At Journey’s End

The orcs attempt to cross the river had failed, as evidenced by the large pile of warm bodies strewn in front of the gatehouse. Blood and entrails streaked all across the broken gate. Only a few, grim men stood before and atop it, exhausted due to the exertion of the morning’s bloody work. Atop the gatehouse Corunir, Tarandir, and Folco the Hobbit, looked on with a relieved satisfaction. Below Brognir and his men stood vigilantly at the gate they had fought so hard to protect. Despite their attempt, none of them could have been described as fearsome in that moment. They were tired, bloodied and battered men. If another group of orcs wished to challenge them they would all haven fallen due to exhaustion. Thankfully however the rest of the garrison came to relieve them.

Amdir was with them, but unlike the rest of the garrison, he and his men were just as bloody and exhausted as they were. They walked on up to the gate and greeted one another, happy in their victory. When they all had reunited near the gate each man began to tell the other of his part in the battle. Corunir told of his and folco’s prowess with the bow, and of Tarandir’s melee with the orcs atop the wall.  Brognir tersely told of his defense at the gate. Amdir told of his duels with deadly orcish infiltrators in the houses and streets of the city. As each man had told of his deeds in the battle they began to speak of their parts in the war altogether. From their trip to Mirkwood, their flight from the Trollshaws, and the battle of the Hoarwell, each man and hobbit, had grown along the way, but they were not done growing yet. They had fought and traversed through so much, all for a single purpose. To keep the green things growing, the children laughing and the people smiling. . It was then that each of them slowly began to realize one last part about themselves as well. That they did not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. They loved only that which they had defended.

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