Khamul: *The date is May 24, and the army has traveled many miles from Minas Tirith. Virtually no resistance has been encountered. A few scouting parties that quickly retreated were all of the enemy that was seen*
Khamul: *The army is camped just south of the Firen Wood in the plains of the Anduin. It is about 6 in the afternoon*
Khamul: *Khamul, however wants to ride ahead. He wants to see the famous Firien Woods.... to see if the stories of them are true*
Khamul: *He comes to Madurz* My lady, will you go riding with me?
Madurz: *she takes up her sword and smiles to him* yes my love..i will be honored to ride with you
Khamul: *He already knows her answer before she says it and he has ordered two horses to saddle for them. The horses wait*
Khamul: We will go alone. I do not want to be bothered by orcs
Madurz: yes a wise choice
Madurz: i prefer it that way
Khamul: *he walks to her horse*
Khamul: *He cups his hands so she can put her foot in them and get up easier*
Madurz: *she grabs the pommel and steps in his cupped hand and throws her right leg over*
Khamul: *Both horses are the famous black steeds of the Nazgul. They have been specially trained to aid the Nazgul*
Madurz: *she strokes the top of the head of her horse* gorgeous creature
Khamul: *The Nazgul can sense the beast's reactions and so are guided by the horses' eyes as if they were their own*
Khamul: My lady, he will serve you well
Khamul: *He gets on his own horse and motions her to follow*
Khamul: This is a journey for several miles
Khamul: Have you ever heard of these woods?
Madurz: *she rides her horse beside his* no my dear..i havent
Khamul: My lady, there are tales told that these woods are guarded, and we shall see if the tales are true or not
Madurz: by whom?
Khamul: *He laughs*
Khamul: By the wretched Valar
Madurz: oh my
Khamul: You see, many years ago, Isildur took his father's body and buried it upon the hill now known as Halfirien
Khamul: *They continue riding. Khamul seems to be enjoying this, as though it was a great adventure*
Khamul: My lady, are you afraid?
Madurz: *she was more than happy to be riding with him alone*
Madurz: no my love...intrigued
Madurz: curious...but cautious
Khamul: *As he rides, he continues telling her about the woods*
Madurz: i am never afraid when i am with you
Khamul: In the woods upon the hill of Halfirien, there will be a mound. Elendil was once buried here, but he was later moved
Khamul: His son blessed this place and said these words:
Khamul: "This is a tomb and memorial of Elendil the Faithful. Here it shall stand at the mid-point of the Kingdom of the South in the keeping of the Valar, while the Kingdom endures; and this place shall be a hallow that none shall profane. Let no man disturb its silence and peace, unless he be an heir of Elendil."
Khamul: *He laughs* The kingdom of Gondor did not endure
Khamul: *They ride on farther and soon they come to the woods*
Khamul: *He halts*
Madurz: *she looks ahead*
Khamul: Are you still unafraid?
Madurz: yes my love*she smiles*
Khamul: They call this place the Whispering Woods for a stifling feeling comes upon all those who enter and they dare not speak out loud, but in whispers
Khamul: Shall we find out if this thing is true or not?
Madurz: i am prepared
Madurz: though not sure for what
Khamul: You know, I am hardly an heir of Elendil *he chuckles*
Madurz: *smiles* what is to be the consequence
Madurz: if such is true
Khamul: It is unknown. The hill and mound are supposed to be forbidden except to Elendil's heir and those whom he invites
Khamul: Have we been invited? *he says with sarcasm in his voice*
Madurz: *chuckles* i dont think we are invited
Khamul: Then let us turn into the woods
Khamul: We will ride south to what they call the Holy Mount, about five miles from here
Madurz: i shall follow you anywhere..unafraid
Khamul: I fear few
Khamul: *The trees are thick but not enough to hamper passage through them*
Khamul: *But both the horses seem restless and uneasy the farther they get into the forest*
Madurz: *she navigates the horse between the trees*
Madurz: *she strokes the side of its face*
Khamul: *The place lives up to its reputation to silence.... few birds sing, and those only on the edges*
Khamul: My lady, my horse does not like this place
Khamul: Just hold yours steady and guide him firmly with the reins
Madurz: *her horse takes uneasy steps* nor does mine
Khamul: *Khamul falls silent as they ride along*
Madurz: *she commands it with steady hands*
Khamul: *It almost seems that they are being watched by unseen eyes.... but no one goes in this place*
Madurz: *she feels as if she is deaf*
Khamul: *The horses seem more skittish...*
Khamul: *The only sound now is the faint sound of the horses' hooves as they tread through the leaves on the ground*
Madurz: *she holds the reins tighter and looks to Khamul*
Khamul: My lady, all my senses tell me to go back....
