4. Shagrat's Welcome - Larner
Shagrat approached the fortress with a feeling of relief. He'd not known true terror until the last few days, only since he'd seen the figure on the stairs with its bright sword. "An Elvish wight!" he repeated to himself, remembering the power he'd sensed, and the horrible light given off by its blade. "An Elvish wight was in the tower! No one could be expected to withstand the fury of an Elvish wight! The maggots here have to believe that!"
But the captain who received his report sniffed. "This one speaks of Elves in his tower? Of bright Elves filled with wrath, but smaller than himself? Nonsense!"
"But I saw it!" snarled Shagrat. "And the spy we brought to the tower—it was small as well, but fair shinin' in the gloom! And it was carrying these!" So saying, he spilled the bundle he carried out upon the floor.
The captain startled backwards as the grey-green cloak fell open and out of it spilled a sparkling coat of mithril links, set with pearls that reflected the torchlight with soft allure and shining crystals that seemed themselves to flame, and with them an ancient knife that radiated with fury. The clothing it saw was a mystery to the captain, but he'd served once in Angmar, and the fashion of the knife and sheath he recognized.
"Arthedain!" he whispered. "Wights indeed!"
He turned to his lieutenant. "Have a messenger bring these to Barad-dûr—immediately! Hurry, slug!"
Realizing the captain respected the import of his find, Shagrat started to straighten with relief. He'd been right!
But the captain was not through. "As for this one—he's all but lost his arm. He's of no further use. Kill him!"
No surprise there. Shagrat pulled his knife—he'd not go down easily!
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