September 29, 3019

Frodo portrayed by Hobbitness
Lilandra&Aldir and Madurz portrayed by FreeFall
Frodo's Servants, Elfhild, Elffled, Rian and Finduilas portrayed by Eowyn
Narrator, Vartang, Pizdur Sotar, Vardamir, Ceolwulf, Angmar and Khamul portrayed by Wraith

Narrator: *Seven days of rough traveling over Nurn and then the plains of Gorgoroth have brought Frodo and his party almost 300 miles from Baggins' Hall.*
Narrator: *The sun has reached its midafternoon point when they pass Cirith Ungol, sitting high on the hill to the north.*
Frodo: *Frodo cannot take his eyes off the tower of Cirith Ungol*
Frodo: *All the present melts away; none of it seems real except the memories of his first passage into Mordor*
Frodo: *He relives it all--the confrontation with Shelob, the dark dreams while he lay unconscious*
Frodo: *Waking up in the tower...he remembers how terrified he was of the orcs who tortured him...his first time being tortured, he muses. He never had thought he would get used to it...*
Frodo: *And he falls into a silence of unbearable sadness when he remembers how Sam rescued him...and all was well, even though they were in Mordor, because Sam was there*
Frodo: *During this part of the trip he says not a word, and his palpable despair makes those around him uncomfortable. His neck and shoulder pain him*
Frodo: *After they pass Cirith Ungol he rides quietly, head down, for many miles*
Narrator: *They continue traveling on the southern side of the Morgulduin, through the Morgul Vale. As the day approaches twilight, Vartang turns off the main road and onto a winding road.*
Narrator: *High on the hill is the city of Minas Morgul, glowing with a faint white light that seems to shimmer, like rays of the moon trapped inside the walls, yet twisted and distorted.*
Narrator: *Meads of shimmering white charnel flowers grow upon either side of the road, the sickeningly sweet smell of decay permeating the heavy air. The winding road upon which they travel seems to glow of its own accord.*
Narrator: *The landscape seems dream-like, but touched with the hand of terror. With every move of their horses, they can feel unseen eyes upon them.*
Narrator: *Whether the eyes peer upon them from out of the many windows and archer slits of the city or from the nearby mountains, none know.*
Frodo: *He has been here before, but it is no less terrifying*
Frodo: *He remembers how the Ring possessed him to run towards the glowing city, and Sam and Gollum had to hold him back*
Frodo: *Even now, his fear is mingled with a touch of fascination...the glow mesmerizes him against his will*
Ceolwulf: *Ceolwulf is aware of every thought that Frodo is thinking. He thinks...Frodo, your memories alarm you*
Frodo: *Horror overtakes Frodo until he is almost in a dark dream...he finds it difficult to reply to Ceolwulf*
Frodo: *We are in the heart of evil, Frodo replies silently to Ceolwulf*
Frodo's Servants: *the horses of frodo's servants carry them ever closer to the dreaded city of the dead. finduilas' two sons clutch their mother tightly, their eyes closed in fear. elfhild, elffled and rian all cower in the saddle as they travel*
Frodo: *Only the Dark Tower is worse than these places...I have been here before*
Ceolwulf: *Frodo, he thinks, they marched us by here when we were taken into slavery to Nurn. I have seen it before in all its dread beauty*
Ceolwulf: *Why are we going here, Frodo?*
Frodo: *Frodo replies with dread....I do not know*
Narrator: *As they approach the great gates, they can see that the wall above the gate is adorned with battlements that resemble fierce teeth in a bizarre, grinning mouth.*
Narrator: *The gate opens soundlessly before them, and as they enter through the portcullis, it appears that no one mans the gate.*
Frodo: *Frodo's pony shys away from the gate, and Frodo almost wishes it would bolt away and take him with it*
Lilandra: *her hands grip the reins tighter, her wide eyes staring ahead and she shivers with fright and swallows hard as the gates open*
Ceolwulf: *Ceolwulf looks above his head at the portcullis, and thinks... I would not want to get caught in here when they lowered both gates*
Narrator: *The second gate is opened for them in the same fashion as the first, and Vartang leads them into the bailey, the large open courtyard surrounded by the walls.*
Frodo: Vartang...why have you taken us here? *he asks, outraged*
Vartang: Column! Halt! *he shouts*
Frodo: The living have no place in this dead city!
Vartang: *he sits upon his horse and looks back at Frodo, then laughs*
Lilandra: *she looks over to Frodo and wishes he had the power to lead them away from this place*
Vartang: They provide us shelter and lodgings, Shakh. Why would you turn that opportunity down?
