A Roar Against Winter’s Howl
The Calm before the Storm
The coldness was not unknown to her. The ‘ame having a taste of such within the cruel, harsh environment of northern Arcas. Yet here high up upon the cliffs that shadowed the nation of Fenn, the howling winds would be harsher and dig deep to her very core as she was without much in the way of covering within this forsaken place. The task given to her was challenging indeed, in fact on the verge of impossible with what she was left with and how far the Lioness was outside of her comfort zone. She took no time to think upon it as the sun had already risen high at midday and started to fall towards the night. The ‘ame had little time for regrets as she took off the golden sash she wore around herself to then rip up and start wrapping each foot firmly. While not the ideal wrappings to ward off the snow and cold, it was far better than her exposed skin to be hit with frostbite and left to the whims of the icy North. After a good, secure tie, she would then start to move and quickly head toward the lower dips within the valley that seemed to block the arctic winds that struck against her body.
“Quitting already? You need to be stronger than that..”
The ‘ame’s head would lift for a moment as a voice would echo within her mind. Her eyes then furrowing as she then pushes on through the icy snow. It was there in the small dip of the valley where she would see some prey. Her form immediately ducking behind a formation of jagged rocks before peering up just enough to watch the creatures. At first, it was hard to see the white puffballs within the snow yet when the wind died down, the outlining shadows of several arctic hares were revealed. Andria poised her carved bone dagger to wait for the right moment to strike, yet then paused to instead watch to see what the creatures do. Each one seemed to be grooming itself, giving a casual hop here and there while enjoying the warmth of the sun. With their ears then lifting as if alerted to something, the hares then dove down into several holes within the snow.
“Observe the wildlife around you. If they can find ways to live out here, so can you…”
Miklaeil’s voice would whisper within her mind as she observed the furry creatures. Her eyes narrowing some before she would start to move a little closer to see where the creatures had vanished into. The hares would eventually re-emerge from their den within the snow, now inspiring the ‘ame with an idea for shelter, but more importantly how to hunt for food…
Claws within the Night
As unforgiving as the harsh winter of the north, there is the chance of survival that lingers here. Several months since the task was first given, it had been a struggle for the ‘ame to adapt and create a life here instead of succumbing to the cruel, cold embrace of the region. A small igloo shaped home carved and crafted into the snow to form a shelter to where the ‘ame was able to rest between her outings. Far below the cliffs where the land touches the sea, a group of seals made its nesting area on the ice-covered waters, allowing her to acquire a means of food and light. The fat and oil from the corpses provide fuel for flame and give some warmth within the shelter. A caribou hide rests as a bed along with meat packed on one side of the makeshift home. Another hide would she used as clothing with hare furs as boots and gloves to keep herself warm as she ventures out into the harsh cold.
It was upon one winter’s eve, the ‘ame hunted and killed several hares with their corpses now casually held over her shoulder as she started the long journey back to the iglu. She had already cursed herself at how long it took, seeing now that the sun was starting to set and a storm began to roll in. The markers she’d placed were her guidance through heavy snowfall, only taking quick pauses to then regain her stride and keep pushing through. Several crunches then broke the silence of the area, giving the ‘ame another pause. Her eyes peered out towards the endless white abyss as she fell still and listened. Another ‘crunch’ sound was heard again, then as if something very large was starting to charge head on towards her direction. The ‘ame immediately dropped her kill and pulled out her carved bone dagger while she turned around. The massive paw of the polar bear was all that she saw as it came crashing down against her head, her vision now fading away...
A voice whispers within her mind while her body felt as though it was falling further and further into the black abyss…
“Get up, Andria.”
A flash of a well built Mali’ame woman with long, ivory hair stood looming over her, now with her golden eyes glaring down with a disappointed look.
“I said get up. You don’t just stop trying because something bigger than you beats you down. Get up and think!”
