Zhója was originally an archer in the Easterling army of Rhûn, at a fortress in Dorwinion. He was caught along with several other soldiers selling weapons from the armory, but while awaiting execution, he managed to kill a guard and escape in a wine cask. Fleeing Rhûn, he eventually came to Lithlad and joined the Vanishing Sons mercenary company under the leadership of Serka.
Zhója quickly grew tired of being given orders by the other mercenaries, especially Serka. When the chance came, he sold Serka to an Uruk named Ûshak who ran a fighting pit called "The Circus", and stole the leadership of the company. He later met Serka's brother Baranor, who later rescued Serka from the fighting pit. When Serka then returned to The Oasis he sentenced Zhója to die for his betrayal by feeding him to the were-wyrms.