5. He Who Arises In Might
The priest's chanting grows louder and louder, an unholy noise that no human throat should ever make- or be capable of making.
I look at my brother with consternation, but he betrays no emotion even as the screams from the pit before the altar grow louder still, swirling around the chamber in hideous harmony with the cacophonous cries of the priest, even as the dark of the pit explodes into a Hell of fire and fury and the Thing erupts into our view.
The priest sinks to his knees in terror as he sees his Dark Lord in all its glory for the first time, and for a moment I pity him.
It is only for a moment though- only a single moment's pause before I remember all the innocent souls he has fed to the monster before me.
Gobbets of liquid flame dripping from its wings, the Thing hovers above us, exultant with fury and ferocity. I do not recall its name of old, but a pang of sorrow shoots through me. Though it is madness, though it is monstrous, it should not have been so- was not always so.
Two should be three here, not two against one.
The priest's chant has become little more than terrified screams, and as the Thing beats its wings a final time before landing on the dais he is capable of nothing but gibbering against his altar, cringing against the stone as if it might swallow him, as if it might protect him even as his skin blisters and his hair burns before the waking nightmare before him.
The stone shows him the exact same mercy that he and his cult showed their countless victims- none.
The Thing reaches down with one massive burning hand and plucks him from the ground as you or I might pluck a weed from our garden. I grimace at the smell of burning flesh as the Thing examines the fool who took it for a God, and from the corner of my eye I see that my brother does the same.
The Thing rumbles words older than time, words in a tongue twisted and terrible, and the priest's heart gives out in terror as his Dark Lord proves to be no more than his executioner. A chuckle like an earthquake rumbles around the chamber and the Thing discards its erstwhile worshipper, dropping his broken and burned body into the pit with not so much as an afterthought.
Instead it turns its blazing eyes on myself and my brother.
I begin a chant of my own, and my staff glows with brilliant light, but deep in heart I wonder if it will be enough- if two is truly greater than one.
The Thing screams , and battle is joined.
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.