BELERIAND

Pull out your pack and head on down to the Prancing Pony for some great Role Playing (try to stay in character)!

Postby rowanberry » Sun Apr 18, 2004 1:15 am

The young guard named Tirno was waiting for Maranwë, when she left lord Curufë's quarters. He offered to show the city to her, and so she spent the rest of that day looking around Nargothrond as much as she could. Maranwë wondered if her being a woman had something to do with the young man's friendliness - not everybody was so sympathetic towards a servant of the house of Fëanor. It came out that Tirno himself was originally from Dorthonion, and had ended up in Nargothrond after the Dagor Bragollach; his father and lord Curufë had met by chance before the war, and joined their efforts on some mission. He had not heard anything about his family after the war, and presumed that they had all perished. Maranwë felt a sting in her heart; probably more than ever, she realized how lucky she was to still have her parents and brother. She wouldn't have minded to have some more time to spend in the young man's company. But, she had to leave the next day, and their paths did never cross again.<BR><BR>In the morning, she collected the answers of the king and lord Curufë, and set off homeward with her companions.<BR><BR>A few days later, as they were passing the northern eaves of the Forest of Brethil and approaching the ford over Sirion at Brithiach, Maranwë and her companions saw some movement a couple of miles ahead, and Artamir beckoned the company to halt. From afar they saw riders, clearly elves, clad in grey cloaks, emerge from the woods, cross the path, and head northward. One of the riders turned to their direction, and Maranwë was quite sure that he saw them as well as they saw him. But, the riders didn't seem to care more about them, and soon disappeared.<BR><BR>"Scouts from Doriath... They are rarely seen abroad, and never without a reason", Maranwë heard Artamir mumble. "We'll better keep even more alert than usual - there may be enemies on the move."<BR><BR>They didn't encounter anything special in those lands, though.<BR><BR>Back at Himring, something was clearly going on. New troops were camped in and around the fortress, and more were arriving. To deliver her messages, Maranwë was directed to a conference room; with lord Maedhros, there were all of his brothers, and a number of captains of their armies. This was the first time Maranwë saw all the seven sons of Fëanor gathered together.<BR><BR>She handed the scrolls to lord Maedhros, bowed, and left. When she was outside the room, just before the door closed, she heard the prince say: "It is just as I feared..."<BR><BR>Maranwë hurried away to seek for her brother, but heard that Urion was out scouting. Instead, she came across her father, who was leading a horse out from the stables.<BR><BR>"What is going on here, father?" she asked. Then, she remembered the drills and military actions that had been going on for some time already, before she left for her mission, and the talk about something bigger to come. "Is there - are the lords planning some operation?"<BR><BR>Morwinyon smiled. "Indeed they are", he answered. "As soon as they get things scheduled with Fingon's people in the west, all the troops together will attack Angband. Perhaps we will finally achieve what we first came here for... I will tell you more later, but now I'm on duty, and must go." He mounted and rode away with a few other knights. Maranwë couldn't help noticing that her father still didn't call Fingon "High King" or even "king"; he was one of those who had never accepted lord Maedhros giving up that position.<BR><BR>Not much after Maranwë's return from Nargothrond, the army of the Fëanorians successfully raided the northern lands, even driving the enemy out of Dorthonion, and themselves suffering very few losses. Maranwë didn't have to go with the troops; she stayed in the fortress, and delivered messages to and between the outposts that had been left manned. Both Urion and his father Morwinyon took part in the battle, but returned practically unscathed this time.<BR><BR>After that successful trial, hopes were high. Things took up speed, forces were gathered and trained, and plans got their final form. Finally came the confirmation that, the attack against Angband was to begin on Midsummer Day.
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Postby Celebriel_Esgaledhel » Mon Jun 28, 2004 6:44 pm

=:)
“If you seek the forces of Fingon, you have found it. I am Faelach, of Ossiriand.” Faelach lowered his bow and replaced the arrow in his quiver, then casually retrieved the loosed dart before continuing. “Forgive my wariness. There have been rumours abroad of traitorous humans. Even Elves,” he paused, and beckoned the riders to follow him. “are not without faults.”

Faelach led the riders down a narrow path, and when they crested a hill near the encampment, Faelach stopped, and turned to face his new companions.

“I am from Ossiriand, yet I serve in the High King’s militant. Ossiriand is not a region that often engages in battles, but I have come, and was welcome, because of Ossiriand’s ties with Fingon.” Faeneldor watched him warilly, not knowing where the Noldo would lead him. “Tell me, Faeneldor, how come you from Doriath? I had thought that your king would have forbidden any allegiance with the Noldor.”




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Celebriel was wakened by a knowck on her door. Before she could answer, or even sit up, the door opened to admit a tall elf. Celebriel bolted out of her bed, and immediately saluted.

“We march.”

“When, my lord?” Celebriel heart beat faster. This was it, then.

“How early can you assemble your troops?”

“The morning is early, my lord.” Very early. Celebriel had fallen asleep no more than an hour earlier. “My soldiers can be assembled by mid-morning.”

“Good.” Maedhros grinned. “Then rouse them.”
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Postby Khorazir » Thu Jul 01, 2004 6:00 am

Faeneldor nodded. "We are not here with our King's leave," he said gravely. "He wishes to stay out of this war, and he hates the Sons of Fëanor. But we heard that he allowed Mablung and Beleg of Doriath to join King Fingon's forces, and decided to follow them. I think I need not tell you that we disapprove of our King's policies when it comes to guiding his own realm only, and to leave the others outside to fend for themselves until Darkness should overwhelm them. I doubt we shall make a great contribution to the hosts of the Noldor, still, every little may help. And the thought of sitting behind the Girdle of Melian, waiting for the storm to come seems a less favourable option than to ride to battle with the rest of Beleriand."
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Postby Celebrimbor32 » Sat Jul 10, 2004 9:01 pm

NIRNAETH ARNOEDIAD, pt. I

" The fate of the entire world lies upon our shoulders this day. Our triumph here today is imperitive," thought Orowe as he sat nervously upon his steed. His gaze was fixed solely upon the vast expanse of wasteland that all the Noldor now knew as Anfauglith. Through the visor of his star-encrested steel helm, Fingon's second lieutenant of Eithel Sirion watched the slow approach of Morgoth's vast array of forces upon the plains far below him. The sheer number of orcs strewn across the horizon was intimidating to all who beheld them. Yet for the most part, the bulk of their army seemed to march more southwards than westwards where Orowe and his elven cavalrymen lay hid in the mountains, awaiting the orders for their ambush. "This shall be the final storm for all of Beleriand. May Eru be merciful to us all."

Orowe then turned and glanced to his right. A young man of the Edain was busying himself with tightening the harness around the neck of his horse with difficulty. In a scabbard upon the horse there was a long staff with a banner fastened upon it. It was the emblem of Fingon's royal house. The man looked nervous and afraid of what was to come, and he was without hope.

"How old are you, man of Dor-lomin, and how did you come here?" asked Orowe.

The young man looked up suddenly, replying, "I am twenty-one, lord. I am selected to carry the King's banner into battle today."

"That is a high honor indeed! Especially for one who has seen so few rising and setting of suns in his day, such as you. You should be very proud to bear the King's emblem on this day." The man forced a slight smile but found no words to say.

"I am not a sage or seer of any kind, lad, but I do not believe you will meet your end on this day; not if you do not succumb to fear. Fear is a relentless monster that devours you from within as your foe devours you from without. Do not give in to it! Pluck up the courage that lives inside you. Tomorrow will be a new dawn. The union of the Eldar and Edain shall not fail." The man felt a sense of renewed courage upon listening to the elf-lord, and replied simply,"Yes lord," though his fear did not fully leave him.

Orowe never learned the fate of that young and courageous horseman.

****

As the day sped on Orowe and his men began to see hitherto unseen forces begin to emerge from hidden places within the rutts and gutted places upon the wastelands below. The enemy now loomed large before them down near the very foothills of the mountains below. Morgoth had not overlooked the threat from the high passes of northern Ered Wethrin, where the Noldor were vigilant.

