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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:26 am 
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Season 3 Episode 5

[Episode opens with scene in a wooded area in Gondor during the late afternoon .....Aragorn and Eldarion are going about setting up camp.]

Eldarion: But I can still see the city from where we are, Ada.
Aragorn: Yes, we are less than a league away. I will not take this expedition any further afield with your Mother so heavy with child, and since you have been pestering me for weeks now for a camping trip this is the best I can come up with. [Aragorn looks out and about 1/8 of a mile away are two guards on horseback…others are off in the distance.]
Eldarion: [says nothing but sticks his bottom lip out in a pout]
Aragorn: [jostling the hair on his sons head] We will camp here and make a proper supper over the fire.
Eldarion: And stories, Ada.... stories... of Beren and Lúthien and their world!
Aragorn: [looking back again at the guards and the relay system he has set up in case he is needed] Of course.... Beren and Lúthien and their great quest. But that is far down the road and much comes before it.

Eldarion: Oh, do start, Ada... tell me now ...
Aragorn: First things first...we cannot have stories without the proper setting: You must gather wood for our fire and I will unpack our food and see what the cooks have prepared for us. Now off with you: remember, ash and yew burn best, while willow makes for a poor fire - and watch for snakes! [Eldarion takes a few quick steps.... slows... checks his knife in his sheath at his waist.., and goes off into the woods for firewood.]
Aragorn: [calls after him, teasing] And orcs... watch out for orcs!
Eldarion: [turning around and a bit angry and amused] Of course, Ada…but what will it say about our King if orcs have returned to these woods after all these years?
Aragorn: Never you mind.... [picks up a small rock and tosses it his way] Off with you now…I want you back before nightfall. [Fade.]

*

[Fade back in a little later: Eldarion has returned with his arms so full of kindling he can carry no more. Deftly Aragorn lights the fire by rubbing two sticks together, much to Eldarion’s amazement. Aragorn unwraps some fish and places them in a pan to cook over the fire, along with some jacket potatoes to be reheated on the glowing embers.]

Eldarion: [sniffing appreciatively] That smells delicious, Ada… I can barely wait to try it!
Aragorn: Well, then let us find something to occupy you while it cooks. We need to get this tent up, for in truth you are rather young yet to sleep out in the chill night air.

[a sequence of clips follows of Aragorn and son pitching the tent . Eldarion tries to help, albeit not very successfully. Aragorn indulgently rights his mistakes, and eventually they stand back to admire their handiwork.]
Eldarion: [hopefully] Surely the food is cooked now?
Aragorn: [smiles fondly] I reckon so. [serves up a hearty meal of streamed trout together with the potatoes and some salad leaves picked from the palace kitchen garden.]
Eldarion: [tucking into his supper eagerly.] This is much more fun than having food sent up from the kitchens. It tastes better, too!
Aragorn: [nods] You are fortunate, young man; Normally Rangers have to catch their own food. The last time I went camping, with Faramir, we caught nothing and went to bed hungry!
Eldarion: pulls a face]
Aragorn: We still had a good time, though, sharing stories and singing songs of the ancient days.
Eldarion: [mouth full of food] Mmm…you said you would tell me more about Beren’s father…the one who was given your ring by the Elf Prince…
Aragorn: [Stretches back, enjoying the feel of a full stomach] So I did…now do you remember how when King Finrod gave Barahir his ring, Barahir sent his women and children away to seek refuge elsewhere, whilst he vowed never to give up the land of his birthright?

[Eldarion nods as screen dissolves into recap of the Oath-swearing scene at Barahir’s camp. Men gather in small groups, looking bedraggled. Beren sits on tree stump, horse grazes nearby. Finrod and Elves are alert, watching the woods. Camera focus on Barahir and Emeldir approaching.]

Barahir: It has been decided. Peril is upon us and these times call for great sacrifice…Our company is too large and cumbersome to evade the enemy any longer…The able bodied menfolk that remain to me shall lead Lord Finrod to safety through paths known only to us. From thence we shall go into exile in our homeland, which we will not forsake to the Dark Lord. Whilst we provide the diversion, the rest of our people shall depart with my wife, she of the Manheart. From henceforth, Emeldir will be your Lord, and your salvation…

Emeldir: Listen well, my people. Those that can bear arms shall do so, for the way will be perilous, and I cannot deny that we may suffer misery or loss on our journey through the mountains and forests. But I promise you that we will find succour and welcome where we may, be it in Brethil, or Dor-lómin! [crowd nods in approval, though many look nervous and fearful.]

Finrod: I will ask for Eru’s Blessing on your people. [clasps arms with Barahir in the Elven manner] I also swear an oath of abiding friendship with the House of Barahir unto death or the ending of the world. And in token of this vow I would have you accept this ring….the badge of my Father… [slips from his finger a heavy silver ring and hands it to Barahir] and the symbol of my House. If ever you or your descendants are in need of my aid, then this ring will secure it for you…
Barahir: My thanks, Lord Felagund… [takes ring, places it on his own finger and holds up his hand for his men to see…they clap and cheer.] And let all here know that where the Fair Folk stand my people will stand beside you. It is only through union that we have hope of defeating our foe. Let us remain allied until our world ends.
Finrod: And for whatever may come after that. [lays a hand on Barahir’s shoulder] If Eru is willing, I will see you before we meet in the Halls of Mandos. [Camera Fade.]

* * *

[Camera Fade in on edge of Camp. Women and children, with a few men and elders, and gathered for travel. Most carry packs or baskets. Some ride horses. Camera focus on various Men saying goodbye to their families. Shift to Emeldir, who stands near the front of the group, carrying the axe and wearing armour. Barahir and Beren approach.]

Barahir: [caresses Emeldir’s face] I swear again to you we shall not be long apart.
Emeldir: I hear you, husband. And I look forward to the day we are together again, be it here or elsewhere in this world.
Barahir: No doubt when I see you again you will tell me to wipe my feet lest I track mud on your clean floor. [forced chuckle]
Emeldir: And you will scold me for criticizing the girls that are admiring Beren so openly. [sighs] I want to watch our grandchildren grow tall.
Barahir: When this is over, just think of the tales we will have for them.

[Barahir and Emeldir embrace. Emeldir hugs Beren, kisses him, then squares her shoulders and lifts her axe. Emeldir motions with the axe, the column exits left. Camera shift to Emeldir, leading the column, as she looks back. Shift to Barahir and Beren, who wave. Camera pan out to follow column off screen. Shift back to Camp, where Men are standing in groups. Focus on Dagnir, Radhruin, and Urthel together.]

Radhruin: I hope this is worth the sacrifice. Not that I would question Lord Barahir, but –
Dagnir: I have seen your family, my friend. Some time away from five children is not a sacrifice.
Radhruin: So says the man who has yet to find a wife. Do you plan to die alone in your bed?
Dagnir: At the moment, I will be happy to die in a bed anywhere, alone or with company, so long as I am old.
Urthel: Hush now! [nods screen left. Camera shift, focus on Gorlim, standing alone] None of us can say we have our hearts torn out by this.
Dagnir: True. Gorlim and his bride had not been married long enough to grow tired of each other.
Radhruin: [to Dagnir]If that is your attitude toward marriage, perhaps it is a blessing that you are single still. [to group] Should we give him some company?
Urthel: [shakes head] Let him alone for a bit. He will come to himself in his own time.

[Camera shift to Gorlim, who walks into trees, clearly unhappy. Camera follows Gorlim. Gorlim stops, leans against a tree. We hear footsteps, camera shift right to Eilinel, emerges from brush and approaches. She lays a hand on Gorlim’s shoulder, Gorlim jumps. Gorlim blinks, clearly not believing she is standing there.]

Gorlim: What? Why are you still here?
Eilinel: Believe you I would leave so quickly and without argument? [straightens] I am a soldier’s wife. I will not leave you just because things look dark now. Besides, who will tend your hurts? I have seen the mess Arthad and Gildor make of wounds, and they are the best of you.
Gorlim: [grabs her arm, tugs. Eilinel resists.] Come. If we hurry, you can still –
Eilinel: Did you not hear me, husband? I am not leaving! Not even if you throw me over your shoulder and haul me off like a sack of barley.
Gorlim: [releases her, sighs] Eilinel, you will be the death of me! [strokes her cheek] It tore me apart to believe you were gone.
Eilinel: We vowed we should never part, did we not? No matter how long it takes . . .
Gorlim: No matter how dark things seem . . .
Eilinel: No matter if I have to hide in bushes like a rabbit, I will find a way to be with you. [they kiss]
Gorlim: [sighs] How will I tell Lord Barahir that you mean to stay?
Eilinel: If he is not grateful to have me here, then I will let Arthad stitch his next wound closed.
Gorlim: [chuckles] You could give Orcs lessons in cruelty, woman! [They embrace. Camera pull back, fade.]

