’s magical knife blade imbedded itself and slowly worked its way toward the Hobbit’s heart. Although unsuccessful in the melee on Amon Sul, the Witch-king’s cursed weapon placed Frodo in grave danger of becoming a Wraith and falling under the Úlair’s spell. Strider realized the halfling’s plight after finding the knife hilt and prepared an Athelas wash, but he knew that the party had little time to spare. With daylight, the Company fled toward the Bruinen Ford.
The Chieftain of the Ringwraiths watched and, after joining with Khamûl’s Riders, he and the other Nazgûl broke into furious pursuit. The Nine rode their prey down at the Bruinen Ford just west of Rivendell, and cried for Frodo to surrender. As the Hobbit balked and summoned his last strength to finish the crossing, the Witch-king plunged into the river with two of his servants (Ûvatha and Dwar) — only to find themselves engulfed beneath a torrential tide of magically summoned floodwaters. The enchanted current swept the Morgul-lord and the other eight of the Black Riders downstream, claiming their awful steeds. So ended the search for the Ring.
The War of the Ring
After the disaster at the Bruinen Ford, the Witch-king retired to Minas Morgul and returned to his role as commander of Mordor’s southern host. His goal was Minas Tirith and the defeat of Gondor. For this purpose, he arrayed his main army outside Osgiliath, planning a pincer of two wings. The other force issued out of Morannon and massed upriver by Cair Andros, providing the Ringwraith with a pair of Anduin crossings and ensuring that his enemies could not flee northward into Rohan.
The Gondorians retook western Osgiliath in early T.A. 3019, but soon thereafter the Black Captain sent his army across the river and scattered the guards in the ruined city. As the Morgul-host drove across the river from the east, smashing through the gates of the Rammas Echor that enclosed the Pelennor (S. “Fenced land”), another army came south from Cair Andros and entered the encircling outer walls from the north. The retreating defenders reached the city gates as the two attacking arms joined. Minas Tirith was surrounded.
The battle that followed took place before the walls of the city. As the ram Grond smashed the Great Gates, the main Hafherë of 6,000 Riders and the 120 Rohirrim of Théoden’s Guard struck the attacking force from the north, sending waves of Orcs into retreat. The Hafherë, led by Éomer, overran the main road and rode into the Haradrim between the ramparts and the river while Théoden and his guard skirmished with the Haradan Lord in front of the Great Gates. For the first time, the tide of battle favored the Free Peoples, and Prince Imrahil of Dol Amroth gathered the warriors in the forecourt of the city in preparation for a sally into Pelennor.
The Death of the Witch-King
The Lord of the Nazgûl responded by personally intervening in the fray involving the Rohirric King. Flying on the back of his Fell Beast, he dove upon Théoden. The advancing Rohirrim’s horses panicked as the Witch-king slew the Lord of Rohan with his awful mace. This act reversed the Riders’ success and endangered the Rohirric army; but, more importantly, it enraged Théoden’s niece Éowyn, who fought disguised as the youth Dernhelm.
Fully armored and unrecognizable as a woman, Éowyn challenged the Witch-king as he stood over the bodies of her uncle and his beloved mount Snowman, but the Morgul-lord scoffed at her words. Proclaiming that no man was fated to slay him, the Chieftain of the Ringwraiths savored his kill and warned her of her folly, not knowing that he faced a maiden. It was then that Éowyn shed her helm and announced:
“But no living man am I! You look upon a woman.”
“I am, Éomund’s daughter. You stand between me and my lord and kin. Begone, if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him.”
(LotRIII p. 141)
Silent, the Wraith-king rose on the sweeping wings of his Fell Creature, his fear and ire aroused. Éowyn stood strong, though, as the evil beast descended to attack her with its hideous claws and beak. She parried the initial foray and then sliced the monster’s head from its long neck. The Fell Beast tumbled to the ground, but the Lord of the Nazgûl rose again and advanced with his mace held high. He struck her green shield, shattering it, and raised his weapon for the slaying blow. Suddenly, the Hobbit Merry rushed behind him and plunged his enchanted sword into the back of the Witch-king’s knee, breaking the spell which held the Morgul-lord’s immortal form together, and giving Éowyn time to recover. The Rohirric maiden gathered herself and drove her blade through the Ring wraith’s neck. As fated, no man slew Sauron’s Lieutenant; instead, he perished at Pelennor by the hand of a woman, and an ancient sword wielded by a Halfling.
The Witch-king stood 6’10” and weighed 260 lbs. His pure Edain heritage gave him deep grey eyes, black hair, and fair skin, but these were obscured beneath his accoutrements. He wore his father’s famous Sea-helm, the karma of Tar-Ciryatan of Númenór. The helm served to protect him, as well as proclaiming him to be King, for the overlapping Sea-drake skin plates rose in a spiny crown-shaped crest embellished with gold. His simple iron crown was set into the crest, while the formidable “Morgul Plate” covered the rest of his imposing figure. Sea-drake skin plate, this magic armor deflected all but the finest of blades.
