The Departure of Khamul and Madurz
Night of April 3, 3019

It is the night of April 3. The next day, Khamul and Madurz will be leaving for Gondor, but Ashgaz will be staying behind. Ashgaz is to leave with Angmar at a later date. Khamul and Madurz have come to say goodbye to Ashgaz, who is in his little room. They come in the room together

Ashgaz: *Ashgaz is not looking forward to spending a whole month in this room by himself*
Madurz: *she moves over to his bedside and stares down*
Ashgaz: *He is worried about Frodo and Sam, and he still suffers from the blade of Westernesse*
Ashgaz: *He looks up at Khamul and Madurz*
Khamul: *Khamul stands beside her*
Madurz: Ashgaz?
Ashgaz: Yes Madurz
Ashgaz: I think I know why you're here
Madurz: *she is still so thankful to him for saving Khamul's life even if his intention was mixed*
Khamul: *Khamul is wearing dark robes but no armor. His hood is over his face*
Madurz: *looks to Khamul and smiles*
Khamul: *He speaks* Ashgaz, we have come to say our parting words to you
Ashgaz: *sighs*
Ashgaz: I suppose you have to go to Gondor
Khamul: You will be leaving with Angmar and his entourage on April 21
Ashgaz: But will anyone at all come to see me while you're gone?
Madurz: *she knows he doenst want to be alone and even though his heart is in the Shire he still feels a great fondness for both of them*
Khamul: *Khamul bows his head* Ashgaz... in times like these when we are..... not needed.... we often.... sleep
Khamul: If sleep you would call it
Ashgaz: *Ashgaz looks at him confusedly*
Madurz: it is good time to rest
Khamul: You will need no one then
Madurz: *she is not sure how to comfort him*
Khamul: Your slumber will be undisturbed
Ashgaz: I don't know how to fall asleep
Ashgaz: It's become harder, it seems, since I came here
Khamul: The Master has found this is the best way for us
Ashgaz: and I think the pain will keep me up
Madurz: do not concentrate on it
Khamul: But, Ashgaz, there have been few times in all these thousands of years when we were not needed
Ashgaz: *nods wearily, not liking the reminder that he is one of them*
Khamul: It will not be long, until you can.... stir once again
Ashgaz: You are very mysterious
Khamul: Ashgaz, it is not sleep as men know it
Ashgaz: Is it like death?
Khamul: Everything comes to a halt. It is almost as though you were dead
Ashgaz: Oh...
Madurz: *she always listens to words about how is it to be awraith..for one day it is to be her fate*
Khamul: Yes, much like death
Khamul: Only for a few weeks
Ashgaz: How could I be sure it wasn't death?
Khamul: Because you will wake from it
Ashgaz: How could I be sure I would wake up?
Khamul: Ashgaz, if I tell you it is so, it will be so
Khamul: Did you not see me in much the same state when I was wounded?
Ashgaz: *nods*
Ashgaz: I see
Ashgaz: So that's what that strange trance was
Khamul: Men call this "going into the shadows"
Khamul: But you will come out of it as long as the Ring endures
Ashgaz: Will I see anything...will there be dreams like you had?
Khamul: No, nothing like that. Just silence
Ashgaz: *He remembers Khamul's visions about the Valar coming for him*
Khamul: Perhaps a dream
Khamul: But always you will sense the presence of the Master looking over you, and if nothing else, that will prove to you that you still live
Ashgaz: *Ashgaz shivers a little*
Ashgaz: *He looks up frankly at Khamul*
Madurz: *she smiles to Ash and places her hand on his shoulder*
Khamul: Our Rings keep us as we are, and through us you are kept as you are
Ashgaz: I don't think I want to die anymore...
Ashgaz: I'm afraid
Khamul: Ashgaz, you are not exactly dead
Khamul: Am I dead?
Ashgaz: *shakes his head*
Khamul: Nor are you
Khamul: You can see me as I am
Khamul: Do I look dead?
Madurz: *she looks between the two*
Ashgaz: *nods...he sees a middle-aged man with a short beard, and his eyes are visible to Ashgaz beneath the hood*
Ashgaz: No, you don't look dead *smiles*
Madurz: *looks down a bit*
Khamul: Madurz, do you think that I am dead?
Madurz: *looks up to him*
Madurz: no my love.. not at all
Madurz: *touches his face*
Khamul: *he takes her hand*
Khamul: Is this the hand of a dead man?
Madurz: *shakes her head* no
Khamul: Do you feel substance?
Madurz: yes...much *closes her eyes and pictures him*
Khamul: Now, Ashgaz, do you feel better?
Ashgaz: *For a brief moment, Ashgaz wishes for Khamul's sake that Madurz could see him, and even thinks she would find him handsome*
Ashgaz: Yes, master
Khamul: *he pulls his hood back but to Madurz there is nothing there*
Ashgaz: But I do not know how to enter this strange sleep
Ashgaz: Can you put me into it?
