|By : LadyLaran|
Category: Lord of the Rings Movies > Hobbit, The
Views: 8732 -:- Recommendations : 0 -:- Currently Reading : 1
|Disclaimer: I do not own "The Hobbit" nor do I make money from this story.|
Author’s Note - I can’t say how much I value your patience while I deal with grieving the loss of my mother. Writing is still sporadic as my depression is really killing my muses, but I’m trying because writing is a healthy emotional outlet for me. The stress and depression is getting to me. Finances are a huge concern because I’m unable to work, and Mom was the source of income for us after she took me in. I’ve been battling to get disability and have been waiting for months regarding the appeal being seen. I was told recently it could be as late as November before I hear anything. I qualified for foodstamps, but I live in a county where there is literally no help for housing. The charity who helped me in April can’t help with rent for May or June. I haven’t been able to find help for May’s rent, and I am overdue for my internet payment too. I’m trying to hold on and believe that I’ll get the disability answer I need, but I don’t know what I’m going to do to keep a roof over my head. My family can’t or won’t help, and I can’t leave the county because I’m on special programs to help with medical. Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers because I am so terrified and stressed right now.
Disclaimer – I do not own “the Hobbit” nor do I make money from this story.
Chapter Seventeen – Lengthy Discussions
It turned out that the conversation Bilbo needed to have with Thorin had to take place after the evening meal, and he met both the king-in-exile and Balin in the dwarf lord’s bedroom so they could have some privacy.
“What is it you needed to speak with us about,” Thorin asked Bilbo.
The hobbit paced a moment, trying to gather his thoughts, and both dwarrow were concerned about the Tèarmunn.
“I had a talk with Radagast earlier,” he began, sinking into a chair that faced the two males with him. “There’s some things he told me that will be a hindrance and serious concern for us after we cross the Misty Mountains.”
“What did he tell you,” Balin asked.
“The reason we haven’t seen him in the Shire is because there’s a darkness that’s been steadily infecting the Green Wood,” the hobbit began. “Plants and animals are dying from the darkness, and giant spiders have infested the wood with their webs and more poison. He believes they’re Ungoliant’s spawn.”
Both dwarrow sat up straighter, recognizing the name. As nobles, they had been given a deeper education in history and they knew the name of the spider who had aided Morgoth in destroying the two trees.
“Is he certain?”
“I’m afraid so, Thorin. For all that Radagast can appear as crazed, the Istar knows nature as well as hobbits since Yavanna and Vána gifted him with the task to watch over the things that grow. This poison and darkness is infecting plants, animals, and has tainted most of the water sources in the forest. It’s gotten to the point where people are calling it Mirkwood now; the elves have not been able to destroy it.”
Balin ran a hand over his beard, thinking hard over the information Bilbo was giving them. This didn’t bode well for the part of the journey that would take them through Thranduil’s realm.
“Did Radagast give you any idea of where these spiders originated or where the source of this darkness might be,” the adviser asked.
“He followed the trail of the spiders,” the Tèarmunn shared, looking very disturbed. “It led him to Dol Guldur.”
“He went to that accursed place,” Thorin asked, eyes wide.
“He did,” Bilbo said, shifting some in his seat. “He discovered that the old fortress is no longer abandoned and was attacked by a Nazgûl.”
Thorin and Balin looked startled, sickened, and frightened by his news. They shared a long look before the king-in-exile questioned the company’s burglar further.
“Is he certain of it? They were entombed after the war ended, and history speaks that there were powerful spells laid upon those tombs.”
“He brought evidence of the attack – a Morgul blade,” the hobbit answered softly.
“What in Mahal’s name could have brought one of the Nine out of their tombs,” the white haired dwarf asked.
“Radagast spoke of a necromancer,” Bilbo shared. “This person must be incredibly powerful to go through the spell and raise one of the Nazgûl like this.”
“Bilbo, is this wizard to be trusted?”
“Yes, Thorin, he is. He is wise and knowledgeable, acting for the good of others without the plots that the other Istari have,” the smaller male replied. “I trust Radagast to speak the truth.”
Thorin got up to pace, mind working at a furious pace as he worked through the information Bilbo had shared. This was ill news, and it worried him deeply.
