OF GIFTS AND CHOICES
The Evening of September 20, 3019
Frodo portrayed by Hobbitness
Lieutenant of Barad-dur and Captain Zotar portrayed by Eowyn
The Nazgul and Shakh Zagbolg portrayed by FreeFall
Narrator, Sauron the Great, Shakh Angmar and Shakh Khamul portrayed by Wraith
Narrator: *Throughout the morning
of September 20th, 3019, Frodo had been tormented and haunted
by dark visions given to him by the Nazgul.*
Narrator: *Already ailing from frailty caused by a lung disease, Frodo's body began to fail from the stress and he was at the point of death.*
Narrator: *Because of his hatred and vengeance for Frodo, the Dark Lord denied death to him, and totally healed his body, except for the scar of the Morgul wounding and the brand of the Great Eye over that.*
Narrator: *Frodo is given leave to go to his quarters and rest there until that night when Sauron will summon him again. That time has now come, and once again, Sauron's Lieutenant awaits outside his door. He unlocks the door and knocks*
Frodo: *Frodo rises from his seat by the window with a sigh and goes to the door*
Frodo: *He tries to still his fear of going before the Dark Lord and the Nazgul again, wanting to be as steadfast as Hurin in that story Bilbo told him once...he tries not to think of what happened to Hurin*
Lieutenant of Barad-dur: *meanwhile, outside the unlocked door, the lieutenant waits and listens for sounds of stirring inside the room...he wonders if perhaps the halfling tried to hang himself on his bed curtains. that would be a...pity*
Frodo: *Frodo tugs at the door handle and the heavy door opens a crack*
Lieutenant of Barad-dur: *when he sees frodo peering through the crack, the lieutenant opens the door all the way and greets him with a deep, exagerated bow* Good evening, Master Baggins. It is good to see you...well...
Frodo: *A strange, uncomfortable feeling assails him...in Sauron's debt...but no, he will not betray the West for any reward or relief*
Frodo: *He wonders how the healing will be transformed into a curse, for it inevitably will*
Lieutenant of Barad-dur: Come now, Lord Sauron the Great desires your auspicious company once more.
Frodo: *A dark frown flashes in his eyes, now piercingly clear*
Lieutenant of Barad-dur: *the lieutenant guestures for frodo to follow him.... his ten orc bodyguards wait nearby and leer at frodo...in what is either mockery, hunger or an attempt to bne friendly*
Frodo: *he leaves the room and follows the lieutenant, trying not to look at the orcs*
Lieutenant of Barad-dur: *the lieutenant walks down the corridor to the Great Hall of Sauron. the ten orc bodyguards fall in behind Frodo. the guards at the entrance to the hall bow an dopen the massive doors*
Lieutenant of Barad-dur: *the lieutenant bows before sauron upon entry, then approaches him, bowing again, and taking his place at the left of his throne*
Frodo: *Frodo forces himself not to cringe, to remain erect*
Lieutenant of Barad-dur: *the ten orc bodyguards wait outside the hall*
Frodo: *in spite of the horror and evil that emanate from the Nazgul and the Dark Lord*
Sauron the Great: Welcome, welcome, to My hall. Once again, you do not bow. How discourteous of you!
Sauron the Great: Must we constantly repeat the lesson of teaching you manners? *Sauron says and his voice is cool and mocking*
The Nazgul: *Nine hoods turn in his direction, different hues of red looking towards him*
Lieutenant of Barad-dur: *gazes scornfully at the halfling* such pride he has, my Lord. *the lieutenant seems a bit disgusted*
Sauron the Great: *Looks to the Lieutenant* Why must he always be so slow in learning?
Frodo: It is not pride but loyalty to my land and its freedom.
Sauron the Great: Then you leave Me but one alternative, Master Baggins. I will turn you over to My servants!
