10. Prelude to a Red Dawn
Prelude to a Red Dawn
The rain poured down on the heads of the men of Rohan. The army of orcs and Uruk-Hai stomped toward them like oil spreading across the beach. At the top of the Deeping Wall, Aragorn stood beside Théoden, his face betraying no emotion. It was a dark night. One suited for such a battle. And tomorrow a red sun would rise.
The black army stopped within bowshot of the wall. Archers were ordered to draw their arrows, but not to fire. The orcs did nothing. The men on the wall grew restless. What were they waiting for?
Beside Aragorn stood Gandalf. He had not left as he considered doing, but thought they would need him here. He did not tell them why, but the moment was soon at hand that they would see.
The orcs began pounding the ground in an intimidating war-chant. Some men trembled, convincing themselves it was from the cold. If it was possible, Aragorn’s face grew even more resolved. Legolas aimed his bow. Gimli howled. And Gandalf smiled.
Sensing the orcs would not wait much longer, Aragorn raised his arm to signal the attack. But before he could drop it, Gandalf raised his as well.
The old wizard reached his hand out toward the invaders, palm upward as if in offering. Then with one slow motion, he closed his fist.
At first, the sound was nothing. Just the scraping and twisting of metal like was already being heard by the movements of the armor. Then came the cries. Orcs groaned in pain, then the groaning turned into bellowing. All of them, at nearly the same moment, faltered and collapsed to the ground in agony.
The Rohirrim watched in horror and wonder at what was happening. Without firing a single arrow, they seemed to be winning this battle. But how?
The orcs dropped their weapons, all thought of fighting forgotten. Their armor was biting into legs, ribs, shoulders. They did not know what power was causing the metal to crumple like paper in a fire, but it didn’t matter. It was happening nonetheless.
The sound of pain grew to a cacophonous rage – and then it stopped. There was no more sound but a few clinks of metal crashing to the ground. The men looked down at their fallen enemy, onto what was a gruesome sight indeed.
Every orc and Uruk-Hai had been crushed inside his own armor, his head popped like a grape by his own contracting helmet. They were too strong to acknowledge the pain while something could be done and by the time they’d wanted to, it was too late.
So, blood soaked the ground, after all, but not a drop of it was man’s. The victors rejoiced. And Gandalf lowered his hand.
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.