I'm not quite sure how I feel about this chapter, I think I may have rushed through the battle a bit, and certainly the end. Let me know what you think of it though. I am working with a beta, and as you may or may not know the first three chapters have been edited and re-uploaded so check those out when you have a chance if you haven't already. I am working on a pretty neat surprise for you folks so keep your eyes open! As always, please leave a review and enjoy!
Lyrian gripped her reigns tightly, there was so much smoke in the air, she had no idea whether it was day or night.
"Steady!" Eomer shouted to his eored as the horses began to grow restless.
The horns at the front of the column blew as the vast number or horsemen crested the last hill overlooking Gondor. What they saw took their breath away. Thousands upon thousands of orcs covered the great fields before Minas Tirith, so much so that the ground was black. There was no distinction between one form to the next. It was simply a swarming black mass of snarling forms. The once white city lay in ruins, smoke belching out of its levels and the red haze of flames masking any sign of white. Narzgul flew above the flaming city terrorizing anyone who still remained alice.
Both Lyrian and Eomer's horses were stomping in anticipation as they rode towards Theoden at the center of the riders. They could already smell the blood that lay on the fields. Lyrian looked to Eomer, for the first time actually feeling fear at the battle that lay before her. Eomer met her gaze, his eyes filled with sadness that he had not been able to spare her from this pain. He gave her a comforting smile, one which she returned, but it did little to ease her fear.
Theoden growled and turned his horse to his men.
"Eomer!" he called galloping towards the two, "take your eored down the left flank!"
Eomer nodded, "Flank ready!" he called as he and Lyrian galloped back to their place at the front.
"Gamling!" Theoden continued, "follow the King's banner down the center. Grimbold! Take your company right after you pass the wall. Forth and fear no darkness!" he bellowed motioning for them to take their places.
He turned to face his men, noticing the slight fear in all of their faces, but he would not have it. He would not have his solders riding into battle with fear in their hearts.
"Arise!" He bellowed galloping back and forth in front of his men, "Arise riders of Theoden. Spears shall be shaken, shields shall be splintered, a sword day, a red day, ere the sun rises!"
Horns blew again as the men shouted to their king. Lyrian took a deep breath feeling her resolve strengthening. If this was to be her end, fighting alongside Eomer, she would not do it with fear. She pulled her helmet down, making sure it was snug.
The soldiers at the head of the columns lowered their spears as they readied their charge. Lyrian gripped hers tightly, her hand slightly sweaty yet she felt comforted by its presence. Theoden charged across the front of the men, running his sword against all the spears.
"Ride now! Ride now!" he called as he continued across, "Ride! Ride for ruin and the world's ending! DEATH!"
Lyrian felt the answer from the riders behind her, the shouts for death echoing even across the dismal field before them.
Lyrian repositioned her hand on her spear, she was ready.
This time Lyrian's voice entered the mix of the thousands of other voices behind her.
The horns at the head of the lines sounded as the army began to walk forward. With only a slight nudge Lightfoot moved forward, her beautiful head tossing as she could feel the enemy grow closer. Lyrian let her have her head, and as Lyrian and Eomer broke into a gallop, so did the rest of the eored.
Arrows were cast into the paths of the charging horsemen and yet while several fell, their horses screaming in pain as they collapsed, the war cries of the Rohirrim only grew louder.
"CHAAAAAARGE!" ordered Theoden, his sword pointed to the approaching line of orcs.
With an animalistic scream, Lyrian buried her spear in the body of an orc. She quickly drew her sword from the sheath on her saddle and relieved another orc of his head. Lightfoot was snarling, her eyes wild as she trampled anything that lay in her path. Orcs were falling left right and center, the Rohirrim making quick work of the orcs who remained for the most part on foot. Those who were mounted on their terrifying beasts were quickly taken down by the archers.
Eomer angrily shoved an orc of his saddle and looked around at the scene that lay before him. For the most part, a wide number of orcs lay dead or dying on the fields.
"Drive them to the river!" he called, his sword held high as his eored ran to him.
Theoden noticed Eomer's plan and turned to the city, "Make safe the city!"
An unusual sound however broke both of them from their plans.
Lyrian looked towards the sound following Eomer's line of vision.
"Impossible," she breathed, as Lightfoot pranced beneath her.
Eomer shook his head at the incredible sight before him. Giant beasts walked towards them. Taller than the Golden hall. Upon each of the beasts back were erected giant tents that held at least twenty archers. Each of the beasts sometimes four tusks, were wrapped in spikes.
