Felicity – Four

Felicity – Four
~ Mountain Pass ~
The ride into the mountains was slow and achingly cold. Winter was setting in a month or so but snow had not yet fallen properly. A light dusting had littered the ground and the waggons rolled up the mountain paths, the horses struggling to pull the waggons up the high inclines but with a good few pushes, we managed to get the waggons up and over and back on the road.
By damn it was getting cold, and by what Solomon told me it would be getting even colder. I ain’t built for the cold, I was born out in the planes and bordering the desert. It ain’t my bread and butter to be freezing my tits off in the mountains. My time with the gang had us travelling but we had always spent the winters in the north, where it was warmer, no snow or ice in sight.
Now were we were, heading south into the mountains and expected to spend four or five whole months out here. Hiding out in the mountains while the head blew over.
“I doubt anyone will follow us up the mountain passes when they’re all iced up.” Gideon laughed softly and clapped his hands together, he was always full of excitement as he got us moving; that man was a constant well of energy and idea’s.
I’d hate to see the day when Gideon Van Der Graphe ran out of idea’s.
I had to hand it to him though, even though none of us wanted to come up here into the mountains, even though none of us wanted to deal with the biting wind and freezing temperatures, the mountains were beautiful. Ice and snow hung from the branches and leaves of the thick mountain tree’s. The calls of the birds flying in the distance rang out, echoing through the valley and reverberating through the gorges we passed through. Leopold had tried to lift the mood up with a series of prayers and songs but ol’Zachariah had begun to sing us some of his older songs.
It wasn’t until the stoic Solomon came in with his perfect baritone voice that it all grew to a righteous and glorious orchestra.
“You know son, you could have been in a choir with that kind of voice, beating out at the heart of the church.” Leopold laughed as he ushered the horse further up the gorge.
“Yea, preacher, I could have. But then where would I have got my fun?” The stoic man laughed and turned to look at the old priest from his own waggon seat.
“You could have been a glorious man of the cloth there Solomon, cast aside your hand of iron and heart of black for the true light of the Nine Divines. I am sure that one of the Nine would have gladly taken you into their bosom.”
“I wouldn’t mind being taken into a bosom once in a while.” John snorted quietly and a few of us chortled a laugh.
“You’re too much interested in the carnal sins my dear Mr Cowan, you should learn to embrace the love of our Lords and Ladies, before their righteous hands strike us down!” Leopold raised his hands into the air and laughed softly to himself.
“I’m a bad man preacher, I ain’t going to be going to no afterlife to live out my death in happiness. I’ve done some horrible things, would any of the Gods take in a bad man like me?” Solomon asked, a slight joking in his tone but a few of us could see he was serious, I knew I could and I’d not been around him long.
“Son, One of the Nine is the God of war and the Hunt, the great Bodar himself would take you in and make you a General in his armies; protecting the afterlife from the demons and monsters of the Underworld.”
“I would love to see that. Solo the Paladin of Bodar.” Matthias laughed and a few of us chuckled along.
“I ain’t no holy man ‘Thias, but that don’t sound to bad to me. Solomon the Great. Solomon the Wise.” Solo laughed to himself before Matthias kicked in.
“Solomon the bed wetter.”
“Hey!” Solo turned to look at his brotherly like best friend. “I did that once when I was young and never again. It was your fault for putting my hand in water too.” He warned which rang a chortling laugh through everyone; even Gideon on his horse was laughing as he spoke quietly to his wife Tabitha.
We were a family, Brothers and Sisters together, with a Mother and Father in Tabitha and Gideon. I felt like Solomon was my brother, that Matthias was his brother and I was their sister.
Yet I couldn’t help but want more out of this family.
My eyes drifted to Solomon as he ushered the cart along the path, we were nearing the spot we would be setting up our home for the next few months. A beautiful spot that had once been the graveyard to an entire community.
The village of High Dale was a growing community, it had spread its roots up in the mountains and traded with the local Aşağı and the Dragonkin further East. However it was when the Orcs from the East had rolled in that shit had turned from bad to worse.
Living in the mountains and in the cold wilderness was not easy but the moment the hordes had arrived it had spelt doom for a lot of the communities around here. I hadn’t been around here when it happened, if I had it would have been my doom too. I was too young to be around when it happened.
The roving tribes had raped, pillaged and burnt their way through every community there was out here. Only those who could hold up and defend themselves were safe; the roving tribe did not bother with communities that put up too much of a threat. They came for food, supplies, weapons and slaves. I heard that a few of the smaller communities that were sponsored by the the trade companies, like the Ilmarian’s South Imperial Trading Company or the Alrussian’s Deep Nation Colonial Effort, could hold off the horde.
Firing lines of rifles were usually the only thing that held them off, and that damn new repeating rifle that the Ilmarian’s had invented. The Old World fighting techniques had long gone to the wayside. Massed cavalry charges and standing armies did nothing out here in the New World.
Your hand iron was all that mattered.
Even fewer Entitled were out here, and those that were carved out nice kingdoms for themselves in the cities.
I did not come from one of those smaller towns and I had not lived through it. Now up here in the mountains I could see what those who had live through it had ended up with. The people here had lived on after the raids and had tried to rebuild but there were still signs of the aftermath. Three of the buildings in the small village were burnt messes, what little could be seen through the snow had been harvested best they could by the former inhabitants.
Six buildings remained, one had been the local tavern or saloon. It looked like Wilburn would be setting up his waggon near there, hopefully there would be a table and seats!
One of the bigger build buildings seemed to be an inn or hotel, it looked like we would be the one’s to set up in there. Jumping off the waggon, I made my way over to the door and peeked my head inside. It was cold but I’m sure that we could warm it up with a nice fire.
“I’ll get the fire going then we can start to unloading into here.”
Our new hideout in the mountains was going to be perfect, we could stay here for as long as needed and no one would ever come up here to get us. The snow was bitingly cold but the houses would be warm.
We waited in one of the house for the waggons to roll up the mountain paths.