Characters: Thrain's army at the Battle of Azanulbizar
Warnings: battle's bloodshed, all pretty dark and despairing
Book/Source: Appendix A 'Durin's Folk' in LoTR, but the events took place earlier than the book's setting
Disclaimer: all JRRT's creation, not mine
Note: for the coins challenge
Payment in kind
Beyond their love of jewels and greed for gold, cold anger and bitter revenge burned ever brighter in the memory of the dwarves.
Few coins of little worth, but they were never forgotten. Nor was the sorrow and weeping and tearing of beards they brought.
Nor was the paymaster.
Impaled upon a bloodied stake, the orc’s head grinned grotesquely with the rigor of death, the small money of the blighted purse dribbling from his lips as if still laughing at their pain.
No songs, no feasting. Grief beyond assuagement, vengeance soured.
And behind the gate’s shadow, a greater darkness lurked.