Curulinde’s Journey Through Moria

Are you involved in Turbine's Massively Multiplayer Online Role-playing Game? Talk about your experiences and more in here!

Curulinde’s Journey Through Moria

Postby Old_Tom_Bombadil » Thu Mar 08, 2018 1:16 am

Introduction

This is the first episode of my journey through the ancient Dwarven realm of Khazad-dúm, once known to the Eldar as Hadhodrond but now more commonly called Moria, which roughly translates to ‘Black Pit’.

Episode I

After skirting the edges of a large brackish pool clogged with foul-smelling weeds and such, I finally arrived at the West Gate of Moria. I understand that in former days a beautiful carven door illuminated with ithildin, a substance that could only be seen in moonlight, secured the entryway but, alas, it had very recently been destroyed by a monstrous creature of unknown origin. That news alone was nearly enough to cause me to turn away, but the Dwarves beckoned me enter and so I did, much to my later chagrin.

Upon entering Durin’s Threshold—nearly every feature in Moria is named after Durin, the father of the Longbeards—I began to inquire how I might pass as quickly as possible through Moria to Nanduhirion, the region outside the eastern gate of Moria. Luckily, the Dwarves had steeds that they could lend to adventurers brave enough, or some might say foolhardy enough, to enter the mines.

“Greetings, good Dwarf, I was told that I might find a steed suitable to travel the realm of the Dwarves within this hall.”

The Dwarf, who introduced himself as Fith, broadly grinned and gestured to the stall that lie behind him. (At first I thought he said ‘Filth’, for that name certainly would have been accurate of him, but I reasoned that even a Dwarf, at least one of Durin’s Folk, would not take so unflattering a name.)

Image

“There he is, my good Elf,” answered Fith.

“What, behind the goat?” I asked.

“No,” said the Dwarf, “it is the goat.”

I glanced at the goat.

Image

I looked back at the Dwarf.

Image

I glanced again at the goat.

Image

Then back to the Dwarf.

Image

I detected no deceit or treachery in the Dwarf, at least no more than usual among a generally greedy folk that continually scavenge for jewels and precious metals in the bowels of the earth, so I wondered what he was about.

The goat, on the other hand, was much larger and hairier than any domesticated goat I’d ever seen. I had observed similar-looking wild goats roaming the western slopes of the Misty Mountains; this must be a tamed member of that species.

At first glance I noticed the basket filled with mining tools resting on the goat’s rump. That wasn’t so unusual, I supposed, although one might think that a mule would be a more fitting beast of burden in a mine. However, upon closer examination I observed a leather seat resting upon the goat’s back where one might see a saddle upon a horse.

Image
A saddle on a goat?

“You ride goats?” I asked incredulously.

“Of course!” replied the Dwarf.

My eyes bugged out, my jaw hit my chest, and my face must have turned twelve shades of purple because the Dwarf quickly leaped to my side to prevent me from collapsing.

“Come now, Master Elf,” he said laughing, “I have ridden many a goat and am no worse the wear.”

“I’m okay,” I assured him, struggling to free myself from his large grimy mitts. “I just need a breath of fresh air.” At the mention of ‘fresh air’ he stepped back and began to stare at me as though I were crazy.

Observing his expression of puzzlement I began to explain: “I am not from one of the hidden Elf-kingdoms,” I explained. “My folk live by the sea, not buried in the earth.”

“You’re a long ways from the sea, Master Elf,” he needlessly informed me, “but when you come to the Dimrill Dale on the eastern side of the Misty Mountains you may gaze at Durin’s Crown reflected in the Mirrormere!”

“How long is the journey there?” I queried.

“Oh, I reckon about four days,” he replied thoughtfully.

“FOUR days? UNDER the earth? On a GOAT?” I began to feel faint again.

“Yes, four days,” he replied matter-of-factly. “That is unless you get lost,” he added with mischievous glee.

Little did I realize how fateful his words would be.


Curulinde’s journey through Moria, Episode I, Epilogue

I was dead set against riding the goat. However, after a prolonged discussion with Fith that went, in part--

I would not ride it
through the dark.
I would not ride it
in a park.
I would not ride it
here or there.
I would not ride it
anywhere.
I do not like
this smelly goat.
I would much rather
sail a boat.


--which was countered by Fith’s surprising bit of logic--

You do not like it.
SO you say.
Try it! Try it!
And you may.
Try it and you may I say.


--I finally conceded to give it a whirl:

Fith!
If you will let me be,
I will try it.
You will see.


Image
Last edited by Old_Tom_Bombadil on Thu Mar 08, 2018 1:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Old_Tom_Bombadil
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 1270
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2004 8:55 pm
Location: The Withywindle Valley
Top

Re: Curulinde’s Journey Through Moria

Postby Old_Tom_Bombadil » Thu Mar 08, 2018 1:20 am

Curulinde’s Journey Through Moria, Episode II

For those of you expecting me to say—

”I do so like
riding a goat.
Thank you!
Thank you,”
to Fith I wrote.


