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Thorin Oakenshield

Son of Thrain

Son of Thror

True King Under the Mountain

Day 1- The Shire

I, Thorin Oakenshield, son of Thrain, son of Thror, True King Under the Mountain, have just arrived in the Shire. My companion, Gandalf the wizard, has led us to this quaint little place to pick up our burglar. The other members of our companyKili, Fili, Ori, Nori, Oin, Gloin, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, Balin, and Dwalinare coming here as well.

It was Gandalf who suggested I keep a journal to write in and keep track of our journeys. He gave me this book which he says was given by the elves to him. It's just as well (even if the elves aren't my favorite people in the world), I won't be seen writing logs on old pieces of parchment like some of the not-as-important dwarves. I am the True King Under the Mountain, after all.

Presently, we are headed to the residence of our burglar and fourteenth member of our traveling party. The only reason we really need a burglar is because we daren't set out on a quest with thirteen members, it's too risky.

We are approaching what looks like a hill with doors in the side and chimneys sticking out of the top. I find the thought of living in a little hill like this quite queer. Not like living under a glorious mountain with treasure to mine, and gigantic halls to build.

Ho! One of the doors bear the old mark of the trade; this must be it! I'm quite eager to meet this Mr. Baggins. Gandalf says he's an expert burglar. I'll write later.

Still Day 1- Mr. Baggins's house

It is now quite late at night as I write this.

We arrived at Mr. Baggins's house around lunchtime. The door that bore the mark of the trade was indeed the right place. Although, I don't think too highly of Mr. Baggins for numerous reasons. He kept us waiting at the door and then opened it so abruptly that Bifur, Bofur, and Bombur fell on top of me! You can't imagine how painful that was considering how fat Bombur is. At least Bilbo apologized. As a matter of fact, he apologized so many times I finally mumbled for him not to mention it. My poor back is still aching when I attempt to lie flat on it. Luckily, I'm in the guest bedroom, though. All the other, less-important dwarves are sleeping about anywhere they can around the house.

Not long after we arrived, Mr. Baggins served us a pretty good lunch. I never would've thought he could store so much food in his hole of a home in the ground. We talked and ate for quite some time before I even mentioned the nature of our coming. What I found curious was that Bilbo seemed to know nothing about us, our quest, or our reason for going.

After the other dwarves cleared the table, we sang our song that tells of our quest. Even then Bilbo seemed confused. I think we played the song rather well. Kili and Fili played their fiddles, Dori, Nori, and Ori played their flutes. Even fat Bombur played a drum while Bifur and Bofur played clarinets. Then of course I was brought my harp by Balin and Dwalin, when they brought their viols. Obviously my golden harp was the most beautifuland expensive looking (although it was also the most expensive), all wrapped in green cloth.

It is said that my beautiful golden harp's music can sweep you away, and I'm sure that's what it did to poor Bilbo. He was so frightened all of a sudden, that he tried to escape into his cellar. After he sat down and seemed to calm down a bit, I got straight down to business. I started my speech by complimenting Mr. Baggins, but he still seemed a bit dazed, and didn't even make a polite remark. I just continued, saying how we were to start our journey at the break of day, and how we may not return (except Gandalf). It truly was a solemn moment, my great speeches always have effects on people. Then I started to explain our objective to the ones who possibly weren't clear on it yet (the younger dwarves and Bilbo). I was speaking until I was so rudely interrupted by Bilbo's shriek. I don't know why exactly he shrieked, but he just did. It was so unearthly high-pitched that it startled all of us and we accidentally knocked over the dining table with the lamp on it. Gandalf immediately struck a blue light on his staff and once there was light, we could see Bilbo, shivering like he was in the middle of a blizzard. He then fell flat on his face and started screaming, "Struck by lightning! Struck by lightning!" As Gandalf pointed out, he certainly is an excitable little fellow. This is when I just started having my doubts about Mr. Baggins, although Gandalf assured us that, "He is one of the best," and is "as fierce as a dragon in a pinch." Well, I certainly hope so, because I wasn't the only one having my doubts. Gloin pointed out that one shriek like the one he had just given would be enough to wake old Smaug and all his relatives. I also agree with Gloin when he stated that, "If not for the sign on the door, I would have thought myself to be at the wrong house." After Gloin had voiced his thoughts, and mine for that matter, Bilbo came in, rather boldly, considering his little episode, and I found out why he seemed to know nothing about our quest. It turns out he didn't even know about the mark on his door; Gandalf was the one who put it there. Gandalf says he's a burglar, so I suppose a burglar he is. Even I, the great Thorin Oakenshield, am not one to question Gandalf.

After that was settled, Gandalf took out a map. He said it was made by my grandfather, Thror Oakenshield. It is a plan of the mountain, although I know the mountain and its lands quite well. I don't see that it will help us much. I think I mentioned this, but Gandalf said it was important because it showed a secret way into the mountain. Then I stated that it may, at one time, have been a secret, but Smaug's lived there long enough now to find out anything there is to know about those caves. I held a valid point, but Gandalf said it didn't matter really if he knew about it because he couldn't use it anyway. It's only five feet high.

At mention of this, Bilbo seemed to find his voice again. He said something like he thought it seemed like a large hole so how could it be kept secret. Gandalf explained that it's probably been made to look like the side of the mountain. "That is the dwarves' usual way," and quite right he was.

He then handed me a small, curious key that he said came with the map. The key has a long barrel and intricate wards made of silver. I was told to keep it safe, but it's not as if I'm going to lose it though. I put it on a chain around my neck, just in case.

We began to discuss which routes we could take. I first suggested going east, all the way to the Long Lake, but after we passed the Lake, the trouble would begin. Although, Gandalf thinks if we take the East Road, then we'll run into trouble long before we reach the Lake. I, however, said we could go from there, up the River Running, and to the ruins of Dale, under the shadow of the mountain. But then we realized we couldn't go that way because the dragon comes that way far too often. Dash it all! An important dwarf like me shouldn't have to plan all this. As Gandalf said, we'd need a mighty warrior or hero to tackle the front gate of the mountain. They're both so scarce these days, that Gandalf said we had to settle with a burglar. Although our burglar didn't have any suggestions, and he must be a very bad listener because he asked to, "Know more about things." He must not have even listened to our song or the conversation of the past hours.

So I told him. I told him just about everything. How and when we found and settled in the mountain, the great things we crafted and mined, how we traded with Dale and crafted for kings of men, how we were all rich and had time to make things just for the fun of it . . . good times. Then I told him how we were driven out of our beautiful mountain or killed by the terrible dragon, and how he was probably lured there by all of our riches because dragons are obsessed with gold and jewels, and they guard it all until they die.

I shudder when I remember the howling of the wind, and the trees creaking and cracking as Smaug came to our mountain from the north. I was lucky, though, to be outside and escape. When my father and grandfather joined me and the other survivors after the attack, we were all very surprised. They were inside when the dragon attacked. I have often wondered how they escaped, but I suppose they must have used some private side door and the map they made which Gandalf displayed. I asked exactly how he'd gotten hold of it, and he said it was given to him so he could give it to me.

We finally decided we should go East and try to find the side door. Then we went off to bed after we ordered our breakfast from Bilbo.

As I hum our song to myself, I can't help but feel a little nervous about what this adventure will hold for us. Good Night!

Day Two - Green Dragon Inn

After a rather large and hurried breakfast, the dwarves and I got our things, left Bilbo a note, and went to the Green Dragon Inn. I don't know why, but Bilbo was not awake, and we just couldn't wait for him, so we decided to leave. Enclosed in the note was our sincerest thanks for his hospitality, the terms of the adventure, and of course, telling him to be at the Inn at 11:00 sharp. That is in ten minutes. I hope he will be punctual. The chap was sleeping like a log when last we saw him. Last night probably exhausted him. Poor cowardly hobbit. I am still having my doubts about him, no matter what Gandalf says. Well, I must go. We have to prepare our ponies and supplies.

Thorin signing out -

Day Four - Lone Lands

We have been riding for two days or so and we now find ourselves in the Lone Lands. Everything around here looks wicked and gloomy. There are few people about, the roads have gotten worse, and there are no inns around anymore. It's nothing like the hobbit lands we passed through yesterday. They had good roads, decent folk about, and a few inns even.

