mahal's children

Yamuna River - Agra, India

Most of the city of Agra is built along the Yamuna River, which flows from the far north of the country, and through Delhi. The river has played an important role in the life of the cities most famous building, the Taj Mahal. Many of the materials used to build the monument came from the river, or were transported to the area by river. The Taj is located on a sharp bend in the river, down stream from Agra fort. The calmness of the river at this section allows the Taj Mahal to reflect off the water perfectly, like a mirror. 

The Taj Mahal was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, for his wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died in Childbirth. When construction of the Taj was completed, the body of Mumtaz was transported in a golden casket along the river, to its final resting place in the centre of the Mausoleum. Thirty-five years later, upon his own death, the Body of Shah Jahan made its journey down the river, to be laid to rest next to his wife, in the mausoleum that he built for her. 

Amateur Explorer Actually Excited by Discovery of New Invasive Species

A new species has been discovered in the forests of Ossiriand encroaching on the territory of the Laiquendi.

“This was completely unexpected!” enthused discoverer Finrod Felagund, better known as the ruler of Nargothrond despite his reputation as an amateur explorer and musician. “I was wandering around the springs of Thalos and saw fires, and had to go check it out because usually no one around here is stupid enough to light fires. And bam, what do you know, there they were!”

According to Felagund, the new species appears bipedal in stature and patriarchal in structure. Its members exhibit most semblances of sentience, including the use of clothing to signify rank, the ingenuity to make anything into weapons, and enough avarice to clout one another over the head for a bit of well-polished rock.

“And an appreciation of music, which really cinches it,” Felagund said. “So even if they don’t look much like us, they act like us! I’m calling them the Atani.”

Atani, plural of the Quenya Atan, means “Second People,” and in the Eldarin scheme of creation, signifies that Felagund’s new species are being hailed as children of Eru beneath only the Elves themselves. Felagund’s Khazad neighbors are alleged to have sent several politely-worded inquiries inquiring as to their own rank in this schema, and how it might affect trade with Nargothrond.

“Not that we’re complaining about being the children of Mahal, you understand,” a Khazad spokesdwarf offered, on severe condition of anonymity. “But if these new buggers can claim better prices for whatever it is that they’re coming around selling, we want to know.”

Little progress has been made determining what Felagund’s Atani are doing in Ossiriand, but Felagund himself remains optimistic.

“Music is supposed to be the one true language, right?” he said. “So there’s hope yet. I mean, they liked mine!”

Felagund played the Atani his renditions of the Noldor’s Greatest Hits, minus the Noldolantë, while seated around their campfire.

The Obscenity of Smaug: On Mahal and Dwarven Sacred Space

Smaug is a problem. In the text he is a fascinating and even an appealing antagonist; on screen, he is captivating and more than a little terrifying. But in the context of Middle Earth, particularly within the world of the Dwarves, he is nothing short of an utter obscenity. Wiser heads than mine have explored the political, economic, and physical problems he poses. Here, I would like to consider Smaug’s occupation of Erebor and the possible religious implications.

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Inshêt Zahrar (Searching for Home)

Summary for the whole fic:

Darkness is creeping back into the world, ever so slowly, and the Past casts long shadows in the hearts of Dwarrow, Men, and Elves.
The first stones in the path of Thorin Oakenshield’s Quest for Erebor were laid centuries before his birth, and some of the last ripples of influence were made by the pebble who would become his mother when she grew up.
Follow the Quest as it unfolds, as choices made long ago come back to haunt the footsteps of those who are not even aware they once existed. Some stories, which should have been told, are kept secret, but some secrets do not remain so; however well-meaning their keepers.

“Even the very wise cannot see all ends.”

With a little understanding, perhaps a touch of mercy, many things might be different in the lives of the Children of Mahal.

A story of courage, love, and consequences.

This story focuses on the events of the Hobbit, with a multitude of side-stories forming the rest of the series.

For Azi, who always loved a good story and enjoyed the previews enough for me to post it. I hope you like it, ye crazy Scotsman!

Next chapter (63) should be up tomorrow.

