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Author Topic: Beyond the Glory  (Read 1598 times)

Bilbo Baggins

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Beyond the Glory
« on: January 18, 2014, 04:21:00 PM »
"Oh...well really...", Master Baggins had underestimated the hospitality a simple town of people all betting on your success bringing them prosperity could then offer, their own stations aside. Really this latter was the telling. It...it wasn't charity or honest giving, it was...recklessness on a hope they had nothing to fear in whatever was wasted here because more on more was coming.

Well, but what if it didn't?!

Bilbo glanced to his second pint of a not bad fishing village's brew, all in all, which had been quickly supplied him after his sampling the first. The Master of the Town was saying something else, had hardly stopped really, ever since Thorin's grand speech on the steps which had stirred the people on into this. Oh the things he's promised! Thorin that was, not that the Master wasn't now adding his own on top and around the Dwarf King's.

The Hobbit wondered how much on both sides would truly be fulfilled and...well nothing against the town and it's generosity, but...he had more faith in Thorin's keeping more of his than this Master of Lake Town, whether or not it was just from a King's logic in keeping neighbors in good standing or not. That said and semi-understood, along with the basic good sense of Thorin's speech, and fine Kingly charisma it showed, certain things sat ill with Bilbo still. Mainly the utter disregard and opening up to public ridicule that had occurred of their host, Bard.

Giving a glance about, Bilbo scanned for the man even now, but he was not surprisingly absent, at least from the immediate area. The Hobbit sighed, looking to but not sipping his pint, and glancing to the others of the Company who were taking more to the celebrating than he. His eyes found the two young princes once more and he subtly checked Kili, ever since that Orc arrow, though the younger Dwarf would not admit to it no doubt, he had not been himself and it worried Bilbo, much as he knew he could hardly call him out on his facade where his family already tried. His small smiles or looks showed a time or two, he was not fooled fully either and equally concerned.

The young Dwarf's revelry perhaps lacked what it would have been otherwise, but he tried it seemed, and Bilbo glanced to the others as well. Though Bilbo knew Dwarves were as well versed in the area of ale as any Hobbit, poor Bofur looked like he would not make it if he kept up at his pace...

Bombur of course ate like food would disappear for good tomorrow, and who knew but how this went it may. Most of what bothered Bilbo was not just the utter lack of manners and respect that had been shown their host by Thorin's words, but...the too good sense Bard's had made to the Burglar on the Dragon.

Even if they succeeded, if Erebor was reclaimed, if it brought destruction or any type of harm to this town...if fire did honestly come again. Bilbo wouldn't call that a victory or fair payment for hospitality at all. There were infinitely more children in this town than the ones of the small household that he'd seen, but even so...he recalled sweet Tilda's innocently asked questions on such a matter back when they were being warmed from cold lake water, and his reassurances. Reassurances he sincerely hoped were not lies now. It was more than him having to march into that mountain.

Sighing, Bilbo glanced off once more and then surprisingly did spot one he would have thought had made an exit way before. Leaving his pint, he jogged off across the room as quick as his Hobbit feet could since he sensed an exit was forthcoming perhaps, or if not now, sometime soon no doubt.

"Master Bard!", he called, coming to a stop near the man, "I....well...I wished to....apologize, since I may be the only to say it, Thorin...he didn't mean what he said, I'm sure". Was he?! Bilbo grimaced then tried for another smile, "I...well I get your point, I truly do, it's just...".

No, Bilbo wasn't going to defend, there had been enough of that. He was lucky if he wasn't just viewed the enemy to bring destruction now! Bilbo almost went on to promise to keep any eye on Thorin, to make sure this didn't in any way endanger any of the town, of Bard's household. almost almost tried to take a hope of his own off of what he'd heard that youngest boy of the house say when throwing his own questions the Hobbit's way on there was a very good chance the Dragon could just be dead, after this long, but he was young still and of a short lived kind, plus it had sounded like a bandage statement anyway.

Instead, Bilbo hesitated, unsure what to say next, and glanced back to Bard, still trying to figure it. His look seemed to try for the main point though, we won't bring trouble; I wouldn't dare. Again, if he could help it...


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Bard

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Beyond the Glory
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2014, 11:32:00 PM »
Everything that had just happened was still sinking in. The discussion in front of the Master's place, the Dwarves' actual intentions, the all too normal dismissal of his thoughts and ancestry by everyone not part of his own family, but first and foremost what was on his mind was the danger that was upon them. Bard had tried to warn everyone, to make Thorin see sense and think of someone other than himself. At least that one Dwarf didn't seem very able of such a mental task in his personal opinion, much like his ancestor who had brought pain to so many because he couldn't see beyond his own selfish desires. Thorin was bound to bring death to innocents, women and children, and he didn't seem to care because he wanted his mountain and his gold.

