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Eleforian Elite Guard
Rhyn'aur stared over the landscape with pale gold eyes, her grey cloak blending in well enough with the snow that she didn't bother to toss it back behind her shoulders. Her eyes rose to the cloudy sky, her tongue flicking out to catch a snowflake before it passed her muzzle. The flake of ice melted quickly, and she could not help but stretch in her pleasure. Her back arched out, and she felt her muscles move smoothly as the stretch continued all the way down her long tail. The black tip swayed gently behind her as she began to move once more. It had been two weeks since she had been in Last Chance, and with her keen eyes judging the light of the mountains, she knew that she would be getting to the town not long after darkness fell completely. Twilight. The perfect time. Brad will know I am coming. The old man always seemed to know. Perhaps he had just recognized that it was roughly a two week journey in the winter when she went on her rounds. She always stopped to help the villages if they needed it as well.

Her wide paws and slight crouch kept her from sinking more than a foot into the snow. Even though Brad had tried to modify snowshoes for her more than once, she had ever refused. She moved quicker in her own pace. The man did not understand. He did not travel as she did. For a single hunting trip, showshoes were fine, on human feet. But they left too clear a trail, and were much too much of a burden to bring along on her rounds of her territory.

Lost in thought, Rhyn was startled as her rounded ears caught first an odd squeak and then the echoes of a horn sounding. Moments later, the distant sound of snow rumbling came, and she narrowed her eyes angrily. What fool was out in the woods blowing a horn? This close to Last Chance, they might very well bring an avalanche from the higher mountains. Keeping an eye on the peaks that rose in front of her, she continued to stalk ahead, moving like a ghost through the trees. It took a short while for her to find anything out of the ordinary. The first hint was the scent of another person. It was starkly clear against the cold scent of snow. A few moments later, she spotted a slash of blue against the white of snow.

There was a trail that lead away from the color. Rhyn wrinkled her nose as she approached, cautious and moving nearly silently. There was no escaping the slight crunching sound of snow. But what she found was not dangerous. The woman that had fallen, curled in her cloak, had a weapon, but as she looked over her more, recognizing elven features and noting how tall the woman would be if standing. Her fingers looked like they were starting to get frostbite, as did her nose, and it was that, that caused the hiskr to sigh with exasperation. Who is idiot enough to wander out here with just a cloak on?! She wasn't thinking of the fact that half the time she went without a cloak. She was made for the snow.

Small though she was, Rhyn was strong, and inventive. She could not let the woman die. She used her hatchet to cut a large branch from one of the evergreen trees, and then dragged the elven woman onto the branch, which would work as a makeshift sledge. Unhooking her own cloak, which was heated from her body, she placed it atop of the woman, and clad only in her harness and belt, began to drag the elf towards the town she considered Home.

It was not a short walk, but she checked upon the elf often as she walked, and it was not too long. The woman was still alive, and not yet frostbitten more than minorly when she walked into the town, easing easily onto the well walked paths. She made her way swiftly to the inn, and couldn't keep herself from smiling as she picked up the sounds of familiar voices, music, laughter and the clanking of tankards from inside. They were often a rowdy bunch, but here she knew everyone. She left the woman at the bottom of the steps, and opened up the door into the inn.

Every face turned towards the door to look, each one breaking into a grin when they saw the familiar white color, spotted with black. Her expression was only understood by Brad though, as she didn't come into the inn and close the door. The innkeeper moved swiftly. "What is it, Rhyn?"

Her voice was soft, hoarse from disuse. "I found a woman in the snow. She's close to the edge, Brad. I had to drag her here." The big man gestured to a couple of the others, pushing Rhyn inside, into the warmth of the building, and walking out to look at the woman himself. Before long, they had her brought inside, carrying her upstairs to one of the rooms. Rhyn would have followed, but Francesca, the woman who often cooked in the inn, shook her head and hurried after them. Brad came back down the stairs as conversation had started between people once more, Luis playing his fiddle gently in the background. The man hung Rhyn's cloak near the fire, where her crossbow leaned, her harness in a pile upon the floor, and it was only then that they finally got to their usual greeting. The small cat-woman stared up at the man, who was well over two feet taller than her, and grinned. He grinned back, wrapping a solid arm around her as she hugged him.


Upstairs, Francesca finished undressing the frostbitten woman, tittering slightly. She wrapped her up in a thick, quilted blanket, and packed heated bricks around that when her son Carson brought them to her. The woman muttered softly to herself about the silliness of being outside when there was likely another storm on its way.
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Frostbitten · Hiskarin Mountains

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