by Nightbird

The light of the sun was obscured by clouds of filthy, foul-smelling black smoke that blew across the plain beneath Helms Deep. Aragorn stood on the keep wall and watched as elves and men gathered the bodies of Orcs and Uruk-hai and piled them into heaps before setting them alight.

To one side of the plain a row of neat stone cairns were built, each one carefully filled with the bodies of the men and boys who had fallen during battle. The keening cries of the women mourning for them filled the air, falling into a plaintive harmony with the Elvish laments for the fallen warriors.

The sound of light steps on the stone stairs caught Aragorn's attention and he turned in time to see Legolas approaching from behind. Inclining his head, Aragorn greeted the elf and returned to watching the figures below.

"We have removed the flags of Isengard from the walls. They are being burnt as we speak."

"And the bodies of our Lothlorien friends?"

"Shall be placed in cairns alongside the men of Rohan."


Legolas fell silent for a moment. "He still lies where he fell. We are to be his funeral guard, it is only fitting for him, min uin i fael pen"

"Then we shall start at once. He fell bravely and does not deserve the dishonour of his current company."

Side by side, the man and elf passed down the stairs and crossed the rubble-strewn courtyard towards the wall. At the base of the wall they found Gimli supervising the reinforcement of the crumpled stones, but at Aragorn's gesture he left the men at work to follow them along the battlements.

"Foul creatures," he muttered, poking the nearest Orc body with his axe, "even more so in the light of day."

"Indeed, my friend, but they are not what we are here for. We are to be the guards for Haldir."

Gimli nodded. "How did he fall?"

Aragorn sighed, "An Uruk-hai axe cleaved his back as we retreated to the keep. I tried to get to him but did not make it in time, he died as I reached him."

True to Legolas' word, Haldir still lay where he fell, his armour battle-stained with blood and his unseeing eyes staring up towards the sky. Aragorn knelt and gathered him into his arms, lifting him out of the pools of dried blood. Legolas walked on ahead, calling out in Elvish for water and cloths.Together they gently wiped down the armour and his bow before bearing him over to the cairns, where he would lie with the rest of his warriors.

They took turns to build the cairn, stone by stone until Aragorn placed the last stone on the top and stepped back. "Drego eithel, Haldir uin i Malthen Eryn"

Behind him, the sounds of an Elvish lament drifted away with the smoke.


Silverlake: Authors / Mediums / Titles / Links / List / About / Plain Style / Fancy Style