Author : [user]Cemendur Telcontar[/user]
Original Thread : [FATW AAR] Light of the West
Light of The West
Light of the West
It was a cold night, an unusually cold night for the lairë season. In the city of Minas Ithil, a man cloaked in black walked out from the Tower of the Moon. He looked out past the city and saw the glistening river of Anduin, the border of the newly founded Kingdom of Andunbar. The man smiled to himself, reveling in the destruction and chaos he had caused. He was none other than Herumor the Lord Black, Chief Advisor to the new king of Andunbar, former Lieutenant of the Dark Tower Barad-Dur. He was the cause of the division that split the Reunited Kingdom and founder of the Shadow Cult. He sought to restore the darkness that, over 200 years ago, had been wiped off of Middle Earth. His first goal was to destroy the remenant of the Reunited Kingdom. He had already orchestrated the taking of Umbar by Harad, which had greatly reduced the power of the Reunited Kingdom. And if Minas Tirith fell, so would the rest of the Reunited Kingdom. Darkness would once again rule Middle Earth.
Opposite of Minas Ithil, on the other side of the Anduin, in the city of Minas Tirith, Cemendur, the new king of the Reunited Kingdom, looked out from prepice of the city toward the Kingdom of Andunbar, the kingdom of his brother Amandil. He clearly remembered that day, only several months ago, where his father stepped down as king and crowned Cemendur King of the Reunited Kingdom. It was only natural, since he was the eldest. However, Amandil, his younger brother, became jealous of his father's decision, proclaiming he was the better of the brothers, and deserved the title of king. Suprisingly, many throughout the realm thought the same, mainly in the Eastern portions of the Kingdom. Many were persuaded by the younger brother's advisor and mentor, Herumor, a mysterious stranger from a distant land. A bitter struggle broke out in the citidel, and Amandil knocked down Cemendur, and then proclaimed that he was the stronger brother, and would set up his own kingdom in Mordor under the Shadow Cult, which he had been a follower of for months. Cemendur remembered that day with anger, and he swore that he would overthrow Amandil's kingdom. At this moment Aldarion, his father, walked towards him from the House of Kings. He grapsed his son's shoulder. "The darkness is growing," he said to his son. "No, the darkness was defeated by our forefather Elessar," replied his son. "With the help of others. Do not forget my son. But the darkness is never defeated, not until the End as prophesized. This darkness consumed your brother, and it is my fault for that occuring. I should never have trusted Herumor, and I should have known he survived the destruction of Sauron, and that he would return." Cemendur did not reply, but looked onward still. "Our allies in Rohan have sent reports that Dunland has mobilized, and that orcs acompany them." "Orcs!?!?!?!?!?!?!?" yelled Cemendur. "How could this be possible?! They were destroyed!" "Once again my son, Darkness is never destroyed. The power of the Shadow Cult must have summoned them." "But not even Amandil would use orcs. He is not that corrupted, is he?" Aldarion turned his head. A tear flowed from his eye. "I still believe and hope he has doubts. But he has long been under the influence of the Shadow, and Herumor has full control over him. He is the puppet of the New Shadow, and will not stop until darkness has returned and spread over Middle Earth." Cemendur faced his father, a look of determination in his eye. "Darkness will not return. Tommorow I will summon the remainder of the army that Amandil has not taken, and take the fight to him. I will reconquer Emyn Arnen, and take the fight to Minas Ithil itself. I will not forsake the legacy of the House of Telcontar and our forbear King Elessar. I will not let the Light of the West fail!."
Chapter 1: Rallying of the West
"Barahir! Assemble your forces and march toward Emyn Arnen!" called out Cemendur. It was a week after Cemendur's decision to march forth from Minas Tirith. Cemendur and Barahir, the old Steward of Gondor (around 116 years of age), marshalled their forces in Osgiliath, the ancient ruined capital of Gondor. Barahir approached Cemendur. "Emyn Arnen? Are you sure? The city is well guarded, and I don't have many forces under my command." "Neither do I, but we must fight anyway. The southern cities of Gondor cannot spare many troops out of fear of the Corsairs." "What of Dol Amroth?" "The old Prince is away in Anfalas. His son is in charge. But they do not have many troops either, and it would take them several months to reach us here. We must make due with what we have." Cemendur walked away, but Barahir followed. "But wouldn't it be wiser my king to wait to attack. It would give us time to regroup and rasie more men from Minas Tirith." "That would be the smart thing to do, now wouldn't it?" He continued walking. Barahir, confused, still followed. "So why don't you do it?" Cemendur turned. "Because we seek to surprise Amandil and his men, and hopefully catch him off guard." "I understand your reasoning, but I believe your anger towards your brother is causing you to be rash. If I were Cemendur, I would station my troops in Osgiliath and wait for the enemy there. It would be much easier to destroy them there." Cemendur stopped. "So would I, if I were Barahir. I'm afraid I cannot my friend. If you wish to stay behind and not bring your men into Emyn Arnen, you may." Barahir replied, "I would follow my king to the death. I will do as you wish." Cemendur smiled, "Thank you my friend." Suddenly a horn call was heard throughout the ruins of the city. It was one of hope, one of mystery. It was the elves of Emyn Arnen, chased from their homes by the Shadow. Their leader, a Noldor Elf named Finrod, approached the King. Now there is a point to be made about this particular Elf. For one he was of the Noldor, the Elves that had entered Beriland in the first age, and all, save for very few, departed into the West by the end of the Third Age. But Finrod had not. It was rumoured that he was the same Finrod who had fought so valiently and became a King among elves in the First Age, brought back by the Valar to stop this new darkness, an idea not wholly wrong, for the Valar sent the Istari to protect Middle Earth in the Third Age. Could it be possible they had sent The Elven hero from the First Age to protect the Fourth?. In a clear voice that seemed as if it were a song, he spoke to the king, "Cemendur, King of the Reunited Kingdom and friend of the Elves, the New Shadow has driven us from our homes. We stand now to fight with you in your war against Andunbar, and to honor the alliances of men and elves, possibly for the last time." Cemendur smiled, "Your help is always welcomed." The Elves joined the rest of the army, and after organizing the troops, the armies left Osgiliath. The force under Barahir would march south into Southern Ithilien and attack the recently fallen city of Emyn Arnen, Barahir's city. Cemendur would march his army into Northern Ithilien and camp there, hoping to lure out Amandil, then attack Minas Ithil, opening up a pass into Mordor. Cemendur was not concerned for himself or his army at the moment. He was more concerned that he possibly sent his dear friend and advisor Barahir to his death. He prayed to the Valar that Barahir would not lose his life, whether he won or lost.
