J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, Vol. I manual
PARAGRAPH TEXT 1."A palantir!" you exclaim. You laugh to think that one of these legendary seeing stones has lain here in The Shire all these ages. With awe, you carefully wipe the dust from its crystalline surface. As you do, a faint rosy glow takes hold within the palantir. The glow gives way to a misty red-tinged vision of a dark figure sitting upon a ceramic stool, reading a scroll. Suddenly the Dark One looks up, his single flaming red eye glaring with malice. "Sssssss," he hisses. "Read NOT those paragraphs for which you have been given no instructions. There is a special place in Mordor for the likes of you!" And with that, the vision disappears. Yet even as it fades, you hear a muttered, "You'd think being a Dark Lord would grant you some privacy, but NOOOO!" 2. Apparently, some kind of answer is needed to pass through here. 3. Again, Elrond's voice rings clear and commanding throughout the council hall. "There can only be one conclusion drawn from these tales -- that the Enemy is moving again in Middle-earth. He seeks for the One Ring, and though the power of the three Elven Rings is strong, they alone cannot long resist the spreading shadow of his evil. We cannot keep the Ring here, nor would it be long safe in Lothlorien or any dwarven citadel. Neither can we trust it to be cast into the sea. Therefore the Ring must be destroyed." Elrond's gaze pierces the Ringbearer. "I cannot ask you to undertake such a task, yet I know of none other who is more able. Will you take the Ring south to Mount Doom to cast it in the fire?" 4. Freddi is free from the spider, but badly wounded. He's doing his best not to sob, and is overjoyed to be with people who will help him get home. He joins your party. Several items are scattered nearby, including the bones of a dwarf that died trussed up like a roasting pig, an old axe, a star-shaped key, and a weather-worn scroll with legible dwarf-runes in his hand. The scroll is readable. 5. The passageway widens into a dark chamber. At its center lies a great circular hole with rusty chains dangling down into the darkness. Possibly this was used as some great well of old. Three arched passageways lead to the east. The leftmost arch descends deeper. The central arch leads on a level course, and the rightmost ascends to some higher place. 6. Erestor pauses, considers his words, then continues. When first the folk of Durin came to dwell beneath the Misty Mountains, the mightiest of their craftsmen created a weapon of surpassing power. Naming it Durin's Axe after the First Father, the dwarves cleansed the depths of Khazad- dum, that is Moria, of creatures dark and dangerous. With the fall of Moria, this weapon passed from the tales of Durin's folk. Some say that it was found and now rests in an Orcish treasure hoard somewhere deep within the mines of Moria. 7. The spirit spoke truthfully. There is indeed a secret cabinet above the fireplace! 8. From a carefully scripted scroll, you read "Moria, the Black Chasm, Khazad-dum in the tongue of Dwarves, was a great dwarven city deep beneath the Misty Mountains. Itís western gate faces onto the lost land of Eregion, also called Hollin. Its eastern entrance opens onto the Dimrill Dale, and the Golden Woods of Lothlorien. Great stairs reached high into the mountain peaks and delved deep into terrible underground secrets. It is indeed one of the unequalled wonders of Middle-earth. It is also a place of horror and doom. For now, no dwarves live there -- only foul, darkness-loving, creatures." 9. A representative of the dwarves of the Lonely Mountain speaks. "Know that an emissary of the Dark One approached our home in the Lonely Mountain and asked us to tell him where to find the least of rings, a mere trinket that Sauron fancied. We have defied him for many months. But we must know more of this ring and why the Evil One seeks it so urgently. I was sent here for your wise council, while another party, including some of the men of Dale, went as emissaries to the Lady of Lothlorien." 10. A voice whispers. "From Nain's cairn. EAST. NORTH. EAST. EAST. NORTH. EAST." 11. The parchment reads, "As the approach of the forces of the Witch-king became certain, Arveleg I, King of Arthedain gave two pieces of the Sword that was Broken to his youngest son, Amonar, to hide within the barrows of the Kings of Cardolan east of the Dark Forest. The third he hid deep within the fortress of Amon Sul." 12. Your torchlight gleams dully off a ring of rusty keys hanging on the red-brown rock wall near the sleeping figure. Without sharp eyes you might have missed them hanging here. 13. "When I was but a foolish lad, I found this rusty sword in the barrows south o' here. Old Healer Rushdock told me it were a bit o' old magic from the ancient time of the Kings. Mayhap you folk can use it in your travels?" 14. "Enjoy your stay with us good folk! Nob will make up your rooms. There's a blaze in the parlour and food will be along soon." "Hi! Nob!" He shouts, "Nob! Where are you, you woolly- footed slowcoach." Turning back to you, he says, "If you've any ponies, I'll have Bob see to it that they are taken care of." 15. An aging, but still burly man with a ruddy nose to match his name is lifting large stone weights behind the counter. Odd pictures on the wall show men and hobbits going through the stages of several vigorous physical activities. 16. No hobbit would leave his hole in such a state. Smashed furniture, broken crockery, torn books and crumpled clothing lie strewn about the room. From here, there is no sign of the hobbit who lived here. 17. The parchment reads, "As the approach of the forces of the Witch King became certain, Arveleg I, King of Arthedain gave two pieces of the Sword that was Broken to his youngest son, Amonar, to hide beyond the Western Bridge near the protection of the elves of the Grey Havens. The third he hid deep within the fortress of Amon Sul. 18. The mournful ruins stand alone. The dwarves built them long ago, and like most things of dwarven manufacture, endure, even when the dwarves themselves were slaughtered long ago. 19. Above the wide arch, a wide flat signboard swings in the breeze showing a fat white pony reared up on its hind legs. Over the door was painted in white letters: THE PRANCING PONY by BARLIMAN BUTTERBUR. From somewhere inside, a merry song begins and many cheerful voices loudly join in the chorus. 20. Grotesque carvings encircle the door, frightening enough in what they depict to chill those who gaze up on it. Yet no orc carved these worn stones. Something darker, more evil, made these decorations. 21. "Look for the one you seek at the Forsaken Inn." 22. The parchment reads, "As the approach of the forces of the Witch King became certain, Arveleg I, King of Arthedain gave two pieces of the Sword that was Broken to his youngest son, Amonar, to hide within a cavern of the Misty Mountains near the protection of the elves of Imladris. The third he hid deep within the fortress of Amon Sul. 23. As you approach the cell, a wiry little man with glazed eyes and matted brown hair and beard dances up to the bars. "You're not with them," he cackles. "I can tell that, I can. Name's Appledore. I used to sell curios up in Combe. Ferny said to bring my best goods down here. Said they were paying top coin. You come for the secret? Them Orcs are digging at a secret in the cave. There's something powerful valuable down there. Them Orcs can sense it." "Grimbosh's Black Book tells them all about it. It has secrets in it, it does," he cackles. Back at the bars, he presses his face up close, rolls his eyes about and whispers, "Course if you was to set me free, I could show you them secrets." 24. "There was a big man from foreign parts asking for Mr. Baggins. I told him to go back where he came from double quick or I'd set the dogs on him, then he gave a sort of hiss that might have been a laugh and spurred his great horse at me, and I jumped away only in the nick of time. After that, I found my boy in the lane, and I don't know what happened to him. I was going off to get the healer, but I don't want to leave him; will you go to the village and bring him back? It's not far and I'm very worried. He isn't waking up." 25. With eyes darting back and forth, peering into each dark corner of the room, he whispers, "To enter the 'Black Chasm', two passwords you will need." 26. Like shadows cast by something unseen, Elven characters surround you on the chamber's floor. 27. The tall, weathered Ranger remains in his seat, yet his powerful, clear voice commands the council chamber. Casting two pieces of a broken sword upon the table, he states: "Here is the Sword that was Broken, the heirloom of Elendil, founder of Gondor and Arnor, Kingdoms of the Dunedain. I am Aragorn, Chieftain of the Rangers of the North, and through Isildur, Elendil's heir. Years ago I aided Gandalf in his search for the Ring, and captured Gollum, the sad demented thing from which Bilbo obtained the Ring. From Gollum we learned much of what had befallen the Ring between those dark days of Isildur's death and Bilbo's riddle contest. The Ring is Isildur's Bane, which he cut from the hand of the Enemy. Now I choose to guard and guide the Bearer of the Ring, whomever it be, as far as he wishes me to go, whatever the path he chooses. For this task, the lost pieces of the Sword that Was Broken must be found, and Narsil must be reforged." 28. From untold depths a great, hot wind surges upwards, heavy with the stench of smoke and brimstone. Almost at once, there is a feeling of lessened tension, like a great weight being lifted from your shoulders. 29. There is no greater power in Middle-earth than the pure white flame of the Secret Fire. This Flame of Anor is the Holy Spirit, Ea, that gives life to the thoughts of lluvatar's creation. The Golden Wheel of Anor symbolizes lluvatar's power; it was forged from a shard of the lamps of the Valar (which were destroyed by Morgoth in wars that occurred before the coming of the elves) and given by Aule as a gift to the eldest of the dwarves, Durin. When Moria fell into darkness, the wheel was said to be lost. Yet there are tales of a golden disk that was taken by men into the lands west of Weathertop. The true purpose of the wheel is lost, though it may only be intended as a symbol of the Secret Fire. 30. So fierce is your ability in battle that the remainder of your foes are dismayed. Several minutes later, they press in for an attack, when the armies of Lorien arrive. The orcs are driven into the river -- none return to Dol Guldur. 31. "Daro!" a commanding elven voice calls out to the Fellowship. "Stand still! Do not move or speak!" Out of the shadows a ladder descends from the trees. "In these dark times," the elven commander says, "we require a password." 32. "GROND" 33. Within this deep green hollow murmurs the silver stream that issues from the fountain on the hill. At the bottom, upon a low pedestal, stood a basin of silver, wide and shallow, and beside it a silver ewer. 34. Be not daunted by the sealed gate. Speak Friend and Enter. 