Frodo: *sighs and bites his lip*
Frodo: *Perhaps his body will be destroyed again quite quickly*
Sauron the Great: He is yours now, My Nazgul
Sauron the Great: Teach him well, as I know only you can
Lieutenant of Barad-dur: *shakes his head in an air of sadness* Such needless pain he puts himself through, for the sake of his vanity.
ShakhZagbolg: *Shakh Zagbolg (Lord Four The Bloodthirsty) has long awaited to get more time with him and steps forward. He reaches down and lifts Frodo's chin* Shire filth!
Frodo: *braces himself*
ShakhZagbolg: Brother Khamul
Frodo: *longing fills him at the name of the Shire*
Shakh Khamul: *Khamul joins his brother and approaches the halfling*
ShakhZagbolg: i think the halfling likes his youth. his skin is once again fresh
Shakh Khamul: Aye, Brother. Look at the blush of youth upon his face and the meat now sticks upon his ribs
ShakhZagbolg: but my glove prevents me from the pleasant feel of it
ShakhZagbolg: *removes it and to Frodo's eyes the invisible hand reaches out*
Shakh Khamul: Brother, I will not hesitate to use mine upon him for our Master has given us leave
Frodo: *his pulse quickens at the thought of the Nazgul's icy touch*
Sauron the Great: *Sauron nods approval to the Nazgul*
ShakhZagbolg: *strokes hand upon Frodo's cheek*
Frodo: *shivers with cold, feeling that his head will freeze*
Shakh Khamul: *Goes to Frodo's left side*
Frodo: *shrinks away from Khamul*
ShakhZagbolg: *smiles at Frodo's discomfort and holds him still for his Brother*
Frodo: *reaches up and covers his shoulder*
ShakhZagbolg: *His hands locks over Frodo's wrist. He reaches out and grabs Frodo by the left shoulder, and tears his hand away from his shoulder*
Frodo: *screams in pain*
ShakhZagbolg: *grits his teeth as he feels his pulse in his wrist*
Frodo: *Frodo's pulse beats wildly and heavily*
ShakhZagbolg: i feel his blood racing in his veins Brother
Shakh Khamul: *He reaches down with his other hand, takes his spiked gauntlet and rakes it across Frodo's neck*
Shakh Khamul: BAGGGGGINNNNSSSSSsss... you want this?
Frodo: *cries out, new cuts staining his skin* No!
Shakh Khamul: Is it so difficult to bow, you scum?
ShakhZagbolg: *sighs in pleasure as he smells his blood*
Frodo: It is...wrong to bow *squeezes his eyes shut at the thought of what they will do to him for this..*
Shakh Khamul: Bow before your Master, you fool!
ShakhZagbolg: *Frodo feels the pain in his wrist from his touch going through his arm to his shoulder and the pain from his fresh wound*
Frodo: *hopes they will force him to his knees and be done with it*
Frodo: *he shivers and perspires with the pain*
Shakh Khamul: *watches the blood as it runs from Frodo's neck, inhales deeply at the scent*
ShakhZagbolg: Brother squueze his neck so that the blood runs more
Shakh Khamul: *he takes both hands, wrapping them around Frodo's neck and squeezes hard*
Shakh Khamul: Now will you bow, you Shire filth!
ShakhZagbolg: yes! *slides his other hand over the blood as it flows over his neck and raises it to his face*
Shakh Khamul: Why is it so difficult to bow! *His voice hisses*
ShakhZagbolg: *the scent of blood fills his nostrils and he squeezes Frodo's neck more, making the blood run over the gauntlets on his hands*
Frodo: *Gripped by the Nazgul, he is in a heightened state of terror*
Frodo: *his knees go weak and he falls against his will*
Shakh Khamul: *Takes one hand and puts it to his unseen mouth and licks the blood off*
Shakh Khamul: Now, snaga, you know to bow!