As I look ahead, not too far away, are drab-looking hills that keep rising higher and higher and are dark with trees. It seems like there are a few evil-looking castles on them as well. The sky has clouded, and I think we may be in for some inclement weather. No one seems much in the mood for singing or storytelling now. I must rest. I'll write later.

Thorin out -

Day Six - Somewhere

We've traveled beyond the Lone Lands, and the weather has indeed taken a nasty turn. It is pouring rain and our path ahead is terribly muddy. Our cloaks are full of water and our ponies are stumbling and tired. We just passed a valley with a river at the bottom. Fortunately, there was an old stone bridge that we crossed to get across the river. I just suggested we stop for supper and try to find a dry place to sleep. We are under some trees, and although it is drier, rain keeps dripping off the leaves onto us.

By jove! I just realized Gandalf's not here! The one time a wizard could be useful, he has to slip away. I wish he were here. We've had no luck kindling a fire. Not even Oin and Gloin could do it. Although I probably could, but I don't think I should waste my energy on peasant tasks like that. A king is not supposed to participate in any form of such drudgery. Oin and Gloin are pretty good at it anyways. They'll probably get it. I hope they do. I'm cold.

Still Day Six - Under Trees

We have given up trying to kindle a fire; it's no use. One of our ponies just bolted away in fright for no apparent reason. Kili and Fili went after him, but he was too far into the river. They nearly drowned trying to get him out. We lost all the baggage he carried, which was unfortunately almost all food. Thanks to that stupid beast, we now have mighty little left for supper, and less for breakfast.

Oin and Gloin are quarreling again, and still have had no luck with the fire. Our situation seems to be becoming rather grim. Wait . . . Balin, our present lookout, just called something to us. I think he's seen some sort of light in the distance. I'll have to go and see what he's talking about. Maybe there is hope.

Thorin out -

Still Day Six

I just told Bilbo, our burglar, to go investigate the light.

It is a warm, comfortable-looking light, like that of torches or a campfire. Some of us thought we should investigate because anything was better than little supper, less breakfast, and wet clothes all night. Others said how these parts are none too well known, and are too near the mountains. Travelers do seldom come this way. After much quarreling among us, we finally decided to send Bilbo to investigate. And where is Gandalf? None of us know.

I told Bilbo to come back quick if all is well, and if not, then to at least try to come back. I told him to hoot twice like a barn owl, and once like a screech owl, and we'd do what we could. The fellow probably doesn't even know what a barn owl or a screech owl sound like. Well, it doesn't matter, it's probably fine. But if not, he is expendable, bad luck or not. Plus, we have Gandalf; if he ever comes back, that is.

Still Day Six - Waiting for Bilbo

I just sent Balin to go see why Bilbo hasn't come back. It's been a terribly long time since he went to investigate the light. Perhaps he's gotten into trouble.

Same Day - Still Waiting for Bilbo

Just sent Dwalin after Balin. He hasn't come back either.

Still Same Day - Still Waiting for Bilbo and Others

That's it! I'll send Fili and Kili. They're young. They should be quicker.

Same Day - Still Waiting

Fili and Kili haven't come back. How about Dori, Nori and Ori?

Same Day - Still Waiting

Hell, I'm sending them all. Oin, Gloin, Bifur, Bofur and Bombur should be able to get them. They say there is strength in numbers, right?

Same Day - Still Waiting

Now I'm all alone and seriously worried. Mischief is afoot! I can feel it. I'll go, but I shan't be caught unawares.

Day Seven - Breakfast

Phew! I'm glad that's over. We are presently eating a well-deserved breakfast of meat and ale.

Last night when I came to the clearing where the light was, I was informed by Bilbo that there were trolls. He had tried to pickpocket them, but failed. Then they had captured him, but he escaped when the trolls caught the other dwarves. I bravely fought them, but they overcame me, and I was shoved into a sack, like all the other dwarves. The only reason I was caught, was because there were three of them, and one of me (and Bilbo, of course, but he's no help). I could have taken down two trolls, but even I, the great Thorin Oakenshield, cannot overcome three monsters twice my size.

While we dwarves were in those itchy sacks, a lot of quarreling seemed to be going on outside. The trolls, stupid as they were, spent the longest time arguing amongst themselves. Bilbo was the only one of our company not captured, and again, he is so slow-witted, or just a coward, that he was no help. What was worse, we were all quite helpless and terrified. Especially because the trolls were arguing about which way we should be cooked. As I said, that went on for a while, a long while, until it just stopped. When a voice said, "Dawn take you all and be stone to you!" It was Gandalf; he had finally come back. When in the sack, I wondered why the trolls had bickered for such a long time, now I know. Somewhere along the line, Gandalf had returned, seen our current situation, and helped the trolls bicker a lot longer. The trolls, being immensely stupid, were tricked into quarreling until sunrise, when they turned to stone in the sunlight. Lucky for us, Gandalf has a great sense of time, and if he hadn't come, I would not be writing this now.

One good thing Bilbo did do, was find a key that one of the trolls had dropped while they were fighting. It opened up a stone door that led to the trolls cave. Everyone knows that trolls have a cave to dwell in during the day hours and to keep their belongings in. Inside we found gold, clothes (of their victims unfortunately), food and several swords. There were two very fine blades with beautiful scabbards and jeweled hilts. I took one, and so did Gandalf. He said that they weren't made by trolls or even the smiths of men. They have runes upon them, so I suppose we'll find out more about these blades when we read their inscriptions.

I'm extremely tired now and I'm sure everyone else is too, for our night was quite disturbed. We are probably going to sleep for awhile. After we are rested, I intend to find out where Gandalf stole off to.

Thorin out -

Still Day Seven - East Road

We all slept until late in the afternoon. Although we aren't completely rested, we must press on. Gandalf says we will probably reach Rivendell within a few days, and I hope they will be hospitable and let us stay to rest. I'm not eager to be in the care of the elves, but any safe place to rest will suffice for now.

I asked Gandalf where he had got to, and he said he had gone ahead to see what our journey will hold for us. He says it will soon become difficult and dangerous. How enjoyable!

Anyways, he said he was anxious about replenishing our small stock of provisions and along the road he met a couple of his friends from Rivendell. They were hurrying along for fear of the trolls. They told him that three trolls had come down from the mountains, and settled in the woods near the road. They had frightened everyone away from those parts for miles, and they waylaid any passersby.

He said he immediately felt he was wanted back. He also said he saw fire in the distance and made for it. Thanks the stars for Gandalf!

Thorin Out -

Day Eight - East Road; Traveling

We're all in very bad moods today. Nothing has happened, but we feel like we haven't truly escaped danger. No one is singing or telling stories. Weather has been the same - dreary. That's about all.

Thorin Out -

Day Nine - Still Traveling

Weather has made no improvement. We are all feeling like danger is not far away on either side. We are camping under the stars. Our supplies are again dwindling. The horses have more to eat than we do, because there's plenty of grass. Even though they helped, the supplies we took from the trolls are running low. We are still in no mood for singing or entertaining of any sort. And who would be, in this weather? Oh, I know, elves would. Yes, elves . . . I'm not too eager to see any of them. But what choice do we have? We need to replenish our supplies and Lord Elrond will help us because he knows Gandalf. It looks like we are about to come across a river of sorts. I see it in the distance. Well, we'll cross that bridge (let's hope there's a bridge), when we get to it.

Thorin Out -

Day Twelve - Still Traveling

We had to ford the stupid river. There was no bridge. I shouldn't have hoped. We are nearing the beginning of the Misty Mountains. We seem about a day's easy journey from the feet of the nearest. They look very dark, dreary and unpleasant. Even though there are a few patches of bright sunlight on its brown sides. I can see other snow-peaked mountains behind it, too.

Poor Bilbo thought this was the Lonely Mountain. He must not listen very well. I thought we made it clear to him that it was across the Wilderland and far into the east. Balin had to tell him again, and I'm glad he did because I didn't feel like doing it. Anyway, don't I keep having to explain things to the ignorant hobbit?

