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Author: Rhyselle
Title: There and Back Again – A Dwarvish Drabble Series
Rating: G
Theme: 2010 Yule Fic Exchange
Elements: Request: As for what I'd like, I enjoy stories set in Rohan, stories with Dwarves, Dwarvish/other cultural interaction, and more obscure time periods. But I'm easy.
Recipient: Thevina Findulas
Author's Notes: I hope that you like this Yule Fic, Thevina Finduilas. I'd had the idea for quite some time but got so sick with Bronchitis that I couldn't write for weeks. I'd have liked to have given you more drabbles about the trip back to the Lonely Mountain about Gloin and Fris and Gimli and their friends but ran out of time. Happy Holidays!

Summary: Gloin journeys back to the Blue Mountains to fetch family and friends to migrate to the recently liberated Lonely Mountain. Sorry I couldn't figure out how to set it in Rohan, but Gloin insisted that this was the route he'd taken.



There and Back Again – A Dwarvish Drabble Series

1. Letter

Gimli,

By now you will have heard the rumors of the events of this summer; be assured, they are true. The dragon Smaug is dead, King Thorin Oakenshield is gone to Mahal, his (and our) cousin, Dain Ironfoot, has succeeded him as King Under the Mountain, and we have re-established the kingdom as of old.

In the Spring, I will be traveling west to bring back any of our folk who may wish to relocate. I ask you to organize those who choose to come so we may return here before the snows of winter close the mountain passes.

Gloin

- - - - -
2. Post

“Have a safe journey home, Bilbo,” Gloin said, “I and my house will always be at your service.”

Bilbo returned the bow and properly replied, “And I am always at yours.”

Gloin patted the pack pony and asked, “Would you mind taking a letter west with you? If you leave it at Rivendell, Master Elrond will see it the rest of the way to its destination. If it isn't too much trouble.”

“Well, of course!”

It was with relief that Gloin saw the sealed parchment inscribed with his son's name safely tucked into Bilbo's pack.

- - - - -

3. Departure

Gloin looked out at the River Running, then clasped hands with Dain. “We will return by next winter's start at the latest. It will take most of the summer to get everyone packed up for the journey east.” He grinned. “Save that northern passage for me to work on when I return.”

“You're still positive there's a lode of emeralds there, hah!” The King Under the Mountain snorted, then clapped Gloin on the shoulder. “By the time you get back, the rest of my family from the Iron Hills will be here. Safe travels, my friend.”

- - - - -
4. Dale

The path along the edges of the River Running was clear, the soil packed down tightly from the tromp of heavy boots belonging to both Dwarves and Men. Ahead, Gloin could hear the bell tower ringing the evening chimes. He'd spend the night in Dale before heading downriver to the Long Lake.

It was good, he thought, to see how quickly Bard's people were raising houses, halls and workshops where their forefathers had lived. He looked back over his shoulder at the Mountain and nodded with satisfaction. It was better that his own people had returned to their ancestral home.

- - - - -

5. Laketown

“Sure you don't want to travel by barrel?” A boatman smirked at Gloin, then drained the last of his pint of ale to the laughter of his companions.

The Dwarf frowned, then turned to stomp away to the door of the pub, offended; then another man, accompanied by an earnest-looking boy slipped out of the crowd in front of him.

“We're heading for the Elf Path to do some trading with the Wood Elves. You're welcome to travel with us, Master Dwarf.”

Gloin eyed them suspiciously for a moment, then motioned towards the bar. “Let's discuss terms.”

- - - - -

6. Curiosity

Deren and his son, Dior, were comfortable traveling companions, Gloin decided. The youth was respectful and obedient to his father—and quite curious, too.

“Da says the River Running comes from the Mountain. Is the inside of the Mountain filled with water?”

“No, child, we build channels to direct the underground springs away from where we work, and that is where the river starts.”

“Do you make toys like Da says the people did in Dale back before the dragon came?”

