23. The Elves and the Spiders
"Keep after them!" Vorea yelled as she urged her horse forward. "We have got them on the run! After them!"
"This seems too easy," Aica muttered.
"What do you know about a battle?" Yanta snapped. "You're just a sneaking spy."
"I smell a trap," Metima said. "Why are the elves running like that? It almost looks like a formation…"
"The orcs are completely uncontrollable," Vorea reported. "They will not stay in line but charge after the enemy. The Men are only a little better, but we must press on ahead. This could be our only chance to crush them!"
"They're here," Morion said suddenly.
"Who's here?" Metima asked, whirling around.
"The elves!" Morion shouted. "Lorien! Look!"
"Lorien?" Vorea gasped, staring in horror as the bright banners of the Noldor rippled in the breeze.
"No," Yanta whispered. "Valar damn it all!"
"How many are there?" Vorea asked, standing up in her stirrups to get a better look. An arrow whizzed by her head, missing her by inches.
"Thousands," Morion whispered as the golden army poured down out of the hills.
"Retreat!" Vorea bellowed.
"No!" Metima shrieked, pointing toward the fleeing elf army. "They're through running!"
The retreating army of Cirdan and Araphor turned and began advancing upon the orcs, who were impaled upon sharp steel.
"They're going to crush us between the two armies!" Morion yelled. "Sound the retreat, Valar damn it! We have to get out of here!"
"We cannnot!" Vorea snapped. "They are circling us! There is no way out!"
The silver army of Cirdan and Araphor and the golden army of Lorien formed a tight circle around Angmar's army, forcing the orcs and Men closer and closer together, while hacking away at them all the while.
"Bastards!" Yanta cursed.
"Will Sauron save us?" Metima asked, looking to the sky as if expecting some miraculous rescue.
"No," Vorea said grimly.
"But we can't be killed."
"I do not wish to know what will happen to us then. Lord Morion, do you have any ideas?"
"No," Morion whispered, staring in horror at the armies.
"Can you use your magic?"
"Yes, your magic, dammit! Your magic!"
"She's coming," Morion whispered in horror, staring in the same direction that the elves had come from.
"Who's coming now?" Aica snapped. "Galadriel herself? Or maybe it's Varda, descended from Taniquetil!"
"Do not mock the Queen of the Valar," Vorea warned.
"She's almost here," Morion said. His hand went to his heart.
"Who is she?" Metima asked. "Is it Khamul?"
The elf armies broke through the orcs' ranks and several engaged the ringbearers.
"Fight, damn you!" Yanta yelled at Morion, who sat as if struck by lightning.
"We can't hold them off forever!" Vorea shouted.
"She's here," Morion said.
There was a horrible scream and all heads turned as the fighting momentarily stopped, both sides curious as to the nature of the causer of the scream.
The ground had opened on one side of the battlefield. Thousands and thousands of spiders were crawling forth, running rampant over the bodies of everyone in their way. They stung and bit the soldiers until they died, and then scurried to find more.
"They're opening a pathway," Metima murmured.
"Don't just stand there!" Vorea yelled. "Retreat!"
Kicking their mounts into a gallop, the ringbearers and surviving soldiers charged through the gap in the enemy's ranks and into the desolate moors of Arnor.
"Close call," Yanta muttered. "What happened back there anyway? Was that you, Morion?"
"No," the Witch-King said, shaking his head. "It was not the work of Morgoth. He was confused, terrified, by the arrival of his nemesis."
"Morgoth, terrified?" Aica asked. "What could possibly hurt him?"
"Ungoliant," Morion whispered.
"But…she's dead," Metima said. "The tales say Earendil killed her."
"And Manwe cast Morgoth beyond the Door of Night," Morion said with a shrug. "Legends do not die so easily."
"Someone is coming," Vorea warned, drawing her sword as a horseman approached.
"Khamul!" Metima exclaimed as she recognized the rider.
"You missed the battle," Yanta said.
"I'm the reason you're alive!" Khamul snapped, shaking off spider webs. "Damn stuff'll never come off," she muttered.
"It was you?" Morion gasped. "Ungoliant worked through you?"
"I guess so. She didn't possess me or anything though. She just…told me what to do."
"And the spiders obeyed you?"
"I think it was more of a spell," Khamul said. "Those probably weren't real spiders."
"It's a shame you didn't arrive sooner," Aica said. She gestured to the tattered remnants of the army. "There's hardly anyone left."
"I saved your sorry skin," Khamul snapped. "If it weren't for me you'd all be in the dungeons of Fornost right now!"
"It's just unnerving," Morion said. His hand went back to his heart. "The arrival of Ungoliant is…surprising."
Khamul could feel a curtain being drawn between them. There was a coldness in the air that wasn't usually there. Morion had been growing distant, true, but that Morgoth's most bitter enemy had worked through Khamul meant that things had changed. They could never be anything more than wary comrades now. Never friends. Morgoth would always make Morion wonder if Khamul was about to attack him.
Surprisingly, Khamul felt a pang at her heart. I'm sad about this? she thought. That's crazy. I don't care anything for him…do I?
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.