“I think I understand now why the Valar sent the vision to our host along with orders to help us,” the dark haired dwarf stated. “The reviving of one of the Nazgûl can only mean that someone is hoping to aid Sauron in regaining his power.”
“A lot of people believe him dead,” Bilbo said. “But the kind of power it would take to handle the enchantments on the tombs means that this necromancer had to get it from someone who has ties to Morgoth.”
The dwarrow shook their heads, and Balin shared something that was not spoken outside of Durin’s Folk.
“We know the One Ring was tied to Sauron’s life force; he poured too much of himself in the crafting of it. As long as it remains lost and whole, the Dark Lord will not die.”
The hobbit looked startled, and the elder dwarf explained.
“The elves and Istari are not the only ones to know of the Rings of Power, my friend. The last elf to hold the title of Dwarf Friend was Celebrimbor,” Balin told him.
“The one who learned to create the Rings of Power and crafted the ones given to men, dwarrow, and elves,” Bilbo stated, blinking when the dwarf nodded and continued.
“Sauron deceived all of them, teaching them to craft these rings. Celebrimbor didn’t know what he had done until it was discovered that this Annatar was indeed Sauron, and he shared his worries with the king of Khazad-dûm. The One Ring wasn’t discovered until our friend’s death, but we knew enough of the creation of these rings to realize that Sauron had to have done something to tie himself to the damned thing.”
“With all of this in play and no one knowing the whereabouts of that damned ring, the Valar want to clear the board of anything that Sauron can use against the people of Middle Earth,” Thorin said. “It’s why Elrond was told to help us; Smaug has to be destroyed before this darkness can reach out to him and convince him to ally with the necromancer.”
“So we’re not only destroying a potential weapon but also providing a stronghold in the East against the darkness,” Balin sighed. “This is going to be an incredibly difficult task; we’ve no idea how badly the mountain was damaged by the dragon as well as time.”
“We shall endure and make do as we always have,” Thorin stated. “We’ve never balked at difficult tasks before and won’t do so now. Balin, go and fetch the company. We need to talk about what Bilbo has shared with us.”
The adviser nodded, leaving the room, and Bilbo watched as Thorin continued to pace the room. It was obvious there was a great deal on his mind, and the hobbit wished there was something he could do to ease the other’s worries.
“Bilbo, thank you for sharing this with us. We have a chance to plan as much of this as we can now that we have an idea of what we’ll be walking into,” the dwarf lord told the other.
“I knew you needed to know,” he answered. “It’s been weighing heavily on my mind since Radagast told me.”
“What do you think Elrond’s response to this information will be,” Thorin asked.
“I think it will strengthen his resolve to follow the Valar’s command,” the Tèarmunn stated. “More than likely, he will send word to the other members of the White Council so the information and evidence can be presented and discussed.”
“Which could possibly put our quest in jeopardy as I doubt the other members of the council will give us their blessings,” the dark haired male muttered, just loud enough for Bilbo to hear.
“From what I’ve read, I think Lady Galadriel and Círdan will not argue against the quest. Like our host, both are gifted with the Sight and will be given warnings by the Valar not to hinder us. According to the histories, Círdan’s abilities with the Sight far surpass any of the elves in Arda,” Bilbo shared.
“Which leaves the White Wizard,” the other stated, frowning. “He is the one who troubles me.”
“How so? Isn’t he the Istar trained by Mahal?”
“He is, but he has no love for the children of the one who taught him,” Thorin said. “There have been times when requests have been sent to him for advice or aid by various clans, and he turned them away with harsh words. We know him to have no respect for most beings, outside certain elves, and we have heard rumors he shows little respect for some of his fellow Istari.”
“Do you think the council will listen if he tries to forbid the quest?”
“Based on what you and I have read on the other members of the council, it is my hope that they will override his wishes on forbidding the quest,” the king-in-exile stated. “Regardless, this company will leave after the map is read, even if it means sneaking out of Rivendell.”
“I’ll do some nosing around and see if I can’t find another way out of here,” Bilbo offered. “If we’re lucky, there may be an exit that isn’t watched too heavily that will be closer to the Misty Mountains than the main entrance or the one we came in.”
