Edoras Occupied

By Wraith

Two hours before dawn, June 8

Maugoth Lomin gives the order to his subordinants and the Army of 20,000 breaks camp and sets out for Edoras 30 miles to the west. A forced march has been ordered and Maugoth Furlin estimates that this part of the Army will reach Edoras at the time when the sun sets in the West and what light there is fades.



The hour before dawn, June 8
The Army of 7,000, Outskirts of Edoras

All through the night, the orders have been, "Make 'aste, you sluggards, or the lash will make you 'op to a pretty tune!"

There was no arguing with Pizbûr (Sergeant) Ruzkû's orders, for he was always impatient and drove his lads with a fury. Ruzkû was proud of his position. He had earned his rank by his years of faithful service at Minas Morgul, not to mention the fact that any other orc that he had ever suspected of wanting the same commission had ended up with a broken neck. Many times during the night, the Pizgal (corporals) had applied the whips to those whose pace lagged behind.

Pizbûr Ruzkû bellows at his orcs, "You ain't like that scum from Cirith Ungol! Your bellies are always full and all your gear is better! Remember, the faster you march, the sooner you'll get to the plunder." All the lads cheer at that remark.

Bashrash and Lugag are in Pizbûr Ruzkû's company. They march side by side and Lugag whispers to Bashrash, "I'd like to make Pizbûr 'op with some of 'is own medicine. I'd like to get 'im off somewhere. There'd be only one comin' back alive, and it'd be me, cause I'd put a maggot 'ole in 'is belly!"

Bashrash says, "Shut yer idiotic trap, or you'll get us both killed."

They march on in silence for some while, and then Lugag whispers, "I smell 'orse all over the ground. 'Ey mate, we 'aven't 'ad nothin' fit to eat for days, and my gut's been 'urting me ever since I ate that tortise. Something bad inside 'im, I think."

Bashrash says, "Ain't nothin' wrong with you, 'cept yer mouth." Lugag growls at him and bares his fangs.

Lugag says, "If we weren't marchin', I'd take a few of those teeth out of yer stupid mouth!"

Mid-morning, June 8, Edoras
Outside the gates of Edoras


The advance guard has cleared all the barricades off the rutted road leading to the walls of Medsuled and now only the mighty gates are left resisting. The gates oppose the battering ram until finally with a crash they fall inward upon a mound of rubble and stakes driven into the ground. When Maugoth Furlin receives a report from his chief-of-staff, Pizdur (Captain) Adunai, the only thing he says is, "Urk, urk, urk!"

Sometime later the news is better, as Pizdur Adunai returns and reports again, "Maugoth, all the rubble has been cleared from the gates and we are now free to pass. The Great Ones will be pleased." Then their attention is drawn upwards as a wailing screech is heard and answered from the very hall of Medusled. Adunai says in hushed tones, "They speak to one another." A shiver runs down Adunai's spine, for no matter how long his service has been to Mordor, he still cannot get used to the fell, icy presence of the Nine.

Edoras, June 8


Above Edoras in the cover of the great cloud, Nazgul Skri rides upon the beast as it circles the city. He calls "Mash kul ghashan?"

The reply is, "Edoras kul-izubu!"

Ever in communion with his master, the beast heeds his thought and turns and flies back towards the main army camp 30 miles east of Edoras. He harolds the news there, and then the messenger guides the beast to Lugburz. The Master will be pleased at news of the fall of the city. Then the messenger flies northward towards Dol Goldur. Every day the route is the same now - from the Mordor army back to Lugburz and then Dol Goldur. This is a lonely trip, but he does not care, for loneliness is ever his companion, this one who has no name, only Skri (Number Eight).


After the gates have fallen, the hordes of orcs rushed into Edoras, but their officers kept them under enough control to mantain order. By that evening, the hall of Medsuled has been cleared of all debris that the Rohirrim had left behind there. The Mead Hall itself is prepared for the ordering of the building to serve as an operational base for Mordor.

The banners on Number Two's huge tent below the hill proclaim its occupant as they fly the colors of the Red Eye. The rest of the hillside is soon covered with a sea of mournful, drab tents, while the officers occupy dwellings they find suitable. The occupation of Edoras has begun.

A New King in Rohan?
By Wraith

June 8
Afternoon until full darkness; Army of Mordor 20,000

The great Army of Mordor marches throughout the afternoon on its way to Edoras. "Maugoth," Mautor Vardnir says, "The scouts have returned and say that it is as you suspected, the fires set by the horse lords were nothing but a ruse to try to deceive us. None of the riders were there and have fled northward."