Khamul: Then do not try
Khamul: I will not put you into it
Khamul: Something tells me I should not
Madurz: Ashgaz, this should be a natural process
Madurz: what thought that will come to you should
Ashgaz: *nods*
Khamul: You do not need to sleep, really. It is just a way of conserving yourself
Khamul: Read some of my books then while I am gone
Madurz: you may enjoy this time alone
Madurz: *smiles trying to make it the best for him*
Ashgaz: *smiles and looks at the stack of books on the bedside table... then remembers they are books of the lore of Mordor*
Madurz: *she thinks he will probably envision that he is back alone in his hobbit hole*
Ashgaz: *His smile fades but he is too tired to struggle over it in his mind now*
Khamul: There are some fine volumes there, copied from ancient parchments from Numenor
Ashgaz: Thank you
Khamul: Are you frightened to be in Lugburz alone?
Madurz: *mention of Numenor always strikes brief memories*
Ashgaz: *Ashgaz hesitates...he does not want to appear weak anymore.... but to be honest...*
Ashgaz: Yes...yes, I am
Khamul: There is nothing here now that can hurt you
Ashgaz: *His voice trembles*
Khamul: Everything that could hurt you has been destroyed
Ashgaz: *shakes his head* If you only knew what I endure in my mind, every day...*trails off*
Ashgaz: When I'm distracted it's not so bad
Khamul: *He speaks with hesitation* I should.... thank you....
Ashgaz: *smiles at Khamul*
Khamul: But it is hard for me to thank a lesser being
Madurz: Ashgaz we have all struggled...Khamul has had his time long years ago
Ashgaz: *nods to Madurz but keeps his eyes on Khamul*
Khamul: Shall we say that when you are well, I will see that..... a...... patterned waistcoat be made for you..... as well as other garments....... that your race wears....
Ashgaz: *Ashgaz grins*
Ashgaz: Thank you my lord
Khamul: As a.......... thank you..........
Madurz: *smiles to Khamul*
Khamul: And perhaps.... more responsibilities
Madurz: *she feels for Ahgash's hand and takes it*
Ashgaz: *Ashgaz realizes that he cannot keep them much longer*
Khamul: In appreciation...... of what....... you did..... for me...
Madurz: *kneels beside him her face closer to his..her voice softer*
Ashgaz: *His affection for Khamul is growing by the minute. He knows how difficult it is for him to say these things.*
Madurz: Ashgaz...*she looks to Khamul briefly and swallows* i think you know just how much what you have done means to me..
Khamul: Perhaps, Ashgaz, I will give you authority over a company orcs, like you had in Minas Morgul. Would you like that?
Madurz: i know you still find it hard to accept this existence...
Ashgaz: Master, thank you, but may I have some time to think about it?
Ashgaz: *He is smiling at both of them*
Khamul: Time...?
Ashgaz: After I am better
Ashgaz: When I come to meet you...
Khamul: Ah, yes. Not until then
Ashgaz: Let us see how things turn out
Khamul: Ashgaz, I think you are competent enough now to deal with orcs
Khamul: Ashgaz, you are far too lenient on them
Khamul: To teach them discipline, kill some as an example to the others
Ashgaz: *sighs...he has a feeling he will never make a good commander by their standards...and has no real desire to meet those standards*
Ashgaz: *coughs*
Madurz: *nods in agreement*
Khamul: order the others just to whip them
Ashgaz: *coughs more*
Khamul: We always get reports from them
Madurz: if you need motivation just think of what they were going to do to me and Khamul
Khamul: And make it a point to have your own spies among the orcs
Ashgaz: Um...well...first let's see if I actually end up in command of them
Madurz: know you are higher than them
Khamul: Orcs loyal to you, your favorites
Khamul: Yes, as my lady says
Ashgaz: I will...*cough*...keep that in mind
Khamul: She always speaks good words
Madurz: *squeezes his hand*
Madurz: *smiles to Khamul*
Khamul: *Ashgaz can see the smile on his face*
Ashgaz: *smiles at Madurz but since she cannot see that, squeezes her hand back*
Khamul: Ashgaz, do as well as my lady and you will be appreciated
Ashgaz: *Ashgaz smiles back at Khamul but it pulls at his heart*
Khamul: She is ever loyal and faithful, a good servant of Mordor
Ashgaz: *How long until he can see them again*
Ashgaz: Yes she is
Khamul: If there is ever any need of you, Angmar will be in command
Ashgaz: *adds mentally...and I will never understand it*
Khamul: You should report to him if you decide not to..... slumber
Ashgaz: *nods* Aye my lord
Madurz: Ashgaz embrace this existence...
Khamul: Ashgaz, sometime if you wish to see it, I will let my lady have a whip and she will teach you how to use it on orcs
Khamul: Would you like that?
Madurz: *looks to Khamul*
Madurz: *smiles*
Ashgaz: *Ashgaz' eyes widen and he gasps*
Ashgaz: *feels very uncomfortable*
Khamul: She can flail the flesh right off their backs
Ashgaz: *He remembers poor Neithan and the horror he felt at Neithan's pain*
Khamul: Perhaps if you see how to do it correctly......
