The Lamp of Balthi

Legends and songs of the Woodmen remember the name of Balthi (“the Bold”), the young son of a Mirkwood hunter. Centuries ago, the boy led the Grey Wizard through the forest to the hill of Dol Guldur.

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When Gandalf emerged from the pits, he entrusted the boy with an object wrapped in a cloth, ordering him to fly as enemies were approaching. The young boy obeyed and ran away at once, but later the same day he unfolded the cloth to reveal a lamp shining with a cold and clear blue flame.

He immediately covered the lamp, but the little light that escaped from the folds betrayed him, and he was spotted by an Orc tracker who let loose an arrow. Balthi was hit but succeeded in distancing his pursuers despite his wound, as he wisely chose to remain under the cover of Mirkwood, where his enemies expected him to leave the wild wood by the shortest route. Several days later, the exhausted boy reached a clearing in a valley by the Dusky River. He was led there by the joyful singing of River-maidens, and finally fell asleep expecting never to wake again. He woke several days later instead, fully healed of his wounds and weariness.

When he finally rejoined his kin, he returned with them to the same clearing and built a great hall to live in and protect the treasure he received from the Grey Wizard. For four hundred years, Woodmen-town prospered, as the forest slowly healed from the hurt caused by the Necromancer. The wizard Radagast became a trusted friend of the Woodmen and they learned much from him and his ways.

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The Lamp of Balthi

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