ShakhZagbolg: *he delights in his Brother's equal passion for blood. the other seven look on with blazing red orbs*
Sauron the Great: Let him bleed some more and have your taste of it, My servants
Frodo: *hangs in Khamul's grip, praying that they will release him*
Shakh Khamul: *First shakes him, then drops him*
ShakhZagbolg: *lets go of his wrist... so much of him wants to tear him apart*
Frodo: *falls to his knees, sitting on his heels, hugging himself and panting, rocking back and forth to try to regain some warmth and equilibrium*
Shakh Khamul: *steps back and stands, making sniffing noises as he looks down at Frodo*
Frodo: *draws away from Khamul*
Sauron the Great: *Sauron, sensing that Frodo can take more, nods to his servants*
ShakhZagbolg: *digs his hand in Frodo's hair and pulls his head back...making his neck arch.*
Lieutenant of Barad-dur: *he addresses the Nazgul* Show the halfling the error of his ways!
Frodo: A! Elbereth! *he breathes in terror*
Sauron the Great: *Sauron's voice is cold and low* Let all My servants drink of his blood!
Sauron the Great: Let all have his share!
ShakhZagbolg: *with permission from his master at this and brings his head down upon Frodo's neck*
Sauron the Great: You speak incessently of faded goddesses. Let your mouth be silent
Frodo: *Perhaps they will actually kill him now, Frodo thinks*
Sauron the Great: *Sauron moves his hand slightly and Frodo can no longer speak*
ShakhZagbolg: *his hands clench tightly on Frodo's clothes*
Frodo: *his scream is stopped in his throat*
Frodo: *trembles violently*
ShakhZagbolg: *runs his cheek over the blood on Frodo's neck*
ShakhZagbolg: *his eyes burning with the deepest red and Frodo begins to feel weak*
Shakh Khamul: *Licking his unseen lips, Khamul bends down and dips his finger in the blood, then drawing it back to his mouth, he licks his fingers*
Frodo: *Frodo's eyelids flutter and his body begins to go limp*
ShakhZagbolg: *his fingertips clench so hard they pierce his skin*
Shakh Khamul: I am far too selfish. Let my other brothers have their share *He laughs mockingly*
Shakh Angmar: *Angmar, who has been standing by Sauron's throne, looks at the halfling and his eyes begin to glow*
Shakh Angmar: I want more of him than blood!
Shakh Angmar: *He looks to Sauron, who nods slightly and gives him a mental message... "Not yet."*
Frodo: *lets out a shuddering hiss of terror*
ShakhZagbolg: *looks up to his Lord and releases Frodo and hisses*
Frodo: *falls to the floor*
Frodo: *He tries to lift his head but everything swims before his eyes, then he sees no more*
ShakhZagbolg: *he licks all the blood off his fingers as he backs away a bit to let Angmar have the halfling*
Shakh Angmar: *Angmar walks up to Frodo, his eyes seeming to be bright red orbs of fire. He looks at the other Nazgul* Hold him!
Frodo: *The last thing he sees before fainting is Angmar coming toward him...again..just as at Weathertop. He wishes he had a blade to strike with this time even if he could still only pierce Angmar's robe*
ShakhZagbolg: *he moves back towards Frodo and holds him still*
Sauron the Great: *Sauron wills Frodo to come back to consciousness*
ShakhZagbolg: *the other Nazgul step in closer*
Frodo: *Sauron's malice forces Frodo to be conscious for this torment*
Shakh Angmar: *Angmar reaches inside his cloak and draws the hilt of a blade. He walks over to Frodo and puts the tip of the blade on Frodo's left shoulder. He looks to Sauron imploringly*
The Nazgul: *They look on with wide eyes of anticipation all waiting on Sauron's word*
Frodo: *Frodo's eyes fly wide open and he struggles with all his remaining strength away from the morgul blade but the nazgul hold him*
Frodo: *if he were not stricken dumb he would be screaming in agony*
Shakh Angmar: *Angmar holds the tip of the Morgul blade against Frodo's left shoulder on the old wound. The blade steams in the heat of the room like a shard of ice*
Shakh Angmar: The fool *he says* All this pain could have been avoided if he had only bowed!
