Expedition to Moria: The Dimrill Gate
When Dwalin, son of Dori came to Minas Tirith, the library was abuzz with the news that Éowyn and Marroc Fairbairn had come to the White City, bringing with them the Red Book of Westmarch — the firsthand account of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins of the War of the Ring, as well as Bilbo’s translations of many elvish legends and religious texts. Dwalin met them and learned of their business: the Undertowers Adventuring Company. He proposed to them an expedition to Moria. The Red Book told of the defeat of Durin’s Bane by Gandalf, and it seemed reasonable to think that the orcs, too, may be gone by now. Through the winter, Éowyn recruited three other adventurers to join their fellowship: Garivald the Healer, Thorondir, son of Thorongil, and Nawfal of Núrn. They spent the winter planning and preparing for their adventure. When spring broke, they set out upon the Great Western Road, towards Edoras.
As they passed by Drúadan Forest, Garivald sang with the birds, who called out the Wood Woses. Thorondir was honored to meet them and trade lore with them. A few days later, they came upon a merchant on the road named Mablung, son of Malbeth, who complained that King Elessar’s ban on any entering that forest now made it a safe haven for the savages to mount violent raids upon the people. However, the company was suspicious of the merchant’s story, and refused to enter the forest to hunt down Wood Woses, no matter how much coin he offered. Realizing that these wanderers would not help him, and that they might more likely turn upon him, Mablung hurried away.
At Edoras, the company acquired ponies and turned north and east, toward the Entwade. In the Wolds, they spent a night with a poor cowherd’s family. They had trouble crossing the Limlight, but Marroc and Dwalin discovered a Balchoth arrowhead on the old battlefield at the Field of Celebrant.
As they entered Lothlórien, they were surrounded by elven scouts led by Tauriel, but Marroc slipped away. She forbade the company from entering Moria, telling them that a sizable force of orcs still lived there, led by a great and terrible warchief rumored to have survived since the Second Age. Nonetheless, Dwalin insisted on at least seeing the Dimrill Gate before he left, after coming so far. Éowyn felt sure that Marroc would find a way into the mines. As the elves escorted them to the gate, she knew that if she did not break her promise to the elves at that moment and rush into the mines, she would not have another chance, and would be forced to abandon her quest — and quite likely her brother, as well. When she ran, the others rushed in after her without time for deliberation or thought. The elves refused to follow them in.