Orowe now turned his attention to the men and elves under his command, telling them to begin final preparations for battle. Their method of attack would be to set the archers in place so that they may launch their volley of arrows ere the onslaught of the cavalry of the Noldor. Yet this was not to occur until the final signal had been given them from Fingon and the array of Noldorin forces to the south at Eithel Sirion.

Long they waited in their hiding places in the mountains for the signal to be given. Yet none came. The courage of many of the men nearly failed by this this agonizing delay, and they began to long for their homes and their families as all soldiers do ere they wage war. It was not until the sun had climbed to her noon hour behind a canopy of grey and black clouds that shouts began to be heard from afar to the south, "Rise! Rise! A call to arms! The Eldar and Edain have engaged the enemy beyond the walls of Eithel Sirion! War has begun!"

Orowe looked out over the plains to the south. There was indeed a tremendous battle in progress. At this Orowe wondered much, for no signal had been issued by Fingon as formerly agreed in order to begin the battle. Neither Orowe nor any of the men and elves under his command had any way of knowing that the Noldor to the south were driven to rage and madness as they witnessed the forced beheading of one of their companions at the hands of the orcish sentinels that did parley with them.

Confusion and doubt hung in the air. Yet Orowe wasted little time in ordering the charge of the Noldor. They sprang out of their hiding and rushed down the passes of Ered Wethrin on horseback. Their enemy was now fully aware of them and they turned to face their final approach. Orcs of various races were there and they fought alongside strange men from far away regions unknown. They wielded bows and blades of all makes. Many of their blades glowed ever brighter at the approach of the Noldor, their bitterest foes.

Orowe felt the wind blow stiffly against his face as he galloped down the pass and into the foothills. Arrows from his own archers flew through the air high above him like a field of a million darts. Horns aplenty now blew forth their shrill bellows from all over the battle plain. Many were cut short suddenly as the arrows of the Noldor and the Edain fell down upon them like a deadly rain.

Many thoughts raced through the mind of Orowe as he rushed down the hillside towards the peril of open war. Images of Valinor and his ancient home in Tirion came to him. Memories of his dearest Linuile and their happy time together touched his heart once more, only to be supplanted by the memory of her icy death in the Helcaraxe. "Perhaps I will see you again very soon, my love!" said Orowe aloud. But he then thought he heard her voice in reply, saying to him, "Not yet, dearest one."

The thundering noise of hooves was now deafening as the cavalry of the Noldor and Edain began to crash into the front ranks of the orcs who had the unenviable task of being the first to meet the horsemen upon the plain. Orowe was among the first to deliver one of many fatal blows to the enemy. Time itself seemed to halt for him in the rapid comotion of close combat. The clang of many swords rang aloud. Orowe swung down his sword with his right hand with deadly accuracy and clove the helms and clutching arms of the orcs. The blood of his foes soon covered his legs. Arrows whinnied past him and his companions, narrowly missing their marks. Thrice Orowe had to manuever his steed out of the way of an unsuspecting ambush, parrying away the blades of orcs. In this he was successful, yet at last he heard the thud of an orc-arrow slam into the side of his mount, causing his horse to neigh loudly in pain. The wound was not mortal, though Orowe knew that his steed could not bear him well in battle thereafter.

Steering his way around a deep and rocky pit in the earth, Orowe directed his horse to where he could see a row of his horsemen being worsted by outnumbering foes. Two men and three elves were engaged in a melee upon their mounts in an organized line that threatened to break. Orowe sped towards them, crying, "Hold the line, people of Fingon! Hold the line! Do not let them through!"

At that moment the horses of the men and elves rose up and went into a panic. Three of their riders were thrown from their saddles immediately, those being the two men and one of the elves. Two of the elves were borne away against their wills. Riding up to his companions Orowe trounced over a pair of orcs that lay in his path. But then his own horse would go no further and at last the cause of chaos became evident.

A Balrog of Morgoth had drawn nigh.
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Postby Celebriel_Esgaledhel » Wed Jul 28, 2004 2:04 pm

Now Fingon’s forces were both well hidden and well supplied. They were to await the signal from Dothonion that would indicate the commencement of battle. They were to crush the forces of Angband as a hammer pounds the anvil, and together with the sons of Fëanor, they would decimate the first wave that Morgoth issued.

Faelach, who had situated himself as close to the front ranks and his king as possible, had discovered that the recent arrivals from Doriath proved to be pleasant company. In fact, Faeneldor was situated not far from where Faelach stood. This unexpected and unofficial envoy from Doriath, however small, had been well welcomed.

As far as he knew, Celebriel would be with Maedhros, and Faelach hoped that their paths would cross at some point of the battle. He grinned. That shouldn’t be too hard, he thought. She’ll be, most assuredly, where the battle’s thickest.

There had been no word from Dúlin yet, but Faelach had no doubt that she would have a piece of the fighting that was to come. She was not the kind to pass by an event as apocalyptic as what was sure to come. The thought was frightening, for if anything should befall his beloved Dúlin, Faelach knew that he would never know peace. Of Celebriel, however, he had no such qualms; while he would wish her safety, he knew she could elude the clutches of death that haunted a battlefield as if they were but small wasps. Although she confided in him as she confided in few others, Celebriel was still an enigma to Faelach.

There were more pressing concerns on hand, however. The expected beacon from Maedhros still had not appeared. The troops were becoming restless.

Interrupting Faelach’s reflections was a great cry that echoed throughout the vales. Faelach strained to see over the field of spears and tall helms, but finally saw the cause for celebration: Turgon had arrived, unsummoned and unlooked for. Faelach joined in the chorus of cheers, but quieted when Fingon, who was located mere paces from Faelach, gave out a great shout, to which Faelach, along with all who heard, answered: “Auta i lómë!” The night was indeed passing, for many hearts were lifted.

It was not long before a host of Angband was seen approaching, crossing Anfauglith in dull raiment. They were close – closer than they should be, for just being sighted. They had moved with unexpected stealth, and this deception gave rise to many an angry shout from the Noldor.

“My king, we should attack! Meet them on the plains, my king! Scatter them!” Many such cries went up among the Noldor, but others, Húrin of the Men among them, advised against it, saying that they should let the enemy scatter itself in assault among the hills.

But Fingon agreed with Húrin of Hithlum, and deemed to wait.

To the astonishment of many, the majority of the Orcs halted, and an envoy proceeded, bearing tokens of parley. Faelach saw that they had an Elf among them, a thrall brought from the depths of Angband. As they neared, the Orcs openly displayed the Elf, and with few words, hewed off his hands and feet, and finally decapitated him. They then rode back, leaving the slaughtered Elf behind them.

With that, one maddened Gwindor leapt forth and rode down to meet them, and many went with him. Faelach remained behind, not having mount of his own, but kindled with fury nevertheless, and moved to the king’s side.

“My lord?” Fingon’s face was lit with a rare rage, and Faelach could see he struggled with decision. Then, with a new set to his teeth and gleam in his eye, the king put on his white helm and raised his arm. His voice thundered above all else.

“Noldor, my kindred; Men of Hithlum, my allies. Do you wish to end this threat, once and for all?” A great cheer. “Then ATTACK!”

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There was confusion among the forces of Maedhros.

Twice already they had stopped in response to being falsely informed. Twice they had been delayed in sending their beacon.

There were whisperings of treason, of spies of Morgoth within their very ranks. Celebriel suspected this to be true, and confided so in Maedhros. He agreed, saying he was sure of it, but the perpetrators were yet to be found. Although they had been led astray, they could not ignore other warnings that came, regardless of whether thought true or false. To disregard any tidings in war was to hand yourself to the enemy.

So it was that they were long delayed in sending their signal. The battle was already well-advanced, but finally they reached the other Noldor, and sounded their trumpets.

