2. 2. Things are Different Here
The two stood in silence for a moment before Éalwyn moved from her place behind the Captain’s desk and spoke.
“Your desk, sir,” she said, softly. “I apologize for the disarray; I had hoped to get further before you arrived.” She fidgeted in her place, eyes on the floor.
“There is nothing for which to apologize; I greatly appreciate the effort,” he moved to stand before her, lifting her chin with his fingers, “I am grateful for your assistance.” Bright green eyes darted around the room, refusing to meet Erkenbrand’s rich hazel ones. He stepped back, knowing his size might be intimidating. Taking a seat behind the desk, he looked at the scattered papers and sighed. He did not even know where to start!
Éalwyn spoke up, “There is nothing in those that needs immediate attention…” she faltered, “um, Sir. Perhaps you would like to meet Fréarid? He was Capt…I mean Lord Grimbold’s Second.” She began to shuffle though the papers again. “I just need to find…ah here it is; the weapons request.” She picked up a quill and began to write.
“I think that would be wise.” The captain stood and strode out the door. As he entered the anti-chamber, he noticed a guard writing on the duty roster. As he approached, he noticed that the soldier was changing names on the schedule. Erkenbrand found that odd and addressed the man. The Rider turned in surprise.
“Are the men of the Hornburg in the habit of picking and choosing their duties?”
The smaller man stared and found his ability to speak had fled. “I, that is…yes, I mean no… Um… Colmáse?” he finally called out, still eying the large stranger.
Éalwyn approached the two men, one looking slightly terrified, the other disapprovingly. “Oh! Hesgar this is Captain Erkenbrand. Sir, Hesgar is one of your éored.”
“That gives him right to change the roster?” The thought unnerved the captain greatly. It seems that while Grimbold was gone, discipline went by the wayside.
The woman looked at the roster and, giving the soldier a reassuring nod, spoke again, “They are only exchanging patrols.” Erkenbrand raised his eyebrows and crossed his arms waiting for her to continue. “This man,” she pointed to the crossed off name, “is expecting his first child within the week. His wife has been weak as of late and he fears for her and the babe.” She squared her shoulders. “I gave him leave to find a replacement. It is how things have been done in the past. However, if you wish to stop the practice, I will post a notice and have an announcement made.” For once, she looked him in the eyes, silently asking him to give it a chance. He held her gaze and then looked to his man. Nodding, he gave his silent approval. The young soldier smiled and quickly finished the change.
“Thank you, Sir,” he said with a bow.
“It is not me you need thank,” the captain replied, looking at Éalwyn. She just smiled as the man gave a quick bow and left. “How long has this trading practice been around?” he asked skeptically.
“My father started it with Théodred’s blessing. He found moral was better and for the most part, trades were handled fairly and he rarely had to intervene.”
Erkenbrand thought about the idea for a moment. It made sense if the men remained true to each other and their agreements. “I have much to learn for I fear things are different here than in Edoras.” He followed his aide into the training area. As they approached, activity began to cease, eyes turning to the tall, man accompanying their little Mouse. One man stepped forward and addressed the group, “What are you all staring at? If this were a battlefield, you would all be dead! Back to work!” In a flurry, training commenced. “Captain Erkenbrand, I assume,” he said, fist to his heart has he bowed. “I was told you would be arriving.”
“Fréarid has served the West-mark for nearly five years though only recently becoming Lord Grimbold’s second,” Éalwyn said by way of introduction.
The young man gave a curt nod. “And I am honored to serve you now as well, my lord.”
“I am glad to have your help here my friend and I am no lord, only a simple Rohirrim.”
The younger man smiled brightly, “As you wish, Captain.”
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.