Durin’s Tower ~ History of the Tower & The Endless Stair ~ Secret Language of the Dwarves ~ Battle of the Peak
Khuzdûl was known only to the Dwarves
“This secret language was taught to the long breads by Aulë, the creator of the first Dwarves.”
This page written and edited by our Dark Historian Grievous
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The secret language of the dwarves was named Khuzdûl and was bestowed upon them by Aulë, one of the Ainur. Aulë the Smith is a Vala and he was given lordship over the matter that composes Arda and is a master of all the crafts that shape it. He created the dwarves amid the chaos of Melkor and so made them strong and unyielding, and not willing to endure the domination of others.
He gave to them a language which the dwarves kept hidden from all others. They did not learn this speech at birth as other races do, but instead learned Khuzdûl through reverent study as they grew older, to make sure that their language was passed down unaltered from one generation to the next. The dwarves did not speak this language in everyday use, but instead used the Common Tongue even for their names, which were kept hidden and never spoken aloud outside of the company of other dwarves.
Khuzdûl is a language unlike all other in origin. It is singular in the family of Aulëan languages and is not related to Oromëan spoken by Elves. In addition to Khuzdûl, the dwarves also used a secret sign language named iglishmêk. Believed to have arisen out of need, because the smithies and forges of the dwarves were so loud and tumultuous that communication through signs was a necessary fact of life. Like Khuzdûl, these signs were secret and none today know their meaning.
Khuzdûl is usually written or carved from stone in the Cirth script.
The Book of Mazarbul is one of the few remaining artifacts the holds words in the ancient tongue. It was taken from Moria and though it was written primary in the common speech, there are believed to be portions that were written in the tongue of Khuzdûl.
Mazarbul means ‘records’ in Khuzdûl and the book was so named because it was found in the Chamber of Records in Khazad-dûm, where Balin was entombed and a last battle for Moria was fought. Alas the attempt to retake Moria from the Orcs came too soon, Balin, Óin and Ori along with many others died in the vain endeavor.
The book was a record of the events that took place when the dwarves tried to retake Khazad-dûm. For 5 years they settled in the Twenty-first Hall above the East-gate, and Balin himself ruled his new domain from the old Chamber of Records. During the 5th year of his reign, an army of Orcs came unexpectedly out of the east, slaying Balin outside the East-gate, and the remaining dwarves defended themselves in the Chamber of Mazarbul. The Orcs eventually overcame and destroyed them. The book was found many years later when the Fellowship of the Ring passed through Moria. Though it was was torn, slashed and bloodstained, Gandalf was able to read an account of the dwarves. The book was taken by Gimli and eventually enshrined in Erebor in a place of honor.