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LOTR fan fiction: The Witch of Angmar - Part #21


Apr 7 2014, 8:27pm

Post #1 of 10 (319 views)
LOTR fan fiction: The Witch of Angmar - Part #21 Can't Post

The Witch of Angmar

Legacy of the Fellowship

Part Twenty-One

Pork Pie

“There is a secret,” the Witch repeated, hauling Rose towards the plinth where the Red Book sat, “and you will show me it. I have been more than patient, she-hobbit. I have listened to the lies of your companions and I will tolerate no further defiance. Find me the secret or all of you will die.”

Terrified, Rose stumbled against the plinth, her shaking hands curling around its edge. Her eyes swam with tears when she looked upon the book. It reminded her of her father, of the evenings she had spent curled up next to the fire while he had read its adventures. She recalled the gentle timbre of his voice, the way he had been able to bring the tales to life. Now all that remained of her father was the book before her.

Grief twisted Rose’s belly.

It was with some difficulty that she managed to pull herself together, wiping away her tears with the back of her sleeve. This whole adventure had spiralled into a disaster. They had all been captured. Salrean lay unconscious, possibly even dead, in the corner, and Azil had betrayed her.

Hope – the only thing that had kept Rose going till now – seeped away, leaving nothing but cold, dread in its place.

“Enough snivelling,” Morwyn’s voice cut in. “Find me it for me!”

Rose wordlessly complied. She reached out and flipped the pages back so that she could begin at the start of the book. As she began to slowly leaf through the volume, the dread that had coiled like a serpent in her belly, began to slither up her throat.

There is no secret. My father read the book to me many times. Morwyn is wrong.

A terrible silence weighed upon the chamber in which she stood. Motes drifted down in front of her, caught in the shafts of silvery light coming in from the high tower windows. Rose’s heart thudded against her chest, her breaths coming in ragged bursts, as she turned one page after another.

Eventually, she came to a page she had never noticed before. As part of the appendix, her father had never read it – and she had never seen it. It was a recipe at the end of Bilbo’s story ‘There and Back Again’. Rose’s body went cold as her gaze slid down the page.

The witch had seen Rose pause. She advanced upon her, her hand fastening on her shoulder.

“What have you found?” Morwyn hissed.

“Nnn… nothing,” Rose stammered. She tried to turn the page but the witch grasped her wrist and pinned it to the plinth.

“Read the page,” Morwyn ordered, her voice suddenly harsh. “Read it aloud.”

Rose glanced over at her shoulder, at where Peri was standing, ashen and trembling between goblin guards. The words she was about to read would condemn them both.

“Bilbo Baggins’ Recipe for Pork Pie,” she read, her voice quivering. “A family secret passed down through generations. Successfully hidden from the obnoxious, greedy Sackville-Baggins’. There is no better pie in the Shire.”

An ominous silence followed Rose’s words.

She stood, cringing before the Red Book and waiting for the witch to unleash her wrath upon her. In other circumstances, this discovery would have been ridiculous. Here was the sister of the infamous Witch-king of Angmar. She had schemed and killed to get this precious book, only to discover that the secret did not tell of a hidden weapon, a powerful spell or words of power – instead, it was nothing more than a humble recipe.

Only a hobbit would put their favourite ‘secret’ recipe in a volume dedicated to epic adventure and great deeds. The race of men would never do such a thing; would not insert such a trivial note into a great book.

Yet, to hobbits a family’s secret recipe was not trivial. Food and mealtimes were revered in the Shire. Some recipes were like gold.

Morwyn would not see things this way. The Red Book had made them all look foolish – Morwyn, Targkok, and Rendur of Farnost – all those who coveted power and thought the Red Book held the key.

“A Secret Recipe for Pork Pie,” Morwyn eventually spoke, her voice chillingly calm as she weighed each word. “What trickery is this?”

“I don’t think it is trickery,” Rose replied, her voice barely above a squeak. “There is no secret – there never was. There must have been a misunderstanding.”

“There was no misunderstanding,” Targkok spoke up, his voice harsh. “Ever since the time of the one ring, the goblins of Moria have known that the hobbits have kept a great secret from the rest of Middle Earth.”

His yellow eyes, with their pinprick pupils, bored into Rose. “How else could such small, ridiculous, weak creatures bring about the downfall of one as great as Sauron?”

Rose stared back at him, at a loss for words.

Meanwhile, a cruel smile spread across Morwyn’s face. “The recipe is nothing more than a ruse. I see that now. The secret I seek is woven into the words of this recipe. Clever hobbits – but not cleverer than me. Tell me what the words on this page really mean,” the witch crooned, her finger nails pinching Rose’s skin. “Now.”

