The fair walls of Bar Makan stood, and would always stand, as a fortress of order in a world of brutality, of war, of decay.
Into those walls were houses, big or small, rich or plain, but always of a good quality.
Into these houses were men, women, children, of all ages, of all wealth, all united in the feeling of being apart among the Haradrims.
All certain of their superiority.
In one of these houses was a woman, along with two children.
This woman looked right into his eyes, and he felt so happy he thought he could die now with his life fulfilled.
She smiled at him, and her voice was all delightful.
”So you’re back, honey? How was your journey?”
He wanted to say everything, to count her all he had seen, all the wonders and the horrors.
In wanted to be admired, and to be comforted.
But the only sound that came from his mouth filled him with fear, and pain.
”No, my dear. I’m not back. It’s just a dream.”
His wife faded. The children faded. The house faded. Bar Makan faded.
And there was nothing but darkness.
The first thing Jyras felt while awakening was the horrible pain that was still there, in his body, in his lambs.
Then it was the smell.
An horrible smell of putrefaction.
Then he looked around him, and he saw the room, and its inhabitants.
The room wasn’t big, at most seven meters by five, but it was crowded by at least ten person.
Orcs, mostly, but also a few Haradrims, and even an Elve of Mirkwood.
The smell came from the orcs.
Jyras snorted, and tried to keep his stomach full of what was left there.
Suddenly, he looked toward the door as it opened, letting an Haradrim he knew well enter.
Hashar now wore the uniform of a Lieutenant of the Haradwaith.
When he saw him, Jyras knew it was Hashar who has given him to the Mouth of Sauron.
He had to be the informer.
Hashar poked into his eyes, with an air of quietness, as if he didn’t remember he had been tortured because of him!
”Soldier Jyras, you’ve been put into my division. Please follow me while I inform you about the situation and the orders of our Master. Be quick.”
Jyras felt his mouth falling open, but he could do nothing but follow.
Hashar dragged him from corridor to corridor, without looking at him, just talking with his eyes fixed just ahead of him.
”Osgiliath has been taken by the orcs this night. This battle is over, and Sauron is preparing the final assault on Minas Tirith. You must ready yourself for the battle. We’re moving toward Osgiliath in a few hours. There, we’ll wait for the beginning of the last Battle.”
They arrived in front of a tall door, in plain wood.
”Here is the armoury. Ready yourself. We’ll meet at the Black Gate by nightfall.”
Too stunned to talk, Jyras nodded, then entered the room.
It was an awful place, all full of weapons, but mostly orcish weapons. Short blades, Mordor’s arrows… Not weapons for an Haradrim.
But he eventually founded a thick leathered armour and a long bow, as well as a single-handed strong sword.
Half an hour later, he was walking on the road toward the Black Gate, along with some other Men, and half a thousand orcs.
He didn’t talked to them, he just kept walking, and tried not to think about the battle to come.
He perfectly knew that a plan never worked the way it should have.
Even if the plan had been made by Sauron.
Even if it had been made by Iluvatar himself, there would have been some unpredictable things.
Gondor was still strong, and you could be certain it has some allies, known or unknown.
If Minas Tirith fell, Middle-earth died.
Even Men, Elves and Dwarves should understand that.
As he walked, he listed the possible ennemy they would see against them.
Gondor, of course, with its thick walls.
Rohan, with its horses stronger than some Wargs.
Elves had some realm not too far from Gondor, he had heard. Elves with precise longbows, and an exceptional fighting strength.
Untiring Dwarves from some Mountains somewhere close to Minas Tirith, he would bet.
With deadly axes, certainly, and thick armours.
And what about the Wizards?
Even this far from the rest of Middle-Earth, they had heard about some of those.
One Mithrandir, and one Curunir.
They would probably be there, too, perhaps along with some others of their kin.
It would be an hard fight. That he could see.
At the Black Gate, Jyras joined the rest of his division, and saw Hashar again.
But Hashar didn’t talked more than before.
All he said, when everybody was there, was a single sentence.
”Let’s go to Osgiliath.”
And there they went.