35. "Hobbits!" cries Mr. Butterbur. "Now what does that remind me of. And you say your name is Underhill? Underhill? There's something I should remember about that name. But one thing drives out another you know. It'll come back when I have time to think. Nob will make up your rooms. There's a blaze in the parlour and food will be along soon "Hi! Nob!" He shouts, "Nob! Where are you, you woolly-footed slowcoach." Turning back to you, he says, "If you've any ponies, I'll have Bob see to it that they are taken good care of." 36. Legolas watched as Gimli slowly caught up with the rest of the Fellowship. "If dwarven legs were longer," he said, "we would not need to wait." "If elves were more patient," Gimli replied, "then they would not object to waiting." "Stop!" exclaimed Gandalf. "This is an old and tiresome argument. There are matters of greater interest to concern us." 37. Elrond surveyed the Council, sharp eyes undulled by the ages, appraising each member of the Fellowship in turn. "Sauron, also known as Annatar, also known as Aulendil, and Artano, and the Enemy, and the Abhorred, and Captain of Werewolves, was himself a servant of Morgoth, also known as Melkor, also known as Bauglir, also known as the Dark Lord, also referred to as the Great Dark One by the Druedain (whereas Sauron, also known as Annatar, is known as the Dark One, but only in Gondor, the southernmost kingdom of the two kingdoms founded by Elendil, son of Amandil, father of Anarion and Isildur), and built his Dark Tower, the Barad-dur, in the Black Land, Mordor, where the orcs (also known as goblins), being composed of snagas and uruk-hai, labored mightily, as Aragorn son of Arathorn, also known as Elessar the Elfstone, Strider of the House Telcontar, also known as Estel, also known as Thorongil (which means "Eagle of the Star") can tell you..." Frodo slipped out quietly through a side door. 38. The halls suddenly fill with sound. The sound of an ancient conclave. The noise of battle is all around you. Then, all noise ceases: and a single, bloodied axe rests upon the floor at your feet. 39. Strider suddenly turns around, eyes glowing blood red, teeth like small daggers. Fear paralyzes you. He is not a Ranger. He is of a kind that has not been seen in Middle-earth in over two Ages -- a vampire! "You fools! Why else would I want you to roam the streets at night, it is My time," he hisses at you. "My Lord Sauron has not forgotten us; we are few, but to him we are valuable. All he wants is The Ring. Give it to me and I will thirst only upon your companions. The choice is yours." Do you choose to betray your companions and give the vampire the One Ring? (Y/N) 40. Taffi tries to smile and says she'll go with you. She says her friend Freddi Grubb fell into a cave and hurt himself. She wants you to keep the doggies away from her and find her friend. 41. This is the entrance to the flet of Galadriel and Celeborn. Your advance is halted. "The Lady will not see you until you bring her five items: a silver horn, a magic scabbard, a crown of elanor, an elfstone, and the light of Earendil's star." 42. Silent until now, Gandalf rose, then paused, considering his words carefully. "Some would think that the pursuit of the Ringbearer might be proof enough that this halfling's ring is of great value to the Enemy. I have long suspected that the Ring that Bilbo found might indeed be the One Ring that Sauron craves. Yet not until this summer did I learn the full truth of this, or the nature of our peril. For Sauron is no longer our only enemy. "Years ago, Saruman the White, leader of the White Council and greatest of those who are deemed wizards, sought the secrets of the Rings, and was given this subject as his own domain to study, and little love has he shown to those who would meddle in it. In the end, he stated that the Ring had been carried by the currents of Anduin into the sea, where it would rest forever. Long I believed him. "In June, I learned from Radagast the Brown, another of my order, that the Nine, the Nazgul, were abroad, and seeking a land called "Shire" and a hobbit named Baggins. Immediately, I rode to Saruman for his aid, for by his power alone had we forced Sauron from Dol Guldur and freed Mirkwood from its evil. Never did I make a greater mistake! "Saruman greeted me, and mocked me, and called himself the Wizard of Many Colours. He demanded that I tell him where to find the Ring, and promised me great power if I stood beside him; I refused, and was imprisoned on the top of the great tower of Orthanc, Saruman's fortress. Had it not been for the great eagle, Gwaihir, who rescued me, I would be there still. "Saruman has fallen to the Enemy. Though Rivendell has long resisted the Enemy, we cannot long hide the Ring here, nor can we trust that it will remain lost if it were cast into the Sea. The Ring must be destroyed. It must be cast in the fires where it was made, in the furnace of Mount Doom, in Mordor." 43. A chill wind whistles eerily through the roughstone pillars that ring the hilltop like a mouthful of broken fangs. Near the ring's center, rough stone pillars that ring the hilltop like a mouthful of broken fangs. Near the ring's center, rough stones, tumbled here and there, form a crude marker. Perhaps someone long ago left something here, intending to return for it later -- much like Bilbo buried his troll booty beneath a cairn of stone. 44. You hear the sound of a hammer repeatedly striking against a forge. Eventually, an elf with broad shoulders looks at you with a toothy grin. "I am Curudol, pupil of the great Celebrimbor." he says. "Is there anything I can help you with?" 45. At the Door of Seven Hammers, speak both the First Father's name and then name the number of his people. 46. "Look for the one you seek in Archet." 47. The room reminds you of a poorly kept hobbit hole. The furnishings were once particularly homey, but long use and poor repair has turned most into stuff barely fit for firewood. Shades ofheavy hide cover the windows, keeping out any light that might filter through from sun or moon. A tall dark haired man, unlike the local Bree- folk, rises from the table. "Please," he says with a disarming smile, "my home is your home. Make yourself comfortable. You have no doubt heard tales of me by now. I'm certain old Butterbur has had more than enough time to bend your ear. Though 'tis a wonder he can even find room for my name in that addled pate of his. "My name is Rayf Brogan, and these men," he says, gesturing to encompass some of the surliest rogues that you have ever seen, "are the Company of Breeland, a nobler band of heroes you shall never find in these parts. We fight to keep our little land free of outsiders like that unpleasant wizard whose creatures stalk the south downs, and those meddlesome Rangers who pry so closely into affairs that are not their own. "Some call me rogue, others bandit. Many more call me friend. And I would like to be your friend. Unlike most of these folk round here, you seem to have a spirit of adventure about you. I need folk like you. Maybe there is something that I can give you in return, eh?" It may be your imagination, but the room suddenly seems a bit darker. 48. The dusty scroll gives up its secrets, "In the dark days following the Fall of the Witch-King, the fortified village of Gorthad defended the northernmost borders of what had once been known as Cardolan. Some maintain that the men of Cardolan rose up against their liege-lord, that he had become a black sorcerer who sought to emulate the Witch-king. The sources of this theory support their theories with further theories -- that Gardeleg, that Lord of Gorthad, had taken a Black Book of Sorcery from the ruins of Carn Dum, and that he had purchased a Golden Wheel from orcs that had brought it from the depths of Moria. The men of Cardolan trapped their liege-lord within his magic circle, and banished his wife, who was allegedly a witch, into the far North. 49. "Old Gandalf were here last summer. Quite an odd fellow that Gandalf. Said for me to help folk coming out of the Shire, he did. Said Butterbur would send 'em my way. Said I'd know 'em when they gave me their right name." 50. A man steps out of the trees. He is a tall handsome human, dressed in brown clothes that look travel-worn, though they have been recently washed. He has a rough demeanor, as though he has lived all of his life in the forest, even though he is rather handsome. "It is unusual to see hobbits wandering alone in this part of the Shire. Especially in such dangerous times. There are elves roaming this country, elves, and far worse than elves." He notes your skeptical expression and takes a deep breath. "You need protection on the road ahead. I can help you. I offer you my services." Do you accept this man into the Fellowship? 51. The old man rifles through items on the shelf. "Aha!" He cackles with joy. "My thanks for your help now! Take what I give you to Ham Oakbellow. He has dire need of it, though he may not say so." 52. A voice whispers. "From Orin's cairn: WEST. WEST. WEST. SOUTH. WEST. NORTH. WEST. NORTH." 53. This dark, stuffy shop smells of herbs and preservative spices. Odd little charms, and runemarked stones line shelves and hang on leather thongs from pegs amongst the rafters. The shopkeeper, a heavyset, grey-haired woman reclines languidly in a padded chair behind the counter, slowly drawing on an oddly carved briar pipe. 54. This is Daisy Proudfoot. You ask her what is what is wrong and in a quivering voice she implores, "Me sister Taffy and her friend Freddi Grubb are lost in the East Woods. Oh brave sirs won't 'ye please find 'em a'fore the wolves do? Take Taffy to Great Road Goods, and Freddi back to his father." 55. Above the reeds there appears an old battered hat, then below it, a man all in blue, save for his great yellow boots. "What's the matter then?" he shouts. "I'm Tom Bombadil. Tell me your troubles. Tom's in a hurry now!" You explain what has happened. "What!" shouted Tom, leaping into the air. "Naught worse than that, eh? That can soon be mended. I know the tune for him. Old grey Willowman. I'll freeze his marrow cold, if he don't behave himself. I'll sing a wind up and blow leaf and branch away. Old Man Willow!" Tom begins to sing. "You let them out again, Old Man Willow. What be you a-thinking of? You should not be waking. Eat earth! Dig deep! Drink water! Bombadil is talking." Soon all is set right again. Bombadil invites you to his house, which lies across the bridge a short distance away, then vanishes. 56. Ware the Secret Flame, buried beneath the Stone of Moria. Only one who bears the Holy Spirit's token shall pass through the halls with no end to bask within its light. 57. "Alas!" the old river spirit cries, as great muddy tears roll down her cheeks. "I may not honor your request. Magic deeper than my silty bed forbids it 'til spring again touches my banks. Yet there is a way. Go west to Ruddyoak. Take to him a red acorn. Ask for the Springstone." 58. Erestor pauses, considers his words, then continues. "When first the folk of Durin came to dwell beneath the Misty Mountains, the mightiest of their craftsmen created a tool of surpassing hardness and strength. Naming it Durin's Pick after the First Father, the dwarves mined the depths of Khazad-dum, that is Moria, in search of mithril. Though powerful, this awesome tool may have also caused their doom when they delved too deep. With the fall of Moria, the Pick passed from the tales of Durin's Folk. Unconfirmed tales suggest that it was found by the men of Bree." 59. The last thing anyone expected to find in this orc infested pit was a woman's dressing room! Though the room is not the least bit frilly, your eyes and your nose do not lie. Gowns and travelling clothes lie strewn here and there, a thick feather bed shows signs of recent occupation and a lingering scent of perfume tantalizes the nose with subtle intrigue. Equally unfamiliar are the books and scrolls piled casually on the floor. An open tome reveals language unfamiliar even to the most learned amongst you. Mixed thoughts race through the minds of all. Is this woman a prisoner... or something more sinister? 60. Standing up, Strider seems to grow taller. "So, you seek to test my truthfulness." And so saying, he draws out a long, sinister sword that had remained hidden until now in the dark folds of his travel-stained cloak. The blade shimmers blackly, dripping dark fire. "Had I wanted to kill you before now, I could have." "One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie. "Give me the ring and my lord Sauron may forgive your transgressions against him. The Ring! Give me the Ring!" 61. A bridge may have crossed the flood here, but it collapsed long ago. 62. The orcs have built a crude bridge to cross the chasm where Gandalf and the Balrog fell. In the measureless deeps below, hazy smoke now hangs, which for now, lies still, devoid of sound and motion. 