Yavanna's Warriors

BY : LadyLaran
Category: Lord of the Rings Movies > Hobbit, The
Dragon prints: 8677
Disclaimer: I do not own "The Hobbit" nor do I make money from this story.

Author’s Note – I have to apologize for the length of time between updates.  I was finally able to get my medicine, which I had been off of due to finances, and I had a long period of adjustment to work through as they started to build in my blood stream.  I’m afraid I spent a lot of time being very groggy and just out of it.  I’m finally thinking normally again and motivated to work on my stories.  I really appreciate all of you for being so patient and understanding. 

Fight scenes are not my forte, but I try my best!

Disclaimer – I do not own “the Hobbit” nor do I make any money from this story.

Chapter Eight – A Lesson for Kili

Despite the conversation about the hobbit’s need for exercise throughout the day that had been held the night before, Thorin had decided to press them through the day without really taking any breaks and lunch had been devoured on horseback.  Because of that, Bilbo was nearly squirming with pent up energy and had to force himself to calm down after they stopped for the evening.  He helped set up camp, gathering firewood and foraging for a few vegetables and roots that would go well in the evening’s meal.

Bombur had listened to his explanation and added them once he and Bilbo got them prepared for cooking.  Dwarves weren’t much for vegetables, but the company’s cook knew that adding them to stews and other kinds of meals would help fill their stomachs better and keep from draining the supplies of meat as fast as they usually would.  The supplies were important since hunting would not always be an option on this journey.

“Bilbo,” a voice called, making him turn away from the rotund cook to face where Dwalin was standing.

“Yes, Dwalin?”

“You’re probably ready to burn off some energy.  Feel up to a quick spar with one of the lads,” he asked, pointing to where the two dwarves in question were fussing with their belongings.

“I’m certainly open to it,” he answered the older dwarf, eager to get some exercise.  “Which one should I spar with?”

“Kili needs to work more on his melee skills since he devotes more time towards his archery abilities,” Thorin commented, interested to see how his nephews did against the Tèarmunn.  “I’d start with him and move on to Fili if you’re still energetic enough.”

Bilbo went to his pack, dropping his coat onto it, and stretched before heading to the clear area to wait for Kili.  The young dwarf drew his sword, stepping to where the hobbit was waiting.  The smaller male drew his corran and settled into a defensive position, eying the other with an experienced eye to judge his stance.

There was a pause before the archer launched himself towards his opponent, and Bilbo ducked out of the way before the sword could connect.  The butt of the corran in his left hand hit the dwarf’s stomach, winding him briefly while the Tèarmunn ensured he was out of range when the young one stood up.

“You’re faster than I expected,” Kili commented before striking again.

The blade skidded across the one corran raised to block the sword’s strike while the other was spun and the wooden shaft grazed along the dwarf’s ribs.  Bilbo was using sparring methods he’d been taught since he was a fauntling, not wanting to harm his opponent.  Kili was acknowledging each tap so he was obviously used to the same rules.

“I have to be,” he said grimly, shifting and turning to hit the dwarf’s head with the butt of the corran not engaged in holding the sword back.  “I’m a member of the smallest race on Arda; we have to be fast and accurate or we won’t make it in battle.”

The sparring exercise continued for a short while, and Bilbo could see the frustration building on the archer’s face as the dwarf only managed to get through his defenses a small handful of times.  He backed off, letting the young one vent what he was feeling.  The last thing the younger male wanted was for Kili to get too upset and not be able to focus on the spar.

“I’ve been practicing this kind of melee combat for years so I should be able to land a hit on you more than I have; what in Mahal’s name am I doing wrong?”

“You really want to know,” the Tèarmunn asked, staring into the dark eyes of the young dwarf to judge how serious he was about finding out what he needed to improve.

“Yes, I do,” he replied, sounding earnest.  “I know archery is my main specialty, but I’ve never been beaten this badly.”

“Who do you usually spar against,” Bilbo asked, placing the corran back into his belt for the moment. 

Dwalin and Thorin watched and listened to the conversation but said nothing, waiting to see what the hobbit was going to tell the youngest Durin.  Kili was strong, well trained, and would do well in battle, but they both knew he had a long way to go in certain aspects of combat due to inexperience.  While the king worried for his nephew, he also knew that the company would help against any vulnerabilities the archer had. 

“Mister Dwalin, Uncle Thorin, and Fili for the most part,” he admitted.  “When she’s got time, I also practice with Mum.” 

“You’re going for brute strength,” the hobbit pointed out, hoping Kili would understand what he was trying to impart to the archer.  “Our Father explained this to us when the first Tèarmunn were being trained by Him.  Lord Mahal designed our siblings to be heavier in bone and musculature.  It makes you a more difficult opponent and gives your people an advantage in quite a few ways.  Where it would take me three strikes to bring my target down, it could take one for you.

“That advantage can become a disadvantage because our Father did not make all of His children the same way.  Of the company, you, Fili, and Ori are the smallest in build, which means you cannot rely strictly on brute strength to get you through every situation.”

“What do I need to learn then,” Kili asked, showing a great deal of focus.  This was something Thorin had only seen at specific times, and the hobbit’s words were true.  If he could help his nephew learn what he needed to survive, then the monarch would say nothing.

“Speed and agility,” the smaller male answered.  “You learned how to fire your bow quickly for combat situations, right?”

“A slower archer means death for the people he’s protecting,” the dwarf replied somberly, processing what the younger one was saying.

“So does a slow swordsman,” Bilbo shared, keeping his eyes focused on his sparring partner.  “You need to rethink the style you’re using and start speeding yourself up.  Given your lighter size, you could be what changes the tide of battle because most opponents are used to the brute strength approach your people have and won’t expect one of Mahal’s children to be that quick.

“With enough time, practice, and experience, you’ll be able to combine speed and strength as I have no doubt your uncle and brother have done in their own way,” he finished, knowing that Thorin was a bit bulkier than his youngest nephew and would utilize strength more than speed. 

“How do I learn this,” he asked.  “With archery, it was practice and repetition.”

“It’s a lot of training to build up speed for both action and reaction,” Bilbo warned.  “It will mean a great deal of repeating the same exercises until mastered, then speeding them up.”

“Would you teach me,” the dwarf asked, staring at the Tèarmunn.

“Me,” he asked, a bit stunned by the question Kili had asked him.  This was something he hadn’t expected at all and found himself feeling honored that the dwarf felt he could teach him what he needed to become better in swordplay.

“You’re the smallest and know this method better,” the archer answered.

Bilbo looked over to Thorin, silently asking permission since he had no wish to cause offense.  The dwarf lord nodded in response to the question; he was pleased his nephew was taking initiative in seeking guidance to help his combat skills.  The hobbit’s methods might be what Kili would need to push himself in regards to improving his melee.

“Are you willing to endure repeating exercises over and over again?  To be able to push down being annoyed by actions I might take to train your reactions to be quick?  Will you keep an open mind?”

“Yes to all of that,” Kili told him, sounding very earnest.  He wanted to learn this and do well so his uncle and brother wouldn’t worry about him.  The archer had promised his mother that he would do everything he could to protect his family and himself during this quest. 

“Bilbo, may I join the lessons too,” an unexpected voice called, making the hobbit turn his head to face the scribe. 

“Ori, no,” the oldest Ri brother called out but was ignored by the younger.

“Please,” Ori asked, meeting Bilbo’s eyes as he did so.  “I’m not exactly combat trained, and I have no wish to be the weak link in the company.”

Bilbo eyed him for a long moment, noting the slingshot the dwarf carried.  He didn’t understand the choice of weapon considering the adversities they would potentially be facing, and he wanted to do what he could to help the scribe.

“You’re agreeing to the questions I asked Kili,” he asked, watching his face and seeing only honesty when the dwarf answered.

“I am,” he told him.  “I’ll do whatever you ask me to do and not complain.  I promise to work hard and do my best every time.”

“Is that the only weapon you carry?  Can you use others?”

“I have no formal training in weapons,” he admitted.  “I spent most of my time in my apprenticeship with Master Balin.”

“Speak to Dwalin or any of the others, see if there’s a weapon that calls to you,” the hobbit ordered.  “If they’re willing, they can give you instruction in the use of the one you choose.  I will work on endurance, speed, and agility.  You have to work hard, Ori, because you are further behind than Kili is.  All he has to work on is speed and agility; he has the rest of the knowledge to support him when in combat.”

Ori nodded, heading to speak to Dwalin but was cut short by the outraged protest from his oldest brother.  The upset dwarf stomped over to the smaller male, glaring at him as he grabbed at his shirt.

“You have no right!”

“Let go of me,” the Tèarmunn replied in a low voice while meeting the dwarf’s eyes fearlessly.  “I will not be manhandled like this.”

Nori hurried over, pulling his older brother back as he didn’t want to see a fight happen.  Dori snarled again, eyes focused on his target.

“You have no right to encourage Ori to do this!”

“Someone needs to encourage him because you have handicapped him,” Bilbo answered, watching the two brothers.  Only Dori seemed surprised while Nori looked both resigned and accepting of what the smaller male had to say.

“He is not handicapped in any way,” the oldest of the brothers protested.

“No?  Whose idea was it to send him out into the wilds with only a slingshot to protect himself with?  Unless he gets lucky and can incapacitate his opponent with a shot to the eye, all he’s going to do is annoy the adversary and make himself a target who can’t protect himself.

“Right now, we’re in an area that’s relatively peaceful and we should take advantage of that so those who need instruction can get it.  If you discourage him, stop him from learning, then you will bury him before we reach Erebor,” he warned.

“We can protect him,” Dori protested, though his voice didn’t show the resoluteness it had moments ago.

“Can we?  If we’re beset by a pack of wolves or worse, can you be absolutely certain someone will be able to remain at Ori’s side the entire time?  What if Nori ends up needing aid?  Can you choose between your brothers?  You wouldn’t have to if you step back and realize your brother is no longer a child, and he needs to be able to protect his brothers and the company as well as himself.  Stop handicapping him.”

Nori gently drew his brother away, realizing now was the time when his elder would finally listen to him.  As they walked away from the hobbit, he turned his head back towards the small male and mouthed ‘thank you’ to him.

Bilbo nodded in response, fingers curling into fists for a long moment before turning his attention to another dwarf.  If he didn’t vent off this emotional turmoil then he would probably do something he’d regret or affect the environment around the company, which was definitely a bad thing.

“Fili, feel up to a spar?”

Realizing that the hobbit needed to burn off emotion as well as energy, the blond gave him a playful grin and drew his swords.  He would welcome a challenge and had hoped he’d have a chance to spar against the Tèarmunn.

“I’d love to play,” he quipped before launching into an attack.

Bilbo drew his corran as he ducked, hoping that this fight would center him as he needed.  The argument with Dori had upset him, and he needed this time to calm down.  The only good thing was that he was now able to help two members of their party grow as fighters so they would have a better chance of reaching their goal alive.  To him, that was worth more than all of the gold stored within Erebor.

Author’s End Note – I thought it would be a good thing to address an issue that I had with the movies.  How in the name of all the Valar did Thorin and Dwalin let Ori accompany them on the quest with just a slingshot?  They’re great for certain things but useless for most of the hazards on Middle Earth.  It’s puzzled me since the first movie, and I thought this would be a good way to fix things a bit.  I hope you all enjoyed this installment!  Please let me know what you think of it.  ~ Laran

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