—I hope you are not too disappointed to hear me say that I definitely do NOT like riding a goat.

Why not? Well besides the great mass of hair and a smell that I’d rather not describe, a small boat tossed about in the worst of winter storms is less unsettling than the gait of a (presumably) tamed Redhorn Goat. However, since I had no other alternative than walking blindly beneath the mountain I chose to accept the goat as both steed and guide. A least for the time being.

The goat and I wound our way through the rubble past a number of large chittering bugs and strange howling creatures until we came to the settlement of Dolven View. It appeared to be primarily a place of commerce, although I did come upon several Dwarves begging favors in exchange for some flimsy reward. “Sure, I’ll risk life and limb for 19 silver and a rock. NOT!” I’d like to say, but I thought it best to smile and move on.

At the advice of one of these Dwarves I took a southern passage (or at least he said it was south) where I came upon a magnifcent carving in the wall he said was called ‘The Stone Council’.

Image

If the figures weren’t of Dwarves, I would have guessed that their council was to avoid overindulging in too much ale lest you experience it again in a much less appealing way. However, given that these figures were of Dwarves I imagine that their council would have beeen something more along the lines of, “Excellent! Now you have room to drink some more!”

I followed the (very dark) path a bit further until I eventually came to the Silvertine Lodes. I definitely did not want to get lost in the mines, so I retraced my steps to a small outpost called The Deep Descent.

I heard from the Dwarves there of a rumor that Gandalf had lead a party through the mines on their way east, so I asked which route they were thought to have taken. The Dwarves did not know for certain, but reasoned that they would likely have taken Durin’s Way.

“Which way is that?” I asked.
“Go north to Dolven View,” they replied, “then continue north until you reach The Chamber of the Crossroads. From there you may take Durin’s Way to the east.”

I thanked them many times over, blessing their beards, their wives’ beards, their children’s beards, and the beards of their fathers, grandfathers, and cousins to the nth degree.

Next stop: The Chamber of the Crossroads
User avatar
Old_Tom_Bombadil
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 1270
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2004 8:55 pm
Location: The Withywindle Valley
Top

Re: Curulinde’s Journey Through Moria

Postby Old_Tom_Bombadil » Thu Mar 08, 2018 1:28 am

Curulinde’s Journey Through Moria, Episode III

Scholars tell us that the shortest definition between two points is a straight line. Apparently Dwarven architects never learned this principle. For instance, when someone tells you “go north” you assume they define ‘north’ as the direction to the left of sunrise. However, when a Dwarf says ‘north’ he means east, south, east, north, west, north, west, north, east—well, you get the idea. (Not having a sunrise in Moria is an obvious impediment.)

Despite the circuitous route, I, after only a misstep or three, surprisingly found myself at the Chamber of the Crossroads.

There are two distinguishing landmarks at this point of interest, the first of which was a rather large well. How deep is the well? Ask the Hobbit who in his great curiosity was not content with merely dropping a stone down it but with throwing himself down as well. Bon voyage, Master Perian! I am not that curious!

Image

The second distinguishing landmark of this point is a large dais with a broken statue on it, presumably of— yes, you guessed it—Durin. The Dwarf in Dolven View had had told me to go east, but upon examination I discovered that there were three eastern passages: due east, northeast, and southeast. Recalling the Dwarves’ lack of knowledge of the straight line rule, I was in a quandary as to which of these three paths to take. Apparently I wasn’t the only one.

Standing before the dais was a scarecrow. Much to my surprise a young and rather naïve women with a little dog stopped to ask the scarecrow which direction she should take.

Image
In Moria, a scarecrow is just as likely to give you accurate directions as any Dwarven inhabitant

Rather than consult a figure made of twigs, I decided to further investigate each of the three passages. Given that the northeast and east passageways lay behind locked doors, I followed only the logical option remaining: southeast.

Next stop: 21st Hall
User avatar
Old_Tom_Bombadil
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 1270
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2004 8:55 pm
Location: The Withywindle Valley
Top

Re: Curulinde’s Journey Through Moria

Postby Old_Tom_Bombadil » Thu Mar 08, 2018 1:33 am

Curulinde’s Journey Through Moria, Episode IV

The Dwarves at the Crossroads said that correct path would take me to the 21st Hall and the “habitable parts” of Khazad-dûm. Habitable parts of Khazad-dûm? There is no such thing, at least not for this Elf. Nonetheless, the journey east would bring me that much closer to the Dimrill Gate.

The 21st Hall is a vast expanse of open area with a tremendously high ceiling supported by columns carved of stone. I observed that many of these columns were supported by scaffolding. I don’t know whether that means the columns are damaged or whether the Dwarves are just being safety-conscience. The Dwarves are undeniably masters of stone, it was for this reason that the Eldar called them Gonnhirrim. (Another of our words for them, Naugrim, meaning ‘stunted-folk’, is perhaps not quite so complimentary.) However, I will feel immensely more at ease when I can see the stars of Elbereth over my head.

