The Tramp of mailed feet echoed through the Encircling Mountains.The host that had come through the Mountains three days before had been well stocked and provisioned and full of the valiant people of Gondolin The seven walled city.Now the army had lost a quarter of it's strength due to Morgoth's demon army that had clashed with The banner of Fingon and the Seven sons of Feanor.What resulted was the Nirnaeth Arnoediad,The Middle earth's worst battle ever,and ecthelion knew it too
Gildor received Tugions summons, and hastened to his halls. "I have a quest, which only a few valiant warriors who work in secret can accomplish. It shall make the city of seven names (not walls) forever remembered as the chief foe of Morgoth. You will be a part of that quest." GIldor looked up grim-faced, "yes my lord."
"I should be not hard to find," said a voice behind Gildor.It was Ecthelion. I will break the news to the guard,then i will find Floi and Nalchar so we can get started." Gildor was silent for a moment then spoke up:"Lord Turgon needs this to be done and it shall be done,Ecthelion my captain and kinsman i shall be at your side wherever you face danger."
That night,as Gildor was wandering in the dreams of Lorien,Ecthelion and Turgon were having a council of war. Sothey talked deep into the night until they decided what would be done with the probing fell beasts of Morgoth."My lord Turgon we must go in secrecy or our strength shall be found out,we must employ our ways of victory through swift arrows and bright swords,but only in secrecy shall we be able to beat the dark lord,maybe." "Yet you say maybe,but you are my captain of the guard,and you know best in matters of arms,we shall beset our foes with the steel of Gondolin!" Ecthelion looked thoughtful as he headed through the doors of the hall.
That dawn,Ecthelion and the others,were taken on the backs of Eagles and flew for a moment out of the beautiful city of Gondolin.They were going light carrying nothing but the weapons that they had intended to bring.All carried bows but each had their own specialty.Gildor's was a spear.Not a flimsy piece of wood that men made,but it was out of the ore of the earth,forged in the armory of Gondolin.Ecthelion was expert on every kind of weapon,Floi wielded a axe,Nalchar a great bow of Mallorn.The Eagles set them down but said:" Tis the order of the king,if any of you bring peril on your heels,Gondolin will be shut to you,and you will die in the barren peaks of the Encircling Mountains.But farewell and may the light of Varda and the Air of Manwe delight in your company." With that the eagles flew in their graceful and majestic forms of wing. Ecthelion raised his hand and said:" First we shall ambush a host of spiders come from the Ered Gorgoroth,then our band will come from behind and split the cursed wretches apart." That is it,move down this peak before it becomes impassable with snow."
"I remeber what Huor had spoke of before he was slain:From our peoples shall the fate of Middle earth become fate. We must burn out these foul creatures so that the simple Men,our kindred the Eldar not enslaved by this malice of Morgoth Bauglir may not choke out the light of the children of The One." We will track the paths of the spiders and destroy them,for then if they join the orcs they shall befuddle our senses.Don not let them bite you for they will spring upon you with sudden strength," said Gildor. Ecthelion lifted his voice above Gildor's: " Let's be off,we tarried here to long.Nalchar lead the way if you may."
"We shall never ambush spiders, for their webs will already be about the land, and they shall ensnare any who venture to close." Spoke Gildor.
"Then what would you have us do?" Replied Ecthelion.
"We may make a loose ring about them, and thusly encircle them with fire. None would move towards the flames, and the circle would close tighter as the fire grew. None would be unscathed, and the survivors slain before help could come. First, however, we must search the lands about them that no foe, orc or spider, could come upon us from the outside. For if any report to Morgoth we will share the fate of the Mormegil."
Suddenly Nalchar stood fast, and his face was grim "You council for the burning of an entire countryside, which is hardly more than that host shall itself shall do? How then can we call ourselves the protectors of Middle Earth?"
Ecthelion looked at the elf with a face bright and terrible. "A pasture is worth a chance to smite our foes. We are no longer the protectors of Middle Earth, we are now the lone survivors."
"You are not going anywhere without us," called a voice from behind." I bring news from Glorfindel,who was worried that too few had been sent.Eight score he commanded us to go in,and we shall be needed before the end i deem." "Your warriors might endanger our mission,but i do not grudge you to come with us.We have many leagues to travel yet,and we are going light,so come,quick and fear no darkness," said Ecthelion. They picked up their weapons and followed Floi,who knew the lay of the land better than any.Soon they darkness was laid upon Arda like a thick heavy fog and the elves even with their eyes could find it hard to see three feet in front of them.They made camp that night in a hollow next to a twisted old beech tree.They did not use a fire for Gildor said it would attract the very creatures they were hunting for.Days and nights followed and still Floi read the path.With out notice,he raised his hand for a stop and said:" We have picked up their trail,for we have turned around to their flank soon we will be upon them,and they will rue the moment the spread their hideous webs in our Mountains!" " I can even smell spider from this distance," said Gildor. "Oh but their is no distance,i have keener hearing than any of you and can hear their foul sounds here," murmered Ecthelion." Their close."
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