The days trek across the plains had brought the company of Thorin Oakenshield to a shielded ridge just at the mouth of a small stream. The company lay about the ground with a fire glowing brightly, shielded by the rock formation. Every dwarf was laid about the ground, slowly waiting for sleep to take them, yet none seemed close to drift. Thorin stood at the edge of the camp, on watch.
Kili turned to his brother, certain sleep would come later during the night. "Fili, what was the tale Amad used to tell to us?"
Fili turned to his brother. "I'm not sure which one you're referring to."
Kili thought for a moment, searching his memories. "She would tell it to us every night, before bed. About a dwarf king and...an elven dwarf!"
At his nephew's statement, Thorin turned his head toward the company. He watched the faces of his company grow excited at the mention of the story. But Thorin, himself, remained silent.
"'Abad Miziminh!" Fili exclaimed.
"Yes!" Kili replied.
"I've not heard that tale in years." Fili replied.
"The what?" Bilbo inquired.
"'Abad Miziminh. Translates to Mountain Jewel." Balin answered. "A name given to the first elven dwarf. Quite a tale, if I do say so myself. One of the few we dwarves have left that actually brings joy to the listeners. "
"What is it about?" Ori asked.
"You've never heard of the elven-dwarf?" Fili replied.
Several dwarves shook their heads.
"Well it's a fantastic story, and its just what it says. An elven-dwarf. The first actually." Balin explain. "The Lady Validhreniel was the first half-elf half-dwarf child of her time, quite possible still to this day. She was as fierce a warrior as any dwarven warrior there ever was. Skilled with numerous weapons, trained in combat of the dwarves and elves."
"Indeed." spoke Gandalf. "Not a warrior with which to cross swords with I daresay."
"Did you ever make her acquaintance?" asked Bilbo.
"Oh yes, on many occasions." Gandalf replied. "Though, the stories hardly do her justice."
Bilbo's fascination was peeked. "Can you recall the tale?"
"Oh dear me, no." Gandalf explained. "I unfortunately am unfamiliar with her story to the extent of some. But, uh...I do believe Balin may know."
"Yes Balin, tell us the tale." Kili called.
"Oh let's see." Balin hesitated, feigning deliberation. His gazed traveled across the camp to Thorin.
Thorin knew what his friend was silently asking, and he wanted no part of it. He turned his head back toward the woods, where his full attention was needed. He wanted no part in the telling of tales.
Balin turned his attention toward his company brethren . "The story of the Lady Validhreniel began on a day of homage, when the elves of Mirkwood arrived to pay tribute to the King Under the Mountain. As custom for new arrivals, the king had his best warrior present at all times. His name was Datray son of Dorhir."
Bilbo shifted in his place on the earth and listened to Balin. The others of the company shifted themselves toward Balin, intent on hearing the tale. Kili sat up and propped himself with his pack.
"Datray was the commander of the armies of Erebor during the time of peace. But peace, did not mean the warriors did without training. Datray trained long and hard into the days. He even trained with the king and the children of the king, personally. A fierce some warrior with great courage, unafraid to die for his kinsmen. Able to put the fear of Mahal into his enemies before sending them to their creator."
"No one would have believes that a warrior such as Datray could fall, but fall he did. On a day of tribute, when the Elves gathered in Erebor, the warrior Datray met his match. An elven maiden from the woodland realm, the Lady Alnya. Rumors of her beauty had spread through Middle-Earth, though her beauty could never compare to the Lady of Lothlorial. Still, her beauty had fallen Erebor's strongest warrior with a single glance. And in that instant, Datray fell in love with the elven maiden. And she loved him.
"No one had ever heard of a dwarf marrying an elf. Most deemed it doomed to fail. Both held high ranks within their lands, to marry as they planned seemed to be throwing away their potential. But their stubbornness and love held true, and they were married. Not only did they hold true to each other, but they grew stronger, and even more...brought a child into the world. A daughter, as both dwarf and elf with her mother's beauty and her fathers ferocity. And she grew into the accomplished young maiden; a living jewel within the mountain walls. Hence the title 'Abad Miziminh. The Mountain Jewel. "
"Lady Validhreniel." Bilbo said.
Balin nodded. "Now, a moment's pause if you will. Not long before the birth of the lady, the King of Erebor was blessed with the birth of a son. A strong warrior, trained by Datray himself. One of his best pupils. Determined, driven, yet firm in his beliefs. A true king through and through."
"What next?" Ori asked.
"Well, naturally the two children grew up. He, a prince, destined to rule the Kingdom Under The Mountain, and she a rare woman jewel of ferocity and gentleness. In such a kingdom, it was a miracle neither met." Balin continued.
"What sort of story is this?" Gandalf demanded
Kilia and Fili laughed aloud.
"Be silent, I am not finished." Balin scolded. "It was a wonder neither met for years. Purely an accident, really. The prince was meeting with Datray for training, when he came upon the Lady training, and very well mind you. Well, it did not take long after their first meeting before they were meeting in secret after dark. Always out of sight, always in different places."
"Why in secret?" Bilbo asked.
"Because of his birthright and her rank." Kili answered. "He was to be king, no kingdom would accept a woman born of elven blood as a suitable queen."
Balin nodded. "That is correct. So they kept their meetings secret from all. And as the years wore on, the Lady, wore on the young Prince until finally...he fell in love with her and she with him. But with all stories, their happiness would not last.
