Glóin, son of Gróin
Riddles at the Anvil
he first time that Veld visited the Cracked Anvil was an exceedingly memorable affair. Not that all the details a were clear in his mind afterwards when he related them to me. He and I had not seen each other for quite some time, over a year I should think. He had much in the way of news to tell to me; of the good friends he had made from Bree to Esgaroth, and the innumerable adventures they had had along the way.
On the occasion in question, Veld was invited to join his fellow Dwarves at the Cracked Anvil in Esgaroth for a 'social gathering'... his words, not mine. It was this night that he first made the acquaintance of one Lolinus Balix, who has been a true friend ever since, also Dungrim Ironfist and Dargo Trollfallen, the co-proprietors of the establishment, and of course their regulars: Balac ore Langer, Semli Tenatofin, Kurgan Stonehammer and others.
The evening was fairly typical for the Anvil, one of a pattern that was to be repeated on many occasions subsequently. As always the overall mood was established by repeated contests of constitution. (Not being a serious drinker myself on account of my advanced years and ill-health, I prefer to think of them in those terms, though on this point Dungrim attests it would do me a power o' good). Once everyone was suitably in 'the right frme of mind' they got down to some committed discussion of important Dwafish matters: what to do
about the Orcs in Moria, the nefarious Cold Drakes of the Grey Mountains (here Veld told all present a little of the history and
 

downfall of our clan), wizards and what a general nuisance they can be, and the strange irregularity of the ale shipments from Dain Ironfoot's Brewery in the Iron Hills. The evening carried on in this fashion for several more hours. Various clientelle came and went, the occasional fight occurred between Dungrim and Dargo (I am assured this is all entirely drink-fuelled, good-natured exuberance) and the hubbub of general debate was sporadically punctuated by snores from Lolinus who had overdone it somewhat on the Hammerin' Brew.
It was getting late when the door swung open to admit a most unexpected visitor. Glóin son of Gróin himself, one of the heoes of Undermountain, a Great Thane of Erebor, had come down from the mountain to enjoy a 'quiet' ale with a few of his kinsmen. With an exclaimation of "Oh bugger", Dungrim
gathered himself and was up off the floor with
surprising speed for a Dwarf of his build. He
hastened to serve his esteemed guest, who
generously bought the house a round of drinks
and graced their table with his presence. Had
he arrive sooner, Veld would have had clearer
recollections of what followed, but this late in
the evening, he and everyone of his companions
were quite the worse for drink. Glóin proposed a
game of riddles. It was an amusing distraction
and Veld can recall getting at least one
of them right (so he claims) and at
some stage during the proceedings,
Lolinus woke up with a start.
The riddles, or what their
answers might have been, Veld can
no longer recall, but eventually after some
talk and more drink, the Thane took his leave.
After such an encounter, my nephew was decided.
He would certainly visit the Cracked Anvil again.

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