The woman’s voice would boom with a proud and commanding tone, already grabbing ahold of the ‘ame to lift her to a stand. The scenery was back within her old home, standing in the small sparring pit that her mother made in the basement where she trained basic skills when she was a girl.
“Never give up, Andria. There is always a way, even against impossible odds.”
The woman would speak again, then a flash blinded her. She heard swords clashing and shouting outside as her younger self peered out the window and down towards the alleyway. Several paladins armed and facing each other as if they were readying to fight, her eyes widened with concern before hopping down to run over and hide in a corner. Several hours would pass as the shouting and striking of swords would finally die down before hearing several speakers downstairs and movement around from the creaking wooden floorboards. The iron door would then burst open as her mother would firmly stride in, appearing unharmed. At least until she shut the door. The ‘ame got up and rushed to her mother as she collapsed on the floor, coughing violently while closing her arms protectively, covering her chest area...
The scene then shifted to a road, running as fast as she could. A bag strapped to her shoulder with various supplies for her journey. The woods grew thicker and dark while various predators roamed in her periphery, a younger self full of fear yet also determination to find her father. With his camp coming into view, his large frame came into view as he sat there skinning his latest kill, already turning upon hearing her movements. The look on his face falling to immediate concern as he moved quickly toward her to embrace, then carry her off with him into the night...
The scene shift again as she felt herself fall once again and landing against a hard surface. Her body lies there as the voices would scream in her head over and over again..
The sound was deafening as her fingers struggle to sluggishly curl tightly into a fist. Her own body felt like it was shattered and beaten to where nothing was allowing her to move..
“Are you alright, my Lioness?”
A male voice would whisper...
Andria’s eyes would suddenly open as the polar bear’s paw would swipe down again. Her body instinctively rolling to dodge the crushing weight of the beast slamming down on her more fragile figure. The wind howled and struck hard against the duo, the flurry of snow reducing the visibility even further. Her vision caught within full crimson hue, blood dripping down her face and rage now unleashed inside. Her hand readied her dagger, the ‘ame then took off in a full run towards several rock formations. The bear having already adjusted and started to move as well, its massive and lumbering frame well equip for this region, to charge and begin to close the gap. With her feet pounding against the snow, Andria would literally jump and lunge herself up to grab ahold of the cliffside and start to climb. The bear’s paw barely missed as it swipes again, catching the rocks just below her feet as lets loose a bellowing roar.
Her breathing grew heavy as her adrenaline pumped higher now, her mind in complete predator mode as she fought to keep herself alive, climbing up to a shelf just above the bear. The beast had followed her movements, already climbing up to swipe at her, baring its teeth. With a deep breath released from her lips, her legs then moved into a sprint. The ‘ame’s body now leaping from the cliff, crashing down with the bone dagger raised high. Her voice bellowed out a loud roar of her own before sending the weapon down with both the force and momentum of her own body falling, aiming towards the bear’s neck…
The Peaceful Songs of Irrinor
Five months have passed since the fateful task that day up within the frozen north. The winter had come and gone, spring had begun to bloom and melt away the snow. A certain peace was felt within the wooded area of Irrinor, newborns appearing from deer, rabbits, and other creatures that seem to give the area life. The peace was also alien to the ‘ame as she slowly made her way down from the northern region, each step rather slow to fully enjoy every minute of it over that forsaken place she had to endure for months prior. A large polar bear pelt was draped over her person, cut and adjusted for her own height while the rest appeared as boots, gloves, and a tunic. A caribou pelt leggings and a leather bag draped over her shoulder, filled with various items accompanied her prize.
The city now came into view, she felt a deep relief upon seeing the walls stretch up high with nature entangled and weaved to form their defense. A certain exhaustion had then started to overcome the ‘ame while she sluggishly moved up towards the entrance, though it was a relief of her own, and despite now having several scars across her face, she had survived and made it home...
((OOC: I wrote this as apart of a wilderness task my character was given. I hope you enjoyed the read))