Éomer besieges the Orc-raiders at Fangorn
Event Type: Military/Strategic
Age: 3rd Age - Ring War
Date: February 28, 3019
An event in the prelude to the Attack on the Orc-raiders at Fangorn; see those entries for overviews:
Horsemen, riding very swiftly, had indeed been sighted: still far behind, but gaining on the Orcs....
The Isengarders began to run with a redoubled pace... the sun was sinking, falling behind the Misty Mountains.... The soldiers of Mordor lifted their heads and also began to put on speed. The forest was dark and close.... The land was beginning to slope upwards, ever more steeply; but the Orcs did not halt. Both Uglúk and Grishnákh shouted, spurring them on to a last effort.
... [Pippin] managed to... glance back... over his shoulder. He saw that riders away eastward were already level with the Orcs, galloping over the plain.... They were hemming the Orcs in, preventing them from scattering, and driving them along the line of the river....
A few of the riders appeared to be bowmen, skilled at shooting from a running horse. Riding swiftly into range they shot arrows at the Orcs that straggled behind, and several of them fell; then the riders wheeled away out of the range of the answering bows of their enemies, who shot wildly, not daring to halt. This happened many times, and on one occasion arrows fell among the Isengarders. One of them, just in front of Pippin, stumbled and did not get up again.
Night came down without the Riders closing in for battle. Many Orcs had fallen, but fully two hundred remained. In the early darkness the Orcs came to a hillock. The eaves of the forest were very near, probably no more than three furlongs away, but they could go no further. The horsemen had encircled them. A small band disobeyed Uglúk's command, and ran on towards the forest: only three returned....
'Put those Halflings down!' ordered Uglúk.... 'You, Lugdush, get two others and stand guard over them! They're not to be killed, unless the filthy Whiteskins break through. Understand? As long as I'm alive, I want 'em. But they're not to cry out, and they're not to be rescued. Bind their legs!'....
The night was cold and still. All round the knoll on which the Orcs were gathered little watch-fires sprang up, golden-red in the darkness, a complete ring of them. They were within a long bowshot, but the riders did not show themselves against the light, and the Orcs wasted many arrows shooting at the fires, until Uglúk stopped them. The riders made no sound. Later in the night when the moon came out of the mist, then occasionally they could be seen, shadowy shapes that glinted now and again in the white light, as they moved in ceaseless patrol.
The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 3, The Uruk-Hai
'I would swear that no Orc escaped after we sighted them,' said Éomer. 'We reached the forest-eaves before them, and if after that any living thing broke through our ring, then it was no Orc and had some elvish power.'
'Our friends were attired even as we are,' said Aragorn; 'and you passed us by under the full light of day.'
The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 2, The Riders of Rohan
Elena Tiriel 28Dec04