Image
These columns inspired the tales of Khazad-dûm’s “many-pillared halls”.

The Dwarves have not delayed to re-colonize their old domain; the 21st Hall is bustling with merchants and tradesman of all sorts. Many express hopes of finding mithril, a rare metal found only in this region of Middle-earth. Its worth is said to be ten times that of gold. Others wish for the return of Durin to his halls.

I learned that one reason so many features are named after Durin is that, not only was he one of the seven fathers of the Dwarves created by Aulë, but there have been six Dwarves with that name. The Dwarves believe that each of these Durins was the previous one reborn. Will there be a Durin VII? Perhaps when a new Age dawns in Middle-earth.

While I was exploring the great hall one of the Dwarven merchants, a fellow named Grom, had the temerity to tell me, “You are ill-equipped to venture into Khazad-dûm.” “Ill-equipped?” I replied. “You are mistaken, Master Dwarf. This is among the finest gear that may be found among the Rangers of the North, the descendants of the Men of Númenor. Faradwon gave it to me. And this cloak came from none other than Elrond himself!” Although he’d likely knew of Elrond, I am certain that the Dwarf hadn’t a clue who Faradwon was. However, the forcefulness of my response was enough to ward off any further attempts to sell me the trinkets he was offering. I rather like my damasked robe and my low boots made of soft leather, even if they aren’t of Elven make. They certainly served me well during my ventures in Angmar.

Image
Be wary of Dwarven merchants and their shady sales tactics.
User avatar
Old_Tom_Bombadil
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 1270
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2004 8:55 pm
Location: The Withywindle Valley
Top

Re: Curulinde’s Journey Through Moria

Postby Old_Tom_Bombadil » Thu Mar 08, 2018 1:47 am

Curulinde’s Journey Through Moria, Episode V

After learning that Durin’s Way detoured north of the city to the Chamber of Mazarbul before again turning east I made my way there. Fortunately it wasn’t far from the cluster of merchants located at the center of the 21st Hall. However, when I arrived I found that the eastern passage of the chamber had been collapsed. Did I mention that I longed to have the open sky over my head once more?

The chamber was large and unusually disheveled. I wasn’t certain if that was because the Dwarves were attempting to preserve its state for prosperity or whether there was an some sort of investigation transpiring.

Image

In one corner of the room a Hobbit was scouring the broken boxes and other debris lying about. In the center of the room lay a large sarcophogus. A grey-haired woman, a large eagle flapping over her head, stood next to the tomb attempting to read the runes graven in it.

“Jimmy, this is Durin’s Tomb,” she said to the young man dressed in woodsman’s garb. “These runes were invented by Daeron, a minstrel and lore-master who served King Thingol of Doriath during the First Age. Not having a writing system of their own, the Dwarves adopted this system and altered to their own purposes.” “Really?" Jimmy replied, "that’s fascinating!” He stared at the tomb in wonder, tracing the figures with his finger.

I casually walked over to the tomb to look at the runes myself. “Hmmm. It says ‘Balin son of Fundin’ on the tomb. Didn’t he lead a party here some thirty years ago?” The lore-mistress shot me a cold stare. Jimmy looked at me with rapt attention. “From the looks of things,” I said, glancing down at the Dwarf skeleton resting against the base of the tomb, “it appears that he was less than successful.” Jimmy looked sad, while the woman looked away in an effort to appear disinterested.

“Hey, you’re an Elf, aren’t you?” asked Jimmy. “I’m Jimmy.”
“Mae govannen, Jimmy. I am Curulinde,” I said and bowed.
“I am Jemima,” the woman said coldly. “Jimmy is my nephew.”
“I bet you’re handy with a spatula!” I joked. Jimmy and I laughed heartily, but Jemima’s face knotted itself into a fist-sized ball.
“Sorry, I meant no offense,” I said humbly.
“None taken,” she said unconvincingly.
“Excuse me,” I said and walked to another part of the room.

Not knowing where to next look for find an eastern passage through Moria, I decided to late fate determine my path. I tossed my lucky silver penny into the air. No sooner had the coin become airborne when the Halfling darted across the room, leaped, and snatched the coin before my very eyes.

“Hey, that’s my coin!” I asserted.
“Finders keepers, losers weepers,” replied the Hobbit.
“I didn’t lose it, I was trying to decide…”
“Are you looking for Durin’s Way?” he interjected.
“Yes, and if you’ll return my…”
“I bet that fellow over there could find it for you. He’s a tracker. He’s the one who led us here.”
Jimmy smiled and waved at me.
“I don’t think his aunt likes me,” I whispered to the Hobbit.
“Jemima? Aw, don’t mind her,” he said cheerfully. “She’ll warm up to you—eventually”
“By the way, my name is Benedict,” he said as he extended his hand. After I shook it I carefully inspected my hand to ensure that I was still in possession of the ring I wore on my third finger.

