Fantasy & Sci-Fi

Albinor Chronicles Chapter 15
"The Fall of Merry Hillman"

By Marcus Pan

April 12, 003

It was a cloudy day in the shires. Mist rolled slowly over the ground and the fiery sun shone its rays upon the camp. This camp, fifty strong of the Hill Shire's best soldiers, has awoken at daybreak on the foot of a great hill barely a mile's ride from the border of Forestia. Merry camped with his men. Three assaults were planned on the traitorous country of Forestia and his was the first. His army of knights will ride into the forest and cut off a thirty mile by ten mile stretch of land therefore taking 300 square miles of forest land back into the shires. "But what of the knights of Baggins Treebeard? They are strong and skilled in blades of steel." Merry had asked Fangorn days earlier.

"They guard Castle Teleman. They do not head so far south in Forestia ever since the Battle Between the Trees." Fangorn grimaced with the remembrance of the terrible loss at the face of Baggins and his knights. "We can cut across in a few days and retake 300 square miles of land for the shires."

"And of his subjects? Won't they mob against us?"

"Nay, 'tis doubtful. I am sure they wish to be of the Five Shires, not the folly of Forestia. They will fall in with the knights of the shire, Merry." exclaimed Fangorn.

"I suppose. I ride at daybreak."

Barely two days of travel got him and his troops to this camp. And this morning he will lead his men to battle. No aggression is expected, for 'tis true all of Baggin's knights lay fifty miles to the north. He doesn't even expect a blade to be drawn, nay, only cheers from the populace as the shire knights gallop through reclaiming the land for the Five Shires. This assumption was a fatal mistake. Merry's thoughts of undisputed victory will be shattered. "The men are mounted, lord. We are ready to ride on." said a young man in bright chain mail armor decorated with the livery of the Five Shires.

"Very well. Let us be off to take back what is ours." The company of the hills rode off, reaching the fenced-off border of Forestia within an hour. With a swing of his sword, Merry snapped the wire fence and with a yell to his men they stormed into the forest.

What Merry and his men came upon next, none anticipated. The people of Forestia had noticed the camp of Merry and his knights the night before and gathered. Fangorn was wrong when he assumed the people would not mob, for they stood behind King Treebeard when he split from the union. The people of Forestia for ten miles around gathered to meet Merry and his men to force them off their land. They used any weapons they could find hammers, hoes, picks, knives and others. Over 500 people stormed into the ranks of the knights. The battle was terrible, screams and shouts rising from the carnage. Knights fell, their armor covered in blood and dirt. People of Forestia fell, steel biting and drinking of their blood. People attacked Merry Hillman, dragging him from his mount and overwhelming him while others continued to clash his armor with hammers and garden hoes. Others took the shortswords of the fallen knights and attacked and killed all those decorated with the livery of the Five Shires. The livery flags were burned and replaced with flags of Forestia. And after the carnage, not a single of Merry's men stood.

Piled over the Forestia border into the shirelands the broken blades, dented armor and bleeding bodies of the once-proud knights were placed in mounds. And atop this the corpse of Merry Hillman was placed.

The above item may have been edited by the author since its first appearance in Legends No. 40.