Still Day Twelve - Trying to find Rivendell

It's well past suppertime and we're en route to Rivendell. Gandalf's leading us along the road which is rather difficult to find because it's half-covered with moss and heather. It's a slow business, but Gandalf says we must stick to the road or we'll be done for. The land we traveled through was like a large, neverending slope of hill-less land going up the mountains. Everything seemed to be dull and moss-coloured. Then we came on unexpected valleys that were narrow and had steep sides that opened suddenly at our feet to reveal trees and running water below us. Some we could jump over, and some we could not. Then we came to some bogs. They were pleasant to look at with nice flowers and such, but one step in and you'd never step out again.

When we waded the ford, it looked like a rather short distance from there to the nearest mountain, but it turns out we were quite wrong. Luckily, Gandalf seems to know his way around, but again, this is a very slow-going business, sticking to a half-hidden path.

We have just come to a steep fall in the ground. Gandalf's horse just nearly slipped down the slope! I'd better stop writing now.

Thorin Out -

Day Twelve, Still - Rivendell

It is now rather late at night as I write this. We arrived shortly after I stopped writing before, in the secret valley of Rivendell. Everyone who has the cleverness to find it, says it is SO beautiful. I, however, don't think much of it. Too many trees, and it reeks of elf. They think they're so clever and humorous, elves do. They jump and laugh, and skip merrily about; teasing us and acting all superior. They are all like that, too. Every single one. They find our beards funny. Although I find their lack of rather humorous myself.

They welcomed us and I did say, "Thank you," rather gruffly. How else was I supposed to say it? They had just made fun of me! Thorin Oakenshield! Anyhow, we decided to stay and we just had supper. They are elves, but at least they're very hospitable elves. I suppose I will just have to deal with them.

Thorin Out -

Day Twenty-Six - Rivendell, Midsummer's Eve

By jove! I haven't written for 14 days, have I? The elves aren't really that annoying anymore, I suppose. As a matter of fact, I think I've gotten used to them. After only three days here, we were all refreshed and merry again. The elves gave us food and supplies for the road ahead, and counsel about our journey.

Elrond Halfelven rules this house, and aside from the fact that there are elves everywhere, it truly is a perfect house. No evil thing could ever come here. Elrond is also extremely wise and he said he would read the runes on the swords we found in the trolls' cave. I will write again tomorrow. Cheerio!

Thorin Signing Out -

Day Twenty-Seven - Rivendell, Midsummer's Day

I'm a bit vexed right now. You see, Elrond read our swords and mine is called Orcrist, the Goblin Cleaver. And Gandalf's is called Glamdring, the Foe Hammer. Elrond says they were made by the High Elves of the West, his kin, for the Goblin Wars. They are great blades, indeed. I shall hold Orcrist with honour.

But that is not why I am vexed. I am vexed (and so is Gandalf) because Elrond discovered the Moon Letters on MY map. He was looking at it with a disapproving expression on his face (he doesn't approve of our love for treasure and mountains, but I don't care) when the moonlight came in the window and shone upon the map. When the moonlight hit the map, the Moon Letters were immediately revealed. They said, "Stand by the grey stone when the thrush knocks and the setting sun with the last light of Durin's Day will shine upon the keyhole." Durin's Day, of course, is the first day of the dwarves' new year, and I am Durin's heir. But then, we have not the skill to see when this day will come. It comes when the last moon of autumn and the sun are in the sky together. I have little hope though Gandalf remains optimistic.

After Elrond's discovery, we went down to the water to see the elves dance and sing upon the Midsummer's Eve. I expect we will be leaving tomorrow, so I must sleep now.

Thorin Signing Out -

Day Twenty-Eight - Leaving Rivendell

We are riding out of the valley of Rivendell. I almost wish we weren't leaving, but you can only put up with elves for so long. I probably would have gone daft if we had stayed any longer.

It is a fair morning. The sky is blue and there is not a cloud in the sky. We are all in cheery moods, and at least we know where we're going now.

Thorin Out -

Day Thirty-Seven - Mountain Pass

We are traveling upwards on a difficult path. I haven't written for awhile because we have been traveling. It has been many days since we left Rivendell, and the road ahead is rough. Gandalf says we must take this long, crooked, lonely path because many of the other roads, he says, are deceptions.

We are very high up now, and we can see the lands of the west below us. It is becoming bitter cold up here, and I can tell you we are not exactly cheery now.

Oh! A boulder almost hit my head! This is quite alarming. I'd better stop writing now.

Thorin Out -

Day Forty - Mountains

We are all in terrible moods. The nights up here are freezing and comfortless. We daren't sing and we can't even speak loudly. The echoes are uncanny. Bilbo pointed out some time ago that summer is probably getting on below us, and we are missing it all. I'm not too fond of summer, but we are all thinking along the same gloomy lines. What we are missing and how we could be warm right now. In Elrond's house, we spoke gaily of coming over the mountains. We had no idea it would be this uncomfortable. Or maybe it was the elven wine - no, when you're in Elrond's house, you can speak of anything gaily. I have a feeling we are not going to reach the Lonely Mountain before Durin's Day, no matter how much we hope.

Day Forty-Two - Still Mountains

It's still dreadfully uncomfortable up here. We are still in rotten moods. Nothing bad has happened - yet. I'm starting to feel as though something evil is lurking around every corner, and that you could touch the gloom that's hanging around us, like a cloud.

Speaking of clouds, some clouds are coming in. We may be in for inclement weather again. I hope not, though.

Day Forty-Three - Mountains

We're now sheltering under a large rock. A terrible thunderstorm is going on outside, and we are all drenched and freezing. We can't camp here for the night!

Still Day Forty-Three - Mountains

We've sent Fili and Kili to look for better shelter. We're still under this rock, and it won't do at all. We'll probably be drowned, or struck by lightning, or blown off! Or those giants battling in the valley below will take us and use us as a football!

Fili and Kili will probably find better shelter. They're young, they have keen eyes. At least I don't have to go out in the storm. I love dumping all these jobs on the younger dwarves! (Hee-Hee!)

Oh! Fili and Kili have arrived. They say they have found a dry cave. Let's hope!

Thorin Out -

Still Day Forty-Three - Cave

Luckily, Fili and Kili have found us a safe cave to take refuge in. It feels good to have the storm raging outside, instead of all around us. We just talked for some time, and blew a few smoke rings. I'm eager to sleep, now that we're away from the storm. Good Night.

Day Forty-Five - Traveling

My word! What an adventure we had! Let me start at the beginning.

We had all fallen asleep in our cave, when suddenly the wall in the back opened, Bilbo screamed, and out came goblins! I could do nothing. They were too quick for me (yes, I know, that's almost impossible, to be too quick for ME!). Well, once the goblins were upon us, we saw a terrific flash like lightning, and Gandalf had disappeared, leaving several dead goblins in his place. He left us, though, and there were six goblins on each of us. Except for Bilbo. I think there was only two on him. They seized us all and led us (none too gently) through their confusing, twisted passageways in the mountain. Those blasted goblins were very rough, and pinched mercilessly all the way. Along with that, they sang a terrible song in their stony voices. It was truly terrifying. They whipped us into a large cavern full of goblins. It was lit by a great, red fire in the middle and torches, so eerie shadows were cast everywhere. It was there that they stole our ponies and belongings. They chained us all in a line, and dragged us to a far end of the cavern to the Great Goblin. He was an enormous, ugly goblin, with a very large head. He was surrounded by many armed goblins that carried axes and bent swords that they use.

We all thought the situation couldn't get any worse, until I remembered that these goblins have a particular grudge against me and my people. So that, of course, added to their suspicion and dislike of us. We also found out that the cave we were sheltering in was their "new front door," and so the Great Goblin immediately assumed we were spies and thieves. I tried using my great diplomacy skills to explain to him that we meant no harm, but there was no reasoning with him. Even the best diplomats fail sometimes. We were again accused of spying and stealing, and then one of the Great Goblins guards took Orcrist. After that, it all turned to chaos. The wretched Great Goblin let out a terrible cry, and his guards gnashed their teeth, clashed their weapons, and stomped furiously. Unfortunately, they had all recognized Orcrist, the Goblin Cleaver, and the Great Goblin ordered for us to be thrown into pits full of snakes, and rushed at me with his ugly teeth bared. I thought it was all over then. But instead of the Great Goblin getting me, all the lights went out, including the great fire. It went out in a great pouf and white sparks went flying everywhere. The terrible sound of the goblins' shrieking, choking, gibbering, yammering, croaking howls, growls and curses was so horrific that I can't begin to describe it. The sparks were burning holes in the goblins, and the smoke was too thick for even their eyes to see through. They were tripping over one another, and rolling in heaps on the floor. That was pure chaos.

