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Not a day like others part 2
The characters, places, and events are creations of J.R.R. Tolkien. No profit was or will be made from this story. It was written solely for entertainment.
As always many, many thanks to my wonderful beta reader LadyLindariel.
The Golden Wood is swarmed with orcs. The elves struggle valiantly but will it be enough in the end?
A/N: to understand this story fully it would be advisable to read part 1.
Warning: the story is rated PG-13: this chapter contains violence, disturbing themes, and death
Chapter 1: the end of all days
I carefully look around the huge base of the Mallorn while flattening my body against the bark. Still, I could not believe my eyes what was just happening at my home.
Living near the vicinity of Dol Guldur we were used to occasional attacks of the foul brutes, but the past raids were nothing compared to the invasion now taking place.
Masses of orcs had and were still swarming our beautiful haven, but that would not be the worst. The hordes were led by many Uruk-hai and accompanied by great packs of wargs.
The assault came totally by surprise for our border guards and in such sheer numbers that our defense was overrun in no time.
Of course, we knew the relative peace we had over the last years could be deceiving, but this attack had reached a level never anticipated.
Not even the superior skill of foresight of my wife had sufficed to give any warning. As if someone or something had blocked her mind, the mirror had shown nothing and the eather had been mute. This was new and an entirely alien concept for us.
Early in the morning just at sunrise, I was ripped from my night sleep by the call of the border horn. Galadriel had equally jerked upright an irritated expression on her face. For millennia we hadn´t heard the call of the horn, in fact, I hadn’t heard it at all since the end of the war in Eregion in the Second Age.
The call was solely created in the face of a great danger approaching. Never since the war´s end had it been necessary to raise the alarm.
While Galadriel hastened down in her garden to look in the mirror and listen to the eather, I swung down the long sturdy rope; a much quicker access to the ground than across the many winding staircases.
My heart constricted at the sight that greeted me. The first of the Uruk-hai were already entering the inner core of Caras Galadhon. Many dead elves were already the testimony of their brutality. How could this be? Why haven´t we noticed anything earlier?
While running, I caught my sword, Haldir—the chief of the border guards and my foster son—was handing me.
“Report,” I demanded while parrying a blow from an advancing Uruk. Together we made quick work of the foul beast.
“Our borders are breached on all sides. The masses of orcs, wargs, and Uruks are uncounted. The first wave of attack nearly destroyed our whole contingent on watch. I have already called for a backup, yet for every orc we slay, two more appear.”
When the younger elf stopped, I looked in my son´s direction. To my great dismay and surprise, tears were falling down the warrior´s face.
Haldir was a very tough young elf and hardened through a trauma in his childhood; he rarely showed any emotions not even when alone with my wife or me.
“Haldir?” I asked trying a soothing tone but failed miserably. I pushed the younger elf into a crevice of a big tree. Haldir lowered his eyes.
“Rúmil is dead,” he whispered his fingers clenching around his sword´s hilt until they went white.
I closed my eyes in sorrow. Haldir´s younger brother was as dear to me as a son. The loss was a hard blow. Yet before I could comfort my son, Haldir had squeezed out of the hole and hastened away all the way hacking and stabbing at advancing orcs.
I took a deep breath and followed the warrior out plunging into sheer chaos.
The sun was not even descending but my hope that we would survive this had long vanished. Caras Galadhon was doomed to die. The wood was burning at uncounted places, the attempts of my people to douse the fires a futile venture.
This attack seemed carefully planned by a higher force, and the number of invaders indicated that now the evil powers in the world had been merged into an army dedicated to eliminating the elven race finally.
Because this was happening in our realm and if no miracle happened, no one would survive to tell this tale or warn the other elven realms.
At the back of my mind, something was nagging me always as if I were not thinking my own thoughts or were repeating already spoken words of another but I had not even a breather to follow my train of thought. A new band of orcs was just climbing on one of our most significant combined platform high in the trees.
Many women and children had retreated there, and I would be damned if these brutes would be allowed to set foot on the platform.
Until now, I had supported a party of warriors down at the river Anduin where it joined the Celebrant valiantly trying to prevent even more orcs from entering the shores. In the end, we had to flee to at least rescue our naked lives but not without killing hundreds of orcs.
Our best-trained warriors had not managed to defend their position. A significant number of dead elves were now littering the ground, their blood drenching the earth.
I had also suffered a deep wound to my left side, thanks to a rusty orc scimitar. The blood loss and the shock were already taking its toll, and if not treated soon I would not have to care how the day would end.
I have fought in many wars—long and cruel ones—but it was always another matter entirely when you fought in your own home and when you have women, children, and family to consider. Warriors did their duty, and even when their deaths were terrible, it was much worse when innocent lives or family were involved.
I veered to the left when debris of burning wood rained down on me from above. With horror, I registered after the downfall had stopped, that not only timber but also two beyond recognition burned bodies had fallen. The stench of burned flesh was choking, and I had to force myself not to retch.
With watering eyes from the smoke, I stumbled forward, and when I reached the platform, I stopped, my blood running cold. Two Uruk-hai had managed to climb up and had already killed many women; I could also see at least two dead elflings.
What made me reel, however, was my wife kneeling in the middle of the platform cradling a body to her chest. Even with her back to me, I knew instantly whom she had in her arms. Along with my three foster sons, now my granddaughter was dead as well.
Blinding rage was flooding my veins, but before I had the chance to mourn any of them, more orcs were entering the platform.
Without thinking, I raised my sword and plunged into the fray. Grief lending me the strength I had never thought possible I hacked at the foul creatures killing them wherever my sword found a target.
When I neared an exceptionally tall Uruk-hai, I momentarily stopped at the surprised, even anxious expression on its face. Yet he did not look at me but over my shoulder.
At some foreboding and knowing my wife was in the middle of the platform, I quickly killed the Uruk the fortune seizing and whirled around to see what had startled the beast.
I just had time to grip the railing before the blast broke loose. Shielding my eyes against the incredible blinding light, I looked between my fingers to watch the miracle unfolding before my eyes.
Galadriel had risen to her full height. Her white gown splattered with blood was nonetheless billowing in an unnatural breeze. Her long golden hair ruffled by an unearthly wind and her whole frame illuminated by a strange blue light.
Barely able to look against the blinding light emanating from the tall figure, I closed my eyes anyway knowing what was and would happen.
Galadriel had been angered beyond restraint. She was using the power of old, releasing potency only few could even comprehend enhanced by the power of Nenya.
No longer looking anything resembling an elf or even a living being, Galadriel released powers not describable.
Like being caught in a hurricane, all beings remaining on the platform, elves, orcs, and Uruks—dead or alive—were pushed over the rim.
While most of the elves managed to grip something to hold on or land on a tree-branch, all foul beasts were blown away only to shatter seconds later on the ground with a dull thud. At the last moment, I grabbed one of the long ropes dangling down one of the platforms, yet due to my injury, I had not the strength to hold on for long.
Before I plunged into the depth, I caught a glimpse onto the platform. It snapped all my ties with sanity and rationality.
My beloved wife was again kneeling on the wooden planks a long thick spear sticking out of her chest. Her surprised gaze was the last thing I saw of her before I lost hold.
The released power burst sweeping through the Golden wood, blowing away all in its wake I did not recognize because my body had connected hard with the ground a second before.
To be continued…
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