3. Chapter 3
You. Went. Into. Moria.
You went into Moria.
You went into Moria?
Eru, please make this one of your more inane practical jokes. If this is the case... Boromir, I will murder you, personally, implicitly, deliberately, for all the anguish you have caused me. If not... well, you may meet a premature death, even without my help. Oh Valar, this is horrible.
Mithrandir led you into Moria? Of all places... I pored my books of lore long and often when I had the leisure (and before Father set fire to my library—I am beginning to see a trend in this), and what the Dwarves awakened there could doubtless destroy even a Wizard. Mithrandir must know this—yet he led you there. He is a fool, or perhaps suicidal. Boromir, if you see anything made out of shadow and flame and carrying anything remotely resembling a whip, you are to run as fast as possible in the other direction. Don't try to be heroic—this is beyond your measure.
Oh, gods... be careful. If something were to happen to you, what would Father do? What would Gondor do? What would I do? This is madness... you, and our King, and the one person on whose survival depends the very survival of Middle-Earth have breached the most perilous location in all Arda, barring Barad-Dûr... and perhaps not even that.
Why, brother, that is easily the most agitated letter I have ever received, and that includes the one you wrote me after Tinúviel's demise! So far, we have come across only several hundreds of Dwarf corpses and evidence of Goblins... no wrathful spirits of flame as of yet. Though, should we encounter one, I may tempted to bring it back to Gondor and set in on Father... though he may enjoy the experience, due to his curious affinity with fire.
I did, however, hear a strange scrabbling noise down in the chasm, and after carefully tracking it to its source, ran back to Aragorn, who was polishing his spectacular ancestral sword (again). "We're being followed!" I hissed at him. "Something, down there in the gorge..."
He spared me half a glance and a supercilious smirk. "Oh, that's Gollum. Yes, he's been following us for days. Are you really the only one who hasn't noticed?"
I declare, Faramir, that our King is looking forward to a premature assassination.
Oh, fine, so he didn't say it exactly like that. But I could tell he meant it.
At any rate, we are now facing the prospect of starving to death in this God-forsaken mine, because we are lost. Yes, we are lost.
Mithrandir claims that he has traveled through Moria before, and has been leading us quite confidently... that is, until five minutes ago. It reminded me of that one time, when we decided to take a vacation in Dol Amroth. You must remember how, on that particular trip, we came to a fork in the road, and Father halted his horse, drew in the reins, looked up, sniffed deeply, and said, in a slightly congested voice, "I have no memory of this place."
Well, that is exactly what happened here. Except this time there will be no picnics and games of hide-and-seek while Father rereads the road map and argues with Mother about which exit we should have taken. All that can be done is to wait (again) while Mithrandir thinks and lectures Frodo on morality, and pray that no goblins, creatures of flame, or skulking gangrel creatures come to challenge us.
I am glad to see that you are still alive, but horrified to discover that you are still in Moria and, not only that, lost!
What on earth does Mithrandir think he will accomplish by this? Not only does he lead you into Moria, but he doesn't know how to get back out! I mean, Father got us lost on the way to Dol Amroth, but he at least knew the way back to Gondor!
Well, actually, if I recall correctly, I was the one who knew the way back to Gondor... but that's not the point! The point is that someone knew the way back. I still cannot believe that you went through Moria to avoid Isengard. Do the gears and cogs in Mithrandir's brain operate differently than in mine? Or is it improper to think it odd that one might go through a goblin-and-Balrog infested mine to avoid some wizard's tower?
And who is Gollum?
You still sound hysterical. That being said, take some deep breaths before you read any more.
Mithrandir, having officially decided that he had absolutely no premonition as to our whereabouts, arbitrarily picked a passage, which we followed. We came upon some Dwarf's tomb, and then Pippin (yes, this is the same Pippin who aroused the overly aggressive nautical being back at the entrance) chucked a stone down a well, alerting an entire army of Goblins to our presence.
That was about the point when we realized that we had made a severe strategical error, and were now trapped inside the cave. Aragorn and I barred the door (I was nearly impaled by three arrows in the process, which strikes me as somewhat... ominous?), but, predictably, our defenses were shattered by a rather large cave troll. This was about the point when I was thrown against the wall, and when I came to, I saw that Frodo was dead.
At least, he was supposed to be dead, judging by the spear protruding from his chest, but then he showed off his silver long-johns and stood back up, so I guess that it was some kind of bluff.
We made for the bridge, where we nearly lost Aragorn and Frodo (it wasn't until we'd all leapt clear of the crumbling structure when we realized that we'd left our two most important members behind). It was about when we crossed the second bridge that the Wrathful Spirit of Flame made its appearance. It was, however, on the other side of the gorge, and, seeing that the bridge was far too narrow for it to cross, I assumed that we were safe. However, Mithrandir decided that he needed to stage a grand confrontation. He placed himself at the middle of the bridge, and began waving around his staff and sword, calling it "spawn of Udun" and telling it to "go back to the Shadow." This understandably pissed the creature off, and it charged Mithrandir, but the bridge, as previously stated, was too narrow, and buckled beneath it. As it tumbled to an apparent doom, Mithrandir struck a heroic pose, as if it had been he who had made the bridge collapse; but, as he finally turned to go, the spirit's whip flew up and coiled around his ankle, pulling him down into the abyss.
After that, things felt strangely like... slow motion? Frodo screamed and made a futile dash toward the bridge, but I caught him as he passed, whereupon he had a horrendous temper tantrum and I was obliged to carry him, kicking and screaming, out of the Mines (I guess my extremely witty comment of "Is it time for s o m e b o d y's nappy?" should have gone unsaid, but at fifty, he should be more restrained than that). Aragorn stood for a full minute, staring dumbly at the bridge, and it wasn't until I had shouted at him for a while that he finally started moving again. I think I may be the only one with sense on this Quest.
Of course, once we emerged, the whole Fellowship we obliged to sit down and have a good cry, myself excepted. I found it oddly difficult to feel great remorse over someone who had almost led us to our doom numerous times, but! I decided to be sensitive. I comforted the Halflings. When Aragorn wanted to be on the move again, I decided to be sensitive again and told him to "give them a moment." He, of course, made some crass comment about being ambushed by Orcs and spurred us on to run again.
I am never going to try being sensitive again, especially not when there's some King there to make me feel like a bloody idiot.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.