Borin sat on a moon drenched hillside weeping. Now Dwarves don’t weep all that often, but he had a good reason. Scarcely four hours before his wife had died in childbirth and just minutes after that their baby girl had died as well. Mahal, (The Dwarves creator, the Elves know him as Aule) it seemed
had deserted him. He had lost both wife and child in one bitter stroke.
He was a solitary dwarf, living with his wife in a forest somewhere between Rivendell and the Shire. He would occasionally take on work from elves that happened by, or more often men, though he got on better with the fair folk than most dwarves in the Third Age of Middle Earth did.
Borin probably would have stayed there crying all night if the sounds of a fight near by hadn’t roused him from his misery. He heard the harsh cries of Orcs and the clear voice of an elf
upraised in a battle cry. As I said before, Borin got along better with Elves than most Dwarves and any Elf that had not caused him harm was a friend and all Orcs were hated enemies, so he went into his cottage in the clearing and got his battle ax and went to see if he could help.
He followed the cries to the resin scented darkness of a pine wood. There he moved cautiously hoping to come up behind the Orcs and surprise them. And so he did, they didn’t even see him come up, so occupied were they with their victim, a tall dark hared elf wielding a long silver hilted sword and seemingly guarding a bowl-like pile of pine branches.
Borin crept in as quietly as a Dwarf can, trying not to distract the Elf, until he was just behind five or so of the dirty creatures. Then he lept in behead four of the five before they knew he existed. The Elf looked up from the body of one he’d been slicing in half and Borin noticed that he had two arrows in his chest and dark stains spreading on his dark blue leggings. The Orcs looked up too and stopped dead for a few moments.
The Elf took advantage of their distraction and beheaded a few more before they got over their surprise. It looked as if there had been about a score and a half of the ugly things, (or in modern language, thirty) but the elf had already disposed of six before Borin came on the scene. The archers presumably since none of the orcs were shooting arrows now.
The remaining Orcs split into two groups, one to dispose of the Elf, the other to get rid of the dwarf. The smaller group went after Borin because Orcs are the kind of people who messure valor in inches. That was a fatal mistake because Dwarves are mighty warriors, even when they think they have nothing to live for.
Borin hacked a path through the orcs with his stout battle ax heading straight for the Elf so that they could stand back to back. Or whatever. The Elf evidently got the idea because he doubled his efforts, but he didn’t move any further from than pile of pine branches than he had to. Borin figured that there was some family heir loom or treasure there that the Elf didn’t want the Orcs to get. That was the kind of thing a Dwarf could understand.
Soon there were only about five orcs left. Borin cut the legs from under one that was taller than him and when he was down he cut off his head as well. He turned in time to see an Orc sticking a knife into the Elf’s shoulder and Borin went up behind him and cut him in two.
That left three to deal with. Borin received a slash on his thigh before he could slay another but the Orc was much worse off than the Dwarf when the Elf was done. Borin looked up at him as the Elf drew a sword dark with Orc blood out of the Orc’s back and for the first time that night he smiled.
(The Dwarf not the Orc) And the Elf smiled back and turned just in time to see the last Orc sneaking up on him. He raised his sword, but Borin was faster, the last Orc lay headless on the ground.
Suddenly the Elf went deathly pale and stagger backwards a few paces. Borin ran forward and caught him as he fell and staggering he lowered the Elf to the ground. He seemed to be trying to speak.
“Don’t try to talk yet, my friend, here drink first.” And he raised a water skin to the Elf’s lips. He drank eagerly for a moment and then tried to speak again.
“Please- my chi ..” he broke off in a fit of coughing. Borin gave him another drink and then he tried again. “Please- my….” He waved a long fair hand in the direction of the pile of pine branches and broke off in a fit of coughing again.
“Now then, don’t try to speak yet, whatever it is we can get it in a moment, first let me get you to my cottage.”
But the elf did not speak again. Borin placed his work roughened fingers on the fair throat. No pulse. He put his hand on the Elf’s brow and felt the warmth leaving his body. He put his hand in front of the mouth and nose and felt no stir of breath. The Dwarf swallowed and gently laid the
elf down and cleaned his sword and gently folded his hands over the hilt. Then he closed his eyes noting their color for the fist time as he did so. Deep midnight blue with silver flecks. Then he cast about for some way to cover the body so that it wouldn’t be ravaged by the scavengers and saw plenty of rocks handy.
It took him about an hour and a half to raise a cairn over him but in the end the body was completely covered by a mound of rocks. When he was done Borin stood there for a moment wondering about the Elf, about the message he died without delivering, where he came from and how he came to be so far from the Elf havens of Mirkwood, Lorien and Rivendell and the Grey Havens. He would probably never know and he turned to go. It had been a sorrowful night. He
had buried his wife, his daughter and an Elf he barly knew all in one night. There was nothing to do execept return home.
And that’s just what he started to do when he heard a small sound that seemed to come from niether bird nor beast. He turned for a moment and looked around and seeing no one turned to leave again when he heard it again, louder this time. It couldn’t hurt to search. He remembered the pile of pine branches and stood quite still for a moment and the sound came again, sure enough it sounded like it was coming from the pile of branches.
He went over to it and carefully mooved the pile of tree branches. There laying under neath was a tiny elf baby in a blue smock dress nomore than two weeks old. She had been sleeping but woke when Borin moved the branches. She looked up at him with large blue eyes identicle to her
father’s. Her hair was thick and black. Elf babies are born with a lot of hair and her’s was carefully clipped back from her face with a silver clip shaped like a water lily with a green beryl in the center.
Something about her struck Borin to the heart and he gathered her to his broad chest and cradled her gently already thinking of a name for her. Kis, (kiy sh) for his wife. Then he saw a pack next to where the child had lain and caught it up by the strap. And with that the Dwarf adopted the Elf child.