Shakh Angmar: *He takes the tip of the blade and makes a small tear in Frodo's shirt but does not touch his skin*
The Nazgul: *Holds him still as his small body trembles*
Sauron the Great: *Sauron waves his hand again and Frodo has the power to speak once more*
Sauron the Great: Now will you bow or My servants will make it a certainty that you will bow forever at My word!
Frodo: GLITHONIEL A ELBERETH! *he yells*
Sauron the Great: CURSE YOU, SHIRE RAT!
The Nazgul: *the fingers that hold him clench painfully at his words*
Sauron the Great: CURSE YOU AND THE GODDESS! MAY YOU ALL BURN IN AGONY AND FIRE!
Sauron the Great: *Sauron has become angry now* Move away from him, My servants. Angmar, take your place by Me
Shakh Angmar: *Angmar sheaths his Morgul blade and returns to his position by the throne*
The Nazgul: *they hurry away releasing him*
Frodo: *to avoid the morgul blade, Frodo remains on his knees, grudgingly bowing*
Sauron the Great: Master Baggins, do you deny My power?
Frodo: You are powerful, but it is through greed and evil
Lieutenant of Barad-dur: He is a fool if he does, my Lord. But what would one expect from a pawn of the West?
Sauron the Great: Nothing, My Lieutenant. They are all fools and deserve to die
Frodo: Then kill me and be done with it
Sauron the Great: *Clenches one gloved fist*
The Nazgul: *Their hate is constantly intensified by this filth's insolence*
Sauron the Great: Perhaps I shall, Master Baggins. Perhaps I shall
Sauron the Great: WHY? WHY? WHY? *his voice booms* YOU MAKE IT SO DIFFICULT ALL THE TIME!
The Nazgul: *They would make him feel the pain of a thousand deaths for speaking so to their Master*
Frodo: *dumb with shock*
The Nazgul: *his voice instinctively makes them shrink back a bit*
Frodo: *his ears ring at Sauron's shouts*
Sauron the Great: *Sauron's voice becomes quieter now* I had planned many things in your honor, Master Baggins.... acelebration in observance of your birthday in two days
Frodo: *thinks sadly of the party they had planned in Nurn*
Sauron the Great: *He looks to an Easterling army officer standing in attendance along the wall* Bring him wine!
Frodo: *wonders what Ceolwulf, Elfhild, Elffled and Rian would have given him...and if he will ever have a chance to make the ornate copies of Elvish translations he had planned to give them*
Captain Zotar: *the officer bows to Sauron and goes to a great chest alongside the wall. he comes back with an ornate silver goblet filled with wine*
Captain Zotar: *he walks up to Frodo and hands him the goblet*
Frodo: *takes the goblet and looks up hesitantly to Sauron*
Sauron the Great: Drink it, Master Baggins. It will restore your strength
Captain Zotar: *the easterling captain goes back to his place, waiting in attendance*
Frodo: *He is very thirsty after losing so much blood*
Narrator: *The wine tastes strange, but Frodo can feel new strength coming to his body as he drinks*
Sauron the Great: Master Baggins, I have gifts for you
Sauron the Great: Bring them forth, My Lieutenant
Lieutenant of Barad-dur: *The lieutenant nods to Sauron, and calls for the easterling captain to come back* Zotar, bring them forth. *Zotar nods, bows, and goes off into the shadows*
Frodo: *looks after them skeptically*
Lieutenant of Barad-dur: *Soon, Zotar comes back with a bundle covered with a black velvet cloth*
Frodo: *takes out his handkerchief and tries to staunch his neck from bleeding*
Frodo: *wonders what horrible sight lies underneath the cloth*
Lieutenant of Barad-dur: *Zotar hands the bundle to the Lieutneant, bows to him and goes back to his place. The lieutneant looks to Sauron*
Sauron the Great: My Lieutneant, we start with the smallest
Lieutenant of Barad-dur: *another easterling holds the bundle, as the Lieutenant reaches into it. he draws forth a small box...then hands it to another waiting easterling who presents it to frodo*
Frodo: *takes the box hesitantly*
Lieutenant of Barad-dur: *it is the box that held the dirt given to sam by galadriel in lorien. however, it is now empty*
Sauron the Great: *Sauron laughs maniacally* Do you appreciate your gift, Master Baggins?