While all this was occuring, in Minas Ithil, Herumor the Lord Black approached the throne of the King of Andunbar, Amandil. "My lord," he spoke with a voice of poison, "the foolish armies of the Reunited Kingdom dare cross the Anduin and challenge your rule." Amandil look up, and anger crossed his face. "Does my brother lead them?" "Yes, the traitor does. He is stationed in Northern Ithilien. His Steward Barahir takes a smaller force and attacks Emyn Arnen." "Is not my son, the heir, commanding Emyn Arnen?" questioned Amandil. "Yes, but do not worry. Your son commands 2000 hardened troops, whereas Barahir, the old fool, commands only 500. It will be a masscre." "A shame. I rather liked Barahir, if only he converted to the shadow and joined me." Amandil said, and proceeded to walk around the chamber. "Yes, but he will pay for his failure to join you with his own death. He is of no challenge to us." "But what of my brother?" Amandil asked. "Once Barahir is defeated, I will send your son to attack Cemendur, and you will also send a force under your command to aid in the crushing of the traitors, including those miserable elves." Amandil stopped. "The elves are with him?" "Yes they fled the destruction of their lands. But we will destroy them. I must leave however. There is a business that needs my attention." As he turned to leave, Amandil stopped him, "Herumor, there is a matter that has come to my attention that I must now." The black figure stopped and turned, "What is it, my lord?" he said. Amandil paused, and hesitantly spoke, "It has come to my attention that...orcs have joined our ranks. Is this true?" Herumor gave a dark smile, "Of course it is true. Does this bother you?" Amandil spoke, more hesitant that before. "Well, I was speaking to my advisor and friend, Berethor, and he said that we should not use orcs, as they are untameable and evil creatures." Herumor's smile faded, and a stern, angry look crossed his face. But it was soon replaced with a smile, but one of darker nature. "But you are evil also, my disciple. I taught you that many months ago. We must destroy these treacherous men that oppose you, and the orcs will give you a greater advantage. Use the evil inside, unleash you darkness. Do not let the light approach you again." At these words the room turned dark, and a red flash appeared in Amandil's eyes. "Destroy the Light." he said. From that moment on, Amandil's eyes remained black as the darkest night. Herumor smiled again, "Good. My work here is done." He left the room. The next day Amandil ordered that all officials that did not adhere to the wishes of the king were to be executed. A purge swept through the kingdom, and all officials that disagreed with the policies were killed. The people of the realm cheere at this, unaware of the darkness that had taken over their King, the Royal House, and their lives.
Chapter 2: The Battle of Emyn Arnen
On the morning of the second day of the siege of Emyn Arnen, Barahir awoke to the sound of horns eminating from the city. He realized that the enemy was preparing to attack. Barahir ran throughout the camp and rallied his men. "Awake men! Battle is upon us!" His Men-at-Arms were at the front of the army. His archers were on the flanks; his Gondorian Archers on the left, his Rangers on the right. His Gondorian Horsemen were stationed to the far right. His plan was to have his Men-at-Arms rush the gate, so that the enemy will have not time to assemble on the plains outside the city. His archers would arrange on the flanks of the infantry, while Barahir's White Company bodyguard would arrange behind the swordsmen. However his plan went wrong from the start. The enemy reacted faster, and fielded a unit of militia on the field first. The Gondorian Swordsmen rushed the militia. However, archers flowed from the gate. Estimating that he could hold them, Barahir rushed his White Company foward to intercept the archers. But he misunderestimated the enemy. Andunbar Men-at-Arms flowed from the gate and surrounded Barahir. An excellent move. Now I'm a dead man! he thought aloud. His Bodyguard was being cut down left and right. He had only one chance. "Archers assemble on the flanks!" On both sides the Rangers and Gondorian Archers assembled, and opened fire on the men issuing from the gate. Meanwhile, the Gondorian Horsemen crashed into the rear of the Militia attacking the Men at arms, routing them. The Men-at-Arms attacked the right flank of the host of enemies, while the horsemen arranged themselves to attack the rear of the left flank. The charge caused the bowmen and militia to flee, however the Men-at-Arms of Andunbar, although shaken, still stood. But after a few more seconds the whole group cracked, and was driven into the city.
However, the enemy general, Orendil, brought his forces around the city to attack the unguarded rangers. But Barahir pulled his calvalry and his Men-at-Arms to attack the Prince, while this gondorian archers held the enemy at the gate. After minutes of fighting, the Prince Orendil fell, and Barahir urged his men foward, "The Prinice is dead! To victory men!"
The Gondorian Men-at-Arms replaced the archers at the gate, and cut through the enemy archers, until they reached the King's Guard Spearmen, finest of the Men of Andunbar. However the Rangers arranged themselves to the flanks and opened fire on the Andunbar troops, decimating many of them.
Soon only a handful of Andunbar troops were left, and Barahir ordered the Gondorian Horsemen to charge into the open flanks of the enemy troops. The enemy routed, and now only a few Andunbar troops remained in the city. They were easily destroyed, and after a hard fought battle with many losses, Emyn Arnen was under the control of the Reunited Kingdom. " I made many mistakes in that battle." remarked Barahir after the battle to his lieutenant. "At least you are still alive, and we won the city." Barahir smiled at this. His home, Emyn Arnen, was under the control of the reunited Kingdom again.
Amandil was smoldering with rage after he heard the news from the messenger. "So they have taken Emyn Arnyen?" the king asked wrathfully. "Yes," replied the messenger, "all of Southern Ithilien is in the hands of the enemy. Also, Anorien has fallen to a captain by the name of Faramir." "Anorien has fallen also?!?!" the king lept to his feet and drew his sword. "I am but a messanger I had no part in the battle!" The king stopped. "Yes, yes of course." He turned around back towards his throne, but swept around and took the head off of the messenger. He screamed to his attendent "Get me Herumor!" The Lord of Black entered the room and stepped over the body of the messenger. "Yes my lord?" "Emyn Arnyen has fallen." "So I have heard." replied the Lord of Black calmly. "How can you react so calmly?! This is a crisis! We have lost a province! What's more my son is dead! We have to-" "Calm yourself my disciple" Herumor replied cooly. "All is falling into plan." "Plan?!?" Amandil was confused and angered at how his advisor and friend was speaking. "It is simple: they are lured into a false sense of security that they can defeat us. All we have to do is crush their king, and we can win the war easily." "Then I will lead the forc-" "No." Replied Herumor calmly,"Not yet. And do not question." At this Herumor turned and left the room, leaving Amandil confused and perplexed, but accepting the decision. He ordered his generals to attack Cemendur on the plains of Ithilien.