Vartang: There are many among the living here
Frodo: I would rather lodge in the open than in this evil place
Vartang: Shakh, I think not
Frodo: And I am certain the others would prefer it as well
Vartang: Shakh, you worry uselessly
Vartang: Column! Dismount! *he orders*
Frodo: *The frightened thoughts of all nine slaves rise to a pandemonium in Frodo's mind*
Narrator: *All of the company and bodyguard begin to dismount their horses as orcs rush out of buildings along the sides of the walls to take the horses*
Frodo's Servants: *frodo's servants begin to dismount their horses, the women looking about this dreaded city of the dead*
Narrator: *They are met by a hooded man in the livery of Mordor. His face is unseen for his hood covers it. The voice from beneath the hood is heavily accented and speaks to them in a well-modulated tone.*
Pizdur Sotar: Broshan, welcome to Minas Morgul. We have been awaiting you.
Frodo: *Frodo dismounts, his eyes on the hooded man*
Narrator: *Vartang nods at the hooded figure, then dismounts his horse, turns his reins over to a waiting orc. Orcs take the horses of all to the stables built along the nearby wall*
Lilandra&Aldir: *Aldir holds onto Lilandra's arm tightly and grits his teeth as he worries what might befall them here*
Pizdur Sotar: *The hooded man bows to Frodo* Shakh, our greetings to you, most welcome guest!
Frodo: *Frodo does not want to acknowledge himself at all a part of Mordor, though all say he is the Friend of Sauron*
Frodo: *He inclines his head almost imperceptibly and says quietly* Greetings.
Frodo's Servants: *the eorling twins and rian stand very close together, looking about fearfully*
Vartang: *Vartang bows to the hooded man* Greetings, my friend, Pizdur Sotar. It has been some time since we have met
Pizdur Sotar: Most welcome are you in our presence again, Maugoth Vartang
Pizdur Sotar: Come now, let me show you and your group inside
Frodo: *Frodo tries to reassure the nine servants silently, but his own turmoil makes this difficult...he does not know if they even sense his attempts to lessen their fear*
Pizdur Sotar: *He turns from them and leads them towards the inner gate, beyond which lies the tower of Minas Morgul. The gate is open before them*
Pizdur Sotar: *He leads them into an inner courtyard. A fountain can be seen in the center. The water sprays a cool mist, yet seems to steam*
Pizdur Sotar: *The ground is paved by cobblestone and charnel flowers bloom in elaborate planters*
Frodo: *Sauron has his longer does the dead city call Frodo with a mad summons. But it still works its dark magic on all of them, and they can feel the eerie beauty mingled with a sense of evil*
Lilandra&Aldir: *she looks up fearfully to her husband..her heart pouding furiously..he strokes her arms reassuringly..their steps leading them ever closer to unknown doom*
Elfhild, Elffled and Rian: *the girls almost feel like they are floating in a churning sea of fear, both their terror and the scent of the charnel flowers making them dizzy*
Frodo: *Frodo has passed Minas Morgul but never been inside. He is as terrified as any of them*
Narrator: *Sotar leads them past the fountain and then through an open door into the first floor of the tower. The interrior glows with a dull white and torches in holders flicker against the walls*
Ceolwulf: *eolwulf thinks... I do not like the looks of this place. It looks worse on the inside than it did on the out. Frodo, you keep company with strange sorts. I know you can't help it but these creatures call you friend?*
Frodo: *Frodo winces as though Ceolwulf had struck him*
Frodo: *They lie! he replies*
Elfhild, Elffled and Rian: *rian thinks of the history of minas morgul... it was once called minas ithil, the city of isildur, a place of great beauty and growth of living things...but corrupted by the enemy and the servants of his evil*
Frodo: *I was captured and held in torment for a long time, then they took me to Nurn and began to call me Friend of Sauron. It is an evil plot of the enemy. Do not believe it!*
Ceolwulf: *Frodo, Ceolwulf thinks, trying to communicate with him by thought... Some dreadful feeling comes over me of doom. I wonder if we will ever get out of here alive*
Frodo: *We will...if I can help it, we will*
Ceolwulf: *Maybe they planned this all along just to torment you, bring us here and kill us all. I have a dagger, but that is all I have*
Lilandra&Aldir: *she places her hand to her heart as she feels she might faint from its tempo which echos in her ears ...oh why does he not have the power to demand leave of this place...Aldir is angered that he and his wife must travel into such a dark place of despair*
Narrator: *Pizdur Sotar leads them to a broad stairway on the side of the wall and begins leading them up the stairs*
Frodo: *Frodo thinks to himself that death does not seem the most terrible fate to him anymore....but he does not want any harm to come to his friends*
Frodo: *Their plans have more cunning than that, Ceolwulf. Do not worry*