Bard wasn't one to hate anyone, only strongly dislike some, such as the Master of Laketown and Alfrid. Thorin was about to be added to the list of people Bard disliked on a moral basis. The wannabe king was bringing danger to Esgaroth, to those the bargeman loved and that was one of the very few things we wasn't able to find ways to either forgive or understand. Yet, he couldn't do anything else about it. Only wait to see what happens, but one could argue that Bard wasn't the most hopeful of Men. He was sometimes too practical to loose himself to the kind of foolish thoughts that were now filling the minds of the people around him as they cheered the return of the King Under The Mountain. As the scenario around him changed for the festivities to begin, Bard just stayed there at a corner thoughtful and still shocked at his own thoughts, his expression grimmer than usual.  

Someone took him out of his gloomy reverie by offering him a drink, which he politely refused. "No… Thank you. I can't allow my senses to be disrupted by ale right now…" He wasn't in the mood for this. There was nothing to be celebrated. The return of the embodiment of fire and death wasn't deserving of a party. On the other hand, if everyone was going to die they better die happy and Bard just decided to leave them to what would most likely become some of their last moments of joy. The people of Laketown deserved some joy as it had forsaken Esgaroth for quite some time since the winter fell. Even the children had grown quieter than usual that year. Also he needed to keep his mind and eyes sharp in case the worst did happen and the dragon did come. He knew what would need to be done and that it would fall unto him to perform such duty. He needed to sleep well that night to collect his strength and his courage for what was sure to come in the next few days.

As his fast steps led him away from the main square where the festivities were taking place, Bard heard his name being called by a now familiar voice. He was sure that was the only non Dwarf member of the company he had smuggled into the town that day, Bilbo, who his kids had covered with questions about everything Hobbit related. The people of Esgaroth was used to Men, Dwarves and even some Elves passing through from time to time, but not even Bard had seen one of Bilbo's people ever before. Even he was curious about his guest, but certainly less inquisitive than the kids, specially the two younger ones.

Also Bilbo had always shown him more respect than his companions, even while they were at his barge before entering Laketown's gate. Bilbo and Balin were the two most appreciated members of the company in Bard's point of view, though he did offer the same shelter to all of them for the night and would never withdraw his word even after what had just happened. He had his honor to keep and needed to be an example for his children.  

"Master Baggins!" He turned on his heels to greet the Hobbit in the respectful way he had previously earned for himself and then heard his words. "I think Thorin meant exactly what he said… Unfortunately… But so did I. Only time now will tell who was right between the two of us. Hopefully it won't be me. Though every evidence leads to that end..." Bard replied and then patted Bilbo's shoulder as he would one of his boys and said with the closest thing he could muster to a smile in his countenance. "In the end it is the thoughts that matter and yours are very appreciated. You'll always be very welcome at my house, Master Baggins." Bard said to reinforce his previous words.

"As for being the recipient of ridicule… I can't say I'm not used to it at my current age." Bard added, his countenance back to its usual grim features. "I am also aware that it is not the success or failure of one's deeds that matters. It is the strength and the courage with which we face the challenges that stand in our way. It has long past been when I last felt diminished by the weight of such words as those the Master or Alfrid directed at me tonight. I have no shame of my ancestor, Lord Girion of Dale, Master Baggins. He was a brave man who gave his life in an attempt to do a near impossible task and that is what everyone seems to be missing in all of this story, even your companion Thorin. Slaying a dragon is no easy task, specially when you aren't sufficiently armed or prepared…" Bard shared his thoughts, both to assure Bilbo that he was alright and that he wasn't against the return of the Dwarves to the Lonely Mountain per se. He was only against the way they seemed to simply rush into the mountain as if no greater consequences could likely come out of such action.


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Bilbo Baggins

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Beyond the Glory
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2014, 04:15:00 PM »
Well...he was greeted warmly still. That was something. Bilbo's own countenance was, if not grim, then serious as he listened to Bard state what he half suspected as well, that Thorin had meant it all. Yet, part of the Hobbit's comment had been trying to absolve tensions, but...another part wanted to believe, at least, what he said. Master Baggins had traveled oh so many places with Thorin Oakenshield, Son of Thrain, and seen quite the turns of the Dwarf King's personality. He was stubborn and hard headed, yes, and the insinuations on selfishness...well...for all the Dwarf King's faults though, Bilbo was a loyal member of his Company (more or less) and had dedicated himself to helping them retrieve their home.

He just hadn't anticipated it would be this complicated...Lake Town didn't deserve trouble either. Apparently Gandalf's words on the world being very wide indeed didn't just apply to the physical berth of everything.

