The community leaves their burning homeland.

The Userpedia group was a hive of activity. A few days after the scouting mission, Ruby gave the OK to move out of the cave and begin trekking north, to the unknown lands.

They went in the night, when the heat of the lands had become quite manageable, and travelled by lantern. Despite most of the users being quiet, and a little worried about their surroundings, the mass sound of feet hitting the ground sounded like a stampede.

Some people were of course, sad about leaving their lands behind, and becoming nomads. Some said it was for the better. Others said the group would drift apart.

Nonetheless, they all travelled along the road, carrying supplies, talking to each other quietly, cautiously. At the head of the group was Ruby and Valentin, ever watchful, while interspersed with the group was Guy, Sir Ji, and some of the other Defenders and Heroes. Everybody was awake in some capacity, as they left the cave far behind them, and travelled into the rough terrain.

The terrain began to rise into mountains, and the further north they travelled, the colder it grew from the hot ground under them to soft dirt, as the group reached further and further into the cold, snowy mountains, the cold biting wind giving a few of them second thoughts.

It was (what felt like) hours later when, feet aching, stomachs empty, they reached a flat ground an hour or so into the mountains, the wind soft, and broken by the mountain the wind breathed behind, and set up camp. Those working on borrowed sleep collapsed in the tents constructed around them as blankets were dug out from storage, and users rugged up with as much thick, warm clothing as they had. And thus began their journey as refugees, from the dead lands searching for a new home.

Ruby surveyed the lands, wrapped in blankets as nobody had snowcoats or the like. There seemed to be only one path through the mountains they could take, and they were on it. The group wasn't very high up in the mountains, but they could see that the further they travelled through the range, the colder the trek would become, and the more snow would restrict their view.

The Hero climbed down from his little perch above the camp, and climbed down. Everybody was in some form of blanket, and Guy had his robes wrapped up extra tight. He immediately questioned Ruby as he came down from the perch. “Why are we going through this frozen wasteland? This truly can’t be the way to our new home.”

“There’s no telling at all where we could settle down. But, this was the way out from immediate danger, if you recall…”

“Sure, sure…” Guy shifted positions, wrapping his robes tighter for warmth. “But come on, we’re all freezing our asses off! This is no place for us to be.”

Ruby sighed. “Just believe that we can do it. It’s cliché, I know, but we have to have the will to push through this. I think we can do this.”

Valentin heard the conversation going on, and moved to join them. “Hell, for the sake of the Userpedians, we HAVE to do it.”

Guy frowned, but nodded. “I don’t like where we’re heading… but for the sake of them (He glanced at some of the people getting themselves warm) I will follow.”

Ruby smiled. “Thanks. I know it’s a lot to ask.”

A short time after that, the cry of “We've got a campfire!” from one user was enough to bring the conscious followers together, wrapped in their blankets as they could finally get warm. One of the group also used it to melt some chocolate and went around giving cups of hot chocolate to those who wanted it.

And so, the day was spent doing nothing, just keeping warm in the weather that tried to forbid it. Those who slept, with extra blankets wrapped around them, eventually woke and joined in, and the entire group acted more like a community, helping each other in this time of need.

Well, those who cared to help.

He had been tracking them through the mountains for a while, after scouting parties reported that the group of humans had been spotted heading north. The cat-creature didn't like having to chase these humans but he had to, for his tribe. He knew that they wanted to seize their information, and put them out of business permanently. He didn't know why, however. Still, orders were orders. And he just had to follow them.

His feet sank through the snow with each step, leaving deep prints in the snow. He knew he would easily be followed. But that wasn't anything to him. His mission was not one of stealth. It was that of the simple way their people hunted. None of his tricks.

The creature grunted, and adjusted his headgear as it slipped, the light blinding him momentarily as it shone at him from over the gear. He cursed at himself, and fit the adornment back in place over his eyes. “Curse the light”, he said in his native tongue.

It was only a consequence of his profession that he was essentially blind.

The group eventually succumbed to sleep, wrapping themselves in extra blankets or clothing in their tents. The Heroes, confident that the campfire would last til the morning, huddled in their beds, and slowly fell asleep.

It would still be a long trek to the mountains, but the first steps had been taken, and as long as they kept up hope, the Heroes and the Defenders were confident that they would push through to the other side. What would they find there...?

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