“I used to, when my son was young.”

“What's his name?”

Gloin smiled.

“Gimli.”

- - - - -

7. Preparation

At the forest's edge, Gloin prepared to travel onward alone while Deren negotiated with several Wood Elves for wood to continue rebuilding Laketown's more prominent buildings. Dior sat next to Gloin and watched as the Dwarf re-organized his pack and sharpened his axe .

“How far are you going, Master Gloin? Are you going to fight monsters in the woods?”

Gloin set down the whet stone and the axe, and looked at him. “I'm traveling almost all the way to the Sea in the West, and I prepare to fight in the hope that it won't be necessary.”

- - - - -

8. Escorts

He hadn't intended to travel with Wood Elves, but King Thranduil apparently didn't want to risk having any more Dwarves wandering off the Elf Path. Even as Gloin had waved farewell, a pair of tall, fair-haired and well-armed warriors appeared as if out of nowhere.

Other than identifying themselves as “ Aelagar” and “Gaelir” respectively, and warning him to stay within their sight, they were taciturn and unapproachable. Reacting to their obvious distaste, Gloin was tempted to tell them “No thanks!”

But the night that the spiders attacked, he found himself glad to have them at his back.

- - - - -

9. Farewell

On the west side of Mirkwood, Aelagar grudgingly admitted that Gloin had pulled his weight during the three separate spider attacks they'd endured, and Gaelir actually bowed in response to the Dwarf's polite farewell.

Stumping his way out into the pale, watery sunshine, Gloin pulled his white hood closer about his head against the wind that still held a chill from the mountains he could see in the distance beyond the river.

“Perhaps I can have supper with Beorn and his folk,” he thought, turning south. “It would be nice to sleep in a bed for a change.”

- - - - -

10. Honey

“A whole hive full of honey?” Gloin stared at his host in disbelief. “How did he manage to do that?”

“A sticky situation all around, I'd say,” Beorn chuckled as he handed Gloin a mug filled to the brim with mead. “Bilbo didn't know whether to laugh or run away.”

The Dwarf took a long draft from the mug then shook his head. “I'd have been tempted to do the latter, considering Gandalf's temper.” He guffawed, joining in Beorn's amusement at the mental image of the grey-bearded Wizard drenched with honey and bits of comb.

- - - - -

11. Ascent

He had hoped to cross the mountain quickly, but the Redhorn Pass was still days away. “It would be a lot easier if Oin and the rest of my kin were here to help me scramble over these wretched, bloody rocks!” Gloin grumbled. A cry far above drew his attention and he jealously watched an Eagle soaring in an updraft, circling higher and higher, until it disappeared to the west beyond the mountain peak. “Or if I had wings of my own!”

Sighing, he firmly planted his walking axe on the narrow track, and resumed his own climb.

- - - - -

12. Imladris

“Halt! What is your name and your business?”

Even his Dwarven endurance strained by his trek over the Misty Mountains and through the foothills towards Rivendell, Gloin looked up at the stern countenance of the Elven warrior who blocked the path, and forced himself to be polite. “Gloin, son of Groin, at your service. I am returned from the Lonely Mountain and seek shelter for the night at the home of Master Elrond.”

The Elf's eyes widened in astonishment. “Then you have tales to tell, Master Gloin. Come, I will guide you the rest of the way.”

- - - - -

13. Crossroads

It was the eve of Midsummer when Gloin tromped the last quarter mile towards the crossroads at Bree. The afternoon sun was golden on the dusty road, and he squinted at the walled village ahead of him. The gates were open, and he could faintly hear the busy sounds of a Market Day over the thud of his footsteps.

“A mug of ale, a bed for the night...” His voice trailed off as he stopped beneath the crossroad sign. “Fornost, Tharbad, The Shire... I wonder how Bilbo is doing?”

In the morning, he headed west instead of north.