Celebriel turned her mount to face Ruinfin, to whom she had assigned to the cavalry. “Follow in my wake with the horsemen; ensure that you keep form, and as we have practiced, the infantry will follow behind, forming a wall to catch any unfortunate enough to slip by us. Go now, tell Belecham and Turúth to take up positions.” He nodded. Celebriel suppressed a grin; Ruinfin reminded her of Faelach; he resembled her friend in looks and temper.

As Ruinfin turned to go, Celebriel stopped him. “What will transpire today may be unprecedented in devastation.” He nodded – he had seen this. “Tell this to Belecham and Turúth. You will need to perform today like never before. We fight for everything that is good – remember that.”

Celebriel stood in her stirrups, and surveyed the scene around her. Behind her, nearly one thousand troops waited for her call. Ruinfin soon returned, his visage grim, expectant. Celebriel knew he foresaw more than he let on. Belecham and Turúth had positioned themselves before their respective sectors. She had chosen Ruinfin for the cavalry because of his obvious skill with horses, Belecham for the infantry for his size, and Turúth for the archers for his experience with them. The latter two were calling out encouragements to the other soldiers.

Before her lay a vast battlefield, filled with the smells, sights, and sounds that most shied from. Celebriel was not one of these. She could not express her hatred of the orkish host, of all who associated themselves with the Dark Lord. She gloried in the slaughter of them.

They came from the east, and assailed the enemy host from the rear.

Upon seeing the enemy host, Celebriel called out a challenge, being well incited by the mishaps of the day. The troops in her command joined in, venting their anger and built-up anticipation. She raised her arm, long knife extended, and with its fall they surged forward, engulfing all before them. The other contingents of Maedhros did likewise, and together they made a frightful sight. Orcs were trapped between oncoming forces on all sides, and many turned to flee.

Celebriel flew among the enemy, trampling some here, decapitating some there. Her silver hair flew around her as she spun again and again. Her face was a picture of ecstasy, until she stopped and saw what approached.

Her face undertook a tremendous change. She saw, racing towards them, wolves and wolfriders, and dragons, even the great Glaurung. But what turned her face into a portrait of horror was not these, but the balrogs.

Recovering quickly, she whirled to face her troops, and saw among them fear.

“To me!” she shouted, her voice widely heard despite the clamour. “Belecham, guard our flanks! Ruinfin, bring the riders! Let us show this new threat an unparalleled glory! Turúth, archers, take out the wolfriders; your arrows will to nothing to the dragons or the demons.” She shuddered. She had hoped it would not come to this.


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Dúlin had marched with Turgon and his hidden army since she had encountered them in Dorthonion. She herself had received limited tiding of the battle that was taking place, but sue to her time in self-imposed isolation, she had not imagined anything like what she was seeing now.

When she had seen the hidden king emerge in the forests with a substantial army, her suspicions grew tenfold. What could possible induce the Hidden King to bring an army out of hiding?

So it was when Dúlin requested leave of Turgon to accompany his host, for if something of such import was occurring that the Hidden King should participate, then surely she should also put in her effort.

What she was seeing now, in full truth, was nothing short of the war she had experience in the Bragollach. She, along with the rest of Turgon’s mighty host, was looking with consternation upon the slaughter before them. But trepidation notwithstanding, most were eager to join in the fray, to aid in this great cause. Turgon bade them refrain from a rash onslaught, but instead to join the forces of his brother.

Thus it was when Turgon unleashed the might of Gondolin. Dúlin stood with the archers for a time, her hooked darts almost always finding their target. She shot until nearly all of her darts were spent, then replaced her bow with her scimitar, and ran down into the midst of the fray.

She could not deny the excitement coursing through her veins as they neared the location of Fingon and his forces. Turgon, who was now just paces in front of her, was fighting fiercely to reach his brother; his armour shone brightly in the sun, and his movements were as a windstorm, flowing and wreaking havoc. Dúlin followed him, hoping that she looked half as efficient as the hidden king.

It seemed as though an eternity had passed by when the finally reached the High King. The meeting was glad between the brothers and Húrin of the Men. Dúlin looked frantically for Faelach, and caught a glimpse of his red hair, just to the right side of Fingon. He was conversing with another Elf, his hair matted and armour bloodied from the fray.
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Postby Khorazir » Sun Aug 08, 2004 5:47 am

For Faeneldor and his companions from Doriath the arrival at Eithel Sirion had been fraught with surprises. Faeneldor had assumed that the host of Elves and Edain would be great, but when they finally reached the camp – only one of many hidden in the folds of the land – he was overwhelmed by the vastness of the army assembled here, and of its splendour. His previous experiences of warfare and battle had mostly been small skirmishes at the borders of Doriath, the desperate fights during the Dagor Bragollach in which he had been entangled aside. But this was something entirely different, and for the first time he thought he understood the pride of the Noldor he had so often criticised. Even at night the sight of their splendid attire, of their many banners waving in the soft breeze from the west, of their proud steeds was breathtaking. What awe and fear it must strike into the hearts of the enemy, when the warriors faced them in their full glory under the bright sun of day!

Another surprise had been the warmness of the welcome. Faeneldor had expected that either no one would really take notice of them, or else look down upon them because of their plain raiment and, in comparison to the formidable swords, spears and other weapons of the Noldor – not to mention their armour –, their unspectacular arms. Also, during the journey Faeneldor had prepared himself to be forced to answer uncomfortable questions concerning his King's policies. But once arrived at the host he found that none of those were raised, at least not to him. The Noldor and their allies seemed glad about everybody willing to support them in their struggle, and quite contrary to his expectations, Faeneldor noted how the glances they were given as they passed through the camp were rather of a curious than a hostile kind.

Partly that may have been due to their companion, Faelach, who, as soon as they arrived, introduced them to who he thought to be important for them to know, and when the host set in motion to take up position on the hills overlooking the Anfauglith, the Doriath-Elves found themselves in King Fingon's company. And then there was little time left to marvel at or wonder about anything, for almost as soon as the host had taken up position, the Dark Lord's army had been sighted. It was huge, and yet there seemed to be hope, for the host of the Free Peoples may not have been an exact match in numbers, but certainly in skill and fighting spirit. It seemed as if the King and the Captains were only waiting for a signal to descend upon the enemy, and if every Elvish host was as large as that of the High King, and all struck at the same time ... Faeneldor felt his heart soar. After years and years of battling the enemy, there finally seemed a chance to once and for all end this threat.

But even as he felt hope rise in him, things had taken a turn unforeseen. Already when the envoy of orcs approached, Faeneldor suspicion was arroused, and when his eyes fell on the elvish prisoner they had brought, he feared that this was a vicious plan of Morgoth to stir the Eldar into battle before they were fully prepared. When the orcs began to mutilate their captive, Faeneldor was not the only one to notch an arrow to his bowstring to try and release the prisoner the only way still possible. But the orcs had wisely remained out of range of their enemies bows. Being forced to watch the horrible display, Faeneldor fervently hoped no one of those in the front ranks knew the prisoner – and found his hopes destroyed when a group of Noldor suddenly rushed forth to avenge the slain. The entire host seemed to stir and to tense, only waiting for their King's signal to finally engage the enemy. And when it came, it appeared a dam had broken, or an avalanche had been loosened in the mountains. Like a thunderstorm the host poured down into the plain to overwhelm the enemy. Faeneldor was simply swept away with the rest, infected by their rage.
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Postby rowanberry » Mon Aug 09, 2004 10:14 am

Finally, the Eastern army was on the move again. They had already stopped twice, for reasons that had turned out to be false alarms, and they were badly delayed. There were more than just a few who suspected it to be the work of spies of the enemy.

Maranwë was riding toward the rear end of the marching troops, looking out for the recipient of the message she was delivering, when she heard someone calling her. It was Urion, marching with his unit commanded by a captain named Veryandil. Maranwë greeted her brother and slowed her horse to walk for a moment to exchange a few words with him.

