Evening of October 1, 3019

Frodo portayed by Hobbitness
Madurz and Lilandra protrayed by FreeFall
Arnasa, Elfhild, Elffled and Angmar's Servants portrayed by Eowyn
Narrator, The Nine, Angmar, Khamul, Ceolwulf, Vardamir and Aldir portrayed by Wraith

Narrator: *October 1st dawned in Minas Morgul with a chill wind and a frost upon the ground.*
Narrator: *Frodo was alone in his room; Aldir, Vardamir and Ceolwulf were in their set of rooms; Lilandra, Finduilas, her two sons and Rian were in their chambers.*
Narrator: *Angmar had left the night before and had said he would not return until late that evening. For this reason, Elfhild and Elffled had been sent back with the rest of the women in their set of rooms.*
Narrator: *The day was a long one with little to break up the monotony.*
Narrator: *As the shadows of night begin to fall, Frodo and his nine slaves are summoned by Pizdur Sotar to come with him to the great hall of the Morgul Lord to a feast.*
Narrator: *After arriving at the hall, they all sit at a seperate table from the Nine. The feast passes with little event and little talk.*
Narrator: *Now the feast is ending and a hush has fallen over the room.*
Angmar: *Angmar arises to his feet and speaks* Now there are gifts I wish to give *he says in a rasping, cold voice*
Angmar: *He looks to a spot in the darkened recesses of the room* My servants, let the gifts be presented!
Angmar's Servants: *three men in dark robes, hoods concealing their faces, come forth from the shadows, carrying objects in their hands, covered by dark cloth*
Angmar: Arise, Aldir, Vardamir and Ceolwulf
Narrator: *The three men, questioning looks on their faces, push their chairs back and rise to their feet*
Frodo: *Frodo watches worriedly, wringing his hands in his lap under the table*
Angmar: Come forward *he commands*
Narrator: *The three men go towards the table of the Nine, stopping and keeping a respectful distance*
Lilandra: *she captures her bottom lip between her teeth..nervous and wide eyed as she watches intently*
Angmar's Servants: *the three dark cloaked servants approach the men and bow to them* prepare to receive this honor
Narrator: *The three men do as they are told, but look at each other in dismay*
Frodo: *Frodo's heart begins to race as Ceolwulf approaches Angmar. Frodo can't help but see the parallell to Sam's first...encounter with Angmar*
Angmar's Servants: *the three servants each hold a box in his hands. upon the boxes rest wrapped objects. they gesture for the men to take the wrapped object*
Narrator: *The men take the objects and unwrap them, discovering sword sheaths, black, adorned with jewels and carven with runes. They stand there, open mouthed*
Frodo: *wonders what the significance of the sheaths could be*
Vardamir: *he looks around and asks* Is this a jest?
Frodo: *sheaths, but no swords...*
Angmar's Servants: *one of the servants says* nay. it is a gift.
Vardamir: There is a trick to this *he whispers to the other men*
Aldir: My friends, we have no choice but to accept the gift and put it on
Ceolwulf: *Ceolwulf stands there with clenched fists*
Narrator: *All the men look around and then finally strap the sheaths to their belts*
Angmar: *Angmar looks at the men and laughs mockingly* You surely do not expect a sword sheath without a sword, did you?
Angmar's Servants: *the three hooded figures then open the boxes, revealing swords - ornately carven with runes upon the hilt - and hand them to the men.*
Vardamir: Now I know it is a jest. What do you expect us to do? Fall on them? *he asks sarcastically*
Frodo: *draws in a sharp breath*
Angmar: *Angmar stands there looking at them* No. Use them!
Angmar's Servants: *the three robed servants step back, bow to the men, and return to their places along the shadowy wall*
Narrator: *The men stand there, holding the swords, each thinking his own thoughts of fighting and escaping, and quickly realizing the folly it would be to act upon the thoughts*
Narrator: *Vardamir laughs as he puts the sword in its sheath. Aldir curses under his breath. Ceolwulf holds the sword for a while and puts it in the sheath*
Lilandra: *she stares. Always everything seemed suspicious to her and dread filled her. Why this gift? Swords for what...since when do slaves have weapons?*
Lilandra: *hoping no hell comes of this night..no dungeons..no seperations..no shattering surprises..she squeezes her fists and in one of them is the necklace..not wanting to wear it, but afraid to not have it*
Vardamir: *Vardamir steps forward and speaks* The jest of the Morgul Lord surpasses the understanding! Oh dread King! I can read the runes carven into the hilts and I know what they say.
Vardamir: Morgul Lord, the runes say.... and I can read them well.... "He Who Wields This Blade Serves Mordor." Curse you! Curse you to the ending of time!
Frodo: *Vardamir, be careful!...he attempts to send the thought though he can no longer hear any of them*
Angmar: *Angmar laughs at them as guards from the shadows rush upon them before they have time to turn*
Angmar: Take them to their quarters, lock them in for the night, and take their blades, lest they harm each other *he laughs, a hollow, mocking sound*
Lilandra: *breathes heavily and halfway attempts to stand...hoping they will not be beaten*
Frodo: *leans his face on his hands, pressing his temples...at least they have escaped harm this time....hopefully.*
Angmar: And take the women too. Take them all to their rooms, save for the maids of Rohan..... and the maiden of the moon!
