9. Of Battle and Blood
The Elf sighed as she gazed at the faces of her companions as they flickered in and out of the shadows that danced around the fire. It would be important that they get all the rest possible, for there would be no more of that from here on out. Somehow, the peaceful faces of her sleeping friends seemed to comfort her, if only a little. She would protect them, and the Ringbearer more so, although she felt that Frodo would leave them very soon. “Saruman, pedalin hi na met? Pedon le peda úgolodh. Na úamarth hin nambarten si a na úamarth nin.” Said Narilvrin into the breeze. She heard familiar footsteps from afar.
“It most certainly is not. What is it that you are gazing at? I see nothing,” said a man from the ground below.
“O, Aragorn. Ai, palan na hi aeg gwath si! ” Aragorn frowned slightly at this. “I sense an evil very near us. We must leave here soon and can tarry no longer. Saruman is, no doubt, in pursuit of the Ring and he must not acquire it.”
“How long do we have?”
“I do not know.”
“Then we will first make preparations and allow the Hobbits to eat before setting off.” Aragorn held up two felled Pheasants.
“I fear we have not the time.”
“If you know not how long we have, then we have no way of knowing whether or not this threat will be here in hours or days, and it would be best not to worry the others.”
“I suppose...” Narilvrin agreed hesitantly. She strongly believed that they should leave immediately and without postponement, but did not wish to go against the will of her friend. Narilvrin nodded solemnly then leapt from the tree. “We must be getting back to the others. I still have yet to catch a glimpse of a threat, although I feel it all around us. I will keep a close watch this night.” The Ranger gave the Elf a pat on the back.
“It will be fine,” he said reassuringly. Narilvrin knew they should leave, and her mind urged her to force the suggestion upon Aragorn, but she knew better, and trusted her friend’s judgement. The two walked back together in silence, striding side by side, the Elf considerably quieter.
The sun had yet to rise, and so the rest of the company had yet to rise as well. Narilvrin took a seat against the trunk of a nearby tree, gazing into the crackling flames of the fire. Aragorn sat upon a log closer to the glowing source of warmth. A long silence followed, and though it was not awkward, it was not particularly comfortable. Neither were asleep, but rather ever watchful for any sign of a threat’s approach. Soon Narilvrin realized that the Ranger had slipped into a light sleep. She smiled somewhat. “At last, you rest!” Narilvrin murmured.
Indeed, she was relieved. It had concerned the Elf of late that her friend may not have been resting properly, and Narilvrin had continuously reminded Aragorn that, although the Ranger had been raised by elves, it did not mean that he had acquired all of their abilities. Rest was a necessary thing for all creatures, but more so for mortals than elves. The flaw in Narilvrin’s plan finally became apparent to her. The Ranger had a particularly loud snore!
How will I ever manage to listen for a threat with that racket? Narilvrin thought to herself jokingly as she heaved a sigh. If any birds had yet lingered in the trees, they certainly did not now. An exhausted man is not often able to hear just how loud his snoring is, and so, often has a tendency to continuing such snoring. Oh well...I am thankful, at least, that he sleeps...
Finally, signs of the bright colors of the sunrise appeared on the horizon. The fire had all but died out, and Narilvrin had not moved from her place. All night she had remained awake, listening closely for any sign of the approaching evil. Although the others did not sense it, with the exception of maybe Aragorn, the rankness in the air had increased to a near smothering amount for the Elf. She could hardly bare to breath in the foul air around her. She hid all signs of discomfort from the others, as not to worry them.
Narilvrin’s senses suddenly shot up. Something was here! Something had come, and by the smell of it, it was what Narilvrin had been dreading. For fear the evil she sensed would come to the small campsite, Narilvrin scooped up her long curved sword, bow, quiver, and knives and dashed into the woods to meet it, signaling Legolas to follow. The number was few, the Elves knew, only a portion of the growing shadow she still felt had arrived. More would come, but Narilvrin felt that they were still farther of, a day’s journey at the most.
It was yet dim at Amon Hen, the sunny rays only just peaking through the dead of night, though the sky was touched with pink. There was a small mist over the still dew sprinkled ground that wetted the toes of her light shoes as she walked. The smell from the creatures, for Narilvrin had established that the enemies were indeed creatures, was horrendous, and Narilvrin had to will herself not to cover her nose. If I did not know any better, I would say this is the stench of Orcs...but it feels far greater than mere Orcs...these are surely something I have never seen before. What are these creatures? The Elf maiden thought as she continued on, at a quick but silent jog.
Then she heard them. Their feet trampled over the fallen leaves and twigs noisily and it would have been extremely difficult to miss them. They appeared to be akin to the Orc...but they were much larger, the size of a man if not bigger. The grimy armor they wore bore the white hand of the traitorous wizard Saruman. So I was correct, thought the Elf as she silently approached from behind, not wanting to attract any attention. The path the foul creatures had been taking would have lead directly towards where the Fellowship was camped. Thank the Valar that I found them before they found us...! Narilvrin shuddered at the thought of what might have occurred had she fallen asleep.
The Elves estimated their numbers to be only around fifteen strong, although they could not be sure. It was always possible that some were still hidden behind trees. Judging their bow to be the best weapon for now, as well as it being their weapon of choice, they drew an arrow with a fletching the colors of foliage from their quiver and silently nocked it. Drawing the bow in a fluid motion, their drawing hand came to rest near their cheek. Taking careful aim, they quickly let the arrow fly, not wanting, nor needing to pull the bow to its maximum draw length for more than a second. With a thud the arrow struck its target square in its neck. The creature gasped for breath but did not fall! What creature could withstand such a blow!?
“‘Uruks’.... a ‘Uruk-hai’ hi na esse lin.” Breathed Narilvrin and quickly looked at Legolas, who too was puzzled, and quickly nocking another arrow, she hit her target again in the neck, so close to where her previous arrow had struck that the fletchings touched. With two arrows protruding through its windpipe, the creature at last went down. There were looks of confusion among the other hideous beings, but they soon discovered the source of the arrows. An Elf standing near a large tree. The remaining fourteen in their terrifying company ran towards the Elf. Nocking two arrows at once, Narilvrin shot the nearest ‘Uruk’ in the neck, using the same strategy as she had used to fell the prior. It worked, although barely. The creature stumbled a few more feet before slowly collapsing. The sun was rising quicker now, making it easier to aim.
Again, Narilvrin nocked two arrows...aimed....thud. Twelve still ran at her, coming within only a few yards. She saw Legolas nearby with his knives in hand, and readied for the attack. Narilvrin quickly swung her bow over her shoulder and drew her curved sword, knowing a bow would do little good in close combat. Five were ahead of the others. Good....they will come in two smaller waves rather than one mass...for this I am thankful. Thought the Elf as she thrust her sword blade beneath the arm of the approaching Uruk-hai and the other through the creature’s neck, both places she had judged to have the weakest armor. Kicking the body off her sword, she spun to the right, gutting another and jerking the blade upward to insure a fatal blow. Black blood dripped from the blade. Narilvrin slashed the neck of the next creature and was surprised when the sharp blade connected with thick bone. The contact sent a wave of pain through her arm, but she pushed the blade with all the strength she could muster, finally making a complete cut through the thick neck. The sickening head rolled to the ground and the body soon followed.
The last two Uruks of the first wave Narilvrin felled at the same time. With a magnificent display of swordsmanship, Narilvrin spun her blade and sliced through the necks of both, jerking upwards towards the base of their heads and disconnecting the brainstem at the back, this time wary that she needed to use more strength than with Orcs. The remaining six came all at once. Narilvrin ran behind a tree and out once more, separating the company into two groups of three. She dispatched one easily, finding a weak spot in its armor just behind the knee, she cut through just above the kneecap. The creature collapsed, though not dead. As it fell, it slashed its own sword, just grazing Narilvrin’s thigh. The Elf quickly took out two long knives, sheathing her sword, and stabbed one downwards, through the base of the creature’s neck, while parrying the attack from a new assailant. The force with which the Uruk-hai slammed his near blunt sword against Narilvrin’s own was astounding and it shuddered up through the bone of her arm. Pulling her knife free from the other corpse, she caught the creature’s blade between her own two then swiftly jabbed one just below the creature’s arm, where the armor was particularly weak. Swinging upwards, she managed to cut through the bone, severing the arm. With a quick sweep, she had dispatched this creature as well. She thrust her knives through the windpipe of the next, just above the collarbone then cut both left and right.
By now, the other three had entered the fray again. One came from behind while two came from the front. The Elf bent low and spun on the ball of her foot, sweeping across the abdomens of all three Uruks. It hardly stunned them and they continued their attack. From behind, the Uruk was able to manage one blow across Narilvrin shoulder before it was felled. Narilvrin had loped off the bottom half of its jaw. The cut Narilvrin had received was neither deep nor horribly grievous and Narilvrin disregarded it. The last two swung their swords in sync and Narilvrin was forced to parry one with his left and one with his right. The Uruk to the right lurched forward and head butted the Elf in the gut. The wind was momentarily knocked from her lungs but she managed to steer clear of the fatal blow by running past the Uruk-hai to his left as her parry began to fail. The Uruk struck the other in the shoulder, connecting with the bone as Narilvrin removed her hold against the large creature’s overpowering strength. Use their strength to your advantage.... Narilvrin doubted that these creatures had any true loyalties though the sound of cracking bones had been horrendous. The Elf promptly slew the last two enemies. Her blade dripped with a black, putrid blood and her own thigh and arm dripped crimson. She had narrowly escaped, and certainly not unscathed but had not fared horribly.
The Elf was breathing heavily and she had a slight sheen of sweat across her forehead. She was exhausted. The blow to the stomach had still left her panting. The force with which the creature had slammed into her had been tremendous. Carefully, she made her way to lean against a tree. Her vision had become slightly blurred and walking had become a difficult task. Nausea had set in as well, and Narilvrin clutched the tree with shaking hands to keep her legs from giving way. Her right thigh and shoulder were searing with pain, but the injuries were not extremely serious, although they would be if not tended to. The feeling of sickness subsided. At last catching her breath, Narilvrin tried to collect herself. Her breathing had begun to calm and it no longer came in jerks. Cautiously, Narilvrin took a step forward. The nausea returned, but she found it easier to walk now that she had caught her breath. There was a slight limp in her step, though, from the cut across her thigh. Legolas came to her aid, helped her settle against a tree, and inspected her wounds, and reading her thoughts she said:
‘I do not doubt that more will follow in the footsteps of these...We must warn Aragorn and the others. We must leave at once.’ Legolas nodded in agreement but told Narilvrin to stay in her place.
Meanwhile the others had awoken. Sam had prepared a fine breakfast from the Pheasants and the Hobbits were enjoying it now. There had been a sudden clashing of metal in the distance that had caused all to jump. Aragorn sat up with a jolt, looking at each face of the Fellowship. One was missing.
“Where is Narilvrin, and where is Legolas!?” He asked, his worry growing.
“I thought they would be up some tree? Have you sought them there?” Gimli said sarcastically.
“Where is are they!?” Asked Boromir, panic lining his words, “Those sounds of battle are what worry me most. I would that we should find out what has happened.”
Aragorn nodded. “But we cannot leave anyone alone. We do not know who or what, for that matter, is the cause of this battle, and it may be after the Ring. Gimli, please stay with the Hobbits. Have your weapons on hand, my friends.” Gimli grumbled momentarily about being left behind, as did Merry and Pippin, but they understood the urgency of the matter and this understanding outweighed their curiosity.
Aragorn and Boromir made their way into the trees. The direction the sounds were coming from was not far off, and it worried both that such a disturbance had occurred so nearby. Boromir, of the two, was worried even more by the absence of Narilvrin and prayed to the Valar that his beloved was not the source of the commotion. The sounds suddenly vanished. Aragorn knew all too well that Narilvrin and Legolas were not unwilling to enter a battle alone...and Aragorn knew too that Narilvrin and Legolas would have been the first to sense any threat, thus making them the first to attack. Boromir suddenly pointed ahead.
“Aragorn, look ahead! What are these creatures? And so many of them, already slain! But by who were they slain, and why are they here, I wonder? What a puzzling site this is to come upon.” The Son of the Steward exclaimed, kneeling down next to one of the strange creatures. “They appear to be Orcs...be I have never before encountered one so large. Why, I would wager they are bigger than a full-grown man. Have you seen such foul beings before?”
“I must admit, I have not, yet I must agree with you...they strongly resemble Orcs, although thrice their size and bigger than any Orc ever I have seen.” Said the Ranger, approaching the putrid corpse. Suddenly, Boromir spied something much more important. There was an Elf leaning against a tree not far off, in the direction of the camp. Her dark blue attire was stained red with blood, though the Warrior did not notice this; Legolas was by her side and beckoned him over quickly. Boromir’s heart wrenched as he realized whom it was. Without further hesitation, he dashed to the Elf’s side.
