31. Arrival at the Morannon
"I don't like this," Khamul said, scowling down at the army camped right on her doorstep.
"I have noticed you don't like a lot of things," Morion said.
"I especially don't like this. What is his plan? Let the armies of elves and men overrun us?"
"He has a plan, I am sure," Morion said. "Perhaps even one that does not end with the destruction of all of their army."
Khamul shot him an irritated glare. "I understand that you used to be comrades," she said. "But that is over now, do you understand? You are one of us now."
Morion grimaced. "Only because that foul Vala has possession of my soul."
"Oh, it's your soul, too? I thought it was just your mind."
"No, it's just my soul," Morion said. He sighed, closing his eyes. "I joined you because I knew that Sauron was the only creature in this world with the power to keep me…well, me. To not let Him take over. Otherwise I would have sooner thrown myself off a cliff than join you."
"You will learn to like this," Khamul said.
"I won't," Morion assured her.
"The elves and Arnor's army will be arriving by tomorrow," Vorea reported. She looked from Khamul to Morion. "Does anyone have an idea what we will be doing after that?"
"No," Khamul said.
"We match them in numbers," Morion said.
"Don't say that until the rest get here."
"We should at least have a chance."
"I believe I have a good estimate on their numbers," Vorea said.
"And?" Khamul asked.
"We outnumber them," Vorea said. "Not significantly, but we also have the edge of defending."
"They cannot possibly assail the Morannon," Morion said. "We would slaughter them."
"Station archers across the battlements," Khamul ordered. "When they make their move, I want them cut down like grass. They will not break these gates, and they will not enter Mordor."
As Khamul left the ramparts of the Morannon to inspect the orc army, Vorea walked beside her.
"They have dwarves," she said.
"What?" Khamul snapped.
"Dwarves of Khazad-Dum joined the fight. There are not many – only a few hundred – but still, it is notable."
Khamul snarled. "We will still defeat them. We will crush them like dried leaves."
"I fear that will not be possible. This will be a long and bitter fight."
"I am ready for it," Khamul said.