"I...hope your predictions will be proven wrong too, yes", was about all Bilbo found to say, taking comfort again in the small gesture of a hand to his shoulder and the words, knowing his own try hadn't been in vain at least. He almost extended the same hospitality offer back for if the Bargemen or his family ever be in the Shire (confident he could fit them somehow), but then wasn't sure what call any of the modest family would have to travel quite that far, even if he once said the same of himself!

Bilbo's own countenance was back to serious as Bard went on. Yes. The ridicule, by high end power figures. It had surprised the Hobbit when he heard it, and then...caused an uncomfortable prickle in his stomach at how...similar it all seemed. Gossip and spreading anything bad one had on the whole of a family was not a new experience for a Hobbit, those of Bilbo's own neighbors were skilled at it and found little else to do; and Master Baggins had always taken comfort before in saying he was not a gossip or as bad because he didn't really start it along, just listened and nodded agreements.

Yet it wasn't different than when those about the Dwarves, Hobbit, and Bargeman had taken the bait as well and given a favorable reaction to the words of those two on the steps. While pitying Bard, Bilbo had also glanced off and been hit with a guilt of his own as well as recalling how his own mother's family was often thrown to ridicule, and he would even distance himself by what his father's side had to counter it!

It had also been when both Bilbo and his companions found out why Bard's oldest had reacted so personally to the slight. They were related, by a distance line longer than Dwarves or even Hobbits though, to the man suppose to have killed the beast, well but all the blame couldn't be put Dale's way, Bilbo readily agreed as well as with the further words. "Yes, that takes a strength I hardly think I know", the Hobbit commented, and it was a very near thought given the job they were about to do, though Bilbo had forgotten the details of Burglar and little knew to expect he would be marched straight down to the Dragon. Still, he knew he would be near at any rate.

"Only a Black Arrow?", he had to wonder at both that thought and Bard's last statement, "Surely...other things too would be effective against a Dragon...if such were called for...?". Bilbo felt himself and his statement horribly naive though, somehow.


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Bard

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Re: Beyond the Glory
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2020, 10:55:42 PM »
[[OOC: Many apologies, Gard, for letting this thread sit for so long. I hope it's enough for you to work on.]]

Bard would never judge someone just by their company, only by their own actions. Bilbo had done nothing wrong towards him or his children, so he had no reason to treat him with ill-will. If the Hobbit had asked, he'd also reply honestly that everyone is entitled to some bad choices in live and that someone nice like Bilbo shouldn't be traveling with someone so full of himself he couldn't see beyond his own shadow like Thorin. Of the other dwarves, Bard didn't have as many reservations. He also wouldn't be shy to say, if asked, that everyone is entitled to follow a bad leader until discovering their mistake and backing down. But no one asked his opinion on anything and he had already shared his thoughts on what was of public concern at the square anyway.

After Bilbo's wavering words, Bard was certain of what before had been just a lingering doubt on his mind. The Company was working under the idea that Smaug was dead just because he had been inactive for many years within the Lonely Mountain. Bard new such assumption not to be true, but would he be believed if he said that? What did he have to say if anyone, including Bilbo, asked how he knew it? The thrushes that dwell near the mountain told me so. They would think he was mad as the trivia about Men from Dale being able to understand bird language wasn't that widespread, especially after the city's destruction by that same dragon, Smaug. They'd say he was afraid and inventing everything. Again, more of the same demeaning treatment he knew so well.

"Hope is the last thing to die, Master Baggins, but I know for a fact that Smaug is not dead and his slumber is not as heavy now as it had been during my entire lifetime here. The beast is waking up... Your arrival will only make it be fully awaken faster. The prophecy I've just told you about has everything to fulfill itself." Bard decided to share what he knew because at that moment he believed Bilbo was entitled to the truth. If he wanted to back down and let the dwarves face the consequences of their foolishness alone, he had the right to choose. Bard would respect any choice the Hobbit was to make, he just wanted it to be an informed one. That is if Bilbo believed in him as there was always the chance of it not happening as had been the case with Thorin when he shared the contents of the prophecy not too long ago. A bird told me was even more of a stretch to be believed than the contents of an old tapestry.

"Something my father used to tell me when I was younger, Master Baggins. Strength is something you find when you need it. Just have something to look forward to, cling to it and things will work out. Someone who is not alone or just out for himself will always find the power to do what is needed." Bard shared with the Hobbit some pep talk to lift his spirit. If he chose to go on in his current line of action, he'd surely need it sooner rather than later. His thoughts then returned to Smaug and every consequence that could come with a living dragon. All his recent nightmares gave him a good clue about what to expect, but if he could spare the people of Lake-town a future in any way akin to the night visions caused by his fears, he would try.

