35. The Last Alliance
"Elendil," Gil-galad said one morning – a rather bright morning for Mordor, now that Elendil thought about it – "it is time."
A party of five rode to the slopes of Orodruin, on which so far all soldiers had not dared to go: Elendil and his last surviving son, Gil-galad, Elrond the herald, and finally Cirdan, the only elf anyone had ever seen with a beard.
"Does that marvel alone make you worthy to walk beside us?" Isildur asked as they approached the volcano.
"Perhaps," Cirdan said with a gleam in his eye.
"Isildur!" Elendil barked sharply. "Listen to me, and mark my words well, my son. This will be the last you will see of me. On these slopes Gil-galad and I shall fight Sauron to the death. When he has fallen, you will guard Gil-galad's herald in taking Sauron's ring to Orodruin. Do you understand?"
"Yes, Father," Isildur said bitterly.
"Do as I ask," Elendil said softly. "In memory of your brother and all those who have fallen in these long years."
Elendil sighed and adjusted his armor. "I do not think horses will be of much use here," he said, dismounting.
"I agree," Gil-galad said, turning Aiglos, his spear, in his hands. "Elrond, call out the Dark Lord. See if he will answer."
"Will he hear?" Elrond asked.
"He will hear," Gil-galad said. "I feel that he hears all that goes on in these lands."
Stepping forward, the herald unfurled a scroll and began speaking loudly and nervously. "T-the High King of the Elves and the King of the Realms of Arnor and Gondor challenge Sauron, lord of the Barad-dur, to combat! They d-demand that either he s-surrender and depart these lands forever, or f-fight them to the death!"
His duty done, Elrond hurried back to the relative safety of the small group. "Will he come?" he whispered.
"He will," Gil-galad said. "He is as eager to end this as we are."
"Can we expect treachery?"
The High King snorted. "Of course," he said.
"Two against one?" a cold voice sneered. "That is hardly fair."
Sauron, dressed in fine armor, strode across the slope towards them. He had appeared from nowhere. As far as anyone knew, he had been waiting there the whole time and had just now shown himself.
Foul wizard, Elendil thought, resting his hand on the hilt of Narsil. You have never failed me before, he thought to the sword. Do not fail me now in the greatest test of my life.
"You are a Maia," Gil-galad said.
"And you are Fingolfin's grandson, who challenged Melkor himself," Sauron said. "I expected nothing less, though after seven years I was beginning to fear that you had forgotten."
"Do you surrender?" Elendil asked, eager to get it all over with as quickly as possible.
"I do not," Sauron said.
"Then you accept our challenge?"
"I do," Sauron said, raising a mace. It reminded Gil-galad of Grond, weapon of Morgoth. Let it not be my doom to be crushed by that thing, he prayed to the Valar.
Cirdan, Isildur, and Elrond stepped back as the battle began.
Elendil and Gil-galad attacked from different sides, but both had to avoid the vicious and brutal swings of the mace, which would have shattered anything it came in contact with.
Though both the kings' weapons hit Sauron, his armor protected him all the blows. Laughing, he struck again, this time shattering Elendil's shield, and sending the Numenorean man flying.
Agh! Elendil thought in agony as his bare head struck a rock. I thought I was wearing a helmet. Ah, must have come off in the fighting.
"Father!" Isildur shouted.
"I am alive," Elendil gasped. Barely, he thought, staggering to his feet.
Another crashed signaled the destruction of Gil-galad's shield, as well as his arm.
"My king!" Cirdan and Elrond shouted in unison, both stepping forward to help.
"I will not let this monster win!" Isildur yelled, drawing his sword.
"No, you are not to participate in this battle," Sauron said, raising a hand. The three froze where they stood, unable to move or do anything save watch the fight play out. "When I am done carving these so-called kings to pieces, then I will end your miserable lives," Sauron promised.
"What now, High King?" Elendil gasped, wiping blood away from his eyes.
"I do not know," Gil-galad said, clutching his arm. His face was going a deathly shade of white. "I also did not know a broken arm could hurt so much."
Glancing down, Elendil winced. Bits of white bone jutted out from torn flesh and armor.
The pair ducked another swing of Sauron's mace, and Elendil tried to strike the Maia with Narsil, but Sauron was too quick.
"Tiring already?" he asked when Elendil could do nothing but stagger after him.
"I have a plan," Gil-galad whispered.
"Is it a good plan?"
"It is the only plan we have."
"What is it?"
"Kill him," Gil-galad said, nodding at Sauron, who was walking forward purposefully. The next blow Elendil knew he could not dodge.
"That was the purpose of this, yes?" Elendil asked, watching in despair. Narsil felt like lead in his hands.
"I will distract him."
"No!" Elendil shouted, but Sauron's mace came down and knocked him flying into a pile of jagged rocks.
"Elendil!" Gil-galad shouted.
"I am alive," Elendil whispered weakly. Looking down he saw blood pouring out of two holes in his armor. Where did those come from? he thought. Ah, I see. Rocks had punctured the back of his armor, gone through his flesh, and then come out the other side. Nonsurvivable injury, he thought as the world started to spin.
"For Arda!" Gil-galad shouted, throwing himself and Aiglos at Sauron.
With a laugh of contempt, Sauron brushed the spear aside and incinerated the High King with a flick of his finger.
"So dies the last king of the Noldor," he sneered at the blackened corpse of Gil-galad. "In vain did he die."
"Not in vain!" Elendil shouted as he summoned his last ounce of strength and planted Narsil firmly in Sauron's back. The dwarf-forged blade pierced the Maia's armor and body.
A terrible shock went through Elendil's body as Sauron fell. Narsil broke in half with the strength of it, and Elendil went flying back into those same damn rocks.
I die in good company at least, he thought, looking at Gil-galad and seeing him as he once was.
Strange, everything looked clearer now, brighter. Sauron is defeated, Elendil thought with a smile. And now the world shall know peace.
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.