The blowing of a horn
Rohan, Westfold in 3015, Third Age
"What is going on, Éostan?"
A young blond girl in the age of ten raised herself up on her elbows in the hay of the rooftop and looked at her friend, who lay beside her, leaning forward to look over the edges of the roof. Éostan was a young blond boy, strongly built and tall for his age, which happened to be eleven years old.
"Ssssh," he hissed at the young girl. "Be quiet, Eadelm. The men, including mine and your father, have gathered in front of the gate. I can't hear them very well. I only hear the words Orcs and attack."
Eadelm frowned and pulled her nose up. "Orcs? What are Orcs?"
Her friend shrugged his shoulders. "I don't know. Father once told me they are hideous creatures, who love to kill and destroy." Éostan stared into the distance. "A large cloud of dust is approaching fast. The beasts will be here soon, I guess. That's why everyone else is in the shelters."
"Shouldn't we go there too then?"
The boy growled and gave Eadelm a push. "You go there if you want to. You're a girl, its only natural you're scared." He straightened his shoulders and looked proud. "I'm a man, I'm not afraid of those monsters."
Eadelm narrowed her eyes and pushed back. She then crossed her arms in front of her chest. "I'm not scared. I am just as brave as you are."
And so the two children remained where they were, eager to watch the fight that would inevitably come.
Soon the fight started. The gate of the village was crushed and destroyed by a large band of screaming and growling Orcs. They attacked furiously, but found a solid resistance of Rohirrim, who were just as feisty as the Orcs. The sound of steel on steel filled the air. Wails of agony among both sides filled the hearts of those who witnessed the fight from out of their hideouts with fear. Blood splashed around freely, and the losses of both sides were great. The Rohirrim were forced to retreat to the houses, fighting as good as they could. Their foes were relentless and did not know how to stop. It did not look very good. The Orcs were still with many and the Rohirrim were few.
Éostan covered Eadelms eyes with his hands, while he watched. The bloodbath and carnage before him did not leave him unmarked either and he thought it would be the same with the younger girl next to him. But she struggled and most of her words were lost against his hands. He felt his blood grow cold and his eyes were as wide as saucers. Never before had he seen a fight like this.
Familiar cries, or at least the voice that uttered them, reached Éostans ears. He started to look around for the person whom the voice belonged to and soon after found him. A tall and strong blond man in middle age was surrounded and attacked by many Orcs. When the mans body was cleaved in two halves, Éostan noticed that it was he himself who was screaming.
What he did next was foolish and would most likely result in his own death. But Éostan was not himself. An uncontrollable rage surged through his veins and he climbed down the house he was hiding upon. As soon as his feet reached solid ground, the young boy grabbed the nearest weapon he could find and rushed towards the foul creatures that had to ruthlessly killed his father. The sword was heavy and he was not yet strong enough or skilled enough to wield it. But he did not care. All he could think abut was to kill the Orcs. He was deaf, he was blind to anything else.
Very vaguely the young boy saw that Eadelm had left the roof as well and was now standing in front of the house, watching him with eyes as wide as saucers. She stood there alone, unarmed, defenceless. And he was not the only one who had noticed this.
His cry of warning however came too late. Several Orcs had spotted the young blond girl and rushed towards her, swaying their weapons dangerously around them. The sounds that came from their throats almost seemed unnatural and not the sounds of beasts anymore. Eadelm stepped backwards as she saw they were coming for her. She cried out, terrified, and tried to climb back onto the roof again. Her efforts were in vain. The Orcs had reached her and grabbed her. Eadelm cried and screamed in her fear, arms and legs thrashing around wildly in an attempt to free herself. But she was no match for the Orcs. Her clothes were being torn apart and she was being molested.
"Leave her alone!"
Éostan lifted the heavy sword and ran towards the Orcs, screaming a furious Rohirric battle cry. He plunged the sharp weapon deeply into the body of one of his foes. The only good it id was that the monster shifted his attention from Eadelm to the young warrior in front of him
Before Éostan knew what was happening, he felt a hard punch against his cheek and tasted his own blood in his mouth. He had to drop his sword and felt now how he was lifted into the air. The foul scent of the Orcs breath reached his nostrils and the boy had to struggle not to vomit.
From a distance he could hear Eadelms cries and it roused his anger. Feistily Éostan started to punch around him, hitting into the air only, wanting to free himself. It served him nothing, it only amused his captor and he felt the hand around his throat tighten its grip. The young boy noticed it became harder and harder for him to breathe. A large hand was placed upon his skull, with a very tight grip, as if seeking to break it.
This is it, Éostan thought to himself. This is the end. He closed his eyes and lost every contact with his surroundings, save for the Orc who held him Tears ran over the young Rohirrims cheeks and he felt how he lost all of his strength. Everything before his eyes turned black and the noises were fading away. Was death like this? Was he dying? It seemed that way, but he did not really know for sure.
All seemed lost. The Orcs would destroy everything. Everyone would get killed. But then a vague sound reached Éostans ears. It slowly reached his consciousness and became clearer and clearer. Suddenly he recognized it: The blowing of a horn!!!