Rose cringed away from her, struggling to distance herself from this woman’s malevolent presence.

“I told you the truth. This is merely a recipe – one that Bilbo kept as a family secret – one that he was proud of.”

“You lie!” Morwyn’s smile slid into a snarl.

“No!” Rose cried, her courage suddenly resurfacing. “Hobbits may be small and ridiculous in your eyes but we are much stronger than we look! You under-estimate the power of determination, hope and courage – just as Sauron did. Just as your brother did!

“Filthy, lying hobbit!” Morwyn shrieked. She let go of Rose, grabbed the Red Book with both hands and flung it across the chamber. The book hit the stone wall with a dull thud and fell to the ground, its pages splaying open like an exotic butterfly.

The witch then advanced on Rose. She was terrifying in her fury. Her pallid face was gaunt and all sharp angles, her eyes two black orbs.

“If you will not tell me the truth willingly then I will have to force it from you!”

Her hands thrust forward and a powerful force slammed into the centre of Rose’s chest. Her breath rushed out of her and she hurtled backwards, colliding with Azil and two other goblins, who stood guarding the door. The four of them fell into an untidy heap in front of the door.

“Stand aside, minions,” Morwyn’s voice lashed across the chamber. “Let me deal with this hobbit.”

The goblins disentangled themselves, leaving Rose prone on the ground, and leapt out of the way. They sidled back to where their king watched the unfolding scene dispassionately, his beefy arms still folded over his enormous chest.

Morwyn ignored them all as she moved across the chamber to where Rose lay on her back, dazed.

Rose looked up and saw that Morwyn was now standing over her.

“Tell me the truth, she-hobbit!” she growled. “I will not accept your lies!”

Rose scrambled back on her elbows and heels, her gaze never leaving the witch’s.

“I told you the truth,” she wheezed. “I can do no more than that.”

“Yes you can!”

Rose was suddenly wracked in agony, her body convulsing on the cold stone. Through her own screams she could hear Peri, pleading for her life and the witch’s cold, pitiless laughter.

I will die here, Rose thought dimly as she rolled onto her front and begun dragging herself away from Morwyn, along the edge of the chamber. There is no way out of this.

“The truth!” Morwyn demanded once more, her voice almost a scream. She was becoming desperate. She would soon slip over the edge into madness – and once that happened Rose would be finished.

Another spasm of agony seized Rose’s body. She screamed and thrashed on the floor – held in an invisible vice that tore at her limbs and rent her skin. When Morwyn eventually released her she collapsed, face-down on the flagstones, her body spent. Moments passed before Rose was able to lift herself upon her elbows, noticing as she did so that her nose was bleeding. She wiped away at the blood with her sleeve and twisted her head round, in an attempt to see her attacker.

However, Morwyn stood behind her, and instead, Rose’s gaze focused on where Targkok and his minions stood. Peri was with him; he was weeping and cursing while he struggled in the fierce grip of two goblins. At the end of the line stood Azil. His bright eyes fused with hers. She was surprised to see anguish in their depths.

It’s too late for regrets now, Azil. Rose looked away and continued dragging herself along the floor. The witch was right behind her. Rose could hear her ragged breathing and feel the heat of her fury that burned like a great furnace.

Rose continued crawling, blindly trying to distance herself from the witch. Suddenly, her fingers touched leather and she looked up to see that she had crawled around the edge of the room to where the Red Book lay splayed open.

Rose’s breathing came in short gasps as she dragged herself up against the book. It was her anchor, her touch-stone. The only link she had left to her family, and her life in the Shire. She wanted to be holding it when she died.

As she clutched at the book, she heard the soft whisper of Morwyn’s slippers on the flagstones behind her.

“Your Red Book can’t help you,” Morwyn mocked. “If you will not tell me the truth then you shall die.”

Rose sobbed, looking down at the book as she braced herself for the witch’s death blow.

It had fallen open, in that way that books do, at a page that had been most often read. It was open at the page that told of the death of the Witch-king. Rose saw the line that Frodo had written, the words of the elf, Glorfindel: “Do not pursue him! He will not return to these lands. Far off yet is his doom and not by the hand of man shall he fall.” The words triggered a memory, and she remembered the prophecy, at Farnost when she had stood by Rendur’s side before The Waters of Skellith.

Not by the hand of man shall she fall.

A woman, aided by a hobbit, had slain the fearsome Witch-king of Angmar.

Yet, how could the prophecy be true for Morwyn? The woman who should have killed the Witch-king’s sister lay immobile in the corner of the room, whereas Peri was incapacitated and Rose was about to die. There was no one left to do the deed.

Tears filled Rose’s eyes, causing the words on the page to blur.

