2. 3001 Third Age
Title: The Blacksmith’s Daughter
Series: Sons of Rohan
Sequel to: none—1st in the series
Beta: oliwiaroot & Curiouswombat
Characters: Gamling/OFC, Éomer, Háma & the Rohirrim, OFCs, OMCs
Warnings: AU (I guess), mild violent images
Author's Notes:: As I figure it by the 3rd age, not all the Rangers were pure Dúnedine, blessed with long life. Marriages made for mixed bloodlines and shorter life spans and some Rangers were not of Dúnedine decent at all. Thanks to Council of Elrond’s database for help creating names.
Disclaimer: All characters and locations are the sole property of Professor Tolkien’s Estate save those I have added from my own imagining. This is written only for pleasure and I gain no profit for my efforts.
Please send feedback, reviews, comments, and thoughts! They are ‘most welcome’!
Chapter 1: The Blacksmith
**** 3001 TA****
He was tired.
He has seen enough of the darkness that threatened to swallow the world. Camaeron had left his forge and taken up the mantle of a Ranger years ago; fought long and hard, lost both his sons and countless friends but this, this was the last straw!
A band of Orcs had lain in wait for the Ranger patrol to leave the small village before striking. Their goal was the defilement and annihilation of the women and children. Yet, by some small miracle, Camaeron’s daughter had escaped and set out to find the patrol. However, it had been no miracle, it had been Vidar-her betrothed; he had sent her away under the ruse of fetching help, to keep her safe, to protect her at all cost. By the time the patrol returned, most were dead or worse. The Ranger’s wife had already succumbed to the vile torture, her naked body mauled; his daughter’s husband-to-be, lay close by, sword still clutched in his lifeless hand. They had just become betrothed and although there was no real passionate love between them, Aglarir had agreed to the match with her father’s friend. Now father and daughter had lost everything dear to them save their own lives. Camaeron decided he could not remain a Ranger any longer. He would take his beloved child far from this life, settle into another, safer one that would allow the girl to live, belong, and find love. So when the gruesome task of battle and burial was over, not even stopping to tend his wounds, he packed his horse with what little he could and the former ranger and his daughter rode off into the night, still bloodied and battered but free. They rode with out stopping for what seemed like days…
The small patrol of Rohirrim circled the two travelers. By the looks of it, they were rangers from the north; but looks can be deceiving especially in these times, and both riders had hoods drawn close against the chill of the evening.
“What brings two Rangers so far south and so unprotected?” Háma, the Rohirrim captain asked.
“We have seen enough of battle and ask refuge in Rohan. I am a skilled blacksmith and my…” Camaeron hesitated, looking at the young Rohirrim around him. Although Rohan was friend to the Men of the North, he still feared for his daughter’s safety. “…my village was set upon by orcs while we were on patrol. All that my child and I have known has been destroyed.” He cast mournful eyes to the captain. “I have lost the stomach for battle and just wish to return to my life as a blacksmith. Please, Sir, I can still serve Rohan well from a forge.”
Hama spoke with understanding, “Come, you may take rest at our camp and we will tend to your wounds. I cannot give you leave to remain in Rohan, however, come morning we will take you to Théoden King. You may ask him.”
Reaching the Rohirrim encampment, father and child dismounted. The moment the youth’s feet met earth, Gamling--being closest--reached out and caught the weary youngling in his arms. Looking at the face, now free of the hood, he was shocked to see the big doe-eyes of a young woman staring at him with a mixture of fear and gratitude.
“My daughter, Aglaril,” the Ranger said softly.
Gamling made certain the young woman was steady on her feet and then released her with a courteous nod. She returned the gesture, adding a quiet, “Thank you.” She moved to her father’s side.
Hama called for food and drinks as well as wash buckets. “We will get you settled and then I would hear more of your travels.”
“You are most kind,” Camaeron answered, guiding his daughter to the campfire. They were offered a simple meal of dried meat and vegetables stewed in ale which they devoured feverishly. Once their hunger and thirst were slaked, the closest thing the patrol had to a healer cleaned and dressed Camaeron’s wounds. Fortunately, none were too serious and no infection or poison was present. As darkness set upon the camp, the Ranger told their tale. His daughter curled herself next to him, laying her head in his lap. As he idly stroked her hair, she drifted to sleep.
Gamling listened to the sad tale and his heart went out to the man--and his daughter. He felt a sudden wave of protectiveness towards her that would stay with him for years to come, always watching out for her from the shadows.
When they came before the king, he listened and was moved. As the present Master Blacksmith had died, the pair was given permission to reside in Edoras and work his forge. The Ranger’s skill as a blacksmith became renowned. Aglaril worked with her father, keeping the records and logs and working on lighter tasks like delicate chainmaille and even jewelry. It did not take long before Camaeron became the favorite of the king and most of his soldiers, Gamling included. In time, a friendship developed between the blacksmith and the tall Rider, although Aglaril seemed to keep him at a distance.
For his part, Gamling continued to keep an eye on the young woman. When her father was killed by a warg while traveling to a nearby village, Gamling stood by Aglaril’s decision to keep the forge. He convinced the apprentices to stay on and even had his son, then ten years old, help there. For his kindness, the blacksmith’s daughter had a special place in her heart for the man and when Gamling’s wife took ill while he was on patrol, she looked in on the woman. She would bring meals for the family and see to household chores; sometimes she would sit and tell stories just to pass the time. Gamling truly believed that his wife survived as long as she did, long enough for him to come home and say goodbye, because of Aglaril’s care. As the years went by, the friendship grew more comfortable, both understanding the other’s life and losses.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.