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The Fall of Gondolin


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#1 mike_

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 06:34 PM

Flame. That was the first thing he thought.
The second was shadow - stumbling up, the Elf sprinted into the ruins of a nearby building as a Balrog of Morgoth thundered down the street in pursuit of a score of Gondolindhrim. They were escorted by a trio of dissheveled warriors, two with their spears and the third wielding a longbow. Utilizing his Elf-eyes, he saw that, from the fan of purple feathers upon his helmet, the archer was of the Folk of the Swallow - the finest the City could offer.
The archer turned about, pulled the arrow to his ear, whispered under his breath and let fly a shot. It soared through the smoky air and, right before impacting the Balrog's face, lit with a white flame. It exploded on contact, but to no avail. The turned Maiar barreled forward, and unleashed his rancour.
A pillar of flame overcame the lone bowman, and continued on into the crowd of Elven civilians. Their pained screams were drowned out by the roaring fires. The two spearmen were cooked alive in their maile, which was itself unwrought from the heat.
The Balrog continued down the street, its' shoulders shattering through the marble buildings upon either side.
Breathing heavily, the Elf gathered his wits. He'd been one of the lucky ones - stationed on the wall in full dress. He'd been girt with spear, shield, and longsword. He hadn't opted for a bow - having never been skilled with such a device of war. He'd been fully dressed in armour as well - a long coat of Elf-maile, greaves, and vambraces along with a tall helm. Due to his status among the House of the Golden Flower, he wore a brooch of similar appearance on his neck.
The Guard had been light that day, due to a holiday - all the folk of Gondolin were upon the wall, in the finest raiment in their possession. Banners were floating in the wind, minstrels were singing, and Elf-maids laughing. All were awaiting for the rise of the Sun.
And then it came, arising in the East - but a second light burst forth in the North.
The army of Morgoth - Orcs, Dragons, Balrogs, Wolves, infernal machines of war, all of them innumerable came running to the great Wall of Gondolin, burning the ground as they came. Reaching it, they then loosed their wrath upon the gathered Gondolindrhim.
Many were in the first moments slain - but the Wall held and the Guard proved their worth. Arrows soared from either side, tongues of flame split the air, and battle was joined.
For a time it seemed like a fair fight - the Children of Gondolin were numerous, their weapons well-forged, and their tactics honed to nigh-perfection over four hundred years.
But then a Balrog came to the Wall, and unhindered itself of physical bonds - a great storm of shadow and flame erupted and overcame the wall. The Wall was broken, and an entire section fell to the awesome power of a Maia. Fortunately, the Balrog was itself spent, and burried amongst his ruin.
All the Servants of Morgoth then picked their way through the debris and bodies, with Gothmog Lord of Balrogs at the head.
The Elf had been stationed at that point in the wall, and had been thrown far by the casting out of the Balrog. He'd lost his spear and shield upon landing, as well as his helmet. Blinking rapidly to clear his vision, the Elf checked himself and found that he still possessed his longsword. Releasing a breath he hadn't known he'd been holding, he drew the straight-bladed weapon and sprinted into a side alley.
Into a quintet of raiding Orcs.
The Orcs had been busy hoarding precious things from the nearby houses, and so were not aware of the Elf until he was among them. Screiching wildly, the Orc-chief swung out with his scimitar - but it was a wild blow and the Elf easily sidestepped it. He thrusted forward and calmly ran cold steel through the wretch.
The other four were upon him then, when a hail of arrows met them. The volley tore easily through their poor armour, and brought the beasts down quietly.
One survived, though and gripped onto the Elf's leg. Cutting down, he severed its' hand and head in the same motion.
Turning to his saviours, the Elf saw that they were three Elves - two Folk of the Heavenly Arch and the third also of the Golden Flower.
Greeting them, the Elf spoke quickly, "There is much to do. We must reach the Lord Glorfindel."
The others nodded, and one of the archers answered, "'Tis a dark day, indeed. And the Sun herself is just newly arrisen."
"Then we must maintain her flight." Spoke the third.
---
Will post more over time.

Edited by elfhelm.., 24 May 2008 - 04:46 PM.


