Night of September 30 - Morning of October 1, 3019

Frodo portrayed by Hobbitness
Durkuf portrayed by Eowyn
Narrator and Vartang portrayed by Wraith

Night of September 30
Frodo: *Frodo shifts in bed, then opens his eyes a crack...his sleep is fitful but at least he is able to sleep...he marvels that he can sleep at all in Minas Morgul*
Narrator: *Frodo's sleep had been fitful and he had awakened many times during the night. After turning restlessly in his bed for what seems like hours, Frodo finally falls into another restless sleep.*
Narrator: *He is all alone on a vast dark plain of rocky, barren ground. The chill is so intense that his whole body begins to tremble.*
Narrator: *He knows that there is a goal ahead, but he is not quite sure what it is, but still he tolls on across the plains, his lips parched, his throat begging for a taste of water, his mouth becoming swollen from thirst.*
Narrator: *Wearily, he lifts one foot and puts it heavily down, then lifts the other foot and it comes crashing to the ground. Exhausted, he makes the painful course across the plain, sometimes falling down, sometimes tripping and falling over hidden rocks.
Narrator: *He reaches up to his face and feels the warm blood as it runs across his cheek in a gash sustained from his most recent fall upon the jagged rocks. "Where is Sam?" he asks, "Where is Sam?"*
Frodo: "He should be here," Frodo thinks. "He was always there. Did something happen to him?" But though fear and longing consume him, his mind and body are in too much distress for him to think clearly*
Narrator: *He stops, looks around, in all directions, but he sees nothing except the endless, barren, rock filled plains. "Oh Sam, why have you left me? Why has everyone left me?"*
Narrator: *Again, he slowly begins to move his feet, which are now torn and bleeding from the jagged rocks.*
Frodo: *He wonders where he is going...what awaits him at the end of the road?...but perhaps he will not even get there...but there is an urgent need to get there*
Frodo: *He worries that some malevolent force is guiding his steps*
Narrator: *He looks far away across the distant plain. He can see the outline of a giant craggy mountain. "There it is," he says, "My destiny is that way, and I must go to it, but where is Sam?"*
Narrator: *"Sam would have something to say, something cheerful, something encouraging, but he is not here. Who has taken away my Sam!" he pleads.*
Frodo: *There is no strength left in his body, and his heart is unbearably heavy, like a terrible burden*
Frodo: *He crawls forward, still calling for Sam, but his progress is slow*
Narrator: *Overcome with fatigue and exhaustion, he falls to the rocky plain, his right arm extended in front of him.*
Narrator: *Then he begins to feel the tears sting his eyes, and soon he is sobbing uncontrollably. "Sam... Sam...." He wipes his face with his hand, leaving trails of grimy fingerprints streaked across his face.*
Frodo: *It seems he cries forever, but his tears will be endless, he feels, until Sam comes back. He wishes he could fade away right there, like the Elves in the tales, and be spared this grief*
Frodo: *His face, soaked with tears, becomes encrusted with the grime beneath him; the weight of the loss seems to literally grind him into the dust*
Narrator: *Then his whole body is jarred as he feels the earth shake in a giant explosion. The haze of red clouds above him seem to rip asunder as though made of cloth. The sky is filled with blue and white light.*
Narrator: *Quickly, he looks up and sees the entire top of Mt. Doom sent hurling skyward and mighty mountainous bursts of lava and smoke spewing upward.*
Frodo: *He screams in hysterical fear, scrabbling away from the spewing fire. Smoke and lava fill the air, ready to rain down. The world must be ending! His cries for Sam rise to a fevered pitch*
Narrator: *He tries to get up, but stumbles, and then finally rises to his feet, turning back the way he came.*
Narrator: *He begins to run frantically, volcanic ash from the mountain now beginning to fall upon his head and shoulders. Joining the particles are shards of ice falling from the heavens.*
