1. Judgement Day
If it were not that no one resided in Eregion, one could have wondered what was the need that drove these two riders. But there was no one, save for the animals and plants. Men did not wander these lands anymore, save for maybe the Rangers from the North or the Grey Pilgrim.
But these were not men. Clad in shining mail of Elven craftsmanship these two travellers were. Their dark hair flowed freely in the wind they created through their speed and fair were there faces. A drunken villager could ask himself if he was seeing double and even a sober person could ask himself such a question, so much alike did these two seem.
For these were Elladan and Elrohir, the sons of Elrond of Rivendell. But save for the Elves, the Grey Pilgrim and the Rangers of the North no one knew this. For them, Rivendell was a myth and these two Riders were mere mysterious travellers.
Travelling was indeed what the brethren did often. They could often be found spending their time in the wild. But today they did so with a most important reason. Eight days ago disturbing news had reached Rivendell and brought fear into the hearts of those who dwelled there.
There had been no time to lose, not one second to be wasted, for action was need to be taken immediately. Elladan and Elrohir made hastilay preparations, packing for a long journey and unavoidable battle. That same day the twins of Imladris rode out.
Great was their speed, great was their haste and alike were the troubles and worries in their hearts. And as time passed by, anger stirred up in their hearts, a fire burning deep within. They urged their horses to go faster, to run as no horse had done before. Save for mayhap Nahar, the great steed of the Vala Orome. No words were spoken throughout the journey, or perhaps chase, for the twins had no need to communicate with words.
‘The pass of Caradhras looms in front of us, the snowy mountains coming closer steadily. We’ve nearly reached our destination. The fire that is driving us forward burns as intensely as the Silmarils. The tension in our bodies increased and our minds have only one thought.: I hope we are not too late.’
The tracks were obvious and easy to find. Even a fool could find them. For the brethren this meant that those they were chasing were not very far ahead. But the snow of the mountain made the passage difficult and the horses could not maintain their speed. It was necessary to dismount and travel further by foot. Cloaks were closely wrapped around broad shoulders and hoods drawn over their fair faces.
‘Never have we fully understood why Caradhras was called the Cruel. Never, until this day. Our need to be fast drives us forward, dragging our bodies through the snow and thus creating a path with them. The wind blows heavily around us and the snowstorm blocks our sight. Caradhras slows us down, allowing the hunted to get farther away from us. The snow piles up around us, but we could care less about the cold. We’ve got more important matters on our minds than the grudge of a mountain. With each minute that passes our hearts become more troubles. Each minute that delays us awakes more anger inside us. But it will not ease the passage over the mountain for us.’
The next morning the brethren left Caradhras behind them. Now time would be on their side and their hunt would make good progress. Elladan and Elrohir mounted their horses again and urged to carry them as swiftly as before. Ai Elbereth, Gilthoniel, they cried out in unison, asking the Starkindler to aid them in their quest.
If everything went well, if they had learned well about their enemies, then their foes would not travel by daylight. Orcs hated the beauty of daylight.. It would provide the sons of Elrond a chance to catch up with them and their precious captive.
That captive was Celebrían, the twins’s beloved mother. She had been travelling to Lothlórien to visit her mother and father. She and her companions had travelled over the Redhorn Pass when they were attacked by Orcs. All of the company were slain, save for Celebrían and the Orcs had taken her captive.
‘We are gaining miles on the foul creatures known as the Yrch. Their awful smell already reaches our nostrils. There is no time to lose. Our mother needs our help. There is no time for a sneak attack. The thunder of our horses’s hooves has alarmed the beasts and their screams and roars of unnatural kind fill the air. We rush into their camp, with our swords in our hands and attack immediately, while the Yrch are still in a panic. Scatter and divide is our tactic, but also that no Orch shall live to see another day. While we are fighting, we search for our beloved mother. It is not until the entire camp has been slain that we find her.’
What the twins found then, nearly broke their hearts. Among the Orcs lay Celebrían. Her clothes were torn and her entire body covered with bruises and blood. She was unconscious. For how long she had been like that already, the brethren did not know. But when they discovered a large wound on their mother’s shoulder their worries overcame them. The blood that came out of it had an unnatural colour and the skin around the wound as well. It had been poisoned and if they did not get her back to Rivendell quickly, that wound would bring her death.
Elladan mounted his horse and took over his mother’s unconscious form from his brother’s arms. As soon as they were ready, the twins set out back to Rivendell with even greater speed as before, praying to Orome and Tulkas for speed and endurance, praying to Elbereth that they may not be too late for their mother’s sake. Their ride goes on pass the eastern side of the Misty Mountains. The fastest road now lay next to the eastern side of those mountains to the Great Forest Road that became the Great Eastern Road after Rivendell.
‘As we ride on with the body of our mother in our arms, we look back one more time to the camp of the Orcs that had captured and wounded our mother. The camp is in ruins and around it lie the corpses of Melkor’s creations. None of them shall ever get away with this. The Orcs present too much of a danger in this world and none should suffer like our mother. None of them will have a chance to do this again. No Orc we encounter from this day on shall live to see another day.’
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.