#2 Vithar-133

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 12:03 AM

Nicely done and Well written. Only problem, imo were some grammar errors, but they don't pose too much of a porblem. Is the elf that lost his spear, shield and helm Glorfindel? or just on that you came up with?

FYI: you can only type up a limited amount in one post.
Forewarned is forearmed, no?

Edited by Taizhan'An Vithar, 24 May 2008 - 12:04 AM.

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#3 mike_

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 12:48 AM

No, he's not Glorfindel. He's simply a warrior of the Folk of the Golden Flower who serves under Glorfindel ("We must reach the Lord Glorfindel.")
I'll check it again for grammatical errors, thanks for pointing them out.
And I didn't know there was a limit to what can be put in the Reply Box, thanks for letting me know.
Cheers,
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#4 mike_

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 04:44 PM

The four Gondolindhrim hurried towards the City Centre, weapons drawn or nocked, doing their best to creep unseen through side alleys.
The situation was indeed grim - the hordes of Orcs and their leaders - Dragons, Balrogs, Trolls - had completely taken the lower levels of the City, and were slaughtering their way to the upper ones. Smog and dragon-fumes chocked the air, and the Sun could not be seen.
Coming to a dead end, they turned about and realized they were in the middle of a vicious melee.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of Orcs and Wolves were encircling a group of Elven warriors - there must have three score at the most. Strangely, they wielded none of the standard gear of war of the Gondolindhrim - no spears, shields, swords, or bows were seen amongst their ranks. Instead, each bore a war hammer in size and make enough to rival the Dwarves of Belegost themselves. With these they smote their attackers, and in seconds the greater numbers of the Orcs were rendered useless. A second wave charged them, but to no avail. And another. And another.
One of the archers stepped forward and said, "We must aid them. Against such odds, their fortitude will not suffice."
But the other Elf, of the Folk of the Golden Flower, replied, "Such a deed would be folly. The yrch have no chance here. For tis the House of the Hammer of Wrath."
The archer appeared awestruck, nodded, and then lowered his bow.
The Elf continued, "Only some greater evil will smite them."
As if this was to serve as a heralding, a great beast lurched from down the street. Its' scales rippled like that of a fish; and yet they were imperfect. Patched and miswoven in places, its' monstrous hide reflected the inner fea of the being - tortured, ugly. Seeing the stalemate ahead of it, the abominations' eyes gleamed with a sinister intelligence, and it roared forth a challenge. The Folk of the House of Rog stared down the Drake, and cried out in one voice, fair yet terrible, "Aurë entuluva! Day shall come again!" The two enemies - Drake and Elf - charged. The meeting of their rancour was like a thunder in the mountain-vales of Thangorodrim. Orc and Wolf were scattered aside or trampled beneath the combined onslaught. Together the two foes clashed - neither gaining nor losing ground. But despite the ferocity and flame of the monstrocity, it was all for naught. For he was not of the closest kin to Glaurung Father of Dragons, and his inner flame was chocked out by his own stinging blood. Enclosed in a ring of strong hammer-blows, the wyrm fell to the valour of Rog's Folk. But they were not yet finished; gathering their forces, the House of the Hammer of Wrath barreled down the street, and out of sight of the four Elves.
One of the bowmen spoke, "With such fervor in war, they go as if to win back the gates."
And the sentry spoke for the first time since their meeting, "Or to win a doom worthy of song."
And the bowmen answered, "Or for those that will sing it."

Edited by elfhelm.., 25 May 2008 - 03:55 AM.


#5 Vithar-133

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 07:41 PM

Nicely written again, little grammar errors, and one spelling mistake (That I caught). Thangoradrim should be Thangorodrim. At least, I believe that it is such.

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#6 Beleg

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 08:38 PM

Nicely written elfhelm :p
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#7 mike_

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 03:55 AM

Thanks for the compliments guys, must say that I'm looking forward to continuing this :p
Also, thanks for the spelling tip, Vithar.
I'll probably update tomorrow evening.