Then suddenly a sword flashed, and struck the Great Goblin dead. And his goblin guards fled, shrieking into the darkness. When the sword went back into its sheath, Gandalf's voice told us to follow him quickly. We ran and ran and didn't stop until we were in what I assumed was the mountain's heart. Gandalf then turned on a light on his staff, and cut our chains with Glamdring, the Foe Hammer. This was the sword he had used to slay the Great Goblin. Also, Gandalf had snatched Orcrist from one of the guards, and he gave it back to me. He made sure everyone was accounted for, and we pressed on for we could hear goblins behind us. We ran, but we couldn't outrun them, so we readied ourselves to fight.

The cowards! As soon as they saw Orcrist and Glamdring, they fled. We went on some more, but by that time, the goblins had gotten bolder and they sent stealthy runners after us, and even Gandalf did not hear them coming. Duri, who was carrying Bilbo at the time, was grabbed from behind, and then we fought them. I fought bravely with Orcrist, until Gandalf let out another one of his blinding flashes and the goblins fled once again. We followed Gandalf, dashed through the gate guards, ran out the lower door, and then we climbed down the mountain.

It was there, on the side of the mountain, that we realized Bilbo had gone missing. Dori said that when one of the goblins grabbed his feet, Bilbo tumbled off his back. Of course when it happened, we didn't have time to count heads. All we were focusing on was escaping. So, there we were, on the side of a cliff, without a burglar. We debated for awhile about whether or not we should go back in and try to find him, when suddenly, pouf! There he was, right before our eyes! Like magic! I don't know how he ever able to sneak up on us like that without being noticed. Balin, meanwhile, who was keeping watch, must have yawned or sneezed when Bilbo ran past, because Balin is an excellent lookout. Nothing short of a mouse has ever gotten past him undetected. I can tell you now that the hobbit must indeed be an expert burglar. I was having my doubts before, but I think he's proven himself now. Perhaps, like Gandalf said, he has more in him that you would initially think.

It wasn't only this clever bit of work that changed my mind about him, he tells us, that when he fell off Dori's shoulders, he fell into an underground cavern with a lake in it. He says that he met a very unpleasant creature named Gollum. Gollum agreed to lead Bilbo out of the cave if he won a game of riddles. I would have been extremely frightened of this Gollum creature. From what the hobbit says, Gollum was rather crazy and talked to himself a lot. And after he lost the game to Bilbo, he tried to kill Bilbo. Bilbo says Gollum came at him and tried to get him, but Bilbo ran and stumbled, so Gollum missed him in the dark. Then Bilbo says that Gollum thought he knew the way out, so he made for it, and Bilbo followed. He said Gollum sat in the entrance, but he jumped over him, escaped, and ran down to the gate. He says there were guards, but he dodged them, and squeezed through the door, which was only open a crack. It's true; he has three missing buttons to prove it.

Gandalf also had a revelation to make. He told us that when we were about to be captured by the goblins, he heard Bilbo's yell, and he realized what had happened. He says that in the flash that killed several goblins, he nipped inside the crack in the back of the cave. He says he followed us to the edge of the great hall, and he sat down there and worked up some magic in the shadows. It's a good thing Gandalf hadn't abandoned us, if he had, we would have been in the hands of the Great Goblin. It truly takes a wizard to keep his head in those evil tunnels.

After we finished talking, Gandalf snapped us all back to our senses, and told us that we must be getting on. He said the goblins would probably be after us in hundreds when night fell, which wasn't long off. So we trudged on, and here we are.

Bilbo's complaining of hunger again. The rough mountain path has disappeared, and we have come to a steep slope which looks like the remains of a landslide. We are attempting to travel down it

Still Day 45 - Still Traveling

Sorry I cut off there. We all stumbled down that steep, rocky slope and only the trees at the bottom saved us! Gandalf says that even the goblins will have a job of tracking us down that slope. That's all well and good, but I'm very bruised and bent and damaged, so I'm far from happy at the moment. It's getting darker, and we're limping as fast as we can down this gently sloping forest path. There's quite a bit of bracken ahead with tall fronds that rise above our little hobbit's head. There's an ominous feeling of gloom in the air, and the shadows are lengthening. I'd better stop writing for now.

Thorin Out -

Day 45 - Trees

I must write quickly. This could be my last entry. I am presently in a tree with Bifur, Bofur and Bombur. Dori, Nori, Ori, Oin, Gloin and Bilbo are in a huge pine; Fili and Kili are at the top of a tall larch; Dwalin and Balin are up in a slender fir, and Gandalf is in a very large tree at the edge of the glade. Oh, yes, did I mention it? We came across a clearing in the forest only to be greeted by the howling of wargs. We just barely escaped into these trees. Little Bilbo couldn't even get in a tree so Dori had to help him up. When he did so, a warg almost got him. Decent fellow, Dori is, always helping Bilbo.

This seems to be a meeting place of the wolves. We are definitely in the wrong place at the wrong time. They've set up guards at the foot of all of our trees, so we can't escape. This is the end of us! How can we escape? Why did we come so far, and escape from goblins to be caught by wolves? If anyone finds this and my dead body, please see that I have a proper burial (or at least what's left of me after these wolves are finished with us). I'm the well-dressed, good-looking, long bearded one.

Oh now what's this? A great grey wolf is in the middle of a circle of wolves. He's speaking to them in their terrible language. I wonder what they're saying. Gandalf probably understands it. What's this? A flaming pinecone just flew from Gandalf's tree and hit a wolf, which caught on fire. Another! And another! Another yet! All these wolves are ablaze! One even hit the chief wolf in the nose! Maybe there is hope! All the wolves are preoccupied with being on fire. Maybe Gandalf has a plan. I hope so!

Wait! What's this? Goblins! Coming into the clearing! What will we do now? They're helping those blasted wargs! Oh, no! And they're putting all sorts of kindling under our trees! We're doomed! The stupid brutes are singing about smoking us out of the trees. What? Gandalf's taunting them! Is he mad? Oh, no! The bottoms of the trees are ablaze! We're going to die and I can't write anymore . . . smoke in eyes . . .

Still Day 45

We're alive! A bit shaken, but alive! And, we have means of transportation to get us out of these mountains. As much as I love mountains, I'm thoroughly sick of these. I shall now tell you exactly how we escaped.

We were in our burning trees, waiting for the end, when I noticed Gandalf who had climbed to the top of his tree. No sooner had I noticed him, he was jumping off the tree. At this point, I thought he had gone mad, and was committing suicide in the hopelessness of our situation. But instead of falling to his death, a great eagle swooped out of nowhere and caught him in his talons. Several other eagles came and took the other dwarves and me too. Bilbo was almost left behind again, but he grabbed Dori's legs just in time. We flew for some time, rather terrified (I hate heights), until we landed on the eagles' eyrie and met with the Lord of the Eagles. He and Gandalf seem to know each other (which was lucky), and Gandalf bartered safe passage out of these mountains. Supposedly, the Lord of the Eagles owes Gandalf a debt. We were all just fed (finally), and we're going to sleep now. Good Night!

- Thorin Out -

Day 46 - Cave

We are now in a nice cave, away from the mountains. The eagles flew us here, as promised, and we were just discussing where to go from here. Gandalf says we are farther east than we had planned to go, but that's not the distressing news. Gandalf also announced that he will be leaving us again in a day or two. We all thought he was going to stay, but apparently he has some other pressing business to attend to, whatever that might be. We begged to the best of our abilities (even I did, but not nearly as much as the others); we even offered him some of our dragon gold (which he says he's already earned). He says he is going to take us to someone he knows of in these parts, although he has yet to explain who this "someone" is.

We are going to bathe in the river now and then I expect we'll set off again.

