A/N: Hello my dears! And here I am again... I am sorry for the delay - life caught up with me and it was mostly work. I'm replacing in several doctors offices, always a few day at a time, and between the distances and getting adjusted, it took up a lot of time. I'm also pleased to announce that I'm absolutely brave and understand a bit of Thorin's pain against Azog's Warg, for I got bitten by one of my employers' dog during a replacements :O! No real harm done however - thank Mahal for jeans. I try to befriend that dog by the way... so far we both stay clear of each other but I don't despair :p...

All this to say... it took me time to write that. Tharbad is a difficult bit to write for Thorin, mainly because it's only headcanon. Completely invented. Even though I have thought of these bits long ago : proof of it, the second chapter of Fili's fic (hint, hint :p). I wonder how you'll find that one, and as usual I hope you'll enjoy it despite my whims and strange ideas. Take care, and till soon, Meysun.

The King of Carven Stone

Chapter 35.

Autumn was well advanced, sending down heavy gushes of rain, swelling Tharbad's waters and drenching its old stones. The once crimson leaves were turning to brown, and the air was getting cold and damp, drops drumming hard against the forge's roof, thrown violently against the windows.

And the dark-haired girl who had haunted my dreams, whose lithe body had pressed itself against mine in a fierce attempt to survive – she had never reappeared. She had loomed in the back of my mind for days, and I had secretly searched for her, every time we had crossed Tharbad's grey, water-drenched streets, but she was gone.

And gradually, the impressions she had left had begun to fade, had become dream-like, feeling unreal. I still thought of her, every now and then, wondering where she was and what had become of her. But there was work to be done. Weapons to forge, and the fire to keep roaring. Bargains to strike, and a grim fight against cheats to hold up, day after day.

And so I began to forget her.

It was not Erebor, and I was not carving jewels or mounting stones, for there was no need for splendour and finery here. But I revelled in the work of a swordsmith nonetheless, for blades have a beauty of their own, shaped between fire and anvil, carefully ground and sharpened, until they reach the perfect balance that makes them unique.

It is hard work, and there is something of the smith in every blade he carves. For it is his striving, and the balance of his moves, the subtle craft of his blows, that allows metal to be bent in the right way. When it is softened by the fire, pliable, yielding… iron holds a song of its own, and makes the smith's very Soul expand as he shapes it to meet his visions.

There is subtlety in the cross-guard, and the way it has to be slung around the blade, so as to leave no space between them, until they are one. But the utmost skill lies in the pommel, for it holds the sword together, acting like a counterweight. Cutting it and shaping it – it is almost like courting, adding touch after touch, carefully, lovingly, a false movement being enough to ruin it.

They think the force of a sword lies in the blade – how wrong they are... The very balance lies in the pommel – and that Elven-sword… I never felt its like. Never. When I first lifted it, and wielded it… It took my breath away. It made my heart clench, and expand at the same time – because it felt utterly, and perfectly right.

I fell in love with that Elven-sword – the one I named Barakâl. With its blade, that always shone to warn us from foes. With its guard, and its hilt, and the way they belonged together. But its treasure lay in its pommel, and the way it balanced out every move of the blade… and I bow to the craftsman who shaped it.

I bow to him and I thank him, for my foe is slain now.

That day, I was forging a far lesser sword for a local warlord. Dwalin had gone to fill our coal supplies, and I was slowly hammering the heated iron into a blade. It was a continuous dance between the flames and the anvil, and I had been bent upon the work well over an hour when the bell chimed.

"One moment…", I called – I was almost done, the rough shape of a blade laid before me.

I struck a few well-placed blows, and could not repress a smile, despite the sweat beading on my brow and the ache in my arms. The roughest work was done – the sword created. Now I would have to shape it, grinding it carefully, but this could wait a little. I laid down the blade and my hammer, and wiped my face with the back of my wrist, relishing the warmth, and the pride curling in my chest – it felt good. It felt right.

I looked up, and there she stood.

Her eyes blacker than I remembered, their lashes so dark, with black charcoal lines drawn at the edge of the lids like tattoos… Her hair was tangled, and hung loose, soaked with rain. She was still wearing her cloak, but I could see her shivering, her lips almost blue. However, there was a light smile on her lips, and her hand was not trembling as she stretched out her arm, putting two large eggs on the counter.

"I need a knife", she said – and I remembered that voice, somewhat hoarse, a bit deeper than one could expect.

