39. War Resumed
The goblins and Easterlings surged over the hill and rushed toward the small patrol, trampling over it, and continuing on to the village.
Vorea pursed her lips in distaste as the goblins slaughtered the citizens and set fire to the buildings. She wanted an army to fight, but it would be many weeks before Arthedain could muster a force and send it against Angmar.
They had broken the truce.
Arveleg II was king in Arthedain, and he had expected his reign to be as uneventful as his father's and his father's before him. How unfortunate that he was to be disappointed.
The goblins and Men finished with the village quickly and Vorea inspected the ruins. There wasn't anything left apart from a bone scrap here and there. The goblins were great scavengers, leaving nothing behind. They would eat for weeks on the flesh they'd found here.
"Where to now, General?" the chief goblin hissed. He was an ugly brute with a square head and beady red eyes.
"We continue west," Vorea said. The goal was to lay siege to Fornost, but Vorea doubted they would get that far before they were pushed back. Arthedain was startled, and they were getting far, but they wouldn't get that far.
The goblin chief barked orders and the Easterling chief stormed over, looking furious.
"There's nothing left!" he yelled. "The filthy goblins burned it all!"
"There will be more villages," Vorea said. In fact, they had encountered nothing but villages for quite some time now. She estimated they were almost at the heart of Arthedain and they had encountered only minimal resistance. She wondered how Khamul was doing.
"Kill the bastards!" Khamul yelled as she slashed and hacked at the soldiers that swarmed around her like flies. Just her luck to stumble right into a regiment of Arthedain's army!
They had the element of surprise, but the soldiers had the advantage of numbers, not to mention better weapons and armor. Still, the goblins had hit upon the successful strategy of mobbing soldiers and tearing him to pieces before moving onto the next one.
How many more are there? Khamul thought. The goblins were getting slaughtered for the most part, but the Easterlings were holding their ground along with the few orcs she'd managed to scrounge up.
A dreadful wail filled the air and out of the forest poured over a hundred wolves, howling and hungry for blood.
Khamul cackled as they knocked one officer out of his saddle. Many more horses threw their riders in panic as the wolves surged around them.
So Sauron manages to do something right after all, Khamul thought with a smile. Good of him to loan us these wolves, even if I did kill some of his damn wargs.
After a brief stay in Mirkwood and a half-hearted 'search' for Feanor, Khamul and Aica had returned to Angmar where they'd set about training the Easterlings, orcs, and goblins that poured in. Arthedain utterly relaxed its vigilance around the same time Angmar was ready to strike. So here they were, ready to put an end to Arnor once and for all.
"Rally to me!" someone shouted and Khamul's head jerked up, looking for the speaker. Yes, she knew that voice. It was a voice she'd heard nearly a dozen times, reincarnated yes, but it was still Isildur's voice.
Isildur's heir. Arveleg II.
I killed your namesake, Khamul thought with a grin as she urged her horse through the battle, it seems only fitting that I kill you too.
The king was surrounded by a wall of soldiers, covered in armor and bristling weapons.
I like a challenge, Khamul thought. She kicked her horse forward, toward the ring of warriors.
They stumbled back, surprised that someone would dare to outright charge them. Khamul laughed and swung her sword, slicing one through the neck.
A mob of goblins swarmed two other soldiers, dragging them away. The scene rapidly degenerated into utter chaos as the Easterlings and orcs joined in, tearing away at the ring.
"It's just you and me," Khamul said as she killed the last soldier between her and Arveleg.
The king didn't answer her, but watched her coldly, his eyes briefly flicking to her bloody sword.
He moved quickly, bringing his sword up to cut off her head, but Khamul was quicker. She blocked his blow and then struck at his unprotected hand. There was a ghastly slicing noise followed by a strangled scream, and Arveleg's hand went flying away into the battle.
He was too stunned and shocked to parry her next blow, which severed his head from his shoulders.
"Another one down," Khamul said with satisfaction. It wasn't the last though. Arveleg had a son in Fornost, and there were still the kings of Gondor to worry about. They didn't irritate her quite as much though. They were descendents of Anarion, whom she never really minded much. Isildur on the other hand…
"The battle is won, my lord," the Easterling chief said. He was a tall, burly, intelligent man whose sole goal in the campaign was to make a lot of money and return home rich. He'd said as much. Khamul liked that honesty.
"So I see," Khamul said. "Do you know who that is?" she asked, pointing down at Arveleg's head.
"A man of Arthedain, I presume."
"Better. That was the king."
"Ah." The Easterling seemed more worried than impressed.
"Aren't you glad that the leader of our enemies is dead?" Khamul snapped.
"True, the king is dead, but he has a son, yes?"
"Yes, Araval or something like that."
"This son will not be happy his father is dead."
"Well, no, I hardly think so."
"Therefore he will attack with the ferocity of the vengeful."
Khamul scoffed. "We can handle that."
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.