Then There Were Ten - Chapter #10: Path Through Moria
On they went, through the Mines. It was dark, and cold, making the bones of almost everyone in the Fellowship shiver. Turuna, though, was use to the cold and dark, as she had lived most her life in it, though it had not been underground.
Though the air was musty, and cold, she did not seem to feel it. She kept leading the way with the light from her ring, Silma, which created a nice light not too far ahead by her command. Her rings of power were, though, the hardest ones out of all the rings that had ever been made that were the hardest to bear. For their power was far stronger then that of any other, both almost as strong as the One Ring itself, making them twice as hard for the weak to withstand. Even the Strong had a hard time resisting it's power. But the rings had been given to her by advice of Lady Galadriel, and Lord Elrond, because she had a stronger will them all the ring bearers combined.
Gandalf suddenly sat his hand on Turuna's shoulder, while they were going over a small bridge over a large pit. She stopped, and looked back at him. He turned to the Fellowship, and said, "the wealth of Moria was not in gold, or jewels, but Mithril."
He motioned for Turuna to make Silma shine brighter, and point it down into the pit. She did so and alas! Mithril began to shine from cracks in the wall, and other such places. The eyes of the Fellowship were amazed, for most of them had never seen such a sight. Turuna, though, was not all that amazed. She had helped the Dwarves in many of their projects, including mining Mithril. She had seen this site so many times that it held no more interest in her.
Gandalf then nodded to her, and she dimmed the light coming from Silma, turned, and began to lead the way again, while Gandalf continued to talk. "Bilbo had a shirt of Mithril rings, given to him by Throin."
"That was a kindly gift," Gimli stated.
"Indeed. I never told him, but it's worth was greater then that of the Shire."
They continued on, up and down stairs, across bridges here and there, and down paths that were no longer as well kept as when Turuna had last been here. After around an estimated four days of walking, they walked into a huge hall, and, though it was risky to do so, Turuna bid Silma to shine brighter. And so it did, and behold! There, before them, stood the great halls of the Dwarves.
Again, all the eyes of the Fellowship, save that of Turuna's, were amazed by this site. Turuna kept walking forward, not pausing for a moment. She did not bid the light to dim this time though, as they were close enough to the exit that they should not have to worry about Orcs very much.
She kept walking, and went to turn to go down another hall to get to the exit, but stopped. There, laying in that hall leading to a small room, were many bones scattered across the floor. And there, just inside the room, was a tomb. Gimli rounded the corner after her, cried out, and rushed forward.
"Wait!" Turuna dashed after him, but the Dwarf had been quick, and was already at the tomb. He slowly fell to his knees as Turuna ran up to his side, and looked at the tomb. Her face turned to one of sorrow when she looked upon the name. "Balin....rest in peace dear friend..." She knelt down, placing a firm hand on Gimli's shoulders as he cried out again.
Gandalf walked up next to her, shaking his head. "It's as I feared."
"It's as we both feared Gandalf..." Turuna straightened out again, seeing a book sitting near the tomb, picked it up, and handed it to Gandalf.
Gandalf cracked it open, and began to read what was written on the last page. "They have taken the bridge, and the second hall. We have barred the gate, but cannot hold them for long. The ground shakes. Drums, drums in the deep. We cannot get out. A shadow moves in the dark. We cannot get out...They're coming."
Suddenly, a loud clang was heard, and everyone looked in the direction from which it had come. There stood Pippin, next to a well, with a skeleton he had found very interesting. It was obvious that he had accidentally was knocked the head off, and that had gone clanging down the well, making the loud noise.
Suddenly, the rest of the skeleton fell backwards into the well, dragging a chain after it that was attached to a metal bucket. "No!" Turuna rushed forward, leaped, and reached out to grab the bucket before it too went over the edge. But it went over before she could grab it, and she herself almost fell into the pit. Quickly, though, she did a flip over the well to avoid plunging into it.
She spun around, stopped, and listen to everything clang, for what seemed forever, until all the stuff had found it's way to the bottom far below. For a few moments longer, everyone held their breath, hoping, praying that Pippins mistake had not awoken any of the foe Orcs in the lower levels of Moria.
Nothing was heard, and they all let their breath out in a sigh of relief. Gandalf slammed the book shut, and scolded Pippin. "Fool of a Took! Throw yourself in next time and ride ourselves of your stupidity!" Pippin looked down, but then, suddenly, Turuna heard a noise that she had been praying not to hear on their path through Moria.
The sound of armour and spears clashing filled the air. Hideous cries were heard, and Turuna instantly knew that the Orcs were coming. But there was something else, Turuna heard a different hideous cry, and knew these Orcs had not come unprepared, for they had brought a cave troll with them.
