Malangethas - Runes of Gold|
Summary: Legolas travels with Gimli to the Lonely Mountain to present Thorin III with a symbolic gift that will hopefully have the Dwarves looking at the Elves in a different light for once.
It was just as Legolas remembered it. Standing there, bright against the rising sun and casting it's lonely shadow across the plains at it's roots. Blue eyes closed as the Elf stood there, remembering the grand battle that took place before the feet of the Lonely Mountain. The death and the destruction that had been wrought was great, far greater than he had expected. The greed of Elves and Men and Dwarves had been their undoing in those dark days...
Had he put aside those past grudges completely? Was his heart free of the anger and the hatred for the people who dwelt in the shadow of the mountain and deep within it's stoney depths?
Yes... or so Legolas wanted to believe.
“Durned Elf... basking in the sunlight. It's yer own trees we've left behind and here yer actin' starved for warming rays. Bah! I'll never understand ye.”
Smiling slightly, Legolas glanced down at the Dwarf standing beside him. Gimli hefted his ax, no longer worrying about what foul creatures might strike from the forest and started forward.
Of course Legolas had tried to politely explain that since Sauron's fall the spiders within his father's kingdom had diminished greatly... but the old Dwarf wouldn't hear of it and instead insisted on walking, ax in hand, beneath the boughs of the newly renamed Eryn Lasgalen. The Elven prince didn't really mind, but Legede's scouts had been a bit less happy to hear the anger of the trees at the Dwarf's passing. Legolas knew that the warriors of his homeland simply indulged his newly kindled friendship as best they could. None were rude to Gimli, but they also didn't offer as many kind words as their prince would've liked. No doubt the scouts received a reprimand by Legede himself for their coldness, for the white haired Elven captain had taken to Gimli much in the same way as his prince.
'I have lived too long to hold grudges against those we now call allies.' had been Legede's response when the archer questioned him about his views on the Dwarves... and a fine response it had been. Nothing could have made Legolas happier than to know his friend was welcome in his home.
Except perhaps learning that his father approved of the bond as well... but some things only time could change... and Elves certainly had plenty of that.
Blinking, the prince found that his companion had left him behind. Quickly, with swift strides, the Elf was beside the Dwarf once more and they continued along the banks of Forest River. It would take past Esgaroth and their path would cut across straight into Dale itself. From there, it would be a short journey to the Front Gate of the Lonely Mountain.
“Ye sure yer ready to find yerself in these halls?” Gimli asked seriously, glancing at the Elf as they walked.
Legolas smiled, “I think, dear Gimli, that if you can muster the courage to stay in my father's halls, that I too can present myself to your people. Who better to begin dispelling old angers than one who once felt anger himself? I have even prepared a gift for king.”
“Bah, Thorin Stonehelm won't be likin' that gift, laddie. He's not one for tapestries.” the Dwarf replied, a bit of a shadow falling over his features. “He'll be in a foul enough mood learnin' what I've got planned at any rate.”
One eyebrow arched on the Elf's features. “Your want to bring kinsmen south to the Glittering Caves?”
“Aye... But he can't be sayin' no to it either. Another kingdom is just what we need now. After all, you lot have four. We're not about to be outdone by the Elves.”
The prince smiled softly, “Five, Gimli. Or have you forgotten I have discussed a new settlement for my people in Ithilien?”
“And how did yer father take it?”
“Quite well actually.” Legolas replied, a thoughtful look on his face. “With Imladris and Lothlorien in decline, our only strongholds are Eryn Lasgalen and Mithlond in these new days. Eden Cuil will be a place of refuge... but like Eryn Lasgalen, its forests need much healing as well. My homeland may have been tarnished by flame, but the forest at Minas Tirith's footsteps has dwelt too long in the shadows. Only the Elves can heal what Sauron has done to those lands.”
“And yer home?” the Dwarf asked.
For a moment, Legolas did not reply. They walked in silence for a time, both waiting for the answer to present itself.
