Welcome back everyone. I hope you enjoy this continuation of our story. As of this coming Monday I will be back in school so bare with me. I have a lot of chapters written ahead for right now and hopefully there will be no lapse in chapters at any time, but bare with me if I get a bit behind at any point.
Any descriptions that come from the Hobbit belong to J.R.R. Tolkien.
Stuck in a barrel full of fish for as long as I had been, trying not to puke because of the smell and then getting tipped over was not a fun experience. I wanted out of my barrel now. I felt the barge bump into something and then heard a noise next to me like something falling over and then I screamed as suddenly my barrel tipped over onto its side, the fish and me spilling out of it. I flailed my arms around, sputtering as I tried to extricate myself from the barrel as Bard continued to knock over barrels.
"Get yer hands off me," I heard my husband growl and I turned my head and saw his head poking up through the fish of his barrel. If I had been in any other situation than this I might have laughed. Dwalin heaved himself out of his barrel, as did Thorin and the others, all of us greasy and slimy from the fish.
I felt a hand on my stomach and looked up into the eyes of my husband and he grabbed me around the middle and hauled me to my feet. I slipped a bit, my boots slippery and slimy and he held me fast to his side and I immediately patted his arm quickly to get him to loosen his grip. He seemed to get the idea as he got me over to the side of the barge where I threw up once more into the lake.
"I hate fish," I groaned as I straightened back up, my husband rubbing circles on my back and I turned around, seeing the dock keeper staring at us all in shock. Bard approached the man and sipped him a coin covertly.
"You didn't see them, they were never here. The fish you can have for nothing," I heard Bard tell the dock keeper and he waved his hand to us as we filed out onto the dock.
"Follow me," Bard ordered as I slipped my hand into Dwalin's.
"What is this place?" Bilbo asked, looking around at everything in shock and awe as we entered Laketown.
"This, Master Baggins, is the world of Men," Thorin answered him and I realized that indeed this town was far larger than Bree and the people were quite a bit different too.
We hurried after Bard, getting lost in the crowd of people on the docks who were loading and unloading boats, carrying baskets or farm animals, or selling fish. It was strange for me seeing a town of Men like this. It was nothing like back home. I couldn't see myself living here which was strange as for most of my life I had thought I was of the race of Men.
"Keep your heads down and keep moving," Bard called back to us as we followed him and I couldn't help but look around as we walked. There was just so much to see, so much activity. "Quickly now," Bard said, ushering us along and I bent my head and kept walking.
"Halt!" Someone shouted then and my head whipped around to the sound of the man's voice and I saw that it was a guard of Laketown who was pointing right towards us. We stopped short and I squeezed Dwalin's hand, not sure what to do.
"Come on! Move!" Thorin ordered then and I looked back at Bilbo who like me was looking around, unsure of what was going on. I held fast to Dwalin's hand though, letting him pull me forward as we started to make a run for it.
"In the name of the Master of Laketown, I said halt!" The guard ordered as we took off through the market. We ran after Thorin who was leading us and Dwalin pulled him back as another guard appeared in front of us.
"Oi!" The guard shouted as Thorin stepped back, holding his arms back, barring our way and protecting us as well.
"Get back!" Thorin shouted to us and we tried to head back the other way, but several guards descended on us.
Ori hit the first one in the face with a paddle he grabbed quickly while Gloin tripped another who fell face first into a wooden pole. I grabbed a cast iron skillet, my weapon of choice back home and as one guard came at me, probably thinking I wasn't much of a threat, I smashed him first in the knee with the skillet and then smacked him upside the face with it. Balin got another guard in the gut with a paddle and Thorin punched one in the face whilst Fili and Kili grabbed a rope and tripped a third whom Dwalin punched out cold as soon as he was down. Nori like me had grabbed a skillet and we smashed the soldiers over the head with them, Bofur breaking a teapot over the head of one of the soldiers.
After the last soldier fell, we quickly hid them and I was surprised when the townsfolk who had watched the fight, helped us hide the soldiers as well. The others and I quickly hid then and one of the women looked at me and nodded as she pointed to a hiding spot behind three large boxes near her. After the soldiers were hidden, the people of Laketown quickly went back to their business as if nothing had happened as another man appeared. I peeked out of my hiding place and saw that he was wearing armour that designated him as some sort of Captain or at least that is what I assumed as it was more elaborate than the other soldier's armour.
"What's going on here?" The Captain demanded and I looked around, skillet still in hand and saw the other Dwarves still ready for a fight too. "Stay where you are. Nobody leaves," The Captain commanded and he began searching the area. Bad news for him, I thought, my skillet hand getting itchy.
"Braga!" I heard Bard say almost cheerfully and when I peeked out I saw him approach the Captain, a spring in his step.
"Sorry," The Captain, Braga, said before recognizing Bard. "You. What are you up to Bard?" Braga demanded looking at Bard suspiciously.
"Me? Nothing," Bard told him and I heard a groan and looked over, seeing one of the soldiers coming too. The woman who had nodded to me was staring out over a wooden ledge upon which were two flower pots and she casually nudged one off with her elbow, the pot falling on top of the head of the soldier and knocking him out once more. The woman flicked her eyes down to me and nodded and I nodded back, silently thanking her.
"Yeah," Braga said, pushing past Bard as the woman and several others quickly tried to cover the soldiers from view, placing boxes in front of them and plants on the head of one.
