The night is cool, clear, crisp; the air almost motionless. The night is cool, clear, crisp; the air almost motionless. Ithil wanes; the stars hide behind the clouds, covering Arda in darkness. These creatures travel best in the pitch black, obscured from unfriendly eyes. But elven sight sees through even this.
Aching moments pass. Silence is shattered by the scraping metal of swords being drawn. The brothers turn to one another, stony gazes meeting. Just another moment....
Now, they are upon the creatures, slicing through flesh, cleaving heads, slaughtering. Their moves are practiced, like a dance. And so they dance this waltz of death tonight, seeking their vengeance. Black blood burns the grass underfoot; howls shatter the stillness of the night.
Weary arms lay down their swords as the last creature falls with a final hiss of pain. They pause, breath shallow, hearts racing.
"How many, Elladan?"
"A dozen, at least," he replies, wiping the blood from his blade. "What of you, brother?"
"Roughly the same, although I cannot help wishing 'twere more." He places a hand on his twin's shoulder, and they exchange a look of determination, mirroring an indomitable will.
But as they turn away from the massacre, he sees a furtive movement from the corner of his eye. With unnerving speed, a dagger is drawn and thrust into the heart of the last survivor. The orc gasps before surrendering his fate to Mandos.
Elrohir eyes the pile of fresh corpses satisfactorily, but it is short-lived. For every band that lie slain by his own hand, three more will be traversing the lands 'ere the year is gone.
As if knowing his brother's thoughts, Elladan pats him on the back. "Come, there is naught left for us here."
But Elrohir hesitates, lifting his gaze to the sky. A sigh escapes his lips and his eyes close for a brief moment as loses himself in thought. Nigh on two centuries have they ridden together, destroying these bands of orcs. Two centuries, but still his blood boiled at the very mention of those... Monstrosities. He could scare believe that they too had been his kin once. No elf could delve into such levels of barbarity as the orcs were capable of. No elf, he thought bitterly, could destroy a woman as the orcs had his mother
His hand trembles violently, breath catching in his throat. Finding the woman who bore him in such a condition had angered him to tears. Not even Elrond nor Galadriel had the skill to heal her wounds.
Swallowing painfully, he grabs his sword, crying like an animal as he drives into the heart of the nearest corpse. Damn the beast for being dead! He should have to life, to know the suffering he deserved, the suffering his foul kind had caused.
Elladan stares wide-eyed at such loss of control from his normally calm brother. He too feels the same disgust, the same unquenchable lust for retribution, but mutilating a creature already slain by their own hands would serve no purpose.
"Elrohir!" He grasps his shoulder, and lowers the weapon with his other hand. "Brother, why do you do this? That creature is gone; he will hurt no other."
"Aye, but what of his brethren?" He snarls, pushing his brother aside. "Let them find this, and fear the sons of Elrond! Let them tremble, let them dread crossing these plains! Let them know that their blood will soon poison the earth!"
"Brother!" Elladan replies, feeling his own composure slip. "Brother, we have done enough for this night. This same rage fills me too! Come, let us return to Imladris. Please, before this venegance destroys you."
Elrohir pauses, his jaw clenched. Elladan would never understand. Who had been the first to behold Celebrian's ruined form, who had been the first to hold her in his arms and promise that her torment was over? The sight would remain etched in his memory until the end of Arda, imprinted upon him like a poison...
* * *
Her skin was gaunt, her body withered like a rose in winter. She lay in chains, curled into herself for no other would offer her comfort. Her orc guards sneered and joked in their foul tongue. Their sickening laughter set his blood alight with a fury he had never before known. He had sliced them in two, stabbed and thrust his blade into their filthy bodies until their blood ran in dark rivers at his feet. But it was not enough; it would never be enough....
* * *
Unable to restrain himself, Elrohir kicks the body he had earlier dismembered. Its blood has trickled from the sword onto his palms. He stares at it, his expression unreadable, before hastily wiping it away. Its blood will taint him no longer.
Turning, he does not look at his brother, but whistles for their steeds.
Elladan sighs. His brother has been like this often. He too has known and felt the same fury, but understand his weakness. They are but two elves, not an army. They cannot eliminate every orc alone, or even together. There are just too many.
But Elrohir does not see it that way. Each beast that lives is an insult to Celebrian; he will not allow it.
Even if he has to fight until Arda's end.
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.