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The Battle of the Six Ships

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The ship lurched and rolled under his feet, but being an experienced and hardy seadog Thorin’s stride rolled easily with it. Standing in the bow with his arms crossed on the rail, he stared out over the wild waves; this area was renoun for being filled with deadly rocks and reefs.

Thorin paused for a moment, then seeing he could do no more by standing around, he headed aft, to the crews cabins. Climbing with experienced ease down the ladder, he went below deck. Although these where the areas that were far better cared for they still smelt rather foul, like mouse droppings and the sour smell of seasick, not that Thorin noticed, he was used to it, after all he’d spent the past 150 odd years captaining a slave trader.

He knocked on the geometric carved door with Navigator written on it in small metal letters. Balin came to the door, dipped his head, “ Captain?” Thorin grinned roguishly, “Aye, yeh should know of the reefs in this area? Watch out for ‘em, me cargo is too precious to loose, yeh know that.” Balin dipped his head, “Aye Captain, the crop was good this season.” The white haired navigator paused for a moment, “Captain…” he said tentatively, “Dwalin wants to see yeh in his cabin soon a’ possible.” Thorin’s eyes darkened under angry brows, what had happened to ruin such a good season?

The Captain burst angrily into his first mate’s cabin, without the foresight of knocking, he caught Dwalin with a female slave underneath his naked and absurdly muscular body. Thorin let out an angry hiss and stalked out, leaving the door swinging on its rusty hinges.

Storming up on deck Thorin beckoned Bofur, an unimportant crewmember whom tended to the ships dirty work for him, “Fetch me a young’un, send him to meh cabin!” Thorin shouted; he was not in a good mood today.

If Thorin’s sour mood could get any worse he spied sails on the horizon, these weren’t any sails, it was his nemesis, Captain Smaug sailing the Erebor, a ship that once had been Thorin’s before a great sea battle where the greedy man had stolen it.

The Erebor was the finest ship ever to sail these waters, her sails were a regal midnight blue stitched with pure gold, her railings where likewise solid gold, her decks rich mahogany and her figurehead a great raven. But the prized possession of the Erebor was naught any of her fineries; rather it was a great jewel inset above the bed in the captain’s quarters. Finer then any diamond, the Arkenstone was legend among slave traders, even from beyond these waters.

As Thorin watched, more sails appeared on the grey horizon line, this wasn’t just the stolen Erebor, it was a fleet, though Thorin could see amongst the fleet there was already vicious cannon fire and watching for another moment he recognized the other ships.

There was the great ship build of white timber with harsh steel fittings and wolf figurehead, the Defiler, captained by the foul wretch Azog.

There was the ornately carven, in Thorin’s view, fussy looking the Elk, the legendary vessel of the rich slave king Thranduil and his pompous son Legolas.

Thorin’s allies, his cousin Dain and his men sailed a rough redwood ship, with grey sails, the gunwales lined with iron shields, that was the Ironfoot.

And the final ship was the Rhosgobel, captained by the mythical birdman Gwaihir and his eagle companion. Though this ship seemed arguably to belong in equal measure to Gandalf Greyhame and Radagast Brownhame, the magical brothers whom brought trouble and adventure wherever they went. But of course there was also Beorn; a good friend of Gwaihir’s, he was the bear man.

Thorin watched the five boats approaching and with them, war.