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Local Shirriff Case File Number 25: A Yule Tide Chime

posted Dec 20, 2012, 2:05 AM by Peppy Bristlebrush
By Mellam Hollytoes 

Now this is more of a personal story than a report, of a strange meeting on the road with a very mysterious Dwarf. This happened only the other day when I was on my way back from visiting the mountain town of Frost Bluff. It was early evening and the sun was just setting when I came on a Dwarf of some stature standing in the middle of the road. With a lantern in one hand and a large pipe in the other, he bid me good evening and asked if I could help him. I noted a hammer tucked into his broad belt along with a large white beard. His jacket was a dark red and his trousers and boots jet black, with a battered old hat on his head sporting a long red feather. 

I asked what help I could offer as I climbed of my pony, and he pointed to a large wagon by the side of the road. Its nearside front wheel was stuck in a hole and he had no idea how to get it out. I introduced myself to him, and he told me he was called Zirakinbar and wondered if I had an idea to help. Well I looked at the wagon and the five ponies pulling it remarking on the odd rig to him. He told me his sixth pony had gone lame so he had to use five instead.

I pondered the problem for a moment then suggested we hitch my pony up to make six again. He said that was a good idea as it would rebalance the rig, and maybe the extra pony would get the wagon out.

So this is what we did and with a bit of effort the wagon pulled free back onto the road. He thanked me with a slap on the back and wondered if I could help guide him to Thorins Hall in the Blue Mountains. For some odd reason I agreed and climbed up beside him on the wagon for the long trip to the Blue mountains.

Well he was a jolly Dwarf for sure bursting into song every now and then, which seemed to make the trip go faster. I asked what was in the wagon and he told me it goods for customers. What was he taking to Thorins Hall I asked, and he pointed to a blanket just behind him in the wagon. At his insistence I lifted the blanket and saw three bells all inscribed with runes and intricate carvings. One was made of silver, one looked like gold, but the third! Oh the third must be mithril I remarked out loud. He gave a laugh and said I had a good eye, and it was indeed mithril,gold , and silver.

I asked why do the Dwarves need these bells and he remarked because they needed to be reminded they had not been forgotten. This was a strange reply and no more from him could I pry, no matter how much I asked. Then Zirakinbar began to sing in a deep voice in the Dwarfish tongue, that and the rocking of the wagon sent me into a deep slumber.

A nudge suddenly woke me and a voice told me we was here, and I opened my eyes to behold the gates of Thorins Hall. Zirakinbar called me a sleepy head and told me to fetch someone to help unload the bells. So wiping the sleep from my eyes I went up and banged on the door. A curious guard opened it and bid me good morning, looking a little surprised to find a hobbit in front of him. I noticed that the sun was rising and also that the wagon and Zirakinbar were gone. My pony stood with its nose in a food bag and a blanket covered three large shapes beside him.

The guard wanted to know what I wanted and I mentioned Zirakinbar and the bells. The guard gave me an odd look which turned into shock when I lifted the blanket revealing the bells. Well this caused quite a commotion and many questions by very important looking Dwarfs. I was getting fed up by all this when I was taken to meet Dwalin Lord of Thorins Hall.

He seemed a nice Dwarf with good manners and common sense as well. He told me the bells were of importance to his people, but not the reason why. He also asked me that I was sure the Dwarf I travelled with was called Zirakinbar . I told him it was, and a whisper started from his advisor’s with the name Durin being mentioned more than once. Lord Dwalin told them to be quite and then thanked me for my efforts. He arranged for some Dwarfs to escort me to the borders of the shire, and gave a small bag of gold for my trouble. He said I was always welcome in his hall and told me if I wanted to learn about metal working his smiths would teach me.

So I made my way back to the shire with my Dwarf guard, astonished to discover my journey with Zirakinbar had taken only one night. Well I finally made it to my front door after biding my Dwarf guard farewell at Little Delving. I noticed a little parcel waiting on the front mat,wrapped in a piece of blanket. Sitting by the fire after a good breakfast I opened the package and discovered a tiny little silver bell inside. Inscribed around the rim was a Dwarf word which read Armukhakkar . Well I sat there for a long while with the bell in my lap, but in the end I could not make no sense of it all. So I now have a new door bell and a nice bag of gold to remind of ride through the night which I still can't believe happened.

Report ends: Local Shirriff Mellam Hollytoes investigating officer.

Signed Mellam