“I’d be happy to find a way from here,” said Jimmy. “I’m pretty good at finding my way about.”
“I’d be grateful to join your party” I replied. “That is if Lady Jemima doesn’t mind.”
“No, I don’t mind, Master Elf,” she stated.

“I wouldn’t mind to join you myself,” stated a Dwarf who had been meditating solemnly to the side of the tomb. “I’m Deano, and am pretty handy with an axe in a pinch.”
“Very well, Master Dwarf,” I replied. “I am certain having one of Durin’s Folk among us would be most useful in Moria. Which way shall we go?”

(“Am I the only one who suddenly developed a craving for a breakfast of eggs, sausageand pancakes?"”)

Next stop: Jazargûnd
User avatar
Old_Tom_Bombadil
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 1270
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2004 8:55 pm
Location: The Withywindle Valley
Top

Re: Curulinde’s Journey Through Moria

Postby Old_Tom_Bombadil » Thu Mar 08, 2018 1:53 am

Curulinde’s Journey Through Moria, Episode VI

The name given to Moria, the Black Pit, is well-earned. To the Dwarves’ credit, however, they have made a concerted effort to illuminate it. As one might expect, torches and braziers are common throughout the Dwarf realm.

ImageImage

Glowing crystals in shades of amber or bluish-white provide soft illumination in many places in the mines.

ImageImage

When I arrived in Jazargûnd, however, I encountered something completely new.

Image

Shafts in the mountainside allow sunlight to stream into the wide hall onto a collection of mirrors that can be manipulated to reflect light into the nether places beneath the mountain. Naturally, the flaw in this system is that it cannot provide light during nighttime hours or when the skies are darkened with clouds.

One of the Dwarven merchants was overheard to proclaim, “Would that we could procure a trophy from Durin’s Bane!” Benedict tugged on the sleeve of Jemima’s robe. “So what price do you suppose a trophy from Durin’s Bane would fetch?” A sharp glance from lore-mistress seemed to say in no uncertain terms, “Don’t even think about it, pee-wee.”

Some of the Dwarves at Jazargûnd told us that there was passageway to the east that might eventually lead to the Dimrill Gate, however, there was a very large colony of Merrevail that had made its home there. “They’ll skin and eat you alive!” warned a Dwarf named Borgar, his eyes wide with fright.

I’ve encountered Merrevail many times in Angmar. They appear to be bred from Men and bats, and are full of malice and wickedness. They have matriarchal societies led by one they call ‘Mistress’. The males are very hairy, and appear to be more beast than Man. They are commonly accompanied by large bats, which they keep as pets. The males are far outnumbered by females, whose seductive strut is reminiscent of the street walkers that prowl the streets of Bree late at night. They are very devoted to their Mistress.

I’ve never been skinned by a Morroval, let alone eaten alive, but I have been kicked and scratched, and their piercing scream will curdle your blood. Worse still, perhaps, are their insults:

Image
A final insult from a dying Morroval.

Mortal indeed! Do they not know of the power of the Eldar? Not wishing to face such vicious taunts again, I resolved that my companions and I would take a different path.
User avatar
Old_Tom_Bombadil
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 1270
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2004 8:55 pm
Location: The Withywindle Valley
Top

Re: Curulinde’s Journey Through Moria

Postby Old_Tom_Bombadil » Thu Mar 08, 2018 1:56 am

Curulinde’s Journey Through Moria, Episode VII

“I was talking to some Dwarves over there,” Jimmy said as he waved to a pair of Dwarves some 50 feet away--they grinned and waved back, “and they mentioned a tunnel to the east of here called ‘The Peaceful Path’. They said we won’t find any Merrevail there.”
“Certainly not if the name holds true,” Jemima replied. “Let’s try it.”
Deano and I looked at each other shrugged. “Okay.”

We traveled west over a bridge and a little ways north, wandering through a maze of corridors until we came to a door.

Image

Jimmy declared, “Here it is.”
Benedict patted the young huntsman on the back and said, “Nice job, Jim!”
Ever skeptical about Moria, particularly in regards to what might lie behind closed doors, I opined, “I’m not so sure about this,”
Jemima scowled at me.

So we dismounted from our goats and led them through to the door to find that the front part of the tunnel was filled with several beds occupied by what appeared to be convalescing Dwarves.

“Jimmy, are you certain this is right?” I asked skeptically.
“I think so,” he replied. “Let’s follow the tunnel east.”

Within a few minutes I began to see my breath. I halted.

Image

“Jimmy, there’s ice on the floor,” I said as a warning. “This path probably leads—“
“Trust me, Linde,” he said. “I’m a tracker. Besides, the Dwarves at Jazargûnd said that this was the right way.”
Benedict said excitedly, “Look, another door!”
We excitedly rushed forward. Ominously, just as we stepped through the door it slammed shut behind us.
“—outside,” I said dejectedly.