* * * * * * * *

[Fade in on Gelion. Maedhros leads a party of Elves through trees. They are armed and on alert. We hear grunts, sounds of blows, and cries at distance. Maedhros motions Elves to spread out into a skirmish line and advance quickly screen right. Cut.]

*

Cut to screen right. Several rough looking Men are fighting Bór. Bór is armed with a spear, his attackers have curved swords and clubs. Borlad carries a short sword, but he is only about 10 and struggles to defend his two younger brothers. Borlach, roughly 7, holds Borthand, a toddler, who is crying loudly]

Elf Captain 1: [ to Maedhros, whisper] My lord?
Maedhros: [ whisper, untranslated question]
Elf 1: [ firmly, whisper] They serve our foe.
Elf 2: [ whisper] Just when I thought this patrol was getting boring.
Elf 3: [ whisper] They kill each other. What is it to us?
Maedhros: [ firmly, whisper] I want to know why they kill each other.

[Camera shift to fight. One of the attackers slips behind Borlad, throws Borlach against a tree and seizes Borthand. Borlach lands with a solid thump and does not move. Borlad howls and charges, but is kicked back. Bór freezes as the attacker holds a knife to Borthand’s belly. Other attackers disarm Bór.]

Man 1: Not so easy to run away now, is it? Traitor!
Bór: Put my son down.
Man 1: I think not. Our armies need men. You swore an oath to serve.
Bór: I swore nothing! Nor did my sons.
Man 1: Your father swore for all his sons!

[Camera shift to Maedhros. Maedhros lifts his handless arm and signals Elves to fire. Arrows fly, Men fall. Man 1 is distracted for an instant, Bór charges and shoulders him to the ground. Elves rush in and subdue all Men, including Bór and Borlad.]

Maedhros: [ kills a Man with his sword. Speaks in Quenya] How badly injured is the boy?
Elf 2: [ touches Borlach, who moans. Speaks in Quenya] Bruised and stunned, but nothing more serious I think, my lord.
Borlad: [ fiercely] Do not touch my brother!
Elf 1: [ firmly, in Common] Quiet.
Maedhros: [ to Borlad] Go to him. [ Borlad picks up Borthand, then goes to Borlach. Borlach opens his eyes and tries to sit up.]
Elf 2: [ holds Borlach down gently] Not yet, small one. Give the world time to steady itself first.
Maedhros: [in Quenya] The bond between brothers is a strong one. [ to Bór, in Common] What is happening here?

Bór: [ cautious] A disagreement.
Maedhros: Be more specific.
Bór: I wish to make my own path in life. And I wish a better life for my sons.
Maedhros: So you broke the oath to your lord?
Bór: I swore no oath to any lord.
Elf Captain 1: [ to Maedhros, in Quenya] My lord, we should leave.

Maedhros: [ nods, in Quenya] Bring them along. [ to Bór, in Common] We have food and shelter. Night comes quickly.
Borlach: I am hungry.
Borlad: [ to Elf 2] Yesterday I caught a rabbit with a rock. It was not much.
Elf 2: [ offers a flask] Try some of this. It will warm you.

Bór: Do not touch it, Borlad!
Elf 2: [ glances at Bór, drinks from the flask himself and offers it again] It is only wine.
Maedhros: We mean you no harm now. Can you say the same for the others in these woods?
Bór: [ reluctant, nods and holds out his hands as if he expects to be tied up.]
Elf Captain 1: No need for that. We would skewer the lot of you before you could move to harm us.
[Elves pick up Borlach and Borthand. Bór and Borlad are surrounded. All exit screen left. Camera follows, cut back to darkening woods. Cut.]

*

[Cut to Elf Camp. Elves sit around a small fire, wrapped in cloaks. Borlach and Borthand sleep near fire, wrapped in Elf cloaks. Borlad sits beside them, his sword in his lap, finishing a chunk of bread. Bór sits between Elf Captain 1 and Elf 3. A flask is being passed around the group. Maedhros faces Bór.]

Bór: I thank you for your care of my children. They are all I have left in this world.
Maedhros: And your wife?
Bór: [ shakes head] She found a better life.
Maedhros: You must miss her.
Bór: [ bitter] Why? She brought herself to my lord’s attention and lives in fine style.
Elf 1: [ whisper to Elf 2] The loyalty of Men is as brief as their lives.

Bór: [ angry] So say you! I give my oath where and when it is earned, but I will not be bound by any promise my father made. Nor will I swear for my sons!
Maedhros: Be easy. Still, what will you do now in this land? Even in summer it is not an easy place to make a home.
Bór: We will find our way. Our gods have guided us.
Maedhros: Perhaps your gods have led you to us?
Bór: [ frowns, confused]

Maedhros: You know your enemies are also mine and my brothers’ foes. You could help us. We could help each other.
Bór: How? [ takes flask, drinks]
Maedhros: I do not know the minds of Men. You could teach me to understand your race. I offer you shelter and safety for your family.
Bór: I will not swear myself to a stranger.

Maedhros: And I will not ask you for any oath you are not willing to give me. All I want is true faith for as long as you remain with me. [glances at boys] We will train your sons while you are with us.
Bór: Train them to fight like you do?
Maedhros: As we teach our own sons. [offers his hand] Do you accept?

[Camera focus on Bor, thoughtful. Bór slowly smiles and takes Maedhros’ hand. Camera focus on handshake. Fade.]

* * * * * * *

[Cut to camp, evening. Barahir, Radhruin, Urthel, Beren, and Arthad gather around a small fire, others are clustered around fires eating cold dried meat and waybread. Urthel looks up as Gorlim and Eilinel enter, left. Shift to Barahir, surprised.]

Gorlim: [short bow] My lord –
Barahir: [stands, incredulous] What were you thinking, Man?
Gorlim: I can explain –
Eilinel: I can speak for myself.
Barahir: [sighs] Speak, then. And pray you make sense.
Eilinel: [firmly] You need me here, Lord Barahir. You yourself said I have a fine hand for tending wounds and sickness. Who else has my knowledge of healing herbs?
Arthad: [slightly offended] I can –
Radhruin: [steps on Arthad’s foot] Let the lady speak.

Barahir: [to Gorlim] Do you love her so little that you would see her dead?
Gorlim: I meant for her to leave, my lord. She –
Eilinel: -I stay of my own will, my lord. [Barahir nods.] Can you tell me that you will not need my talents before this is done? I may not wield a blade in combat, but your men will not long survive without me. [Barahir opens his mouth, Eilinel continues] Do you think you will wage war against the Black Land without injury? Perhaps you have skills even the Elves know nothing of?
Barahir: [draws breath to speak, hesitates. Shoulders slump] You are right. And for all Arthad’s skills, I am glad to have a healer that will not be at risk in the fight. We will build you a shelter, some place secure in these hills where our wounded can rest and heal.
[Urthel and Radhruin make room for Gorlim and Eilinel at the fire. Beren passes food to Gorlim and Eilinel. Camera pan over camp, shift to hills in growing darkness. Cut.]

*

[Fade in on Hills of Dorthonion. We see shots of Men build a small cabin in a closed valley. A stream runs nearby, and the open field is full of wildflowers although the trees are scorched. New leaves show on branches indicating that the land is coming back. Eilinel gathers herbs and binds them to dry as the cabin is raised.]

* * * * * * *

_________________
There is magic in long-distance friendships. They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound.
~Diana Cortes


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:50 am 
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Location: Green Hill Country
[Camera open on walls of Himring. Guards are posted on the walls, weapons ready. The fortress appears to be in lockdown. Camera shift down the walls, focus on a Patrol of mixed Elves and Men approaching quickly but cautiously, led by Bor. Elf Captain 2 meets them, speaks briefly with Bór, and trots back through the gates, pulling Bór along. The Patrol follows.

