45. The Field Of Honor, Or Justice Comes To Those Who Wait
The gwanur turned as Turin joined them. He faced them his visage grim and set. “Very well, hiren let us do this thing. Odhron nin have waited long enough for justice.”
As they started for the Field of Honor Lord Elrond and Gandalf emerged from the main hall and joined them.
Turin nodded to them and the whole group moved silently down the path towards where Glorfindel waited with Carenthir.
As they entered the prepared field in the nearby glade adjoining the training fields, Turin was surprised to see the large crowd waiting for the coming fight. He turned questioningly towards Lord Elrond.
Elrond shrugged. “Once Carenthir named the time and date, it could not be kept secret. There are many who will not regret his demise. Does it cause you concern?”
Turin shook his head. “No hiren. I am ready.”
Elrond nodded and glanced at Gandalf. “Master Gandalf will act as Master of Honor and insure that all the rules of challenged combat are followed.”
“Does Lord Carenthir know of this, hiren?”
“It will be announced shortly.”
Turin nodded and turned to remove his outer robe revealing his tunic and leggings tucked into knee high boots. Ignoring Carenthir who stood stoically beside Glorfindel he unsheathed the great sword of his father and ran through a few quick exercises. Finally he faced them, “Let us begin!”
Elrond studied him for a moment and placing a hand on his shoulder he squeezed it before turning to address the gathered crowd. Moving forward a few steps he raised a hand for their attention.
“The charge of murder of Lórindol, Lord Hador and Lady Silanor, daughter to Galathil, sister to Gil Galad, High King of the Noldor and the party of elves who travelled with them has been laid upon Lord Carenthir and proof has been provided as to his guilt. As is his right, Turin, son of Lord Hador and the Lady Silanor, has issued challenged to Lord Carenthir for to a fight to the death. Lord Carenthir has accepted and, as is his right, he has named today as the time and this field as the place.”
Elrond paused and waved forward the silent figure of the grey wizard. “Master Gandalf will act as Master of Honor and insure that all the rules of challenged combat are followed. If he detects any failure to do so then he will signal those appointed warriors to immediately and without hesitation strike down the dishonored individual with the intent of ending his life. Are there any questions?” He looked first at Turin then at Carenthir. Both shook their heads and took their places twenty paces apart.
Gandalf moved to the middle of the field and studied each of the contenders. He looked around at the warriors stationed about the field and noted their readied bows with nocked arrows. With a sigh, he returned his attention to the waiting elves and addressed them sternly. “There is one final thing hir nin. You both will have the use of only your swords. No other weapons will be allowed. To do so will cause the offender immediate death.”
Again both participants nodded their understanding, and awaited impatiently for Gandalf’s signal to begin. It was not long in coming and the grey pilgrim moved to the side before he loudly called out “Begin!”
Turin formally saluted his great, great uncle and dropped into a defensive position. Grim faced he began to silently circle the older elf for several turns as he took the measure of his enemy. Carenthir laughed and returned the salute in a mocking way before he too began moving in countering circles. He taunted his challenger hoping to distract Turin.
“What is the matter penneth, afraid to attack me after all? Are you all bark and no bite? Your father was a coward and ran from me when I fought him. You can give them all my regards when I send you to join them in Mandos’ Hall. To bad I threw the wrong elleth over the cliff.” Carenthir waved his sword in a sloppy thrust hoping to draw the younger elf into a careless move that would open him up to a direct thrust.
The younger elf simply continued to silently circle around Carenthir ignoring both the taunts and refusing to drop his guard. Turin parried the other’s move and began a driving frontal attack that surprised the older elf with its force and intensity. Again and again he drove into his enemy’s defense and turned aside the returning attacks with ease and skill.
Carenthir fell silent and dropped back after successfully parrying Turin’s initial attack and began a serious effort to both protect him self and kill the younger elf. As he returned blow for blow, the sound of steel on steel rang through the glade and the crowd remained silent, their only sound a swift intake of breath when one or the other combatant came close to landing a telling blow. At one point Carenthir sliced through Turin’s tunic drawing first blood on his upper thigh. Buoyed with this initial success he followed up his efforts to finish the fight only to be thrown back and received a thrust in his left arm.