63. Quickly, you unbind and spread out the loose pages of the scroll. Most are filled with heavily blacked out lines of text. None are legible. Only the last few words make any sense: "NAN CURUNIR", followed by today's date. 64. A particularly gnarled orc stands near the great fireplace. Its filthy clothing may have once belonged to some Elven lord, but are now festooned with unpleasant charmsthat dangle, jangle, and tangle with each other. "You are in the home of Drishnak of the Red Eye," the orc says in uncharacteristically clear speech. "I have known you would come for some time. You know that you are doomed. You cannot leave Moria without my aid. The price is small. You carry a ring. The least of rings. A mere trinket." He has trouble with the word, but continues. "I want that ring. Give it to me, and you may pass unharmed." 65. A ghostly voice whispers, echoing softly from the nitred walls of this ancient crypt: "In a city of dead, Sits one who once led." "A ring is his bane, A barrow its fane. He waits til the Last, Ask of his Past." The spirit's voice is heard no more in Middle-earth. 66. Like shadows cast by something unseen, dwarvish runes surround you. 67. "Contemplate the mystery of eight: The wizard watches as Orc and dwarf die. While wolf gnaws the rotting skull dry; A troll eats the man served up on his plate; And above the eagle soars high. 68. The old man rifles through items on the shelf. "Aha!" He cackles with joy. "Take what I give you to Willa Bloom. She has dire need of it, though she may not say so. 69. Written in the wizard's strong but graceful script is the following message: THE PRANCING PONY, BREE, Midyear's Day, Shire Year, 1418. Dear Frodo, Bad news has reached me here. I must go off at once. You had better leave Bag End soon, and get out of the Shire before the end of July at the latest. I will return as soon as I can; and I will follow you, if I find that you are gone. Leave a message for me here, if you pass through Bree. You can trust the landlord (Butterbur). You may meet a friend of mine on the Road; a Man, lean, dark, tall, by some called Strider. He knows our business and will help you. Make for Rivendell. There I hope to meet again. If I do not come, Elrond will advise you. Yours in haste GANDALF. PS. Do NOT use It again, not for any reason whatever! Do not travel by night! PPS. Make sure that it is the real Strider. There are many strange men on the roads. His true name is Aragorn. Hmmm, I've used up all the space on this page. I have another page so I will continue on it... 70. With a hushed voice, he whispers, "Seek for Trollslayer atop the Hill of Fangs." 71. As you approach the cell, a short, emaciated hobbit with hollow eyes and matted brown hair and beard shuffles to the bars. "You're not with them," he rasps. "I can tell that, I can. Name's Appledore. Nob Appledore. I used to sell mining equipment up Bree way. Ferny said to bring my best goods down here. Said they were paying top coin." He laughs sharply, then coughs painfully, spitting something dark into the rancid straw. "I been living for the day when I can see ol' Ferny again." Teeth clenched tight, he pauses then stares wide-eyed at you through the bars. "You come for the secret? Them Orcs are digging at a secret in the cave. Made me dig in the big hole too, 'til the sickness came on me. Now it's just Orcs digging. There's something powerful nasty down there. Even the Orcs can sense it. "But, working the hole's still better'n going the way o' Grimbosh's Black Book. Four of my lads went that way. Screaming powerful loud and long. Grimbosh comes in here and sneers his face at me, saying he's got something special in mind for me some day soon. Says "the Dark Thing" is almost ready to come up and he needs me to finish things up." With a shudder, Nob grabs the bars, and with a hardly heard whisper sobs, "Say. You folks, you're not going to leave me in here now, are you?" 72. "This is truly the darkest peril of all." Galadriel says. "Elbereth protect thee! I have lore to assist thee -- remember it well, for Sauron is not the only power in this world, nor is he the greatest." "Of all the Valar, the greatest in the art of hunting was Orome, whose horn has long echoed in Middle-earth, and whose hounds were feared by all evil creatures. Call upon him to ensnare one who is not easily caught...." "Of all of the creatures who walked in Middle-earth, the wisest of all was Melian of Doriath. Call upon her wisdom to counter that which would deceive or bewitch thee, or those that enchant thy comrades." "If you wish for advice: travel the north road to Rhosgobel and seek the aid of the Wizard Radagast. If he is there, he will aid you. To sustain you on your journey, I have given my servants lembas, the waybread of the elves. They will share it with you when the need arises." "I will sing no songs of farewell at this hour, for I shall yet again greet you in Caras Galadon." It is over. You depart Lorien, heading into the Shadow. 73. The air smells faintly of stale pipeweed. "If you folk are lookin' for good pipeweed, try over at Sharkey's Shipping. They've been buying all me best and most of me worst. There's not a shred of Longbottom Leaf to be had in Bree." 74. A note on the counter reads: "I apologize, good folk, for the inconvenience, but my supplies are a bit short. I've gone to my camp north of the Midgewater to restock before winter sets in completely. Regards, Willa Bloom" 75. Seven Tribes for Seven Fathers of the Naugrim. 76. The blackness finally ends, but you can take no comfort from it. You find yourself in a dark throne room, complete with the symbol of an evil Eye. A black shadow falls upon you, and you find it difficult to breathe. A lone window shows a frightful vista; an ash covered plain, and a volcano belching magma and smoke. "GIVE ME MY RING!" demands a voice sharp and terrible, and then you know no more... 77. This scroll was apparently written by Gandalf, for the script matches other things he has written. It describes his visit to Dol Guldur, and the research that was done in the library of Minas Tirith, that great city in the south in Gondor. "...the tales of the Black Book are grim indeed. Some say it belonged to the Witch- king of Angmar, but others say that it could only have been written by the Necromancer of Dol Guldur. Gardeleg Lord of Gorthad studied it thoroughly, and is said to have added many details on Moria which he learned from the orcs who overran Moria after the fall of Durin's folk." 78. You realize where you are -- imprisoned in the lair of a barrow wight! Your companions are unconscious, but for the gentle rise and fall of their chests, they look as ones dead, decked in the finery of dead kings. Across their throats are long, naked, swords. A song like an incantation begins to rise: "Cold be hand and heart and bone, And cold be sleep under stone: Never more to wake on stony bed, Never, till the Sun fails and the Moon is dead. In the black wind the stars shall die. And still on gold here let them lie, Till the dark lord lifts his hand Over dead sea and withered land." 79. The dust on the floor shows that no one has disturbed the room in years. Your footprints are the first. "It may be that we are the first to enter this chamber since Balin sealed it." To the south, a huge statue, a troll carved of sturdy stone, glowers over the room. 80. With a sigh of relief, one of you notices an old bird's nest perched behind one troll's ear. No living troll would have such a decoration. These must then be the very three that were caught by Gandalf, quarreling over the right way to cook thirteen dwarves and a hobbit! Now they are nothing but unliving stone. 81. The great book seems to open at once to something of interest. "The Golden Wheel of Anor, a curious artifact once possessed by the dwarves of Khazad-dum, was said to wield some power over the forces of evil. One tale that escaped Moria's destruction was that of Borin, son of Bruin, who used the wheel to entrap a powerful spirit of evil. It is stated that Borin and comrades entombed the spirit far from the Misty Mountains, near a remnant of the Old Forest. 82. The machine starts to rattle and spit and make foul noises. The steam reminds you of Gandalf's fireworks. The men get up with a start, and you realize you should get away before they get you. Crawling through a window, you safely escape into the night. There is a lot of screaming behind you, drowned out by the roar of the huge engine as something explodes. 83. This is what hobbits and humans would call a tavern, except that the occupants are somewhat more sedate. The minstrel Rathgil is playing a song of long ago, while the elves sip ale and listen attentively. 84. Look for the one you seek in Staddle. 85. The light in here is worse that you had first thought; otherwise, you would have noticed that white charm hanging from a peg behind the counter. 86. The passageway goes on for a mile, or maybe a little more, and descends many flights of stairs, at least seven. After one last turn to the left, the corridor passes through a narrow door and into another hall. The air is quite warm here, even hot! 87. Well now, here's a bit of the unexpected. The nose is a bit weatherworn and the hat has seen better days, but this is most certainly meant to look like old Gandalf himself. What an odd place to put a statue. Perhaps some troll took a liking to it and tried to take it home with him. On the other hand, perhaps there is more here than meets the eye? 88. "No one's supposed to know about that. Grimbosh killed the last person who even mentioned it. The big boss sent the witch out to find some half folk that was supposed to have heard tell of it. Personally, I think that's what they hope to find in the pit. Say, what are you gonna be doing with me? Great lords like yourselves wouldn't be thinking o' killing poor folk like me, would you now?" 89. All is black, all is darkness. One does not get a feeling of evil in this place. The only sound here is the echo of a great hammer striking an anvil, repeatedly. Suddenly a voice strikes out of the darkness. "We are the dead." It is obviously a dwarven voice, of great power and majesty. "Long we strived to build the mansions of Khazad-dum. Our arms labored to carve the stone, and find the gems, and build our mansion. Now time has come, and the Enemy has struck against us, and the Naugrim are too few to fight, though we shall do so until the last of Mahal's children reaches the mansions of the dead." "You have come into the domain of Durin, and you have used his artifacts. Therefore, you must do Durin's work, and make Durin's home ready to receive his children once again." Suddenly, you are somewhere else. 90. The statue crumbles into dust and a few odd, seven-sided stone blocks. The passageway is no longer blocked. 91. When I was an adventurous young lad, I found this odd rock in the ruins atop old Weathertop. Old Rushdock the Healer, may he rest peaceably, told me it were a bit o'magic from the time when kings lived hereabouts. Mayhap you folk can use it in your travels?" 92. Erestor's slender hands form a small circle. "The Golden Wheel," he intones in his clear voice, "was an artifact of Moria. The dwarves used it to lock the treasure vaults in the deepest deeps, wherein the greatest treasures of the dwarves were stored." 