Next stop: Zirakzigil
User avatar
Old_Tom_Bombadil
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 1270
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2004 8:55 pm
Location: The Withywindle Valley
Top

Re: Curulinde’s Journey Through Moria

Postby Old_Tom_Bombadil » Thu Mar 08, 2018 2:07 am

Curulinde’s Journey through Moria, Episode VIII

Normally I would have been overjoyed to return to the out of doors, but standing in the howling wind on a mountain top in the dead of winter is not what I had in mind. In the distance a very large figure could be seen smoldering on the snow.

Image

“What’s that?” Jimmy asked. “I believe it is a Balrog,” I replied, “or at least it used to be.” Jemima frowned. “No, it can’t be,” she said. “They were all destroyed when Eärendil slew Ancalagon the Black, Thangorodrim was broken, and Beleriand drowned.”

“I guess you never met Thaurlach,” I said under my breath. (I was well-acquainted with the history of events that ended the First Age, but experience had taught me different.) Deano suddenly became cross. “Lady Jemima, haven’t you’ve ever heard of Durin’s Bane?” Jemima simply glared back at Deano.

Benedict innocently asked, “Durin’s Bane was a Balrog?” “Of course Durin’s Bane was a Balrog, you wooly-footed ninny!” Deano fumed. “What did you think it was, his mother-in-law?” Benedict let out a whimper and hid behind the skirts of Jemima’s robe. “It might have been his father-in-law,” I said with a smirk, thinking of my own trials with Gildor Inglorion.

Still not convinced that it was a Balrog, Jemima suggested that we take a closer look. We carefully walked down the slope of freshly fallen snow to where the wreck of Durin’s Bain lay on the ice.

Image

“Well, whatever it was it had wings,” Jemima observed. “Therefore it could not possibly have been a Balrog.” “Whatever,” sighed Deano. I laughed.

“Is it dead?” Jimmy asked. “Either that or it’s making snow angels,” I retorted. Benedict giggled. Jemima dropped to one knee and placed the second and third fingers of her right hand where its throat might have been to check for a pulse: “It’s dead, Jim.”

“Oh boy,” shouted Benedict, “I’m gonna find a trophy!” Before we could stop him Benedict scrambled up the slope to the other side of Durin’s Bane and began scouring through the rubble. Suddenly a frost drake swooped in on the Hobbit and loosed an icy blast. Benedict and his goat crumpled to the ice.

Deano swiftly slipped his axe from his belt and with a cry of “Baruk Khazad!” charged the winged menace. Jimmy loosed a string of arrows. Jemima waved her arms about and summoned a beam of light, while her eagle flew swiftly towards the drake bearing its beak and talons. I began vigorously beating on my drum.

The drake fell lifeless to the snow within a few moments, but Benedict’s goat was dead and the Hobbit himself was frozen half-to-death. Thinking quickly, Deano sliced open the deceased goat’s abdomen and stuffed the Hobbit’s small body inside the warm cavity.

Image.
Golly goat guts! That outfit will be hard to clean. The little guys looks toasty warm, though, doesn’t he?

“And I thought they smelled bad on the outside!” I complained. That did not detour me, however, from reclaiming my own. Holding my nose with one hand, I stuck the other into the goat and began patting down Benedict. “Ah ha, here it is: my lucky silver penny!”

Next stop: Who knows?
User avatar
Old_Tom_Bombadil
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 1270
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2004 8:55 pm
Location: The Withywindle Valley
Top

Re: Curulinde’s Journey Through Moria

Postby Old_Tom_Bombadil » Thu Mar 08, 2018 2:09 am

Curulinde’s Journey through Moria, Episode IX

Since the four remaining goats had scattered across the mountain top during the drake’s attack and the snow storm that immedilately followed, we had no other recourse than to drag the dead goat’s carcass and its tiny occupant across the snow and back into the Peaceful Path.

It now occurred to me why all those Dwarves may have been convalescing. Perhaps they, too, had gone to claim a trophy from Durin’s Bane.

Image

We found an empty cot for Benedict. Deano said he’d stay and look after the Hobbit until he was fit to travel. I played a song on my harp to encourage them both.

Jemima and Jimmy had some business in Jazargûnd to attend to. As I was leaving to return to the 21st Hall I could see that they had cornered the two Dwarves who had suggested taking the Peaceful Path. Those Dwarves weren’t grinning anymore.

I was glad to be free from Jemima’s menacing glare, and away from her eagle’s constantly flapping wings. It seems that regardless of where I stood in relation to Jemima—left, right, front, or behind—the eagle would be directly over my head, the feathers on its wingtips brushing against my face.

I would miss Jimmy’s youthful wonder at seemingly everything he beheld. I would miss, too, Benedict’s insatiable curiosity if not his sticky fingers ever pawing me and my things. It may be some time before I am able to completely clean the blueberry pie filling fingerprints from my satchel.