Camera shift to training yard. Maedhros is drilling a group of soldiers with swords; all look sweaty and grim. Maglor works with archers. Focus briefly on Borlad, who struggles to draw the bow but hits near his target. Borlad grins, Elf 1 pats him on the back. Camera shift left as Patrol enters. Captain 2 approaches Maedhros, who does not stop swinging his sword. Captain 2 bows.]


Maedhros: [casual] Well?
Captain 2: [hesitant] My lord . . . the patrol found something of interest.
Maedhros: What?
Captain 2: Dead Orcs, my lord.
Maedhros: [dryly] That is what I would expect to find out there…

[Maglor approaches, frowning. Bór steps beside Captain 2, looking shaken but resolved.][/i
Bór: These Orcs were not just dead; they were slaughtered. [i][Maedhros lowers his sword and turns from the training]
And none of us killed them.
Maedhros: You now have my full attention.
Maglor: Perhaps some of the foul man-beasts of Morgoth turned on their keepers?
Bór: [slightly angry] I know the work of beasts, my lord. No beast ever killed in such numbers and failed to eat. These Orcs were not simply slain, they were tortured.
Maedhros: This I must see. [to Captain 2] Pick six fresh men and be ready to leave at first light. [to Maglor] Would you care to come along?
Maglor: [wryly] I thought you would never ask... [all exit right. Camera follows, then cuts]

* * *

[Camera open on Bór, Maedhros, Maglor, Captain 2, and six Elves moving through rough hills and pine forest. The ground looks burned, but is beginning to recover. Trees with scorched trunks show green foliage, but rocks are sooty black.]

Maglor: [pauses and listens] No sight nor sound of a bird for a day or more.
Maedhros: No water, either. Nothing could live long out here. Not even the foul beasts of Morgoth.
Maglor: [sniffs, grimaces] What is that smell?
Bór: [sniffs] We are getting close. Those Orcs were not nosegays three days ago, even to our pathetic senses. By now they should be nicely ripened.
Maedhros: You can put an end to your sarcasm any time you choose.
Bór: Perhaps when you allow that I have some experience and skill in the mountains. I may be only thirty years on this earth, but I am no child!
Captain 2: Ai! [points screen left, clearly horrified.]

[All Elves drop low and brace for fight. Bór remains standing, slowly nods. Camera shift left, focus on an Orc impaled on a long stake. The Orc is naked, throat cut, has been gutted, and crows are feeding on it. Shift back to Elves, rising, shaken.]


Bór: We have arrived. [exaggerated bow] My lord, would you care to offer an opinion on my assessment of this situation?
Maedhros: [holds up hand suddenly, hurriedly in low voice] Hold your tongue! [pushes past Bór and moves up trail. Maglor follows, smothering a laugh that Bór sees. Bór and Elves follow, camera stays with them.

Camera pan over small clearing. Seven Orcs are lying dead; the ground is covered in dried blood. The Orcs have been stripped, and scavengers have been busy. Some Elves examine bodies, while two others keep watch with drawn bows. Camera focus on Elves, shocked and horrified, and on Orcs who still seem to be screaming in death.]


Maglor: [examines wounds] What nature of weapon could have done this? [lifts edge of cut on his dagger] This blade was as ragged as a saw.
Maedhros: [probes several holes in an Orc’s chest] No weapon that I have ever seen could cause such injury.
Captain 2: My lords? [stands, shaken] Unless I am wrong, this one at least did not die quickly.
Bór: No, he did not. When we found this, the one on the spit was still moaning.
Elf 1: They were left –
Maglor: – Do not think about it.
Maedhros: We must discover those responsible for this.
Elf 2: Surely those who would kill Orcs with such fierceness will be our allies.
Bór: I would not place a wager on that. There are some who will kill for the pleasure, and care not what skin their prey wears.
Elf 3: Perhaps whatever did this has moved on.
Maedhros: That is possible. And perchance Morgoth will hand me the keys to Angband, along with Father’s jewels and a nice apology for all the trouble he has caused. Forgive me if I do not hold my breath for it.
Maglor: [wrinkles nose] Holding my breath . . . that idea has some merit right now… [All exit right. Camera pan over clearing, focus on dark woods. ..Fade.]

* * * * * * *

[Cut to Orcs moving through Ladros. Shift to brush, Men draw bows. Barahir stands, throws his spear. Orc Captain falls, Men fire arrows. Men rush Orcs, swinging swords, axes, spears. Urthel wields his hammer, laughing.]

*
[Cut to Mountains. A large group of Easterlings move through a narrow, rocky cut between rough slopes. They have many wagons, war equipment, supplies, and Trolls are with them. Camera shift up slope. Barahir, Urthel, and Gorlim stand behind large rocks with branches, ready to shove rocks down. Camera shift across valley, Beren, Radhruin, and Gildor are in the same position opposite.]

Barahir: [shouts] For Bregolas!

[All shove rocks. Rocks fall, starting an avalanche. Trolls try to shield themselves, but the slopes are unstable. Easterlings and horses scream, Trolls cry. Barahir’s men fire arrows at anything that moves. Barahir’s men cheer. Cut.]

* * * * * * *

[Cut to wide shot of former fortress of Tol Sirion, now renamed Tol -in-Gaurhoth. Camera pans over captured buildings, showing the desecration and removal of any trace of previous Elven occupation. Camera enters main hall. Sauron paces in agitation. Orcs and Werewolves avoid him carefully. A few torches light the hall, but shadows indicate that it is night. He suddenly stops pacing and clasps his head in his hands as though in sudden torment. We hear Morgoth’s voice as it would be inside Sauron’s head, but Sauron would answer aloud, in obvious discomfort from the invasion of his mind:]

Morgoth: [voiceover] I gave you this land to make your own in tribute to me. Now these rebels, this band of outlawed brigands dare to attack my servants. From your holdings!
Sauron: [aloud] I offer no excuses, Master.
Morgoth: [voiceover] They cannot be many, these hangers-on. I have destroyed Bregolas and his fragile kind, and brought low the foul Elf lords they served. Now I leave it to you to rid my land of the cockroaches that still cling to the corners. Yet you seem unable to find them!
Sauron: I will redouble my efforts, Master.
Morgoth: [voiceover] I would expect no less of you, my devoted servant. Yet I fear this may be beyond the abilities of those who serve you now. Orcs and Werewolves, wondrous as my creations are, have little innate cleverness. I suspect these rebels are being assisted by the one handed Elf prince who still holds Himring amid my conquests.
Sauron: That may be, Master. Do you wish me to wipe him from our land?
Morgoth: [voiceover] However much I would savour the chance to end his miserable existence myself, I will not be displeased if you could bring me his red head on a spear. But make no mistake; the rebels in Dorthonion are your first priority. If I cannot move my armies through that land in safety I cannot hope to subdue the lands to the south and so forever put an end to the threat these fragile Elves pose to my rightful rule. Pacify my lands and you will have my favour. Fail, and you will enjoy my . . . disfavour.
Sauron: [nods,] I understand, Master.
Morgoth: [voiceover] I thought you might. I have a gift for you, my loyal one. To assist you in your task, I send you some of my strongest servants. They are as ruthless and competent as anything I have sired.

[Camera pan to end of hall. Twenty Uruks enter, Sauron’s Orcs and Werewolves tense. The new Uruks are taller than average, less bent, powerful, and appear more Elven than the others. They are red haired and have Maedhros’ green eyes. All are armed.]
Morgoth: [voiceover] Use them well.
Sauron: [smiles] I will, my Master. [Camera focus on Sauron, smiling. Cut.]

* * * * * * *

[Cut to large group of orcs moving through forest near Rivil’s Well. Colored leaves show that it is now autumn. Orcs are bunched, nervous. They keep eyeing trees, gripping weapons tightly. Focus on Orc Captain, a large, badly scarred Orc at the head of the group.]

Orc Captain: Relax! This ground is ours.
Orc 1: Then where is Captain Rhugag? He was supposed to meet us.
Orc Captain: Late as usual. They probably found some stragglers and decided to have a little fun. Nothing to worry about. [Camera shift screen right. An Orc head is thrown from brush, bounces once and rolls to Orc Captain’s feet. Camera pan up to Captain and Orc 1, astonished.]
Orc 1: Captain Rhugag!
Orc Captain: [gestures toward brush] Get them! I want to eat their entrails! [charges, Orcs follow.]

