Survival

The Trudge (Part 2)

Azaziel trudged down the road; tired and injured, over her shoulder she had balled the leather straps as she tugged the dog sled behind her, the cold was bothersome but it had relented with the dawn. Hour after hour she trudged forward pulling the sled towards the relative safety of the trade road. She had noticed the clouds move in earlier and had been thankful for it, as the temperatures had now risen. Matter of fact she had grown so warm from her exertions that she had removed her cloak a while ago, but looking about she noted that a few of the children and many of her companions had done so as well. She looked over to the cleric who seemed to be in conference with the drow Wizard. Both pointed to the sky with concern. She sighed deeply and resumed her endeavors, what more could the gods wish to throw at this group?

It was then that the sky began its assault. First just a drop or two, but then it began to fall, a steady down pour of thick slushy rain, unheard of in this season. The group came to a halt and Azaziel watched as Bardr and Fox stalked by towards Alec and StarSlugger, the rest quickly followed as the huddle expanded so did voices.

“a wee bit o’ rain won’t be hurting’ no one, but I agree wit the Wizard, if this is a magical rain, then it will be for the like that as soon as we are good and wet, it’ll turn cold again… and we all know the wee ones won’t be lastin’ long in that” Slim-Jim stated boldly to Alec as she approached

“We can carry the wagons and the Wee ones if that be the case, but there be no help a commin’ up here, we got to get down to the main road” Alec spoke back

I have to say, I agree with Slim Jim” Dalathan started “If we act fast, get the kids out of the rain, gather wood we can stave of the cold of the storm, if we find a good spot we can fortify and hold until it passes, there is powerful magic afoot here, it is unlikely this could last more than six or eight hours”

“In six hours we will all be dead, if the clouds aren’t enough to get the aberrants out of their holes then nightfall surely will be, and we’ll be stuck here, this road will be treacherous when if freezes after the rain, and there is no staying dry in this, we have to push on” Fox said loudly

“We could hunker down and send someone for help?” came a suggestion from the crowd

“Or push on but leave a stalling ambush behind us?” came another voice

The arguments continued for another few minutes while the storm picked up power and momentum

“QUIET!” Bardr roared in a voice that had overcome a thousand winter gales… “We achieve nothing by standing here… we can all agree that this is not a safe place to stop…” muted nods answered “GOOD, Then we push on, send scouts ahead and leave a few to fan behind… if we find a good spot we will decide then, if we see an ambush or are being closed in on, we will decide then, until then we can as far as we damn well can… AGREED!”

No one could argue the simple logic, within moments with renewed vigor the wagon moved forward, several dwarves getting in front to lead them through the steeper parts. Remme, Fox, Dalathan and Alex held towards the back, to watch for signs or pursuit. Lisanne, Bardr, Azazial and Sylvanna, hustled to get in front and look for ambush or a safe spot to hole up. Raven and Serenity worked to get the blankets and cloaks covering the young ones as much as possible while Laker Bruce, Alfred and Munro took up a defensive position and took control of the rest of the animals

The Sky opened up, and soon anything but shouting was lost to the down pour, seeing more then fifteen feet ahead became hard, the children were crying and scared. Azazial hurried she was scared for them “Damie help us” she prayed “help us off this mountain”

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Argyle

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