Boromir turned, and ran back to the door in which they had entered through. Turuna turned, rushed after him, and pulled him back inside the door just in time, as two arrows flew into the wall right where Boromir's head had been. She pulle dhim back inside the door, slammed the doors shut, and looked at Aragorn who now stood beside her. "They've got a cave troll with them."
She then turned to Legolas, who threw her two axes. She threw one to Aragorn, and used the other to barricade the door shut. Aragorn did the same with his, then stepped away from the door, and drew his bow and a arrow. Turuna did the same, nocking the arrow to her strongly made Elven Bow, that she herself had made, and wrought the string with her own hair.
The sound of Axes hacking away from the door was heard. One of the axes broke through, and Turuna let an arrow fly through the small hole, killing the Orc on the other side. Legolas let an arrow go too, as another orc broke a small hole through. Aragorn, too, let an arrow fly. Then it happened, the door was broke down, and Orcs poured into the room, like a river into a newfound path.
Legolas, Turuna, and Aragorn let another arrow fly, then pulled out their swords, and waited for the onslaught of the Orcs. The Orcs clashed into them, and the battle began. Quicker then a blink of an eye, Turuna drew her sword, and dagger, chopped on Orcs head off, and stabbed another in the throat with the dagger.
She then jumped sideways to avoid an orc blade, kicked that Orc in the stomach, then stabbed that orc in the stomach. She then turned, leaped forward, and helped Merry with some Orcs he was trying to run from. She then turned, jumped onto the tomb Gimli was still on, and began to slay Orcs, fighting back to back with Gimli.
Suddenly, something crashed into the room. Turuna looked back to the door, and saw the Cave Troll. Without wasting a beat, she jumped off the tomb, and run off in another direction. She saw Legolas fighting some Orcs from where he stood on a balcony above her, and knew that would be a good balcony to shoot the troll from with her bow. Quickly, not wanting to waist a second, she jumped up, and quickly climbed, using handholds, and footholds that were nearly invisible, to climb up.
Once on top, she drew her bow, and an arrow, then turned to the Troll. With ease, she nocked the arrow to her bow, and let it fly into the troll, but that only made it mad, and made it start in her direction. Legolas quickly finished slaying the Orc he was fighting, and turned to help Turuna.
The troll grabbed the chain that had been chained up across his neck, so the Orcs could lead him into the cave, and swung it at Turuna's and Legolas's heads. They quickly ducked, and the chain just barely missed their heads.
The troll swung again, and again they ducked. Next, the troll tried to whip the chain downwards onto their heads, they leaped out of the way. The troll swung once more, and the chain wrapped around a column that Turuna and Legolas was standing near.
Turuna ran over to it, and slammed her foot down on the area it had wrapped around, and nodded to Legolas, who leapt forward, ran across the chain, and onto the Cave Trolls shoulders. From there, he nocked his bow, and shoot the Troll straight in the head, but that only made the troll mad.
The troll started to try and swat Legolas off his shoulders. Legolas jumped off on his own, and ran another direction. Turuna jumped off the balcony, and ran in an opposite direction from Legolas. She turned to face the troll again, but the troll was going after her this time, he was going after Frodo. "Frodo!" She yelled, trying to run forward to get to him.
But Orcs jumped in her way, she watched horrified as the troll separated Frodo from the other halflings, and was forced to hide behind a large pillar. Turuna tried desperately to get free of the Orcs to help Frodo, and failed again.
When she looked back over, she saw Aragorn jump in with a spear and stab the troll in the stomach. She instantly knew that she had to get over there, and leapt over the head of the Orc in front of her. She watched the troll knocked Aragorn into the nearby wall, knocking him out.
The troll pulled the spear out of his stomach, and went to hit Frodo in the head with it. Turuna dived, tackled Frodo, and pushed both of them out of the way of the spear just in time. She then rolled back to her feet, pulled Frodo back to his feet, and faced the troll. The troll went to hit them with the spear again, but thanks to Turuna's quick movements, they were able to dodge it.
But, on the next try, they were not so lucky. Turuna, having seen that they would not both be able to move out of the way in time, pushed Frodo out of the way, and took the full hit of the spear in her hip, basically crushing the bone there. Turuna stopped moving, and just stood there for a moment, her eyes full of pain, and disbelieve.
All the other Fellowship members seemed to just stop in their tracks too, not believe what just happened. The troll let go of the spear, and went to go cause havoc somewhere else. Turuna slowly pulled the spear out of her hip, looked over at Frodo, and gave a short nod. Then, having no more strength to keep standing, she fell forward, in, what seemed to everyone, slow motion, hitting the ground with a thud.