Narrator: *The stairs wind up flight after flight, until finally they are on the fourth level*
Ceolwulf: *Worry won't do much about it Frodo. Whatever is going to happen will happen and there is not much we can say or do about it*
Frodo: *Frodo nods and bites his lip, then smiles nervously to Ceolwulf*
Frodo: *He turns his attention back to climbing the edain-sized stairs, and begins softly humming the prayer to Elbereth*
Narrator: *He leads them through a hallway built along the side of the building. There are many windows, larger now, but there is little light outside. Far down this passage he leads them to a door, guarded by men*
Frodo: *Frodo's heart rises to his throat*
Narrator: *They bow to Frodo. Vartang and Sator nod as they open the door for them*
Pizdur Sator: Now I must leave you, my old friend. All is in readiness before you and the great one by your side
Pizdur Sator: Shakh, Friend of Sauron, it has been my high honor to meet you. I am humbled in your presence
Frodo: Sir....*he coughs*
Lilandra&Aldir: *Lilandra..shudders at the title given to him...spoken by these sorts*
Elfhild, Elffled and Rian: *the girls look around them, ever surveying their surroundings in this place of evil, their hearts pounding as they tremble now*
Frodo: *What does it matter now?* Sir, I am a captive from the West and no friend of Sauron. May the Valar guard your paths. *he smiles and disappears into the room, feeling a strange lightness after telling the truth for once*
Pizdur Sator: *He bends over from his waist, bowing to Frodo, then straightens himself and gives him a military salute...his left hand clenched in a fist and held over his heart*
Pizdur Sator: *He sees the back of the shakh as he scurries away from him*
Vartang: Farewell, my friend, for a while. Perhaps later tonight we might enjoy a drink or two and a game of bones? *he laughs then walks into the room behind Frodo*
Pizdur Sator: Yes, my friend, we will, later *He turns and walks out the door. The guards bow to him and close it behind him*
Frodo: *turns to face Vartang*
Frodo's Servants: *the girls and the rest of the servants follow hesitantly, wondering what peril lies within the room in which they are walking*
Frodo: *Frodo goes to Finduilas and tries to help her comfort the boys*
Lilandra&Aldir: *Aldir lower his grip to her hand and holds it tightly..his narrowed eyes gaze ahead and he too feels fear in this place*
Narrator: *The chamber inside is a vast one. Fewer torches are lit along the wall and the light is dim*
Frodo's Servants: *the two boys begin to cry, clutching their mother's skirts tightly. none wish to be in this place, save arnasa, who feels awestruck.*
Vartang: *Vartang looks back at Finduilas* Woman, can you not control your children!
Lilandra&Aldir: *she looks over to the young boys and her heart breaks as she watches their tears fall and their fists clench to their mother's skirts..they should be warm in their bed..she looks angrily to Vartang*
Finduilas: my lord, they are frightened. they are only children!
Frodo: *Frodo places a hand on each of the boys, squeezing their shoulders*
Vartang: Then they must be removed. There will not be squalling brats to disturb the peace of this place! Guards! Take these urchins and put them in the place assigned to them and their mother!
Frodo: No, Vartang, they must stay here with us
Finduilas: *finduilas' eyes widen, fearing that she and her children will be sentenced to some dungeon*
Vartang: Shakh *he says in a low deadly tone* Do not meddle here. It will be done as I have said!
Frodo: These children are my concern and I will not let harm come to them
Vartang: *He calls to some guards who stand along the side of the room. They walk to him and bow* As you say, Shakh
Frodo: *Frodo places an arm around each of the boys protectively*
Finduilas: *the boys begin cry louder...she looks to frodo and vartang desperately* are we...are be sent to the dungeon?
Frodo: *If only Edain children were as small as hobbit children, Frodo could physically hold them back*
Vartang: Shakh *he says, his tone even icier* You have no idea what holy ground you tread!
Frodo: *Frodo's eyes flash as he awaits Vartang's answer to Finduilas' question*
Frodo: *A place of death, rot and evil, Frodo thinks*
Vartang: They will go and no more will be said about it. *One guard grabs Frodo around the waist and holds him, appologizing to him. The other guard takes the two boys by the hands and leads them screaming and kicking out of the room*
Finduilas: *finduilas runs behind frantically*
Frodo: *Frodo this because the rings had to be forced on the servants' fingers? Is it because he never said he got them at the marketplace?*
Vartang: Guards! *Vartang says, his voice beginning to become angry* The woman is to stay here, if she has to be tied to her chair!
Frodo: *Are they all going to be killed now? he struggles frantically*
Frodo: Vartang! This must not be!
Frodo: What could you possibly want with those children!!!
Vartang: Shakh, I do not wish to order a gag placed upon your mouth. Be silent now!
