Section 2: Óin
Rating/Warnings: Angst, minor canon character death, guilt
Word Count: 238 (373 so far)
Disclaimer: If I owned the hobbit, it would be even sadder.
Summary: Oakenshield is not the only byname carried by members of Thorin's company. Some are badges of honor, some are marks of courage and some their owners just wish they could live down.
Óin had always been known as Lifebringer for his skill with herbs and healing and this was a name which the dwarf had born proudly. Because every warrior whom he saved, every child he brought into the world was one more blow against the endless darkness and he mourned each soul lost as though they were his flesh and blood.
So when their quest had finished and the battleground was strewn with the dying bodies of his brethren, Óin worked his fingers to the bone. But for each life drawn back from the brink, it seemed like two more faltered and the healer began to curse the fates within his mind. Why would the Valar give him this gift only to make him watch as his people suffered? And his heart broke a little more with every dwarf who died.
But he refused to give up hope, scouring the battlefield for those he had a chance of saving and songs would be written about the healer's work that day. For while Óin lost faith in his title when their king slipped though his fingers, a score and more of warriors knew they owed their lives to his unrelenting efforts and they taught their sons to remember the dwarf's name.
Thus Óin Lifebringer would be honored in their history until Mahal's children left the world, even as his guilt turned that title into a burden on his soul.