Frodo: *He turns the box over in his hands and gradually realizes what it is*
The Nazgul: *They keep their eyes fixed on Frodo..some smirk and some laugh*
Frodo: *His eyes begin to fill, but Sauron's laughter turns his sadness to anger*
Frodo: You murderer! *he thinks of all the unspeakable torture Sam endured before he was finally set free--by death*
Sauron the Great: You may keep it, Master Baggins, but the other things, we will hold in safety until the proper time comes for you to keep them
Sauron the Great: *Sauron hears Frodo's thoughts and laughs at him*
Frodo: *caresses the box and cradles it to his heart...Sam touched it*
Sauron the Great: Bring forth the next gift!
Frodo: *The box brings Frodo a little comfort in a strange way*
Frodo: *he sees it as a fulfillment of Sam's promise not to leave him again*
Lieutenant of Barad-dur: *the lieutenant reaches into the bundle held by one of the easterling soldiers and pulls out another small bundle.... he hands it to the easterling, who then presents it to frodo*
Lieutenant of Barad-dur: *it is a grey cloak, cleaned and patched, looking almost new, with a green leaf broach with silver veins*
Lieutenant of Barad-dur: *the easterling waits for frodo to look at the gift, so he can return it to the care of the lieutenant*
Frodo: *takes the cloak...he holds it reverently, as something sacred*
Sauron the Great: *Sauron laughs again*
Frodo: *with parted lips and glistening eyes he stares at the cloak...then Sauron laughs and Frodo clutches it to himself*
The Nazgul: *their vicious eyes burn brightly as they enjoy Frodo's torment and some of them laugh wildly while others remain silent in their loathing*
Lieutenant of Barad-dur: *the easterling rips the cloak away from frodo's grasp and returns it to the lieutneant*
Frodo: *looks after the Elvish cloak with longing as the Easterling rips it out of his grasp*
Sauron the Great: Old memories, I see, Master Baggins *he laughs again*
Frodo: *picks up the box again and whispers* Yes...many memories
Sauron the Great: The next gift, Master Baggins, you may not see yet, for it is not here. This gift and another you may not see at this time
Sauron the Great: *His laughter is mocking*
Frodo: *His heart sinks as he thinks of the indefinite...infinite?....time he must spend in Lugburz*
Sauron the Great: But the next gift you may see and touch, for a short time
Lieutenant of Barad-dur: *the lieutneant reaches into the bundle and pulls out a small object....it is silver and glitters like the glistening dew. he hands it to the easterling who presents it to frodo*
Lieutenant of Barad-dur: *it is a corslet made of mithril-silver.... originally belonging to frodo's uncle bilbo. the easterling waits to take it back*
Frodo: *Frodo gasps and takes the mithril coat with shaking hands*
Sauron the Great: Are these the posessions you brought with you when you first came in My land?
Frodo: *buries his face in the mithril coat, unable to hold back tears...Bilbo!*
Sauron the Great: Are there any that have been overlooked?