- Thorin Out -

Still Day 46 - The House of Beorn

We are now lodged in the good house of Beorn. Beorn is the "someone" Gandalf told us about earlier. He is quite amazing. He's a shape-shifter who turns into a great bear quite often. He was in his man form when we met and ate with him though. He seems to live mainly on honey, loaves, and cream, and he has gigantic bees in pastures. Gandalf says he loves his animals as children, and won't eat them or any other wild animal either. He even has great horses as guards!

We were only treated so graciously because of Gandalf, though. You see, we didn't all enter Beorn's house at once. Gandalf tactfully told us to come in two by two every five minutes, too. The plan behind that was that Gandalf was telling Beorn our tale of adventures and my outstanding bravery, and when we came in about every five minutes, it interrupted his tale, and Beorn had to wait. Therefore, he became more and more interested with each passing interruption. Thus, appreciating our story more. Gandalf didn't tell me this, but it doesn't take a genius to figure it out. Or maybe it does, because I think I'm the only one who picked up on it.

After we told our story and ate and drank (we haven't eaten this well since Rivendell), we went to bed and that's where I'm writing from. Good Night!

- Thorin Out -

Day 47 - Beorn's House

We are still in the house of Beorn. When we awoke, both Gandalf and Beorn were gone. After many hours, Gandalf returned and told us where he had gone. He told us he had gone to see what Beorn had been up to. He had followed bear tracks that went in the direction of the pinewoods on the West Side of the Misty Mountains where we were almost killed by the goblins and wargs. Bilbo was frightened that Beorn may inadvertently lead our enemies to us, but Gandalf shrugged him off, and told us to go to bed. So here I sit in bed now. There's still no sign of Beorn. I'll write more tomorrow.

- Thorin Out -

Day 53 - Edge of Mirkwood Forest

Gandalf's leaving again! And this time, it may be for good. I was beginning to think he'd forgotten his pressing business while we were staying with Beorn. Of course, I, the Great Thorin Oakenshield, am not afraid of some stupid forest . . . it's just that I'd feel more secure with Gandalf here to offer counsel every now and again. Every great leader needs some help on occasion; me on very rare occasion, but that's not the point.

We're all very glum now and there's a malicious-looking forest straight ahead that's not helping. We have plenty of food that Beorn gave us. He also gave us ponies, but we're sending them back to him before we enter the forest. His advice about the forest was not to eat anything in it, don't drink the water from its black stream, and don't stray from the path. Easy enough to remember.

We've been traveling about four days, and I haven't felt much like writing. We were taking a northern road because Beorn says the goblins will least expect us to go back towards their strongholds. He was right; we didn't run into any goblins or wargs. Reverse psychology; it's a killer.

I suppose I'll write tomorrow.

- Thorin Out -

Day 54 - Going into Mirkwood

We are presently trudging into Mirkwood Forest with heavy packs and heavier hearts. Gandalf just left - probably for good this time. We reluctantly sent our ponies back so we have to walk. I don't think I need to tell you how difficult it is to write while walking. I'll write when something worth writing about happens; which shouldn't be long. Gandalf said this forest should be a whole lot of fun.

- Thorin Out -

Day 60 - In Mirkwood

We've been in this blasted forest for some days now. We have all grown to hate it as much, or, if not more, than the goblin tunnels. At first, the night was dark, but a little light came through the trees. Then, it got darker and there was no light. Now the nights are pitch black so black you really can see nothing. It doesn't matter if we keep our eyes shut or not. That's rather unnerving at times. There are also these frightening eyes that I saw when I was on watch one night. It is getting stuffier and stuffier as we go deeper into the forest too. We attempted to light a fire numerous times, but we gave up at it. It seems to attract hundreds of those huge, frightening eyes. Worse still, thousands of huge gray moths and bats as black as coal. I'll write soon, if I can.

Day 65 . . . I think - Still Mirkwood

It's day now, and there's a little light to write by.

Earlier today, we came across the black river and we crossed it. The stream runs through the forest, but Beorn warned us not to drink from it. We are all very, very thirsty and hungry, and today Bombur paid the price. He was last to cross the river in a boat we snagged. While he was climbing out of it, he saw a deer and I suppose he tried to hurry out to kill it, but slipped into the black water. We rescued him, but he's fast asleep in spite of all we tried to do to wake him. I, the only one who kept his head during the event, shot the deer, but it escaped. It's getting darker. I must finish up. The deer came back a while ago, and three of us foolishly wasted the last of our arrows from Beorn.

- Thorin Out -

About Day 69 - Still Mirkwood

We are constantly burdened with fat Bombur because HE'S STILL ASLEEP! After four days, he still sleeps! We have practically no provisions left, and nothing wholesome seems to be growing anywhere, either. We have come to a part of the forest where most of the trees are beeches. There is no undergrowth here, and the shadows are not as deep, which is good. There's a greenish light constantly about us, and there's a sort of wind, but it sounds weak. At least Bombur's not eating our provisions. That's one positive thing, I suppose.

- Thorin Out -

Day 71 - Mirkwood

Our path seems to be going steadily downwards now. We have been hearing eerie laughter and fair singing off and on. We're now in a valley of oaks, and I've just sent Bilbo up a tree to see if this accursed forest ends anywhere soon. I wonder if we'll get out of here soon.

- Thorin Out -

Still Day 71 - STILL Mirkwood

This is terrible! Bilbo reports to us that the trees seem never to end! And we have just eaten the last of our provisions! We will surely perish in this accursed forest! A forest will defeat me, Great Thorin, son of Thrain, son of Thror Oakenshield, survivor of the dragon's attack on the Lonely Mountain! It's raining. Oh, how terribly thirsty I am! What's this? Bombur has just woken up! He doesn't seem to know where he is. Must go.

- Thorin Out -

Day 72 - Guess where

The worse thing has just happened. Well, first Bombur woke up and started complaining, but we found a lit circle of elves eating a feast. We rushed off the path to try to beg for food and they disappeared. It was pitch black, too, and we almost got lost and separated. Later, we heard voices and saw them again. So we tried again to go into their circle, but their lanterns went out and again they were gone. We had an especially difficult time finding each other again, and we thought for a while that we'd lost the hobbit. We found him, though, asleep. We're all miserably hungry and thirsty, but we're going to try to sleep now.

- Thorin Out -

Day 73 . . . I think Dungeon

Well, I'm not in that damned forest anymore. And I have eaten and drank finally. I am, however, in a dungeon cell in the fortress of the King of the Wood-Elves. I came to be here because again we saw the lights and heard the elves feasting. It was I who stepped first into the circle, and I was bound and carried away by them.

I was taken to the Elf King and he asked why we "attacked" his feasting people three times. I told him that we weren't going to attack anyone; that we just wanted food. He asked what my company was doing now, and I told him they're probably starving in the forest which no doubt they are. He wanted to know the nature of our coming to the forest, but I would not tell him. For, he probably wouldn't believe me, but if he did, he'd undoubtedly want some of our treasure when we recapture it from Smaug. At least, they're decent enough folk to give me food. Although he said he'll not let me free, unless I tell him. "Even if it takes a hundred years!" he said.

I'm starting to wonder what exactly did become of my friends. Hopefully, they're fairing as well as I. We shall see. It looks as though I'll be perishing in a dungeon instead of Mirkwood. How delightful.

- Thorin Out -

Day . . . 76? - Dungeon

I'm still in this wretched, dank, heavily guarded dungeon cell. Why? Because I refuse to tell the Elf King what he wants to know. I've thought about it for many an hour, but I still refuse. I wish I knew what has befallen my friends. Without me with them as their wise, bold leader they must be in hoards of trouble! And I doubt Gandalf has come to their aid. I wonder if they've been captured. Dear me! I hope the king hasn't captured them! One of them is bound to talk. Bombur would probably tell everything if offered a good feast. Oh no! I hear a guard! They'll probably take this journal away.

- Thorin Out -

At least day 90 - Still Dungeon

Yes, I've lost my will. I've been imprisoned long enough. I think I shall tell the king the nature of our quest. Maybe he won't demand a percentage of it. I still doubt he'll believe me. Although I've been here over two weeks maybe he will believe me. I've had to hide this journal because for some reason more and more guards are on patrol. I've heard snatches of their conversations, and it seems there's a thief in the palace. It doesn't sound too serious, but I suppose it matters to the Elf King. So, yes, I shall tell him. I'm too tired to be troubled by my misfortunes now. I just want to get out of this prison!