[Arrows fly from trees, Orcs fall. Barahir, Beren, and Men attack, battle quickly becomes chaos. Camera focus on Beren engaging two Orcs with sword. Beren is laughing, confident, clearly enjoying himself as he kills Orcs. Urthel swings hammer, Orcs fall. Men fall, some wounded, some obviously dead. Battle turns against Orcs. Camera shift to Orc Captain, exit screen top left. Cut to Barahir, bleeding along ribs as battle ends.]


Barahir: [commanding] Kill any stragglers. I want no word of us getting back to Morgoth as yet.
Beren: [shocked] Da! You are bleeding!
Barahir: [puts hand to side, notices blood] It is only a scratch. [to Radhruin and Gorlim] See to our wounded. [Camera focus on Beren, obviously shaken]
Barahir: [impatient] Did you think this was a game? This is war, boy.
Beren: How could a blade come so close to you?
Barahir: I let myself be distracted while you were laughing. Next time take this more seriously. I refuse to explain to your mother how I allowed you to get yourself killed.
Radhruin: [approaches, hesitates]
Barahir: [to Radhruin] [/color] Well?
Radhruin: Seven wounded, my lord, but they will heal if tended. Four of our men dead outright, and three more wounded too badly to move. Gorlim is caring for them now.
Barahir: [frowns] Too many…but it could have been worse. Take those who can be saved to our healer in the hills.

[Camera pan scene. Men prepare the wounded for travel. Gorlim kneels over a man, holds his hand, then slits his throat. Others kill Orc wounded with less care. Some strip the dead of anything useful. Camera focus on Beren, who looks as if he is seeing the aftermath of a battle for the first time. Hathaldir approaches.]

Hathaldir: Come help me dispatch these things. My arms are getting tired.
Beren: [turns away]
Hathaldir: Beren? [ puts a hand on Beren’s shoulder. Beren shakes it off.]
Beren: Father is wounded, and it is my fault.
Hathaldir: My father lies dead in a grave marked by no man. Did you think there would be no blood spilled?
Beren: I never thought . . . so much death. I am tired of it.
Hathaldir: Then do not think of it as death. Think of it as vengeance and justice for all we have suffered. Or have you lost your taste for it already?
Beren: I did not think this dish would prove so bitter. Still, so long as I have at least one good friend I will stand by him.
Hathaldir: Then come help me. These old men are too slow.
Urthel: [from some distance away] I heard that!
Beren: He may be old, but he is not yet deaf. [Beren and Hathaldir laugh as they search the field for living Orcs. Fade out.]

* * *

[Camera cut to Eilinel’s cabin. Light snow falls as Men bring wounded to Eilinel. Some are limping, supported by comrades or crutches. Two are carried on stretchers. Men pause at treeline. Gorlim places hands over mouth, whistles like a bird. Camera shift to cabin, back to Gorlim. Gorlim whistles again. Camera shift to cabin, a shutter opens and light spills out. Men move forward.]

Radhruin: [to Gorlim] When did you set up the whistle?
Gorlim: Some weeks past. It seemed a safe way to let Eilinel know it was me in the woods and not some stranger.
Radhruin: [chuckle] Married and you are still whistling at girls.
Gorlim: Only at one, my friend.

[Eilinel opens door, Men bring wounded into cabin. There is a small fire pit in the middle of the floor, a table, a couple of stools, and a simple bed against one wall. Dried herbs hang from the rafters. Eilinel kisses Gorlim, then begins treating the wounded. The cabin is clearly crowded. Camera pan back to clearing, snow. Cut.]

* * * * * * *

_________________
There is magic in long-distance friendships. They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound.
~Diana Cortes


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:50 am 
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Location: Green Hill Country
[Camera open on walls of Himring. Guards are posted on the walls, weapons ready. The fortress appears to be in lockdown. Camera shift down the walls, focus on a Patrol of mixed Elves and Men approaching quickly but cautiously, led by Bor. Elf Captain 2 meets them, speaks briefly with Bór, and trots back through the gates, pulling Bór along. The Patrol follows.

Camera shift to training yard. Maedhros is drilling a group of soldiers with swords; all look sweaty and grim. Maglor works with archers. Focus briefly on Borlad, who struggles to draw the bow but hits near his target. Borlad grins, Elf 1 pats him on the back. Camera shift left as Patrol enters. Captain 2 approaches Maedhros, who does not stop swinging his sword. Captain 2 bows.]


Maedhros: [casual] Well?
Captain 2: [hesitant] My lord . . . the patrol found something of interest.
Maedhros: What?
Captain 2: Dead Orcs, my lord.
Maedhros: [dryly] That is what I would expect to find out there…

[Maglor approaches, frowning. Bór steps beside Captain 2, looking shaken but resolved.]
Bór: These Orcs were not just dead; they were slaughtered. [Maedhros lowers his sword and turns from the training] And none of us killed them.
Maedhros: You now have my full attention.
Maglor: Perhaps some of the foul man-beasts of Morgoth turned on their keepers?
Bór: [slightly angry] I know the work of beasts, my lord. No beast ever killed in such numbers and failed to eat. These Orcs were not simply slain, they were tortured.
Maedhros: This I must see. [to Captain 2] Pick six fresh men and be ready to leave at first light. [to Maglor] Would you care to come along?
Maglor: [wryly] I thought you would never ask... [all exit right. Camera follows, then cuts]

* * *

[Camera open on Bór, Maedhros, Maglor, Captain 2, and six Elves moving through rough hills and pine forest. The ground looks burned, but is beginning to recover. Trees with scorched trunks show green foliage, but rocks are sooty black.]

Maglor: [pauses and listens] No sight nor sound of a bird for a day or more.
Maedhros: No water, either. Nothing could live long out here. Not even the foul beasts of Morgoth.
Maglor: [sniffs, grimaces] What is that smell?
Bór: [sniffs] We are getting close. Those Orcs were not nosegays three days ago, even to our pathetic senses. By now they should be nicely ripened.
Maedhros: You can put an end to your sarcasm any time you choose.
Bór: Perhaps when you allow that I have some experience and skill in the mountains. I may be only thirty years on this earth, but I am no child!
Captain 2: Ai! [points screen left, clearly horrified.]

[All Elves drop low and brace for fight. Bór remains standing, slowly nods. Camera shift left, focus on an Orc impaled on a long stake. The Orc is naked, throat cut, has been gutted, and crows are feeding on it. Shift back to Elves, rising, shaken.]


Bór: We have arrived. [exaggerated bow] My lord, would you care to offer an opinion on my assessment of this situation?
Maedhros: [holds up hand suddenly, hurriedly in low voice] Hold your tongue! [pushes past Bór and moves up trail. Maglor follows, smothering a laugh that Bór sees. Bór and Elves follow, camera stays with them.

Camera pan over small clearing. Seven Orcs are lying dead; the ground is covered in dried blood. The Orcs have been stripped, and scavengers have been busy. Some Elves examine bodies, while two others keep watch with drawn bows. Camera focus on Elves, shocked and horrified, and on Orcs who still seem to be screaming in death.]


Maglor: [examines wounds] What nature of weapon could have done this? [lifts edge of cut on his dagger] This blade was as ragged as a saw.
Maedhros: [probes several holes in an Orc’s chest] No weapon that I have ever seen could cause such injury.
Captain 2: My lords? [stands, shaken] Unless I am wrong, this one at least did not die quickly.
Bór: No, he did not. When we found this, the one on the spit was still moaning.
Elf 1: They were left –
Maglor: – Do not think about it.
Maedhros: We must discover those responsible for this.
Elf 2: Surely those who would kill Orcs with such fierceness will be our allies.
Bór: I would not place a wager on that. There are some who will kill for the pleasure, and care not what skin their prey wears.
Elf 3: Perhaps whatever did this has moved on.
Maedhros: That is possible. And perchance Morgoth will hand me the keys to Angband, along with Father’s jewels and a nice apology for all the trouble he has caused. Forgive me if I do not hold my breath for it.
Maglor: [wrinkles nose] Holding my breath . . . that idea has some merit right now… [All exit right. Camera pan over clearing, focus on dark woods. ..Fade.]