93. "Hobbits!" cries Mr. Butterbur. "Now what does that remind me of? And you say your name is Baggins? Baggins? There's something I should remember about that name. But one thing drives out another you know. It'll come back when I have time to think. Nob will make up your rooms. There's a blaze in the parlour and food will be along soon. "Hi! Nob!" He shouts, "Nob! Where are you, you woolly-footed slowcoach." Turning back to you, he says, "If you've any ponies, I'll have Bob see to it that they are taken good care of." 94. Gandalf's letter continues on this second sheet, though it shows signs of having been read by many others. "All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost. From ashes a fire shall be woken, "A light from the shadows shall spring again; Renewed shall be blade that was broken, The crownless again shall be king. PPPS. I hope Butterbur sends this promptly. A worthy man, but his memory is like a lumber-room: thing wanted always buried. If he forgets, I shall roast him. Fare Well! Gandalf" 95. The floor here is littered with rocks and debris. If anything is to be found here other than rocks, someone must dig for it. Samwise sighs heavily. "I've had me an ache to work in the dirt again, but I was hoping for a bit of sunshine and a cool breeze to go with it." 96. A few odd, seven-sided stone blocks lie on the dust. An intriguing passageway beckons to the south. 97. The note tacked to the door reads, "If you've come in great need, I'm sorry to inconvenience you, but my herb supplies are a bit short. I've gone to my camp north of the Midgewater to restock before winter sets in completely. Regards, Tim Thistlewool" 98. This flet contains the library of Lothlorien. On preserved mallorn leaves, delicate handwriting describes the triumphs and tragedies of elves and men during the long history of Middle-earth. 99. There are too few of you now. The Witch-king grabs the Ringbearer, and takes him to Mordor. Sauron wins. 100. You find a scroll buried in the rubble. The scroll falls apart due to its age, but putting it together like a puzzle, you manage to read the following: "I have discovered more... stolen by the orcs from Moria. The orcs have reopened an ancient place called Gorthad, near the Downs. It would appear that.... of Moria that items crafted by our ancestors.... by the orcs and their masters. Many of our treasures may be in this region.... "It is said that orcs have found the Golden Wheel, the most elusive of all the treasures of Durin. Its use is unclear, butit is said that words are recorded... the Black Book of Gorthad. It is a foul name, hinting at great evils. "I will scour the Barrow Downs for more clues, then I will head for Bree. This is a dangerous place; even the Rangers avoid it. I know enough..." (Signed) Thuri 101. My Dear Mr. Oldenad: Work on the new mill goes well. As you can see by my last shipment, the lads have been able to double our output. I'm sure the quality of the work will improve soon too. Your fellows have been able to keep the local folk quiet, though they don't like it much. When can I expect next payment? Sincerely, Lotho Sackville-Baggins Master of Bag End, Hobbiton. 102. "Contemplate the mystery of eight: A wizard watches a wolf's skull dry. While Orc slays dwarf and watches him die. A troll eats the man served up on his plate; and above the eagle soars high. 103. "Look for the one you seek in Combe." 104. The shop is nearly empty, its shelves bare of all but a few items. 105. The note tacked to the door reads: "If you've come in great need, I'm sorry to inconvenience you, but my herb supplies are a bit short. I've gone to my camp deep in the Midgewater to restock before winter sets in completely. You may find me there for the next week or so. Regards, Tim Thistlewool" 106. In this flet, an elven maid with soft black hair hums as she turns thread on a spinning wheel. She notices you and nods. "I am the seamstress Tinalin," she says. "I sit and weave and make new things. This cape, do you like it?" 107. A voice whispers. "From Throri's cairn. WEST. SOUTH. EAST. SOUTH. EAST. NORTH." 108. Elrond casts the last shredded cloak aside. "Though you have accounted for but eight of the Nazgul, we can delay no longer. Against the Enemy's nine riders, I shall send forth nine walkers. Along with the Ringbearer and his companion, Gandalf will go, for this shall be his great task, and perhaps the end of his Labours. For the rest, they should represent the other Free Peoples of the World; Elves, Dwarves, and Men. Legolas shall be for the Elves and Gimli for the Dwarves. For men, take with you Boromir, a valiant man of Minas Tirith in Gondor. "Elf lords I could send with you, but they would only serve to draw the attention of the Enemy. I cannot force any of these valiant heroes to join you, therefore, chose those who may best aid you in your quest. "Your path lies south of here, through Redhorn Pass and into the forest of Lothlorien. My folk have been instructed to give what aid they can, though some may still require a token in return. If my kinfolk question you, use my name as their answer. To Gandalf I give miruvore, a powerful cordial, to help you in cold weather. Use it wisely. And lastly, I give you a single word. You will know when to use it. That word is 'mellon'". 109. Thickly woven strands of sticky, silken webbing block the exit. 110. The floor here is littered with rocks and debris. If anything is to be found here other than rocks, someone must dig for it... 111. When the thick dust settles so that everyone can again see, you discover that amongst the odd-shaped chunks of rubble are seven, seven-sided stone blocks. Each of the blocks is carved with the runes of the dwarf language, though even the most knowledgeable among you cannot decipher their meaning. 112. "Well now. Unless I am no judge of good foodstuffs, these fine bits of fungus are the same as the Scarlet Shelves that old Farmer Maggot used to grow. Fine eating they are." Nevertheless, the other members of your party seem less certain about your evaluation. 113. Noses wrinkle at the smell of dust and mildew. Though the walls are lined with tall, wide bookshelves, possibly rescued long ago from some ancient lord's manor, few are the books and scrolls to be found filling those shelves. The most common topic is "the History of Bree", whose shelves run a slim lead over "Cuisine of Bree", which in its own turn has but one or two more folios than the nearly bare shelf labelled "Everything Else". 114. "He's the orcs' leader. A powerful sorcerer he is. Knows magic that would turn your insides out he does!" His voice drops to a conspiratorial whisper. "We all hate him. If you look to extinguish his dark fire, take the stair near the Barrows to his lair. Don't forget to use the right passwords to foil his traps." 115. Thadred, fourth Cardolani lord of Amon Sul died of a broken heart on the eve of what would have been his wedding. His lady, Luthanna and all her handmaids had been killed but days before in an Orc attack as she rode southward to join Thadred in marriage. Those who entered the Lord's vault in later years would speak of hearing faint weeping and sobbing and of feeling an ache for loved ones lost or distant. 116. "Mr. Frodo, sir!" Sam exclaims. Frodo turns to Sam, only slightly irritated with his friend. "Sam, we must get the Ring to Mount Doom at all costs." "I know, Mr. Frodo, I know it, we will. But there's something important we've forgotten, and it has to be said!" "What is it, Sam?" 117. A note from Bilbo says: "must ask the Brandybucks about Old Forest." You put this down for a copy of something far more interesting, the Lay of Leithan, the song of Beren and Luthien. It says that Luthien danced by the shores of the river Esgaldil whenthe world was young, and some of the waters of Middle-earth still remember her. In places where the elves still dwell, her memory will stir the waters to a powerful defense, even against the mightiest of foes. 118. This flet is one of Lorien's guard posts, cunningly hidden in the tree branches. A tall strong elf, obviously one of the commanders of Lorien, looks at you and introduces himself as Celebrith, son of Dagnos. 119. Upon an altar, you see a large black tome, covered in thick leather binding. It is open, and a footstool at the base of the pedestal should allow even a hobbit to read it, though it is shrouded in a palpable feeling of Evil. 120. Pippin feels curiously attracted by the well. While the others busy themselves in the chamber, he creeps over to the edge of the well and peers over. A chill air seems to strike his face, rising from invisible depths. Moved by a sudden impulse, he gropes for a loose stone, and lets it drop. His heart beats many times before there is any sound. Then, far below, as if the stone had fallen into deep water in some cavernous place, there came a plunk, very distant, but magnified and repeated in the hollow shaft. 121. Carved into the floor, in a large area free of dust, are the words "For Durin's Child, a sharp eye will show the way." 122. The ring of hammers falls silent as you enter. Dark evil faces, sweating in light of fiery forges, glare at you menacingly. As one, the huge Uruks drop their hammers, tongs, and bellows to take up the weapons that they have been forging. 123. "The Ringbearer has a dream. He sees a small brown bird wing its way to a great eagle's eyrie. Amid thunderclashes, the eagle flies to a great tower within a circle, sweeping down and bearing away a white-haired man. "Say !ANGMAR to the stone apart!" he cries. 124. The dwarven masons of old were true masters of stone, and though much of their skill has undoubtedly been lost through the ages, enough remained for Balin's folk to block up a secret door and make it appear as natural stone. So sturdy is the construction that it is impassable to all but the mightiest stone mason's tools. 125. You hear an answer to your cry, a song that echoes through the walls of the barrow: "Old Tom Bombadil is a merry fellow, Bright blue his jacket is and his boots are yellow, None have caught him yet, for Tom, he is the master, His songs are stronger songs, and his feet are faster." Tom Bombadil appears. He begins to sing again: "Get out you old Wight! Vanish in the Sunlight! Shrivel like the cold mist, like the winds go wailing, Out into the barren lands far beyond the mountains! Come never here again! Leave your barrow empty! Long and forgotten be, darker than the darkness, Where gates stand forever shut, till the world is mended." At these words, there is a long trailing shriek, fading away into an unguessable distance, and after that silence. You are free. 126. This flet is one of Lorien's guard posts, cunningly hidden in the tree branches. A tall strong elf, obviously one of the commanders of Lorien, looks at you and introduces himself as Malkir, son of Seregon. 127. From a tattered tome, you read "Moria, the Black Chasm, Khazad-dum in the tongue of Dwarves, was a great dwarven city deep beneath the Misty Mountains. Great stairs...." 128. "Then, of course, there is the blade Narsil, the sword once belonging to Elendil, mighty Numenorean king of Gondor in the south. Narsil was broken in four pieces when Isildur clove the Ring from Sauron's finger. When Isildur's Bane is at last discovered, the sword will be reforged anew and made whole. This may indeed be difficult, for over the course of centuries other small pieces have disappeared from the sword; a broken piece of the blade, a wing-like crossguard, and a magnificent jewel from its hilt. Aragorn bears this sword." 129. Gharsh, the Orc overlord, eyes you warily. Durin's Axe lies hidden on a platform in the Hall of Mists. Speak the mighty words Flame of Udun to break the spell that holds it in place. 130. Weathertop, the southernmost of the Weather Hills near Bree was once the site of Amon Sul, an ancient fortress destroyed by the forces of the Witch-king. There are said to be crypts and caverns beneath its ruins, though not even the Rangers know the way to find them. 131. "Look! Someone has been here recently," Strider comments. "There are signs of a fight. The ground is scorched here, here, there -- and, what is this?" Stooping, he traces a rune freshly scribed on a flat rock that had escaped the fire. "G," he whispers, "Gandalf's personal signature. It may be that he has been here quite recently and was forced to defend himself. If only he had time to tell us more." 132. West of the Barrow Downs lies the last remnants of the Old Forest, that once stretched from the Western mountains to the Misty Mountains. This dark forest is home to many spirits of the world, both good and evil. Therein dwells the eldest, called IarwainBen-adar by the elves. 