Khamul: *the uneasy feeling that has descended upon both grows heavier but still he goes on*
Khamul: *He speaks strangely* My lady.... we.... will... go... on
Madurz: *her eyes dart around and she feels the discomfort*
Madurz: *she nods to him*
Khamul: *The woods are enough to make anyone feel uneasy, but these two are servants of Mordor and Sauron.... long enemies of the Valar and of the descendants Elendil*
Khamul: *he says in the same voice, as though he is not speaking as himself* It is not...... far
Khamul: *The horses calm down and Madurz' horse follows khamul's*
Madurz: *she watches Khamul her heart beating a bit faster....yet still so intrigued*
Khamul: *Through the trees can be seen a mound... a stone stair leads to the top. They see a path leading to the foot of the hill marked with standing stones*
Khamul: *Khamul almost seems to be in a trance*
Khamul: My lady... *his voice still strange and unfamiliar*
Khamul: *he maneuvers his horse through the trees to the path, and stops there*
Madurz: *her horse moves besides his her body moves languidly with the rhythm then stops*
Khamul: *The standing stones are on either side of the road.... they are ancient and covered by lichens and moss. The stones seem to stare at them..... reminders of the kingdom that is no more*
Khamul: *The air seems heavy and very still.... Both have the feeling they are being watched from the trees.... or perhaps the air itself*
Madurz: *she stares at them silently*
Khamul: *He dismounts*
Madurz: *she looks over to him now*
Khamul: *He says* I am going to go to the top
Khamul: You do not have to go with me
Madurz: *she shakes her head*
Madurz: *she dismounts her horse quickly*
Khamul: *He looks into a world that she cannot see.....and his senses are far more powerful than hers. Not even a breath of air stirs a leaf on the trees*
Khamul: *He starts walking on the path leading to the hill*
Madurz: *the silence is maddening*
Madurz: *she follows him slowly*
Khamul: *The standing stones seem to rebuke them..... this place is forbidden to profane, and the very presence of two servants of Mordor profanes it...*
Madurz: *she feels the sound created by her footsteps are forbidden*
Khamul: *He turns back to her and says softly* My lady.... go back.... go back
Khamul: I hear..... things
Khamul: These woods are not as silent as you think, my lady....
Madurz: *her eyes are questioning yet she knows he is right*
Khamul: *But Khamul is very prideful and he does not want to give up*
Madurz: *she knows this is no ordinary forest*
Khamul: *For he knows that his power is increased greatly now that he has his ring about his neck*
Madurz: *she stands where she is while he moves ahead*
Khamul: I will..... challenge.... whatever is on top of this hill
Madurz: *she beathes heavily at his words*
Khamul: *he walks slowly through the path of standing stones to the stairs*
Madurz: *the sound of her breath seems so loud*
Khamul: *He pauses when he gets to the foot of the stairs and looks up the hill*
Madurz: *it echos along wiht her heartbeat in her ears*
Khamul: *Then he starts climbing*
Madurz: *she begins to fear now...for her love*
Khamul: *There is a beacon on top the hill... a watch tower... it is mantained by the people of Rohan, for they were invited and welcomed here, and an old king of Gondor, Cirion, and the king of Rohan, Eorl the Young, in years past made an oath of loyalty on this very hill*
Khamul: *Khamul still climbs up the hill, with every step fighting the force of greater power that guards this hill*
Madurz: *she takes a few steps hating to wait idle and stands at the foot of the bottom step*
Khamul: *He climbs all the way to the top, using all his powers to force his legs to carry him*
Khamul: *he is out of her sight by now*
Khamul: *The forest seems even more silent...*
Khamul: *Time passes. The sun now sits on the western horizon*
Madurz: *she hates the waiting and becomes impatient*
Khamul: *Suddenly in the evening twilight, Madurz can see a brilliant flash of light on top the hill... then a shriek.... and all is silent
Madurz: Khamul!