#8 mike_

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 06:27 PM

Or noon :thumbsupsmiley:
---
A great Orc roared beastily and swung his bladed club at the sentry's face. The Elf ducked, swung his sword outward, and into, the Orc. The blade was embedded in it's belly, pinning the spilled entrails painfully in place. Pulling it upward, the longsword cut through the Orc's chest cavitiy and came out of its right shoulderblade. It groaned and fell to the ground.
The Elf wiped a spot of black blood from his cheek, as it had spattered upon his impailment of the beast. It burned, but he ignored it and dodged a wild strike from another Orc. One of the archers dealt with it, firing an arrow into it's temple at close range.
They'd been ambushed in the back alleys by no less than a dozen of Orcs, and were hard-pressed to resist their bloodlust.
The other Elf of the Golden Flower stabbed forward with his spear, catching an Orc in the neck. Gripping the shaft at his, bladeless, end, he pulled the spear out of the ruined Orc's body and swung it in a wide arc, slashing the quintet of Orcs that had encircled him in many places. They cried out and grabbed wildly at their falling limbs, but were finished quickly by either the spearman or his companions.
They soon made short work of the raiding party, but could not tarry; the losses were not even marginal of the army that was currently occupying the City of Seven Names.
None of the Elves were wounded yet, and so continued on their way, South and East, to the Tower of Turgon the Wise, High-King of the Noldor.
Several hours passed, with nothing of significance occuring - largely due to their avoiding of combat. Over time, though, other refugees joined them, of various Houses; the Tower of Snow, Harp, and Tree were all represented. Altogether, they formed a company of twenty-three individuals.
The din of battle grew closer. The howls of Wolves, roars of Dragons and other more sinister evils became more distinct. Turning into one of the main streets, the group of Elves beheld full-out war.
The phalanxe of the King held the last Gate. Eight ranks of spearmen stood in even formation, glittering in their burnished maille like the light of the Sun. Archers of the House of the Swallow were scattered behind them, taking precision shots at their leasure into the horde of enemies before them. Further behind them stood an orderly regiment of archers of the Heavenly Arch, who sent periodic volleys of steele into the gathered mass of Orc. Skirmishers from the House of the Fountain, led by Etchelion Lietuenent of the Tower, held the hordes at bay before the pike-wall.
Descrying a weak point in the Enemy's lines, the former sentry turned to his fellows.
"Let us join our comrades." With that he turned, drew his longsword, and lifted a recovered shield.
Throwing his sword into the air, he caught it and charged into the fray, friends behind and foes ahead.
"Aurë entuluva! Day shall come again!"

#9 robnkarla

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 07:10 PM

Well done. I enjoyed it very much, though I would watch the number of clauses in a sentence. Too many can slow down the pace and lose track what the action is.

Can't wait to read more :thumbsupsmiley:

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#10 Devon

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 07:51 PM

Wasn't so fond of the first bit, but I really like the second two posts. Nicely written :thumbsupsmiley:

However, I think you should give the elves names. It gets kinda confusing with what's going on.

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#11 Vithar-133

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 08:44 PM

Great work, so far. still mainly grammar mistakes, but otherwise errorless. Keep writing.

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#12 Beleg

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 10:02 PM

I like the allusion to Hurin. Very good work
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#13 mike_

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 12:07 AM

I'm keeping the two main Elves - the sentry from the beginning and the philosophical bowman - nameless, though if it helps I'll refer to them as such :thumbsupsmiley:
Nice to see that I've gotten something like a following, heh.
Cheers,
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#14 myster

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 08:28 AM

I like it ^_^ good stuff!

#15 mike_

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Posted 01 June 2008 - 09:27 PM

