Bilbo trotted to the council tent with Dagan at his side. He wasn’t happy about not being summoned for the meeting. Throwing the tent door open, he barged in. “Dagan said you’re not sending a trading party out today.”
“Unfortunately. Come sit, Ghivashel.” Thorin beckoned him in.
“Why not?” Bilbo took a seat next to his mate. “And why didn’t someone come get me?“
“You were resting,” Dis answered. “We didn’t wish to wake you.”
Bilbo snorted indignantly. “This is important.”
“I’m sorry, Amral. It wasn’t our intent to leave you out.” Thorin ran his fingers through Bilbo’s growing curly mane.
“What’s going on? Why no trading party? Are there no more settlements nearby?”
“On the contrary, there are still two settlements within our reach, though we’d likely only be able to make contact with one more before we move on,” Balin replied.
“It’s the good’s that’s the problem.” Gloin took over. “We’re out of things to trade. We ain’t got nothin’ left that we don’t need.”
“But we can’t stop,” Bilbo insisted. “Trade relations might be the only thing keeping us from delving into an all out war.”
“We understand, Amral, But we simply have nothing left to offer. It’s the excuse of trade that has granted us what interaction we’ve had so far. Without something to offer, our approaching the settlements will likely be found suspicious,” Thorin reasoned.
Bilbo thought for a few moments, his face scrunched up in concentration. “So, you just need something to trade, right?”
“Aye, something the humans would take an interest in,” Gloin confirmed.
“All right.” Bilbo stood. “Come, Dagan.”
“Bilbo? Where are you going?” Dis wondered.
“Fishing.” Bilbo disappeared out the tent.
~~Excerpt from chapter 65 of The Herd of Durin by Domestic Goddess on Ao3 to be updated on Oct 5th. Subscribe now! ❤