“That will be helpful,” he answered. “I’ll get Nori to help you, but you might not be noticed as easily as a dwarf would be.”
Bilbo nodded but was unable to answer when Balin came in with the rest of the company. Everyone found seats where they could, some perching in windows or sitting on the floor, and once they were settled, Thorin shared everything Bilbo had told him.
The company listened in silence, and the hobbit could see expressions of concern, fear, and anger settling on the faces of his companions. He could sympathize as he’d been feeling all of that since Radagast had shared the news with him.
“With this news, I have come to the decision that I will not hold you to the contracts you signed,” Thorin stated once he’d finished delivering the news. “We never anticipated running into darkness this evil; we cannot be certain the Nazgûl will remain in Dol Guldur. Should you wish to return to Ered Luin, I will give you my blessings.”
“You’re continuing, aren’t you,” Bombur asked.
“Our people need a home,” he answered. “Our circumstances have not changed, but the pressure to reclaim Erebor is now greater because of the need to remove Smaug from the board before this necromancer can entice him to his side. Our mountain is needed as a stronghold should this darkness continue to spread. Knowing all of this, I will not be swayed from this quest.”
Fili and Kili shared a look before kneeling in front of their uncle. They spoke in perfect unison with their heads bowed and hands fisted over their hearts.
“We offer our blades, axes, and bow to your service, Thorin Oakenshield, King of Durin’s Folk. We will follow you wherever you lead; your quest is our quest. We are yours to command, my liege.”
Thorin’s eyes softened, and he laid a hand on each of his nephew’s heads.
“I accept your oaths, Fili and Kili, sons of Dis, and I value your loyalty.”
Once the two backed away, the rest of the company swore themselves to Thorin’s service, going by family units. The oaths were spoken with surety and determination, and Bilbo could see that the dwarf lord was touched by the show of faith his company was giving. When Bombur, Bifur, and Bofur had reclaimed their spots, the hobbit rose and knelt in front of Thorin as well.
The Tèarmunn mimicked the company by placing a fist over his heart and bowing his head while he spoke to the leader of the group.
“Before our parents, Mahal and Yavanna, I swear to follow you, Thorin Oakenshield, on this journey. Your quest is my quest, and my weapons are at your service,” he vowed, relaxing only when the dwarf rest a hand on his head.
“Thank you, Bilbo Baggins-Took, Tèarmunn of Yavanna. You honor me with your oath, and I shall do all I can to guide this company as safely as possible to our destination,” he promised. “My oath to all of you – my sword and ax will always work with yours in order defend our people and home.”
Bilbo rose and returned to his seat, feeling better now, and he tilted his head when Fili spoke of something that hadn’t crossed his mind.
“There is something we haven’t considered,” the heir said to his uncle.
“What is that, Fili?”
“Bilbo has a connection to nature because of being a hobbit, and it’s strong since he’s a Tèarmunn. From what I understand, it’s a very strong connection. How is he going to handle being in Mirkwood since it’s poisoned?”
Thorin froze, and all eyes turned to the hobbit. The smallest member of the company sighed, shaking his head.
“I’m not sure,” Bilbo answered, glad Fili had thought of this problem. “I’ll see if I can’t find a way to present the question to our parents and see if a solution presents itself.”
“How serious a problem is this,” Oin asked.
“It depends on how extensive the poisoning is,” the hobbit replied. “If it’s bad, it will affect my health. We will need to try to go as quickly as possible without compromising our safety if I don’t get an answer from the Green Lady.”
“We will do what we can to ensure you stay healthy,” Thorin promised, looking worried. “Fili, thank you for bringing this up. I had not thought of this potential problem.”
“I hadn’t either,” Bilbo said, rising to his feet. “If you lot will excuse me, I will see if I can find an area where I can meditate and ask for advice.”
The group quickly waved him on, and he headed out of the room. The Tèarmunn had a lot weighing on his mind, and he hoped Yavanna or one of the other Valar would have some answers.
Author’s End Note – I hope everyone enjoyed this update. Thank you for reading, and please let me know what you thought of it. Thank you and see you next chapter. ~ Laran
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