The wind was cold and sharp against Bilbo’s cheeks.
The clothes the lake men had given him upon their departure were large but terribly impractical and definitely not warm enough to weather the coming storm and a freezing Erebor.
Even with the forges lit it would take a while for the heat to filter through the mountain, and Mahal only knew how many vents were broken over the years because of Smaug.
Bilbo wished that they were simply out in the cold to admire the view, take in the desolate landscape and imagine it green and growing with the Dwarves of Erebor finally coming home.
But it wasn’t like that.
Instead of the empty plains of Smaug’s desolation, there stood an army of men and elves just waiting for the signal to attack—Thorin being sick and refusing to pay them even a single coin.
Bard is there, at the bottom, looking up at them all seeming both angry and sad at the same time. “Will you have peace or war?” he yells desperately.
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