Only two movie characters and one player died among the whole group. The casualties were actually extremely low in such a life and death fight followed by a huge explosion. That was an ancient demon they fought. Even one with 30% its peak strength weren’t easy to defeat and survive. So three deaths were not that big of a loss.
That was Xuan’s natural thought process of thinking by numbers. The rewards were unexpectedly generous this time around. God somehow announced that both Zheng and Gungnir killed the Balrog. Which rewarded both of them a rank A reward and 8000 points. Furthermore, they also obtained one mithril bar and two ounces of Ithildin. The trade was more than fair for only three lives, two of which were movie characters.
As for the rest of the group, both the movie characters and team Northern Ice Land were sad. Lives and feelings weren’t something that could be measured by profit.
The archer girl was said to be a kind person. There was a man in the group dating her. He was crying his heart out. The Hobbits lost a friend and the wizard that had protected them all this time. They cried harder than the player did.
The others didn’t feel good at the outcome either. Everyone stood there quietly for an hour until the sadness subsided. Legolas tied a rope to an arrow and shot it at the cliff on the other sidee. Zheng rode the Nightmare and carried everyone over a few at a time. They finally crossed the collapsed cliff. Ten minutes later, the group reached a magnificent stone gate. Gimli told them this was the main entrance to Moria. They were walking along the escape path.
Outside the gate were a set of hills and mountains further away. The terrain ahead was slowly shaping to a plain. They would exit Caradhras with a bit more walking.
Everyone laid on the white rocks after they came out of Moria. No one wanted to get up for the moment. And sunlight bathed them.
The air inside the mines were stale. The death of the Dwraves meant no one was there to operate the ventilation equipments. The several days inside the mine felt like someone were covering their noses. The fresh air lightened them up and brought energy back to their bodies.
The continuous battles exhausted their mind and bodies. Once they were out of the stressful mines, the exhaustion struck them all at once. They just wanted to lie there and sleep. Zheng and Gungnir expended the most energy out of everyone. Give them a chance to close their eyes and they would fall asleep.
“Get up, we have to keep going!” Aragorn stood up and looked at the sky.
Boromir said. “Give them a moment, for pity’s sake! They are still in a sorrow.” He looked at the Hobbits.
Aragorn sighed. “We have no ability to fight anotheer battle. So we have to find a place to rest and recover. By nightfall these hills will be swarming with Orcs! We must reach the woods of Lothlórien before night. Zheng and his group also can’t fight anymore. We won’t be able to take on a swarm of orcs!”
Boromir knew the weight of these words. He quietly stood up. The group dawdled for nearly an hour before heading down the hill. Their pace wasn’t fast. It was noon now so there were five to six hours before the sun set.
Walking down the hill, the group soon came to a stream formed from melted snow. They drank the water and had their rations. Gimli jumped in to freshen himself up.
Further down and they reached a grassy field. The rocky land ended by the field. The group finally left the hill. It was perhaps three in the afternoon by this time. Aragorn was worried so he repeatedly urged the group to speed up. They pace went from walking to a jog. Finally, they came to a forest before nightfall.
Golden light beamed through the trees, giving the tranquil woods a mystical aura. They felt a sense of serenity as they walked through the woods. Gimli was the only one who talked non stop.
“They say that a great sorceress lives in these woods, an Elf-witch, of terrible power. All who look upon her, fall under her spell… and are never seen again.”
People laughed at the story. The movie characters knew that the Dwarves didn’t like the elves much.
“Well, here is one Dwarf she won’t ensnare so easily. I have the eyes of a hawk and the ears of a fox!”
Suddenly, a notched arrow appeared before his face. It was actually five to be precise. Other bows appeared around the rest of the group. There were elves hidden behind the bushes and trees.
“The dwarf breathes so loud, we could have shot him in the dark.” A commander looking elf walked out and said with a smile. He waved at the archers to put down their weapons. The archers then opened up a path. “Welcome to Lothlórien, the Fellowship of the Ring.” He turned around and walked into the deeper part of the woods.
The group had to follow. They were shocked at first but this should be a safe place since it was the territory of the elves.
Streams connected every part of this land. The elves decorated the boats with delicate ornaments. They felt at ease as they crossed the streams on a boat. Then they reached the camps of the soldiers.
The commander waited for them. He put his hand on the chest and said to Legolas. “Welcome Legolas, son of Thranduil.”
Legolas responded with a nod. “Our Fellowship stands in your debt, Haldir of Lórien.”
The commander then said to Aragorn in the tongue of the elves. “Oh, Aragorn of the Dúnedain, you are known to us.”
Aragorn understood his words and gestured back.
Gimli said loudly. “So much for the legendary courtesy of the Elves! Speak words we can also understand!”
The commander showed a look of disdain. “We have not had dealings with the Dwarves since the Dark Days.”
Gimli looked angry. “And you know what this Dwarf says to that? Ishkhaqwi ai durugnul!”
The rest of the group sighed and smiled. Aragorn patted Gimli on the shoulder. “That was not so courteous. We are guests here.”
The commander glanced over the Hobbits and the players. He was confused at the attire of the players. Then he suddenly said. “You bring great evil with you. You can go no further.”
The players had no say in the rest of the scene. Aragorn argueed with the commander. Yet, he insisted they return the way they came or stay at this place. The rest of the group found a place to sit down. They were tired from everything that had happened. They waited for Aragorn to obtain the opportunity forward.
The commander finally backed after a long while. He said to the whole group. “Rest for a night. I will take you to Lady Galadriel tomorrow. Her will determines whether you can proceed to Caras Galadhon… the heart of Elvendom on earth.”