Angmar's Servants: *more darkly robed servants come forth from the shadows and escort the women to their rooms, save for those whom their lord specified.*
Frodo: *He feels a pang of longing as they go. He had been so worried about them all day!*
Lilandra: *she looks to the other women nervously*
Angmar: *Angmar watches them as his guards escort them all out*
Angmar: Our honored guest, the Great Shakh, will remain
Vartang: *Vartang, who had remained at the table with the Nine, arises, bows to the Nine, then goes over to Frodo*
Frodo: *looks to Angmar, clenching his fists and gritting his teeth...then back down to his lap*
Vartang: Come, Shakh. Tonight you receive one of the greatest honors of your life
Frodo: *A sense of dread overwhelms him*
Frodo: *he follows Vartang, since there is no resistance he can offer to the powerful lords of Mordor*
Narrator: *The Nine and the Lady Madurz silently rise from their seats and move towards a connecting door that Frodo had never noticed*
Arnasa: *arnasa, still carrying her pack, goes to a servant who seems to have been waiting for her*
Arnasa: *they disappear into another door*
Frodo: *watches Arnasa go, frowning in concern*
Vartang: *Vartang reaches down and puts his arm on Frodo's shoulder* Stay with me, Shakh. Let your betters go ahead
Frodo: *nods to Vartang, then moves away from his touch*
Elfhild and Elffled: *elfhild and elffled remain behind, sitting at the table, waiting nervously to be told what they are to do*
Narrator: *The Nine and Lady Madurz walk ahead into the throne room of the kings*
Frodo: *Frodo manages a smile at the girls...though they are most likely still bewitched, they seem nervous*
Narrator: *Angmar walks up the two broad steps to an elevated dias, upon which stands the largest, most ornate throne. He stands there and waits until the rest of the Nine are standing in front of their thrones*
Narrator: *They all bow to each other. Then Angmar sits down. The rest follow suit. Khamul sits to his left with the Lady Madurz sitting on a large cushion in front of him*
Vartang: Now Shakh, come forward, bow and be seated beside me
Frodo: *He follows Vartang into the room, almost reeling at the sight of the Nine sitting in state*
Vartang: *Vartang walks forward, bows, then goes to the first step and takes a seat upon a large cushion. Another cushion waits for Frodo beside him*
Frodo: *bites his lip....at his first audience before Sauron, he refused to bow*
Frodo: *He stands before them; all their glowing eyes are upon him...he performs a curt, quick bow, then reluctantly sits on the cushion by Vartang*
Madurz: *she sits up straight, slightly leaning against Khamul's legs and grins..so very proud to be among them*
Angmar: Let the maids from Rohan be brought forth!
Frodo: *Frodo shivers with cold, and a terrifying sense of evil surrounds him...he clenches his jaw against the pain and waits in fear for the girls*
Elfhild and Elffled: *elfhild and elffled are escorted into the throne room by servants. they bow, then walk up the two large, wide stairs and sit upon cushions upon the dias on either side of angmar's throne*
Elfhild and Elffled: *they wear identical black dresses, embrodiered at the neck and sleeves with silver threads*
Frodo: *At least they will not be harmed, it seems...he inwardly winces as they sit with Angmar again*
Madurz: *She turns her head and flashes a wicked grin to the ladies*
Angmar: Now let my servants bring forth the wine!
Angmar's Servants: *behind the thrones of the nine is another room. the servants come forth, bearing wine and goblets. they serve each a goblet of wine, bow, then stand at their bidding behind the thrones*
Angmar's Servants: *other servants serve the lady madurz, shakh vartang, shakh frodo and the twins of Rohan and retreat to the shadows along the sides*
Frodo: *Frodo stares into his goblet, wondering if a spell has been laid on the wine to bewitch them*
Madurz: *she raises the goblet and inhales the scent deeply and takes a small sip*
Vartang: Shakh *he says as he begins to drink his wine* I know how honored you must feel at this moment
Frodo: *does not answer*
Vartang: Suit yourself, Shakh, but remember this night. You will, for the rest of your life *he says as he smirks at Frodo*
Frodo: *looks to Vartang questioningly*
Khamul: *As he drinks his wine, his left hand rests upon Madurz' shoulder in front of him. His fingers twine through the strands of her hair*
Madurz: *she closes her eyes and leans her head back a bit then looks up*
Angmar: *He stands to his feet* Friend of Sauron, we are honored by your visit
Angmar's Servants: *musciains behind a nearby curtain begin to play softly, as if in anticipation*
Frodo: *Frodo lowers his face to his hands and wishes the earth would swallow him up, then looks up in fear as Angmar speaks*
Angmar: My brothers and I have long looked forward to your being with us *he laughs. The Eight laugh with him, an eerie, chilling sound*
Frodo: *He does not answer...only waits, flinching at the laugh...an echo of Sauron's mocking laughter*
Madurz: *she sits forward a bit and smiles sweetly to Frodo*
Frodo: *His senses assaulted with the cold and hard laughter, he vaguely registers Madurz's smile and attempts to return it in politeness*
Khamul: *Khamul hands his wine goblet to the servant behind, then puts both hands on Madurz's shoulders. He bends over and kisses the back of her neck*