Chapter 3: A Friend's Wisdom
Cemendur walked out from his tent and stared up at the night sky. "Varda's greatest gift to Middle Earth." He smiled and sat down on the side of the hill outside the camp. He produced a pipe and a pouch of the famed Longbottom leaf. Those hobbits know how to make fine weed, he thought to himself, smiling. He began smoking and continued to look up. He leaned back and began to drift off into sleep. Thoughts raced through his head, thoughts of the past, of epic wars, of the oncoming darkness, of the upcoming confrontation with his brother. "Cemendur?" A voice awoke Cemendur from his thoughts. It was his friend and brother in arms Aredethain, his friend from his youth. Aredethain was more of a brother to Cemendur than Amandil was, which, he thought with a slight pang of guilt, could have led to his brother's revolt. "One of our scouts has returned. He reports that a great host has marched forth from Minas Ithil, and is heading towards our position." Cemendur, drowsy moments before, was now alert. "Who leads the army?" "We do not know, but from our reports so far it is a force large enough to match our own, and consists of Andunbar elites." Cemendur looked out towards the Ithil Vale, where Minas Ithil was situated. He could barely make out in the distance movements of what seemed to be a large army. "They will arrive within the next few days. Tommorow we must prepare our troops for battle." Cemendur turned towards his friend. "Yes, let the men rest one more night. This battle will determine the fate of both kingdoms. Amandil knows this, he would not be foolish enough to put one of his generals in charge of such an important task." "Unless the generals were less foolish than he is, which would not take much." replied Aredethain. Cemendur chuckled, but quickly took a more grave tone, "Do not underestimate my brother. He is vicious, and would do anything to accomplish his goals." Aredethain nodded, and replied, "He was not always like that, he was once a true member of the House of Telecontar. But the darkness corrupted him, just like it corrupted the Nazgul of old. They were once great kings of men also, but the darkness entered them also, corrupting them, turning them into wraiths, bound to the will of the Dark Lord Sauron." Cemendur shuddered at this. Sauron had been defeated over 200 years ago, but was this new evil his doing? Most likely. "That was the shadow of old, my friend, but this new shadow is darker than the rest." Aredethain was perplexed by this statement. "Darker? How? What could be darker than hordes of orcs and all sorts of terrible creatures overrunning Middle Earth?" Cemendur grimly replied: "The old darkness did not split the hearts of the Men of the West. Rather, it united us, giving a unified spirit to fight evil. That was shown at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, when Rohan arrived to save the old kingdom of Gondor from destruction. But now these alliances have grown cold. Rohan does not trust us anymore. The kingdom that Elessar Telecontar founded has been split into two. The darkest evil is within ourselves, within the hearts of men. Greed, desire, hatred, they cause a man to loose their true selves. In the Third Age we fought an external darkness. In the Fourth, we fight an internal, our own brothers and friends. What evil is worse than killing your own brother?" Cemendur turned away. Aredethain, stunned at the impact of his friends words, recovered and spoke. "You speak as if there is only darkness. But wherever there is darkness, there is a light to put it out. There will always be evil, but there will always be good. There will always be hope. In the end the evil will pass, and the darkness will fade, and the sun will shine the brighter, just like in the stories of old, the War of Wrath and the Last Alliance. Never lose hope, for if our forebears lost hope, we would not be here right now." Cemendur faced his friend. "What do we fight for? The restoration of the Kingdom? The death of my brother? The defeat of the Corsairs?" "No," responded Aredethain. "There's good in this world my friend, and its worth fighting for. That's what we fight for." Cemendur pondered his friend's words, then smiled. "You would make Samwise Gamgee proud." Aredethain looked slightly abash at this. "But you are right all the same. Come my friend let us rest. We will need it to face the challenges the next few days will offer us."
Chapter 4: The Plains of Ithilien
"What news do you bring me? Who is commanding the army?" Cemendur demanded from his scout he sent to spy on the Andunbar army. "My lord, Amandil does not lead them." the scout responded. "What? How is this possible? To whom could he leave such an important army in command of?" Cemendur wondered, could his brother be so foolish? Or was it that he was afraid of losing? Cemendur, despite his ill thoughts of his brother, knew he was afraid of losing. Amandil would not send his most hardened troops out just to loose. No he must have some other reason to not show up. Cemendur thought, Could it be?... No. It is absurd, he told himself, and thought no more of it. He looked out towards the battle site. Sure enough, he saw the Andunbar troops, ready for battle, marching in formation, although they were still far in the distance. "King Cemendur." Cemendur turned to face the Elven commander, Finrod, "We must move now, the enemy is approaching fast." "Indeed we must. Aredethain! Order the captains to move their companies out!" "Yes sir!" was the response. Cemendur mounted his horse, and looked out at his army. He was slightly nervous. The enemy army consited of Andunbar's finest troops, all battle hardend, all well armed, including the finest royal troops, the King's Spearmen and the Royal Longbowmen. As he ordered his bodyguard foward, he thought to himself, So this is where the great battle would take place. Not the last, but the most decisive. If only Amandil was here to fight me...
In Minas Ithil, Amandil paced across the courtyard. I should be out there with the army. They are MY troops, MY army, MY glory. If my brother dies and I'm not the one to kill him, heads are going to roll. "Herumor!" he called, desiring to see his advisor and ask him why he told Amandil to stay behind. But Herumor did not come. "Herumor!?" he yelled again. His guards came towards him and gave him the news. No, he thought. He couldn't have. But he did.
