Distant Horizons

Horizon's Landing: The First Winter

Reflections On The Season

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From the Journals of Beriana Elorelen, The Day of Resurgance, 31 A.F.

The first winter spent in this new land has passed, and Horizon’s Landing has come through it whole and strong. The snows started falling in earnest shortly after the Heroes returned from their sojourn past the mountains to the east, and before long the plains wore a blanket of white, and the mountains bore caps of the same shade. Most of us are used to winters on the northwest coast of Nordlund, so the icy winds off the bay slowed us little. Coastal Elvedon rarely saw snow in the depths that fell on us over the last few months, however, and it spoke clearly of the challenges that awaited us. Even some of the Heroes wore looks of discomfort and chagrin at the uncooperative weather. They are not ones to shrink from a challenge, however, and the rest of us took our lead from them. The Heroes wielded their strengths against nature as readily as they did against all other opponents they had faced. Muscle and magic worked seamlessly together, and before the end of the year, a small community of houses stood centered on the original longhouse built in our first days here. The outlying farms also saw completion before the turn of the year, and we spent the high holy day of Hoarfrost giving grateful thanks to the deities who had brought us here in the village’s new temple.

The Heroes spent some time helping in other ways, as well. Hunting and foraging to replenish supplies, building strange but wondrous contraptions to keep us warm and in relative comfort, or maintaining vigil with the gods to ensure they stayed with us. Of course, being who they are, the Heroes had their own goals they worked towards as well, but that is not for me to recount, even if I knew all there was to know.

Despite the cold, and unceasing efforts to combat that cold, the winter was not without its happier moments. Chief among these was the Mueller’s announcement in the waning days of Krystalmont that Millicent was with child. There was a great deal of celebration that day, I assure you. Krystalmont also brought the return of Rupert Cole, who had not been seen since the day of arrival. Rupert brought with him a great many fur pelts that he offered to the community, which were welcomed on those cold nights. Laconic and taciturn, Rupert was nevertheless surprised into a grateful grunt when shown to a small cabin a small distance away from the village, and told that it was his whenever he chose to grace us with his presence. Rupert spent several days in town, speaking chiefly with the Heroes of things he had seen in his months of self-imposed exile, before he and his canine companion departed once more.

The month of Winterhart proved to be well named, as the temperatures dropped well below freezing for days on end, with numerous storms of snow and ice to keep even the hardiest among us indoors. Personally, I used the time to compile many of my notes into something more substantial, and I am certain that most others took advantage of the enforced solitude to better themselves in whatever manner suited them best. The following month, Snowmelt, saw a slow rise in the temperature and, later, the beginnings of a much desired thaw. As spring approaches, snow still coats much of the landscape and ice floes choke the river, but hope begins to show in the village. One or another of us can often be found looking out across the waves as the possibility of the Araen Horizon‘s return grows. Six months have passed since our arrival and the Horizon’s departure for Elvedon, and with luck, the day of her return to us grows ever closer. Each of us harbors a barely acknowledged desire that they will be the first to spot her sails. The alternative, that we will never see the Horizon or her crew again, is dismissed as not worthy of consideration.

And so we not only survive, but thrive. The day of Resurgance is upon us, marking the nominal start to spring. The newly designated Long Hall Tavern awaits us, decked out in elaborate finery. The smells of roasting meats and baking pastries waft through the village, and the first locally brewed meads and ales are ready to be tapped. Horizon’s Landing has ceased to be merely a waypoint and a dream. It has become, in truth, our home.

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