Angmar: Now let the celebration in honor of the Friend of Sauron begin! *he sits back down*
Madurz: *she sighs and places her hands gently on top of Khamul's which rest on her shoulders*
Arnasa: *Arnasa steps forward out of the shadows to the center of the floor before the steps. she lowers herself to her knees, touching the forehead to the floor, bowing before the nine and all present*
The Nine: *The Nine nod to her*
Frodo: *feels pity for Arnasa, as always*
Arnasa: *she stands before them. a fringed veil of palest lavender woven with silver threads is wrapped tightly about her upper body, concealing her dress*
Arnasa: *A fringed silver cord binds her headrail to her head; her dark khol-rimmed eyes survey her most illustrious audience.*
Madurz: *watches the girl from behind the rim of her goblet and drinks..her eyes not leaving her*
Vartang: *Vartang turns to Frodo and whispers* She is here because.... *he laughs, then takes another drink from his wine, then looks over to Frodo again and winks at him*
Frodo: *Frodo shakes his head slowly, not understanding Vartang*
Vartang: *Vartang laughs* You will, shakh, you will
Arnasa: *the music picks up in speed, changing from soft and subtle to a medium pace*
Arnasa: *she seems to be deep in thought, in concentration. She shifts from her left foot to her right, then suddenly sprints forward in a skipping run.*
Arnasa: *She twirls about, arms spread to her side, wide layered skirts of white, lavender and silver spinning about her...then stops, prancing sideways on dainty feet, twirling about again, then stopping... and prancing once more to the music.*
The Nine: *the glow of their eyes reflect off the interior top and sides of their dark hoods and they lean forward in their seats*
Arnasa: *She taps out a corresponding melody with the cymbals upon her thumbs, the bells upon her wrists and ankles jingle as she moves, her face radiant with joy*
Arnasa: *She faces those before her, her body still moving to the music, hips moving side to side, raises her arms towards the heavens, then bows low, dragging her hands against the floor*
Frodo: *He cannot help but admire the skill and beauty of her dance, but he still fears for her safety*
Arnasa: *Righting herself, she turns to each one before her and bows in reverence and praise*
The Nine: *All Nine nod to Aranasa*
Khamul: *Khamul runs his bare fingertips over the sides of Madurz' neck*
Madurz: *she tilts her head to the side, exposing more of her neck and sighs, her eyes fixed on the girl*
Frodo: *smiles to Arnasa*
Arnasa: *Then the music slows to an exotic, dreamlike serpentine melody, signaling the end of Arnasa's dance of greeting*
Khamul: My love, she dances well, does she not? *he kisses the back of her neck*
Madurz: indeed she does
Arnasa: *She begins to move to the melody... undulates her stomach and sways her hips as she begins to rotate slowly across the floor, her arms moving gracefully through the air, imitating the slithering of a snake*
The Nine: *Number Three turns to Number Four and whispers* Look at her... look at her!
The Nine: *Number Four, his eyes gleaming a bright red, says in a hiss* I see her... I see!
Arnasa: *Her right hand drifts to the side of the tightly wrapped veil, slowly drawing it forward as she moves to the music, traveling across the floor with graceful footsteps*
Frodo: *Frodo watches her intently...remembering her desire to be sacrificed to the Dark Lord before the Nine*
Arnasa: *she dances thus for a while, slowly removing the tightly wrapped veil from herself, her free hand trailing patterns in the air*
The Nine: *Number Three begins to stands to his feet, then sits back down. A low growl comes from his throat*
Arnasa: *She begins to turn more rapidly now, yanking her veil away and holding it aloft as she twirls, revealing a beaded purple bodice adorned with silver coins upon chains, a tasseled belt of silver about her hips.*
The Nine: *Number Four hisses like a serpent as he grips the arms of his throne* We must have her!
Arnasa: *She dances with the veil, spinning and twirling, swaying and shimmying, slowly rolling her hips from side to side and back and forth in an undulating rhythm, bending her back backwards towards the floor.*
The Nine: *Number Three replies* Yesss... my brother...yesss!
Arnasa: *Her almost luminous form flits about in the darkened hall, the embodiment of a gentle breeze on a balmy moonlit night, the adornments on her dress tinkling like the song of nightbirds.*
Frodo: *closes his eyes as he hears the Nazgul, then opens his eyes letting out a slow hissing breath*
The Nine: *They see her as a light shape in the darkness of the throne room, flitting, moving, undulating sensuously like a snake. Their eyes grow brighter*
Arnasa: *Ever does she dance nearer to the thrones of the Nine, her dark eyes looking to them for approval, for permission to approach...hoping for a sign...*
Khamul: *Khamul grips Madurz's shoulders tighter and nuzzles and licks her neck*
Madurz: *she drinks the rest in her goblet and places it down and runs her fingertips over Khamul's hands*
Angmar: *Angmar nods and with a motion of his gloved hand, he beckons her to come forward*
Arnasa: *seeing approval, she dances forward, ever waving her veil through the air about herself... she dances upon the first step*
Angmar: Maiden.... *Angmar hisses softly* come closer.....
