The Nazgul

The nine Nazgul are the Dark Lord’s most powerful servants. Originally great lords of men, they were given the Nine Rings of Power and corrupted by Sauron’s influence, eventually succumbing to it and turned into the undead Ringwraiths. In the Third Age, the Nazgul were the chief agents of Shadow who organized the return of their Dark Lord, taking control of various realms such as Angmar, Dol Guldur, the various tribes of Rhun and after Angmar’s fall, Minas Morgul. The Ringwraiths were often found mounted in battle astride specially bred large black steeds. Invisible to mortal eyes, the Nine are only given form by their black garbs. They were ever capable of sensing the One Ring and were the very ones sent out to hunt for the Ring-bearer throughout Middle-earth. They have many weapons, ranging from steel longswords to cursed daggers to maces of fell strength. But they are not confined by physical weapons alone. They are surrounded by a perpetual aura of dread which drives away all but the bravest creature; their Black Breath is highly venomous and their deafening shrieks cause terror and despair. The Ringwraith’s prime weapon: fear however, is further strengthened by the coming of night and darkness.

When Sauron returned to Mordor and once again required the Nazgul to do his bidding, he instructed his minions to breed mighty steeds for them. Under these orders, his Orcs plundered black horses from the Rohirrim. Later, his evil servants bred these proud creatures with ill-tempered warhorses, focusing on those able to bear large degrees of pain and the presence of the Ringwraiths and other undead. The results were the tortured, coal-black horses of Mordor and Dol Guldur. Nails in their hooves and small spurs in their saddles keep them in a state of constant pain which, when they are guided by their evil riders, causes them to lash out with wild fury unmatched even by the mighty steeds of Rohan. Bonded with their riders through a series of supernatural and physical torment and coupled with the Nazgul’s own horsemanship, only the finest among Middle-earth’s people may outrun the Nine.