The Witch-king’s Principal Items
- (Q. “Blade-eater”; S. “Vasamegil”) +30 flaming broadsword forged in Thangorodrim out of black Ithilnaur and inlaid with veins of fused rubies. Its deep red pommel is crowned with a large (1000 gp) enchanted ruby. So long as the ruby remains inset into the sword, the weapon delivers a Heat critical (of equal severity) in addition to any normal critical strike it yields. The sword shatters weapons that parry its blows (opposing weapon must make a RR vs a 60th lvl attack if the attack result is “0 hits”; RR failure results in opposing weapon’s destruction).
- (“Death’s Proclaimer”) +30 Elf-and Man-slaying mace forged in Utumno out of black Eog and subtly inlaid with veins of fused diamonds. Its inset black Laen tip is enchanted and contains a permanent symbol, a 60th lvl Slow Death curse (a victim given a crit and failing a RR dies in 1 – 100 weeks).
- (“Fiery envoy”) +30 Númenórean steel composite bow. Whenever it is fired in darkness its arrow immolates upon leaving the bow. While on fire, the arrow yields a +30 Fireball attack whenever it strikes a target. Crown— (“Crown of Angmar”) A simple, enchanted iron crown, unadorned by any jewels or inlays. It is the symbol of the King of the North. A +6 Essence and Channeling spell adder, it adds +15 to wearer’s DB.
- Thôlogaer Ciryatano
- (“Sea-helm of Ciryatan”) A x6 Essence and Channeling PP multiplier, the magic Sea-helm was once worn by Tar-Ciryatan of Númenór. Its overlapping Sea-drake skin plates climax in a spiny crown-shaped crest, a variation of the karma design used by the Uinendil (S. “Followers of Uinen”) Captains of Númenór. It adds +15 to wearer’s RRs vs spell attacks.
- Plate Armor
- (“Morgul Plate”) +20 black Sea-drake skin plate armor (AT 20) which encumbers wearer like normal clothes (i.e., no armor/AT 1).
- (“Sorcery Knife”) +30 dagger which strikes as a short sword. Its long, thin enchanted blade gleams with a cold glint. It dissolves when exposed to sunlight and breaks off whenever the knife yields a critical strike. Once the blade is embedded in a victim, the victim must roll a RR versus the wielder’s lvl. Failure results in the blade finding its way to the victim’s heart within a number of days equal to 50 minus the RR failure number (e.g., RR failure by 21 means 29 days). Should the shard reach the victim’s heart, the victim becomes a wraith-servant (i.e., an undead slave) of the knife-wielder, operating thereafter at –50. Failure also results in a debilitating poisoning, and the victim operates with a penalty equal to twice the RR failure number (until he becomes a Wraith).
The Witch-king’s Special Powers
- 180 PP. Base spell OB is 60; directed spell OB is 90. The Witch-king knows all base Sorcerer lists to 60th lvl, all base Ranger lists to 10th lvl (MERP), and all Closed Essence and Closed Channeling lists to 10th lvl (RM),
- Authority of Presence
- The Witch-king’s Presence is greater than those of the other Úlairi. Those coming within sight of the Morgul-lord must make a RR versus a 9th lvl (rather than a 6th lvl) Fear spell. (See the General Powers of the Nazgûl above.)
- Glorfindel foretold at Fornost in T.A. 1975 that the Witch-king would not perish at the hands of a man (LotRIII, p, 412), and his prophecy proved true. It was the woman Éowyn who slew the Lord of the Nazgûl on the Pelennor Fields (LotRIII, p, 141 – 43). Clearly, Éowyn was fated to kill the Wraith-king, and GMs might wish to interpret this prophecy accordingly. It is suggested, however, that the circumstances of the Witch-king’s death need not necessarily be so specific. To begin with, any female of the Secondborn and any member of another race will qualify as a non-man. In addition, any object or accident might be construed as being capable of felling him. (Of course, note the Nazgûls’ immunity to normal weapons.) Such a liberal interpretation might be better-suited for the circumstances of the GM’s campaign, particularly if the events at the Battle of Fornost or during the War of the Ring differ or fail to occur.
- In any given round, the Witch-king can concentrate and determine the exact location of the source of any one presence located within 10’ (target gets RR vs 30th lvl search).
See ICE’s Angmar, Land of the Witch-king 15, 16, 42; Rangers of the North 20 – 22, 54; Read LotRI 25, 291, 325, 346; LotRIII 112, 141 – 43, 200, 207, 235 – 36, 240, 275 – 76, 278, 397 – 99, 411 – 13; UT 295, 313, 338 – 341, 343- 44, 346, 352 – 54.
Nazgûl Character List
|Adûnaphel||32||160||Pl/19||75||N||N||160bs||125cp||15||Black Númenórean Bard.
7th of the Nine.
|Akhôrahil||36||155||Ch/15||85||N||N||125ma||75ss||5||Black Númenórean Mage/Sorcerer.
5th of the Nine.
3rd of the Nine.
6th of the Nine.
4th of the Nine.
|Khamûl||50||240||Pl/20||90||N||N||210bs||180gé||10||Womaw (Avaradan) Ranger.
2nd of the Nine.
8th of the Nine.
Messenger and 9th of the Nine.
|The Witch-king||60||360||Pl/20||120||N||N||180bs||90cp||30||Black Númenórean Mage/Sorcerer.
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