41. The Battle of Five Armies
It was a dark, cloudy day when the horns of the goblins sounded. Elves in green and leather armor, grim Men in whatever simple armor they could find, and dwarves like walking fortresses. Dain Ironfoot of the Iron Hills had arrived to aid his kinsman, but found himself instead fighting his ancient enemy.
Khamul scanned the army for any sign of the Halfling. She could see Gandalf and his magic sword, and there was Bard looking grimmer than all the rest of the Men, and there was Thranduil with a bow. Next to him was Feanor. As she looked at the Noldor-turned-Sindar, he glanced up, straight at her. It was as if he was seeing her. But, of course, he couldn't. She was far away, hidden in a tangle of trees nearby.
"He's looking at you, isn't he?" Morion commented.
"He might be."
"He's a strange one."
"No stranger than you."
"He should be dead."
"So should you."
"What? Sacrificed on Morgoth's altar?"
"Or dead from various wounds inflicted by yours truly and friends."
"I wish I remembered that."
"You don't. Now shut up, they're starting to fight."
The armies met with a clash. For a few moments there was fairly organized battle, and then it dissolved with every man fighting for his life, his commanders screaming orders or trying to save their own skins.
"Now," Morion said, rushing out from their hiding place. Khamul wasn't far behind, drawing her sword.
The two took down an elf each as they waded into the bloody chaos. They quickly found the area of greatest confusion and set about attacking the Free Folk. Several Men, dwarves, and elves were startled to find their killers Men themselves.
"Find the Halfling!" Khamul hissed.
"Smell him out!" Morion said.
Khamul tried, but the air was thick with blood and death. She wrinkled her nose, the smell ghastly. "I can't find him," she said.
Morion sighed and took off a dwarf's head.
There was a tremendous crash and all heads turned to see the great stone wall erected by thirteen dwarves collapse, killing hordes of goblins. From it burst the most heavily-armed dwarves Khamul had ever seen. They made Dain Ironfoot look like he was wearing some old second-hand stuff from the depths of the armory.
"I'm not going up against them," Khamul muttered.
"That's Thorin Oakenshield himself!" Morion hissed, struggling against the tide of bodies, trying to reach the famous dwarf.
"I think they'd notice it if you killed him."
"Who cares? This is our chance!"
While Morion continued on his futile quest for the dwarf, Khamul scanned the ranks, searching, searching for the Halfling. He was nowhere to be seen.
He must be wearing the damn Ring, Khamul thought, glowering. In her fury she lashed out at a goblin, putting her sword through his skull.
"The eagles are coming! The eagles are coming!"
For some reason the words struck a cord of fear in Khamul. "Just a bunch of birds," she muttered and searched for the shouter.
It was the Halfling.
Cackling with glee, Khamul carved a bloody path toward him. Elves looked at her with shock as she struck them down. An arrow grazed her arm, but the wound quickly healed. If anyone had seen that, they would have thought they were hallucinating. Not that anyone had enough time to watch in the middle of a pitched battle.
Still, if Gandalf had seen…
He already knew the Nazgul were abroad. It would only make him regret he hadn't fought her that day in Dol Guldor.
There he was! The Halfling! Just a few feet away, dressed in fine mail.
Khamul grinned and raised her bloody sword. So close… Just a few insignificant people between them. And then the Ring would be hers.
Something grabbed her and within seconds she was hundreds of feet above the battlefield.
"What in the name of all the Valar?!" she shrieked.
The Halfling hadn't been kidding about the eagles.
The eagle flung Khamul through the air. She hurtled toward the ground, closing her eyes when she neared impact.
It was much further to drop from than the Morannon. The eagle had also given her quite a bit of momentum.
The impact was not pleasant.
Khamul didn't know how long she lay in the body-shaped indent in the earth. It was probably hours, maybe even days. She didn't feel like getting up. Firstly, the battle was undoubtedly won by Gandalf's side. And secondly, she wasn't entirely sure if she could get up.
"Are you alive?" Morion asked. Face-down in the dirt, Khamul couldn't see him.
"Yes," she grunted, lifting her head.
"Everything all healed up?"
"Did you kill the Halfling?"
"I didn't even see him."
"He was the one shouting! That was him with the damn thing about eagles!"
"I didn't see him."
"Did you kill Thorin?" Khamul spat.
"No, but someone else did."
"Good. They can divvy up the treasure however they like now."
"Dain Ironfoot is king now, and he's giving the elves their emeralds and giving the Laketown Men plenty of gold to rebuild. He even gave the old miser lord of Laketown some."
"Good for him."
"The Halfling left the town a day ago."
"Where's he going?"
"I don't know. Why don't you get up so we can follow him?"
"Don't have my horse."
Khamul pushed herself out of the impression and found Morion standing nearby, holding two horses by the reins.
"Time to get the Ring," she said.
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.