The members of the Fellowship, now angered by what had happened to Turuna, turned, and charged the troll. They all surrounded it, and began to hit it with their swords and axes. Pippin and Merry jumped onto the trolls back, and began to stab their swords into it. The troll grabbed Merry, and threw him into Gimli.
Pippin then stabbed his sword deep into the troll's back, and the troll threw his head up, revealing his neck, about the only weak spot on his body. Legolas used that opportunity to nock his bow, and shoot an arrow right into the trolls neck. The troll staggered forward some, cried out, then fell to the ground, dead.
For a moment, the Fellowship just stood there, looking at the troll. Then Legolas cried out, put his bow away, and ran over to Turuna. Frodo was on his knees next to her, shaking her some. Legolas lightly pushed Frodo aside, and knelt down next to Turuna. "Turuna, how bad is the injury?"
Turuna, who was still awake somehow, looked up at him with blurry vision. "Bad, I think it completely smashed my bone where the spear hit." She moaned a little bit, and closed her eyes. "It hurts...it's hurts so badly..."
"Can you stand, we need to get out of here?"
"What do you think? If a bone is crushed, would you be able to stand?"
Aragorn run up next to Turuna, wrapped an arm around her waist, and helped her up. Legolas then stood, grabbed Turuna's arm, slung it on his shoulder, then wrapped his arm around her waste too. The two began to walk away, doing their best to help Turuna run. She picked her feet up as best she could so her dragging feet would not slow them down, and they went running out of the hall. The ran into another hall, and began to make a mad rush to get to the other side, as Orcs began to fill into the hall they had just come out of.
For a moment, all hope of them ever getting out of there seemed lost, but Turuna knew that there was still a way, and that the rest of the Fellowship, if not her, were going to get out of her alive. Suddenly, Orcs blocked their way out on all exit's. Turuna looked at Aragorn and Legolas who were still carrying her. "Put me down, none of us can fight while you are bearing me."
Aragorn nodded to Legolas, who let go of Turuna, and grabbed his bow, but Aragorn himself did not let go. He put his hand on the hilt of his sword, and waited. Knowing not to argue right now, Turuna put her hand on the hilt of her sword too, slowly drawing it from it's sheath. Oiolosseo shined brightly in the hal, seemingly, for a moment, to chase the shadows away.
Turuna then lifted up her hand with the rings on them, and chanted a few words. Silma grew bright, and sent the Orcs retreating a few steps back out of the light. But they cried out war cries, and slowly began to step froward again, that's when they heard it. Every bone in Turuna's body shiver, her blood froze, and it seemed for a second her heart stopped, as she remembered well what it was.
Everyone else was stopped cold in their tracks, for it also made them shiver with fear, and only Legolas, Gandalf, Aragron, and Turuna knew of what it was. "What devilry is this?!" Boromir asked from near the back.
All stood still for a moment, then Gandalf spoke. "A demon of the Ancient world. A Balrog it is, and this foe is beyond any of you." He turned to face them. "Run!"
Legolas wrapped his arm around Turuna's waste again, and they began to run again. Turuna was beginning to feel weary from lack of blood, and she began to slump down some in Aragorn's, and Legolas's grip. They held onto her even tighter then before, knowing that she was slipping from them, and that they had to reach the exit soon.
They soon came to a long set of stairs, which the Fellowship ren down. But there was a problem, for there was a great break in the stairs that everyone would have to jump. Aragorn and Legolas shared a look, for they both could not jump with Turuna. Aragorn nodded, and Legolas let go of Turuna, and jumped across the gap. He then turned, and help steady Gandalf as he jumped.
Turuna, finding what little strength she could come up with, stood up on her own, putting all her weight on the leg that was not injured. She turned to Sam, picked him up, and threw him across the gap.
Suddenly, arrows began to ping off the stairs near their feet. Turuna was able to move out of the way of one before it hit her. Boromir then picked Merry and Pippin up, and jumped across with them.
Some of the bridge began to fall away, and Aragorn pulled Turuna back before she fell with the piece of the bridge. Turuna turned to Aragorn, "time to go across." She grabbed him, and threw him across, with some of the last strength she had. She then turned to the dwarf.
"No body tosses a Dwarf!" He stated, he turned, and jumped across on his own. But, seeing how he did not jumped far enough, he began to fall backwards. Legolas sprang forward, and grabbed Gimli by the beard. "Not the beard!" Gimli cried, as Legolas pulled him back to safety.
