Kis crouched behind a boulder and watched the orcs making camp. She permitted herself a grim smile. She had not thought it would be this easy to get her revenge on the orcs.
She gripped the handle of her axe handle with satisfaction. All that was left to do now was to wait for the orcs to settle down to eating and drinking. Then she would slip in and slay the guards then as many of the rest as she could before she was slain. She counted a score and half of the dirty brutes.
After about twenty minutes they had settled down and posted one guard. It was plain that they did not expect attack tonight. And why should they? They were not in troll country and there were no villages of men near by. The nearest being a fortnight away. They were not near enough to Rivendell to expect the Elves to attack and they seemed to know nothing of the Dunadain or else did not know enough to consider them a threat.
Kis smiled to herself. That would make her job that much easier. She felt confident she could overcome one orc and the rest would be asleep.
She waited for two hours and slowly one by one all but the guard fell asleep. When they were all asleep Kis crept slowly round the boulder and drew her ax. There was a look of cold anger in her dark blue eyes as she slowly moved towards the lone guard.
The orc was too surprised even to move or call out. He fell onto the ground in two pieces with one swift blow of a dwarven ax.
Halbarad of the Dunedain heard the sounds of orc’s voices from far off in the west. Orc’s? They seldom came down from the mountains in these days but it ws not unheard of. He decided to investigate. There could not be a great many or else they would have been sighted by one of his kin. He rode towards the voices.
As he drew nearer he heard a voice that could not possibly have been an orc’s it rose above the others in a strange call that seemed to be a war-cry. Soon he was able to make out the words- Baruk Khazad! Khazad ai-menu! The voice had an unmistakable quality clear and ringing and fair beyond the voice of any other race. It was an Elf. But the war-cry was dwarven, of that he was certain.
Within five minutes he was able to see the battle as well as hear it. He counted eight stooping figures, unmistakably that of the orcs, grouped around a straight slender figure wielding what seemed to be a dwarven battle ax, judging from the way the elf was swinging it. The cry rang out again, Khazad ai-menu! Halbard drew his sword and rode down into the battle with a yell.
Kis was certain the end had come. She was bleeding from at least four different places and completely surrounded. She set her teeth. If she was going to die she was going to take as many of these disgusting murders with her as she could. Swish, whack, thud. There went another one.
She closed her eyes. She would go to sit in the hall of her fathers with Borin, perhaps as he had always said. She knew very little elven lore. Perhaps she would meet her sire this night. He had to have been a great elf lord and he must have loved her dearly, to sacrifice his life for hers.
Suddenly she heard a yell and the thudding of a horses’ hooves. Was it part of the delirium that was creeping over her? She felt her strength beginning to fail and knew she could not stand much longer. She gathered the last of her strength and with one final swing buried her ax in the torso of the orc standing in front of her. All went black.
Halbarad dispatched the last of the orcs with a very little trouble. There were only three left and they were weary and one of them was wounded. He got down off of his horse and walked over to the prone figure.
It was most defiantly an elf. He could now see the delicately pointed ears and the fair elven features outlined in the moonlight. He pushed an orc out of the way and knelt beside him. Then he did a double take. Him? This was a her. A female elf Halbard sucked in his breath. He gently placed his callused fingers on her throat and to his vast relief found a pulse.
He picked her up with tender care and carried her away from the dead orcs. His horse followed him obediently. Then he laid her on the ground and bade the horse to stand watch over her. Then he went to find the wood he would need for a fire.
As he gathered the wood he kept going over and over the facts in his mind. A female elf alone in the Wild in the rough clothes of a male dwarf, wielding a dwarven weapon and shouting an ancient dwarven war-cry. The only way he was going to get the answers to his questions was to piece the elf back together and ask her himself.
In about half an hour he had a good fire going, a supply of wood on hand and a kettle of boiling water. By the light of the fire he examined the Elf.
She was small but young if he was any judge of the ages of elves- which he was not. Her features the fair, fair skin and dark hair in his mind marked her as one of the Noldor, also known as the high elves. He had met a few in his travels and knew them to be a wise and sad race. But her clothing was rough and rather dirty, as was her face and her hands were callused.
But for the moment he had to make sure she was alive to answer his questions. She had a deep dagger wound on her lower right thigh and another in the joint between neck and left shoulder. There was a slash on her right shoulder blade and a gash on her left arm.
Halbarad carefully dropped the pieces of the aethalas that he had found into the boiling water and began to wash the wounds on her arm and shoulders.
He was through half an hour later and had finished binding her wounds. He laid her carefully on a blanket and covered her with another and settled down to await the dawn.