133. Rack upon rack of bottles line the walls. Most are surprisingly free of dust and cobwebs. The vintage wines represent more than one Age of Middle-earth, samples of over a thousand vineyards. Some like Old Winwards take your mind back across the leagues to the Shire. Others, their names marked in languages unknown now amongst the folk of Middle-earth, no longer even evoke memories of the soil that warmed the roots of their vines, or of the people who first drank them. Even in their antiquity, none seem spoiled. 134. "A staff seemingly made of pure ice is said to be lost beneath the ruins northeast of Bree. The staff is said to have great powers over fire spirits, even those as powerful as the legendary Balrog." 135. As you enter, characters on the wall begin to glow until they are quite legible. The script is obviously Gandalf's. It reads: "I hope you find this. The evil ones have driven me underground for now. Do not tarry here, for they love the dark. Remember the name of Elbereth, for it has power over them. They are coming. I must flee deeper to escape them -- Gandalf." 136. You enter the gate of Caras Galadon, the city of the trees. No folk can you see, but there are many voices about you. In the distance, you hear the sound of singing falling from on high like soft rain upon the leaves. It is a wondrous place. 137. Elrond speaks. "Here my friends is the Ringbearer. Few have ever come hither through greater peril or on an errand more urgent. There is much to be told and each should be heard. Let the Council of Elrond begin." 138. The dwarven runes on the floor here are incomprehensible. 139. Gharsh whines, "Tell the great troll statue a certain word. Tell it, 'ITHILDIN'." 140. The shining figure calls out, "Ai na vedui Dunadan! Mae govannen!" His speech and clear ringing voice leaves no doubt in your hearts: this is one of the Elven-folk. No others that dwelt in the wide world had voices so fair to hear. "This is Glorfindel who dwells in the house of Elrond," Strider says. 141. The door appears to be locked. 142. As you enter, characters on the wall begin to glow until they are quite legible. The script is obviously Gandalf's. It reads: "I hope you find this. The evil ones have driven me underground for now. My spells will hold them, but not for long. Do not tarry here, for they love the dark. Remember the name of Elbereth, for it has power over them. What little aid I give you in two new names: !LUTHIEN summons aid over water, !MITHRANDIR over fire. Use them wisely. They come now and I must flee deeper ere I see the light of Arda once more. Gandalf." 143. A slender bridge of stone spans the black chasm in a single curving span of fifty feet. Beyond the fire to the west, hundreds of black figures swarm angrily. They brandish spears and scimitars which shine red as blood in the firelight. The rolling thunder of the drumbeats, grows louder and louder -- doom, doom... doom, doom! Arrows begin falling around you. To the west, dark silhouettes of trolls place great slabs of stone across the fire. Yet, before they can cross a spasm of fear breaks like a wave against the companions of the Ring... the Balrog has come, wrapped in flame and darkness. 144. In the clear, ringing voice of the elven-folk, Glorfindel speaks. "I was sent from Rivendell to look for you. We feared you were in danger upon the Road." "Then Gandalf has reached Rivendell?" "No. He had not when I departed; but that was nine days ago. We heard news of your coming from Gildor and his people, whom you met beyond the Brandywine. "It was I who left the elfstone upon Bridge over the Mitheithel when I drove off the servants of Sauron who held it. Yet I fear that even more that the Nine are near, both behind and ahead. Once the Black Riders find your trail upon the Road, they will ride after us like the wind." 145. The Black Book is a mighty tool of sorcery, yet it should not be handled by the weak of will. Also within it are dire secrets about Moria, which the dwarves call Khazad-dum. Fire is its bane. 146. The stone lid here is sealed tightly. It would be impossible to fit even a prybar into the cracks. 147. A ghost hovers here, noble in bearing, yet wearing a sadness deeper than any you have known. You sense no evil, but nevertheless, a deep chill runs down your spines as it whispers in hollow tones. "In life, I was Thadred, one of many Lords of Amon Sul who have ruled this place over the centuries. Long ago, I gave my heart to a maiden fair, Luthanna. Yet never was our love to be, for the servants of the Witch- king took her spirit where none can reach. Love! It slew me more surely than all the arrows of Angmar. I sat in a tower, with armies at my command. Through the Stone of Seeing, I could behold all that occurred in my domain, and beyond. I had the wealth of kings. But this meant nothing to me. I could not fight for Luthanna, I could not see Luthanna in the Stone, and all my wealth and power could not buy her back. "Now, I watch over the dead. Though the dead cannot know love, my dead heart yet craves to know of love. None may pass until they give proof of a maiden's love." 148. After climbing a great height, you find yourself in a large hall, set amid the branches of the tallest mallorn in Caras Galadon. On two chairs beneath the bole of the tree and canopied by living boughs sit Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel. 149. I am Boromir, son of Denethor, who is Steward over Gondor. I have come North seeking the answer to a dream which has plagued me. In that dream, I thought the eastern sky grew dark, and there was a growing thunder, but in the West a pale light lingered, and out of it I heard a voice, remote but clear, crying: Seek for the Sword that was broken. In Imladris it dwells; There shall counsels be taken Stronger than Morgul spells. There shall be shown a token That Doom is near at hand, For Isildur's Bane shall waken, And the Halfling forth shall stand. What is the Sword that was broken? What or who was Isildur's Bane?" 150. Deep beneath his tower on the downs, Gardelag lord of Gorthad hid the glowing sword that his warriors had taken from the band of Orcish bandits returning from the sack of Khazad-dum. 151. Hidden within the fastness of the troll cave is an elven scroll. You don't know how it got here -- and you don't want to know. The scroll is battered and beaten, and mostly unreadable. The only surviving inscription refers to Rivendell: "Imladris's deeps beyond vintages lie." 152. Greatest of the swords of Middle-earth is Anglachel, the Sword of the Dark Elf Eol. It was forged by Telchar of Nogrod, and was believed lost in the Fall of Gondolin. Yet the Black Blade escaped capture, and was taken to Moria as a reward by the dwarves who aided the Valar in the final battle against Morgoth. There it was wielded by Nain, son of Durin VI, until Durin's Bane drove the dwarves from Moria. It was taken by dwarves from the sack of Moria, but none know where it rests. 153. The wretched creature snarls "Tell the gray dwarves MORIA." Though it may cost you greatly, you stand by your word and let it scamper off into the darkness. 154. Your torchlight gleams dully off a rusty knife hanging on the red-brown rock wall near the sleeping figure. Without sharp eyes you might have might have missed it hanging there. 155. This is an old elven keep. However, the workmanship is clearly dwarven; obviously it dates back to the days in Eregionwhen the elven smiths and the dwarf lords of Moria formed a great (but now long sundered) friendship. 156. Upon the throne is a being that resembles a human sculpture made out of mud from a river bank. This is the mighty Withywindle, the spirit of the river. She says in a slow, deep voice: "I know of you and your quest. Yet who bids you to take lilies from my secret place? Show me a token, so I may understand." 157. "A staff seemingly made of pure ice is said to be lost in a cave within the Old Forest. The staff is said to have value against fire spirits, even those as powerful as the legendary Balrog." 158. "So." Smaug said, licking his lips (or the draconian equivalent). "You must indeed be a simpleton to think that something as trivial as an arrow could slay a dragon such as myself, regardless of its color. Now, I smell something familiar, a scent similar to one who stole my cup -- a relative, perhaps?" 159. In a happier age, the Elves of Eregion were mighty smiths, creators of many wondrous magical items. Chief amongst these smiths was Celebrimbor. He created many rings of power, untainted by Sauron's corruption. One of these, called the Smith's Ring, was imbued with a fraction of Celebrimbor's own skill. Though Eregion fell and Celebrimbor died, his skill lived on this ring, passed down from smith to smith. At last it was carried into the Old Forest by Dunedain fleeing the great plague. Its owner died from an orc's arrow as he crossed the River Withywindle, and the Smith's Ring was never seen again. 160. A slender bridge of stone spans the black chasm in a single curving span of fifty feet. Beyond the fire to the west, hundreds of black figures swarm angrily. They brandish spears and scimitars which shine red as blood in the firelight. The rolling thunder of the drumbeats, grows louder and louder -- doom, doom... doom, doom! Arrows begin falling around you. To the west, dark silhouettes of trolls place great slabs of stone across the fire. Yet before they can cross, a spasm of fear breaks like a wave against the companions of the Ring... the Balrog has come, wrapped in flame and darkness. "Fly! This is a foe beyond any of you!" Gandalf cries. Only the full power of a wizard might stand against it. Might. 161. "Though your task will be difficult, I feel that the right choice has been made here today." Elrond states. "Yet before the journey of the Ring can begin, we must know of the fate of the Black Riders, and learn more of the Enemy's plans. Therefore, gather the mightiest of heroes and scout the land. Bring me proof of their destruction. Consider too that the lands around us may yield secrets and treasures to aid you in your journey. Range far, range wide, but return here once more." 162. My Dear Mr. Oldenad: Tell your lads to let up on us. After all, it's their fault, not mine, that the wretched machine got broken. It would still be working if they had been about their tasks better. The local folk are getting a bit uppity too. Perhaps you can send a few more fellows to keep the peace. When can I expect my next payment? Sincerely, Lotho Sackville-Baggins, Master of Bag End, Hobbiton. 163. The statue of the dwarf here seems out of place in such a grand hall, yet the nobility and strength of character depicted by the stonecarver's hands seem to radiate confidence and serenity. The stone murals upon the walls show an injured dwarf receiving the ministrations of a dwarven healer. 164. This passage seems to refer to the Shire. "Amonar, the younger son of Arveleg of Arthedain, took as his fief that lands west of the River Baranduin, and held them in the name of his brother, King Araphor, swearing an oath to avoid the kin-strife that had harmed the sons of Isildur. But there was little love between them, and Amonar honored his oath, when he chose to, late and with little support. But in the final battle, rebuked by his liege-lord, he was stirred to wild action, and he and his guard were slain by the Witch-king. His dying words were an affirmation of his oath to the kings of Arnor for eternity. He was entombed in a cave overlooking his lands." 165. The black halls of Moria continue to ring with the shattering echoes of slamming doors. From outside, a noise of rending and crashing comes dully through the ponderous stone. It comes to you that the sounds tell of the destruction of the great holly trees that once flanked its western gate -- a pity, since the trees were beautiful and had stood so long. Whoever was its master and whatever its intent, the crashing boulders confirm that the way behind you is now sealed by the creature from the waters. The Fellowship's only paths lie ahead, into the depths of Moria. 