Farewell to Dunharrow - The Return of Dernhelm

Dernhelm: *it is the night of june 12. eowyn, disguised as a rider, and pippin, hidden under her cloak, have left the firienfield and gone down the stairs of the hold*
Dernhelm: *they wish to escape from the harrowdale valley, hampered by niether friend nor foe, and find the main army of rohan, wherever they may be.... somewhere in rohan, with plans to go to helms deep*
Valley Patrol: *Out of the unnatural shadows rides a small group of horsemen with others behind them, somewhere in the gloom* Halt!
Valley Patrol: Who goes there?
Dernhelm: *is nervous, afraid of detection, but says in a deep voice* i am a rider of rohan.
Valley Patrol: By what name are you known?
Pippin: *stays silent and motionless under her cloak*
Dernhelm: dernhelm
Valley Patrol: I have not heard that name among any of the eoreds in the valley. Come closer. Let me see your face
Dernhelm: *swallows, her heart pounding. she urges her horse forward to the other horseman*
Valley Patrol: *His horse fidgets as he waits for the approach of the other rider*
Dernhelm: *soon her horse is beside the other rider's*
Valley Patrol: *he motions for another rider to come and look at her*
Dernhelm: *seconds pass by like hours as her heart beats painfully in her chest every muscle tense*
Pippin: *is crouched down under the cloak which billows out over the horse's back*
Valley Patrol: *the other rider approaches and the two confer*
Valley Patrol: *the one who seems to be the head of the group* Strike a torch. I cannot see this person!
Pippin: *His head is pressed against Eowyn's back and he takes comfort in her fortitude in this moment of fear*
Dernhelm: *silently waits in nervous anticipation*
Valley Patrol: *from behind him, soon appears a rider bearing a torch*
Valley Patrol: *some other horsemen come up to look at her*
Valley Patrol: What is your name again? *the leader says*
Dernhelm: dernhelm, sir.
Valley Patrol: Who is your father?
Pippin: *His head throbs...oh Valar help us*
Dernhelm: *her mind races, trying to think quickly*
Dernhelm: aedelbert, sir
Valley Patrol: *He asks the others* Have you heard of that name?
Valley Patrol: *some say they have, some say they haven't*
Valley Patrol: So what is your business in the valley?
Dernhelm: *thinks quickly* i have been given permission from wulfhelm to join the valley eoreds, sir.
Pippin: *prays silently, hoping she will not be searched*
Valley Patrol: *he relaxes in the saddle* Help we need for surety!
Valley Patrol: But you are so young. You seem little more than a boy
Dernhelm: aye lord, tis true.
Valley Patrol: *shakes his head* Then these are sad days indeed when they send boys out to fight!
Valley Patrol: With what eored are you to serve?
Pippin: *remembers the young boys, women and children he saw killed when Gondor was taken*
Dernhelm: the third, sir
Valley Patrol: They are on down the valley. Go on that way *he motions with his hand* These first ten miles are.... *he pauses* in our control
Dernhelm: thank you, sir. i am sorry for any alarm.
Valley Patrol: We must make certain whom we let pass, but I can see by your face and by your livery that you are indeed of Rohan, young though you may be
Valley Patrol: This is your first duty I suppose
Dernhelm: *nods* yes, sir
Valley Patrol: Then go on and tell the one you replace who you are and why you have come
Pippin: *wonders if the man will ever find out who they really are, in later days, and remember*
Valley Patrol: *again he motions Dernhelm ahead*
Dernhelm: thank you, sir *she urges her horse forward, further down the road..*
Valley Patrol: *the soldiers ride back into the trees and continue to keep watch on the road*
Dernhelm: *she travels on furhter down the road... the river snowbourne rushes and gurggles to her left... all is dark and the night birds and insects sing..*
Valley Patrol: *Except for the next valley patrol, which challenges them, but whose captain believes her story, they go on down the valley*
Valley Patrol: *now they have traveled ten miles, and since their horse is originally of a mearas strain, they travel the way fairly quickly at a trot*
Pippin: *He is stiff and restless, and his back hurts from hunching over. He longs to throw off the cloak and look around*
Dernhelm: *she begins to worry, for the next five miles are contested. what shall she say if she meets the enemy, and then what should she say if she meets her own people?*
Pippin: *He feels a rush of adrenaline. He is doing what Merry did. Will he meet Merry's fate? He prepares himself to fight, now, if necessary*
Dernhelm: *she urges her horse off the road, to the western part of the valley. the river snowbourne becomes closer to her as she travels*
Pippin: *One moment he desperately wishes he were back in the Shire, safe, but the next he is glad of this chance for bravery*
Dernhelm: *she maneuvers through the trees and brush, and comes to the edge of the river*
Dernhelm: *decides to risk it and change her cloak. goes behind a large growth of bushes, as not to be seen from the road*
Dernhelm: *whispers* i am going to change my cloak now... since we approach enemy territory
Pippin: *whispers* Can I look around?