Wait . . . I hear something! Through the keyhole! Calling my name . . .

- Thorin Out -

Still Day 90 - Still Dungeon

My stars! I am fortunate! Bilbo is here! We just had a very long talk. He says that the other dwarves are imprisoned like me, but he knows all their locations! I truly have lots of respect for the hobbit now. He said that I was captured, and he and the company were attacked by giant spiders. They caught everyone except him, though. This part fascinates me he has a magic ring which he uses to turn invisible - it's remarkable! So he followed the spiders to their lair and the spiders almost ate the dwarves! He says they were all caught in webs, and sick with poison. He bravely lured the spiders away from their hollow, and then he rushed back and freed the dwarves.

After that, they were captured by the elves. Luckily, they didn't tell the king anything except that they were starving, like I said. Unfortunately, we are all imprisoned except Bilbo. But fortunately, he knows the locations of all of the others. He is going to tell them that I, their leader, is close at hand, and that they're not to tell the king anything until I give the word. Things, for once, don't seem to look so dim.

- Thorin Signing Out -

At least Day 94 - Still Dungeon

Well, no new developments in our escape plan. Bilbo delivered my message to everyone four days ago, so no one's told the Elf King anything. I do hope Bilbo is thinking of an escape plan! I've looked at the walls of this dungeon long enough! I think the elves are having a feast, maybe Bilbo's using that to his advantage. I sure hope so. I would if I were he. Elves aren't easily tricked, though, I hope he knows what he's doing. I mean . . . if he has a plan, I hope that he has planned it well. I'm starting to become anxious; I need to get out of here!

- Thorin In (a blasted dungeon) -

Still Day 94 - Barrel

I am now in a very uncomfortable, smelly, slimy barrel.

Bilbo did indeed have a plan, but not the most brilliant, I must say. He found out that the elves trade with their kin by means of the river. They ship barrels of wine and butter and apples and things. When they are empty, the barrels are shoved into the river and float back downstream. That, other than the enchanted door, is the only way out of this castle. Bilbo stole the keys to our cells from the snoozing guard and freed us, led us to the wine cellar, and put us in these barrels I hear voices. Elves! Oh! I'm moving!

Same Day - Barrel

I'm sticky! Uncomfortable! Hurting! Drowning! HATE APPLES! Dark! Sick!

Day 95 - Lake Town

We are now in Lake Town. After our most unpleasant journey down the river in those terrible barrels, we landed in the bay and busted out of our barrels by Bilbo. Although I think he could have tried to arrange a more comfortable means of transportation, we are all eternally in his debt. The little hobbit saved us again.

As I was saying, after we all came out of those terrible barrels, Bilbo, Fili, Kili and I went to the town. I demanded to see the Master, and we were led to him. Conveniently, he was feasting, so he let us join him and now we're all full (for once). There were some elves in the Master's feasting hall, as well. They seemed almost frightened of us because they haven't a clue how we escaped. Ha! We outsmarted elves!

I'm not sure the Master fully believes that I am the true King Under the Mountain, but his people do, so luckily, he gave into them and is letting us stay. I'm so glad to be out of that barrel!

- Thorin Signing Out -

Day 102 - Esgaroth

We are all now refreshed. We're all strong and healthy now with trimmed beards and fine clothes. The people of Esgaroth all seem to think that we'll turn the river to gold or some nonsense like that after the dragon is dead. I have no intention of throwing my grandfather's fortune into some river. The treasure is the dwarves', and, of course, Mr. Baggins'. The good fellow has saved us many times, and if it wasn't for him, I don't think I'd be writing this now. Yes, Bilbo indeed deserves a good 14th of the treasure. Well, we're about to go to another feast.

- Thorin Signing Out -

Day 109 - Esgaroth

I have just spoken to the Master of the town and his councilors about leaving soon. I'm afraid some of us have forgotten that there's still a deadly dragon sitting on our treasure, that must be slain. How we plan to kill Smaug is beyond me. Maybe Bilbo will come up with another one of his genius plans. Oh well, we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. Or should I say, we'll slay that dragon when we get to it! The Master says he'll provide us with anything we need. We'll go soon so things don't cool down, and we wear out our welcome.

- Thorin Out -

Day 112 - Boat

I am presently sitting in a boat. We have just departed from Esgaroth. It's rather chilly now; it is late fall, though I can't believe where the time has gone!

Horses and ponies are to meet us at an appointed landing place two days from here. I'll write later.

- Thorin Out -

Day 115 - Shore of River

We have set up camp here for the night. After three days going up the river, we arrived around here and were met by an escort with our ponies and supplies. The escort left us a few hours ago because he said he wouldn't dare to stay in the shadow of the mountain come nightfall. There don't seem to be any animals or wildlife here at all. It's very gloomy. It is also getting colder and our spirits seem to be dropping as fast as the temperature. Good Night.

- Thorin Out -

Day 119 - Desolation of the Dragon

We are on the western side of the southern spur of the Lonely Mountain. And lonely it is! We are near Ravenhill, and one of our old watch posts. Though we daren't climb it, it's too exposed.

The way up here was very grim. We did not sing or speak much. I expect we'll be searching for my grandfather's hidden door soon. I hope we don't run into any trouble!

- Thorin Out -

Day 121 - Desolation of the Dragon

Bilbo, Balin, Fili, and Kili have explored almost up to the front gate. They reported that it was merely a wasteland, and that they saw the sad remains of Dale. We have not yet tried to find the secret door. Bilbo keeps looking at my map and insisting that we go looking for the door. I suppose I shall yield to his request. We do need to be getting on. Although . . . now that our pride that had been awakened by Esgaroth's praise is gone, I'm not exactly eager to go pay Smaug a visit. However, it seems I have no choice. This is what I came all the way here to do: reclaim the treasure in the names of Thror and Thrain Oakenshield!

- Thorin Out -

Day 127 - Desolation of the Dragon

We moved our camp into a long, narrow valley west of our former position. We've been sending parties each day to go and look for paths up the mountainside, but to no avail. If my map is true, somewhere high above the cliff at this valley's head, must stand a secret door. We have come back to our camp day after day with no success. Hopefully, we'll find something soon.

- Thorin Out -

Day 133 - Camp on Mountain

Success! At last! We have found our secret door! Early today, Bilbo, Fili and Kili went down the valley to its southern corner. Bilbo said he came upon some rough steps going upward. They followed them up and finally came to a grassy-floored bay cut into the wall. Strategically placed by the dwarves it is, too. You cannot see it from below because of the overhanging cliff, and if you were to look upon the mountain from a distance, it would simply look like a crack in the mountain wall. It is also open to the sky, so it's no cave.

That's where we are now. We all came up the way Bilbo described and came earlier. Only Bofur and Bombur stayed behind to guard the ponies. We're making our third camp up here now, though, so I suppose we'll have to haul them up soon.

Bilbo also reported that they tried to open any kind of door earlier, but had no luck. We know it's here somewhere. I, the great Thorin, son of Thrain, son of Thror Oakenshield, True King Under the Mountain, will find the door used by my ancestors!

- Thorin Out -

Day 133, Still - Camp on the "Doorstep"

We have had no success in opening the door. It's definitely here, just we don't know how to open it. We attempted to use some pickaxes and other mining tools of sorts, but tools will not work against the magic that seals the door.

Danger seems to be lurking all around us, so we dare not sing or even speak loudly. The loud clanging of the mining tools seemed to reverberate and echo for too long. Bilbo is sitting on the "doorstep" hopefully thinking up a plan. Although, all he seems to be doing is gazing west. I hope someone thinks of something, somehow, soon.

- Thorin Out -

Day 135 - Same Place

Nothing new to report. We've all sort of split up, doing our own thing, except Bombur, who's asleep. Lazy oaf. Bilbo's still just sitting around. I thought he'd have come up with a plan by now. He's just sitting there watching that thrush crack open a snail;. There are lots of snails around here. I don't know why wait! Bilbo's just started crazily yelling. Maybe he's come up with a plan!