166. After all that, all you find is an odd black key, and a crumbling scroll. As you unroll the scroll, you glimpse the two words "DURIN'S BANE" before it crumbles into dust. 167. Green vapours belch forth from the crevice, swirling and eddying about the chamber. A cold hollow voice echoes: "At last I am free to do my master's bidding once more!" The gas overwhelms you, and all is darkness... 168. A robust but ruffled-looking hobbit stares back at you. "Pleased to me you. My name is Bushdock, Ned Bushdock. I hope you folk don't want me to go on no adventures, least not right aways. Only hobbits can fit where these folks and Rayf wanted me to go." 169. Shadowy figures startle you as you descend the steps into the dimly lit cellar. Yet, upon closer looks, they are nothing more than cleverly crafted statues of dwarves. 170. Long ago, the dwarves of Khazad-dum used this room to make steel. The fires have long since ebbed, leaving a forge as the only reminder of what was once here. You feel that all is not as it should be in this place. Dwarven runes decorate the forge. 171. Old bones, great empty jars and broken pots litter the floor of this gloomy old cave. "Surely this is a troll-hole, if ever there was one!" one of you comments. "Let us leave and get away, now that we know who made the path outside. We better get off it quick!" Nonetheless, there is something hidden among the bones... 172. A chill settles on the party and the light flickers but does not fail. A hollow voice, half-heard yet fully clear, whispers. "I sense one of the folk of Bilbo here. Maybe even of his noble line." "True, Ori." a second voice chimes in. "Yet they will have to prove themselves ere we tell them much." There are no creatures visible here, not even a ghost. "If they don't survive the crossing," the first voice replies, "then they will be of no use to us at all my good Oin." "Hmmph! I still say we need proof that they serve not the Shadow." "Orcfeathers!" "Oh shave your beard!" The chill passes and you cast glances amongst one another. Surely the oppressive darkness has begun to drive you mad. Without warning the chill returns. "Words of Power are needed it's true and some words mean more than life to you. Yet one word alone means much to us, who did the Burglar befriend." "That didn't rhyme! 'Tis terrible doggerel you make." "Hush, I'm not done. Where was I. Ah ... 'Yet one word alone means much to us, who did the Burglar befriend. Um ... Seek it in a fireplace, to speak it and our sorrow end.' There, wagglebeard, does that appease you?" "Beware, I sense our master. We must return ere he finds us absent." Once again, the chill passes and you are alone beneath the stone of Moria. 173. The sounds of your digging echo through the halls. The going is labourous, but you are obviously making headway. 174. The apparition of a great dwarf appears, rising in a vision of a smoke from the forge. The dwarves fall to their knees -- surely this must be Durin, father of all dwarves! "Find my axe!" he commands. "Use it to destroy the Dark Lord!" 175. In the center of a swirling pool is a stone figure of a once-proud eagle, standing silent on a solitary isle. Its wings have been shorn from its body, and its eyes are covered with mud. The water looks too swift to safely swim. 176. The narrow passage behind the hidden door goes on for nearly a mile or so, continually rising up stairs until at last, it opens upon a larger chamber. 177. The statue of the dwarf here seems out of place in such a grand hall, yet the nobility and strength of character depicted by the stonecarver's hands seem to radiate confidence and serenity. The bas-relief stone murals depict the death of a dwarven hero, and then surprisingly, his return to life again at the hands of a healer. Great were the powers of the First Fathers! Yet even they could not prevent their own deaths. Return to life was granted by the Valar only in times of greatest need and only for the greatest heroes of their Age. An equally great sacrifice was often required of the being who was granted life again. 178. The barrier shatters, fragments of stone flying in all directions to reveal a small opening into a dark passageway beyond. One large stone remains. Carved into it is a message: "Ask a question of the creator of the Naugrim ere you pass beyond." 179. Tom's wife, the beautiful Goldberry, is here. She is lying in bed, ill. Beside her, a blackened willow leaf floats in a bowl of stinking water. "My lilies..." she whispers. "My special pool lies south of this house. Please... bring me lilies. Take this token and whatever you may need from this house." She offers you her token, a golden leaf pasted against oak bark. 180. A statue of a dwarven craftsman stands here, his arm raised in the air, poised to deliver a skilled blow to some object on his work table. 181. Your feet disturb a deep dust on the floor, and you stumble among things lying in the doorway whose shapes you cannot, at first, make out. A table in the middle of the room, a great oblong block of white stone, is carved with dwarf-runes, deeply graven. "It's like a tomb." one of you comments. Brushing aside the dust, you read 'BALIN, SON OF FUNDIN, LORD OF MORIA'. "He is dead, then," another of you comments. "I feared it was so.' Upon closer examination, the room reveals its secrets. "This is 'Mazarbul,' the Hall of Records of old. We have come too high. We are on the seventh level." To the east, a small passageway opens upon a stair that leads sharply down. All around you are the signs of ancient battle -- broken swords and axe-heads, cloven shields and helms. Whatever was once here is now gone and plundered. 182. You have entered the library of Bag End. There are many books of hobbit lore, as well as several volumes of elven lore from Rivendell. You loathe the idea of Lotho fingering Bilbo's beloved books, but somehow doubt that Lotho Pimple has the imagination or curiosity to ever look at them. 183. The air in this mighty hall is hot, very hot. The great hall is lit with a fierce, fiery red light. Down its center stalk a paired row of towering columns. They are carved like the boles of mighty trees whose boughs uphold the rough with branching tracery of stone. At the base of two of the columns, a great fiery fissure has opened. Flames crackle and dance from its depths. You have come upon the eastern end of the great hall. Hopefully, the fire lies between you and your pursuit. 184. Not since the days of Angband has the world known such cold. Ages ago, an evil spirit entered the Misty Mountains and begrudged all creatures who travelled on his slopes, for it viewed the mountains as its own personal property. And as the ages passed, the spirit of Caradhas grew colder and colder, and it begrudged all warmth, and plotted to destroy it. And so the spirit Caradhas captured some of the warmth of spring, in the form of a bird, and imprisoned it in a cage of ice. Since then, the mountains have been subject to the unchallenged will of Caradhas, and its malice has grown as great as its might. This cave is the dwelling place of cruel Caradhas, spirit of the Redhorn; imprisoned in a pack of ice is the bird of spring. The great coldness seems shocked that anyone would dare challenge it. "Fool!" it hisses like blowing snow rolling upon ice. "Dare you to challenge the power of the winterchill?" It howls like a blizzard. "First you climb my slopes, now you invade my home? Die!" the voice growls like breaking ice. 185. Though nothing here would indicate the presence of evil, an overwhelming dread grips you, nearly forming itself into abject terror. 186. With resounding splashes, each member of the Fellowship strikes the surface of the dark swirling waters below. Darkness closes over you and consciousness fades. 187. You have come to the site of a recent battlefield. Many orcs lie dead, but the elves who fought here were all slain -- save one. "The orcs have an encampment... swamp." The elf is clearly dying from many wounds; nothing can save his life. "They must be killed... before they can set up a camp. Unless you do so now... the quest might never cross the...." With that, the elf gives his last breath. 188. On this piece of grass a young elf maid sits. She is not frightened of you, but your presence has not changed her melancholy demeanor. "I sit in the shadows," she says, "and I think of the Great Shadow to come. Lorien is doomed. The Shadow has won." 189. "And if I were after the Ring, I could have it -- NOW!" Standing up, Strider seems to grow taller. "I am the real Strider. I am Aragorn, son of Arathorn; and if by life or by death I can save you, I will." And so saying, he draws out a sword that had remained hidden until now in the folds of his travel stained cloak. The blade had been broken off about a foot below the hilt, its hilt lacked a gem, and one of the wing shaped cross guards was missing. "Not much use, is it? But the time is near when it shall be reforged anew." "A light from the shadows shall spring; Renewed shall be blade that was broken, The crownless again shall be king." 190. In the bottom of Grimbosh's chest is a scroll. You read it carefully: "I am interested in several matters in your area. I understand that the Golden Wheel may be near; it must be obtained. Any weapon of such power will be useful against my Enemy, not to mention essential in finding Durin's Axe. "As for the voices in the stone circles that you reported, I am also interested in that. Try dropping items deliberately in the circle and record the voices that you hear. It may provide clues to the halls of Khazad-dum, which I have not visited since before the coming of Durin's Bane. "Your obedience is essential. Do not make enemies. As for that other matter, *SHE* is handling that. Keep your ears open, but do not meddle with it unless it comes to your doorstep. The use of force may attract the Nine Riders, and They must be avoided at all costs! "I am pleased with your work to date. Tell Oldenad not to bother me with non- essentials; the shipping company is only a matter of minor amusement to me, of little consequence in my overall plans." ---S The scroll is emblazoned with the symbol of a White Hand. 191. The elf lifts himself painfully, and begins his tale. "A few weeks ago, I had strange dreams of a glowing bird trapped in a cage of ice. Everywhere around it was ice. It was obvious the bird was trapped, and needed my help." He groans, and then continues. "The dreams did not stop, so I sought the guidance of Galadriel. She brought me to her Mirror and we saw a secret passageway in the eastern part of the Redhorn Pass. We saw a huge monster, made of ice, with the bird from my dreams imprisoned in ice. The ice monster seemed to draw strength from the bird, which it used to increase the power of the winters in the mountains. "I immediately asked Galadriel to give me permission to battle this monster, but she refused, saying that no elf of Lorien was destined to prevail against it. The dreams did not come again, but still I could not forget this. So I left, alone, for the Redhorn. There I was attacked by orcs and injured, and so I came back to Lorien." "If the orcs of the Misty Mountains have sealed Redhorn Pass, then both Rivendell and Lorien are in peril. If the spirit of Caradhas, as Galadriel has named this monster, grows stronger, then eventually it will bring the cold of Morgoth upon us all. It must be defeated. Redhorn Pass must be freed." 192. Though your own light is dim and feeble, countless facets in the sparkling walls reflect and intensify its light until it seems you stand in bright daylight. Mithril! Here, countless years ago, the dwarves of Moria delved for the precious metal. And here, too, did they unleash Durin's Bane. 193. Oin's spectral voice whispers. "From Dwili's cairn. WEST. NORTH. EAST. NORTH. EAST. NORTH." 