Thread: The darkness of khazad-dum
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Dain of the lonely mountain has grown his people strong. They have again learned to forge great armor and weapons. The thought of retaking Khazad-dum their ancient home has grown whit the people. The lords of men have given no thought to the ancient halls. They were reminded of their existance by a old man who came from the west.
He was riding long. He had already been nearly everywhere. This moment had been planned for too long. He rode to the white city of men and did the job that was given to him by the king under the mountain.
When the next morning came many oddlooking posters were seen all around the lower circles of the city. They were as this:
The great king of dwarves asks for all bold and hardy adventurers to come to the mountain. A great adventure awaits them. If the deed is succesfull they shall be awarded whit a kings heap of gold!
And in the very bottom of the poster read as such:
This invitation call especially dwarves. For it concerns them closely. All are welcome tho.
These odd posters were everywhere. The odd old man had taken them to every city that he knew. And he knew many.
Now that hes deed was done he set out for the mountain.
Meanwhile a host of dwarves came from the blue mountains to the lonely mountain all equipped for war. It was time for great deeds once again.
A richly attired figure was standing in front of a pillar in the Grey Havens, reading a poster pinned to it. He turned as a maiden came towards him. "It's time for me to go out once again. This is something of tremendous importance. Khazad-dum is to be retaken, by force if necessary. And since it's one of the last strongholds of goblins, it is necessary," he said to the maiden.
The next day, after saying his farewells to those he knew, he took his leave of her, and rode out of the city. He rode fast, stopping only by Tom Bombadil's House, and Bree, before reaching Rivendell...
Rokey, a disgrace to the Dwarven ranks, read the flier with relish and doubt. One voice in his mind said," This is it, if you retake Moria, Khazad-Dum itself, no one will ever mock your bumbling in the forge again! Let's see them laugh when a hero hits his thumb over the anvil..."
Another voice, however, was less hopeful, "It's only wishful thinking Rokey, this kind of thing just isn't a job for you. You had better face it, you're hopeless. Everyone is kind enough to you most of the time just because you're Bokey's son, and he made the throne for the King Under the Mountain. You should send word to your brother about it, he was the one that rescued that Gondorian prince from those trolls. Besides, this is going to be extremely dangerous. They finally banished you from the forge two months ago to prevent you from hurting yourself anymore, the best thing to do is just stay in the kitchen where it's nice and safe..." Whatever came after that was drowned out by the sound of Rokey running home down the crowded subterranean hall to pack his things.
"This is it," thought Rokey, standing up twice as tall as he usually did. He was walking quickly up the corridor now, towards the enormous hall where the Iron Hills Dwarves dined as a community every morning for breakfast. He passed the door to this hall and entered the one beyond it. As he turned the corner he muttered "Just don't look at it!" unassuringly in Dwarvish.
The room was a kitchen. Rokey had been sent there, he felt he had been banished, for his own good after he narrowly avoided being burned to death in the forge. He had been leaning to close to some bits of metal he was working on, it was his first major commission. Anxious to do well, Rokey broke his longest string of accident free days ever when he reached out an arm to support himself while patiently waiting for his fetal door-knobs to reach the right temperature. His hand landed right on the forge-bellows and his face was engulfed in flame. Panicking, Rokey dashed across the forge, screaming and slapping at his fiery face. His perfect brother was the one who saved him. Everyone else was too shocked to do anything, although they were all truly concerned for Rokey, who was not a bad dwarf, just annoying and clumsy. Tackling him to the ground, Rokey's brother shoved his massive, gloved hands into Rokey's face. Rokey was almost too embarassed to get up. The other Dwarves were crowded about. Finally, Rokey managed to stand up by forcing himself to hope that no one had noticed. His eyes were sealed shut, but he knew his brother had saved him beacuse he recognized his voice.
