Aldarion was a king of a Numenorian colony in Middle Earth in the Second Age. He was given a ring of power by Annatar, Lord of the Gifts, which brought him great power and fortune. However, he became obsessed with his ring, calling it "ziran" (beloved), and convinced everyone was in some plot against him for they thought he was mad. He had unnatural long life, and two of his wives had died of old age while he still lived. His obsession with his ring irritated his wife Zimra. She was an elf-friend who knew elves formerly from Eregion, elves whose kin had been killed when Sauron waged war against them and took the Nine Rings from them. She threatened to tell the elves about the ring and Aldarion's obsession. Aldarion said that the elves had poisoned her mind against him.
For years, Zimanbalak, a lady of the court, watched Aladarion from afar. Every time he spoke, she would be there to listen to him, admiring and loving him. He asked her to dance with him during a court ball. They fell in love, and Aladrion made her a handmaiden to his wife. He then began to poison his wife slowly with a potion that he had made himself. The poison would make it appear she was slowly dying of an illness. Zimanbalak gave Zimra the potion every night before she went to bed, and Zimra would constantly complain of her husband's madness and ring obsession. Zimra's criticism of Aldarion became too much for Zimanbalak to bear, and she strangled his wife one night in a fit of rage.
After the year of mourning had passed, Aldarion married Zimanbalak and made her his queen. Aldarion was rapidly fading and began to wear his ring on a chain about his neck to slow the process. Eventually, he totally faded, passing into the wraith world of shadows, and later became known as the Witch-King of Angmar, the Lord of the Nazgul.
Khamul the Black Easterling is the Second-in-Command of the Nazgul. After Sauron left Dol Goldur in Mirkwood, the stronghold was given to him. Khamul stayed there with two other Nazgul, one of which was his messenger. Khamul's powers are most confused by water and light, but next to Angmar, he is the most eager to sense the Ring's presence.
The hobbit Peter Bracegirdle was a friend of Frodo Baggins and Fatty Bolger. He often went to Fatty's home in Crickhollow. Fatty had been impersonating Frodo, wearing some of his old clothes, so everyone would think Frodo was living at Crickhollow. Peter borrowed some of the clothes that were too small for Fatty. In late September or early October, while walking on the road, Peter was mistaken for Frodo Baggins by Khamul and two other Nazgul. He tried to defy Khamul, but Khamul got angry and stabbed him with the Morgul blade. Peter became a wraith and was left to find his own way back to Mordor. The Nazgul had business elsewhere.
After the flood of the Bruien on October 20, 3018, the Nazgul began their journey back to Mordor, horseless and unclad. They went back to Minas Morgul. Madurz, a woman who had always struggled between good and evil, was drawn to the power of Mordor and the Nazgul, for she had been Zimanbalak in a past life. She journeyed to Mordor in mid-late November. Angmar allowed her safe passage into Minas Morgul, for he had some vague recollection of her. However, being too busy with matters of war to speak with her, his Second-in-Command, Khamul the Black Easterling, became her protector.
Elrond Halfelven did not approve of Madurz journeying into Mordor and tried to convince her to come back. One day, she journeyed into Shelob's Lair and was almost killed by the spider. Khamul wanted to take her to Lugburz for healing, but Elrond wanted to take her to Rivendell. Elrond shot down Khamul's fell beast and took Madurz to Rivendell. Khamul followed them to the borders of Rivendell but could not enter. There Madurz was healed by Elrond and Gandalf. Gandalf sensed that her love for Angmar and seeing him fade in a past life brought her much pain, so he erased her feelings for him, leaving her only the pleasant memories.
She soon left Rivendell and went back to Minas Morgul, where she began to have feelings for Khamul. They would spend many pleasant evenings talking. One day, she was attacked by three orcs outside the city and stabbed in the side. Khamul came to her rescue, disemboweling two of the orcs. He let one of the orcs go after cutting off his ear as a warning to any who bothered the lady of Minas Morgul. Khamul then took her back to the city and healed her through powers of sorcery and magic.
Khamul became attached to Madurz, and they shared many glasses of wine and tortured many prisoners in brutal, bloody ways. Peter Bracegirdle, the hobbit whom Khamul stabbed with the Morgul blade, found his way back to Mordor. He was given a new name, Ashgaz (Little One), and became Khamul's page.
The Battle of Pelenor (March 15) was a win for Mordor. Eowyn tried to cut off the head of the Witch-King's fell beast, but her stroke went awry and only injured it. Angmar took his mace and shattered her shield, breaking her arm. He noticed the hobbit Merry sneaking up behind him just in time, and smashed him into the ground with his mace like Melkor did Fingon. Enraged at two attempts on his life in one day, he decided to take the injured shieldmaiden back to Mordor as a prisoner... as well as her uncle's head as a trophy for Lord Sauron. After cutting off Theoden's head, Angmar let his fell beast eat Theoden's body as a reward.