Carenthir felt a sudden panic and honed in on Turin’s cold grey green eyes in an attempt to anticipate the younger elf’s moves. He shuddered when he saw the stony implacable expression and knew there would be no quarter offered. Not that he expected any, but then he had not expected this ion of his other victims to be so skilled and determined. Any chance of victory grew less and less as the younger elf ignored his taunts and remained unshaken. He knew that he would have to use all his skills to stay alive or outwit the younger elf. Snarling he drove forward one last desperate time and found himself skewered on his opponent’s sword. As he fell back he dropped his own and his body weight pulled the blade from Turin’s hands. He grasped at it with rapidly weakening strength and stared up at his enemy with hate filled eyes and grinned. He had one last trick up his sleeve but he would never live to see it happen. Turin stepped back and raised both of his hands signalling the end if the fight. Carenthir’s ears were filled with the roar of a jubilant crowd as he sank into the darkness of death and his last rational thoughts were of his own trip to the Halls of Mandos.
Turin stared down at his enemy and watched the last of his life drain from his eyes. He leaned over and pulled his sword from Carenthir’s body and wiped it coldly on the dead elf’s tunic before turning to face Gandalf.
Gandalf nodded and raised his hands silencing the crowd. “Turin, Lord Hador has won his challenge. Let all know and accept his victory. Lord Carenthir has been judged, defeated, and punished.”
Once more the crowd erupted into a loud roar of approval and started to move and push towards the victor.
“Fin, we need to remove our victor from here and see to his wound.” Elrond shouted to Glorfindel. “Get our warriors organized so that we can control this crowd before someone gets hurt.”
Glorfindel nodded and signaled to his warriors who moved swiftly into place around their lord, his sons, Gandalf and Turin.
Elrond paused, “Tell them, we will have a celebration up at the house later and they are all invited. That should end this on a more pleasing note.”
Again Glorfindel nodded and dropped back to provide a diversion so that they could reach the safety of the main house.
In the Healing Hall Eleiann heard the roar from the crowd and held her breath. Suddenly she knew! Turin had won! The villain was dead and he would trouble the elves no more.
She moved to a nearby chair and sat down heavily. This improbable world had become even more improbable. She shook her head. A descendent of the High King’s house was interested in her! She might leave the House of Elrond to marry a high lord and her descendents would be among the royalty of the Eldar.
From out in the hall came the sound of many footsteps and she rose just as the twins entered the Healing Hall’s main room. They supported Turin between them and she could see blood staining the upper thigh and a lower tunic. They moved towards an examining table and perched him on before removing his tunic. Several cuts and scratches were scattered over his chest and upper arms.
Elrond followed close behind and immediately began snapping out orders to the other healers for various medicines and poultices. He grabbed Eleiann’s arm as she moved towards Turin and shook his head at her stricken face.
“No, sill nin. You must not interfere now. It looks far worse then it really is. I will clean him up and he will be fine. I think his worst wound is the one in his upper thigh and even that is but a small puncture that is not very deep.”
He smiled and squeezed her shoulder gently. “Go now and wait outside for us to finish. Your warrior did very well and proved himself a worthy son of his ada.”
Eleiann nodded and withdrew settling on a bench outside on a porch just off the hallway leading to the Healing Hall and prepared to wait for further news. It was not until then that Elrond’s remark about “Your warrior did very well…” that she sat up straight and her eyes widened. He knew, or suspected, that she and Iorlas, or rather, Turin, were contemplating a future together. She covered her flaming cheeks and moaned softly. Neither had been very obvious in their mutual growing attraction and she had hoped no one had noticed. She genuinely feared that whatever the reason she had been brought to Middle Earth, it would not include a mate and family for her. Even now it seemed highly unlikely that all the obstacles they both faced would be overcome. She slumped back and closed her eyes.
“Mistress Eleiann? Are you alright?”
She opened her eyes to see Glorfindel standing before her with a sword in his hand. She studied it and then looked up at the Balrog Slayer.
“Is that Carenthir’s weapon?”
“May I see it ‘Fin?”
Silently he handed it to her and she gingerly grasped it by its hilt. Twisting it about she studied it and frowned at the darkening blood on the blade. It was much blacker then it should have been.
“Fin, you have had much more experience with this kind of thing, but this does not seem right. It is almost as if…” Her voice trailed away and she gasped. “Why that snake, He has tainted the blade with yrch blood! Ada must be informed so that he can treat Turin’s wounds properly.”
Glorfindel frowned and snatched the blade back snarling as he recognized the intensifying effect of the contaminating taint on Turin’s blood that remained on Carenthir’s blade. “You are right Eleiann! I will inform Elrond immediately.” As he started for the Healing Hall, he hesitated and gave her an approving look. “You have done exceedingly well to catch this. You most likely have saved his life.” He nodded once more leaving her to wait. For some reason his approval meant more than anyone else’s save her ada’s and she smiled to herself. She did have her moments!
Gwanur - brothers/a pair of twins
Hiren - lord
Odhron nin – my parents
Hir nin - my lords
Penneth - young one
Elleth – elf maiden/woman
Ion – son
Sill nin – my daughter
Ada - father