Sep 26, 2021 9:09 AM
lay of leithian, or, why decima is no longer allowed to propose thread ideas while manic
Next Post »
« Previous Post
+ Show First Post
Total: 1856
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

"Makes a rematch extra important, then."

Permalink

"We'll have to put you somewhere non-critical, if you're going to be distracted watching me."

Permalink

She snorts. "I'll behave."

Permalink

"There, there, dear. I know it's a trial."

Permalink

Kiss. "Perhaps you can reward me after - if I'm good, of course - for completing such a difficult task..."

Permalink

"Mmm, if that's what it takes..."

Permalink

"Proper motivation makes everything easier."

Permalink

Nuzzle.

That just leaves the final planning - much of which Mygwainor can handle, with Luthien's support on the diplomatic aspects (Mygwainor's deep knowledge of the timeline and also who she stuck in each role helps, here, though many of the Noldor are among the people they at least distantly befriended during their Aman loop).

Permalink

Not that they can officially use that knowledge. But still, it helps.

Permalink

At least in the background... But they do have to be careful here, yes.

(Mygwainor gets increasingly tense as the planned battle approaches. She organizes Doriath's forces into scouts and irregulars and archery and medical support - they don't have the drilling needed for good infantry or cavalry, and it's better to leave those to the Noldor's standing armies than to try and play catch up. They'll be working with the Men in those positions, too, and the Sindar are still rarely fond of the Noldor - better for morale to put them with people they get along with, with a people they've spent the last few years helping and have bonds among. She'll be leading a large division of the Men - they respect the House of Beor, still, and her deeds have earned her renown - which she positions to work with Luthien's own command.)

(She speaks at meetings, too, keeping only to knowledge Beren could have, of the possibility of traitors, the machinations of their Enemy... It might not catch the nearly inevitable betrayal - but it'll hopefully reduce the impact of anything, and might lead to forewarning. She cautions them against relying too strongly on one clever plan, works the Sindar and Men into backup plans.)

(They aren't allowed to prepare unhindered, too. Orcs and werewolves and stranger things nip at their edges, focusing especially on breaking supply lines and killing messengers wherever they can - the Sindar prove vital, there, better able to avoid interference...)

(There are a lot of long days, leading up.)

Permalink

Fighting for the future was never going to be easy. Luthien's wife is a source of strength for her, and, she hopes, vice versa.

Permalink

"You are, my Ellin. Always."

Permalink

Kiss. "I love you, Mygwainor."

Permalink

"I love you too, darling." Kisses!

Permalink

A welcome respite from war planning.

Permalink

A needed one.

Permalink

She's pleased to oblige.

Permalink

Perfect.

They'll make it through. 

Permalink

Through anything, together.

Permalink

She kisses her most wonderful wife.

Permalink

And then to the grind of war.

(This is familiar. She was a warrior as Turin, not a soldier - but she has put on the general's hat more than once in the many lifetimes since. She needs it, against Ares.)

(The default flow of this - two hosts. Fingon's hidden in the mountains to the west of the great ashen plains, Maedhros's openly marching from the eastern passes. The intent - to draw out Morgoth's forces, and catch them between the two hosts. It ends in disaster, always - not the worst plan if you assume your opponent is stupid enough to leave the safety of their walls, but, well. Perhaps the original Morgoth, when this plan was woven into the tapestry, was that dumb. Fate never has been. Ares as Sauron certainly isn't; a host openly marching across a barren plain to your mountain fortress is a great opportunity to test out your ranged weapons. Even if she sends her hosts out to meet the union, though - the commander of the elves of Nargothrond, among Fingon's host, breaks ranks when his captive brother is brought out and tortured, destroying the 'stay hidden' plan. Fingon's host follows them, and they make it inside the gates of Angband - where the inevitable trap closes, slaughtering many. As for Maedhros's host - betrayed by the Men under Ulfang's command, delayed, beset by a sudden rush from Angband - scattered and killed. Turgon's host had come unlooked for, and stayed out of the initial rush into slaughter, coming forth to rescue Fingon's host - and then the combined hosts were again overwhelmed, Fingon slain, Turgon in a retreat brought only by the life of nearly every member of the House of Hador - including the capture of Hurin...)

(She's pretty sure she can avoid that much disaster.)

The known hosts - the elves of Hithlum under Fingon, the elves of the Falas under Cirdan, the men and elves of Nargothrond under Finrod, the men of Brethil under Haldor, the men of Dor-lomin under Huor and Hurin, the Noldor of Eastern Beleriand under assorted children of Feanor, the men of the east under Bor, the men of the east under Ulfang, and the dwarves of Belegost under Azaghal - and, this time around, the elves of Doriath under Luthien and the scattered House of Beor gathered under herself as Beren.