- - - - -

14. Teatime

Bilbo looked very different from Gloin's last sight of him as he bustled about, heating water, filling plates and pipes, and pouring out large mugs of ale. The brass buttons on the hobbit's brocade waistcoat gleamed in the sunshine pouring in through the window, and it was obvious that Bilbo was rapidly regaining the weight he'd lost over the course of their Adventure.

It wasn't until they sat in the starlight at the top of the Hill, smoking their pipes, that Bilbo asked why he was heading east.

“I'm going to take my family home to Erebor,” he said.

- - - - -
15. Gimli

The clang of a hammer drew Gloin to the forge where he'd once worked before departing the Blue Mountains the previous year. His heart began to thump in time with the rhythmic beat and he wished he could take up tools and join the young, red-headed smith in the act of creation.

He slid his pack off of his shoulder as he stood in the doorway, watching the expert shaping of a spearhead. He waited until the glowing metal was finally quenched in the half-barrel of water that stood near the forge, before clearing his throat. “I'm back, son.”


- - - - -

16. Proposal

“Smaug is dead, the treasure regained, and Dain Ironfoot is King Under the Mountain.” Gloin waited for the cheers to die down before continuing. “We have also made peace with the Elves. Brand, descendent of the last King of Dale, has already started rebuilding their city. Dain asks if there are any here willing to come east to Erebor to help restore its glories.”

Pride welled in his heart when Gimli was the first of all of them to step forward. “I will go.”

“As will I.”

Gloin beamed joyfully as his wife joined his son.

- - - - -

16. Arrival

Gloin led the way along the road from Dale towards the mountain that loomed over them. The haft of his walking axe thumped in time with his footsteps on the stone surface, and flurries of snowflakes danced merrily about his head and shoulders.

It was the shortest day of the year, and in Mirkwood and elsewhere, Elves and Men were celebrating.

As he, and the 200 others with him reached the Gate where King Dain stood waiting, and his wife slipped her hand in his, he thought that perhaps it was time that the Dwarves made it a holiday, too.

The End

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
shirebound
Dec. 31st, 2010 09:29 pm (UTC)
Thank you for taking us on this satisfying and wonderful journey with Gloin.
clodia_metelli
Jan. 1st, 2011 06:13 pm (UTC)
I did enjoy this! What a charming account of Gloin's journey. It was a delight that he stopped off to catch up with all his old friends and acquaintances along the way.
mrowe
Jan. 2nd, 2011 01:56 pm (UTC)
A wonderful description of Gloin's journey to fetch his family, and with much of their lives lived underground, one can easily imagine that Dwarves might not always have seen the point of celebrating Yule.
dreamflower02
Jan. 2nd, 2011 04:52 pm (UTC)
What a wonderful set of drabbles! My favorite, of course was teatime with Bilbo, but I also really liked the one in Laketown:

“Sure you don't want to travel by barrel?” A boatman smirked at Gloin, then drained the last of his pint of ale to the laughter of his companions.

There is always a "funny guy", who has an inappropriate, and usually offensive, quip for every occasion. I was so glad that Gloin found someone reasonable to listen to him.

blslarner
Jan. 5th, 2011 02:12 am (UTC)
Ooh! A perfect series! I can see each and every vignette you've granted us! Lovely!
someplacetobe
Jan. 5th, 2011 04:23 pm (UTC)
What a thrilling account of Gloin's journey; I was utterly tugged in and couldn't wait to see what the next stage of the journey would be! And how wonderful that his wife and son were the second and first, respectively, to join them Under mountain.
thrihyrne
Jan. 6th, 2011 12:30 am (UTC)
Oh, this is absolutely delightful! I must apologize for taking so long to reply; I was totally internet-less for 8 days right as these were posted. What a thoughtful set of drabbles, and about Gloin, no less, who is so infrequently written about in fandom. This definitely has a Dwarvish sensibility to it, and I really enjoyed his point of view on the various places where he stopped, as well as his inner thoughts.

Thank you for a splendid tale. ♥
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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