To The Halls of Mandos

By Zenkx

Romance / Adventure

Chapter 1

"Il-ya! Il-ya!"

The girl shook her mane of blond hair off her eyes as she gazed over the hill where her father was waving frantically at her, riding a horse. She smiled at him and waved back. But as the man came closer, she saw that he looked worried. She dropped the basket of clothes she was hanging and rushed to meet him.

"Il-ya! You must go now!" Her father said as they met, jumping off the horse as he did so. He pulled her waist and began to hoist her up.

"Father! What is going on?" Il-ya said as she climbed up the horse.

"The Easterlings... they are coming!" Her father shouted as he glanced frantically back where he came from, on the direction of their village. "They're pillaging the village as we speak, and I will not have you killed by them!"

She shook her head, "No! Father, let me stay and fight! You have trained me well, and I can kill more Easterlings than any man in the village!"

"NO!" Her father cried, "I will not have you die that way. I am an Eored, born and bred to protect the king, but I am also your father, and it is my duty to protect you more than I should protect my king. This is the only way I can do that now."

"But Father..."

But he shook his head, "You... will head to Edoras. I've heard that the king has taken shelter for our people there. Tell him of the Easterlings, and our people who have died in their hands." He pulled his sword and scabbard and tied it to the horse, "This sword... show it the King and he will know who you are. Now go!"

Before the girl could say anything else, her father slapped the flank of the horse, making it gallop. It ran beyond to the hills and Il-ya turned to look back at his father. An Easterling charged at him and slashed his chest, and he fell to the earth silently. Tears streamed down the girl's face as her horse continued to gallop towards Edoras.

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