Slaughter at Thuringwathost- part 2
Names have been removed to protect the guilty.
A small group of riders sat their mounts on a hill overlooking the still smoking town of Thuringwathost. The night before the armies of Eothraim and Gondor had sat down, led by their generals and lords, to a feast to celebrate their victory over the army of Gothmog and subsequent destruction of the town. Shortly after the feast had begun cries of dismay and anger had begun to issue from those feasting and the men of Eothraim had begun to shout, “Eothraim to your homes! The King is dead!” After this a large number of the Eothraim cavalrymen fled the feast, flogging their mounts mercilessly as they returned northwards.
While they sat watching the army of Gondor preparing to travel and large figure riding a horse came to them on their hill and the figure of the mighty troll Gothmog appeared out of the fog. Reining in his horse before the group he was greeted.
“I see that you have escaped General Gothmog. What took you so long to get away?”
“That bastard Athaulf chained to an anvil in his tent” Gothmogs low voice rumbled, “once the camp began to flee I was able to walk away but I could not bring the anvil with me”
One of the riders smirked at that and jokingly asked the troll, “What?! The mighty Gothmog cannot carry an anvil?”
“Pshaw!” Gothmog growled spitting in the mud “I had no trouble with the anvil. I was carrying it so I could bash in Athaulfs head once I found him. It was this puny horse that could not bear the weight so I had to leave it. There was a lot of weeping and gnashing of teeth back there- I take it that we were successful?”
“Not entirely” came the reply, “Gisulf is unhurt and Vinyarin survived”.
“Only three of them!” roared Gothmog. “Our master will be angry! How did we not kill all five?!”
“Yes, do tell”, one of the Nazgul in the party said with a sideways glance at the group of sorcerers who sat nearby”
“It wasn’t my fault!” one of them stammered, “I cast a powerful enchantment that should have worked- it wasn’t my fault that I had to sneeze before these others finished their spells!”
“fumble fingers” muttered on of the other wizards under his breath.
“Go, and take your fellow mages and follow Vinyarin where ever he goes” another of the Nazgul ordered the assembled mages, “When he stops you must finish the task our master assigned you- do not fail him again!”
With that a portion of the group broke away and began to trail the army of Gondor leaving Gothmog, the Nazgul, and several agents behind to contemplate their work the previous night.
“So what happened back there?” Gothmogs low voice questioned the remaining group. “ I was expecting one of you to stab Athaulf while he slept but he never came back from his supper”
“I do hope that he enjoyed his soup” one of the Nazgul chuckled, “I know that I did”
“You put something in his soup?!” one of the agents in the group said in amazement, “but so did I? I thought we had agreed not to use poison as it would be detected.”
“I put something in the soup myself” another of the agents interjected.
“I daresay that we all put added something to the soup” drawled on of the Nazgul. “I discovered that the Eothraim king is, or was that is, allergic to a certain spice so I added it to the soup”.
“So did I!” exclaimed on of the agents. “I know that Gisulf cannot abide mushrooms so I added essence of mushroom to the soup”
“What happened to your hand?” questioned one of the Nazgul with a gesture towards the bandage on the hand of the agent.
“I accidently cut myself preparing the mushrooms” the agent replied petulantly to the guffaws of some in the group.
“I told you that you shouldn’t be playing with knives” joked another of the agents.
Wanting to change the subject the agent with the cut hand asked one of the Nazgul, “and what did you put into the soup that killed Athaulf?”
With a viscious smile the Nazgul answered him, “he was allergic to something called a peanut so I added the oil from that nut to the pot” Turning to the agent who had tried the mushrooms he snarled, “You bungler! Gisulf is not allergic to mushrooms! He just doesn’t like them! You failed us and now one of us must remain here and make certain he dies.”
“My L-lord” the agent stammered attempting to apologize before he was cut off by another of the Nagul present.
“Enough!” he roared. “All of us have places we need to be to accomplish our Lord Saurons plan. Go, and do not fail him again.” Turning to Gothmog he ordered, “You go as well and tell our armies that the forces of Eothraim are no more. Now is the time for the second part of our plan.”
With this most of the group turned their mounts and left the hill to the group of Nazgul that had remained behind.
“so what do we do next?” one of the Nazgul asked the others.
“We have our targets” came the reply “now we must go and do our masters bidding”
One of the Nazgul turned his mount and said as he prepared to leave, “I suppose that they won’t be eating anymore soup for awhile”.