Cemendur looked out over his forces, making sure they were in line. He and the enemy were lined up, ready to do battle. "My Lord an envoy approches!" one of his generals shouted. Cemendur looked towards the Andunbar battle line, and sure enough three horsemen approached him. "Finrod, Aredethain, come with me to meet this envoy. Guards, follow slowly behind." Cemendur ordered. The three leaders reached the other three horsemen. One was dressed in the Andunbar military style, with a crested helm, deep black cape, finest armor, purple wear, and on his chest, one great star, above it seven other, smaller stars. So this must be the captain Amandil chose to send against me, Cemendur thought. On the captain's left, another armor clad man sat, however less so ornate than the captain. His guard, thought Cemendur. But the most imposing figure there was the one to the right of the captain. He was dressed in all black: black cloak, black boots, black gloves, and a shadow for a face, and riding upon a black horse. He looked like a Ringwraith of old. The captain stepped foward to speak: "I am Falastur, lieutnant under King Amandil of Andunbar, Guard of the Tower of the Moon, follower of the Shadow, and loyal servant to the Lord Black Herumor." Aredethain curtly responded, "So basically you're a glorified minion of you king's advisor?" and gave a laugh. The horseman clothed in black spoke, in a voice laced with malice and shadow, "After this battle you will laugh no more, lieutenant." The man's voice sent a shudder up Cemendur's spine, and Aredethain backed away, a look of fear on his face. The black horseman seemed to smile under his hood, a smile of mockery and evil. The enemy lieutenant spoke again, "We come not here to joke, we come here to negotiate. We will give you an offer in exchange for you miserable lives. Falstud, come foward and read the offer." The guard of the lieutenant stepped foward and read from a scroll, "In exchange for you lives and your safe return to your lands, the King of Andunbar, Amandil the Great, asks in exchange never to raise arms against his highness the King ever again, for all the lands west of the Anduin, and for King Cemendur of the Reunited Kingdom to forfeit his crown to the true king Amandil, and to-" "We have heard enough!" roared Cemendur in the middle of the reading. The guard fell back to his place. "We do not come here to bandy words with minions of shadow. Flee back to your city, or stand and fight, you miserable orc's arse." The lieutenant, insulted at Cemendur's comments and behavior, rode back to his army. The black figure lingered a little longer, staring at the three generals, and Aredethain the longest, then galloped back to the army. Cemendur galloped full pace to his army, leaving Aredethain and Finrod in his wake. "Men of the Reunited Kingdom! Sons of Numenor!" Cemendur yelled as he galloped down the line, "today we stand against our kinsfolk. A few months ago, these men were your family and friends, your fellow sons of Numenor. But one thing now seperates you from them. We have made our choices, and they have chosen shadow, the shadow that, in centuries past, threatened to wipe the race of men from this Middle-earth! They have rebelled against the very laws of man, the very laws that Elendil and Isildur laid out when they first landed on these shores! Are they still men of Numenor? They have chosen a king that is a pupper ruler, a minion of the shadow. You men have chosen to stand for the truth, to stand for the values of Numenor, to stand for your own beliefs! They are the traitors, not you! Now, Sons of Numenor, stand firm against the shadow, fight for the Light of the West. Fight, Men of the West!" A huge cheer went among the army, so loud that the Lieutenant Falastur at the opposite end of the field was shocked when he heard them. "Stand firm lieutenant," said the black rider, "by the end of the day they will cheer no more, for they will be dead, as will their king."
Cemendur arragned his line so that his swordsmen were in the center, his spears on the right flank, his men-at-arms on the right. Cemendur and his bodyguard, including Aredethain, were on the right, along with the King's Calvalry. His Gondorian Horsemen were on the left flank, and his archers were behind his infantry. His longbowmen at the head of the archers, the Rangers behind to the left, and the elves behind to the right. The enemy began to march towards Cemendur's bodyguard and right flank. He gave the order for the swordsmen to intercept the enemy swordsmen, while the archers were to get in position to the rear of the enemy. Meanwhile Cemendur would position his flank to the rear of the enemy and attack their leader.
The plan was working perfectly. His infantry smashed into the enemy, while he manuvered his archers to the flanks and had them open fire. Meanwhile, his calvalry scattered the enemy archers. Cemendur readied himself for an attack to the rear of the enemy's infantry.
Cemendur drew Anduril, the Flame of the West and screamed, "For the House of Telecontor! Charge men for Numenor!" The fury of his charge was so powerful, that the swordsmen began breaking and fleeing. Meanwhile, the spearmen, badly shaken as they were, still fought. Cemendur withdrew his calvalry and prepared for a second assault on the enemy. Meanwhile his other calvalry units were mopping up the enemy archers.
However, the Lieutenant saw the king coming, and, rather foolishly, charged into the King's bodyguard, with his entire contingent of calvalry behind him. Cemendur hacked and chopped his way throught the mass of horsement, searching not only for the Lieutenant, but for the black rider that whispered the dark words to Aredethain. Cemendur found the Lieutenant, locked in a duel with Aredethain, a duel which Aredethain was clearly winning. Cemendur smiled as his friend was about to give the final blow. But in that moment, an dark shadow thrusted a sword into the back of Aredethain, and in pain, he fell off his horse. Cemendur sat stunned for a moment, watching his friend fall from his horse. Then, in a red rage that all the men around him felt, he lifted Anduril, and gave a shout that caused every man on the field to cower in fear. He charged like an arrow straight at the Lieutenant Falastur. Falastur weakly parried a stroke by Cemendur, which broke Falastur's arm, but a moment later he had no arm, and in another moment he lost the other. Cemendur thrusted his sword into the chest of Falastur, quickly withdrew it, and while the Lieutenant was hunched over, bleeding and armless, Cemendur gave another large shout and sliced the head off of Lieutenant Falastur, and his head landed on the ground. Cemendur dismounted from his horse and rushed towards his friend. "Cemendur," Aredethain spoke weakly. "Aredethain...I'm sorry." Cemendur said, barely able to hold back his grief. "Do not be, you have won this battle, and I am proud to have died fighting in your command. I would have followed you to the end of the world, my friend, my brother, my king." Cemendur, through sobs, said to his dying friend, "Your death will not go in vain. You have helped me many times gain victory over shadow. You taught me through your friendship more than anyone else could have. Go to rest happy, my brother, for you have fought for the Light of the West." Aredethain smiled and looked at his friend. He could see the light, see its glory, see what he had helped protect. He gave his last breath, and passed, happy, into death. "Go to the Light, and rest in peace, son of Numenor." whispered Cemendur.
Cemendur remounted his horse, told five of his guards to bear Aredethain's body off the field, and rallied his calvalry. "We have them beat men! Foward and charge! For Numenor and for Aredethain!" A yell emerged from the men, and routed the remaining Andunbar troops. The enemy had no more will to fight. A majority of them died that day, by the spears, arrows, and swords of the true Men of the West. Cemendur turned and looked for the black rider. He saw him on the crest of small hill. "Black Rider!" Cemendur screamed, "Come and face me!" The Rider spoke: "You think you have won this battle Cemendur?" Cemendur laughed wildly, "Look! Your army is destroyed! You have nothing left! Foward men! Kill the rider! To Minas Ithil!" Cemendur's bodyguard charged foward, and the rider fled. When they reached the hill, the smiles dropped from their faces. The Black Rider spoke again: "My army is not destroyed yet!" For there lay another force of Andunbar troops, not as highly trained as the others however. They were much weaker. Cemendur saw this, turned, and rallied his men: "Men of Numenor! Charge! And onward to victory!"
Chapter 5: The Steward's Discovery
"One Ring to rule them all, one Ring to find them, one Ring to rule them all, and in the darkness bind them."
