——-Dival pushed his horse forward through the heavy snow. The trail seemed to continue this way with the trees still lining the path to each side. The snow covered what would have been padded down dirt below, at least he hoped it still did. The book’s map marked this trail towards a city with no name, and a location he’d never heard of, the only label in the book was, “The first extreme hoarfrost, a massive wind of rime icing; ‘Rimewind,'” jotted down next to the drawing. Not for the first time, Dival wondered to himself. Just what in the hell is a ‘Rimewind?’ He had never heard the term and had no point of reference for it. Dival pulled himself out of his reverie as the sounds he heard starting changing. There was the crunch of snow below of his horse’s constant stride, but there was something else now. Are those? Other footsteps? Dival looked around and couldn’t make anything out through the thick frozen tree line, but he was sure now that there was another set of steps crunching in the snow around him. He stopped his horse slowly, and a stillness fell over the forest around him. The quiet that only a deep snow on the bowed limbs of evergreens could bring. Only snow was falling in the distance off of a faraway branch that finally released its grip on the white powder covering it.
——-Dival didn’t know how long it was there, but steamy breath flowed out of black nostrils that were attached to a head the size of his horses. Grey fur accompanied the face down to a wide splayed array of teeth. A low growl emanated from the giant wolf’s snarling mouth. Slowly, Dival reached down with his left arm, the side of him that the wolf couldn’t see, and grabbed the hilt of his thick blade rapier. He held the gaze of the wolf with a face unflinching as to not provoke until he was ready, but the wolf gave him no time before his massive front paws stepped forward. In one fluid motion, Dival rolled to his left off the saddle of his horse and landed on the soft snow below with his sword drawn. The wolf surged forward clearing the last half dozen feet with a leap towards the side of the horse. Without time to think about it, Dival ran his sword through the neck of his spotted brown steed and pulled down hard through the front of the neck of the animal. The horse began to fall just before the wolf hit the side of the now dying steed.
——-Following the motion of his slicing thrust, Dival threw himself under the neck of the horse towards the direction of the wolf as the two beasts collided, the wolf having bit jaws down too high on the horses back from where it intended. The collapsing horse threw the wolf off balance with the unexpected shifts of weights. Dival didn’t hesitate and launched forward running the thick blade through the temple of his attacker. Everything went silent besides the gurgling sound of his horse twitching in its last death throes. His rapier dropped slowly as the wolf’s muscles went limp falling to lay on the horse with its jaws buried deep within the upper portion of the backside of horseflesh and saddle. Dival sighed as he pulled his blade free and wiped it on the snow before returning it to his scabbard.