The world is changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air. Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it. It began with the forging of the Great Rings. Three were given to the Elves... immortal, wisest, and fairest of all beings. Seven to the Dwarf-lords... great miners and craftsmen of the mountain halls. And nine. Nine rings were gifted to the race of Men, who, above all else, desire power. For within these rings was bound the strength and will to govern each race. But they were, all of them, deceived, for another ring was made. In the land of Mordor in the fires of Mount Doom, the Dark Lord Sauron forged, in secret, a Master Ring to control all others. And into this Ring he poured his cruelty, his malice, and his will to dominate all life. One Ring to rule them all.
The first story of the trilogy begins with Galadriel telling of the Ring that would grant Sauron dominion over all of Middle Earth.