Finally however, the Elf stopped, crossing his arms over his chest and looking down to his companion. “Are you trying to make me feel guilt for my decision? I can just as easily turn this conversation back upon you, Master Dwarf. However...” a frown marred the prince's fair features. “My father's halls are just that... my father's. I am Eryn Lasgalen's crowned prince... but I have pledged my aid and loyalty to Aragorn. You know this. But I think you do not understand, Gimli... how greatly that decision has weighed upon my heart of late.”
Setting his ax down, the Dwarf found a seat on a nearby boulder. From his stance even the archer could tell this might be an important conversation for the both of them.
“Yer as stubborn as a Dwarf, and that's sayin' a lot.” Gimli spoke seriously. “Aragorn's got me loyalty as well, though I don't think I need ta be remindin' ye of that. We're makin' lands of our own fer our people, Elf. Not fer our own durned pride or ego but to better this new free world. Dwarves can't be holein' up in our mountains again. Not like before. And Elves can't be hidin' in their forests either. What we're doin', Legolas... it's more important than ourselves. Thorin Stonehelm and yer father will just have to come to some sense on the matter. Nothin' more can be done. Not by yerself or myself at any rate.”
At first, Legolas thought that his friend was quite right... but something about seeing the Dwarf sitting on a rock, burly arms crossed over his chest with ax resting at his knee...
The prince began to laugh. “Forgive me... I fear I could not have said it better myself.” walking forward, Legolas clapped Gimli on the shoulder. “Come. Let us hurry before nightfall. After all, I have quite the gift to present to your King, my friend.”
“I'm still thinkin' a tapestry was a fool's idea.” the Dwarf replied as he popped up onto his feet and grabbed his ax. “But this wouldn't be the first time I tried to talk some sense into a pointy-eared Elvish princeling.”
Taking the teasing in stride, the pair continued onward.
Runes of Gold
“Ha ha! Havin' ye back in yer homeland does my heart good, Gimli.” spoke Thorin Stonehelm.
Also known as Thorin III, he had taken over as King Under the Mountain upon the demise of his father Dain Ironfoot, or Dain II, who had fallen in battle against the surge of Sauron's making during the last days of the war. He was a Dwarf whom Gimli respected and had looked up to throughout his younger years, as they were only a handful of years apart in age.
Gimli clapped his cousin on the shoulder, “It's good to see ye again, Thorin. Even better to see our home still be standin'. Yer father'd be proud.”
While the Dwarf was distracted with greeting his king and cousin, Legolas was beginning to realize that the eyes on him were not, for the most part, as friendly as they could have been. The prince knew that many of these Dwarves had probably met him in the past, or knew him by look alone, and yet not a single face could he place a name to. Legolas knew that this was probably because he could not tell one Dwarf from another for the most part, and he also knew that the Dwarves tended to have the same problem with recognizing Elf from Elf... but the prince knew Thorin III by his look and stature.
“And yer the Elf we're to be callin' hero these days?”
Blue eyes blinked as the archer focused in on the King Under the Mountain. He placed a hand over his heart and bowed his head, “Legolas Thranduilion, caun Eryn Lasgalen. I believe we have met before, Thorin Stonehelm.”
The Dwarf nodded, “Aye, we have. In Rivendell before the Walkers set out. Wasn't much a meeting though as we were practically at arms at the time.” he laughed at the memory. “Sendin' Gimli with ye paid off it seems. I'm sure ye owe him yer life.”
If Thorin thought this would make the Elf bristle however, he was quite wrong. “My life is owed to the aid of many, Gimli is but one amongst them.”
Thorin laughed again, “Yer right, cousin. He's not like any Elf I've talked to. Admittin' a Dwarf helped him. Unheard of.” the king walked over to stand in front of Legolas, his bushy eyebrows indicating that he was looking the fair being up and down. “I'm glad to welcome you to the halls of me ancestors here beneath the mountain.”
