Pippin the Troll Slayer
Disclaimer: The Shire and everything else in Middle Earth belongs to Tolkien. I just get to visit from time to time.

Prologue – Time to Die

It was time to die, it seemed, and it was bitter to Pippin that Merry was not here, at his side. If they all had to die, at least they could do so together. But it was not to be. Merry was far from here, in safety for a little longer at least, before the flood again rose against Minas Tirith and washed away all in it's path. Then it would be Merry's turn to stand against the tide and meet his fate. Pippin wondered if Merry would feel as alone as he did right now.

Shaking his head against these thoughts, Pippin drew his sword. There was nothing he could do about Merry, any more than he'd been able to help Frodo and Sam. They had set out to save the Shire and ended up trying to save all of Middle-earth, but they had not even been able to save themselves, in the end. Well, Pippin thought as he stood at the end of everything, alone he may be, and terribly afraid, and doomed to die, but he would certainly not go alone. Squaring his shoulders, he faced the advancing horde of orcs and hill trolls, determined to make such an end as he was able and take as many of the enemy with him as fate would allow.

The trolls were upon them then and there was no more time for thought. There was a flurry of action all around him, as the Gondorian soldiers fought to sell their lives as dearly as possible. Once the battle joined in earnest, Pippin could not see much of anything other than the small space directly in front of him, and found it difficult to fight at all, being little more than knee high to the giant hill trolls. All he could do was dodge the blows aimed at him and try to not get in the way of his larger companions. He felt quite helpless and a surge of rage swept through him that he was to be denied even the chance to take a few of the enemy with him when he died. An exceptionally large troll-chief loomed over him and he quailed, but then, seemingly out of nowhere, Beregond stepped between him and the enemy, taking the blow that was meant for Pippin. Beregond fell and as the troll leaned over to grab at his friend, Pippin reacted instinctively, forgetting the difference in their sizes and his feeling of helplessness. Stabbing upwards with his sword of Westernesse, he penetrated deep into the vitals of the troll, foul black blood spewing over his hand and arm. It was only as the beast toppled over on top of him that Pippin realized the precariousness of his situation, and by then it was too late. He was borne to the ground by the weight of the troll-chief.

Pain flared through his head, and to a lesser extent throughout the rest of his body as well, and his thoughts flickered like a candle flame in a high wind. There was no longer any fear or regret, only an odd sense of relief that it was all over. His thoughts flitted to Merry and Frodo one last time and he was content in the knowledge that they would be together again soon. His eyes darkened, his thoughts dimmed and fled his broken body.