THE MORDOR HOST CONTINUES ITS MARCH
June 9 until Dusk
Throughout the day, the combined armies of Minas Morgul and the great host of Mordor continue the forced march on the Great West Road to Helm's Deep. In the lead of the horde marches the Morgul host. Maugoth Lomin commands the Mordor forces and Maugoth Vardnir commands the forces from Minas Morgul. Their goal for the day is that the troops make 30 miles and make camp at the feeble light of dusk. Torches light the paths of the armies. Warg riders ride ahead scouting, and the cavalry of horse screens the rear and sides of the combined troops.
BASHRASH AND LUGAG
Throughout the day, Bashrash and Lugag of the Army of Minas Morgul wince as they feel the welts on their back, the punishment for trying to "pinch the swag" against orders. Bashrash whispers to Lugag, "It weren't much wot we took, just a few bits of gold. You'd think we 'ad stole the whole thing!"
Lugag says, "Shut yer mouth or the sergeant will 'ear ya. If it weren't for your idea in the first place, we never would 'ave done it!"
Pizbûr Ruzkû overhears their whispers orders the pizgal (corporal) to "teach'em to step to a merry tune" and they fall into a sullen silence.
Dusk June 9 to Dusk June 10
BASHRASH AND LUGAG
Army Camp 30 Miles West of Edoras
After marching 30 miles that day, Pizurku (Privates) Bashrash and Lugag are relieved to hear the call to halt for the night. The forced march did not wear well for the welts on their backs or their tempers.
Bashrash says, "Sometime when no one is around the Sergeant, I'm gonna put a maggot 'ole in 'is belly!"
Lugag says, "Keep yer trap shut. You'll get us both killed!"
But Bashrash is too angry to stop fuming. "Look over there, matey, a big uruk. They tell me 'e carries a lot of that swag 'e took from Gondor with 'im. Wot say we wait and see if together we can take it from 'im? When we get the chance, we'll take a few of our lads and do 'im in."
"Garn!" says Lugag. "You ARE going to get us killed!" But then the thought hits him about all the loot that the big uruk is rumored to carry. "Let me think on it, matey. Maybe if we ever seize our chance..... but not tonight. Urk, my back 'urts. I just want to sleep and eat somethin' besides this slop they give us."
After his two comrades, Shakh Krul and Gakh have returned from Dunharrow, the messenger, the one who has no name, only "Shakh Skri," puts the latest dispatch for Lugbûrz in the small dispatch container attached to the back of his beast's saddle. The beast and his master fly silently to Lugbûrz, and after Lugbûrz, turn northward towards Dol Goldur. Then the silent rider will head back to the Mordor army, making this constant, lonely cycle. Always in silence, he prefers it, and even the loneliness of the darkness holds no fear for him, for he himself is a creature of shadows.
MARCH TO HELM'S DEEP
Dawn of June 10
Maugoth Lomin has ordered another forced force march today. The hosts of Mordor are not to halt until they are ten miles from Helm's Deep. There, the final plans will be made for the great siege of Helm's Deep, the last battle of this age.
Ten Miles from Helm's Deep
The first elements of the Mordor forces had arrived at this staging point by dusk last eve. The rest of the army continues its march throughout the hours of night, and by the time Arien struggles to penetrate through the darkness that morning, most of the army had been brought up.
Somewhat resembling a stationary cloud of devouring black locusts, the vast horde spreads out across the plain. Maugoth Lomin is well pleased at the progress. It will be soon now, he knows, and the great siege against Helm's Deep will at last be set in motion.
The cruel materiels of war are at last brought up unassembled. The goal for this day is for the trebuchets, the great catapults, and the lesser mangonels to be moved to within a mile to half a mile or closer to Helm's Deep and there be assembled.
Tomorrow, June 12, under a white banner, a herald will be sent forward to give terms for the city's surrender before the siege formally begins. Then there will be time to wait for the enemy's response before the first huge stone is unleashed against the walls of Helm's Deep.
At dusk, roving patrols of orcs pillage and loot the surrounding countryside, and the fires of the burning farmsteads glow bright red in the night.
After dusk, two black riders guide their beasts as they circle in the sky above Helm's Deep. Their purpose is not attack, merely to scout, but none the less the people below sense an icy chill in the night air.
"Hon-izgu," cries Khamûl, and the other rider responds, "Bûrz baduzg-izishu shum."*
Khamûl scalls back, "Dushgoi-shakh ûsuz sharaz Gondor-ob kuluz Deep Helm-ob-dhog, agh kul-ulu."**
*"We see," "The night shows us much."
**"The Morgul lord thought the men of Gondor were near Helm's Deep, and they are."
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