((I LIED APPARENTLY but now I actually AM on break whew))
((WOW Sorry I was gone for like four days!! Ahhhh. School and all that. Should be more active this week I hope? < u >))
((oh also I have just conferred with our wizard so whatever happens on my next turn. just. hold onto ur butts))
Huh. Whaddya know. She scowled into the slush, not sure what she thought about that. What in the dang hey causes snowstorms, other than a plain old low-pressure system? And winter? Herja stopped for a minute, thinking, and got nothing. I mean, as a village priest she’d got more prayers about the weather than she could shake a stick at, but in her experience
Whatever it was, it figured that it had to do with wizards.
"…You got an irrational explanation for it?"
"Well, not really," Pim admitted. "Not unless someone or something is causing it, but how or why I’m not sure. Alatar might know!" He brightened at the thought of asking the wizard. "Or perhaps it’s just unseasonably cold. I’d like to know either way." He slid down off of Bernard, digging a frostbitten apple out of a saddlebag to give to the still cheerful pony, and handed Herja her coat back. "I really won’t be needing it, but thank you. I really should get some supper cooking, if we’re all going to stop here for the night!"
Herja looked from her tracks to the copse of trees, and the very blatant straight line between them. “That what he’s been telling you, is it?” She glared. Darn pony had probably zoned out agai- hey wait.
"…Caused this? Like, other than it just being winter?”
"Well," he said, tugging the coat more securely around himself, "even if it’s just some strange fluke of the weather, it’s most odd for this part of the country. It defies a bit of rational explanation, don’t you agree?" He peered down at the ground as it started to get slushier as they entered the copse of trees.
"C’mon, we’re bunkering down in those trees over there. Think you passed it." She pointed to a line of her own footprints, deeply gouged in the snow. One benefit of being a clumping leaden-footed dwarf, as the princess would say. Fresh snowfall couldn’t bugger up your tracks the instant you took your eyes off them. Couldn’t bugger up the horses’ tracks either; the snow outside the stand was a churned-up muddle of slush and mud.
Pim begrudgingly kept hold of the edge of her coat and sighed. “I suppose the pony was following you (or your footprints) then, instead of making for shelter.” He gave the pony an exasperated pat, and received a mischievous nicker in return. “But I wouldn’t make it through any of these drifts on my own, so I can’t really complain.”
He squinted at the line of trees as they approached. “I’m sure Alatar will know what caused such a storm. It’s probably very troublesome, to have something like this happen so soon in the journey. I suppose it means we’re on the right track!” He added cheerily, despite his chattering teeth.
"No faster than a bad norther usually blows in. Or. …Does it not do this regularly in these parts." Suddenly it hit her that Pim’s too-light summer clothes might not be just another potentially fatal naivete. Did it just plain not get as cold in Eriador as it did out east?
…She’d have thought it would have been colder, with no real mountains to block the winds coming off the north. It should be colder, right?
Pim started to protest almost as soon as he was picked up, struggling mightily and almost slipping off of the saddle again when he was put back down. He did NOT put his feet into any pockets, and attempted to wriggle back to his former sitting position with an extremely irritable expression.
"Madam Dwarf, with all due respect," he huffed, "I am not a /child/ and I do not need to be swaddled up like one. You need a coat just as much as I do." Disentangling himself from her coat was more difficult than he anticipated. "I appreciate your concern, but….oh, drat it all." He seemed to only have wrapped himself up more confusingly. "And no, I don’t think it is usually this cold this quickly. Not this close to Bree, in any case." His teeth chattered a bit, and he closed his mouth with a stubborn snap.
"Pim! Hey, wake up!" She made a grab for the pony’s bridle. Good fuck, the hobbit was still barefoot. Not even a blinking pair of socks. They were as red as - well, as Bruin’s face usually was. But the toes were beginning to go purplish. Fuckitta fucking -
"PIM. Middle Earth to!" She slapped him on the thigh. If he’d already passed out…
Pim started at the slap, nearly slipping off of Bernard’s icy saddle before righting himself and blinking the snow out of his eyes to give Herja a somewhat injured look. “I wasn’t asleep,” he huffed, the small cloud of his breath whipping away into the wind. “I’ve just got all this dratted snow in my eyes.” His toes, although very red, gave an unhappy wiggle—stubbornly functional despite being as bare as a mountaintop. ”But it’s good to have someone to talk to besides the wind. And Bernard.” He gave the pony’s neck a stiff pat.
"This snow surely came from nowhere, didn’t it. Seems most unnatural." He risked putting his head back, taking a quick look at the churning sky before getting his eyes filled with snow again.
Pim closed his eyes slightly against the fresh onslaught of the wind, clumps of snow sticking to his lashes and brushing against his cheeks. His hood was pulled up as far as it would go, ice crackling on Bernard’s saddle as the pony struggled gamely through the mounting drifts of snow. Even his tough hobbit feet were starting to ache from the cold, and he’d long since lost sight of the members of the group in front of him. He’d heard someone or other shout about finding shelter, and until then all he could think to do was sit tight and stay wakeful. Bernard seemed to be confident of his direction in any case, and that was more than Pim could say, and so the pony became the leader of the two entirely.
Which was wise, because although Pim was no longer terribly close to the main body, neither had the pony wandered off track. It simply seemed to the hobbit that they were drifting in a world of white, where there wasn’t an up or a down or a sky or an earth. Just incessant, driving snow.
Roderick slung his bow on his back, carefully picking his way through the thyme to get to Pim’s side. He reached up to lift the hobbit, giving the rope much more slack.
"If it is any consolation," he commented, "I have caught a great deal more turkeys this way than I have hobbits."
Pim simply grumbled to himself for a moment until the knot came undone and he plopped into Roderick’s arms. Still tangled up in his cloak, he tried freeing himself for a good while longer but eventually gave up with an extremely burdened sigh.
"Thank you very much, in any case. I probably would have come away much more battered had you not happened upon me, as embarrassing as it is."