Calm The Fire: 99

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The sheer mountains of gold were at first rather hard to scale. But after a while Thorin had managed to find the right way to scale them and then easily shift downwards. He stopped every so often to look about him.

The Arkenstone was still missing. And if anything his attempts at trying to locate it weren't going quite to plan. He didn't fully give credit or attention to how much gold and treasure was here. It was so vast that no matter where he stood, he could see it glittering and shimmering around him.

Stopping he let out a sigh. He was having a break. He may as well. What else had he got to do? Hearing quiet footsteps he slowly looked up. There was a staircase near by, the platform of it stopped and overlooked some of the hall. On this stood Náriel. Only, not the Náriel from earlier on, or in fact a version of her he had ever seen before.

She stood cross armed over dark Dwarf armour, with heavily braided hair, it seemed all of her hair was braided which then led into one main one. One braid was loose though, and on the end of it hung a simple metal clasp. Her emerald eyes looked down at him coolly.

Thorin frowned, she stood looking like the picture of a calm and collected leader. What had happened to her when they parted ways? He turned, his boots making the gold at his feet scatter and fall downhill.

Náriel eventually looked away and looked to the sight around them. It was beautiful, in a certain degree that she could admit to. It held no wonder for her. It never did. The treasure at the end of this adventure wasn't why she opted to sign up for it. It was him. She agreed to come, for him. And now Thorin was plagued, the same madness which had troubled his family had now settled in him.

Sighing and turning she slowly walked down the staircase nearest to her. By her side another stone staircase worked its way upwards. When she reached the bottom she slowly stepped forwards. Her boots crunched against the gold, her feet didn't falter though. Still with crossed arms she moved slowly and stopped in front of him when he turned to look at her.

"Do you know that it doesn't take vast wealth to make a great King? A great King comes from the actions he does, and the words which he speaks. He does not need mountains of gold, or a jewel to rule. He simply needs to rule." Náriel said simply while looking up at him. "You have it in you, Thorin, to be an amazing King. I can see it, and I know it. You could be amazing." She smiled thinly and somewhat strained. Shaking her head she looked around. "This is going to sicken your mind and turn you blind to what is in front of you."

"An Elf Princess in Dwarf armour. No, I see what is in front of me." Thorin said quietly, Náriel shot him a look. "Sanzeuh."

Náriel smirked and rocked on her heels. "Sanzeuh...you're an idiot." Náriel smiled. Thorin frowned and turned slowly to look over everything. "I know, Thorin, your need to find the Arkenstone. But I mean it, you do not need such a thing in your life." Náriel reached out and turned his face to look at her. "I do not wish to see you go mad because of its hold on you." Pausing she shook her head gently. "Nor do I wish to see you go mad because of the hold all this gold has on you."

"What do you suggest I do?" Thorin said turning cynical. "Throw it from the balconies?"

"Two armies are going to march out tomorrow with full intention of breaking down Erebor's gates and plundering the gold, it matters not if you are here or not, because it will happen. Thorin, you need to share the treasure, it is the right thing to do."

"The right thing?" His eyes narrowed.

"I will slap you again if it means you will see sense! This treasure is not all yours! The greed of Men seems equal to the greed of Dwarves right now!" Náriel exclaimed in an annoyance. She had done way too much exclaiming and shouting so far this evening.

"And what of the Elves?" Thorin smirked. "Do you not have greed in you too?"

"Smaug stole from us too. As such, I have a right to some of the treasure too. It's not about being greedy, it's about what's fair. And it isn't fair you keeping all that is not yours." Náriel sighed and hung her head. "I don't want to fight with you! It is bad enough I may have to fight against my own kin...but you too? My heart cannot deal with this all..." Náriel trailed off and for the first time since talking, Thorin realized how exhausted she sounded. Along with exhaustion she sounded truly defeated. Like she had partially given up on something, though he wasn't sure what that something was.

"Which side would you fight for?" Thorin asked generally curious.

Náriel looked at him seriously. "By your side. That is the only side I will fight from."

"Even though you're going to have to fight against your own kin, against Thranduil?"

"We are one, Thorin, you and I. I don't wish to fight my own kin. It breaks my heart to think about it. But fighting against you breaks my heart more so." She admitted and looked down at the ground again. She shifted her boots to look at the gold, it just caused her to frown. She didn't see the allure, honestly she didn't.

"I won't ask you to fight against your own kin." He said slowly.

"You don't have to." Náriel looked up at him blankly. "It is a choice that I freely make. I am sick and tired of this all...I will fight by your side, no matter what that means."

"That is a huge sacrifice," Thorin frowned. Siding with him and the other Dwarves and possibly fighting against her own kin was beyond sacrificial. Fighting your own kin wasn't something which was openly accepted.

"You're worth it. Because I believe in you. Always have done, always will do. I can only hope you decide to do the right thing." She frowned lightly and turned to leave him alone again.

"What are their demands?" Thorin asked stopping her from fully leaving.

"I don't know," Náriel looked up at him. "Honestly I don't."

"I will hear their demands." He said while she gave a nod. It was a simple step towards avoiding a conflict which would end horribly for both of them.

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Inventory:

My one - Sanzeuh

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