Summary: And now for something completely historical...
Characters/Pairing: Folcred, Fastred, Gondor, and the Oath of Eorl
Warnings: Mature concepts
Book/Source: LOTR Appendix
Disclaimer: I'm neither JRRT nor making money off this.
Note: Now with about 600% more notes, making them officially longer than the drabble. Woot!
Bequeath: Rise like eagles
It began long ago, as Men count years now, when Círion put his hand and a province in Eorl's hands, honoring the truth: that this stranger had held Gondor entire in his grasp... and returned it freely, gladly.
The love of princes binds lands and peoples. And if gratitude makes light of bondage, blood bequeaths a horror of its breach.
At Poros, Folcred and Fastred fell upon Gondor's enemies like arrows, and rose to meet the fatal charge like eagles seeking sky.
So their barrow guards the Crossings, and its door proclaims: For love and honor – the Mark and Gondor.
Notes: The burial of Folcred and Fastred in a single mound at Poros is told in Appendix A; their names only come up in the genealogy of Rohan's kings. They answered the call of Túrin II, in 2885, who at that point was losing Ithilien to the invasions of Haradrim serving under Mordor.
The sad part is that they basically fell in a last ditch war of attrition - they managed to help push the Haradrim out of Ithilien, but Gondor couldn't reclaim the province. Instead, it began treating it as a wilderness outpost, to be held by Rangers operating out of secret outposts, like Henneth Annûn, which Túrin constructed.
My pessimistic side thinks Sauron planned it this way: he probably let Túrin have the land at a certain point, knowing that it wasn't going to do Gondor a whole lot of good, and just used the retreat through Ithilien and over Poros to bleed Gondor as dry as he could, thereby killing a lot of people, including the Haradrim who were serving under his orders and never were going to occupy and farm that land (a point which I think must play out badly in their psyches...).
The title owes a debt to... Emmanuel Levinas, and his essay, "To die for..." Yes, I am a one-trick pony.