* * * * * * *

[Cut to Orcs moving through Ladros. Shift to brush, Men draw bows. Barahir stands, throws his spear. Orc Captain falls, Men fire arrows. Men rush Orcs, swinging swords, axes, spears. Urthel wields his hammer, laughing.]

*
[Cut to Mountains. A large group of Easterlings move through a narrow, rocky cut between rough slopes. They have many wagons, war equipment, supplies, and Trolls are with them. Camera shift up slope. Barahir, Urthel, and Gorlim stand behind large rocks with branches, ready to shove rocks down. Camera shift across valley, Beren, Radhruin, and Gildor are in the same position opposite.]

Barahir: [shouts] For Bregolas!

[All shove rocks. Rocks fall, starting an avalanche. Trolls try to shield themselves, but the slopes are unstable. Easterlings and horses scream, Trolls cry. Barahir’s men fire arrows at anything that moves. Barahir’s men cheer. Cut.]

* * * * * * *

[Cut to wide shot of former fortress of Tol Sirion, now renamed Tol -in-Gaurhoth. Camera pans over captured buildings, showing the desecration and removal of any trace of previous Elven occupation. Camera enters main hall. Sauron paces in agitation. Orcs and Werewolves avoid him carefully. A few torches light the hall, but shadows indicate that it is night. He suddenly stops pacing and clasps his head in his hands as though in sudden torment. We hear Morgoth’s voice as it would be inside Sauron’s head, but Sauron would answer aloud, in obvious discomfort from the invasion of his mind:]

Morgoth: [voiceover] I gave you this land to make your own in tribute to me. Now these rebels, this band of outlawed brigands dare to attack my servants. From your holdings!
Sauron: [aloud] I offer no excuses, Master.
Morgoth: [voiceover] They cannot be many, these hangers-on. I have destroyed Bregolas and his fragile kind, and brought low the foul Elf lords they served. Now I leave it to you to rid my land of the cockroaches that still cling to the corners. Yet you seem unable to find them!
Sauron: I will redouble my efforts, Master.
Morgoth: [voiceover] I would expect no less of you, my devoted servant. Yet I fear this may be beyond the abilities of those who serve you now. Orcs and Werewolves, wondrous as my creations are, have little innate cleverness. I suspect these rebels are being assisted by the one handed Elf prince who still holds Himring amid my conquests.
Sauron: That may be, Master. Do you wish me to wipe him from our land?
Morgoth: [voiceover] However much I would savour the chance to end his miserable existence myself, I will not be displeased if you could bring me his red head on a spear. But make no mistake; the rebels in Dorthonion are your first priority. If I cannot move my armies through that land in safety I cannot hope to subdue the lands to the south and so forever put an end to the threat these fragile Elves pose to my rightful rule. Pacify my lands and you will have my favour. Fail, and you will enjoy my . . . disfavour.
Sauron: [nods,] I understand, Master.
Morgoth: [voiceover] I thought you might. I have a gift for you, my loyal one. To assist you in your task, I send you some of my strongest servants. They are as ruthless and competent as anything I have sired.

[Camera pan to end of hall. Twenty Uruks enter, Sauron’s Orcs and Werewolves tense. The new Uruks are taller than average, less bent, powerful, and appear more Elven than the others. They are red haired and have Maedhros’ green eyes. All are armed.]
Morgoth: [voiceover] Use them well.
Sauron: [smiles] I will, my Master. [Camera focus on Sauron, smiling. Cut.]

* * * * * * *

[Cut to large group of orcs moving through forest near Rivil’s Well. Colored leaves show that it is now autumn. Orcs are bunched, nervous. They keep eyeing trees, gripping weapons tightly. Focus on Orc Captain, a large, badly scarred Orc at the head of the group.]

Orc Captain: Relax! This ground is ours.
Orc 1: Then where is Captain Rhugag? He was supposed to meet us.
Orc Captain: Late as usual. They probably found some stragglers and decided to have a little fun. Nothing to worry about. [Camera shift screen right. An Orc head is thrown from brush, bounces once and rolls to Orc Captain’s feet. Camera pan up to Captain and Orc 1, astonished.]
Orc 1: Captain Rhugag!
Orc Captain: [gestures toward brush] Get them! I want to eat their entrails! [charges, Orcs follow.]

[Arrows fly from trees, Orcs fall. Barahir, Beren, and Men attack, battle quickly becomes chaos. Camera focus on Beren engaging two Orcs with sword. Beren is laughing, confident, clearly enjoying himself as he kills Orcs. Urthel swings hammer, Orcs fall. Men fall, some wounded, some obviously dead. Battle turns against Orcs. Camera shift to Orc Captain, exit screen top left. Cut to Barahir, bleeding along ribs as battle ends.]


Barahir: [commanding] Kill any stragglers. I want no word of us getting back to Morgoth as yet.
Beren: [shocked] Da! You are bleeding!
Barahir: [puts hand to side, notices blood] It is only a scratch. [to Radhruin and Gorlim] See to our wounded. [Camera focus on Beren, obviously shaken]
Barahir: [impatient] Did you think this was a game? This is war, boy.
Beren: How could a blade come so close to you?
Barahir: I let myself be distracted while you were laughing. Next time take this more seriously. I refuse to explain to your mother how I allowed you to get yourself killed.
Radhruin: [approaches, hesitates]
Barahir: [to Radhruin] [/color] Well?
Radhruin: Seven wounded, my lord, but they will heal if tended. Four of our men dead outright, and three more wounded too badly to move. Gorlim is caring for them now.
Barahir: [frowns] Too many…but it could have been worse. Take those who can be saved to our healer in the hills.

[Camera pan scene. Men prepare the wounded for travel. Gorlim kneels over a man, holds his hand, then slits his throat. Others kill Orc wounded with less care. Some strip the dead of anything useful. Camera focus on Beren, who looks as if he is seeing the aftermath of a battle for the first time. Hathaldir approaches.]

Hathaldir: Come help me dispatch these things. My arms are getting tired.
Beren: [turns away]
Hathaldir: Beren? [ puts a hand on Beren’s shoulder. Beren shakes it off.]
Beren: Father is wounded, and it is my fault.
Hathaldir: My father lies dead in a grave marked by no man. Did you think there would be no blood spilled?
Beren: I never thought . . . so much death. I am tired of it.
Hathaldir: Then do not think of it as death. Think of it as vengeance and justice for all we have suffered. Or have you lost your taste for it already?
Beren: I did not think this dish would prove so bitter. Still, so long as I have at least one good friend I will stand by him.
Hathaldir: Then come help me. These old men are too slow.
Urthel: [from some distance away] I heard that!
Beren: He may be old, but he is not yet deaf. [Beren and Hathaldir laugh as they search the field for living Orcs. Fade out.]

* * *

[Camera cut to Eilinel’s cabin. Light snow falls as Men bring wounded to Eilinel. Some are limping, supported by comrades or crutches. Two are carried on stretchers. Men pause at treeline. Gorlim places hands over mouth, whistles like a bird. Camera shift to cabin, back to Gorlim. Gorlim whistles again. Camera shift to cabin, a shutter opens and light spills out. Men move forward.]

Radhruin: [to Gorlim] When did you set up the whistle?
Gorlim: Some weeks past. It seemed a safe way to let Eilinel know it was me in the woods and not some stranger.
Radhruin: [chuckle] Married and you are still whistling at girls.
Gorlim: Only at one, my friend.

[Eilinel opens door, Men bring wounded into cabin. There is a small fire pit in the middle of the floor, a table, a couple of stools, and a simple bed against one wall. Dried herbs hang from the rafters. Eilinel kisses Gorlim, then begins treating the wounded. The cabin is clearly crowded. Camera pan back to clearing, snow. Cut.]

* * * * * * *

_________________
There is magic in long-distance friendships. They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound.
~Diana Cortes


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:00 pm 
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Location: Green Hill Country
[Open on hall of Himring, night. Maedhros stands by a table near the fire, Maglor and Elf Captain with him. A map fastened to a corkboard is on the table, marked with wooden pins.]

Maglor: This makes three points we have found a killing ground.
Elf Captain: At least there are fewer Orcs scouting our walls. I think they begin to fear whatever is in these hills.
Maedhros: That will not last. Morgoth will send a force against us, once he has lost enough servants to warrant his attention.
Maglor: Be thankful he is such a neglectful lord.
Maedhros: [nods] That he may be, but I cannot allow such a risk to go unchallenged. [concentrates on map] The ones responsible for this slaughter must have a place of safety. Even wolves have their dens.

