08 November 2009 | 1821 words
Title: It should have been easy
By Lille Mermeid
Summary: A band of robbers stumble onto the wrong victims.
Author’s Note: I wanted to make a story where Faramir (the movie version) was happy and having fun.
I hope I did.
It should have been easy
It should have been easy. Two couples, four nice horses. The band of robbers rode closer and managed to encircle their target. The first doubt about the outcome came when the marauders noticed that the soon-to-be victims didn’t look afraid at all.
“Good morning myladies and mylords,” Ranwulf started to say, looking at his preys. Two women and two men, with fancy clothings and the horses looked good Rohan stock.
“Good morning to you.” replied the oldest of the men, a man in his thirties, with ginger hair, blue eyes and a cultured voice.
“Since we all know what this is all about, how about cutting the chase and stating your intentions?” the other man asked, a blond Rohirrim by his looks, a few years younger than the other.
“Well, mylord, since you are asking for an honest answer, such answer you will get. This are harsh times and we need to make a living. You look wealthy, so I think you wouldn’t mind to contribute to our wellbeing by giving us your money and horses. This would prove very important to us and to you, too, because you would left this place unscathed together with your nice ladies.”
The ladies who had been silent until that moment were grim expressions, expecially the blond one who looked a lot like the younger man.
“What if we refuse?” She asked, a wave of anger lingering in her voice.
“That would be a really bad decision, mylady, because we would be obliged to use the force to get what you could have given us with a smile.”
“You are welcome to try,” the blond woman answered and for a moment Ranwulf thought that she looked wild enough to do just so. He had heard that the women of the nothern lands were wild, but it was the first time that he actually got to know one.
“Let’s not be hasty.” said the older man “What about a gentlemen’s agreement?”
“About what?” Ranwulf asked, not really so anxious to engage in a fight, when intimidation should have been enough at this point.
“You choose a champion to fight against one of us. The winner decides what to do.”
“What should I accept? You are two men and two women and we are ten. You are heavily outnumbered and you would risk your ladies for a few trinkets and the horses?”
“We may be outnumbered but as a leader of men you should know how to recognize a powerful enemy. Should we decide to fight, you could win in the end, but you would lose men over this and are you sure you want this?”
The stranger seemed reasonable and Ranwulf decided to play along, for a while at least. He could always renege his word later.
“Aran, come forth. You are our champion,” Ranwuld said and a tall man with a red beard and no hair dismounted from his horse.
The two couples exchanged a look and the blond man went forward to face the challenger.
“So it is decided. Let the fight begin,” Ranwulf stated and the other drew back to make room for the warriors.
The two men seemed evenly matched. They were of the same height, Aran had a bigger frame, while the other had the speed of his younger years. After a few parries to test the waters, the fight began in earnest. Arad attacked with fury but the Rohirrim was faster and strong.
While the eyes of the marauders were fixed on the fight, the companions of the blond man were rummaging in their saddle-bags. Ranwulf and his men shouted in encouragement to Arad, expecially because the fight wasn’t going as expected. He gave a nod to size the women before the outcome, but the first who tried got an arrow in his arm for his trouble.
Everything went downhill from that moment on.
The black-haired woman went on firing arrows with precision, while her two companions defended her position with swords.
Meanwhile Arad was on the ground, wounded, and the blond man joined in the fray, with an energy belying his previous fight.
“It shouldn’t have been like that,“ was the thought in Ranwulf’s mind when a horn blowed in the distance.
Everybody froze for a second and all the heads turned to the source of the sound. A dust cloud heralded the arrival of a group of rider approaching at full speed and the fighting stopped.
The marauders blanched when they saw a squadron of the White Guard of Ithilien and a dozen Rohirrim soldiers. Ranwulf and a few of his men who still were in decent shape pondered the idea of make a run for freedom, but they changed their minds in front of the forest of spears and arrows trained at them.
The warriors came to a halt all around the bandits and the leader saluted the people in the middle of the fray.
“Is everything alright my Liege?” the leader asked with a smile shining in his eyes.
“Yes, Beregond. We stumbled in this group of men who didn’t care for honour, as much as they care for gold.”
“It seems as if they got more than they had bargained for, my Prince.”
“Very likely.” the man answered with a grin.
“Prince?” Ranwulf asked befuddled.
“Do you have a first idea who you were trying to rob, you big idiot?” Beregond asked.