"Was the last stop a false alarm for an attack again?" Urion asked.

"Yes, and I heard that this time, the origins of the false rumours could be tracked to some of the Men in lord Caranthir's service - when scouting, they had seen something they thought was the enemy's action. If I were in place of our commanders, I wouldn't trust those Easterlings too much; their eyes and ears are not as sharp as ours", she answered.

"Neither would I", her brother agreed. "I've had some dealings with them, as well as with those Men that entered our lord's service earlier, and - I can't really explain it but, they are somehow different. In the trial attack they did their own part quite well, though. For a completely different matter, have you seen father at any point?"

"Yes, I have a couple of times. He's in Captain Galnor’s cavalry unit quite in the front. But now, I'll have to go; the message I am taking to Captain Telgond is quite urgent."

"His troops are not far behind us. Not half a mile, I should think."

"Thank you." Then, they both suddenly realized that this could well be the last time they saw each other, in this world at least. Maranwë's voice stuck in her throat. "May the Valar keep you safe."

"And you as well", Urion answered quietly.

For a moment, he watched his sister ride away, and then turned to continue the march.

When the Eastern forces finally reached the battleground on the dust-filled plains of Anfauglith, the Western Army had already started a massive attack, and had managed to stop the enemy from advancing. But, new hordes of orcs flowed out of Angband to confront the Eastern troops. Captain Veryandil arranged his men into a wedge formation and gave the command to attack.

There was no time to consider, no time to look around. Urion's spear was soon black with orc blood. His only thought was to skewer as many enemies as possible, and to stay alive himself. Forwards they rushed, leaving the ground littered with dead or dying orcs - but, also losing several men from their own strength. Urion's heart jumped when among the dead he recognized Isfin, his hunting companion and friend since their childhood…

A wolfrider charged toward him – a rather small but evil-looking orc on the back of a monstrous wolf. With all his strength, he threw his spear into the throat of the approaching beast, and pulled his sword to confront the rider. Urion had the advantage of his height and agility; yet, the orc fought fiercely, and almost managed to wound him with his poisoned blade, before he could strike him down.

Then, two things happened almost simultaneously. First, a panic arose among the troops ahead of Urion; when he looked that way, he saw smoke and flames rise in the middle of the ranks, and among the smoke a huge and terrifying, lizardlike creature was approaching. Dragons had been released from Angband, and now one of them was closing in!

And, almost at the same time, the man next to him stumbled and fell, and lay still – he was dead, pierced by an arrow. To his dismay, Urion realized that the arrow was not of orcish make – and, it had come from behind
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Postby Celebriel_Esgaledhel » Thu Aug 12, 2004 4:59 pm

Celebriel’s horse issued a gurgling scream and fell as a wolf ripped out its throat. As her mount crumpled in mid-stride, Celebriel launched herself from its back and dove into a roll. As she landed, her foot slipped in the gore that had already covered the ground, and she shot out a hand to break her fall. She spun, knowing the wolf would be upon her momentarily, and crouched low, her throaty growl indistinguishable from that of the riderless wolf. Its rider had long since been shot down, but it continued on, driven by purpose stimulated only by the fear of its master.

Celebriel and her four-legged adversary attacked simultaneously, meeting in mid-air and spinning down in a tangled heap. Celebriel scored the first hit, but cursed as her knife missed the wolf’s hamstring, landing instead in a ripping gash across its thigh. It yelped and tried to spin around, but Celebriel had already leapt on the monster’s back and driven her blade through its skull, which exploded on impact.

Back in the ranks of the archers, Turúth watched as Celebriel leapt off the back of the dead wolf, only to be buried beneath two more. He strained to see, unable to discern her shape from the tangled heap of twisting limbs and gnashing teeth; the wolves’ teeth, he noted with a shudder, were not the only ones to seek a target. Finally, after he had began to lose hope, his captain emerged, garments torn and bloodied. She cast about, crouched low and mowing down all in her path. Turúth had never seen anything so feral.

Turúth motioned to his archers, who discarded their bows and took out secondary weapons. He led them forward, knowing that the cavalry would need any aid possible against the nearing Balrogs.

“Captain!”

Turúth turned. “Yes?”

“We are advancing?”

Turúth gestured impatiently. “We would be if we were free of distractions.”

“It’s madness! We’re archers, not rangers!” Turúth eyed the Elf up and down. He was young, barely out of youth, with a face pasty white with fear. “Besides, they seem to be doing fairly well, especially with that silver-haired berserker!” He looked around frantically.

“They are doing well. But when the Balrogs near, they will be crushed. They need all the help they can get.” Turúth paused. “If you truly cannot face this, cannot assist, then turn back now, but be warned - you will no longer be my responsibility. By leaving now, you recognize that you are on your own.”

The young Elf swallowed, but then, surprisingly, shook his head.

Turúth smiled grimly. “Then forward!”

Ahead, Celebriel half stood, half crouched as she caught her breath. Dead wolves and orcs lay scattered around her feet, but the closest otherwise were still in the next wave, paces yet from her. Straightening her tattered garments and repositioning crooked armour, she stood and turned to face what remained of her cavalry.

She saw Turúth and the archers hastening towards her, and couldn’t help but smile. Their arrows had already killed many, creating an effective delay in the enemy’s approach. The remnants of the cavalry were reforming, and Celebriel was glad to see that Ruinfin was safe, red hair flaming and hoarse voice commanding.

The foot soldiers were still behind, warding off any attack that might strike while the head lay occupied. Celebriel couldn’t see him, but she suspected that Belecham was in the thick of it.

Turning back to the advancing behemoths, Celebriel paused, grinning. She had passed the point where she cared about how she left this battle field. She became the berserker.

Putting down her two-foot knives for a moment, she unstrapped her bow and strung it. Taking out two arrows and fitting them into place, she aimed for the nearest Balrog. When she loosed, she stepped into the shot, putting as much power into it as she could; watching the arrows hit their target perfectly, she grinned from ear to ear. The Balrog roared and shook it’s pierced foreleg, then charged on, its gaze now fixed on Celebriel.

Celebriel discarded her bow, knowing she had but moments, then picked up her knives. With one last, backward glance at her troops, she ran to meet her nemesis.
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Postby rowanberry » Mon Dec 06, 2004 9:47 am

Urion knew that he wouldn't survive if he couldn't get away from the dragon. It was approaching by a route that only left free the way toward the center of the troops, the banner of Maedhros. Most important now was to not give in to panic... It was impossible to get his spear back from the carcass of the dead wolf so, grabbing his sword, he turned to face the new threat from behind while retreating.

In the general turmoil, it wasn’t easy to see at first who the new attackers were. Eventually, he was able to figure out that some of the Easterlings had attacked their own companions, both elves and humans; the rumours about treason among the troops had not been false. And all the time, the orcs continued pressing from the front, forcing the elves closer together, and on their trail came the balrogs.

Soon, Urion had lost all count of time. He just pressed on, fighting whoever was assaulting him, orc or human. Men fell all around him; the clash of weapons mingled with the screams and moaning of the wounded and dying. Himself, he was spared, and only received a stab in his left arm from the knife of a human traitor who tried to attack him from behind; the man was killed by another human, one of those who had remained faithful, before he himself was slain by orcs.

He had come quite close to Maedhros' banner, when he was confronted by one of the captains of the traitorous humans. Their fight was long and strenuous, and he was already tired; moreover, the wound in his arm affected his ability to use his left hand. The man attacked furiously, forcing Urion backwards; but, he was able to repel his strikes, until he stepped on a loose rock and lost his balance for a second. But, before his enemy was able to take advantage of that and strike him down, his sword was thrust aside by the blade of another elf. After recovering his balance Urion was able to take a look at his rescuer; to his surprise, he recognized him as lord Maglor. The prince's eyes were flaming, and his noble face twisted with rage, as he mercilessly forced the human in turn to defence; finally, with a well directed strike, he thrust his blade into the mans vitals, and with another one chopped his head off.

