The Family Line Part 132 – Ambush in Annuminas

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Part 132 – Ambush in Annuminas

“Just a little further,” Basil said to himself. He had been pulling the lead cart along with help from two others from Ost Forod since the rangers had stayed behind far back at the beginning of the walk into Men Erain. They were at last at the threshold of the gate into Annuminas and the orcs all around were looking at him sneering and drooling. They stared down the men from Ost Forod, just like normal, but they tried to look as though they were not carrying the source of an ambush in their carts. Basil just looked at the orcs like usual as an Uruk began to make its way to him.

“This way, filth,” one of the uruks said in his deep growling voice. The uruk guided the carts for a ways until the last cart stopped. “Get going, maggot!” the uruk snaraled as he kicked one of the men from Ost Forod.

“I can’t,” he said. “One of the wheels has something wrong with it. It wont go!”

“Fix it and get going!” the uruk said.

“Stay there,” the lead uruk said to the other orcs. “if you try anything stupid, you’ll have all my orcs to deal with.”

Basil and the other cart continued on toward the bridge. They pulled the carts as sweat beaded on his skin and fell into his eyes. The breeze off the lake felt fresh but the task of pulling the carts was very difficult work. They men pulled their carts, clunking on the broken tiled ground slowly as they received no help from the uruks. Each slowly eased the carts as they finally reached the large stands of the bridge. They stopped their carts.

“Um,” Basil said hoping to get the attention of the uruk and convince it to bring the cart further. “I’ve been instructed to bring the cart up to the second floor.”

“Who told you that?” the uruk growled at him.

It took Basil a few moments to try and remember the uruk’s name who took over Ost Forod. “S…S…Seglek,” he studdered. “Seglek told me.” To him, it sounded more like a question than an answer.

“Seglek, aye,” the uruk said. It looked at its champions as they just looked at the head uruk and shrugged. “Get going, then,” the uruk said.

Basil sighed in relief. The fear of getting to the right place was resolved. He just needed to stop at the bottom of the ramp and clear the cart before it exploded. He pulled the cart further as he looked at his companion who was left behind at the bridge. The one at the bridge just gave Basil a nod and smile. Fear was on the man’s face as Basil turned toward the place he had to stop. He pulled the cart as his muscles ached and began to shake from too much work. At last he had finally pulled the cart to the bottom of the ramp that lead to the second level. He stopped and with a puff he collapsed.

“What are you doing!” the uruk yelled at Basil.

“I just need a rest,” Basil said as he breathed in and out deeply. “It’s too much work.” He truly was tired, making his exhaustion genuine so he did not have to fake it.

“Get up you weakling,” the uruk said. The uruk tried to force Basil up but he was too weak to continue on.

Back at the cart at the gate, the man inspecting the cart called for one of the orcs. “I can’t get to this,” he said to the orc. The orc just looked deeply into the man’s eyes. “C…can you please help so I can bring this further?”

“Stupid man,” the orc groweled at the man from Ost Forod. “Let me get it for you. Men are way too dumb to do the work of an orc.”

 

“Is this it?” Eotheron asked looking down at the cart. The man down on the bottom walked back, away from the cart and gave an ever so slight nod. “This is the signal.” Saeredan clapped some flint together and lit the end of Eotheron’s arrow on fire. Eotheron then pulled the arrow back in its string and aimed it at the cart at the front gate of the city. He breathed in and with anticipation said, “Here we go.” The arrow was loosed from the bow and sailed high into the sky and then finally arched down right toward the cart and embedded itself directly on top.

Thought it hit the cart nothing happened. A few moments went by and the cart began to catch on fire as orcs could be heard crying out, excited the cart was on fire. It then exploded in a spectacular ball of flame as all things around were knocked back as things began to come alive down on the bottom level of the city.

“Quick, I need to set blaze to the next one,” he told the Saeredan. He clacked the flint and set fire to the next one. Eotheron aimed at the next cart but it exploded before Eotheron could shoot at it. Taken aback, Eotheron quickly changed to the last cart. He couldn’t see it. A tree was in the way.

“What are you waiting for?” a ranger asked.

“There is a tree in the way,” Eotheron panicked.

“Angmarim!” Saeredan called to them. He stood up and drew his sword. “Make it quick, Eortheron,” he warned Eotheron as he ran to engage the group of Angmarim.

Eotheron just guessed where he believed the cart was. He let loose the arrow and waited for an eruption. Nothing blew up for a while. He pulled his arrows and turned toward the approaching Angmarim. They were coming in full force toward the small group of rangers. One came right toward Eotheron when the last cart erupted in a greater blast than the other two.