Chapter 1 on Tumblr

Chapter 1 on Ao3

madisonmaximus  asked:


favorite scene you’ve ever written

OH MAN. I think that’d have to be from Beneath the Ever-Bending Sky, which hilariously enough is a sequel to a story that @rageprufrock once told me she was going to write but then never actually ended up writing. Guys, I actually thought I could get pru into Middle Earth fandom for a hot second in 2012. Anyway, this is the scene; it’s super long but it’s basically me indulging my need to make Thorin the Most Dramatic Dramz Princeling Of All Time, which is the only correct interpretation of him ever. Also I teared up writing it so:

For most of his life, Thorin felt buried under the debts of others. He never questioned that he would pay; it was his duty as a son and king. But it left him with a poverty in his soul, emptiness where there should be riches. He thought he had paid all that he could during his quest, but it is only now that he understands how foolish he was to consider himself in the black. He was still borrowing, buying wealth and happiness and love, the ledger bleeding red against a darkness that had burrowed into his mountain without his knowing. And now the price has been reckoned, in this simple chamber deep in the heart of his homeland.

“And I know you would pay it,” he tells her, kneeling at the edge of their bed the way he has so often, taking her hand — the hand that held the Ring, but that now lies empty, only a fading red circle indented into the heel of her palm. “Gladly and with goodwill, for that is your way — perhaps the way of all Hobbits. You have never seen the danger of debts between friends, have you? You gave your share of the mountain’s treasure to a man you barely knew; you value food and cheer and song above any hoarded gold. You would leave my side and say that what we have had already is enough. But I — have no such concept. I cannot be satisfied with what we have had; I will always want more. The line of Durin grasps for what we want and cleaves to what is ours. Often I’ve looked at you and wondered if I ever conquered the curse of our family at all, or if I merely chose love over gold. Greed — such a small word for the yawning, great thing in our hearts.

“Dís is wrong to fear for me,” he continues. “If you choose the path that leads to your death, burglar, I will not follow you tonight. Nor the next nor the next after that. I will rise from this bed. I will be a father to our daughters, a brother and uncle and king. I will go on living without you. But it is not because you have taught me to be generous of heart, or because I have learned to let go of what is mine. I will live because death will not give you back to me.

"Amongst men and elves there is the belief that upon death, dwarves return to the rock from whence Mahal carved us. In truth we too are sent to the Halls of Mandos, to Mahal’s grace in the afterlife, where we are united again with those dwarves we loved and lost in ages past, but kept apart from the children of Ilúvatar. When I die there will I go — but not you. The Halls are only for the children of Mahal; death will sunder us forever, our two halves to spend eternity incomplete once more. I know this, and yet I would not change finding you, finding my whole; I will stand in those halls and treasure what time we had together, brief as it was.”

Her eyes do not open, nor does she stir, and he runs a careful thumb across her wrist. "I lied, the first time we met,” he admits. “I did not lose my way to your house. Or smial, if you prefer. I suspect you do.

"I arrived in good time, but lingered on the doorstep — I could hear laughter and singing within. And it frightened me more than I can say. All adventures we had were nothing compared to the quiet of that dirt path as I gathered the courage to knock on that door, knowing who was waiting for me. Not you,” he admits. “I did not know you then, and I thought little of your qualifications, whatever Gandalf might have said on your behalf.

"I’d come from the meeting of the seven kingdoms, and knew they would not stir from their own mountains, risk their own strength — not even for the riches of Erebor. For though there were rumors amongst men that Smaug was no longer a threat, our memories go deeper. Four other times in ages past have dwarf kingdoms fallen to dragon fire; that they had been regained centuries later gave me little hope. I was sure that we would fail; that I would die taking my nephews and my companions with me. The fact that I had no choice was cold comfort on that warm night.

"But still I knocked. And you let me in. I thought little of you at the time — a dumpy hobbit-lad who wanted to pretend at adventures, complaining every step of the way. But I’d taken those moments to listen to the laughter of my new Company, so I could hold it close to me in the long months to come, and even then I remembered that your laugh was the loudest, the merriest. I thought that I could find the silly halfling in any darkness by that laughter. I do not know if there is anything about me that you could find, in darkness, with your path unclear.”

His throat is dry, but he does not stop. “So it is a selfish thing I ask, but that is the way my love for you has run; selfish and perhaps unfair. Come back to me, burglar. Come back and steal a little more time.”

avelera  asked:

Hobbit meta speculation - dwarves view destruction by fire as sacrilegious - discuss ;)

(THANK YOU for asking this - I have Thoughts on this subjects!)

A Truth: Mahal, the Maker, is a smith. He works in fire and metal, and great are his works.

