September 13, 3020

Written by Angmar

After a week's sojourn in Dol Guldur where Frodo received treatment, though it was very painful to him, for the injuries he had received at the hands of General Vartang and his troops. Although various ointments, ungents and oils had been administered to the scalded skin of Frodo's small frame, still he had shrieked out in pain and writhed as the tar mixed with feathers had been stripped from his tortured flesh. Lord Khamul and Lord Zagbolg had conferred with each other and had deemed that it would be more entertaining not to rid Baggins of the dried tar by magic, jesting that perhaps the Halfling might recoil at such use of the Dark Arts in his behalf.

"Why waste our efforts, my lord?" Shakh Zagbolg had laughed. "He is far more deserving of other treatment!"

"Aye, shakh," Lord Khamul had said to him, "the little bastard deserves only death, but perhaps that would be a far too merciful fate."

"Aye, my lord," Zagbolg agreed, "the Master had tired of him and considered him beneath His notice months ago!"

"Join me, Lord Zagbolg, in another goblet of wine. The supply train last eve brought with it a goodly supply of the best Dorwinion wine, a gift from our Captain with his best wishes," Khamul said as a quiet, dark-hooded servant brought him a goblet.

"Perhaps the Morgul Lord is no longer angry with you, Lord Khamul, and seeks to make amends," Lord Zagbolg had suggested as he, too, was given a goblet from a tray carried by the servant.

Khamul had sighed. "Perhaps, but there is still a great grievance between us. Now let us drink a toast to our Master upon His throne in Lugburz and then let us drink a toast to our Captain and finally to my Lady Madurz!"

"And," Lord Zagbolg said, his voice somber, "let us hope that the wrath of none of them ever falls upon our heads!"

"My lady is seldom wroth with me and gives me all her love and affection. 'Tis a grave error you make not to take a mate."

"True enough," Lord Zagbolg agreed.

"If you had a lady to keep you occupied, you would not tax me so much with your jests," Lord Khamul laughed.

"Nay," Lord Zagbolg snorted and held up one hand, "I have sworn off them forever!"

"Only because none will have you!" Khamul had taunted him in good humor.

"Nay," Lord Zagbolg retorted, "that is not the case at all."

Knowing that Lord Zagbolg was twisting the truth to the breaking point, Khamul merely laughed and then drank his wine.

Khamul sat his goblet down upon the table beside his chair and then rising to his feet, he walked to the window. He pulled back the curtain from the opening and looked down into the bailey. "The entourage of the shakh is leaving now. Do you wish to see his departure, Lord Zagbolg?"

"Turning his head to look at him, Zagbolg replied, "Nay, lord. Let the little maggot squirm back to his hole and let us never see his wretched face ever again!"

"Well said, Lord Zagbolg," Khamul said as he returned to his chair and took up his goblet of wine.

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