The Nazgul: *Their grins widen further as Frodo's misery increases*
Frodo: Yes... My star glass *he shudders to think what happened to it*
Sauron the Great: And you know, Master Baggins, that you cannot receive them here *he says and his voice rises to a great, mocking laugh*
Frodo: *holds onto the mithril coat during Sauron's laugh, as though Bilbo were in it and could help him*
Sauron the Great: It seems your glass will not glow for Me. I should crush it in My Hands
Lieutenant of Barad-dur: *once again, the easterling rips the mithril shirt from frodo's hands and returns it to the lieutenant*
Sauron the Great: Shall I break the light for you, Master Baggins?
Frodo: *wipes his eyes and composes himself as the mithril shirt is taken away*
Frodo: No, no! Do not break it!
Sauron the Great: And why should I not?
Sauron the Great: Always has the elf opposed me
Frodo: *"Dark places when all other lights go out..." and here Frodo is*
Sauron the Great: Why should I not destroy her creation because of her constant rebukes?
Frodo: *Because I need it, Frodo thinks*
Sauron the Great: What are you willing to pay for the light's safety, Master Baggins? *his voice is cloying*
Frodo: *dread creeps into his face*
Sauron the Great: Give it to Me, My Lieutneant
Lieutenant of Barad-dur: *the lieutneant reaches into the bundle and hands Sauron the phial of galadriel..... it does not glow in this place, at the very heart of Sauron's evil realm*
Sauron the Great: What is the use of it, Master Baggins? It does nothing *He takes it and holds it in the extended palm of his hand*
Frodo: The evil is too great here for its light to shine
Sauron the Great: *His fingers begin to tigthen over the phial*
Frodo: but it has great power
Frodo: It drove back Shelob
Sauron the Great: As you can see, it has no effect upon Me, for I am mighter than its creator
Sauron the Great: Shall I put out the light forever?
The Nazgul: *They look to Sauron with raised heads..they wish He would*
Sauron the Great: But what good are these things to you if you stay here forever?
Sauron the Great: *his fingers tighten around the phial more* Do you wish to see My power over this flimsy trinket, Master Baggins?
Frodo: No, no
Frodo: *groans* You would not keep me here forever!
Sauron the Great: You will have a choice, Master Baggins. However, we will deal with one thing at a time
The Nazgul: *they hiss at his raised tone*
Sauron the Great: Your sword, of course, cannot be given to you here
Sauron the Great: Show it, My lieutneant
Lieutenant of Barad-dur: *the lieutneant reaches into the bundle and pulls out a small, sheathed sword. he pulls the sword out of the sheath and the blade glows a brilliant, flaming blue*
Lieutenant of Barad-dur: *the orcs in the hall gasp and cringe and the lietuenant quickly sheaths the sword*
Frodo: *A small smile of awe illuminates Frodo's face as Sting glows*
The Nazgul: *their eyes widen as they look upon it and their lips curl into a scowl*
Sauron the Great: *Sauron tosses the phial up into the air and catches it as it falls*
Sauron the Great: It is a pretty trinket indeed, but a pity it does not glow, for if it did, I would have it set upon My crown!
Sauron the Great: *he tosses it from one hand to the other*
Frodo: *stifles a scoff*
Sauron the Great: You scoff, Master Baggins? He asks questioningly*
Sauron the Great: *He throws the phial back up in the air*
The Nazgul: *They glare at Frodo*
Frodo: No! *half answering the question and half crying out in worry for the starglass*
Sauron the Great: *he catches it as it falls* Does this thing mean something to you, Master Baggins?
Frodo: *hesitates...if he says it does, Sauron will destroy it to make him suffer. But it is already obvious that it does mean very much to him*
Frodo: *nods slowly*
Sauron the Great: *He reads Frodo's thoughts even before he thinks them. He throws the phail up in the air again* And there are other things that mean much to you, are there not, Master Baggins?
Frodo: *quiet, tense* Yes...
Sauron the Great: Ah, yes.... indeed... *he laughs*
Sauron the Great: Then, perhaps, we have something for which we can bargain? *He catches the phial before it hits the floor*
Sauron the Great: Perhaps what, Master Baggins? *his voice becomes harsh*
Frodo: The bargain...perhaps.
