Neoresh stepped into the darkness of the hall, leaving the darkness of her room. Everything here was dark, but after so many years, she was used to it. Her dress was black, and only her pale face stood out from her black locks. Her eyes were as dark as her raven hair, but filled with a burning fire.
She crept along the corridor as soundlessly as if she was not there. Everyone did so here. Except the Orcs.
Neoresh resisted spitting to cleanse her thoughts of those foul creatures. They were blood-thirsty, mindless slaves to Sauron, and even though they obeyed her too she hated with a passion.
But then her mind was brought back to the matter at hand. Her father had summoned her to his tower, and she had to go. He often called for her in the middle of the night, or while she was alone in her room studying. For he taught her many things during the times he could stand to look at her. Things about power, and death and pain. Terrible things, but it was nothing new to Neoresh.
She climbed swiftly up the tower steps. Most of her father’s slaves, for that matter all who lived here, were exhausted partway through the horrible journey to the top, but Neoresh never was. She took them in stride and never wavered. Even the heat as she reached the top never affected her, though it often burned the Orcs to death.
And yet, more than halfway up, she paused. Something was different up there. Inside of the restless fire she always recognized as her father’s presence, there was glorious heat. It felt as if something was happening. More slowly than usual, Neoresh mounted the last stairs. When her father was excited, it normally meant that something was about to happen, and he would call on her. But this felt different. As if it was something that had not happened for thousands of years. Since the Last Alliance of the Valar’s First- and Secondborn.
She winced at that thought. She did not like to remember that time, and her father used to hurt her when she did. Now she pretended she was not afraid of him, but she was. She was terrified of him.
She had reached the top landing, and felt that a certain presence was missing. She could not feel the Wraith who was often here. Without stopping to consider the meaning of this, she stepped out.
The red heat that burned off her father was too intense for words. She was used to it now, but when she was younger, it had singed off half of her hair and burned her skin so that the scars still showed now. But now, she had to talk to him.
“Father,” she called over the roaring winds that whipped across the unprotected top of the tower. “Father, where is the Witchking?”
The heat fluctuated and smoke billowed forth. Her father was laughing. “They are all gone, daughter. The Nine have left to where they will serve me better.”
Neoresh still quailed a bit at the sound of that voice. It was like rotting flesh, and dying creatures and the scent of blood and smoke all rolled into one. But now she was stunned at the meaning of her father’s words. If he had released the Nazgul, it could only mean one thing.
“You have found it,” she said breathlessly. It was not a question. She stared straight ahead of her, hardly to let the next words pass her lips. “You have found the One Ring.”
The voice laughed again, and now it sounded like armor scraping against raw metal, and shattering glass. “Yes, daughter, I have found it. Now return to your room and contemplate.”
Neoresh nodded dumbly, and turned to go.
A wave of heat knocked her from behind, searing the back of her dress off. She bit back a cry as the heat scalded her pale skin.
“Never,” hissed her father’s voice. “Never turn your back on me.”
Neoresh nodded again, biting her lip to keep back the pain. Slowly, she backed away from the Great Eye. From her father. Sauron.