194. In the section marked Other, you find the following entry in a book entitled "Hobbit Life in Bree." Weathertop, the southernmost of the Weather Hills near Bree was once the site of Amon Sul, an ancient fortress destroyed by the forces of the Witch-king. There are said to be crypts and caverns beneath its ruins, though they were sealed by the Witch-king of Angmar, and only the use of the same magic word that he used to seal the caverns can counter his spell. There are rumored to be other entrances into the caverns within the ruins of Weathertop, but none of Bree has ever confirmed this. One notable feature of Weathertop is the Lonely Stone, believed to have been placed by the survivors of Witch-king as a burial marker to honor the dead slain by the Witch-king in those ancient wars. The Stone Alone was honored in a prophecy made by the famed Seer Malbeth: When Isildur's Doom Awake, And Its lost bearer Dreams, Then the Stone Alone shall shake, To find a Broken Wing. Reforged shall be a shattered sword The hope of the Dunedain; The weak shall overthrow the Lord Destroyed shall be the Bane. A scribbled footnote says: "As usual with Malbeth's prophecies, no one can truly understand a word of them." 195. Six statues of dwarven warriors stand guard here. They look like they could speak, but then what would you say in return? Nevertheless, deep inside, you feel a disquietness. There is something more to these finely crafted statues than just stone. Could it have something to do with the dark discolorations on the warriors' weapons? 196. The brown bird spreads its wings. For a moment, you have the impression of a face; like Gandalf's, maybe a bit younger. A voice comes from the bird, speaking in the Common Tongue: "If you have not found the elves, seek them at night on the roads leading to Green Hill Country. Ask them about Elbereth, for her name has the power to protect you, as will the name of Luthien. But that one you will not learn there." "The Old Forest is long and hard and dangerous, but the Enemy will not follow you there. Seek the Master of the Forest. Call for help in dire need." "Gandalf! Gandalf!" Then the bird is gone. 197. The air seems to shatter around you as a hollow voice shrieks in anger! Dark forms shamble from the shadows as the air temperature continues to drop. Evil hangs in the air like smoke. Cold chuckling voices murmur of death, darkness, and doom. 198. "Athelwyn!" you cry, and the final note echoes through the chamber. But it is no use. She is gone. "We must make certain her sacrifice was not in vain." you say, holding back the tears. 199. The scroll is dated a hundred years ago and says: "The fortress of Dol Guldur is ten levels tall, from its deepest pit to its tallest tower. Within its fortress are many orcs, and dark magicks, but its most terrifying occupant is the Necromancer, who is indeed Sauron of Mordor, given new shape again. I urge the White Council to press for an assault; it is to be hoped that the revelation will make Saruman less intractable." The scroll is signed "G", obviously the symbol of Gandalf. 200. The one standing alone is Gloin, an old king of Durin's folk. The others are dwarven warriors, probably heroes, though you cannot put a name to their faces. Deep inside, you feel a disquietness. There is something more that you should remember about such finely crafted statues. Could it have something to do with the dark discolorations on the warriors' weapons? 201. As the grey mists and your heads clear, you find yourselves in a dark columned chamber. The means by which you came is not apparent. Nor is there any obvious way to go back the way you came. Meanwhile, dark passages beckon from all directions. 202. Oin's spectral voice whispers. "From Buri's cairn. WEST. SOUTH. EAST. SOUTH. EAST. NORTH. WEST." 203. Here in the nitre-coated crypt wall, the dust collects upon an empty stone shelf. The carvings beneath indicate that this bier has been reserved for Pelissar, a Prince of the Dunedain. 204. As you enter, characters on the wall begin to glow until they are quite legible. The script is obviously Gandalf's. It reads: "I hope you find this. The evil ones have driven me underground for now. My spells will hold them, but not for long. Do not tarry here, for they love the dark. Remember the name of Elbereth, for it has power over them. What little aid I give you is a new name !LUTHIEN, which summons aid over water. Use it wisely. They come now and I must flee deeper ere I see the light of Arda once more. Gandalf." 205. The old man rifles through items on the shelf. "Aha!" He cackles with joy. "Take what I give you to my nephew Nob. I'm certain your gift was his idea. And take this for yourselves now." 206. Some in your party are more affected than others. Standing apart, they gaze awestruck at the wonder of the Mithril ore. All other concerns seem trivial in this great and wonderful place. 207. With the dirt and rubble brushed aside, deep runes can be read in the rock floor. The simple characters state: "With the Sign of Seven, Durin's Axe may be regained." 208. The dark form that is crossing the narrow bridge is recognizable as Durin's Bane, the slayer of Durin VI. It was this creature that drove the dwarves from Moria, and has haunted the memory of all dwarves ever since. You are doomed. 209. The great hall is dark. Down its center stalk a paired row of towering columns. They are carved like the boles of mighty trees whose boughs uphold the roof with a branching tracery of stone. At the base of two of the columns, a great fissure has opened. Lazy plumes of smoke float gently upwards to lose themselves in the darkness. 210. This huge doorway has a swan shaped keyhole, about which the word "FINARFIN" is written in elven script. 211. After all that, all you find is a crumbling skull. The scroll has two words carved into it. "DURIN'S BANE." As you handle the ancient bone, it crumbles into dusty fragments. 212. Bilbo gets up from his chair with a start! "There was something that I desperately needed to write -- I hope I'm not too late!" 213. Haldir removes the blindfolds. "You have come to Cerin Amroth, in ancient times the heart of our realm. Here ever blooms the winter flowers in the unfading grass: the yellow elanor, the pale niphredil. Follow the stream to Galadriel. 214. The barrier shatters, fragments of stone flying in all directions to reveal a small opening into a dark passageway beyond. One large stone remains. Carved into it is a message: "Ask of the number of dwarven fathers." 215. The sounds of your digging echo through the halls. With a last, mighty blow, a crawlspace is cleared at the top of the debris pile, large enough even for a big man to squirm through. 216. Tom Bombadil will go no further. He advises you to seek an old inn in Bree named the Prancing Pony, whose innkeeper is named Barliman Butterbur. From there, he tells you, you are on your own. "Be bold, but wary! Keep up your merry hearts, and ride to meet your fortune!" You beg Tom to come with you, at least as far as the inn, and drink once more with you, but he laughs and refuses, saying: "Tom's country ends here; he will not pass the borders. Tom has his house to mind, and Goldberry is waiting!" Then he turns, tosses up his hat, and departs, his song fading into the distance behind you. 217. Once, Mirkwood was known as Greenwood the Great. Then Sauron the Enemy built his great tower of Dol Guldur in the south end of the forest, and slowly corrupted it, so it became known as Mirkwood, a dwelling place of evil things. His dungeons were corrupted by Sauron's magic, so that even when he wasn't there, the prisoners would be tormented by his presence. A more recent scrawl says: Only two creatures are known to have entered Dol Guldur and escaped, through a secret entrance. The first is the wizard known as Gandalf the Grey. The second is the creature Smeagol, now known as Gollum. 218. Hidden here in the dancing shadows, you find a great stone chest, worked with runes and carved with intricate, interwoven designs. 219. A chill settles on the party and the light flickers but does not fail. A hollow voice, half-heard yet fully clear, whispers. "I sense one of the folk of Bilbo here. Maybe even of his noble line." "True, Ori." a second voice chimes in. "Yet they will have to prove themselves ere we tell them much." There are no creatures visible here, not even a ghost. "If they don't survive the crossing," the first voice replies, "then they will be of no use to us at all, my good Oin." "Hmmph! I still say we need proof that they serve not the Shadow." "Orcfeathers!" "Oh, shave your beard!" The chill passes and you cast glances amongst one another. Surely the oppressive darkness has begun to drive you mad. Without warning the chill returns. "Seek to end our plight, whether day or night, in the seventh deep, where the spirits sleep.' There, wagglebeard, does that appease you?" "Beware, I sense our master. We must return ere he finds us absent." Once again, the chill passes and you are alone beneath the stone of Moria. 220. After all that, all you find is a crumbling skull. The scroll has one word carved into it: "MORIA." As you handle the ancient bone, it crumbles into dusty fragments. 221. You quickly climb down the handholds to the lower level. 222. "Thieves!" a booming voice commands. The chamber seems empty, except for a pair of stone wings; but the voice is that of a dragon. "Touch my hoard and I shall curse thee for eternity! Come closer and I shall make this chamber your funeral pyre!" 223. The troll who stands here is a giant, even amongst its own kind. Powerful muscles ripple beneath its scaled skin. In one massive hand, it clutches a small brown bird. "Gandalf. Gandalf!" the bird cries out. As the behemoth troll stuffs the bird into its filthy satchel and reaches for its massive war club, the bird seems to say "Gandalf, it's I..." only to be cut off by the muffling leather. Twirling its club like a baton, the monster advances, gurgling in what it might consider a chuckle. 224. How odd. This should be a dangerous climb, as the sides of this pit could collapse at any time, but you've never felt safer, more secure. You see what caused the bright gleam -- it is a gem, as big and as beautiful as you have ever seen. It is a blue sapphire, and in its center, an image of a golden eagle can be seen. "The Eagles of the North never had a chance to thank Bilbo for his part in the death of our enemy, the dragon Smaug." a voice from the gem says. "We offer this as a gift to his people, the hobbits, on whom the fate of Middle-earth rests. We will come to your aid in a time of dire need -- but only when the need is uttermost. Only one of Bilbo's people can summon us; this is our gift to them. We hope the time never arises where you will need to use the Gem of Eagles, the Eye of Manwe." 225. The book tells of the grim last moments of Balin's Folk. Oin was taken by the Watcher in the Water. Loni and several others fell attempting the East Gate. "We cannot get out!" the writer despairs. "The end comes... Drums, drums in the deep. They are coming!" Then there is nothing more. 226. In the distance, you hear angry words -- it's a Black Rider, arguing with the man who had been so rude to you before. The Black Rider lifts his sword, and the death scream is terrible to hear. Fortunately, the Black Rider rides away, but who knows where it might be lurking? 