Narrator: *He looks behind him now, and sees a giant wave of lava rushing towards him, growing steadily higher, and he begins to feel the rolling rush of the searing heat scorching his back.*
Frodo: *He runs as fast as he can, leaving bloody footprints, screaming for someone, anyone, to help him...Sam...he hopes Sam has escaped this doom, but he has a horrible feeling he has not*
Frodo: *All is over, all hope is gone, and death surrounds Frood*
Narrator: *Coming down out of the sky all around Frodo are the shards of ice, which turn into droplets of burning acid and noxious vapors which choke him*
Frodo: *He cries out as the burning ice hits him, coughing, choking, still desperately trying to run*
Frodo: *He feels he is drowning...he cannot breathe...drowning in smoke and poison*
Narrator: *He tries to run faster, but he finds now that lava is beginning to rush up in crevices forming in the ground in front of him. He dodges them, still running, as the wave of lava comes ever nearer.*
Narrator: *Suddenly, to his left, a gigantic geyser of lava bursts through the surface of the earth, spews upward and then falls back down, burning him, searing his flesh, but somehow, he still runs on.*
Frodo: *I cannot run much farther! he thinks. If Sam were here he would help me..he would even carry me. But oh! maybe he is somewhere safe!*
Narrator: *The whole earth now seems to be a molten bed of lava, the orangish yellow flames rising in sky rockets of heat and fury all around him.*
Narrator: *Frigid air comes down from the heavens, meeting the heat of the earth, producing an acidic fog which obscures his vision and hampers his breathing. Frodo's suffering is intense.*
Frodo: *There is nowhere to run now....he looks around frantically but finds no escape. He cannot see, cannot breathe. He sinks down in despair, waiting for death to come to him*
Frodo: *Why must he die alone like this? Why did Sam leave him? Who has taken him away?*
Narrator: *He sees the Mountains of Shadow ahead through the misty fog and he looks to them with hope, praying to the Valar that he can scale them and find safety on the other side.*
Frodo: *The mist has cleared a little, and he looks up from his bowed position at the mountains, and hope is reborn in him. He struggles to his feet and starts to run again*
Frodo: *Climbing to safety is his only thought now that there is a chance of it...he will grieve for Sam in time, if he survives this*
Narrator: *But then, suddenly, the Mountains of Shadow crumble as one gigantic steel-clad foot smashes down upon them. In his frantic mind he hears the words: "DAGOR DAGORORLATH HAS COME! IT IS THE END OF ALL THINGS AND THE UNMAKING OF ARDA!"*
Narrator: *Frodo looks up in horror at a figure towering far above him, emitting furious cold. Every sense in his reeling brain tells him, "NOOOO! IT'S MELKOR COME BACK FROM THE VOID!"*
Narrator: *The figure, clad in heavy black armor, holds a gigantic spiked mace high in his right hand and in his left arm, he bears a giant shield, sable unemblazoned.*
Frodo: *Frodo goes numb with shock. He tries to recoil, to back away, but he is paralyzed with fear*
Frodo: *His mind races....he prays to the Valar to deliver him*
Narrator: *Coming behind Melkor is a lesser figure, but still giant in size. His eyes blaze with flame and he towers over the landscape. It is Sauron, in full battle armor. He, too, carries a gigantic mace.*
Narrator: *From out of the white and blue blaze in the sky above, endless hordes of dragons issue forth, some black, some yellow, some green. Other creatures of wing and claw join the flying horde.*
Narrator: *The sound of their flapping sounds sounds like thunder, amid the rumblings of the tormented earth. Lightning flashes in the sky in intense bursts of jagged streaks and flaming balls of fire*
Frodo: *Frodo cowers on the ground, his arms shielding his head. He tries to make himself as small as possible in a vain hope to escape all the monsters around him*
Frodo: *If this is to be his doom, he prays that it come quickly and painlessly*
Narrator: *Melkor brings the mace downwards, narrowly missing Frodo, the jarring impact upon the ground sending him flying into a pool of lava. The fiery liquid seems to pull Frodo down but he manages to fight his way upward.*
Narrator: *Melkor thunders* Fight Us or yield up all of Arda!