Barahir paused at the text he was reading. The One Ring. The evil that plauged the Second and Third ages, finally destroyed by his forebears at the end of the Third Age. But did that evil influence the events that had recently come to pass? The abdication of so many good men to the Shadow, a kingdom ruled by a traitor? That is he was sitting here now. He must discover how such evil had re-entered the world. He knew Amandil's advisor had something to do with it, slowly corrupting the young prince. But who was the advisor? All he knew was that his name was Herumor, a wise man, but with an air of darkness hanging around him. But what else was there about him? It seemed nothing, and he was about to give up on his search. He also needed to attend to the city, for it was damaged in the overthrow by Andunbar and also in the battle to retake it. He decided to look through one more scroll. It was dated year 10 of the Fourth Age. It was an account of a riot in Umbar. According to the scroll, King Elessar showed up at the city to quell the riot. Near the end of the riot, the leader of the riot. appeared and spoke to King Elessar. The scroll contained an account of the dialouge between Elessar and the leader of the riot, however the scroll was burnt in some places. It seemed as if it was supposed to be destroyed. It read:
The day before King Elessar was to leave the city of Umbar, a man cloaked in black seemingly appeared from nowhere. He approached the King, and spoke: "We meet again, King Elessar. You may have defeated Sauron the Great, but you will never triumph over evil. It lurks everywhere, in the darkest forests of the south, to the wasted lands in the north. It even lurks in your own kingdom. One day it will split your kingdom in half, destroy your royal house, and ultimately cosume the world again. And I will be there Elessar, long after you are dead, and I will finish my part in this world, which began when I fled Numenor long ago, and I en-"
But the rest could not be read, for there were holes and black marks on the scroll. From what he could make out from the rest, after the speech to Elessar, the leader turned and attempted to leave the city. Elessar called after him, but what he said Barahir could not tell, but dubbed the man the Mouth of Sauron. A wave of realization came upon Barahir. He read further, and realized that the Mouth escaped the city, but before he left he told Elessar his true name, Herumor the Black. Barahir jumped up from his seat. It was all clear. Herumor was trying to ressurect the evil that Sauron, and before Sauron, Morgoth, had crafted. He wrote down all the information he knew about Herumor and prepared to send it to Cemendur in Ithilien. However, a rider approached the city, bearing news from Cemendur. The rider told Barahir that Cemendur was preparing an attack on an Andunbar army. Barahir bid the rider to bring his message to Cemendur, and the rider galloped off toward the battle, which Herumor, the Mouth of Sauron, the Lieutenent of Barad-Dur, was leading.
Chapter 6: The Routing of the Rearguard
The sound of the charge of the horses and running of the men frightened Ulbar, the Andunbar commander sent to reinforce Falastur and his army. But after seeing the enemy, he realized that the main army was destroyed, and Falastur was probably dead. "You said we would be here just to finish off the enemy, not to fight them head on! You said Falastur would destroy most of them!" Herumor gave an evil look to Ulbar. "Falastur failed me. You better hope you won't." Ulbar looked back at the oncoming foe, and turned again to Herumor. "My men cannot defeat them! They barely lost any troops! We must flee to Minas Ithil!" At this Herumor grabed Ulbar by the throat and lifted him up. "Listen to me you worm," Herumor said in a soft, yet poisonous voice, "If you flee this field, I will punish you so severely that you will wish that you had never been born. Now stay and fight." Ulbar, barely able to breath, nodded, and Herumor dropped him on the ground. "Now listen. At the least, kill the enemy king. If he dies, the entire army will rout, and Andunbar will have a much easier time defeating the traitors." Ulbar weakly replied, "Yes...my...lord." Herumor looked towards the oncoming enemy, a look of hatred on his face, and evil in his eyes.
It took the strength of three men, and the persuasion of Finrod, to hold back Cemendur from charging straight into the enemy line. "Cemendur, look at the enemy. Look at their spears. You would die if you charged straight into them. Flank the enemy instead, and have you soldiers charge the spears." Cemendur, still in the heat of battle and vengence, agreed. He took his remaining bodyguard and King's Calvalry to flank the enemy, where as his Gondorian Calvalry would flank from the left, the same tactic as in the first part of the battle. His men, encouraged by Cemendur's powerful speech, charged into the enemy infantry with such great power that the men in the front were thrown back from the force of the charge.
Meanwhile, Cemendur brought his calvalry around and charged the mass of archers, causing them to fly in the air due to the charge and fall back to earth with a sickening thud. Finrod ordered the elves and the other archers to open fire on the enemy commander's guard, which was a contingent of Royal Spearmen. The arrows flew over the rest of the army and pierced many of Ulbar's guards, killing them. When the archers were routed, Cemendur ordered the King's Calvalry to charge the rear of the enemy infantry, which they did with huge force.
Ulbar saw the carnage that the enemy was reeking upon his troops, and Ulbar, with only three guards left due to the heavy archer fire, turned and fled. However as he was running, he lost his remaining guards. He turned and saw a huge volley of arrows, blotting out the sun. A few moments later, he law dead, with about fifty arrows in his body.
Cemendur, seeing the remaining Andunbar troops on the field, dismounted from his horse, drew Anduril, and charged into the rear of the remaining Andunbar troops, yelling at the top of his lungs. He cut down every man in his sight, five men at one time, with powerful strokes from Anduril, breaking, cuting, thrusting into the hearts of the men of Andunbar fear and terror. They immediately began to flee, but Cemendur stood and cut them down. His bodyguard arrived and destroyed the rest of the infantry, as did his other calvalry. Only a handful of Andunbar soldiers escaped the field that day. Cemendur remounted his horse, bloodied by his personal charge into the enemy. "My King, look!" one of his guards shouted. Cemendur turned and saw the black rider, whose identity still remained unknown to Cemendur. Cemendur shouted to the figure, "Black rider! Your armies are destroyed! Your evil will be no more!" The black rider gave a high, chilling laugh. "I will tell you, king, what I told your ancestor Elessar years ago in Umbar." Cemendur looked perplexed. Umbar? Elessar? How old is this man? The black rider continued to speak, "Evil lurks everywhere, and you will never destroy it. On the contrary, it will destroy you, like it destroyed your precious Numenor. I know, for I was there." Cemendur was dumbstruck. "But...how...who?" The Black rider gave another laugh. "I learned much from my master Sauron. I learned his sorcery, his evil, his malice. I am crueler than any orc, craftier than any man. I am Herumor, the Lord Black, Lieutenent of Barad-Dur, the Mouth of Sauron." Cemendur was stunned at his words. How could this be possible? But it did not matter. "Herumor! I will end you this day!" Cemendur urged his horse forward, sword raised. He swung his sword. But all it cut through was black smoke. Herumor dissapeared, and a high chilling laugh with no source pierced the air, causing every man to cower in fear, except Cemendur, who had no room for fear, but was assaulted with anger and confusion, for he now knew the name of the evil that plauged his lands, but he did not know how it lived.
Chapter 7: Musings of the King
The battlefield was a bloody mess. Bodies were strewn throughout the field, and the soldiers of the Reunited Kingdom searched through them for their dead. During the battle, the Reunited Kingdom's army suffered about 100 casualties, whereas the enitre Andunbar army was destroyed. Cemendur sought to honor those who gave their lives fighting against the soldiers of the Shadow Cult. The dead were arranged on the ground and buried with full honors. A mound was raised over the dead. On top of the mound, a pyre was arranged for Aredethain, the King's fallen friend. Before the flame was thrown on the pyre, Cemendur spoke to his dead friend: "Your death will not go in vain."