227. A hobbit-sized figure is sitting on the throne, looking at you with mock cheerfulness. It is Frodo! -- but not the Frodo that you know. He has become a wraith, a shadow under the power of the Dark Lord of Mordor. "Greetings my friends. Don't look so alarmed, I understand everything now. The truth. Gandalf has deceived us all. He never cared for Bilbo. He never cared for me, or the Shire. "No one cares for the Bagginses except the Ring, and Sauron made the Ring. Only Sauron cares for the Shire -- he made the Ring to help us all. It should never have been stolen from him in the first place; even the elves acknowledge that It is his property, and it is our hobbitish obligation to return stolen goods, not try to destroy them. Gandalf wanted to destroy it. It's Gandalf who's evil, not the Dark Lord." Foolishly, you try to dissuade your former friend from the cause of Sauron. "The enemies of Mordor must die!" the wraith-Frodo cries, and he attacks you. 228. The mallorn tree is surprisingly easy to climb; it boughs are strong and sturdy. No wonder the dwellers of Caras Galadon built their homes in the trees, you think to yourself as you carefully survey the area. 229. It is a long hard match. Eventually, you force your opponent to the ground, and hold his shoulders there. Belegcam grins: "You are indeed mighty! It has been long since I had such a contest. May your strength endure for all your days." 230. A handsome, tall, young elf sleeps upon the ground. As you approach, he awakens and smiles. "Members of the Quest! I just had the oddest dream. In it, I saw the East grow dark until the blackness was absolute, and the blackness spread until it overwhelmed Lorien. All seemed lost, but suddenly a light came from the west and told me that you would come soon. It gave me a riddle to tell you. Converse with me further, and I shall tell it." 231. The creature that approaches is a Balrog, a spirit of great and ancient evil. Eons ago, they were corrupted by the Dark Lord, Morgoth, into the service of evil, and Morgoth made them his fiercest warriors, and gave them great power. Only a wizard, using the full power of his staff, might defeat this monster; either a wizard, or a relic of a greater power. 232. The dwarves among you forget the recent misfortunes that have befallen the Fellowship and get very excited by the sight of the stone. "This pillar marks the place where Durin first looked into the Mirrormere. Let us look ourselves, ere we go!" 233. This is the council chamber of Elrond. Upon the dais there are many chairs; this hall is used by Elrond to discuss matters of great importance. 234. Erestor strokes his chin in concentration. "Of course, there are the tales of Trollslayer, a weapon of great power said to have been buried atop the Hill of Teeth above Rivendell by the mighty elven Lord Gil-galad himself." 235. Gazing around, you spot a huge mallorn to the west. Surely that must be the home of Galadriel and Celeborn. To the east, you spot the great river Anduin, and beyond it a dark mass of trees. That must be the forest of Mirkwood. A black cloud lies across it; that must be Dol Guldur, the northern citadel of the Dark Lord. 236. "This should be the turn of Aragorn, son of Arathorn." says Elrond. "But alas, he could not be with us. The Sword that was Broken is Narsil, the sword of Elendil. It was broken in battle against the Enemy long ago, and its pieces were lost long ago. They must be found so the sword may be reforged." "Isildur's Bane is the One Ring, the Ring of Sauron. It was found by the halfling Bilbo, whom we honor here today. The Ring is our greatest peril, and perhaps our only hope. Of these matters, Gandalf has much to say..." 237. The book continues on an unsullied page. "Lest it fall into evil hands, we took Durin's mighty Axe and hid it where few would find it, protected by many traps and guardians. So well did we disguise it, that only by means of Queen Galadriel's Token would one find it again. This token we cast into the shaft of Durin's chimney. 238. A note attached to the crate says: "I, Lotho Sackville-Baggins, Boss of the Shire, hereby agree to provide in perpetuity, to the Sharkey Shipping Company, the best pipeweed that the Shire can grow, in exchange for machinery and able Big Folk to assist me in the expansion of my improvements to the Shire. (Signed) Lotho-Sackville Baggins." 239. On the floor of this place is a skeleton, a man who died within this barrow many years ago. He is covered in rags; even a cursory glance can tell that he was not a prince or a soldier. A tomb robber, perhaps? If so, one can scarcely imagine a worse choice of tombs to plunder. His only gain was a gem, still encased by his tightly clenched hand, but he did not live to take it out of here. 240. The scroll is dated a hundred years ago and says: "The fortress of Dol Guldur is well-guarded. It would be folly to try to assault it without the advantage of surprise, but sentries east of Dol Guldur make this impossible -- except for the forest labyrinth south of Dol Guldur. There are many spiders and monsters in the maze (it was obviously built as a place to torment his prisoners, but I have made a secret exit in the eastern face of the maze below the Lawn of Statues). Through this exit, we can avoid the sentries." The scroll is signed "G", obviously the symbol of Gandalf. 241. "The last guardian must be summoned by name ... " 242. The scroll is dated a hundred years ago and says: "The fortress of Dol Guldur is thirteen levels tall, from its deepest pit, to its tallest tower. Within its fortress are many orcs, and dark magicks, but its most terrifying occupant is the Necromancer, who is indeed the Witch-king of Angmar, given new shape again. I urge the White Council to press for an assault; it is to be hoped that the revelation will make Saruman less intractable." The scroll is signed "G", obviously the symbol of Gandalf. 243. The waterfall holds special meaning for Legolas. He tells the story of Nimrodel and Amroth, two elves who loved each other deeply. "When dwarves awoke the evil within the Mountains, many elves fled Lothlorien. And Amroth waited for her to come to the elf-havens in the South, but Nimrodel was lost in the White Mountains, and was never seen again. And yet this waterfall remembers her, for if you listen very carefully to it, you can hear her voice, singing, in the sound of the cascade." 244. The Nazgul withers. You have a feeling he is not quite dead; he has merely abandoned this form, travelling shapeless and disgraced to Mordor. A thin but terrifying voice says: "The hour of Sauron approaches soon! Thy doom draws nigh!" 245. "All right!" the man breaks into sobs. "You know the truth about poor, poor..." He struggles to compose himself, and doesn't do a very good job. After a few minutes, he manages to continue: "He was looking into what happened to Nob Appledore, and he went to that place, and nosed around. And they killed him! I saw it! But you mustn't tell anyone. They'll kill us all!" 246. You race around the hill eight times. It is grueling, even to elves as seemingly tireless as Legolas and Bragolhir. Legolas wins -- barely. "Truly Nessa herself could not have given a greater effort." Bragolhir pants. "May the Valar bless thee." 247. Earendil's star is the light of the Silmaril taken from the Iron Crown of Morgoth, the Great Enemy, by the human hero Beren One-Hand. The Silmaril was taken to the West by the sailor Earendil, who pleaded to the Valar for help against Morgoth. The Silmaril was placed in a ship by the Valar, and hallowed, and Earendil was made captain of the vessel. So late in the evening and early in the morning the Star of Earendil can be seen, a symbol of the downfall of evil. So great is the power of the star that its reflection is sometimes captured in magical pools hallowed to Ulmo, the Vala of water who kept his friendship to elf and man even in the time of exile. An empty vessel, filled with such water, will shine with the light of the star. 248. Galadriel continues: "Take any of my commanders, even the Lord Celeborn. There is time to return to Rivendell if you are quick, and gather aid from Elrond. Also, I give you an option of great power and peril..." "On the west wall of this cleft, you will find an entrance. This leads to an underground area I sealed long ago. It connected to Moria, but when Durin's Bane stirred, other evils also wakened. I was forced to close that ancient entrance. "Within its caverns are great dangers, but also great treasures of wisdom and power. Few would dare it, fewer still have the power to try. Only in such desperate times as these would I offer the key to anyone. Take it if you wish this peril. If you succeed, you may find a way to save the Quest of the Ring!" 249. "Greetings visitors. I am Linwen," a beautiful elven voice says in greeting. She turns to you and says: "Soon I will depart, and either flee the Shadow and the Enemy, or die. "What matter most troubles thy heart?" 250. There are many damaged pages then one reads briefly, "By Mahal, who created the Naugrim, I..." 251. An elf is firing arrows into a target. He looks at you, and says: "I am Urthel. Welcome, strangers, to Caras Galadon, the heart of elvendom in Middle-earth. May the stars shine on your faces." Urthel is a cordial and friendly fellow, and you discuss many things. Conversation turns to his archery practice, as you admire the skill with which he placed arrows into the target. Urthel is pleased by the compliment. He decides to offer you his assistance. "I know that you are on a dangerous quest. I am considered a good archer, and an even better teacher. I can teach one of you the art of the bow, if you have the time." Do you accept Urthel's offer? 252. "You see before you a large dark pool of water. In the center of the pool are three extremely life-like granite statues, of what appear to be humans in heavy robes. Carefully aiming your light at where their faces should be, you see a look of mixed surprise and horror. The water itself is still and very black." 253. A note says: "This is Galadriel's token. It is a symbol of the friendship of the Eldar and the Naugrim. Two of these were made long ago by Queen Galadriel to King Durin when he helped her escape from Sauron during ancient wars. Only one other token is known to exist, in Moria. This token is used as one of the safeguards to prevent Durin's axe from falling into the hands of our enemies. The other is the Golden Wheel. Only with these items can Durin's Axe be regained." 254. To your horror, you recognize the dark shape that is crossing the chasm, a shape from the nightmares of all elves -- a Balrog of Morgoth. During the wars of the First Age of Middle-earth, many elven heroes died at the hands of these demonic creatures: Fingon, Ecthelion, even the great Feanor himself. Of all of the elf- banes of Middle-earth, only Sauron himself is more deadly. You are doomed. 255. This is the Hall of the First Father, the heart of dwarven kind on earth. To your wonder, the orcs have not marred these crypts, as is typical with their kind. There are many stone sarcophagi here, more than you have ever seen before. They are covered in ancient inscriptions, written in the secret dwarven tongue. "This is no tomb." Gimli draws your attention to a stone marker. "In time of great need, the tool of Durin will show the way..." he reads. "Alas, I know not of this marker or its meaning. It was not spoken of in the legends that survived the fall of Khazad-dum. It is clearly a barrier of sorts, but to where?" 256. Well now, here's a bit of the unexpected. The nose is a bit weatherworn and the robe has seen better days, but this is most certainly meant to look like the wizard Saruman himself. What an odd place to put a statue. Perhaps there is more here than meets the eye? 257. Carefully smoothing out the crinkled, ale-stained pages of the ledger scroll, you make out barely literate writing. The word "ORTHANC" has been written in, along with yesterday's date. Both have been crossed out. Below them, the word "ISENGARD" stands out on the page. 258. In a bold hand, the following is set forth: "Galadriel has extended her influence to include the pass high above Lothlorien. Even the spirit of Caradhas now bends his will to hers, allowing safe passage throughout the year. To call upon the Lady's power, simply speak her name to the spirit." 259. Many are the treasures within Khazad-dum. Within its labyrinthine layers are gold, silver, and some of the mightiest weapons ever forged. While it is probable that the orcs have despoiled most of the wealth, it is unlikely that they have uncovered every hiding place of the cunning dwarves.
Back to the game