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Story Notes:
This story is a chapter in a larger story ('The Bridge over Osgiliath')
Dol Guldur, TA 2953

Adunaphel was a predator. She collected men. Or, to put another it way, she collected notches on her belt. She particularly liked men who were interesting, famous, or powerful.

Adunaphel was the seventh Nazgūl, and the only female. Adunaphel spent most of her time with Khamūl, the second Nazgūl and highest-ranking after the Witch King. Although she regarded him as her own, it didn’t prevent her having adventures on the side. Khamūl loved her and no other. He didn’t like her hobby, but there wasn’t much he could do about it. He knew what she was doing and grumbled about it a good deal.

Khamūl and Adunaphel were often assigned together. When they reoccupied Dol Guldur, ten years after being driven out by the White Council, Khamūl was made the Lieutenant of Dol Guldur, and Adunaphel went with him.

Some time later, Adunaphel was commanded to go to a distant eastern fortress. She did not want to live in the East, and she did not want to be away from Khamūl. She went to Barad-dūr to plead with Sauron to change his mind, but he would not.

Shortly after, she returned to Dol Guldur with written orders that Dol Guldur was permanent assigned location. She looked pleased with herself. Very pleased.

“How did you persuade him to change his mind?” Khamūl asked her.

“I begged. I pleaded. It didn’t work. I made a tremendous fuss about not wanting to go. He was unmoved. I knew I couldn’t change his mind. But I also knew he didn’t like arguing with me, and was looking for a way to make me shut up.

“So I offered to wager him for it. If I lost the bet, I would have to go to east, with good humor and not a word of complaint. If I won, he would have to pay my price. I’ve wagered him before, when we butted heads over something. I always lose, and end up having to do what he wanted me to do in the first place. But it turns a conflict into a game, and I enjoy thinking up the wagers.

“The odds were long, maybe twenty to one. But I was happy with the wager because it was an improvement over twenty to zero I named a high price, to compensate for the long odds. Sauron didn’t think there was any real chance he would lose, so he agreed.

“Well, even though the odds were long, fortune smiled on me, and I won the bet.” Adunaphel looked pleased.

“He didn’t want to pay. He tried to get out of it. He offered to pay me something else. He refused to pay me at all. He got angry and yelled at me. But I was firm. I told him, if he welshed on a bet, it would be like breaking his word. And he broke his word to one of his own people, and word got out, then we wouldn’t trust him anymore. So he really had no choice. He had to pay.

“What was your price?” Khamūl asked.

She rocked back on her heels with satisfaction, grinning. She was as pleased as a serious collector who’s just bagged the crown jewel of his collection.

“I made him spend the night with me.”
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