THE END OF THE WAR
Night of June 13 to Night of June 14
All during the day of the 13th, the catapults of Mordor kept up their steady rhythm and rocks crashed up against the side of the Deeping Wall. The wall was breached sometime before dawn June 14th and the orcs poured through, either slaughtering or driving all the defenders inside.
On June 14, the dawning sky showed red and a breeze from the west began to blow. Soon, the sound of distant thunder could be heard from the West as streaks of lightning flashed in the sky. By 8 o'clock in the morning, the first drops of rain began to fall gently, and then increased and soon fell down in sheets. The winds were strong and blew the cloud from the East before it, scattering it, breaking it up, until the last shreds of it were blown someplace far beyond the Misty Mountains. The storm was brief, and soon the winds blew the clouds away from the Sun and it shone down in sparkling brightness an hour later.
The uruks could still fight, but the Mordor contingent was vastly weakened. They set up protective tents, waiting for the darkness of night to assault the back gate with their battering rams. The archers and the uruks stood at the ready, protecting the Mordor contingent from the enemy's archers.
Meanwhile, the army of Rohan and Lorien smashed through the warg and Easterling cavalry. This allowed the ents and the Army of the Western Lands to approach the Hornrock and clear away the rubble in the road, and they did so. The few uruks who were on the plateau of Helm's Dike were driven back, allowing the drawbridge to be lowered. The Army of the Western Lands climbed up the embankment from the road to the plateau of Helm's Dike, clearing a path for the cavalry.
Then, the cavalry of Rohan and Lorien, after having dispatched the wargs and Easterlings, arrived at the Deep by noon. As the first elements of the cavalry dashed across the drawbridge, the back gate was opened for them by the Gondorians inside, and the cavalry charged into the orc encampment, with the Gondorians behind them. The slaughter was great. Uruks and archers tried to escape back over the Deeping Wall, but those who did so were met by ents and the Army of the Western Lands for a grand finale not of their choosing.
The fighting went on all day, with a final tally of 13,800 casualties for Mordor and an estimated total of 5,190 for the West. At end of day, Arien seemed almost to wear a triumphant smile on her face as she looked down upon the scene. By nightfall, the remnants of the Warg and Easterling cavalry fought a rear guard delaying action against the Army of the Western Lands, Gondor and Rohan/Lorien. Their sacrifice was noble, and they held back the advancing hosts from the West, allowing the greatly decimated numbers of the Army of Mordor to flee towards the East.
THE FALL OF EDORAS
June 14, late evening - June 22
Above the retreating forces fly in silence eight of the Nine, the eighth having left earlier for Edoras. Ufang could not believe the words on the parchment when he read:
"The field is lost. Everything is
lost. The enemy is all about, everywhere, and with them the light,
the foul accursed light. Soon they will be here.
"You are hereby ordered to hold Edoras until the last one of you is dead. If it is certain that Edoras will fall, burn it to the ground, burn the city and slay the slaves from Gondor, every last man, woman and child.
"-Signed, Maugoth Lomin"
Ufang dropped the parchment to the great table and watched it as it fluttered down. Then, with an unsteady hand, he poured himself a goblet of wine.
Over the next few days, the Armies of the West pursue the retreating Mordor Army to Edoras, arriving at the city on June 18. The city is put under seige and Edoras falls to the West on June 22nd. In the closing moments of the battle, Mautor Ufang ordered the Golden Hall and City torched, and the slaves killed. Having been wounded in the battle with an arrow in his stomach, the last scene that Ufang witnessed were the Golden Hall and the city in flames; the last thing he heard were the dying screams of the slaves.
At the end of the seige, the city was a city of the dead, littered with the smouldering corpses of men and orcs, and hacked and mutilated pieces of the bodies of the slaves.
(Lomin's order to Ufang paraphrased from "War of Wrath" by Blind Guardian)
Rest of June to August 15
After the battle of Helm's Deep, Gandalf looks over the blood-soaked field littered with bodies and reeking of the decay of corpses. He leans upon his staff and says to Aragorn, "Ah, but there is still hope. Though the land lies down in agony and the evil lives on, a new star shall arise and a new day shall come again." He cocks his head to the side in that way of his, and says, "The Shire.... ever is it a source of hope and inspiration." He speaks softly to Aragorn, whose mind has been shattered that Gondor is no more and now all his people are homeless refugees in another land. "Isildur's Heir, there is yet Arnor to the north. Perhaps the Dunedain can find a kingdom there." His mouth open, Aragorn stares at the wizard in shock and disbelief.
During the rest of June and into the month of August, Mordor is beaten back to the Firien Woods. There they are met by reinforcements by Lugburz, and the line is held with Gondor remaining in the hands of Sauron. The Armies of the West, greatly diminished in numbers and grieving for their many losses, call a halt to the pursuit at the Firien Woods.
Rohan sets up the marchlands between its border and the border of Gondor (now Western Mordor). Now, 50,000 reserves from Mordor have arrived near the Firien Wood and wait beyond the border, with new forces coming from Mordor's allies every day.
The West has won the battle of Helm's Deep, but it was as much of a loss as it was a victory. They might have won the battle, but the West did not win the war. Now everything east of the Misty Mountains except Fangorn and Rohan is controlled by Mordor; beyond this point, everything east and south of the borders of Rohan is controlled by Mordor.
The surviving elves, those who do not leave for the Havens, go to Rivendell, the last Elvish stronghold, where they fortify the city and make more room for the refugees of Lorien and Mirkwood.
Sauron is no more eager than the West to resume conflict. So begins another long passage of years of staring at each other across the border, and an uneasy - yet watchful - peace, descends upon the lands of Middle-Earth. Because of the war, few crops had been planted, and it looks like a very cold winter for the West with little food and hollow bellies, destroyed buildings and ravaged land.
Upon his dark throne, Sauron ponders the loss of yet another war. "Those who are to blame for this shall pay!" the Great One thunders, and the walls of the Dark Hall tremble at his might. The finger of shame is pointed at Maugoth Lomin, Commander of the combined Army of Mordor; Mautor Vardnir, Second-in-Command to Lomin; Maugoth Furlin, Commander of Morgul Host and Pizdur Adunai, Furlin's Chief-of-Staff. Only Lomin and Vardnir are allowed to live. Stripped in rank, they were exiled back to their homes in Khand, never to return again to Army command.
Soon, lesser ranking disgraced officers of the Army of Mordor join the prisoners of Gondor and Rohan in the dungeons of Lugbûrz, all doomed to finish their existance in torture. But no amount of torture can ever salve the Dark Lord's fury at those who failed, and the purge of the disgraced will be a bloodbath of massive slaughter before the final stroke is written on the bloody pages.
Not even the Nazgûl escaped the Dark Lord's fury. On August 17th, Nine figures in dark, hooded robes stand before the throne of the Dark Lord, their heads hung low in shame. "You have failed Me!" the Dark Lord says, his voice soft, low and deadly, and even Angmar, the Witch-King, knows fear and dismay.
The chroniclers report that the War of the Second Darkness ended on August 15, 3019, Third Age, heralding the entry of the Fourth Age, or "The Age of the New Darkness."
Thus ended the War and the Third Age.
(Gandalf's words paraphrased from "Final Chapter (Thus Ends...)" by Blind Guardian.)
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