" Are you alright Roke?" his brother had asked with genuine concern. As soon as Rokey, eyes still shut tight, nodded affirmatively, everyone burst into loud laughter. Rokey opened his eyes and saw nothing but the door as he walked out silently. The only thing that could have been worse was if he had cried, which he had been too ashamed and embarassed to think to do. He entered breakfast the next day to a dozen re-enactments of his accident and a roar of laughter.
"I'm leaving," said Rokey timidly to the lady-dwarf that ran the kitchen he worked in.
"They've let you back to the forge!" she said cheerfully, she had been the only person kind enough to give Rokey a job.
" N-no..." began Rokey, fingering the edge of his newly re-grown beard," I-I have to go west!"
"Blue Hills?" she asked.
Rokey was looking desperately for something to say that didn't have the name "Khazad-Dum" in it. He opened his mouth...
"I have cousins in the Blue Hills," she stated as she turned back to some eggs she was frying. Rokey was so relieved that she hadn't waited for an answer that he forgot not to look up from his boots, which his eyes had been fixed on the entire conversation. He saw it. There in the corner to his right was the trash despository, piled high with broken dishes that had last been whole in his hands. He felt sick.
Yelling "Good-bye!" to the female dwarf over his shoulder, Rokey pretended not to hear her inquireries as to the length of his absence as he headed for the exit of the mine.
It is the fourth age. Dwarves are strong again and men flourish. Only elves are those who still whither in the havens.
It is not the fourth age. Dwarves have never been strong, men have flourished since dawn and Elves have withered since their beginning.... a tragic comedy if you will.
People have been coming for days now to the city of Dale, below the Mountain. Many were still arriving. The promise of gold had attracted the largest number, others were there looking for fame from the deeds of arms, some, seeking adventure. But there were few, so few there, who could be of real service in this mission, those who knew the mountains, and the goblins, who had fought them before and knew how they fight. These are the ones who stood out, by their very actions and conversation. If only there were more...
Fionwë arrived after days of travel, to Carrock. He had a long way to go, but he was close. Every place that he stopped by, which could help, he left messages and gained promises of assistance when he should return. He was known to a large number of people, and had rendered much service to people around these parts...
this is making my money run out quick hehe this netcafe is seriously expensive!!
Over 15 euros for an hour!
Before fionwe sat down a young dwarf rushed to him. He was a messenger sent by arath.
"here you are sir!" said the boy handing fionwe a message.
I regret to say that i can not join you yet.
I have spoken to the dwarf king and he has given
you a regiment of dwarves to lead.
you have nearly a weeks time before the king expects you
to head south.
meanwhile you may do what you please.
the dwarf saw corgon sitting near him and he give a cry.
"oh!" he said.
"there is a message for you also!" he said handing a letter.
A regiment of the men of dale await your command!
i will join you later.
you have a week before you are to march whit fionwes force to the south.
both messages had a similar par at their end:
ps. i do remember our little adventure!
but now you are commanders!
no longer must you choose only your own path
but the path of your army also!
if you so choose!
you may if you wish go on your own to scout ahead.
after handing the messages the dwarf ran off.
Aethar was just walking in a back street in Bree when he found a rather strange paper laying on the ground calling for adventurers to help retake Khazad-dum. He quickly used a piece of charcoal to write a quick message to the dwarven king:
Your summons is answered, Aethar Elendil shall come.
I need no reward in the fashion of wealth but assistance in an endeavor of mine.
I ride for Erebor, upon arrival I shall inform you of the endeavor which I require assistance in.
P.S. Reward the bird, probably something shiny will do.
Aethar called a raven from the roof of a nearby building, asking it to carry this message to Erebor, with promise of ample reward upon his arrival and delivery to King Dain. As the bird flew into the air, Aethar withdrew from Bree and melted into the shadows...
Fionwë had vanished shorlty before the storm. All he had said to those who asked, as he walked down the streets of Dale towards the stables, was "I have received urgent news from my beloved in the West. I must go to her quickly, before it is too late. I am terribly sorry to not to lend my aid in this battle, but a more dear mission lies before me."
This puzzled many as no one had come into the city for a week at this time, but they accepted it.
