The dwarf retreated to a steady jogging pace, almost that of desperate walking. He had lost count of the numbers, all he knew is that they came over the hills like water on rock, over the lands they marched, scavengers, those orcs, never once taking in air, their lungs filled with the lust for blood, and dwarf flesh.
Gimli stole a glance to his right while keeping his speed, he noticed they were not in eye sight of the horizon, they were gone! He hoped. But he had fought bravely, while his courage lasted. They caught him walking alone through the grasslands of Rohan while he was searching for Legolas, he wanted to take the elf to his home, to The Glittering caves for the first time, the caverns beneath Helms Deep. But the search was cut short with the arrival of the green skinned scavengers, the blood thirsty orcs. At first their were only three. Gimli had slain them all with the greatest of ease, cleaving there repulsive heads right off of their shoulders. With the look of fire in his eyes and the glair that would lay them flat instantly.
But then more came, just two this time. As they came into the opening to where the dwarf was standing ready they gave each other a look of satisfaction, as if to say “yes, finally some easy bate lads!” Then they headed casually yet clumsily towards the figure carrying the battle axe prized with the black blood of three of their comrades, still having no idea who they were up against. They advanced in swiping distance, they stood still, and it was then that they recognised this lone dwarf, wondering about at night time under the dim light of the moon. It was Gimli son of Gloin, elf-friend, Lord of the Glittering Caves, what fate had beset them to fall upon such deathly an adversary.
Their eyes widened and there wrists loosened, as if for a sign of retreat, but Gimli made to movement, he was content with taking in the orcs’ astonishment…and foolishness. And for a second all was silent…and still. Until Gimli, Gloins son came to life, content with the abnormal respect shown by the foolish orcs, he injected his weapon into them like a dose of death, dealing judgement with a swipe. Then again, as another came from the hill with a mace, Gimli’s unhesitant axe ripping the air as the blade pierced the atmosphere and swung round until it finally reached the object of it’s search, green flesh, orc flesh!
By the time the moon had resided behind a mass of cloud, ten orc bodies lie dies, some decapitated, some bloodied beyond reckoning, others hidden beneath the darkness. A shadow cast upon them by the figure of the lone dwarf with his arms outstretched, calling to the night in triumph, asking for more prey, pleading with the darkness for more fun.
Then…an unexpected moment came, as Gimli sat down on the grass taking in the victory, the call, a call, no! the yowls! The screeches! The howls, the shouts of more orcs. Much more. Gimli stood up at the abrupt change, ears listening closely only to withdraw again after hearing the sheer volume of the noise. He dared not look down the slop to bare witness to his adversary, but he knew he had to, he had to see. He walked forward towards the edge of the steep hill, eyes straining to see through the blackness, but as they adjusted, he could make out shapes, bodies of grey, faint figures, pale yet decisive. “Orcs!” muttering sharply to himself, “More of them. We must go, come on. Now!”
Gimli and his axe fled!
Gimli, in his desperate jogging pace, still trying to escape the tailing orcs, cleared his mind, allowing thoughts of Legolas to enter his concerns. He must live to show him the caves, his home. He had gone back to Fangorn with him at the end of their ordeals and now it was his turn.
He was so proud of his home. He had built his own dwarf colony, sent for them from Erebor and the Iron Hills where he would lend them from Dain. Now what would he say if he found out Gimli was to be taken by orcs?
But he was determined to fill his oath and running now in his phase if frustration and desperation, he realised that the orcs were gaining ground, fast! They weren’t far behind him now, and he had to keep running. He could not turn and fight, their numbers were to great, he had to keep running.
Then suddenly, as he turned once more to check his positioning, he slipped. A rock protruding from the uneven ground stuck out to catch a clumsy dwarven footstep, as if it was summoned to the task by the orcs themselves. He soon found himself staring at an insect struggling on it’s back with it`s legs in the air, on the soil.
“He’s over boys, down for the taking!” the echoes of the creatures did not reach the dwarf, oh if only he knew, knew how close. He was lying flat on the ground staring into the sky, too dazed to get upright. And he lye their.
Encircling the felled body on the floor, the orcs stopped and stared, smashing their weapons together at the excitement of an easy kill. And eager to avenge their fallen companions. One stepped out from the line; “Well well well. Was do we have hear? An over curious dwarf lurking outside their mines at such dark hours. What brings you out at such a dangerous time you stupid fool. I’ll make you pay for what you did to Grishnakh and his men, you’re a dead man. Now get up you miserable wretch!” the orc spat on the ground at the fallen body…
…that was slowly rising to it’s feet. “Never in all of the fourth age have such foolish creatures dared to take on a lone dwarf with an axe.” Gimli was stood up proudly, feet firmly apart in a brooding, fearless stance. And the look on his face shown every bit of pride within his body. “You shall find that my size matters not. Nor do the numbers you have at your calling, bring with thee what you may, any one standing before me. You shall fall!”
The orcs’ astonishment turned to rage as the helpless looking dwarf shot an axe right between the eyes of an unsuspecting `on-looker’ and brought him tumbling to the ground in a heap of death. The orcs spat and cursed at the dwarfs unscathed bravery. Then a malevolent orc came in on the dwarf from the surrounding crowd, one that was stood next to the fallen orc, and leaped at the dwarf with his scimitar aloft, but Gimli upturned his axe to the sky and bared it down on the unsuspecting figure with a thud as it made contact with the skull, then a second as it made contact with the ground, piercing the heart as the orc fell to the floor.
One orc from behind used a cheap tactic, he came upon the dwarf from behind, but Gimli was not to be fooled. He replied with a backwards swing of his axe, that swung back and up into the air, eventually meeting the groin of the approaching orc. Crushing the contents of the creature that made the rest of the crowd cringe with the thought of the pain.
How can this lone dwarf be so brave, so resilient. This vulnerable dwarf, surrounded on all sides by a mass of orcs, with no hope of escape.
“Alright!” said the orc that had spoken earlier, “Enough! You have killed one too many. Never shall your clumsy feet trod this earth again”. Then the orc captain called out in a hellish tongue, orchish, and at the command the whole party advanced towards the lone dwarf, still standing, still fearless.
Gimli clasped his axe tighter with every footstep the orcs were making. He was unable to focus on a single enemy, his eyes scanning the scene in front of him…all around him! Not knowing where to look. Not daring to keep focused in the fear of missing any rash movements from the advancing creatures, anyone of them could make the move, and one could jump out to make the kill.
An arrow struck the back of Gimli’s shoulder, unable to pierce the armour but startling him to a jump, then another on the back, this time piercing the skin covering his spine. The blood was beginning to flow out on to the ground like a slow stream, showing the possible fate of the dwarf. The sight of the blood spurred on the orcs and they flinched and jumped in excitement at witnessing the beginnings of death.