Part 54 – A Parting Plan
Athegdir looked at Theomin and the rest of the group, “Teryndir, Neleghil and I must take our leave,” he started to leave but turned, “Though, it would be wise for you to review our battle plan with us, Enedion. Because you are one of the Marshalls now, you will receive all the ranks and privelages offered. I apologize we have no time for pomp and circumstance but as you know time is short. We see you are a warrior of no small ability and a very good one at that. You will be clad in the armor of the Marshalls of Annuminus, much like your brothers. You shall receive a rank of wardens to lead as well. You are to be the lieutenant of the Marchalls along with your brothers.”
Teryndir looked at Theomin with inquisitive eyes, “Are you certain to give him a rank of men? He is no warrior. In fact, you must have forgotten last night he tried to escape.”
Athegdir looked at his son with knowing eyes, “I have not forgotten that and of that I am not proud of my son for deserting us in our time of need but there are far worse things my sons have done than just leaving the compound with fears of war.”
Teryndir nodded with agreement and quickly shut his mouth. He held something back, perhaps like Sergee, there was something there he was not proud of. “Okay father, as you wish.” Teryndir then gave a look of disapproval to Theomin.
“Fine then,” Athegdir said, “Let us look at our plans one last time and change anything that needs changing.”
They all four marched to the library and entered. Sitting on the table in the center were maps and plans. The maps had labled upon them, “Evendim,” and another, “Annuminus.” The city looked enormous, by the size of it. Straddled by a lake the city was. It extended far back into some hills while a main road traveled the length of it, heading westward and curved around and and headed east and then north over a bridge. Two other bridges stood to the left and right of the bridge. The road stopped there but not far north of where the main road stopped was another great span of a bridge. It looked as though it extended from far inside the city and stretched up to an island of sorts. One called “Tyl Annun.”
“Our strategy, Enedion,” Athegdir began, “is to come at them on two fronts. Our men are to advance on them from Men Erain and also from the west of Annuminus. Teryndir says his men reported a smaller number of Angmarim there. There should be a direct path from there to our men stationed in the heart of the city.”
“Who are the Angmarim?” Theomin asked.
“Evil men,” Teryndir said, “They are men from and loyal to the Witch King of Angmar, a wraith, or the wraith. The king of the nine.”
“We believe,” Sergee started, “that their numbers are increasing with the chance that if the war in the south goes ill, they will have a foothold on Eriador and may strike out agaist us. Their one position they have been able to hold is Annuminus. If the city is recaptured by us, they have no base of operations in the north…”
“Save Fornost,” Teryndir said.
“Yes,” Sergee agreed gloomily, “save Fornost.”
“You,” Athegdir looked at Theomin, “will be going with Sergee and his men up the western shore of to the west gate of Annuminus. There, you will push up on the west while Teryndir and I push up from the eastern gate, eventually squeezing them from both sides. We then push up into Tyl Annun and, in effect, retake Annuminus.” He looked proudly at Theomin. “How about our plan?”
Theomin looked at the map. He just staired at it for a long time while his brothers and father looked on wit interest. “When I first saw you, Teryndir reported on the eastern gate. Did you say the eastern gate was heavily guarded?”
“Yes,” Teryndir said, “I did. What of it?”
“Would it not be a better bet if you draw out their forces and leave a smaller number of men behind?” Theomin asked.
“And how would we go about doing this?” Teryndir asked.
He looked at his father. “We send a barrage of arrows into the city from the Men Erain. They will fall out to attack, leaving less men behind in the city.”
“And where do you propose we send the troops to attack the city if they are already being attacked?” Teryndir asked, beginning to be annoyed.
“Is there another path into the city?” Theomin asked.
Sergee pointed to some hills to the east of the city. “There are some hills that rise east of the city here. The paths there run through the summit in the hills that run north or south between the beaches of the Barandalf and Men Erain and then run into the east gate of the city. If we send group of men through those hills and station them just shy of the path that leads down into the city, we can do as Theomin,” he looked at his father, “I mean Enedion said and use some of our skilled archers to send a barrage of arrows into the city. While the Angmarim attack the archers, we can then sneak the remaining men from the hills into the city, therefore hitting a much smaller force and retaking the lower levels. Enedioin and I would have already taken the western portion of the city. He and I can then spread out with the remaining men we have in the ranger camp of Echad Garthadir and fan out as he takes the portion just north of Echad Garthadir along with the men of Echad Garthadir, my troops and I can retake Clorhir and Tirband. Once the lower city and the heart of the city are taken, we can then pull our men together and retake the citadel at Ost Elendil.”
Athegdir gazed at the map for a long time. His gaze betrayed no emotion or and decision one way or another. He continued looking for quite a while until he suddenly started to slightly nod his head in the beginning of approval. Finally, he turned his gaze from the map to his sons. “Let us do it.”
“Father!” Teryndir started to protest.
“Quiet, Teryndir. Their plan is much more comprehensive than yours. We are still using part your plan but we have just improved upon it. You should be thankful they have not entirely changed it. That has happened in the past, you know.”
Frustrated and a little flustered, Teryndir pulled Athegdir aside to personally talk with him. Quietly he whispered to his father, “How do you now we can trust these two. They did not grow up with you and you know me by now. You know I am excellent at tacticion.”
“I know you are excellent, Teryndir. I see, though, that their plan is a much more thurough plan. It takes care of our problem of having the large group of Angmarim at the east gate to deal with. No matter how well you planned you did not reach a conclusion on that issue. They did,” Athegdir said. He looked at the other brothers and announced. “Teryndir, write out our plan and send a runner to Tinnudir. We need our men already assembled when we arrive there. Do not delay.” He then looked at Sergee and Theomin, “Teryndir and I are taking the east side of the city. Enedion and Neleghil and his men are taking the west side. Come, let us depart this library and see who will join us.” They left the library and marched out into the central courtyard of the compound. There, a few men and women were already assembled including Helesdir, Magla, and Eleswith. Athegdir announced in a great and commanding voice to the crowd gathered in the courtyard, “Those who are joining me and Teryndir, gather your things in the forecourt. We will be heading out to Evendim within the hour. Those who are leaving with Neleghil and Enedion or,” he looked at Theomin, “Sergee and Theomin as some of you know them, you may prepare your belongings here in the central courtyard but you will be departing along with us.” He looked amongst the men and women in the courtyard. “Who amongst you will travel with Neleghil and Enedion!”
Without surprise, Magla and Helesdir went with Sergee as Helesdir announced, “The group is back together!”
Eleswith came up to Theomin and with a smile only a friend can give she said, “I would not miss another adventure with you, Theomin.”
Saeredan, surprisingly, went with Athegdir and Teryndir. Quickly, Theomin jogged after him and stopped him, “You are not coming along with us?”
“Sorry, Theomin,” Saeredan said, “but I have known Athegdir for many a year. Our paths had led to many battles, much to my chagrin. Having him by my side just feels right.” He placed a hand on Theomin’s shoulder, “I will be off before the rest of you leave but I must first offer you my gratitude.”
“Gratitude?” Theomin was confused. “For what?”
“If it was not for you and Thanncen I would have never left my cottage and and I would have remained a broken man. Take care, Theomin.” With that, he ran off west toward the horses.
Theomin watched Saeredan run west and before the company of men and women split into their two groups, Athegdir finally announced to the company, “Soon we shall move. May this be the day when the Rangers of the West and the Warriors of Eriador fight together side by side with the Marshalls of Annuminus,” he threw up his arms, “war and to victory!”