The trees in the forest creaked and groaned in the unfamiliar winds that now started to push through them. The flames of the fires that were dotted around the town, and the torches that lined the streets, were beginning to flicker violently. Some even went out in the wind.
No one was out tonight, and some had even left town just to be extra safe. The conclusion was clearer than ever now: The storm was coming.
The village had been built in this area a few hundred years ago as it was in a sheltered valley surrounded on three sides by the immense mountain range which had prevented invasion from the apparently endless amount of barbarian hordes that lived on the other side.
The village was an oddity in a number of reasons. The most obvious one was that it was still a village. It had been, more or less, the same size for it’s entire life.
Secondly, unlike the other population centers within a few hundred kilometers, the village didn't succumb to the weather patterns that were common across this part of the world.
That is, except for once every 20 or 30 years when the planets position in its orbit around the sun put it in the right place to be affected by the most coincidental of cosmic convergences.
In the distant past, not that anyone on the planet knew this, when the planets around this star were forming, the beginnings of the planet was impacted by what would have been another planet, had it not been pulled further into the stars gravitational field, which formed a large asteroid field which persisted in the same general area just outside the planets orbit except for a few days every 20 or 30 years when it intersected and caused random weather patterns across the planet, the worst of which happened to occur around the peaks of the mountain range above the village. So every generation the village was hit by the only storm many of them would ever know.
The nearest city to the village was a little further than 160 kilometers from the village and while they were still close enough to the mountains to be affected by the storm, they had built the city specifically to withstand it, and so many villagers temporarily moved to the city to escape.
Like the village, the wind was blowing through the streets of the city but they used electricity here, so there was no concern about light or heat going out.
The issues arose from the cultural disconnect experienced by the villagers when they arrived in the city. Everything from how big it was compared to their home, to what everyone did in their work and spare time – it was so vastly different to their own lives that many people couldn't handle it.
Some decided to take their chances back in the village, others managed to compose themselves until the storm passed and others still used less legal means and thus every time the storm was announced, the city hired more people to act in the police force and temporary security measures - that were always controversial - were established in order to maintain a sense of decorum for the people who were only trying to survive what was universally agreed to be some of the worst days of their lives.
Currently the news outlets in the city had a countdown which was on all the newspapers and was announced every hour during daylight. When it hit zero, theoretically, the worst of the storm would hit. There was no way of telling how long any given storm would last, however most people agreed, even if it was a little superstitious, that no storm would ever last past three days. Which meant for the normal inhabitants of the city, that three days after the countdown hit zero, things would start to return to normal. At this point, as the villagers were starting to arrive in the city, the countdown was at a little over three and a half days.
The winds were getting stronger by the hour. Windows on a few of the less well-kept buildings had started to blow out and a handful of minor injuries were starting to flow into the local medical centers.
The mayor and other officials had yet to issue any advice on whether or not this storm would be particularly bad or whether it was advised that people leave their homes for safer places while the storm was officially in effect. Such a practice was not compulsory, yet every mayor since weather forecasting had become available had offered these memos during the early days of the storm.
However, in this case, such advice would not be forthcoming.
The village was safe from almost everything nature and man could throw at it. The storm being one of the few things that people had any concern about. However, living within the shadows of mountains held its own threats. Every so often earthquakes would rock the mountains and while there had been recorded instances of these quakes damaging the village and even claiming lives, none had coincided with the storm. Until now.
With the countdown ticking over to less than three days to go, the mountains shook. They shook violently. Avalanches along the mountain range could be seen from the village but most of them would be nothing by the time they reached the villages elevation.
What they didn't see was one such avalanche smash through a dam formed by a previous earthquake which had blocked the water flow down the mountain and formed a large lake high up where no one went. This dam had prevented a large amount of summer thaw from flowing down into the alpine rivers and it had been building up for a long time.
By the time they saw what was happening, it was too late. Before the worst of the storm had even arrived, and for the first time in generations, the village was destroyed. What little survived the deluge was swept away by what people were calling the worst storm in a millennium.
Once the storm had passed, and the surviving villagers had learned of what had happened, teams of explorers were sent to assess the damage, to see what the final extent of this double disaster had been only to find it was, in fact, a triple disaster.
Flowing through a massive chasm between two mountains that had been opened by the flood and the quake was an army of barbarians, armed to the teeth and looking to hunt.