I rounded the counter, frowning slightly, and she pushed the eggs towards me – that was when I noticed the copper stains under her fingernails.

"What happened to you?", I asked, and her smile deepened, her eyes flashing, dark and daring as she bared her teeth.

"I gutted a Man. And I intend to do so again without soiling my hands."

My frown deepened, and suddenly she laughed.

"Don't look at me like that. Your brow is full of clouds, like a thunderstorm. It was a joke."

She shrugged off her cloak, and she was dressed just as strangely, wearing several tunics one above the other, with trousers pooling around her legs, looking almost like a skirt, tucked into worn boots. And she rolled her eyes when I failed to move, still glaring at her distrustfully.

"I helped a cow giving birth. I brought her calf to life, but these Men here… They do not give me coins. They want what I can do, but they do not want me. They pay me with goods, to chain me here. So that I cannot hoard. Will you take those goose eggs, and make me a knife?

- But…

- You do it for them, don't you?!"

A flash of hurt and defiance in her eyes – she had snarled, and this time it was no jest. She had crossed her arms, glaring back at me, and her cloak was dripping on the floor. I could see it was faded, and old, and full of holes – and I could also see the thin mud-streak on her brow, and the way her wet hair clung to her neck and shoulders. She was still shivering slightly, and Mahal… despite the mud, the dirt and the copper stains under her nails, I found her beautiful.

Fascinating – mysterious and strange. Certainly not to be trusted, and yet...

"Aye", I said, my voice somewhat hoarse. "Sit down here. I have to finish this first. Give me that cloak."

Her dark eyes melted, very slowly, and she handed her cloak to me, watching me spread it on a beam, close to the fire. I gestured towards the bench, next to the fireplace, and then I took up the work on the sword I was shaping, silently, trying to forget that she was just a few steps away from me, and watching every move.

I picked up the blade I had just shaped, and heated it once more, casting a critical eye upon it. I watched the iron turn to uniform crimson, then I removed it from the flames with my tongs, quenching the blade in water so that it could harden. After that I took the iron I had placed aside for the cross-guard, and began to heat it.

"Who are you making that sword for?", she asked, after a while.

She had removed her boots, and had drawn her feet up on the bench, circling her knees with her arms. She looked small, like this, small and tiny, but her eyes were bright, and sharp – like a wild hawk, so savage…

I just shrugged, unwilling to disclose any name, and she did not ask again. She leant her chin against her knees and closed her eyes. And for long minutes, the only sounds between us were those of my hammer, folding the iron, bending it into shape.

"Do you ever care?", she asked, eventually, and I frowned, unable to look up, working on the thin line that would allow the blade to pass through the guard.

"What they become. What is done with them. Does it trouble you?

- I make them. I don't have any part in their deeds afterwards.

- But if they are wielded by bad Men? Do you still make the sharp, reliable, even for those who do not deserve them?"

This time I looked up, and held her gaze.

"How am I to know who is deserving and who is not? I am a blacksmith. What I forge is a reflection of my worth. It does not change according to the bargains I strike."

She gazed at me, and there was something in her eyes I could not place. Sadness, appreciation… and weariness as well.

"Then make me a good knife, azerwal...", she whispered, turning her gaze towards the flames.

I stilled, fingers helplessly knotted around my tools. And I stared at her, like a gawking idiot, for her voice was fond and made something clench, deep in my chest.

"What did you just call me?"

Damn her for her smile. For the way it softened her dark eyes, making my heart race madly between my ribs – do not trust her, do not trust her, stop staring

"Azerwal", she said. "It means 'the one with blue eyes'. They are very striking. It makes your face hard to forget. So I decided to call you like that, whenever I thought of you."

She said it very simply, without blushing, without simpering. She did not even lower her gaze – and yet she must have been aware of the fire her words unleashed in my heart, because she had thought of me, and called me in her thoughts, and I…

"What is your name?", she asked, pulling me from my thoughts, and it took me a few heartbeats to answer, fingers still gripping my hammer.

That hammer that stood for strength, and getting wiser...

"Thorin", I whispered.

"Thorin...", she repeated – and oh, what was it her voice did, deep in my chest, as she said my name aloud, getting used to it…? People said it all the time, it was not even my true Name, and yet…

"It sounds just like you. It seems harsh, but it is not… What does it mean?"