Narrator: *The guards force Finduilas back*
Lilandra&Aldir: *Lilandra gasps at the heartwrenching scene and looks to Finduilas sadly...she fears for the children*
Frodo: *kicks the guard and bites him until he is able to break free and tries to run after the boys much stronger now than when he was ill*
Vartang: Shakh, wherever you go and whatever you do, you seem determined to cause a scene!
Frodo: I am determined to protect those children *he scoffs*
Finduilas: *finduilas does not struggle much with the guards, fearing for the lives of her children. she joins the other slaves, tears running down her face now*
Narrator: *More guards chase after Frodo, catch him and bring him back*
Vartang: Shakh! Have you no control of yourself!
Frodo: I am in complete control of myself *he says icily*
Vartang: I give you my word of honor. No harm will come to the boys!
Frodo: *raises his eyebrows, unsure whether or not to trust Vartang in this matter*
Ceolwulf: *Communicating in thought, Ceolwulf says, are making it worse on us. They could kill us all now if they wanted to. They haven't. Let them play out their game*
Frodo: *Frodo runs his hands over his face and sighs...I am sorry, he replies*
Lilandra&Aldir: *Aldir looks to Lilandra and speaks softly* not worry dear...i am sure he just wants them removed so that the children's cries do not upset those who might lie beyond those doors
Frodo: *He goes to Finduilas and takes her hand*
Vartang: Shakh, you are keeping Them waiting. Now let us go on
Frodo: *his head whips around*
Frodo: Who?!
Narrator: *After the unpleasant scene at the doorway, Vartang walks ahead into the vast room that seems endlessly long. Ahead, dimly illuminated by a few torches, are two tables*
Finduilas: *finduilas continues to hold frodo's hand as they walk...the other slaves follow behind*
Frodo: *Frodo murmurs reassuring words to her...and tries to make up for the disturbance he caused out of concern for the boys*
Frodo: *Again he tries to reassure all of will be all right, he says*
Narrator: *Nothing can be seen at either of the two tables until they draw closer. Then, dimly ahead, sitting at the table, are Nine dark Figures*
Frodo: *Then he raises his head and sees the Nine. He freezes, standing rigid and pale*
Frodo's Servants: *rian gasps... nine figures... are these not the nine kings of old who became servants of the enemy, granted great and horrible powers...?*
Lilandra&Aldir: *she peers into the darkness as her teeth chatter and grips her husband's waist as she sees the shadowed figures*
Vartang: Bow, you fools! *he says as he himself bows*
Lilandra&Aldir: *Aldir glares and lowers his head a bit...knowing the terror of these Nine*
Frodo's Servants: *finduilas, rian, elffled and elfhild look to each other, drop to their knees and touch their foreheads to the floor....arnasa throws herself to the floor and lies there prostrate*
Frodo: *Frodo is afraid for his friends. If he were alone, he would not bow, but to prevent harm from coming to the others, he inclines his head*
Lilandra&Aldir: *she lowers herself bowing at the waist and fear almost freezes her*
Ceolwulf: *Ceolwulf bows, a short, curt, formal bow*
Narrator: *Vardamir had silently watched all the proceedings, commenting on nothing, feeling that any attempt at struggle would be useless. Perhaps he would look around and learn of his surroundings. It always paid to be observant. He decides to put on a show and bows gracefully*
Vartang: Rise now
Frodo: *Frodo's head is already lifted again*
Frodo: *He fights the impulse to fall to the ground and cower before the Nine*
Lilandra&Aldir: *she and Aldir rise up once more*
Frodo: *He lets out small hisses of pain*
Frodo's Servants: *the five women get off the floor and resume standing, their hearts pounding with fear...some trembling, some feel lightheaded as though they were about to swoon*
Narrator: *The two tables are facing each other, a comfortable distance between. A few candles glow on each table*
Frodo: *The pain in his shoulder grows ever stronger, and terror of the Nine and of the city pounds in his head*
Narrator: *The hooded figures sit at a long table, the tallest figure in the middle, four on either side of him*
Narrator: *The tallest rises from his chair and looks to them*
Frodo: *Soon all power of thought is blocked out, and he suddenly crumples to the ground in a faint*
Elfhild: *elfhild rushes to frodo's side and kneels before him* master! please! *she shakes him*
Angmar: *The tallest figure stands, saying nothing, yet observing*
Vartang: Guards! Revive him! *he says in disgust*
Narrator: *The guards ask* Orc draughts, sir?
