The Black Riders Race to the Ford of Bruinen
Four of the Black Riders wait in the dark pines near the river, as five others race like a dark wind from the West.
The halfling is nearly spent, the Lord of the Nazgûl can feel his turning and the Ring is calling.
The afternoon sun is thin and pale as autumn’s cold fingers pull the last days of October’s warmth towards winter.
The black steeds of the Nazgûl race East, the wind rushing behind them like the coming of storm. The last rays of the setting sun turn the sky to fire behind them as they make for the ford. The Ring is calling them, it has been carried father and faster then they had expected, aid has come to the Ringbearer from Rivendell. However, night is fast approaching and their trap will soon be sprung. None will be able to stand against them when they are all assembled, because none will be able to endure the terror of their coming.
The Black Captain knows that four riders wait in the trees near the river and will cut off any last attempt at escape. The five riders come to a dark vale of pines, through which they galloped with great speed. When they reach the end of the wooded vale, the Lord of the Nazgûl emerges from the trees and there before him on the road is the Ring. The halfling has faded and is now almost entirely in the world of Shadow. A silent command is sent to the Ringbearer to remain motionless and wait for them. Other figures surrounded the halfling as he sits upon the horse, they are indistinct and grey shapes expect for one. An Eldar… and he is one whom the Witch-king has faced before, there is also another that stands with the elf… he is a man, but their is a strange light upon his brow. The Lord of the Nazgûl pauses to look upon this figure and a feeling disquiet tarnishes his deadly assurance.
Suddenly, the white horse springs forward making for the ford. The five Nazgûl leap after him, their black steeds riding down those who stand in their way upon the road. At the same moment the four remaining Black Riders emerge from under the darkness of the trees, two make for the white horse, as the others race to cut off any escape at the ford. The Ring is nearly theirs!
Somehow the white steed is able to break through the ranks of the Black Riders, even as they reached out to take the halfling. The hated horse makes for the ford with the speed of the wind. The mouth of the great black steed foams red and it’s eyes blaze as Lord of the Nazgûl rides the beast with the speed of the storm hot on the heals of their enemy.
The Nazgûl break through the trees where the road dips down to the rivers edge. There just upon the far shore sits the halfing. His arm and shoulder glowed pale in the waning light, he is nearly in the wraith world with them now. The leader of the riders spurs his horse forward to cross the stream, but his horse rears up screaming and stops at the waters edge. The hafling begs them to follow him no more and is greeted with spiteful laughter that rings out in the growing darkness… chill and deadly.
“Come back, come back, to Mordor we will take you!” They beckon with fell voices. “The Ring. The Ring!”
The Ringwraiths ride forth, crossing the water, but the halfling in a last effort to resist them invokes the names of “Elbereth and Lúthien” the very utterance of which stings them deeply. The Black Captain rises up in his stirrups and lifts his hand. The halfing collapses as if stricken upon the white horse. The Lord of the Nazgûl crosses the river to take the Ring.
From around a bend in the river a wild flow of water comes foaming and frothing as it bears down upon them. The leader of the riders spurs his steed forward in a last effort to reach the Ring, but it’s already too late. With screams of rage and futility the Black Riders are engulfed in the raging waters. Those that are left standing upon the far shore are met with the terrible light of fire and a shining Elvish sword that comes down upon them from the rear. The black horses are filled with madness and leap forward into the rushing flood as their riders piercing cries are drowned in the raging waters.
As the riders and their dying horses are carried down among the rushing waters, they struggled to break free of the wave that engulfs them. The One Ring was so close… almost within their grasp and now it is lost to them.
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