The great horse was masterless. He ran free across the plains of Rohan, drunk with joy. The blood throbbed in his veins, the springtime air intoxicated him. Thus it was, perhaps, that he did not smell them…until it was too late.


They had no use for a horse, but they were not here to catch him. They were here to have some fun. As the greatest of all great horses stood, eyes closed, reveling in the warmth of the sun, he was suddenly surrounded.

The horse's eyes jerked open. His ears flattened, his nostrils flared. He tried to burst through the circle. A sharp pain stabbed his side. Then another. And another. Then he was free, running again, in agony. He ran, and the Orcs followed. A whistling sound, then more pain. And so they continued, until the ground behind was soggy with blood.

The horse's coat, once ghostly white, was torn and slashed, red and sticky. Even his pursuers were flecked with his blood.

The chase continued. On and on, mile after mile, they ran, until at last, the tortured horse could run no longer. Then he sank and lay in a pool of his own blood.

But as he lay there, writhing in agonal throes, he heard a sound that enraged him. He heard Orkish laughter. Gathering himself for a final effort, he lunged, ripping throats and limbs, turning his grave into a slaughterhouse.

The terror of the Orcs in that hour surpassed any they had known since Sauron's fall. The horse was a creature gone mad. As they tried to flee, they tripped over and trampled one another. A few managed to escape out of the melee, shrieking as creatures terrified out of their wits, leaving the horse surrounded by their dead companions.

The mists of death were rising before his eyes, and he fell once more. He was avenged. He drew a rasping, wheezing breath, and then, with a shudder, he died.

Today, a horse still runs in those rippling plains. A great horse, savage and strong as the Shadowfax of yesterday. This horse has a coat of glowing red. He rungs tirelessly, searching, searching for eternity. His vengeance is not complete, nor will it ever be. So he runs, and all who see him are filled with awe and terror.