B2ME Day 12 - Song of the Earth by Erulisse

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Disclaimer:  Tolkien built the sandbox, I only play with the bucket and shovel that he left for me.  No money, profit or non, is made from the publication of this story.  

 


 

Song of the Earth

 

Finrod smiled at his friend.  Dawlí, in his turn, seemed not to change his customary gruffness, although Finrod knew him well enough by now to recognize that he was pleased to be back at Nargothrond.  The final rooms were to be opened for excavation this day, and Dawlí had come from his home in Belegost to be a part of this momentous occasion. 

The Elf-lord and the Dwarven-lord had met forty years ago due to the intercession of King Thingol, a close relation of Finrod’s mother.  Finrod had approached Dawlí with a proposition.  He wanted a secure stronghold built for his people, one that would be resistant to invasion yet allow the elves to live in comfort.  Dawlí, for his part, had wanted to delve for new sources of metals and stones.  The two of them had reached an agreement to employ the dwarves of Belegost and Nogrod to make the caverns of Narog into a hidden kingdom.  The dwarves would be paid by receiving a percentage of any riches they discovered in the course of their labors, as well as by a trade agreement for foodstuffs and other necessary items which the elves could supply to them. 

Over the years a miracle of stone had arisen under the chisels and rasps of the dwarves and their elvish counterparts.  Unlike the stylized stone trees and birds of Menegroth, the columns of Nargothrond rose as if they were truly a continuation of the forest outside with small carved animals hiding among the roots and a variety of leaf colors crowning the columns of the stone forest.  Each individual leaf was lovingly sculpted, and then was painted, gilded or enameled by skilled artisans.  It was a massive undertaking. 

Now the final set of rooms was scheduled to be started.  These rooms, placed at the lowest levels of the caverns, were going to store the treasury, the wine cellar, the cold room, and a few other rooms that needed constant temperatures.  But work had been halted and both lords had been requested to be present before any additional delving occurred. 

“Why do we need to be present for this, Dawlí?  We have never been asked to be present when your people began any other rooms in Nargothrond.” Finrod looked across at his companion as they walked quickly along one of the back corridors. 

“My men would give me no more information but that it would be worth our while to be present when they opened this room out.” replied his counterpart.  “But, we are almost there, so our curiosity will soon be satisfied.” 

The two leaders turned a corner, joining a small group of workmen standing in front of a roughened stone wall.  The workmen bobbed quick bows towards the rulers and the foreman approached them.  

“My Lords, if you would be so kind as to stand to one side, we will continue with our excavation now.”  No additional words were said, and the workmen raised their picks and hammers, beginning to attack one specific point on the wall.  Within minutes the wall collapsed, raising a cloud of dust blocking any view of what lay beyond. 

The foreman approached the rulers again, and handing each of them a torch, motioned for them to pass ahead of him and enter the new room first.  Looking at each other, Finrod and Dwalí each took held their torch aloft and, Dwalí leading, stepped through the entryway into another world. 

Finrod’s breath caught in his throat as he looked around him, seeing a room of crystalline facets echoing off every surface.  It seemed as if the very room itself was in the center of a silmaril.  The angles bounced off angles, and the light refracted more light, until the intensity of what he was seeing caused him to stop moving forward and just absorb the beauty. 

His eyes caught sight of Dwalí.  The dwarf was standing next to a large pillar of shining material that spiraled with a twist of colors from the floor to the ceiling high above them.  He had placed his forehead and the palm of his hand reverently against the pillar, and was singing a soft song in his own tongue.  He seemed to vibrate in harmony with the glistening of the crystal structures around him, and Dawlí was weeping. 

The dwarf’s song came to an end and he walked back to Finrod. 

“There are few areas in this world as magnificent as this room.  In our Halls, we use rooms like this to commune with Mahal.  We take many years and gently form them into even more beautiful areas, one small chip of stone at a time.  A dwarf can spend a lifetime carving a single hand span’s worth of work in a sanctuary like this.  Such beauty makes our souls sing and weep with joy.” 

 “So be it, my friend.  Never before have I seen you so moved with beauty.  This room will be open to all who wish to use it for contemplation and prayer, both dwarves and elves.  We will find a different area to use for the storerooms.” 

The two friends left the cavern, but both knew that each of them would return there often to hear the song of the earth. 

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A/N – Mahal is the name that the Dwarves call the Vala Aulë. 

 

 


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