Gollum stood in the water looking up at the mountains.
The great river Anduin flowed beneath his feet, it’s black waters reflecting the starlight that shone bright along the jagged peaks of the Misty Mountains above. The White Face had gone to sleep and it was time to move on.
Sméagol whispered his fears in the darkness, but Gollum cursed him and told him to remain quiet, because orcs were near.
For weeks now, uruk scouts and goblin trackers had roamed the southern forest of Mirkwood, trying to catch him. With his cunning and wood-sense he had eluded them thus far, but Gollum knew that soon he would be caught if he didn’t find a place to hide.
The mountains loomed up before him, a deeper shade of black against the night sky. Gollums bright eyes glowed in the blackness surrounding him. In the distance, he could hear the loud 0rc-racket of the Uruks of Dol Guldur coming down along his trail from the hills above. These were not the same Orcs the had taken him from his captors in the North, no… he had stolen away from those orc weeks ago. These orcs had come out of the Dark Fortress and were seeking him.
Just as touch lights began to glow in the deep shade of the woods behind him the creature Gollum slipped into the dark water and silently crossed the river. He could hear loud cursing on the eastern shore of the river as he pulled himself out of the water and crawled up the western banks of the Anduin. He had escaped only just in time.
“The tricksy Orcses would not find him now… oh no Precious!”
After many nights of scrabbling up the pathless hills, Gollum came to the eastern Gate of Moria. It stood silent and dark against the cliffs. The great door looked deserted, a deeper shadow in the darkness of the mountainside, but Gollum knew the door was watched by sleepless eyes. He could smell the dirty orcses on the night wind. Gollum held a debate with himself.
“Oh no… we cannot enter here… too dangerous! Many orcses with bright eyes and hard cruel steel. Oh no… precious, we must run and hide!”
“Hide… yes… but we will not run, not from stinking little orcses… no Precious no… we must get into the mountain, so that we can hide… and maybe we can sneak… and listen for word of… of Baggins! So that we can find the dirty thief who stole from us and make him pay… makes him gives us the Precious back!”
“No… no… no… we will not be caught again… oh no precious… we will do the catching! And then we will fills our belly with sweet tasty fishes… oh yes, but first we must finds a way in… a hole into the rocks… then we can squeezes and crawls into the mountain!”
With that, the debate was over and Gollum began to climb spider-like along the walls to the left of the gate, looking for a way to get in.
Late in the night, just at the first rays of light began to creep over the very heights of the Mountain tops above Khazad-dûm, Gollum found what he was looking for. A small cave, no more than a hole in the rock above the gate. With one last look, he turned and squeezed into the hole, wriggling worm-like into the cave entrance above the eastern gate of Moria.
After many hours of squirming and climbing, Gollum came upon a larger opening. What Gollum didn’t know was that this was only one of many natural cave openings that the dwarves had used to keep air flowing into the countless passageways beneath the mountain. Gollum dropped out of the hole above onto the smooth floor of a small tunnel running east to west. Though he did not know it, Gollum was now in the Upper Halls of Khazad-dûm.
The darkness was complete and for the first time in many months Gollum felt safe. With his sharp ears he could hear the wet drip of water… and where there was water, there would be fishes to eatses! Gollum descended into the endless night of Moria and began to find his way in the dark!