Mount Doom or Bust! – The Mines of Moria!

by Feb 23, 2003Stories

Part five — The Mines of Moria I put together my favorite parts of the book and movie, so it’s pretty messed up

The Company was now off cursed Caradhras, and bumbling along the stone wall to find the door. The air was cool, and the Sun had gone. The moon was full, but slowly rolling behind a large cloud. The stars were twinkling bright. Mag watched them as she followed, and wondered if it was the same sky that she had looked at back home. There was definitely a difference, however. There were billions of stars like billions of light bulbs, and it was beautiful, even if Magan was again in a bad mood. She had hurt her ankle scaling down the large rocks to get there. She walked with a limp, and was very cranky.

“Dwarf doors are invisible when closed.” Said Gimli as he tapped his axe on the rock.

“Yes, Gimli, their own masters cannot find them if their secrets are forgotten,” Gandalf said. Legolas had a smug look upon his fair face as he pressed himself against the rocks. Finally, Gandalf seemed to have found what they had been looking for.

“Ithildin.” Murmured Gandalf. “It mirrors only starlight and moonlight.”

Suddenly, the moon came out from behind it’s cloud, and the door became lit, the Elvish and Dwarvish runes blazing in the night’s sky, the moon reflecting on the water.

“Well,” said Gandalf, leaning on his staff. “Here the Elven-way from Hollin ended. Holly was a token of the people of that land, and they planted it here to mark the end of their domain; for the West-door was made chiefly for their use in their traffic with the Lords of Moria. Those were happier days, when there was still close relationship at times between folk of different race, even between the Dwarves and the Elves.”

“If was not the fault of the Dwarves that the friendship waned.” Gimli said, shooting Legolas a sharp look. The Elf ignored it.

“I have not heard it was the fault of the Elves.” Legolas said.

“And it certainly wasn’t the fault of the Men.” Kristy said with a grin, thinking she was quite intelligent. She had no real idea what they were talking about. Shelly sighed.

“Well no duh.”

“What’s that’s supposed to mean?” Kristy asked, letting go of Boromir’s arm, and standing up to Shelly.

“Kristy…” Mag thought of something to say. “No wonder you’re blonde!”

“Hey, hey! Don’t go there. You’re even blonder than me — and your hair is brown!” Kristy smiled. Mag stuck her tongue out. The two went on about it for a while, until Danielle but in.

she signed.

“Yeah, no kidding.” Mag grumbled. She was jealous of Kristy, who had the warmth of Boromir to keep her from the cold. Gandalf now attempted to ignore the girl’s bickering, and began to figure out the password. He seemed to know almost exactly what he was doing when he stepped up to the door.

“Annon edhellen, edro ammen! Fennas nogothrim, lasto beth lammen!”

The Company’s grins disappeared. The door had not moved. Gandalf tried again. Yet to no avail. It stayed closed.

“Nothing’s happening,” Pippin said to Legolas. Gandalf actually tried to push the door open.

“That isn’t going to work,” Shelly said, making a tsk sound with her tongue.

“What’s he going to do then?” wondered Pippin.

“Knock your head against them — no, no, kidding, he’s not…” Shelly said, taking it back as she saw the look on Pippin’s face. The Hobbit wouldn’t put it past Gandalf to do that with his curly hair covered head. Momentarily, Sam were letting Bill free of his packages. No longer would he be the beast of burden. Sam was not happy with the decision.

“But you can’t leave poor old Bill behind in this forsaken place, Mr. Gandalf!” Sam said, knowing his pleading would not change the pony’s fate, but wanted to try anyway. “I won’t have it, and that’s flat. After he has come so far and all!”

“I am sorry Sam,” answered Gandalf, putting on an encouraging smile. “But when the door opens I do not think you will be able to drag Bill inside, into the long dark of Moria. You will have to choose between Bill and your master.”

“He’d follow Mr. Frodo into a dragon’s den, if I let him. It’d be nothing short of murder to turn him loose with all these wolves about-“

“Sam.” Kristy said with a kind smile. She left Boromir’s side and went to Sam. She kneeled so she could look at him, eye-to-eye. “Stop. You are acting foolish. And you will see Bill again. He has come all this way, and has been very helpful and strong. But do you really want him to go in there? Sure, he might follow you, but who knows what danger is in Moria, and what could happen to Bill? You may be leading him very well to death if you do not let him go.”