A Truth: Mahal created the Dwarves by his own hands and after his own likeness, that he might teach them and bring them up, and that they might learn to be like him.

Then: The Dwarves were created in fire, tempered for strength and endurance, and imbued with the Sacred Flame when Illuvatar accepted them as his adopted children. Fire is Creation.

A Truth: the Dwarves do not burn their dead. It is a not a thing unknown in Middle Earth; the Kings of Men once burned theirs on great pyres - but the Dwarves do not. Not until Azanulbizar, and the Burned Dwarves. Not until necessity drove them past all lines of what had been acceptable, until the choice was to burn the works of their Maker’s hands or to let them rot in the sun, falling victim to the corpse-eaters. 

A Truth: to be a Burned Dwarf is a thing that becomes a mark of distinction, after Azanulbizar.

I ask you, then: if you work in fire and metal, and mighty are your works; if you create beauty and strength in a refiner’s fire; if fire is life and creation and your tangible proof that you are alive and beloved of your Creator - how can you cast anything lightly into the flames and watch it’s consumption? Can you treat that force that brought you into being as nothing but destruction? I think you do not burn the cities of your enemies, if you are a Dwarf. I think you do not burn anything without need.

Fire is for creation and refinement. Fire burns out impurities, burns off everything you do not need, so that what is left is pure and strong, as the Maker would have it. Dragonfire is an abomination, because there is no creation in it - but to pass through it and come out the other side makes you stronger, makes you something special. 

Burning your own dead is sacrilege - but it also serves a purpose. It protects them from worse indignities - and it makes you stronger, because it is what you must do to survive and to protect those you have loved. It is a Creation, of a sort, this intentional destruction by fire. You create yourselves again as you lay the fire and mourn the dead. You make yourselves stronger and more ready. 

But how must Mahal mourn for his children who are lost in fire?

there is a song called traveler’s train.  a dwarf wrote it; one of Thorin’s mountain, though not one he is acquainted with personally.  To the best of his knowledge, anyway.

He’s learned it from his dwarves, because it spread and they teach it to each other, and dwarves carry it from one settlement to another caravan to a different caravan to a little enclave of Longbeards in the halls of the Stonefoots to a caravan to a settlement in Gondor where his dwarves sleep with one ear cocked for angry Men’s voices, ready to slip out the little tunnels they’ve already prepared, to meet whatever caravan is passing and keep on.  Traveler’s Train, a wordless tune that they play, whoever’s riding on the carts on what instruments they have and the rest of them humming, to pass the long miles between meals.  Thorin is their king and Thorin is one of them, and has learned the song, and brought it to others, he and Dis and their boys, he and Balin and Dwalin and Odi, who always rides in the cart these days.  He and the ravens, who croak and quork and snap their beaks almost in rhythm.

Traveler’s Train, it is called, and Fili and Kili, like the other children in this caravan, call it Caravan Travelling and Road-dwarf song in code-switching Khuzdul and Westron and the speech of ravens that has no name.  Odi is teaching them ancient extinct languages of Men.  Khazad-train song, Fili calls it in one of them, and one of the adults cries out to Mahal that their children know no other life than this: endlessly walking the roads that they built millennia ago, never resting under stone as anything more than guests, that they think the word traveler can be translated as dwarf, with not a single descriptor or modifier.

Traveler’s Train, and it has traveled the world over and back so many times Thorin has lost track, the Broadbeams in his Company play it along with the Longbeards because they know it just as well; the wizard makes no comment but the halfling says “oh, I know this song.”

Dwarves twist around in their saddles to look at him.

“My mother used to sing it,” he continues blithely, and now they all swivel their heads to look at Bombur, who shrugs and reddens slightly, and Bofur gives them that grin that says he’ll kill anyone who so much as insinuates his brother perhaps should not have taught a hobbit-maid a dwarven song.  Thorin gives Bombur a minute nod, which he knows enough of the others will have been watching him to see and note: the song is wordless, an idle rambling tune written in exile, and is not a secret.  Bombur was given little enough time with the little hobbit-maid who married another hobbit in the end.  Thorin won’t begrudge it, no matter how it grates against his instinctive reaction.

But their own little hobbit opens his mouth and starts to sing along in Westron.  The lyrics are hobbitish, clearly: full of imagery drawn from farms and things that… grow and hop and crawl and fly.  Thorin doesn’t know whether most of the things mentioned are flowers or animals.