Frodo: *The lava burns him; he can hardly hear above his own screams. How can he fight Melkor and Sauron? He, a little hobbit of the Shire?*
Frodo: *But there is no other way, no other hope for Arda, so he pulls himself up by the edge of the pool of lava and cries, "I will fight you even if no one else on Arda will!"*
Frodo: *His fear turns to adrenaline, determination, even as they bear down on him. He feels turned to steel*
Narrator: *Melkor laughs at him and the impact of the laughter upon the ground causes a huge chasm to split the earth behind Frodo.*
Narrator: *He teeters on the edge of the abyss, stumbling and then almost falling backward into the great rolling waves of flame that rush out of the chasm.*
Narrator: *From out of the rupture in the earth comes forth a legion of balrogs. In their hands, they wield fiery whips, black axes and maces, and drive Frodo forward towards Melkor and Sauron.*
Frodo: *Weaponless, hopeless, yet determined for there is no other recourse, he stumbles toward Melkor and Sauron to fight*
Frodo: *He only prays to the Valar to direct him through this*
Frodo: *If Arda is least it will not be through his fault*
Narrator: *"I have no sword," he thinks desperately, and instinctively puts his right hand to his left side, as if to draw Sting. Amazingly, Frodo discovers that Sting is there and sheathed safely on his side.*
Narrator: *The entire ground is covered with bubbling, hissing, pools of lava. Melkor laughs as he walks through the molten ground and goes towards Frodo, swinging the mace in his hand above his head.*
Narrator: *The entire ground is covered with bubbling, hissing, pools of lava. Melkor and Sauron laugh as they over the molten ground and go towards Frodo, swinging the maces in their hands above their heads.*
Frodo: *Frodo is infinitely grateful for Sting's appearance at his side. He looks up at Melkor and Sauron, and though his heart quails at first it then bursts into flame within him*
Frodo: *As he draws Sting from his sheath, the thought comes to him, "Sam fought for me with this sword and won an impossible battle."*
Frodo: *The thought gives him renewed courage. He holds Sting aloft*
Frodo: *He longs to shout, to defy their laughter, but what battle cry can a small hobbit yell to the Dark Lords?*
Frodo: *He springs forward and screams the only thing that comes to his mind: "The Shire!!"*
Narrator: *"You are a fool," Melkor says, as smashes his mace down upon Frodo. Sauron laughs and lets his mace fly upon Frodo as well. They beat him repeatedly into the ground with their maces.*
Narrator: *From the swirling horde in the skies comes Gothmog, Lord of Balrogs, the slayer of Fingon, with a black axe. He holds his axe aloft, then joins Melkor and Sauron in blugeoning the mangled body of the hobbit.*
Narrator: *Yet Frodo does not die, but is driven far into the ground, which quickly cleaves asunder with the impact of the maces. Melkor, Sauron and Gothmog step back, as dragons fly closer and spew fire from their mouths and nostrils into the pit.*
Narrator: *From far above, Frodo can hear Melkor thundering his challenge, "I will rend the Earth asunder, and break it, and none shall possess it!"*
Frodo: *Frodo never knew such pain was possible. Why does he not die? "NO!" he cries at Melkor's words, but it is only a faint whisper*
Narrator: *Frodo frantically holds onto a section of rock, as a chasm opens before him. He can feel the rocks splitting, breaking, flying upwards with Frodo clinging to the sides, screaming, "MAY ERU ILUVATAR SAVE ME!"*
Narrator: *The rock that Frodo is clinging to flies upward and soon Frodo finds he is among the stars, looking down upon the earth. Below him he sees smoke rising and chaos everywhere as two massive armies clash, all of Arda covered with war.*
Narrator: *One army is as sable as night, powerful, fury-driven with arms wielding death. Melkor is at the front, leading the horde of dragons, balrogs, vampires, demons and hideous creatures of fang and claw.*
Narrator: *The other army, white robed figures of valar, maiar, elves, dwarves and men with great broad swords flashing golden and shimmering colors, is led by Manwe, Tulkas and Turin, son of Hurin.*
