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Tulikoura's avatar

Pyres and Great Labour

Eighth and final illustration to my "War of the Dwarves and Orcs" - serie. Pencil, drawing ink & graphite pencil work.

"The Battle of Nanduhirion was finally over as Azog the Orc was slain by Dain Ironfoot. But no feast nor song was there that night; for their dead were beyond the count of grief.

Barely half of their number could still stand or had hope of healing. Dwarves were at the gate of their ancient kingdom, but they couldn't enter; Durins Bane still walked in the halls of Khazad-Dum, and long time will pass before Durins folk will walk again in Moria. Therefore, those Houses which fought this war for vengeance alone, had to go home without the rewards and the weregilds.

So it was that after the battle of Nanduhirion the dwarves dispersed again. But first with great labour they stripped all their dead, so that orcs should not come and win there a store of weapons and mail. It is said that every dwarf that went from that battlefield was bowed under a heavy burden.

Dwarves also built many pyres and burned all the bodies of their kin. There was a great felling of trees in the valley, which remained bare ever after, and the reek of the burning was seen from afar. Such dealings are grievous to dwarves, as they couldn't build proper tombs for their fallen for that would have taken years; so to fire they therefore turned, rather than leave their kin to beast or bird or carrion-orc.

Such was the end of Great War, which was long, ruthless and unknown to many."

Rest of the illustrations:
1. [link]
2. [link]
3. [link]
4. [link]
5. [link]
6. [link]
7. [link]
Image details
Image size
1642x2327px 4.2 MB
HP psc1500
Date Taken
Jul 1, 2010, 6:36:31 PM
© 2010 - 2022 Tulikoura
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Dwarves did not wage war against orcs. They sough to annihilate them. To kill each and every one of them. Period. They succeeded in destroying orcs as political entity and it took centuries for their numbers to resurge and Misty Mountains became safe for long time.

thegonzanator's avatar
All of this content is incredible!
Tulikoura's avatar
Thank you very much!
But the dwarves always remember the battle, and the galantry they fought with; from now then on anytime a dwarve died either with honor or honesty, his/her acquitances say; "he/she is an Incinerated one", cause there are no better examples of glory and honour between them that the ones that died that day.
Tulikoura's avatar
coranglais's avatar
I just finished looking at the whole series. Fabulous work! I think #3 is my favorite.
Tulikoura's avatar
Thank you for viewing this serie, I'm glad you like it. This project was interesting and fun to do, to link these single illustrations and tell a story.

Hehe, that illustration is one of my favourites as well. Many interesting elements to combine (I have always wanted to draw Moria and its surroundings), and all succeeded pretty well - considering its still only a b&w work.
coranglais's avatar
I hope you do more such series in the future. I think I'll watch you...
Tulikoura's avatar
Series are interesting, as I mentioned, and I have couple of ideas what would be the next serie.

For example, there isn't too much information about Balin and his journey to Moria. Not much but still enough; we know that Balins reign lasted for five years to his death. I planned to give a try and illustrate this journey.
coranglais's avatar
I look forward to seeing it!
randolfo's avatar
Very very good!
Tulikoura's avatar
Well, thank you very much!
TheMoonsSea's avatar
And again! You're pictures are very detailed. Amazing work.
Tulikoura's avatar
Thanks! Sometimes I just "detail" too much and then its very messy. But I do love to try drawing realistic characters and armours (ringmail is my favourite).
TheMoonsSea's avatar
Yea, ringmail is also my favorite! It goes well with just about any design.
Qitian's avatar
Very impressive! The details are brilliantly worked out, and despite all the "light" the sad atmosphere comes across very well. Great work! (And it's lovely to see someone focusing on the dwarves for a change!)
Tulikoura's avatar
Thank you for the comment!

Its quite hard to adjust the balance between light and shadows in this style I draw, its not perfect yet. It might be too light, or too dark. Still, most important is that it manages to bring the message across.

There's something special in M-E dwarves and their history, I agree. I have mostly seen illustrations about elves.
Qitian's avatar
Heh, I'm guilty of focusing mostly on Elves myself. But I admire it all the more when someone manages to do more about the dwarves!

I think the message comes across perfectly well. You've put such emotion into the picture that the contrast between the bright day and the dark theme enhances the picture, I think!
danielpapen's avatar
Nice :) Your style resembles mine in my Hobbit Illustrations :)
DappleHack's avatar
It was a great project really! I have a special love for dwarves in M-E world, and I always grieved that there are so few pictures about them around. Your cycle was a delight to my eyes.
Tulikoura's avatar
Thats glad to hear. That was the basic reason why I chose to draw this serie; it really is a rare sight to see illustrations concerning dwarven history, and stories about M-E dwarves are rare as well. There's something special in that race, I have to admit. It's easy to keep drawing and drawing from that theme...

Thank you for watching this serie, and for the comment!
FaerieCarousel's avatar
Wow, this is amazing. Beautiful work. You have a great style.
Tulikoura's avatar
Thank you very much for the comment. My style might be a bit rough, but I think it kinda fits to themes like this. It's not perfect, yet.

Still, to illustrate Tolkiens stories with drawing ink and paper - its fun. No need to stress over tablets and programms.
FaerieCarousel's avatar
It really does fit the scene you chose to depict. And I prefer traditional art myself, ink or charcoal and paper, so I doubly agree.
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