Madurz: *without thinking she ascends the stairs..fighting harder and harder*
Khamul: *Then she sees another flash of light...and the deathly silence*
Madurz: *she pushes with all of her strength to the top*
Khamul: *It seems darker now*
Madurz: *she stands at the top, her eyes wide*
Khamul: *On top the hill, she sees a black heap lying on the ground*
Madurz: *she gasps and rushes over to him*
Khamul: *He lies on his face as though doing homage to some unseen power. He moans*
Madurz: *she kneels beside him and places her hand on his back*
Khamul: *She too feels her presence is not welcome here.... but there are no flashes of light for her*
Khamul: *Just the maddening silence and the sense of disapproval by unseen eyes that are all around them*
Madurz: *she trembles and her heart weighs heavy*
Khamul: *she feels him shuddering*
Khamul: *He starts crawling on the ground towards the stairs, barely noticing her presence in his terror*
Madurz: *he crawls out from underneath her grasp and she is frightened for what has happened to him*
Khamul: *His voice is shaky... nothing like she has ever heard from him. He reverts to his native language and babbles something incomprehensible*
Madurz: *her breathing is fast and shallow now...her eyes wide with fright and concern*
Khamul: *he crawls down a few stairs, keeping close to the ground, as though to ward off a blow from some unseen power*
Khamul: *He tries to rise about halfway down*
Madurz: *what has this place done to you my love?*
Khamul: *He whispers* Madurz?
Madurz: *she stands there and looks around*
Khamul: Come.... help me
Madurz: *she hears him and begins to move to the stairs again*
Madurz: *she sees him ab out halfway down*
Khamul: *He says* The light..... has blinded me....
Khamul: Give me your hand and lead me down
Madurz: *at his words she moves down the stairs with haste*
Madurz: *she moves to the same step as he and takes his hand*
Khamul: *Unknown to her, he has fought a battle on top this hill, with forces more powerful than he.... a mere wraith*
Madurz: *she moves slowly down the stairs, guiding him*
Khamul: *under his breath, he says* Curse them all! *and lets her guide him to the bottom*
Madurz: what have they done to you my love?
Khamul: Let us leave this accursed place as quickly as we can!
Madurz: *she grits her teeth angry*
Khamul: Take me to my horse
Madurz: *she looks over her shoulder to the top of the stairs and speaks bearly audible* Modor still rules the walking earth
Khamul: *He tells her* My horse, my horse!
Madurz: *she leads him over to the horse and quides his hands*
Khamul: *he pulls himself up on his horse*
Khamul: My lady, my horse knows how to find the way back, as does yours
Madurz: can you ride my love?
Khamul: Yes, I can ride
Madurz: *she then mounts her horse*
Khamul: Let us leave this place as quickly as we can
Khamul: *he spurs his horse to a trot and the horse seems all too glad to leave this place*
Madurz: *her horse moves with greater ease when signaled to leave*
Madurz: *she is angry*
Khamul: The horses will know when we get to the road
Khamul: We have five miles. Let us make them quick as possible!
Khamul: *Nothing impedes their leaving and they almost feel like they are being pushed from the forest*
Madurz: *her fists clutch tightly the reins*
Khamul: *The miles going back seem to go by in a daze, but their horses make good time and soon they are back to the road*
Khamul: *When they reach the road, he can see the world that is visible to him as well as he could before. It is now completley dark*
Khamul: *He waits for her to bring her horse beside his*
Madurz: *she feels differnt already as they get to the road..the heaviness leaves her*
Madurz: *she stops beside his*
Khamul: *He looks towards the forest and says in a low voice, speaking something to something she cannot see or hear* Accursed Ones of the Forest! Your forest will be burned!
Madurz: *she looks around*
Madurz: yes...burned
Khamul: *He curses the Valar in Black Speech, Common Speech and his native tongue* And your tower destroyed!
Khamul: My lady, let us ride away from this place
Madurz: *she thinks of his slumped body*
Madurz: *her eyes fired with hate*
Khamul: We will go back to the camp... there are orders that need to be given
Khamul: This forest will burn before dawn!