Frodo: *nervously sips the wine, forgetting to worry if there is a spell on it*
Arnasa: *she comes closer... dancing gracefully around the thrones of each of the nine, twirling the veil about, playfully letting it flutter across them, looking over her shoulder with shining eyes.*
The Nine: *As they see her moving her veil, Number Three and Four almost leap from their seats, but cursing wickedly, they stay seated*
Arnasa: *Then twirling round and round, moving to the serpentine melody, she dances before Angmar's throne as the music rises to a crescendo...*
Frodo: *Arnasa's dance reminds him somewhat of the dances at Bilbo's parties, the way the hobbit lasses used to dance...but there is something different about Arnasa's dance...Frodo cannot quite define it...*
Arnasa: *...swaying and shimmying wildly, swirling her veil about him like a whirlwind of lavender and silver, scented with exotic flowers from the far east.*
Frodo: *...a lure that draws you into her dance, like a faint echo of the Ring's call....a strange lure that seems almost wrong to Frodo...he has not encountered the like before...*
Frodo: *...except in some fleeting expressions he has seen on Madurz's face*
Angmar: *Angmar inhales deeply and reaches his hand out to touch her*
Arnasa: *she smiles at him, letting the veil wrap around his head, a whisper of gauzy fabric flits across his face.*
Angmar: *Angmar begins to rise to his feet* Maiden..! *he gasps as he reaches for her veil*
Arnasa: *laughing playfully, she twists out of his reach, her billowly skirts flying about her legs*
Arnasa: *then she flings the veil far from him, and bowing from the waist with a flourish, she lets the veil drop, fluttering to his feet.*
Angmar: *he reaches down, picks it up, holds it to his nose, deeply inhaling the aroma of her scent*
Angmar: Maiden.... I am pleased with you *his voice is raspy*
Khamul: *Caught up in the excitement of the dance, Khamul nips Madurz playfully on the back of her neck and digs his fingers into her shoulders*
Madurz: *she rolls her head from side to side and arches her back as it cracks lightly and she looks around her and almost chuckles at the expression on the faces she can see and the line of red glowing eyes*
Arnasa: *arnasa beams at angmar, then turns on her heel and scampers back to the floor. The tempo of the music picks up, becoming faster.*
Frodo: *Frodo tries to figure out what Arnasa's strange lure was...what was that quality?...but the same quality is now so strong in Madurz's eyes that Frodo turns away*
Angmar: More! More! More! *he hisses in a loud voice* Dance for us, Maiden of the Moon!
Arnasa: *Once again, she twists and turns, skirts swirling, a splash of color, her fingers tapping out an accompanying melody on her cymbals, the bells, chains and coins upon her dress jiggling madly in a tune of their own*
Madurz: *Frodo seems nervous and she looks him over and mouths unknown words to him and smiles*
Frodo: *Frodo smiles awkwardly to Madurz, then looks down and concentrates on the music, not wanting to watch the dance anymore..the strange lure makes him uncomfortable.*
The Nine: *The Eight begin chanting softly in low moaning, hissing voices, keeping time with the music*
Madurz: *she sits there and sways lightly to the music as well*
Arnasa: *Arms flying like panicked serpents, she shimmys and shakes, undulating, dancing in a frenzied passion until the music begins to slow.*
Vartang: *Vartang never takes his eyes off her, his fists clenching and unclenching constantly in his excitement* Shakh... did you ever see anything alike her? *he says to Frodo, his voice deep and husky*
Frodo: No *Frodo whispers back truthfully*
Vartang: *He stifles a low chuckle at Frodo*
Arnasa: *She walks towards Vartang, bowing before him. she is slightly out of breath*
Frodo: *Frodo looks back up to Arnasa when she stops. He smiles at her...but now she makes him a little uncomfortable...he is not quite sure why...the way she acted with the Nine...*
Vartang: *He nods and then whispers to Arnasa* The Kings are pleased with you
Vartang: Dance more! Dance! Display your charms and arts to the Kings! *his eyes gleaming, beads of perspiration dot his forehead*
Madurz: *she leans more against Khamul and sways still*
Arnasa: *her spirits soaring, she asks breathlessly and giddily* my lord, may i borrow your sword for the next dance?
Vartang: *He rises, bows to the kings, then unsheaths his sword and holds it in both hands, one hand on the hilt, the other on the blade. He bows and presents it to her. Then he sits back down*
Arnasa: thank you most generous shakh. *she takes the sword in both hands, one on the hilt, fingers of the other carefully clutching the blade. she steps back bowing.*
Khamul: *Khamul strokes Madurz' hair with one hand and kneads her right shoulder with the other*
Madurz: *she raises her hand and strokes his cool face..she turns her head and kisses her fingertip on her shoulder*
Arnasa: *She holds the sword away from her body, looking at it in feigned confusion. She holds it aloft with her right hand, her left hand upon her hip, looking absolutely bewildered.*
Frodo: *watches her with unfeigned confusion*
The Nine: *The Nine lean forward more in their thrones and begin to chant* Dhak Shapat! Dhakh Shapat!
Arnasa: *Suddenly, she tosses the sword in the air, catches the hilt with her hand, then tosses it up again, catching the hilt with the other hand*
Frodo: *his eyes widen*
Arnasa: *then she tosses it back to her right hand, beginning to dance slowly with subtle undulations and sways*
Khamul: *Khamul bends over and whispers in Madurz' ear* She does a dance of the East
Arnasa: *Her movements are stilted like those of a mummer as she dances gracefully, making patterns with the sword, much like she did with the veil*
Frodo: *When he hears Khamul's words, Frodo stops watching the dance and pretends to be engrossed in his goblet of wine*
Khamul: Watch her now... *he hisses low*
Madurz: *watches her and whispers to him*
Khamul: *Khamul chuckles softly at some private joke shared between Madurz and him*
Arnasa: *A look of fierceness crosses her face and she swings her sword, pretending to fight an unseen enemy...looking over her shoulder and smiling playfully at those seated*
The Nine: Yesss.... *they hiss, their voices low in anticipation*
Arnasa: *She twirls across the floor slowly, swaying hips and undulating stomach, then places the sword upon her head, holding it by the hilt and blade, her feet carrying her in stilted patterns.*
Arnasa: *Then she stops, looking to those who are seated. Her khol-rimmed eyes widen, as though a idea came to her. Slowly she takes her hands from the sword, and stands there, balancing it upon her head.*
Madurz: *she smiles to the girl*
Arnasa: *the music continues its slow, serpentine melody*
The Nine: *The eyes of the Nine glow fiercely as they all begin to chant* Dhak Shapat! Dhakh Shapat! Dhakh Shapat! Dhakh Shapat! Dhakh Shapat! Dhakh Shapat!
