She hums. "By the elven count, this year is the two thousandth, nine hundredth, and forty first of the Third Age. I was born in the seven hundredth and seventy first of this same millenium, so most of what I know is second hand. But I like hearing stories, and I've traveled far."
"Some time before the elves began counting years, there were the gods. The greater gods are called the Valar, and the lesser are called the Maiar. They made the world, and then they started fighting - mostly the Vala Melkor and his loyal Maiar against the others. Melkor's enemies won eventually, and they locked him up. I suppose he must have escaped, because he started fighting the peoples of a continent that used to be to the West - Beleriand - right before the start of the First Age, when the sun and moon were put in the sky."
"Melkor made the orcs, the trolls, and the dragons, and many others who don't matter anymore, and he had a great fortress in the north of Beleriand. Glaurung and Ancalagon lived and fought in the First Age, along with many other great dragons of legend. The Valar didn't do much about Melkor for a while - story-tellers disagree on why - until they decided all at once to go to war against him, with the elves they'd been keeping as pets on their continent, farther to the west. They killed most of the great dragons, and defeated Melkor again."
"Stories are pretty sure Melkor's going to come back someday, but no one agrees when or where or how. Most dragons think he'll make a new golden age for us but that's dumb, he'll just tell us what to do and probably get us killed picking fights for dumb reasons. Beleriand sunk during the war, and everyone fled east, unless they were elves and the Valar liked them, in which case they went west. That was the end of the First Age."
"A group of people with mixed elven and human blood ruled the western parts of the world not controlled by the Valar. They were annoyed they weren't immortal like their elven ancestors, and declared war on the Valar. This would've been a really good idea except for how the Valar dropped a mountain on them. The Valar then left the world in a huff. Somebody turned the world from the flat plane into a sphere and made the sun and moon into actual sensible things - they had been giant glowing fruits because the Valar are weird - I'm not sure that part's true, it sounds like poetic license."
"Then the humans and elves left on this continent got into a war with one of Melkor's lieutenants. The elves and humans supposedly won, ending the Second Age and starting the Third, except for how the lieutenant then showed back up a few thousand years later and started trying to recruit dragons to his cause, like a really annoying roach. This mostly didn't work, but some scattered bands of dragons got into a war with the dwarves a few hundred years ago. They won, but then they dispersed with their treasure, which Smaug then killed them for."
"Smaug decided to conquer a dwarven kingdom just before I was born and has been hanging out there ever since, sitting on his pile of treasure and presumably contemplating how much of an asshole he is."