, , ,

Even as fantastical animals as the Enhatwor horses were, Evolette had still required to blindfold the white animal to lead it down the goat path that seemed to zig-zag down the side of the cliff. Kaldavia was below them, Evolette could see the wall, and the houses that took refuge within. It was midday, and Kaldavia should’ve been bustling with activity. She had not been to the Orm town in a decade. She noted the crumbling houses in disrepair nearest what looked like a monastery. The monastery was a new structure, but looked old, and was a sprawling mass, like tree roots.

Gods were something the Orm had multiples of, the Enhatwor celebrated their ancestors and worshipped spirits, Spirt of War, Spirit of Earth, Spirit of the Bear, and many others. A seiðr was best described as an Enhatwor witch, they were infused with the blessings of the spirits, and could hear the whispers of the ancestors. They were wise, envisioned, powerful and respected by all. Evolette was not an expert on Orm religions but the monastery seemed wrong, foreboding, and most likely the houses nearest it had been abandoned by frightened men and women. Orm were best described as rabbits, easily spooked, sometimes frozen in fear and other times ran for their lives. Evolette was not afraid of death, but she didn’t intend to die until her vengeance had been satisfied.

As she led the horse down the goat path, careful to make sure the beast didn’t fall, her thoughts turned toward her mate. Domic had a temper, and his way of handling any situation was to swing his axe or his fist, then ask questions to any who weren’t mauled beyond the ability of speech… or dead. Evolette, was much cooler headed, and though her heart burned to send those who would so cowardly attack the Enhatwor with magic, she would seek information first, then she’d behead someone.

The horse kicked a loose rock and it bounced down the jagged cliff wall. Evolette paused, holding her breath. One lesson learned in the Frozen North, any loud sound could trigger an avalanche. The sound of the rock bouncing and striking other stones had been loud, almost echoing in the valley. There was a sound like thunder that rumbled across the mountain, but came from within. Evolette turned and looked above the direction they had walked. The patch of snow was blessedly not large, but being caught in an avalanche, even a small one, was only something you wished on your enemy or maybe your mate’s mother.

“Go! Run!” Evolette ordered of Thjoohildr. The small woman, she was a woman, only Orm in size, coming barely to Evolette’s shoulder, tried her best to move quickly down the goat path that twisted and turned so much. Evolette pulled blindfold from the horse and turned him loose. May the Spirit of Wind protect you, she thought to the animal and began to jog down the goat path. She easily overtook Thjoohildr with her long strides, and rather than to wait for the seiðr to go faster or trip them both, Evolette grabbed Thjoohildr about the waist, and flung her up onto her shoulder. Even with her burden, Evolette’s sure footedness, and long stride, was faster than the seiðr, but it was not faster than the oncoming wave of moving snow as it tumbled down the mountain.

Growing from the mountain was a small dwarf bush, Evolette protected Thjoohildr’s body with her own and held onto the tiny limbs of the bush near its root. Snow blasted past them, and fill in around them, the dwarf bush was ripped from the mountainside.

“Swim!” Evolette tried to yell at Thjoohildr but her mouth filled with snow. She tried her best to kick and stroke, while attempting to keep Thjoohildr above the snow that was swallowing them. Evolette went under and lost her grip on Thjoohildr.