Today's Date in the Shire
Fun and Games
Walk to Rivendell
Malbeth the Seer
A Journey in the Dark
The Company stops for the night near the foot of the mountain. The 'dark and secret way' which was abandoned before is revealed as the Mines of Moria. The mention of this way fills all with dread save Gimli alone. Before a decision can be made, the voices of wolves are heard on the wind ceasing all debate with the arrival of this new and imminent danger. The wolves attack and the defenders slay many before Gandalf ends the onslaught spectacularly by turning the trees upon the hilltop into tall torches. All the remaining wolves flee.
The Walkers then make haste toward the Gate of Moria. At the head of the Stair Falls, they find the reason for the dry bed that used to be the Sirannon, the Gate-Stream of Moria. A stagnant lake fills the valley before them. The river had been dammed. The Company makes their way as best they can around the northern edge of the lake and finally stops before two large holly trees which mark the entrance to the Mines.
While Gandalf puzzles over the closed doors of Moria, the rest of the Company divides up the packs that had been carried faithfully by Bill the pony. Sam tearfully says goodbye to his four-legged friend. Gandalf speaks, "Mellon", and the doors open. At that moment, a tentacle of some submerged beast grabs Frodo by the ankle and begins to drag him toward the lake. Sam slashes at the arm and it releases Frodo. Gandalf rushes the rest of the Company in the gateway and up the stairs. Just as the last of them reach the steps, a host of coiling tentacles slithers across the shore, grabbing the doors and slamming them closed, shutting the Company inside.
Inside Moria, Gandalf takes the lead with Gimli. The Company travels in the dark with no other light besides that which glows from Gandalf's staff. Frodo, whose senses have been sharpened as an after-effect of the Black Rider's knife-stroke, begins to hear a faint patter as of feet following behind the Company. When they halt for the night in an old guardroom, Pippin finds himself attracted to the edge of the great open well in the middle of the floor. On impulse, he lets fall a small stone whose splash far below is magnified up the long shaft. After a scathing reprimand from Gandalf, a new sound is heard as of a hammer tapping far below.
After another long march the next day, the Company finds themselves in a large, cavernous hall. Here they halt and rest for the night. During Frodo's watch, he catches a glimpse of what seems to him two pale luminous eyes. The day brings light into the hall as well, as a shaft near the roof above an eastern archway allows the sun to send a beam to brighten the darkness.
Before choosing their next course, Gandalf suggests an inspection of their location. They first explore the corridor through the northern archway and discover a chamber through a doorway to the right. A beam of sunlight falls on a great slab of stone lying on a table in the middle of the room. On it are carved runes which read, "Balin son of Fundin, Lord of Moria."