Sam thought about this. He knew Kristy was right, but still didn’t want to let Bill go. Deep down, he felt like he would see Bill again, and he nodded, then reluctantly walked over to Bill. Like the pony understood, Bill nudged Sam lovingly, and Sam began to cry. He fumbled with the straps. After which, he took the packages from the pony’s back and threw sorrowfully to the ground. Everyone else took some stuff, after they decided what they didn’t need. Mag was glad that all the things she needed was in her small pack. With the four girls to help the original Fellowship, they felt that they certainly were contributing. If they hadn’t been there, they were sure that there would have been a larger load for each of the men. Gandalf went back to trying to open the door. He stood, he sat, he paced and made Mag sick watching him. Yet, he could not figure it out. Meanwhile Merry and Pippin were having a rock-throwing contest, or maybe they were just trying to make trouble. No one seemed to notice, but at last Boromir threw one (). It went much farther than the hobbits, and made a loud Ka-Plunk sound. Frodo turned from watching Gandalf to Boromir.

“Why did you do that, Boromir? I hate this place, too, and I am afraid. I don’t know of what: not of wolves, of the dark behind the doors, but of something else. I am afraid of the pool. Don’t disturb it!” and with that, Frodo turned back to watch the doors of Durin. Boromir was absolutely stunned, with Frodo speaking with him like that. Merry and Pippin smirked at eachother, and Danielle giggled after Shelly translated what Frodo had said. Kristy just glared at the Ringbearer.

Then, an odd rippling came from the water. And bubbling. But the curiosity was melted away from the hobbits and Boromir as Gandalf cried, “I have it!” as he laughed at his own slowness. Everyone crowded around the door. “Of course, of course! Absurdly simple, like most riddles when you know the answer.” And so in a loud, crisp voice he cried ‘Mellon’ and the door scraped open. Mag smiled with satisfaction. Yay, finally. Now they could get away from that pool. And if they hurried…

“Now, master elf, you will enjoy the fabled hospitality of the dwarves!” said Gimli mochoantly. “Roaring fire, malt beer, ripe meat off the bone-”

“Aren’t you dwarves ever vegetarians?” asked Mag. “It is much more healthy than a meat-based diet. Did you know…” then she began to ramble off facts that she’d learned from a Moby site. Gimli looked at her as if she was mad.

Danielle numbly tapped Mag’s shoulder. Magan turned. The water was now rippling and bubbling, but with the door opened, no one was paying attention to it. A solitary snake arm was creeping towards Frodo. It was inches from his fury foot when Mag found her voice.

“Frodo!” she cried, and ran at him. She pushed him away, and the foot grabbed at her. Another arm snatched at the Ringbearer, and another, and another.

“Aragorn!” cried Shelly.

“Strider!” shouted Sam in distress. Aragorn turned and darted towards the Watcher in the Water with Anduril in hand, the blade reflecting the moon’s light. Boromir followed, and Legolas shot at the lumbering creature. Kristy ran too into the water, and began to chop off the arms of the beast. Shelly sort of hung back, watching Frodo being dangled around. Danielle was protecting the other hobbits, who were occasionally being attacked by the whip-like snake-arms. Mag took her dagger out, and ran at the Watcher, not even bothering to attempt anything with her bow. She stabbed the one arm with her dagger, but it stuck, she had driven it in so far. The arm flailed wildly, and then it flicked Mag up into the air, and grabbed her. She too had fallen the same fate as Frodo. Both were being thrashed around. The mouth below opened wide. A horrible stench of dead fish escaped, and Mag had the incredible urge to vomit — and not just because of the stink. The arm was lowering her towards the razor teeth below.

“Oh my god, somebody help me!”

But they seemed to notice her little. Kristy was trying to save her, but of course everyone else was concentrated on Frodo. But Mag knew this was better. They could not lose Frodo and the Ring to this monster. Better her dead than the bearer. However, to her luck, Kristy found the right arm, and sliced clean through it. Mag fell from a height she wasn’t sure of, and hit the ice cold water. Gimli actually waded in and urged her to get up. Mag did, drippy and shivering, and followed the dwarf. Boromir was not far behind, with Frodo in his arms. He too had gotten free of the Watcher’s hold. They ran into the caves, Boromir shouting for Legolas to come. After one more well placed shot, he followed. The door behind them collapsed. Plunged into dark, they were silent, and the only sounds were the chattering of Mag’s teeth and the falling of dust. Sam suddenly burst into tears.