Madurz: *she nods*
Khamul: *he spurs his horse into a gallop and goes back to the camp several miles away*
Madurz: *she follows him closely*
Khamul: *At the camp, he throws his reins to a man, who is waiting to take his horse*
Khamul: *he waits until she arrives*
Madurz: *she is beside him*
Khamul: My lady, go into my field tent. I will join you shortly
Madurz: *she dismounts her anger hardly fading*
Madurz: *she moves into his tent*
Khamul: *He stays outside, giving orders to his commanders*
Khamul: *Later she hears the sounds of men and orcs moving out of the tents... They carry torches*
Madurz: *she slumps into a chair and places her head in her hands*
Khamul: *Then he comes into the tent and stands there* I have just announced our presence to the Rohrrim
Madurz: *she stares silently at him*
Madurz: *she is glad he is alright but shudders at the possibility of losing him after his other incident*
Khamul: *He moves to her and puts his hands on her shoulder*
Madurz: *rests her cheek on them lightly*
Khamul: That was most unpleasant
Khamul: But I have learned, at least, that the stories were true
Madurz: *nods*
Madurz: what happened up there?
Khamul: But let us see if they will remain true
Khamul: *he moves away from her and sits down at the table*
Khamul: What happened?
Khamul: Do you think you could comprehend what had happened?
Khamul: *waits for her answer*
Madurz: yes
Khamul: How shall I describe to you things that mortals cannot see
Madurz: *her mortality seems more and more like a curse*
Khamul: Our world is of mist... vauge.... gray and white, but that is what the living world appears to us. Metal shines and glows in our world
Khamul: I see you as a shadow. We see all living things that way, but things of the spirit world are clear to us
Khamul: Now do you understand?
Madurz: *she looks down* yes
Khamul: *he sighs*
Khamul: When I reached the top of the hill, I cursed Elendil, all his heirs and the Valar
Khamul: I drew my sword and offered to challenge any spirit who opposed me
Madurz: *she looks to him with sad and understanding eyes*
Khamul: My challenge was met
Khamul: That was when you saw the light
Khamul: *He hangs his head*
Madurz: *she stands and moves to kneel in front of him*
Madurz: *grips his head*
Khamul: Yes, my lady?
Madurz: your challenges have gotten you in trouble
Khamul: Yes, my lady.... I was bested
Madurz: i am lucky you are still with me, uninjured
Khamul: Aye, my lady
Madurz: if you were never to be by my side..i would not want to live, if Sauron had not a use for me that is
Khamul: Perhaps I was not wise
Madurz: *strokes his face* i feared nothing when i climbed those steps...nothing could have kept me from you
Khamul: my lady, you were quite brave
Madurz: when i saw you slumped over.... *trails off*
Khamul: It is over now
Madurz: yes
Khamul: They did not take their full wrath out upon me, nor on you
Madurz: and they will not
Khamul: But they were angry
Madurz: i care not
Khamul: And the Powers are uneasy
Khamul: I wonder if..... *he trails off* No, that will never happen
Madurz: what?
Khamul: Nothing, my lady. There is nothing to worry about
Madurz: Khamul please
Khamul: We are safe.... no one will stop us now
Madurz: dont keep thoughts form me
Khamul: Then if you must know....
Khamul: The only thing that keeps the Powers from unleashing their fury is the harm that it would do to the land
Khamul: *Then he thinks of Numenor, and how the Powers sunk it.... and he worries... but he pushes that thought away* Madurz, Sauron will not like this
Madurz: shall we call the army off?
Khamul: That is not in my power. We will do the will of Sauron whatever happens
Madurz: so the forest shall still burn?
Khamul: I am but a servant. I have the power to do that. I am commander of this wing of the army
Khamul: But yet.... Sauron should know of this
Madurz: yes
Khamul: Let me go out ..... I must issue some orders
Khamul: *He goes out of the tent and soon messengers on horseback are sent to order the forest not to be burned, and messengers go to Sauron, seeking his will**
Madurz: *she stands and move one again to her seat*
Khamul: *Khamul goes back inside the tent and stands beside her*
Madurz: *she looks up to him*
Khamul: I was.... too impatient. A mistake, but I was angry
Madurz: as was i. i do not like seeing them get away with it either...but it is in our best interest not to
Khamul: *While he was outside, he also ordered wine to be brought to them, and soon, a slave brings them wine and goblets*
Madurz: *she nods to the slave*
Khamul: *Khamul sits down*
Madurz: *she pours him a glass of wine*
Khamul: *The slave leaves the bottle, bows and goes out*
Madurz: *she pours the wine in her goblet as well*
Khamul: Thank you, my lady
Madurz: of course my love
Madurz: *she looks to him for long glad to be able to be sitting with him uninjured after their journey*
Khamul: *He takes a sip of his wine*
Khamul: It has not been a good day
Madurz: no my hasnt
Khamul: I ordered the army to stay here another day
Madurz: that was wise
Khamul: To rest and to wait for the messengers to come back
Madurz: yes we shall trust in Sauron's response
Khamul: Do you think me a fool?