Dernhelm: *unfastens the green cloak around her neck and pulls it off. now she is wearing the black one*
Pippin: *is still under the black one*
Dernhelm: *wads it up into a bundle* pippin, stuff this in one of the saddlebags
Dernhelm: no! do not look around yet
Pippin: *reaches out from under the cloak, takes the bundle, fumbles for a saddlebag and puts it away*
Pippin: *strained whisper* Do you think we will have to fight now?
Dernhelm: *she continues her slow path through the trees, the river to her left*
Dernhelm: *hisses* shhh!
Pippin: *ducks lower under the cloak*
Orc Patrol: *suddenly out of the night, they hear a voice* Puzg!
Pippin: *stifles a cry*
Pippin: *trembles, but masters himself*
Dernhelm: *understanding his command, she halts her horse, but says nothing, silently willing pippin to be quiet*
Orc Patrol: Kul-lat amirz?
Pippin: *his heart laboring, tries to remain still*
Pippin: *memories of his and Merry's capture flood his mind*
Dernhelm: *she says in a deep, commanding voice* adhn, zaug izg gor (leave, i have work)
Orc Patrol: Gor? Mal latum? (Work? what's up?)
Dernhelm: zaug izg pukhlor (i have a report)
Orc Patrol: Thrak pukhlor (give the report)
Dernhelm: nar, it is for higher up.
Orc Patrol: For whom then?
Pippin: *is surprised and relieved to her her switch to the Common Tongue*
Dernhelm: the commander in the valley
Orc Patrol: Mautor Ulfang?
Dernhelm: akh
Dernhelm: *her horse becomes restless and paws the ground*
Orc Patrol: What is so important you must take it to the Mautor?
Pippin: *Pippin clings to her to avoid moving as the horse fidgets*
Dernhelm: *she motions for him to come closer* come, i will tell you
Pippin: *holds his breath*
Dernhelm: *hand on hilt, hidden by cloak*
Orc Patrol: *He looks at Dernhelm again, and notes that the horse is not afraid of him and that this rider speaks Black Speech*
Pippin: *notices her hand go to her sword...he swallows and grasps his blade hilt*
Orc Patrol: *he walks over*
Dernhelm: *she suddenly draws her sword from its sheath, swings down and sidways and attempts to whack off the orcs head*
Orc Patrol: *The orc's head is severed and he falls down*
Pippin: *is jostled by the movement, hears the orc fall*
Dernhelm: *she says coldly* that was for questioning.
Dernhelm: *whispers to pippin* hold onto me. now we must run
Pippin: *breathlessly* Aye, my lady *holds onto her*
Orc Patrol: *They were lucky. This was a sole orc out scavanging for food*
Dernhelm: *her heels tap repatedly into the horses sides spurring him on into a gallop, weaving in and out of trees and brush*
Orc Patrol: *but would they be so lucky next time*
Pippin: *bounces up and down with the horse, clinging to Eowyn, dizzy but exhilarated*
Orc Patrol: *Through the trees, Dushtala takes them, until they come to a patrol that challenges them*
Dernhelm: *she slows to a trot, and then to a walk as she approaches...*
Pippin: *becomes afraid again as the horse slows ominously, wishing he could see what is going on*
Dernhelm: *her black cloak covering the livery of rohan, her hood drawn over her face*
Dernhelm: *she tries a different technique this time. she calls out in a deep harsh voice in black speech...* thou sluggish snagas! dare thou block my way?
Pippin: *admires Eowyn's ways of dealing with their various challengers*
Orc Patrol: *In a low voice, the leader says to the other* Nazgul!
Orc Patrol: They send a spy on us!
Dernhelm: *seeing they are still in her way she says, her voice cold and menacing...* why dost thou still stand in my way?
