4. Royal Help
"My lord, we have lost 5 of our men, 4 horses and 10 of our men are injured."
The young prince and Marshal of the Riddermark nodded. "Burn the corpses of the Orcs. I don't want those foul beasts rotting on our green plains. The injured will return to Edoras. The deceased will be brought back to the capital as well to receive a proper burial there. As for the horses, we must conduct the Releasing* ceremony for them. "
"Yes, my lord."
Those arrangements were being made and the villagers who had survived helped the Riders out. The injured were being tended as good as was possible and prepared them for the journey to Edoras. A small part of the éored would stay at the village to help rebuild it.
The next morning, after the injured and deceased had left, Elfwine and Léowine discussed the last arrangements. "You're in command of the men here. After the area has been secured you will return to Edoras. "
"And you, my lord?"
Elfwine mounted Wingfoot and placed his helmet on his head. "I'm taking the rest of the éored with me to hunt the rest of the Orcs down. The band we fought was very small, while the scouts reported of a very large warparty. Alnoth has found several tracks in the western direction. I am going after them."
Léowine bowed. "Aye, it will happen as you commanded, my lord."
The éored was assembled and Elfwine blew his horn as a sign of departure. And then the Riders of Rohan took off.
Elfwine led his éored across the plains, sending out the scouts time after time, to see if they were following the right track. The threat of the Orcs should be dealt with now, before they could harm any other of the settlements in Rohan. It was his job to protect his people, not only now but also later when he would be king. His determination caused him to urge Wingfoot to go faster and the éored quickly followed their captains example.
The sun was already high in the sky when they at last caught up with the Orcs. The foul creatures were seeking shadow to escape from the burning sun. But there were not many trees on the plains and so they found no way to escape the searing sun. Elfwine felt the blood of his ancestors rushing through his veins as the lust for the battle took control. He unsheathed his sword and blew his horn. He wanted to let the Orcs know that they were coming, for they were on his ground and they had no advantage here.
And so the Riders stumbled upon the Orcs. They mingled among them and overbore them with their horses. The Orcs were screaming and fought back. The hooves of the horses were everywhere and the Rohirrim sang their battle songs. Elfwine jumped off Wingfoot and threw himself on an Orc. The Orcs were many and there was no time to see how everyone was doing. Suddenly he heard a fearsome cry and looked up. Alnoth was fighting three Orcs, who were determined to bring him down and they were too strong for him. Elfwine quickly dropped his sword and grabbed his deadly bow and arrows. He took aim and shot.
As he did so his flanks were off guard and so he provoked an attack from the side of the Orcs. They did not hesitate and immediately used the opportunity to their advantage. Elfwine dropped to his knees as he was struck by the foul creatures. His bow was dropped to the ground. Quickly he tried to reach for his sword, but the Orcs were faster. They kicked his sword away and grabbed the young prince of the Mark.
It did not look good for the Riders. The Orcs were stronger than anticipated and could handle the sunlight. They were much tougher than usual. Alnoth saw how his captain was being molested by the Orcs. They were beating the life out of him. Elfwine felt his strength leave him. He had tried to fight the Orcs off, but now he could not bring it up anymore. He felt himself getting weaker and the only thing he heard was the sound of the fists, the feet and the weapon clashing.
The sudden sound of a blowing horn pierced through the air and the thundering sounds of approaching hooves reached the ears of the fighting company. A cloud of dust was closing in and from out of that dust came a group of fifty riders who came straight towards the battle. They were led by an older man and next to him rode a younger man with a star on his left shoulder. They were both dark haired and one the older mans brow shone a red sparkling star. A banner was unfolded and a dark banner with a white tree and seven stars was revealed.
The Riders under Elfwine's command started to cheer. "Gondor!!! Gondor for Elfwine!!"
Now it seemed the odds had turned against the Orcs. They were outnumbered by the knights of Gondor and the troops were fresh and unharmed. They made quick work of finishing the Orcs. The Orcs were defeated and the survivors did not know how quickly to flee when they saw who it was that had come. After the Orcs had left the battlefield, the two front riders dismounted and walked over to the side of the young prince, who lay on the ground. They were Aragorn Elessar, King of Gondor and Arnor and his son and heir Eldarion.
King Elessar kneeled down near Elfwines side and quickly examined the young prince. He frowned as he saw the injuries. Elfwine then opened his eyes and mumbled weakly: "Is it over?"
The Dúnadan nodded gently and smiled. "Yes, Elfwine."
"Good, that is good. How many horses and people did I lose?"
"That is not important now. You must rest."
Elfwine shook his head. "Can't rest. Must take care of my people."
Then the son of Éomer lost consciousness. Elessar lifted Elfwine up and turned to his son. "Eldarion, make sure the injured of prince Elfwines éored are able to travel back to Edoras. Bury the dead. Elfwine is in need of immediate aid. I am taking him to Edoras as quickly as possible. I will meet you at there."
Aragorn mounted his horse and was handed Elfwines unconscious form by his son. Then the King quickly motioned his horse to make speed and soon disappeared out of sight.
It happened as the King of Gondor and Arnor had commanded and soon the injured were prepared for their journey to Edoras. They had suffered heavy losses, men and horses. It was a black day.
Authors Notes: Here I will give some explanations for the terms Ive been using in the story.
1: éored: the main military division of the Rohirrim, normally consisting of one hundred and twenty Riders. The lords of the Rohirrim can put it to use as they see fit.
2: The Releasing Ceremony: a ceremony that is performed by the Rider when his horse has died. He carries a bracelet of the horses hair. That is being cut and burned and the horse as well, if it can be retrieved.
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