Of this, Urion was only dimly aware. He had strained his ankle as he slipped, but shutting the pain off of his mind, he turned to face the next enemy, another traitor. At the same time, he couldn’t help a new terror creeping into his mind. Not far away, he saw from the corner of his eye a balrog, furious of the wound it had received, roaring and flaming, preparing to attack.
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Postby Celebrimbor32 » Fri Dec 10, 2004 4:44 pm

NIRNAETH ARNOEDIAD pt. II

Orowe bade his horse halt amid the battle, for his steed was now lame and unable to aid him further in the face of this new and horrific nemesis. Though its own death was near, his horse was loathe to leave Orowe, and because of the affectionate bond that had developed between horse and master it reared around to stand beside the lone Noldo in either death or victory. Yet Orowe commanded the noble beast to depart and go where it would, and therefore sprang aside to confront one of Morgoth’s most terrible servants alone; perhaps his bravest deed.

Spotting a rocky hillock through the fog and confusion of war, Orowe quickly climbed the rear side of it in hopes of coming up behind this new enemy. Though the air around him was hot he felt himself more chilled to the bone with every step he took. It seemed plain to him now that his entire life had culminated to this very moment.

At last he reached the top of the hill. Upon its craggy summit Orowe stooped behind the dead remains of a fallen fig tree for cover. As he kneeled behind it he placed his hand on the trunk and felt something wet. Looking at his palm he noticed that it was covered with blood, yet it was not his own. Being now curious, Orowe raised up and looked upon the opposite side of the fallen tree to ascertain the source of the blood, and behold! To his horror and grief he saw that there was the body of an elf-maiden that had been pinned to the tree with a spear. Her spirit had long since departed her body, yet Orowe felt the need to remove her body from its final unhappy resting place. His hopes were dashed when he saw that her legs had been pinned beneath the fallen tree. He had no idea whom she had been in life, but his heart cried out for her nonetheless in pity. Seeing that she wore a sparkling necklace still about her neck he removed it carefully and stashed it away in his pocket in hopes of delivering to her next of kin someday. He could not have known then how this simple act would effect his life in the future.

Then with renewed anger Orowe stood up tall upon the hill and readied his great hunting bow. His plan seemed to have worked, for the Balrog was now looking away from him and was at unawares. The enemy was enormous by all accounts, and Orowe shuddered at the thought of directing his attention and wrath.

Then the courageous Noldo notched his favorite arrow to his bow and took aim. His enemy was thrashing back and forth with a blazing two-handed axe through a dissipating crowd of foes.

“Do not hessitate, Orowe! Fire! Fire at once!” he told himself aloud. He released his arrow and watched it plunge directly into the neck of the Balrog. A direct hit! Then he released a second arrow, which struck the demon in head! Yet as soon as the darts hit their target they cracked and fizzled away with the beast’s flames. Yet their damage was felt.

Now the Balrog turned toward this new and unexpected threat from behind with a great bellow of rage. Straightaway it leaped over both foes and allies alike to strike down the Noldo before another arrow could be delivered. Through the curling mist it came up the shallow hill towards Orowe. In a moment it would be upon him. Flames seemed to leap forth from its mighty black and charred torso as it approached, and it mocked the elf aloud as it came, saying in a demonic voice, “Lo! Cowardly elf-rat! Thinketh you may slay me by dart alone?? I have devoured many others such as you with but the wave of my fist! You are nothing and thou knoweth it! Come and I shall deal with you swiftly!”

Orowe paid no heed to the harsh words of the Balrog. As quickly as he might, the elf seized the spear from the tree and the abdomen of the fallen elf-maiden. Yet now the Balrog had the initiative and swung his great axe at Orowe. But the Noldo was ready for it and leapt away, avoiding the deadly blow. The axe swung by him like a fiery wind. Sadly, the blow connected with the dead tree, which was sent flying away with a loud crack. The sight of the tree hurling through the air along with the body of the slain elf-maiden was almost enough to make Orowe quail. Yet there was no time for it.

Then Orowe was enraged and charged forward with his spear in hand. Coming up close to his foe he felt the hot pain of red sparks which sprang from the Balrog’s being, and they scorched his hands. But at the last available moment Orowe thrust the spear into the leg of his enemy. The Balrog leaped up in great pain, sending Orowe tumbling astray down the hillside. Just as he neared the bottom of the hill he felt a painful blow to his temple. His head had struck a rock and he felt on the verge of unconsciousness…His end would have been certain had it not been for the heroics of the men or Dor-lomin.

Seemingly, out of nowhere there appeared Halmir and Erthalion, friends and companions of Orowe. With them was an elf. They charged forward on foot to confront the Balrog head on. In great pain, the demon bellowed once again, this time sending forth a spray of fire from his mouth. The flames flew around them and toppled the elf and Erthalion.

Yet Halmir was now as one fey and dashed forward with his blade drawn, crying, “Dor-lomin!!” He swung his blade high and seemed to sever the hand of his foe that held the terrible axe, which fell to the ground with a thud. The Balrog now let loose a cry so loud that it could be heard for miles, and indeed it seemed to many to be more of a call for aid than a cry of pain. Yet Halmir also felt great pain and fell to his knees.

The Balrog looked down upon his tiny foe with hatred, and with one great effort raised up his fiery leg and squashed Halmir beneath his foot and pinned him down to the earth in victory. Halmir could do nothing, nor was he able to cry aloud in pain, for his wind had been knocked from him. He struggled desperately in vain, but quickly felt the lifeblood within him begin to ebb forth...Then suddenly he gave up the fight and he lay motionless beneath the deadly weight of the Balrog amid a pool of his own blood.

Thus he perished, Halmir the brave, man of Dor-lomin. He died honorably saving his friend from certain death.

The Balrog would have then torn Halmir’s body in two, but Erthalion rushed forward followed by many elves. Seeing now that the tide had turned against him, The Balrog turned and fled into the dust and mist leaving a smoldering trail behind him…
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Postby Celebriel_Esgaledhel » Sat Jan 15, 2005 10:43 pm

Celebriel lunged forwards, feinted twice, then, with one motion, unsheathed and launched a throwing dagger. The blade struck the valarauko in the shoulder, but was paid no heed. The demon snapped out its many-thronged lash, the impact of which caused the dirt to splatter against the elf. Celebriel stepped back, and elf and demon began to circle. Several times the whip came within a whisper of catching the nimble elf, but only once did it score a hit, a minor one to her right biceps. Celebriel abruptly switched directions, and before the much larger beast could follow, she slashed with a long blade at its hind leg, aiming for the hamstring.

A blow to her back caused Celebriel’s aim to go astray, and although she scored a rending gash, she growled at her failure.

Rolling to her feet, she scarcely had the time to leap away as the úmaia’s arm struck out again. Celebriel leaped backward, giving herself a moment to counter the balrog’s new tactic. Although she could avoid the lithe whip without much difficulty, the beast’s fist was much more substantial. As the balrog was in the midst of another attack, Celebriel stepped inside its reach, and again went for a hamstring. If she could cripple it, she could bring it down.

Celebriel’s twin blades were more successful this time, and as she emerged from behind the demon, it bellowed in pain. Celebriel began to strike again, at this point of advantage, but was again thrown to the ground, though not by her opponent. As she hit the ground, Celebriel’s shoulder erupted in pain, and she glanced down to see the jagged point of a battle-arrow piercing her left shoulder; the opposite end had wrenched the shaft deeper upon her fall. After an initial moment of shock, Celebriel realized, with no small amount of relief, that the shaft had missed her arteries, and merely pierced through the muscle adjacent to her shoulder joint.

Ruthlessly grasping the shaft, she bent it, meaning to break it off, but achieved only in tearing the already abused muscle. Gasping in pain, she let go, then proceeded to cut of the shaft from both entry and exiting wounds.

Celebriel saw the reason her adversary had not yet reached her: it was reeling in pain, two arrows lodged in its neck. Even as she rose, another arrow hit its head, but was rejected by the resilient skull.

