The Battle of the Crossing of Poros

Chapter 5: Endost

by Barahir-(V)
October 30, 2005

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    They came in sight of the gate of garth of the Endost when the sun turned red. The fortress was actually a part of the Emyn Arnen. The Endost stood in this fashion: the south base of Emyn Arnen had a slightly jutting shelf in it. The water that poured from the top during rains that were not infrequent, slowly but surely drilled into this great shelf of the hill. These created a huge hollow space within the mountain itself. This was so huge that it could contain all of Minas Tirith along with the tower of the guard. This huge empty space within the mountain created a space for dwelling for the Numenoreans when they first began to build the kingdoms of Gondor and they built the triple fortress: Harost, Endost and Farost. Of the three, only Farost was destroyed. Sauron, the vanquished dark lord who attacked Gondor in its youth, destroyed it. He invaded all of Ithilien and burnt the white tree in Gondor and lay siege to Osgiliath.
    The Numenoreans decided to create the three fortresses in Ithilien to resist any invasion from Mordor or the Haradrim. The first was the fairest with many fountains and falls with the bright springs and cool sunlight. This was the Farost that Sauron destroyed in the Second Age. The Numenoreans next built this great fortress in great secrecy. They had little to do after they found this hollow part of the mountain. The built many mini-shelves where they planned to pose archers if any siege occurred. They created many windows or henneths. These provided sunlight for the whole of the fortress. These windows were so craftily constructed that they gave sufficient sunlight, they did not drip much water during rains and they neither could be easily detected because the skill and the cunning of the Numenoreans had not waned in the days of Isildur and Anarion. Gurthdin of Lorien was the one of the three elves to see this. The other was Legolas Greenleaf, the friend of the returned King. Gimli, son of Gloin was the only dwarf to have seen it.
    The Gate was carved and hewed out of the soft part of the shelf. This gate was made of the very rocks of the hill and was as strong as the gates of Minas Tirith, but taller and ruder than the majestic gates of Minas Tirith. On the gates are inscribed in Anduniac: “I shall shield my dwellers with rock and stone”. There was a path but small in width; three horses could ride abreast. The path came as they turned after some distance from the road. Without Gundor they would have never found it. There was another path going west of the gate.
    The Host rached the gate but it was not open. Gundor called to the lords of the Hosts and said, “Hear my words, Lords of the Host of the West. We have reached the fortress that few outsiders have seen. This is a very great place and is not the least great due to its secrecy. For this, it has also been called Gondolin, the Hidden rock. But we defend it yet lest it should fall like the previous one with the same name. Of this fortress you shall speak to none save King Folcwine. With this oath ye shall enter here and abide here. But you are not under the command of Galdor, Lord of Endost, but still under the command of the sons of Folcwine. Do you consent to this?”
    “Aye” said Hallas, Folcred, Fastred and Adrahil.
    “Then, enter!” shouted Gundor as the great gates of Endost opened.
    The Gate opened, but it opened inwards for it is a mistake for any gate to open outward though it may look greater. The whole host lead by their leaders passed through the gates. Hallas caught his first sight of the interior of the fortress. It was indeed a huge space that cannot be easily imagined even if explained by mortal beings. To him it looked like an entire sky but lo! It was not partially dark with bits of sunlight coming through the henneths but it was dimly lit like the fading dusk, for the walls of the Endost were covered with glowing dust like the ones on the Aglarond, the Glittering Caves. For the same reason this was called Aglaria, the Glowing Emptiness; for indeed it was mostly empty with a few stairs on the mountain shelfand few houses and the many pavilions of the army. Many were awed by the sight of the eerie light green glow. Many of them, including the lords of the host, stopped to admire the greatness of the fortress that shone in the like of the jewels of Varda or her stars. Then as if stirring from a trance the whole host moved forth. 
    They came within sight of a golden-haired man in his prime standing tall with the badge of Gondor. This was Galdor, son of Haladin the Lord of Endost.

    “You purpose to send us to Harost or even to the crossings of the Poros?” asked Hallas of Galdor.
    It was the night of March 11 in the Shire Reckoning. They had assembled their host and sent them to take rest in the tents of Gondor for such was prepared for them. While men and horses rested, the sons of Folcwine, Ceorl and Hallas came to counsel with Galdor and Gundor. The supplies sent by Lord Turin had reached Thurinlond, the secret haven by the east bank of the Naduin to which the other path from the Endost led. The supplies had reached the fortress by noon and were being stored by the wardens of Endost. Galdor already said that he had sent two batches of scouts to the crossings of the Poros to return and report back of the enemy when they came within sight of them. Galdor was counseling them to take their host and go south to ride till they met the enemy and engage them. For they would have estimated that the Haradrim, after encountering the guard of the crossings of Poros and the might of the army of Harost, would be reduced to five-thousand or less. The Rohirrim would take them at unawares in Ithilien or if the Haradrim were slow, near the Belegond, the rock-like hill near the crossings of the Poros. But where the Harost was, he would not say. The sons of Folcwine and Adrahil showed their approval of this counsel, but Hallas alone seemed to oppose it because he did not want to face the army of the Haradrim at some unpredictable point or alone without the aid of the warriors of Gondor.
    “Yes, Master Marshal of Rohan. As I have explained, the Haradrim are expected to reach the Poros by tonight. They would fight our army stationed at the crossings tonight or tomorrow. You are a numerous host. They will have a pitiful six or five-thousand only remaining. You can rout them easily for your host numbers seven-thousand and five-hundred. It is known that every horseman takes with him to death three or four of the enemy’s infantry in a battle. You, along with the might of the twin fortresses, can win easily
    “What say, brother, of this counsel?” asked Fastred of Folcred.
    “I reckon this is a pretty good idea because the Haradrim would not have much of an army and they would be certainly not prepared for us,” replied Folcred.
    “ I was thinking the same thing,” said Fastred.
    “What about you, Hallas?” asked Folcred.
    “Well, I agree the counsel is wise, but I still say that we should not venture forth into a land we know not, nor know of the battle-field.”
    Fastred considered him for a moment and turned to Adrahil and asked:
    “ What say you, Lord of Dol Amroth?”
    “ I agree with you lord, and my group shall ride with your command even into South Ithilien”
    “Then it is settled. The host shall ride forth after midnight, giving the host five hours of rest.” Said Fastred.
     Hallas was dismayed, but he could only consent to the will of his lord. 
    Galdor replied,  “Wisely chosen, lord. I will prepare for your host and give some guides and a few supplies. Gundor, who knows South Ithilien, will go again with you. Meanwhile you shall rest for the great ride south and for battle.”
    “It is well then,” replied Folcred.
    Then they were all dismissed and each of them went into their their beds and slept while the men of Galdor announced to the host that they would be moving again in five hours and they better get some rest lest they or their horses fail in battle. The warden of Endost began to load the supplies on the horses. 

    While sleeping a weary sleep, the dream came back to Hallas again: The cloaked figure in black hovered in the ever-lasting darkness and cried:

    "War unaided will not result in victory!" 

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