Eowel and the Ranger - Chapter One ~ Traveling to Gondor
Eowel was the daughter of Faramir and Eowyn, therefore the princess of Rohan. She had just turned fifteen, and hoped to travel to Gondor.
"You shall not!" her mother ordered. "It is a long and dangerous journey. And it is almost time for you to be married-"
"I will not be forced to marry!" she said. "I wish to choose my own husband!"
"You know your father wants you to marry King Aragorn's son so we can form a true alliance between Gondor and Rohan," said Eowyn.
Eowel fell silent. Tears welled up in her eyes. This was not how she wished to spend her fifteenth birthday. She knew her father would be angry if she didn't marry Aragorn's son, Arathor.
And that was when Eowel decided to run away.
At midnight, Eowel snuck down the large spiral staircase, being cautious about the noise she made. She had a sack of fruits and other foods to snack on while she made her long journey- to Gondor.
I hate Aragorn, she thought as she walked. I hate his son as well. I've never even met the boy, and my parents expect me to marry him!
She stepped off the last of the stairs and snuck towards the armoury. There was a guard asleep at the door.
Carefully, she tip-toed over to the armoury and slipped through the door. There were bows, arrows, daggers- everything. She grabbed a few weapons and headed out to the Entrance Hall.
A few more soldiers sat in chairs, their heads resting on their chests. Slowly, Eowel crept over to one. Just as she reached him, he opened his eyes. Before he had a chance to make a noise, Eowel had clunked him over the head with a goblet she had packed.
Faster than ever, she ran out through the doors and headed for the stables. A horse, named Lorel, was waiting for her there. She had spent the afternoon preparing the stallion for this trip.
And in moments, she had begun her journey.
Eowel yawned and slowed Lorel into a steady trot. The mud-brown horse seemed tired as well.
"Perhaps we should stop for a rest?" Eowel suggested. Lorel flicked his tail in agreement.
"I don't know if that's such a good idea."
Eowel jumped. A short dark figure stepped from the shadows of the morning light. It was an orc, fully armed with swords and arrows.
Suddenly, Eowel's eyes were not drooping and she did not have any urge to yawn, and Lorel reared, nearly tossing the girl off of his back.
"RUN, LOREL!" she shouted, digging her heels into the horses' sides.
Thankfully, the orc was slow. It took a while to attach an arrow to its bow, giving Eowel time to get out of shooting range. She heard the orc's cries of frusteration as she turned a corner and disappeared from view.
Maybe I should have listened to Mother, she thought. I should not have disobeyed her. She was right. It is a dangerous journey.
Eowel found a good hiding spot in a small group of trees hidden behind a hill. She grabbed an apple from her pack and held it up to Lorel. The stallion took it thankfully, chomping on it as Eowel removed his saddle.
Even though it was cold out, Eowel was afraid to start a fire, due to the orc attack.
"I guess you'll be my only friend while we're on this journey," she said to Lorel. The horse snorted, and Eowel noticed his breath coming from his nostrils like smoke. She hadn't realized it was that cold.
Sitting next to Lorel, she took an apple for herself. The stallion nudged her shoulder greedily.
"No, no, this is for me," she laughed. "You already had your snack." Lorel neighed unhappily.
When she had finished her apple, Eowel threw the core to Lorel and laid in the dirt and leaves.
"Goodnight, Lorel," she mumbled. Lorel stood over her, as if protecting her from harm. And there she fell asleep, a smile spreading across her cheeks.
Eowel woke to the sound of hoofbeats. Lorel was standing under a tree a few feet away, so she knew it wasn't him.
"My pack is gone!" she hissed, noticing that her hiding place seemed almost empty. She whistled for Lorel, who trotted over to her, tossing his head nervously.
"What's wrong, boy?" she asked. "Did you see who took our pack?" Swiftly, she climbed onto the stallion and they galloped to the source of the hoofbeats.
Almost immediatly, Eowel noticed flags peaking over the hill blocking her hiding place from view. She recognized the symbols on them.
"Warriors of Gondor!" she called out, staring at the white tree on the flags. She forced Lorel into a fast gallop, catching up with the Gondorians.
"HALT!" the leader called to his troops. He turned his horse around to face Eowel, and his soldiers followed. "And who may this be?" he asked, looking directly into Eowel's dark blue eyes. She could not look back at him. Her courage had left her, and there seemed to be a lump in her throat.
"I recognize her!" a soldier cried. "It's the duaghter of Lord Faramir!"
"Let her speak for herself, Bormin," the leader ordered. "Now answer my question, Lady. Who may you be?"
"E-Eowel of Rohan, daughter of Faramir." She still could not look the man in the eye.
"And what business do you have here?"
"I, er, decided to travel to Gondor... by myself."
"Well, my Lady, I will be honored to guide you on your journey," the commander said, bowing slightly. "I am called Rowa."
Finally, Eowel looked at the man. He seemed to be in his mid thirties, and he had greasy brown hair.
"Thank you, Rowa," she said, letting out a deep sigh.
As Eowel traveled with the troops, she explained about the orc attack and the hiding place she found.
"Very clever," said Rowa. "Many great leaders have used that as their own hiding place during a war, you know. It is called the Sanctuary of the Lords."
"I've read about that," said Eowel. "I never knew it was this close to Rohan though."
"Men, we must stop for tonight," Rowa called, almost ignoring Eowel's remark. "Roll out your blankets and make some fires."
"Stop?" Eowel said. "But what about getting to Gondor?"
"We will get there by tomorrow," Rowa promised. "As long as there are no delays."
Eowel pictured the ugly orc she had been attacked by. She could not get its face out of her mind.
Then she thought of what Gondor would be like. She had read little about it, but from what she had heard, it was a beautiful place.
And soon, the girl was asleep once more.
"There it is," Rowa said. "Gondor. Welcome!"
Eowel looked up. Her eyes could not believe what they were seeing. After traveling through barren land all day, she was surprised to see a great, glowing kingdom. She had finally reached Gondor.
"And now you must meet the King and his son!" said Rowa. Eowel stared at him, a look of shock and anger spreading across her face.