Starting at the town well, he takes the cobblestone path northwest towards the hills, his pack on his back and hound close by. First are the homes of the well-to-do, with their clean stoops and gleaming facades, smiling at the pretty maids and nodding to the stern butlers. He wears his hood up and over through the streets of the mercantile, modest dwellings with plain curtains concealing their opulence within. Now quickly through the market, where amidst such hustle and hurry, no one has the time to be unsettled by his appearance. His pack held close, the dog instinctively also, past the beggars, cripples and thieves in the outskirts. Then through the winding narrow streets of the poor and migrants, now not even trying to hide his face, strange gray eyes and flared black nostrils. Quickly past the common midden, if only for the smell, for the pickers know this man and to leave him be.

Up the hills, his hands on the trees here and there to gain hold. The hound runs ahead, his master will be there waiting for him. Increasingly surefooted, he runs down the arid north side of the hill towards the mountain pass. Called the “Other Pass” by the townspeople, it has no obvious advantages to the “Pass” proper, so there are no well worn trails here. Shepherds occasionally wander through looking for wayward ewes and their newly born lambs, and once a hunter met an unfortunate end somewhere in the area, but otherwise no one else comes.

At the foot of the pass he has to hurry to secure his clothes and kit and necessities traded in the town. His knobby hands can only manage to tie the bundle around his waist, snug with two knots pulled tight, one cord on the ground under his foot, the other in his teeth, then a quick adjustment to position the mass against the small of his back. Naked but not feeling any cold, he scrambles up towards the pass, hand over foot, then bounding, feet only, seemingly impossible leaps on tiny ledges and teetering stones. Resting near an escarpment, he tries without success to rub off an annoying encumbrance just out of reach. He continues upwards, on instinct now, north towards the meadow, pausing only to grab a clump of sedge here and there. With a final flourish, he bounds over the last ledge to the head of the pass. Black hooves, pale horns, white coat from head to tail, he is Oreamnos now. The billy stamps and postures, and snorts the clean mountain air, then gambols down the easy slopes northeast to the stream and the meadow it waters.

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