Madurz: *her other hand smoothes over Khamul's arm*
Ashgaz: *He thinks...I could never do that!!!*
Khamul: My lady, would you teach him?
Madurz: i would
Khamul: *He enjoy the feel of her touch and the thoughts of watching her whip disobedient orcs*
Khamul: Ah, my lady, Madurz, you never fail me
Ashgaz: *He looks at Madurz and wonders how a woman so gentle with him is capable of such cruelty*
Madurz: *feels Ash's hand tense*
Khamul: Ashgaz, you will have a fine pony to ride to Gondor
Khamul: A black pony
Madurz: do not pity them...some of them would do unspeakable things to me if i was not favored here
Ashgaz: *He feels uncomfortable in their presence now...he is bound to them, he has affection for them, but where will it bring him, and is he a traitor for it?*
Khamul: Provided to us generously by the people of Rohan
Ashgaz: *shakes the thoughts off*
Khamul: Yes, Ashgaz, do not forget what she says
Ashgaz: I know, I detest orcs
Madurz: then use that
Ashgaz: They are so repulsive
Khamul: Yes, Ashgaz, do as she says
Ashgaz: I'll try.
Madurz: but remember they are yours to command
Madurz: not to kill mindlessly out of anger for them
Khamul: My lady, tell him what the orcs tried to do to you when they captured you
Ashgaz: Oh, I wouldn't kill mindlessly
Ashgaz: *His eyes widen*
Madurz: one was a cowrad and told the others to leave me alone cause he thought i was the favored woman of Mordor
Madurz: but if not for that he would do the same....i was stabbed and they tasted my blood..
Ashgaz: *gasps*
Madurz: they tore at my flesh with their nails
Ashgaz: Oh Madurz
Ashgaz: I'm sorry
Madurz: it would have only gotten worse for me
Ashgaz: *His hand is pressed to his mouth in alarm*
Madurz: but...i was saved
Khamul: Ashgaz, now do you see why you must discipline them?
Madurz: *loosk to Khamul*
Ashgaz: Yes, they must not be allowed to do things like that
Ashgaz: That makes perfect sense
Khamul: Had they killed her, I would never have known such joy as I have experienced
Ashgaz: I would try to keep any orcs I commanded from doing anything like that
Madurz: *smiles her eyes almsot fillign with tears*
Khamul: So, Ashgaz, do your duty and all will be well
Ashgaz: *He notices Madurz is getting emotional and presses her hand hoping to comfort her*
Ashgaz: *His duty...but what will that involve?*
Ashgaz: *If it involves cruelty he will not be able to do it*
Khamul: My lady, will you be ready to go in the morning?
Ashgaz: *But what will happen to him if he disobeys...what can he expect when the inevitable break with their authority comes?*
Madurz: yes my love
Ashgaz: *His breathing has sped up and he has turned pale*
Ashgaz: *He turns back to Madurz and Khamul knowing the time of their departure has come*
Ashgaz: *He feels strangely like a child whose parents are leaving him*
Madurz: *thinking of Khamul and how close he was to death she takes her hand and smoothes his through Ash's hair and leans her head down and kisses his forehead* Ash you have done a great thing for me...
Madurz: your heart was tugged but the effect saved my love's life..
Ashgaz: *Ashgaz smiles sadly up at her...she is the only one who is gentle with him. Why must she leave?*
Madurz: and you protected me through our journey in Rohan
Madurz: you have been so faithful
Madurz: i know you find it hard to accept what you are...
Madurz: but here you are safe and in time you will feel and accept this as your home.. you will look too all of the Nazgul as your brothers...
Khamul: *Khamul smiles*
Madurz: you will feel in your heart true loyalty to our Lord...
Ashgaz: *Ashgaz still cannot accept this, but he cannot argue with her now, it is not the time*
Madurz: i have faith in you
Ashgaz: *Ashgaz raises himself to a sitting position*
Madurz: *her eyes are gentle*
Ashgaz: *He puts his arms around her neck and lays his head on her shoulder*
Ashgaz: *He hugs her*
Madurz: *his small figure comforts her as thougha child*
Ashgaz: *For the first time she feels his hobbit shape and his curls brushing against her chin*
Ashgaz: *He doesn't want to let go because then they will leave*
Ashgaz: *but he does and lies back on the pillow*
Madurz: *she smiles to him warmly*
Khamul: *Khamul has a cheerful thought to comfort Ashgaz... He sends it to him... Soon I will teach you the use of the Morgul blade*
Ashgaz: *Ashgaz does not find that thought comforting but he pushes it aside for now*
Khamul: *Khamul bids Ashgaz farewell, and he and the lady turn and go out the door*
Madurz: *she swallows back some emotion she as she relaeses the small body and stands...squeezes Khamul's arm*
Ashgaz: *Ashgaz lies there thinking...thinking of the Morgul blade and the strange new life it has brought him*

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