Elf Captain: [points to mountains around Pass of Aglon] If it is in those rocks it would be well secure.
Maglor: Suppose we assume that each attack started from the same location? [traces with finger] If we also assume the most distant points form a triangle, we can guess the third point. The lair must be somewhere near this. [finger in mountains near Aglon]
Elf Captain: You assume much. . . my lord.
Maedhros: [firmly] We cannot wait for certainty. Before dawn I go into those mountains in force, to put an end to this game. [To Maglor] Are you coming?
Maglor: Why not? I want to see the end of this.
Maedhros: [to Captain] Pick me two dozen men, well armed and supplied.

[Camera shift lower right. Bór walks into the hall, carrying a cup and bowl of something hot]

Maedhros: Bór! [Bór approaches, sets bowl and cup on table] How is your son? Borthand, is it not? The one with the blisters.
Bór: [nods] His fever has broken, and he is hungry. All good signs for him.
Elf Captain: [pulls a carved toy from a pouch] I thought this might cheer him up a bit.
Bór: [gruffly, visibly touched by the gesture] My thanks. [tucks toy in his tunic] I will see that he thanks you properly once he is on his feet again. [picks up cup and bowl and exits top right]

Maglor: [to Captain] You make toys?
Elf Captain: I never have before. There was no reason. Now I find I enjoy the children.
Maglor: With the number of stragglers we have joining us there will, no doubt, be more before the year is out. Now that there are women in Himring, both our own and the Afterborn, the natural course will be followed.
Maedhros: Think you I do not know this already? All the more reason we must stamp out this new threat quickly. [to Captain] Be ready to leave before the sun rises. I want a good start on this. [Captain 1 bows and exits right. Camera draws back from hall, cut]

* * *

[Cut to Mountains of Aglon. The ground is rocky and steep with thick forest and low, thorny brush. Elves move through the trees, watchful. Focus on Maedhros and Captain 1, both in front. Maglor is about five feet behind Maedhros and a bit up. Maedhros carries his sword unsheathed, but most are armed with bows.

Maedhros raises his right arm to halt company and points ahead. Camera shift left. Ten Orcs lie on the ground, dead or dying. Some have arrows still in them. The Orcs are distant, so we cannot see the arrows clearly. Camera shift to Elves. Maedhros motions all to spread out and move forward in skirmish line. They move forward carefully until they are near the Orcs. Maedhros motions for the Elves to halt and moves forward, examining the Orcs. Maglor follows.

Camera focus on Maglor, examining an Orc killed by arrows. Focus on arrows, smooth carved shafts but fletched with shaved wood and bound with strands of hair. Camera focus on Maedhros, bending over an Orc that is still alive.]


Maedhros: [sword at Orc’s throat]What did this to you?
Orc: [laughs, blood sprays from mouth] See for yourself! [Camera focus on Maedhros’ face. Sound of an arrow, Maedhros shows surprise and pain. Camera pulls back, arrow fletch shows bottom left of screen but we cannot tell where he is shot. Camera pan trees, Elves rush in and surround Maedhros and Maglor. Maglor runs to Maedhros.

Camera pan Elves, looking shocked, frightened. Shift to trees as bushes rustle. Four Elves step from bushes, armed with bows, stone spears, and stone blades. They are all ragged, wearing what looks like clothing taken from Orcs although it is clean. All are scarred, more or less, and very thin. All have hair cut above shoulder length, but rough as if it was sawed off. Two are female, two are male. Camera shift left as Nassë emerges from brush. She is in shadow, so we cannot see her clearly as she approaches. Camera shift to Maedhros’ Elves, horrified.]


Elf Captain: Ai! [looks away]
Maglor: [stands, draws knife] An aira ar eleni! [subtitled: By the sea and stars!]

[Camera focus on Nassë. Scars cover her face and exposed body. One runs from her right forehead over her left eye, which is white and blind, to end at her jaw. Her right cheek seems to have been slashed by claws. Her nose and ears are slit. Her arms and shoulders show shallow, wide gashes long healed. Her bare legs show the same. Only her mouth and jaw are untouched. Her hair is dark, short, and appears to have been cut with a rough blade like the others.]

Nassë: [forcefully]Get out of here.
Maedhros: [stands carefully. The arrow is in his buttock.] I will not. I am lord of this land.
Nassë: So say you. Yet it is you who bleed.
Maedhros: And it was you who shot me?
Nassë: I could have killed you. I did not. And I would like my arrow back. They are precious things to us.

Maglor: Do you intend our deaths?
Maedhros: If she did I would not give much for her chances. I believe we are at an impasse. [staggers, catches himself]
Nassë: You will damage the muscle if you continue to stand with the arrow still in it. Lie down and I will remove the shaft.
Maedhros: [glance at Orcs] You ask me to lie on the ground so that the foe who shot me has a clear view of my back? [gestures at Orcs] Is this how you spoke to them?

Nassë: We spoke to them not at all. And I am not your foe, Lord Maedhros.
Maedhros: What then are you to me? [staggers]
Maglor: [catches Maedhros] Let us discuss this later.
Nassë: To you, I wish to be nonexistent. Had I recognized you more quickly I would never have harmed you. Now lie down before you damage yourself.
Maedhros: Not here. If I am going to have my breeches cut away it will not be before their kind.
Nassë: [considers] We can take you to our home. There we can tend you properly, and it is not far. But you must swear never to reveal our hiding place, no matter the cause.
Maedhros: That sounds fair enough. [winces]

Nassë: [motions. Two of the rough Elves appear with an Orc shield.] Then we will carry you. You alone. The rest can wait here.
Maglor: I will not leave my brother to your care.
Elf Captain: None of us will abandon our lord.
Nassë: Then you may take him back yourselves the way you came. I will not expose our safety to so many tongues.
Maedhros: [firmly, to Captain] Remain here. If I cannot defend myself from such as these I am a poor war leader for you.
Maglor: I stay with you, brother. Do not argue this.
Maedhros: I would not dream of it.

[Nassë nods, motions screen left. Rough Elves pick up shield, surround Maglor, exit left following Nassë. Elf Captain 1 and Maedhros’ Elves gather, lower left. They relax, although glancing about.]

Elf Captain: Make certain those things [gestures toward Orcs] are all dead. [Elf 1 and Elf 4 return to Orcs and begin cutting throats. Camera fade.]

* * * * * * *

[Camera open on Barahir’s camp. Deep snow covers shelters, tree limbs hang low. Frost sparkles in the air. Camera shift inside shelter, Barahir, Beren, Gildor, and Radhruin huddle around a small fire, wrapped in furs.]

Barahir: [depressed and angry] Another of our men died of cold in the night.
Gildor: Three of the men under me are ill with frostbite.
Radhruin: Several of mine have abandoned our cause. They would seek their wives and families.
Gildor: Do they think they will make it out of the mountains alive in this cold?
Barahir: That is true enough, but I sympathize with the calling of their hearts. It is a hard thing to be so long away from those you love.
Radhruin: So what shall I tell them?
Barahir: [pauses] Tell them I shall speak with all our men as soon as the storm lifts. [to Gorlim] Spread the word to all the shelters. I hate repeating myself. [Radhruin and Gorlim exit.]

Beren: [slides nearer Barahir.] You will find the right words to sway them.
Barahir: I hope I can, for I will tell them that those who wish to leave us may go with my blessing.
Beren: [shocked] You do omean that!
Barahir: I do. And I am sorry I did not offer the chance when they could still travel easily.
Beren: [recovers, smiles] Of course. You mean to shame them into staying. That will be the true proof of loyalty, when they stay after you offer the chance to leave. What an epic this will make for our bards.
Barahir: [annoyed] Stop thinking of this as some great tale for a snug mead hall! I now doubt much that any of us will leave it alive. I will force no man to remain with me if his heart lies elsewhere, nor will I call any man coward if he leaves a battle that cannot be won!
Beren: What say you? We will win this war, Father. I know we –

Barahir: And I knew it too, last spring. [sighs, stares at fire] All through the summer I believed that one more victory was all I needed to make the Dark Lord see reason. Surely he would lose enough of his servants that the cost of our little valley would become too great to bear. He would pull out his army and allow us to hold our lands in peace.
Beren: So why has he not?
Barahir: Perhaps he knows how small a force we really are. Every one of our men lost is a blow to us that we cannot recover, yet he always has more soldiers. And perhaps there is something he wants in this valley, or some reason he needs our passes. I wish I knew his mind.
Beren: I will not believe that our fortunes are as dark as you would make them seem. Yet I ask you, if you truly believe we cannot drive our foes from Dorthonion why do you not leave as well, and take all of us out safely?

