The Deeping-coomb was a wide valley leading to a gorge in the northern White Mountains, guarded by the ancient castle of the Hornburg. At the end of the Third Age, it lay among the wide lands ruled by Erkenbrand of Westfold, who was thus its lord. With the troubles coming upon Rohan from Isengard, Erkenbrand took up his residence in the secure fortress of the Hornburg.
After the fall of Théodred the King's heir in the First Battle of the Fords of Isen, Erkenbrand took command of the Riders of the Western Muster (strictly he did not have the authority to do this, but pressing events called for decisive action). After playing an important role in the victory at the Battle of the Hornburg, he was placed in command of the defence of Rohan while King Théoden led his armies to the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.
Théoden fell in that battle, but the new King, Éomer, recognised the authority and dignity of lord Erkenbrand by granting him the new title of Marshal of the West-mark, thus making the Lord of Deeping-coomb the chief military leader of the western lands of Rohan.
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