There are times, in the midst of battle, when I have looked in mine enemy's eyes, and found something so disturbing, that I have almost lost my way, for the moment, and become prey to it's wicked blade.
I knew not what it was until today. Today, Elladan and I met a great force. We had many Rangers with us and a few other Elves that could keep up with the pace. I say that only because many of the Firstborn, unlike Fëanor's sons, do not feel the bloodlust that Elladan and I feel. Men have no such scruples when it comes to Yrch.
We found ourselves in the midst of a valley not too far from Tharbad. The river Gwáthlo rushed and silenced our enemies' step. I laughed when they supposedly snuck upon us. Their stench was smelt at least a quarter of an hour before they appeared. We had some of our company, the Men, for Yrch have contempt for the Secondborn, sit around a fire with their backs to the oncoming foe.
When the Yrch raised their voices in the battle cry and we swept forward, my heart sang with such joy. It is a blessing to kill them. Our father sometimes, I think, despairs of us, Elladan and I, as if this joy is something to be feared. It is to be relished, I try to explain, for we would be dead if not for that. We guard Imladris with that joy. He shakes his head. I believe he prays to the Valar for us. I am sometimes shamed by his grief, but I would have it no other way. Yrch must be killed.
I digress. An Orch came at me, it's foul blade raised and it's eyes filled with... that same joy I had. I shudder now to think upon it. Not that I should not be killed, it is probably my fate, the way I tempt it. But that the beast should feel the same joy I do? The thought stopped me and almost cost me my life. Elladan dispatched it quickly and cuffed my head, shouting to focus. I nodded and returned to the battle.
But again, another Orch came at me and I looked full into its eyes, searching for the same joy. It was there. But something else. Something which took the breath from me. I seemed to recognize those eyes. Could it be possible? I stopped once again; this time, the beast stopped too. It searched my eyes. Never before have I looked into an Orch's eyes with anything but hatred. It could not be... Rumors have told of such things, but I never believed them. Until now.
My cousin, Inglor, stood before me, misshapen, gross to look upon, but the eyes were Inglor's. How had it come to this?
He was dead before I could even acknowledge I knew; Halbarad had been watching my back and crushed the creature's.... Inglor's skull. I knelt in the black blood and wept.
A/N - 'Yrch' is the Sindarin plural form; the singular is 'orch'
Sometimes I wonder why the Muse, in the midst of a busy day, stops me cold and insists that I shiver with horror at the things that happened in Middle-earth.
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.