The strife for Khazad-dûm.
May this be a succinct compilation of the major deeds of arms that take place in the war for the mansions of Moria; from the accounts of its protagonists, long-lost texts, and the estimable experience gained during service.
Below is the text compiled from the various excerpts that constitute this chronicle.
«The Dwarrowdelf was founded by Durin 'the Deathless' in the far distant past, long before the creation of the Sun and Moon. Durin had awoken at Mount Gundabad not long after the Elves first awoke, and as eldest amongst the Fathers of the Dwarves was acknowledged as preeminent amongst them, a status subsequently inherited by his descendants, the Kings of the Longbeards.
From Gundabad, Durin's growing clan spread southward down the vales of the Anduin, all the while under attack from the Orcs of Morgoth. According to legend, Durin ultimately found "a glen of shadows between two great arms of the mountains, above which three white peaks were shining". Within this heavily wooded valley, a long series of short water falls led down to a long, spearshaped lake, which appeared to have a magical quality: "There, like jewels sunk in the deep shone glinting stars, though sunlight was in the sky above". Perceiving these stars as a crown glittering above his head, Durin took this as an auspicious sign, and named the lake Kheled-zâram, the Mirrormere.
The three peaks overshadowing the lake he named Barazinbar 'the Redhorn', Zirakzigil 'the Silvertine' and Bundushathûr, 'Cloudyhead'. The icy cold springs feeding it he called 'Kibil-Nâla', of unknown meaning, although to the valley itself he gave the name 'Azanulbizar', The Dimrill Dale. Durin chose the caves above Kheled-zâram as the earliest beginnings of his stronghold: Khazad-dûm, 'the Dwarrowdelf'.
All of these places became revered amongst Durin's people in later days. His descendants erected a rune-carved stone monolith at the site whereupon he had first looked into the Mirrormere, and although it had become indecipherably weatherworn by the end of the Third Age — broken, cracked and faded — the influence of Durin I, the founding king of Khazad-dûm, was never forgotten. Khazad-dûm waxed continuously in size and population in Durin's long lifetime, until it became the greatest of all the mansions of the Dwarves, even before the return of the Noldor to Middle-earth. By that time, Khazad-dûm was already a name and a rumour from the words of the Dwarves of the Blue Mountains to all the Eldar of Beleriand.
After his death, the reputation of Durin's realm continued to grow, not merely due to his spiritual ascendancy over the other Fathers of the Dwarves as the eldest amongst them, or the Dwarrowdelf's growing size and power, but to its great wealth, which was founded upon the uniquely precious metal mithril, which was universally prized yet found nowhere else in Middle-earth.»
It was less cold that afternoon than was usual in the Vale of Thrain.
The goat was being urged on by Ufedarr, who was late for Thorin's Halls. This night was to be one of dancing, drinking and the occasional brawl, but also of gathering with some returning companions from faraway places, and new ones that were to be welcomed.
Leaving the mount securely behind, he quickened his pace as the warmth of the Halls' interior thawed his joints, and he remembered the box that a him and a few messengers had bought to leave their cloaks and personal effects in, so that they would not "get lost" while they were losing consciousness; but he barely had time to leave anything at all, for a friendly greeting came ahead of him:
Oytargtîr, aktibi durzuzu!
[Hey, I know your face!]
It was a young dwarf, his beard beginning to grow thick; a fresh recruit, one who was not yet complaining about the hazards of the trade.
He ignored him for a moment to open the chest and slip in his cloak and gloves - tied one to the others - and sat down on the creaky wooden bench with him and the others that waved him a greeting.
"You almost missed Annar's serenade! He's drunk as a pig, and he doesn't even wait for the sun to go down before he starts singing!"
Ufedarr then glanced at the scene around him: The first room of the tavern, which served as its entryway, was carpeted with cloaks, muddy boots and other indistinguishable garments, along with piles of gravity-defying empty jugs; and through one of the two side doors led into another, larger room, with tables of dwarves full. Ufedarr sat near the door, and could see the best and worst of both worlds.
"If he is indeed as drunk as you say, he has amazing balance," he replied, interrupting the sentence to take a sip from the nearest tankard.
Annar leapt up onto the bench he was sitting on, and from there onto the table. The song he was singing turned into a frenzied dance, and as he wiggled his feet and swayed from side to side, his entire party rose to their feet and began to cheer him on. At last he slipped in a puddle of spilt beer, tripped over the next table and stumbled to the floor. The room erupted in festive ecstasy, and the rise and fall of the Great Dancer gave them an excuse to sing and dance well into the night.
Fortunately for Ufedarr, who did not enjoy these celebrations more than the dry and coarse beer they served that night -because although they made them of great quality, on this occasion quantity mattered more than quality-, in the deepest corner of the room there was a small stone table where he found some of the companions with whom he most liked to discuss endless topics, and who, like him, were not big drinkers. He took his seat -After getting there with some difficulty-, and greeted everyone as he sat down. Apparently, the topic of debate that night was the fate of the company of Balin son of Fundin, who had entered Moria years ago and of which no one had heard since. Ufedarr hoped that one day they would come from Khazad-dûm emissaries with bright tidings, but it was distrustful that until then they had known nothing of the expedition, which had raised many fears. The lack of consensus among the tertullians caused the talk to last a long time, even a couple of weeks. One of them was a sentry of the gates leading to the valley of Thráin, and in the following week he stopped Ufedarr next to his cabin, for he knew that a stranger had just arrived talking about a new expedition to Moria, better and more prepared than that of Balin. He also asked him to tell the others, and that same day some of them found the stranger and learned many things:
Bósi son of Bifur was the leader of a new expedition, called the Iron Garrison. With him was his cousin, Brogur son of Bofur, and a great number of brave dwarves who were trying to enter in Moria and recover the Halls of Khazad-dûm, hoping to find Balin's company in the process. They were well-equipped and spirited, and also that any assistance would be of great benefit.
Ufedarr took a couple days to decide, but finally packed everything and joined many other volunteers and departed towards the great halls of Durin the Deathless.
Many misfortunes were to take place in the following months, and the fight for Moria was brutal.
This strife would quickly become an account of their bravery and indomitable will; may them who fell in the sacred mansions, virtuous among the dwarves for the deeds they would partake in, be praised in their tombs of stone beneath the mountains.