The stone beneath her feet was stained with blood, both the crimson that had flowed warmly mere hours earlier through the veins of the free men of Rohan that had served, it lay mingled now with the thick black blood of the Orcs. So did the bodies lay, thrown about as carelessly about as a child's toys that had been broken, Indeed so many had been broken in body but not of spirit, they had preserved and lasted the night despite the doubts of many that even this may not be achieved.
Those whom had still had the strength to do had already began to the terrible task of seperating their fallen brothers from those whom had slain them. Many had been rendered by blade completely beyond reconization Bema, Help us Was her silent whispered plea. There was a eerie quiet within these walls now, where only a short time earlier they had rang with the sounds of battle, the constant clash of steel meeting steal, the war cries of the men who had valiantly fought to keep the walls raised with those who had been struck and were now dying.
The battle has been won...but at what cost of blood?
It held a quality that hardly felt real, as though she were walking in a terrible dream from which she could not readily rise. Though the acidic smoke stung her eyes and caught in her throat, she wondered slowly amongst the great carnage that had become of so many of her Kin, with great disbelief.
A touch upon her "Lady, Come away from here" came the careful murmur "Leave me" Eowyn spoke without turning, her eyes fixed upon a soldier as he extracted a young man no more than perhaps seventeen summers from beneath the large form of an Orc, not so much younger than herself. A shudder ran through her and only then did she yield to the gentle direction that guided her away. There was not yet a laement to be sung for the fallen, no words in the tongue of the mark that could fully express her sorrow and so she did not speak, her heart was too heavy to be lifted into song.
Vaguely she remebered a carved wooden goblet being placed into her hands, she traced the fibre of the wood as he stared forward, she felt the shape in her hands for it gave her something to focus upon and reason not to meet the eyes that studied her so intently, though she felt a warm flush spread across her skin.
A touch upon her soft cheeck, a hand which was un-gentle and slightly calloused much like her own brushing against her skin, lips that met against her own and for that time she did not think she simply was as grief and weariness was worn away from her body, brushed away with every carass. In every touch there was such need and she felt it within herself as well.
It was not great love that had brought them together, but a desire that burned and demanded that it be quenched. For what little time there was that they may do so, neither gave thought to what stirred beyond this room, both equally loosing themselves in the giving and receiving of pleasure.
Afterwards, both wordlessly dressed as a silent understanding was reached between them and neither would deceive themselves into believing it was anything more than what it had been. For comfort, may be found in a great many forms, and in the after shock of the Battle of the Hornburg, there was a great need for it.
Some months later
This night a storm was raging over the lands of Rohan, horses stood stalk still in there paddocks heads lowered as the rain drops collected and rolled away from there coats as they simply waited for the rain to pass over them. Though for a time the rains had subbsided,and save for the distant rumble of thunder in the distance, the land was strangely silent, peaceful.
Sheets of rain lashed violently against the side of the small dwelling, but the cabin was too well and carefully built that it did not allow the smallest drop of moistur to seep inwards.
Though within this place another storm was growing, as a tall strongly built man walked ceaselessly the length of the space before turning sharply on his heel and repeating the action of walking the lenth of the room.
A small dark haired woman who was busying herself near the hearth cast him worried glances, which had grown more and more frequent as the long hours had dragged on, and early evening had turned to night, which would soon be met by the dawn.
Eomer knew very little of the mysterious ways of women, but he had felt certain that such things were not meant to take so long. Foals, he knew this for fact, could be born and on there feet, at the dams side within minutes.
A small, nearly inaudible sound brought Eomer’s head sharply around, the woman was speaking gentle coaxing words so quietly it was though she aimed that he would not also hear. Eomer had seen but, but even the smallest sound that was coaxed from her lips of discomfort, or should even the smallest hint of pain cross his dear sister’s features, it caught him like a blade to his side.
There was a time where he had believed himself able to protect her from all trouble, all hurts no matter how great. Even the memory was painful as he recalled a time where he had found her broken body amongst the fallen, her already fair skin the color of Simbelmyne petals and garbed strangely in the clothes of a soldier. For a long moment he had beheld here there, seemingly in death and believed this to be a cruel jest, that somehow his eyes deceived. Madness had taken him, madness borne of sheer grief for he had beheld both the fall of his King and now one dearest to him.
The hands of a healer
Indeed they were, for they had summoned Eowyn the brave back from the darkness. Aye, a healer but a friend also, a great leader of men....a true King. There were few, of either the living or the dead that Eomer held such high regard for. They had fought together, facing the bitterness of great loss and savoring the sweetness of victory together, as though it were the finest of wine.
Eowyn, he had known from very early had also been more than slightly taken. Never had he seen her act in such a way, though after a time he had begun to understand why her affections could never be fully returned.
Eowyn cried out and Eomer was at once by her side, grasping her hand tightly and silently willing her to take a hold of his strength for he silently willed it to her
Ah, strength he knew she had but it was waning for the pains of birth had begun when the sun was still high above all, now it had sunk behind the mountains and the moon held court over the night sky, It had been too long he thought again.
For too long now she had endured these pains in total silence, Eomer’s grasp tightened a fraction as he sensed that it was perhaps nearing its end, or so he so feverantly hoped.