 

Behind a post, Basil came out in a daze from the terrible blast that came from his cart. He looked back at the cart beneath the bridge. Nothing was left where the cart was. Not but a mess of broken wood, strewn food and dead orcs and uruks were laying about. He then looked at his companions near the bridge. Nothing was there. They must have blown themselves up as he then looked at where his own cart was. He limped out from behind the post. He looked down to see a wooden piece embedded in his leg. He wanted to pull the wood out when at least four Angmarim came running down the ramp. He tried to hide but they had already seen him.

Basil grabbed one of the small bombs and threw it at the Angmarim. It hit the ground and set two of them ablaze quickly. The other two looked at Basil. Basil then ran toward the exit. He could barley notice where he was running as he was still dazed from the concussion of the blast.

He could not make it far when the Angmarim grabbed him and pulled him back onto this back. One pulled a dagger and swung it down at Basil. He knew he was defeated. He almost welcome it as he grabbed another of the bombs. An arrow slammed into the Angmarim’s head, though, and he fell back. The other looked up but was shot in the chest by another arrow. The elves had arrived.

Sergee came to Basil and grabbed him. “Are you okay?”

“I am now,” Basil whispered as he thought he was about to lose his life.

“We need to continue up to the second level,” Sergee said. “We need to get to those priests.”

“Go on,” Basil said. “You saved me. Take these bombs I haven’t used. Now save the land.”

Sergee let Basil go and continued on toward the ramp of the city along with Estonethiel and the other elves.

 

“That’s the signal,” Krovrin yelled. “Let’s get ‘em!”

The dwarves ran toward the city, all thirty of them, and trailing behind were the men and women of Trestlebridge. Eleswith was at the front of the group, running with her crossbow at the ready. Soon, they came on the western entrance of the city as she and Aggy shot the two Angmarim guards who were confused by the blast in the city. The dwarves and men poured through the western gate, all fifty of them, thirty dwarves and twenty men and women all quickly came through the gate.

“We shall secure the shore,” Krovrin said.

“We will continue up the slope to Echad Garthadir and secure that area,” Eleswith said.

The dwarves ran down and killed every last Angmarim as Eleswith and her men ran up the slopes. Aggy and Eleswith quickly killed the Angmarim on their path up the slope. They quickly made it to Echad Garthadir and held her ground. They shot each Angmarim that tried to breach their position as tall trolls rammed through the nearby walls.

The many men and women fired their twenty arrows at the two trolls who burst through the wall. They were splintered with all twenty arrows as the dwarves slashed at the trolls, killing them and the other Angmarim with their many strong axes.

“I’m glad we needed to not wait long,” Eleswith said.

Ready with their axes and a rugged look of war on their faces, Krovrin asked, “Where do we go next, lady of Dale?”

“Take the court to the north of here,” she said. “I’ll leave some of my men here to protect this point.”

“Let’s go dwarves,” Krovrin said. “Time’s a wasten and my axe cries for more!” The dwarves ran into the arches that separated the nearby Echad Garthadir from the court. Soon, the sounds of joining combat were heard echoing down the hall from where they were.

“Let’s go,” Eleswith said. “We must reach the priests while we still have strength left. This part was easy but it will only be tougher the further in we go.”

“We’re with you,” Aggy smiled.

“Good,” Eleswith said. “Let’s continue.”

 

“We must continue,” Eotheron called to his companions as they fought the Angmarim. “The priests cannot be far.”

“We cannot,” a ranger yelled out. “They are too…” he was sliced through the throat by an Angmarim sword.

Eotheron quickly slew the one who killed his companion as he saw two more of the rangers fall to the Angmarim. He fought through some of the Angmarim as he noticed they were only coming from the east side. He looked down from the west and no more were coming from that direction. They were all coming from the east.

“West, we must retreat west!” Eotheron yelled.

“What of the priests?” Saeredan called out.

“We must gain our ground before we fight them,” Eotheron yelled out. “We cannot fight them when we cannot stand our own ground.”

With that, the group of rangers retreated toward the west. It continued past a courtyard near a stream of water and over the bridges then down the ruin occupied slope. The rangers ran as fast as their legs could take them as bolts whizzed past them, some catching some of the rangers in the back as they fled west. Eotheron turned and shot a couple of crossbow wielding Angmarim and turned and continued to flee.

Before them, though, great beasts like trolls were running up the slope toward the small group of rangers. They were caught between the Angmarim and the terrible beasts down the slope. Some of the group of rangers had already turned back toward the Angmarim as Eotheron did the same. More bolts were shot at them and another two rangers fell as the group of rangers slammed into the Angmarim.

Eotheron fought as hard as he could but knew that his time was quickly coming to an end. The trolls were surely coming toward them as they fought the Angmarim and it was only a matter of time before they would fall upon them like boulders down a mountain. He just fought as many of the Angmarim as he could, he slayed five, six, seven of them and then another eight and nine. He watched as his fellow rangers fall to Angmarim and just tried to fight as bravely as he could, slaying another ten, eleven and twelve.

