Expedition to Moria: The Warchief
The Undertowers Adventuring Company made weapons in secret and fomented rebellion among Gazhûl’s dwarven slaves. They led them in an uprising against the orcs. Amidst the fighting, Gazhûl emerged to fight the instigators personally. With his control on the line, Gazhûl faced Dwalin, Éowyn, Garivald, Nawfal, and Thorondir alone. He was defeated, and when he fell, there was an ominous burst of flame that left his body. Dwalin took the ring that he wore around his neck — Thráin’s Ring.
The dwarves believed that Thráin’s Ring’s was taken by Azog before the Battle of Azanulbizar, and that it remained in Moria through the centuries that followed. None knew that Thráin had escaped and been taken by the Necromancer, and that his ring had passed back into Sauron’s possession. However, by chance, the Undertowers Adventuring Company had come to Moria just as “the Eye” had come to Gazhûl as the emissary of a new “dark lord,” presenting Thráin’s Ring as a token, placing the ring within their grasp despite their mistake.
When they had first entered Moria, Tauriel sent word to Thranduil, who passed the news along to Durin VII, knowing the growing expectations among his people to mount an expedition to retake Khazad-dûm. The King Under the Mountain knew that his hand was forced, and began marching south with an army. The king arrived to find Khazad-dûm retaken by a dwarven slave revolt already hunting the last orc survivors in the deep tunnels. His army moved in to re-establish their kingdom. Durin named Dwalin his Royal Ringbearer, responsible for the stewardship of Thráin’s Ring, which joined the Arkenstone and his crown as the symbols of his office and authority. The Undertowers Adventuring Company spent the following winter in Khazad-dûm, aiding the dwarves in re-inhabiting their ancient halls.