Orc Patrol: *The orcs know about all the rumors that have been coming out of the valley. They talk it over with each other, and decide, that yes, this must be a Nazgul sent to trick them to see if they were shirking*
Orc Patrol: Akh, shakh, ukh *they bow*
Dernhelm: *urges her horse forward, half recklessly, muttering curses in black speech as she rides past them*
Pippin: *does not understand why they were let through, but is grateful*
Orc Patrol: *After all, the rider was coming from up the valley, so who else could come from that direction save one of the Nazgul?*
Dernhelm: *mutters* globu urk!
Orc Patrol: *through steath they travel through the trees. When they come to another patrol, there is the same confrontation*
Pippin: *his confidence is slowly building with each confrontation*
Dernhelm: *her heart pounds with exhileration* snaga glob fruz! *she greets them harshly* shirking again?
Orc Patrol: *The orcs look at Dernhelm and her horse. Her demeanor confuses them and they, too, remember the rumors that they have heard*
Dernhelm: *a fire burns within her, making her bolder.... she glares at them from beneath her hood*
Orc Patrol: *They remember how they had been threatened that if any captain sent any more stories about ghosts on horses, his arms and head would be cut off*
Dernhelm: *seeing the orcs hesitate, she ventures* why dost thou challenge my way?
Orc Patrol: *The leader thinks and the others say* No Nazgul is this, but some spy sent to watch us
Orc Patrol: *another argues with him* No, it is a spy from the Rohirrim who tries to deceive us!
Orc Patrol: *another says* but if it is a Nazgul impersonating a spy from Rohan, what are we to do?
Dernhelm: *her heart begins to pound more* thou lazy sluggards! why dost thou stand there arguing among thyselves!
Orc Patrol: *Their leader says* Coward! This is no Nazgul!
Pippin: *His fear peaks as he realizes Eowyn is also nervous*
Orc Patrol: *He swings at the one who said "What are we to do" and cuts off his arm*
Dernhelm: *sees the orcs break out in a fight amongst themselves*
Dernhelm: *takes that moment to draw her sword once again, and charges into the lot, swinging as she goes*
Pippin: *grasps his sword hilt, waiting for Eowyn's command to fight*
Dernhelm: *screams* matum! *she feels her sword meet flesh and bone several times*
Dernhelm: *hushed whisper to pippin* strike out to the left!
Dernhelm: *the horse plunges into the group its eyes flaring*
Orc Patrol: *The orcs scream and scatter*
Pippin: *throws off the cloak on the left side and swings his blade with his strong left arm*
Pippin: *killing his orc*
Orc Patrol: Dagalur! *they scream* Skakh Gakh!
Orc Patrol: *they run in terror*
Orc Patrol: *fearing for their lives, they run into the trees and there will be several desertions before morning from the mad fear*
Pippin: *looks at his bloodstained blade, tears of joy starting in his eyes*
Pippin: *He smiles broadly*
Dernhelm: *charges on her path through the woods, persuing orcs in her path that run from her*
Pippin: *stays at the ready to swing again, peering out from under the cloak*
Dernhelm: *screams* number one shall hear of this!
Pippin: (Oh the irony!!!!!!!)
Dernhelm: *soon they gallop away from the remaining members of that orc patrol, who are too frightened now to challenge them*
Dernhelm: *they are alone once more, and she slows her horse down to a trot... then a walk slowly through the trees*
Pippin: *Pippin sheathes his sword and hides under the cloak again*
Dernhelm: *she stops the horse momentarily, takes the edge of her flowing black cloak and wipes the black blood from her sword. then she sheaths it and rides on*
Orc Patrol: *They have come through the 5 mile no man's land and part of the remaining five miles of orc filled territory*
Dernhelm: *her heart begins to slow its frantic beating, but she still remains alert... battle fever raging in her blood. she whispers to pippin* soon we come to the northern end of the valley
Dernhelm: expect the orcs to be thick here. we may have to fight our way out, should they doubt us
Pippin: *He thrills at her words* *whispers* I will be honored to fight with you
Dernhelm: keep your sword handy, for there will be plenty more of the devils
Pippin: *draws his sword cautiously and holds it to his side, at the ready*
Orc Patrol: *indeed she is right, for they haven't traveled but a mile or two when Dushtala begins to fidgit, sensing that something is up ahead*
Dernhelm: *noticing that the horse senses something, she slows the pace, riding with caution, and straining to see in the distance
Orc Patrol: *It is the dead dark of the night. No sounds greet their ears. The night birds and insects are quiet. Something has alarmed them, causing them their voices to be silent*
Dernhelm: *this does not bode well. she tenses in the saddle, her eyes scanning the woods ahead*
Pippin: *feels the tension, breathes heavily but quietly*
Orc Patrol: *Orcs rush out at them. Two of the Mordor orcs with their long arms reach out to grab the horse's bridle* Where ye going, matey?
