Lord Éomer summoned us at midnight. Scouts had warned of
an orc host descending the East Wall; orcs pledged to Saruman and
Mordor. That which we most feared had come to pass.
He spoke passionately: “I do not command you to ride with me – I
ask that you do so. We will ride without King Théoden’s
leave – but we ride for Rohan. Will you join me?”
Would I join him? I had eyes to see, and ears to hear. I
had seen the shadow that had fallen upon King Théoden – and I
had heard the evil whispers of Gríma. I had seen the
shadow that had slowly crept across the land of Rohan. Around me,
my companions brandished their swords, cheering and pledging allegiance
– allegiance to Éomer, not Théoden.
Another rider, Gárulf, glared at me. He was both a
companion and a friend. “Well? Do you ride or not?” he
demanded. I nodded, but this decision was not mine alone. I
looked to my other companion, my horse.
“Well, Arod? What say you? Do we ride for glory?”
With a snort, he agreed. So with high hearts and high hope, the
éored of Éomer rode into the night.