He sings of a dwarf-caravan, coming through year after year, and the dwarf-tinker who comes with them.  He sings of the alluring call of the open road, and the romance of a life ever-changing, and how the tinker would never settle in one place, not even for love.  But I packed a bag in secret, he sang, and someday, someday, I’ll follow him away, unless you ask me now—

He breaks off, looking appalled, and stays silent for the rest of the afternoon.

Good.  Thorin is so angry that his vision is greying out at the edges; if the halfling says another word it is unlikely Thorin will be able to continue guiding his own pony.

The Link (arrangedMarriage!AU, Bagginshield)

A plague is raging through Middle-earth. Nobody can say where it came from, and nobody knows how to stop it.
The few elves left seem not affected at all by it (of course), but who can tell if there are more of their numbers dwindling away in the forest nowadays?
The humans somehow simply shrug off the fact that 5% of those who contract it do not survive, and go on with their short lives like nothing happened.
But the dwarves cannot. They are dying. One in three hit by the disease returns to the stone of which they were made of, and the loss is too high.
Thorin II Oakenshield, son of Thrain, son of Thror, King of Durin’s folk is desperate.

Help comes in the form of small and harmless looking people from the far West.
They offer a cure (a working one), but it comes with a price.
In order to ensure the correct treatment of the victims (and the safety of the healers), they want guarantees for the cooperation. A bond between allies, a link between their kind and the children of Mahal.
A connection through marriage.

To ensure that they will have enough influence over the people of Erebor, they present different options. The number of the dwarves that have to be wed depends on their social standing.
Either 1000 miners or soldiers –“No way we are giving them an army!“ “We are not, Dwalin, calm down.”–, 100 merchants or craftsmen –”The guilds will not stand for this, Thorin.”, 10 nobles –“I could write a list, you know.” “Nori, please, they said they will not take those who are too young, too old, too sick, or already in a relationship. And I don’t want the leftover vipers to ally with the strangers”– or…
one member of the royal family –”It does not have to be the King”–

But then again, who else could it be? The heir of Durin agrees to take one of those strangers as a consort to save his people. After all “we have come off really cheap, Balin. One life in exchange for so many. The line is secured in Fili, and I have faced worse in battle before. There is no choice.”
But will the link forged by this arranged marriage be strong enough to ensure the end of the plague and the survival of the dwarves?



This idea hit me out of the blue, and as you can see, I am no writer, so I thought I should maybe just set it free while it is still young.
Somehow in my mind it is not exactly the conventional Middle-earth story either, with the halflings using plant magic and Yavanna’s gifts as healers (though it could be), but a clash of technologies as well, having the Hobbits use more sophisticated Star Trek like medicine and knowledge. (Maybe I am just eager to see classic Tolkien dwarves get their hands on tricorders?)
There might be some dystopian elements in there regarding the plague, but there is also lots of room for fluff and pining (and politics?), too.
So, if any of you are interested, please feel free to take this prompt and turn it into a story.
Thank you!
- Janna

anonymous asked:

I don't know if you got this, because I sent it when Tumblr was acting up a bit, but I was wondering if you had any thoughts about Dwarves being children of Mahal and Hobbits probably being children of his wife Yavanna? I feel like that is significant in a Bagginshieldy kind of way ! :D


like how freckles are called ‘kisses of yavanna’ and how dwarves consider dimples a small miracle because that’s where mahal pressed his thumbs when he was creating his children

and how mahal and yavanna are almost polar opposites, he is all about metalwork and mountains and fire and forging things and power, while she is all about flowers and fertility and warmth and growth, and yet, they are married, ie something must obviously connect them - I think it’s the element of earth in general, just the love for nature’s wonders, may they be found in smelting, or gardening

and then of course there’s bilbo and thorin, and not only are the similarities visual, but, and I’m gonna copypaste my reply to a similar message some months ago, imagine Thorin (Mahal) spending all his time at the forge, surrounded with smoke and heat and dust, and loving it, but equally loving the sensation when he comes out for fresh air and sees Bilbo (Yavanna) working in the gardens with the tools he’d created for him. They complement each other. Yavanna brings light into the depths of Mahal’s smithys, life into his creations. Mahal keeps Yavanna warm, very simply put.

SO YESSSS YES TO ALL, hobbits being yavanna’s perfect warm plump beautiful creations and dwarves being mahal’s forbidden race, sturdy and perhaps not as soft and delicate, but still, they complement each other aayyy