- Thorin Out -

Still Day 135 - Outside Secret Door

Yes! The door is opened! Earlier when Bilbo started yelling, he'd hailed us to come and wait. So we waited and waited and waited and when we felt we could wait no more, something marvelous happened! The moon rose and a sliver of moonlight hit the stone wall, revealing a door five feet high and three feet abroad with a keyhole. I gave Bilbo my key that came with my map. He opened it, and the door swung open after a little pushing.

Bilbo and Balin have bravely entered it, not knowing what they will find. We are all so anxious out here. Balin said he'd only go a short way with Bilbo. That means Bilbo is probably alone. I do hope the little fellow survives this one! We're all quite fond of him.

- Thorin Out -

Still Day 135 - Tunnel

Now we are all in the frightful tunnel! Bilbo and Balin came out of this tunnel some time ago, amazingly unscathed. Bilbo had even stolen a golden cup from the slumbering dragon. We praised and congratulated him, but our joy was short-lived. Suddenly, we heard Smaug's terrible roar like thunder as he awoke. He must've somehow sensed his missing cup and immediately suspected theft. He came out of the front gate, licking the mountainside with flames and roaring. It was so terrifying, almost everyone lost his head. We were all clambering into the tunnel when Bifur remembered that Bofur and Bombur were still down in the valley. I couldn't believe it, but they were all about to leave them, but I simply wouldn't allow it. I'd kept my head and I ordered Fili, Kili, Balin and Bilbo into the tunnel while we hauled up Bofur and Bombur. If the situation hadn't been so dire, it actually would've been humorous, Bombur huffing and puffing with the ropes creaking in pain.

So here we all sit, in this stuffy tunnel. It has been at least two hours since we entered. I expect our ponies perished in Smaug's wrath. I suppose all we can do is try to sleep for now, but I have an extremely strong feeling that Smaug's not going to let this go. What am I saying? Of course he won't! Damn dragons and their greed!

- Thorin Out -

Day 136 - Still Tunnel

Bilbo has again just gone to go have a look at Smaug! What a brave hobbit he is! It was his idea, though. I hope he lives through this one. We all have an extremely high opinion of the fellow now. He has his ring on, that should definitely help him . . . but I do hope he knows about dragon's sense of smell! He probably does. Well, I will try to write more later. Oh, this tunnel is stuffy, even with the door a crack open.

- Thorin Out -

Still Day 136 - Tunnel

We have just heard a thunderous sound that shook the whole mountain! It came from Smaug's direction! We're all just sitting here, terrified, wondering what's become of Bilbo. There is little hope that he's alive! I can't bear to think about what Smaug's done to him! I'll try to keep you informed.

- Thorin Out -

Day 136 - Deep into the Tunnel

Now it IS stuffy. But none of us are worrying about that. We're now shut in the mountain. We had to close the door, and not a moment too soon! You see, luckily, Bilbo returned with only scorched hair on his head and heels to show for it. So yes, he survived and he told us the marvelous story of what happened. He actually spoke to Smaug! I don't know how he resisted the dragon spell. There is much strength in that hobbit! Anyway, he said he spoke to Smaug in riddles (and it's quite a good thing, too, because that's the only safe way to talk to dragons), but one of the things he said was "Barrel-Rider" when Smaug demanded his name, and that was a mistake. Smaug immediately associated "Barrel-Rider" with Esgaroth. I do hope the Lake-Men can withstand his wrath! Although as someone pointed out before about our ponies, once Smaug's seen something, there's no escape. Our situations always seem so hopeless! But Bilbo did find out something quite useful. He said earlier that, "Every worm has a weakness," or something like that. He found Smaug's. On his left breast, there is a hollow with no scale or gem, but how could we get that close to it? I suppose all we can do is sit and wait for now. That thrush looks like it's listening! I'm just paranoid.

- Thorin Out -

At least Day 139 - Still Inner Tunnel

I think we've been in here at least three days, though I'm not sure. We've just been waiting and waiting and occasionally sleeping; only to wake to darkness and more waiting. The air in here is so stale! I think we'd all be grateful even to hear the dragon return, though he hasn't. I can bear this no longer. I need some fresh air!

- Thorin Out -

Still Day 139 - Watchtower at Ravenhill

Oh! I am so exhausted, yet very grateful to finally be free of that horrid, stuffy tunnel. We are now resting in a watchtower on Ravenhill.

Earlier, when I needed fresh air, we attempted to open the door, but to no avail. Smaug had crushed the mountainside so rubble blocked it up. Bilbo then decided to go once again down the tunnel into the dragon's hall, though he wasn't sure if Smaug was there or not. I bravely said I'd go with him this time, and the rest of the dwarves quickly followed my lead and agreed to go as well. We went down the dark tunnel, and Bilbo took a torch into the hall. After all, he is our burglar and investigator, so he went to see if it was safe before we went down. Luckily, Smaug was not there, and Bilbo explored the vast hall. We all finally went into the hall, torches lit, when his torch went out and he called for our aid. After we helped the hobbit, we explored the mounds of gold. It was marvelous! Absolutely magnificent seeing all my grandfather's and father's wealth again! We all joyously filled our pockets and armed and armored ourselves with weapons and mail we found. Now I truly look like the King Under the Mountain! I wear a coat of gold-plated rings, with a silver hafted axe in a belt crusted with scarlet stones. I found Mithril, which I gave to Bilbo, because it was made for a young prince and fit him perfectly.

One thing I couldn't find, though (and this troubles me greatly), is the Arkenstone of my father. I searched and searched and searched, yet could not find this beautiful gem. I must find it, though! Once we somehow get rid of Smaug, and the treasure is ours, I will not rest until the gem is safe in my possession.

Bilbo finally snapped us back to sense and said we should leave and try to find safety. We exited the hall and made our way up to the front gate. Words cannot describe how grateful we were to have the sun in our eyes and the wind in our faces.

We then made our way up to this watchtower by the strenuous route Balin knew. I am so tired. We are all mostly resting now. Earlier we were discussing some plans, but everything leads down to the same question: Where is Smaug?

- Thorin Out -

Day 140 - Still Ravenhill

Nothing has happened up here, since last I wrote, and the dragon has not returned. There's nothing to do, except sit around, anxiously waiting for something to happen. I feel something strange is afoot, though. Hundreds of birds seem to be coming here for some reason unknown to us. I cannot shake this strange feeling. I'll write later, probably, unless Smaug comes to visit. Oh! Wait, I forgot! No one in the company says he saw the Arkenstone when we explored Smaug's princely bed. It must be there! I do hope one of us stumbles across it when we get Smaug out of the way.

- Thorin Out -

Day 141 - Front Gate

Smaug is dead! Smaug is dead! He was slain by Bard, of the line of Girion, Lord of Dale. I can hardly believe it! Yesterday, we received the news from Roac, son of Carc, the chief of the Ravens. The treasure is ours! Well . . . at least for the time being. Unfortunately, the news of Smaug's death has spread far and according to the thrush, many are on the way to try to claim our treasure. The thrush that I thought was listening to us is the real reason the Smaug is rotting at the bottom of the lake. He heard Bilbo speak of Smaug's weak spot and told Bard, who was defending Esgaroth and could understand the thrush's language (the men of Dale always could).

The great Ravens have sent word to Dain (my cousin) in the Iron Hills, and they are keeping us informed of happenings below, in Esgaroth, and those traveling to the mountain. They already know that a party of armed Wood-Elves is on the way. I made it very clear, though, that I will not let anyone take any of our treasure while we live.

We're fortifying our defenses now by blocking up the front gate with some tools we found. I'm taking a break now, but I'd better get back to work soon. The birds are hoping for bloodshed; that's why they come in hundreds. We're into winter now, so it can be no migration this late. We shall see. There are so few of us, we will be slaughtered if any more armies are on the way. At least we hold an advantage because we are up on a higher elevation so we can see more than they. I will not lose my treasure! At least not without a fight.

Fili and Kili, guided by Ravens, have gone to look for our ponies (if any survived), and any supplies, for our food supply is running short, as Mr. Baggins so graciously pointed out earlier. I'll keep you posted. We won't go down without a fight!