“Some noble with fancy clothes, why?”
“Because you tried to rob our King and you will pay for this.” said one of the Rohirric warriors with a wild gleam in his blue eyes.
“We hadn’t time for introductions, but we can do it now. Our champion is Éomer King of Rohan with his wife as well as my cousin the Queen Lothíriel, this is my wife Éowyn of Rohan, sister of the king and Princess of Ithilien. My name is Faramir, Prince of Ithilien and Steward of Gondor.”
A laugh erupted from the royalties and the warriors at the flabbergasted look of the bandits.
“Round them up, Beregond,” Faramir said when he was able to stiffle the myrth. “A few of them are wounded.”
“Queen Lothíriel, my compliments for your archery skills, Beregond said after noting that a few marauders were sporting arrows in their limbs.
“With three brothers and two cousins like mine I HAD to learn. And needlework has never been my idea of fun.” the queen replied.
“Well said, Sister,” Éowyn added and both Éomer and Faramir exchanged grins before returning to their mounts.
“My liege lord, may I speak freely?” Beregond said to Faramir while they were riding towards Minas Tirith.
“Whenever you did not in the years when I was your captain?”
“Now you are my prince, things have changed a bit.”
“Speak freely, my Friend. You have gained the privilege.”
“Don’t you think that wandering around without an escort was not wise?”
“Maybe, but I hadn’t that much fun in a while.”
“I bet and Lady Éowyn, too. But please, for my peace of mind and the Rohirrim guards’, don’t do this too often.”
“All right. I’ll try. But I cannot guarantee for my wife.”
“Or your cousin.”
“She looks sweet, but she was a handful when we were children. She never wanted to be left behind.”
“You and the king of Rohan had choosen two wives who are as beautiful as a woman can be, but tough as seasoned warriors. An uncommon choice, indeed, but a good one in my opinion.
“In mine, too. When I was a young boy I was glad that Boromir was the eldest, so he had to be the one to marry for the realm, not me. Sometimes being the second son had his perks. It was worth ending up in the Houses of Healing if the outcome is Éowyn. The most courageous woman I ever met and beautiful, too.”
“And it doesn’t hurt that his brother is a good ally,” Beregond added with a smile.
“Not at all, even if I suspect that you are the only one outside my family and King Elessar’s to think that I made a marriage suitable to the Steward of Gondor. Or that I am the right man for the White Lady of Rohan. Half of the most important families in Minas Tirith hates me because I married a wild woman of Rohan instead of one of their daughters and in the Rohan they think that Éowyn should have married a real man and not a sissy who likes books.”
“A sissy the captain of the Rangers of Ithilien?” Beregond asked in disbelief.
“I’ve heard them and even if I haven’t the Halflings were kind enough to inform me of the gossips making the rounds before, during and after our wedding. You wouldn’t believe how nosy our small friends may be.”
“Don’t you mind that they think so about you and your wife?”
“As a matter of fact I don’t. I know that Éowyn is my destiny and I am hers. Everything else does not matter. She agreed to marry me, her brother gave her consent and I have the one of my king’s too. The others don’t matter.”
“The rangers have been very happy when you announced your betrothal with Lady Éowyn. They have heard of her and her courage and everyone was glad of your choice. They were never of high born ladies with upturned little noses and too much time on their hands.”
“Me, neither.” Faramir replied with a grin.
By the time the group arrived in Minas Tirith, the story of the attempted robbery had already arrived in the heart of the Citadel and Faramir saw King Elessar watching him from the window of his study. It was too far to see his liege’s expression, but the Steward had a good idea about the welcome he was going to receive.
“So, my faithful Steward, I’ve heard that there was a bit of a problem on your way from Ithilien to Minas Tirith.” the king said with an amused spark in his grey eyes, welcoming Faramir in his study.
“Problem? Not really.”
“Weren’t you ambushed by bandits?”
“I suppose that this was the idea, but they didn’t know who they were dealing with.”
“They might be the unluckiest bastards ever trying to live and rob in Middle-Earth.”
“Indeed, by they have the merit to have provided my lovely wife and me with a real good time. They should be thanked for that.”
“I’ll say that to them, when they will leave for the salt mines.” the king replied and the both laughed on their way out.
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The following people read the story, enjoyed it, and would like to thank the author: Ria , fira