Next stop: 21st Hall (again)
User avatar
Old_Tom_Bombadil
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 1270
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2004 8:55 pm
Location: The Withywindle Valley
Top

Re: Curulinde’s Journey Through Moria

Postby Old_Tom_Bombadil » Thu Mar 08, 2018 2:15 am

Curulinde’s Journey Through Moria, Episode X

As I returned to the marketplace of the 21st Hall I overheard a Dwarf singing a very curious song:

My sweetheart's a goat in the mines
Way down where the sun never shines
All day I sit
And I chew and I spit
All over my sweetheart's behind


Image

Upon hearing this song I resolved to always wipe the saddle before mounting a goat. Come to think of it, it would not be a bad policy to thoroughly clean anything touched by a Dwarf miner before using it.

Alas, if I were to continue my search for the Dimrill Gate I would again require the use of a goat. I approached the stablemaster of the 21st Hall with a smile: “Suilad, stablemaster!” “Greetings, Elf!” he replied. “I would like to rent a goat for the purpose of continuing my journey through the mines,” I explained. “Would you? Well you have come to the right place. Taf has the best goats in all of Khazad-dûm!” “Excellent! Then I’ll let Taf select one for me,” I said with a friendly laugh. The Dwarf awkwardly handed me the reins of the nearest goat and said, “Here you are, Elf!”

“Pardon me, Taf,” I said politely, “but isn’t that Durin’s Bane?” I pointed down the hall. “Where? Where!” he asked excitedly, pushing me aside to get a better a look. While his back was turned I quickly wiped the saddle with a clean cloth. After all, I did not want to insult the Dwarf by implying that he and his beasts were filthy, even if they were filthy.

“Oh sorry, my mistake,” I said, smiling. “The dim light must be playing tricks with my eyes.” He eyed me suspiciously. “I need to tell the goat where to take you, Elf. Where was it you said you were bound?” “The Dimrill Gate, Master Dwarf,” I replied while maintaining my friendly smile. “Ah, then I shall tell him to take you to the First Hall. It is just a short walk from there to the Dimrill Gate.” “Le hannon,” I said, bowing.

Image
Taf and his beloved goats

The Dwarf whispered in the goat’s ear. He spoke in the uncouth Dwarven tongue so I could not understand it. I very much hoped that the goat could, though.

I placed my left foot in the stirrup and slipped my right leg across the saddle as I mounted. “Noro lim!” I commanded the goat, realizing only a moment too late that this was a big mistake.

The goat bleated, leapt five feet into the air, then bolted from the hall as though a ravenous dragon were chasing it. I tugged on the reins in an effort to slow the creature to no avail. I dared not leap off for fear of falling into a bottomless chasm or being forever lost amidst the goblin hordes that ceaselessly roamed the mines, so I held on tight and hoped that the beast would soon find a safe haven.

Next stop: Only the goat knows.
User avatar
Old_Tom_Bombadil
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 1270
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2004 8:55 pm
Location: The Withywindle Valley
Top

Re: Curulinde’s Journey Through Moria

Postby Old_Tom_Bombadil » Thu Mar 08, 2018 2:20 am

Curulinde’s Journey Through Moria, Episode XI

Mr. Goat’s Wild Ride took me through many dimly lit halls, down a great number of stairs, and finally into a very great wide and open hall, which I later learned was called the 2nd Hall. There were a number of orcs prowling this area, but they dared not attack for fear of the goat. I can imagine that their reaction must have been similar to those who had encountered the great wolf Carcharoth in whose belly lie the Silmaril that Beren had captured from Morgoth’s crown, burning him from within.

The goat then took me through mines in the depths of Moria that the Dwarves called the Redhorn Lodes, presumably because they lay beneath the peak the Eldar call Caradhras. Finally we came to a region that was far stranger than anything I had ever beheld: The Foundations of Stone.

The Foundations of Stone are especially dark, or would be if not for the phosphorescent mushrooms that illuminate many parts of it. Here dwell many spiders, orcs and even trolls whose malformed bodies make them even more hideous than usual. There are other creatures so strange that they have no name.

Image
Mutant Orcs labor amidst the glowing mushrooms

Oddly enough, as I entered this area I spied the same young woman with the little dog that I’d seen in the Chamber of the Crossroads. As my goat sped by I overheard her say, “Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” I have a feeling that we’re not in Celondim, either!

Next stop: The Shadowed Refuge
User avatar
Old_Tom_Bombadil
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 1270
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2004 8:55 pm
Location: The Withywindle Valley
Top

Re: Curulinde’s Journey Through Moria

Postby Old_Tom_Bombadil » Thu Mar 08, 2018 2:29 am

Curulinde’s Journey Through Moria, Episode XII

The goat at last came to a stop at a Dwarf camp deep in the bowels of Moria. The camp’s stablemaster said to me, “Greetings, friend. Are you lost?” “I’m in Moria, aren’t I?” I replied. “Yes, of course,” he responded with a puzzled look on his face. “Then of course I’m lost!” I said heatedly. He laughed and clapped me on the back. “Now, now Master Elf. There’s nothing to get excited about. I am Kormak, and this is the Shadowed Refuge.”

