Character: Thorongil and Rohirrim
Source: Pre-Ring War
Disclaimer: This is Tolkien's world and characters - Kortirion is simply borrowing them.
Notes: Catching up because RL got in the way... Whereas Thorongil was going to be moving on, it looks like he's in the Mark for this series too.
The ground lay even and fairly smooth between them… neither side would have the advantage. Thorongil turned his head to gauge the level of his men – they were tense, but contained, some wiped sweaty palms against their trews, here, lips were licked… one quickly tied his hair back in readiness for the coming fray.
He looked back across the field, eyes steady… he was their captain, they trusted him and he them – now to prove their reputation as the elite…
The signal came, they charged forward, challenging the opposition hard – tackle, run… the ball flies high...
Thorongil grinned. ‘Yes!’
“Rules is rules, my lad.” The quartermaster was firm, but not unkind. “We does it this way so’s they know the right place.” The Northerner sighed, he could gauge the level by eye, but… he stepped back ‘let them use the wooden rods if that was a comfort…’
“Come here, boy”, The older man beckoned a tow-headed youngster forward, “This is my youngest Captain, see, even he can tell the marks – Go on, son”, he urged.
Dutifully, the boy held the rod out, counted off the divisions and singled out the appropriate length.
“Now that, Captain, is how you rule”
Days were shortening, nights growing colder. With little to occupy them other than stable duties and endless sword practise with blunted weapons, Thengel-king decreed the warriors should aid the small-folk ready themselves for winter.
Some grumbled but many were pleased to ride out, it broke the monotony, and the scattered farmsteads might hold new beer, or pretty daughters, or both!
Thorongil chopped down one dead apple-tree, but halted when the farmer stayed his arm before the next.
“…Deep roots are not touched by the frost.”
Thorongil shivered involuntarily, but the farmer had turned and did not see the Northerner’s face.