A Fairer World

Disclaimers: Everything belongs to J.R.R Tolkien and his estate. I own nothing, intend no infringement of copyright, and am making no money by this.

Rating: PG.

Summary: An aged dwarf meets someone walking out of the legends of his people. Inspired by a passage in The Fellowship of the Ring which reads:

"The world was fair, the mountains tall,

In Elder Days before the fall

Of mighty kings in Nagothrond

And Gondolin, who now beyond

The Western Seas have passed away…"

Feedback is very welcome.

Thanks to Lalaith for betaing this.

Fairer she is, my lady, but he is higher, and yet more near.

Damn it by the beards of the Seven Fathers! I have dust in my old eyes. All these Elves gallivanting about…

Aye, I am old, and sit in the sunshine, and there are terrible-eyed children to bring me ale, and smile at my mortal years and my beard, and then laugh, and sing, and pass away into the dusk. Even as I shall, for I shall be dead ere they are grown.

But he, he comes to sit by me, as if I were no gnarled mortal, but a comrade from the ancient wars. A friend. As if he did not notice that I stick out like a balrog's boil… A fine dust of powdered stone covers him. He smears it from his face with cheerful abandon. His hands, as Elven-fine as his sister's, hold hammer and chisel as lightly as mine do, or ever did. He talks, of ores and lodes, and the thick seams of gold running through the mountains, so close to the surface that it lies in the streams as common pebbles. If I close my eyes, and lean back, feeling the sun on my face, I can almost forget that he is an Elf, and think him instead one of my own, some eager child from the mountain halls.

Felak-gundu we called him, the hewer of caves, and remembered his city above the Narog long years beyond its fall. A friend he was to us, and we remembered that, too, for all the churlish deeds of his kin. Tales we told, and songs we sang, in our deep halls beneath the roots of the mountains, while the world grew grey, and the shadows long.

A king, a lord, a prince, and a craftsman. We did not forget his kindness, but distant it seemed, behind the veil of the years, as the fires of our forges died, and Khazad-dûm fell into darkness.

And now he sits beside me, this craftsman-prince from song and story, more fair than all legend – although never so fair as the Lady of the Golden Wood, for none alive are thus.

He holds out a beaker to me, as if we were kin, he and I, and he had not walked out of the songs of my people long years ere I was born, and passed away unto these western lands, as a spirit bodiless and free from the dungeons of the Dark Lord.

Aiii… the folly of our days, and the glory, here, beneath the setting sun!