Khamul, the Black Easterling

The Shadow of the East, Khamul the Black Easterling is the second-in-command of the Nazgul, second only to the Witch-king in power. Once a great lord among the tribes of the East, Khamul was given a Ring of Power and fell under the sway of the Dark Lord, turning him into one of the Ringwraiths. Although rendered incorporeal and exerted a sense of dread on anyone he made contact with, Khamul’s undead status was not known by many of his subjects, for black robes and plates of armour covered his form entirely; his close guard silencing any rumours of the Easterling Lord’s unearthly nature among the populace. With the return of Sauron to Mordor in the Third Age, Khamul was given the charge of commanding the forces of Dol Guldur. In the War of the Ring, it was he who had ordered the assaults on Lothlorien and the Woodland Realm. In addition, the Nazgul lieutenant led contingents of Rhunic soldiers to the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. A powerful sorcerer, Khamul has the ability to cast a shroud of pitch darkness to thwart the spying eyes of the Free Peoples. Like all the other Nazgul, Khamul may mount his black horse at need and can utter a heart-piercing scream that would send all but the most resolute warrior flee. Once laid under the Shadow of Fear, the unfortunate victim can be coerced to follow Khamul’s every whim.

Lieutenant of Rhun

In preparation for the War of the Ring, Sauron had sent messengers and emissaries to both the East and the South, in the hope that the Easterlings and Haradrim may be ensnared to fight against the West. The Dark Lord had achieved his goal, for not only did the Men of Harad and Rhûn aided Mordor by sending large contingents of warriors and supplies, a multitude of their strongest leaders and champions entered the service of the Lidless Eye. In response to the summons, the princes, kings and rulers of the various tribes and realms of the East flocked under Sauron’s banner, encompassing all groups of warriors from weak clans of savages to empires powerful enough to challenge Gondor directly. The Chieftains of Rhûn are mighty and staunch fighters and leaders, surpassing all but the finest that Mordor has to offer. To slay an Easterling chief is a formidable task, for they are often completely engirdled by their most seasoned of bodyguards. When controlling a Chieftain of Rhûn, one has the option of attaching any of the three kinds of banners to his entourage, which are the standards of the East, Serpent and the Eye.

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.

The people of Rhun have long been under the sway of the Black Land, offering the Dark Lord tributes, slaves, soldiers and supplies as early as the Second Age. Some of the newer generations of Easterlings however, require persuasion to enter the ranks of Mordor willingly (or unwillingly) In return for the compliance and loyalty of certain Easterlings, Sauron would at times send to them one of his most powerful servants to aid a specific clan or kingdom in their civil wars, in this case, one of the Nine. The multitude of Mordor’s mannish allies that arrive in hundreds from the East with each passing day asserts just how effective the Ringwraiths are.