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Author Topic: These Snow Laden Hills. [open]  (Read 1611 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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Re: These Snow Laden Hills. [open]
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2020, 03:30:53 AM »
The food in the dining room wasn’t the best the tavern could offer. Mosswyn had ordered some scones and preserves for her breakfast, and a cup of black coffee. Having been up all night, her hair was a disheveled mess, and there were dark circles under her eyes for anyone to witness that she had been up well into the night tending to the mysterious stranger’s wounds. Vague memories of what happened in dim lantern light replayed itself over and over in her mind as she picked at her toast. The severity of the wounds could have been worse, but whatever happened to him, he was lucky to have been caught in the snow.

Mosswyn had been practically alone in the dining room except for those who rose early to get a head start on their traveling, or to go seek employment in the warm forges. She had chosen to sit by one of the frost covered windows to watch the sun begin to come over the snow clad roof tops. The sky was turning from indigo to a soft, pale blue and the sunlight was a cold, hard white as it crept between the buildings. Mosswyn was nibbling on her toast when something moved quietly in front of her, causing her to break her attention away from the window to see Ivo. For a man who spent a lot of his time making sure there was enough firewood, and tending to the horses, and moving around plows; Mosswyn was surprised at how quiet he could be.

They stared at each other; Mosswyn continued to nibble at her toast, and Ivo continued to stare at her through dark eyes. She didn’t say anything, she didn’t feel she had to. Ivo said nothing either, even though it looked like he wanted to. He sat forward, arms crossed on the table. “I must remember to thank your father for the extra bandages… The poor man was terribly beat up.” Mosswyn murmured, breaking the silence and taking a sip of her coffee. It was terrible, but her father had made worse before, so, comparatively it wasn’t too bad. Ivo didn’t look too impressed, but he shook his head (and Mosswyn narrowed her eyes slightly at the gesture), “No need,” Ivo replied, the softness of his voice was such a surprise. It was tough to conceal it from leaping to her face, but it was deep like his father’s, “He … doesn’t know they are missing, yet. I will replace them this afternoon with the physician in town.

Mosswyn took a bigger bite of her toast to keep from smiling, but it was too late. Ivo saw, and a small smile formed on his own features. “Then let’s not keep the physician waiting. I think the patient will be asleep for a few hours more. I’ll have food sent up so if he does wake, he won’t have to go far for something to… eat..” Mosswyn fell silent, feeling she had said too much. Of course he wouldn’t have to go far to eat, naturally, that was the point of having food sent up to the room! She had never caught herself talking so much, filling the air with empty words. Ivo’s expression didn’t change, but there was confusion in his eyes for a moment before he dismissed it. “It means I’m coming with you.” She said, this time taking care not to speak too much. Mosswyn tossed her bread on the plate and got up. She took a final sip of her coffee, “I’ll see you in the lobby in a jiffy.” And she hurried out of the dining room to the stairs that lead to the guests rooms on the upper floor.

Dressed in her winter coat, and a hat, Mosswyn followed Ivo down the street; snow and ice crunching under foot. Mosswyn had only been in the town for less than a week. It wasn’t uncommon for her to not know where she was going when every town in Rohan was set up similarly. They passed the goods store, and walked through the empty marketplace. Mosswyn glanced at the boarded up stalls and tried to imagine the type of vendors that might set up shop. They passed a forge, and Ivo nodded to one of the forgers as he walked past, and the exchange was short because the forger’s gaze shifted to Mosswyn as she passed. All she could think to do was smile at him. They passed other shops, one was a bakery, and she stopped to peer inside. There was life, but their back was turned, focused on whatever was in the oven. Mosswyn smiled, some things never changed, even in late winter.

Catching up to Ivo, they continued to walk until they reached the edge of town. The building he was heading towards was wide faced, there were no windows on the front, and it was the same height as the inn. It lead Mosswyn to believe that it was a two story building, as well. Only the door had windows, and a sign was posted on the door knob: OUT TO BREAKFAST. Without saying much, Ivo opened the door and walked into a large hallway lit by sunlight from the large windows at the other end. Walking past him, Mosswyn stopped beside him and gazed out at the view of snow covered hills that glittered in the morning light, casting blue shadows over each other.

The building itself was long. On her right there were double doors leading to what looked like a study, and when she looked left, there were another set of double doors leading to a shop. A sign on the door handle said ‘OPEN’, and Ivo brushed past into the shop.

Lingering in the hall, Mosswyn turned her attention to the view again and smiled. Sometimes - but only sometimes - was it nice to think that although her countrymen were ransacked by Orcs from god knows where, it couldn’t take away from the natural beauty of her country.   


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Re: These Snow Laden Hills. [open]
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2021, 01:48:46 AM »
Ivo wasn’t long. Mosswyn had no idea how long she had been standing in the hall staring at the rising sun. The thoughts that crossed her mind were how rich the owner had to be, and that he was probably the only physician in town - which would explain the extravagance of the shop. She looked up at Ivo as he handled the bandages delicately, and balanced a couple of glass bottles in the other. Mosswyn reached for the bottles, taking them into her arms and turning towards the door. Ivo reached the doors first and held them open as she passed through. Together they went back to the inn, and again Ivo held the door open for her.