Vartang: Yes, yes... he has fainting spells. He is recovering from an illness. My appologies *Vartang says in embarassment*
Elfhild: *elfhild continues to shake frodo, praying he will wake*
Lilandra&Aldir: *Lilandra looks around feeling confused...her body seems stuck..her mind rolls with horrible thoughts...she tries hard to concentrate on her husband beside her*
Lilandra&Aldir: *Aldir can feel the tension in her body. All he is concerned about now is her well being*
Vartang: Great Lords *Vartang says and looks to the Nine* Forgive this interruption
Narrator: *The orcs fetch a flash of orc draught and one hold Frodo's head while the other pours it down his throat*
Elfhild: *elfhild moves out of the way and stands*
Frodo: *Frodo awakes, coughing*
Angmar: Maugoth Vartang *he says coldly* your appologies are accepted. Now be seated, all of you!
Frodo: *He sputters and gasps for air, then looks around in terror...gradually he becomes resigned and reaches out for Elfhild to help him up*
Elfhild: *she takes frodo's hands and pulls him to his feet, then whispers to him* master, they wish for us to sit at the table..
Frodo: *nods and thanks her, then forces himself to go to the table*
Frodo: *He climbs into one of the seats, again using only his right arm to push himself up*
Frodo's Servants: *the other servants follow frodo and take their places at the table, forcing themselves to attempt to move gracefully though they are filled with terror*
Frodo: *He wishes to defy these enemies...he hopes they do not see his shaking*
Frodo: *All his strength quails before them*
Angmar: Shakh, Friend of the Master, my comrades and I hail you, welcome you, to our home
Lilandra&Aldir: *manages to lower herself to sit with Aldir next to her*
Angmar: The lady you see at the table, you already know *his voice is low and hissing*
Frodo: *He raises his eyes and glares at Angmar, saying nothing*
Angmar: The Lady Madurz
Madurz: *she smiles brightly and nods her head*
Frodo: *nods briefly to her, dread overtaking him*
Madurz: Welcome Shakh Baggins
Madurz: it is a great honor to see you again
Angmar: Indeed *Angmar says coldly*
Frodo: *The last time he remembers seeing her was in his cell as he hung in chains from the ceiling...other memories come into his dreams but he is not sure if they are real...but the morgul blade appears in all the nightmarish scenes*
Madurz: *her smile to him lingers and is almost sweet*
Frodo: *returns the smile politely and briefly, with a great effort*
Frodo's Servants: *rian shuts her eyes and focuses on stilling the trembling that begins in her stomach and spreads throughout her limbs. she feels sick with terror. elffled holds her hand, in not much better shape*
Angmar: Friend of Sauron and your companions *he hisses* a great feast has been prepared in your honor
Lilandra&Aldir: *Lilandra trembles as she looks around...what madness!*
Frodo: *raises his eyebrows*
Ceolwulf: *Ceolwulf thinks to himself... I cannot hear Frodo's words anymore. How is this? What can this be? He looks around. There is something here, but I cannot hear Frodo. Have they killed his mind now?*
Ceolwulf: *Frodo? He says in his mind? Frodo? Frodo!*
Lilandra&Aldir: *Aladir's hard gaze does not faulter...he wonders why all the silence in his head*
Narrator: *Angmar, through the great power of his mind, has stopped Frodo from being able to communicate with his slaves by thought. Frodo is all alone again now*
Narrator: *However, Frodo's slaves begin to hear a voice in their minds that sounds just like Frodo's.... Do not be afraid, the voice says. They will not hurt you for I am held in high regard here*
Frodo: *Frodo's eyes dart over to Ceolwulf, terrified*
Elfhild: *the five women had not yet known of the powers of frodo's ring and their own rings... the voice they hear in their minds comes as a surprise to them, but seems somehow comforting*
Lilandra&Aldir: *...and the voice returns...and Aldir moves his head in the direction of Frodo..Lilandra looks to her husband who senses he hears it too*
Frodo: *he whispers almost inaudibly* I can't hear you!