Maugoth Lomin replies, "The efforts of the Rohirrim are weak and deceive none. Now speed is needed to find them; set the warg riders upon their trail, and see what they may find. The Nine, too, will continue their search for them. The orders are that if Eomer is not killed during a battle, bring him back alive, but if he is already killed, bring back his head. Yet the price in gold paid will be more for a live king and less for a dead one."

By nightfall, the army reaches Edoras, and soon settles along the hillsides of the city. The last to reach the city are the slaves, both men and women, who move silently, fearing the lashes of the drivers too much even to whisper while on the march. When at last their weary journey is over and they are allowed leave to rest for the evening, their hollow eyes cry, "Food, food," but they are given only enough food and water to keep them fit enough to work.

Lomin and his staff dismount their horses and climb up the steps to the Golden Hall. At the top of the steps, Lomin turns and catches a glimpse of the city as the darkness proclaiming dusk settles over it. Through the gloom, he can make out the faint outlines of the burial mounds of the revered dead of the Rohirrim.

"Raze them all tonight; let not one be standing when we ride out tomorrow!" With those words, he turns and goes into the torch-lit hall. They are greeted inside by Maugoth Furlin and his chief-of-staff Pizdur Adunai.

"All has been made ready for you, Maugoth," says Vardnir. "It should be to your satisfaction."

"It will be better than sleeping in a tent at any rate," Lomin says. "Now where are my quarters?"

"Pizdur Adunai will show them to you, your excellency," says Furlin. "Then later, I pray you join me and my staff so that we might talk."

Lomin says, "We have many things to discuss, Maugoth, for as you already know, 1000 of your men are to be left here in garrison and our engineers will direct the building of our new fortifications. We have brought many slaves with us from both Gondor and Nurn. They will build the ramparts high and mortar them with their sweat and blood."

Lomin looks around the hall and says, "After this war is over, the Golden Hall is to be destroyed, and another Minas Morgul will rise in its place. For the time though, the throne of the Great One will sit on the dias where was once the throne of Theoden. The Morgul Lord now rules Edoras, and never again will a living man sit upon the throne of Rohan."

Beneath the smoke hole in the ceiling, a brazier gleams and glows.

By Wraith

Night of June 8 until dawn June 9

Throughout the night while the officers eat, drink and make wagers in the Golden Hall, silent, sullen slaves labor. Their first task is to build rude slave pens and shelters to house them in their captivity as they work for the armies of Mordor. Down the hill, the slaves can hear a strange beat of drums as the orcs carry out their orders to raze the burial mounds of the kings of Rohan.

Aldron, once a soldier of Gondor and now a slave from Gondor, curses the orc slavemasters as their whips lash the slow into haste. When he hears the drums and the vile cheers and chants of the orcs, he wonders what new devilry they are up to.

Hours pass before their foul work is completed, but thousands of hands can take down even the great in a fairly short while. Their task completed, they are given leave to rest for a few hours, because at dawn, or what passes for dawn, the army will begin the next phase in the conquest of Rohan, the journey to Helm's Deep 75 miles away. Their officers tell them, "Make 'aste, lads, and eat what 'as been provided! You should 'ave 'ad sport enough tonight to suit you, but remember, each one is to be checked for any plunder 'e may 'ave pinched, for all the loot from the tombs is reserved for On 'Igh."

Each lad from the work down the hill is checked by their officers, and all that has been taken that was against orders is returned. Both Bashrash and Lugag of the Mordor Guard are among those caught. Their Pizbûr (Sergeant) Ruzkû screams at them. "Aye, mates, you tried to pinch some of the swag? That wasn't nice, you know," and he slaps Bashrash across the face. "At 'em lads, and teach them they don't steal from the 'Igh Ones. When they squall 'sick call' tomorrow, don't 'ear none of their drivel. They'll march tomorrow, same as all the rest, whippins, or no, and if they don't march fast enough, me lads, make the lash dance about their legs, and that'll teach 'em to step to a merry tune."

When the dawn comes on June 9, Maugoth Lomin and his staff look to each side as they go by the place where once rested the burial mounds of the kings. Maugoth Furlin says, "The Mordor detactment is always most thorough, my general. I trust these works meet your approval?"

