War and Remembrance
19. The Southron
Soon. Soon the city of Minas Tirith, the jewel of Gondor will be ours. It will be as the dark lord promised our king when he swore allegiance. The white city is the unconquered virgin and we will force her to open herself to us, to pillage and plunder. We will take her innocence and taste her in all of her sweetness while the blood of her people is still wet on our hands.
We are almost there when a cock announces the rising of the sun and on its heels comes the faint whisper of a voice, carried to us by the wind over the alien, lush fields. Then the note of a single horn is raised in a stirring solo before the chorus of many horns, their voices achieving a chilling harmony that boded ill for us, joined it.
Fierce and fey, the riders in green descend upon us, unstoppable in their gallant charge. Yes, I tell you, though they were the enemy, their valor is no less praiseworthy than our own. Would that they had ridden with us, rather than against us.
I fall to the bright lance that pierces me. I think that if it is my destiny to die in this battle, at least it will be with honor and to a worthy foe. For this company of the Haradrim, defeat is to be our reward and though they have yet to win the gate and true victory, those things appeared to be within the Rohirrim's grasp. My people will reap a bitter harvest this day.
My sight grows dim and the roaring of my blood fills my hearing as it travels through my veins only to spill out on the crimson battlefield. Yet a cry breaks through, the wail of a fell voice from the bottom of deepest of well of despair.
I cannot see! What is happening! I force my arm, my hand to move; they feel weighted down. It is Death's promise that it will come for me soon.
What must have only been a few moments seemed to take hours but at last I free my eyes from their prison of drying blood and sweat. Was it my own or my enemy's? It matters not. I fear the worst, for I know whose cry of ruin I heard. Desperately I prop myself on the body of a slain horse, fighting off the waves of nausea. Please, I beg death, grant me this boon.
My prayer is answered and I am given that last moment though what little strength I have left is fading quickly, but the gods have been merciful to me and my people. I will die in peace for the salvation of Gondor's conquerors is at hand. It is borne upon the waters of the Anduin in the form of black ships with ebony sails. The Corsairs have arrived as promised. I embrace death with open arms, safe in the knowledge that victory will be ours.
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