I shook my head, fiercely, determined to snap out of this madness, and to ignore the heat in my face, creeping up to my ears – Frerin and Dís would be rolling on the floor, stop it, stop it…

"Daring. It means 'daring'. And I'm not soft. You don't know me. At all. You know nothing of me. And I nothing of you!"

I had growled the words, glaring fiercely at her, but it just made her laugh.

"Then why don't you ask? Your tall friend, with the brown hair, he would have pinned me against the wall and strangled me, until he'd have squeezed my name out of me…

- Dwalin would never do such a thing", I said, firmly, and she smiled.

"Of course he would. He would not have taken my cloak to dry. He would not have taken up work that could wait, so that I could get warm. That's why I waited for him to go.

- I..."

I was speechless, my face undoubtedly crimson. I could not make her out, I simply could not – why would she be so open in her designs, why would she show me she had read me, and like a children's book besides? Why would she hint at Dwalin's rightful distrust in her, if she wanted nothing more than using me?

"Who are you?", I hissed, in the end. "What do you want from me?"

You are breaking my peace. You make me feel weak. Helpless. I wish you would go.

But she had grown serious, and her eyes had stopped teasing me. When she spoke, her voice was gentle, without the playful edge that made me feel so lost and awkward.

"A knife. Some warmth. That is what I wanted. And you… you were kind to me, once. That is why I came. Because I knew you would understand. There is something – something in the way you look at me. It makes me remember. It makes me want to try harder. That is what is so striking, azerwal… Because it is so rare, here. It does not even exist anymore."

Silence, beneath the cracking of the flames, and the thudding of raindrops against the roof and the windows. Silence, and utter sadness in her words – gone was the strange flame in my chest, the heat on my cheeks, leaving only questions.

"What is your name? Where are you from?"

Silence. And her, black-eyed, dark-haired, small and refusing to bend, straightening up and gazing at me – frail, dangerous, beautiful and heartbreaking.

"Taghbalut", she said. "It means spring. Where water is born. Where I come from, it is the utmost treasure. Here… it is just hateful. I used to love my name. Now I don't. Because it sounds just like this city, in their wretched language… I have nothing to do with them. I tell them to call me Tala. It means fountain. It's enough.

- Tar-bal-oot", I repeated, slowly, trying to say it right.

It was a strange name – a name that sounded almost Dwarven, and branded itself in my mind forever, for the word it reminded me of was tharabâl. Ambiguous, and ringing of danger. For it is the word for 'thief', and can be considered as an insult, but it is also a word of endearment, for our Ones steal our love as well, steal it and give it back tenfold.

So do our closest friends.

There is no word for 'burglar' in our language. It is the same as 'thief' – and how bitter-sweet it was, to call him like this, my little, light-footed friend who stole from me, in the end…

It hurts even now. Deep inside. It hurts, for I was left in the dark, and trusted him all the same. I know madness claimed me, and I know I failed. But I do not understand why he believed in me, in the first place – why he made me think he believed, why he did not leave at once when he stopped trusting me…?

But it does not matter now. It is another wound that will not heal, and I cannot blame him. I cannot, and I will not – no one shall bear the blame but myself, for I failed them all, and will have to answer for it in this life and the next.

"Taghbalut", she repeated, the first tharabâl of my life, her voice deep and her eyes so dark...

"You make it sound… different. More like there. But I am Tala here. I changed.

- Where is there? Where do you come from?"

I have never been good, with asking questions. They always sounded like accusations, because I do not like to ask. It always feels like prying. And what are answers, but carefully woven lies, or half-truths, if they are given grudgingly…?

Tala looked up, and I wondered if she would answer. Her gaze seemed far away, lost in places I did not know, but after a while, she spoke, her voice very low.

"Where I come from, water is scarce. The mountains are made of sand, and they burn your soles if you walk barefoot. The sun is dazzling, and the heat is so strong that you learn to treasure your own sweat. It is warm there, so warm… But in the evening it gets cold. So we mount the tents, and huddle together, and we drink, and eat what the desert gives us. We do not take more that the sand and rocks and hidden springs can give. We roam the desert from one end to the other, and our heavens are hidden waters, and palm-trees.

- Harad...", I whispered, in awe, and she smiled, very sadly.