"Here Braga," Bard said then, drawing the man's attention back to him and when I peeked out I saw Bard holding up a white and kind of flimsy looking dress. "Your wife would look lovely in this," Bard said, still holding up the dress in front of him.
"What do you know of my wife?" Braga demanded, taking a step towards Bard.
"I know her as well as any man in this town," Bard said and I had to hold my hand over my mouth to keep myself from laughing. Braga angrily snatched the dress from Bard's grasp and stormed off and I saw Bard close his eyes and sigh in relief at not having been caught sneaking us into town.
We all slipped out of hiding then and I quietly thanked the woman before grabbing Dwalin's hand once more, all of us following after Bard through back alley ways. We were coming around a corner when a boy of fourteen or so came running around it, looking relieved to see Bard and worried as well.
"Da! Our house, it's being watched," The boy told Bard who looked back at Thorin and us and I could see the wheels turning in his mind. I did not like where this was going.
Bard laid out his plan to us which involved us getting into the lake and swimming under the docks and into Bard's house through the privy. I literally could not make this stuff up. Not seeing any other means of entering the house unnoticed, we had to agree to the plan. We walked to the edge of the docks and Thorin was the first to slip into the icy cold water. He cursed but remained quiet and the others grumbled and cursed but held their tongues as they followed him. Dwalin slid into the water before me and when it was my turn, I felt hesitation, not knowing if I could do it. The decision was made for me when Bard pushed me forward and I toppled off the dock and towards the lake. I fell into it, the cold racing through me, the icy water like hundreds of needles pricking my skin and I surfaced from the water coughing and spluttering. '
Dwalin was cursing something fierce at Bard until I stopped him, Bard telling Dwalin we didn't have time for me to make up my mind and Dwalin grabbed onto me, keeping me close as I treaded water, glad that my father had taught me to swim. Bilbo was kept afloat by the others and we ducked under the dock, swimming under it, about a foot of room available under the docks for our heads.
"You can tell the Master that I'm done for the day," I heard Bard say as I swam under the dock. We made our way under Bard's house and found the dreaded privy hole that we were expected to haul ourselves up though and into the house. It seemed like forever waiting for the signal but then we heard the three knocks from above us. Dwalin insisted that I be the first out of the water and he gave me a boost up until my head popped out of the lid of the toilet.
Bard's son was there and as I pushed the toilet seat up he grabbed my arm which I got over my head and he helped pull me forward. Dwalin gave me another shove from below then and I fell forward, Bard's son falling back with me. I groaned as did Bard's son and I lifted my head and shook the water out of my eyes, glad I had just fallen on his legs.
"Sorry lad," I apologized to the boy, getting to my feet and offering him a hand up. Once on his feet he stared at me in shock and awe but he didn't have much time to get a good look at me as that was when Dwalin's head popped out of the toilet. I turned around and snorted loudly, the ridiculousness of the situation finally hitting me.
"If you speak of this to anyone, I'll rip your arms off," Dwalin threatened and he raised the seat and began to pull himself out of the toilet. Bard's son reached out to help him, but Dwalin slapped his hand away. "Get off," Dwalin snapped at him and I sighed and stepped forward offering him my hand.
"The faster you're out, the faster you can forget it ever happened," I told my husband and he raised an eyebrow at me but grabbed onto my offered hand. I tugged hard as he pushed himself up with his other hand and he came sliding out of the toilet.
"Up there," Bard's son told us and he pointed up the stairs and Dwalin wrapped an arm around my waist and led me away. I turned and looked over my shoulder, catching sight of a flabbergasted Bilbo poking his head out of the toilet as we mounted the stairs.
"Da...why are there dwarves climbing out of our toilet?" An older girl asked Bard as she looked down the stairs as a long trail of Dwarves suddenly climbed out of the toilet and into her home. It was strange.
"Will they bring us luck?" A younger girl asked and I smiled at her as Dwalin sat me down in front of the fire.
Bard asked his daughter who I heard him call Sigrid to find as many blankets as she could and she and her father began passing them out to us all as we got out of our wet things as much as we could. The first thing I had done was get off my boots, knowing that my feet and my head was where I lost warmth the fastest. Wrapped in a blanket near the fire, Bard began to hand clothes out to the others, but he stopped when he came to me.
"Sigrid, look in the chest in the attic. I think there might be something in there to fit our guest," Bard said and Sigrid nodded and hurried over to my side.
"Come on, let's get you out of these wet things," She told me with a smile on her face and I rose from my chair and followed her to her and her sister Tilda's room. Sigrid left me sitting on the edge of her bed as she went to look in the attic and Tilda stared at me curiously.
"Why's your hair so short? I thought Dwarves had long hair?" Tilda asked me suddenly and while I was surprised by the question I wasn't offended. She was a little girl and she was only curious.
"That's right, all Dwarves have long hair. Mine was cut by an Orc in the middle of battle," I answered the little girl, leaving out the gorey details and her eyes widened in excitement.
"You've fought Orcs?" She asked me, bouncing on her bed as her sister arrived back in their room. It was a small room, barely big enough for both single beds and the small dresser, but it was cosy.
"Tilda, don't pester her," Sigrid scolded her sister, holding up a long blue dress.
"It's alright, I don't mind," I told Sigrid before standing a smile on my face as I winked at Tilda.
"I hope this is alright. It's all I found that may fit. It might be a bit long though," Sigrid said, worrying her lip and I put a hand on her shoulder.
