The Battle of the Crossing of Poros

Chapter 9: The Battle Ends

by Barahir-(V)
November 26, 2005

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    The Horns of the Rohirrim were blowing, bringing sweet music to the ears of Hallas. It seemed they would break his heart with joy. Ever afterwards, when horns were blowing at a distance, tears would be in his eyes as was now.
    He then sounded the Halt Horn and the whole host halted. Even the enemy cavalry halted and began to retreat south, seeing new armies and foes to be fought.
    The cavalry of Ceorl rode to his side, and when Hallas and he clasped hands, Hallas said, "Aiya! How come ye here? We thought you were out of reach for our aid. More wondrous is this day. Thus we meet again, though once all the host of Southrons were between us."
    Then Ceorl said, "Yes, though I thought thou hadst perished. But the tale of my arrival is not for now. Come! War calls us. Never was meeting of friends more joyful."
    Hallas replied, "Twice blessed is aid unlooked for. But we lost many whilst thou were coming south."
    Ceorl taking up his bow said, "Then let us avenge them ere we speak of them"
    Then the battle waxed furiously on the vale of the Poros. The enemy cavalry rode back to the main host, as the Southrons began to make ordered ranks to hold a defensive position at a mere hundred yards from the fords, while they bought time to wait for the Mumaks and the army of Khand to cross the fords. But this
would be slow, because even though these creatures of the desert thrilled at the sight of water, they were afraid of crossing large bodies of water, much less a river.
    Now, the din of arms arose with the singing of horns and cries of the men and neighing horses. All the men prepared to do battle in a fresh round. The fury of the onset of the sons of Folcwine had betrayed them into incurring losses far greater than what they would have received if they had retreated and fought later, though they had utterly overthrown the front of his enemies.
    Meanwhile the armies of Gondor marched ahead of the Rohirrim. The spears and swords of Gondor drove through the enemy, who in their confusion had placed the pike men at the front, expecting that the Rohirrim would charge first. The pikemen were slaughtered because they were not good against other
infantry. The soldiers of Gondor drove through the ranks of the pikemen and contended with their counterparts.
    Then Hallas and Ceorl together sounded their Charge Horns and the whole host thundered towards the enemy. The soldiers of Gondor made way for the Rohirrim to drive through their common foes. They drove through the enemy, for the enemy was still unprepared for the sudden onset of the Rohirrim, and the arrows of the riders of Ceorl were like black serpents falling from the sky or rain tipped with steel. The defending ranks fell. Then they drove through the enemy, driving their foes to ruin. Great battalions of their riders and their allies drove through the Southrons.  Then the Mumaks of Harad attacked. Many of the riders were thrown into the air, and many were literally walked over. But still there was hope.
    Only three had crossed the river and two were crossing the river as the other five were still waiting to cross, blocking the army of Khand from entering the fray. The brave archers of Ceorl rode near the monsters for a shot at their eyes or bellies. Then a hundred arrows whizzed through the air and nearly all landed on the nearest of the Mumaks. The monster was felled, albeit with great loss as it fell towards the archers. Thus perished Kenobi, archer of Rohan. The great monster's carcass blocked some of the enemy from them.
    Then suddenly it hit Hallas. He knew the last thing the cloaked figure was telling him to do. They had to fight the Haradrim, for it was now or it would be never. Now because they had the aid of Gondor and the archers of Rohan. Now because the Haradrim were currently unaided as the armies of Khand and the Haradrim were separated by the river; they were going to cross the river as soon as the monsters had crossed the river. But for now the Haradrim were unaided. And as long as they were unaided they could not win, as the cloaked figure had said. For now, the Haradrim were unaided, and Mandos wanted Hallas to keep it that way.  
    But to do that, he had to block the river… To do that he had to…
    Hallas suddenly shouted to Ceorl and beckoned to him and said, "Stop fighting the monsters that have already crossed the river. I want to you to fire everything you have at the two beasts that are crossing the river now. I want you to do your best to bring them down as they are crossing the river. Not before and not after. Go now! I'll take care of the rest. Just take them as they are crossing the river. That's an order."
    Ceorl saluted him with growing comprehension in his eyes and said, "Aye, milord." Then he departed, calling all his archers towards the fords.
    As this was going on, Hallas was attacked in the rear by the last of the cavalry of the Haradrim and could not protect Ceorl. The pikemen now drove through the archers of Ceorl, but they did not waver from their task of assailing the monsters that were crossing the river, though they suffered much loss.
        The Mumak drove through the riders of Hallas. Then the soldiers of Gondor came to their aid. They attacked the cavalry of the Haradrim with long spears as the riders of Hallas charged at the Mumak, cutting at its legs. The great beast thrashed many of their riders and stomped many and the darts from the siege tower on its back also killed many riders. Finally the Mumak was brought down and then the spearmen drove their spears into the heart of the monster and it was felled.
