Chapter one: A dragon master and a burglar
I had just left Rivendell; I had finished teaching Aragorn how to fight and he and Lord Elrond had finished teaching me to speak, read, and write. I now knew two Elvin languages, some ancient dwarfish, dwarfish, and the common tongue. Aragorn went north to see others of his kind. I was not allowed there so I stayed behind a little longer, just a week or so. That’s when I received word that Gandalf wanted to meet me in Bree in a week’s time; he had told me he wanted me for an adventure. I had agreed. Anything to keep my mind off my past. I was walking through Bree in the cold rainy night. Gandalf had asked me to meet him here, at the Prancing Pony.
I saw the pub come into sight and dismounted my stallion. “Find yourself a nice warm stable mellon,” I said petting his shoulder. I wrapped my cloak tighter around me as I walked up the street to the Inn. I was to also meet a dwarf by the name of Thorin Oakenshield. I finally reached the Inn and was glad to be inside as spring was just beginning, meaning it was cold and it was pouring down rain. The pub was dark, lit by torches and a fireplace. It was warm though, cozy and busy. This kind of place I wasn’t comfortable in, I was used to being alone and tonight it was crowded. As I walked in I saw a bar maid set down a plate in front of a dwarf who was starting to draw some unsavory attention. Two men were moving around, eyes locked on him, circling him like wolves moving in on their prey.
The dwarf had long dark hair that cascaded around his shoulders with braids, his beard just beginning to get long. His clothing dark and woven from wool. His coat on the outside was a heavy leather, lined with fine fur for warmth. He had a ring on his hand and his sword sat propped against the table. He was glancing at the men that were starting to circle him with dark suspicious eyes. The men that were circling him, one was bald and fat; the other had short curly dark hair and stubble.
I walked straight to his table and sat down as he was reaching for his sword. He looked at me in shock. “I am sorry to startle you Thorin son of Thrain, son of Thror.” I looked out of the corner of my eyes and saw one of the men backing off. The other one, he continued to advance. I turned to face him, “Unless you would like to get in a fight which you will loose and could pay with your life I would move along.” I let my eyes flash red and gold, the colors of flame. This was enough to scare the man into returning to his seat.
“What do you want elf?” he asked me in disgust. I turned to look at the dwarf and opened my mouth to speak but someone beat me to it.
“I asked her here,” a voice came from behind me, Gandalf’s voice. Thorin growled as the wizard sat down beside me. “Mind if I join you?” Gandalf asked tucking his chair in. The wizard clad in gray cloth took the seat next to me, putting his staff across his and my lap. I guess it didn’t matter if Thorin said he did mind as Gandalf gave him no time for an answer. Gandalf wouldn’t take no for an answer anyway. Gandalf caught the arm of a passing bar maid, “I’ll have the same and get something for my friend here.”
She looked at me, “A water and soup please.” She nodded and left.
“Perhaps I should introduce myself; I’m Gandalf, Gandalf the grey. My friend here goes by Allie.”
“I know who you are wizard. I’ll ask again, what do you want?” I turned to look at Gandalf.
“I would like to know that too Gandalf, why did you ask me here exactly?” I kept my voice calm while Thorin was clearly annoyed and I could hear the hatred in his voice that was directed at me. I knew I was wanted for an adventure, I just didn’t know why.
“All in good time but first what brings Thorin Oakenshield to Bree?”
Thorin looked at him as though trying to decide if to answer or not, “I heard rumor that my father was seen wandering the wilds of Dunland.” He sighed in an almost defeated way, “I found no sign of him.” My heart ached for him; I knew what it was like to lose your family, to not have a home.
“Thorin it’s been years since anything but rumor was heard of Thrain,” Gandalf said.
“He still lives, I know it,” Thorin objected.
Gandalf opened his mouth to say something, “Gandalf don’t. Let him hope that he is still alive. Hope is priceless and something hard to come by,” I said my voice showing how much I felt about this matter as it came out soft and almost broken. Thorin looked at me almost appreciatively. I knew that he had searched the battle fields at Moria’s gates and had found no sign of his father. He had been told that his father was among the fallen but he could not be found.
Gandalf then turned to me, “You live in the wilds of this world Allie. Perhaps you have seen him?”
I shook my head, “I have not. I haven’t seen a dwarf in more than a hundred years, until tonight,” I replied.
“The ring your grandfather wore, what became of it?” Gandalf asked.
“He gave it to my father before he died,” Thorin answered.
“So Thrain was wearing it when,” Gandalf hesitated at Thorin’s look.
“Went missing,” I finished for Gandalf. Thorin gave me a look that I didn’t quite understand. It seemed like he was grateful. “I understand your pain a lot better than you think,” I said softly.
