Writing 2014-04-01

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Aki is as good as her word, and feeds Larrikan lunch and lets him sit by the fire to warm up.  Larrikan is happy to do this, as it is a bitterly cold day.  The only trouble with it is the extreme friendliness of the trolls.  Larrikan fears he’ll be broken in half by the sheer exuberance of their hello hugs.  The food is good, though.

The trolls tell Larrikan they won’t be back to campus until they have cleared the snow from their door.  This is important, as none of them want to be trapped, should something happen to the second entrance.  They hope a week to dig out.

Larrikan promises to deliver the message, and sets out home.  The day is stunningly bright, and cold.  There is no wind to speak of, and things are quiet, save the groaning of overburdened trees.  There are several large branches down.  Larrikan tries to steer clear of the trees where he can, in case any more come down.

Most of the way back to the University, Larrikan hears something.  He stops to listen and realizes it is footsteps crunching through the snow.  Curious but cautious, he heads towards the sound, trying to keep a low profile.  It is probably nothing, but who else would be out on a day like this?

The person walking in the snow turns out to be Ahornbaumädchen, who is strolling along looking here and there along the ground.

A series of small creaks comes from the tree she is searching under.  Larrikan watches in growing fear as she does not seem to hear the sounds from above her, or to see the slight falls of disturbed snow falling near her.  When he sees the big branch in the middle of the tree start to dip, he darts towards her.

Larrikan knows the trick to run on top of the frozen snow, or he would never have gotten to Ahornbaumädchen in time.  The falling branch has dumped a huge pile of snow and ice, which is causing a heavy avalanche of more snow and ice.  The dryad has just looked up in surprise and growing concern when Larrikan reaches her.

Larrikan has never tackled a dryad before.  He will not suggest it, except in dire emergency like this.  Dryads are heavier than they look, and harder.  Larrikan’s thought was to run by, and throw the dryad over his shoulder, picking her up, and to carry her to safety.  If she had been a human girl, he would have pulled it off.  She wasn’t, and he didn’t.

Larrikan slams into Ahornbaumädchen, who says, “Oof.  What are you…” and then falls over because of the impact.  Larrikan had an arm around her and goes down too.  Known he can’t stay there, he shouts, “Move!” and tries to roll out from under falling debris.

He manages to roll once, and to lever Ahornbaumädchen over him, and past.  He got half another roll in, over the dryad, when the butt end of the broken branch hits him.  Hard.

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