An embrace of chilling darkness gripped her. The Bitter whippings of cold hurting her to bone. So cold, so very cold. Then a light, a warmth in the darkness, a golden light sparkling with promise of an end. Then the pain of the wake world ripping her out of the cold nightmare, letting her se the golden halo.

With a hollow scream her eyes went open. Fear and pain shone with inner light in the brown eyes. Still in the grip of the cold nightmare she turned. A large campfire haloed its light in the small cavern, letting its warmth heal the wounds of the cold. Animal pelts and quilts made of warming wool covered her freezing body, trying to keep the warmth from the sacks of water at her feet. She panted, feeling the darkness cold grasp around her neck. Through the sparking of the fire she could hear the low howling of the wind outside. She saw her cloths hanging near the fire for drying and the equipment was stashed near some clay pots in the corner of the cavern. Feeling the panic she grabbed the dry shirt, trying to cover her self as she grasped for her long dagger.
“Don’t feel alarmed, little one.” A strong voiced carried over the sparking and the howling. She turned her head pulling the dagger. With a cramping grip of the hilt she held it in front of her, trying to point out the owner of the voice.
“Nothing but us and the spirits here you know.” The voiced said clearing the darkness in a corner she hadn’t noticed before. An old man, with white, long hair and wrinkled face, but the eyes shone of youth stood in the shadows. He carried him self with pride as he stepped over to the fire.
“I hope you feel better now, you tarutaru friend should join us soon. She said she would scout for your companions.” He sat down on a small rock shelf. He was clothed in old and worn blue robe, but the shackles of armour on his arms and legs, and the buckled breastplate she noticed immediately.
“Strong they are, with magic that is. They aren’t much in hand to hand you know.” He said. She lowered the dagger. Tsuan was here? As this began to fall in the sound of small feet and Tsuans irritated voice sounded over the wind.
“Damn, I hate cold, I hate wet!” she said clearly as her small figure entered into the cave. The small face under the thick woollen hat clad with pelt shone up.
“You are awake!” she cried and launched her self over the floor. “Thank the goddess!” she mumbled as the small tarutaru embraced in a warm hug. “I thought that the cold had got you, Anausii!” she said. Anausaii held the small body against hers feeling the vague scent of her perfume, the she noticed her own perfume. With a sad and confused smile she sat Tsuan down.
“I need a bath.” she conclude. The tarutaru nodded in consent.
“We have to wait until the storm stops. I am sure that Tyrin here may help us to find the way…” she said turning to the man in the worn robe that only nodded.
“I’ve been stuck here some time now, but don’t want stay in the shadows of this dark place anymore. I’ll come with you.” he said. Then reality struck Anusaii with full force. The dark mountain, the cliff, the attack, the fall. All of it played before her eyes. Did he make it? The pure force of the feelings let loose crippled her.
“Are they gone?” she said. A coil of bone marrow chilling cold spun up her spine. Tsuan tried showed no emotions, but her eyes glowed of pain.
“I don’t know. I haven’t see a sign of their passing.” She blinked a tear out of her eye. “But the storm hasn’t lifted yet.” Anusaii sat on the small bed looking at the small gem she pulled out of her belt pockets. From the fires living light that danced on its crystal surface she saw the small black rose in its core. Her view was soon clouded by flowing tears. The only thing she saw was the black rose consumed by the darkness of the long fall.

To be continued in part two…

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