“I think yer forgettin' somethin', Elf.” Gimili spoke up, pointing to his friend's pack.
Legolas smiled, “Forgive me. I brought a gift of friendship.” carefully the archer withdrew a wrapped bundle, handing it to Thorin. “Gimli wrote down the line of Durin, for King Elessar and the archives in Minas Tirith. I had this made during our stay in Eryn Lasgalen, on the way here.”
As Thorin unwrapped the gift, his eyes widened. Gimli however noticed that look and quickly walked over to take a peak at the tapestry. There, inscribed in thread of pure gold, was a lineage of the line of Durin. It was expensive, no doubt about that... but it was hardly the price of the gift that was startling.
The Angerthas, the runes of the Dwarves of Erebor, were shining in the torchlight of the hall.
“Ye didn't tell me ye knew the Angerthas Erebor.” Gimli spoke up, looking at Legolas a bit warily.
“Should I have?” the prince asked, one eyebrow raised. “I would have had more inscribed but I doubted that it would be well received if the Khuzdul were crafted into the tapestry by an Elf's hands.”
At this, Thorin looked up at the son of Thranduil in utter shock and, well, disbelief. “How do ye know the Khuzdul?”
“Mithrandir taught it to me years before the Battle of the Five Armies. It was slow to take. I never spoke of it to Gimli because I did not wish to offend.” Legolas replied honestly, one hand indicating the gift. “I thought it best to use Westron instead.”
Thorin looked to Gimli then back again at the cloth in his hands. “Aye... best not to be speakin' the language of the Dwarves when yer no Dwarf.” the king replied, his gaze back on the tapestry. “Usually a gift of worked metal enters these halls... but I suppose this has it's place as well.” he handed the cloth to Gimli. “I accept your gift. As I said... you're welcome in these halls. Just... don't go readin' anything.”
The teasing smile on Thorin's face was enough the break the tension and Legolas smiled in return.
Cloth in hand, Gimli lead the way to the archives. “I can't believe ye know Khuzdul...”
“Why would I not?” Legolas asked with a slight sigh. “Languages are only secret if you do not speak them openly. Mithrandir knew of it, as do many others such as Elrond and Celeborn. Even my father knows...”
“Now Elves know our speech! Bah!” Gimli snorted, obviously insulted over this new turn of events. “Ye could've told me, Elf!”
Sighing, Legolas walked behind his companion as they wound their way down a staircase. “Aragorn knows it as well, though you have learned that already. We do not speak it openly... but do not fault us for wishing to know when we have been insulted.”
The Dwarf stopped, “So ye knew what I said?”
“To that durned Lorien Elf!” Gimli replied as if the answer were plain as day.
Legolas smirked, “Ah... you are lucky Haldir did not know your insult. I doubt you would have survived being tossed from such a high tree. At any rate, Aragorn was quite upset that you even dared utter such words.”
Waving a hand at the statement, Gimli turned the corner, the prince right behind him. “I'm guessin' it was Gandalf who told him too?”
“Actually it was Elrond.” Legolas replied. “It was easier for him to learn than for me. I could not read the Cirth for some time. We simply did not use it in my father's halls.”
The Dwarf rolled his eyes, “Such a sheltered life ye've led.” he teased, opening the door to the archives. “Remind me again why ye were sent to travel the whole of Middle-Earth without hardly walkin' past yer own forest.”
“Now you are simply exaggerating, master Dwarf. It was the fight for this very hall which began my journeys. Take pride in that.” Legolas spoke with a smile.
Both were greeted by another Dwarf, who took the tapestry and began to study it. Through the stout being's mumblings, Legolas could make out that the craftsmanship was excellent and the use of Angerthas Erebor without flaw. The Dwarf asked Gimli, not knowing that the Elf could speak Khuzdul, if he had transcribed it. At learning it was the archer, the Dwarf was seemingly struck speechless.
