“We now have but one choice, we must face the long dark of
Moria. Be on your guard, there are older and fouler things than orcs in
the deep places of the world.” Gandalf spoke in a hushed yet grim tone as he
lead the way down the cavern with only the pale light of the crystal to guide
them. “Quietly now, it’s a four day journey to the other side. Let us
hope that our presence may go unnoticed.”
‘Well that’s not going to happen.’ Chris thought dryly as she continued forward with her eyes on the uneven floor in an attempt to prevent herself from falling over any out cropping of rock. They continued on through the relative darkness with only subdued conversation to keep them going. The girls had once again gravitated towards each other finding their company more comforting than that of the males whom they could never have a conversation with without lying.
‘So.’ Chris began trying to fill the silence that had blanketed the pair.
‘So.’ Elle countered half heartedly. She knew that Gollum would soon be following them and his form had always unnerved her. Even when he had started to redeem himself as Sméagol she still never found much fondness for the creature.
‘I guess Legolas must be pretty jealous.’ She remarked casually while Elle gave her a look that was stuck between confused and irritated.
‘What are you on about now?’ She questioned not sure if her mood could take the playful disposition that had swept over her friend.
‘With Aragorn being a big hero and catching you and carrying you into this dark secluded area.’ Chris nudged her friend and wiggled her eyebrows suggestively. To which Elle let out a frustrated sigh that was not unnoticed by some of her companions.
‘Chris, we were being mauled at by a huge tentacle monster and everyone else ran into the dark secluded area too! It’s where we are now!’ she retorted suppressing the urge to exaggerate her point with wild hand gestures that would look out of place in the dead silence. Deciding to end the mental conversation Elle marched ahead to walk with Gandalf, Gimli and Legolas.
‘Oh right, abandoning me for your wonderful awesome Prince prancey pants lover!’ Chris ended as she crossed her hands over her chest.
Their journey then continued as it did before in the dark silence of Moria but as they ventured forward each of the fellowship began to develop a growing sense of unease in the eerie tomb of dwarven greed.
They had been travelling for two days now and had managed to
stay undetected from the hordes of creatures that could sometimes be heard in
the echoed distance. A makeshift camp had been made as the fellowship awaited
the old wizard’s council. They were at a crossroads in the tunnel system with
three options for them to take, or four if you counted the well that ran deep
into the depths of the mine. Gandalf was sat perched on an outcropping of what
was once a stone staircase; he had been there for hours smoking his pipe and
mumbling to himself. The others were sat on the carved steps that they had
walked hours before to reach that point. Elle, who still hadn’t spoken to
anyone or even had a mental squabble with Chris since they had last interacted,
was sat a little away from the others staring into the depths of Moria.
This place was freaking her out; she knew that she wasn’t the only one disturbed by this place but the lack of sunlight and the crushing felling of being under ground was starting to ware her down. However her refusal to respond didn’t deter Chris from continuing to babble mindlessly to her friend through their connection. Deep down Elle knew that Chris was just trying to distract herself from her claustrophobia and the thought of never escaping the labyrinth of tunnels. A slight sound and the sudden movement of Frodo heading in Gandalf’s direction was noted by Elle as a sign that Gollum had defiantly started to follow them and the thought of the creature so close proved to sour her mood further.
“Sut naa lle?” Elle’s gaze shifted from the stone steps to Legolas who had taken a seat beside her. He had tried to speak to her in elvish several times since their journey and every other time she had found a way out of responding but this time there was little in the way of distractions for her to evade his question, or what she had assume had been a question from his tone. “Lle tyava quel?” He tried again with the same lack of response as an answer. He looked like he was considering something and then finally spoke again. “Lle quena i'lambe tel' Eldalie?” he said almost tenderly and a look in his eye that seemed to be hopeful. Once again she said nothing and continued to look out towards the darkness that seemed to surround them in every direction. His eyes dulled and seemed unfamiliar with out the gleam of life that made them seem to glow. “You do not understand our tongue, do you?” He spoke the words so softly that had her hearing not been so keen she would not have caught it even though she was sat beside him. Slowly she turned and looked up to meet his piercing cobalt eyes. All the half formed lies that she had been formulating in her mind evaporated under his cool gaze. She knew that if she tried to speak she would tell him everything, she would endanger the mission and the fates of all her companions as well as their world for a man whom she had known for under a month. It made her feel stupid and shallow and want to hit her head against the stone that surrounded them. Her silly crush on the elf before her could ruin everything and there was nothing she could do.
“No…” She spoke slowly in an attempt to reign in her words. “I-”
“Oh! It’s that way.” Gandalf’s outburst was well timed as Elle scrambled to get up and made her way towards the wizard and the hobbit beside him.
“He’s remembered!” Merry exclaimed excited as he stood and put away his pipe.
“No, but the air doesn’t smell so foul down here. If in doubt, Meriadoc, always follow your nose.” Gandalf motioned towards the tunnel opening as he spoke and then began the decent. The steps lead out into an enormous expanse of open space that was supported by fortified pillars that stood in rows that were as straight and ordered as the finest legions. “Let me risk a little more light,” Gandalf murmured as he raised his staff revealing the true extent of the massive room “behold the great realm and dwarf city of Dwarrowdelf.” The detail of the ornate pillars is revealed to be as intricate and beautiful as the gates that had lead them into the mines.
“There’s an eye opener and no mistake.” Sam said in awe as his words softly echoed through the room. As she stood in awe of the cavern the sense of unease began to ebb away until familiar warmth was by her arm. She didn’t need to look to know that he was there but his words confirmed it.
“We shall speak later, when you are less likely to be interrupted.”
And suddenly the calm was swept from under her feet and the sinking feeling of despair returned. She was doomed.
Sut naa lle? – How are you?
Lle tyava quel? – Do you feel well?
Lle quena i'lambe tel' Eldalie? – Do you speak elvish?