3. Chapter III
But his eyes had not strayed to her words immediately, as his look was drawn towards the device engraved upon the blank side of the paper. Green shield and white horn, cloven in two. Emblems of the Lord and Lady of Emyl Arnen. A new coat of arms for the House of Stewards, reborn out of blood and ashes.
Although the young King saw it for the first time not even a full year ago, he had come to know its design well. It was one of Faramir’s many wedding gifts for Éowyn, and Éomer had to admit that the man had good taste when it came to matters of heraldry. “And other things,” Éomer reminded himself softly.
Faramir had come to him and Aragorn for their advice and consult on the design. He said it was to honour the past, both people and their deeds, but also to be a reminder that those days are over and that only future held true promise. The green shield for the Lady of the Shield-arm, the name Rohirrim gave to their beloved Éowyn, and the cloven white horn for the one who had fallen, but will always be remembered. For their courage, their love for their peoples and for the memories of what was, and is, and shall ever be.
Éomer sighed and shuddered. The memory of that day was all too near. Blood and darkness and the sound of clashing steel. The day he believed he lost everyone he ever loved. The day he became the King.
He walked over to the window and looked upon the great mountains, towering high above Edoras. Rays of sunlight were striking against the snow and reflecting back in all their terrible brightness.
The Shadow had departed.
It was time he found out the mind of his sister.
“My beloved brother,
We talked much last night, and yet I believe you did not understand me as clearly as I wanted you to. The years of silence have made me more difficult to comprehend, I am afraid, and that is what this letter hopes to mend.
I am leaving the House of Éorl once again, my brother, and for this kind of leave – taking, I ask your forgiveness. It is almost four months since he left, and two since the last tidings reached me. Ever since I stood upon the steps of the Golden Hall, empty plains stretching before me, barren of the sight I long for - my husband’s return. Every time I close my eyes, in my mind I go back in time, always waiting… first for our father, then Théoden King, then you, my brother.
’Tis a fate worse than death, waiting until all those you love have perished and there is nothing but darkness. I can wait no longer. My heart and soul are ever with Faramir, and my body shall merely follow their path. I have not spoken of this to you before, because you would have tried to stop me…”
“Damn right I would!” growled Éomer, already tightening the belt with one hand, and upholding the letter with another.
“… and that I could not have allowed to anyone, not even my brother, the King. Bear me no ill will, Éomer, for doing what I must do. By the time you read this letter, I will already be far upon my way. Do not follow me, I beg you. The war is over, but Rohan is still vulnerable to the attack both by the scattered bands of Orcs and foreign armies of Mordor, however broken they may be. Our people need you more than I. It will comfort you to know that I do not go alone, because Beregond of the White Guard follows me like a child follows his mother… by Faramir’s orders, no doubt.”
“It doesn’t comfort me. Not at all! Beregond? What does he know of trailing the enemy in a land he has never seen?” he muttered, pulling on his boots, and yelling for his guard.
“Not so long ago, I went searching for death, and instead I found a man who gave me life I never believed I could have. All I could give him in return was my love… but now I have a chance to reclaim his life, and I shall not fail. Have faith, my brother.
Your sister, Éowyn, Éomund’s daughter.”
Éomer looked up from the letter as the door opened to admit a thin, lanky individual who stood quietly awaiting orders. “Halas, my horse! Hurry, for I have a great need of haste.”
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.