+ Elven Ranger – The Hornburg +
Eleniel opened her eyes to see a familiar face peering down at hers, “Haldir?” She said quietly, he nodded his head. There were loud ramming sounds at the door; Aragorn was talking to Théoden nearby. “You said this fortress would never fall while your men defend it! They still defend it! They have died defending it!” Eleniel sat up and looked at the handful of men and elves barricading the doors with timber, chairs, tables and anything else they could find. “Bar the door!” A man called out as the ramming on the door became even fiercer.
Eleniel tried to move her left shoulder, but as she did she pressed her lips together so she did not to cry out in pain. Lower on the same arm it had been bandaged where she had been stabbed. Her left arm was totally useless, she had never been useless. `This all better heal soon.’ She thought to herself. Suddenly she felt light headed and she fell back, Haldir put his arm behind Eleniel to catch her and then laid her down carefully. “There was poison on the blade that gave you the stab wound. I am surprised you are awake.” Eleniel felt sick, she didn’t want to lie down; she sat up again, bent over with her head between her bent knees. She wasn’t sure if she was going to throw up or not… hopefully not. “I feel sick,” Eleniel paused; it felt bad to talk too much, her head hurt. “But the poison must not have been too bad, or I would be in worse condition than this.”
Haldir ripped material from his cloak and made it into a sling for her arm. She bit her lip as she had to move it slightly for him to put the sling on. “Your arm is broken,” He looked pale, “I am so sorry.” Eleniel patted him on the arm with her right hand, obviously… that was the only one that worked. She would have told him not to worry but she was afraid of doing too much. Eleniel kept her head down, she listened to Aragorn and Théoden speak.
“Is there no other way for the women and children to get out of the caves?” Aragorn demanded, Eleniel looked slowly up at the King, he didn’t look all there, Théoden’s gaze was far away. “Is there no other way!” Aragorn turned to one of the king’s men, “There is one passage. It leads into the mountains. But they will not get far. The Uruk-Hai are too many.” He answered.
“Send word for the women and children to make for the mountain pass. And barricade the entrance.” Aragorn said as he pushed the man towards the entrance of the caves. Théoden turned to Aragorn, “So much death. What can men do against such reckless hate?” The look in Théoden’s eyes showed defeat.
Aragorn stepped forward, inspiration upon his face. “Ride out with me.” Théoden turned to face Aragorn again. “Ride out and meet them.” A new light of strength and determination was kindled in the old king’s eyes. “For death and glory.”
“For Rohan. For your people.” Aragorn said. “The sun is rising.” Gimili stated as he looked to the sun flowing in the window. Aragorn looked to the window, remembering words no one else knew. A new fierceness was in the king’s voice as he spoke, “Yes. Yes! The horn of Helm Hammerhand shall sound in the deep one last time!” Gimili jumped on the spot, “Yes!” He ran out of the room and up some stairs. Théoden stepped up to Aragorn and laid a hand on his shoulder, “Let this be the hour we draw swords together.”
Horses were brought from the caves for the remaining soldiers, Eleniel heaved herself up, and she grimaced at the pain in her arm, shoulder, head and stomach. Aragorn looked at her, “Get into the caves!” Eleniel looked at him and shook her head, “No, I’ll ride. I need only one working arm and that’s what I have.” “How will you hold onto the reins lady?” Théoden asked her. “What reins? Elves need no reins or saddle.” She smiled.
Aragorn walked to her, he considered her for a moment and took her right hand, looking into her eyes. “You are too sick, you will fall.” He said. Eleniel frowned, “but I can’t stay behind. I won’t. I will ride out; I would rather die out there in the last defense than here in the caves.” Aragorn looked torn, understanding that that would be his choice as well, but he did not want his dear friend to be injured any further. Eleniel turned without Aragorn’s answer.
“Help me onto Celebnaur.” Said Eleniel. Haldir stood there, he frowned. He sighed and helped her onto her horse that had just been brought out to her by a woman with long golden hair, “Thank you.” She said to the lady, the woman looked at her in wonder and Eleniel noticed a hint of jealousy in her eyes. “Éowyn you need to hurry, lead the people through the mountain pass.” The woman looked to the King then turned swiftly to the door, casting a cool eye over the soldiers who were now upon horses and ready. The doors to the caves were shut tight and blocked.
The King sat high upon his horse, anger burning in his eyes. “Fell deeds await,” The doors would burst open any second. “Now for wrath! Now for ruin!” They all drew their swords. “And a red dawn!” Théoden called, and the horn of Helm Hammerhand sounded loud and clear in the deep.
With a loud crash the Uruk-Hai finally burst through the doors, “Forth Eolingas!” King Théoden called to his men, “Herio!” (`Charge!’) Haldir shouted, and the elves and men charged forward to meet the onslaught of the Uruk-Hai. They rode out through the doors to the thrown room, hacking at the Uruk-Hai as they went, out of the burg and down some stairs, then out along the causeway, and in the fields that were once grassy slopes now a forest loomed. The men and elves were surrounded by Uruk-Hai, cutting and slashing and stabbing they went on. The forest was dark and foreboding and their hearts sank, that maybe Saruman had released more of his wizardry upon them. But Eleniel noticed how the hosts of Saruman were afraid of it as well.
Eleniel fought, her pain she ignored somehow and got on with the job, she couldn’t fall, she didn’t want to. But she knew if she wasn’t killed now she would still be useless, her arm was bad.
Then suddenly upon a ridge appeared a rider, clad in white, shining in the rising sun. Over the low hills the horns were sounding. Behind him, hastening down the long slopes, were a thousand men on horse back; their swords were in their hands. Amid them rode a man tall and strong with golden hair flowing beneath his helm.
“Mithrandir!” Cried Eleniel as she saw the white clad figure. The great host charged forward. The hosts of Isengard roared, going this way and that, turning from fear to fear. The horn sounded again from the tower.
The White Rider was upon them, and his coming filled the enemy with terror and madness. Saruman’s army fled in fear, wailing they passed under the waiting shadow of the trees; and from that shadow none ever came again.
The battle of Helm’s deep was over, “victory! We have victory!” Théoden shouted. Eleniel looked out at the dark wood, wondering if she really saw it or was it some fantasy caused by the poison. Suddenly all the pain she had obtained that night came crashing over her like a tidal wave; and once again Eleniel fell into darkness.