Gimli gazed up at the ceiling in amazement as Gandalf turned around to face the awed company. “We will go a little further then we shall rest, if we can.”
That night, the company huddled close together by one of the large pillars, darkness surrounding them. The hobbits sat huddled together with Gimli close to them and Gandalf sat with his back against the stone pillar while puffing thoughtfully on his pipe. Silvren and Legolas sat together by Gandalf, neither of them said much to each other over to past few days. Legolas’ arm was wrapped affectionately around her waist where it was found quite frequently the past few days. Aragorn sat next to Legolas and Boromir on the other side of him. The man from Gondor seemed to watch the two elves with envy lurking with his blue eyes.
Silvren turned her attention upon the hobbits and Gimli as the dwarf stood up and began chanting an old Dwarven song in his deep voice.
“I like that!” Sam exclaimed when Gimli had finished and after that a long and uneasy silence fell upon the company. One by one they slowly began to drift off to sleep as Frodo took first watch.
Silvren woke to the pale light of Gandalf’s staff and let out a small stifled moan as she turned over onto her back. She nearly jumped when she heard Legolas’ unexpected voice come from beside her.
“I was afraid to move since you haven’t slept in days and I didn’t want to wake you.” he whispered in elvish.
“Is everyone else up yet?” she asked as she slowly sat up and rubbed her eyes with her fingers.
“Nay, Frodo and Pippin are still asleep.” he smiled up at her as he continued to lie on his back.
Not long after the young hobbits awoke, the company was up and moving again. They followed the light of Gandalf’s staff down the dark chamber and for some amount of time, there was nothing but silence.
“Huh!” Gimli grunted suddenly and without warning, he darted away from the company and towards a chamber with a set of wooden doors. The doors hung open on their hinges and had cracks and slits in the wood from axes and arrows.
“Gimli!” Gandalf shouted as the company stopped walking and watched Gimli in wonder. Gandalf and the others quickly turned and followed after the dwarf, slowly making their walking towards the stone sarcophagus that lay before them. A ray of sunlight from a window high in the stone wall shone upon the smooth top of the sarcophagus. The small chamber was full of decayed bodies that littered the ground. Cobwebs and dust clung to the bones and armour, papers scattered across the dust-covered floor.
“No!” Gimli groaned as he sank to his knees before the stone coffin that held a dwarf of some importance.
Silvren sighed softly as she and the others gathered near the dwarf. A pang of sadness and pity for the dwarf ran through her body as she remained by Legolas’ side.
“Oh, no, no!”
“‘Here lies Balin, Son of Fundin.'” Gandalf read slowly. “‘Lord of Moria’. He is dead then.” Gandalf said with a small sigh and took off his hat and Gimli rested his head on the edge of the coffin. “It is as I feared.”
Gandalf turned to the side and handed his staff and hat to Pippin who stood near him. The old wizard bent over a skeleton that was propped up against the coffin with thin white hair still left from a beard that had once been there. Carefully, Gandalf lifted a massive, thick-paged book from the boney fingers and opened the book. He softly blew the dust off the cracked pages and dirt fell from the dust covered book.
“We must move on. We cannot linger.” Legolas hissed to Aragorn who stood next to him. Aragorn turned and nodded his head in agreement but said nothing.
“I don’t like this.” Silvren whispered nervously to Legolas, who in return gave her hand a gentle squeeze.
“‘They have taken the bridge and the second hall.” Gandalf read from the last pages of the book.
Boromir stepped past Silvren and Legolas and stood next to Gimli, placing his left hand on Gimli’s right shoulder as to comfort him.
“‘We have barred the gates, but cannot hold them for long. The ground shakes. Drums. Drums in the deep.'” Gandalf paused as he turned the page and glanced up at each person’s face, except for Pippin’s. He began reading more slowly as the company listened with apprehension and anxiety. “‘We cannot get out. A shadow moves in the dark. We cannot get out.'” Gandalf read the last words with the sound of heaviness in his aged voice. “‘They are coming.'”
A sudden clatter from behind Gandalf caught everyone’s attention and Gandalf jerked his head around and gazed at the youngest hobbit.
