Edric coughed again. He couldn’t seem to catch his breath. He wasn’t the only one: Celo, Morath, Kuruk and the three Cimmerian youngsters still gamely keeping up with their warrior comrades were all wheezing, spitting and coughing in the pre-dawn fog, or low cloud, as Bardic would have it.
“Keep the noise down for Crom’s sake!” Bardic hissed. “We’ve stolen a march but Cadroc will have scouts in the hills and they’re not deaf!”
“Sorry… can’t seem to catch… my breath somehow!” Edric wheezed.
“You’ve been over the high hills too fast. You have the mountain sickness – not bad, you won’t die of it,” Bardic explained unsympathetically.
“You could… have mentioned it… when you said… we should cross tonight!”
“It hasn’t bothered me since I was a mere stripling, so I forgot. Still, we’re here now, so it’s time for you to rustle up a bit of Mitra’s help while we plan our attack.”
“Bardic! Mitra is no… zesty side-dish of radish! I’m… about to commune… deeply and… oh forget it.”
As Edric sought a comfortable and private shelter for his dawn devotions, he wished he’d kept the potions that he had handed out before the battles yesterday. His herbal remedies would have been ideal now.