The four not-quite-companions slogged thru the never-ending snow.
Sridath snorted repeatedly, uncomfortable so near a wolf, yet the wolf in turn, ignored the steed, as it silently stalked beside Kisanth. The Khitan monk was mostly silent and only Jakh, his face an eye-sore of scarred flesh, would occasionally hum or attempt to converse.
The flame-haired Ythedrir, a tower among most men, first saw the pathetic settlement come into view, a meager village nearly buried in the snows. Hovels and huts of wood, peat, and moss crowded together in a small two-hundred meter enclosure, surrounded by a pathetic barricade (it could not be called a wall) of sharpened logs.
An opening in the barricade allowed the four travelers to enter the village unimpeded.
Pale, sickly smoke rose in wisps from several of the huts, and only the sound of metal clanging against an anvil could be heard. An open-air smithy stood, near the center of the Thorpe, countless furs strung together serving as a make-shift roof.
A young man, barely into his twenties hammered down on the weathered anvil with great focus and fury. He gripped tongs holding a broad-sword in the other, its blade cooling quickly in the freezing cold of winter. He glanced up quickly at the strangers, then ignored them once more hammering on his weapon.
Another man across the way was skinning foxes, and hanging their furs to dry.
A woman, babe in hand, stared at the intruders unabashed, eye-ing them up and down, as they neared the village’s center, her eyes darting nervously from the wolf to the man with the jagged face, to the red-haired axe-man to the blue-donned, one-eyed woman and to the weird, intense man in robes and fur cloak.
“What are you wanting? We have little to do with strangers here.” The woman spoke boldly, but plainly.