Ivo! Where have you been?” Came a soft voice. Mosswyn turned her attention to a frail woman with her black hair pulled back, a stern look on her face. When the woman saw what they were carrying, a hint of a smile formed, “Your father has been looking for you all morning, go and see him in the stables as soon as you are able.” And without waiting for a reply she passed them going into the dinning hall. Ivo nodded for Mosswyn to continue going up the stairs, and a moment later she was back in the room with the strange man, looking over his bandages and checking his wounds. “They are terrible…” she muttered, dipping a cloth into a bowl of cold water and gently cleaned the edges, grateful that at least the bleeding had stopped. Whatever weapon had been used must have been terrible! Maybe the man had come in contact with one of the orc parties coming through?

Erm, if I need you again, Ivo, I can ask for you at the desk?” Mosswyn turned, biting the inside of her lip, her fingers rubbing together out of habit - she did not like asking for help if she could avoid it, but Ivo nodded and left, leaving the door open. She turned attention back to her patient. His breathing was steady, that was good. Sighing, Mosswyn began gathering up the old bandages…

Three days passed, and still the man had not stirred. She had done her best to pour warm broth down his throat, aided by Ivo, who had proved very helpful. He had taken the bandages from her and had cleaned them himself, helped her tend to the man’s horse (as well as her own), and had said very little while she felt like she talked just about everything under the sun! He did not seem to mind, his face always neutral, or smiling when she would try to say something funny; Mosswyn couldn’t help liking him.

Sitting by the man’s bedside, though, the moonlight coming through the well lit room, Mosswyn sat in a chair and chewed her bottom lip. She was running out of funds to pay the innkeeper, and had already overstayed. She was past due to her next location, but until she knew the man would recover, or at least come out of his coma, she couldn’t leave him. Mosswyn sat forward putting her head in her hands, “Good sir, I wish you would wake!” She let one of her arms drape over her knee, “Or make a face, or just something so I know you’re doing better.” She stared at the man’s unmoving face, frustration mounting. She sighed, letting her other arm down and hung her head, closing her eyes.

She had just been about to doze when the door opened and she jerked her head up to see Ivo coming through the door with a tray of food. Mosswyn couldn’t help but smile. It was a sweet gesture, and he set the tray down on the empty table where the water basin would normally be, and joined her over by the bed, looking at the man who did not stirr. “You should eat something.” Mosswyn’s attention snapped to, and she looked Ivo square in the face. She could feel herself blush slightly as her stomach agreed with him almost immediately. Had she truly not touched a thing all day? She slid her glance to the tray of food, and noticed for the first time that there was a little flower sticking out of a vase. She was sure she blushed a little more, “Thank you, Ivo, very much. I’ll eat it shortly.” To which her stomach protested loudly, but she ignored it, and turned back to the man on the bed.
Mosswyn,” her head turned sharply to look up at him, that was the first time she had heard him use her name, “You must eat, I don’t think he will go anywhere without your knowledge.” He smiled kindly, and Mosswyn let her eyes drift to the tray of food. It looked like soup, and there was a bit of bread, and something on the other side of the tray she could not make out because it was covered with a napkin. Mosswyn sighed, shaking her head, “Now you sound like my father.” Which was meant endearingly, but when she looked up at Ivo, he was looking away from her, his brow furrowed. Immediate regret stung her, and she reached out touching his arm, “No, no! It’s not a bad thing… my father would tell me the same thing when one of our horses was ill, and I simply would not leave the stable, so he would bring me my food so I could watch over the horse … and … eat… The flower is lovely…

Getting up and taking the chair over to the table, Mosswyn sat and turned her attention to the soup. She didn’t know if it made him feel better, she didn’t bother to look back at him as she took the napkin. “Oh!” Under the napkin resting on a plate was a bun coated in honey. The warm scent of cinnamon swept up into her nose, and she smiled wide as it brought back childhood memories - as honey buns always did when she passed a stall. “Thank you, Ivo, It looks delicious, and I can’t wait to try dessert!” She already had her spoon in hand, and Ivo smiled kindly back before exiting, closing the door behind him without another word. Her smile faded, and she looked mournfully at the soup, hoping that she had not hurt Ivo’s feelings, not after he had been kind enough to bring her food.

Sighing - she was getting very tired of doing that - she picked up the spoon and had just put it into the thin liquid when a small sound came from the direction of the bed. Mosswyn turned her head sharply, and saw the man’s head turn to one side, and his chest heave. Immediately she ran for the door! “Ivo! Ivo, come quickly,” She was down the hall and shouting down the stair, ignoring the protests of people saying they were trying to get some rest. Ivo’s dark head was in view not moments later, “He’s awake!


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