Another year draws to a close here at the Moria Reclamation Project, with its ups and downs.
2015 saw its launch and the initial Moria Campaign.
2016 branched out to a wildly outrageous Shire Campaign.
And with 2017, we should see alot of smaller campaigns in Bree, the Misty Mountains, and then a return to action for what could be the close of the Moria Reclamation Project.
Whether it ends in Eternal Dwarven Glory or Ignominous Defeat will depend (as always) on the coming battles and the luck of the dice!
Back in Khazad Dum, Balin promises to make Moria great again!
But is he a pawn of the Chaos Gods that brought him back to (un)life?
Or will he become the greatest Dwarven Hero ever?
We now take you to the action in a secure location deep under Moria, in the barricaded underground fortress known as Easthold...
Balin: My fellow Dwarf Lords, I have just returned from the Mirrormere and received Roac, our faithful Raven, King of Ravens. Yes, it was Roac that spoke to Thorin and company at Erebor long ago. His news is from our human allies, the Beornings. They have been ambushed and their caravan of supplies are lost. There is no word from Bugman, or the Iron Hills, or Erebor. Everywhere in Middle Earth, the Free Peoples are under attack. We are alone, with no supplies. If we continue to stay here in Easthold, we will grow weak from hunger and worse... from Beer thirst! While we still have the strength, I say, we march out of Moria into the Valley of Azanulbizar where we fought and defeated the Greenskins before!
Jacques De Solay: I speak for the Iron Claw Dwarves! We have just arrived from the Iron Claw Hills (not to be confused with the Iron Hills) and we are prepared to fight for Balin, Lord of Moria!
King Arombolosch: We Ral Partha Dwarves were saved by Balin in the Savage Lands deep below Moria and owe him a blood debt. We stand with Balin. Thats right! #StandWithBalin
King Ulther: Balin, son of Fundin, one of the companions of Thorin Oakenshield is a Dwarf to be respected, but he died. This Balin before us now, was raised from undeath by the powers of Chaos. As King of Karak-Ungor, I swore an oath to fight against Chaos Dwarves! The only reason I have not yet declared war on Balin and his allies, is the respect I have for Thorgrim the High King and the other Dwarven Kings assembled here. We are besieged by enemies without... and within. I move and vote that Balin is guilty of the taint of Chaos and demand judgement is passed on him!
Brienne: I am the High Priestess of Valaya, our Goddess of healing and protection. How long will She continue protecting us, if we ally with the Ruinous Powers of Chaos and their minions? I also vote guilty!
Gimli: My Lords! When did this war council turn into a trial? It was I who searched for Balin in the depths of Moria and brought him back to you. I have fought beside him and know in my heart that he is no slave to Chaos! I might not be a King, but I vote innocent.
Nindalf: As one of the few Dwarven Wizards, I will now use my Magic 8-Ball... (in wizardly voice) Oh mighty 8 Ball, is Balin tainted by Chaos? (reading the answer) without... a... doubt... Oh, this silly thing must be malfunctioning again! At any rate, I vote innocent!
King Gorrin: As a Dwarf King and a Dwarf Lord of Legend, I vote that Balin is innocent of charges! In fact, Im pretty sure the other 7 Lords of Legend agree with me. Do they get votes too?
Axetooth: My father was slain by Chaos Dwarves! I vote guilty! Sorry Balin...
Thadar: With Prince Helfast missing I speak for the Heartbreakers and say with a heavy heart... guilty. (seriously in real life, I cannot find him anywhere! I have all the rest of my Heartbreaker Dwarves, I looked everywhere and wonder where he is. Must have been lost during the great re-basing project earlier this year)
The White Dwarf: Without declaring my secret identity, as a former ancient Dwarf King, I also must unwillingly declare Balin guilty. Chaos is a terrible thing... look what its done to the humans and those pesky elves. We cannot risk a Civil War among Dwarfkind at this moment, but we must draw the line against Chaos. Im sorry Balin...
High King Thorgrim: As the judge, I cannot vote, but I will pass judgement. Balin, the accused cannot vote for himself, of course. So, as I see it, so far, the votes are 5 to 5. With only 3 more votes coming from the last 3 members of the council... What say you... Speak...
Runelord Kragg: Chaos cannot be trusted. Guilty.
King Kazador: I have led my Goldshield Ironbreakers against the Chaos Dwarves before... And I do think that the followers of Chaos must be destroyed on sight... But, I think this is a special instance, this isnt just any Chaos Dwarf. Its Balin! Out of all Thorin's companions, he was the most trusted. Why? Because of his heart. Gandalf trusted Balin too! If only he were here to speak on his behalf... I vote... innocent!
King Ungrim Ironfist: So its up to me then... is it? Ahhh... Leave it to the Slayers, they say! I like Balin. I like Slaying. Before I was the Slayer King, I was a Troll Slayer. Then a Giant Slayer, a Dragon Slayer, and even a Daemon Slayer. Where there is Chaos, there are Daemons. If Balin is indeed tainted by Chaos... where are the Daemons? None, see? Until I see Daemons around, I vote Balin is innocent! So there, let this trial be over and lets figure out what to do next about the Balrog and his forces!
High King Thorgrim: (bangs a gavel) Balin is innocent of charges! Court is convened for a Beer break (if any is left that is). Also, as Balin said in the beginning, I agree with his plan of marching out of Moria while we can and making a stand in the valley of Azanulbizar! My Dwarves! My Kin! Send word to all stout hearted Dwarves everywhere, sound the horns of war! Prepare for the 2nd Battle of Azanulbizar!
Balin: (in thought to himself as he watches the Dwarves cheer for him) Roac, the Raven King...
Balin, Durin, Raven... King... ring... ring... THE RING!
There was more to this Mirrormere vision.
I died there once...
I wont be dying there twice.
I am Balin, the deathless!