"To my knowledge, yes, Master Baggins." Bard replied to Bilbo's comment about only Black Arrows being able to kill a dragon. "The scales of a dragon are said to be too tough for easy removal. Only an equally tough and sturdy weapon would be able to do it and if none is taken off, nothing will pierce the beast's hide and killing it becomes impossible." Bard continued to the best of his knowledge. There were tales that said that Girion had managed to take one of Smaug's scales off before being killed in a blazing flame from the dragon, but there was no telling if that was true or false and there was no point in giving false hopes to a good person. Bard decided to keep that legend to himself.

"Even though Black Arrows are meant to be dwarven weapons, I don't think Thorin remembered to bring a few with himself... Even before you somehow lost the weapons you brought with yourselves. I don't think he really thought this quest through before he started it... I have a great deal of pity for whomever among those dwarves will be tasked with going after such items once you get within the mountain. I really am. They'll need to find a lot of courage to face a dragon barehanded and blessed be for our lives here may also depend on their skill and success." Bard just blurted out his innermost hopes and fears while having no idea that the one who would be tasked with such job was no Dwarf, but the Hobbit with whom he was talking right now.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2020, 10:56:03 PM by Bard »


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Bilbo Baggins

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Re: Beyond the Glory
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2020, 06:53:07 PM »
Bilbo had already seen, and heard, enough from their host to know that he didn't mince words, nor sugar coat his thoughts. Not that Bilbo would have truly asked him to. Or he didn't think he would; but that was before hearing the somber words themselves!

The bargeman obviously didn't mean it as all doom and gloom, though, Bilbo knew. He meant it as a warning. A reason not to go into the mountain.

He was also giving a gift, by sharing, honestly, what he felt.

Even if the news was not pleasant.

Of course, it was...just the Man's opinion. Thorin said...

In trying to weigh who's assessment of the situation he trusted more, Thorin's that the Dragon was not a threat, or Bard's that he very much was, Bilbo found that the latter made the most sense as likely.

The prophesy. Apparently Lake Town had been expecting this day. Or this descendant of Lord Girion had, and not in anticipation. Though there was a tapestry mentioned to prove it went beyond just this one family's knowledge. Bilbo didn't think that made the fact foolish or any less believable, though it was unclear how he would have viewed the advice of birds.

He thought he recalled something about a Thrush in the Dwarves' Map's instructions.

But...Gandalf was behind all of this as well. It had to be alright if that was the case. They would be fine.

It was on the tip of Bilbo's tongue to point out that the Prophesy didn't mention Hobbits, so...maybe not everything about how this would go was so easy to guess. But that was a vain statement for another time. They were too close to his and Dwarves' journey for that.

And Bilbo had a sinking suspicion Bard was right. He grimaced and glanced off, glancing back as the Man went on.

"Something my father used to tell me when I was younger, Master Baggins. Strength is something you find when you need it. Just have something to look forward to, cling to it and things will work out. Someone who is not alone or just out for himself will always find the power to do what is needed."

Even before he knew (or recalled) how much he was going to need the words, Bilbo took them in. Something to cling to...

He thought of the acorn picked up in Beorn's garden. Bilbo's hope of getting it back to Bagend to plant in his own garden (something he didn't know yet he wouldn't end up doing) seemed just the sort of hope he needed.

And he didn't know yet just how much Hope and Strength he would need. But what Bard said would prove true, and he would find it as he did need it.

Bard backed up that what Bilbo had heard about a Black Arrow seemed to be true, as far as he knew, and with what Bilbo now knew of his heritage, he thought he of everyone should know the best.

That was reassuring, somewhat, until it was brought up that Thorin probably didn't have any with him.

"No...", Bilbo agreed, "I know the full extent of the Company's arms, as do you", that extent being None, since they had had to borrow makeshift weapons (or would have if the Dwarves didn't scorn them so!) "There is not a Black Arrow among the number. It really wasn't thought out, you are correct", Bilbo tried for a smile, but it wouldn't come at the moment, and with all that loomed before them.

As Bard went on, giving blessing and caution to whichever of the Company might be sent after such a weapon, a set of obscure facts occurred once more to Bilbo.

Hobbits are known for the stealth.
Position of Burglar!

No, but surely that didn't mean they would send him...

Bilbo gave the best smile he could, under the circumstances, and pushed any suspicions about his involvement down for the moment. "Yes, well, I'm sure they'll pick the most careful among us if it comes to that".

Again, that didn't bode well for it not being him.

There was a point to the last bit of his sentence, though, as this poor man had just admitted, his family and the town's well-being rested with how this went. He needed some sort of reassurance himself! Bilbo returned to his previous thought.

He'd halted before because he felt it naive, but maybe it was needed. Especially since it wasn't just false hope and a large part of Bilbo honestly believed it.

"Prophesy's are funny things, Master Bard, we Hobbits don't have them, and...I'm not sure if they take us into account".
« Last Edit: July 24, 2020, 06:56:24 PM by Bilbo Baggins »


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