HASA turned four this year, so we were challenged to write about four of something.
Wealth. Rings. Lordship. So the horseman promised, for but the price of gossip, or a trinketóa "least of rings" stolen from Him They Name Not in Gondor. Dwarves waste no words on circumlocutions, but they mark numbers: thirteen's unlucky; seven, blessed; three's no chance; four... four is death.
Dwarven lore holds the world ends when the Harbingers ride at night, bringing war to the earth's quarters. Thrice the horseman leaves unanswered, ere Dwarves depart for Rivendell. For death is comingóthe earth groans, its bounty sickens, fear flowers. Death is coming: the fourth calling, the last calling, and then...
"...[F]ind this thief... and get from him, willing or no, a little ring, the least of rings, that once he stole."ó"The Council of Elrond," FoTR, 235.