Frodo: *Frodo clings to his rock, praying desperately that the army of Manwe will save Arda from the dark*
Frodo: *He thrills at the sight of so many heroes, but the presence of Turin does not seem to bode well*
Frodo: *Frodo feels that somehow, this war is his fault...that his failure to fight Melkor and Sauron has caused this downfall of Arda*
Frodo: *But no, Arda has not fallen yet! Others still fight, the most powerful warriors ever. There is hope!*
Frodo: *No, not all the most powerful warriors ever: where is Sam?*
Frodo: *That thought brings a new fear to Frodo's mind: why are all the races represented in Manwe's army, except for hobbits?*
Narrator: *Suddenly, far below, Arda explodes in an agony of flame and fury, filling the skies with brightness and fire, but Frodo is far above it, safe and serene.*
Narrator: *Somehow, Frodo realizes, "It's just the beginning."*
Narrator: *When Frodo awakes, somehow he knows it is morning.*
Frodo: *Frodo opens his eyes, drenched in sweat*
Frodo: *He sits up shakily, trembling, running his fingers through damp and tangled curls*
Frodo: *His eyes fill as he struggles to interpret the dream. The first part...spoke for itself, he thinks, as he wonders what has become of his friends, and feels the loss of Sam more deeply than ever*
Frodo: *He puts his head in his hands and sobs a little*
Frodo: *Then he thinks of the next part, when Melkor and Sauron appeared in a blaze of lava...and he had to fight them alone*
Frodo: *That, he remembers, was how terrified he had been when he first realized the magnitude of his Quest*
Frodo: *He had singlehandedly taken on the might of Sauron in the wonder it had been impossible. He sighs deeply*
Frodo: *Sauron and Melkor had broken his body repeatedly yet he did not die...that too speaks for itself, he thinks, and pushes that darkest of times out of his mind*
Frodo: *And then, all of Arda was covered in war....just as it is now, he thinks, an incredible weight settling on his heart...he failed!*
Frodo: *And there is no hope for the West now, for Sauron has his Ring*
Frodo: *All of them are swallowed in doom while I sit here in this charade of luxury REWARDED for betraying them!!!*
Frodo: *He looks around for something to throw...but then a strange, buried fear surfaces and he decides against it.*
Frodo: *He sits curled up on his bed, praying to the Valar, tears dropping through his fingers as they cover his face*


Morning of October 1
Narrator: *The morning of October 1, 3019, dawns cool in Mordor. In what was once Gondor, an early heavy frost hangs off the grasses*
Narrator: *Portending a long, hard, cold, cruel winter. Sauron has not had his way with the West yet*
Narrator: *In Minas Morgul, the morning seems colder than the other two mornings Frodo has spent there. He sees the blanket lying on the foot of his bed and a sudden fell chill descends upon him*
Frodo: *He shivers and pulls the blanket up over him, redoubling his prayers*
Narrator: *In Minas Artano where Khamul and Madurz had journeyed the day before, the dawn finds them looking at the great temple of Sauron which now rises on the hill once known as the Mundburg.*
Narrator: We must hasten, my lady *he says* for we must be back at the tower by nightfall.
Narrator: *He turns his horse and spurs it forward and she follows him. Their horse's strides are rapid and they soon cross the bridge at Ilithien. Then on through the day they ride, pausing only briefly to give the horses rest.*
Narrator: *They pass the crossroads and statue and the fallen king's head. Then thundering on the road, they cross the bridge at Minas Morgul and are soon inside the sanctuary of the tower.*
Durkuf: *frodo can hear a knock at his door. the key turns in the lock and in comes durkuf holding a pitcher, a bowl of water, a wash cloth and a towel*
Durkuf: *he sets them down on frodo's table and then bows deeply to the hobbit* great shakh, after you finish washing, just put the things by the door. i'll pick them up when i bring the food.
Frodo: *Ai! The cursed orc! But at least he will be able to wash. He thanks the orc and nods*
Durkuf: i go off duty soon, so we can talk all day. i'd like to ear ow you brought the Ring back to the Great Eye!
Durkuf: ive only eard earsay from me mates.
