Part 93 –
Clang, clang, scrape. Clang, scrape. Clang, clang
Sounds from down the hall woke Theomin. He found himself in pitch blackness again. The familiar sound of the oozing sounds of the maggots and the buzzing flies filled his ears again with the putrid sounds of the decaying sounds of death. The smell of the rotting flesh also occupied his nostrils as his stomach, once again, churned with the smells.
As Theomin heard the sounds coming from the other side, he wanted to ask what his brother was doing. He called out in the loudest whisper could, “Teryndr, what’s happening?” He waited a short time until the sounds of the clanging stopped and he heard a long hush from the other side. The clanging sounds continued again and went on for what felt like hours.
Clang, clang, scrape, clang, the sounds just went on for a very long time. He was wondering what was happening. Theomin tried to kick the ground around the door to see if there was any loose gravel near it. All was hard stone in the cave of the prison cells. He wondered what would come of him an Teryndir. He also thought of Gerald and the terror he wrought on him.
“Would Gerald force me back to Bree?” he thought to himself. He remembered the terrible beatings he had to endure during his time as prisoner in Bree. All the bruises and the horrible pain returned to his body as he thought more about what happened in Bree. So vivid were the memories that he panicked.
He breath became short and he pounded his fist on the floor of the cell. A hard rock it was as his fist hurt soon after. His eyes teared up and his breath became shorter. His panic turned to terror he felt short of breath and tears turned to crying. “No, no,” he said in his sobbing, “I cannot return,” he said aloud. At least aloud enough for only himself to hear. “I cannot, I cannot, I cannot…” he continued. After a few minutes of panic, he tried to clam himself and said, “Okay, okay,” and then shooshed himself when he heard a loud click from the other door.
He stood up to look through the small rectangular peep hole in the door but could hear nothing. Only blackness. A second later he heard the unmistakable moaning sound of the metal pins in the hinges of the other door as it slowly swung open and finally stopped. Not long after he heard footsteps from the other side stepping toward him and then away down the hallway. The steps faded away as it seemed as though Teryndir had escaped and left Theomin behind. “No!” Theomin whispered as loudly as he could as he became crushed. The best hope he had to escape was vanishing with the fading footsteps of Teryndir.
Moments later he heard the sounds of small metallic items being jingled his way accompanied by footsteps coming toward his door. Into the lock, it sounded like a key was slid in ever so slowly and quietly. Then it turned as the sound rung through the cave and then the click of the lock echod as the sound reverberated down the hall. The door opened slowly and moaned as it did before.
“Teryndir?” Theomin said in a quiet but fearful way as he could see nothing. He waited for a reply as the intruder of his cell said nothing. Theomin crawled backward, fearful it was an orc, that half-man orc thing, or even Gerald himself.
A shoosh came from the person and right away he knew it was Teryndir. “I am afraid some of the orcs may have heard the lock,” Teryndir whispered as quietly as he could. “I cannot find your weapons but I have a dagger one of the orcs took from me. I killed an orc out there but his sword is much too heavy to wield.” Theomin felt a hand reach out for him as Theomin then grabbed it. “Come, we have not much time. Tis still dark out but which will provide us cover. But that darkness will not last for ever. Our only hope is the cover of darkness to concele us as we escape from here.”
Terydir started to pull when Theomin stopped him and said, “Thank you.”
“This is all I can do to atone for all the terrible things I have done. I only hope this task is not in vain.”
The two escaped from the cell into the darkness of night. Though it was dark outside, the valley was still illuminated by the stars above unlike the darkness of the cave. The smell of the valley, though foul, was still much better than the dead carcus in the cell with him. The winds through the valley gave it a continual fresh smell that the stagnant air of the cell did not provide. Though Theomin was unarmed, he was glad to finally be out of the armpit of the cell.