"Olliphants," Lyrian said anger that this new threat was coming towards them in haste, "They are supposed to only exist in stories!"
"Mumakil," growled Eomer, turning Firefoot towards the beasts, "These are not olliphants of stories."
A blast from the top of the top of a Mumakil sounded and with three steps they began to charge towards the Rohirrim.
"Reform the line!" Theoden called, unsure exactly of what to do, "REFORM THE LINE!"
The remaining Rohirrim hurried to form the line.
"Sound the charge!" Theoden ordered as the horns were sounded down the line, "Take them head on! Chaaaaaarge!"
Lyrian shoved her sword back in its sheath as they began to move towards the Mumakil. She pulled out her bow, tied her reigns and let them rest against Lightfoot's neck as they began to charge towards the Mumakil. Looking at the threat before her, she pulled an arrow from her back and with practiced skill, aimed towards the Mumakil riders. She trusted Lightfoot who with great purpose galloped carefully around the swinging tusks of certain death. Lyrian could still sense Eomer behind her, yet she did not dare to turn away from her aim.
The Haradrim, riders of the Mumakil, were shooting down Rohirrim faster than any of them could bring them down. It wasn't until one soldier managed to get underneath one, did the first Mumakil fall.
Eomer watched as a Mumakil reared his head as it finally began to feel frustrated from the stinging arrows that were raining towards it.
"Aim for the heads!" Eomer called, shooting his own short bow towards the heads.
"Bring it down! Bring it down! Bring it down!" shouted Theoden.
Lyrian jerked her head towards Theoden's calls and pulled Lightfoot towards the mumakil carefully picking off the archers that were firing against the Rohirrim. She aimed towards the driver of a Mumakil when a searing pain ripped through her shoulder. With a scream she let loose her arrow which flew far off course. Lightfoot reared at her rider's scream, causing a disoriented Lyrian to tumble from her back, her helmet tumbling away.
Lyrian fell to the ground, groaning in pain as she looked at her shoulder. A black arrow had managed to slip through her mail. She could see blood seeping from the tattered hole. Pieces of mail had no doubt broken off and had embedded themselves in the wound. A snarl pulled her from her misery and with a growl she pulled a short knife from her belt just in time to stop a strong blow from her head. She gritted her teeth against the pain as the snarling mass of flesh before her pushed her to the ground, ready to remove her head. The orc stomped on her hand sending her knife flying away. She tossed her head desperately trying to find anything she could use as a weapon. Just out of reach lay a rusty orc blade. Lyrian looked back towards the orc who was finding too much pleasure in the struggles of his prey, and with a scream she kicked herself away from him. With her wounded arm, grabbed the orc blade and swung it hard against his leg, hoping to at least achieve some leverage. The orc fell to the ground, a large portion of his leg no longer attached and with a primal scream, Lyrian sent the orc blade through its neck. She fell to her knees panting and trembling with pain. The arrow still firmly embedded in her arm. She clenched her jaw and grasped the shaft of the arrow. With one quick movement she pulled, and through the arrow to the ground. She sat dazed for a moment, trying desperately to catch her breath.
"Rally to me!" Theoden called, "To meee!"
Lyrian looked towards the sound, her hair falling towards in her face, soaked in blood sweat and grime. Theoden was a ways off, surrounded by the few remaining kings guard still on horseback. She looked down at the ground, eyeing the blade before her, her hands shaking in a mixture of exhaustion and pain. She was no longer the perfect image of the hopeful soldier, yet with her last strength she pulled herself up from the ground, grabbed the rusty orcan blade from the ground and began to make her way to her king.
A screeching echoed across the fields. Lyrian felt the sound rip right to her very soul. She clamped her hands over her ears trying in vain to block it out as the largest of the Nazgul swooped over the fields, its claws outstretched reaching for Theoden.
"No!" screeched Lyrian as the giant beast grabbed Theoden and his horse in mouth and threw them across the field.
She ran forward trying to reach her king, yet an orc seeing her newfound energy rushed toward her sword raised. Lyrian ducked under his sword and lashed out against his middle. The heavy orc bald was awkward in her hands, but she swung it with all her strength. The orc snarled at the small human before him. Lyrian managed to knick his armor but it was too thick and she did not have the strength to reach his neck with the blade. Her shoulder was throbbing and she could feel the blood pouring out. The orc watched her a sneer stretched across his face as she gasped for breath. Lyrian looked up at him, panting as she reluctantly accepted her fate, she would not survive this battle.
A sudden blank look overcame the orc's features and Lyrian's eyes widened in surprise as a thin blade suddenly appeared in the middle of the orc's chest. With a gurgling growl the orc fell to the ground and its killer ripped the blade from its chest.
"My lady" Legolas said with a comforting smile.
Lyrian couldn't help the relieved laugh that escaped from her.
"'Ey Lassie!" Gimli said running up to the two soldiers, "Never have I been so glad to see someone!"
Lyrian smiled a sad, tired smile as she looked at the battle field around her. Aragorn had come through. The undead soldiers from the mountain had made quick work of the orcs on the fields and had moved into the city, killing all in their path. It was over. The white city lay in ruins, yet the threat was gone.
Lyrian felt her heart drop. It was Eomer.
She frantically searched the field looking for him.
"NOOOOO!" he screamed as he dropped to his knees, cradling a figure in his arms.
Lyrian couldn't breathe. It was not the king that Eomer held in his arms.
"Eowyn!" she cried in anguish as she ran to the siblings.
Tears streamed down her face, so much that she could barely see where she was going. She fell to the ground next to Eomer and Eowyn. It was her fault that the woman was still here. She could have turned Eowyn away, she could have forced Eowyn to return to the encampment. Anywhere far away from the battle. Eomer cradled his sister in his arms, desperately trying to pull her from the darkness that now held her prisoner.
Lyrian did not know what happened next. She felt someone lift her from the ground and guide her into the walls of the white city.
"Her shoulder," a soft voice said as she was guided into the healing chambers, "look out for her shoulder."
Lyrian pushed the guiding arm away, "I'm fine Legolas," she mumbled. "Where is Eowyn?"
Legolas pursed his lips, knowing that Lyrian was more than likely in more pain than she was showing, yet he nodded and pointed to a small dais in the corner of the room. There Eomer sat beside the still form of his sister, his head in his hands as the healers desperately tried to revive Eowyn.
Lyrian trudged over to the dais, her eyes on the ground trying with every ounce of resolve she had to ignore the groans and anguished screams of the wounded as the tired healers did their best to comfort the wounded and dying. She sighed as she began climbing the stairs, wishing that there was someway that when she reached the top, it would all be a trick. Eowyn would jump up and they would all have a good laugh.
Eomer looked up as Lyrian approached the stretcher that held his sister. She looked tired and in so much pain, both emotional and physical, he felt his heart break. This was not the same woman he had seen just before the charge.
"How is she?" Lyrian asked, her voice shaky as if any second she would break out in tears.
Eomer swallowed thickly, "She has not changed."
The doors of the hall opened softly summoning the attention of everyone in the hall. Aragorn stepped through the doorway, poised and calm and never had he looked more like a king than he did at that moment. Whispers erupted throughout the hall that their king had returned as he passed the many healers. His skilled hands would heal their wounded. Aragorn approached Eowyn's bedside and gingerly lifted her damaged arm and observed it.
"Can you help her Aragorn?" Lyrian asked quietly.
Aragorn set Eowyn's arm down and pulled from a small bag he had brought a withered bundle of weeds.
"I will do what I can," he said soothingly.
Both Eomer and Lyrian, felt themselves at once relax. Aragorn crushed the leaves into a small bowl of water mumbling under his breath, and dipped a fresh piece of cloth in the bowl. He placed the cloth on Eowyn's forehead, speaking soothing words of elvish. Lyrian watched, hopeful as Eowyn began to breath heavily. Eomer's head jerked to look at his sister as her eyes began to open.
"Eowyn," he breathed.
Aragorn smiled and with a small bow to the siblings stood and went to leave the two in peace when he noticed the state of Lyrian's shirt. It was covered in blood, and not just the dark black blood of the orcs, but the crimson red of what he could only assume was her own.
"My lady," he said, eyeing her carefully, "I would allow one of the healers to look at that shoulder if I were you."
Lyrian looked down at her shoulder, it throbbed still, yet it had been some time since she had allowed the pain to cross her mind.
"Its just a scratch," she said, not wanting to draw any attention to herself, "nothing at all."
The wound would heal in time, but at the moment, there were far too many people in much greater pain than her that required the attention of the healers.
Aragorn said nothing, and merely stepped around Eomer to leave the two in peace.
"You fought well," Aragorn said smiling, "I hear whispers from the Rohirrim of their warrior queen."
Lyrian smiled tiredly, "We have all fought well."
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