Eaglerock was wreathed in mist and morning dew. There would be no sunrise on this day. Above lay an infinite expanse of grey cotton, yet the mountaintop pierced the dull blanket. Some of the heavier clouds descended upon the Nest itself, veiling the village in a treacherous fog. One misstep could mean death in the mountains, Jacoby mused. Or an errant gust of wind.
Yet his people were nothing if not surefooted. For a hundred generations the indigenous folk of the southernmost Pyruvan mount had made their homes amongst the cliffs and peaks. They were climbers by blood, with callused hands and muscled limbs; most of a long, lithe stature. We pay homage to the birds yet we are the monkeys of the mountain.
He inhaled the mist and felt its kiss upon his skin. Clad in naught but shortened wolf's hide breeches, the cool sensation crawled and wrapped around Jacoby's body, hid him from reality.
"Jay!" A voice called from behind. Or to the left. The fog did strange things with the sound. A faint trotting of footsteps heralded the arrival of Wilfrey Griffin, a strong companion since childhood.
His cheeks were flushed and breath was laborious, he'd clearly been running. Pitched over, he stopped to catch his breath. The young man had a head of tangled brown hair, hazel eyes and hazel skin. A tawny lynx vest was buckled over his favorite albino doeskin jerkin, his pants a motley of stag, goat, and rabbit fur.
Wilfrey was a well revered huntsman of the Nest. At nine he slew his first mountaincat with a sling and a stone to the eye. At three and ten he feathered the largest buck Jacoby had ever seen. At seven and ten, full of youth and pride, he tried a snowbear with sword and dagger.
The gruesome encounter left Wil with a deep, four-pronged gash from chest to hip and the beast tore a chunk from the back of his left shoulder. Somehow he had made off with his life, humbled if not slain.
"I thought I'd never find you out here,' he said. He looked his friend over. "Damn, you look tired, boy. And what are you walking around naked for? The chill is bone deep this side of Fall. Nevermind that. We've a pigeon from our western neighbors," turning, Wil motioned Jacoby to follow, "you might want to see this."