I have arrived. I sit now in Helm's Deep, truly a mighty
fortress. On the approach I found it hard to believe that it was
built by men, for it is both strong and beautiful. It is only
when the construction is looked at in detail that it is clear
that this great bastion was not created by our people. The design
is magnificent, but in places the stones have been poorly cut or
poorly laid. There are seams and cracks in the outer defensive
wall that would allow an attacker the necessary purchase to
climb. I have also noted that the stone stair leading to the
Hornburg, the tower, is too open, and a retreating force would
have little cover. Our masons have much to do here, although at
present the work is still concerned with repair, and the
improvements to the first dike, the initial defensive
There is much for me to do also. There are a number of cranes
and cantilever devices for the moving of great stones that have
been constructed by men, though, naturally, under dwarfish
supervision. The leatherwork for the points of greatest strain
will need special reinforcing before any foundation rocks can be
manoeuvred, a task that I can accomplish and with time teach
others. There are also tools and equipment that have been
provided by the men of Rohan, that will need refining. Many
dwarven tools have been brought to the site, but more are needed.
There is also a need for the repair of tools, helms and armour.
The armour of a dwarf is worn in battle, but will also defend
against the glancing blow of a falling stone when the rope snaps
or the winch buckles under the strain. The metalsmiths and
leatherworkers will be as busy as the stonecutters and masons for
many weeks to come.
Tomorrow will be a long day, and I fear that it may be
restless tonight. I am to bunk with dwarves from many regions,
some of whom are, like myself, newly arrived. There will be much
talking tonight, for those who have been here for a time will
want much news from the north.
It has been a busy few days; the scale of the work here is
very great. On occasion communication between the different
peoples has caused delays, but when this is overcome, the
camaraderie is further enhanced. I am starting to settle into the
routine and to know whom to turn to for particular skills and
insights. There is sufficient work to keep me here for many
months, if not years.
I have given some thought to worship. I feel that it would be
fitting that prayers to the Maker be included in this making
also. Over the next few weeks I will try and gauge the views of
my fellow workers.
Winter is approaching, and the snow will be creeping down the
sides of the lonely mountain. I feel it call to my heart and
bones. The mountains here are high and proud, but they have never
felt the love of the dwarves, and therefore they return it not.
The stonecutters say that the rock cracks and chips malevolently.
Still, we will tend the mountains and the rock. A mountain is a
slow creature, but once a people have gained its respect, its
memory is very long indeed.
I am reminded of a verse from a song that I learnt many years
ago. It is an old song, but not as old, may be as its theme.
"Sing now of the heartbeat in the bole of the mountain.
Hear the deep thunder in the depths and the deeps.
Feel the land tremble as he turns in his slumber.
Wait for the morn when the giant awakes."
My compatriots will have to woo the mountain alone. My work
has been set aside. My future is uncertain. A quest, a task, a
challenge lies before me, and it is one that I cannot fail in,
for 'twas laid upon my shoulders by the Lord Gimli himself. I
journey to Edoras, to the gilded hall of the Horse lords and
thence maybe to Gondor and the court of King Aragorn himself. I
have far to go, and little time.
Why he has chosen me I do not know. I am still young and
inexperienced. At first I thought that I had been called to him
because I had been too outspoken about the tools and
craftsmanship of the men that we are working alongside. I was
sufficiently nervous that I nearly fell across the chair that I
was offered. My Lord Gimli affected not to notice and asked me,
with fine words, to fulfil an important quest. At the last he
even shared his cup with me. He is a fine dwarf, a great lord. I
hope I can do justice to the faith he has placed in me.
I am still filled with awe that I have met with the Lord
Gimli. He has a great presence, yet there is something about him,
a look in the eye maybe, which speaks of loss or a great
I write by firelight under unwelcome scrutiny. My Lord Gimli
sent me to the Rohirrim to meet with a great man, a man who, as
yet, does not understand his own destiny. I believe I have now
met this man. My task has begun and I feel that Aule is testing
I was told that I would know him by the rangers star upon his
cloak. This star I saw fall shortly after the skirmish in which
his life was saved. Five villains sort to steal from one lone
traveller, and struck him whilst he lay prone and indefensible. I
engaged them and slew three. Two were killed in a most cowardly
manner, pierced by arrows from behind. The slayer sits across the
fire from me now, the very man I have been charged to protect and
defend with my own life. A man with no honour. It seems a cruel
Yes, the foe were themselves cowardly men and thieves, but
they were executed like game for the pot. If it had not been for
my insistence the corpses would still be lying above ground, to
be fodder for the birds and beasts of the field, or worse,
mutilated and displayed on stakes as a warning for others that
may pass. I prevailed and they now lie beneath the sod, though it
was a long task. There are no stones in this sea of grass with
which to build a cairn.
I will watch over this man, but I thank Aule that I was not
asked by Lord Gimli to befriend him.
It will be but a short walk to Edoras when the dawn breaks
tomorrow. I look forward to seeing the golden hall at close
quarters, but I am apprehensive. The path before me is dark and
hidden from my sight. I must tread with care.