"It'll be perfect," I assured her and she nodded, looking comforted by my words and she laid out the dress on the bed with some under things and breast bands.
"Tilda and I will leave you to dress," Sigrid said and Tilda rose from her bed, sighing and followed her sister out of the room.
I stripped out of my cold wet clothes and dressed in the clean dry under things before winding the breast bindings on as tight as I could stand them as the dress seemed like it might be a little tight in the chest area for me. The dress indeed was long on me, trailing behind me, but it was clean and comfortable. It smelled of lemon and lavender and I noticed that it was a dress for a woman. Obviously this was not one of Sigrid's dresses. The fact that it had been in the attic meant that it was probably one of Bard's wife's dresses that he had kept. That fact alone made me extra careful with it.
I bunched up the extra fabric in one hand as I walked, the blanket still wrapped around my shoulders for added warmth and I joined the others in the main room once more. Bard looked up as I entered the room and nodded, looking wistful which only confirmed my suspicions. I sat back down near my husband and Sigrid walked over to me with a steaming cup of tea in her hands which she offered me with a smile. I gratefully accepted it from her and inhaled the steam from coming off of the top of it, smelling ginger and mint which made my mouth water. I blew gently on the top of the tea to cool it, looking around at the others who were wrapped tightly in blankets, their wet things laid out in front of the fire, some shivering.
"It may not be the best fit, but it'll keep you warm," Bard said as he continued to pass out blankets and clothes to the others and Bilbo thanked Tilda as she passed one to the Hobbit.
"Thank you very much," I heard Bilbo tell Tilda quietly, ever polite no matter what the situation was. I took a sip of my tea, feeling my stomach settling and I noticed Thorin looking intently at something out of the window. A lock of shock crossed his face, making me frown in concern.
"A Dwarvish Wind-Lance," Thorin said and Bilbo, who was sipping a hot drink from a mug, looked at the wind-lance too. I rose from my seat and drew closer to the window to see what Thorin was talking about. On top of a wooden tower not far away was a giant crossbow type weapon with four arms.
"You look like you've seen a ghost," Bilbo commented as he looked at Thorin with a frown.
"He has. The last time we saw such a weapon, a city was on fire. It was the day the dragon came," Balin told him and Thorin looked sadly away from the window. I put a hand on his shoulder and tucked myself into his side. "The day that Smaug destroyed Dale. Girion, the Lord of the city, rallied his bowman to fire upon the beast," Balin explained and I could almost see Dale in flames and the dragon that my mind could only imagine.
"But a dragon's hide is tough, tougher than the strongest armor. Only a black arrow, fired from a wind-lance, could have pierced the dragon's hide, and few of those arrows were ever made," Balin said and I frowned at that wondering how we were supposed to have a chance against Smuag if such a weapon was hard to come by. "His store was running low when Girion made his last stand," Balin told us and Thorin looked up at that as I raised my head from his shoulder.
"Had the aim of Men been true that day, much would have been different," Thorin said and Bard approached Thorin and me
"You speak as if you were there," Bard said suspiciously and Balin, Bilbo, Thorin and I turned to look at him.
"All Dwarves know the tale," Thorin told Bard, sticking to our story.
"Then you would know that Girion hit the dragon. He loosened a scale under the left wing. One more shot and he would have killed the beast," Bard's son Bain said as he walked up behind his father and Dwalin chuckled as he spoke.
"That's a fairy story, lad. Nothing more," Dwalin told Bain and Thorin turned to me and kissed the top of my head before he strode up to Bard.
"You took our money. Where are the weapons?" Thorin demanded of Bard who stared at Thorin for a long moment as if still considering the deal he had made with us.
"Wait here," Bard told us and he went back down the stairs to the lower part of the house.
"Tomorrow begins the last days of autumn," Thorin said, he Fili, Kili, Balin and myself conversing in low voices.
"Durin's Day falls two days after next. We must reach the mountain before then," Balin reminded us, his hands braced on his hips.
"And if we do not? If we fail to find the hidden door before that time?" Kili asked, in a low voice looking around in case Bard returned as I bit my lip, still sipping on my tea.
"Then this quest has been for nothing," Fili answered his brother, saying what we all knew to be true. We heard the footsteps of Bard returning and I leaned in towards all of them.
"Do not lose hope just yet. There is still time to reach the mountain before Durin's Day," I reminded my family before pulling away from them and walking away back to my husband's side.
I tucked myself into his arms as Bard returned and he laid a package on the table, the others coming to stand around the table to see what Bard had for us. The package seemed rather small. Bard loosened the wrappings and revealed a couple of hand-made weapons. The others looked at them in shock before they picked up the weapons and looked at them in disgust. To them it would be an insult. They certainly weren't of Dwarvish make, but I understood Bard. I had seen the fear in the eyes of the people when the fight began. They didn't hide the soldiers for us, they hid them for themselves. It seemed as if the Master kept everyone beneath him here.
"What is this?" Thorin demanded as he picked up a crudely fashioned weapon, a stick with some hooks on the end.
"Pike-hook. Made from an old harpoon," Bard answered him as Kili held up a hammer looking weapon.
"And this?" Kili asked as he looked at the dented metal.
"A crowbill, we call it, fashioned from a smithy's hammer. It's heavy in hand, I grant, but in defense of your life, these will serve you better than none," Bard answered him and Thorin and Dwalin looked disgustedly at each other. I went to pick up one of the weapons that might be light enough in my hands and Dwalin gently pushed my hand away from them, not wanting me to even touch them.
