7. No More Words
Though it was true that the Haradrim army was not as large as it had once been, they still fought as ferociously as ever, doing their utmost to beat back and destroy the Northerners - a task made easier due to the loss of Faramir's military knowledge.
Battle raged unceasing for three days and many fell on both sides. Bodies littered the ground, their blood soaking into the earth, the sun glinting off the grim-dulled armour. Carrion birds circled overhead, cackling and cawing to one another as they searched for an opening in the melee.
As the fourth day dawned with neither side having gained a significant advantage over the other, Northerners and Southerners picked up their swords again and prepared to defend and attack. This time, however, there was a tension in the air, a sense of expectation that had not previously been felt.
Warily, the Northerners gazed upon their enemy and in the light of morning saw that on a mound in the midst of the Haradrim was a man on a great black horse, with a ring of guards was around him. Tall he was, and robed in scarlet, black, and gold; he wore no armour that they could see. His swarthy face was scarred and cruel, and he held his head high. The guards around him seemed to hold him in fear and awe, so stiffly they stood at attention, not daring to look upon his face.
This, then, the Northerners whispered, is he who is the cause of our troubles.
The presence of their leader seemed to fuel the Haradrim with new ferocity, and the Northerners strove hard to meet them. About midday, the man in scarlet gave a cry and drove his horse into the battle, laughing wildly. A vivid figure, he was never out of sight. Then, as twilight was beginning to fall, a great wailing cry full of rage filled the air.
The Haradrim faltered, looking about in confusion; nowhere could they see the man in scarlet. Another voice rose, screaming words in the Southern tongue, and the battle suddenly became a rout. No longer united under their leader, their sense of purpose vanished and with it the driving bloodlust. Leaderless they became rival tribes once more.
Sensing that victory was near at hand, the soldiers of Rohan and Gondor renewed their efforts and soon the Haradrim were fleeing back to their lands, trampling the bodies of the fallen.
Wearily, Aragorn surveyed the carnage, watching his men as they picked their way through the body-strewn field, searching for those who still lived. The soft shades of early evening now filled the sky, hiding the worst of it - but he knew what they would see when morning came again. In the interim, it was imperative to find the survivors before night fell and hid them.
Wiping a hand across his forehead, he knelt to clean his sword on the grass -
A scream of anguish cut through the air and he stopped in mid-motion, his head snapping up in time to see Éomer tearing across the field.
Éomer screamed again and fell to his knees, lifting up a body and cradling it close to his chest. Bright hair spilled over his arm and even from this distance Aragorn could see the tears coursing down Éomer's face.
No. It cannot be.
Sheathing his sword he leapt to his feet and began to run. Drawing close, he saw what he had feared: Éowyn, dead and covered in blood and grime, lying in her brother's arms.
Beside the place where she had fallen lay the bodies of the great black horse, neck broken from the fall, and his scarlet rider, Éowyn's sword thrust through his chest.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.