Frodo: *shudders as they chant*
Madurz: *her fingernails slightly rake over Khamul's hand*
Arnasa: *Her expression is nervous at first, but is soon replaced by one of mischiveous glee as she begins to dance once more...*
The Nine: *Then they begin a softer chant in unison, mixing it with the other* Grish... grish... dhakh shapat... dhakh shapat...
Arnasa: *Swaying and spinning, hands and arms moving about like slithering serpents, feet making intricate patterns, sometimes moving seductively, sometimes playfully...*
Arnasa: *amazingly, the sword never shifts its position on her head once.*
The Nine: *Caught up in a frenzy of excitement, they cry* Mazauk! Mazauk! Mazauk! Mazauk! Matum! Matum!
Frodo: *Frodo covers his ears*
Khamul: *Khamul takes one of Madurz' hands, brings it up to his mouth and kisses it, then nibbles on her fingers*
Madurz: *she sighs and writhes to the music and chant*
Arnasa: *She bends her back, shimmying as she lowers herself inch by inch downwards...going down upon her knees and still further back, until at last her head almost touches the floor. the sword still remains on her head.*
The Nine: *An audible* Ahhhhhhhh.....
Arnasa: *She then rises, kneeling upon on knee, still balancing the sword upon her head, then stands*
Arnasa: *She dances over to Vartang, takes the sword from her head, and presents it to him, bowing.*
Vartang: Arnasa.... honored maiden *his voice deep* You have a way with blades! *He gives her a wicked wink, rises, bows deeply to her, and takes the sword, puts it back in its sheath, then sits down*
Angmar: *Angmar rises to his feet* Maiden, do you tire?
Arnasa: *she stands in the middle of the floor, pausing ere dancing again* not yet, master.
Angmar: *He sits back down* Then dance on, maiden. My brothers and I are pleased..... most pleased..
The Nine: *Their voices rise as they chant* Dhakh shapat.... Grish... grish... dhakh shapat... dhakh shapat... mazauk.... mazauk.... matu.... matum.... dhakh shapat.....
Frodo: *looks up briefly, but ready to look down again as soon as the dance starts, determined not to watch the war dance of the East*
Arnasa: *she beams at them, almost radiating her joy. The music picks up, a fast song this time.*
Khamul: *He whispers to Madurz* These maidens... *he says slowly, hissing* before a battle...... they work our soldiers to a frenzy of passion and blood....
Madurz: *she nods as she watches her and smiles as she feels his lips upon her ear*
Khamul: *He continues whispering to Madurz while stroking her cheek with one hand* These maids of ours..... they can fight as savagely as men
Madurz: *her eyes flash for an instant as he speaks in present tense*
Khamul: My love *he says and smooths her hair* they fight as well as the men
Madurz: *her eyes turn cold for a moment as she wished she could display her skill of battle...but her mortality!!...she calmed her rising anger. she was not to find a fate in death*
Arnasa: *arnasa begins to dance once more... she twirls, spinning, shimmying and shaking like a mad thing, writhing to the music, leaping about, running and skipping...first here, then there, moving to the frantic pace of the dance*
Arnasa: *Drums begin to beat loudly and the other melody as stilled as Arnasa dances in wild abandon, completely lost in the world of the dance.*
The Nine: *A low wail begins to come from their throats, then it rises louder to shrieks*
Arnasa: *she spins and spins....dancing madly... until she begins to feel that she is rising off the floor of the throne room...out of the tower...into the sky and into the void where her spirit shall be one with the dark lord for ever and all time, and live in eternal bliss with him...dancing before his dark throne in realms unknown*
The Nine: *The Nine shriek wildly and pound the arms of their thrones, the noise sounding like thunder*
Arnasa: *The beating of the drums are replaced by a peaceful melody and her pace slackens, her movements becoming more graceful. Out of breath now, she pants, her arms and legs trembling.*
Khamul: *Khamul whispers in Madurz' ear* My brothers and I are joyful, my love. This is the first ceremony you have seen here. Perhaps it will not be the last *he says as he kisses the top of her head*
Frodo: *Frodo is out of breath too, with terror. He is relieved when the music slows, hoping it signals the dance's end*
Arnasa: *her headrail drenched with perspiration, her eyes slightly glazed, chest heaving, she swirls about on the floor a few more times*
Arnasa: *then she falls to the floor upon her face in exhaustion before Angmar's throne, her hands outreached towards him in worship*
Frodo: *his eyes dart up when he hears her fall*
Madurz: *she looks down to the exhausted girl*
Frodo: *Is this, then, the sacrifice she desired? Or is it yet to come?*
Angmar: *He extends his hand down to her* Maiden of the Moon, you may touch my hand
Frodo: *The hand that wielded the morgul blade. Frodo looks away*
Arnasa: *wearily propping herself on one arm, she reaches out a trembling hand and touches his*
Angmar: *His hand clasps around hers and he looks down at her, his breathing heavy and his red eyes gleaming fire*
Frodo: *He turns her dance over in his mind...it was beautiful...but underneath...he cannot grasp the meaning underneath*
Frodo: *Some unspoken message went between Arnasa and the Nine...now perhaps it will be spoken*
Angmar: Maiden, can you perform the Dhak Grish-ob? I wish to see the dance of blood and death!