The next day the army prepared to move out and besiege Minas Ithil, the center of Andunbar power. King Cemendur sat on the field, deep in thought, while the army around him made preparations to move out. Finrod, the elven captain, approached him. "Cemendur, it is time to set out." Cemendur turned to him and smiled, "Why be so hasty with these things? Come and sit if not for a moment." Finrod complied and sat next to his friend. "I've been thinking about the battle, and it lead to to think of other things. You are wise, my friend, and I was hoping that you could help me with my thoughts." Finrod nodded, and let the king continue. "I've been thinking about the battle, and the battles of ages past, and the thought came upon me that so many men, elves, and dwarves have fallen in ages past to achieve victory, and it seems that no matter how many times they drive the enemy back, a stronger enemy looms on the horizon. It is as if their lives...seem to have no purpose other than to die. In battles in the past young men, green with age, voluntarily give up their lives to achieve victory, and many men lose their lives to gain victory. But then the next battle comes, and the few survivors are swept away like dust in the wind. But then those victors are defeated, and a cycle emerges, one to which there is no true victory. It seems that life is split into good and bad, light and dark, and it seems that no force can prevail over the other, because without darkness, there can be no light. But without light, there can be darkness. Are we meant to die in battle to preserve that balance between darkness and light, but to never achieve total victory? In the First age Morgoth was defeated, but in the Second Age was replaced with Sauron, but at the end of the Second age Sauron was defeated, but rose again in the Third age, but defeated again at the End of the Third age by my ancestors. But we are now in the Fourth Age, and it seems that darkness has surrounded us once again. Can we ever achieve victory, and why do we fight if we cannot?" Finrod pondered the words of the king for a moment, then began to speak, the wisdom of the Valar in his words. "Men fight because they posses the one thing the darkness cannot take away. They posses hope. Without hope, men would believe that fighting is futile in the long run. But hope enables them to believe that if they are triumphant, the future would be brighter, and darkness would be driven back. Remember the words of your friend, my king, that there is good in the world, and that is why we fight. Do not despair and think that life holds no purpose, for Eru Iluvatar gave us all a purpose, a destiny. Whether you want to fufill that destiny is up to you, but if you do fufill it, the world will be better because of it. And it will be." Cemendur listend intently to what the elven captain said, and was satisfied by his words. Finrod spoke again, "In the End, the world will be better. I will tell you of the final Prophecy of Mandos, which fortells the downfall of evil. Morgoth will find out how to break the Door of Night, releasing him from his prison in the Void, destroy the Sun and Moon, and ressurect all of his old followers: orcs, trolls, dragons, Balrogs, and Sauron. Earendil will return from the sky for the love of the Sun and Moon, and meet Tulkas the Valar, Eönwë, the maiar, herald of Manwe, and Turin Turambar on the Plains of Valinor. All the Free-Peoples of Middle-earth, men, elves, and dwarves, will fight in this battle, the Dagor Dagorath. And it will be by the hands of a man, Turin Turambar, that Morgoth will be slain, and all men avenged. Then, the Valar will recreate Arda, and all beings will participate in the Second Music of the Ainur, and bring into being the new world of Arda." Cemendur sat awestruck of what the elven captain was telling him. "Well," he finally spoke, "that doesn't seem too bad." Finrod chuckled and helped the King to his feet. "Now, lets focus on the world at hand." Cemendur smiled, and ordered his men to march to Minas Ithil, for the final fight against his brother.
Chapter 8: One Last Feeble Attempt
A few months had past since the epic battle on the Plains of Ithilien. It was winter now, and the city of Minas Ithil, the capital of the Kingdom of Andunbar, was under siege. The last few months had not been kind to Amandil, the King of Andunbar. He had lost his finest army and most of his troops in Northern Ithilien had been destroyed. During these months, Amandil had come under greater control of the Shadow Cult. His resolve was strenghtened, and he sough to crush his brother Cemendur here before Minas Ithil. He had also been sending messages north to the fortress of Durthang in the Ephel Duath. What exactly these messages contained was unknown to everyone except Amandil and Herumor. Amandil was now sitting on the throne in Minas Ithil, pondering over how to defend the city from Cemendur's larger army. At this moment a messenger arrived. "My king, our last army in Northern Ithilien has attacked the army of the Reunited Kingdom besieging us." Amandil sat up, "What does the army comprise of?" The messenger responded, "Units of militia, some swordsmen, and some archers." Amandil sat down, disappointed in this feeble showing of troops. "They will not even dent the enemy forces. We must reinforce them." At this moment Herumor appeared from the shadows. "My king, what would that do? They far outnumber you, even with your elites that you control. You are a much better defender. Stay in the city." Amandil turned with fury towards Herumor, "I am tired of listening to your advice! Thanks to you I lost my best armies. I will not make that same mistake again! You have failed me too-" But Amandil could not speak anymore. He grapsed his throat, not able to breathe. His guards rushed to help, but Herumor threw them all against the wall. "Now listen to me, you worm," Herumor spoke in his deadliest voice, "If you did not listen to my advice, you would have been a dead man that day months ago. Thanks to me you live. Thanks to me you have a kingdom. Do not defy me." After this, Amandil fell to the floor, gasping for air. "Now if you want to sally out, by all means do so. But do not get killed. I need to back in this city when the finally begin their assault. I have a plan to get rid of their king." Amandil looked up and nodded, still not fully able to breathe.
Cemendur walked out of his tent, accompanied by his top generals. "So they are sending a relief force?" Finrod responded, "Yes, but it is not a very well trained army, mostly militia spears." A rider approached Cemendur. "My king, the forces in Minas Ithil are marching out towards us, with their king Amandil at their head!" Cemendur stopped in his tracks, and looked at the rider. "Are you sure?" "Yes I am. The entire army remaining in Minas Ithil is marching towards us, which is less than 300 men." Cemendur hastened to his horse. "Prepare for battle men!" he yelled.
Cemendur arranged his forces to face both fronts. He placed his swordsmen facing the relieving army, his spearmen and men-at-arms facing the armies emerging from Minas Ithil. His archers stood in between the two sides. The enemy army from the city were located on a hill, and the archers from the city could easily fire upon Cemendur's men. He hoped his long range archers could easily take care of them. At the sounds of the horns of Andunbar, the battle began.