Silvren’s eyes widened and she caught her breath upon seeing Pippin swirl around and stagger away from an old stone well that stood in the corner of the room. A now headless dwarf skeleton sat propped up on the stone ledge of the well, an arrow protruding from its chest that was covered in grey cobwebs. A wooden bucket and metal chain sat on the edge of the well next to the skeleton. Pippin, always being curious, had turned the arrow that was embedded in the skeleton’s chest and the skull went tumbling down the well. Seconds later the rest of the corpse fell backwards and tumbled down the deep well with a noisy crash. The metal chain was pulled down with the corpse and made a rattling noise as it fell, dragging the wooden bucket along with it. The bucket banged on the stone walls of the well ad it bounced back and forth down the well. The noise echoed through the mines around them and finally, after a few seconds it died away; leaving nothing but a dreadful silence lingering in the already dreary chamber.
Silvren slowly released her breath and gazed helplessly at the horror-stricken hobbit who awaited Gandalf’s scolding.
“Fool of a Took!” Gandalf said angrily as he slammed the book closed.
Pippin gulped helplessly and glanced down as shame and embarrassment filled his cheeks.
“Throw yourself in next time and rid us of your stupidity!” Gandalf barked as he snatched his hat and staff from Pippin. Gandalf turned away from Pippin and glanced at the ground and froze. A low, distant drumming sound had emitted from the depths of the mine and through the well behind him. Slowly, Gandalf turned around and fearfully stared at the open well behind Pippin.
“Drums.” Silvren gasped upon hearing the echoing beats of several drums that vibrated through the mine and caused her blood to freeze.
They all heard it, the terrible rumbling sound of distant drums. Goblin drums. The high-pitch shrieks and laughter could be heard in the distance as they echoed through Moria as well as the increasing rumbling of drums. They glanced about the room and panicked as they tried to determine where the noise was coming from when Sam said, “Frodo!” Frodo looked down at Sting and drew it partially out, it was glowing bright blue. Silvren saw this and her hand immediately covered the hidden ring that hung around her neck. Through the soft materials of her tunic and doublet she could feel the warmth on the palm of her hand the ring displayed. She could also feel the warmth on her chest where the necklace was laying against her soft flesh.
High shrieking came echoing down the chamber; growing closer and closer.
“Orcs!” Legolas hissed to Silvren and Aragorn.
Boromir turned and ran to the wooden doors and peered out. He jerked his head backwards as two black arrows came zipping through the air and landed in the wooden door, only inches from is face.
“Get back!” Aragorn shouted to the hobbits as he tossed his torch to the floor near him. “Stay close to Gandalf!” he shouted as he ran to the doors to help Boromir push them shut. The heavy doors scraped across the stone floor, and the old hinges creaked as they forced the door shut.
As soon as the doors were shut, Boromir gestured outward and breathlessly announced in a calm voice, “They have a cave troll.”
Legolas grabbed a heavy axe from off the floor and tossed it to Boromir. Legolas tossed him another one and once again Boromir caught it as Aragorn helped him wedge the doors shut and then backed away. Legolas backed away from the doors and drew an arrow from his quiver, fitting it to his bow as he stopped next to Silvren.
Silvren already had an arrow set to her bow string as Boromir stood on her other side much to her disappointment. He held his sword in his right hand and his shield in his left, his stance saying he was ready to block anything that came his way. Aragorn also had his bow out and an arrow set to the string.
Gandalf stood behind them and tossed his hat to the ground as he drew his sword from its sheath. The young hobbits shook with fear as they too drew their swords; Frodo’s glowing with a bright blue light.
“Let them come!” Gimli growled as he hopped onto Balin’s coffin.
The doors began to quiver violently as the goblins and orcs began to pound heavily upon the doors which echoed throughout the room. “There is one dwarf yet in Moria who still draws breath!”
The wood began to crack and splinter as wicked, black-bladed axes began to pierce through the poorly constructed door.
Silvren let her arrow fly when she saw an opening big enough for her arrow to fit through. A horrible screech sounded as her arrow hit the orc through the throat.