         Hallas looked towards Ceorl and saw that some of Southrons were still hacking at his riders while all of them were focused on the Mumaks at the crossings of the river. Then the foremost of the beasts fell with a great splash, but did not die. Ceorl and his riders let fly another shower of arrows at the face of the beast and it died. Then they continued to fire at the remaining monster with all they had. Most of his riders had spent all their arrows and were now throwing spears while some of the Southrons still attacked their rear.
    Ever and anon some regiment of the Haradrim would attack Hallas and Ceorl suddenly and they suffered some loss against them as the soldiers of Gondor were still fighting the main host without aid from the Rohirrim. Hallas saw their peril and took half of his riders and rode against the main host of the Haradrim, while the rest guarded Ceorl and his riders. The renewed attack of the riders threw the enemy off-balance, though they had to clash with the pikemen that were attacking their flank. Then they heard a great cry as the Mumak crossed the river, swaying jerkily.
    Then Ceorl charged alone and threw his last spear and hit the monster directly on its knee and the monster fell on the tusks of the already fallen beast with a great splashing. Blood oozed from its great belly as it died.
    Thus the fords of the river was blocked, preventing the armies of Khand from passing into Ithilien or the other Mumaks from crossing the river. Thus the Haradrim finally fought UNAIDED.
    The hosts of the Haradrim stood still, seeing their predicament. The fords were almost completely blocked and the only way across was by climbing the carcass of the monsters, which would not be effective though possible.
    Now the field was almost decided: Hallas had four and half thousand of his men left who were unwounded of which some five-hundred were unhorsed. There were about four-thousand of the footmen of Gondor still left fighting. There were about eight or nine-thousand of his foes still left standing with one other Mumak.
    Thus the men of the south found themselves between the hammer and the anvil, the hammer being the riders of Rohan who along with the archers and spearmen rushed at their foes under the banner of Hallas, and the anvil being the steadfast men of Gondor who were cutting their way north and advancing south steadily on their millennia old foes. South strode Hador, and men fled before his face; north rode Hallas, and men were crushed under him.  The rout of the Haradrim commenced.
    For though they were brave fighters, they did not understand warfare against horsemen nor could they fight on for two straight. They were also like Orcs, easily defeated and frightened and routed if without a leader, as was the case.
    Their lord Maul was already slain by Hador; their chieftains were mostly slain. Sidous was trampled by the charge of Hallas; Vader died fighting Hafastan but Hafastan was himself slain; Doku was slain by the archers of Gondor; Diavalo, the mounted champion of Harad and undoubtedly the greatest warrior on the field, killed almost all of Adrahil's guard and killed Fastred personally, but he himself was slain when a Mumak fell on him
    But in this way, many of the Haradrim fled the field, whether back to the river and scarcely crossing the carcass of the monsters, or to Belegond, where they were eventually rooted ou,t or with Revan to Khand. But still some four-thousand held their ground against foes, only a thousand less than twice their number of which almost half were mounted. So in this way they fought, for the Southrons were bold and fierce in their despair and asked for no quarter.
    The Last Mumak was slain. The army, trapped south of the fords of Poros, saw the doom of their northern counterparts, and a black dread fell on them knowing that they would perish if they did battle with their Allies, the Haradrim. So they, like cowards, fled back south, taking the remaining mumaks with them. The Haradrim, seeing their allies deserting them, quailed and lost all hope of victory. But Revan, their second greatest lord and warrior of the Haradrim, wisely hewed his way out of battle, after seeing that there would be no victory, and led part of his regiment of a thousand east, and went along the Poros and into the Kingdom of Khand and finally back to his homeland, where his people licked their wounds and bided their time.

    When they again invaded Gondor, they were led by Malak, Son of Revan, the Black Numenorean and bearer of the black Serpent who hated the Rohirrim more than the Numenoreans. This way the men of the West fought on water and land, under hillock or hill, till the battle was won and not one living foe was there within a five mile radius.
    The captains of the host headed back to camp at dusk sending messages of victory back to Endost and Harost. But all of them were weary and sad beyond the joy of victory. No few had fallen and many were yet left maimed upon the field. The spears shriveled Hador as he fought unaided and alone. Hafastan slew Vader, but he himself was slain as his foes circled him; the axes hewed him as he fought alone and unhorsed. Kenobi was slain by the fall of a Mumak. Analin was killed in the battle as he refused to flee. Both Darash and Assant were slain as they led their archers to aim at the face of the remaining monster. Galdor, Lord of the Falls and regent of Harost, was slain as he was hit by a dart in the eye. Afterwards many songs were sung about the battle of which almost none were recorded in scripts. They later buried Folcred and Fastred side by side on the field after the fashion of the Rohirrim, and it was called Haudh in Gwanur, and the foes of Gondor feared to pass it.

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