After several minutes of fighting, the relief army was routed and completely destroyed. The army from Minas Ithil, however, kept fighting. Cemendur and his bodyguard routed the Royal Archers of Andunbar, and Cemendur searched for Amandil, and found him. Amandil looked across the field and saw his brother Cemendur. Cemendur, with fury, ordered a charge, at the same time Amandil did. The horns of the two brothers sounded as they charged towards each other. The resulting clash was heard throughout the field. Cemendur cut down several of his brother's guards, searching for Amandil himself. The guards began to rout, and it seemed Amandil was not with them. Cemendur screamed at the top of his lungs, "Amandil!" He then saw his brother, at the ridge of the hill, galloping towards Minas Ithil. "Not today my brother!" Amandil screamed as he fled the chaos on the field. All the rest of his troops, however, did not escape, and they were utterly crushed. However, Cemendur did not wait for his men to rest. "Men! Onward to Minas Ithil! No rest until the city falls!" His words were greeted by a unanimous cheer from his men, and they reorganized and marched towards Minas Ithil.
Amandil and his steed galloped through the gates of Minas Ithil, and was greeted by the Guards of the Moon, defenders of Minas Ithil, true men of shadow, along with Herumor. "Where is your army?" Herumor said with a smirk. "I failed, they are coming this way." "Do not despair my disciple. I told you I had a plan. And also, the men of the city have taken up arms and are determined to not let the city fall. Now follow me to the square." However, at that moment, a huge roar errupted, and the clash of swords and shields was heard throughout the city. But the Reunited Kingdoms army had not yet arrived to the city...
Chapter 9: A Brother's Quarrel
The army of the Reunited Kingdom marched at full speed towards Minas Ithil. Cemendur and his bodyguard led the rest of the army as they approached the gates of the city. However, as they approached the city, they heard strange noises coming from inside. It sounded like fighting, the clashing of swords and shields. Cemendur ordered the army to halt, while he and his bodyguard marched closer to the city to investigate. As they drew near the gates, four Andunbar Bowmen jumped up from behind the rafters and aimed at Cemendur. However, before they could release their arrows, a man jumped out from one of the gate towers onto the archers, and slew them all. The man then shouted, "Open the gate for the king!" The gates of Minas Ithil opened. Cemendur cautiously approached the gates, having no idea what was occuring in the city. When he and his bodyguard entered, the man from the gate tower and five other men approached. They were clothed in black and silver, the colors of the Reunited Kingdom, and wielded swords and shields. "My king." their leader, the man from the gate tower spoke, and at his words, he and his men knelt down. Cemendur was perplexed, "What is going on?" "I am Aradan, leader of the resistence forces in Minas Ithil, who believe that you are the true king of the Dunedain, not Amandil the traitor. We have waited for months for the right moment to strike out against the king and his Shadow Guards. Your defeat of the Andunbar armies made it easier for us to prepare for you arrival. However, most of the citizens in this city feel that Amandil is the true king, and took up arms after he arrived from his defeat. They intend on fighting to the death for their king. At least until their king is dead." "So if Amandil is killed, the citizens will put down their arms?" Cemendur questioned. "Yes. But Amandil is in the city square, surrounded by his Shadow Guard and the citizens. My men are fighting in various parts of the city, as there are over 5000 citizens-soldiers in the city, and I have about 500 men. I have about 150 in this general area finishing off the soldiers here, but we need your army to finish off the rest of the Andunbar soldiers." One of Aradan's troops ran towards him, breathless. "Aradan, a column of about 1000 Andunbar citizen-soldiers are marching towards here at this moment." Cemendur turned to one of his guards, "Go get the main army and tell them to enter the city and march towards the square." The guard nodded and set out. "But they will not reach us in time to stop the oncoming Andunbar troops." Cemendur turned to Aradan, "Gather as many troops that you have in the vicinity and tell them to assemble here. I have a plan."
The Andunbar citizen-soldiers rounded a street corner, and saw the front gate of the city, and the enemy king Cemendur and his bodyguard. Seeing no other troops around them, the leader of the soldiers ordered a charge towards Cemendur. Cemendur and his guard remained motionless as they drew closer. When the Andunbar soldiers were about to exit the street lane, one of Cemendur's guards blew a horn. At this, hundreds of yells were heard, and soldiers bearing the colors of the Reunited Kingdom emerged from the shadow of the houses, jumping and crashing into the Andunbar soldiers, catching them completely by suprise. The entire force turned to face the emerging soldiers. Another horn sounded, and Cemendur and his guards charged at full force into the Andunbar line. The charge was so powerful that they cut through the entire Andunbar force. In the narrow confines of the street, they were slaughtered to a man. By this time the army of the Reunited Kingdom had arrived, and were assembling in the city. Cemendur devised a plan to storm the central plaza. The gate houses around the city were neutralized, allowing portions of Cemendur's troops to attack the plaza from other entrances. Cemendur, his guards, and his Men-at-arms and King's spearmen would approach from the central entrance. Meanwhile, a force headed by Aradan and his troops, with a unit of Gondorian swordsmen, Rangers, and King's Calvalry would approach from the northern entrance. A third force under Finrod and his elves would approach from the southern entrance. Cemendur's troops reached the square first. The entire square was filled with Andunbar troops of varying quality, how many Cemendur could not tell, but his guess was well over 2000, if what Aradan told him was true. The square was located in front of the Tower of the Moon, the symbol of Andunbar power. Directly in front of the tower, a group of heavily armored soldiers stood guard, with shields as black as night, their faces hidden under their armored hoods. The Guards of Shadow, thought Cemendur. What they were guarding, Cemendur could have guessed easily. Amandil. Cemendur saw the other forces approaching the square, and he dismounted his horse, wishing to lead his men to victory personally. He drew Anduril, and looked into the blade. "For Aredethain." he spoke softly to himself. He turned, smiled to his men, and with a roar, charge into the ranks of Andunbar, with his men following with a roar that could be heard in Minas Tirith. At this, the armies of the West charged into the mass of soldiers of Darkness.