Frodo: *Frodo mentally reels, then takes a while to recover*
Durkuf: but wash now! i'll be right back to bring you your food. *he bows and leaves the room, closing the door behind him*
Frodo: *As Frodo washes, his teeth chattering in the cold, he tries to think of an excuse to get out of talking to the cursed orc*
Durkuf: *the orc comes back to frodo's room carrying a breakfast platter. he opens the door and enters, placing the platter upon the table, stpping back and bowing*
Narrator: *Right behind the orc comes Frodo's old advisor, Vartang*
Vartang: Shakh! Aaraarsh zark! (good morning)
Frodo: *When Vartang enters, Frodo's eyes widen in fear, then he sets his face in a grim expressionless mask*
Vartang: Mind if I stay a while? *he says as he takes a seat at the table*
Frodo: *Do I have a choice? Frodo thinks angrily* No. Good morning.
Durkuf: *the orc looks to frodo and vartang, his eyes glittering with the possibility of imperssing them both and getting a promotion*
Vartang: *He turns to the orc* Snaga, wine! I have a great thirst this morning
Durkuf: oh! as you say, great shakh! as you say! *the orc scurries out the door, fetches another goblet and brings it back. sets it on the table, he pours it full of wine and hands it to vartang*
Vartang: Now go, scum, and be quick about it!
Durkuf: oh yes, great shakh, most mighty shakh! *he bows repeatedly, and leaves the room, gruesome mouth smiling cheerfully at frodo and vartang*
Frodo: *nods to the orc...almost wishing, for a change, that he were afraid is he of Vartang*
Vartang: *he waits a while and then goes to the door, opens it. He looks to the guards* Go down the hall, you maggots! I know your ways of listening! Go now or I'll have the flesh taken off you! *the orcs retreat down the hall*
Frodo: *For Vartang sent him back to the Dark Tower...though he cannot remember what happened, he has been afraid to sleep since his return*
Vartang: *he returns to the table, then fumbles inside his tunic, draws out a pipe and a pouch of tobacco. He fills the pipe and puts it to his mouth*
Vartang: *He lights it up, then drinks his wine and looks at Frodo*
Frodo: *Frodo is reminded of the pipes Vartang brought into his cell in Lugburz...and how he felt that day...he tries never to remember that*
Vartang: *wine glass held in one hand, pipe in the other*
Vartang: Tomorrow you leave, Shakh, say your final farewells
Frodo: Oh! Really? *overjoyed*
Vartang: At dawn *he says, and puffs at his pipe, then breathes out a long trail of smoke*
Frodo: And the others?
Vartang: Unless, perhaps, shakh...... you would like to stay and watch the execution?
Frodo: *He starts, then begins to shake.....* What execution? *he whispers*
Vartang: *he takes another drink of his wine goblet. As though you would have the chance for that, he thinks*
Vartang: *Vartang enjoys taunting Frodo* It was one of your own kind, once.
Frodo: *Sam!*
Frodo: *Frodo sways, almost fainting, then steadies himself*
Vartang: *he draws on his pipe again, enjoys watching the smoke as it curls to the ceiling*
Frodo: It...was?...what...what now? A...*swallows hard* a wraith?
Frodo: and who was he?
Vartang: *he looks almost reflective* A renegade *he says*
Frodo: *furrows his brow in confusion*
Vartang: It is now, shakh, a servant, a most enviable position to hold, but this one was not fit for it
Vartang: Tomorrow at dawn, I wager, he will be no more
Frodo: There is only one way to change a hobbit into a servant of Mordor *he says bitterly*
Frodo: Which hobbit was it? What was his name?
Vartang: *he takes another dink of his wine* This one, shall we say, was not exactly cooperative
Vartang: Shakh, do you expect me to tell you that? *he throws back his head and laughs, a loud, belicose laugh*
Frodo: *Oh, please don't let it be Sam! he thinks....then he remembers if Sam dies he will be better off. He glares at Vartang when he laughs at him*
Vartang: The matter is of no consequence. I come on important business
Vartang: I will smoke my pipe, drink my wine, and then leave *he says, as he leans back in his chair, putting his boots on the table*
Frodo: No consequence! *he sputters*
Frodo: THAT is your important business?!
