The Price of Allegiance
Bone numbing, gut wrenching, teeth shattering pain.
It took him completely by surprise. The Urak-hai had some how managed to get under his guard while he was momentarily distracted, his concentration divided for an instant as he called his fellow warriors to retreat to the Keep.
And now his left arm bore the price of his inattention. The foul creature's crude scimitar had brutally sliced through previously unmarred flesh, tore into muscle and grated against bone.
Through the haze of agony, Haldir felt his ire rise, he was angry at this abomination for wounding him but even more so, he was annoyed at himself for allowing it to happen and so it was with eager vehemence that he plunged his own weapon into the creature's gut. A look of grim satisfaction flittered across the elf's face as the beast's black blood coated the elegant silver blade, mingling with that of countless others. He withdrew the sword none to gently and watched the Urak-hai as it crumpled to the stone floor, a look of pure hatred frozen into its grotesque features forever.
Turning away, he assessed the damage to his arm with a quick glance, knowing instantly that it would be useless in aiding him to grip the hilt of his weapon and so he tightened his hold on the leather bound handle with his right hand. As the injured March warden looked up, he could see the remaining Galadhrim hastily making their way to the proffered safety of the Keep, they carefully leapt over the fallen bodies of men and kin and wove their way around the scattered stones of the breached outer wall.
It was then that the second violent blow struck and it seemed as though time had stood still.
The primitive metal penetrated his armour from behind, cracking the steel and slipping through the leather beneath.
Pain assaulted him once again, its consuming fire threatening to overwhelm his senses as more flesh was torn, ribs were cleaved and vertebrae cracked. It stole his breath and pilfered his strength and he was helpless to prevent his legs from folding as they collapsed beneath him. As he knelt defenceless on the cold wet stone he noted absently a feeling of warmth spread down his back as his own life force leaked out from the gaping wound and then........... then there was nothing.
The pain vanished just as quickly as it had come and he was left with a strange numbness that soon invaded every limb. His precious sword fell from limp fingers and his eyes now shone with confusion.
Was he dying ?
Was this how it was going to end? he wondered.
The light seemed dimmer some how and the elf struggled to to catch a glimpse of the stars, but he was denied their soothing presence for they were shrouded by the dark rain clouds that hung ominously over the land. Eärendil could offer him no comfort this night.
Strangely then, he thought he heard his name being called, though it sounded far away and was muted by the din of battle, the relentless rain and the sounds of his own laboured breaths. As his eyes began to loose their focus he caught the heart wrenching sight of his fellow warriors, their graceful bodies splattered with blood, brought down with brutal fury and blood lust and carelessly strewn about the battered battlement, mingled with the bodies of men and the filth of Saruman.
It grieved him greatly to see such a waste of life, would anyone remaining truly understand the sacrifice his kin had made. Not only would they no longer see the beautiful Golden Wood again, never to walk with kin amongst the wondrous mellryn and rejoice in their song but gone also was their chance to journey to the Undying Lands. They had given up eternity to come to the aid of the world of men, the same men that were changing their treasured Middle-earth forever.
Sadness and guilt gripped his dying heart. He had led these elves here and now they would not return. It was he, along with the aid of Lord Elrond that had convinced his Lord Celeborn and the Lady Galadriel to allow him to come here. He believed that the race of men should not be abandoned in this most darkest of times and they had reluctantly allowed him to leave Lothlórien with two hundred fellow Galadhrim warriors. Now, he was left to wonder how many would survive.
Failure ate at his soul, he had failed his Lord and Lady , he had failed his brethren and he had failed his younger brothers. They had made him promise to return safely to them and he had agreed, a foolish act but he realised now he would not live much longer to regret it.
He felt his last breath drain from his broken body as all about him fell silent, the darkness encroached about him further, though he imagined he saw Aragorn rush towards him.
Finally he felt himself fall back and was powerless to prevent it, as the light left his eyes forever, his last thoughts were of the costly price of allegiance.
Author's note; Hi folks ! This little once off piece was inspired by something I read in the book "The Lord of The Rings; Weapons and Warfare" by Chris Smith. It's been done many a times before but I just wrote it as a little prequel to 'Fallen Leaves'.
Anyway hope you enjoyed it and please do let me know what you think ! Thanks !!
Disclaimer; I don't own them (sigh) & I think we all know who does !