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24 Foreyule
T.A. 3018: The Company of the Ring stays in Rivendell preparing for the journey ahead.
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The Fellowship of the Ring
Book I
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Book II
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Book II - Chapter 5
The Bridge of Khazad-dm

Searching around the room in which Balin's tomb was found yields the discovery of a book. The tattered remains are fragile and almost illegible but Gandalf deciphers enough to learn the room they are in is the Chamber of Mazarbul. The book also tells of the death of Balin, the Watcher in the Water who took in and the end of the attempt to retake Moria.

The Company soon is assailed in the Chamber of Mazarbul by a company of Orcs and a great Cave-troll that arrived from the Hall where the Company had just spent the night. The defenders fight off the attack, but cannot prevent one great orc-chieftain from impaling Frodo with his spear. Thinking Frodo dead, Aragorn scoops him up and with the rest of the Company flees down the stairs outside the eastern door. Frodo gasps for Aragorn, who nearly drops him in his amazement, to put him down.

After an hour of travelling in complete darkness, Gandalf tells of his struggle at the door to prevent the orc company from following him and his companions. Gandalf admits that he had nearly met his match, for whatever it was he met was very powerful and very evil. In an attempt to put a lock-spell on the door, the counter-spell by the evil creature and ensuing word of Command by Gandalf burst the door and the ceiling of the Chamber, burying all inside and throwing Gandalf back and down the stairs toward his waiting companions.

The Company finds their way in the dark down many stairs and finally through a low archway into another great hall, far longer and higher than the one in which they had slept. Right across the floor a great fissure had opened and flames poured out of it, causing the whole chamber to glow red. They hurry toward the narrow bridge ahead, beyond which lies the exit. Pursuit is not far behind, though the Company is for now on the opposite side of the great gap of fire. Two massive trolls appear and lay down slabs of stone to serve as gangways for the orcs. But the greatest enemy in this place needs no gangway and his own ranks fall back in fear in his presence. A Balrog has come, and Gandalf is thrust face to face with the adversary that nearly broke him in the Chamber before.

Gandalf and the Balrog meet upon the narrow bridge spanning a great chasm. Their swords meet and Glamdring prevails, sending the Balrog's sword flying away in molten fragments. Gandalf smites the bridge with his staff, cracking the bridge before the feet of the Balrog. The bridge breaks and the Balrog falls forward with a cry, but as he falls, he throws up the throngs of his whip which curl around Gandalf's legs and drag him down as well. "Fly, you fools!" Gandalf yells, as his last words.

Aragorn then takes the lead and hurries the rest of his companions out the eastern gates and into the Dimrill Dale. They do not halt until they are out of bowshot of the doors, then grief overtakes them and they weep for the death of their leader and friend.


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