Barahir: [leans toward fire. Camera focus on flames] Because I will not be driven from the land of my fathers. I will fight this usurper, and I will make Morgoth pay a dear price for every inch he holds.
Beren: [hesitates] Have you considered asking aid from the Elves? I hear rumours of a great fortress somewhere east of this valley, held by a powerful lord who would welcome –
Barahir: I will ask no aid! Even if there is such a holding, I am sure this great lord has more than enough on his plate without our trouble being added. Besides, if we keep our forces separate then Morgoth must also divide his men to subdue us both. This may weaken him enough to offer a chance for aid yet unlooked-for to come to us.

Beren: Then what aid do you hope for? The Elves are driven before our foes. Our own people lie dead where they stood. I do not even believe in the gods any longer.
Barahir: [firmly] Do not doubt the gods! They keep us ever in their care, even when we cannot see their efforts immediately. [more gently] But you are young, and the young doubt everything. Just do not tell your mother about your lack of faith when next you see her.
Beren: Do not think of sending me away, Da. I will be with you until the end. A madman’s line should not reproduce. [Camera pull back, pan shelter. Beren rolls into a ball with his back to the fire. Focus on Barahir, sitting, staring at flames. Cut.]

* * * * * * *

_________________
There is magic in long-distance friendships. They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound.
~Diana Cortes


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:29 am 
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Location: Green Hill Country
[Cut to Cave. Rough Elves bring Maedhros in and lay him near a fire. Something is spitted on the fire, smoking badly. One male Elf leaves, returns with a leather bottle and a skin bag. He pulls leather thongs and fresh leaves out of the bag. Nassë grasps arrow, pulls it smoothly out of Maedhros’ backside. Maedhros stiffens but does not cry out. Camera focus on Maglor, curious. Shift to arrow, which has no head. The tip is sharpened wood. Nassë drops arrow, Maglor picks it up. Like the others, the arrow is fletched with wood shavings and bound with strands of blonde hair.

[Camera shift left, catch a movement in shadows. Shift to Maglor, who sees movement and turns toward it. Shift to shadows, light flashes off something pale. Maglor approaches slowly. Eldacala, a female Elf with long blonde hair steps out of the shadows, a stone knife in her hand. There is faint scarring visible on her wrist. She wears skins, stitched together, but nothing come off an Orc. She watches Maglor nervously.]


Maglor: [looks at arrow, then at Eldacala] So you are the Fletcher?
Eldacala: [nods carefully]
Maglor: Your arrow shot my brother.
Eldacala: [shrugs, edges along the wall]
Maglor: [moves to block her] Why do you hide in the shadows? And why no word of apology when it was your handiwork that bled a noble lord of the Noldor?
Eldacala: [braces, brandishes knife]
Nassë: [approaches] Expect no apology from her. [nods toward Maedhros] Your brother is being difficult.
Maglor: What else is new?

[As soon as Maglor turns toward Nassë, Eldacala darts past him and vanishes into the back of the cave. Maglor turns toward her, then shakes his head and walks to Maedhros. Camera follows.]

Maedhros: [firmly] I can walk out of here. I will not leave my people so far from safety.
Rough Elf 1: [to Nassë] The muscle is torn. I have bound it, but he should rest at least the night if it is to heal well. [to Maedhros] Or you can limp like an Orc for the rest of your life.
Maglor: [squats beside Maedhros, presses him down on the shield] What harm in a quiet night with our hosts? Our men are safe enough.
Maedhros: [whispers] I will not take from these wretched things. They have not enough for themselves, let alone the burden of feeding us.
Maglor: [whispers] We have enough for ourselves and to share. Besides, it would be good to get to know them a little better, would it not?
Maedhros: [firmly] I am your lord. You will not thwart my will in this.
Maglor: [shrugs] It matters not. Limp, for all I care. I mean to spend the night under a roof.

[Maedhros pushes himself to his knees, then tries to stand. His injured leg will not support him.]
Maedhros: A hand here would be helpful.
Maglor: [steps back] You are on your own in this, brother. [pulls out a flask, offers it] Here. A bit of wine should ease your mood.
[Maglor exits left. Maedhros drinks, grimaces, lays back down and drinks again. Camera fade.]

* * *

[Camera cut to Maedhros, lying on the cave floor a little off the Orc shield. A leather pouch and Maglor’s flask lie next to him. It is night, and stars shine through the door of the cave. Rough Elves move about, getting food or mending tools in the light of the small fire. Camera shift left, Nassë approaches with a leather bottle and a bit of charred meat on a spit.]

Nassë: [hands meat to Maedhros] Here: Eat.
Maedhros: [grimaces] We offered to share what we have.
Nassë: We do not want your pity.
Maedhros: And I do not want your charcoal.
Nassë: [shrugs, sits beside Maedhros, bites meat]
Maedhros: Why do you live like this?
Nassë: How would you have us live? In some grand city, with the music of fountains all about us? We make do. It is better than other places. Compared to Angband this is a garden in the West.
Maedhros: [exhales sharply] You have been guests in the iron prison also? That explains much. Still, why would you not return to your homes?
Nassë: So the tales are true, then? You are the prince who was held by the Dark Lord for so long.
Maedhros: [nods]
Nassë: I heard of you in that place. How you fought to the last, although none knew your fate. Some said you were chained to a cliff and left as food for the ravens.
Maedhros: [lifts right arm] Well, that is true enough.
Nassë: For those of us caught in that dungeon, you were a light of hope. [looks at meat, lowers it] I know Cook is not very good at her job, but she is learning.
Maedhros: [sits up carefully] You still have not told me why you do not return to your people.
Nassë: Most of us tried. To be rejected by those we loved is crueller than any torment Morgoth could have devised.
Maedhros: Your own kin and kind turned you out?
Nassë: [bitter] Not all of us have such loving brothers as you, my lord. Most of our kind were driven into the wild as soon as we approached what was once our home.

[Camera shift left. Eldacala crushes burned meat between stones, eats small pieces. Maglor approaches, offers something from his pouch. Eldacala steps back. Maglor puts the food on the rock she was using as a plate, retreats. Camera cut to Maedhros.]

Maedhros: When we were children, Maglor tamed a fox like that.
Nassë: It matters not. After tomorrow you will be gone and never return.
Maedhros: [speculative] You do not seem as shy as the others.
Nassë: I cannot be. I protect them. Besides, no one I loved ever turned me from their door.
Maedhros: You never tried to return home?
Nassë: [shakes head] I cannot. I dare not even think of where my city lies. [gestures at scars] These were given slowly, carefully, day by day. Gifts from the Dark Lord and his first lieutenant. They wished to seduce me into giving them my lord, but though I am no warrior I am ever loyal. I was spared the horror in my mother’s eyes, so I protect those who were not.

Maedhros: I would not turn you away. Himring can always use –
Nassë: You might not, but what of the others? You cannot keep others from looking past my shoulder, as if scars and pain were diseases they could catch by acknowledging my presence. No, lord. I will not subject myself to such as that, nor will any of my people. We have safety in ourselves here. It is enough.
Maedhros: Safety in yourselves? This place is about as safe as –
Nassë: There are worse things than death. Here none touch us. We do not even have names here, for which of us would take the names given by the parents who tossed us to the world? [points at Rough Elves as she speaks] There is Cook. Scout. Healer. Skinner. [points at Eldacala] Crafter, the only one of us who never reached the dark prison. Not that that saved her.
Maedhros: She is quiet.
Nassë: She has no tongue. Orcs took it, because she would not scream for them.
Maedhros: She has courage. I screamed.
Nassë: [exchanges look of understanding with Maedhros] So did I.