“Not by the hand of man shall she fall,” she whispered the words of the prophecy out loud, without thinking.

Rose suddenly grew still, her tears stopped.

“What did you say?” Morwyn demanded. “Speak so I may hear you!”

Of course. Why had she not thought of it before? A woman or a hobbit could kill the Witch-king and his kin – and so could a goblin.

“Not by the hand of man shall she fall,” Rose uttered the prophecy once more, her voice louder now. Then, her gaze swivelled back to Azil. He stood, his sword still in his hand, his glowing eyes fixed upon her. She could see the struggle on his face, the conflict that warred within him. Azil knew that Rose was just moments away from dying.

He was bright; he had to understand her words. Only he could save her.

Rose heard Morwyn’s indrawn breath, as she gathered her power to unleash the final blow.

“No!” Peri’s voice was hoarse from shouting. “No, Rose!”

Rose squeezed her eyes shut and lowered her head against her blood-stained hands, and waited.

A moment passed.

Then, instead of the wave of agony that Rose had been waiting for, there came a gasp from behind her.

Rose opened her eyes and twisted around. She stared up at Morwyn, who stood, hands raised. A sword protruded just under her sternum, driven in from her back. The iron blade was black with blood.

Morwyn stared down at the blade, as if she could not believe her eyes.

Then, she crumpled to her knees, swaying drunkenly. Rose saw Azil, his face fierce and hard, his eyes glittering, standing behind her. As she watched, he stepped forward and slit Morwyn’s throat with the hunting knife he always carried strapped to his thigh.

The Witch of Angmar crumpled to the ground, dead.

'All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.'


Apr 7 2014, 10:17pm

Post #2 of 10 (246 views)
At 'a boy Sam.... [In reply to] Can't Post

or I should say... Azil! Very good Sam a nice play on words. It pains me to say I feel the ending coming on.

KasDel the Last

"Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger." Gildor


Apr 8 2014, 6:12am

Post #3 of 10 (231 views)
Yes - sad but true... [In reply to] Can't Post

Our adventure is drawing to a close! Frown

'All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.'

The Shire

Apr 8 2014, 11:51am

Post #4 of 10 (231 views)
Secret recipe for pork pie! [In reply to] Can't Post

LOL! That is just the kind of thing a hobbit would do--record a favorite recipe among the stories of the saving of Middle-earth!Laugh I remember reading a post on the Hobbit board once about how peanut butter blossom cookies came to exist: Bilbo loved his Laketown guard helmet so much he invented a cookie to look like it, and recorded it in the Red Book for posterity!

I'm glad Azil had his moment. Smile


Apr 8 2014, 1:28pm

Post #5 of 10 (227 views)
Glad you liked the twist! [In reply to] Can't Post

I wanted to insert something that only a hobbit would do! Wink

'All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.'


Apr 9 2014, 1:12am

Post #6 of 10 (224 views)
i knew azil wouldnt betray rose so easy..... [In reply to] Can't Post

...so morwyn is dead! But what's Azil going to do now with Targkok?

I believe that Azog and Bolg are possibly the only two orcs who may be an exception to the typical evil nature of an orc. Azog had brought up his son, well enough that he actually acknowledges him as his own son. That is a first for any orc. And Bolg sets out to march upon Erebor in vengeance of his fathers death. How many orcs will Try and avenge another dead orc? Most will just forget about the dead one. This gives me hope that Orcs, have some traits of good in them, even if it is small aspects.


Apr 9 2014, 6:34am

Post #7 of 10 (241 views)
Thanks Boldog! [In reply to] Can't Post

I liked creating Azil - he's a complex character. Not all goblins are evil... The next (and final!) installment is out in a fortnight! Cool

'All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.'

nandorin elf

Apr 10 2014, 3:37am

Post #8 of 10 (234 views)
Really good [In reply to] Can't Post

That was great. I was not so sure Azil would help her so I was pleasantly surprised. And that the great secret was a recipe for pork pie was perfectly hilarious!

But what is this about the last installment? It's almost over? ShockedUnsure I'm going to miss these.


Apr 11 2014, 7:50am

Post #9 of 10 (274 views)
Thanks Nandorin Elf! [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm going to miss writing them! Frown The story will be around 40,000 words in total. Once the final episode is done I will publish the whole story as a PDF and put it up here!

'All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.'


Apr 13 2014, 8:18pm

Post #10 of 10 (269 views)
Great stuff Sam! [In reply to] Can't Post

Looking forward to the next one but in some ways not, since it's the last one Frown

Is there a Tolkien topic that you have wanted to look into more deeply and write about your thoughts on it? If so, we'd like to hear from you for the next TORn Amateur Symposium- coming in April. Happy writing!


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