“Poor old Bill! Poor old Bill! I had to choose, Mr. Frodo. I had to come with you.” Sam said, holding onto his master. Through the dark came a light from Gandalf’s staff.

“Well, well!” said Gandalf, looking at the others through the dim light. “The passage is blocked behind us now, and there is only one way out – on the other side of the mountain. I fear from the sounds that boulders have piled up and the trees uprooted and thrown across the gate. I am sorry; for the trees were beautiful and stood for so long.”

So the trudged on in silence. Kristy seemed to have taken a strange, new watchfulness over Magan. She hung back with her, rather than walking with Boromir, and would stop if Mag lagged behind. They walked over bumpy terrain of the Mines, through the menacing dark that seemed to creep right into Mag’s bones. Shelly seemed distracted, and wasn’t watching where she was going. More than once she fell over, and Danielle was there to help her up. The girls knew now of all times they had to stick together. Finally, they came to a fork in their path. There were three passages. Gandalf looked at them, but seemed at a loss. “I have no memory of this place at all.” He looked around for some clue that old runes might offer, but found none.

“I am too weary to decided. And I expect that you are all as weary as I am, or wearier. We had better halt here for what is left of the night.”

They explored for a place to sleep, and found a door, which they entered. Merry and Pippin eagerly pushed their way through, as glad as anyone to have found a better place for shut-eye than in the open.

“Steady! Steady!” Gandalf said, and pulled them out of the doorway. “Steady! You do not know what is inside yet. I will go first.”

And this was probably to the hobbit’s good luck they were not allowed to go in there before the others. There was a well, which seemed to go down forever.

“One of you might have fallen in and still be wondering when you were going to strike the bottom.” Aragorn said to Merry, who looked a little awe-struck that something as simple as entering a room could mean your death in this place. “Let the guide go first while you have one.”

“This seems to have been a guard room, made for the watching of the three passengers,” Gimli explained. “That hole was plainly a well for the guards’ use, covered with a stone lid. But the lid is broken and we must take care in the dark.”

Mag wondered if anyone might fall into the well, as she unrolled her blanket guiltily. She didn’t know if this was the right way to feel. Now more than ever did she hate the fact that she, more than once, had skipped through the part of the book. She always found it boring. Of course, being there personally wasn’t boring. It was freaky.

“Hey, Kristy, if I fell in, would you dive in after me?”

Kristy began to laugh.

“Hey!” Mag said, and hit her blonde friend. Kristy rolled her blanket up, and threw it at her. Mag blocked it, and when it hit the ground, an odd PLUNK sound echoed through the room. But it wasn’t from them. They looked back. Pippin guiltily looked up.

“What’s that?” Gandalf asked, looking at Mag and Kristy, his eyes piercing.

“It wasn’t us! Don’t blame us! “

“We didn’t do it! Why are you always blaming us!”

Pippin, however, came to their rescue. Gandalf’s gaze softened when looking at the two girls, but hardened when he looked at the hobbit.

“Fool of a Took!” he growled. “This is a serious journey, not a hobbit-walking party. Throw yourself in next time, and then you will be no further nuisance. Now be quiet!”

Pippin looked very sad. It seemed he was always being blamed for something, rather than the girls. Danielle wondered what it was that made Pippin so sad. Shelly interpreted. Danielle went red. Glaring, she said something rather ‘flowery’ in ASL. Gandalf waved her off.

“Hey, wait, what the…” Shelly strained her ears through the dark. In the distance dooming was a dreadful. It eventually faded off. Gimli’s eyes glinted in the black.

“That was the sound of a hammer, or I have never heard one.” He said.

“Yes,” said Gandalf nodding his head. “And I do not like it. It mave have nothing to do with Peregrin’s foolish stone, but probably something has been disturbed that would have been better left quiet. Prey, do nothing of the kind again! Let us hope we shall get some rest without further trouble. You, Pippin, can go on the first watch as a reward.” And Gandalf pulled a blanket over his head. The others eventually drifted into sleep save Pippin and Magan. Shelly was obviously not sleeping either, as she tossed and turned restlessly. Both did not like the mines. They thought of what was going to happen. Soon. Mag, before she fell into sleep, saw Gandalf getting up, and sending Pippin to sleep.


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