[Camera pull back, pan over Cave. Two Rough Elves are at the entrance, on watch. Others are preparing for sleep, on beds of branches covered in clean Orc clothing. Focus on Eldacala, curled in a corner. Camera shift to Maglor, wrapped in his cloak, some distance away. Maedhros shifts so he is lying with his back to the cave wall. Nassë leans against wall, looks up a ceiling. Camera pull back, cut.]

* * * * * * *

[Camera cut to Barahir’s Camp. It is day, and the sky is clear but cold. Barahir, Beren, and Men stand in a group near the centre of the camp. Snow is well above their knees. All are wrapped in furs, most still look cold and weak.]

Barahir: [firmly] Let those whose heart wander to quieter places feel no shame before their comrades. You have proven yourselves loyal men, each and every one of you. If our people are to survive our wives and children cannot long be left to their own protection, for only the gods know what dangers they face while we fight our battle here.
Urthel: Lord Barahir, speak plainly. What are you saying? Barahir: I am saying that those who wish to leave may do so, with my blessing and without recriminations from their fellows. I hold you no more bound to me by oath, nor by any other bond.
Man 3: We’d freeze if we try to leave now.
Man 2: We are freezing here. What difference?
Man 4: I would like to see my wife again.
Radhruin: I would like to see anyone’s wife again, but I am not leaving.
Gildor: Nor I.
Hathaldir: Do not even ask!
Urthel: And I call any man who does a coward, whatever our lord says.
Barahir: Then you forsake the oath you swore to me, Urthel. If I give them leave to go why should you find trouble with my decision? Those that leave serve all of us by caring for our people in exile, freeing those who stay from worry about their families.
Man 1: [steps forward and bows] If you mean this, my lord, then I will go. And I bless you for the chance to start a life elsewhere.
Barahir: You have been a strong arm in our battle, my friend. Use that strong arm now to protect our people. Take those who would follow you and leave quickly, before the next storm hits. The Pass of Anach should be clear enough, if our foes have not fortified it since last we were there.

[Barahir exits right. Camera follows, then pans back to Men. Some enter shelters and return with packs, some gather talking among themselves. Gildor, Radhruin, and Dagnir stand apart. Beren and Hathaldir join them.]
Dagnir: We were few enough before this. How does Lord Barahir expect us to fight a war with only a handful of men?
Gildor: Fortunately for us the best among us have stayed true.
Radhruin: So we will be able to make a better last stand, with none to tell our tale. [glances about] Where is Gorlim?
Dagnir: He left at first light. Probably he has gone to pass the next storm with his wife in that cabin.
Gildor: I wish my wife was here.
Radhruin: I wish I had a cabin. Warm and dry sounds about right now.

[Hathaldir looks down at the snow, glances mischeviously at Dagnir, then nudges Beren. Beren smiles and nods slowly. The pair scoop up snowballs and hurl them at Dagnir and Gildor, who howl and return fire. Camera pan back on snowball fight, Fade.]

* * * * * *

Aragorn: [voiceover] By the time the hard winter finally lifted, Barahir had only twelve men left to follow him:
[Camera fade in on Aragorn and Eldarion, as we left them, by the campfire. Counts the names off on his fingers:] They were Arthad, Baragund and Belegund, Dagnir, Dairuin, Gildor, sharp-eyed Radhruin, Ragnor, Urthel the Giant, Gorlim, Hathaldir the Young, and of course Beren, his son. The rest had all been slain by Orcs, died of the cold, or returned to their families.
Eldarion: They were cowards!
Aragorn: [serious] No…they were men who recognized that the fight could not be won and decided to draw back and fight again, when their chances were better. I might have done the same, if I had been given the same choice.
Eldarion: [considers, thoughtfully] Then why did Barahir stay?
Aragorn: I am not certain of that either. Perhaps his pride would not allow him to abandon the land of his forefathers, or it may be that he saw some promise that we cannot imagine. In any case, spring came and it must have been a great relief for those brave Men who had survived the winter as best they could. Unfortunately, spring also meant that Sauron could begin his search for the rebels in earnest . . .

[Camera fade back in on Dorthonion, in spring. New grass and small flowers decorate the valley, early leaves dance in a light breeze. Camera pan down to Cabin. Eilinel emerges, carrying a basket over one arm and a small knife. She is clearly happy, humming a tune as she walks toward the edge of the forest. She bends and searches through the new growth, cuts some herbs, and lays them in the basket.

Camera shift to trees, focus on one of the red-haired Uruks hiding in the brush. Uruk grunts, licks his lips, and a satisfied grin spreads over his face. Four red-haired Uruks join the first, all look eager.]


Uruk Captain (Gorgol): She will be a valuable hostage. Take her alive!

[Eilinel draws close to the forest. She tests new growth on a bush, draws her knife to cut some twigs. Orc 1 seizes her arm. Eilinel screams and slashes the Orc’s hand. Orc 1 releases her, surprised. Eilinel runs for her cabin, with the Orcs after her. Some Orcs cut her off; Orcs surround Eilinel.]

Gorgol: Surrender, woman! It is useless to resist.
Eilinel: [brandishes knife]
Uruk 2: [laugh] What do you think you will do with that little blade?
Uruk 3: This will be most enjoyable – for us!
Eilinel: [straightens,assesses the odds and realizes all is lost. Looks past the Orcs to sky and trees.. Camera close focus on face. Whispers] Gorlim! Farewell… [drives knife into her own throat. Orcs scramble to stop her, but they cannot. She dies instantly. Orcs draw back, camera focus on Eilinel, smiling in death.]
Uruk 4: [surprised] Who would have thought . . .?
Gorgol: [dismissively] Pick her up! The Master may yet have use for her.
Uruk 2: [eagerly] And if he does not, she looks like good meat. [Uruks carry Eilinel into trees. Camera follows. Cut.]
* * *

[Camera pan Tol-in-Gaurhoth, focus on Tower. Camera shift through upper window to Study, where Sauron is examining Finrod’s maps. Uruk Captain enters, agitated.]

Sauron: [looks up from map] Speak.
Gorgol: [bows] My lord, we return with success.
Sauron: Obviously, or you would not have returned at all. The Rebels are dead?
Gorgol: No, my lord.
Sauron: You took them alive?
Gorgol: [nervous] No, my lord. But we know how to find them.
Sauron: [fingers tap impatiently on map table] Say on...
Gorgol: One of them has a cabin in the hills where he visits his woman. We have brought her here.
Sauron: [smiles and nods] Most excellent…bring her in!

[Uruk Captain motions toward door. Uruks enter, carring Eilinel’s body. They drop the body on the floor and retreat to door. Sauron loses smile as he realizes she is dead. He moves forward, examines body…lifts Eilinel’s head, turns her chin to see wound more clearly.]

Sauron: [taken aback] She took her own life?
Gorgol: [nods] Before we could stop her, my lord.
Sauron: [straightens, muses, smile returns] I wonder what reward Mandos will prepare for one who has killed herself? [to Uruk Captain] She belongs to one of the Rebels, you say?
Gorgol: [nods] Indeed. Most devoted they are, if you take my meaning…
Sauron: [appreciatively] You were right to bring her here. Keep a watch on this cabin…when her husband returns he may be most cooperative. [returns to map table] Also, your men will no longer patrol Dorthonion. Send Captain Urgl to me.
Gorgol: Yes, my lord. [bows and exits, shutting the door.]

Sauron: [Glances at painting of Morgoth on the wall: muses out loud… ] Our victory is drawing near, Master. I can sense the end coming closer with each new development. I savour the nearing end of these troublesome Rebels. [a knock at the door. Sauron speaks loudly] Enter, Captain Urgl!
Captain Urgl: [enters and bows, obviously eager] My lord.
Sauron: [turns to Captain Urgl, praising] You are prompt…excellent. Dorthonion is pacified. You will resume patrolling immediately, to maintain control.
Captain Urgl: Yes, my lord! [chuckles, rubs hands]
Sauron: You are dismissed.
Captain Urgl: [bows, exits]
Sauron: [to himself ] And when the orcs' incompetence has pacified the Rebels sufficiently, my pets will fall upon them and complete the conquest. So shall my triumph be accomplished. [Camera pan over Study, shift to Window. Camera focus on Sirion, trees. Fade.]

End of Episode
*********************************************************************************

_________________
There is magic in long-distance friendships. They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound.
~Diana Cortes


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