Misty Mountains ch. 7 The Arkenstone

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Misty Mountains ch. 7 The Arkenstone

While the king had been busy chasing orcs and she- elves one of the other intended brides had been hard at work, she knew the way to take the victory from the elves. She knew how to seize the throne and ensure she would be queen under the mountain, not the elf. It would just require her searching the under chambers of the city for the missing jewel all dwarves thought to have secured.

The Arkenstone, the King's jewel, Heart of the Mountain. The one thing that would mean more to the dwarven people, it would force the King to marry her even if he was really wanting to marry the elf. Pressure would be put on him from the other dwarf kingdoms to choose a dwarf woman regardless and when she presented him with the Arkenstone it would seal their fate.

Dithinia knew where she would have to look deep in the mountain where the dragon had once secreted himself. She knew that the stone had supposedly been lost during the battle for the mountain but she knew better than most that that wasn't true. Her father - one of the warriors that had faught at the mountain- had found the stone in the fray and with a thought to secure his daughter a better position he hid the stone within the mountain. Upon her selection to become the bride selected from her home he had given her a map to locate the stone deep in the mountain tunnels.

Dithinia smiled to herself she would bide her time and wait for the right moment to present him with the stone and she would make sure it was the perfect time to disgrace the elf so she would be forced to leave and not return.

*******

Bilbo was standing with Thorin on the balcony overlooking the field tha stretched between Dale and Erebor, his face was a mask of concern that Arnial had not yet returned. Bilbo knew that he was also in a gloomy mood the announcement to his council had not gone over completely well though it did not get met with pure ridicule either.

Dane of course was a bit resentful as were a few of the other dwarves that were there. Fili,Kili,Dwalin, and Balin were not surprised or disappointed with his choice, it seemed clear that it benefited everyone.

"Your cousin seemed a bit hot over everything didn't he?" Bilbo asked.

"Dane is worried about the mixing of the line. Myself,Fili, and Kili have all chosen elves for brides they believe we have blended the line of Durin to much with elf blood." Thorin sighed.

"What does it matter?" Bilbo asked shaking his head. "We are all the same when it comes down to it."

Thorin looked to Bilbo and smiled softly "Not all believe as you Hobbits. The worlld would've been a kinder place if even a few more believed as such."

Bilbo chuckled and turned to look out over the field then he pointed "I see some one walking the old road to Erebor."

Thorin turned and looked back out to the road. He was able to see the figure walking the road as well, it was no dwarf that was for sure. He was squinting his eyes to try to figure out if it might be Arnial walking back.

"Why is she alone?" Thorin asked mostly to himself but outloud.

"Wouldn't the other elves have traveled with her?" Bilbo asked "What if somethings wrong?"

Thorin turned to look back into the halls and saw Dwalin standing guard as always and called to him. He ordered him to send some scouts back out onto the road to escort whoever was walking the road to Erebor. Dwalin nodded and started disappeared down the hall to get the orders put in.

*******

Once the dwarves he had sent retrieved Arnial and returned her to Erebor he met her in the throne room. She seemed in good spirits when Thorin arrived but he could see a sadness in her eyes as she turned to look at him.

Arnial bowed "King Thorin greetings."

"Arnial, why have you returned alone, I assumed that Thranduil would've at least seen you back here safely."

"I have my doubts that we will hear from him for awhile, we did not part on good terms I'm afraid." she said with a sigh "But he will honor any treaty he agreed to without question with the dwarves."

"You will have to tell me what has transpired but first we have things to discuss with the council regarding the coming wedding." Thorin said patting his hand on her arm.

She smiled at him and placed her hand on top of his. Arniall followed him back to the council room and they began to make the prepartions for the wedding. She was more than happy with the plans laid for the celebrations and had very littlle she wished to add except that she would have to make a trip before the wedding.

"Why would that be necessary?" Thorin asked frowning "With all the orcs about it's becoming to dangerous to travel the roads."

"I have a friend that I've intrusted with something that I need returned to me. A gift for the groom." she said with a smile at Thorin.

Thorin gave a thin smile and opened his hands wide "If you insist it is necessary then so be it but you will not go alone."

"That is why I will be traveling with her." Gandalf said from where he had been seated. "I would like to get back on the road I have stayed to long in one place for my liking I'm afraid."

"I would welcome the company." Arnial assured him. "Well surely you can't object now Thorin I'll be traveling with a wizard after all."

Thorin sighed and nodded saying "Fine I and your handmaids Seraph and Laurel will finish planning the ceremony."