"We paid you for weapons. Iron-forged swords and axes!" Gloin raged as he accused Bard of going against his part of the bargain.
"It's a joke!" Bofur cried and he threw his weapon back on the table, and the other Dwarves followed suit.
"You won't find better outside the city armory. All iron-forged weapons are held there under lock and key," Bard said and I made an ah sound as my theory was confirmed. Martial law. I caught Thorin and Dwalin looking at each other out of the corners of their eyes and I had seen that look enough times to know that they were hatching some sort of plan.
"Thorin," Balin said and I caught Bard looking up at the mention of my Uncle's name. "Why not take what's been offered and go? I've made do with less; so have you. I say we leave now," Balin announced as Bard put his hands on the table and leaned against them.
"You're not going anywhere," Bard suddenly told us and Dwalin turned to him, and I knew there was about to be a fight as Dwalin placed me behind him, every muscle in his body tensing.
"What did you say!?" Dwalin demanded as I gripped onto his arm, trying to get him to calm down.
"There's spies watching this house and probably every dock and wharf in the town. You must wait till nightfall," Bard said, speaking quickly and upon hearing this the others began to settle down. Not my husband though. Oh no, he was bristling and ready for a fight. He had been since we first had stepped onto the barge.
"'Ikhuzh!" I said in exasperation, raising my hands up in the air and I noticed that Kili who was leaning on a pole, went white with pain and slowly slid down the pole and sat down on the couch. The others all turned to me at my outburst as I stepped out from behind Dwalin's back and set down my mug on the table. "Open your eyes if not your ears. This is not Bree. Bard said none enter Laketown without leave of the Master. I saw it earlier in the market if you did not. The Lakemen did not hide those soldiers for us, but for themselves. They're scared," I said and I looked up at Bard and I saw that my words were correct when he nodded, before looking down at his feet.
"These weapons, they're all they have for a reason," I said as I gestured to the makeshift weapons on the table before me. "Iron forged weapons are under lock and key because the Master is afraid the people will rebel if they were armed. The fish...people are starving here and the Master would rather dump fish back into the lake than feed his own people. I saw their faces," I said as I looked at the others in turn, recalling what I had seen in the market. Gaunt faces, ribs that were more than a little pronounced. Clothes that had been patched more than a few times.
"We cannot solve all the world's problems mizimith," Thorin told me, his arms crossed over his chest and I sighed deeply and stood back from the table.
"But we can have more compassion and understanding for those who live as such," I countered and Thorin and I locked eyes with one another. Balin smiled at that and shook his head at me fondly.
"She sounds like Frerin you know," Balin said and Thorin nodded, Dwalin kissing the side of my head as he placed a hand on my shoulder, finally calming himself.
"I know," Thorin said tiredly and he ran a hand down his face. "Find what rest you can," Thorin told us as I watched Bard walk out of the house, a strange look on his face as he looked between me and Thorin. I turned to my husband and leaned in kissing him briefly before pulling back.
"You know that I can defend myself right?" I asked him and Dwalin grunted, crossing his arms over his chest as he leaned his right hip on the table and raised an eyebrow at me. "Then why in Mahal's name do you keep pushing me behind you? It's mildly infuriating," I told him huffing as I crossed my own arms over my chest, sneaking a look at Kili out of the corner of my eye and finding him examining the bandage on his leg while he thought no one was looking.
"Habit," Dwalin grunted at me and I sighed deeply and rested my forehead on his shoulder.
"Well if I can take on Azog I'm sure I can take one lippy lakeman," I told my husband who chuckled and his arms uncrossed and wrapped around me and I uncrossed my own arms and wrapped them around his shoulders.
"I'll try to remember that lass," Dwalin told me and I pulled back to look at him and kissed him once more, giving him another tight squeeze before pulling away from his arms. He frowned down at me in confusion and I sighed, rubbing at my eyes tiredly.
"I need to take a look at Kili's leg while we have a moment," I said, to answer his unspoken question and Dwalin nodded in understanding. I walked over to Kili then and he looked up at me as I approached. I knelt down in front of him and he looked away from me, biting his lip. "How are you feeling?" I asked Kili as I moved my hands towards his wound and he quickly caught my wrists in one of his hands, looking back at me.
"Don't touch it," Kili said in a harsh whisper and he let go of my wrists. "Sorry," He apologized to me and I held up both hands and rose slightly and lifted myself up to sit on the couch beside him.
"I won't for now, but I need to look at it. It's not going to heal on its own," I told Kili and he sighed heavily. I reached over and put a hand on his forehead comforted that his forehead wasn't hot at least. "No fever, that's a good thing," I said, dropping my hand from his forehead and then I opened my arms. "Come here," I told him and Kili grunted, moving until he was leaning against me and I wrapped my arms around him and played with his hair to calm him. I closed my eyes, trying to get comfortable myself and feeling the tiredness deep in my bones, but our moment of peace was short lived though.
"Come on lass, we're leaving," I heard Dwalin say in a low voice as he shook me awake and I groaned and scrunched up my face as I woke up from my doze. I opened my eyes, putting a hand to my forehead and saw Dwalin waiting for me, the others all on their feet and seemingly ready for battle. Kili was hiding a grimace as he got to his own feet and I let Dwalin help me to my feet, frowning in confusion.
