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Return to Moria by Erulisse (one L)

Author: Erulisse (one L)
Title: Return to Moria
Rating: G
Theme: Potluck - The Dark Side of Love
Elements: Use at least four of the following words: fade, echo, believe, rook, unjust, abed, rusty, yawn
Beta: No - errors, etc are solely my own.
Word Count: 5345

Summary: Legolas is getting ready to sail and has been invited to see Thranduil one final time. Taking Gimli with him, they ride to Moria following a route that Thranduil had suggested, but Moria holds many surprises for them. Gimli has a surprise as well, but is keeping it well hidden from his friend.

Author’s Notes: Disclaimer: Tolkien built the sand box; I only play with the bucket and shovel that he left for me. No money, profit or non, is made from the publication of this story.

Return to Moria

Gimli grumbled as he was escorted into the soaring hall. “Elves,” he mumbled, shaking his head. “Elves here in Moria. In our sacred ground delved and built with the blood of our ancestors.”

From behind him, Legolas chirped, "Don't be so glum, my friend. My father's invitation recommended passage through Moria because a joint force of warriors from both of our races is reconquering the city. There are dwarves here as well as elves, and after all have been satisfied that the enemy has left the halls, the elves will withdraw, at least most of them will. There are probably some smiths who have requested permission to remain and work here alongside your own people and in many cases, their requests will probably be granted.”

Gimli's footsteps echoed from the vaulted ceiling high above him. It was impossible for him to look at those dizzying heights and not remember the last time he had been in this hall. Then he and Legolas had been companions of the Ring Bearer and their small group of nine had been running for their lives from goblin troops that massed down each of the carved columns.

“Are you remembering as well, Gimli?” Legolas stepped slightly closer and lowered his voice as he continued. “I look above and around me and remember the terror of that run across the floor following Gandalf's eldritch light. I kept hoping that the rusty sword blades we had used to wedge the door closed would hold up long enough for us to get safely across the bridge. Yet, all the while hidden by the darkness, the enemy was gathering above and around us. My memories of that frantic race will never fade.”

The two unlikely companions now followed their escort toward a well-lighted section of the hall where a set of two elaborate carved chairs were placed, each carefully positioned to be identical in height and appearance. A dwarf, broad of shoulder with an elaborately braided bushy black beard sat on the eastern chair, an elf with flaxen hair, a willowy form and haughty demeanor dressed in sumptuous robes sat on the western seat.

“Legolas,” Gimli hissed. “Is that who I think it is?”

The elf pushed up from the chair for a moment, then sank back to the seat again. Legolas and Gimli shifted to stand closer to each other as both bowed deeply, giving obeisance to the two rulers on the dais in front of them.

“You are looking well,” the elvish king said to Legolas as he leaned back to the chair's back. He flicked his hand. “Introduce me to your companion.”

Legolas nodded once and turned to his left. “Gimli, it is my honor to introduce you to my father, Thranduil, King of the Greenwood and current co-ruler of Moria. Father, I present my companion, Gimli, Glóin's son, King of the Glittering Caves of Aglarond, and one of the Nine Companions who accompanied Frodo, the Ring Bearer on his quest.”

“At your service, King Thranduil,” Gimli said politely, bowing once more.

Thranduil nodded gravely and steepled his hands. “I shall not pledge my service to you and your family, Gimli son of Glóin, despite the rules of protocol. My son has been lost to the Greenwood for many years, and his companionship with you has been one reason for that estrangement." Thranduil leaned forward fixing Gimli with his gaze. “Yet, because you are dear to my son you are someone who is of importance to me. I look forward to speaking with you later in a more intimate setting. Now, however, allow me to welcome you to Moria, your ancestral home.”

He gestured to the dwarf still seated in the chair to his right. “I take pleasure in introducing my co-ruler, Thrar, son of Threw, sister's son of Thráin, father of Thorin, late King Under the Mountain and heir to the mines of Moria. It is by his invitation that I sit here and it is by our joint agreement that our troops are working in tandem to conquer these mines. Elves and dwarves are now battling side-by-side to rid these halls of all goblins and other enemies of free people so that all may once again walk the corridors of Moria without fear.”

