The small group barreled their horses thru the onslaught of orcs that had taken over the fortress. The orcs attacked from all sides but the men and Aliana became a team, working together to fight them off. They made it to the front gates that were wide open now and started pushing their way down the walkway. There were so many orcs that they were forced to ride single file. King Theoden lead the way followed by Aragorn, Aliana, Legolas, then the other five soldiers. Aliana accurately swung her sword from side to side, killing every orc that fell into her path. She looked up and saw the sea of orcs that had filled the valley. She realized there was no way they would make it thru this alive. This had indeed become Rohan’s last stand. But she knew she was fortunate to be a part of it, to fight with her brother in his last battle. If only she would have had more time with him. She had been cheated out of so much in her life. Her father had sent her off to keep her safe from the impending evil, and here she was, surrounded by it. But she would make her family proud of her. She would show no mercy to these evil monsters. She had learned her lessons from the elves well and she fought as gallantly as the men surrounding her.
All of a sudden a cold chill ran down her spine. Aliana looked up and saw there was a gap growing between her and Aragorn. She knew something was wrong and looked around for what had caused her to feel this way. That was when she saw it. An orc was approaching Aragorn from the right side, the long sword in its hand giving off a strange light. She knew she had to do something fast, for this sword would be the one to end her brother’s life. She spurred Farion ahead as hard as she could and the gap started to close slowly. But as the orc was almost to her brother, she knew she would not make it in time to make the difference. Without thinking, she jumped up and stood on Farion’s back, made sure she had her balance, and leapt as hard as she could. As her foot came down on Farion’s head, the horse, who had his head lowered, lifted his head as to give her an extra push. As she flew through the air she could hear Legolas scream her name from behind. While in mid-air she swung her blade with more ferocity then she had ever felt in her life. Aliana hardly noticed as it’s arm fell from the walkway to the depths below. The orc looked up at her for an instant before it’s body followed the same path its arm had.
As her feet hit the walkway, she was brought to her knees as a blinding pain seared thru her side. Instantly her hand came up to her side and as she looked down she could see it was already covered in blood. Aliana had not seen the orc whose blade had pierced her. Aragorn was already ahead of her again and had not seen what happened but Legolas had witnessed the whole thing and was desperately fighting to make his way to her. Aliana could hear him yelling her name. She sat there with her head down flashing back on what had just happened. As she heard Legolas’ voice, she thought back on the many visions she had thru her life. Aliana did not realize until this moment that the elf prince had always been in her dreams. She thought back on their first meeting and how she would not be here now if were not for him. She knew she loved him and realized she would never see him again. One last time she would be cheated from true happiness. That was the single thought that gave her strength. She took a deep breath and from somewhere deep inside her raised a fury that brought her slowly to her feet. The orcs that had been yelling in victory a moment before now had a look of fear in their eyes. She raised her sword over her head, let out a scream and started swinging into the surrounding orcs. One by one they fell away and she started making her way to the bottom of the walkway. As she reached the valley floor, a brilliant white light was seen on the eastern mountainside. The fighting subsided as all eyes turned to find the origin. Standing on top of the mountain was Gandalf and the leader of the Rohirrim. Gandalf let out a yell and the two horseman galloped down the mountain toward the orcs, followed by a huge army of men. As the two armies collided, Gandalf’s light burst thru the entire valley. Aliana looked forward to see Aragorn and King Theoden renewed with hope as they started fighting their way through to meet up with Gandalf. Aliana started to follow, swinging her sword with all her might and dodging where she needed to. She could still hear Legolas behind her trying to catch up with her, but there were still too many orcs between them, and she knew in her heart that Legolas indeed needed no help. He was more skillful a warrior than any of them.
As many orcs were now running from the valley, Aliana found herself once again surrounded. They must have thought of her as an easy target, for they kept coming, seemingly intent on ending her life. She threw a round house kick and knocked the orc behind her onto his back and thrust her sword into the stomach of the orc in front of her. She ducked to miss the blow that would have taken off her head from the left and came up with her sword in both hands, slicing upwards into that orc and watching him fall away. One more left. She parried his swing and lunged, but the orc moved to the side. She swung herself around and was facing her opponent. This fight went on for several moments. She felt a blow from behind and was knocked to the ground. As she lay on her back, watching her opponent lift its sword to stab her, she reached out, found her sword and lunged it up at him, plunging the blade into its heart. As the last orc yelled out and swung its blade to end her life, an arrow found its mark in the orcs back, sending it to it’s death.
Aliana made her way to her feet and looked for the origin of the arrow. About 50 feet in front of her was Legolas, combating one last orc as the rest fled for their lives. She looked to her right and could see Aragorn and Gandalf stopped on their horses, surveying the area. She looked back at Legolas who was victorious and was now running towards her. As she looked at him with a smile on her face, she suddenly felt drained. She looked down and saw the pool of blood at her feet. Aliana remembered the wound she received when she stopped the orc on the walkway from killing her brother. As the smile left her face, she looked back up to the elf. Before he could reach her, she fell to her knees. The next thing she knew she was laying on her back looking up at the grey sky. Legolas reached her and dropped to his knees, pulling her up into his arms.
She opened her eyes and looked up at him. She tried to speak, but didn’t have the strength.
“Don’t speak, my lady. Gandalf is on his way.” She turned her head and looked over to see Aragorn and Gandalf now riding swiftly towards them. She looked back up at her dream warrior, lifted her arm and brushed his cheek with her blood soaked fingers. He grabbed her hand in his own and held her hand to his face as she closed her eyes and felt the life drain from her body.
We return to the forests again. Our hobbit friend has lost all faith and finds the true meaning of apathy by the end of this chapter. He is taken captive by a band of elves and one human. This chapter suggests that some of his past will be revealed soon.