Chapter 22 Synopsis
In the council, it is decided that Ganoveth will have two months to somehow save his sister. If he cannot, then Glorfindel will be dispatched to slay her. Altan informs them that the only person who may be capable of rebinding the Speaker is Ganoveth’s mother—yet she is the one who hopes to unbind her completely. He proclaims it a foolish errand, but also offers his service. It is decided that Ebonrath-Sahil will remain in Rivendell with Glorfindel so as not to alert the Speaker. It is hoped that they will locate Ganoveth’s mother in Angmar, as she will be traveling there to unbind the Speaker.
After some debate, Prince Thélor and Thegn Azagri decide they must return home to Nurunkhizdín. Though the Speaker is a threat, they cannot ignore the army marching toward their homeland. If the Necromancer secures [[Glaurung’s Horde]], he may be unstoppable. After preparations are made and supplies gathered, they bid Ganoveth good fortune and a fond—and perhaps final—farewell.
Lord Elrond lends the Dwarves steeds for their long journey home. The trip itself is a new adventure, taking them through Orc-infested woodlands and over mountains home to Giants and through Gondorian strongholds. They are able to stop at the Rhosgobel to invite Brógan to join them. After five weeks of travel, they come across a host of Longbeard Dwarves sent from Khazad-dûm to aid in the defense of Nurunkhizdín. The host is led by Attack-lord Bwalin.
Prince Thélor, Thegn Azagri, and Brógan ride ahead to Nurunkhizdín. Arriving home, they are greeted with mighty horn blasts. Thélor rushes to the king’s chambers to warn his father of the impending Necromancer attack—
—only to find his brother sitting atop the throne, wearing the king’s crown.
Prince Borin returned days before he did, bearing the obsidian dagger. As their father had died only days after they left, Borin was proclaimed King of Nurunkhizdín. With Thélor watching, Borin announces that scouts have reported an army of Longbeard Dwarves approaching Nurunkhizdín. An invasion force! He promises to rally the Ironfist host to ride out and meet them.
Prince Thélor is stunned. Queen Ním—who feared him dead—tries to assure him that everything is fine, but when Thélor continues to protest King Borin has him escorted to his rooms. Thélor continues to try and explain to his mother all that has transpired—including his ordering Azagri to shoot his own brother—but she is too overcome to listen (and later strikes Azagri for what his Prince ordered him to do).
Reeling from this unexpected turn of events, Thélor dispatches Azagri and Brógan to halt the advance of the Longbeard host. He hopes to buy himself some time. Though, time for what?