Legolas’ arrow flew a second later through a different opening. Aragorn’s also flew though a crack in the door hitting an orc in the eye. The orc let out a high pitch cry and fell back from the door. Not a moment later the doors fell inward as orcs leaped into the chamber. They were black and green with hideous faces and big eyes and they shrieked and snorted like wild pigs.
Silvren released another arrow at the closest orc, striking him in between the ribs, puncturing his left lung.
Legolas’ and Aragorn’ arrows struck two more orcs but every time one fell more would pour into the room. In one quick motion Silvren set her bow back in its place in her quiver and drew out her knives.
Gandalf let out a deep cry as he charged towards the orcs and the hobbits, finding their courage, followed his suit.
Silvren knew Legolas was somewhere to her left still firing arrows while she fought the orcs closest to her with her knives. Sticky black blood slowly trickled down the blades of her knives as she spun around and dodged the brutal blows from the axes of the orcs. She could hear the shouts of furry coming from Aragorn and the low grunts of Gimli as she stabbed an orc that had been running towards an unsuspecting Pippin, in the back of its neck.
The hobbits fought bravely as they stabbed the orcs in the legs or stomach multiple times. They weren’t able to reach any higher than the orcs waist for they were too short but that didn’t stop them from trying or leaping onto the orcs backs.
Silvren finished off an orc next to her and looked up to see one last orc coming through the doorway. Her grayish-blue eyes widened as the orc pulled on a chain and a tremendous crash shattered the top of the stone doorframe as a huge club came crashing down. A massive drooling, hunched over cave troll trudged into the chamber.
Silvren quickly glanced around and saw Gimli still standing atop his cousin’s tomb, swinging and killing orcs left and right. Then her gaze fell upon Sam who found himself lingering in front of the massive cave troll with a facial expression full of fear as an arrow flew through the air and hit the monster in the shoulder. Sam ducked letting out a yell as he darted under the troll’s legs just as the large club came smashing down on the spot Sam had been standing only a few seconds ago.
The troll looked down between his legs as Sam scurried across the dirt covered floor. The troll was about to step on the poor hobbit when he was suddenly jerked backwards by his chain. Aragorn and Boromir had ran to Sam’s rescue and grabbed the chain that hung from a collar around the troll’s neck. The troll swung his club around above their heads as Aragorn released the chain which now hung limp in Boromir’s hands. The troll grabbed the chain and before Boromir could react, the troll jerked on the chain, sending Boromir flying into the stone wall. Boromir fell off the stone ledge and onto the ground. He lay stunned and weaponless.
Nearby an orc saw this and picked up his knife to kill Boromir but Aragorn flung his sword at the orc which buried itself with a horrible crunch in the orc’s neck.
Silvren spun around and thrust her knives into the abdomen of an approaching orc. She ducked as shards of stone from Balin’s tomb flew over her head. She glanced up to see the troll’s club resting on the pile of crumbled stone that had been the foot of the dwarf’s tomb. Swiftly glancing around, she spotted Legolas up on a ledge fighting orcs from there. He set two arrows to his bowstring as she returned to fighting, and released them both at the troll, knocking it backwards as it was approaching Gimli from behind. Then, Legolas quickly spun around to face the orcs that had climbed onto the ledge, slashing, slicing, and stabbing at them until they were on the ground before him.
Gandalf spun around, his grey robes flying about him as he struck and stabbed orcs with his sword and staff.
Furious, the troll turned to face Legolas and lashed his whip at Legolas as if it were a whip while the nimble elf dodged the chain that flew at him. After another swing at Legolas, the chain wrapped around a stone pillar to Legolas’ left and the troll couldn’t pull the chain lose. Quickly, Legolas ran over to the pillar, made sure the chain was secure enough to hold his weight with his foot, and then he lightly ran across the chain and stood on the troll’s shoulders. With an arrow already set, Legolas released the arrow into the top of the troll’s head. Turning around, Legolas leapt off the troll’s back, landing on the hard ground without making a single sound. Outraged, the troll broke his chain in two and then turned around.
Shy little Sam was no coward in this battle for survival as he hit an orc with the back of his frying pan and turned around only to hit another orc with it. “I think I’m getting the hang of this.” he muttered and then hit another orc with a dull clung.
The other three hobbits stepped out from behind one of the stone pillars as the cave troll smashed the ground between them.
“Frodo!” Aragorn yelled as he stabbed an orc.
Frodo scurried around behind the pillar and hid on the far side as the troll peeked around the other side as the troll peeked around on the other side. Frodo did this one more time as the troll looked for him once again. Thinking he was safe, Frodo hid on the other side closest to the wall and let out a small sigh of relief as the troll came around and let out a roar. Frodo fell back into the corner and the troll came over and grabbed Frodo by the foot, pulling him towards the edge of the landing.
“Aragorn! Aragorn!” Frodo cried out, snagging everybody’s’ attention even if they were unable to do anything to help him at that very moment.
“Frodo!” Aragorn yelled as Frodo hit the troll on the hand with Sting and then fell off the ledge.
Aragorn let out a loud yell as he jumped down in front of the troll with a long spear in his hands. He then jabbed the spear into the troll’s ribcage as the troll raised his head as if to smash him.
Merry and Pippin began throwing small, jagged rocks at the troll as the troll flung Aragorn to the side. Aragorn landed amongst a pile of ruble and pretend he was dead as Frodo jumped to his feet and ran over to Aragorn’s side. Aragorn lay motionless as Frodo shook him in attempt to wake while the troll came back towards them with the spear in his blue hands.
Frodo ducked away from the spear and moved out of the way as the troll continued to try and stab him.
Frodo came to a sudden halt as the spear embedded itself within the stone wall right in front of him. Terrified, he stumbled backwards against the wall and frantically thought about his next move.
The troll took this opportunity and stabbed Frodo in the right shoulder and everyone turned to face him in sheer horror.
Silvren watched as Merry and Pippin cried out and leapt onto the troll’s back and began stabbing it in the back with their small swords. Silvren, with a heavy heart, turned and finished off the orc in front of her. She barely heard Sam cry out to Frodo for her mind was elsewhere as the troll spun around with the two hobbits still stabbing its scaly back.
Silvren ducked away from the swinging blade of the gruesome orc that was attacking her. In one quick motion, she slashed open his abdomen and sliced open his throat. Black, sticky blood covered the blades of her knives and splattered onto her hands. Silvren wiped her forehead with the sleeve of her tunic as she glanced about the room. She watched terrified as the troll grabbed Merry from off his back and held onto him as Gandalf and Gimli began stabbing and hitting the troll.
The troll dropped Merry onto the ground and jerked its head back as Pippin stabbed him in the back of the neck. Legolas took this opportunity and quickly shot the troll in the mouth and stepped backwards as the troll let out an angry roar that was suddenly cut off by a loud moan. The troll’s legs buckled beneath it and it fell to the ground, dead. Pippin tumbled off the troll’s shoulders and slid across the floor before skidding to a stop.
The room was suddenly silent all except Gandalf who had hurried over to Frodo and Aragorn who had scrambled across the broken chunks of rocks to the corner where Frodo lay.
“Oh, no” Silvren heard Aragorn murmur as she darted towards them and stood behind, watching with a sick, nervous feeling as Aragorn bent over Frodo’s still body.
Then to their surprise, Frodo moved and sucked in a gasp of air as Sam rushed to his side. Pebbles and dirt falling from Frodo’s clothing to the ground with a soft clatter. Silvren looked down at the spear as Frodo continued gasping for air, the spear was bright and free of blood.
“He’s alive.” Sam announced with relief.
“I’m alright.” Frodo gasped as he sat up with Sam and Aragorn’s help. “I’m not hurt.”
“You should be dead.” Aragorn breathed in amazement, sweat glistening on his face. “That spear would have skewered a wild boar.”
“I think there’s more to this hobbit than what meets the eye.” Gandalf said quietly.
Frodo drew open his shirt to reveal to everyone his beautiful Mithril shirt.
“Mithril.” Gimli breathed. “You are full of surprises, Master Baggins.” he exclaimed with a large grin.
It was then that they heard more shrieks of the goblins coming from the hall.
“To the Bridge of Khazad-Dûm.” Gandalf said to which the Fellowship quickly dashed towards a large hole in the back wall and into the pillared chamber.