An orc ran past the demon and carelessly threw itself at Celebriel, who quickly dispatched it with her left blade stabbing and her right blade slashing its throat. Her left shoulder was shot with pain unheeded as she advanced again upon the wounded valarauko.


Ruinfin urged his mount forward, trying to reach his commander. He had seen her receive an orkish bolt, and he had in turn slain the orc with his small cavalry bow. As he neared, he saw several arrows hit the demon, and he let his horse have its head as he dropped the reins and began to discharge his arrows into the balrog.

His horse fairly cut its own path through the rabble, defending its rider with hooves and teeth while Ruinfin was occupied. His riding skills were truly tested as his horse leapt over fallen bodies and crashed into beasts and orcs.

When—after an age, it seemed—he was within shouting distance of Celebriel, he called out. Celebriel looked around, and, after locating Ruinfin, motioned him forward. As he came up beside her, he adressed her.

“Commander!” He held out a hooked arm. “Behind me!”

“No!” She began to turn away, and Ruinfin was amazed. The from of her armour was matted with blood, the leather turned up where the arrow had shot through. Her face was lined with vicious gashes down the right side; from the maw of a wolf, it seemed. Her bare, muscular arms bore many cuts, and her leather breeches were torn down the left thigh. She was bathed in the blood of her victims. Yet, through all the blood, she still exuded a powerful, feral, and commanding presence.

Before she had gone a pace, Ruinfin cut his horse before her, forcing her to stop. When she moved to cirlce him, he blocked her again. “Commander, up with me. Now.”


Celebriel stared at him in surprise. This was nearly the closest thing to insubordination, yet she was struck by his near protectiveness. With a shake of her head and a quirk of her mouth, she held up her good arm and allowed him to swing her up behind him.

While Ruinfin guided the horse with his legs and continued to shoot, Celebriel took out her largest throwing blade, a wickedly curved thing that was just longer than her forearm, complete with hooks and barbs. As Ruinfin guided his mount nearer the balrog—no easy feat, for the horse wanted nothing to do with the flaming beast—Celebriel took her aim carefully. Her blade, however normally lethal, would not cut deep enough in the demon’s body, nor would it penetrate the skull. It would, however, effectively pierce an eye, if thrown with either perfect aim or extreme luck.

Ruinfin kicked the horse forward, straight at the head of the valarauko. The horse reared, pawing the air and snorting with fright of the beast that hovered nearly in reach, and Celebriel launched her blade at the height of the motion.

The Balrog reared, issuing a hissing scream, and toppled. Its body was torn by countless arrows, and the leg that had suffered a severed hamstring lay grotesquely twisted. Celebriel slid off Ruinfin’s horse, and moved to retrieve her knife. She had meant to slash the demon’s throat, but another elf beat her to it. As she walked up, he wrenched her blade from the beast’s skull, pulling out with it a ruddy mass. After wiping the worst of it on the ground, he straightened. When Celebriel approached him, he offered a small smile, and handed her the blade.
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Postby Khorazir » Wed Jan 19, 2005 11:54 am

The cavalry charge had borne Faeneldor and his three companions from Doriath deep into the hosts of the enemy, who at first had seemed overwhelmed by the sheer might of the horsemen, and had not managed to muster any working defense. Then groups of orcs had rallied about trolls and some of their own large captains, had occupied small hillocks or heaps of slain and set their vicious spears and halbards against the charging horsemen. None had dared to oppose King Fingon himself and his guard – yet – dismayed by the splendour of their armour and banners, and even more so by their rage and the fell, deadly light in the Noldor‘s eyes. Yet small parts of the King's force had thus been hindered, or become separated from the main host.

Faeneldor had been in one of those groups. Suddenly Olvardur's horse which had been right in front of his own had given a terrible scream as a thrown spear had hit it, and horse and rider had fallen to the ground, forcing Faeneldor to veer sharply so as not to ride down his companion. Immediately a group of the enemy had moved between him and his companion. He had had no time to see what became of the Sinda, as suddenly he found himself the aim of a group of orcish archers half hidden behind a large dark form that looked like a strange formation of rocks at first, but turned out to be a dead troll. An arrow glanced off his helmet as Faeneldor navigated his steed out of range of the bowmen, praising the fact he had let Faelach persuade him to accept the helm as additional protection as they had passed one of the Noldorian armouries in the camp.

Of the young Elf from Ossiriand – as well as Mirluin and Narlas, his other two companions from Doriath – Faeneldor had lost sight, and he did not know what had become of them. Away to his left, half hidden by smoke, very dimly the banner of the High King was still visible above the chaos of battle. And beyond it ... – despite his keen eyes, at first Faeneldor was not sure what to make of the huge, dark, moving forms that were approaching the Elvish host. Like accumulations of smoke they seemed – and of fire, as suddenly one seemed to ignite as if with red-hot wrath. And Faeneldor knew what they were. Memories of the desperate battle by the lake in snow and fire in Dorthonion flooded his mind, and a fell mood took hold of them. How could he have believed that Morgoth had nothing more but orcs and trolls to fling at them? There must be an entire host of Balrogs unleashed now, and something worse, perhaps, if rumours of the Dark Lord's ingenuity and secret plans were true.

Another arrow that pierced the chainmail at his right side, but failed to get through the padded jerkin underneath, brought his mind back to the situation at hand. The Balrogs were still some way off, but the orcs were right in front of him, and to both sides, he realised. Somewhere behind him still fought some of the Noldor from the company he had charged into battle with, but they were already engaged in fierce melée, some having been forced to dismount as their steeds had been killed or wounded. Miracously, Faeneldor as well as his horse had remained unhurt so far. In fact, nobody seemed really interested in them at the moment, which perhaps, he thought, was due to their plain, dull, grey attire that seemed to melt with the smoky air about them, whereas many of the Noldor in their shining armour proved more obvious aims for spear or dart.

Which did not mean he remained entirely unnoticed. One of the archers behind the dead troll spotted him as he approached them, having rounded the company and ridden up from behind as they continued to shower the Noldor with missiles. Before the orc could inform his companions, however, Faeneldor's spear caught him in the throat. Somewhat glad to be rid of the somewhat unfamiliar weapon (another present from Faelach), Faeneldor drew his sword and urged his mount forward at the rest of the archers, managing to take two more by surprise before the rest rounded up on him, trying to pull him from his horse or to stab him with their spears or slash him with crooked scimitars. But the beast proved more fierce and agile than even Faeneldor had known, sending the orcs staggering back with broken noses or dented helmets – or deep gashes in their throats or heads if they had come into reach of Faeneldor's blade.

He was not sure how long the fight lasted. Suddenly the last orc of the group crumbled to the ground. Faeneldor reined his horse, patting its neck that was drenched with sweat. Beyond the dead troll, the Noldorian riders had managed to rid themselves of their foes as well. Those that still had horses remounted. One, a captain or lieutenant, glanced towards Faeneldor and hailed him, indicating his appreciation of their good cooperation. He retrieved his spear from the body of an enemy, then signed towards where some time ago Faeneldor had seen the King's banner last. The smoke had thickened, and it was no longer visible behind the billowing clouds. Still, judging from the noise wafting over the fight was thickest there. Faeneldor also recovered his spear – despite its strange weight and unfamiliar balance, it was a more suited weapon for warfare from horseback than his sword or beloved longbow – and rejoined the Noldor.

