The Ringwraiths, or, in the Black Speech, Nazgûl, were Sauron’s most terrible servants. Once they were Men, each given by Sauron one of the Nine Rings. The rings brought them great power, and they became great kings and warriors and sorcerers. Their lives were unnaturally prolonged, but in time they became ensnared by the power of the rings, and they began to fade, enslaved to Sauron’s will. They became invisible and insubstantial, detectable only in the realm of the Unseen, unless they clothed themselves in black shrouds. They were nine in number, and their captain was of old the Witch-king of Angmar until he fled from that realm, never to return. Three of the Nazgûl were said to be lords of Númenor, and the Witch-king may have been one of these. Of the remaining Ringwraiths, the identity of only one is known: the Lieutenant of Dol Guldur was once Khamûl, a king of the Easterlings. In their unlife, the Ringwraiths wielded Morgul-blades with the power to draw their victims into the realm of the Unseen, as nearly happened to Frodo after he was stabbed upon Weathertop. But the chief weapon of the Ringwraiths was fear: their mere presence caused terror and their Black Breath was poisonous, debilitating, and even fatal. Whether on foot or mounted upon steed of land or sky, the Ringwraiths were a force to be reckoned with.
One of the Nine lurks in a forgotten barrow, perhaps the very crypt that was prepared for him as a king long ago, before his life carried on unnaturally, long past the deaths of the crypt-builders. Given form by a black shroud, he stalks the cold barrow armed with a cruel Morgul-blade. As part of his raiment he wears a crown-like mask, which recalls his now-forgotten former life, wrested from him an Age ago, as a king of mortal Men. But the mask serves only vanity and pride, for only those able to perceive things as they are on the other side, in the realm of the Unseen, might see his terrible face and his true appearance: a pale, gaunt king with groping fingers, clad in cold mail and crowned in iron.
The Ringwraiths are among the most iconic and uniquely original of Tolkien’s creations. The word wraith means “ghost” or “apparition”, and Tolkien felt it was etymologically related to Old English wríðen, “to twist, torture”. Thus “wraith” is also related to our modern English words wrath, wroth, and writhe: words of anger and contortion. It is even related to wreath, which is a band of material twisted round into none other than a ring. Therefore, the very name of the Ringwraiths in and of itself alludes to their twisting by their rings and their domination by the One Ring. I would go so far as say the name wraith shows that each Nazgûl’s entire identity was “Ring”, their past selves eroded until nothing but Sauron’s will remained. Beyond the etymology, rings have symbolic meaning relevant to Tolkien’s mythology. Rings are bands which have been used throughout history to show bonds; bonds to one’s lord and, as is well-known in our own time, the bond between spouses. A ring encloses its wearer’s finger, possessively, but is itself empty inside, as are the Ringwraiths, who without their shrouds lack material substance and who are bound to Sauron by their former wearing of their rings — their wills enclosed, bound by his. For all these reasons, the Ringwraiths make great, iconic villains — and great, iconic villains make for perfect Harvestmath guises!
- Head: Helm of the Investigator (quest reward — Great River  Disturbances in Thinglad), black
- Shoulders: Shoulders of the Stone-student (bartered — Shadowed Refuge light armour vendor/Lore-master), black
- Back: Plain Cloak (purchased — any outfit vendor), black
- Chest: Death-shroud (bartered — skirmish camp classic quartermaster/Halls of Night – rare), black
- Hands: Malledhrim Gauntlets (crafted — metalsmith T6/Malledhrim reputation), black
- Feet: Malledhrim Boots (crafted — metalsmith T6/Malledhrim reputation), black
- Weapon: Steel Sword (crafted — weaponsmith T2; or looted — world drop/general)
Tips: UPDATE: The helm used in this outfit was formerly available as the Helm of the Enforcer, the Helm of the Garrison, or the Helm of the Officer from the level 65 Ettenmoors heavy armour sets. Those sets were removed from the game but fortunately, a helm with this appearance, the one given above in the list of the outfit’s components, is now available as a quest reward from the Great River region. The Shoulders of the Stone-student have the same appearance as the other level 58 Mines of Moria instance cluster light armour sets.
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