Maugoth Lomin nods at him. "Yes, they have achieved my approval, and the treasures they have brought to the coffers will please even Shakh Khamul. He had the honor of being the first to Edoras, and now perhaps he wishes to present some of the spoils to the Master Himself in homage. A forced march for today. We must make 30 miles before we make camp. Our spies and scouts report the way ahead is clear."

Maugoth Furlin asks, "What of Shakh Angmar? Any word from him?"

"Only to hasten forward, and he tells me the Nine will not be with us today. They have some business back at Lugburz. I am told they will be back tonight. I never ask more. You know that, Furlin."

By Maltriel/Eowyn

June 9
Fields of Rohan
All day

The army of Rohan breaks camp and rides 40 miles north. Below them on the Great West Road some 60 miles to the south, the black horde of mordor marched ever onward. Scouts sent to observe the path of the Mordor army rejoin the Rohan army in evening and night and report their findings. The great, dark column stretches far and wide along the road and takes the appearance of some fell, repulsive worm slowly inching its way through the countryside. The horde is moving more quickly now, ever striving towards its target, burning and pillaging deserted villages and homesteads as it travels along the road.

The presence of the foul orcs and evil men in the fair fields of the Mark irks Eomer and all of the riders, and they all itch to fight them and drive them from their lands. But the Mordor army is no small, roaming band of orcs, easy to slaughter in small skirmishes, but a massive force that outnumbers them almost four to one. So for now Rohan must bide its time and wait for the opportunity to strike, after the black horde lays siege to Helm's Deep, and their attention lies elsewhere from their rear.

But picking off straying Mordor scouts always relieves some of the tension... and there will be a few less orcs and wargs to deal with when the big battle comes.

Ah, the battle, wonders Eomer. Even with the allied forces of Rohan, Gondor, the two wizards, the eagles and the ents, Mordor still outnumbers the forces of the West, and doubtless there are still more numbers waiting to swell the evil horde, lurking somewhere in the land of shadows or the conquered lands of Gondor. It will take a long time to beat the enemy back, should what little hope the West has not fail, and each inch of the journey will be drenched with the blood of man, elf and orc. And to where would they drive them? Hopefully from the Harrowdale Valley and Edoras area and to the east borders of Rohan, but reclaiming Gondor would be a long and bloody job.

Then, even should the main body of the enemy army be repulsed, there would still be the problem of the wandering groups of straggling orcs which will no doubt infest the land, scurrying about like vermin. There also has been little time to plant crops, and the fair fields are now being torched by the black horde.... instead of being plowed by farmers, the land is now plowed by the feet of man, orc and horses and many wheels. The winter of 3019-3020 looks to be a bleak one with very little harvest, and all the stocked-up food supplies greatly reduced by the war.

Starvation could be a problem if things look ill.... perhaps some of the lands to the northwest could help in the plights of Rohan and Gondor and give aid to their people? Even if the war was a victory, the world everyone knew would be changed, harsh and bitter. And if there were no victory? Then they faced slaughter and slavery at the hands of Mordor. The days were evil, indeed.

By Wraith

Mautor Ufang (lieutenant, commander of 1000) has been named commanding officer of the garrison at Edoras. His dark face and hair and shorter stature mark his orgins as Easterling. "This should be an easy duty," he thinks, "with little more to do than supervise the troops and send out scouting parties. Of course, with the ease of the duty will not come the opportunity to make a name for myself, but I will be more than content with what I have."

Their labors constant and their rest brief, the slaves clear the last earth from the burial grounds and work on fortifications along the road from Edoras to the ford over the River Snowbourn. Temporary barracades are erected on the road going to Dunharrow. No one except those authorized will use that road in the future.


June 9, Dusk

In the increasing darkness that signaled dusk, the great creature circled over the city of Edoras until it finally descended and then perched on top the Golden Hall. A sudden breeze from the West caught the folds of the rider's cloak and it flowed in the wind behind him. The troops below cheered at the sight of Shakh Khamûl. Letting the beast tarry on top the Golden Hall so that the troops could see them, Khamûl acknowledged their cheers of "Broshn, Ash Durbûrz, Shakh Krul, durub Edoras-ob!"* Khamûl thought of more practical matters, though, and looked forward to the day when Medsuled would be torn to the ground and a great fortress of Mordor raised in its place. There would be need of a rookery in the future, a place to stable the great beasts which would be housed there in the future.