“Why would an Elf want to know our ways?” the Dwarf asked in their own speech.
Gimli shrugged, but before he could reply, Legolas laughed.
“Because, master Dwarf... I am not like most Elves.” the prince replied pleasantly in Khuzdul before inclining his head politely to the archive curator and leading from the room.
Of course Gimli ignored the startled sputtering confusion of his fellow Dwarf and quickly followed Legolas.
“I assume ye know where yer goin'?”
The prince shook his head, “Not really, no. But I thought to myself, if I retraced our steps, I could return to the surface to watch the sun set.”
“Come on then...” Gimli huffed, leading the way. “Wouldn't want ye to get lost and go readin' things.”
To this, Legolas merely laughed.
It was the talk of the hall really... an Elf in their midst that knew the Khuzdul. Many Dwarves were angry with this turn of events, but others were curious. Why would an Elf even want to know more about the folk under the mountain?
By the end of Legolas' first stay in Gimli's homeland, he had made quite a few... dare he call them friends? Certainly acquaintances that looked kindly upon him at any rate. The glares he got were fewer and farther between... just as it had been in Eryn Lasgalen for Gimli. It seemed that the more the two races got to know one another, the more they found they had in common.
It was truly all that Legolas could ask for.
The eve before the prince had deemed he would return home however, Gimli had asked the Elf one simple question...
“What made ye think to give Thorin a record of Durin's lineage?”
For a time, Legolas could not truly reply. He knew why... but explaining it was a bit harder.
“Because we are the same, dear Gimli. Your people and mine are the same and yet different. We both want to take our people into the world, my friend... and to do so, we must have a broader picture of that world and the peoples within it. I come from a land far more secluded than your own, so perhaps for me, learning about the other races of this world is more important than anything else... for how can we stand as allies without understanding one another? So... I had the tapestry sewn as a gift to let Thorin Stonehelm know that where he came from, where his people have come from, is important to the Elves... and that your ways, your words, your letters... are equally as important. I want the Elves and the Dwarves to stand side by side and put their differences behind them, just like you and I.”
To that, Gimli could only mirror the Elf's smile... and agree.
• Please note that Thorin III Stonehelm is NOT Thorin II Oakenshield. They're both just named Thorin and as it'd be a bit odd for Gimli to speak in a familiar manner using titles... Thorin III is just Thorin in this story. Even calling him Stonehelm would've seemed odd to me and of course he wouldn't call him by his true Dwarven name with Legolas standing there. Plus I don't want to speculate on true names. ;)
There will be no spoken Khuzdul in this story... because Legolas isn't supposed to know it (even though he does, haha) and because wrapping my brain around Sindarin is hard enough...
The Cirth on the tapestry that Legolas presents looks like this (please tale out the spaces to make the link work) and this was all done by me based on Angerthas Erebor and the Line of Durin from the LOTR Appendix A. Please keep in mind that my Cirth isn't 100% accurate, though I tried to make it so. I'm much better at Tengwar. = http : // img . photobucket . com / albums / v383 / LegolasLover2003 / Banners % 20and % 20Icons / LineofDurin_zps4c5c8430 . Png
I figure if Haldir gets to know what Gimli says in LOTR: TTT then Legolas gets to know the Khuzdul too. I know very few Elves would know it, but hey... Gandalf would know it and thus... he taught it to Legolas here.
SINDARIN WORDS/PLACES TO KNOW:
• Mal = Gold
Angerthas = Runes
Malangerthas = Runes of Gold
Thranduilion = Son of Thranduil
Caun Eryn Lasgalen = Prince of the Wood of Greenleaves
Mithrandir = Another name for Gandalf
Elessar = Aragorn's name as King
Imladris = Another name for Rivendell
Mithlond = Another name for the Grey Havens
Eryn Lasgalen = Mirkwood after it's renaming.
Eden Cuil = New Life (what Legolas will name his colony in Ithilien, non-canon)