"Is it nighttime already?" I asked my husband and he shook his head.
"Almost. We're going to get those weapons, lass," Dwalin informed me in a whisper, filling me in on the plan and I groaned in frustration knowing that meant that our "plan" was to break into the armoury.
"Have you really thought this through?" I hissed as I looked back at Thorin who was standing behind us and flicking a look to Bard's son Bain who was eyeing us suspiciously. Bard hadn't returned yet from wherever he had gone. "Are we seriously going to break into the armoury?" I questioned them and the others nodded looking pretty damn proud of their plan.
"We're gonna break in, yer gonna be our lookout lass," Dwalin told me as if that made it any better and I threw up my hands in frustration.
"We're not negotiating this," Thorin cut in, staring down at me. "You can either stay here and wait for us to return or come with us," Thorin told me in a low voice and I huffed before rolling my eyes.
"Well obviously I'm going with you," I told my Uncle before adding to myself. "You'd be lost without me."
My husband smiled at my comment and kissed the side of my head and we stopped our whispering and turned to the door. Bain seemed to get the idea rather quickly that something was up and to his credit, the boy tried really hard to keep us there. Dwalin pushed right past him though, maneuvering me so that I was in front of him and safely out the door ahead of him while he held the lad back by his forehead while Bain tried to fight him off. I sighed, knowing that this could go only a few ways. We could succeed or we could get caught. I only hoped that the Master was easier to bargain with than Thranduil.
Third Person POV
Tauriel was in quick pursuit of the Orcs. She came to the rocky promontory at the end of the river and at the banks of the lake from which the Dwarves had boarded Bard's barge. Far across the lake, Laketown was visible to her, no fog blocking the town from her gaze with the sun high in the sky and the day warm. On the rocks were pieces of a deer that the Orcs had previously shot and ripped apart. Tauriel skipped her way across the rocks, stopping to gaze out at Laketown. Hearing something, she turned her head slightly and reached for her bow with subtle movements. She whipped around and came to a crouch with an arrow notched to her bow. Several yards behind her was Legolas, his bow also drawn.
"Ingannen le Orch," (I thought you were an Orc.) Tauriel said without lowering her bow.
"Cí Orch im, dangen le," (If I were an Orc, you would be dead.) Legolas told her and they both lowered their bows. "Tauriel, you cannot hunt thirty orcs on your own," Legolas said as he crossed the rocks over towards her.
"But I'm not on my own," Tauriel said with a smile on her face and Legolas smiled at her words.
"You knew I would come," Legolas said and Tauriel smiled at that and from the trees came a great crashing sound and then a shout. Legolas quickly pulled back his bow and pointed it in the direction of the noise but Tauriel seemed not alarmed by this, confusing the Elven Prince.
"Don't shoot me!" A voice shouted and someone trudged out of the trees and onto the rocks and Legolas lowered his bow and turned his gaze to Tauriel, in annoyance as Lyssaria emerged from the trees with her own bow in hand.
"So it is true. You freed her," Legolas said as the Dwelf ran across the rocks to join them and she sneered at Legolas before making a disgusted face at the corpse of the mangled deer.
"I freed her," Tauriel said simply. Legolas had discovered as he had gathered his weapons that Lyssaria was missing from the dungeons and he suspected as did the King that it had been Tauriel's doing and now her presence only confirmed the suspicions.
"The King is angry, Tauriel. For 600 years, my father has protected you, favored you. You defied his orders; you betrayed his trust. Set a prisoner free," Legolas said as he walked closer to her and Tauriel turned towards him, her face falling as he mentioned the King. Tauriel thinking of her discussion with the King about Legolas. "Dandolo na nin...e gohenatha,"(Come back with me...he will forgive you.) Legolas told her while Lyssaria picked at her fingernails.
"Ú-'ohenathon. Cí dadwenithon, ú-'ohenathon im." (But I will not. If I go back, I will not forgive myself.) Tauriel told Legolas passionately. "The king has never let orc-filth from our lands, yet he would let this orc-pack cross our borders and kill our prisoners," She said as she turned away from Legolas and looked towards Laketown.
"It is not our fight," Legolas all but shouted at her, trying to get her to see reason.
"It is our fight," Tauriel contradicted him, turning back to Legolas as Lyssaria looked to her as well. "It will not end here. With every victory, this evil will grow. If your father has his way, we will do nothing. We will hide within our walls, live our lives away from the light, and let darkness descend. Are we not part of this world?" Tauriel asked Legolas, walking closer to him and shaking her head slightly. "Tell me, mellon, when did we let evil become stronger than us?" She asked Legolas fiercely and Legolas looked away from her, conflicted.
"She has a point," Lyssaria said, jumping into the conversation as she pointed at Tauriel. "Which is how she recruited me for this venture," She continued shrugging as she slung her bow over her shoulders. "I for one say it's time we gave them a taste of their own medicine. Your Father has sat back and done nothing while the spawn of Ungoliant invade the forest. I've walked the Elven Path, this is no longer the Greenwood of old cousin and you know this as well as I," Lyssaria said as she looked to Legolas who met her eyes as she called him cousin. He could see the resemblances now in her fair features.
"My mother was banished not just because she married a Dwarf but because she refused to sit back as your Father did nothing. She was persistent in her efforts to try and get him to see reason. He finally told her that if she hated the way he ran things so much she could just leave. Then he officially banished her before our people and stripped her of her titles," Lyssaria continued, shaking her head as her face turned down into a deep frown and she sighed heavily.
