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Eastwood

Duildin Hill in the Eastwood


Dol Duildin (S."Duildin's Hill" or "Hill of the silent spring",Hi."Cnocc Uartost") was a moderate-sized hill, partly wooded with a mix-ture of broadleaf and pine trees.It was the tallest of several hills in the area, standing some 300 feet high, and it was steep enough in most places to make the going difficult when one was not on a Dwarf-path. A little gully trickled around the southwest rim of the hill, fed by underground water from several of the nearby hills. During rainy times that area got swampy, making passage more difficult.Years ago a small group of Dwarves had journeyed through the East-wood in search of a metal-rich land which they could mine. A few miles from the edge of the wood they found a group of rocky, lightly wooded hills which looked promising.After making a successful foray into the largest of the hills, they decided to make a permanent home there. On each side of the hill they built small sleeping quarters, and at the top they built a combination forgehouse and eating place which had an above-ground lookout room on top. From each structure they began mining toward the center of the hill, eventually linking up all of the tunnels. For several years this small party of Dwarves — eight in all, led by the venerable Duildin, after whom they named the hill — prospered in their new location, mining and working copper and iron. With various items of worked metal they were able to trade for food and coin from nearby farmers; in addition, they fished and hunted small game. When the Dwarves first arrived in the area there had been a small hold of Orcs in the hills a little to the north; but they immediately drove the Orcs away. No other dangerous creature had been seen since. Because of this they became lax in their security measures; they began to walk around the woods unarmed, they stopped covering up their trails and eventually they no longer posted a lookout at the top of the hill.It was after the Dwarves had reached this state of carelessness that two hungry Trolls wandered into the area one night in search of food, and discovered the little community.The Trolls, following a trail of broken branches, dried animal blood, discarded arrows and other clues, spied the Dwarven buildings nestled in the hillside.They moved quickly toward the hill, excited by the prospect of both killing and eating Dwarves (their favorite pasttime and their favorite food). Once on the hill, they felt and heard the sound of digging going on not too far below the surface. After a few minutes of searching they found the source of the digging — a place high on the east slope where the Dwarves were making a new shaft.They waited outside the entrance and then ambushed the Dwarves one by one as they climbed out of the hole. Seven of the Dwarves met an ignominous fate at the hands of the Trolls that night.One, however — the youngest, Duildin's son Daldin — was busy in the cookhouse preparing food for the work party. When the failed to show up he went out looking for them. To his surprise, and utter dismay, he discovered them in the clutches of the two Trolls, who were building a fire near the base of the hill, over which to cook their prey. He tried variousstrategems to get the Trolls away from the fallen Dwarves, but it was no use — they guarded their victims too jealously. He could soon tell that he was too late to save his companions anyway. So, he slipped away to secure the Dwarf dwellings as best he could from Troll attack, and to plan revenge for his fallen riends and family. When Daldin saw the Trolls turning the Dwarves' latest mine shaft into a Troll hole, he decided to tunnel up to it from the middle of the hill. His hope was to kill the Trolls in their sleep. After several weeks' work, Daldin broke through the ground into the back of the Trolls' treasure room. This was during a night, when the Trolls were out hunting for food, and he was able to steal some of their treasure before they got back.In the room was a large chest which he used to cover up his tunnel after he left. When he tried to enter their hole during the day, however, he encountered an unusual pair of sentries — two young wolves — who sounded an alarm and chased him back into his tunnel.Because of these wolves, he was forced to give up his plans for killing the Trolls, and had to content himself with pilfering pieces of their treasure at night when the hole was empty. One night Daldin's luck finally ran out.The Trolls returned early from their hunt, and the wolves, as they headed to the back of the treasure room (where the hole was least foul) discovered the Dwarf before he could cover up his tunnel.They grabbed him and dragged him out.When the Trolls arrived on the scene they were ecstatic.Full as they were of pork and chicken from a farmland raid, they till ound room for a dessert of Dwarf. Thus was the end of Daldin, last surviving member of the miners of Duildin Hill.

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