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Chapter 10 Of the Sindar Now as has been told the power of Elw and Melian increased in Middle-earth, and

a ll the Elves of Beleriand, from the mariners of Crdan to the wandering hunters of the Blue Mountains beyond the River Gelion, owned Elw as their lord; Elu Thingol he was called, King Greymantle, in the tongue of his peo ple. They are called the Sindar, the Grey-elves of starlit Beleriand; and although they were Moriquendi, under the lo rdship of Thingol and the teaching of Melian they became the fairest and the most wise and skilful of all the Elves of Middle-earth. And at the end of the first age of the Chaining of Melkor, when all the Earth had peace and the glory of Val inor was at its noon, there came into the world Lthien, the only child of Thingol and Melian. Though Middle-earth lay f or the most part in the Sleep of Yavanna, in Beleriand under the power of Melian there was life and joy, and the bright stars shone as silver fires; and there in the forest of Neldoreth Lthien was born, and the white flowers of niphre dil came forth to greet her as stars from the earth. It came to pass during the second age of the captivity of Melkor that Dwarves ca me over the Blue Mountains of Ered Luin into Beleriand. Themselves they named Khazd, but the Sindar called them Naugrim, the Stunted People, and Gonnhirrim, Masters of Stone. Far to the east were the most ancient dwelling s of the Naugrim, but they had delved for themselves great halls and mansions, after the manner of their kind, in the eastern side of Ered Luin; and those cities were named in their own tongue Gabilgathol and Tumunzahar. To the north of the g reat height of Mount Dolmed was Gabilgathol, which the Elves interpreted in their tongue Belegost, that is Mickl eburg; and southward was delved Tumunzahar, by the Elves named Nogrod, the Hollowbold. Greatest of all the mansi ons of the Dwarves was Khazddm, the Dwarrowdelf, Hadhodrond in the Elvish tongue, that was afterwards in the days of its darkness called Moria; but it was far off in the Mountains of Mist beyond the wide leagues of Eriador, and to the Eldar came but as a name and a rumour from the words of the Dwarves of the Blue Mountains. From Nogrod and Belegost the Naugrim came forth into Beleriand; and the Elves we re filled with amazement, for they had believed themselves to be the only living things in Middle-earth th at spoke with words or wrought with hands, and that all others were but birds and beasts. But they could understand no word of the tongue of the Naugrim, which to their ears was cumbrous and unlovely; and few ever of the Eldar have ac hieved the mastery of it But the Dwarves were swift to learn, and indeed were more willing to learn the Elventong ue than to teach their own to those of alien race. Few of the Eldar went ever to Nogrod and Belegost, save El of Nan Elm oth and Maeglin his son; but the Dwarves trafficked into Beleriand, and they made a great road that passed under the shoulders of Mount Dolmed and followed the course of the River Ascar, crossing Gelion at Sarn Athrad, the Ford of Stones, where battle after befell. Ever cool was the friendship between the Naugrim and the Eldar, though much prof it they had one of the other; but at that time those griefs that lay between them had not yet come to pass, and King

Thingol welcomed them. But the Naugrim gave their friendship more readily to the Noldor in after days than to a ny others of Elves and Men, because of their love and reverence for Aul; and the gems of the Noldor they praised above a ll other wealth. In the darkness of Arda already the Dwarves wrought great works, for even from the first days of th eir Fathers they had marvellous skill with metals and with stone; but in that ancient time iron and copper they loved to work, rather than silver or gold. Now Melian had much foresight, after the manner of the Maiar; and when the secon d age of the captivity of Melkor had passed, she counselled Thingol that the Peace of Arda would not last for ever. He took thought therefore how he should make for himself a kingly dwelling, and a place that should be st rong, if evil were to awake again in Middle-earth; and he sought aid and counsel of the Dwarves of Belegost They gav e it willingly, for they were unwearied in those days and eager for new works; and though the Dwarves ever dem anded a price for all that they did, whether with delight or with toil, at this time they held themselves paid. For M elian taught them much that they were eager to learn, and Thingol rewarded them with many fair pearls. These Crdan gave to him, for they were got in great number in the shallow waters about the Isle of Balar; but the Naugrim had not be fore seen their like, and they held them dear. One there was as great as a dove's egg, and its sheen was as starlight on the foam of the sea; Nimphelos it was named, and the chieftain of the Dwarves of Belegost prized it above a mountain o f wealth. Therefore the Naugrim laboured long and gladly for Thingol, and devised for him mansions after the fashion of their people, delved deep in the earth. Where the Esgalduin flowed down, and par ted Neldoreth from Region, there rose in the midst of the forest a rocky hill, and the river ran at its feet. There th ey made the gates of the hall of Thingol, and they built a bridge of stone over the river, by which alone the gates could be e ntered. Beyond the gates wide passages ran down to high halls and chambers far below that were hewn in the living ston e, so many and so great that that dwelling was named Menegroth, the Thousand Caves. But the Elves also had part in that labour, and Elves and Dwarves together, each with their own skill, there wrought out the visions of Melian, images of the wonder and beauty of Valinor b eyond the Sea. The pillars of Menegroth were hewn in the likeness of the beeches of Orom, stock, bough, and lea f, and they were lit with lanterns of gold. The nightingales sang there as in the gardens of Lrien; and there were f ountains of silver, and basins of marble, and floors of many-coloured stones. Carven figures of beasts and birds t here ran upon the walls, or climbed