"It was not long before Validhreniel came of age, that she would have many a suitors to call upon her, even with her heritage. Any man whom would deny the chance of a skilled woman such as the Lady, was no man at all. And it was because of her rarity and skills, that whomever wished to marry the maiden had to prove their worth for her, even those of royal descent. So, Datray and Alnya devised a plan; their best warrior would fight every suitor who came to call upon their daughter. Should the suitor be the victor, he would be free to marry the maiden."
Bilbo felt his lips part in awe. The entire company had grown silent. Kili watched Balin with great intent. Bofur's pipe was laid about his leg, unattended. Bifur had completely stopped eating. Dwalin sat with his axe in front of him, leaning into it. Even Gandalf was enwrapped within the tale. No dwarf, wizard, or hobbit, dared to interrupt Balin.
"Alas, many tried. Within the walls of Erebor, many warriors, merchants, Lords, and minors sought after Lady Validhreniel's hand. Each battle was a spectacle in its own. Though she was not royal blood, the battles for her hand were seen as entertainment. But battle after battle, none succeeded. All whom entered the arena were shamed by the warrior of Datray, and lived to see that shame. For many years it passed as such. There were times when it was believed that the warrior would lose, but it was never so. And soon, it became clear that no one would win the fair maiden's hand. Until the prince ventured for her hand.
"The kingdom was in an uproar. As the sole heir to the kingdom, it was unwise to risk the title and honor for a woman, even one such as Lady Validhreniel. The council and king pleaded with the prince to withdraw his proposal, even the Lady Validhreniel attempted to turn his actions from the battle. Surely another woman would catch his eye and be more worthy of the honor of being his queen. But the prince would have no other. And so, the prince met the warrior in the arena.
"It was a fierce battle, both warriors fighting with every ounce of their beings. No one knew who would win, for the prince was a great warrior and had lasted all than the previous suitors. but the warrior had great experience as well, and fought the king with great strength. The battle raged for hours, each warrior fighting with all their strength. Blood was spilt, armor was shattered, bones were broken, until finally...a victor remained." Balin paused.
The camp was silent, barely hanging by the tension.
"And?" asked Bilbo. "Who was the victor?"
Thorin turned back toward the company at Balin's silence. He found all eyes of the company on Balin, except Balin's. His friend held his gaze over the flames of the fire. "The prince."
A chorus of cheers and chuckles echoed throughout the company. Thorin turned his gaze away once more.
"The prince stood over the warrior, driven unconscious by the princes mighty axe. Now, you can imagine after many years of failures, the people were ecstatic to see the fall of the warrior, much less at the hands of the prince. The people immediately called for the identity of the fierce warrior whom had shamed dwarves for years. Under the request of the people, the prince removed the warrior's helmet, revealing the warrior to all. To their astonishment, the warrior was none other than the maiden herself; Lady Validhreniel."
"What?" Bilbo asked.
Balin held up his hand, silencing Bilbo. "The people were outraged by the knowledge that a woman had shamed so many and fought for her own hand in marriage. Many called for her death and her fathers, as the crimes were severe. But the prince called against them. Under his orders, the Lady was removed from the arena to recover. The prince sought council with the king. He defended and justified the actions. Legitimized the arrangement as the Lady was indeed her father's greatest warrior, and emphasized the delicacy of the situation. So, the king decided, to spare Lady Validhreniel and Datray from execution. And the prince and lady were married."
The moments following Balin's tale were filled with a comforting silence.
"Quite a, uplifting tale." Gandalf exclaimed.
"Indeed it is." Bilbo replied, still in awe.
Kili nodded and leaned against his pack. "A fine tale for the evening."
"You all best be getting some rest." called Thorin. "Dawn will soon be upon us."
It was not long after the words of Thorin that the man of the company were fast sleep, satisfied by the tale, and snoring loudly. Thorin closed his eyes, relishing the relatively silent camp. He pushed back the words of Balin's tale from his mind. To the company, it was only a tale. An uplifting one that was desperately needed to lighten their mood. But it was more to him. It was no tale passed down after centuries of the truth. It was pure truth to him.
"You're quiet tonight." came Balin's voice.
Thorin turned to Balin. "And what else should I be?"
"Truthfully, I half expected you to either end the story forcefully or finish recanting it yourself." Balin replied.
Thorin snorted bitterly. "I am constantly haunted by those memories in my dreams, why would I willingly recall them as entertainment?"
"Your sister believed it was worthy of retelling." Balin replied. "Telling it to her son's every night."
"And what good is it now?"
"To help ease the pain, Thorin." Balin answered. "A century of bitterness is no good for the soul, much less a soul that bears the hardships of loss. It's time to let it go and remember her for the good."
"What good is that, Balin? Saving her life only to have her depart with the destruction of Erebor. To wonder if she died long ago or still resides within Middle-Earth? Or wonder if she her love for me was just a lie?" Thorin replied.
"You know not the reason's for her departure. In all my years, Thorin, there was no other whom could match swords with you in the area. No one who could challenge your skills. There was no equal to you in strength or cunning. Vali was your equal in every way. She helped you grow in strength and in spirit. And to this day, she is the only lady I know that could ever make you truly happy. And I have no doubt in my mind that she loved you with all her heart." Balin explained. Without another word, Balin ventured back to the camp and settled in for the night.
Thorin was left to his own accord. He inhaled the cool night air and closed his eyes, bidding for the painful memories to flee from his thoughts. But as each time before, he is too far lost into his thoughts to leave the memories behind him.
okay so this is my first hobbit fic and I have every intention of continuing this depending on the reviews. if they're good then this will be Thorin and Vali's back story.