The Enemy at last crept out of his noisome hole. Looking on him, I could not envision how the Elves of Eregion could ever have been deceived by him. He fouled the air, blistered the earth. His black armor seemed wrought of the stuff of nightmares. And on the finger of his right hand, the One Ring flared to malevolent life.
Above me flew the banners of the Captains of the Alliance: Gondor, Arnor, Eryn Glasen, Imladris, Lorien, Mithlond, Moria, and my own Lindon. Beside me stood my herald, and at my right hand, my strength: Elendil the Tall. The Star-Lover, the Elf-friend of Andúine. My beloved and true-bonded mate.
Elendil seemed as a Maia to my eyes, a herald
of Oromë Aldaron. He spoke not a word, but bent all of his
attention on the coming battle. His armor shone under Mordor's
weakened Sun. The Tree and Stars of Gondor and Arnor flashed bright
on his breastplate. Narsil blazed in his hand, the sword of Sun
and Moon that brought death to the servants of the Dark.
Once before, I'd stood on a blood-soaked field of war and faced Sauron. Before, I was victorious--but now he held the One Ring. I braced myself for attack. The Ring's power punched into me, dragging through my mind like fingers combing through the sandy bottom of a lake.
You seek in vain, I though in grim satisfaction. Vilya had passed out of my keeping, and not even the glimmer of the old bond remained. The Enemy would not find the new bearer through me.
Sauron's probe snared in the intricate linkage joining my fëa to Elendil's. It writhed and twisted, tearing my most precious memories out of their safe holding.
The bed linens warmed against my skin, smelling of sunlight and clover. Elendil's white flesh gleamed like mother-of-pearl in the dim light of our bedchamber. His unbound hair fell across his face, painting lines of shadow. Elendil lay with his head thrown back, his body warm and eager beneath mine. I pressed against him, hungry for our union. He moved again, and I could see his eyes, darkened not with passion, but with pain.
I saw the marks on his back and thighs then, dark splotches and open wounds, dealt not out of loving hunger, but from cruelty. Weighted chains wound around his wrists and ankles. A leather strap crusted with jagged black glass wrapped around his manhood. Thin lines of blood oozed downward in slow spirals.
"Give me the Ring." Sauron's voice hissed and crackled through my mind, like a flame licking at damp wood. "Give me what is mine, or I will take what is yours."
How dare he desecrate--!
Aeglos filled my hands, its power rising like sap in a living tree. I stared up at the massive form of my foe. Temptation and threat had both unfurled in the space of a heartbeat. The warriors at my side seemed to have noticed nothing of what had passed between myself and the Dark Lord. A flicker of light caught my eye, a change in how the light played over Sauron's armor. I raised my shield in time, feeling a brilliant flare of triumph. The battle seldom went to he who struck first--Sauron had betrayed himself again!
"Fool." Sauron's voice reverberated through my mind, even as the blows from his mace shivered my shield. "Fall first or last, but fall you will! I will take the Ring and him. When he dies, I will take him with his last breath! You cannot protect him!"
I planted my feet and threw him off. Elendil struck before Sauron could recover. Narsil scored deep against the morgul-crafted armor. My lips curled back in a feral smile. He feels the bite of the Sun and Moon, I exulted. Now, we shall rend him from the earth!
We attacked together, Elendil and I, twin currents in a river of power. We drove him back, and back again. The fighting men on either side of us closed in, attacking Sauron's guard. Still, the Dark Lord stood strong. Sauron lashed out again. The Ring flared, and an invisible wall of flame sprang up. I moved back--only to see the war hammer swing back to strike hard against Elendil's head. He fell with deceptive grace. Narsil snapped beneath him on a sharp, shrill note.
Elendil lay sprawled at my feet, body broken, his armor shattered. I felt his spirit flutter past me, a soft warmth that held a whisper of spring. That touch felled me, where Sauron's attacks had failed.
Dead. My Star had fallen.
I heard someone--Isildur?--scream Elendil's name--or perhaps it was my own voice, my own despair. I felt Sauron's power uncoil, extending its talons towards Elendil's unprotected spirit. With my last strength, I flung myself forward, into the bael-fires. My exposed flesh tightened in the wash of heat, then split open. The spilling of my blood brought a deceptive feeling of coolness to my ravaged flesh. The raw pain set in, a new fire that ate at my strength. I tried to shake the blood from my eyes, but all the world seemed bathed in crimson.
I shucked off my living body as I would have cast off my armor. Mordor seemed even blacker and harsh, viewed from the boundary between the Seen and the Unseen. Sauron absorbed all the living light, giving off only the putrid glow of mold on a rotting corpse.
A death freely chosen had a power a thousand blood-soaked sacrifices could not replicate. Not even Sauron could not divert that which was joined in the name of the One, and that blessing still held power. Without the tether of a bond to a living mate, Elendil's spirit sprang free, and swept out of Sauron's reach. I rose up on the welling tide of power, and followed after Elendil.
Wait for me, beloved! Part we must, but
this last road, the road to Mandos, we may at least take together.
Special thanks to the TFoEG, for providing the scan, which is from the new LotR RPG book.