The Shadowed Refuge, eh? The name seemed appropriate enough. I cannot imagine why Dwarves would be here. Certainly they weren’t mining for the mithril that they so keenly desired?

Image

To my even greater surprise I learned that there was a company of Elves camped here that had been dispatched from Lothlórien. Elves deployed to Moria??? I can only guess what sort of cruel fate Galadriel’s cat must have suffered to earn them this punishment. Either that or they had made the mistake of beating Celeborn at bowling.

The Elf-matron Lenglammel spoke of a threat that dwelled in the Foundations of Stone that, if not defeated, threatened to spread to the world above, even to the Golden Wood. Durin’s Bane had been defeated, I’d seen the evidence of that myself. Was there something even worse than a Balrog in Moria? I shudder to think of it.

After the harrowing ride through the mines, a ride that I had expected to take me to the 1st Hall, I decided that perhaps it was best to find my way to the Dimrill Gate on foot. The Dwarves warned me against travelling through Moria without a goat but Forglinn, one of the Galadhrim, rolled out a map to show me the path to Nanduhirion.

Image
Elves from Lothlórien have established their own camp, Gwathrendath, within the Shadowed Refuge

“Go west to the Redhorn Lodes, then northeast through Nud-melek, work your way north until you find some stairs that lead to the 2nd Hall,” Forglinn said. “From there go north as far as you may, then head east until you reach a great chasm. If you cannot find a bridge across the chasm, you will have to find the northern route around it. Be wary! A great number of enemies patrol that region.”

“That sounds very dangerous indeed, Forglinn,” I said. “Do you recommend that I take a goat with me as a steed and guide?” Forglinn looked at me with great concern. “I thought not,” I told him. He smiled and nodded his head.

Next stop: 1st Hall (I hope)
User avatar
Old_Tom_Bombadil
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 1270
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2004 8:55 pm
Location: The Withywindle Valley
Top

Re: Curulinde’s Journey Through Moria

Postby Old_Tom_Bombadil » Thu Mar 08, 2018 2:34 am

Curulinde’s Journey Through Moria, Episode XIII

I followed Forglinn’s directions explicitly. Although I occasionally came upon a solider or two of the Enemy, I was able to slip past them unnoticed. I thought it wise to avoid unnecessary entanglements whenever possible. Who knows? The howl of one or two orcs might bring many more.

At last I approached the great chasm. The smell of sulfur gave witness to the fires that burned deep within the mountain. Finally I saw it, the gateway to the fabled Bridge of Khazad-dûm. If I could make it across this bridge my journey to the Dimrill Gate would nearly be at an end.

Image

To my dismay, however, as soon as I moved towards the bridge a handful of Orcs discovered me. They shouted in their awful tongue: Grishgrash ma poobeldy krunk! (Or something to that effect.) I ran as swiftly as I could in a direct line towards the Bridge. (Remember the rule about the shortest distance between two points?) I recalled that sometime during my travels I heard Dwarves boast of their homeland, and of the narrow bridge that was cleverly built so that invaders could only pass over it in single file. I thought that if I could reach this bridge the Orcs would have to fight me one at a time.

When I reached the bridge I turned to face my foes. One I slew, then two and three, and then the fourth lay at my feet. A look of fear flashed across the face of the final Orc, but that expression was quickly replaced by an evil grin, a leer so sinister that I shall not soon forget it. He laughed an awful laugh, then retreated several steps as to feign escape. I paused a moment to see whether he was truly fleeing, or if he had some trick up the sleeve of his animal hide jerkin. Just as I was about to turn and continue my way across the bridge I saw him turn and charge. It was clear that he planned to knock me off the bridge. I braced myself.

The Orc yelled as he charged, a frightful sound so hideous that it was all I could do to maintain a grip on my sword and shield. That battle cry, however, quickly turned into a shriek of dismay. The Orc slipped on the blood of his fallen companions! This turn of events would have proven most fortunate for me except that the forward momentum of his slide might accomplish his goal yet. I quickly dropped back a few paces so that I might get a running start of my own before leaping over him; I never got the chance. My last backwards step met with thin air. The Bridge was broken!

Image
You would have thought that someone might have mentioned that the Bridge of Khazad-dûm was broken

Next stop: Down
User avatar
Old_Tom_Bombadil
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 1270
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2004 8:55 pm
Location: The Withywindle Valley
Top

Re: Curulinde’s Journey Through Moria

Postby Old_Tom_Bombadil » Thu Mar 08, 2018 2:37 am

Curulinde’s Journey Through Moria, Episode XIV

I slipped off the edge of the bridge with an “Oof!”. Despite bumping my chin on the way down I managed to throw up my hands and, Elbereth be praised, catch the edge of the bridge. The Orc wasn’t so lucky. He fell for longest time before I finally heard a faint splash from very, very far away. Oh well, he needed a bath anyway.