Eowyn was taken to the Houses of Lamentation, beyond all darkness, where her shriveled mind was left naked to the Lidless Eye. Sauron gave her over to Angmar to use for his own personal revenge. After a brief time in the dungeon, Angmar healed her broken arm and enchanted her with many potions and spells. He made her think she was in love with him, even though he was her captor. Ashgaz defied Mordor and tried to help her, calling the name of Elbereth, but Angmar tortured his mind with many visions conjured of sorcery. Ashgaz became convinced he was trapped in a pit of snakes that were dragging him deeper and deeper to the very foundations of the earth, where creatures unknown even to Sauron dwell.
On March 16, Khamul asked Angmar to release Ashgaz from the snakes. Angmar was angry at them both because he was busy with his "conquest of Rohan." Madurz confronted Angmar with her past, but he claimed he can remember nothing. He caused her to have horrifying visions of snakes curling about her. Khamul and Ashgaz were also cursed with visions of fire and ice.
On March 17, Khamul goes on scouting mission over the Pelenor Fields. He taunts the troops there, but Elfhelm, the captain of Merry and Eowyn's eored, challenges him. Khamul gives Elfhelm a mortal blow but in Elfhelm's dying moments, he wounds Khamul in the right thigh with Merry's blade of Westernsee. Elfhelm had kept Merry's blade in memory of him, and by his stroke, he felt he avenged Merry's death. The blade breaks the spell that binds Khamul's unseen sinews to his will, but it is not a serious wound. However, it makes him vulnerable to other damage. Khamul's beast receives a mortal wound by an arrow and in its death struggles flies many miles off course, finally landing in the East Emnet of Rohan. The Nazgul begin searching for Khamul, but can find no trace of him.
On March 18, Frodo and Sam, who have fallen in with a group of orcs, were discovered to not to be orcs after all. They are bound with chains and guarded, soon to be sent to Lugburz...
March 19 marks the third day in the search for Khamul. The Witch-King takes Madurz and Ashgaz on the search. Khamul is found. He appears to be unconscious. Madurz and Ashgaz are left behind after the Witch-King takes Khamul back to Lugburz because there is too much weight for his fell beast to bear. That night, Angmar releases Eowyn from the first spell and her senses are restored. She knows then she hates him.
On March 21, Ashgaz and Madurz come to Amon Hen, the Seat of Seeing, and have visions. No help from Mordor has come for them. In Ashgaz' vision, he saw Khamul in the spirit world. Khamul lies upon his bed, wearing his ring. Ashgaz also looked at the Shire, and saw his fiancee and family mourning for him. Ashgaz and Madurz meet a strange man named Niethan at Amon Hen. Niethan was formerly a soldier in the Gondorian Army, but his life had taken a turn for the worst.
On June 20, 3018, the Witch-King crossed the bridge at Osgiliath. None of the soldiers guarding the bridge ever really knew for certain what hit them. In the chaos, Niethan shot an old enemy of his, Hallas, by accident. Hallas had been in love with Niethan's lover, Luinwen. Niethan's captain, Vorondil, who had been his friend since childhood, tried to arrest Niethan. Neithan became mad with fear and killed Vorondil and another soldier. He then ran, knowing that if captured, he would be tried and executed. He wandered to Amon Hen and set up a little lean-to in the woods. From the Hill of Seeing, he saw a vision of Luinwen's funeral. She had killed herself because of her grief for Hallas, not for Niethan.
Madurz claims to be a woman from Rohan, and Niethan agrees to take her (and the invisible Ashgaz) down the Anduin to Osgiliath. The journey by boat takes several days. Near the end, Niethan totally loses his mind and becomes convinced that Madurz is Luinwen and Ashgaz is Vorondil, Hallas, and the other man he killed. He decides to take these spirits from his past and assail Minas Morgul and challenge the Witch-King to single combat.
Angmar lays a stronger spell of enchantment upon Eowyn, causing her to forget all of her memories. He tells her that her name is Maltriel and that he is her betrothed. Under effects of the potion and spell, Eowyn thinks she sees Angmar's face, which appears to her as the face of Aragorn.
On March 25, Sauron gets the Ring back. Angmar stabs Sam with the Morgul blade and he becomes a wraith. Frodo is imprisoned in the Houses of Lamentation. Madurz and Ashgaz arrive at ruins of Osgaliath and go to the east side of the river. They walk up the road towards Minas Morgul where they are met by orcs. A fight breaks out between Ashgaz, Niethan and the orcs. Then Angmar lands his fell beast and takes Madurz back to Lugburz. Ashgaz is left behind to supervise the orcs guarding Niethan. The next day, the Third Nazgul takes him back to Lugburz.
To be continued for now.
NOTE: Drawing of the Lidless Eye was done by J.R.R. Tolkien; drawing of Elrond by Elrond himself; other art by John Howe and assorted artists; stills from the LOTR movies by Peter Jackson. All Tolkien characters copyright J.R.R. Tolkien.