More of the bridge began to break off. Turuna grabbed forward, and threw him back up the stairs, then quickly leapt after him to avoid falling down. She then slowly climbed back to her feet, and looked at the gap that rested between them, and the rest of the Fellowship.
Suddenly, a loud rour, that shook the very ground, was heard, and pieces of the stone ceiling began to fall. One of the pieces hit the bridge not to far up, and the section of the bridge that they were one began to sway violently.
Turuna reached out, and grabbed Frodo, and tried to keep both of them balanced. The bridge continued to sway, and Turuna got an idea. "Lean forward!" She yelled to Frodo, and both of them leaned forward. The bridge began to move forward, and crashed into the bridge section where the rest of the Fellowship was waiting, with their arms waiting to caught Frodo and Turuna. They fell forward into their arms.
Turuna, having lost a lot of her strength from that, just fell forward into Legolas's arms, and really didn't move. Legolas picked her up, and began to run with her down the rest of the stairs. Soon, they came to a small hall, and Gandalf pointed to a bridge in the distance. "Over the bridge, go!"
Suddenly, something jumped up behind them, and began to chase them to the bridge. Turuna looked over Legolas's shoulder, and saw the Balrog of Morgoth. It let out a load roar, as it chased them across the bridge. Gandalf stopped in the middle of the bridge, and turned to face the Balrog.
Turuna, knowing that even Gandalf could not take the Balrog on alone, pushed herself out of Legolas's arms, and ran, with what little strength she could come up with, till she stood behind him, ready to do whatever necessary to help him.
The Balrog stopped, and pulled out a sword of flame. Gandalf raised his staff, and chanted a few words, making a light glow from it. The Balrog brought his sword of flame down upon it, but it did nothing more but to shatter that sword of flame.
The Balrog then pulled out a whip and cracked it not too far over Gandalf's and Turuna's heads. Gandalf raised his staff, and yelled, "you shall not pass!" His voice echoed through the mines, and he slammed his staff down on the bridge.
The Balrog stood there for a moment, then stepped out onto the bridge. Suddenly, the bridge gave way, and the Balrog fell with it. For a moment, all seemed like Gandalf had won, but the Balrog whipped his whip up one last time. It wrapped around Gandalf's leg, and pulled him off the edge of the bridge, making him drop both his staff and Glamdring.
Gandalf grabbed onto the edge, Turuna dropped down, grabbed his arm, and tried to help him back up. But, from the blood lose, she was too weak to do so. Gandalf saw this, but saw also in her eyes that she would not willingly let go. He turned his eyes to the rest of the Fellowship. "Fly you fools." As he said this, he grasped the dagger Turuna had always kept neatly tucked in her boot, and stabbed her hand to make her let go of him. With a cried, more out of shock then of pain, she let go, and he fell.
For a moment, Turuna stayed there, dagger still stabbed into her hand, looking down at where Gandalf had fell. Behind her she heard a screaming, but she could not make out the words. Suddenly, Legolas appeared beside her. He picked her up, and ran off, as Orcs began to fill the hall in which they had run across to get to the bridge. Turuna, being in a world of shock, did not notice any of this.
Legolas carried her out of the cave, and into the bright light that lay outside. They were now out of the mines of Moria, bur the cost had been too much for them to bear. Slowly, and carfully, Legolas sat Turuna down, and began to tend to her wound as best he could. Pippin and Merry lay not far away, sobbing. Sam sat by, tears seeping slowly from his eyes. Boromir and Gimli were also pain stricken. Aragron stood a bit away, but his face, too, showed signs of hurt, and sorrow. Frodo stood, also, a ways away, tears snaking down his cheak. It had been bad enough that Turuna had almost, and probably still could, lose her life to the wounds she had suffered during the battle with the troll.
Legolas looked into Turuna's eyes, as he finished doing all he could for her wound. She looked at him, and all he saw now was her war-harden self, the ranger. He knew that she was hurting badly from Gandalf's lose, but even so, she did not show any signs of this anymore. It had been the attitude she had acquired over the long years she had spent living with the Dunedain, and among mortal men, who almost always were at war with the dark lord and his evil forces.
From behind, he heard Aragorn say, "Legolas, get them up. We must continue, for by night fall this hill will be swarming with Orcs. We have to reach the woods of Lothlorien."
Legolas stood, and picked Turuna up again, as it was obvious that she had spent the last of her strength trying to help Gandalf. Lightly he heard her whisper, "I'm sorry Mithrandir, I wasn't strong enough." She then laid her head against Legolas's shoulder, and passed out.