Snowmane galloped hard across the open land. All about him horses
and men fell, slain by cruel arrow and spear. Blood filled the air with
its sharp, iron tang and the grass clumped in sticky pools where bodies
fell. Before him rose a great city of white, black smoke and crimson
flames smearing its surface like a shadow upon his own white flanks.
Theoden, his master and King of Rohan, rode upon his back, his
glittering blade smeared down its length with reeking gore. He cried
out at the enemy, he slashed at them, he killed them. Snowmane drove
him onward, his hard hooves beating the ground as he ran.
Freedom. Yes, there was freedom in running. Maybe he ran towards his
death, but it mattered not to the horse any longer. He was running, he
was with his beloved master--he was free!
The horse ran faster, his spirit glad. Death filled his nostrils and
fear asailed his senses while felled creatures filled his dark-eyed
gaze. But he was free and he ran onward, bearing his master beyond all
pain and strife even as he galloped head on into it.
A black shadow, larger than any plain-soaring hawk--fell across
Snowmane. The horse faltered slightly, but he would not stay his
A deadly shriek filled his ears and the cold bit in his mouth was
pulled backwards, hailing him about. The white steed--a mount of Rohan
and of the King--turned to face this new terror. Great, it was, and
dark. Like a serpent with talons and wings and a wide mouth full of
sharp, tearing teeth. Upon its shoulders sat a Creature of
evil--cloaked all in black with a twisted helm.
Snowmane quivered with rage upon seeing it. Creatures such as these
should not exist! They kept him from running! They would take him now
from his master! Well, so be it. If he was to die, he would die. But he
would defend his master if he could.
He reared and charged the monstrous, foul beast. The dragon-like beast
roared and whipped its head around. Snowmane screamed and flailed his
hooves and struck the creature. The blow would have felled any other,
but this monster merely shrugged it aside and snapped its slavering
jaws around the screaming steed.
Pain tore through his being. With blood staining his flawless flanks,
Snowmane was tossed aside, torn and broken. As was his master. Dear,
beloved Theoden lay dying below him, as broken and bloody as he.
He had to get up! If he could move, mayhap his master would live! But,
alas!, Snowmane's hooves moved not. Death was taking him. Ah, but it
would not be so bad, really. His master would go to his hall of kings
and Snowmane, he would join his forefathers in the broad lands of
golden grass and sweet waters where he could run forever and never
tire. There his sire would be--his mare, as well, his mother. Together
they would run onwards and always below suns and moons and stars,
And he would see Theoden again. Sometime, beyond Time, they would meet.
Wracked with pain, Snowmane sighed once and then . . . he was free.