61. Epilogue ~ Vengeance
The young one moved soundlessly within the trees, eyes surveying the scene below. What he saw chilled his heart. Hordes of Orcs had taken up residence among the trees. The beeches were weeping under their hated touch and cruel axes. The Orcs were hacking at the walls of the palace grounds, trying to grab as much of the precious metal as possible.
He pushed back the bile in his throat and carried on. The number of Orcs started to thin, and gave way to nothingness, as he dropped down in front of what had been his former home, greeted by the charred remnants.
Stepping forward tentatively, he closed his eyes as the sight became too much for him. An image of lush greenery and beauty took over, and he fell to his knees in front of what had once been a paradise for him. It was then, when he finally summoned enough courage to open his eyes and face his loss, when he saw a glimpse of something, and he rushed forward to push aside the debris.
Inching out the precious thing from beneath the fallen and burnt branches, he was amazed to see that it had escaped unscathed. Even the slight charring of the wood could be easily rubbed off with a cloth. He fingered the intricate carvings on it. How could it have survived when everything around it had tumbled and succumbed to the hated creatures? He tested the bow, gently at first, before placing his full strength behind it and drawing the string, smiling amidst his tears at the power that still remained.
It was then that he noticed a figure cloaked in black, head hidden under a hood, watching him from a distance. Immediately, he rose and assumed a defensive stance.
Ten minutes passed this way, and there was still no movement.
"You hate them, do you not?" The one hidden within the cloak finally spoke, and he took a few steps nearer to the figure.
"For how they have razed your home. For how they have killed your people."
He could not bring himself to answer the question, and instead held his gaze, straining his eyes, trying to work out just what was hidden beneath the hood.
"Who are you?" he demanded.
The black cloak shifted as a small laugh escaped the one's throat.
"I am nobody, a recluse, one shunned by your people ages ago."
The young one was silent.
"Hate can help you survive at times when all else fails. The promise of vengeance can sometimes see you through."
"Daro!" he shouted, placing both hands over his ears.
"Remember that, my friend. Remember that when you cry." The last words of the mysterious figure rang in his ears as he leapt into the trees and made his escape.
Once he had left, the one in the cloak turned to face another who had been hiding behind the burnt out trunk of a tree.
"I shall accompany you on your journey to the north."
A/N: Phew, that was it! I've finally finished this epic fic! Hope that was a good cliff-hanger to keep you at the edge of your seats. That took me about 2 whole years just to write! I will, of course, be continuing it in the promised trilogy, but I think I should be taking a good (and well deserved) break first. I'll email people if they want me to inform them of the new story being put up, or just keep an eye on my profile. Remember, reviews are always a good idea when it comes to getting me out of my break from writing! ;) Keep your eyes peeled for part II of the Shadow trilogy (yet to be named or even thought about of course)!
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.