Narrator: *Elfhild... the voice that sounds like Frodo says... brave maid of Rohan.... Elffled.... my are like a daughter to me*
Frodo: *He almost asks what happened, but he would not be able to hear the answer*
Frodo: *He looks around at the servants, confused..they all seem deep in thought and all stare at him*
Frodo's Servants: *elfhild and elffled look towards frodo and give him small, nervous smiles*
Lilandra&Aldir: *Aldir thinks..high regard seems so Shakh...for long have i known the horror these Nine are capable of*
Narrator: *The voice of Frodo says... Rian... sorrowful one, do not be afraid. You are as a daughter to me. I will care for you. They will not hurt you*
Frodo: *smiles back at them, but seems bewildered and upset*
Frodo's Servants: *rian looks at frodo in confusion...yet she feels slightly relieved somehow*
Lilandra&Aldir: *Lilandra looks around with a unsteady gaze..not knowing where to look..she looks to her folded hands*
Narrator: *Ceolwulf... the voice that sounds like Frodo says... You do not know the power I have here, my friend. I am the friend of Sauron. I hold great power. Do not worry. All of you are safe*
Narrator: *Lilandra... I do not know you and your husband very well, and I am sorry that I met you in such a way, but please do not be afraid. They will not hurt you. They like me here*
Narrator: *Aldir.... You and your wife are quite safe, no harm will come to either of you. I promise you!*
Frodo: *He hears only a steady silence...Angmar stares at his friends...Frodo grows more and more nervous. Dread sinks into the pit of his stomach and flows throughout his body*
Lilandra&Aldir: *she looks to Frodo and nods..wondering what it is that caused them to favor him so*
Frodo: *He worries..what is the fiend doing to them?*
Narrator: *Vardamir... I know you do not like me, but I would like to be your friend. They will not hurt you. They are afraid of me here. They won't admit but they are*
Narrator: *To Finduilas and Arnasa come words of encouragement and promises that all will be safe, that their friend, Frodo, will not let anyone hurt them, because he is powerful here*
Lilandra&Aldir: *Aldir only thinks...not one hair on her head*
Narrator: *Aldir, please, my friend, the voice says... she will not be harmed. They would not dare. Rest easy. We will leave here soon enough*
Lilandra&Aldir: *he feels comforted by his words*
Frodo's Servants: *each one of the ladies wants to turn to the other, and ask if she too heard the voice of frodo in her head... but no...that sounds queer, the forerunner of madness*
Frodo: *The silence becomes maddening and Frodo coughs just to break it*
Frodo's Servants: *some shift uneasily in their seats, fearing that they are going mad, to be hearing voices in their heads. they give each other and frodo small, nervous smiles*
Angmar: *Frodo can feel Angmar's eyes upon him* Let the feast begin!
Narrator: *At Angmar's words, the guards open the doors, and servants, all fitted in hooded robes, dressed in black, carry out great silver platters of food. Some carry platters laden with ale and wine. Silently they put the plates, spoons and knives upon the table*
Frodo: *Frodo feels himself reeling again at Angmar's stare*
Narrator: *The figures fill the silver platters of each with food and pour ale for the men and wine for the women in silver goblets placed upon the table. Then they go to the wall and stand there, silently*
Narrator: *The Nine and the one edain lady already have wine and no food is brought for them. Angmar takes his goblet, the liquid smoking in reddish mist* A toast to the great Friend of Sauron, Frodo Baggins!
Narrator: *Vartang quietly takes his place at the table with the Nine*
Madurz: *Madurz takes up her goblet and raises it high and smiles to Frodo*
Frodo: *Frodo hopes that his friends will not drink the toast...but then again he does not wish harm to them*
Frodo: *He does not return the smile this time*
Frodo: *He wonders why he can feel nothing from them anymore*
Frodo's Servants: *the four women nervously participate in the toast, fearing the consequences of what might happen should they not. arnasa is more willing to cooperate and drinks with gladness*
Narrator: *The Nine raise their goblets* To the Great Shakh! *they hiss*
Frodo: *Frodo fails to completely mask his anger and hurt at his friends' participation in the toast*
Madurz: *she joins in toast and she raises the glass to her lips and lets her eyes close as she drink the delicious wine*
Angmar: *Angmar drinks from the goblet and then sits down*
Frodo: *He glares at the Nine*
Madurz: *she sits there with perfect posture for she feels such great honor tonight to be among all fills her with pride and power*
Angmar: Shakh... I know that you are a halfling of great modesty, so we do not expect you to boast of your accomplishments. Enjoy your meal
Khamul: *Khamul sits beside Madurz and says to her* Are we not truly honored to have this great presence among us?
Madurz: Indeed Khamul my Lord..we certainly are
Madurz: i have developed such a liking for his Greatness
Frodo's Servants: *though many do not feel like eating, the servants begin to inspect the food before them, picking at it and taking small bites.*
Frodo: *Frodo is very hungry, but he is not sure he could keep the food down*
Khamul: *He drinks from his goblet and says* My lady Madurz, I have learned to appreciate the strength, the resolve in these creatures
Frodo: *He eats slowly and hesitantly, constantly watching the Nine*
Frodo's Servants: *the servants look to frodo from time to time with apprehension and expectation, though they are not quite sure for what*
Madurz: it is a pleasure to be amongst you Shakh Baggins..again
Madurz: i hope you find this feast as satisfying as your last
Frodo: *looks to her, confused*
Khamul: Shakh........... *he exhales* Is the food to your taste?