Cemendur and his men cut through the soldiers of Andunbar, Cemendur seeking out Amandil. A storm of arrows from the elves and rangers broke through the air, landing amongst the mass of soldiers. It seemed that the armies of the Reunited Kingdom would be victorious. But at that moment, the horns of Andunbar sounded, and suddenly hundreds of Andunbar troops burst through the buildings surrounding the square, and attacked the rear of the armies of the West. Suddenly, Cemendur and his men found themselves surrounded. But this was the moment Cemendur anticipated, and at the top of his lungs he screamed, "Calvalry! Charge!" From the streets the Calvalry of the Reunited Kingdom charged into the rear of the Andunbar troops, pushing them all the way back to the square. The fighting continued into the evening. At that time, Cemendur called out to Amandil. "Amandil! Is it worth the lives of these men to keep fighting? Face me now and spare the loss of life!" Suddenly the fighting stopped. Both sides backed off from each other, and an opening emerged in the center of the square. Amandil marched from one end to the center, with his Shadow Guards behind him. Cemendur marched to the center, with his guard behind him, Finrod to his right, and Aradan to his left. They met at the center. "Let us end this quarrel now. We will fight it out between each other. No man is to fight besides us." Cemendur spoke. "Alright then my brother." Amandil responded. He turned to his troops and spoke, "Hear me now my subjects! The traitor wants to settle this like men, and see who the true king is! Of course we know who that is: Amandil, the true leader of the Dunedain!" This was greeted with cheers from the Andunbar forces. "You were never a king Amandil. You never held any honor of the line of Telecontar." "I was the stronger brother, I deserved to take the throne!" Amandil responded. "A king is not determined by who is stronger, Amandil," spoke Finrod, "it takes wisdom to be a king, true virtue, knowledge. You were corrupted by darkness. You would have led the kingdom to ruin." "So speaks the elf, the last of a vanishing race." Herumor the Lord Black, seemingly arrving from nowhere, spoke. "Look what the reign of Cemendur gave the kingdom. A civil war, the loss of many lives." "You have restored the shadow, the very thing my forefather Elessar sougth to destroy! Is that what a true Telecontar would have done?" Cemendur retorted. "Enough useless words! This ends today brother! I will kill you here!" The generals on both sides backed away. Both armies assembled on there respective sides, behind their kings. Cemendur and Amandil circled each other, waiting for the moment to strike. Amandil attacked first, lunging towards Cemendur, who easily parried his blow. The circling continued, this time broken by Cemendur, whose blow was also parried. Amandil then struck low, withdrew, and aimed high. Cemendur responded with blows of his own, and the two brothers were now locked in a battle to the death.
Herumor looked down at the duel below, seeing the flashes of the swords in the setting sun. He was in the Tower of the Moon, walking away from the fight as the duel began. "When I give the signal, do your work." Herumor said to a cloaked figures. "Yes Lord." He responded. Herumor gave his evil smile, and walked out back to the duel below.
They had been fighting for several minutes. Never continuously, but in burst of fighting and then withdrawal. Amandil attacked again, more viciously this time than the last. Cemendur blocked his attack, parried the sword away, and punched Amandil in the face. Cemendur's men gave a shout for their king as Amandil recoiled, but he returned with increased anger. But Amandil's anger clouded his thoughts, and he made more mistakes, whereas Cemendur was able to keep his mind clear. Amandil swung again, and Cemendur ducked, and as he rose, gave an upward slash to Amandil. His armor prevented great damage from being done, but knocked Amandil back. Cemendur cut downward, cutting Amandil's legs, and Amandil spun to the ground. A great cheer went through the armies of the West, as Cemendur approched Amandil, determined to end this quarrel once and for all. At this moment, Herumor gave his signal, a slashing downward motion with his hand, and the sharpshooter in the Tower of the Moon fired his arrow. "My King!" Aradan shouted, while Finrod shot down the assassin. Cemendur turned, and was hit in the shoulder by the arrow. He fell to his knees, in pain, while Amandil rose to his feet behind him, ready to kill his brother.
Cemendur looked upward at the Tower of the Moon, and beyond that the night sky, filled with stars. Cemendur lost awareness of his surroundings as he stared upward. He heard a voice, a voice that sounded like his friend Aredethain. "You have a destiny Cemendur. Fulfill it. Do not let the light fail." "I won't." Cemendur responded. Meanwhile Amandil prepared to decapitate his brother. "It appears," he said, "that I am the true king." He swung his sword. "No." Cemendur ducked, grabbed his brother's sword arm, cut of his brother's hand at the wrist, and slashed his brother's chest. Amandil stood still, not able to breathe. "You are a traitor." Cemendur spoke. He took Anduril, his sword, and thrusted it into the heart of Amandil. For a moment the two brother's eyes met, Amandil's filled with anger, Cemendur's filled with sad determination. Then, as if a veil was lifted, Amandil's eyes lost their anger, and filled with remorse, remorse for all he had done. He then fell backwards, and lay dead in the middle of the plaza. All around Cemendur, the citizen-soldiers of Minas Ithil, seeing their king dead and having the shadow lifted from their eyes, dropped their weapons and knelt, honoring their true king, Cemendur. Minas Ithil was free from the shadow. But then a voice full of malice swept the air. "Well done Cemendur, you killed your brother. But do not think you have defeated the Shadow Cult. Every other Andunbar city is under the same sway, and every other member of Amandil's house is a man of shadow, moreso than Amandil ever was. This is just a beginning. You have much more to go through. But we will destroy you in the end." The Shadow Guard then charged Cemendur, as Herumor turned to leave the city. But the Shadow Guard did not advance more than a few feet when they were all cut down by elven arrows. Herumor looked back on the carnage, then hastened again to leave. But Finrod stood behind him, and with his sword slashed through Herumor. A bang was heard, and black smoke replaced Herumor, his cloak falling to the ground. Aradan rushed over to Finrod, "Is he dead?" Just then a chilling laugh filled the air, then dissapeared. "No," responded Finrod, "he escaped, with his pride wounded. He will be back." Finrod walked over to Cemendur, who again turned his gaze to his dead brother. "He is right Finrod. The cities of Andunbar are still under the Shadow Cult." Finrod nodded, "But as long as we believe in our cause, we will defeat them. You have proven that today, that you are the true king. We will overcome this darkness my friend, and you men will follow you to the ends of the earth to accomplish this." Cemendur smiled at Finrod's words, and slapped his friend on the back. He turned to his men, "We have won here today, but the shadow still exists." His men looked worried at his words, but he continued with a smile, "And we will fight them to no end until Andunbar is under our control, and the Reunited Kingdom is great again!" His men cheered at his words, and all the inhabitants of Minas Ithil shouted their King's name, Cemendur. Cemendur turned to Aradan, "We must clean these bodies from the square." He nodded and walked off. Cemendur turned to his guard, "Give my brother a proper funeral, befitting of the Royal house. He was a traitor, a man of shadow, but he is still my brother, and I loved him as such." They then bore Amandil's body to the Tower of the Moon. Cemendur then looked back up to the sky, smiling. We still have a long way to go my friend, he thought, but we will defeat them in the end. He then walked away towards his men, whom he thought deseverd a rest after what they have been through this year.
A man walked onto the beach, and continued to walk out onto the plain. He was in his fifties, with swarthy skin, a result of years under the hot southern sun. He wore gold armor, on his head a red helm. He looked about him, observing the rolling plains in front of him, looking at the mountains to the north, and watching the flow of the great river to the east. The land of Gondor, the man thought. He turned around and smiled at what he saw behind him. "Soon to be under the banner of Harad!" he shouted. Hundreds of soldiers were marching off the ships behind him, all bearing the emblem of the Empire of Harad.
End of Part I
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