1. 1. To the West-Mark
Title: The Captain’s Daughter
Series: Sons of Rohan
Sequel to: The Dunadan’s Daughter--- 3rd in the series
Characters: Erkinbrand/OFC, Éomer, Grimbold & the Rohirrim, OFCs, OMCs
Rating: PG through R (see individual chapter labels...you can skip the smut if you like)
Timeline: Late Third Age
3019-20; This story branches off of The Dunadan’s Daughter (ch 12)
Setting: The West-Mark--Rohan
Warnings: AU (I guess), violent images, brief description of abuse (see chapter warnings)
Summary: Erkenbrand is given the position of Captain of the Éored in the West-Mark. He discovers his new adjutant is not what he
expects. Can he save her from the
nightmare that has become her life and finally find love?
Author's Notes: I used an online source to help with generating names that might actually fit. (Thanks to http://lorebook.lotro.com/wiki/Nationality:Rohan for giving me the prefixes and suffixes to create my Rohirrim 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: To the West-Mark
It was with no little amount of trepidation that Erkenbrand traveled with the newly appointed Marshal of the West-mark. He would have been content to remain in Edoras, serving the King under Gamling and he had said as much. The King and Marshal Grimbold, however, were of the same mind; the large man’s skills and experience better served the Marshal.
“Surely there are men of the West-mark who served the region faithfully and deserve to be its captain. It is not fair that I take the opportunity from them,” he argued even as the Hornburg came into view.
“You have proven yourself time and time again, my friend. You have weathered the darkest tempests this land has seen and I trust you. I am getting too old to lead the men; I need an experienced man to take my place,” Grimbold replied. “My station here is to oversee the lands and its people and hopefully train my replacement.” He cast a sidelong glance at his riding companion wondering if the younger man understood his implication. A brief flicker of surprise flashed across Erkenbrand’s face before he schooled his features.
“What of your former second? Does he not deserve the promotion?”
“My former second is a fine *young* man,” the marshal explained, “However he lacks experience and confidence. He is not ready and he knows it. That is the other reason I asked the King for you; you can help him grow into the leader I know he can become. I have already sent word that you would be joining us in the West-mark permanently.”
The new captain looked at his lord. They had known each other for some time and through the war became close friends, though many years separated them. Erkenbrand was honored at the trust and responsibility given him, however in all honesty he had little experience overseeing the day-to-day workings of the Éored. He could lead men into battle, but that would no longer be his main task. “I fear I have not the knowledge of rosters and inventory and such that this position requires. I am a simple soldier, my lord.”
“I will box your ear if you address me as such at any time other when absolutely necessary,” Grimbold replied with a growl that made Erkenbrand smile. “Worry not about the paper work; Colmáse [OE/mouse] will take care of all that—if you wish.”
The captain raised an eyebrow and looked skeptically at the older man. “You have a mouse that does paperwork?”
Grimbold let out a hearty laugh. “You could say that.”
The Marshal and his escort arose early and made good time on the last day of travel. They arrived at the Hornburg by midafternoon. After getting Erkenbrand settled in the Captain’s suite, the Marshal gave him a quick walk-though.
“The repairs are going nicely,” the captain said remembering the destruction caused by Saruman’s device.
“Lord Gimli’s folk have been most helpful,” Grimbold replied, guiding his captain though the area that would be his new work place. “I will take you to your office and get you introduced to Mouse.”
Erkenbrand eyed his companion. He wondered who this mouse was--most likely a youngling, perhaps a scholar or advisor in training. He let out a sigh. He did not relate to those men well, they did not truly understand what it meant to be a soldier. As the two approached an outer office, he put on his best face; he was the newcomer here. He glanced about the room and noticed the neatly written duty roster on the wall near the entrance. The shelves, though filled with scrolls and maps, were neatly organized. On a small desk sat what appeared to be a weapons inventory. Erkenbrand’s mood lightened. Perhaps this lad would not be so bad after all.
Grimbold gave a quick knock on the doorframe to what would be the Captain’s private office. “I see you were able to make some order out of the mess I left you,” he said by way of greeting. The small figure, riffling through a stack of papers looked up in shock. The captain found himself at a loss for he did not expect to see the long unruly mass of mahogany hair attached to big, bright, expressive green eyes set in a young woman’s face.
“Welcome home Capt…”the woman caught herself and smiled at the men before give a small bow, “that is my Lord,” she amended.
Grimbold chuckled. “We go too far back for that, little one.” The older man moved and enveloped the woman in a tight embrace, kissing the crown of her head. Pulling away, he studied her. “What happened?” he asked, pushing her hair back from her face and inspecting the black and blue flesh.
“I fear my clumsiness has struck again. I stumbled in the arms room,” she said sheepishly. He nodded and brought her before Erkenbrand. “Éalwyn, daughter of Égelbryt, may I introduce Captain Erkenbrand. Captain, may I present ‘Colmáse’.”
“My lord,” Éalwyn bowed, a soft blush on her cheeks.
Erkenbrand looked at the woman. She was dressed in loose brown breeches, a cream linen shirt and an ill-fitting leather vest. The clothes hung on her and when he had first entered the office, he thought her a young man. Her long Mahogany hair hung limply about her, concealing much of her face. She was average height although she looked short next to the very tall captain. Her eyes were the brightest green he had ever seen but they held a shadow of sorrow. Remembering his place, he bowed slightly while addressing her, “My lady.”
Éalwyn’s blush deepened. This was her new captain and she had not expected him to be so young and handsome or so tall; by the stars he was tall. At best the top of her head came to his shoulder! His long dark blond hair was pulled back from his face at the top and the temples. He had large hazel eyes and a boyish air about him.
Marshal Grimbold broke the silence. “Éalwyn’s father was Captain here for many years and she began accompanying him to work when her mother passed. She knows the armory and the men as well if not better than even I do. I strongly recommend you keep her on hand Captain as she is a valuable asset--albeit a bit accident prone.”
Erkenbrand saw a flash of panic in the woman’s face. “I have no intention of removing her. Experience such as yours will make things much easier for me.” He gave her a reassuring smile and she relaxed.
“Wonderful!” Grimbold moved towards the door. “Dinner tonight will be in my chambers; tomorrow we will feast. And Éalwyn, the offer is always there.” His eyes held the silent invitation.
“That is most kind; however, Advisor Ordwulf is expecting dinner at home this evening.”
Erkenbrand watched the exchange carefully and noted a sour look on his lord’s face at the mention of this Ordwulf.
“Very well, I will let you get to know one another. Oh and Mouse? Extend the invitation to Fréarid.” With that, Grimbold left the office. She gave a small bow as the Marshal left.
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.