Frodo: *he shudders, barely able to swallow anything*....Yes...*he whispers*
Madurz: Lugburz prepares a great meal as well
Khamul: Indeed, my lady
Frodo: *Angry fires leap into his eyes*
Madurz: Shakh Baggins seemed to enjoy it... he could not get his fill
Frodo: *He wonders if he saw Khamul and Madurz during his last trip to Lugburz*
Madurz: *she laughs and drinks from her goblet, then leans forward a bit and says to Frodo..*
Madurz: you ate as if you hadn't in months
Khamul: Shakh *the voice almost whispers* Your ring... it is...most great... a gift from the Master to one in whom He has great trust
Frodo: *His brow furrows even more in confusion*
Frodo: *He would not be wise to trust me, Frodo thinks, for I am his enemy*
Frodo: *He hopes his thought is kept from the Nine*
Frodo's Servants: *the servants look to each other, all feeling the same confusion, the same anxiety. yet they do not feel they should speak out loud in any voice higher than a whisper*
Madurz: Shakh were very good company in Lugburz to feast with
Khamul: *Frodo can hear a voice now in his mind, but it is not coming from his Ring. Do not fight it...Bagginssss...*
Madurz: it was nice to have someone as High as you to share a meal
Frodo: *gasps as he hears Khamul's voice in his head*
Frodo: not remember anything of my last trip to Lugburz
Khamul: *Shakh....Baggins..... the Master will set you in high places....*
Madurz: *she disreguards his statement as if he didnt even speak*
Frodo: *No, Frodo hisses back to Khamul in his mind. I want nothing that comes from your Master*
Madurz: *she looks over the servants.. glaring at each one of them*
Frodo's Servants: *an onimous sense of darkness in its purest form hangs heavy in the room, and the servants wish they were someplace else...someplace far from here*
Khamul: *Shakh...Bagginsss..... Generals of armies will obey your commands... princes will fall at your feet.... his voice hisses*
Madurz: *she laughs and leans more in her seat*
Madurz: those your slaves...
Frodo: *His eyes go back to Madurz*
Madurz: *laughs* you were quite right about them
Frodo: *Khamul tempts him as the Ring did, while Madurz says utterly confusing things*
Frodo: *shakes his head to Madurz, not knowing what she means*
Khamul: *Doors will be open to you...... doors that would be closed... Your name will be heard in all the land*
Lilandra&Aldir: *her eyes turn hurtful...confused and she looks to her husband and the other slaves*
Khamul: *Khamul drinks his wine and his eyes glow as he looks towards Frodo*
Frodo: *The temptation is powerful...but Frodo replies, I would rather they were closed! All I desire is to return home, and the safety of these my servants*
Frodo: My lady, what are you saying? *he asks, becoming angry*
Madurz: *places her hand lightly on the top of Khamul's gauntlet*
Khamul: *Khamul's head slowly turns and he looks towards Madurz*
Khamul: My lady, tell him more
Madurz: oh unfortunate it is you do not remember your grand feast, for i know your memories would be as fond as mine
Madurz: and might i are quite entertaining when you have had too much wine *she laughs*
Frodo: *He frowns, perceiving that they are trying to turn his friends against him*
Khamul: *he laughs with her* Aye, my lady... he is quite amusing when he has had too much wine
Frodo: *Amusing to Merry and Pippin perhaps...but nothing that would amuse a servant of Sauron!*
Madurz: sad that you do not remember our time...i was much looking forward to being in your fond memories
Khamul: *His words are hisses* And the stories that he tells....
Frodo: *His fists clench and his nails dig into his palms*
Khamul: Most entertaining to all in Sauron's court *the words are icy, hissing*
Frodo: What?!
Frodo's Servants: *frodo's servants look to him with looks of utter bewilderment*
Frodo: Look, I don't know what happened but I am certain I would never have said anything that was....that would....
Madurz: *her eyes turn sad as they look to him*
Khamul: *he turns his head from the lady Madurz, takes up his wine goblet, and drinks from it, then says* The Master was reluctant to see him go... *he says slowly* He would have liked the Shakh's company for he is a friend of the Great Lord
Frodo: I am not!
Khamul: Shakhhh.... You are modest.....humble.......We respect that........ *he whispers*
Frodo: No, I am sincere!
Frodo: *He says this to defend himself to his friends*
Khamul: Yes... you are sincere... and obedient....
Khamul: Ever did you answer to the Master's summons.....
Frodo: Never!
Khamul: Willingly, a true servant
Frodo: *He grips the edge of the table, white knuckled*
Frodo: I would never have done that!!
Narrator: *Angmar sends a thought into Frodo's mind... what seems to be a vague memory...of Frodo drinking wine and eating bread at a great table and Sauron was at the head*
Madurz: *her eyes sad...her voice low* you..not remember anything of dining with us..with me?