"I do not believe you. My father would not...," Legolas said, shaking his head. He could not believe that his father would banish his own kin over essentially how he and Tauriel felt. He could understand banishment for marrying a Dwarf of course.
"My mother told me he wasn't always so ill tempered and cold. He changed...after your mother's death she said. I saw how my own mother's death changed my adad, but he had family, he had me. I was old enough to understand. You were but a babe when your mother died Legolas, he had to raise you on his own. Some people handle loss differently. Your father...he greaves still, I think," Lyssaria said, stepping towards Legolas and she reached out and put a hand on his shoulder which his first instinct was to bat away but he saw the sincerity in her eyes as he listened to her words.
"Tauriel is right. This is our fight. The Orcs grow more bold. They move in greater numbers. With every victory, evil wins and takes another foothold in our world. We have the ability to stop it. But down there…," Lyssaria said, walking forward and pointing towards Laketown. "The Dwarves are headed for the mountain. They'll have to stop through Laketown first, they need supplies. Don't think the Orcs that are hunting them will stop just because they see a town of Men. They won't. More innocent lives will be lost. Unless we do something about it," Lyssaria finished and Legolas looked between her and Tauriel for a long moment as he made a decision, return to his father, or follow the woman he loved.
Third Person POV
Bard ran through Laketown, the names Thorin and Frerin ringing through his mind. He knew that he had heard of those names before. Seen them somewhere. He remembered where he had seen the names then. On a tapestry of Dwarven make. An old tapestry in a shop years ago. He ran into the shop, stopping up short.
"Hello, Bard. What're you after?" The shopkeeper asked him and Bard started forward once more and he began to look through a pile of tapestries for sale hurriedly. It couldn't have sold, no one had the money for the luxury of a tapestry besides the Master and he was more into himself than a tapestry of Dwarven make.
"There was a tapestry, an old one; where's it gone?" Bard demanded as he threw a tapestry onto the floor, searching around quickly as he tried to find the one he was searching for.
"What tapestry are you talking about?" The shopkeeper asked him as Bard finally found it. It was a tapestry made of blue cloth upon which were strange runes and gold tassels. One the front of the tapestry were the names of the House of Durin.
"This one," Bard said, as he unrolled the tapestry and on a table. It had the names of the members of the Line of Durin sewn into it. He overheard the woman who saw the Dwarves earlier speaking to some other townspeople not far away as he searched through the tapestry.
"There were Dwarves, I tell you. Appeared out of nowhere. Full beards, fierce eyes; I've never seen the like," She said as she carried a basket down the docks past a fisherman.
"What are Dwarves doing in these parts?" The fisherman asked, looking up from where he was fixing his net.
"It's the prophecy," An old man answered knowingly.
"Prophecy?" The fisherman scoffed.
The prophecy of Durin's folk. Some say there's two," The man said as Bard traced through the lineage on the tapestry and found the last entry, Thorin. He looked then to the entry next to Thorin's and saw a second name, Frerin.
"The prophecy...prophecy," Bard said, looking up and thinking deeply as he backed away from the tapestry and put a hand to his mouth, rubbing his chin.
"The old tales will come true," A man said, word of the Dwarves spreading through Laketown as fast as dragon fire.
"Vast halls of treasure!" A woman said excitedly to an older woman.
"Silver and gold and jewels beyond measure," A young woman said as Alfrid hidden behind a hood in the market, listening to the townsfolk and their talk of Dwarves.
"Can it really be true? Has the lord of silver fountains returned?" Another woman whispered and it was this phrase that Bard overheard that jolted his memory.
"The lord of silver fountains, The king of carven stone, The king beneath the mountain shall come into his own," Bard recited as he looked down at the tapestry with a mixture of shock and horror on his face. "And the bells shall ring in gladness at the mountain king's return, but all shall fail in sadness and the lake will shine and burn," Bard continued to recite as he looked in the direction of the mountain as the setting sun caused the lake to glow orange like it was on fire before he broke into a run. Bard burst into his house, but when he looked around, his daughter Sigrid was setting the table for dinner and the Dwarves were nowhere in sight. Tilda rushed towards him as did Bain who looked worried and shamed.
"Da! I tried to stop them-" Bain began and Bard cut him off quickly, feeling panic rise through him as he realized the true nature of why they were in Laketown. If they had no weapons they could not fight a dragon. If they were discovered though, it still was on his head.
"How long have they been gone!?" Bard demanded his son stuttering out an answer before Bard took off once more through the streets of Laketown, needing to put an end to this before Laketown burned like Dale had.
Once more I found myself sneaking through Laketown only this time night had fallen giving us a little more cover from the guards. Traversing around in a dress that was way too long for me was more than a bit difficult and while my husband had offered to rip off the extra length I had stopped him, knowing that the dress was probably one of the only things Bard had left of his wife. Of course no one understood my reasoning so I kept quiet and tripped along as best as I could. We were hidden behind a boat waiting for a patrol to pass and I felt antsy as the two watchmen walked past us, fearing that we were going to be seen at any minute.
"Can you see anything?" Bilbo asked us in a hushed whisper, trying to peer around the boat.
"Shh! Keep it down," Oin scolded him as I breathed out a sigh of relief when the watchmen turned down an alley.
