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Old 11-03-2008, 09:13 PM   #14
Desultory Dwimmerlaik
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From the quill of loremaster Drok . . .

Here in lies the tale of the realm of Khazad-dm, and the dwarves, who with Balin, son of Fundin, set out on a quest to drive the Orcs out of their ancient colony in hopes of restoring the colony to its former glory. Before it became a place of dread and the Eldar renamed it Moria: The Black Chasm. The tale that you are about to read is about the final days of Balin's glorious re-conquering of Khazad-dm and of the brave Dwarves who travelled with him. Among these most notable of dwarves were Oin, brother of Gloin, and Ori, the scribe of the company and Balin’s good friend. Many years before Oin and Ori had travelled with Balin on Thorin Oakenshield’s quest for Erebor. The bold quest has also been answered by the call of many warriors: Loni and Nali, brothers, who were also joined by Frar and Floi, fabled for their skill with the axe and bow. The mightiest of those to answer the call was Tror, lieutenant to Balin on the quest. Many other followers came with Balin, but there number is too numerable to be listed here with due respect, and the heart could not bear the pain to recant what has become of them, but let us not be getting ahead of ourselves.

Let me start at the beginning. My name is Drok, a lore master and once scribe of King Dain. I have been charged with telling you this tale to preserve the memory of my kinsman. This tale took place many decades ago when I was young, a mere scribe in the service of the king. It was many years ago that Balin called together the high council of Erebor, he would not reveal the intent of the meeting but insisted that the it was of the highest importance and that the King call for one to convene at the earliest time possible. So it was late at night, deep under the roof of the mountain that Balin revealed a plan of magnanimous proportions: to conquer, nay, take back the city of Khazad-dm that Men call Dwarrowdelf and the Elves, Moria. King Dain met Balin’s plan with dismay and pronounced that it cannot be, though the entire council was against him. Through many arguments and rash words Dain reasoned with the nobles and won most of them back on his side, but when the King saw that Balin's will was still adamant, he pleaded with his friend to forget the futile idea. It is worth noting at this moment that it was he, Dain II Ironfoot, who long ago had fought in the great battle of Azanulbizar on the very threshold of Khazad-dm, and dared to look past the gate into the ancient realm. King Dain had long ago prophesized that another power, greater than the dwarves, would have to come before Durin’s Folk could again settle in the halls of their fathers. However, Balin was unmoved by the king’s words and insisted that it could be done and the threat that had loomed there before had long been gone. Such passion was aroused in the in some of the nobles that Dain dared not hinder them lest the gap between them grow wider. Thus it was that Balin set out from Erebor with a mighty company of dwarves all bound for Khazad-dm, but without King Dain’s blessing. The king grieved for the departure of his friend, knowing that the quest could not meet any other destiny but ruin.

It was after many days and nights of traveling they came within sight of the hallowed mountains, in ages long past their ancestors had called home. Thus it was that the host came to the Eastern gate, surprised and slew the Orc garrison gathered there. The dwarves rushed into their new home with hopes and anger running high. They swarmed over The Bridge of Khazad-dm before the Orcs could gather in sufficient numbers to repel them and fought their way, through the First and Second Halls, to the Twenty-First Hall where a great melee ensued. Floi fell in the battle, but so great was the fury and might of the dwarves at his death that no Orc opposed them for long. It was lastly the Goblin Chief sprang from his lair in a desperate attempt to drive Balin out or kill him in the attempt, but Balin proved the better fighter, he was on sacred ground and nothing would drive him from it. So it was that Balin slew the great Goblin Chieftain and a great rout began to take place as the Orcs tried to scatter, no Orc ever dared enter Khazad-dm again for five years.

It was after this victory that Balin found the Axe and Helm of Durin cast aside in some heap of rubble, discarded by the Orcs in fear of its memory. The relics were handled with the greatest of reverence, steel of the helm was undimmed and the blades of the axe were still sharp, and Balin claimed these for his own. A throne was erected in the Chamber of Mazarbul and it was with the greatest joy that the dwarves proclaimed Balin their King, Uzbad Khazaddmu, lord of Khazad-dm!

Balin’s people went to work in the following years repairing the evil wrought by the Orcs. Many chambers and halls were explored and the mines were once again being worked in. The halls of Khazad-dm shone again with a brilliant light and the grander of days long past had been restored. There it was that delver mined and the mason built, weapons were made and gems were uncovered; but of the greatest of all these delights was the true substance for which Khazad-dm was known for: Mithril, true silver was once again uncovered.

For years there was great prosperity, the miner worked with joy, the graver renewed the faded words and symbols upon the pillars and gates, and the smith made many weapons of great quality. Many expeditions were sent to explore farther and the dwarves mined in deep shafts that were long forgotten. Thus it was that Oin, son of Groin, made plans with Balin to set out from the Twenty- First hall in search of the armories of the Third Deep. It was not until many weeks later that Oin returned with new that he had driven the last remaining remnant of the Orcs from Khazad-dm, and he returned with scores of weapons and armour from the armouries of the Third Deep.

It was on November the 10th, in the year 2994 of the Third Age that Balin ushered forth from Khazad-dm, accompanied by his closest companions, to look upon Kheled-zram, that Men call Mirrormere, a lake at the mouth of Azanulbizar, the Dimrill Dale. It was at this lake that Durin the Deathless the Father of Durin’s People, looked into the water of Kheled-zram and saw a crown of stars above his head, and it was he who founded the great city of Khazad-dm.

It had been nearly five years since the dwarves drove the Orcs out of the halls. Everything was as it was in the days of Durin, but it would be short lived. The Orcs of the Misty Mountains had been stirred by rumors of wealth that the dwarves had accumulated during their stay; an army had been mustered and was marching on the Eastern gate that very day. Yet something far more fearful had been aroused in the depths of Khazad-dm’s mines, Durin’s Bane was aroused and his anger was great.

May it please you gentle reader to hear now the recounting of Balin, son of Fundin, and the brave dwarves who accompanied him. Draw closer to my fire and harken to the tale of my kinsman and how they gave their last full measure of courage in the halls of Khazad-dm.

~ Groin Redbeard

Last edited by piosenniel; 11-09-2008 at 10:25 PM.
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