Their leader had managed to rally what had survived of his small company to his banner – now resembling rather a torn, bloodied rag that hung from his spear than the proud flags of the Noldor. He pointed ahead were a mass of dark creatures was moving, half-obscured by the smoke, the tips of their spears now and again glinting ominously. Over the din of battle, Faeneldor caught him call something about trying to get through to the King, and the company set in motion, to gather momentum for a charge against the black moving wall ahead. Faeneldor saw spears being lowered in the ranks of the enemy, their ends planted firmly in the ground, until they looked like a swaying thicket of twisted, evil black trees with deadly barbed thorns that caught the light of the ever approaching fires. For a brief moment Faeneldor doubted the cleverness of the undertaking, to charge this deadly wall of spears with so few horsemen only. The ranger, the bowman in him longed to dismount, to take up his bow and to shoot gaping holes into the hedge of spears. But then the charge was loosed, and for the second time this day he was simply swept away with the tide.
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Postby Khorazir » Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:50 am

The closer they drew to the thicket of deadly spears, the more Faeneldor began to doubt their charge would lead to anything but death. They were simply too few to break the line, and this time the orcs were prepared, and instead of wavering they seemed deadly set on stopping the few horsemen charging at them. Their spears firmly planted in the ground, their courage increased by the harsh cries of their leaders, they faced the desperate company of horsemen coming at them with a calm and discipline Faeneldor had not encountered before in these foul creatures.

Then there was not time to think about orcish courage anymore, for the horsemen had reached their foes and came crashing into their line. Horses neighed in pain as they were pierced by spears, and their was the clash of arms, and fierce cries on both sides. With his spear, Faeneldor had managed to create a gap in the first rank, and so prevented getting skewered by the spears. But now the orcs began closing in on his again, and he would have been lost but for his steed, which began to develop hitherto unknown qualities as it reared and buckled, dealing deadly blows at the orcs surrounding it with its hoofes. Nevertheless, it was obvious that this would buy them only little time. A quick glance over his shoulder showed Faeneldor that his companions were not faring much better than himself. Those who still lived and had managed to stay mounted were surrounded by foes, and engaged in fierce melée. Their line was scattered, and it would only be a matter of time until the orcs would managed to pull them from their horses and finish them on the ground.

Kicking hard at the face of an orc who had managed to get hold of the bridle, and swinging his sword at the hands of others that were trying to dislodge him from the saddle, Faeneldor managed to free himself of foes for a short moment. Not far from him a small company of riders, three or four he thought, had drawn together, and were doing a good job at holding the enemy at bay, while slowly retreating towards higher ground. Urging his steed into a few desperate leaps, he broke through to the others. Two of them were elves in the livery of Fingon's household, the others looked strange. When he caught a glimpse of their faces, smeared with blood and dirt, a deadly fire burning in their eyes, Faeneldor saw that they were Men.

Perhaps he would have marveled at this under different circumstances, but right now his entire concentration was bent on holding the enemy at bay. Slowly the five riders managed to retreat. Then there was a brief moment of bewilderment among their foes, as a clear voice called out: "Hold the line, people of Fingon! Hold the line! Do not let them through!"

Even though he was not able to see the caller, Faeneldor thought he knew that voice. It brought up memories of a day years and years ago, when there still had been watchful peace in Beleriand before that was shattered in the Dagor Bragollach, and of a chance meeting in the pinewoods of Dorthonion.

He was brought back to the present when his horse gave a terrible scream and reared. Unable to hold on, Faeneldor was thrown from the saddle. He hit the ground next to one of the Edain who also had been thrown. Seeing that the other was slightly dazed yet unhurt, he swiftly helped him to his feet. Around them, to their suprise, the line of orcs was breaking. The two elves were being carried off by their horses which appeared to have turned mad with fear. The other man had also lost his steed, and was running over to his companion and Faeneldor, pointing wildly towards the reason of the sudden chaos. Even the orcs were fleeing from something that was drawing nigh.

Faeneldor took a deep breath before he turned, finally exchanging his sword for his bow that had miracously survived his fall, and putting an arrow to the string. He knew what was coming at them, and he also knew that arrows would be of little avail. Yet despite this knowledge, he felt more comfortable with this weapon, and if he was to die now, he would do so as the archer he was.

The Balrog was mowing a grisly path through friends and foes alike, coming towards the two men and the Sinda in flaming rage. But of a sudden his attention was diverted. Upon a craggy knoll crowned by a blasted tree a lone bowmen was loosing arrows at the creature. The Balrog turned towards this annoyance, and began taunting the elf in a fell voice. But still he stood firm, and even managed to wound his enemy with a spear, but then was hurled down the hill, and remained still at the foot.

Then with the fierce cry the two men leaped forward, and Faeneldor followed, shooting at the creature's head and reloading while running. Again the Balrog gave forth a bellow of rage and pain that send flames and fiery sparks towards them. Gripping the tunic of the man closest to him, Faeneldor let himself fall to the earth, pulling the other down with him. Narrowly, they thus managed to avoid being burned by the flames, although the heat was still terrible, especially because both wore mail and metal helms.

Again the cry of "Dor-lomin!" rent the air. Still dazed by the heat, Faeneldor could only dimly descry how the second man charged the Balrog and dealt him a mighty blow, hewing his clawlike hand from him. But the man himself was crushed under the creatures's foot.

Enraged and grieved over his companion's death, the other Adan leapt up, and with sword raised rushed towards the creature. Faeneldor followed suit, and behind them, he noticed, more Elves came running towards the Balrog, who turned and fled, and was soon swallowed by mist and smoke. The man fell to his knees at his companion's body, while Faeneldor turned aside to look for the archer who had taken on the fell creature single-handedly. He found his still form at the foot of the hill, lying with his face down, his hands burned from the Balrog's heat. The Sinda knelt down and gingerly turned the other about – to behold a familiar face.
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Postby rowanberry » Sun Feb 27, 2005 10:06 am

The enemy pressed on. Urion didn’t have much chance to follow what was happening with the balrog, although he realized that all the time he was being driven closer to it. He was able to register a knife hurling toward the beast and hitting it, but it didn’t seem to get very badly hurt; it lashed out its whip and proceeded to attack.

A large orc armed with a heavy axe assailed Urion, aiming to cleave his head. The elf saw the blow coming and avoided it by ducking to the left, at the same time thrusting himself forward and grabbing the orc’s legs, using its momentary loss of balance to knock it over. The head of the axe harmlessly hit the ground, and the weapon fell from the enemy’s hands, but turning quickly around the orc drew a long jagged knife and tried to hit Urion with it before the elf could regain his own balance. The blade ripped through Urion’s surcoat, but didn’t penetrate the chainmail under it. Before the orc got another try, Urion was on his feet, cut the hand holding the knife off the orc with a strike of his sword, and finished the creature with another strike at its throat.

Two archers that he didn’t know ran past him, their bows readied and aimed at the balrog; two arrows flew and hit the beast in the neck. One of the archers immediately fired another arrow, but it went a bit astray, and effortlessly only hit the balrog’s head. More arrows were aimed at it from the other side. The archers were at once assailed by several orcs, and Urion never got to know what happened to them; most certainly they were slain.

Two more enemies, an orc and an Easterling, harassed Urion, and made him back toward the balrog again. In defeating them, he got help from another elf, who in turn took upon the orc; Urion fought the human, and finally made a diversion which left the man’s midsection unprotected, and thrust his sword into the enemy’s vitals. The man’s last blow was cut short and fell without force, but the distraction had also left Urion’s arms so positioned that the blade hit his right forearm and cut a flesh wound in it.

A horse reared and snorted not far away. On its back, someone made a quick throwing movement; a blade whizzed through the air and hit the balrog straight into the eye. With a terrible hissing scream, the demon reared, took a few wavering steps, and toppled not much more than ten feet away from the spot where Urion was standing. But, it wasn’t dead yet; it hissed and wriggled in pain, and attempted to get up, although one of its legs was grotesquely twisted.

Urion was terrified by the sight, but trying to subdue both his fear and the pain from his wounds, he lunged at the beast, and in lack of a better weapon, sliced its throat with his sword. The hellish fire in the balrog’s remaining eye went out, and its wriggling ceased.

Someone was running toward him; from the silver hair and a headband he recognized who it was – Commander Celebriel was hard to mistake for someone else. He grabbed the knife sticking out of the dead balrog’s eye and wrenched it loose, wiped most of the gore on the ground, stood up, and with a small smile, handed her the blade.