Thranduil settled back into his chair and Thrar began to speak. “Gimli, son of Glóin and King of the Glittering Caves, I welcome you, as my kin and a fellow ruler. Feel comfort in these halls. Journey through these tunnels, now newly alight with enterprise and exploration. Leave the bad memories behind you for now begins a new period in the history of this great delved city.”

Gimli looked at the brawny dwarf seated in the chair and bowed. “I am honored to have been invited into Moria to see for myself the dawn of its renewed peace and I thank you for your welcome. May I introduce my companion?” At a nod from the seated dwarf, he turned toward Legolas and continued. “Your Highness, I present to you, Legolas, son of Thranduil, Prince of the Greenwood, charged with the reforestation of Ithilien by Order of the High King in Gondor, one of the Nine Companions of the Ring Bearer and my dearest friend and traveling companion for these many years since the War of the Ring.”

King Thrar stood and approached the two visitors. “Well met, cousin,” he said as he embraced Gimli, clapping him firmly on his back. “Welcome to the fulfillment of the dream dwarves have carried since the fall of Ost-in-Edhil and the closing of the Doors of Durin. Once again, the halls of Moria are being used and mined in safety. In a few more months we will be able to declare that we have reclaimed another of the great dwarf cities and we will send for our wives and children.”

He turned to Legolas and grasping his hand into both of his, shook them heartily. “Welcome dwarf-friend. Your exploits are legend and your long friendship with Gimli, an honored dwarf in battle as well as at the forge, speaks well for you. Welcome to Moria, the queen of our realms.”

He turned and beckoned to a nearby aide. “Show our two visitors to their assigned chambers that they may be refreshed before the welcoming banquet this evening. Surely this will be a night to remember for all who feast with us as we formally welcome Thranduil's son and our cousin, Gimli of the Glittering Caves to our halls.”

The two friends joined the aide who escorted them down a northern corridor. It was warm and well lit with all signs of the long years under orc occupation eradicated. There were sentries, both elven and dwarf, stationed at regular intervals, and from the sumptuous decorations in the hallway, it was clearly an area where many in the court currently resided.

Legolas looked around sharply as they approached their rooms. “It's hard to believe this is the same place that held such terror for us less than one-hundred-and-twenty-five years ago. Now I see why you praised Moria as a jewel. It's a breathtaking city, both fair and deep. I look forward to further exploration if we have the time. Yet,” he continued, “I hope you'll forgive me if I remain armed while we wander the corridors of this ancient mine. I am not sure all of the enemy have been vanquished. Sentries or not, I trust my own knives and my bow more than the armed prowess of others.”

“Hmpf,” Gimli sounded. “I agree with you in that, my friend. My axe will be with me even if I am in the halls of a relative and fellow ruler. I trust not the enemy and know that there are many cracks, turns and twists in which some could still be hiding.”

They came to a halt in front of two matching doorways that the aide opened. “There is an adjoining door between your rooms, my Lords, and the bathing chamber is directly across the hall.” The dwarf indicated an archway leading into a tiled tunnel. “Washing and drying cloths are next to the pools and there are bathing robes in each of your rooms. Dinner will be in four hours. We aren't formal here, but this will be a feast of welcome for the two of you. I'm sure the kings will send an escort for you.” He bowed and left them standing in front of their sleeping chamber doors.

“The room looks very functional,” Legolas called out to Gimli after they had entered their chambers. “Do you want the joining door closed or would you prefer it open?”

“It matters not to me, elf. I want to get into some hot water and soak some of the aches and pains of travel out of me.”

“I'll open it then, if it doesn't matter to you. If there is need, I can always close it again. Now, where is that bathing robe...?”

A few hours later, the two companions had soaked in a pool of naturally hot spring water and cooled down under a diverted waterfall. Noises from the far eastern end of the great hall pulled them over to a section illuminated by great chandeliers featuring cunning metalwork. Long trestle tables had been set up below a long raised platform with a permanent inlaid stone slab table centered on it. The two kings and several of their assistants were seated at the stone table, but all else were gathered around the trestle tables. Each table held an animated mix of elves and dwarves, each talking freely with the other. Two empty seats awaited them at the stone table, situated between the kings.

“All rise!” a herald's voice called out from the side of the room and all conversation ceased as the assembly rose to honor their guests.

“I'm not entirely comfortable with this ceremony stuff,” Gimli mumbled to Legolas as their titles were announces while they walked to their seats.

“Nor am I, my friend.”

The two of them arrived at their chairs, and after they sat down the rest of the relaxed. Conversations resumed amidst curious murmurs from some of the diners. Food was served to the high table and wine poured into goblets of chased metal embellished with gemstones of surpassing beauty. After the edge of hunger had been satisfied, King Thrar leaned over and began a conversation with Gimli as Thranduil began speaking with Legolas.

* * * *

“I hear that you have built a ship that now rests safely docked in the Anduin,” the elven king began, rolling the stem of his wine goblet between his hands. “A ship that will carry you far from these shores and the Greenwood, your home.”

“You have heard aright,” Legolas responded, pushing his plate away from him and leaning back into the splat of his chair. He took a breath and locked his eyes on his father's. “Aragorn is aging and Eldarion, his son, is full able to take over the throne. I feel in my heart that he will not walk the surface of Arda for much longer. Your invitation was well timed. I wanted to speak with you before setting sail.”

“So you are determined?”

“I feel I have no choice. The sea longing comes more and more frequently now. Only the care and watchful eyes of Gimli and Queen Arwen have kept me from leaping into the river and drowning in a futile attempt to swim the impossible stretch of water between Middle Earth and the Blessed Lands. Once Aragorn has passed, the last strand holding me to these lands will be gone.”

“And I hold no tie upon you, nothing that would keep you from leaving us?”

“No. Father. It is not that. Please try to understand.”

Thranduil straightened in his chair and said nothing more for the remainder of the course. As the dessert was being served, Legolas tried once more.

“Father, please just let me try to explain.”

Thranduil moved his head slightly so that he looked at his son, and then turned away once more, looking out across the vast hall. The moon was shining through the mountain's openings, illuminating blocks of light across the stone flooring. He nodded his head once, coming to a decision. Still looking out at the hall, his words sounded in Legolas' head. A garden of crystals exists within Moria. These rare chambers are revered as channels to Lord Aulë, or Mahal as they name him and are used for meditation. Meet me there in a candlemark.

He stood up from his seat, his hands outstretched to keep the rooms celebrants from standing as well. “Peace, all. Stay. Eat, drink and celebrate the arrival of my son and his companion. I wish you a joyful night.”

The elven king left the feast in a swirl of metallic brocade and a gentle cluster of musical tones from hidden wind chimes that caught the moonlit breeze from the carved ceiling slits in the mountain peak above. Legolas returned his attention to the food in front of him, but gave up after a few more bites. He settled down with a goblet of wine, looking around at the feasting warriors below him and listening with half-an-ear to the animated conversation Gimli and King Thrar were having to his right.

He stood and spoke to the king. “Please forgive me, your highness. I fear the journey has exhausted me and I beg your permission to seek my chambers.”

Gimli shot a sharp glance at him, ready to join him if he asked, but he stayed silent, responding to an unvoiced plea in Legolas' eyes. King Thrar granted permission to leave. Legolas left the head table and the celebrants behind him, making his way across the moonlit-striped hall toward his bedchamber. Once in his room, he changed into dark clothing, fastening the harness for his long knives over his shirt. A hooded cloak completed his outfit. As he dressed, he bespoke his father.

Father, I know not where this crystal cave is.

Worry not, son, merely follow my guidance.

He left the room and headed in the direction his father had instructed. After a walk of several minutes through tunnels and down several staircases, he came to a less traveled area of the mines. His father's voice sounded once more in his head.

Walk thirty paces and begin to look on your left for a dark, jagged break in the tunnel wall. Go into that break and follow it into the heart of the mountain.

Obeying Thranduil's instructions he counted out his paces and as he reached thirty, began scanning the wall for the jagged break, finding it cunningly concealed at a bend where the tunnel changed direction. He entered, feeling momentary discomfort with the feeling of tons of rock pressing against him from all sides.

After a few twists and turns in complete darkness, he exited the passageway entering a large cavern filled with light, color, and an underlying vibration of earthsong. Crystals of all sizes and lengths covered the walls and ceiling, even crossing and thrusting up from the flooring in several places. A pathway, worn smooth by the passage of uncounted numbers of shod dwarven feet over long years, winded its way through the crystal forest. Legolas began following the path toward the center of the room and saw a huge crystal that stretched from floor to ceiling. It had been carefully shaped over many years, one small part at a time, until it gleamed. As he looked at the pillar, he saw pulsing and flashing colors deep within its heart in no discernible pattern. Thranduil waited for him, standing in the pathway's center.

“This is the heart of Moria,” Thranduil said as Legolas walked over to join him. “Many dwarven cities have halls of crystal in their bellies. Even Nargothrond had a chamber like this, which Felegund and the dwarves agreed to share in brotherhood when it was unearthed. Of course it is under the sea now, if it survived the dragon.”

“This is truly remarkable, father,” Legolas replied as he looked carefully around him. “I never imagined something so lovely within the earth.”

“It is an area of peace and meditation, honored by all who know of it,” Thranduil replied. “We will not be disturbed here for any reason save that of life or death itself.” The elven king sat gracefully on the stone pathway looking at the central pillar. “Sit. Let us talk as we have not for many long years. We have closed our ears to each other's voices. Let us leave that in the past and now move forward.”

Legolas bristled at Thranduil's words, but calmed as he gazed at the heart crystal. He admitted to himself that the habit of not listening to each other lay on both of them and that he was as much to blame for their poor communication in the past as his father. He sat down on the surprisingly warm pathway and waited for Thranduil to make the first move.

“I must tell you, my son, that I am unsure if I will ever sail to the West. Our upcoming parting may well begin a separation that will continue until the end of Arda.”

“Father... I...,” Legolas shook his head with frustration as the words refused to come easily. He took a deep breath and tried once more. “Father, I would not leave you if I felt I had any choice in this, but I do not. The sea longing is driving me to the brink of madness. Each time I crack under the strain of the call, it becomes harder to fight my way back to rational thought. My dreams are filled with storm-filled waves and the cries of gulls. I know not why I feel impelled to leave Middle Earth and sail to the West. Truly, I wish nothing more than to be in the Greenwood with you and my kin. But...”

“But you have no choice except to leave us.”

Legolas pulled up his knees, encircling them with his arms and resting his head on top. A single tear escaped his eye and rolled down his cheek. “Yes,” he whispered. “I have no choice.”

He turned his head to his father. “Come with me, father. Sail with me. I do not wish to make this journey alone.”

Thranduil shook his head. “No, my beloved son. I am the ruler of a people. My personal desires must come last and their welfare must be placed first.” He sighed, “I want to be with you. If I were not King, I would leave Moria and accompany you to your own lands. When it came time, I would follow you and be in your ship standing alongside you. However, it cannot be. While I am ruler of the Greenwood, I must give in to no personal desires.”

They were quiet for a while, and then Legolas continued. “I feel as if I am being ripped away from all I love and I will be left, torn and bleeding, no more than flotsam to be cast upon a far and uncertain shore. I'm sure there will be some elves with whom I am familiar in fair Valinor, but not many. I have made very few friends of the heart in Middle Earth. Aside from you, there are only Gimli and Aragorn still living of my closest friends. The ship is too large for one, and I am very unsure about successfully making my way through the shadowed isles and passing through into the safe harbors of the Uttermost West without assistance.”

Legolas shifted his direction so that he faced his father instead of the crystal pillar. “On the one hand I dread staying, and on the other I dread leaving. Each decision holds its own equal perils. A companion on my journey may well make the difference between failure and success.”

Thranduil placed his hand on Legolas' shoulder. “Then I have an unconventional suggestion for you, my son. Follow your heart. Even if your mind tells you that your heart's choice will have no chance of admittance to the Blessed Realm, trust your heart. You may be surprised at the power held by friendship and devotion.”

“As always you speak in riddles, father.” He shook his head. “I can only see a future of solitude and loneliness ahead of me. Yet I have no choice. To survive I must leave all that I love behind me and sail forward into uncertainty.”

Thranduil reached down, clasping his son's hand in his own. “Listen to your heart, my son, and I promise that if I can go to the West at a time when it is right for me to do so, I will follow and join you on the far shore. That time, however, is not now. For now, just listen to your heart and trust in its wisdom.”

He stood and pulled the younger elf up to stand in front of him. “I know I have not always been forthcoming with you, Legolas, but I want you to know how very proud I am of you and what you have accomplished in your life. I...”

His words were cut off by Legolas embracing him tightly. “Thank you, father,” he whispered. “It may not always seem that I love you, but please know without doubt that I both love and honor you. I always weigh my actions based on what I think you would recommend.”

The two elves stood in a tight embrace together for several more minutes, then pulled apart. Thranduil looked carefully at his son, his eyes raking his form from head to toe.

“You are dressed for battle, son. Is there reason behind your attire tonight?”

“I am weary, yet I cannot sleep, father. Too many thoughts are passing through my head. I thought I might join one of the scouting parties in the lower levels for a few hours, maybe kill some goblins. A bit of swordplay would help me relax, in an odd way.”

“I actually understand well. More times than you know, I leave the fortress and hunt spiders when I have difficult decisions to make. Somehow, the rhythm of battle helps clarify things for me. There are still orcs hiding in pockets in the lower levels. I am quite sure the patrols would appreciate another warrior to boost their numbers. The command center is in the 69th Hall North. I recommend you go there for assignment to where they may need you the most.”

“Thank you, Father. I'm grateful that we had this time to talk together. You are right. It was long overdue. I will take your advice to heart and think hard on the best decision to make.”

The two elves gripped each other's arms in a warrior's grip. Legolas bowed and turned, retracing his steps through to the larger corridors and then down to the command center Thranduil had mentioned. For the next few hours, he lost himself in the activity of scouting and slaying orcs in the lower levels of the mines, finally returning to his room as the sun rose. Removing his blood-spattered clothing and dropping them into a pile near the door, he fell into his bed in an exhausted but restless sleep.

* * * *

The two companions spent several days in Moria. King Thrar gave them a personal tour of the great city, and they each found time to spend in areas of personal interest to them. Gimli explored the long-cold forges that now were relighted and fully functional again, while Legolas continued to scout and battle, assisting in driving the remnants of goblin-folk out of the mines. Although each enjoyed their time with others, the two friends were glad to walk together to eat the evening meal on their final night in the city.

“We leave tomorrow morning, elf. Did you get all o' your talking done with your father, as you needed to? Does he understand that you'll be sailing soon and that this is his last chance to say good-bye?”

“Yes, we have had some good talks. I was hesitant at first, but I'm happy we came. And what about you? I know you had some reason you wanted to talk to the dwarven king, but you never told me why.”

“It was good. Yes. I have transferred the rule of the Glittering Caves to Thrar, who will assign a new ruler as he sees fit.”

Legolas stopped walking and looked at Gimli in amazement. “What? You gave over the kingship to another? Why would you do such a thing? You love those caves.”

“I do indeed, my friend. But I am getting on in years and feel that one last trip might just be the thing for these old bones. Aragorn is getting on and he won't live much longer. When he passes, you'll leave on that white ship of yours, and I fancy I might enjoy a bit of sea air.”

“What are you saying, Gimli. Be plain, please.”

“I have a hankering to see the Lady Galadriel one last time before I join my ancestors. I have no idea if a dwarf will be allowed in the West, but they let two hobbits sail, so they may also bend for a child of Mahal. You need help on that ship; it's too much for one person to sail alone. I'm not fond o' boats, I'll tell you straight boy, but I'm not lettin' you sail alone.”

“Gimli, I don't know what to say.”

“Say 'Thank you' and we'll leave it at that.”

The stocky dwarf was suddenly picked up and twirled around by his friend, who quickly placed him back on the ground as his sputtering complaints got too intense.

“I'm no child to be swung around in circles, elf. I'm a dwarf, wedded to the rock and stone of this land. No more of that behavior, now.”

“I'm sorry, Gimli. I was overcome.”

“Overcome with foolishness, you mean. Now, let's get to supper before they eat it all, leaving us nothin' but the bones and gristle.”

Gimli preceded Legolas into the hall, the elf staring at the dwarf with a confused look on his face. He joined the others at their assigned seats and settled himself into his chair. Thranduil looked over at him.

“What happened, son? You look … odd.”

“I feel a bit as if I have been hit by an ore cart. Father, Gimli just told me that he's planning on sailing alongside me to the Uttermost West.”

“Do you not want him to sail along with you to Valinor?”

“No! I mean, yes! No. Oh … yes. Yes. I'm honored that he would want to sail with me to the West, and I'm afraid because there is a good chance that he won't be allowed to set foot on the Blessed Lands. If that would be the ruling of the Belain, then I would rather he not take the journey with me at all.”

“So he is coming with you because he loves you, and you would turn him down for the same reason?”

“In essence, yes, as unfair as it may seem.”

“Once, a hobbit was given advice by a wise wizard who told him to take those who were willing. Frodo did so and, because he listened and brought those who would not be gainsaid, he succeeded. I think you should make a similar commitment. Look carefully at your friendship, and accept the love that offered to you. Remember what we talked about. Listen to your heart.”

At this point toasts to the two visitors commenced and it was long before they finally left the hall to find their beds before their morning departure.

The next day dawned sunny but the two guests were slow in moving. Finally, mid-morning came and they were standing at the Mirrormere with the two kings and a small force of body guards because the area still had the occasional orc or goblin roaming the land. Gimli had refused to leave Moria without a final look at Durin's Crown in the deep waters and he wanted to show the wonder to Legolas. After the two friends had gazed long into the clear lake, they returned to the kings to take their leave.

Gimli and Thrar embraced, pounding each other on the back.

“Please allow me to give you this small token of affection for a fellow ruler and a dwarf who has made our people proud for these many years,” King Thrar said, motioning to an aide. Taking a finely tooled knife and sheath from his assistant, he presented it to Gimli who accepted it with thanks. He pulled a finely edged blade from the sheath. Its hilt was bone and decorated with twisted mithril wire and it featured a ruby cabochon at the butt.

“Thank you, King Thrar. This is a kingly gift indeed,” Gimli said as he examined the blade and checked the balance of the knife. “It is beautifully made.”

“My own daughter made it as a gift for you with hope that your travels will be made safely.”

“I am doubly honored then,” replied Gimli as he unfastened his belt and began to feed the scabbard onto the leather band. “Please extend my thanks to her and tell her I was very impressed with the quality of her work.”

Thrar smiled. “She is the joy of my life. I will pass the message on to her gladly.”

In the shadow of a large boulder, Legolas and Thranduil were saying their final good-byes.

“Travel safely, my son. Know that my love goes with you to wherever you may travel, even over sea to Valinor, and that it will never wane,” Thranduil said, holding tightly to his emotions as befit an elven ruler.

“I'll arrange for a message to be sent to you when we have set sail, father.”

Thranduil's brows rose. “And have you decided to allow Gimli to sail with you after all?”

“I have thought hard upon your words as well as those said by Gandalf to Frodo. I believe in your wisdom, and my heart is telling me to bring him with me to the Uttermost West. Truthfully, I will be glad of the company. He hopes he may see Lady Galadriel once more before he dies. Perhaps all our dreams will come true with this voyage.”

“Perhaps so. I have one small gift for you, son.” Thranduil opened his hand to show a small amulet featuring three exquisitely colored leaves embroidered in the smallest of stitches with silken threads spun from the spider webs of his homeland. The leaves, birch, oak and maple, ranged in color from spring green through autumn russet. The entire piece was no larger than his thumbnail and protected by a casing of resin. A wood and metal setting held it firmly and allowed it to either be fastened to his quiver or suspended from a neck cord.

“It is my hope that these leaves will remind you that you are a child of the Greenwood and that it will always be a part of you, no matter where you may roam.”

Legolas embraced his father, holding him tightly. “I will never forget, father. Please … please follow me if you can. I will live in hope that we will meet again under different trees.”

They separated and Legolas walked to his horse. After he was mounted and Gimli had settled behind him, they raised their arms in farewell and headed south. Each was quiet with their own thoughts. Hearts had been broken but the journey ahead of them now stretched to Gondor and far beyond into lands neither had ever walked before. Legolas was suddenly filled with hope. He urged the horse to gallop as he let loose with a very uncharacteristic “Whoop!” Gimli shook his head and grabbed on tightly. He smiled; it would prove to be quite the ride.


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 27th, 2014 02:05 pm (UTC)
What a wonderful story! I especially love the idea of Elves being welcomed into a newly reclaimed Moria--hearkening back to the days of old!
Jan. 27th, 2014 03:00 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! As I read this over, it appears a couple of my bold text indicators didn't take, but I did actually have four of the words of my given list used in the story, really - LOL.

I never quite know where my characters will take me, but I really enjoyed this little excursion into the short time before Legolas and Gimli sail to the West. I'm delighted that you also enjoyed it.

- Erulisse (one L)
Jan. 27th, 2014 07:30 pm (UTC)
I really liked this. Moria's so full of ruin and dread in the book, so it's great to see it restored and shared. The character interactions were lovely, too - a lovely glimpse of the bond that Legolas and Gimli still share.
Jan. 27th, 2014 08:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I think the dwarven cities, in their own way, were as beautiful as the elven ones - but totally within racial reason. Moria was considered one of the true jewels in dwarven cities. When I think back on Gimli's descriptions of the beauties of Moria as the Fellowship stood at the doors attempting to enter the mines, it seemed light-filled and containing wonder around every corner. I hope that beauty came through in this re-do in the future.


- Erulisse (one L)
Jan. 27th, 2014 09:53 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed this story very much. Every word rings true. But I especially appreciated the greeting to Gimli, which was just perfect:

“Gimli, son of Glóin and King of the Glittering Caves, I welcome you, as my kin and a fellow ruler. Feel comfort in these halls. Journey through these tunnels, now newly alight with enterprise and exploration. Leave the bad memories behind you for now begins a new period in the history of this great delved city.”
Jan. 27th, 2014 11:32 pm (UTC)
Awww...thank you so VERY much. I'm totally delighted that my words rang true for you :-)

- Erulisse (one L)
Jan. 28th, 2014 01:11 pm (UTC)
I really like the idea that it was Gimli who first suggested that he sail with Legolas, rather than it being Legolas' idea - and that Legolas should have to think deeply about accepting.
Jan. 28th, 2014 03:30 pm (UTC)
Thanks. The standard tales all seem to have it as Legolas' idea, but I think it could just as easily have come from that wonderful, stubborn dwarf who is just too good a friend to desert his best friend in a time of need.

- Erulisse (one L)
Jan. 29th, 2014 02:58 am (UTC)
The perfect decision, of course! I rejoice that in the end he did not sail alone. And Thranduil is wise. Nice to see Elves and Dwarves cooperating in the cleansing of the ancient realm of Durin the Deathless.
Jan. 29th, 2014 11:32 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I always feel a warm fuzzy feeling when I see your name in my comments :-)

I thought it only reasonable that with the success of the King Under the Mountain and increased discussions between them and the elves of Mirkwood, that a continued joint expedition would be feasible. Moria is so large, I can't see a single exploratory force, even after the collapse of the Black Gates, being able to truly clear all of the deep tunnels. A joint expedition seemed reasonable and I'm delighted that you also think so :-)

- Erulisse (one L)
Feb. 1st, 2014 05:15 am (UTC)
What a fascinating idea that the Elves should help to resettle Moria!
Feb. 1st, 2014 02:50 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure how much 'resettling' there will be with elves, but they did agree to help the dwarves clear out the delvings of all enemies so that Moria could once more become active and safe for the dwarves and other crafters who might want to live and work there. I'm sure that some of those crafters will indeed be elves. Thanks for reading and commenting :-)

- Erulisse (one L)
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