Reodric was a boy of nearly fifteen years of age living in the rohirric village of Snowbourne. He was the son of a peasant farmer named Leoden. He had a sister named Freynda and a mother named Elenda. He was tall and blonde like most of the people of Roan. Even though he was a peasant he was still a fairly good horseman for his age. His sister was blonde and tall, like he was. And she was three years older. Reodric and his father went out one day to gather some firewood, and this is where the story begins.
Reodric’s father saddled his horse mamloth and Reodric saddled his mare limda and they set off, axes in the saddlebags. They lived out on the plains, and it was a good long ride to get to where they were going. They were headed to a small wooded patch of forest near Snowbourne. It was not so much near as it was nearest any other patches of woods were a lot further than three hour’s ride. Leoden spoke to Reodric saying, “Son, you seem unhappy of late, what is the matter?” Reodric listened to the gravelly, aged voice of his father and felt how caring he was for his son. Reodric replied “Father, they are saying war is coming, and I am troubled, I fear war will come to Snowbourne and our family.” Leoden sighed and said “we have done what little we can to defend ourselves if war comes. All we can do now is trust in the riders. They are our best defense against the enemy.”
Reodric was not very reassured. “They are saying the enemy are worsting villages all over Rohan, even with the assistance of the riders. What will happen if they come to Snowbourne?” His father said, “Son, I am as troubled as you are, but there is nothing more we can do. We should not fret about the coming enemy until we are within their reach.” “But for now we must focus on practical matters, like our firewood. And our food stores.” “There is naught more we can do. Should the orcs arrive, we’d fight them with everything we had.” Reodric understood his father’s wisdom. The enemy must still be far away from here. No need to worry about an outreached army! It’s the duty of the soldiers, not peasants! Reodric was satisfied with this and they carried on the rest of the way in silent thought. When they reached the woods they hopped out of their saddles and tied their horses to a stock they had built for this purpose. They removed their felling axes from the saddlebags and began looking for good wood. They found a fallen tree, dried up from the heat but not rotten. They began chopping away at the tree, trimming off branches and chunks of its trunk. Reodric focused on the work. It was hot today and he was sweating much. The smell of cut wood filled his nostrils and he chopped constantly. One two!…One two!. Then his father said, “Did you hear that?” Reodric said “What father, hear what?” Leoden said “Oh it must have been just my senile old mind playing tricks on me.” They both chuckled and returned to work. A few moments later Reodric heard a rustle in the brush not far away. Leoden said, “There I go again, hearing things!” Reodric said, “No I heard it too.” Leoden said, oh it was probably a small animal. Then they heard a harsh metallic voice say “No no no my pretties! This one’s not small!” and they heard a ferocious growl and a wolf bounded into the open with a large, ugly orc on it’s back. The orc said “Me an’ my darlin’ are hungry and you were fortunate enough to be our dinner! “The orc spurred the wolf at Leoden. The beast fell upon him with deadly force, crushing his spine instantly. Reodric cried out in surprise.
“Father!” Leoden gasped for air, eyes wide in pain and horror an the wolf dipped It’s head and tore a chunk from Leoden’s neck. Reodric was suddenly beside himself with horror and revulsion. He could not grasp that this monster was eating the father he’d been laughing with just a few minutes ago. Then reality shocked him and he felt a coarse blow of anger.
He took up his axe and screamed. The orc turned his head to him, but he was already charging. He brought his axe down on the wolf’s skull and the monster slumped to the ground. The orc hastily pulled himself from the wolf’s remains and whipped out a scimitar. The orc said, “You killed me mount!” Reodric did not reply but hewed at the orc’s knees and it fell to the ground. Then Reodric screamed, “DIE you FILTH!” And slammed the axe into the orc’s chest. Reodric rushed back to the horses and spurred his father’s back toward Snowbourne in a flurry.