55. The Battle of Fornost
Earnur's army met with the Witch-King's near the Hills of Evendim. Scouts had warned Morion of the army's approach, but it was far too late to make any serious plans. No one had seen either Aica or Khamul, and Morion wondered if they had – sensing defeat – slipped away.
"There don't seem to be as many soldiers as there should be," Morion muttered.
"They have something planned," Vorea said darkly. She was taking Khamul's disappearance very hard.
"Gondor's cavalry is famous throughout Arda. Does Earnil need it for something?"
"I do not know," Vorea said. Her frown was deepening with each passing second. The two armies were evenly matched but it seemed that with the strength of the ringbearers, Angmar would carry the day.
Morion and Vorea whirled to face the battle cry. Out of the hills poured Gondor's cavalry, led by a young man in shining armor.
"Earnur," Vorea said, watching as the prince carved his way through goblins.
"An excellent ambush," Morion said. He glanced around. It seemed that he had lost half his force in less than a minute.
"We have lost," Vorea said.
"Oh yes, we definitely have," Morion said, laughing. There wasn't anything particularly funny, but it just seemed so silly. To have conquered Arnor only to be defeated by Gondor!
Vorea frowned at him. "What shall we do?" she asked.
"Retreat, I suppose. It doesn't really matter. The army's as good as dead. Get the ringbearers out of here."
"And Aica and Khamul?"
Morion shrugged. "I expect they'll fend for themselves."
The battle was turning into a rout as the elves and Men crushed the force of all Angmar between the cavalry and infantry.
Vorea was swept away in the tide of fleeing, running, desperate orcs and Men. In fact, it wasn't long until Morion found himself alone, surrounded by enemies.
No point in sticking around, Morion thought. He spurred his horse through the armies, heading for the east. He meant to go to Dol Guldor, but he had a feeling he'd run into Sauron well before then.
Morion turned and saw the prince, Earnur, galloping toward him. The young man was practically foaming at the mouth. His eyes burned with rage and bloodlust.
"Go away, you young fool," Morion snarled. "I don't want to spill any more Numenorean blood than I have already!"
"You shall die, fiend!" Earnur screamed. "Die for the suffering you have caused the sons of Elendil!" He drew his sword and charged Morion, who made no move to avoid the attack.
Earnur's horse suddenly reared and nearly threw the prince. Cursing, he kicked it, but it refused to move another inch toward Morion.
~You should feel honored that I would exert my power on your behalf.~ the icy voice of Morgoth whispered. ~Be warned though. I will expect payment in return.~
Morion shivered at the thought of that 'payment'. But whatever Morgoth did, it had enraged Earnur to the point of folly. He looked about ready to dismount and come after Morion on foot.
"Earnur! Get back!" Another horse came charging toward Morion, and the Witch-King could hear Morgoth hiss in his mind.
It was an elf with streaming golden hair. He seemed to emit a soft glow in the gloom, and his eyes blazed as one who had seen the light of Valinor.
Morion felt an instant, unreasonable, and completely uncontrollable, terror. He had to be out of there. This elf would hurt him worse than Morgoth ever could. He needed to escape, had to flee.
He spurred his horse to the east, and the horse burst into a gallop, as eager to be away as he was. But the elf's words carried and rung in Morion's ears for hours after. In years to come they still echoed through his head.
"Do not pursue him! He will not return to these lands. Far off yet is his doom, and not by the hand of man will he fall."
Well, he got one part right, Morion thought. I'm sure not coming back here.
"Oh yeah. Really nice. I was…um…just up here for…um…"
Sauron smiled, enjoying Aica's discomfort. The seventh ringbearer was holding a large bag (full of pilfered goods, no doubt) and had been watching Earnur's slaughter of Angmar's forces with undisguised glee.
"If I didn't know any better, I would've sworn that you were cheering for Earnur," Sauron said. "But of course, that isn't true."
"No, no…not at all," Aica said. "Not at all."
"Why are you here?" Aica asked, starting to relax a bit. The danger had passed.
"I enjoy watching the culmination of centuries of hard work," Sauron said.
"Oh, yeah. Arnor's destroyed now."
"Yes, it is." Sauron smiled. "How nice."
"Arvedui's still alive though."
"I think," Aica said hastily. "I don't know for sure. They're hard to kill, Elendil's heirs are."
"Yes, they are. It's very irritating. Fortunately, I've sent Khamul to end that trouble once and for all."
"That's good. She'll take care of them quick."
Sauron studied Aica as she watched the battle. There was the love of carnage and slaughter in her eyes, but also a feeling of vengeance. Ah yes, Sauron thought. Her brother deserted her, didn't he? Decided that it was better to be in Morion's bed than at Aica's side. Can't say I blame him.
"Morion tells me you have an excellent spy network," Sauron said.
Aica frowned at the ringbearer's name, but nodded. "I do," she said.
"Good. Tell me when the gates of Moria open."
"The gates of Moria. Tell me when they open."
"Okay. Sure. I'll do that."
"Excellent," Sauron said. He went back to watching the battle. Or, more specifically, he went back to watching Earnur.
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.