He clasped hands with Corgon in friendship, not saying a word, and then rode off. Not one person had seen him since he had ridden off on Starmæn, heading North. A few days passed without any word from him; the King under the Mountain was about to send out riders to look for him when the storm struck. The snow was impassable by all...
Upon coming to out of moria the snows suprised him and had to dig his way out.
Riding or walking was impossible.
So arath took again the dark shaggy wings given to him by a very nice fairy and flew towards the lonely mountain.
"Who could that be?" he asked himself. Living alone in the wilderland had taught him many things. Picking his great battle axe, he advanced towards his door and in his mighty voice cried out:
"Who comes forth to the doors of Thorin?"
"Its me, Bifur," cried a voice.
CAutiously opening the door Thorin allowed Bifur in. Greeting his old friend in Dwarvish fashion he asked, "What is the matter Bifur? Has something happened for you to travel all the way from the lonely mountains to the Wilderland?"
"Haven't you heard the news?" Bifur asked. "There is a great mustering of dwarves at The Iron Hills. Dain is calling to his kindred, for the time is come for the retaking of Khazad-Dum, our ancient home."
"That is good news. Long have i dreamed about this moment and as a dwarf descended from the Dwarvish lords of old is is my duty to assist my King. I only wish my father was still here to see his son take up the ax as a Dwarvish lord. But I will be avenged on the orcs for his murder. We will leave in 3 days and on the way i will call upon others of our Kindred who i deem fit for war. " (My father was a general of Dain)
A month later
Thorin entered the great Hall of Dain, followed by his 5 companions while he went to greet his King. As he walked he looked at the splendor of the halls for it had been long since he has last been here.
A few moments later
After having met Dain Thorin went to meet the other Free People, mostly those who had war experience and some of them he knew by name for their reputation had preceded them and some were also his friends.
"Well met again arath. And greeting to you too Cargon and the others. What are the plans you have made?"
The roads leading to Dale and the Lonely Mountain began to echo with the tread of many feet marching, and a great dust was seen from the look-outs and sentries, the cause of which was hidden by the dust. Eventually it was seen that a mighty company of Dwarves, fully armed and filthy, was approaching from the West to join in the valiant attempt to reclaim Khazad-Dum. A Dwarvish army of that power had not walked the lands East of the Blue Mountains since Durin looked in the water of the Dimrill Vale. Yet each Dwarf in that army knew that he might be walking to his death in this venture, for if anything of greater power and dread than mere trolls dwelled yet in Moria, all would be for nought.
Runners were sent ahead of the column, to greet the King under the Mountain, and the King of Dale.
"We come from the far West, from beyond the Blue Mountains, and the far North, beyond the home of Dragons, to aid you in your venture. Tidings of this were sent to us by Fionwë, who alas was lost to us on the return journey through the land of Dragons."
This tidings brought sorrow to the Lonely Mountain, for Fionwë was a mighty warrior and a great friend of the Dwarves.
"His loss was deeply felt on the rest of the journey, as we have lost many good Dwarves to the remaining Dragons and from skirmishes in the mountain passes. We followed the commands he left us, and have placed companies in all the major passes of the Misty Mountains north of Khazad-dum."
The army camped around the Lonley Mountain, and the light from their campfires at night bathed the slopes of the mountain in a dull red glow...
"We must hurry there is no time to loose!" He cried the instant he saw the dwarf king.
"They are afoot. The hosts of those yet left in the old shadows of angmar are now massing and marching towards the mines." Arath said hastily.
"Very well! Sound the horns! This is the hour that we set out to our home!" Cried the king.
The mustered dwarves set out in good order whit the king following behind them whit his guard.
So it began in the dead of night. It was black but all knew that there were yet darker places in the shadows of the mountains. The vast mansions of Khazad-Dum would once again be lit whit light and mithril would flow to the outer lands.
¨Alas that many of these good folks will never return to their homes. Yet this may also be better than living uselessly in hidden mines and at least the generation that follows will proudly be able to say that his Kindred fought for their old home; and i hope that victory will be ours,¨ the Dwarf said aloud but the speech was more to himself than his companions.