Frodo: My lord....*he says hesitantly* She is exhausted!
Arnasa: *she looks up at him, trying desperately to catch her breath* master...i....i...shall try..
Angmar: *He releases her hand slowly* Great Friend of Sauron...... You are a guest here *he pauses* And I.... *he hisses* I.... am the Lord of Morgul!
Madurz: *she sits up now...removing herself from against Khamul's legs*
Frodo: *A chill courses through him...he looks down and falls silent*
Angmar: Maid.... *he looks down at her* I have a dagger.....
Madurz: *she looks over to Lord Angmar*
Frodo: *looks up again, startled*
Frodo: *He remembers the dance arnasa did outside, when he first came to Nurn....the night he almost died, she was outside dancing, wailing, and cutting herself*
Madurz: *she runs her fingertips over her temples as she looks to him...her head slightly hurting*
Khamul: *Khamul whispers in Madurz' ear* My love... *he slowly says* dance with her and do the Dhak Grish-ob! Do it for me!
Madurz: *she shifts her gaze*
Madurz: *she smiles to him* love by now you must know i need not be asked twice
Angmar: *Angmar reaches into his tunic and takes a knife from a sheath at his belt and extends it to her hilt forward*
Arnasa: *arnasa takes the dagger, then drops her head to the ground in respect.*
Frodo: *watches in revulsion*
Madurz: *she stands slowly and moves off the step*
Arnasa: *she rises to her feet, holding the dagger tightly. she steps back from them and stands upon the floor before them*
Madurz: *takes Khamul's hand and kisses it*
Khamul: My love... for the Master... dance, for us
Madurz: *she bows to the other Lords*
Arnasa: *the music begins to play again, a slow, ominious serpetine beat, with the subtle beaitng of drums*
Madurz: *she moves over to Lord Angmar and bows deeply*
The Nine: *The breathing of the Nine is audable*
Angmar: *He nods to her*
Madurz: *with a smug smile she moves over to Frodo*
Arnasa: *arnasa begins to move slowly, her eyes closed, deep in thought and meditation as she shifts from foot to foot, holding her dagger at her side*
Frodo: *he tenses....Madurz is dangerous...it is all he can think*
The Nine: *The Nine watch the two women intently, breathing heavily in rasps*
Madurz: enjoying yourself....Shakh *runs her fingers over his arm*
Frodo: *bites his lip, fights the urge to pull away*
Arnasa: *arnasa begins a slow, wailing chant, as her steps become quicker*
Madurz: *she sways her hips as she moves over to the girl*
Arnasa: *she slowly raises her hands to the sky, tilting her head back and wailing*
Frodo: *lowers his eyes again, praying to the Valar that he not be counted a part of this dark ceremony*
The Nine: *The Nine chant slowly and softly* Grish.... grish.... grish...
Arnasa: *the music picks up its beat and arnasa begins to spin madly in circles, bringing the knife downwards, cutting the opposite arm, her blood splattering on her flesh and clothing*
The Nine: *At the site and smell of the blood, all rise to their feet and howl in a frenzy*
Frodo: *lowers his head further, covering his ears again*
Madurz: *she stands behind Arnasa and dances and sighs when she sees the blood...she aches to touch it, but insteads dances with more intensity*
Arnasa: *in a twirling spin upon one foot, her back bent backwards, foot against the back of her knee, she tosses the dagger to the other hand, then cuts the other arm...dancing wildly*
The Nine: *They begin to utter a loud, passion-filled wail, then shriek a mad cry of darkness and death*
Madurz: *feeling the power of the Dark Lord filling her..her caller...she hisses and chants and flails her arms*
Arnasa: *arnasa wails and moans in a tongue unknown to frodo but known to some of the nine as she spins and shakes madly, bending forwards, bending backwards, twirling about, making random gashes in her body*
The Nine: *The Nine suddenly rise to their feet and rush down to the second step. Vartang hastily moves away. One Nazgul kicks Frodo to the side in his haste*
Madurz: *she moves to Khamul and removes her outter covering and places it by him*
Arnasa: *arnasa tosses the dagger to madurz... whom she considers to be a priestess of minas morgul.... then continues her dance of worship*
Frodo: *settles as far away from them all as he can, his right hand to his side...he can no longer use his left arm*
Madurz: *she catches the dagger and sniffs the blade and sighs and cannot help but lick off the girls blood*
Frodo: *He turns away from them and continues his own prayers*
Arnasa: *her mind transported into realms of darkness and timeless beauty, arnasa cannot even feel the burning pain from her cuts*
Madurz: *her voice is low and raspy as she holds the blade and extends it to the Nine speaking the Dark Language*
The Nine: *Their wails now are constant, in time to the music* Blood! Blood! Blood! Grish! Blood of the Living! War! Death!
