Reggie. Fluffy, beloved hell-hound from a slightly nicer hell than expected.
The result of a Numenorean experiment to create an undead hound from hell, complete with ghastly fangs and terrifying bristles for fur, gone horribly wrong, Reggie instead remained a completely normal looking dog with an unquenchable thirst for affection and completely immortal to the touch of the Lich Kings.
Though they tried in numerous ways to extinguish this friendly abomination, nothing would sunder Reggie from this mortal coil. Disgusted, one evening after dropping Reggie into Mount Doom, he reappeared and bounded up to the Nine.
Overcome with a feeling they hadn’t responded to in centuries, the Nine, each coveted Reggie for their own. We’ll blame this selfishness on their Rings, though they were amazingly selfish as living men in the past.
As the only living thing which could bear their life-stealing touch, forever, Reggie was often a bone of contention between the Nine. Each seeking the company and custody of the immortal hound whenever they traveled.
Reggie became one of the few things these sorcerer-kings, these terrifying survivors of a previous age, the Nazgûl, agents of Sauron the Mighty, who dallied between life and death would fight each other over.
Unable to come to agreement, they sought out an uninterested third party to adjudicate for them.
After a timeless journey into her subterranean lair, and with enthusiastic licking by Reggie, they encountered one of the few beings older than they and maintaining a local address: Shelob, the Magnificent.
After deliberation with the monstrous Shelob, daughter of Ungoliant, (yes, that Shelob) the only known survivor of the monster who had consumed the Two Trees(and unbeknownst to most of us, all her siblings), survivor and co-conspirator against gods.
It was said, Ungoliant and her young daughter Shelob bet against her partner Melkor during his Valar uprising and were conveniently missing when the aforementioned war ended.
Shelob survived into the Third Age and had recently finished a legal correspondence course at Rivendell.
This was done by mail, of course — this way no one knows you are a man (and elf) eating, near-immortal spider with delusions of consuming the sun and the moon one day, but settling for being a lawyer right now.
The Nazgûl they were able to iron out a contract they could agree upon before their scouring of the Shire, early in the much maligned and often badly reported, War of the Ring.
Reggie was with them, of course.
Stay tuned as you hear the personal stories of these deceased Masters of the Nine Rings talk about their attachment to this beloved canine and the joy he brings to their undead lives.
Thaddeus Howze is a writer, essayist, author and professional storyteller for mysterious beings who exist in non-Euclidean realms beyond our understanding. Please follow me on Twitter or support my writing on Patreon.