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Author Topic: These Snow Laden Hills. [open]  (Read 409 times)


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These Snow Laden Hills. [open]
« on: January 14, 2020, 04:31:43 AM »
The setting: Mosswyn has found Arthfael wounded in the snow, it is unknown how extensive his wounds are. Mosswyn has Brough him to the inn she is staying at, paying with his money for a room for him. It's cold and snowing, probably early January. T.A 3019.

A howl broke across the empty field of pure white snow. It bounced off the ground and into the air, echoing in the trees until it reached Mosswyn’s ears; causing her to shudder all over. It was colder than the biting breeze. It was an invitation, she knew, that supper was on the table, and she was to be the entree before the main course. It caused panic, and it caused the horse to panic as well. “No, no! Don’t!” She tried to calm him. He was pure black, one the most beautiful horses she had ever seen. A man was slung over the saddle, he was wounded, and it looked awful.

The black stallion snorted as she stroked his nose to calm him. It would be alright if they could make it to the village. Not at all that far to go! At least, that’s what Mosswyn thought. The last time she had come this way was in Spring. Now fresh snow covered the trail through the forest. The large indentations showed where wagons had been pulled through thousands of times over. It was this she followed on foot because the horse refused to let her ride.

Wouldn’t have been the first time.

Another howl broke through the forest, and Mosswyn tugged at the reins to try and make the stallion keep up. She stumbled in her skirts, hating them. She hated her winter shoes, her winter cloak. Oh! If only she had her travel things, it would be much easier. Mosswyn wanted to cry. Fat  lot of good that would do. What would crying solve? She scolded, even though it didn’t help.

The edge of the forest was closer, and then just over the hill to the village! She could see dark gray wisps of smoke rising from the village chimneys. Hope does spring eternal!

Her own steed was never quite this stubborn. Quinn was of gentle spirit, her temperament; patient. Why had she not thought to ride out in the evening instead of taking a  walk?  Stupid, stupid girl, now the wolves will eat you, the horse and the wounded man. For desert they might eat Quinn who would go looking for her. Poor, poor Quinn!

Mosswyn thought about the man lying there in the snow, a pool of blood coming from his shoulder, and a black arrow sticking out of it. He had been covered in a thin layer of snow, how long he had been there was unknown. When she checked for vitals she found a faint heartbeat. Thank anyone who would have heard! The man’s horse had winnied from behind a tree. That had been four hours ago when she had sunlight. Now things were dark, and cold, and unfriendly.

She let go of the reigns and the horse stopped struggling. They looked at each other, and Mosswyn wasn’t certain, but she felt as though the horse - in it’s own horsey way - was assessing her. Taking a deep breath then letting it out slowly, her breath like smoke, she waited shivering still, in her petticoats, desperate to get some place warm. “Please,” she asked, “Please, let me help him.” She saw his black ears twitch in the moonlight, and continued trying to hide the desperation in her voice, “He is wounded, unconscious. If you don’t let me help him, he might die.

They stood in silence. Mosswyn prayed to whoever was listening that the horse understood. He took two steps towards her. She reached out carefully to take the reins in her hand. He didn’t flinch away, so she started to lead him. “Okay, just a little further.

A wolf howled, it was closer than Mosswyn liked, but now she didn’t have to fight a stubborn stallion.

An’ the wolves didn’t get ya? Well, Miss, there must’ve been somthin’ in the woods more entertainin’ than you.” Said the innkeeper when Mosswyn came in asking for help. She had already taken the horse to the stables, and left the two of them there while she went in. And of course the innkeeper just had to ask her a million questions while the man was dying. No one had any compassion.

Will you help me bring him to a room? I can pay extra.” Mosswyn said, slapping a purse of coin on the desk. The innkeeper looked at it with interest. For a heart stopping moment he looked as though he was about to ask her where she had found it, but decided against it. Relife flooded her and the innkeeper called, “Ivo! Come help the little lass with her problem.

Ivo was a tall man, sort of intimidating. He had medium black hair, and a beard. Almost the spitting image of the innkeeper if he had been maybe fifty years younger, Mosswyn concluded. “Uh, this way, please.” Mosswyn said quietly, gesturing towards the door. Together they walked to the stables, Ivo crunching through the snow approaching the barn door she had pulled closed slightly; just incase the stallion decided that he wanted to run away. And when Ivo pulled the barn door to, the black stallion was still there.

Mosswyn would have been a puddle of relief if Ivo hadn’t pushed past her to the horse. He (the horse) reared back, and Mosswyn pushed forward to calm him. “Easy, easy.” She whispered gently, stroking the horses’ nose. Ivo didn’t say anything (he never really said much anyway) as he took the man from the saddle.

The room the innkeeper had made up was much smaller than she had hoped for, but at least her room was right across the hall. Ivo set the man on the bed, and in the light of the lantern his features were rough, but it wasn’t an unpleasant face. “Thank you, Ivo.” Mosswyn poured the water from the pitcher into the bowl, and dipped the hand towel in it.

Once alone, Mosswyn set to work.


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