Steps on the stairs made Boromir look up; Thoroniâr had followed them after all, and now was hurrying down the stairs into the main dungeon room. Boromir raised his chin, pointing the Man towards the captive. Like always Thoroniâr understood without the need to actually hear the order and walked past Boromir to release the bindings that still chained Kíli. The Dwarf’s knees buckled, and were it not for the grip of the other Man he’d have fallen.
The first spring moon rose high in the skies above Ithilien. The winds had turned south and finally the chill of the receding winter had evaporated from the nightly air. It was two weeks after the battle at the Black Gates and the army was now camped in Ithilien, about half a day’s march North of Cair Andos. With the great number of injured fighters, the wounded thrice outnumbering the uninjured, it had not been feasible to march any further. The spring night found Boromir wandering the earthen walls of the camp. The rested units from Cair Andros had dug a deep trench around the camp, the material from that and some more used to form a simple earth wall to shield the camp. It was a simple but effective measure.
Torches blazing into the night lit the darkness that covered the battle field and the camp. The supply caravan had moved closer to the field and made camp on the last ridges above the battlefield. Getting the exhausted, the wounded, and the dying off the battlefield was a work that kept every soldier still standing on their feet even hours after the battle had ended and the task would probably continue long past the sun rose again. The healers had the hardest task of them all, trying to save as many as they could, which meant having to leave all lighter injuries to be tended to by other soldiers.
The host of the free people had arrived at the Black Gates, going from marching formation to battle grouping. The long column of their marching order fanning out into battle positions. On their right flank the Riders of Rohan formed the long wing, a long slightly looped crescent, that would prove it’s terrible effectiveness once their charge began. Boromir saw the long line take shape and he knew once Éomer brought this field of riders down to the vale, the front rank Orcs would wish to have stayed home today. The center was comprised of mostly Gondorian troops, Swan knights, foot soldiers from Mothrond, Anorien and Lossarnach, along with all that remained of the Tower Guard, Aragorn had command of the center. Faramir was there was well, leading the Rangers and every other archer they had been able to muster. They were the link between the center and the left wing, much as the dwarves were the same between the right wing and the riders. Boromir was on the left wing of the formation, with the remaining Border-troops, Ithilien warriors and all those who had been mustered along the river prior to the battle of Osgiliath. Not that he actually hoped to keep any semblance of strategy going through the first encounters – in these grounds the battle would become fractured easily, which was the reason the most seasoned commanders had been split up over a wide area, to not lose coordination of the field prematurely. Still it felt wrong to not have Kíli and Faramir with him, not knowing them at his back. Still he could feel their presence like they were with him, Faramir’s determination and Kíli’s steadfast courage still reached him, even as they were on other ends of the field.
Pippin had just begun to tell them of Treebeard and the Entmoot when they were interrupted by Thoroniâr walking into the guard room, bowing hastily when he saw he had interrupted a meeting of sorts. “Thoroniâr, what is it?” Boromir asked, it did not need the tense posture and hurried stride to warn him, the expression in Thoroniâr’s features spoke for itself, the same set jaw and not-quite frown usually appeared on his face when something unexpected happened at the most inappropriate times, be it a night raid over Anduin or a messenger from the Noble Houses insisting on seeing the Steward in the dead of night.
Continue reading ‘A distant Light 21/24 The widening gyre’
It had been a long night but at long last morning had come, a pale morning rising above the clouds and a fresh wind from the sea parting the black clouds that had shadowed the skies for so many days. When Kíli finally returned to the Undercity, the sun had nearly climbed to zenith already. He found Dwalin there, who greeted him with a bone-crushing hug. Kíli returned the embrace unashamed – he too was glad that his old friend had come through the night alive. “How many did we lose?” he asked when they went down into the bowels of the Undercity. During five days of battle he had regularly heard from Dwalin who had fallen, but he did not yet know the final toll.
Continue reading ‘A distant Light 20/24 In a dim morning’
The fiery catapult load smashed into the roof of the building, raining tiles and burning beams down on the retreating fighters, the flames licked up the once white walls now stained with sooth and ash. Between the flickering flames Thoroniâr saw shadows moving, low, bowlegged figures moving between the fires with the damnable ease of creatures that lived with pain and preferred death in battle to the torment of an Orc-life. In spite of the flames he advanced, blocking their access to the yard behind the building. Their blades clashed, steel shrieking under the duress of powerful thrusts. The heat of the blaze drove sweat on Thoroniâr’s face and made the steel sword in his hand burn with an angry heat. But Thoroniâr did not give ground, five Orcs lay dead at his feet, and he fought the sixths and seventh as furiously, he could not give in, none of them could. . Like never before the tides of war were drowning Minas Tirith, and the enemy had unleashed myriads of Orcs and beasts against the mightiest fortress of men. The people of Minas Tirith had long known this day would come, her warriors had known and they had been prepared best that they could. Boromir had insisted on Thoroniâr being the next Alaris of the Tower Guard so he’d prepare this city for war, now that the bloody tide had been loosened upon them, Thoroniâr began to doubt that anyone could have prepared them for the horrors that awaited the city. The storm had begun by first light, the enemy commander opening the field with a move all too well known to the Sons of Gondor: by sending wave after wave of Orcs against the walls. Catapults were used to throw fire and stones into the city, and they were used to terrible effect.
Continue reading ‘A distant Light 19/24 Through the edge of night’