Dark Men ~ Black Númenóreans
“The men of Númenór were split into two factions,
men faithful to the will of Ilúvatar and those who desired more life and so fell under the sway of Sauron.
These men became know as the Black Númenóreans.”
The Black Númenóreans were in origin descended from the blessed men of Númenór, who eventually split into two factions, the Faithful were men who continued to follow the will of Ilúvatar and the Kings Men were those who desired longer life and envied the immortality of the Valar. It was the Kings Men, who became ensnared by Sauron, when he was taken captive to Númenór. Once there, Sauron began to whisper into the ears of the powerful, awakening their fear of death and planting seeds of discontent with Ilúvatar and his unfair anointing of the Valar with immortal life.
They began to seek immortality through means of dark sorcery, in which Sauron instructed them. Unfortunately, their attempts to lengthen life in the end only shortened it, which increased their fear of death. Thus they began to believe that the only path to immortality would would be to take it from the Valar.
Sauron convinced men of Númenór to attack Valinor and take from them their immortality. Those that landed upon it’s shores were buried under the hills, which crashed down upon them in Ilúvatar wrath, and on the great island of Númenor, fire erupted from the top of Meneltarma. The land crumbled into pieces and a great wave swept over it and buried the island at the bottom of the sea. Its people were taken by the waters, and this tragedy brought an end to the realm of Númenór.
The armies of the Kings Men foundered in the Sea as Númenor was destroyed and only those who had settled in Middle-earth prior the destruction of Númenór survived. When Sauron returned to Mordor, they entered into his service once more, and became known as the Black Númenóreans.
Little is known about where these remaining Dark Men settled after the fall of Númenór, though it was most likely they went into the far east. They used their power and influence to rule lesser men and became Dark Kings, who held sway over many different peoples in the East and the South of Middle-earth.
Sauron would often use his influence over these Kings of men, in his long wars against the West during the Second and Third Ages of Middle-earth. The attacks of the Wainriders, that nearly decimated the might and power of Gondor was believed to have been orchestrated by Sauron. The Great Plague that depopulated vast areas of Middle-earth, may well have been hatched by the dark sorcery of the Black Númenóreans, though we do not know this to be historical fact.
It is believed that Sauron gifted to the Black Númenóreans three of the Nine Rings of men. These men were already kings sorcerers of great power and with the Rings became greater still, gathering vast armies of men to follow them. However, they eventually succumbed to the will of the Dark Lord, becoming wraiths of great fear, forever bound to the One Ring and their master Sauron.
The Black Númenóreans at the end of the Third Age had mixed with the blood of lesser men and so lost the longevity of there ancestors, but they still lived longer than most and used dark sorcery to extend their lives even further. At the time of the War of the Ring their numbers were few, but they held positions of great power within the hierarchy of Mordor. The Mouth of Sauron was one of these.
Sauron was no fool and often used men to order and rule over the many dark Servants of Shadow, that were drawn to him in his wars against the West. These dark Númenóreans often served as Black Captains, who wielded mighty powers and ordered the vast armies of Mordor under the will of the Dark Lord.