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Bones of the Earth

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Azaghâl never thought he would die beneath the stars. 

He was no fool. He always knew he must die one day; he was a Son of Mahal and death was his kind's due. He should feel the chill of Belegost stone this day, draw strength from the bones of the earth that had ever succored him. Pawing at the earth now, he found only scorched grass and pebbles. A poor substitute.

Still, stone was stone. The soil here was gravelly, too much like rock face to grow anything more than weeds. And the skies above were inky-black. There were stars, aye, twinkling far overhead, but in its own way this sky could almost be a cave's ceiling. All around him the men of his guard sung the beginnings of a funeral dirge. Their booming voices, the beat of his heart, the memory of Gothmog's cry as Azaghâl had finally driven him back: a song like drums in the deep.

Azaghâl never thought he would die beneath the stars, but did that matter, truly? He swallowed hard against the blood and bile rising in his throat and let his eyes close. No; Dorthonion was not so foreign a place, after all.