“Narilvrin!! What are you doing here?!” The Elf looked up at him, her feet finally gave way and she slid to the ground, but Legolas supported her with holding Narilvrin in his arms. Blood loss had at last weakened her.
“Oh...Boromir. I was hoping you would find me, the stench of those creatures is quite fearsome... and I would much prefer... to sit upwind of them rather then down.” Narilvrin forced a grin to Legolas.
“What were you thinking!? Why did you not tell me you sensed something!?” The Warrior demanded, gripping his beloved’s shoulder. Narilvrin visibly winced, though obviously trying to suppress it. Boromir withdrew his hands immediately. “You are injured!” Boromir exclaimed, looking at the blood that had come off upon the palm of his hand. Legolas nodded.
“But not grievously.... they are merely flesh wounds...I should be fine.” Aragorn, having heard Boromir’s exclamation, he rushed to follow the Warrior.
“Narilvrin...?” Aragorn asked. “What are you doing here? Are you the one who slew so many foes?” Narilvrin nodded and began to sit up. She instantly regretted it. Pain flared through her side, the place where the Uruk had rammed into her and she was forced to draw her breath short. Legolas cautiously balanced the elleth by her unharmed shoulder.
“Do not move unnecessarily. Boromir and Legolas will assist you to walk back to the camp, for I am sure you would not permit me to carry you. I am tending to your wounds once there no matter how much you care to protest.” Said Aragorn, pulling Narilvrin’s unscathed arm over his shoulder and easing the Elf back onto her feet. “You will tell me where you are hurt, for I am also sure some of your injuries may not be visible. ” Narilvrin nodded as she tried to hold back a gasp. Her side ached horridly. The hard skull of the Uruk-hai had done more damage than Narilvrin had previously thought.
Boromir came to stand by Narilvrin other side, and looking into her eyes she spoke with him through her thoughts, and the three slowly made their way back to Gimli and the Hobbits.
“Tell me first where you are hurt, and I will relent in my interrogation of you until you have been tended.” Narilvrin sighed heavily.
“I think I will be fine...there is no need for this...”
“I don’t want to hear it! Where are you hurt?” Aragorn demanded. The Elf gave him a defiant glare before giving in.
“My right arm and right thigh have light flesh wounds...but there is nothing more of any importance.” Aragorn narrowed his eyes.
Legolas experimentally nudged Narilvrin’s side very gently. The Elf winced and clenched his fists as not to gasp. “You are right, Aragorn, she is lying.”
“Your side is hurt...” Narilvrin nodded. Aragorn had defeated him. The Ranger was too stubborn to relent.
“I fear that one of my ribs may have been injured, but as I have said before, I am fine.” With that, Legolas nudged her once more. Having been caught unprepared for the pain, she let a barely audible moan escape her lips.
“You are not fine. I do not wish to hear another word from you.” Aragorn stared the Elf in the eye. “Not unless those words are ‘I admit that I am injured.’ Understand?”
“Very well. But...”
“If you are going to say ‘I admit that I am injured’ then continue...but otherwise, I will not listen. We are going back to the others. Legolas, would you grab her other arm? Do so carefully, though, and take heed not to stress that wound.” Legolas did as he was told, and in this fashion, the three made their way back to Gimli and the Hobbits.
Narilvrin, though somewhat nettled, was grateful for the assistance. In truth, had her two companions not sought for her, it would have been a very long and uncomfortable night. Although the wound on her thigh was not horridly deep, it was in a very irritating place. In order to walk efficiently, she would have to irritate the wound, which would do no good to stop the slowly flowing stream of blood. Aragorn my friend...you are too stubborn for your own good.
“Saruman, pedalin hi na met? Pedon le peda úgolodh. Na úamarth hin nambarten si a na úamarth nin.” = “Saruman, you say this is (the) end? I say thou speak unwise. (It) is not (the) fate (of) these to be doomed here and (it) is not my fate.”
“O, Aragorn. Ai, palan na hi aeg gwath si! ” = “O, Aragorn. Alas, far and wide is this fell shadow now!”
“‘Uruks’.... a ‘Uruk-hai’ hi na esse lin.” = “Uruks....and Uruk-hai. This is your name.”
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.