I hung onto the broken stone for the longest time—it seemed like months— trying to collect my wits and muster my strength when I heard a familiar voice in my head yell: “Fly, you fool!” What? Me fly? Go on! Who does he think I am, Peter Pan?

Wait! Don’t the Eagles of Manwë always show up in situations like this to save the day? “Eagles!” I called. “Oh, Eagles! I could use a little help here. Please?” Hmmm. Must be their day off.

I can’t hang here forever, so I best get myself up. But how?

Next stop: Splash!
User avatar
Old_Tom_Bombadil
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 1270
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2004 8:55 pm
Location: The Withywindle Valley
Top

Re: Curulinde’s Journey Through Moria

Postby Old_Tom_Bombadil » Thu Mar 08, 2018 2:40 am

Curulinde’s Journey Through Moria, Episode XV

There is a proverb among my people that says:

For the Elves the world moves, and it moves both very swift and very slow. Swift, because they themselves change little, and all else fleets by: it is a grief to them. Slow, because they do not count the running years, not for themselves. The passing seasons are but ripples ever repeated in the long long stream. Yet beneath the Sun all things must wear to an end at last. (J.R.R. Tolkien, ‘The Great River’, The Fellowship of the Ring, volume 1 of The Lord of the Rings.)

I can tell you from firsthand experience that time passes very slowly indeed when hanging from the end of a bridge over a precipice! A few chunks of the bridge crumbled before falling to the water far below. That was a sign that I should make my escape before I followed them.

With the last of my strength I swung myself up onto the top of the bridge fragment. It was rank and sticky with the congealed blood of the orcs. I tread carefully over the battle scene before making my way back to the base of the bridge. I could not rest easy, however, as there were still many bands of orcs patrolling the area.

I found the northern route around the chasm that Forglinn had mentioned. It was a difficult route guarded by many soldiers of the Enemy, but I was able to evade most of them. I slew the few that had the misfortune of discovering my presence.

Eventually I came to the eastern side of the great chasm and to a long corridor and a set of stairs. This, I supposed, was the First Hall. At the top of the stairs were two guards and, of all things, a stablemaster with a pair of goats. I cut a wide swath to the right of the stable as I approached the passageway. My time hanging from the shattered bridge had not improved my disposition towards the creatures. My feelings towards goats had not improved, either.

Image
The First Hall

Next stop: The Great Outdoors!
User avatar
Old_Tom_Bombadil
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 1270
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2004 8:55 pm
Location: The Withywindle Valley
Top

Re: Curulinde’s Journey Through Moria

Postby Old_Tom_Bombadil » Thu Mar 08, 2018 2:51 am

Curulinde’s Journey Through Moria, Episode XVI

At last I passed through the Dimrill Gate into the open air of the outside world. The air was cold, but it was a great improvement over the foul air encountered throughout most of Moria. On the eastern doorstep of the great Dwarf kingdom I beheld once more the stars of Elbereth. There could be no more welcome a sight for an Elf, except perhaps the Sea.

Image
A view from the Dimrill Gate

To my surprise a short distance away stood Deano and Benedict, who also were revelling at the sight of the stars. "Hullo, Lindë!" cried the Hobbit. "Greetings, Elf," mumbled the Dwarf. I bowed low to them. "Suilaid, mellyn!" I said beaming.

"Come, Elf," said Deano. "I was about to show this young Hobbit one of the wonders of the world." "You're not going back into Moria, are you?" I said with a shudder. "Noooo!" squealed Benedict in horror. "No, Elf. This wonder is yonder in the Dimrill Dale," Deano assured me. "Uh, sure, I'd be happy to accompany you," I replied.

We walked down a long flight of stairs hewn from stone, the last I hoped to tread for some time, and down a path to a large body of ice cold water, the melt of the snow that had fallen upon the mountain.

“This must be the Mirrormere that Fifth spoke of,” I said. “That’s right, Elf” said Deano. “And there is Durin’s Crown! It can be seen reflected in these waters during both day and night.”

Image
The reflection of the Valacirca, or "Durin's Crown", in the Mirrormere.

I didn’t have the heart to tell the Dwarf that the reflection we beheld in the water was that of the Valacirca that Elbereth placed in the heaven’s Ages ago. As it is written:

And high in the north as a challenge to Melkor she set the crown of seven mighty stars to swing, Valacirca, the sickle of the Valar and sign of doom.*

Moved by the sight, I played a song on my harp in tribute to the stars.


~ The End ~


* J.R.R. Tolkien, "Of the Coming of the Elves", 'The Silmarillion'.
User avatar
Old_Tom_Bombadil
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 1270
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2004 8:55 pm
Location: The Withywindle Valley
Top


Return to The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests