-  Riders Afoot
- Who leads this band?
- 'Mansig leads this company at the command of Harding, Reeve of the Wold. The Lord of Harwick is troubled by the report of Easterlings gathering in the Brown Lands, but he cannot ignore whatever has brought so many Orcs across the river into the East Wall. He charged Mansig with investigating the cause, and here we came with as much haste as could be mustered.'
- I see.
- From where did you come?
- 'This band is made of men from all reaches of Rohan, from Snowbourn in the Sutcrofts and as far north as Thornhope in the Entwash Vale. Most of us hail from Harwick, as does Mansig himself. It is my home as well. We rode south along the road when we were given this charge, stopping only at Floodwend to water our horses. We arrived at nightfall yesterday, and that is when the Orcs set upon us.'
- An Orc ambush.
- How did the Orcs surprise you?
- 'You may well ask that, and I imagine Mansig has asked Wilferth and Radwulf that very question. We knew there were Orcs in the East Wall, we knew they were here in great numbers, and still they managed to ambush us. I do not know how it happened. One moment we were making camp, and in the next we were beset by a raiding party of shouting Orcs!'
- He shudders.
- 'We were too confident in ourselves. We will not make that mistake again.'
- Easy words.
- What can you tell me of this land?
- 'I will tell you the truth, friend: the Rohirrim do not like to come to this land. There were often Orcs on the far side of the river, and small parties of the villains would cross in order to steal horses from the Mark. Something has brought them across in far greater numbers in the past few days; I know not what.
- 'It has not improved my opinion of the place.'
- I see.