Arnial nodded then stood up slowly "I'll be off then, the sooner I leave the sooner I'll be back."

Arnial turned and walked for the door followed by Gandalf who gave a big smile over his shoulders. Within moments they were out of the council room and on their way out of Erebor.

*******

Dithinia watched the she elf and the wizard disappear down the road out of Erebor, she knew now was the time to make her move. Turning she made her way down the stone halls to the council room her hand on the bag at her hip. She knew inside the bag was her garuntee to be the new queen of Erebor.

With a wicked smile she walked into the throne room and could see the council coming from the other room with two elf women following. She recognized that they were the other's maids in waiting and scoffed. They were clinging to the arms of Fili the crippled nephew to the king, she scoffed at the thought that they would stoop to getting with a cripple to try to sway the throne. He would never be in line to become the king to her he was nothing but a waste of space now.

Dithinia saw the council turn to look at her approach.

"Greetings to you King under the Mountain I have heard you've selected a bride. I hope the gossipmongers are simply ill informed," Dithinia said with a smirk. "Because you, yourself have not asked me."

Balin gave her a sour look but she ignored him to stare into the stormy eyes of the King who had a face like stone.

"That's because you are not the bride." Thorin said with no emotion.

"Well this is awkward then. I guess you wouldn't be interested in what I know then." Dithinia said with a frown turning back to the door. "But then I suppose your no longer interested in the Arkenstone since the she elf will get you all the jewels you desire."

There was silence for a few moments before she was told to halt.

"What do you mean the Arkenstone?" Balin demanded his voice like ice.

"You'd better speak up lass." Dwalin spat.

Dithinia turned her eyes locking on the king. His eyes had narrowed at the mention of the stone and she could already see that gleam in his eyes. She had heard what dragonsickness did to those who had it, the hunger in their eyes as the desire to possess the item consumed them. They would do anything for the item and the king's weakness was the Arkenstone. She knew he would marry her if she could present him with the stone, he wouldn't even think twice about it.

"Can you produce the stone or not?" Thorin asked looking down at the floor.

His eyes were wide, his nostrils seemeed to flare, and his lips were parted as if he breathed through his mouth. He was already becoming a man possessed with just the idea of finding the stone.

"Of course for a price." Dithinia purred.

"Name it?" Thorin demanded.

"Marry me, name me your queen, if you want to sleep with elves that's no concern of mine but they will never be allowed to produce you an heir."

"How dare you!" Balin growled stomping his cane on the ground. "Do you feel no shame?"

"Be quiet old man. I would be the queen it's not like I'd have the power of the king, all you need from a wife is for her to give you sons. I am the youngest and the healthiest of the dwarf women you have to choose from. The elf shouldn't have even counted."

Seraph and Laurel exchanged looks before glancing to Thorin, she smiled when they paled pulling away from Fili.

"You have a deal," Thorin growled "But only if you can produce the stone."

"Thorin you can't be serious!" Fili exploded "You've given your word to Arnial, does that mean nothing to you?"

Dithinia gave a harsh laugh and reached into her satchel pulling out a wrapped object. She slowly pulled the wrapping off of the object to reveal the most beautiful gem ever to have been pulled from dwarven mines. The stone was a perfect oval with no tool marks or edges on it at all, it seemed to glow with a life all it's own. It's glow was white and light shades of purple till it came to a darker center, when the light hit it it seemed to swirl white light in the center.

Thorin's eyes lit up when he saw it and she could see his eyes narrowed at the stone itself.

Dithinia smiled as she saw his closest friends and nephews looks of absolute horror at the sight of the stone. She knew that they were terrified of what would happen next. It would be like before.

She had heard stories of his self centeredness, his sudden paranoia, and his intense hatred to those that would go against anything he desired. His hatred of elves.

She could use this.

"So when will we be married?"

Thorin frowned but his eyes locked on the stone he so desired and he gave a small nod "Three days should be plenty of time to arrange everything."

*******

Arnial and Gandalf traveled with few stops since it was something they were comfortable with, they were silent most of the trip but it wasn't awkward. They traveled back through the Mirkwood till they came to a crossroad branching in two different paths with each of them planning to head two different ways.

"I appreciate your companionship during this trip Gandalf." Arnial said with a smile.

"The pleasure has been mine Lady Arnial, be safe for the rest of your journey malady." he said with a kind smile.

"Where do you intend to go from here?"

"I wish to continue on to visit with the Lady Galadriel it has been a few years since last I have seen her." Gandalf said sighing. "One should not go so long between visits with friends, one never knows when will be the last time you see one another."

