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The day was dreary, set in the hills of northern Ithilien. Deep within the glades and trees of the grey fog the captain of the Ithilien rangers wielded his bow. Bergil, son of Beregond, pulled an arrow to his string, still and steadily. The wind had no movement that morning, only a stillness and cold that struck the heart. Fog danced about the morning air, stifling and thick. The dispatchment found a small band of orcs traveling amidst a broken stream, perhaps stopping for rest and water.

The rangers hid themselves in the foliage of the bushes and greens, bodies perfectly blended like hunters of the forest. Faramir stood nearby with his face half-masked under a cloth of black. His hand was up on signal as he gestured the company to wait. …owyn, who was no differently dressed from the men, save for the tight braid of her golden hair, stood under the shadow green of a brush with an arrow ready on the notch.

Silence befell the invaders who drank out of the stream. The man who appeared to be their leader, a head-shaven man built like an orc, seemed to shift his eyes throughout the glade as if in search or in simple caution. It was uncommon to see men like himself; Men who bore the protruding jaws of an orc yet much like a human. His skin was dusky, dark and almost black, however he stood tall and straight, with his chest plunged forward and brute arms back. He looked much like an orc, yet in those eyes were the soul of a man. They were identified as half-orcs, although in this spied pack there were also orcs of pure breed.

The rangers of Ithilien were silent, waiting for their moment of opportunity. When the band began to pack and head further down the river, Faramir called aloud in a clear voice: “Leave this land, or face the penalty of trespassing into the lands of Gondor without leave!”

For a moment the men looked to the point of fear, though their leader laughed openly, and he began to speak out in the Common Tongue, “We have trespassed what our great Emperor has deemed our land, you say? Do not waste our time and show yourselves Westerners, feel our wrath if you dare!”

Bergil, ever the loyal servant, stepped forward and exposed himself, still intent with his bow. The leader ran his eyes from the floor to the tip of Bergil's hood, and scowled, “My men will overrun you.”

Then there was a sudden sound of blades leaving their sheaths, breaking the silence of the morning. At the comment Faramir also left his place of hiding, stepping over the bushes and away from the guise of tress, as well as the rest of his company, elves and men alike. When the captain of orcs understood that he had been silently surrounded by these pale-faced men, he narrowed his dark eyes. “You take away what is ours?”

“It had not been yours to take,” Faramir said, “Leave this land, as I have said before.”

The leader defiantly spat on the dewed grass, and drew out his sword, “My claims do not seem to convince you, man of Gondor.” His men then advanced forward steadily, although Faramir did not signal to begin combat. “Perhaps if I spill your blood would you believe me.” His eyes widened and he gave out a hoarse cry.

There was a sudden run of men and orcs in red, crashing into the green clothed rangers from Gondor. The men cried out names and words that were completely foreign to the ears of the Westerners, however convincing enough of their madness. Faramir immediately threw himself into a duel combat with the captain, grinding swords with a man-orc far more bigger than himself.

…owyn walked through the shadows of the trees, drawing out her Rohirrim bow and striking each opponent several feet away. When her arrows were wasted, she found that a large orc came at her, and throwing the bow aside she drew out her sword, Beowine, and bashed her blade into the arm of her enemy. From the corner of her eye she caught a glimpse of Faramir. He was surrounded, and was outmatched because the enemy spearmen began to circle around him.

Her bright eyes began to perceive that, if she did not hurry, her husband would be pinned down with wounds that she would not be able to heal. She ran down the small slope of the battle, and raised her sword screaming out. The orcs and orc-men turned their heads at the sound, and were for a moment stunned to see the visage of a woman hacking off limbs and stabbing guts relentlessly. Was this the fair White Lady of Ithilien, whom all believed to be a healer? Their enemies could not believe it to be, for she was fierce, though her will came from the desire to protect the one she loved most.

She hewed the bodies of the spearmen, one by one, until the remaining were led away.

The orc-men began to retreat, however their leader's pride had kept him to where he was. The orc captain battled Faramir, receiving countless slashes and stabs, but unyielding until the point of death. Faramir found a second opportunity, and pierced his rib, slowly sliding the blade further in, however not mortally killing him and only wounding him.

His grey eyes blazoned while he watched the warm blood overflowing behind the man-orc's yellow teeth. The Lord of Ithilien told him, “Surrender! Your men have abandoned you!”

The large man fell to his knees, and …owyn watched from a distance. However she gave a sharp cry when suddenly Faramir felt a stinging pain at his side. With his comprehension Faramir did not have to glance down to understand what had happened. He stood there with his eyes fixed upon the man-orc, and saw the slight grin upon his red lips.

“I gave you mercy,” Faramir said softly between clenched teeth.

“Noble man you are,” he struggled, “but stupid as well.”

There was a whizzing sound, and Faramir felt a splash of blood to his face. An elf did not stay far away, and at a distance he had shot the orc-man's skull through with an arrow. …owyn rushed to her husband, fearing the worst.
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