The group walked for hours, heads bowed as they tried to keep as much of themselves dry as possible, but the rain was unrelenting. The only sounds were Tumbor complaining about the lack of food, or the deep grumbling noise his stomach was making.
“If I gave you some bread, do you think you and belly will then be quiet?” asked Melvin reaching into his food pouch.
“Possibly, but the odds would be better if you had some mead.”
“Only water I’m afraid,” he replied offering the dwarf a small loaf and his drinking flask.
“Pfft! I’ve had my fill of water,” said Tumbor as he took only the bread. “But I’ll not say no to some bread.” Melvin watched aghast as his first bite nearly consumed the whole loaf. “Did you want some back?” said Tumbor offering him what meager remains were left.
“No. That’s quite alright. You enjoy.”
The dwarf nodded as he filled his mouth with what was left. “It’s good,” he mumbled spilling crumbs into his sodden beard.
“Another lesson learned,” remarked Jax as he quietly laughed to himself.
The road was beginning to gradually rise, and the immediate landscape becoming more barren the closer they got to the base of the mountains. Fraevon had stopped just up ahead beside, what appeared to be, two large boulders as he waited for the others to join him.
“What is it?” called out Jax, instinctively looking around for any sign of immediate danger. The Elf didn’t respond, instead he waited for the others to join him. “What is it?” asked Jax again.
“There is an old trail that leads up from these stones. Look,” Fraevon pointed several times up towards the mountains. “There are seveal clusters of stone just like this one.”
“They’re old miners paths,” said Tumbor knowingly, yet without enthusiasm. “Carts laden with rock and ore would be brought down from the mines by several dwarf following the road, so as to stop them toppling over and damaging the carts and or ponies. Several to come down, only one to take them back up. The others would use these paths so as to return to the mine quicker.”
“So they’re safe then?” asked Melvin wondering if it not be better sticking to the road.
“Yes, for a dwarf.” Tumbor laughed.
“If it will hasten our journey, then I say we follow it,” said Jax. “Perhaps one of these mines will afford us a place to rest and dry out a little.
The general consensus was that of agreement, much to the delight of Tumbor. Melvin on the other hand was less than amused.