- Thorin Out -

Day 145 - Front Gate

We know now that the elves have joined with the men and are hurrying up to meet us. Thankfully, we have food and supplies now. Thanks to Fili and Kili. It's mostly that beastly "cram," but cram is better than no food at all, I suppose. Our wall is built and rather strong. We have small holes in it to shoot out of or to look out. There is no entrance, so we're going in and out with ladders. I think we're all feeling a bit better with enough food for a few weeks and fortified defenses. I feel a siege coming, but now we're well prepared. Who knows, perhaps diplomacy will work. The thrush and the Ravens say Bard is true and valiant, but I'm not counting on it. They want my treasure, and I have no intention of giving it away.

We have also arranged so that attackers can only come up, single file, on the right of the stream. I'll write after something happens.

- Thorin Out -

Day 148 - Front Gate

I was just attempting to sleep, but I'm too restless. Not three hours ago, Balin sighted an encampment in Dale. It's a very large camp, too, with many lights and torches. I wonder if they know we're up here. I hope they don't. Perhaps they think we perished when the dragon came out. All we can do is wait, I suppose. At least we're well armed and ready. No one, and I mean no one, will take an ounce of treasure while we live!

I started to explore the treasure today. I searched chiefly for the Arkenstone, but I also went through everything else. It truly is a glorious pile! I'll find the Arkenstone . . . somewhere . . .

- Thorin Out -

Day 149 - Front Gate Still

Today a small company of men and elves came up to my gate. They were utterly stunned when they saw our strong defenses. I, King Under the Mountain, hailed them, asking what they desired. They said nothing and fled, so I suppose they didn't expect us to be up here defending our treasure.

An hour or so ago, they started singing elf songs in the camps. It was sweet music, but we shipped out our instruments that we found in the treasure, and played an equally enchanting melody.

I hope Dain is on his way from the Iron hills. It shouldn't take them too long to get here if they left as soon as they received our message from the ravens. Again, it seems we can do nothing but wait for the time being.

I did some more exploring in the treasury today. No sign of the Arkenstone.

- Thorin Out -

Day 150 - Front Gate

The nerve of them! Wanting my treasure! Yes, slay the dragon they did, but still!

This morning quite early, a host of elf spearmen under the banner of the Elven King, and men under the banner of Esgaroth, arrived at my front door. They wanted to parley. I told them I would not until the elves left and they laid down their arms. They left, saying I should repent my words and gather my wisdom, just because the elves are their friends. I told them I remembered the elves with little kindness and that they had no say in our debate. There will be no debate, though, if they do not lay down their weapons and approach peacefully. I see them now ( and I told them this) as foes and thieves because they choose not to lower their arms.

It has been many hours since they departed. I wonder when they will return. I have a feeling this won't end well.

- Thorin Out -

Still Day 150 - Still Front Gate

Those fools! They came back and demanded one twelfth of the treasure for Bard, the dragon slayer, and some of MY own share for their comfort! Are they daft? No way am I, Thorin, son of Thrain, son of Thror Oakenshield, going to give up one twelfth, much less some of my own share! What do they think I am, an elf? I'm a damned dwarf, and a pretty angry dwarf who will not give out his treasure!

As a response, I shot an arrow. That will show those elves and men what happens when they come begging to my door!

Yet, past the anger, I feel very grim, very grim indeed. I don't really know if retaliating that way was such a wise course of action. AGAIN, all we can do is wait. We'll wait for Dain to come or for them to attack. They declared us besieged, so I suppose diplomacy failed once again.

- Thorin Out -

Day 151 - Mountain Still

Nothing has happened. They have not attacked, and Dain has not arrived. I have been focusing my energy on searching the treasure for the Arkenstone. I swear I have searched everywhere through everything, yet I cannot find it anywhere! Although I think I have searched everything, I shall look again. I must find it!

- Thorin Out -

Day 152 - Still My Mountain

I have searched everywhere, I am absolutely sure of it! The Arkenstone is not in the pile of treasure! Oh, and no one has attacked yet, but Dain still has not arrived. I think someone has stolen my Arkenstone! Where else could it be? It was here when Smaug was, or he would've known it, for it did not escape the mountain with my father or grandfather. Yet . . . I know I saw what everyone stuffed their pockets with, and none of them had the Arkenstone. I don't know how, but someone took it, without my knowledge, I'm almost certain. I will kill anyone who is withholding it from me! I can't believe there is a traitor in our midst! How disgusted I am! I must find my Arkenstone!

- Thorin Out -

Day 153 - Still Mountain

We have finally received tidings of Dain. He is hastening from the Iron hills and is approximately two days march from here. Roac, the raven, thinks that it will do no good; that there will be a battle, and that we'll lose. Or, if we overtake the men and elves, then we will perish because we have no allies in the neighboring lands. To this I said that the elves and men will be broken by the coming winter before us, and will perhaps be more willing to parley on my reasonable terms. Although now that I think about it, I don't know how long we can survive with this little amount of cram that we possess. Well, good night, even though it isn't a very good night. I made Bombur be watchman. I hope he doesn't fall asleep.

- Thorin Out -

Day 154 - Mountain, still

Ha! I have just about won! A messenger has just come up from the men and elves. They ask to parley, just as I knew they would. Perhaps they realized that they don't stand a chance when the winter weather hits. Ah! I see both their banners approaching wait! BOTH their banners? Why are the elves coming? My terms clearly stated that elves would have no part in this! We shall see about this!

- Thorin Out -

Day 154 - Mountain

THAT TRAITOR! THAT ROTTEN BURGLAR BETRAYED ME! DAMNED DESCENDENT OF RATS, HE IS! BURGLAR INDEED! STEALING FROM HIS OWN FRIEND!

I know where the Arkenstone is now! BILBO stole it! He withheld it from me all this time, and in addition to that, he gave it to the elves and men! What nerve that thief has! I suspected treachery but never Bilbo! Why? What reasons does he have for it? Oh, and guess who is in league with that traitor? Gandalf! I vow never to have anything to do with the dealings of wizards and their friends EVER AGAIN!

They actually came up here, armed and with elves, to trade MY Arkenstone for treasure that does not belong to them! What nerve they have! Did they actually think I would barter for something that is rightly mine? Of course, I had to in the end, give them Bilbo's share (along with Bilbo) in exchange for my Arkenstone, which they have not yet delivered.

Day 155 - Still Mountain

I cannot believe I was betrayed. I still cannot believe it. That traitor . . . I still can't believe Bilbo would do such a thing.

I sent tidings to Dain, passed by Roac, of what has passed. I hope they arrive soon. I am eager to see the elves and men and Bilbo fall. Dain's folk are tough and we could withstand them for a long time. By that time, more of my relatives will have arrived. They will not take my treasure!

The weather is gloomy and dull and cold. I don't feel very much like writing.

- Thorin Out -

Still Day 155 - Where do you think?

Fools! Again, they sent up some messengers to try and take my gold. In response, I fired at them with an arrow, and a few more were exchanged. We'll see what they try next!

- Thorin Out -

Still Day 155 - Mountain

My word! A great roll of thunder has shaken the sky! A huge cloud of what seems to be bats has just flown over the shoulder of the mountain! Oh no . . . it seems to be goblins! We must do something!

- Thorin -

Day 156 - Tent

I write to you now from what I am sure will be my deathbed.

Yesterday, the goblins attacked upon Wargs. Dain and his company, the elves, and the men were below in the valley, and about to fight each other, but instead joined forces to fight our common foe. It was truly a glorious battle. All seemed lost for them until my company and I charged courageously. I wielded an axe and killed many a goblin. We fought and fought, and I even tried to fight the bodyguard of Bolg . . . but it was too much for me. We could not penetrate their force, and I was struck down. Fili and Kili were also struck down while bravely guarding me. They too, I fear, will not live long, for their wounds are as grievous as mine.

I was informed by Gandalf that we were almost defeated. Almost, but the great eagles came to our aid just in time, and with their help, we defeated the wretched goblins.

I realize now that I was being foolish about the treasure. Also, I have asked to see Bilbo, for I owe him an apology. I wish to depart in peace and I hope he will forgive me.

This, I know, will be my last entry, so to whomever finds this, I hope you will not let this adventure be forgotten, or the people in it. I go now to the halls of my fathers. Peace,

Thorin, son of Thrain, son of Thror Oakenshield,

King Under the Mountain