Pippin: *grips his sword tighter*
Dernhelm: *she unsheaths her sword again and lashes out the orcs who try to grab her horse's bridle* fools! thou darest hinder a messenger of the Great Eye???
Orc Patrol: *they still hold the horse's bridle but step back* And why is a messenger of the Great Eye 'ere tonight?
Dernhelm: *she snorts, and answers coldly... her voice deep* lazy sluggard! thou didst not see my coming, and now thou darest question my going!
Dernhelm: *dushtala strikes out at them with one of his forehooves, and eowyn still holds her blade in her hand*
Dernhelm: if thou had been on thy mission and not out sulking in the trees, i would not have come on thee from behind
Dernhelm: get out of my way or i shall put a maggot hole in thy guts
Orc Patrol: *perlexed at the manner of the rider, they release the hold on the bridle*
Orc Patrol: you don't need to get all 'igh 'anded mate
Orc Patrol: We was doin' our job!
Dernhelm: *scoffs* then why didst thou let me come up behind thee and catch thee un-awares?
Orc Patrol: *he looks at her, dumbfounded*
Orc Patrol: And why do ye reek of our blood, matey?
Dernhelm: i caught another one of thy filthy kind straggling in the woods, besotted on thy foul draughts. he paid the price dearly.
Dernhelm: but thou! thy fate may be different. what is thy name and number, so i shall give them to the nazgul??
Orc Patrol: Garn! Matey! Don't be so upset!
Orc Patrol: My name is Glokdagri, and my number is 59387457595
Orc Patrol: Don't be so uppity, mate! Don't report me!
Dernhelm: *she thinks a moment, pondering* i shall let this slip, snaga, if thy give me a few jugs of thy filthy draught and some bread, and any provinder fit for man
Orc Patrol: Just don't report us, matey! Be quiet about this!
Orc Patrol: *the orcs go over into the trees and bring back three jugs of orc draught and a bag of food - bread, dry crackers, meat of unknown orgin, some smelly cheese*
Pippin: *is very, very glad for the food*
Dernhelm: *she takes the bag from the orc and puts it in her saddlebags. she tells the orcs* now lads, keep about thy mission. don't go off into the trees popping thy skulls out on draught and i shall not report any of this!
Pippin: *but not for the orc draught--he knows what that is*
Orc Patrol: Aye, we will *The orcs are all relieved because they are sure that it is someone sent out from Lomin to spy on them and report them, because indeed, they had been getting drunk back in the woods*
Orc Patrol: *the remaining last five miles are passed in much of the same way. Dernhelm manages either to trick them or ride right through them, striking many as she rides, and Pippin's blade does not return without black blood on it too*
Orc Patrol: *The Valar must have been with them that night, for there was no way to explain this*
Dernhelm: *eowyn now knows that she must cross the river, for the ford at edoras would be too perilous to chance*
Dernhelm: *about three miles from edoras, she urges dushtala forward and to the bank of the river. he does not want to go at first, being trained to avoid water at all costs, but she is able to master him and
Dernhelm: he enters the river.... they swim across to the western side*
Dernhelm: *they head west near the base of the mountains, keeping to the woods...*
Dernhelm: *after traveling west a few miles, they cut north, going across the great west road.... through the burned fields of the westfold..... eowyn feeling that somehow her fate lies to the north*

"Pippin's Note"
By Eowyn
June 13, early morning

Hathawyn was cleaning in one of the large eating pavilions - scrubbing overlooked dirty spots upon tables, picking up items that people left behind, and removing refuse from the grass. There was no need to worry about spilled food upon the ground, for the hungry dogs had taken care of anything that was dropped (either by accident or on purpose). Indeed, they proved themselves to be "man's best friend," or at least good friends to the kitchen-help.
Near one of the walls of the tent, she found a folded up piece of paper. She was about to take it to one of the cooking fires, but changed her mind for it looked like a note of some sort. Curious, she unfolded the piece of paper and began to read, being fairly literate. Her hazel eyes widened and she gasped at what she read... the letter was meant for her.