Madurz: *she throws her head back and slides the knife along her collarbone*
Arnasa: *tearing away a chain of metal dangling from her hip belt, she takes the sharp ends and cuts herself more as she sways and shakes to the music*
Arnasa: *she spins rapidly, twirling the chain in the air*
The Nine: *Slowly, they move to the floor and circle around the two women. They draw their swords in unison, raising them high* Grish! Grish! *they chant*
Madurz: *she spins with the dagger and each smell her blood as the blade moves around and the scent permeates the room. she thrashes in the dance...her blood spilling more as she runs it up her arm...cutting deep*
Elfhild and Elffled: *elfhild and elffled, who had been watching the dance in horror beside angmars throne, crawl away to the wall behind*
Madurz: *she moves over to Arnasa with the knife, sliding her hand up Arnasa's bloody arm and sighs... dance of worship and her need of blood mixing...her whole being enveloped by the power of the Dark Lord. she moves behind Arnasa*
The Nine: Ahhhhh! *They shriek, leaning forward and their left hands reaching out*
Arnasa: *arnasa's pale dress is dotted with large splotches of her blood... the cuts on her arms bleeding profusely*
Frodo: *Frodo uncurls himself enough to give Elfhild and Elffled a sympathetic look, then curls back into a ball against the wall again*
The Nine: *Then the Nine slowly back away from the two women. Then bringing their swords down, they extend them forward with the tips of the blades pointing towards the women*
Arnasa: *arnasa continues dancing, wailing in the language of the east, swaying wildly in serpentine movements, her arms flailing high in the air*
Angmar: Dance against the blades! Grish! *he chants* Grish! Dance the dance of blood and passion!
Angmar: Shed your blood on the edges of our blades! Do this! *He gasps* Do this and there is no reward great enough to be paid!
Arnasa: *arnasa dances over to angmar's sword, turns her back to it, swaying to and fro, letting the tip and edges of the blade graze her back*
Madurz: *she moves over to Khamul*
Arnasa: *she makes a spinning turn to the next king, her chest this time exposed to the tip and edges of his sword, cutting through the fabric of her dress and piercing her skin*
The Nine: Ahhh! *they exhale and growl*
Madurz: *she places the tip over her heart and moves so it cuts her. then she goes around and cuts herself about the arms for the others*
Khamul: *Khamul closes his eyes and shrieks*
Arnasa: *arnasa, in a trance now, turns and twists against each sword, letting it cut her her back and chest. more blood soaks her dress and splatters upon the floor*
Madurz: *her hair falls over her shoulders in damp, perspired pieces. she moves to Angmar*
Arnasa: *she does not feel the pain of her cuts, the weakness caused by her months of fasting, the ache of her hurting feet....her mind soars, detached from her body*
Madurz: *she places the tip to her sternum and drags it downwards and looks to his eyes as the blood spills*
Arnasa: *arnasa moves around to each one of the nine, letting their swords spill her blood... sometimes dancing against the tips, sometimes against the edges. then she moves to the center, dancing with reckless abandon, taking high steps, her head lolling back, her arms swinging and flailing at her sides*
Madurz: *she shuts her eyes tightly as her mind reels*
Khamul: *Khamul opens his eyes and looks at Madurz* Grish! Grish! *he screams*
Madurz: *she spins and moves back over to Khamul*
Arnasa: *she chants in her own language, supplications, praises to melkor and sauron, wailing and moaning, her body swaying forward and backwards precariously, her dress tattered, hanging in blood-soaked shreds*
Madurz: *she takes his blade and puts it back to her heart and criss crosses the other slash from his blade*
Arnasa: *her frantic pace finally slows... her eyes flutter, her body goes limp and she falls to the floor in a swoon from exhaustion and loss of blood*
Madurz: *she dances wildly within the circle of them...moaning praises...smelling the blood....she smiles and dances around the slumped body*
Angmar: *Angmar raises his sword and holds it high in the air, signaling the end of the dance*
The Nine: *The Nine raise their blades and cry* Krampuz bhog, Faand Ran-ob!
Madurz: *she breathes heavily...her eyes full of wild fire*
Angmar: Enough! *Angmar commands and sheaths his blade* Servants! Revive the maid!
The Nine: *The Nine sheath their blades and move back*
Madurz: *she raises her head and moves between Khamul and Angmar*
Arnasa: *a dark hooded servant steps forward with a flask of draught. he goes to arnasa's body, moves her to a sitting position, supporting her, and puts the lip of the flask to her mouth*
Arnasa: *arnasa begins to stir, coughing, feeling lightheaded, as though floating in the darkness of the starless void*
Angmar: My ladies... *Angmar says and his words sound fair* I am pleased, well pleased.... my Brothers are pleased
Madurz: *she watches the girl and whispers lightly* poor thing has tired herself greatly
Angmar: Servants! Take the Maiden of the Moon to my tower.... revive her.... let her rest
Arnasa: *one servant lifts arnasa under the arms, the other takes her feet, and they carry her out of the throne room, her eyes glazed, head rolling from side to side, a smile on her face as she mumbles incoherently in an unknown tongue*
The Nine: *Panting, all Nine turn, return to their thrones and sit down*
Madurz: *she returns to sit back on her cushion but first stops in front of Frodo*
Angmar: *Angmar looks to the Lady Madurz* Come *he says slowly* Sit in front of me. Sit in honor
Madurz: *she turns her head to his voice and moves over to him..bowing her head..her eyes momentarily moving to Khamul*
Khamul: *Khamul looks to Madurz and nods slowly, his eyes hidden by the folds of his hood*
Madurz: *her eyes move back to Angmar* Thank you my Lord
Elfhild and Elffled: *elfhild and elffled still cringe on the floor near the wall behind angmar's throne, clutching each other and weeping*
Angmar: *He looks around the room* Friend of Sauron!