The former sentry wiped black blood off of his sword onto the leather hauberk of a fallen Orc. The Noldorin blade had seen much action in the last few moments, but through some craft of its' smith or the skill of its' wielder, it was unbroken. The Elf shook his head, trying to dislodge the dark strands that covered his eyes.
Standing tall, he surveyed the area. The warriors of Gondolin had proven victorious against the dark tide of foes - cought between the hammer and anvil, the Orc-host had broken and been rent upon the stones in ruin. But it was a small victory; this was but the stragglers of Gothmog Lord of Balrogs' vanguard, and the lower levels of the City were burning.
The warriors rested for the time being, and counted their fallen. The remaining chieftans were meeting in the highest level of the great tower of Turgon. News had come of the fate of the missing chieftans - Penlod, Chief of the Houses of the Pillar and Tower of Snow, had been in the streets and felled by cruel blades. Salgant, of the Harp, had been revealed to be a coward and had fled - only to be slain by an Orc-arrow. Of Maeglin, Chieftan of the House of the Mole, little was said - except that he was a traitor and had been thrown from the Wall, by Tuor himself.
And so few commanders were left, except for the highest - Turgon King of Gondolin was present, as were his lieutenants Glorfindel of the Golden Flower and Etchelion Lord of the Fountain. Tuor his foster-son was there, leaning on a great axe. Galdor, and Elgamoth, and Duilin were there also, each of lesser Houses.
Much was seen from that high place - the last stand of the House of the Hammer of Wrath. Rôg and not a dozen of his warriors were left alive before the Gates, but were surrounded by a great circle of spears and dragon-fire. Thus the most valiant Elves of that Age were slain.
A cry went up, and the Lords of Gondolin hurried to the Court. A greater mass of Orcs were charging the pike-line, and the Gondolindhrim were in place just as the first of the yrch attacked. These first, eager attackers were in seconds slain - the battle-line held and the Elves of Gondolin gave no quarter or mercy.
But for each Orc that fell three more came to replace him. Gradually the line was beaten back, holding only the Last Gate to the Court.
The former sentry had acquired new gear from the armoury of the King - his helmet, maille, spear and shield had all been replaced, but his noble blade he kept. He was holding a place for two in the line - the Elf to his left having been gored in the eye by an Orc-arrow.
The line was in the centre of the Last Gate now; when two things happened at once.
The air was filled with the music of flutes; all eyes turned to the Tower of the King. The House of the Fountain were assembled in full gear of war; forty Elves, tall as lords, were each adorned in a long coat of mithril, hair straight and hanging down to their shoulders, silver circlets upon their heads, each with a diamond set in the middle. In their arms they bore no shields or spears, or bows - each wielded a two-handed greatsword, slim but long and well-honed. Etchelion Lord of the Fountain and Chief Lieutenant to the High-King of the Noldor stood at their head, and in his hands was Orcrist, gleaming with a bright light. The Orcs turned away for terror of his onslaught, but another fear withheld them.
Gothmog Lord of Balrogs had come. Standing at the other end of the street, wreathed in shadow and flame, his dark gaze fell upon the House of the Fountain. Lifting high his black axe, the Balrog Lord came forth, and lo! a voice came from that beast, and no beauty was in it - deep, filled with malice, and arrogance, and hate it was. And he said, laughing, "Wouldst thou withhold me, Gothmog Lord of Balrogs? Servant only to Melkor the All-Knowing, it was I whom slew Feanor the Valiant, whom I rent with this very axe. Fingon his successor I slew, and trampled his blue banner and mingled it with his own red blood. High-Kings both, and you think you might withstand me? Whom of this Elf-rabble will accept my challenge?"
And Etchelion's voice rang out clear, "I will do as I may! No meer servant to Morgoth the Accursed will lay low the warriors of my House!"
And with that the warriors of the House of the Fountain charged to battle to the music of flutes.

Edited by elfhelm.., 01 June 2008 - 09:28 PM.


#16 Mathijs

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 12:19 AM

Incredible. Sent some shivers down my spine.

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#17 mike_

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 02:17 AM

Wow...thanks. That means a lot coming from someone such as yourself. I'm really looking forward to writing up the showdown between Etchelion and Gothmog in the next segment.
But yeah. Don't be afraid to provide feedback, guys :thumbsupsmiley:

#18 myster

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 07:05 AM

I like it! Looking forward to your next piece :p

your writing style is somewhat bloodier then that of Tolkien itself but it fits perfectly with the onslaught that happenend in Gondolin. :)

one tip tho: Try to weave in some conversations. Like when the remaining chieftans were meeting what was said there. And so on... there is some speech but not really in-depth conversations. :p

though i still enjoy reading it! :xcahik_:

#19 mike_

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 01:59 PM

Thanks..though I suck at conversations, I'll try to include some more.
And yes...I'm trying to mimic Tolkein's style with this, though my grittier style is still showing a bit, heh.

#20 Beleg

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 03:14 PM

This is great, woderfully written :)
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