"Yes, azerwal. Harad… I did not know water could make you die. But it can. It can – if there is no heat, no warmth. If the sun is always hidden. If the home you loved is robbed, and plundered by Men who seek only riches. If they kill your friends for they tusks. If they take those you love, and those who are helpless, and…"

But there she stilled. There were tears in her eyes, and her face had grown dark, and fierce. She pressed her lips together, and breathed deeply. And there was anger in her eyes, anger and a fierce resolution, and I knew from the closed-off lines around her mouth that she would tell me nothing more.

"But you are a blacksmith. You do not care for deeds, and what is done with the weapons you shape. And I asked you for a knife, not for pity or compassion."

It felt like a slap in the face, and it stung. I turned from her, and finished my work on the cross-guard, without a word, until it was shaped, so that I could lay it down to cool. Not once did I turn towards her, and yet my heart throbbed, for I knew some of the losses she spoke of, some of the pain and the longing, and could not tell her.

"What in Mahal's name are you doing here?"

The bell had chimed again, and Dwalin had marched in, loaded with two heavy sacks, hair and beard dripping. He was glaring at Tala, beneath his thick eyebrows, and laid down the sacks with loud thumps, showing his displeasure.

"There you are, amestan", she voiced, seated cross-legged on the bench and not moving for an inch. "He was getting unsettled, your sweet friend here. I tend to do that to people."

I did not react, I did not even turn. I just ran my fingers against the cross-guard – thinking it still needed to be polished.

"Get. Yourself. Out of here."

Dwalin's voice was low – and dangerous. He did not care for the rain dripping from his cloak, pooling around his boots – he was seething, I could tell that, but Tala only laughed.

"He made me sit here. Yell at him, not at me, amestan."

Dwalin's jaw clenched, and his gaze met mine, travelling from my face to Tala's, and then he sighed, his hand moving angrily against his thigh.

- She's fibbing. She's a liar. I don't like her.

- She asked for a knife.

- So what?!

I clenched my fists, and then I turned towards Tala.

"I'm going to make you this knife. But not today. You take back your eggs. It will be ready in two days. And now go… Please."

She stood up, then, angrily slipping her tiny feet in her boots.

"Why?", she hissed. "Why do you give them back to me?! I told you, I have no coins. That is my way to pay you! I have nothing else, but I don't want charity, I don't want your pity, I spit on it!"

There were tears in her eyes, and she yanked her cloak from the beam, wrapping it around her with jerked moves.

"You think you know me? You think you are so noble, don't you? But you know nothing! I owe you nothing! You're just the same as them, you're just the same!"

And with these words, she stormed out, pushing Dwalin hard in the chest, running out in the rain. And suddenly my blood turned ablaze, throbbing through my chest, making me see white for a second. I did not even realize I was running after her, the only thing I was aware of was the rain, pouring on my bare arms, washing over my face, and the damp softness of her woollen cloak, because I had grabbed her by the shoulders, forcing her to turn towards me.

"You… you are the one knowing nothing! You know nothing about me! You think you can come, and tell me… tell me those things, and yell at me, and then turn away, just like that? You think I'd be able to eat my fill with those eggs, knowing you have nothing left? You think I can make you a knife, and take your last possessions from you, and still be content? You think I don't know what it feels like?"

I was panting, my tunic plastered against my chest – I felt cold, I felt bare and yet I was shaking with anger, holding her firmly, unafraid to meet her gaze.

"I'm not the same. I'll never be the same. Don't you dare say such words to me."

She was small. She was tiny. There was still a spark of anger in her gaze, but there was fear as well, fear that slowly melted into something else as she took my face in.

"You're frightening, when you get angry...", she whispered, and then her hands moved, very slowly, towards my chest where they rested for a few seconds, before they brushed my collarbones, fingertips meeting against my neck.

Her eyes were so dark, and her face was perfect…

"You're not afraid of me.", I let out, coldly, but my blood was ablaze and turned to melted fire when she smiled, unabashedly.

"True, azerwal.

- Stop lying to me.

- I'll try."

And then she kissed me.

Her lips met mine and it was soft, and foreign, and strange. I did not kiss her back, not at once, I just stood still, feeling her against me, getting used to that breath-taking sensation… I had never done this before, and it frightened me, but it was also wonderful, and wild, and it stilled something in me – a deep fear I had, that fear of never knowing what it was, of standing there watching while others lived…

But then I circled her waist, hesitantly, and lifted my lips for a second… and I placed them back against hers, kissing her softly, very carefully, not even thinking of exploring her mouth – this was already enough, and I was overwhelmed, my heart racing madly in my chest, my body pressed against hers.

