Afternoon of September 30, 3019
Frodo portrayed by Hobbitness
Elfhild and Elffled portrayed by Eowyn
Narrator and Angmar portrayed by Wraith
AN AFTERNOON IN MINAS MORGUL
Narrator: *In the early afternoon of September 30, Frodo's second day at Minas Morgul, he had been taken back to his room by one of the black-robed servants of the tower, and was later given his midday meal.*
Narrator: *Now Frodo is all alone. All of his friends had been taken away from him and he did not know the fate of any of them, save Elfhild and Elffled, who are now "guests" of the Morgul Lord.*
Narrator: *All alone, in isolation, but not totally alone - for Frodo had long since learned that there were always the inevitable guards waiting just outside the doors of his room.*
Narrator: *The afternoon hours pass slowly. There is a small barred window in his room, from which he could view the surrounding land by putting the stool by his bed under the window and climbing up to the window.*
Narrator: *From the window, he could look down far into the courtyard below. He noted that Khamul and Madurz had left, while Angmar and the two Rohirrim girls were still down at the fountain.*
Frodo: *This room where he is confined seems a mixture of his two phases of captivity. He is alone and imprisoned, only able to look through the bars on the window...*
Frodo: *...yet the room is luxurious, like the false "honor" of his time in Nurn*
Frodo: *He stands on tiptoe on the stool and grips the bars, staring down at the girls with Angmar*
Frodo: *He is struck with a feeling of utter helplessness, which sends him into a cycle of anger and despair*
Frodo: *What is happening to the other slaves? And will Elfhild and Elffled ever regain their right minds? Will they ever see what Angmar truly is?*
Frodo: *Thinking about Angmar makes his shoulder worse--it has been bad since their arrival in Minas Morgul, but now Frodo gasps in pain, then resolves to clear his mind of all vexing thoughts*
Narrator: *At the sight of Angmar gently cupping his leather-gloved hand under Elfhild's chin as she looks up at him adoringly, Frodo feels such disgust that he jumps off the stool, then sits back on it, bending forward, leaning on his elbows with his chin in his hands.*
Frodo: *He shakes with rage, closing his eyes tightly and trying not to let himself be angry at the girls....they cannot help it, he reminds himself...but he feels betrayed nonetheless*
Elfhild: *elfhild smiles softly at angmar, her blue eyes twinkling in the light of the glowing city*
Angmar: Elfhild.... your eyes.... like blue asters in autumn....
Angmar: Your hair *his voice a soft hiss* is like the sun upon a field of wheat ripening in the wind
Elfhild: *her eyelids flutter and she sighs softly*
Angmar: *he releases her face, steps away from her* Come now, fair ones.... we go inside....
Angmar: Follow me *he says as he turns from them and motions with his hand for them to follow*
Angmar: I have..... things.... to show you.... in the tower....
Elfhild: *the twin sisters follow angmar as he walks towards the tower*
Angmar: *The doors of the tower open for them and they soon are inside. The doors close behind them*
The afternoon of September 30 passes slowly for Aldir, Ceolwulf and Vardamir in the set of rooms that they have been forced to share together.
"I can say this," Vardamir says as he lolls on one of the beds in the room, "Judging by the softness of this matress, it has been firmly stuffed by goosefeathers and is fit for a foreign dignitary," and he chuckles.
"But isn't that what we are?" he laughs.
Aldir, who has been patiently pacing in the room silently for hours, looks over to him and says, "Your humor, my friend, is sorely inappropriate for this place!"
ardamir puts his arms behind his head and looks at the ceiling, a grin of amusement appearing on his face. "If we must languish in a den of vipers, we may as well do it with humor, for it is better to die laughing than it is to die crying."
"Vardamir, your boundless wit and good cheer has ever been an amazement to me, but now is not the time to display it!" Aldir exclaims. "Yesterday, they took Lilandra from me, and I have not seen her since! A cold hand of icy dread grips my heart when I think what they might be doing to her."
"And Elfhild and Elffled... what of them?" asks Ceolwulf. "I have not seen them since yesterday!"
"There is not one thing we can do about it, not yet, not now anyway. We might as well be held in the underground vastness of Angband in the Elder Days. There was no escape from there, and there is no escape from here," Vardamir says. From the bed, he looks towards them. "...Or did you propose doing something about it, friends Aldir and Ceolwulf? The Valar will punish them in their own time."
"And that time cannot come soon enough for me," exclaims Ceolwulf as he suddenly takes his dagger that he had been balancing in his hand and hurls it through a tapestry of the Great Eye, centering perfectly in the iris.
From the bed comes a merry laugh as Vardamir sees the dagger hit its target. He rolls over and out of the bed quickly. He walks to the tapestry. "A perfect hit, my friend!" he says as he takes the dagger from the wall, "and a noble sport you have developed. Perhaps I will join you in it," he says as he walks towards Ceolwulf.
