I came across an extraordinary tale today, told to me by a Dwarf called Kellori Kegdrainer. I came across him (or her, I cannot tell the difference) along a road in Ered Luin not so far from Gondamon. He was walking slowly with the aid of a stout stick and I decided to offer the use of my horse as I would be glad of the company. This is his tale, in his own words:Thank you kind Sir, it is truth that I could use a ride, I’m not so nimble as I was. I see you looking at the injury to my leg and I shall tell you of it. Normally, I live a quiet life not far from Nogland. But 2 months ago a messenger passed through with news of a Pibroch. What’s that? Well, its a call to arms sometimes called a Ceòl Mórand; it meant a brother Dwarf needed help. His name is Khizli though I don’t know the details of his circumstances. Nevertheless, it is a dwarves duty to respond and I did. I took up my club and bow and set off for Thorin’s Hall. There I would meet with others answering the call. And what a gathering it was with some seasoned and well armed warriors as well as us Commons. We were told that there would be a long journey to The Misty Mountains. Ah, can you imagine my excitement, good Sir. Long had I heard of those mountains, never thinking that one day I would see them. I will not tell you of the journey save that it was long and, at the end, very hard. The land was covered with a heavy snow and it was bitterly cold, even to a dwarf. But finally, we reached the mustering point. I changed into my battle dress and made my preparations. What a splendid sight we were. There was even battle goats for some (including me) and we formed the heavy cavalry. We lined up and were addressed with noble words and great war-pipes. This roused us into a high state of excitement and some (who had the benefit of certain herbs) were in a berserker state. Finally, the order was given – we were to sweep through a couple of goblin villages and then storm an underground place called Goblin Town. They say battle is glory; maybe later it is when the memory fades and the embellishments begin. But I can tell you what battle really is – it is noise! Never have I heard such a din and everything was total confusion. Orders and order were forgotten and there was just a mad rush onwards – run, dodge, strike, run, don’t stop. On and on we went in a maelstrom of yells, screams and the thud and clang of weapons. We broke into Goblin Town and swept all before us – until we met the trolls. Ack, big, horrid beasties those. We had to swarm them but it was fierce work and that was where I took a blow to my leg, crushing it. But many others fell before we triumphed. I still don’t know what we were fighting for nor, in truth, do I care. I have had my adventure and now I want the quiet life. I heard there was a big feast afterwards and no doubt the bards are tuning their harp strings and readying their lies. Glory? Tell that to the widows of my fallen companions.
And with that we parted. He was right about one thing, the bards were very quick and I have already heard a ballad about the battle