“My father came to see you before he went missing, what did you say to him?” Thorin asked seemly ignoring me.
“I urged him to march upon Erebor. To rally the seven armies of the dwarves. To destroy the dragon and take back the Lonely Mountain and I would say the same to you. Take back your home land.” So that is why I was wanted, for the chance I could control the dragon, being a dragon master. But if my father already had taken up an alliance with him we were screwed on the chance of me being able to do anything with that dragon. The only thing I would be able to do is control the fire.
“This is not chance meeting is it Gandalf?” Thorin asked pushing his plate aside and grabbing his drink.
“No, it is not,” Gandalf replied. “The Lonely Mountain troubles me Thorin. That Dragon has sat there long enough. Sooner or later dark minds will turn towards Erebor. I ran into some unsavory characters whilst traveling the Greenway. They mistook me for a vagabond.”
“I imagine they regretted that,” Thorin replied taking a drink from his cup.
“One of them was carrying a message,” Gandalf said laying a dirty piece of cloth on the table. He opened it open and I nearly choked on my soup. It was a note written in the black speech addressed to the pale orc to kill Thorin with a heavy price on his head. Behind the writing was a picture of the Lonely Mountain. Thorin looked at me as I coughed trying to clear my throat.
He reached out to touch the note, “It’s black speech,” Gandalf said. Thorin instantly drew his hand away as though the cloth might bite him. “It’s a promise of payment.”
“For what?” Thorin asked.
“Your head,” Gandalf replied. Thorin looked at him shocked. “Someone wants you dead.”
“The pale orc,” I growled slamming my fist down on the table, speaking for the first time in several minutes. “He’s destroyed enough families and lives. His ancestors killed my whole family. I WILL not let him get away with this!” Thorin looked at me, and I wasn’t sure how to place the look on his face.
“Thorin,” Gandalf said drawing the dwarf’s attention back to him. “You can wait no longer. You are the heir to the throne of Durin. Unite the armies of the Dwarves. Together you have the might and power to take back Erebor. Summon a meeting of the seven dwarf families. Demand they stand by their oaths.”
“The seven armies swore an oath to the one that wields the King’s Jewel, the Arkenstone! It is the only thing that will unite them, and in case you have forgotten that jewel was stolen by Smaug.” Gandalf looked over at the two men I had threatened earlier; Thorin too looked up as they stood. I glared at them, my hand resting on the hilt of my blade. They left the pub.
Gandalf looked back at Thorin, “What if I were to help you reclaim it?”
“How? The Arkenstone lies half a world away buried beneath the feet of a fire breathing dragon.”
“Yes it does, which is why we are going to need a burglar and a dragon master,” Gandalf said.
“And you know a dragon master? I thought that there weren’t any left in the world,” Thorin said.
“There are only two. My father and if the dragon has sided with him there won’t be much I can do. I will be able to control his fire though,” I spoke up and didn’t look away from my water, fingering the lip of the cup. The first time I had faced Smaug I had failed, he was my first dragon. I was now covered in scar tissue. I was hoping that now that I controlled five dragons I could find the voice that Smaug and I shared so I could bend him to my will.
“You want me to work with an elf? She’ll want the precious stones that elves are so fond of,” Thorin said anger flooding his voice along with hate.
“I do not seek gold, silver, or jewels Master Oakenshield, I seek friendship. That to me is the greatest treasure anyone can offer.” I got an odd look from the Dwarf while Gandalf just smiled. “Besides what I want most is not something you can give me nor does it lay under the mountain.”
“It is settled then. She will come to help slay the dragon; I will find us a burglar.” Gandalf got up and left and I looked after him.
I shook my head and mumbled, “Wizards.” I placed a few gold coins on the table, getting ready to leave.
“What makes him think I would travel with an elf?” Thorin muttered.
“Just save it Thorin, I have the same grievances you do with elves, particularly King Thranduil. He threw my family and I out of Mirkwood when he found out who my birth father was. I went to the dwarves, men, elves after my family was killed. No one would take me in. I was ten years old Thorin,” I said my voice getting louder. “I saw my whole family cut down, my five brothers, six sisters, my mother, and the man I believed to be my father. I have been living in the wild ever since. I know what it’s like to not have a home and I will help you reclaim yours if I can. The only two things I want in return are trust and friendship.” My voice had finished yelling and had grown soft by the last sentence. “That’s all I want,” I said softly and getting up to leave.
“You can travel with us then, but I will be keeping my eye on you,” Thorin said.
I looked at him, a smile on my face, “Thank you,” I said giving a slight bow.