"Take it, the next throw is yours, my friend," says Ceolwulf.
Outside their suite, the guards overhear their talking and soon the door is unlocked and opened. "What do you think you are doing, mate?" a long-armed Morgul orc challenges.
"Putting my blade to a good use."
"Well, we will see about that," says another guard as he charges into the room. "Give me that dagger mate, don't make it 'ard on yourself."
"No, mate, come and get it," Ceolwulf says as he goes into a crouching position, the dagger held in his right hand.
"Don't do something stupid mate, we might 'ave to 'urt you, if you do, and we don't want to do that to the great Shakh's slave man."
The guard rushes at Ceolwulf, but the nimble Vardamir moves too quickly and grabs the orc by the neck from behind, while Aldir lunges for the other guard. "Elp! 'Elp!" the orcs cry and more guards pour into the room.
"Slap 'em in irons, my lads!" the orc gurgles as Vardamir increases the pressure on his neck, then kicks him in the back of the knees, dropping him to the floor.
The room is soon a mass of milling, fighting orcs and men, but no matter how valiantly they struggle, Ceolwulf, Aldir and Vardamir are soon pinned to the floor by the sheer weight of their mass. As they are dragged to their feet, the three struggle, hitting and kicking at the guards. The one who was throttled by Vardamir shouts, "E almost killed me, lads! Did you get the straw'ead's knife? 'E's a wicked one, ain't 'e?"
"Aye, that 'e is, Pizdur, that 'e is," says another orc. "But 'e won't be so wicked once we put 'im in the lockup. 'E'll find the cool chill of it will take a lot from 'is 'ot'eadedness!"
The three men are quickly dragged to one of the deepest dungeons of Minas Morgul and their arms and legs thrust into chains attached to the wall.
"Mates," Vardamir says, mimicking the orcs, "I'm gettin' so I like the 'ospitality of these folk. They surely do make a grand reception, don't they?" he says as he begins to sing a merry Elvish tune.
"Vardamir," Aldir says and shakes his head, "Why do you have to be so impossibly happy all the time? I think truly that you are mad."
"A little madness sometimes helps in the worst of situations," replies Vardamir.
Ceolwulf, one of his eyes beginning to swell, says, "It's certain that a dagger won't."
A few hours pass and the three men become chilled to the bone at the dank cold that penetrates the cell. "A truly fair place to spend a hot summer afternoon," Vardamir says through chattering teeth. "Just the thing to take away the steaming heat."
The cell door creaks open slowly as though moaning in surprise at being opened.
"Mates, I 'ave good news for you," says the Pizdur, who is flanked by two other orcs.
"Wot, mate?" asks Vardamir in a mocking voice. "You think we're gettin' too 'ot in 'ere?"
"That was not nice, laddy," says the orc, showing his fangs, some broken and others decaying. "If you weren't with 'im that's so 'igh up, I would break your bloody little neck with me own 'ands." The orc goes on. "I 'ave a proposal for you, and this comes from right on 'Igh 'Imself, the 'Ighest you can get 'ere. The Morgul Lord 'imself."
"By what do we owe this 'igh 'onor," mimics Vardamir.
One of the orcs beside the Pizdur growls. "Shut your lip, mate, if you don't want it to be removed real quick."
"'Ush now," the Pizdur retorts. "'Is time will come. It's waitin' for 'im down some lonely valley. 'E'll get 'is, and that's a fact!
"If you three swear upon your 'onor that you will not disturb the peace, nor profain anymore tapestries and such or do anything else equally foolish, the Morgul Lord 'Imself says 'E will show you mercy and let you return to your rooms. Wot say you, mates?" the orc says, his upper lip curling back in derision. "Swear now, all three of you, in 'is turn, startin' with the strawhead, and goin' to you, Elfwight, and then you, the tall dark haired one."
"All 'ail 'Is everlastin' mercy," Vardamir mocks the orc, who becomes angry and shakes his fist at Vardamir. The orc steps towards him, fangs bared, his hand drawn back.
"Vardamir! For once be quiet if you can be!" Aldir says. "Shall we accept this 'generous offer' my two friends?"
"Yes," says Ceolwulf slowly with resignation. "There is nothing else we can do."
"Wot mates? There certainly is. We can stay here and pass the rest of the afternoon with these bright lads," Vardamir says and grins wickedly.
"I so pledge what you have asked," says Ceolwulf to the orc.
"Then I suppose I must do so too," says Vardamir.
"Aye, and I also pledge," says Aldir.
They are soon unchained, escorted under heavily armed guard back to their room, then released and once again locked inside their chamber.
"Ceolwulf," says Vardamir as he goes to the table in the room, uncorks a bottle of wine and fills three goblets for them, "Whether the Black Captain honors his promise of mercy or not, there is one thing I can say about him: he provides his 'guests' with excellent wine!"
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