Frodo: *Frodo takes a long time to work up the courage to answer Angmar's call*
Frodo: *He struggles to his feet and turns to face the Nine*
Angmar: Shakh..... another one of your slaves I will borrow for a time, and a time
Frodo: *his senses reeling from the disgusting orgy..he still bristles at the title Friend of Sauron*
Angmar: She...... Arnasa..... shall dance for my court!
Frodo: *not having any say in the matter, Frodo reluctantly inclines his head*
Madurz: *her blood still flows from her fresh wounds...she wipes at it with the tips her fingers and rolls her fingers together and licks the blood and looks between the fair maids of Rohan*
Angmar: Shakh.... Great Friend of Sauron.... they will all be returned to you..... in time.....
Elfhild and Elffled: *elfhild and elffled catch madurz' glance towards them and cringe more against the wall*
Madurz: *she smiles...loving their fear*
Frodo: *looks at Elfhild and Elffled, weeping and cowering...he has caught a brief glimpse of the exhausted and bloody Arnasa...his eyes fill yet he cannot protest*
Angmar: And you *he looks to Madurz* you shall dance too
Frodo: *He goes up the stairs and over to Elfhild and Elffled and tries to comfort them*
Angmar: You two shall be my favored ones. It is my command!
Madurz: *she lifts her head up to him*
Elfhild and Elffled: *they look at frodo as he walks towards them*
Frodo: *Frodo puts his hands on their shoulders, his left hand cold and shaking. He speaks softly to them but his eyes glisten*
Elfhild and Elffled: *he can feel that they tremble... they do not speak but whimper and cry softly*
Frodo: *He speaks to them, trying to convince himself too, of the stars that still shine above this evil, and the Valar who watch over them even now...softly, fearing discovery*
Frodo: *Frodo whispers to Elfhild and Elffled* Do you believe what I have told you...that the stars still shine...*trails off with a small gasp as Angmar speaks*
Elfhild and Elffled: *incoherently they mutter* i don't know, i don't know... i don't...
Frodo: We have to! *he whispers urgently*
Angmar: *he extends his hand towards Madurz and his glowing eyes meet hers*
Madurz: *her mind flashes with memories...they are strongest in his presence*
Angmar: *In an exchange of glances, thousands of years roll by and he sees her*
Madurz: *she hears words between them...instances...they flash and mix together*
Madurz: *drops of her blood hit the floor*
Angmar: *He sends her a thought message.... Zaminbalak.... Zaminbalak...*
Madurz: *she whimpers slightly....Aldarion*
Angmar: *His thoughts go to her... I have called... and you... have answered*
Madurz: *she feels the hand of the White Wizard upon her..in her...raking her mind...she trembles...Aldarion*
Madurz: *the room darkens to her and falls silent*
Madurz: *the streaked blood upon her skin begins to dry...yet more still oozes*
Angmar: *he rises to his feet* All of you leave me now except this one..... Go now!
Angmar: Take the two maidens to the other guest rooms in my tower!
The Nine: *The Eight look at him, then silently rise from their chairs and leave*
Madurz: *she sits there....breathing heavily...the room swaying*
Madurz: *she sees Khamul exit and her heart thuds painfully in her chest..her mind screams*
Frodo: *he lowers his voice even more...* Are you free now...from the spell...? *he has not gathered the courage to ask it before*
Vartang: *Vartang goes to Frodo* Leave them!
Frodo: *looks frantically between the girls and vartang*
Elfhild and Elffled: we... *they begin, but their words are cut short. they look to vartang... dark robed servants come towards them*
Vartang: Shakh... come now!
Frodo: *It looks as though they are....but....*
Frodo: *He bows his head in defeat and follows Vartang to his solitary room again, he is sure*
Angmar: *the voice booms from the throne* Shakh, I grant you this boon... For the space of one hour, you may go and talk to your women, save for twins and Arnasa
Angmar: Vartang, escort him!
Frodo: *his face lights up, then falls as he learns he cannot talk to Elfhild and Elffled but he looks forward to seeing Rian and Finduilas, and hopefully her boys*
Elfhild and Elffled: *the girls rise and the dark robed servants take them away, leaving the throne room, heading for the guest rooms prepared for them*
Frodo: *He thanks Angmar....grating at the mere thought of thanking him...but he must do it.*
Narrator: *The musicians scurry for their instruments, then bowing frantically, they rush out of the throne room*
Vartang: *Vartang grabs Frodo by the arm and pulls him out of the throne room* Shakh, when he speaks, all listen and heed!
Frodo: *lifted almost off his feet, he nods confusedly*
Narrator: *Vartang takes Frodo to the women's room and orders the orcs to open the door for him. They look at him fearfully, believing a fey mood has hit him. They bow and open the door*
Narrator: *When the last one, save Angmar and Madurz, have fled the room, the guards close the doors*
Narrator: *Silence falls upon the throne room*

Art by Wraith

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