There is a small, obscure island in the Arabian Sea that is home to two notable endemic species: the aži, or Persian dragon, and the rabbit-like mi'raj, a somewhat primitive cousin to unicorns. Mainland Persian dragons and another larger, lighter colored subspecies were once found across South Asia, and for a time were thought to be extinct west of Vietnam until a population was rediscovered on Jazirat-al-Tinnen, literally the “dragon’s island”. Unique among eastern dragons for its relatively small, round tail and its eagerness to climb trees, it is still a fairly accomplished swimmer and is known to ambush prey from the water.
According to legend, Alexander the Great visited this island to slay a local dragon that was terrorizing the natives, who accomplished this by poisoning the beast. One of the gifts he received for slaying the dragon was a captured mi'raj, which may arguably have been a more fearsome creature than the dragon, for it is extremely aggressive when it has young to protect and will drive off creatures many times its size with its single, very sharp horn.
It is believed that dragons swam to the island from India no more than a few thousand years ago, for they still bear striking resemblance to their extinct mainland cousins. Animals of the same genus as the mi'raj (cornuceleres), however, have not been seen on earth since the late Miocene.
I can’t stop drawing this Battle Ready Baggins. Also it gives me more reasons to work in Manga Studio and play around the perspective tool and work on some inking.
So this takes place after Thorin tries talking to Bilbo in the woods after he captured the dragon. I know, I can’t stop. I might as well just illustrate this whole story - WHICH will be kept to a few sketches due to my work schedule.
So here’s another snippet from Battle Ready Baggins.
“Bilbo had returned to the village to collect his pay, and Thorin and company had followed him. Bilbo knew that there was no talking Thorin out of following him, the stubbornness of dwarves was legendary. The best he could do was distance himself, and maybe lose them when the early morning came.
For tonight though, the villagers were so grateful that they threw a celebration at the local tavern. Bofur, and the Durin boys were more then happy to finally relax and drink with Bilbo since it was rare when they had journeyed together to Erebor. Bilbo held his tall pint of ale between his hands, watching Fili and Kili squabble over something - he wasn’t sure, he hadn’t been listening. He had noticed Thorin sitting with Gandalf towards the back with Legolas - who he wasn’t quite sure why the Elf had come along - they were watching him celebrate with the others. Bofur on the other hand was curious about on he acquired his new skills. The hobbit smiled, scooting over to let Bofur sit so he could tell his tale.
Bilbo may have acquired a few new skills, but he was still a hobbit. And a hobbit that would rarely take a drink of ale. So as Bilbo told his tale to Bofur; soon attracting the attention from Fili and Kili, the bartender kept passing him a full pint of ale as soon as he was done with the other. He slurred as he described his stay in Rivendell, about how he asked Lord Elrond about the art of archery. He hiccuped when he mentioned the details of Legolas teaching him sword play when he had traveled through Mirkwood. When he had gotten to his meetings with Beorn about studying different plants and their uses, his head was already leaning against his arm, his eyes sleepy and a lopsided smile on his face. Bofur was already on the verge of passing out, and Bilbo turned to lay his head on the bar table top. He reached into his pocket, feeling brave all the sudden or perhaps he just didn’t care, and pulled out the golden ring. He brought it up to hold it between two fingers.
He gave another goofy smile, staring at the ring. Funny how something so small could contain so much power? He had made sure to keep his quest quiet, though how Thorin found out was a little concerning.
Bilbo scrunched up his nose. Blast it, Thorin.
Thorin had confronted him after he took down the dragon, telling him that it was too dangerous, that he shouldn’t be going on this journey alone. How dare he. He was perfectly capable of traveling on this journey alone, Thorin had banished him after all.
Well, the banishment had been revoked. But that didn’t mean Bilbo was just going to open his arms and forgive Thorin like that. He didn’t trust Thorin around gold, and this ring was something precious that needed to be guarded. Too precious to be shared. It was his to carry. It was his to hold. It was his-
Bilbo shook his head, putting the ring back into his pocket. He rubbed his face, and with a final look to the sleeping Bofur, he slipped off the bar stool and headed towards the door. He wasn’t aware of the three men that had been watching him at the tavern.
He silently sighed at the heavy rain, having forgotten his cloak inside. He didn’t care, he’ll get it later. He swayed a bit, heading towards his lodging through the rain and the mud. He was slow to respond when he felt heavy hands grabbing his arms. He fought back, kicking and dodging from the larger men though his intoxication had taken its told and his head was spinning. One of the men finally landed a heavy punched to his face, sending him into the mud. Two of the men pulled him and held both other his arms to he could move. The third man asked about the ring, and when he refused the man landed a few more punches to his face before finally stopping. Bilbo’s eyes widened when the third man pulled out a long blade, declaring how they were going to slit his throat and take the ring for their own.
The blade was about to grace his skin when he heard a shout, watching as a dwarf collided with the third man, the blade flying. Soon he felt the two men holding him, let go and he felt someone else pick him up again. He looked up and watched the scene before him - Legolas, Kili, and Thorin going hand to hand with the three men. Bofur was the one holding him up as Fili went to help his brother. Gandalf just stood by, the wizard wasn’t needed, Bilbo knew that for sure. The men would sorely regret messing with Bilbo that night.
Bilbo had to admit, it was nice to be amongst the company again. Even Thorin.
When it was all over, Bofur allowed Thorin to approach Bilbo. At first the hobbit was expecting something along the lines of harsh words belittling him for going out alone, or a curse, or a shout. What he didn’t expect was a worried glance, and tight hug from the dwarf.
Immediately Bilbo was brought back to that day when he had saved Thorin from the orcs. The same tight hug.
Bilbo felt his eyes water. He knew he wouldn’t be able to be with out this stubborn dwarf in his life. Thorin had hurt him, the scars were still there and it would take him time to trust the dwarf again. But now, he was willing to let his emotions spill just a bit.
He had missed that stubborn dwarf.”
Wow. That was long. I apologize for that. What happens next though? I’ll leave it to you guys. :)