"You are so warm...", she whispered. "I know you would be."

I just kissed her again. I never thought of all the odds between us, of the fact that I was a Dwarven prince and she a daughter of Harad, for what were we both but beggars, who had lost their kingdoms and were trying to build another… And when she broke the kiss and leant against me, I just held her close.

"I will come back and get the knife. I promise.

- What of food…?

- I have enough. I told you. They are for you. I'll never take the knife if you give them back.

- Do you have shelter…?

- Do not worry for me. I will come back.

- I..."

She was pulling away from me, very slowly, and it was almost painful, but she brushed my face, gently, ghosting her fingertips above my brow.

"Do not say it. Do not say it, azerwal. Go back to him, he worries. He's glaring, that amestan of yours, and I like him for this. He's watching over you, and it warms my heart. Now go back inside."

And gone she was, disappearing between the raindrops that fell like arrows.

I raised my face towards the sky, and let the rain pour over my face, dripping on my brow, on my hair, and on my lips – and I do not know how long I stood like this, for I hardly knew myself in that wonderful, blissful moment…

I entered the forge in a daze, leaning against the door – and found Dwalin emptying the sacks of coal with fierce, angry moves, back turned towards me. His hair was still dripping, and I dimly wondered why, but she was in each and every one of my thoughts, my black-eyed Taghbalut, my savage Tala from Harad…

"Was it good? Did you enjoy it?"

Dwalin's voice was sharp, low – it snapped me out of my thoughts, slicing them like a knife, and I gazed up at him, still leaning against the door.

"What…?", I breathed out, my voice hoarse, and Dwalin turned towards me.

His eyes were dark, and hard – his face stony, and closed-off. He clenched his jaw, taking a few breaths, and ended up wiping his wet hair from his face.

"I saw you, Thorin. Don't pretend, it does not suit you. This is madness, and you know it."

It was like plunging into an icy bath, it felt like falling. I almost gasped, and something cold spread in my chest, breaking my bliss into small, grey pieces. But I never lowered my gaze. I just clenched my fists, feeling the hard wood of the door against my shoulder-blades.

"You have no right...", I whispered, and Dwalin's eyes flashed.

"Oh aye? I have no right? I have every right in the world, when she has you wrapped around her finger, believing every fib she spins, running after her like a…

- It is not like that.

- No? And what was that, just before? Did I dream it, or did she throw herself at your neck, kissing your sense out of your brain?! For a knife, Thorin, for a blasted knife! She's using you, can't you see? And she's unbalanced, anyone can see that!

- I'm not mindless", I whispered. "I don't believe her. But I still…

- You still what, Thorin? Mahal, you invited her in! You made her sit there like… I don't know, like she was some friend or relative of yours, but she's not! She's manipulating you, can't you see?

- I don't need you to tell me that, Dwalin!"

I was shaking now – with anger, with hurt, with the aftermath of everything that had just passed. I could feel my eyes begin to sting – how was it possible to feel such bliss, only to feel so shattered moments afterwards…?

"I know she's lying! I know she cannot be trusted! I'm not stupid!

- Well, you're good at faking it then!"

It had come out brash, in an angry growl, and I felt something snap.

"You're just jealous", I breathed out – but Dwalin only snorted, and the look he cast on me was nothing like I had ever seen.

"Jealous of what? Of a kiss? Don't you think I can get as much as I want, and whenever I want? Do you think I waited to be almost of age to know what it feels like?"

I felt the blood drain from my face then – it was a low blow, entirely unexpected. It left me reeling, unable to answer, almost unable to think… and it made Dwalin curse, instantly, his face falling back to the one I knew and loved, blushing furiously.

"Mahal, sparrow, I'm sorry. I never meant that. I'm a jerk, I'm a fucking jerk, I'm sorry."

I could not look at him. I could only swallow, staring at the ground.

"Fuck. Thorin. I'm… I'm sorry.

- You had no right", I whispered, in the end. "You still have no right. Not today, nor any day. I never questioned any of your actions. I won't have you question mine, not in that way. Never."

I forced myself to lift my face, to drill my gaze into his – hard and cold and collected, just like my grandfather's. I waited for him to lower his eyes, giving me a curt nod, his face still crimson, and then I turned, crossing the forge, taking the blade I had made out of the water, determined to shape it till nightfall, if it helped to block out Dwalin working next to me.

