Fantasy & Sci-Fi

Albinor Chronicles Chapter 11
"Battle Between the Trees"

By Marcus Pan

March 15, 003

Baggins Treebeard rode swiftly fro Shoring after his confrontation with Casey Port. Casey was being tended for his near-fatal, javelin wound that the Forestia king inflicted on him. But the terrible wound did not kill him.

Treebeard left the trail and skirted through the Clearland Shire, making his way sneakily past Shireville in the shadows of the night. He urged his mount ever onward, hoping to reach the safety of his castle on the outskirts of Forestia. He trotted up a small hill. He struck the trail and headed northwest upon it for the safety of the trees and his castle of Teleman. He reached his forest in about a half-week of travel.

As he rode up, a few of his castle guards stood before the portcullis. "Lord Treebeard," they called as he rode up to meet them. "The men of Warden Plains' are a day's march fro our border." said they.

"Ah, they come so soon. I expected they would after my confrontation with Warden Port. I left him for dead in a pool of his own blood on the streets of his city. We are ready. Let them come. Assemble a unit fifty strong. Quickly, within the hour." He then tethered his horse and entered his castle.

Fangorn Plains led his fifty men steadily on, northwest up the trail from Shireville. He speeded his attack after hearing of the fall of Warden Port, mortally wounded only days before by Treebeard's swift blow.

'After about two days on the road they noticed a rustle off to the left of the trail. They had already entered Forestia merely hours before and were trodding on a trail that lead through the dark forest to Teleman. About 50 feet ahead of them, the figure of a man on a horse came up out of the woods and onto the trail. In the low light, it was hard to tell who the figure was, but the bright tree painted on his breastplate was unmistakable. "Treebeard!" Fangorn called. The figure turned and gave a startled glance at the company of men. His eyes widened and mouth dropped at the majestic sight of fifty Five Shire troops, all in bright chain mail shining in the falling light of day.

"Leave me be," called the figure. "I order you and your company out of my kingdom of Forestia and off my fair trail. You have passed the borders of my realm without consent and with obvious intention to cause malice for it's king, myself, King Baggins Treebeard. Leave at once or I shall spill your dark blood on my soil and fertilize it with your remains." This he said in a stern and commanding voice.

"You are not in any place to barter by yourself, fool. I know from whence you come. From Shoring and your battle with the warden of the coast. Nay, he is not dead as I'm sure you had hoped, you menacing fool. And your bluff is not taken. You ride alone this day, traitor. And I shall carry you to Shireville in a gunny sack to face trial for treason." There were loud murmurs of approval from the company of men. Baggins smiled. The trick he had painstakingly planned for hours had worked. The fools truly do believe he is alone. A surprise he has indeed. For all of them.

"I give you a final chance to turn your troops around and head back whence you came, Warden. I am king here." said Baggins.

"Nay, I say again." Turning to his troops, Fangorn shouted to them, "Take the lonely rider!" A surge of fifty men overcrowded the trail, rushing forward in ranks of five men each. There were ten ranks, fifty men in all, not including the warden. At that moment, knowing Plains would not listen to his reasoning and turn his horde around, Treebeard rose his longsword above his head. The steel blazed in the dusk's low light. There were many loud twangs from around the trail, the sounds of bows being drawn. A volley of arrows flew from both sides of the trail, piercing the army of Plains. Men fell, screaming, arrows piercing their hides. More arrows came and the sickening sounds of bows being pulled taut came like a loud sound of death itself. The warden knew he had been fooled by the trickery and cunning of the forest hobbits. He surged forward on how powerful steed, brandishing his shortsword and flying towards Baggins. Baggins met his blow.

"You do not think I'd travel alone when such fools are after my hide, do you Plains? I told you we are a separate country now, no longer part of your precious shires. And I bid you to leave me alone!" Baggins yelled. His men began to surge from the trees, surrounding and slaying the plainsmen. Arrows flew, blades struck and the sounds of battle issued forth.

"You are a traitor to your liege, Baggins. I will not acknowledge the existence of Forestia, your country of bickering tree slugs. This is shire land and I will drag you down." the warden said back. Plains swung his blade and Baggins swung his. They engaged in a vicious melee battle while their men did the same. The trail began to run red with blood and arrows tipped in red littered the ground. The fallen clogged the path, but the battle word on unheeding of them. Piles of dead men lay against the walls of trees on either side. Splotches of blood gathered on the dark trunks and low-hanging boughs of the surrounding woods. But by trickery and cunning the hobbits of Forestia beat back the plainsmen. Fangorn Plains himself turned and, with a loud shout, called his standing men to retreat and regroup. Barely a dozen men heard the call and retreated down the path. The warden, bleeding, sweating and smeared with dirt, kicked his steed down the trail, racing as arrows flew by his head coming dangerously close. His broken shield lay on the trail behind him at the scene of the battle. His company of men who returned fro the defeat were few. A terrible defeat it was.

Baggins called his troops to order. The living men, and few lives under his command were lost, were gathered before him. The trail was cleared and the survivors of the plainsmen were slain by the king. The bodies were thrown off to the sides into the forest as he said he would do to fertilize his lands. His own men, the few that fell, were taken back and given a great funeral and buried behind Castle Teleman. And Baggins and his men enjoyed a great feast in honor of their first major triumph in this civil war. A feast to honor the Battle Between the Trees.

And back in Shireville, Plains gathered the other wardens, Port included as he has recuperated from his wound somewhat, and a great plan was made.

The above item may have been edited by the author since its first appearance in Legends No. 22.