Madurz: my love? could they have ended your existence today on that hill?
Khamul: *he shudders*
Madurz: no you are not a fool
Khamul: If they wanted to, they could
Madurz: *she trembles her eyes filled with involuntary tears*
Khamul: But rather, they would have taken me to Valinor, to be judged in the Ring of Doom. However, these are not the old days. They do not openly make war in Middle-Earth, and I am insignifcant.... I am not a god
Madurz: i understand
Khamul: But I take this as a warning. I hope I am wrong
Madurz: yes we are highly unfavored
Khamul: Perhaps Sauron in his wisdom used me as a test
Madurz: perhaps
Madurz: you didnt seem youself..i thought it was the woods..but perhaps it was more
Khamul: He does not tell us all. I do not know his mind at all times. I know what he tells me
Madurz: *nods and drinks her wine*
Khamul: I am a servant, nothing more, and nothing less
Madurz: you have me me you are everything
Khamul: Sometimes I wish I could join the spirit world entirely
Madurz: why?
Khamul: But what I wish is not mine to control
Khamul: I am between two worlds and never part of one or the other but yet again, a part of both
Madurz: but then we couldnt be together
Khamul: I do not wish to leave you or my master
Madurz: i know
Khamul: *he sips his wine*
Madurz: i am a shadow to you
Khamul: But a lovely shadow
Madurz: can you see my eyes clearly?
Khamul: In the dark, yes. We can see all things better then
Madurz: *nods*
Madurz: my time to join you in that world draws nearer with each passing day
Khamul: What I cannot see, I can hear. I can touch. I can smell
Khamul: Do you really want this world, my lady?
Khamul: No one could ever look upon your beauty again, except those in the spirit world
Madurz: yes...i believe it was to be
Madurz: who else would i want to see me?
Khamul: It would grieve me to do that. People would fear you
Madurz: they should anyway
Khamul: You would appear as headless if you did not have a hood covering your face
Madurz: i realize that
Madurz: but my feeling are more important than how i am viewed
Khamul: You much take much thought and reflection before I would do this
Madurz: i know
Madurz: but i dont know where it end?
Khamul: Once it would be done, it cannot be undone
Khamul: It never ends, my lady
Madurz: would i then come to this world again..alone and searching?
Khamul: Not as long as the One Ring endures
Madurz: it had never ended for me
Khamul: Your lives?
Madurz: yes
Khamul: This would be the same life constantly, forever
Madurz: i need constancy
Madurz: i believe it was meant to be
Khamul: You do not want this tonight
Madurz: no not tonight
Khamul: There would be no escape, and you would be forever bound to the Nine and Sauron
Madurz: *she smiles softly*
Madurz: it always has been
Khamul: Do not deny me the comfort of your mortal beauty
Khamul: The life that pulses through your veins
Madurz: i dont care if i am seen by the eyes of any other race
Khamul: Would you not want to see mortals ever again, except as shadows?
Madurz: i care not...i would much rather not be a shadow to you, and...i would finally see the face of the one i love most
Khamul: Perhaps you would not like the face if you could see it
Khamul: You merely touch it now
Madurz: that is nonsense
Khamul: I like you as you are
Madurz: *she stands with haste and tuns her back to him*
Madurz: you would deny me this... you would see me to death from old age or by another? you would let me wander alone and wandering in yet another life?
Khamul: I will not see you fade, fade into age
Khamul: You shall be preserved
Madurz: *she turns to look at him*
Madurz: do you hate me for asking this of you?