But I was feeling cold, and shivers kept creeping up my spine. My shirt was thoroughly drenched, and clung to my back, and I couldn't concentrate. I was struggling with the grinding – struggling when my tools usually were almost part of my hands…


Dwalin's voice was almost shy, and I stiffened as he approached, ready to shake him off. But he did not touch me. He just stood still, a few steps away from me.

"Come. Get that stupid shirt off. You'll catch death. And leave that darn blade as well. It can wait."

I didn't answer. I just went on with the grinding, feeling my throat tighten.


- I don't want to...", I began, but then my voice broke, and I put down my work, balling my fists. "I don't want to talk. About her. About… anything. I don't want to talk.

- Alright", Dwalin said, very softly, and there was sadness in his brown eyes. "But… I hate this. What just happened. I don't want this.

- Is that really what you think of me?"

I had turned towards him, and the words had broken out despite myself, in a tidal wave of hurt.

"That I'm stupid, and inexperienced – that I'm so needy and green that a kiss is enough to make me forget who I am?! That I should have kissed a girl long before, and shagged a few already years ago?! Because… if you do, Dwalin… if you do, then..."

I could not go on. My voice choked, and there were tears in my eyes – tears of anger, and of pain. And Dwalin instantly bridged the distance between us, shaking his head and clasping my forearms strongly, his gaze firmly planted in mine.

"Never, Thorin. Of course not. I was just…

- You broke everything", I let out, almost like a sob. "Everything.

- I know", he whispered, and then he bent his head, so that our foreheads could touch – pressing his brow against mine. "And I wish I could take it back. Believe me. It wasn't my place. I still hate her for what just happened, and I'll strangle her if she hurts you, but it wasn't my place."

I stood still for a while, closing my eyes, feeling Dwalin's forehead against mine – solid, and warm, and steady, just like he was. It was the first time – the first time it felt foreign, the first time there was something awkward between us. And we both hated it, and dreaded it, despite the hurt lingering in my chest, and Dwalin's mute disapproval and worry.

"We won't agree on this, sparrow", he whispered, in the end. "I won't lie to you."

Dwalin, my mamarrakhûn, my amestan… There was not an inch of falsehood and deceit in him. There never was. And this was one of the reasons I loved him so much – and this I knew, deep inside, despite the confusing and overwhelming storm Tala had released in my heart and Soul.

"I will still make that knife for her.

- Alright."

He had sighed his answer – and then, because he was just as stubborn as me, he added:

"I will still distrust her.

- All right."

We broke apart then, and it was still awkward, that feeling between us, that space she had taken, despite myself, despite Dwalin. But then he cracked a small smile, and nudged me in the chest.

"Get out of that damp shirt, lady-killer. You're shivering."

I huffed, but peeled myself out of my wet tunic, crouching close to the fire, allowing the heat to meet my bare shoulders. And then I sat on the bench – it was still full of Tala's presence, of the way she had looked at me, and said my name aloud… Of the words she had spoken, longing for Harad just like I still longed for the Lonely Mountain…

Dwalin had spread his cloak over the beam, along with his jerkin. I watched him move along in the forge, wrapped in my own dry cloak, feeling exhaustion creep up – Tala's visit, and the kiss, Dwalin's words and our fight… was this love? Was this part of becoming a man, making my own choices, even if it caused me to argue with Dwalin – was there no way around that…?

And where was she, dark-eyed and fierce Tala – was she safe, was she warm, had she found shelter and food that night…?

But the drops fell against the roof, against the windows, and I wrapped my cloak tighter around me, repressing a shiver – there was no answer. There was only rain, swelling the river, drenching the streets, and washing away the memory of her kiss.

Translation and notes:

I was always fascinated by the Haradrim, ever since I watched Lord of the Rings. I found them intriguing, mysterious and beautiful, and that is why I made Taghbalut one of them. Since she is Human, and that very little is known of Harad and their language and customs, I chose to inspire me from a real culture, and gave her a Berber (Amazigh) name. It is a private little nod to Itô, a character I loved, who also has a Berber name, even though I didn't respect the spelling.

- Barakâl: Khuzdûl for 'cleaver', a translation of the name 'Orcrist', Goblin-cleaver

- Azerwal: Amazigh (Berber) name meaning 'the one with blue eyes'

- Amestan: Amazigh name meaning 'protector'

- Taghbalut: pronounced 'Tarbaloot', Amazigh name meaning 'spring' (water)

- Tala: Amazigh name meaning 'fountain'.