I'm in a frolicky mood, and here is what happened. There are three more chapters written (I wrote 6.5K words in one evening, can you imagine? :D), and they will be posted in time, letting you generously leave reviews, my lovelies ;)

No previous knowledge of my OC is needed for this one, and it's all giggles and guffaws here :D

Yours truly,


Wren opened her eyes. The room around her was unfamiliar - dark and warm. There was a heavy canopy over the bed she lay in. The velvet was of pleasant fern green colour, and the sheet under her were smooth and clean. Wren had never touched such luxurious fabric. The next thing that came to her attention was the faint smell of her favourite lilacs that seemed to emanate from her clothes and the sheets, and that, of course, made her question and consequently inspect her garment. There was an opulent night dress on her, of Gondor lace. The colour was of faint lilac, elegant and refined, and Wren lifted her arm expecting to see and admire a sleeve. There was none. The dress was of most indecent cut, while the details were tasteful. Only narrow straps of lace lay on her shoulders, and the collar was low. Wren sat up, pulled the collar, and looked down.

"She is awake, my lord!" Sudden loud voice made her whip her head to her right. A Dwarf stood in front of her, the face beaming with a joyous - and somewhat relieved - smile. An instant later Wren realised that the Dwarf was female. Wren had not encountered enough of the Stumped Ones to see that it was the woman right away, but now she noticed the bosom, the dress, and the unmistakable softness of facial features.

The door in the other side of the room flew open, and another Dwarf rushed in. He was male, and a head taller than the woman. Unlike the woman, he wore his hair unbraided, and for some inconceivable reason it was the silky, wavy mane of his locks that struck Wren as most surprising.

He hastily approached the bed, and Wren squeaked and pulled the soft sheets and blankets up to cover herself. He did not seem to notice.

His eyes were of the brightest blue, and he sat on the bed and leaned in to Wren, his gaze piercing and tense. She winced away from him, and then he cupped her face. Wren's body jolted. His palm was hot, as if scorching her skin, and she felt her cheeks flame up. No man had ever touched her so openly. He searched her eyes and asked something, in a deep throaty voice, in a language she did not know.

She blinked and finally found her voice.

"Pardon me, my lord, I do not understand..." Her voice was disobedient and broke mid-sentence, but nonetheless she was, clearly, heard. The Dwarves eyes widened, and the Dwarven woman in the room gasped loudly. Wren looked between the two people in the room trying to understand what was so astonishing to them.

"You..." the Dwarf spoke raspily, "You do not understand me?" His face was still uncomfortably close to Wren's, and she tried to discreetly move away from him on the bed. She was feeling fear rising. "Wren, have you forgotten the language?" Wren was intending to tell him that she had never known this tongue, when he frowned. His hand was still cupping her jaw, and Wren was painfully aware of this contact. And then he brushed his thumb to the corner of her lips. "Perhaps, it is the blow..." he spoke, seemingly addressing himself.

He then turned to the other woman in the room.

"Why are you still here, Til? Go fetch the healer." His voice was firm and authoritative, so different from when he was addressing Wren, and the woman curtsied and rushed out of the room, mumbling apologies.

"Are you in pain, my heart?" He once again turned to Wren, addressing her in a velvet tender voice and finally lowering his hand, and thus letting her take a breath in. Before, she was frozen, a flurry of emotions swirling in her mind.

"My head hurts." Wren decided that answering honestly to this seemingly innocent question might be prudent. She knew little about Dwarves, but the man exuded willpower and, frankly speaking, a fair amount of temper. Until Wren knew what he wanted from her, she decided to proceed with caution.

"It is to be expected. The healers said you would. And they also predicted possible laps in your memory. Do you remember how you fell?" he asked, his gaze still alarmingly focused on Wren.

"No, I am sorry… I… I do not." She felt irritated by her own mumbling.

"What is the last thing you remember?" the Dwarf asked. Wren searched her memory obediently, while trying to ignore the feeling of warmth coming from his body. Sadly, it showed itself impossible. She was still acutely aware that his thigh was pressed to hers, with only their clothes and the blankets separating them.

"I remember… Oh, I do remember falling!" she exclaimed, and he exhaled in obvious relief. "I was walking across the bridge, and there was that cart. There were pigs inside, in those small cages, and the driver yelled at me, I turned, and I fell… There was the support of the roof..."

"No, Wren! What are you saying?!" the Dwarf interrupted sharply. "What bridge? What… pigs?! You were in the Lower Passages, in the renovations area, and a box of tools slid off the scaffolding. They fell on you, and you lost consciousness!"

Wren opened her mouth and stayed that way, gawking at the Dwarf.

"One of the hammers struck your head," the Dwarf continued explaining, his voice tense, his face once again so close to hers that she was expecting their noses to touch at any moment. "Another hit your shoulder. Do you feel pain in the shoulder?"

Wren squinted her eyes to her left.

"The other shoulder," the Dwarf was now as much as growling. Wren looked, and indeed, ugly purple bruises was covering her whole shoulder and upper arm, glaringly obvious on her pale, freckled skin.

When she was fortunate to have an intimate meeting with the roof support on the bridge in Dale, it was her forehead that took all the damage onto itself. The shoulder had not been affected. Wren was starting to feel nauseous.

"Wren, do you know who I am?"

Wren felt almost relieved that he had started to suspect something on his own, without her being the first to enlighten him. Something told her he would not be be content with her answer.

She felt torn between breaking the news to him directly - she always felt it was the best way to deliver bad messages - and maybe apologising, since he was growing visibly more distraught with each passing moment.

Eventually she opted out and went for a simple shake of her throbbing head.

The result was of the sort she expected, but of proportion she was not prepared for. The Dwarf winced away from her, blood rushing from his cheeks, pupils dilating. His lips parted slightly, and his chest under dark blue doubled heaved. Wren wondered what it was that she managed to have forgotten that affected him so.

"Do you… do you remember... anything?" he choked out.

Despite the splitting headache, and the upsetting and utterly confusing situation she found herself in, Wren felt her usual sarcasm rise.

"I remember quite a lot, my lord." The Dwarf was clearly a person of stature, so Wren decided the moniker was fitting. "I would not be able to say what I have forgotten, but up until the last moment that I remember, I remember everything quite well. I have actually been quite proud of my memory, pardon my lack of modesty. It has always been quite easy for me to remember the medicinal properties of herbs, although other healers seemed to have trouble with it, and had to utilise their books. And honestly, my first memories are very early, as early as three Summers of age. It is just after that carriage veered, and then the pigs started squealing..."

"Enough with the pigs!" the Dwarf suddenly roared, making Wren cringe, as his outburst added a fair amount of pain into her already distressed skull. She quickly wondered whether Dwarves had a particular dislike of pigs or perhaps pork, but the Dwarf looked so distressed that she, firstly, immediately forgave him his inconsideration and, secondly, assumed the pigs were not the cause of his grief.

"Do you know where you are, Wren?" his voice was now trembling, and she could be wrong, but it seemed to Wren he was close to tears. It was especially alarming since he was not only male and of the race famous for their insensitivity and bruteness, but also he personally seemed of strong character.

"No, I do not," Wren answered softly. "Where am I?"

The Dwarf lifted his hand, covering his mouth with a tightly fisted hand.

"And who am I?" he asked, ignoring her question. Wren decided such impoliteness could be excused considering the circumstances.

"I do not know either, my lord," she answered, in a small voice, and then added, "I am sorry."

He was immobile now, watching her face, with glassy eyes, and Wren squirmed on the bed. Among other things, she was starting to require a visit to a bath chamber, and she was not sure how to ask. To think of it, she was not sure of anything. They sat in silence for a few minutes, after which, thankfully, a door opened and another three Dwarves came in.

One of them was the same woman, whom the Dwarf - presently pale and frozen on the same bed as Wren - had called Til. The other two were male, both older, white haired and white bearded. One of them looked strict, and had a bag in his hands. Something told Wren he was a healer. Another one came empty-handed. He had a rather amusing forked beard and kind dark eyes. Both of them bowed to Wren respectfully, and the one with the funny beard asked something in the same unfamiliar language.

"Do not bother, Balin," the Dwarf on Wren's bed muttered in a bleak voice. "She does not remember Khuzdul. She does not remember anything..." He slid off the bed and came up to the two male Dwarves.

Wren saw him lean to them and whisper, and alarm spilled into their features. The tall, dark haired Dwarf spoke; more and more worried glances were thrown to her; while Wren's full bladder was making itself known more and more.

She could not help it anymore, and she threw a desperate look over the room. Fortunately, she managed to catch the eyes of the one called Til, and the woman rushed to her. She was quite young, Wren concluded, after a closer look, but Wren certainly had no time to ponder the anatomy of Dwarves.

"Um… Til, is it?" she started, and the girl suddenly sobbed. Wren had a few seconds to spare before the situation grew completely hopeless. She decided to gift the girl with these precious moments, and soothingly patted the girl's upper arm. "There, there… It will be alright." She sounded rather unconvincing to her own ears, but it seemed to have positive effect on the girl's disposition. The one called Til sniffled and tried to smile through tears pooling in her eyes. "Til, I do not wish to distress you any more, but I am in quite a predicament. And I do not how to ask in any other way but just directly… Where are the nearest bath chambers?"

Two events followed as responses to Wren's careful inquirement: the girl suddenly wailed, large tears running down her cheeks, and then she pointed at a tall oaken door in the further wall. Wren had no time to decipher these mysterious happenstances; just as she - though with a sizeable mental effort - chose to ignore her state of undress. She jumped off the bed and rushed to the door the girl had directed her to. The last thing she saw was the dark expression of the dark haired Dwarf - and the jaw of the white haired one named Balin slowly descending to the floor.

To be continued...


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{my first novel

inspired by the story initially written here}

Available on Amazon in Kindle and Paper!


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