Sauron the Great: You can be freed right now if you do certain things....
Frodo: *desperate hope flashes bright in his eyes...*
Sauron the Great: *He hands the phial back to the Lieutenant*
Frodo: *Then he realizes that "certain things" will be traitorous*
Lieutenant of Barad-dur: *he takes the phial and returns it to the bundle*
Frodo: *sighs and waits for Sauron to speak*
Sauron the Great: This is your first choice, which I know before I give it, you will view it negatively......
Sauron the Great: Stay here forever, as My servant
Sauron the Great: Either like the Nine, who are immortal, or My Lieutenant, whom I have given a great lifespan
Frodo: Never! *he hisses bitterly*
Lieutenant of Barad-dur: *he smiles mockingly at frodo.... his grey eyes narrowing to slits*
Frodo: *glares at Sauron with utter hatred and scorn*
Sauron the Great: Master Baggins, that was your first choice, and you turn it down. Everlasting life is within your grasp
The Nazgul: *they want to lunge after Frodo at his bold tone of protest to something that is an honor*
Frodo: Everlasting death
Sauron the Great: I am willing to give that to you, either by enchantments or by the sacred Blade
Frodo: No! Never! *he shouts*
Sauron the Great: You were ever a fool, Master Baggins
Sauron the Great: Your second choice.......
The Nazgul: *fists clench at their sides*
Sauron the Great: Safe passage to the boundaries of My kingdom, with all your posessions, food and water, enough to last you for days....
Sauron the Great: *he waits for Frodo's response, savoring every moment of it in a grim, malcious, mocking fashion*
Sauron the Great: Your freedom, Master Baggins, with everything you brought into My Kingdom, except for one thing... the one thing you will never have
Sauron the Great: What do you say?
Frodo: *His glance shoots up at the Ring and he is blinded by his mad lust for it*
Frodo: *For a moment, it looks attractive to stay here forever only to gaze on It*
Sauron the Great: Master Baggins, ever will you have ties to Mordor
Frodo: *takes a hypnotized step forward*
Sauron the Great: *he extends his hand towards Frodo, the Ring glittering on his finger*
Frodo: *The Ring's voice is faint now, much fainter than when it resounded in his ears day and night, but still it is cloying, alluring*
Sauron the Great: Master Baggins, I see your attention has wavered
Frodo: *blinks and looks confusedly to Sauron*
Sauron the Great: Do you want to be freed with the posessions you brought into My kingdom?
The Nazgul: *They stare with mixed feelings in each of their minds. They relish the fact the ring is returned to His hand and that it torments the one who gave them much trouble*
Frodo: *anger glaring in his eyes at the Ring's owner*
Sauron the Great: But, Master Baggins, with your choice comes a price...
The Nazgul: *They hope Frodo's suffering is felt deeply all the way to the core of his being*
Frodo: *with the greatest effort he can muster he blocks out the Ring's voice and once more returns to himself, Frodo Baggins, loyal to the West and longing for the Shire*
Sauron the Great: You can have freedom, but it will be yours alone!
Sauron the Great: Master Baggins, you will be granted your freedom and have all which you brought into My land. You will be taken to the boundaries of My Kingdom, given food and water, and set to find your own way back to the accursed hole from which you crawled
Sauron the Great: That is the second choice.
Frodo: That is what I would choose
Sauron the Great: And there is yet a third
Frodo: but what of my friends?
Sauron the Great: Ah, Master Baggins, how easily you forget them *his voice is brutal, mocking*
Frodo: *seethes..he has not forgotten them at all*
Sauron the Great: Do you wish to hear the third or take the second?
Frodo: I wish to hear the third
Sauron the Great: Ahhh......... How I like to speak of the thralls which I have given you! Which I have so generously bestowed upon you!
Frodo: They are not thralls!