When she had first come to him, he had been overjoyed to see her for never had they been parted for such a length of time, he had ordered a feast be made ready and she had quietly asked that this not be so. They had spoken in his private chambers, and Eowyn had spoken of her plight while her hand rested on the gentle swell of her growing belly.
Eomer had marveled over what he had initially failed to see, and greatly hoped that others had missed as well, he did not bother to ask how this was so for he knew full well how such thing had come to be. Another trouble to burden Rohan’s King as he fought to rebuild lands that had been torn apart by the war's of the Dark one.
Still there were many without homes and lands upon which to grow food and raise there herds. Many had been lost in duty to him, and he could not ignore the suffering of those families left without. Eowyn was of his flesh and blood, he knew he must also lend her his help during this time.
Under any other circumstances Eomer would have rejoiced and had word sent to every corner of these lands, now he felt torn and conflicted by duty and love, friendship and loyalty. It had been he whom had decided that such thing must be kept secret, and he had gone through great lengths to maintain this.
It had been difficult, but no more difficult he imagined than what Eowyn had kept secret for many months. While he questioned it, Eomer had realized sometime ago that his sister was truly masterful in hiding away her true self.
Another cry pierced the night and Eomer physically flinched, for such an effect did it have upon him and then....nothing, Blissful silence. Eowyn’s head fell back against the bed and her eyes fluttered closed, though Eomer could still feel the delicate flutter of her heartbeat beneath the skin of her hand that he still tightly held within his own, though now it had become more for his own sake, to reassure himself.
The woman, Veena, slowly rose to her feet and held in shaking hands a section of blanket that had been hastily torn to shreds. It was bloodied
Veena cowered before the King, lowering her eyes as though she was offering some great god of old a sacrifice. Eomer knew that there were times where if the mother or child grew too weakened, one or both could perish and his sister had labored many long hours...
Eomer silently accepted the bundle from the womans trembling hands and at once he was overtaken. Nay, he had not wished for this, but he would not have wished for this! Ah Bema! Please! No!
Eomer clutched the still bundle to his chest as he blinked back the tears that threatened to overtake him completely.
Then a small mewing sound, a weak plaintive sound. Eomers breath hitched in his throat and in two long strides crossed the room and was through the door, carelessly slamming it against his hinges as his feet did not make full contact with the steps.
The rains had past by them now, and the air smelled fresh and clean. By the silvery light of the moon, he first beheld a small face that was wrinkled and a mouth of pink toothless gums, the tiny chest quickly rising and falling as it fought to draw in breath Breathe Eomer silently urged Breathe deeply of the night air!
Then at long last the child’s first cry rang through the night, loud and clear and also, Eomer thought to himself, somewhat triumphant. Drawn fourth by the shock of the cool air first meeting the skin of the newborne.
Those who had accompanied him rose from where they had waited nearby, waiting out the storm from outside out of respect for the privacy of the Lady.
For a time Eomer had waited amongst them, but when his concern for his sister had grown too great so he had gone within, for what little good he felt he could do there.
Now he felt at a slight loss, his mind had been set upon what he must do next. Or was it truly? If he wasso certain why would he question his choice now?
The infant had begun to fuss and Eomer wished that he would simply be still for a moment and allow him to think, Having not come unprepared, Eomer called one whom had journeyed with them forward with a single gesture, a young woman whose dark eyes glistened from beneath the hood of a heavy travelling cloak.
There was no need for word or command, and Eomer wordlessly pressed the child into her arms, and sharply looked away as though he could not stand another moments contanct. This was the one who he had choosen and would care for the child for a time, he turned but then over his shoulder added to his already silent command “You are sworn to silence by oath and honour, remember this”
Eomer re-entered the small home though only a fraction of the pace that he entered, and at once he felt Eowyn’s sharp gaze set upon him though he met it. Why do we do such things? He questioned himself, feeling sick of heart and spirit.
Itis for the greater good of all he fought to assure himself of this, grant himself some comfort himself in this fact that he acted...rightly.
A silent question moved between them and he wrapped an arm around the slender shoulders and drew her against his chest "Rest now, dear Eowyn..." was all he murmured and she wept, unabashedly and he drew her near to him, stroking her long flaxen hair until her trembling subsided and he knew that she had passed into sleep. Bowing his head, he gently kissed her brow “I am so sorry, dear sister” He murmured against the crown of her golden hair “Forgive me”
Distantly he heard the sound whinney of horses and the sound of hooves against the earth, though it had been softened by the rain as half of the party departed, while others had been given order simply to wait. All were of men of his guard that held his trust, he did not worry for their loyalty.
This night he would allow Eowyn to simply rest, undoubtedly she had already seen too many sleepless nights as a result of this.
This would not been an easy parting, and he would not deny her this, but he could give her this, a chance a new beginning. To spend her life with whom she truly loved, a life of comfort and great happiness. all of which she deserved for her deeds and sacrafice.
For this he also wished for another, may her life also be long and blessed. Dark times had they all seen, and Eomer knew that he must wait out this storm, and only time could ease the keen hurt that he also felt as once more duty placed itself before the will of his heart.
This is taken from an interactive story that I have been writing for quite sometime now and includes other OC's and not just my own, the chapters which include the writings of others shall be marked.
Author's Chapter Notes:
I would like to dedicate this story to two ladies who deeply inspire me, and who without the crafting and writing of this story would not have been possible.