War and Remembrance: 18. The Rider

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18. The Rider

The cock crows, the horn blows, and lo, we turn the tide of battle for Gondor. We press through the sea of scarlet and black on silver, leaving a trail of crimson blood on the green grass of the Pelennor. Our king has returned and leads us into battle himself. Why `twas the king's own spear that pierced the Haradrim chieftain, bringing him down. `Twas his sword the hewed the standard bearer and the staff he carried. The black serpent now drowns in the blood of it's own people.

Our voices raise exultantly, our declaration that victory would be ours this day. But the fickle tide of battle could turn in a single instant, with a single act. The gigantic wings of a nightmarish beast obliterated the rising sun. By some foul witchcraft, madness was cast over our Riders and caught them in its mesh as a fisherman's net ensnares fish. The minds of men fill with terror, as horses rear in panic, some flinging their riders to the ground before stampeding far from the beast and its rider. For a rider it does carry, a Nazgul, the witch-king of Angmar.

Chaos and terror reign. I fall.

"My Lord!" I cry as Snowmane falls to pin my king to the ground.

Blackness consumes me for a time and my dreams are foul. Unlike many of the king's knights, I survive. Left for dead by the Haradrim who believe the tide has turned in their favor.

I awaken to a cry, the likes of which I have never heard before and will never hear again. My eyes open, no, it cannot be. How is it possible … I see the Lady Eowyn, barely able to stand, her sword buried in the hulking figure that would engulf her, the halfling behind them. 'Twas the Witch-king's death cry that roused me. I have lost sight of my lady and raise myself. She has fallen on the empty armor of her vanquished foe, the halfling by her side, by his king's side. The words they speak are not mine to hear as I fall into darkness again.

A loud cry of despair brings me out of evil dreams once more. The king is gone, as is Eowyn and the halfling, and again I am left for dead. The hue and cry grows louder and now I know, it comes from the city. What has occurred that they think all is lost? The Corsairs! Even from here, propping myself on a dead Haradrim, I can see the
black sails on the Anduin. But wait, a flag unfurls and a joyous cry spills over the white walls of Minas Tirith, echoed by my people on the battlefield.

I realize why I had been left for dead as the earth receives that last of my life's blood. Yet I am granted on last sight, one last thought. I see the sable standard of the new king, the one king, the savior of us all. We have won.



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.

Story Information

Author: HA Writers Group

Status: General

Completion: Ongoing Serial

Era: Multi-Age

Genre: Other

Rating: General

Last Updated: 05/28/03

Original Post: 05/25/03

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