Many days and nights had the Nirnaeth Arnoediad raged. The alliance of elves, men and dwarves united under Maedhros, eldest of the Feanorion's, ferocious and deadly in battle. Such hope they had had at the beginning but now the tide began to turn. For every orc killed, many more took their place. Balrogs and other fell demons equally as terrible stalked the battle field.
The sun rose slowly, kissed the earth weeping red with blood. The field was soaked with it, made the killing and surviving that much harder when your feet were sucked into the mud.
The terrible wet rip of swords meeting flesh, the screams of those dying and the shouts of the living pressed on Evelyn's ears. She had trained for this. Spent years with the Elves of Falas, patrolling and taking part in skirmishes but nothing could have prepared her for the realities of war. Exhaustion was close and her muscles protested every movement but she kept going.
“Evelyn!” Calengur was screaming her name.
Quickly she turned and dodged as an axe struck the ground where she had been but seconds before. Sweat formed on her brow as she faced the orc that would have killed her, the rotten stench of old blood clung to it and its gore blackened armour. Sword raised, she struck at its side, her blade glancing off mail. It spat on the muddy ground at her feet in disgust before engaging her in a deadly dance of steel. Evelyn kept on her toes before dealing a blow to the orc's thigh which sent it to it's knees then cutting its throat with some satisfaction. She nodded briefly to Calengur before turning back to the battle. Their battalion pushed back step by step as they became more desperate, as hope they would achieve a victory slipped from their grasp.
The sun shone brighter as the day wore on, as if in defiance to the fate of those below. Calengur kept as close as he could to Evelyn and his people, their small group who had travelled from the coast with lord Cirdan's blessing to join this last stand.
Her throat burned and her head throbbed. Evelyn's thoughts had become nothing but parry, thrust, slash and kick. She was too exhausted to think of anything else.
A cry went up.
Fingon the Valiant, high king of the Noldor had been cut off from his warriors. He looked a lonely figure shining brightly, a last defiant star, surrounded by a blackened wall of hate. There was an inherent wrongness to it that nobody wanted to believe. A desperate final push by all to regroup and reach him as the fiery whips of Balrogs lashed about the beautiful silver armour of the elven king and pinned his arms to his sides. Wails of grief rose up from those who were left standing.
There would be nothing recognisable left of Fingon the Valiant, crushed and broken into the dirt. She watched as a tall red headed warrior fought to reach the place that Fingon had fallen, even from where she was she could see the tears on his face and the defeat in his eyes. There were others around him who pushed him back, made him retreat with the others.
Panic spread as the battle was finally lost. Evelyn turned away and looked for Calengur, spotting him trying to rally their warriors about him. Her relief turned to horror as Calengur fell to the ground with a gasp, a sword buried deep in his back.
“no!” she cried, running forward. She didn't notice the horse galloping full pelt across her path, frothing at the mouth in fear till it clipped her and sent her spinning to the ground, her head hitting the floor with force and knocking her out cold.
Dimly Evelyn became aware of a pain in her temple. A dull throbbing that pulled her back to consciousness. She froze at the clink of chains as she moved, her wrists had been manacled tightly together, connected by a long rusty chain to a metal ring in the stone wall. She sat up, wincing. Dread seeped through her as she realised where she must be.
A place of horror and no return. She was in a small cell, but she was not alone to her shamed relief. Two elves were with her in the gloom also, chained as she was, the grime from the battle on their bodies. One was awake.
“hello?” her voice cracked, she couldn't remember when she last drank. It must have been before the battle, before the world crashed round at their feet. With despair she remembered Calengur, one of her oldest friends. She didn't even know what had happened to anyone else. The image of his body falling to the ground would not leave her mind. Her breath hitched as she thought of his wife and son, she hoped they were still alive.
“I thought you might be dead, you have been unconscious for a long time” the other elf said, the dirt on his face obscured his features, but the long dark hair and build pronounced him as an elf of the Noldor. “ a Secondborn woman in armour is an unusual sight.”
“Who are you?” she pressed, wondering why she had been kept alive and was not being violated in the dens of the orcs now, whoever captured her must have realised she was a woman.
“It doesn't really matter who I am anymore does it? It doesn't matter who any of us where anymore, we are all little more than thralls of Morgoth now.” The elf's expression darkened with anger and hopelessness, “ we will never leave here of our own will, if we do it will be by His hand... to spy on our kindred who are yet still free.” He spat bitterly, turning to his side away from her and the elf who still slept on unaware.
It was a long while before any spoke again. Evelyn had tried at first to speak to the Elves but they were sick at heart and preferred the solitude of their own thoughts, so they sat in silence, trying with little hope to keep the fear of what might happen at bay. She was alone in her thoughts of home and the people she would never see again. Her face screwed up as she tried to keep the tears in. Their was no point in grief here. The very stone turned a cold shoulder at the weight of a thousand broken souls.
Time stretched on, small amounts of food and water that were untainted but tasted stale were placed in the cell at irregular intervals. Evelyn hoped with little certainty that they would be forgotten about.
It could have been days or weeks later that they heard a key rattle in the lock. The room became tinged with fear as Evelyn and the elves braced themselves.
A trio of orcs followed by the terrifying presence of a Maia, robed in dread and dark clothes, stepped into the room. Evelyn pressed herself into the wall, trying to make herself as small as possible as she realised they were gesturing to her. The orcs went over and released the chain that connected her wrists to the wall, grabbed her by the shoulders and started dragging her out of the cell.
She struggled wildly, shouting as if that made any difference. Her body was too stiff, she had been in the same position for too long. She met the eyes of the elf who spoke to her when she first woke. I don't even know his name, she thought desperately. His glance was filled with sadness and pity before he looked away.