The two crept their way up and down slopes, not running into any orcs. It was curious that none were in the valley around them. They traverced around platforms and around small hills and slopes. They knew not where they were going but hoped that if they continued in the same directions, they would eventually reach the safety outside the valley.
They continued and ended up on a path toward a deep valley but there inside of it were dozens of orcs, all marching toward Theomin and Teryndir. “Hide,” was all Teryndir whispered as they both ran toward a large structure and hid under it. The marching orcs passed the structure Teryndir and Theomin hid under, not noticing the two men hiding under it. Theomin and Teryndir could see the foul feet of the orcs as they continued to pass one by one in a gaggle. It almost seemed they were a group set to invading some poor town of men. Finally, the last passed and Theomin and Teryndir began to move. No sooner than the the two come out did the last of the orcs then turned and to see the two men making their way out from under the structure.
All the orc did was make a loud growling sound as he alerted the rest as he saw the two men leaving the structure. Theomin and Teryndir saw the rest of the orcs running after them with their filthy orc swords in hand. “Run,” Teryndir yelled as he pulled Theomin by the wrap around his neck. The orcs jumped into a chase after the two men.
They ran up a slope and down another into the valley around it and tried to stay as far away from the onslaught of orcs. Every huff of air Theomin was breathing was becoming more difficult as they ran as fast and as far as they could. The orcs were amazingly fast, much like the ones that chased after the cart back in Evendim after their hunting venture just weeks before.
“We cannot keep this up for ever,” Theomin breathlessly said. “I cannot go on battling this breathlessness I am feeling.”
“Will you be able to fight if we found a weapon for you? I might be able to fight if you fight with me,” Teryndir said also sounding breathless.
“I may if my body is still strong enough,” Theomin said. “But I am weary.”
The sun had finally come up as the two continued through the valley; the orcs behind in close persuit of them. They came to a fork in the road, one leading up to a structure and the other down to the filthy pool below where Teryndir was held the other day. They began to run one down the slope but saw another group of orcs coming for them from below. They turned and ran the other way up the slope over the platform Theomin had passed the other day and down past the pool.
They continued until they saw the cave that led into the prison cave. Theomin’s heart sank. “We are back where we began,” he breathlessly said. Defeat was in his heart.
“We are not done yet,” Teryndir said.
They ran past the cave and up a slope until they saw a glint of reflective light shining above on a platform. “I see a weapon,” Theomin said.
They ran up the hill to the platform but at the base of the platform was an orc ready to tear the two apart. He readied his weapon but Teryndir lunged at the orc and slammed the dagger into his neck. The orc screamed in pain as Teryndir yelled, “Get the sword!”
Theomin scaled the platform but was soon confronted by another orc. It swung its heavy weapon at Theomin. Theomin narrowly avoided the swing, as it missed him and wedged the sword into the wood of the platform. The orc tried to free the blade but Theomin ran and slammed his foot into the orc. It fell off the platform but still lived. It then ran up to Teryndir as he avoided being attacked by the creature. But he could not avoid it for long. The dagger he had was too small for the orc’s sharp claws as it ran up the path back up to Teryndir.
Theomin finally reached the sword and found there were two. “Teryndir!” he yelled and dropped one to him. Teryndir was pushed out of the way by the orc as the sword hit the ground. Teryndir tried for the sword but the orc got there first. He stepped on the sword as he gave Teryndir a scowel. Drool oozed forth from his mouth and he gave an evil laugh. He started to step toward Teryndir when he was run through by the sword Theomin had. Theomin kicked off the orc but could not claim victory for long.
The rest of the orcs continued to run up the slope toward the two men. Teryndir and Theomin ran back up the platform as the two dozen orcs continued to run up in persuit. Theomin sliced through at least one of them as others came past the dead orc. He drew back through the orc and sliced another orc by his throat. He kicked the dying orc toward the others who were trying to scale the platform. Some fell off but others simply passed over the dead orc.
