The woodmen and Orcs pressed closer from all sides; the sky was grey in the hour before dawn, and no help arrived for the Rohirrim at Helm's Deep.
The men were tired; tired, and convinced that they were going to die.
"It is hopeless," said an old, grey-haired man, who limped as he walked. "Nothing can save us now. Erkenbrand is too late."
And even as he said that, the Orcs stopped their advance; some turned, as if to run in fear, while others brandished their crude weapons in fear, waving them defiantly at the foe facing them.
"It is Erkenbrand!" said someone excitedly. "Erkenbrand has come!"
"It is not," said another. "For Erkenbrand was to come with his army, and this man is alone."
And then they heard it: the low, throbbing, note of a horn, loud and bold, and every man that heard that sound felt braver, and faced the intruders with redoubled vigour.
A man faced the Orcs, and with his sword he struck savagely at them, and indeed he had already slain many.
"What is that?" asked someone, and for a moment there was a small undercurrent of fear among the men, for reasons which none of them could identify.
And then the cry went up from another, along the line far away.
"Helm! Helm strikes against the enemies of Rohan! Helm is come again!"
Men took up the call now, and rushed out to meet their foes, confident that they would win.
"Forth Helmingas!" they cried, and they clashed swords with all manner of fell foes, and the sun rose in a golden sky.
And the man who had inspired them fought, and fell, and lay on the ground.
He was just an ordinary soldier, not a king from bygone days.
But he had helped his fellows more than anyone knew, or could possibly know, for he had gifted them with the will to go on.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.