Then turning to Arath he smiled.
¨Are you ready for what awaits us my old friend?¨ Thorin is asked. ¨And it is a great honour for me to once more fight alongside you."
"Yet even before we set out we have had a sore blow. Alas for Fionwe, he who did so much for us. Let us hope that we may achieve something to honour his memory and his great deeds."
The host advanced slowly and the sound of thousands of iron boots thumping the groung rang in the night air.
"Sorrow indeed has come to us even before the battle has begun. But such a battle it shall be that all in the realm of free people shall know it. For it will be the end of all vile creatures that yet march under the flags of the dark one. May your axe strike true and swift for there will be work for it." Arath said and laughed.
"Here we go then! We shall carry the flame that banishes the shadow from the depths of the mountains and none can run from our wrath!" Upon saying that he started to walk slowly towards the stairs. All the years of the world now weighed on him and he almost appeared a mortal man but the light in his eyes and the beautyfull voice he had made sure that all knew of what race he was.
With that Thorin followed Arath down the stairs and joined some of the other soldiers downstairs. As was usual with him he would be with the rear guard of the host.
"Are you going to walk with us Arath or have you brought your horse? If you brought your horse you could bring news from the van guard of our host. I would prefer you to be with the rear guard but since Finwe departure we have few experienced Captains left. So maybe you would accept my offer?"
"I have brought no horse. He would not enter the darkness of khazad-dum even would i offer him carrots or other gifts."
"And also I would be glad if you could give orders for our supply wains to be sent with the main host. I feel they are a bit exposed here."
"I shall talk whit the king of the supply caravans" Arath said and trodded off
Some time later, on the third day in the Camp
"Good morning Arath," Thorin said as he issued from his tent to find the dawrf standing and watching the Sun rise.
"I would like to discuss something with you. It concerns our passing through Mirkwood. Our host is so large that it would take at least two weeks before the whole hosts issues forth from the forests, once we have entered it. It would wise then, according to me, if we could send a company of about 500 soldiers led by myself and you to establish a small fort at the forest gate to guard against any Goblin patrols and furthermore to clean the path of any unwelcome visitors."
"Moreover, if you are planning to recruit some elvish warriors from Mirkwood it would also be better if we did it before the host reached the Wilderland. What do you think of my plan my friend?"
"I have sent out scouts towards gundabad to see what is happening there. They will be back before the next sunrise."
"And this time i propose we go in the van guard as the danger now lies ahead not backward; our rear guard under the command of Captain Floin should hold out and anyway we also have the Lake Town guarding our rear from any unlikely attack."
"If you agree to go with the Van guard then we need not depart with the host now. We will take 3 boats already made ready for us and proceed to the eastern gate of the forest with our company."
OOC: Floin is a fictitious character. I just indroduced him to have someone command the rear guard as we are somewhat short of players now. If you don''t like how i'm developing the story you can tell me or modify it through your speech
ooc: Im actually enjoying your developments
grondy would make a great commander of the rear guard
An anxious looking Thorin went in search of Arath once more. Finding him he said:
"Our plans have changed again. Only 200 of the original 500 soldiers will be in the vanguard with us. The others were sent to re-inforce the regiment previously commanded by Fionwe."
"That idiot of Bamfur has put it into his head that his regiment was weak and took away our soldiers which he deemed too much for us," the dwarf fumed.
"Anyway this means that we will need only two boats. The suppliers in the 3rd boat will be despatched to the main host by the man of dale. In the mean time our boats are ready and most of our company is onboard. Once you've done with what you're currently doing joins us and we'll set sail."
With that the dwarf departed to the docks where he boarded one of the two medium sized ships docked there. The one which he had boarded flew the emblem of Durin, seven stars above a crown below which was a hammer and an anvil. On board the ships, the decks were bustling with activity as the dwarves and few men were uploading the last supply crates and such few things as remained as well as supply wagons and horses which would be needed for the crossing of the forest. Following the splitting of his company Thorin had called for some craftsmen and a few blacksmith who had promptly been sent to join them. The tale was now fully told and only Captain Arath was needed before the ships would leave the docks.