Vartang: *Frodo can see the bottoms of his well oiled and polished boots across the table*
Frodo: *Perhaps not...but if it is, I wouldn't be surprised, it is like him*
Vartang: Your presence, Shakh, has been requested tonight, and you will accept it in the gracious courtesy in which it was extended
Frodo: *becomes quiet, submissive out of fear*
Vartang: a great feast will be held in your honor tonight. You will be called. Until then you will stay in your room
Frodo: *nods*
Vartang: Care to join me in a pipe, Shakh?
Vartang: I have some time before I must go and the wine is very good
Frodo: *He knows exactly what Vartang is doing. He shakes his head slowly, narrowing his eyes, then whispers* No.
Vartang: *Vartang, his pipe finished, looks around for a place to put his ashes*
Vartang: *he pushes the dishes on Frodo's tray aside, upends the pipe, dumps the ashes in the platter*
Vartang: *He refills his pipe once again and draws on it*
Frodo: *Not having had time to eat before Vartang's arrival, Frodo eats his breakfast while Vartang smokes*
Vartang: *between puffs on his pipe, Vartang finishes his goblet, then rights himself in his chair, reaches over to the wine bottle on the table and pours himself another drink*
Vartang: Enjoying your breakfast, shakh? *he says as he blows smoke towards him*
Frodo: *Frodo coughs. It is tobacco smoke, bitter smelling, not like pipeweed*
Vartang: *he takes another drink from the recently filled goblet, rolls it in his mouth, tasting it*
Frodo: *Frodo nods, resigned...every word from Vartang feels like a taunt*
Vartang: *Then he swallows it and draws on his pipe. Then looking at Frodo, he sends a massive army of small smoke rings in his face*
Frodo: *Frodo coughs, waving his hand to try to blow the smoke away, then tries to hold his breath until Vartang stops*
Vartang: Build up your strength, shakh, for the journey ahead. Eat well
Frodo: *When he manages to stop coughing from the cloud of smoke, he continues eating his breakfast*
Vartang: By the way, Shakh *he says, a wicked gleam coming to his face* there will be special entertainment tonight..... just for you *he says and draws on his pipe again, sending a massive horde of smoke rings directly into Frodo's face*
Frodo: *Frodo coughs again* Stop that!
Frodo: What "entertainment" is that?
Vartang: What, shakh? *he says and looks around*
Vartang: *slowly he sips his wine while holding his pipe in his right hand*
Frodo: *Frodo catches his breath* Blowing smoke in my face!
Vartang: Shakh! I am surprised! *his voice feigns innocence* I thought you were an old pipe smoker!
Frodo: We don't smoke tobacco!
Frodo: *and you know that, he thinks*
Frodo: We smoke pipeweed...its smell is much more pleasant.
Vartang: *he looks at Frodo, his pips pulling back from his white gleaming teeth*
Frodo: *braces himself for another taunt*
Vartang: This is a far superior variant than the weak varities grown in the Shire *he says maliciously*
Frodo: *Frodo's frown deepens and his chin lifts defiantly*
Vartang: Here *he takes a pouch of tobacco from his tunic* try this *he throws the poutch across the table at Frodo*
Frodo: *Frodo catches the pouch, then places it on the table* No thank you
Vartang: *he finishes his pipe, dumps the resident of the bowl into Frodo's platter. Then, finishing his goblet of wine, he says* I have more important matters to attend
Vartang: Until tonight, Shakh. May you fare well
Frodo: Until tonight.
Vartang: *He turns, walks to the door, opens it, sees orcs loitering around the door* Maggots! You will all die for this! I will report you myself!
Frodo: *shudders...could it be he feels sympathy for the orcs?*
Narrator: *Vartang goes out the door, down the corridor away, talks to an officer. They exchange meaningful glances on the orcs on duty in the corridor*
Narrator: They will be taken care of, Maugoth *the officer bows to Vartang*

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