Dear Hathawyn,
I did not know you for long but your memory is precious to me, as I hope mine will be to you. Thank you for everything. May you survive these times to live a long and happy life. Where I go I cannot tell you, but I am wearing your hair ribbon on my arm. Goodbye, my dear maiden of the golden ale. --Peregrin Took

Her heart sank, and she felt as though the ground had disappeared from beneath her feet. Pippin! Where was he going? He said he was wearing her hair ribbon on his arm... Knights always carried scarves given to them by fair ladies with them when they went to a joust. But there were no jousts.... only war. Had Pippin really sneaked off to go fight, to try to do brave deeds like his friend Merry? She must find out if it was true! ....but, really, she already knew that it was.
Folding the letter back up, Hathawyn stuffed it in the purse attached to her belt, and ran out of the pavilion. When startled workers asked her where she was going, she called back with the vague excuse of some "urgent business" to which she had to attend.
She sped to Eowyn's pavilion, and Pippin's small tent beside it. She hesitated. What should she do? If Pippin was still there, she did not want to barge in on him and catch him unawares. But, certainly, if Pippin had run away, or was in the process of running away, certainly the Lady Eowyn would know. If Pippin was to fight, doubtless Lady Eowyn would be right there with him, just as she was with Merry. And, knowing the Lady Eowyn, the idea to sneak off to fight was hers to begin with.
She moved to Eowyn's tent flap and called softly, "Lady Eowyn? Are you awake?" Only silence greeted her. She asked again, louder this time, but still she got no response. That did not bode well. What if the shadow upon her had come back? She had been in a dark and gloomy mood ever since she was healed.
Hathawyn nervously entered the tent. The interior was decorated with fine tapestries and skins, and the night-candle, still lit, had burnt very low. No one slept in Eowyn's bed, and her fine white dress was carelessly draped over the side. Inspecting the tent for any notes that may have been left behind, Hathawyn looked under the bed and found a large mass of cut golden hair. Picking it up in shaking hands, Hathawyn wondered why any woman would have done this to herself, but many were the rumors that Eowyn had gone mad from her thraldom to the great Enemy.
And suddenly she realized what had happened. Both Eowyn and Pippin had sneaked away sometime after the funeral feast the night before, and had gone to fight with the eoreds in the valley. There might be a possibility that they had gone off to find the Riders, but not likely. Only someone who was completely mad would go through the northern part of the valley, which was infested by foul orcs.
No longer worrying about modesty, for in her heart she knew what she would find, she ran to Pippin's tent. She yelled out Pippin's name before entering, but there was no answer. Hathawyn's fears and assumptions proved to be correct: the tent was empty. Both Pippin and the Lady Eowyn were gone. Eowyn left Dunharrow and gone off as a soldier once again and had taken Pippin with her, like she had done back in March with Merry.
And now what should she do? Should she tell Lord Wulfhelm of the matter, or wait for the absences of Pippin and Eowyn to be discovered in time? Pippin had told her that he longed to fight in the war, to have some part other than wait around helpless and despairing in Dunharrow. Two days before, he had told her of his desire to prove himself in battle, and his suspicion that the members of the Fellowship had always thought that he was a useless burden who always got in the way.
The note was meant just for her, and she had no idea when Pippin and Eowyn had left Dunharrow, or where they might be now. But it was her duty to tell someone about this. Someone should know. And Pippin had been vague and had not asked her not to tell anyone about his secret flight. Why was it ALWAYS her doom in life to bring evil news? She decided to tell her grandfather, one of the healers, about the matter, and ask his advice.
As she sped to the healers' pavilion, her thoughts were wild and frantic. That dear little hobytla! Into what horrible fate were he and Eowyn traveling? Would Rohan ever see its White Lady again, and would Hathawyn ever see Pippin? She began to etch her memories of Pippin deeper into her mind, so that she would remember him, should he not return from his perilous journey. She pictured Pippin crushed under the Black Captain's mace, Pippin hewed to death by orcs, Pippin dying a long, slow death in bitter agony, and a thousand other horrible dooms befalling jolly little Pippin.
And Eowyn! Eowyn! Rohan had lost its White Lady once, and now it appeared that she was gone again. And what would happen to her this time? Would she be captured again and taken to the Dark Tower to suffer even more torment than she had before? Poor Eowyn! Poor Pippin!
Hathawyn shuddered with dread at these dire thoughts that plagued her mind, and prayed that the luck of these two brave (or fey and foolhardy) soldiers would prove better this time, into whatever evil their paths now took them.

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