The wind dies down and then blows from the East. With a command from Khamûl, the beast lifted its wings and caught an air current and then glided down to a spot near where Khamûl's headquarters tent rested. A cleared space was always left in reserve for the creature's comings and goings. Great posts were driven into the ground so the beast could be tethered. There it would be fed, and a few head of cattle would be its evening's meal. Of course, it was not the beast's preferred food, but there would be plenty of that in the future after the Rohirrim prisoners were captured.

The beast was ravenous tonight, and its appetite was scarcely satiated by the beef. It shrieked and lunged whenever an orc or a man was foolhardy enough to go near it. Later tonight, Khamûl would guide the beast south towards Dunharrow to see if something there could be found to slate its appetite. The people of Edoras had to be someplace, and that was a likely place to search for them.

There would be some time though before the southward scouting mission would be commenced, and Khamûl had reports to write back to Lugbûrz. He hoped when the night was over that the results of his scouting mission would be more promising than they had been that day. After that matter was attended, there would be something far more appealing to which he could look forward. He had not seen the Lady Mâdûrz since yesterday, and he wanted to share a goblet of wine with her before leaving.

Before his departure, he orders her bodyguard doubled and bids her stay in her quarters until she is given leave to do otherwise. Ever her faithful guard Pushzog the Orc stays near, and his orders, as are all her guards' orders, "if anything happens to her, fall upon your swords and die, because to live would be a far worse fate than death."

The wine goblets emptied, he gives his farewells and once again mounts the great beast and they fly into the air. Shakh Gakh will accompany him on this mission and they fly silently along towards Dunharrow.

Down below in Dunharrow, no torch or fire light cuts through the darkness, but the smell in the air is of both human and horse, and Khamûl commands the beast to go downward for a closer look. Vague forms of tents and pavilions can be seen by his eyes, and he hears the horses below neigh in fear and snort at his approach. He laughs at their plight and commands the beast to rise upward again. A few arrows from archers whistle through the air but they miss and go astray.

"Kul-ulu stazg-or za," Khamûl calls to the other.

Shakh Gakh answers, "Kul-ta zark!"**

*"Broshn, Ash Durbûrz, Shakh Krul, durub Edoras-ob!" = "Welcome, mighty one, Lord Two, ruler of Edoras." (There is no word for "conquerer" in Black Speech, so I took the word for "ruler" instead.)
**"Kul-ulu stazg-or za." = "They are at this place."
"Kul-ta zark!" = "It is good."


The two Nazgûl return to Edoras, and Mautor Ufang is summoned from all thoughts of his wine bottle for the evening.

"Dunharrow cannot be taken without a great force. Send three companies to guard the Harrowdale Valley. Send scouts ahead. The Rohirrim people will be like cattle in a pen, and there will be no escape. Let them starve."

A frantic message is carried by a courier to the main part of the army. "More troops!" Ufang desparately writes. "We have them trapped."

By Maltriel/Eowyn
June 10
All day

The army of Rohan holds in place. So begin the long days of waiting for the Mordor army to pass by on the roads below and besiege Helm's Deep. Ever do the scouts of Rohan go to and fro, reporting back to the main army.

In the evening, Heorl, one of the riders, sits on a rock, eating a small piece of bread. His thoughts drift to those in Dunharrow. How are they faring? Dunharrow is not easily assailed, and the food supply should last quite some time. He has kin hiding out in the mountain refuge, his niece Hathawyn among many, and he prays for their safety. But what if fate brings misfortune, either to the army or the civilians? The same thoughts that go through Heorl's mind haunt and plague the minds of his fellow riders.

He shifts his position, his mail scraping a few of the crusty lichens off the grainy surface of the rock upon which he is sitting.

By Wraith
June 13, night

Before he reached Edoras around 8 o'clock that night, Shakh Skri, the dispatch messenger, saw the glow of the flames from the burning Harrowdale Valley. After guiding his great beast down near the Golden Hall, he sat silently upon the beast waiting for the evening dispatch to be brought to him.

Mautor Ufang had carefully dictated the dispatch to his scribe and had criticized the wretch when he occasionally did not put the exact flourish to a stroke of one of the runes he was writing. Not that that an elaborate embelishment would impress Lugbûrz, but Ulfang wanted this message to be especially imposing. He was sure that a promotion rested upon the words that he ordered written.

