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Ren Jey

Ren

Location(s)
Language(s)
Birth
S.A. 1969
Death
T.A. 3019
Gender
Male

The Eighth of the Nazgûl (Q."Ulaire Toldea") was also known as The Unclean or The Tainted.

His true origin is unknown, but fragmented written records, the so-called Parma Úlairion, have preserved an old Legend about a mad Wizard from the Lands southeast of Mordor, however it is unknown if this legend - or how much of it - is reliable.

Names and Identities

  • Al Chey Sart
  • The Bane of Rhûn
  • The Black Shadow
  • Eight of the Nine
  • the Fire-King - his title as ruler of Chey Sart
  • Ren Jey - his birth-name according to Legend
  • Ren the Unclean - his name among his enemies
  • the Tainted - his name as survivor of the first plague
  • Ulaire Toldea - his name among the High-Elves
  • the Unclean

The Legend of the Unclean

RentheRingwraith

Ren Jey the Enchanter

Ren the Unclean
was born in Ulk Jey Ama in the eastern Ered Harmal in S.A. 1969. The son of Sen Jey the Illusion-weaver, he grew up near Heb Aaraan, amidst the enchanters who taught beside the magical Springs of Fog. His apprenticeship ended in S.A 1987, when the eighteen-year-old Illusionist went east to visit his uncle Ul Fen Jey, a lord who held sway over the Ahar of the Numahar River vales. There, near the legendary Grass Tombs, Ren met the woman he married in S.A. 1992, Elyen.

Ren and Elyen returned to Ulk Jey Ama in S.A. 1994. Raising two children – a son Fen and a daughter Fyen – they remained in the cool mountain town for four years. The Illusionist composed a tome of enchantments while his wife raised horses and sheep and mastered the Chailûzas’s favourite instrument, the multi-chambered drum.

This idyllic repose ended in S.A. 1998, when the worst of many plagues swept through the central plains and struck the Jey households. Overwhelmed by fever, Ren barely survived the year. He prevailed, though, and briefly returned to his work. All seemed well, for the Illusionist was ostensibly healed.

Sadly, the illness twisted Ren’s mind, instilling him with delusions that slowly eroded his sanity. He began to fancy himself as superior to other Men, and spoke of himself as the Fire-King – the son of the exalted Volcano (later known as Ulk Chey Sart (Ch. “Home of the Chey Nation”)) that stood in the center of the southern Chailûza plateau. Horrified, Elyen attempted to restore her husband’s mind and sought the aid of healers from lands as far away as Rycolis and western Kha-on.

RentheUnclean

Ren the Fire-King

Ren’s lucidity eventually disappeared and the Illusionist left home on a pilgrimage to his purported mountain home. He gathered a cult of followers throughout the winter of S.A. 1999-2000 and declared himself Overlord of the Chailûza. As Fire-King, he plunged into a campaign of ruthless subjugation that played on the themes of nationalism, prosperity and terror. Ioriag warlords who held sway over the northern Chailûzan territories fled as the tribes quickly fell under Ren’s control. By the end of S.A. 2000, the Illusionist was truly King of the Chailûza.

Sauron of Mordor watched Ren’s march across Chailûza and saw great potential in the insane enchanter. He sent his agents to the Fire-King’s refuge at Ulk Chey Sart, offering greater prospects for conquest, wealth and power. Ren agreed to a coalition and exchanged gifts. In S.A. 2001, the Illusionist accepted a Ring of Power from the Dark Lord and became the eighth of the immortal Nazgûl.

Ren the Nazgûl

The transition that gripped the Chailûza brought terrible forces to the forefront of their society, since many of the superstitious herders embraced the religious fervour that elevated Ren to the throne. Unbelievers (the so-called “Unclean”) died in countless purges and many, including Ren’s family, had once been close to the Fire-King. The Jey clan suffered dearly, for the Illusionist refused to protect those who resisted his quest. Between S.A. 2001 and 2102, the already weakened population of the thirty six tribes fell in number by a full third. Their count stood at half of what it had been before the plague of S.A. 1998.

