Durin’s Stone

I awoke Tuesday on the slopes of the Misty Mountains, in the crusted crags and fog-filled dells that bound the Golden Wood to the west, just as the Great River bounds her to the east. I hiked the nearest ridge, and espied beneath me the sapphire surface of Kheled-zâram. There, in the vale of Azanulbizar, I pitched my easel as the sun crested and began her journey toward the peak of Baranzibar.

And I painted.

I painted the cobalt waters of the lake and the lavendar plumes of
the heavens; I painted the spurs of Zirak-zigil and the plummeting falls beside the Dimrill Stair; I painted Durin’s Stone, weatherworn and broken, standing silent beside the still waters.

And as I was finishing my work, with the shadows of the great peaks flooding the glen with gloom, a dwarf and a halfling came to the water’s edge and gazed in wonder upon the stars, jewel-like, that rest forever there, floating in the depths of Mirrormere.

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