"Even now as I speak, the Valley is in flames. The enemy is driven like the golug chafe before the flames of the Dagor Bragollach..." he hesitated, and wondered if the words might sound boastful to Lugbûrz. He was on the verge of having the scribe cross the words out and recopy them, when he decided that that would make a good touch, and that the wording should stay. In any event, he knew he must not keep the Nazgûl messenger waiting for him. Then, after dictating more details, he finally concluded that both the words and the deeds of the day would be sufficiently worthy of praise in Lugbûrz to ensure a promotion for himself.

There was to be a passenger tonight to be taken to Lugbûrz. The underling who took the dispatch to Shakh Skri escorted the cloaked figure to the beast. Soon the two were into the air on a silent journey that took them far off the regular dispatch path south and then eastward, over the White Mountains, the Anduin, the Mountains of Shadow, and finally Lugbûrz. The dispatch delivered and the passenger escorted, the silent messenger added the dispatch from Lugbûrz to his case and his beast took to the skies again, heading towards Dol Goldur.

By FreeFall
June 13th night

The steady footsteps echoed as they walked through the winding levels and corridors of the Dark Tower. Shrouded in dark cloth, eyes taking in the familiar passages as they peered from the depths of the black hood. Orcs escorted the cloaked figure to quarters that were prepared with haste. Last items being placed inside the room. They knew the passenger was to be treated as guest not prisoner and not to let any incidents of misconduct occur for simple fear for their own lives.
They arrived at the door and the clicking sound of the opening lock reverberated through the hall. They stepped inside a room already lit with candles and waited for permission to leave. The figure turned to them and nodded and they bowed as they left.
Gloved hands raised and slid beneath the hood and pulled it back, uncovering the long, golden hair. Light eyes surveyed the room before they shut tightly and she sighed deeply. Alone, and at a time so unplanned, so unexpected, Madurz had returned to Mordor...her home.

She immediately spots a tray with meat, bread, a bottle of wine and a goblet. She wasn't hungry..not in the least, but she opened the bottle and filled the goblet to the top. With a firm grip she raised it to her lips and drank deeply as she tried to process the last few hours, the turn of events. The coming of things that she had sensed and made her uneasy over a week ago. But when they arrived in Edoras, when they claimed The Golden Hall, she pushed past any doubt or worry and was filled with confidence and the power of her Dark Lord and his forces.
In times of war it was best that she stay, for the most part, out of sight, prepared always for the unpredictable. And in her tent, for days, she sat like a queen, being served and guarded by many, and ever was her mind constantly rolling thoughts of conquering and bloodshed. Penalty for the uncooperative. But to be directly involved brought possibility of death and that was something that was not an option. Risking her life was not a chance willing to be taken by her or Khamul. There were enough in the army and her existence was far too important. Besides, she knew her blade and her hands would not be free of blood nor her ears deaf from the sound of screams for too long.
In the last two days her uneasiness returned. Her dreams of conflict, elves from her past and of the interferring wizard were subconscious worries of what might come to pass and were justifiable. Khamul had told her of the meddling forces and said he would not be back for a while. She knew then the situation would intensify. And when Pushzog, her closest guard, had come to her tent and told her she was to prepare to leave Edoras, she was worried and saturated with hate and anger. What calmed her was the silent journey high above the lands. The rush of wind upon her face, the beautiful, beating sound of the wings of the beast they sat upon. Slow and hard like a dying heart. Going home, but so much was uncertain and incomplete.
Her goblet was empty now and she turned her attention to the room. She had become so used to the enduring sound of the busy army, quite the contrast now as she stood alone in the quiet which engulfed her on all sides. On a small table was a pot with warm water , a basin and cloths for washing and drying. Draped on her bed was a plain black gown that she had worn before when she was there. She smiled lightly as she looked to it. She went over and soaked up the cloth with warm water that she poured into the basin and removed her cloak and boiled leather armor and cleansed herself. Soothed by the warmth of the water her mind started to wander a bit and she thought of her days in Minas Morgul. She slipped on her dark gown and her heart sank a bit.
Madurz sat down and refilled her goblet. Her stare turned hard and cold as she looked ahead into a burning candle's flame. She thought of her Master. The powerful force that ensured her return over thousands of years and called her home. Supremecy of Him and His Ring that sustained her and the others. She thought of the army of Mordor. She thought of the nine dark warriors and hoped they all made a canvas of the ground and painted it with rich, crimson blood of the enemy. Here she would wait with her thoughts in anticipation for word and their return. Here she would wait..longing for him.

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