As Gondolin Burned
1. As Gondolin Burned
My city burns, and I burn with it- burn with unquenchable rage at the cruelty of our foe's deception.
To attack us is all well and good- we have expected such these long years since the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, and strengthened our defences accordingly.
To attack us by surprise, by stealth, by trickery, by treachery… though that is not all well and good, it should only have been expected of the Black Enemy, foul fiend that he is.
But to attack as he did, using our own against us, and to attack us as he did, when all should have been joy and feast and friendship…
…that is unforgivable.
My blade sings as it strikes down my foes. Bodies fall left and right- skewered like suckling pigs, split like over-ripe fruit, sundered like firewood…
I sing as I slash left and right, a bitter song of beauty betrayed and brotherhood broken, of hate and hurt and horror, of blood and fire, vengeance and misery.
As one in a dream I dance my way through blood-slick streets, carving a butcher's path through the ranks of the enemy and over the slaughtered bodies of my friends and fellows. Never again shall music fill the air of this place- it is drowned beneath a deluge of sorrow. Never again will birds flit hither and yon among the trees here- now it is a place fit for none but ghosts. Never again will there be such a place in the history of the World- the Black Enemy and his traitor have seen to that.
Never again will I walk these streets I once loved, and that…
…that is truly unforgivable.
There is a shrieking hiss as I round the next corner, and I am confronted with a great Worm, foul spawn of the Serpent of Angband that once was and is no more. It rears up in front of me, black ichor dripping from its foul maw, and I smile.
"Orcs and goblins have been no match for me, monster- I see no reason you should be any different!"
Nothing registers in the beast's eyes, and I realise that my words are worthless- this is but a mindless monster, but a shadow of the nightmare that was Glaurung the Golden. It gives that awful shriek-hiss again and lunges at me, coiling through the narrow streets whipcrack-fast.
I am faster, though- may Illùvatar be praised- and somersault over the beast as it rushes me. It shrieks again, frustrated, and my smile broadens.
"A worthy foe at last! Come, Worm, that I might be the one to end your foul days!"
Again the creature lunges at me- far faster than anything that size should be able to be- but again I am one step ahead of it, jumping nimbly from bloodstained flagstone to ruined fruit-stall to ash-streaked awning faster than any mortal could hope to dream. Gripping the hilt of my sword in both hands, I leap through the air…
…and the beast is done but for death-throes, pierced through the skull as surely the Sun pierces the skies of dawn. Even now I cannot be safe- even now must not allow myself a moment of satisfaction- a worm is but a worm, after all. The Black Enemy has mustered a thousand such beasts, and tens of thousands of orcs, of goblins, of…
…a moth flutters into my vision, and I am transfixed.
Such beauty in the midst of such brutality…
It flutters hither and yon before me, as ash falls like black snow, and something passes between us.
Aye, this may be the end of Gondolin, but this is not the end of all.
My city may fall- I may fall…
…but life will go on.
A single candle banishes even the darkest night, after all.
The moth is gone as though it was never there.
Something roars in the distance, huge and hateful, and my head jerks towards it. That sound is so awesome, so awful…
This shall be my greatest challenge yet.
My smile returns.
Orcrist my old friend, I think, wiping the Worm's vile filth from it, if I survive this day you shall have a new name.
Even if I do not, you have been a good and loyal servant, and shall be ever, even until the Ending of the World.
I- Elemmakil, guardian of Gondolin the Great, Gondolin the Glorious, Gondolin that once was and now is not- swear it.
I swear it.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.