The platform soon began shaking as the weight of the orcs was too much for it. Theomin and Teryndir felt the shaking of the platform as they tried to steady themselves. It finally collapsed by the weight of the number of orcs on it. At last the weak wooden poles gave way and they all came plunging down to the ground below. Theomin fell the hardest. His head hit a rock but he did not feel the impact. He only remembered the sky afterwords as Teryndir came up to him. He heard a muffled sound of Teryndir yelling, “Hurry! Theomin get up!” and Teryndir grabbing his hand to hoist him up off the ground.
Theomin stood by his own will but saw the other orcs coming toward them. He turned and tried to run as fast as he could but felt the wooziness of the impact effecting him. “My sword!” Theomin then remembered.
“I have it,” Teryndir said. “Take it and run!” It was no sooner than that that Teryndir was impacted with an arrow in the right shoulder. He screamed in pain but he yelled out, “Go!”
The two ran down the slopes and up away from the valley when a familiar sight was before them. The grim tall orc that imprisoned them was just before them. He walked toward the two casually with a smile on his grim face. The two stopped just yards before the orc. Feeling less woosy from the impact, Theomin looked at Teryndir and then at the orc, “Two of us can take him,” Theomin said with confidence.
“I’m sorry, brother, that won’t happen,” Teryndir weakly said.
“Why?” asked stunned. He felt a sudden betrayal from his brother. He felt fear and anger rage inside of him. It was a trap all along and his brother was apart of it. But that all changed when he looked into his brother’s eyes. The puples of his eyes were widening and sweat was dripping from his head.
“I believe that arrow tip was poisoned,” Teryndir said as his knees buckled and he fell forward onto Theomin.
“He, he, he,” the large orc Logberz laughed at the expence of Teryndir. “Hault,” he commanded the rest of the advancing orcs. “Clever are you that you managed to escape from the inescapable prison cell. It looks as though our old dwarf friend was not as smart as we thought he was and no more crafty than we thought you were. But it looks as though you managed to get yourself in quite a bit of trouble, wouldn’t you say?”
“I would rather die than to be brought to Bree again,” Theomin spat at Logberz with a scowl of distain.
The orc smiled, “I know, that’s why you are going there just as soon as Kronog himself comes. Your friend can’t help you, and you can’t help yourself.”
“You think so?” Theomin said. “This sword says you are wrong.”
“And what will you do with that?” he mocked. “Do you believe you can actually fight me?” the orc laughed. “And what do you do if, by chance, I am defeated. You have more than two dozen orcs hungary for slaughtering any man they see. You are surrounded. You are beaten.”
“If I beat you, if I win, your orcs will let me live. If you beat me, I will go back to the prison from where I was placed and will go to Bree.”
“No,” Teryndir said. “Do not…” he could not continue on as his weakness was overcoming him.
“Your friend is wise. You cannot beat Logburz. I’m too strong, to fast, and too battle hardened to be beaten by such a scrawny man such as yourself.”
“Let us see,” Theomin said. He swung his sword about and stood in a fighting stance, waiting to attack the large orc.
“Ha, ha, ha,” Logberz laughed, “Okay, we’ll see who’s the victor…” he swung his own large and deadly weapon. It was stained with so much blood it looked as through it was painted on and he gave a serious grin, “…and who’s the victim.” Quickly after that he ran and swung his blade at Theomin. Theomin was barely ready for the attack as he just blocked the blow as his sword flew from his hand and landed at the feet of the orcs watching the melee.
Theomin, stunned, did not know what to do. The orc swung his bloody, rusty blade at Theomin but Theomin ducked and lunged toward his own sword. The orc’s blade hit the ground as Theomin ran toward his sword nearby the blood thirsty orcs. He picked it up and ducked and rolled away from another blow from the orc. The swipe killed one of his own orcs whom was cheering them on. He quickly stood up and tried to hit the orc with the blade. It only bounced off the orc’s thick skin as if it was nothing more than the thick log of a tree.
