Fell and Fair: 17. 2511 Third Age

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17. 2511 Third Age

The Balchoth Homelands, The Year after the Battle
2511 Third Age

Bulfang, a Balchoth Chieftain

"Grey demons? Armies of straw-heads?" I sneer. "You expect me to believe mere horse-straddlers could defeat our chosen battalions?

"The Great One is enraged at our failure! And you dare offer such cowardly excuses?

"Kneel, Deserter!" I spit.

Now quaking violently, the once-proud warrior begs mercy, gibbering tales of unspeakable sorcery: a brace of grey-shrouded necromancers garlanded with oozing eyeballs, uttering foul incantations to make our dead enemy rise and kill again... ripping out our captains' throbbing hearts to guzzle their courage-laden blood... summoning thunderbolts from open sky....

Wearied of his falsehoods, I signal my vigilant guards, commanding his dispatch.

Zarchu, an old Balchoth warrior

I am but a greybeard, no longer war-fit. 'Twas my sons and theirs who marched off to conquer, commanded and consecrated by the Great One Himself.

Our honourable warriors do not return home.

We dare not speak this openly; such is deemed treason, punished by sword.

Yet some hear dark whispers of ghastly grey spectres, dealing out slaughter on a distant war-plain.

What sinister witchcraft could master our warriors, shielded so surely by His fabled grace?

Wives murmur no elegy, wailing no loss — chancing no sacrilege. Yet on the inside, lonely and silent, suffering hearts will ne'er cease to bleed.

Mathara, a Balchoth war widow


"Warriors' wives cannot claim stipends — only widows. But our warriors will return! Dare you gainsay the Great One?" So proclaim our war-chieftains, more moved by parsimony than piety.

Cloth-weaving stopped earning coin; I sold the loom. Still, my beloved did not return.

I sold our possessions. He did not return.

I sold each daughter. No return.

I sold his son.

Slowly, I remove my marriage-scarf, embroidered by my dead mother's hand — praying my husband's spirit may forgive my imminent dishonour. I venture trembling into the teeming market-place.

Scarfless and guardless, all here will know what I trade for coin.

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: Elena Tiriel

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Era: 3rd Age - The Stewards

Genre: Drama

Rating: General

Last Updated: 12/21/09

Original Post: 04/18/05

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WARNING! Comments may contain spoilers for a chapter or story. Read with caution.

Fell and Fair

Larner - 22 Oct 09 - 12:45 PM

Ch. 17: 2511 Third Age

The lie of invincibility appears to be too well regarded by these.  And now--defeat unforeseen, tragedy that by decree may not be mourned, losses compounded by lies and denial and gross exaggeration.

I mourn for the widow.

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Elena Tiriel - Star Gazings - 180 posts

I am a new author who is serious about improving my writing. Your comments, both positive and negative, will be treasured, evaluated, and incorporated freely!

Thank you in advance for your time and effort.

My fiction includes:

Fell and Fair (for the Sons of Elrond at the Field of Celebrant and the Alternate Perspectives Challenges)

ET's Legolas Song Parodies (for the International Legolas Month Song Parody Palooza Challenge)

Famous First Lines (for the It Was a Dark and Stormy Night Challenge)

Holiday Carols, Middle Earth-style (for the Carols in Middle-earth Challenge)

and numerous drabbles, including: Alas, Poor Ufthak!

I also compiled many entries for the HASA Resource Library, including the following small sampling:

Interesting People to Meet & Greet:
Orophin & Rúmil, The Bardings, and The Beornings

Cool Places to See & Be Seen:
The Elf-path, The Forest Gate, The High Pass of Rivendell, The Old Forest Road, Undertowers, The Westmarch, and Libraries of the Shire

Wild Fauna to Look (Out) For:
Black Squirrels, Butterflies, Hunting Dogs, The Kine of Araw, Giant Bats, Giant Moths, and Giant Spiders

Toothsome Treats to Eat:
Honey-cakes of the Beornings

Magical Powers to Admire (from a safe distance):
The Unlight of Ungoliant

Great Literature to Read:
The Red Book, The Thain's Book - Annotated Copy of the Red Book, Findegil's Copy of the Thain's Book, The Akallabêth, Herblore of the Shire, Old Words and Names in the Shire, The Reckoning of Years, The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen, The Tale of Years, and Translations from the Elvish

Important Events to Remember:
The Invasion of Calenardhon by Balchoth and Orcs, and The Battle of Dale and Siege of Erebor

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