“I believe this is yours, Commander.”

“Yes, it is. Thank you”, Celebriel answered and took the knife. She cast a look at the fallen demon. “Well done.”

“Thank you, Commander.”

They didn’t have time to exchange any more words; the battle was raging around them continuously, and they had to turn to face the next attack. For a while they fought side by side against a host of some twenty orcs that had managed to break through the front line and advance quite far. Urion took from behind an orc that was attacking another elf, and together with him and a few others he concentrated on stopping the orcs at his right from getting ay further. Celebriel drifted to the other direction; Urion last spotted a glimpse of her in a fierce hand-to-hand combat with a large and extraordinary furious orc.

The battle that had lasted for hours was starting to take its toll on Urion. His ankle was swollen and sore, and his wounds were throbbing; especially the stab in the back of his left upper arm had also bled a lot, although fortunately the knife hadn’t hit any of his larger veins. Now, he was getting tired; he went on just because he knew he had to, for giving in even a bit would mean a certain death. Yet, he couldn’t help wondering momentarily how much longer he still could hold on.

At the same time a force of Easterlings that had been hidden in the eastern hills assailed the host of Maedhros, making it surrounded from three sides and causing confusion and heavy losses in the eastern flank of the troops. From the front approached the most dreadful of enemies: Glaurung, the most powerful of dragons, followed by other foul creatures of Angband. The dragon had driven the armies of Maedhros and Fingon apart, and now took straight at the eastern host, causing panic, incinerating Elves and Men that got in its way, and scorching the earth along his route. Many valiant soldiers tried to stop him from advancing, but most of them were choked by the heat and the horrible stench. The ones that survived those attempts, hideously burned, could be counted with the fingers of one hand.

Attacked from three sides, the Eastern Army broke and was scattered, and in the general chaos, it suffered even greater losses than there would have been otherwise. Finally Maedhros, who himself had been fighting valiantly in the front line, saw no other alternative but to send a word to all his brothers who could be found to gather together with all their remaining men, and to order the host to retreat.
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Postby That_Hobbit » Tue Apr 01, 2008 9:02 pm

Would it be impossible for me to join this?
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Postby rowanberry » Sun Apr 19, 2009 12:21 pm

After giving the order to retreat, Maedhros called to him all available errand riders.

“The enemy has broken through”, he addressed them gravely. “Now, all of you should try to get to Himring, alone, in pairs, or in small groups, and deliver my orders to evacuate the fortress and head south toward Amrod and Amras’s abode on Amon Ereb. We try to delay the troops of Angband as long as we can, but we cannot stop them, so go as fast as you can.”

So, Maranwë also set off, together with a man named Delin whom she only knew by name and looks. They chose a route that would take them round a bit, but mostly keep them west of the retiring troops and therefore away from the treacherous Easterlings, some of whom were still around.

But, already on the second day, her journey almost came to an end.

A small company of orcs with one of the minor dragons was approaching from the west. The foul smell of the beast frightened the horses so that in the end, their riders couldn’t control them. Maranwë’s steed threw her off his back and galloped away in panic; Delin’s horse rushed senselessly forward, but they didn’t get far before both fell, pierced by several black-feathered arrows.

Maranwë wasn’t badly hurt, just somewhat bruised. But, the orcs were getting closer, and alone, she would have no chance against them.

So, I’m going to die, she thought. But, I won’t go without a fight. Maybe I can take a couple of those filthy things with me.

She began to scramble to her feet, reaching for her bow. But then, from behind her, she heard someone shout: “Stay down!” She threw herself on the ground again, and almost immediately, a small volley of arrows filled the air, aimed at the approaching enemy.

“Crawl this way!” someone shouted again. She took a quick look around, and noticed some men sheltered behind big boulders on her left. Slowly, keeping as close to the ground as she could, she headed toward them. All the time, arrows flew over her head.

She felt that it took her ages to get there. But, when she got close enough, she was grabbed by two pairs of hands and pulled to shelter behind a stone. She still kept down for some time, but as she heard someone shout: “It’s turning away! It’s leaving!” she dared to get up and take a look at her rescuers. Almost immediately, she cursed under her breath, though.

Lord Celegorm wasn’t exactly a person she would have liked to meet.

But, it was he and a number of his men who had been shooting at the dragon and its orc companions, and one of his captains had been the one who had guided her to safety. She saluted appropriately.

The son of Fëanor was wounded; not all of the bloodstains on his surcoat were from his enemies, and at times, his face twisted into a grimace of pain. Maybe therefore he wasn’t quite his usual haughty self, but addressed her almost politely. “What is your name, soldier, and where were you going?”

“I am Maranwë Morwinyoniel, my lord, errand rider for Lord Maedhros. I am… was… on an urgent mission to Himring, along with my companion and several others who took different routes.” She paused for a moment. “And, I thank you and your men for saving my life.”

Celegorm made an “it’s all right” gesture with his hand, and turned to the captain who had helped Maranwë. “Captain, let this errand rider rest with us for a while. Then, if it doesn’t get impossible for her to continue her journey, give her the fastest horse that we have, and provisions as much as we can spare.” Then, he addressed Maranwë again. “I can only wish you luck, and hope that you will get there. Go with Captain Ailios now, he’ll see you to your journey.”

Maranwë saluted and followed the captain. For an hour or so, she stayed with Celegorm’s men, but then, she mounted the horse they had found her, gladly accepted the provisions, and was on her way again.

Later, she remembered hardly anything about the days she spent on the journey. She only stopped for as much as the horse needed to rest, or if she had to hide; otherwise, she pressed on through the deserted lands, her mind set on getting to Himring, and praying to the Valar that she wouldn’t run into enemies. She managed to avoid them, and at about two days away from Himring, she met two of the other errand riders on their way to the same destination. And finally, the walls of the fortress rose before them.

They reported to the officer of the day – one Carnilwen of Maglor’s people, another young woman who had taken up military service at need – and were taken to the chief of the guards, to whom they gave their message. At once, the orders were executed. The inhabitants were given an hour to pack just the most necessary things. All civilians who were able to wield a sword or a bow, or even just a knife, were armed. And then, a caravan of civilians, protected by the soldiers of the guard, started their long journey southward.

Again, they went on for days and days. The enemy armies hadn’t got there yet, but there were some random orc patrols and renegade Easterlings around, and the refugees didn’t survive without losses; both soldiers and civilians got killed. In the end, the majority of those who had set off from Himring reached Amon Ereb, though. Then, all they could do was to wait.

Little by little, the remains of the Eastern Army began to arrive. Maedhros and Maglor got there first, together with Celegorm whom they had met on the road. They had also got a word from Curufin, but at first, it was unclear what had happened to Caranthir and the twins. Days later, they found their way there as well, and in the end, Curufin was the last to arrive.

When the troops of Maedhros and Maglor got in, Maranwë was watching them come in an anticipation mixed with fear; she hadn’t heard anything about her father and brother since the battle had begun. And when one man arrived, supported by another, limping and with a bandage in his arm, she couldn’t help running to him. “Urion!”

Urion turned to his sister. “Maranwë – thank the Valar that you are safe!”

Maranwë hugged her brother, with tears in her eyes. “And you as well! But you are wounded.”

Urion smiled. “I got off with much nothing. A stab in my arm, and a sprained ankle; the latter made marching more than unpleasant, though. But now that I can rest it, it should heal rather quickly.”

While Urion was in the care of the healers, Maranwë spent most of her time with him. They hardly had to speak to understand each other – they had both been to hell and back.

But when all the casualties were counted, they also had to lend much support to their mother. Their father never returned, and his fate remained unclear; most probably he was one of the thousands who found their final resting place in the Haudh-en-Ndengin, the Hill of Slain, the only place where green grass grew in the lands defiled by Morgoth.

So ended the Nirnaeth Arnoediad for Maranwë and Urion.
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