Sunday, June 30, 2013

Tolkien Weekly #3 - The Saga of Khazad-dûm, Part I

 This is Tolkien Weekly #3.  Look for Part II of The Saga of Khazad-dûm next week.  Your thoughts, comments, and predictions are appreciated!

The Saga of Khazad-dûm

M.R. Michel


            The Misty Mountains lie between Eriador in the east and the Valley of Anduin in the west of Middle-earth.  The northernmost peak is called Gundabad and the southernmost is named Methedras.  The kingdom of Khazad-dûm is in the center of the Misty Mountains, and three peaks make up this ancient realm:  Caradhras, or the Redhorn; Celebdil, or the Silvertine; and Fanuidhol, or the Cloudyhead.  Long have the Dwarves dwelt in these halls, and there they have built great works of stone and of precious metals.  In these mountains Durin the Father of Dwarves was awoken by his creator Aulë the Smith of the Valar in the time before the Firstborn were raised by the breath of Illúvatar, and here also the Dwarves waned as a people at the end of the Fourth Age with the coming of the Age of Men.
            It came to pass that in the latter part of the reign of King Durin VI, during the Third Age, there was issued a decree in Khazad-dûm for the procurement of mithril to increase the wealth and status of the dwarves beyond reckoning.  To please their King, the dwarves quarried deep into the roots of Caradhras where light had never shone, and where there walked deep shadows and there dwelt a tangible darkness.  In due time the Dwarves loosed an ancient evil upon the world, and many there were who gave their lives to protect the carven walls of Khazad-dûm.
            This is their tale, steeped partly in glory and partly in sorrow.

            There is a stairway that descends in a spiral from the lofty keep of Durin’s Tower to the lowest extremities of mount Celebdil in the kingdom of Khazad-dûm, and the Endless Stair is its name.  Of all the stone works of the Dwarves this stair is one of their most prized, and no one has ever been able to count its thousands of steps.  Each step was cut with skill and patience, and many Dwarves spent their entire lives upon the construction of this great stair.  Oftentimes a courier would bring news, gems, or gold to and fro upon it, and so it was that Flón son of Lûn ascended from the depths of Celebdil on the Endless Stair.
            He sought an audience with King Durin VI and Náin I the King’s son, who was often by his side to give him advice in matters of the kingdom.  Durin VI sat on a dais known as the Golden Firedrake Throne.  The sides of the throne were made of pure gold, and silver scrollwork was etched upon the scaled cheeks of the dragon.  Its eyes were vibrant, red rubies and its teeth were made from the bones of a lesser firedrake that had been slain during a great battle in the Second Age.  The dragon head clutched a milky pearl the size of a troll fist in the tip if its jaws.  It is said that in times past Durin III had sent an expedition to Gondor past Dol Amroth to the shores of the Bay of Belfalas, and that three dwarves perished in the waters of that bay to find a pearl of untold worth, the Pearl of the Golden Firedrake.
            Thus it was that Durin VI looked down upon his subject from his golden throne and spoke.
            “Why do you come before this throne, Flón son of Lûn?  The mind of a king is not idle, and does not deign to speak on lowly matters.”  King Durin VI spoke haughtily, as one who was steeped in pride, for in his reign no threat had come against the gates of Khazad-dûm and the riches of the dwarves had increased sevenfold. 
            “I come bearing ill news, O king.  Long have your servants delved deep into the roots of Celebdil.  We have mined mithril that has been made into coats of mail and helms of untold worth, and many of us have given our lives in those deep, dark tunnels.  The life of a mining dwarf is not without peril, sire.
            “The vein of mithril that we have been mining since our fathers’ time has been completely tapped out, and we can go no further.  There is no hope of procuring more ore through this route.  It is our wish—”
            “It is your wish?” the king cried out.  “Would you go against the decrees of your king?  I must have mithril, and you will mine it for me!  The glory of this House must be greater than all the splendor of the Elves, so that in Valinor the mighty spirits look across the waters and become jealous of our fair realm. Is there no way to mine more mithril?  Is there no way for you to obey your king?”
            Then Flón looked greatly troubled, for there was a way that the miners might follow the edict of the king, but it was not without peril that they might undertake it. 
            “O king, there is a way, but it is not my place to say whether it might succeed.  In the roots of Mount Caradhras we might find the ore, but it is a dark and dangerous place.  There are drawings…my great grandfather was part of a surveying crew that briefly explored the depths of that place, but they proclaimed it unfit for mining.”
            “Only I might declare what is and is not unfit, Flón.”  King Durin VI looked at his son and advisor, who stood by his side.  “Hear the verdict of the king:  when the Daystar has risen in the East twenty times, you will have established a new mining expansion beneath the roots of Caradhras.  My son Náin will watch over you and keep me informed of your progress.  If my edict is not carried out, then it will go ill with you, Flón son of Lûn.”
            Flón groveled on the ground in front of the Dwarf-lord.
            “Your will is just, sire.”
            Thus it was that Flón son of Lûn was put in charge of mining mithril under Mount Caradhras, and Náin I son of Durin VI reported on his progress; and Flón was given twenty cycles of the sun to accomplish the edict of the king.

Looking for Part II?  Click here to read it.

This is a fan fiction story set in The Lord of the Rings universe.  
It is Tolkien Weekly #3 on Blaster Bolts & Galaxy Lore.
Your questions and comments are appreciated.

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