Second Star to the Right - Chapter Ten: Sacrifice shall be his meaning
A/N: Okay, well, frsitly, sorry that this has taken a while. I really should have updated earlier, but we have been piled with revision for our exams; plus I just had some stupid Maths investigation coursework... *shudders* But its all gone now! So here I am! I do have to say sorry, because I think it sorta gets rushed towards the end... But there you go. A huge thanx to everyone who reviews, I love you! And everyone who reads generally, I know some of you are silent!
Chapter Ten - Sacrifice shall be his meaning
Revail vyrn dan minuial
u galad, u vin anor hen
Cano an dregad
u natha ored
Gwanwen ion Eärendil
Black wings against a pale morning
There is no more light, not in this sun
Call the retreat
There will be no warning
The son of the mariner is gone
The brother has fallen.
It was like the lull before the storm, thought Elros grimly, as he tightened his belt and sword scabbard. That eerie, uneasy quiet before the clashing of two titanic forces... The sky was a queer orangey yellow in the light of the half risen sun, as the remnants of the concealing mist broke apart in wispy clouds, floating away on a bare breeze, shining like a dust storm. Beyond its choking veil, he could not see the rapidly lightening pale blue sky.
The men were growing strangely restless now; they had seen their Captain emerge from beyond the iridescent mists and were eager to leave this strange, foreboding place. Yet still he seemed to pause as if waiting, the red headed woman once more at his side, watching something intently far away. Her head was tilted to the left slightly and she squinted out, as thought straining to hear and see something that he couldn't, nor any of the others neither.
Eärendil glanced down at the slight built woman beside him.
"How much longer must we wait?" he inquired. According to her, it was this evening that the ritual would take place, and he did not intend to wait around on the off-chance that a miracle might happen.
"It will not be long now..." Nesial replied distractedly, staring off into what might have been space.
"The sun is almost risen -"
"Patience is a virtue..." she muttered in a sing-song voice, causing the mariner to roll his eyes and follow the path of her gaze. For a further few minutes, silence remained between them. Then -
"And here return your steeds," she smiled triumphantly, straightening up and giving him an I-told-you-so look. "Can you feel it? A roll of thunder pulsing through the earth."
Frowning, Eärendil dropped down to the floor and pressed his ear against the ground. Sure enough, the earth rumbled with the pounding of many iron shod hooves galloping towards them, growing nearer by the second.
Rising to his feet, he confirmed it with a simple nod.
"So by luck they come in the nick of time..." he murmured, to no one in particular.
"'Luck'?" echoed Nesial, turning to him with a furrowed brow. "No my good man, do not fool yourself so. It is not luck that has kept your son alive; it is not luck that has driven us to meet. Nothing at work in the world is the result of luck - that is merely the term it is coined with when people want to remain blind to the obvious. Believe rather that whether for good or for ill, everything has a meaning, a purpose," she said, the wisdom of the words far surpassing her youthful looks; "Everything that happens has a reason."
Eärendil stared at her for a moment, trying to fathom the ageless depths of her raven eyes; but the doors were shut and the curtains drawn. With a small smile, Nesial strode off to the camp's edge, where the path behind them half disappeared, now a hastily reforming dark track as the mists evaporated. Far off in the distance, high-pitched neighs could just be heard coming from the shadowy hills, and soon the sound of hooves was plain for all to hear.
All at once it seemed, a mass of dark grey shadows careered at break neck speeds around the base of the last hill, and the sound of heavy breathing and shrill whinnies filled the air. The faithful steeds burst through the last of the fog and with joyful knickers and snorts ran each to their master. Eärendil's own grey stallion came striding proudly up, his handsome neck arched as he lowered his head to his master, his knees hoisted high as he trotted. His chest was flecked with foam and his flanks drenched with sweat, but he looked neither worn nor weary.
"Mae govannen, mellon nîn," laughed Eärendil, taking the reins in one hand and stroking the silky coat with the other, "Well met indeed, my friend."
"Will you have a little faith in me now?" Nesial prompted wryly as Hythel stood beside her, her velvety muzzle resting in the hollow of the woman's neck.
"Aye," nodded Eärendil, taking the light jest in all seriousness, "But perhaps now also you can have more faith in yourself."
Nesial started at the poignant statement and pointed look Eärendil gave her, before he began checking his horse for injuries. The Therethal turned to her own mare, her mouth gaping slightly in disbelief.
"Am I that easy to read, still?" she mused quietly to her loyal friend, running her hand absently through the knotted chestnut tresses of her mane. Hythel did not reply, but sighed heavily, drooping her eyes a little as she leant on her mistresses shoulder.
"You're right, this is definitely something I will have to work on," Nesial mumbled thoughtfully.
Hythel swished her tail.
"Why would I want them to see it?" exclaimed the woman defensively, "where would be the logic, the point?"
The strawberry roan shook her mane slightly, and nudged Nesial gently.
"You're right, as usual," sighed Nesial, defeated, "Of course you're right, you always are..."
"So you did bring back our horses after all," a voice said. Nesial closed her eyes and rested her head against Hythel's forelock, smiling into her.
"Hythel brought your horse back, Master Elros," she said simply, "I had not part in it at all."
"You underestimate yourself," replied Elros, allowing the flicker of a smile as he attached his bag to the saddle.
"And what, pray tell, would you know about underestimation exactly, Master Elros?" questioned Nesial, her eyes twinkling.
"Oh, nothing much," said Elros in an off-hand manner, "After all, I'm not even twenty yet..."
Nesial laughed gently. "You should have more respect for your elders," she scolded playfully as he mounted his bay horse, "Youths of today; honestly, I ask you..."
Rolling his eyes, Elros gave his horse a gentle nudge with his heels and sent him trotting towards his father, who was talking to Oslarn in front of the hastily regrouping men. The mist had now all but gone, bathing them all in a cold sunlight as the pale blue sky of spring rose domed above them.
As Elros drew nearer, Oslarn dipped his head in respect and hurried off to find any stragglers.
"How do you feel, Ada?" his son asked a little anxiously, knowing that although his father would deny it, he was very tired.
Eärendil smiled at his eldest. "I am no worse for wear, my son; though I should like to go my own bed again," he admitted quietly, "But the heat of battle will banish that I think."
Elros, who had been looking down the two roads that lay before them, now looked sharply at his father.
"You are sure there will be a battle?"
Eärendil gazed at his son sadly. "I can see no other way," he sighed, and the silhouette of grief flitted across his face; so much war... There was a silence between them as his men assembled in their ranks.
"Elros," Eärendil said suddenly, his tone lowered for his son's ears only, "If the battle should go ill -"
"It will not father," Elros assured him, but Eärendil waved a hand for quiet.
"If the battle should go ill," he repeated, "Promise me Elros, swear to me that if I order you to, you will leave."
"Ada!" exclaimed Elros shocked, so that several of the riders swiveled around to see where the noise was coming from. Eying them, Eärendil's horse went forward a few paces to give his rider some privacy.
"Swear to me Elros!" whispered the mariner fiercely, gripping his son's arm and looking deep into his eyes. "Swear that you will do as I ask. Leave the battle and head for the forest. Wait there for a while if you must, but you will return home."
"Ada," despaired Elros, his eyes pleading, "I could not abandon you, like a coward crawling from a fight!"
"If you follow my orders, you will be no coward," breathed Eärendil adamantly. "My son, I cannot lose all of my family - And your mother Elros... It would break her heart. And the people will look to you to lead them. They will need you Elros. I cannot afford to let you throw your life away."
The elder twin stared hard at his father, debating whether or not to argue. Never in his life had he gone directly against the wish of either of his parents, and he honestly didn't want to start - but this? This request asked much of him. Could he really trust himself, to keep any promise that he had if it came to it?
No, a strong defiant voice in his mind answered. No, he could never leave. His brother, half of his soul was a mere breath away; he was not about to let him go so easily - and neither would he abandon his father. Either all of them left, or none of them did. It was as simple as that.
"Elros?" pressured Eärendil, needing an answer as the men sat patiently waiting on their horses. Nesial sat on Hythel just in front of them.
"Very well Ada," Elros agreed reluctantly; he hated not being honest with him, but he hated the thought of cowardice even more. There was nothing he could do about that though; that's just the way things were.
"Thank you," said his father, in so grateful a tone that it sounded as though relief had been washed over him, and Elros felt a pang of guilt. But it might never even come to it, he convinced himself, don't worry about it yet.
Nesial, having noticed that whatever conversation father and son had been having was over, nudged Hythel over to them.
"Ready gentlemen?" she asked, apprehension hounding her words like scent dogs.
"Lead the way," answered the Captain and Mariner plainly, and with a swish of tails, the rescue party disappeared down the right hand road, leading into the heart of the hills.
"WHERE IS SHE?!" bellowed Káno in a horrific rage, bodily throwing one of his men into a hut. The thug hit the wall with a sickening crack and slid to the floor, unmoving, his neck at an odd angle. He did not rise again.
"I - I don't know m - my Lord," stammered another, eying his fallen comrade with terror.
"WHAT DO YOU MEAN, YOU DON'T KNOW?!" roared the commander. His emerald green eyes were huge and bulging, his face an angry red, the veins in his neck throbbing madly in frustration. Every part of him was quivering as though on fire; he'd left them for an hour, and hour! And they had managed to lose her!
"When was the last time any of your worthless, brainless idiots saw her?" he snarled, shooting deadly glances at the men who had backed off as far as they dared without literally running for cover.
"My Lord - I - I saw her l - leave -"
"LEAVE? When?!" he demanded furiously, rounding on the ridiculously small voice coming from a huge man.
"P - please my L - Lord," he stuttered, "It was late last night - she took er horse - I - I thought nothing of it -"
"What is your name, imbecile?" Káno drawled, cutting in carelessly.
"Garuth, my lord -"
"Garuth - you were on duty by the gates last night, were you not? ANSWER ME!" he shouted when Garuth stared at him petrified.
"Y - yes, my Lord."
"And is it not the duty of the guard warden to report any and all comings and goings through those gates?!" bellowed the white-haired man, his darkly handsome features marred by fury and rage, his voice rising with every word.
"Y - yes, my Lord -"
"And yet you did not see fit to stop her, or report her departure at once?! DO YOU HAVE DUNG FOR BRAINS, OR NONE AT ALL, WORM?!" Káno hollered, as the man before him threw himself at his master's feet, shaking pitifully.
"My Lord, forgive me! She said you had given her permission to come and go as she pleased! Please, my Lord, please, have mercy, have mercy!"
"Mercy?" sneered Káno, his lip curling, "You disobey direct orders and you expect me to show you mercy?!"
Suddenly, the man began screaming in agony; his whole body twisted and shuddering against the dusty earth, great jerking jolts ripping through his as he writher in pure pain. Káno raised his hand, and the man began to scream even louder if that was possible, and sickeningly, his eyes looked as though they had tripled in size and would simply pop out of his head. A sadistic smile crept over the Commander's face as the pathetically shrieking figure began to choke and gasp for breath. All at once, Káno snapped his long fingers, and with a final, spine-chilling scream, the man burst into a great ball of flame, his whole body engulfed by the flickering and hungry orange fire. For a few moments, all present saw his skin blackening on his bones, cracking and melting as he died. Then within a matter of seconds, all the was left of the beefy, troll like man was a pile of dusty ashes, and the lingering smell of scorched flesh.
In the aftermath, not a soul spoke. The man's dying cry echoed hideously in the hills about them, as the others stared in shock and horror at the grey powder that mere seconds ago had been their comrade.
Káno cricked his neck to the side and shook his head in disgust. "Right," he said, passing a hand over his eyes in disdain and taking a deep breath, "All of you will search this camp from top to bottom, high and low, leave nothing unturned for any trace of the wench." he ordered, as if nothing disturbing had just happened. In fact, his voice was eerily calm and collected. "You," he pointed at a bald man with a large chunk missing form his ear, "Take four scouts out and search the hills for her. None of you come back without any evidence, or you will all meet the same, sticky end - do you understand me?" he asked, almost lazily. The men nodded hastily and murmured in agreement.
"Well get on with it then!" Káno snapped, snorting as they jumped and ran. Pathetic...
It was now midday, and as Lakag sat astride his thick set and hairy horse, he frowned, muttering to himself. Three hours now he had been sitting here - three hours! His backside was numb from lack of movement and his stomach was grumbling loudly, reminding him he had missed breakfast. And still, nothing of the stupid red-haired witch had been found! Top to bottom, high and low they had searched, leaving nothing unturned in the immediate hills, but not even a whisper was to be heard of her whereabouts. Oh, but slow though Lakag was, he wasn't a complete fool; he knew his Master made good on his threats, and had no intention whatsoever of returning to Káno empty handed. He'd sit here all bloody week if that's what it took!
Beneath him his horse, its joints creaking, yawned and shifted its weight over on its back legs.
"Yer great lazy beast..." Lakag muttered agitatedly.
The horse dropped its eyelids and lowered its head a little as though in contempt.
"I don't think so!" snorted Lakag, yanking hard on the reins. With a surprised snort, the horses head shot up, its ears flickering back.
"Yer'll not sleep on my watch!" he mumbled nastily.
The horse snorted again, and probably would have made its feelings at being disturbed quite clear if it had not suddenly been distracted by a sound in the distance.
"Yer stupid brute," snarled Lakag, "What's yer problem now anyway, `ey?"
The cob pricked its ears towards the source of the noise. Noticing the change, Lakag paused to listen too. At first he could not detect anything, and was about to wallop the animal when he caught the very faintest sound; a deep low rumbling. Frowning, he listened harder; thunder. That was what it sounded like - coming from the west...
Spurring the horse sharply up the hill to his left, he slowed down and dismounted before her reached the top and crouching low, continued on foot to the brow. Shielding himself behind the statue of a screaming woman (which was quite hard, considering his size), Lakag looked out curiously but cautiously down into the valleys and hills disappearing into the west in a grey haze. Very quickly he was able to identify the source of the sound; a great armed host of riders were weaving their way through the winding paths in the hills. Squinting, Lakag had to rub his eyes to believe what he was seeing - and they were still far enough away that he could easily be mistaken - but he could have sworn it was true - the rider leading the host was red-haired, riding upon a rare roan horse...
With a sudden gasp, he realised in hi sown slow mind who it was. As quickly as he could, he lumbered back to his horse and threw himself up with some difficulty, making the steed turn to take a nip at his hefty bulk.
"Argh, get on with yer!" he commanded gruffly, and with a deft kick to the barrel-tummy sides, the horse set off at a speedy gallop back towards camp. He had to get this news to Káno - it wasn't so much the thought of what the riders might do to him, but what the Commander would when he discovered he had found out too late... Suppressing a shudder, he sped on without a glance back.
Hythel pulled sharply up at the base of a silver green hill, her nostrils flared as she stared at some point in the distance. Confused, Nesial tried to follow her gaze but could not figure out what had caused the mare to stop.
"What is it, my friend?" she asked worriedly. Hythel snorted and tossed her mane.
"Why have we stopped?" questioned Eärendil shortly, pulling up beside her. The sound of the horse's heavy breathing filled the air, masking her words from all but the mariner and his son.
"I don't know," she answered truthfully, shaking her head, "There must be something over there she doesn't like the look of." She waved a hand in the general direction Hythel was staring to intently at.
Squinting his elven laced eyes, Eärendil peered at he distance hill tops; but apart from scattered statues, nothing seemed to be there.
"I can see nothing," he told her quietly, "Should we continue?"
Nesial paused for a moment.
"Yes - yes, come on. Not far now..." Once again, the host set off. Convincing her self that it had been nothing, Nesial drove the nagging worry from her mind; Elros on the other hand, whose eyes were far superior to any there present, could not do that so easily. Though he had said nothing because he couldn't be sure, he could have sworn he saw a dark bulky disappearing behind the crown of a hill.
Twilight. No fires were lit this time - they couldn't risk it. They were so close to the camp that a drunken fool would hardly even have considered it. Still, the men did not sit huddled in small groups, blankets wrapped around their shoulders to fend off the icy air; each man stood straining his ears for the call, their fingers sub-consciously tapping on their sword hilts. Elros was stood likewise by his father; it was as though the heightened senses in some aspects had deadened others, for he could not feel the chill on his skin as he would normally have done. They stood waiting in restrained patience now for word to come back from the scouts that had been sent down to the picketed walls of the settlement. Once the signal came back, the plan was to send a small group of decoy riders right down to the very gates of the camp. From Nesial's description of the place, there was no way they would be able to break down the walls and force entry; no, their best shot was to lure their enemy out towards them. And so now, they waited.
Eärendil had considered sending Nesial back down to Káno, in case suspicions had been raised about her absence; but Nesial had frowned at the suggestion, and a shadow had crossed her heart. She couldn't explain it, but she got the dark feeling that walking back into that camp right now was not such a good idea.
The sky was clear and cloudless; the first timid stars were peaking out their fragile glimmers, hung like jewels in the dusty lavender half light. Yet in the far west, the sun was still a fiery orange orb, hanging low in the sky, as though reluctant to leave the world to total darkness, anxious to see the outcome of the battle that would belong to the night.
Beneath Eärendil's still and calm charade, a stubborn angry debate raged. Part of him, the collected, warrior-wise part, knew he had to wait for the signal, or they would all die, his sons included. Yet the father in him... The father in him was almost being torn apart at having to linger on the boundaries of the place that held his weakened, defenceless younger son, and wanted nothing more than to run heedless into danger, if only to hold him in his arms again. Yet though the current was strong, it was not strong enough, and the turbulent waters did not disturb the patiently flowing waters of the surface.
Nesial still could not shake the ominous feeling that something was going to go wrong. Fair enough, her people had never been the greatest of Seers, granted, but she could tell what the world was telling her - and she wasn't sure she liked it. The messages were unclear, cryptic, but they all seemed to be gestures of warning; against what, she really couldn't tell, and that was what put her on edge. She peered at the hill that stood baring the way before them, as if hoping to pierce it with a strong enough gaze, and see into the heart of the camp. Yet the looming giant remained silent and watchful, waiting in anticipation as the defiant sun light it up with sparks of red and gold shot with silver streaks.
All of a sudden, three desperate and shrieking cries came from beyond the hill, causing every person, alert though they were, to jump and foot in the air and spin. The three cries echoed around the hills for miles, dragging on and on into the distance. Elros glanced at his father uncertainly; What could this mean? he silently asked, but his father was looking worriedly in the direction of the camp.
"Oslarn," he said suddenly, so that his captain tore his eyes away from where to screams had come. "How many scouts did we send out there again?"
"Four m'lord," answered Oslarn quietly, "Four of the younger lads - smaller and quieter than the older men. We didn't want -"
But what exactly Oslarn didn't want, they never found out, for at that moment a solitary figure appeared on the hilltop, shouting and waving his arms desperately.
"What is he saying?!" demanded Eärendil, stepping forward anxiously.
"I don't -"
"Ada!" despaired Elros, who had caught the distressed words of the young man only a year or two older than he, "Ada, they know!"
"What?" murmured Eärendil distractedly, turning to his Captain. Yet just what became suddenly and horribly clear; the last scouts warning what shut off all at once, as a crude, black shafted arrow flew swift and deadly through the air, embedding itself in his throat. His eyes, open wide with shock, seemed to glow brightly in the gathering gloom, as he slumped down onto his knees, all the breath of life gone from his lungs. Massive dark shadows mounted the hilltop beside him, bearing spiked clubs and long, notched swords; within a matter of second, the boy lay in pieces on the ground.
"EÄRENDIL, ITS KÁNO!" screamed Nesial, realizing too late exactly what it was the world around had been trying to hard to tell her.
But the Lord was one step in front of her...
"FORM LINES! DRAW YOUR WEAPONS! ARCHERS TO THE FRONT, NOW!" he ordered powerfully, his commanding voice carrying even over the din of the troll like men, swarming like ants over the hill down towards them.
The men of the silver shores did not waste precious time on shock; honed into their battle skills, they ran at once, forming orderly lines, the swordsmen on their flanks and behind the archers in the centre, who knelt down and notched arrows to the string, pulling the bows taut.
"FIRE!" shouted Eärendil, Elros by his side as he joined the forces in their right flank. A hail of arrows, fletched with the distinctive white feather of the gull soared gracefully through the air, even as they had once done above the glittering sea, each flaring vibrant hues in the dying sun. They sailed true to their masters, sinking themselves deep in the bodies of the lumbering men, who appeared to be wearing no armour; an advantage the archers took no time at all to pick up on.
"Oslarn, take your men, get on the horses, form a cavalry to break their ranks!" the mariner hastily ordered his second in command, who nodded without question and hurried to the faithfully waiting steeds. Shower after shower of white shafted arrows brought down the front line of the charging enemy, but it was not enough to stop them.
"Elros, I want to you stay with me," muttered Eärendil, his drawn sword glinting in the faint light of the stars, "But remember what I told you."
"I remember Ada," swallowed Elros, his sword suddenly oh so very heavy in his arms. Practicing in a field had been one thing; but battle? That was another altogether... It had always seemed to be a joke with Elrond - yet that one thought steeled his heart. Elrond. That was why they were here, why he was here. And this time, he would not fail.
The men were almost upon them now. With a terrible cry, they thrust themselves aimlessly with no intention but destruction onto the waiting swords of the soldiers, even as the archers gave way before them, falling back behind the flanks to shoot from safer positions. Like a tidal wave of death, they flooded the defenders, hacking, slashing, breaking, lunging, none of it with any clear purpose; Eärendil's men however, fought with determined, skillful strokes, each movement kept in check and calculated. Yet although better warriors they might be, it became apparent that they could not hold such overwhelming tides for long; no matter how many they felled, more seemed to come and take their place. Soon, Elros could only catch glimpses of his father, let alone stand by his side, and struggled enough for his own life. He began to tune out everything that did not matter, and became solely bent on standing his ground. The earth was quickly littered with heaps of bodies, nearly all of them the enemy; but still, more rained down upon them in a never ending supply!
"Come on, Oslarn," muttered Eärendil, as he thrust his singing sword into the bulging gut of a course, black haired man. He snarled at him, before Eärendil kicked him away to the ground, and sliced cleanly through his neck in one swift stroke.
Even as he wished so, there came the thunder of hooves; a battle cry went up among the soldiers, and suddenly Eärendil saw Oslarn leading the charge, cleaving a straight path towards them, then sweeping past, allowing the mariner a few seconds breather. A soft warm muzzle nudged impatiently at his back, and turning he saw his faithful friend, urging him to hurry. With a wry grin, he leapt upon his back and took the slight reprieve as a chance to find Elros.
The mariner's son too had found his horse, and having swung himself aboard while the beast still moved, he cleared his path now towards the main host of the cavalry, where many of the warriors were mounting their steeds and preparing for a second charge.
"Oslarn, where is my father?" he called to the Captain, who could not answer, but swung his arm out to the right.
As it was, his father was already proceeding towards him, and he met him half way.
"Are you hurt?" asked Eärendil at once, glancing his son over earnestly.
"I'm fine father -"
"Listen to me; I want you to stay back here with Oslarn. I am leading a host into the heart of their camp to find your brother."
"No!" Elros half-shouted, distraught at being left behind.
"Do not argue with me!" Eärendil snapped, "I have not got the time to fight with you now, Elros, there is more at stake! You gave me your word, now stay true to it!"
Without another word, Eärendil's host swiftly began forming themselves, and with another cry and the shrill neighs of the horses, the second charge headed straight for the hill, trampling the men that lay before them, the archers still firing their last arrows from the flanks.
Elros probably spent less than a split second decided what he was to do; with a sharp kick to his horse, he galloped after his father, tagging along at the back of the group. They gained the hilltop to meet the last of the camp's resistance heading towards them. Eärendil's horse reared fiercely, his master holding his sword high, rallying his men, before plunging down the valley again, the enemy falling before them like reeds in a swift wind. Elros lunged and thrust at those who passed him, his doubts and fears left far behind in the shadowy vale. All that mattered now was him, his sword and the enemy. His bay horse kept his sure footing, careful not to give his master away by keeping at the back.
"Eärendil! OVER THERE!" a woman's voice screamed from somewhere near, "To your left Eärendil, on the hill top!"
Elros' horse seemed almost to obey his thoughts rather than his hands, and swung immediately to the left, gathering speed as its hooves flew like thunder over the ground, heading for the hill where he could clearly see two figures surrounded by a group of men; one, with white blonde hair; the other, half-dragged, half carried by its side.
"Elrond!" he cried, fifteen years of training in caution thrown to the wind as he bolted for his brother, charging straight on into the ranks of men. Yet these, it seemed, were more ordered than the others; they held their ground, holding Elros back as he watched helplessly as his semi-conscious brother was pulled further from his grasp.
"Elrond, no!" he cried, tears almost stinging his eyes in frustration. He was so close, so close!
"Elros, go back!" a familiar voice boomed, and all at once his father's host was all about him, and the wall of men that had been able to fend off one horseman alone so easily now fell apart beneath the strengthened attack. Elros caught the merest glimpse of his father flat out galloping for Káno before being pulled back into the battle at hand. Desperately, he tried to regain his lost sense of control, but the men, slow though they were, saw how distracted he was, and a felt a burning, tearing sensation in his leg. Looking down, he saw the leering grin of a hefty thuggish man, whose sword now was embedded deep in his thigh. Elros took a few seconds to register the pain, before the sight of the sneering mouth made his blood boil, and he roared in defiance, lopping the toll's head off. Lakag fell to the ground by his fallen comrades.
"Retreat!" a terrified voice called suddenly, "Fall back to the hills!" Elros half grinned, his pain number mind now noticing that it was not the course, vile voice of his enemy speaking, but the clear sounding call of the herald. "Fall back!"
He had a fleeting shot of his father galloping madly back past him, a figure held tightly to his chest, before he felt strong hands grip his wounded leg and yank him from the saddle. Surprised, Elros did not even have time to cry out as he fell gracelessly to the ground, landing hard on the gaping slash. His horse screamed in terror, and danced around, uncertain of where his master had gone or how to get him back, before he too was blocked from view by a sea of tossing monsters. Elros saw a man lean over him, tall and white haired, though his face was marred with dripping cuts and his eyes black, before a cloth was shoved harshly over his nose and mouth. A sickly sweet smell was the last thing he could remember, before the world span out of focus and the colours blurred. Unable to move, he slumped back against his captor, before a heavy blow to the base of his skull made golden stars dance in front of his eyes and darkness claimed the light, and he knew no more.
Oh dear. Yes, what exactly has just happened?! All very confusing... I'm going to apologise now for any typos, I'm so bad when it comes to them, and I literally just wrote this! So yeah...
Loadsa love, Estel xxx