Too fast the day was already fading. They had been fighting for hours, but it only felt like it had been a half hour. Though it felt long, Eotheron’s muscles were burning with too much use as his strength was quickly waning. He slew another thirteen and fourteen as he waited longer and longer to be crushed by the coming trolls but he was never taken down by them. Then, arrows came from behind, a great many arrows came flying past. It was another group of rangers who saved them. It was Sergee’s group of rangers as the elves returned from the upper platform, returning from wiping out the group that had occupied an upper level group of Angmarim.

The company finally had the numbers to confront the larger group of Angmarim. Another group of came behind, it was the men of Trestlebridge along with Eleswith. Eleswith came to Eotheron with a great smile as Sergee and Estonethiel looked at each other.

“This is it,” Eotheron said. “We only have the line of Angmarim to pass before we reach the priests. We must now end it. Look above. The darkness is coming and the swirl of evil clouds are upon us. Now, we make our push.”

The rest of the group, over fifty of them ran up the ramp and across the courtyard of Clorhir toward the last pass before the bridge of the Ariant. The group ran down the slop toward the bridge and there, ahead of them, a line of at least one hundred Angmarim stood waiting for the small contingent of men to fall upon them. They were there, swords in hand ready for combat.

“Throw them!” Sergee yelled to his fellow rangers.

The rangers along with Eleswith, Aggy, Sergee and Estonethiel all threw the small bombs into the crowd of Angmarim. As soon as they exploded, the Angmarim scattered as many died from the blast and many others flailed themselves around as their cloaks caught ablaze.

“Charge!” Sergee yelled out.

They ran and crashed against the emaciated Angmarim tearing them apart as quickly as they could but as they did so, an unexpected turn of events came to turn the tide away from their favor. From above, bat-like creatures sailed out of the sky and took the men and elves. They slashed into the men and elves with their sharp razor like claws and bit into them, eating their flesh right then and there.

“These things!” Sergee yelled in terror. “The ones from the cave!”

“You cannot escape from us,” one of the winged creatures hissed at Sergee as it slowly marched after him.

It was sliced through by a sword, “We cannot escape you but can surely try to kill you,” Estonethiel said to the dead creature. “These are the ones who were after us in the cave under Aman Sul,” she told Sergee

It was then that above them clouds began to become thicker and swirl all around. Lightning began flashing through the clouds as a cold wind blew all about them. The clouds were dark, gray and menacing. Electricity was in the air as flashes zapped the swords of many of the men and elves. They dropped their swords in pain as the creatures continued to fall upon them and slash at them. More came and bit into them.

One jumped on top of Sergee’s back. He swung around to try to fling it off. A sudden stabbing from someone else forced the thing off Sergee. It was from Ariel, the only survivor of Annuminas. She continued to stab at the creature in the face until it was unrecognizable.

“Okay,” Eleswith said. “That’s enough,” but no sooner than she said that, Eleswith was also grabbed. The creature tried to pull her up but Arial grabbed onto the creature’s leg and slashed at it. The creature fell and wanted to eat Ariel but Eleswith sliced its head clean off. Ariel then kicked the head of the creature far off down to the first level. “Thank you,” Eleswith said.

“My vengeance is not over with,” she said.

But they were not yet done. They still had more Angmarim and many of the creatures were still menacing the small group of men and elves. They tried to shoot at them, slice at them and beat them down. Fewer of the creatures were coming. Eleswith wondered if they had killed many of them or they were just feasting on her companions.

Soon, the dwarves came to their aid, but even the might of the dwarves was being thwarted by the strange winged creatures that flew in from above. It was then that a flash of lightning brought another terror from the sky. The drake that had come before was back.

“We cannot win this,” Estonethiel said to Sergee. “We must retreat!”

“No, we can’t,” Sergee said. “We’re so close.”

“This drake will surely end us,” Estonethiel said. “These merrovial are too terrible a foe. We cannot win.”

“Then we continue through and kill those priests,” Eleswith yelled as she slit the throat of an Angmarim.

Each of them looked at each other. Each of them knew that their last stand was not going to happen. They each knew that going after the priests was the last act they were going to perform. They knew they would soon die either before reaching the priests or soon after.

“Then we shall continue,” Estonethiel said. “To the end.”

“To the end,” Sergee agreed.

“To the end,” Eotheron said.

The last remaining light from the sky began to fall in the west as the wind began to pick up. The swirling clouds above increased and at the center of the vortex, an opening to an utter darkness formed. The pitch blackness of the opening grew and an evil sound like the cross between a moan and a growl encompassed the whole city. Two red flames came from inside the darkness. First small and far off but grew. They grew to terrible size, both as large as the surrounding hills. Monstrous they were and at that point, the company had known that it was Morgoth and that he had returned. Not long after, a light began to appear in the east though it was not yet dawn.

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