Calm The Fire: 60

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The thick and heavy woodland slowly started to dissipate. Though the rather barren clearing which greeted them ended up merging into more woodland, it still made a change to be able to properly see the open sky. The branches and canopy within the trees blotted out the sky. It was very hard to peer through such heavy foliage for the sake of catching a glimpse at the rolling white clouds and pure blue of the sky.

There were small boulders dotted about the clearing, these soon got used as seats as everyone decided here would be a good place to stay for a break. Gandalf – of course – disagreed hugely and tried to will everyone to stand and move.

“Asking a Dwarf to do something when they don't want to doesn't end well. Just need to give it time and they'll do it on their own accord.” A quiet thoughtful voice said from his side. Gandalf stopped and looked to a boulder, Náriel stood looking up at the sky, she looked thoughtful. Like a part of her was here in the present, but another part of her was elsewhere. “Is that not what you said to me at the beginning of this quest?” She looked down at him with a smile.

“Quite right,” Gandalf mumbled and quietly coughed and looked at her. “What can you see?”

“Rain clouds, or at least, clouds which are heavily laden with something. Might be snow. The air is getting cooler, can't you feel it? The seasons are changing.” Náriel said quietly while looking to the resting group behind them. “That's a problem. Resting in winter...is dangerous.” She said lowly. Which was true. Sometimes the air got so cold that even stopping for a second could seize someone up. The snow which blanketed the ground was another thing completely. It made surroundings look different. Kept tracks fresh until the next snowfall. And was generally hard to travel in and through.

Gandalf shifted from foot to foot and leant against his staff. He looked up at the sky too and narrowed his eyes. He could faintly see the clouds which Náriel was referring to. Much like her it didn't fill him with much confidence.

Looking over his shoulder he looked back up at her. “Shall we tackle this problem when it arrives? There is no point in worrying just yet.”

“I'm not worried. I quite like snow.” She said innocently with a smile, Gandalf smiled too at her honesty. “What I am worried about is the onset of a harsh winter.”

“Well,” Gandalf nodded and stepped back. “As I said, shall we tackle this problem when it arrives?”

“Yes, sure.” Náriel said while watching him walk off, he too eventually sat down. Might as well join in with the rest of the group and rest. Náriel turned and looked back up at the sky. Frowning and shaking her head she turned and jumped down from her boulder. Pulling her cloak more around herself she shuffled off and sat down with a quiet thud on the floor.

----

Snow covered rocks and mountain side is what was used as current cover as the sight of Azog and a few of his comrades went running past. He stopped on a jutting out rock and looked around. His pale blue eyes skimmed over everything, trying to find the targets he had been so long hunting for.

The sky was slowly darkening, the pale pastel pinks were slowing ebbing away to dark blue and black. In the dim lighting it caused the pale Orc and Warg to look more menacing, if that was even possible. The shadows played over everything, and at one point made Azog's eyes look totally black before shifting back to their natural pale colour. When he failed to see or find anything he charged off on the back of his steed, the few which were with him ran after him.

A low growl soon replaced the whining of the Wargs. Ducking down and pressing as close as possible to the rocks, Bilbo looked sceptically at the beast which seemed to be looking out and over everything.

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