Sauron the Great: How, Master Baggins, do you think you came to have your thralls? Or slaves, if you prefer? You can call them thrall, slave, snaga... there are many words
The Nazgul: *they laugh at his ignorance*
Sauron the Great: I have given them to you, Master Baggins! *He laughs maliciously and manaically*
Frodo: It was at the slave market!
Frodo: You? You were not there, unless you arranged for those particular people to be...sold at that time
Sauron the Great: Master Baggins, how simple you are. Indeed, your innocence is....what shall I say? Sublime.
Sauron the Great: My servant Vartang picked each one out for you
Frodo: *angrily* I know
Sauron the Great: All especially chosen for their particular *he laughs loudly* virtue
Frodo: He has turned everything to my ruin. At your orders, I do not doubt it
Sauron the Great: My servant Vartang is loyal to Me and is held in high honor
Sauron the Great: But the third choice... do you not wish to know of it, Master Baggins?
Frodo: Yes, I do
Lieutenant of Barad-dur: *smiles wickedly, chuckling softly at the halfling's distress*
Sauron the Great: *He looks at his lieutenant* Does the rat fear even making a choice now?
Lieutenant of Barad-dur: It appears so, my lord. He was quite brave to trapise through Your land, but it appears now his courage has failed him. Listen to him squeak!
Frodo: No, I do not! What is the third choice?
Sauron the Great: The third choice, Master Baggins.... *he waves his hand almost absentmindedly and pauses for what seems like a maddeningly long amount of time*
Frodo: *furrows his brow, furious at the delay and anxious to make a choice...a choice that will allow him to leave Mordor*
Sauron the Great: Your birthday will be a festive occasion.... much better than the last....
Sauron the Great: It will be a time of great gift giving and I understand the custom in your land is for the one who is celebrating his birthday to give gifts to those close to him. Is this not true?
Sauron the Great: *He sits back in his chair, waiting for Frodo's response*
Frodo: Yes it is
Sauron the Great: Yes, I thought so.
Sauron the Great: Now I have provided certain Gifts for you to give.....
Sauron the Great: You can have your freedom, all the posessions you brought in My land, and take your slaves and all the gold I have given you
Sauron the Great: You will be granted safe passage through My lands to the border of Arnor and all you have to do in exchange is give the Gifts I have provided...
Sauron the Great: For am I not called Annatar, Lord of the Gifts, and maker of Golden RINGS?
Frodo: And what are these "gifts"?
The Nazgul: *Their eyes gleam as they look to Him*
Sauron the Great: *He smiles wickedly* Nine Rings you will give to those to whom I say
Sauron the Great: These Nine Rings, as you should know, are not Rings of Power. All they do is show your ownership of your own slaves
Sauron the Great: They do not have great power.... they are mere trinkets
Frodo: *narrows his eyes skeptically*
The Nazgul: *They pine for their own precious gifts*
Frodo: You would have me give them these rings, thinking they are mere trinkets and they will have some terrible effect to destroy them or bind them to you!
Sauron the Great: Many slave holders require their slaves to show proof of ownership.... a collar, a special brand.... a Ring in this case...
Sauron the Great: Then you will go free without your slaves? And leave them in Nurn?
Frodo: Never would a lord of your cunning give such a harmless gift as you say these rings are!
Sauron the Great: Master Baggins, I know all your fears..... but I will show you what will happen to your slaves if you decline My offer
Sauron the Great: *His voice becomes cold, slow and deadly*
Frodo: *The new color leaves Frodo's face and he begins to look again like a burdened old man, so strained and weary is his face*
Sauron the Great: *The Dark Lord rises to his feet*
Lieutenant of Barad-dur: *the lieutenant too rises to his feet*
Sauron the Great: Summon the trolls with My weapons!
Lieutenant of Barad-dur: As you wish, my Lord. *he summons one of his easterlings and tells him to inform the trolls that the time has come*
To be Continued...
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