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Gold in the river

posted Mar 3, 2012, 3:20 AM by Yllisa Greenflower
Written by Mebenca

Rokli had two passions in his life : mining, and climbing on high mountains.
When most dwarves naturally, instinctively, will dig down to find ore, Rokli had the obsession to find ore at the top of the mountains. And the other dwarves were laughing at him, for he had never found any important vein of ore in all those years and years climbing on the peaks.

But the mountains... ah the mountains.... He loved them so much !
He was feeling so good, so happy, up there, tasting the fresh and pure air, the silence, the panorama of clouds pierced of peaks under him, the valley where people and animals were looking like ants...
And his theory was not silly : mountains are born from the earth, so when they grow, what was once down is now higher, and as higher you go, as less you'll need to dig, the ore will have more chance to be apparent.
But yes, it's true, he had never found any significant quantity of metal up there...

Until one day...
One morning more precisely...
The day before, Rokli had tempted to reach the summit of one of the most wild and remote mountains of Ered Luin, but the night caught him before he can reach the top, for in front of him was an absolutely insurmountable cliff, which even the most skilled climber could never vanquish. Rokli had spent the night at its foot, gathering his strenght for this last challenge, when the sun would hopefully show him a solution. Rokli had strange dreams this night, like haunted by the mocking spirit of the mountain : He was flying among the clouds, and the rain was golden... Golden like this glint above him, halfway to the top of the cliff... Eh wait... he was not dreaming anymore now !
The first ray of sun was indeed reflecting on something golden on the cliff !
Fully awake now, Rokli was watching the shimmery reflection above him : No possible doubt : it's gold ! And it looks huge ! most certainly the biggest chunk of gold he has ever seen in all his life !
But how to get it ?
Climb there ? Impossible, this cliff was smooth like glass... Get to the top by another way and then go down with a rope ? Impossible too : the top of the cliff was crowned with an overhang... Rokli was contemplating the huge chunk of gold above him, hanging at the cliff like a jewel the mountain would have worn. "This bloody taunting gold will soon be mine", was grumbling Rokli, and i know how now !
Rokli spent most of the morning skirting around the cliff to finally find another to the top of the mountain. When he arrived there, he realized that it was indeed impossible to climb down to the gold, due to the overhang, but his idea was different...
His idea was a violent one, born in frustration and wounded pride. For the first time in his life, Rokli was angry at the Mountains, he was seeing them as an ennemy from which he will take his well deserved treasure ! Rokli will be stronger than the mountain !
And so he took his pickaxe and started to hit the overhang with all his rage ! His plan was simple : break the overhang and make it fall on the sticking out giant golden nugget !
crrr...
crrr.crrrrrrrrrr......
crrrrCRRRRRRRRRR......
CRRRRRRRRCRRRRRAAAAAAAACK !
The overhang broke in a terrible sound, like if the mountain was crying her pain ! But it did not break straight, it also pulled out the part of rock where Rokli was standing !
Rokli fell with the huge rock along the cliff, until it reaches the golden nugget and pulls it out of the cliff ! Rockli, in an irresistible instinct of greed, seized the golden chunk (which was bigger than him !) in their fall until rock, gold and dwarf crush in the snow at the foot of the cliff, causing a terrific vibration around them...
There has been a second of surrealistic calm, like a fragile suspended silence...
And after that... the snow started to slide... first slowly, softly, quietly, but then it progressively took scale, until everything around Rokli, riding his treasure, became an unstoppable torrent of snow and rocks, growing, and growing...
The torrent became a huge avalanche, running down the mountain at furious speed, crushing everything on the way...
Rokli was terrified, and he had no idea where all this would lead him, for he was still above the level of the clouds... and when he entered them, he was not anymore able to make the different between snow and clouds, everything was a white rushing and roaring chaos... his only mark was his golden nugget which he was desesperatly hugging...
And then suddenly the clouds were behind, and he saw with horror his destination : the avalanche, which now had taken an uncredible dimension, was rolling straight to the valley of the river Lhun !
The last seconds before the crash were like a dream for Rokli : he was flying in a mix of snow and air, accompagnied with broken trees and rocks, a pure chaos rushing at an unthinkable speed toward the bottom of the valley...
Rokli closed his eyes when the avalanche finally reached the river... his ears where not able anymore to cope with such a powerful sound, like a long long long explosion, which he was now hearing with his whole body !
Was he dead ? Will he finish drowned ?
But... but no ... he was still falling... what.. what was happening ?
He opened his eyes, and the reality was even more terrifying than death : The avanlanche, fallen in the river, had raised it out of its bed in an enormous wall of water
which was now rushing through the valley of the Lhun ! And Rokli was still riding his golden nugget, but this time, not anymore carried by an avalanche, but by a unbelievably powerful wave ! He was flying at least 50 feets above the normal level of the river, and progressing at a fantastic speed toward the sea, devastating everything on the way... boats, trees, flooding the harbor of Kheledul and know leading to the bridge of Duillond !
Would the bridge resist such a gigantic flow ?
Rokli was watching in a mix of awe and horror the central pillar of the high bridge right in front of him... no doubt, the nugget was flying straight toward it and will crash into it in a few seconds !
In a last fight between his greed and his survival instinct, he let go the golden missile and fell aside, carried away by the wave, while he heard a terrible BAAAANG !
The nugget had met the bridge and exploded in thousands of little particles, falling like a golden rain downstream from the bridge...

This story is supposed to have happened hundreds of years ago...
As you can see, the bridge is still standing proudly, it resisted to the catastroph, and even the giant golden nugget couldn't break it !
But the damages in the valley have been terrible, as this poor temple is showing us...
As for Rokli... no one ever heard of him... did he perrish ? did he survive but exiled himself far away from Ered Luin, haunted by guilt and regrets ?
The story doesn't tell...
But some people still believe that downstream from the bridge, the bed of the river is still covered with thousand of little pieces of gold...
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