"Very true. Be safe on the remainder of your journey Gandalf may we meet again."

"May we meet again."

Arnial and Gandalf gave the traditional elf handshake then parted down the opposite paths. Gandalf heading to visit with the Lady Galadriel and Arnial heading to see her friend.

She had known the elf for many years and had always trusted his judgement in matters, so she had left him with a magic amulet that she had assured him she would return to retrieve in time. He had served with her in her posting as a soldier and they had spent many years in one anothers company.

The amulet was an enchanted one that an old elven smith had made in the magic waters in a deep cavern below the elven lands. The smith had made it with pure silver that was made as thin as a string, for the pendant of the amulet he had taken the silver in strings to cradle a single teardrop shaped diamond. The enchantment would allow whoever wore it to be granted a longer healthier life almost like that of an elf but nothing could grant eternal life.

Arnial had been given the amulet by Thranduil who had said her mother wanted her to have it when she was of age. She had been given the amulet in the appointed time and when she was sent to fight with orcs on the outskirts of their lands she had entrusted it to her friend.

Arnial traveled in silence for the few hours it would take to reach him.

The place she had come to was a grove of trees with a wooden home built into the branches. The home was the elegant swirl of elven design that she had always been used to when she had grown up. The windows were opened and there wasn't really a door just a beautiful blue cloth strung over the entrance way.

"Thrimdal, are you here?" Arnial called up to the house.

There was a movement at the door and then her friend appeared at the door.

Thrimdal was like most of the elves. Tall,lean, and elegant even just standing there. His hair was long silky blond, eyes sea blue, sharp cheek bones and pale features. He was wearing a white robe with a blue sash tied around the waist.

"Arnial it pleases me to see you. I had heard you would be in the area of Erebor and was actually packing to come visit you." he said embracing her gently.

She smiled "It brings me joy to see you as well. I was hoping to see you."

"I had heard that you were possibly getting married, to the King under the Mountain."

"It's true he has agreed to plan the wedding while I made my way to you to retrieve the stone." she said smiling. "I'm so thankful that you have kept it for me all this time."

Thrimdal smiled and gestured for her to follow him into the beautiful wooden home. He walked to another room while she waited in the larger room looking at the carvings in the wood.

"Here it is," he said holding out a small wooden box. "I wish you well and can't wait to attend the celebration."

"Thank you Thrimdal."

Arnial stood for a moment looking at the box and then back up to her friend.

"You'd best be off. Your groom is waiting." Thrimdal said with a kind smile. "I will see you again soon."

*******

Two days had passed since Arnial had left Erebor and Dithinia had made her deal with Thorin, only one more remained before they were to be wed.

Fili and Kili had already packed the remainder of their belongings when during the two days they had had no luck in swaying Thorin to reason. They had sent word to Kili's wife Tauriel and were planning to set out for home.

Traveling with them would be the elves Seraph and Laurel, they would lead the cart that he would have to ride in for the majority of the trip. Bilbo had also signed on to travel a ways with them so he could go home to the Shire. The one that had shocked most was Balin agreeing to leave Erebor with them, he no longer felt welcome among Thorin's council.

Dwarves questioned them on why they were leaving before their uncles wedding and they told the truth, no longer willing to see the good in Thorin. He was an oath breaker, a liar, and seemed to care for only one thing. The Arkenstone.

"I hope we run into Arnial on the road, she does not need to return here." Laurel said her eyes filled with worry.

"I don't know if she will be angry or saddened by the news though." Seraph whispered sadly.

"We'd best get on the road if we hope to catch her before we are out of the territory then." Kili said leading all to the gate.

"Do you think he will come around before the cursed wedding?" Fili asked as the gates opened.

"Before tomorrow?" Balin asked with a frown. "We all know Thorin is to stubborn to actually change his mind now. He has made the announcement public already even if he wished to marry Arnial upon her return he is a King and will have to live with the choices he's made."

Balin sighed and spurred his horse on giving a polite wave to the gatekeeper as he passed. The gatekeeper and the armed guards all gave salutes as their small caravan left the city of Erebor passed them.

*******

Standing on the balcony overlooking the fields between Erebor and Dale as the caravan made it's way away from the city were Thorin and Dithinia. Thorin's face was an emotionless mask but his eyes were full of hurt.

Dithinia had the same wicked smile she had been wearing the last few days, she would be queen and there was no one left who cared about Thorin to keep her from controlling the King.

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