The patter of light rain had given way to a roaring storm. Even the foliage seemed to shy away from the onslaught of water and wind– the plants pressing themselves against the ground, and the trees bending down to shelter their less sturdy co-inhabitants.
Tain, his tent having long since been stolen by the violent winds, huddled in a small depression behind a burly oak. His soaked clothing was far from warm enough to keep his body from its convulsive shivering. He had decided that to let himself fall asleep may be to never wake up again. He had heard the cautionary tales of ill-prepared travelers meeting their fates due to hypothermia.
The unusually low temperatures and frequent tempests of Vaed deterred all the cowardly and wise, leaving the region to be overrun with brave fools. Tain, he had realized, was undoubtedly one of them. An intrepid journey into vicious unclaimed lands had seemed to him the perfect path to heroic fame. However, after six days spent trudging through unpredictable and often treacherous terrain, that notion had become exceptionally more idiotic in his mind.
To keep himself awake, Tain mumbled, near incoherently, to the trees. He told them of his hometown– of his family’s farm and his brother’s tavern; of the pretty smith’s daughter whom he had recently befriended. He told them of the valiant journeys carried out by the heroes of his childhood. He told them of the latest fashions in the court, of the best available farming equipment, of how to play Tak. He told them of everything and anything he could.