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First Blood by Erulisse (one L)

Author: Erulisse (one L)
Title: First Blood
Rating: PG (Battle)
Theme: May Challenge - Character Study
Elements: Your character sees something special and he/she has never seen before.
Beta: None - any and all errors are my own doing
Word Count: 544

Summary: Eowyn, riding in disguise with the Rohirrim to the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, faces war for the first time.

Author’s Notes: Disclaimer: Tolkien built the sand box; I only play with the bucket and shovel that he left for me. No money, profit or non, is made from the publication of this story.



First Blood


It had been a hard ride with minimal stops. What rest had been taken had been more for the sake of the horses then the men. The warriors would have continued to push themselves onward, but the lack of light and uneven ground meant possible broken legs for their mounts, something they would not allow.

As dawn crested the horizon and she saw the pale light hit the towers of the White City, her heart stopped for a moment. She remembered the tales of Gondor and the beauty of its chief city, Minas Tirith. She looked closer as the light slowly increased, seeing broken walls, tumbled stone and flames where there should have been none. Scanning down from the cliff she saw the fields of the Pelennor laid out before her and fear suddenly struck her.

Ahead was a vast, moving and seething carpet comprised of orcs, goblins and other servants of evil, all enemies of Gondor and Rohan, making an effective barrier between the Rohirrim and the blackened remnants of the main city gates. Even in the grey dawn, the cries of battle sounded from the crowded field. This was what she had come for. She was a shield maiden, a skilled wielder of blade from horse or on ground. Even though her training was accented by pats on the head and laughter barely held back behind her brother's hand, she had learned well and would not shame her training nor herself. The enemy did not care who or what lineage she was; they only sought her death as one more amidst the destruction of humankind.

She felt a slight tremble from the young hobbit who shared her horse. "Have courage, Master Meriadoc," she whispered. "Ours is the bright cause and our warriors are worth many of theirs. We will cut them down one at a time and each one who never rises again will be another victory for human freedom from tyranny."

The hobbit nodded and pulled his long-knife from its sheath, holding it at the ready ahead of him. She followed suit, watching in hypnotic wonder as the sun, suddenly gleaming out from a break in the clouds above, glanced from her tempered steel blade while the battle continued to rage ahead of them. Her uncle was speaking to the troops, something about a red day. She supposed it was a stirring speech, meant to motivate their forces to fierceness; but as she looked out and saw another tower fall to the enemy's catapult, she knew the men were far beyond speech.

The horns sounded and the horses began to surge forward. Faster and faster, they ran toward the seething mass of orcs and half-orcs who had turned to see what was coming upon them from the rear. As she reached the enemy and her sword bit into its first victim, she glanced up to see black sails approaching from the south. Her heart sank for a moment. She shook her head and pushing the dead orc from her blade, turned to cleave the next one in her path. She had no time to waste on black ships - she had to find and protect her uncle. She pressed onward, an unexpected soldier who should never have seen the killing fields.

Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
shirebound
May. 21st, 2014 11:58 pm (UTC)
This is beautifully written; I feel as if I'm right there with Eowyn, inspired by her "bright cause", finally exactly where she was destined to be.
engarian
May. 22nd, 2014 02:47 pm (UTC)
Thanks, hun.

This was a super rushed job, and as I re-read it now, I already see edits that must be made before this makes it to any of my other archives *sigh*.

But, I do like the premise and I'm very pleased that you were brought along with Eowyn into the fray of battle.

- Erulisse (one L)
dreamflower02
May. 22nd, 2014 12:39 am (UTC)
Oh, I love this bright, brave version of Eowyn, not driven only by her despair or her fear of being left alone, but also by the knowledge that she fights to help all Free Folk!

Wonderful!
engarian
May. 22nd, 2014 02:48 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much. Considering I missed the first call-out, I'm very fortunate that you assigned me such a perfect topic :-)

- Erulisse (one L)
lindahoyland
May. 22nd, 2014 03:05 am (UTC)
I liked this very much. It is good to see a different side to Eowyn that focuses on her courage.
engarian
May. 22nd, 2014 02:49 pm (UTC)
Eowyn was an extremely courageous (as well as sometimes a bit foolish) woman whose sense of honor overrode her basic instincts of obedience and peaceful existence.

- Erulisse (one L)
curiouswombat
May. 22nd, 2014 06:20 pm (UTC)
What a real insight into Éowyn at that moment.
engarian
May. 22nd, 2014 07:01 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much. Of all the female characters Tolkien wrote, Eowyn is one of my favorites. She's strong, resourceful, and nobody's fool.

- Erulisse (one L)
rhymer23
May. 23rd, 2014 08:03 am (UTC)
I like this. Very vivid! As others have said, it's nice to see another aspect of her decision to go to war. I particularly like how she turns away from the black ships (and therefore from Aragorn, although she doesn't realise it) and focuses on Theoden, whom she has loved for so much longer.
engarian
May. 23rd, 2014 01:34 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

I like Eowyn and I'm always a bit astounded that she moved from chatelaine to soldier in battle and came out without PTSD or other serious issues. War at that time and with those weapons was a bloody, hand-to-hand scene of total mayhem assaulting all of the senses. That she had the courage to go into the fray and came out of it with smiles and a man who cared deeply for his shieldmaiden was one of the best things about LoTR.

- Erulisse (one L)
paranoidangel42
May. 23rd, 2014 03:05 pm (UTC)
I liked this, seeing Eowyn's feelings as she sees Minas Tirith and the battle.
engarian
May. 24th, 2014 01:54 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much. I love writing her character. There's so much to explore there.

- Erulisse (one L)
blslarner
May. 29th, 2014 05:51 am (UTC)
Oh, yes, I can see these thoughts in her head at that moment. And even now her uncle is her beacon--she will protect him now as she could not do fully in the dark days of Wormtongue's ascendancy. Well done!
engarian
May. 29th, 2014 01:25 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for reading and commenting! I can't imagine Eowyn ever turning her back on her Uncle. He was the father she never had and the light of her life until he died. Then she was lost in the chill until Faramir brought warmth back to her. I do love writing Eowyn - she's a great character.

Thank you so much for the accolade *blushing*.

- Erulisse (one L)
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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