Khamul: No, but you might come to hate me for doing it
Khamul: I have seen many livetimes of man. Once I saw my family age and die. My heirs, all of them, died of old age while I was still young
Madurz: *she listens*
Khamul: Every mortal that you would become attached to would suffer the same fate, while you stayed preserved forever
Madurz: then be glad i will not be one of those passing mortals to you
Khamul: And you would grieve as you saw each person you loved died
Madurz: if i never know another mortal again..i do not care
Khamul: But would you want this forever? Would you want me forever?
Madurz: yes
Khamul: We will let years pass for you should be given opportunities to change your mind
Madurz: there is no honor in my purpose fulfilled, only failure to meet my destiny
Khamul: You have my promise: Before the first petal of your beauty falls, I will do this thing, but look at it first. I will stand
Khamul: *He pulls the morgul blade from the sheath inside his robe, points it into the air. It glows in the darkness of the tent as if a cold light were unsheathed, not a normal blade. The hand holding the hilt glows with the same eerie light*
Khamul: Do not touch it, my lady
Madurz: *she nears him a bit* i dont look to it with fear
Khamul: Never touch it
Madurz: i wont
Khamul: There is poison upon the blade of which there is no cure, and the blade itself is enchanted
Khamul: Shall I put it away now?
Madurz: *she looks to it and marvels*
Madurz: have none looked at it without fear?
Khamul: None, if they knew what it was, and were of sound mind
Khamul: have you seen enough?
Madurz: i dont doubt it will hurt..but i dont care
Khamul: The pain would be beyond belief and your body would lie there lifeless until it faded
Madurz: it will be worth it
Khamul: My lady, I do not know what it is like. I only know what I have seen from others who fell by its power
Khamul: Let me put it up now. You stand as though transfixed
Madurz: i know one day it will change me forever...fulfill my destiny
Khamul: *he puts the blade back in its sheath*
Khamul: Madurz, you have great power, and you do not know it
Madurz: power?
Khamul: you would be a veritable terror if you were my enemy
Madurz: of course i would recoil like the rest
Khamul: You do not fear us, any of us
Khamul: You would be very dangerous
Madurz: perhaps i am unable to fear because i am not to be an enemy. to have hate for you in my heart would bring fear
Khamul: My lady, some of our enemies do not fear us
Khamul: They respect us, but they do not fear us
Khamul: They are very dangerous
Madurz: well then i would be that i suppose but never fear
Madurz: i could stand with a blade of wentesnsee an inch from you and i would not want you to fear me
Khamul: I would not let you stand thus!
Madurz: why?
Khamul: It glows in our world. We cannot stand its presence
Madurz: but you would trust the hand behind it yes?
Khamul: I would question the hand and where the hand found it
Madurz: of course logically yes
Madurz: i understand
Khamul: Do not put me to a test
Madurz: i would never make you go through anythng umpleasant
Khamul: For my instincts would be to try to kill you, after breaking the blade from your hand with the power of my mind
Madurz: how far do those instincts carry?
Khamul: Should you hold a regular blade, I would not fear you at all, but a blade of Westernsee glows and I would fear it and hate it and my instincts would be to hate the one who held it
Madurz: your instincts would not make you try to kill me in any other instance?
Khamul: I could sense it if you had hatred
Madurz: *smiles*
Khamul: I could sense it if you had fear
Khamul: I could sense if you were trying to attack
Madurz: *her smile fades* i never want to lose you
Khamul: but I sense none of these things
Madurz: my love *moves closer*
Madurz: if only you knew how my heart beats for you
Khamul: Tell me, my lady *he resumes his place at the table and drinks a bit of his wine* Your thoughts for me
Madurz: *she sits across from him and drinks her wine*
Madurz: i think very highly of you
Khamul: Then I am satisfied
Madurz: with all honesty... i respect you and i cherish you
Khamul: Always your words are kind
Madurz: always they are true
Khamul: Then what more could I want
Khamul: *he finishes his glass and looks at her*
Madurz: *she stands from her chair and moves and stands in front of him and touches his face*
Madurz: i was given quite a scare today
Khamul: As we both were
Madurz: but you are here with me now
Madurz: that is very fortunate
Khamul: *He puts his hand upon her hand that is touching his face and looks into her eyes*
Madurz: i long for the day when i can see you...i know what i touch is nothing less than beautiful...this look into your eyes
Khamul: Madurz, I am glad you have this affection and trust

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