"As soon as we have the weapons, we make straight for the mountain," Thorin told us and he pointed to Nori then. "Go, go, go!" He ordered and Nori got a running start before he ran up the pyramid of Dwarves who had pressed themselves against the walls of the city armory. He was able to get high enough that he could reach the second floor window and dive through easily enough. "Next," Thorin said and Bilbo ran as quietly as he could across the wooden dock and up the Dwarves before he dove into the second story window. "Adaria," Thorin said then and I perked up, thinking that I was supposed to be keeping watch outside. "I don't want you out here on your own. Think you can make it inside?" He asked me and I looked at the window and then down at my dress before nodding.
I dropped the extra bit of skirt I was holding, reached down and grabbed the back of my dress, pulling it through my legs and pooling the extra fabric from the front up in it, tying the ends together until I had sort of fashioned it together like a pair of pants. Thorin looked scandalized as I showed off my legs from the knee down but I gave him no time to comment as I saluted him before getting a running start across the dock, trying to be careful who I stepped on and where as I used the others as a makeshift ladder and finally dove into the second story window. Nori and Bilbo were waiting to catch me to quiet my fall inside and they pulled me inside the rest of the way and I whispered a quiet thank you before dusting myself off and letting my skirt fall back to the floor.
My husband was inside next and after we all were inside we began collecting weapons, axes, swords, pretty much anything that was sharp. We grabbed far more than we probably would need. Dwalin didn't seem too sure when we tried another axe in my hands that again was too heavy. I told him we would figure it out later once we weren't breaking and entering and we turned to make our way towards the others. I noticed Kili then, struggling under a load of several different weapons and I moved forward to stop him from carrying so much.
"You all right?" I heard Thorin ask him and I saw Kili wince, as he put more weight onto his injured leg.
"I can manage," Kili said and Thorin laid another weapon on the pile in Kili's arms. "Let's just get out of here," He added and before I could get to him he began walking down the stairs, but his wounded leg gave way and he fell with a cry. The weapons he was carrying fell from his arms as well and made a terrible clanging noise as they fell down the stairs. In the distance, the watchmen cried out, and running footsteps approached us.
"Run!" Dori shouted from outside and unable to go far we grabbed the weapons around us ready to fight, but we were surrounded in an instant, several guards pointing pikes at our throats. Not that I would have been able to run far since I was still in a skirt. Dwalin growled and I dropped my weapons and raised my hands looking down to see Captain Braga holding Kili with a dagger to his throat. Kili looked sadly and guiltily at Thorin as I growled under my breath. No one and I meant no one, hurt my family.
Third Person POV
In the Master's House, Alfrid was standing out on the balcony, returned from sneaking about the town, gathering intel for the Master. The latest gossip was about Dwarves and a prophecy if one believed in that sort of thing.
"Prophecy? Who dragged up that old nonsense?" The Master asked from his desk as Alfrid stared out into the quiet night.
"People, sire. They're gathering in the streets, They're saying that a king will return to the Lonely Mountain, and that the rivers will once more run with gold," Alfrid said as the Master counted his own gold behind him.
"Rivers of gold?" The Master asked as he recorded yet another hefty sum of gold taken in taxes. "Poppycock," He added, burping in the middle of the word.
"As you say, sire," Alfrid said as he turned and walked back inside. "But people will believe what they want to believe. It's been a long time since they've seen any riches. The old tales offer them hope," Alfrid said as the Master placed another bag of coins on a scale, sneering at the word hope. A crashing sound rent the night then and Alfrid turned to look outside before quickly heading down the stairs. He poked his head out of the door to the Master's mansion to see what all the commotion was about and saw the soldiers dragging what appeared to be Dwarves, given their height to the mansion, with multitudes of townspeople following behind.
"Get off of me!" A bald headed dwarf shouted, fighting against the three soldiers that had control of him which became four as he tried to headbutt one of them. Alfrid closed the door and went to get the Master as snow began to fall.
The soldiers led us forward as snow began to fall, a large gathering of townsfolk having come out of their homes to see what all the commotion was about. Captain Braga arranges all of us under guard in the town square before the doors of a great mansion which could only belong to the Master of Laketown. I looked at Thorin and he made a gesture of putting his head down and I got his message. For now until we knew what was going on I was to keep my head down. This was the world of Men. A world of Men that I did not know and so I trusted Thorin in this instant.
"What is the meaning of this?" I heard someone demand and I flicked my head up just enough to see a very portly man storming out of the mansion, still putting on his coat as the guards opened the doors.
"We caught 'em stealing weapons, sire," Captain Braga announced and I glared at my feet.
"Ah. Enemies of the state, then," The Master said, even his voice making me want to take a bath and I boiled in my anger at how a man could sit behind the walls of his mansion, clearly eating well if his size was anything to go on and watch others starve.
"A desperate bunch of mercenaries if ever there was, sire," A man agreed with the Master and I did look up at that, looking at the man who spoke as my husband growled.
"Hold your tongue," Dwalin spat and I grinned and put my head down again as my husband stepped forward. "You do not know to whom you speak. This is no common criminal; this is Thorin, son of Thrain, son of Thror!" Dwalin announced, gesturing to Thorin and I could have kissed him in that moment. Thorin stepped forward as the crowd murmured in amazement.
