Calm The Fire: 115

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With the new day came a shift in the winds. The breeze which had be bringing cool air from the North had now shifted. A bitter wind came from the West, and as if this wasn't enough the sky itself had seemingly shifted and turned too. The bright sun of the previous few days - though flecked with grey clouds - had now disappeared. It was as if the weather itself knew of the events which were about to be played out. The sky now was gloomy, dark, heavy clouds hung low in the darkened blanket which stretched as far as the eye could see.

The morning was still early when there were calls happening from elsewhere in the camp. Bilbo woke up with a start as the voice went hurtling past the tent. He looked over at Náriel to see her looking towards the door too.

"We best get up, Bilbo." She spoke while sitting up and grabbing her boots. She had slept in her green Elven clothes to save the hassle of changing and then changing again when morning came. Quickly tying the laces tight she looked up to see Bilbo strapping his belt around his waist and making sure his sword was attached.

"I want to give you something," Náriel said and watched as he turned to look at her confused. "If there is to be fighting, no...not if...when the fighting happens, you may lose your sword. Not through a fault of your own, but it happens. If that does in fact happen, I want you to have something." She paused to reach into her small pack. It had been tucked away with her Elven clothes. She almost missed it if it hadn't dropped on the floor. "I want to know that you won't be weaponless. This will give me piece of mind, here, Bilbo hold out your hand." He took a step forwards and looked to the two knives which were carefully placed in his palm. He looked them over. In the dim lighting of the tent they glimmered a perfect silver. He looked up at her as she stood and stretched her arms out. She had similar knives attached to her clothes, precisely in compartments near her ribs. She attached her belt around her waist, made sure her sword was secure and slowly pulled her bow over her shoulder and then attached a quiver of arrows on the oppsite side to her sword. She gave a nod, pleased with this and then looked to him to see him looking up at her with wide eyes.

Putting her hand over his, she carefully curled them around the knives. "You may keep them afterwards, as a token."

"A token?" He finally managed to whisper.

"Friends give gifts. This is my gift to you. I hope they protect you as they have protected me in the past." Náriel smiled and put a hand on his shoulder. "Come, we must see what the scout has to say." Nodding slowly Bilbo managed to attach the knives onto his belt along with Sting and potter quickly after her.

"Around the East side! A great number of Dwarves have been seen marching making their way steadily to Dale." One man explained while stopping now and again to catch his breath. He had ran as fast as he could back to relay his message. And now that he was here, he was having trouble getting it out because of his lack of breath. Dain had finally come, it seemed that he had travelled on through the night and had arrived sooner than everyone expected.

"They're all armoured in great steel mail with strong shields on their backs and axes, some of which are two headed." The man furthered on to tell as much information as he could. "Swords too they have!" The man suddenly found himself being directed away to sit and rest.

Náriel and Bilbo looked at each other and then up at Thranduil and Bard who had stood and listened to the man's words with grim expressions on their faces. Gandalf stood close by beside Legolas and Tauriel, it was these three that Náriel directed Bilbo over to stand near.

"Call for arms," Thranduil turned and walked back to his tent. He was retreating back to get his own weapon. He was already armoured as if about to march straight into war. Náriel looked worriedly up at Legolas, he placed a hand on her shoulder and watched as his father reappeared. Bard had done what he instructed and soon both the Men of Lake Town and Elves of Mirkwood stood before them.

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