Until the very End


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24. The Two Towers

 

"Their pace has quickened. They must have caught our scent. Hurry!" Aragorn shouts down to us three, "Come on, Gimli!" Legolas says as we run after Aragorn. "Three day's and night's pursuit...no food, no rest, and no sign of our quarry but what bare rock can tell" Gimli mumbles from behind us. The four of us runs across plains, until we entered a valley where the Uruk-hai have been. I stop running as I see a broach laying in the grass, I bend down and pick it up, making Aragorn and Legolas stop as well. "Not idly do the leaves of Lorien fall" I say, "They may yet be alive" Legolas points out as they walk back over to me, "Less than a day ahead of us, come!" Aragorn says and we run off. I look over my shoulder in time to see Gimli stumble and roll down the hill "Come Gimli! We are gaining on them!" I cry out to the dwarf that is far behind, "I'm wasted on cross-country. We dwarves are natural sprinters. Very dangerous over short distances" Gimli informs us. The four of us run up and hill and pause at the top, gazing across the plains of Rohan. "Rohan. Home of the horse-lords" Aragorn points out, "There's something strange at work here! Some evil gives speed to these creatures, set its will against us!" I inform the others as Legolas and I move forward over the hill. "Naevys! Legolas! What do your Elf eyes see?" Aragorn asks from behind, "The Uruks turn Northeast!" I tell them, "They are taking the hobbits to Isengard!" Legolas finishes. "Saruman" Aragorn whispers.
"Keep breathing, that's the key! Breathe! Hooh!" Gimli chants to himself as we continue to run as the sun starts to set, "They run as if the very whips of their masters were behind them" Legolas tells us. We push on through the night, only taking small breaks here and there. 

A red dawn begins to rise, causing Legolas and I to stop at stare at it. "A red sun rises. Blood has been spilt this night" Legolas says, I take a deep breath in, hoping that the hobbits are alright. The sound of horses reaches our ears and the four of us hide behind a rock, just as a large group of cavalry appear. I grip onto Aragorn's hand as they ride past us. Aragorn pulls me out of hiding with him as they pass, Legolas and Gimli behind us. "Riders of Rohan! What news from the mark?" Aragorn yells out to them, with a signal from the leader, they make a quick turn and come charging back at us. They circle around us, pointing their spears at us once they stopped. Aragorn and I both hold our hands up just as the leader riders through, "What business does an elf, a she-elf, a man and a dwarf have in Riddermark?" the leader asks us. None of us answer him. "Speak quickly!" he shouts, "Give me your name, horsemaster, and I shall give you mine" Gimli tells him, making Aragorn put a hand on the dwarf's shoulder. The leader gets down from his horse, "I would cut off your head, dwarf, if it stood a little higher from the ground" he says. Legolas quickly load his bow and points the tip of the arrow at the Leader's head "You would die before your stroke fell" Legolas tells him, I step in front of Legolas and push his arm down. "I'm Aragorn, son of Arathorn. This is Gimli, son of Gloin. Naevys from Lothlorien, and Legolas, from the Woodland realm. We are friends of Rohan and of Theoden, your King" Aragorn tells him, "Theoden no longer recognizes friend from foe" the leader tells us and takes of his helmet "Not even his own kin" he says. The spears are withdrawn. "Saruman has poisoned the mind of the king and claimed lordship over this land. My company are those loyal to Rohan. And for that, we are banished" Eomer (leader) informs us, "The White Wizard is cunning. He walks here and there they say, as an old man, hooded and cloaked" he tells us. "And everywhere his spies slip past our nets" Eomer says as he gives Legolas and I a meaningful stare, "We are no spies. We track a band of Uruk-hai Westward across the plains. They have taken two of our friends captive" I inform Eomer. "The Uruks are destroyed. We slaughtered them during the night" he tells us, "But there were two hobbits, did you see two hobbits with them?" Gimli asks him, "They would be small, only children to your eyes" I say. "We left none alive. We piled the carcasses and burned them" Eomer tells us as he points to the smoke in the distance, I cast my eyes down and Aragorn wraps his arm around my shoulders. "Dead?" Gimli questions, Eomer nods and apologizes to us. Eomer whistles "Hasufel! Arod!" Eomer shouts and two horses appear, one brown the other white. "May these horses bear you to better fortune than the former masters. Farewell" Eomer says and mounts his horse, "Look for your friends, but do not trust to hope. It has forsaken these lands. We ride North!" Eomer shouts and they ride off.

Aragorn and I get on the brown one, Hasufel, while Legolas and Gimli share Arod, the white one. We ride towards the burning carcasses and we hop down from the horses. Gimli goes through the pile and pulls out a charred belt "It's one of their little belts" Gimli tells us, I fall to my knees and bow my head "Hiro hyn hidh ad wanath" I whisper (May they find peace in death) Aragorn kicks a helmet and yells as he falls to his knees beside me, "We failed them" Gimli says. I look to the side and tracks catch my attention, "A Hobbit lay here, and the other" I tell them as I point to the faltered grass, "They crawled" Aragorn pointed out. We start to follow the tracks, "Their hands were bound" Aragorn says, "Their bonds were cut" I tell them as I hold up a broken rope. "They ran over here...and were followed" Aragorn says, I quickly followed the tracks of the Hobbits "The tracks lead away from the battle! Into-" I pause middle of sentence and look up "Into Fangorn Forest" I say. We look into a very dense forest, "Fangorn! What madness drove them in there?" Gimli asks. 

 

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