"We are the Dwarves of Erebor," Thorin announced and I felt a hand on my chin and Dwalin raised my head, his other hand slipping around my waist. The crowd whispered in shock and recognition, and people craned their heads to see better. "We have come to reclaim our homeland. I remember this town and the great days of old. Fleets of boats lay at harbor, filled with silks and fine gems. This was no forsaken town on a lake! This was the center of all trade in the North," Thorin said, speaking earnestly to the crowd, and the people nodded in agreement. Hearing Thorin speaking like this, I knew he would be an amazing King for our people.
"I would see those days return. I would relight the great forges of the Dwarves and send wealth and riches flowing once more from the halls of Erebor!" Thorin called to the people who cheered and clapped, while the Master looked down at Thorin with a calculating look. Suddenly, a voice called out over the crowd, and Bard strode forward.
"Death! That is what you will bring upon us," Bard cried, and Thorin turned around as Dwalin moved me out of the way of the approaching bargeman. He almost pushed me behind him, but at the last moment moved me to his other side instead as I shot him a glare. "Dragon-fire and ruin. If you awaken that beast, it will destroy us all," Bard said as he stared at Thorin and the people began to whisper anxiously.
"You can listen to this naysayer, but I promise you this; If we succeed, all will share in the wealth of the mountain," Thorin promised and Balin nodded at this as did I and I smiled widely, glad that he had listened to me earlier. "You will have enough gold to rebuild Esgaroth ten times over!" Thorin shouted and the people shouted in excitement and they applauded him. I turned my head and noticed that the Master was smiling and nodding at this turn of events. My promise to the people was that the Master would not get a single penny of that gold for himself.
"Why should we take you at your word, eh? We don't know nothing about you. Who here can vouch for your character?" A man asked then, the same who had agreed with the Master, and the people stopped cheering, listening to him while murmuring.
"Me," Bilbo called out, raising his hand and the Master squinted his eyes and leaned forward as he stared at Bilbo as I turned to our Hobbit beaming. "I'll vouch for him. Now, I have traveled far with these Dwarves through great danger, and if Thorin Oakenshield gives his word, then he will keep it," Bilbo shouted to the people of Laketown and Thorin turned to look at him and nodded his thanks and the people began cheering once more. I flung my arms around Bilbo and gave him a hug and kissed the top of his head and Bilbo patted my back and smiled up at me as I pulled away, his cheeks pink.
"All of you! Listen to me! You must listen! Have you forgotten what happened to Dale?!" Bard shouted then and the people quieted down and shook their heads sadly. "Have you forgotten those who died in the firestorm?!" He shouted and the people shouted back, "No!"
"And for what purpose? The blind ambition of a mountain-king so driven by greed, he could not see beyond his own desire!" Bard shouted and Bard and Thorin stared at each other angrily while the crowd got louder, but then the Master stepped forth.
"Now, now, we must not, any of us, be too quick to lay blame. Let us not forget that it was Girion, Lord of Dale, your ancestor, who failed to kill the beast!" The Master said, pointing accusingly at Bard, and the crowd began to clamor. As Bard looked away, Thorin looked at him in shock and anger. I sighed understanding it now, why Bain had rushed to Girion's defense.
"It's true, sire. We all know the story: arrow after arrow he shot, each one missing its mark," The Master's kiss ass agreed while the townsfolk began to murmur and I couldn't keep quiet any longer.
"As if any of you have tried to kill a dragon before!" I shouted and all the murmuring ceased as all eyes turned on me. The Master and his kiss ass stared at me as Bard looked down at me in surprise as I nodded at the Master's kiss ass. "People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones mate," I added and he and the Master both looked rather confused by the expression while I noticed a slight smirk on Bard's face as he got it.
"And who are you, boy?" The Master demanded as he squinted at me down the bridge of his nose.
"Watch how you speak to my wife!" Dwalin shouted at the Master who squinted at me some more.
"And to the Heir of Durin's line," Thorin added and the people began murmuring more, women gasping as they realized that the heir to the kingdom of Erebor was a female not a male. Bard looked at me gratefully before his expression turned grim once more and he strode forward.
"You have no right, no right to enter that mountain!" Bard told Thorin earnestly as he breathed out sharp breaths, shaking his head.
"I have the only right," Thorin said in nearly a whisper as he looked up and he turned and faced the Master.
"I speak to the Master of the men of the Lake. Will you see the prophecy fulfilled? Will you share in the great wealth of our people?" Thorin asked the Master and the people of Laketown quietly watched in anticipation. I knew what it was that Bard feared and I feared it too, but if we succeeded, our wealth could help the people of Laketown. Trade could begin again. What happened before...there was no saying it was going to again.
"What say you?" Thorin asked the Master who seemed to ponder this for several seconds before he smiled and pointed his finger at Thorin.
"I say unto you…:" The Master said, still pointing his finger at Thorin. "Welcome! Welcome and thrice welcome, King under the Mountain!" The Master shouted as he opened his arms in welcome and the crowd erupted in cheers, people hugging one another as they no doubt felt relief that their prayers had been answered.
I smiled widely as people applauded us even as I felt trepidation grow in the pit of my stomach. As the townspeople surged towards us, Dwalin ushered me forward into the Master's mansion as the doors were opened to us, the Master going overboard in his welcomes, bowing low and making quite a fool of himself. He really must want a lot of gold. I kept a smile on my face until we were inside the doors and then it fell and I sighed in relief. The Master walked with Thorin and insisted that he house us during our stay and outfit us for our expedition to the mountain and while everything sounded good...there was always the fine print.
Mizimith- Little jewel