Narrator: *It seems that Frodo can taste the food and the richness of it and the wine goblets that he emptied, in toasts to Sauron*
Frodo: *Frodo becomes bewildered, seeing the vision of himself doing as they say he did...he falls silent, confused, ashamed and angry*
Madurz: *she looks down...seeming to be upset*
Frodo's Servants: *frodo's servants do not know what to think...they are too confused and anxious in this place, in the presence of the fearful nine, to ponder matters much*
Frodo's Servants: *yet arnasa has a newfound respect and admiration to frodo and looks to him with adoration lighting her face*
Lilandra&Aldir: *Lilandra watches the awkward exchange and listens to the mysterious women's trust a woman sitting with those..beings? but her words seem do Frodo's..she closes her eyes*
Frodo: *Frodo does not notice the others' reactions...he is consumed with trying to figure out if the vision was real or not*
Lilandra&Aldir: *Aldir stays fixed in his chair...taking it all in but trying not to think much in this place...does not want his thoughts intruded*
Vardamir: *What a wicked feast this is. We are surrounded in darkness. The West is failing. All are going mad*
Ceolwulf: *Ceolwulf sits there and mechanically drinks his wine, eating his food, looks to Frodo, a worried look on his face*
Frodo: *After the way they treated me for months, the constant torture, why would they then feast me as the fiend says?*
Frodo: *And why would I go along with them as he says? It is not it? No!....I hope not!*
Madurz: well then Shakh...then at least remember me from be remembered by you is an honor
Angmar: Have the friends of the Great Shakh finished their meal? *he says slowly*
Madurz: at least i have the memory *she says softly*
Frodo's Servants: *the sound of angmar's icy voice causes shivers to run up and down many of the servants' spines.... none of the ladies have enough courage to answer*
Lilandra&Aldir: *Aldir says* Aye we are quite through
Frodo: *Frodo has hardly touched his food but he does not want it today*
Angmar: Then... all may be dismissed, save the Shakh, Maugoth Vartang and the two from Rohan
Frodo's Servants: *elfhild and elffled look at each other, their eyes wide with pure terror*
Angmar: The two women, the slave man...... he is not needed
Angmar: Guards! Show them to their quarters
Frodo: *Opens his mouth to protest but stops in fear*
Frodo: *He worries for Elfhild and Elffled, and the others...he is sure the dungeons are much worse here*
Lilandra&Aldir: *she looks nervously at them and wonders for what reason they are needed*
Frodo's Servants: *finduilas, rian and arnasa rise to their feet... arnasa looks at frodo, her expression soft and her eyes shining... she smiles adoringly at him*
Lilandra&Aldir: *Aldir wonders what "quarters" they were to stay in and holds onto his wife's arm protectively*
Narrator: *The guards come to the table, motion for Finduilas, Rian, Arnasa, Lilandra, Aldir, Ceolwulf and Vardamir to follow them*
Frodo's Servants: *finduilas, rian and arnasa follow the guards, bowing deeply to the nine*
Lilandra&Aldir: *Aldir rises with Lilandra and keeps her close to him as they ready to where..unknown*
Frodo: *looks after them, worrying, and still trying to send them reassurances*
Ceolwulf: *Ceolwulf gets up, following the guards. As he goes through the door he thinks... Frodo... if I never see you again..... I thought of you as my brother. Farewell, perhaps, small brother*
Frodo's Servants: *elfhild and elffled watch the rest of the servants leave the vast room, feeling utterly helpless and alone*
Lilandra&Aldir: *Lilandra looks to the other women who bow and does so as well....fearing consequence..Aldir only nods his head*
Frodo: *The same thought suddenly crosses Frodo's mind. He jumps from the chair and turns to watch them go, his throat tightening*
Vardamir: *Vardamir gets up, an almost elvish smile on his face. He looks to the Nine and Madurz, bows with a flourish* Great lords, farewell for the evening *he thinks to himself... may your souls be condemned to the darkest reaches in all the void*
Vardamir: *then he leaves with the others, thinking they are all truly mad*
Madurz: *she grits her teeth thinking of visions of having his blood run over her but contains her feelings of that and keeps her expression stilled*
Angmar: *He watches as they leave the hall, turns to Khamul and says in thought... that one is part elf. You can tell it by his spirit*
Angmar: *Angmar turns towards Frodo* Shakh.... such an honor to have you. Perhaps you shall stay with us more than a night....
Angmar: *He looks to Vartang* Maugoth Vartang, that will not disrupt your schedule. All will be as planned
Vartang: Aye, Great Lord, it will be as you say
Angmar: Friend of Sauron, these two, the golden haired ones....
Elfhild and Elffled: *still sitting at the table, elfhild and elffled look to angmar fearfully*
Madurz: *she looks them over with a curled lip then smiles wickedly*
Frodo: What about them? *Frodo asks angrily when Angmar hesitates*

(To Be Continued)

Art by Wraith

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