They need Morgoth's hosts to take the field, even when it's very clearly a trap. Sauron - probably doesn't have full, unambiguous command, and she knows how the simulacrum will act -

So, the simulacrum needs to think she's being more clever than her enemies, and the bait needs to be shiny enough she'll risk it. Not too hard. The simulacrum is Fate's personality filtered into the shape that'll follow Morgoth's steps, and, well.

Fate is actually pretty incredibly reckless at a fundamental level. She enjoys gambling. She's arrogant, but - not actually very attached to winning any particular game without a significant stake, more than the simulacrum's life could offer. It's honestly no wonder the simulacrum is driving Ares-as-Sauron up the wall. (She learned caution eventually, but the simulacrum is far closer in lived experience to Fate-as-Turin than to Fate-as-Mygwainor.)

Karin-as-Celegorm thinks 'taunt Morgoth with the stolen Silmaril and then ride away very fast' sounds hilarious. Convincing everyone else is... A bit of an uphill battle. But she does it eventually. (Everything they can do is going to be obviously a trap, anyways, might as well get the simulacrum into a playful mood about it. She'll make more mistakes, like that.)

Setting up ambushes off of that is incredibly easy - she positions the forces better at woodscraft near the front of the pass Celegorm will be heading for. Doriath, the men loyal to herself, Haldor, and Hurin and Huor. They'll let any pursuit past them. Heavy infantry deeper in, everyone else graded between - Ulfang's very-likely-to-be-traitorous forces given a flattering but actually entirely useless position they'll have trouble striking at the other forces from...

 

It almost even works.

 

Well, they do crush the forces Morgoth sends out. They lure Glaurung over a trap that exposes his vulnerable belly - Mygwainor is more than a bit viciously satisfied with killing dragons. The battle spills out of the ambush, Ulfang turns on them, but they keep command of their forces - Turgon comes to bolster them, unlooked for, turning the tide back again -

If the forces of the Union are wiped out, they'll take the forces of Angband with them. Better than how it usually goes.

 

Her, Luthien, Hurin, Huor, and Haldor's positions are overrun in the first swell of chaos, the first time the order of battle breaks down. They scatter. Mygwainor regroups her men. She merges into Hurin's host, she mostly keeps in sight of Luthien's, though they have quite a few orcs between them -

(Mygwainor might have underestimated how much she's been annoying Sauron. Sending out this many of their maiar is definitely both reckless and excessive. At this rate, the two forces really will destroy themselves against each other. But it's successfully trapping her forces - her-Turin's father's forces - )

(She gets separated from Hurin and Huor, and sees, almost prophetically, the blow that will kill her uncle, whose wife is of Beren's House, who'd been so kind to young Turin - )

The charge she makes to rescue them is - reckless.

 

Huor falls, but he's not dead, and medical care could come - their position's been thoroughly overrun, and she should be retreating, she shouldn't be striking out like this -

Hurin has stood himself over his brother, ordered his men to retreat back to Beren's forces, his axe flashing around, slaughtering the orcs trying to press him -

Mygwainor - Fate - Turin - usually doesn't watch this part of the battle. Usually leaves the entire segment of Turin's life to the simulacrum, unless she's trying to throw this battle -

 

She gets to her target. She gets Huor moving toward the medics, bellows at Hurin to fall back, to return to his family, his people -

She faces the hosts of Angband with her sword in her hand and a snarl on her lips, and as a mortal she defeated Ares-as-Morgoth in single combat, once -

 

The tapestry doesn't really care about that, though. It cares that this battle is a loss. It cares about Hurin's capture, and Huor's death - it cares that Beren should have died years ago at the jaws of a wolf, protecting her father-in-law -

(Cousins are close enough, aren't they?)

 

'Oh, fuck you too, Eru,' is Fate's last thought, before Carcharoth - the greatest werewolf - tears her apart.

Permalink

She reorients in stone halls, shadowed, full of mist, the looming form of Mandos before her, staring at her with some puzzlement.

Fate crosses her arms and glares back.

Permalink

Luthien feels her wife fall. For an instant, she stills. A drop of blood beads at the end of her beautiful long sword. Hangs. Falls.

A ray of sunlight on one of the remaining clean patches on her steel battle-dress.

She screams.

She's still screaming as she pushes off, charging through the enemy's lines to her wife's side, scattering orcs like grain before the flail. A smooth arc cleaves Carcharoth in half lengthwise. It's not enough. It will never be enough.

Luthien falls to her knees next to the bloody corpse of her wife. She bows her head, tears falling down.

Permalink

Her next cry shakes the earth. She rises, a song of grief, of rage and terror, spilling forth. She fixes her gaze on the stronghold of the Enemy, the great hollowed mountain held up by the barest skein of magic. Her beloved's prison will no more survive this battle than she did.

Total: 1856
Posts Per Page: