Messenger of Darkness

Biting His tongue, Gimli reached into the fire with his tongs and pulles out the lst bar. Working swiftly, so as not to let the metal cool, he pinched off a short piece, rounded it and fitted it into the chainwork that he had already done. As he turned to dump it into the bucket of water to cool it down, he heard his fathers destinct footsteps in the hall outside. By Durins beard! he thought irritably, here I am at the independant age of 137 and I can't even get away from my father long enough to make him a suprise birthday preasent![/] He hurridly droped his work in the bucket and began hammering on the leftover bit of iron as if it had been his intent all along to make nails.

"Gimli!" Gloin gasped, worn out from running," there is a foul messenger at the gate I am asking all to be ready for trouble, Dain's orders." Gimli noddd an rushed out the door grabbing his double bladed axe, before rushing around the corner into a big hallway and joining the curious throng of dwarves heading for the front entrance to see what was going on. Passing a small, unadorned archway, contemplated it for a moment, then ducked into it and headed away from the throng, toward a small obscure exit that (he suspested) few knew about. As he strode as fast as possible toward the outside, awful thoughts raced through his head as to what was out there. Foul, he thought. As if that word spurred him on, he began sprinting the last few yards. He arrived in the bright sunlight, in the niddle of Dain's conversation with the stranger.

"...and you shall have great reward and lasting friendship from the Lord. Refuse and things will not seem so well. Do you refuse?

Gimli shudderd, for that last sentence came out as if a hiss from snakes.

Dain said, " I say neither yea nor nay. I must consider this message and what it means under its fair cloak."
"Consider well, but not to long."
"My time is my own to spend."
"For the present," said he and road into the darkness.

Dain began adressing the crowd and reassuring them, but Gimli slipped off back the way he had come. As he reentered his forge, he forgot about the incident for the time. And so, he never wondered what Sauron offerd Dain, but instead thought only of his father's birthday preasent. Fingering the chain mail shirt that he had painstakingly fitted together, piece by piece, he dismissed the messenger as a mere trifle, not knowing that its appearence would change his life forever.

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