“You knew not that I had such a thick skin. Much thicker than other orcs. I am an Uruk-hai. My muscles are strong and my skin is tough. You cannot defeat me so easily but I can defeat you!” he said as he swung the blade at Theomin. Theomin narrowly avoided the swing as he quickly took the opportunity to slash at the uruk’s arm.
Much to Theomin’s surprise, his blade cut straight through the uruk’s arm, slicing it off. The uruk stepped back and grabbed what was left of his arm. Black blood oozed from it as he fell to one knee. The orcs all around screamed loud and looked visibly agitated, ready to spill Theomin’s blood. “Wait,” the uruk commanded. He pulled the blade from his dead hand and yelled, “I am not done with you yet.” He swung at Theomin with the blade in the other hand. It seemed stronger as Theomin blocked it and flew onto his back. The uruk crazily screamed and went to slash at Theomin but he rolled away. The uruk swung his blade and narrowly missed Theomin’s back.
Theomin turned to see the one armed uruk growling and standing there, just as enraged as he saw him before. The uruk charged at him but Theomin placed his blade before him. The uruk smacked it out of the way and Theomin’s blade went flying up in the air. Theomin fell back with the uruk strattling him and the uruk yelled to him. “You are beaten.” The uruk grabbed onto Theomin’s neck and squeezed as hard as he could. “I want to kill you know. I need to kill you now! I sent an emissary to Bree, though.” Visibly enraged, the uruk yelled out a strong growling scream. “I need to kill you!” He yelled out again. “Take him! Take him…”
The uruk was talking but Theomin could hear less and less as the strangulation was making him lose all senses around him. His hands moved less and his legs went limp as he was just watching the uruk talk his horrible speech, commanding the rest of the orcs. Darkness started to close in around his eyes as all things around began to go dark.
He just watched the uruk talk and he felt at peace; a peace he had not felt before until he saw a sudden rod slowly penetrate the uruk’s head. Blood spewed forth through the rod and splattered on Theomin’s face. Soon after an arrow pierced the uruk’s chest. The uruk’s grip started to let loose and soon all of Theomin’s senses began to return. He felt weak but he could hear the wild confusion of orcs as it sounded as though they were being slaughtered. He looked around and saw all the orcs being cut down and killed. By whom Theomin could not tell. They were clad in grayish armor or cloth and had blond hair and curved blades. Their ears were pointed and they swung their swords gracefully but all the more deadly. “They were elves. From Lin Giliath?” Theomin though. He could not think more on the matter as he was too weak even to think on the matter.
Another came from the frey and knelt down next to Theomin. She was not like the others. She had the look of a woman of men. Her hair was blonde too but pulled up into a bun. In one hand she held a bow but no other weapon by her side. She was dressed similar to the people of the north, ragged and worn were her clothes, stitched together here and there with patches. She had a look of determination as she looked up and down at Theomin, making sure of something. “Are you Theomin? The man who traveled in the company of the Warriors of Eriador?” All Theomin could do was nod. “I know not if you remember me, but I come from the town of Treslebridge. I am Aggy Digweed and I come with the elves called the Twilight Company.”
As Theomin came more to his senses, all he could say was, “My brother, how is Teryndir?” he coughed a few times and his voice was so low and that even he could hardly hear it.
“Sylderan!” Aggy called over to one of the elves, “How is that other man?”
The elf, clad in a face mask that had a look of blue leaves pointing outward from the eye pieces and armor of mainly steel blue with a golden tree moulded on the chest piece, calmly walked over to Teryndir. He crouched down and placed a hand on his chest. He stayed there for a few moments, closed his eyes as if to only concentrate on the feeling of his chest and just waited. For a while he stayed there with his hand on Teryndir’s chest, slowing his breathing as he cocked his head back, feeling the chest of Teryndir. The elf then opened his eyes and looked at Theomin…