Once secure as master of Chailûza, Ren pursued the goals that most pleased Sauron. Attacking to the northeast and south, the Fire-King’s mounted warriors overran the lands of Dalpygis, part of Khargagis Ahar, Heb Aaraan and Orgothraath in the First Chailûzan Expansion (S.A. 2155-2693). Ren built an empire rooted in the Shadow, establishing an elaborate system of horse-roads and garrison holds in order to insure the consolidation of his conquests. Then came the Second Chailûzan Expansion (S.A. 2899-3261), when the kingdom of Chailûza grew to its height. Vaag, Acaana and western Gaathgykarkan fell in the first few decades, and Ren’s armies turned northward to concentrate on the incorporation of the Kargagis Ahar and the rich territory of Rycolis. These wars raged for two centuries, until the Ioriags of Uvatha joined the Chailûzans and turned the tide of resistance. Ren was at the apogee of his career when Ar-Pharazon of Númenor landed with his Adan army at Umbar and captured Sauron.

During the Dark Lord’s imprisonment in Númenor, the Illusionist remained at Ulk Chey Sart but, after the Akallabeth of Númenor, the Ringwraith left his domain and joined his Master in Mordor. Ren stayed in the Mordor throughout the War of the Last Alliance (S.A. 3429-3441), fighting on behalf of Sauron in Ithilien (S.A. 3429) and at the great battle of Dagorlad (S.A. 3434). This period marked the last portion of the early years of the Fire-King’s glory. When Barad-dûr fell after the seven-year siege and Sauron fell before Isildur, his One Ring cut from his evil hand, Ren and the other Ulairi passed into the Shadows outside Arda. The Illusionist did not return to Middle-earth until T.A. 1050.

The Third Age

RenUnleashed

Ren returned

After his long exile, the Dark Lord stirred again and resurfaced in Middle-earth around T.A. 1000. He summoned the Ringwraiths from his covert throne in Dol Guldur fifty years later. Like his brethren, the Illusionist re-entered Middle-earth, arriving at his old volcanic hold of Ulk Chey Sart. There, he began rebuilding his strength and plotted a renewal of the Chey Kingdom. Ren expanded his lair into a great underground citadel and laid the foundations for his future capital on the wide ledges surrounding the fiery mountain. He marshalled an army of disenchanted Chey warriors and began subjugating the neighbouring tribes in T.A. 1235, all the while concealing his identity behind his guise as the “Fire-King”.

Ren unified the six major tribal groupings in T.A. 1264. As Al Chey Sart, he ruled his kin through 1640 and again between T.A. 2062 and 2941. These eras constituted periods of relative prosperity for the thirty-six Chey tribes, for they frequently extended their rule into the grasslands of the Kargagis Ahar and they avoided the oppressive spectre of Variag or Nuriag dominance that haunted them during other times.

The Fire-King stayed in Mordor (1640-2000) and at Minas Morgul (2000-2063 and 2941-3019) throughout the other years of the Third Age. Ren rode with the Witch-King on the search for the Ruling Ring in T.A. 3018, and was one of the five Ringwraiths to assail the company on Weathertop. Later, he was swept away in the magical flood that determined the skirmish at the Bruinen Ford.

During the last part of the War of the Ring, the Fire-King helped organize Mordor’s main army. Ren stayed at Barad-dûr while the Witch-King led the grand but doomed assault against Minas Tirith. Following the routs at Pelennor FieldsLórien and northern Mirkwood, he joined the remaining seven Nazgûl for the aerial attack at the Battle of Morannon, where they fought the Great Eagles. In the end, however, Ren the Unclean perished with the Dark Lord and the other Fell Riders in the wake of the cataclysmic unmaking of Sauron’s One Ring.

References

  • MERPLords of Middle-earth Vol II:The Mannish Races
  • Games Workshop - The Lord of the Rings: Strategy Battle Game

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