The quays of Lake Town were full of people watching the last host of the dwarf depart for the unknown. Yet, most of the people were happy as they had concluded much business with the dwarves and wished them luck.
On board the ships, the crew were setting up the sails as they had a favourable wind and in any case they wished to reached the outskirts of the Elven path as soon as possible.
On Board the first ship
Thorin went in the captain's cabin to find Arath;
"Well finally we are off," the dwarf said. "I've just spoken to the captain and we should reach the main camp by four. Do you wish us to make landfall if you have a mind to talk to Dain again?"
"Else we could reach our path by nightfall," the Dwarf continued. "The captain only awaits your final orders."
Thorin called one of his soldiers and told him to inform the captain not to stop at the encampment but to head straight to the path of Mirkwood.
"So once we land do we go straight in search of the Elves Arath?"
Some time later
At dusk, the two ships made landfall. Immediately a small group of 5O dwarvish warriors were deployed in a defensive ring not far from the path to guard against any eventual attack while supplies and the rest of the materials were unloaded. The dwarvish craftsmen then set to work assembling the wains which would carry the supplies over the road. Another group of the dwarven soldiers set out to build a small palisade around the camp for some protection for the night. Once this was done the warriors which were on guard were pulled back within this perimeter and the number on guard were halved.
Other dwarves also set up a tent for the Captains to rest though much of the night would be spent in planning the steps over the next few days. By 10 in the evening the camp was fully operational and a deep quiet set over. This small fortification would be manned tomorrow by another regiment of Dwarves which would arrive in the morning to hold the fort after the departure of the Van Guard.
In the Captains Tent
"Well, we are all set up and ready. And what time should we leave tomorrow arath? Also, i would like to know if you know precisely where your kinsmen would be waiting for us."
"Furthermore, something else has just popped up in my mind. I seem to remember about the river of forgetfulness which passes through mirkwood? In the Bridge still destroyed? Should i have a supply of wood ready for that possibility?"
At dawn, the camp was fully awake and the soldiers were already in formation. They were only waiting for their marching orders, which soon arrived. Soon the echoes of Dwarvish boots could be heard as the dwarves marched on towards the other side of the forest. Thorin and Arath were at the back of the company, silently talking.
"I suggest we stop at dusk Arath. Even though we are a relatively strong company we are well stretched on this narrow path and in the darkness of Mirkwood who can say what lurks? If its ok by dusk I'll give the orders to camp where ever we have reached."
"How long do you reckon it will take us to get through the forest?"
Suddenly the Dwarf shouted 'Company HALT!'. All the dwarves at once stopped and listened to one of their leaders.
"Arath and Myself will from now be in front. There has be less than 2 feet distance at all times between any dwarf and under NO circumstance will any of you leave the path. Now fall into place."
As the dwarves completed their formation change, the marching orders were once more given.
"We have been expecting you friends!" Arath cried.
The elves jumped down from the trees.
"The night in mirkwood is black. We shall take you through safe paths to where our kindred is awaiting for your arrival."
The appearance of these elves was yet fair but you could see in them that the choice of staying in middle-earth and coming under the doom of mortals was wearing down on them. They seemed gray and whithered but in their eyes flamed a fierce fire and the lust for battle was on them.
"Do you know where we are now Arath and how long more before we reach the eaves of the forest. And ask your friends if there are any orcs or marauding goblins in these parts or whether any have been seen recently."
"Our company is still small though we have much experience. We should secure the area before the main host arrive. If there's any band of orcs roving we can finish them off."
"Ah! My friend! No matter how many there be the might of the eldest children shall smite them down."
The elves led the dwarves forward until a crossroads where arath called thorin and three of the elves to him.
"Will you accompany me to the halls of the forest king?" He asked