Since the middle of November, the snowy weather had battered the colony of Flint and the outer homesteads. While there had been breaks in the snowfall, this winter was, far and away, the worst the colonists had faced. An astounding amount of snow had completely buried the Levantra Pass, as if the spirits of winter had decided to ensure the snow and ice would not melt until mid-summer. Even Flint and the Van Houthakker Homestead, well away from the Cadmar Mountains felt the brunt of these storms, burying both in feet of snow. Regardless of the snow’s depth, life had to continue, and so the residents of Flint opened their doors, grabbed their shovels, and started digging. Paths were dug around town as life struggled to continue. While children eagerly scampered outside to play in the ever-deepening snow, they quickly grew tired and returned home for warm soup and the hearth fire.
To the West, past Bayside and Raen's View, the Camdar Mountains loomed and amidst those towering peaks, the sliver of the Levantra Pass broke through the massive edifice, like a thin crack in a mighty stone buttress. However, as the storms continue to batter the area, the Pass, the lifeline to the outer homestead of Leyton, grew more and more choked with snow and ice. People whispered that Far Kall, the traditional Sorjunder spirit of winter, had crossed The Great Hegara Sea to wreak his icy vengeance upon the colony.
Along the road through the Pass and on to Leyton, the troops manning the Merriott towers had been forced to abandon their stations and retreat to the safety of the homesteads on either side of the Pass. The first indications of trouble appeared when the Jiu family, whose farmstead sat between Leyton to the south and the Wonlu River to the north, arrived in Leyton with news that their northern pastures had begun flooding with icy water. Scouts were dispatched and they confirmed that, for some reason, the Wonlu had spilled its banks in the middle of winter and that mighty ribbon of water had somehow become blocked. With nowhere to go, the icy waters began backing up, forming the beginnings of a small lake just before the Western entrance to the Levantra Pass. With the roads buried in snow and ice, and with the flooding creeping ever closer to more farmland, the townsfolk of Leyton called upon the few ritualists remaining in Leyton to determine the cause through ritual magic.
The ritualists gathered and sent pleas for aid to the spirits of water and air, as well as to Eagle and Raven, to show them the cause of this devastation. What they reported was most dire. The Levantra Pass had become blocked with a solid jam of ice as the sluggish waters of the Wonlu had been buried under dozens of feet of snow, and had, as the storms continued their relentless assault, slowly frozen, bringing the mighty river to a halt. With the waters of the Wonlu having no outlet through the Pass into Flint Bay, they began to back up, starting to flood the surrounding forests and farmland.
While the people of Leyton were not in immediate danger, after all, Leyton was a good seven miles from the Wonlu River, this did present an issue come Spring. Some of the road between Leyton and the entrance to the Levantra Pass, especially that portion north of Mount Nishati, had probably been washed away and would have to be repaired.
Throughout the remainder of November and into the first week of December, the weather continued to be bleak, snows and icy rains endlessly blanketing the region. Scouts in Leyton determined that the waters of what was now being called Wonlu Lake had flowed south as much as a mile from the original riverbank.
As the second week of December began, the weather suddenly changed. The skies cleared, as if some mighty hand had pulled the great grey blanket back and revealed the vibrant blue of the sky, and the sun once again shone down on the colony of Flint. While still certainly cold, the colonists on both sides of the Cadmar Mountains were able to begin digging out from what they determined was one of the worst winter storms they had experienced, impressing even those colonists from Sorjund, who were used to bitterly cold winters.
Two weeks of sunny and more moderate weather followed, and then, on the afternoon of the 20th day of December, the day before the Winter Solstice, people in Leyton, Bayside, and Raen’s View all heard what was described as a distant cannon fire. While there were no eyewitnesses to the event, what has been determined since is that the warmer weather weakened the ice dam at the mouth of the Pass sufficiently to cause it to give way. A massive jumble of ice and water then poured through the Pass, sweeping away everything in its path on its way towards Flint Bay.
Residents of Bayside reported a sudden rise in the water level as blocks of ice, some as large as houses, drifted by and out into the Bay. Most of their fishing vessels had been taken out of the water earlier in the season for winter cleaning and were spared any damage from the surge. One of the docks at Bayside was destroyed as a large piece of the iceflow drifted by, taking the wooden structure along with it. Blessedly, with as much devastation that could have been caused by this event, no lives were lost.
The Zephyr, at anchor in Flint during the event, under the command of Captain Oliana Lohai was dispatched to sail further into the Bay near the entrance to the Levantra Pass to perform a damage assessment. As the Zephyr approached the mouth of the the Wonlu, they were met with an astonishing sight. Prior to this winter, the entrance to the Wonlu River had been blocked by rapids caused by a series of large boulders strewn throughout the riverbed. Passage by ship was impossible further inland, making the road through the Pass critical to further exploration and settlement of the lands beyond the Flint peninsula. Captain Lohai reported back that the Levantra Pass appeared to have been stripped completely clean with the wide flow of the Wonlu joining Flint Bay without any apparent interruption. Soundings by the Zephyr determined that the river through the Pass was shallow, too shallow for the Zephyr to navigate, but smaller dinghies from the Zephyr were able to row up the river for some distance and reported that the Pass appeared to be entirely free to any blockage.
What this change means for the colony of Flint has yet to be determined, but this development certainly changes things for Leyton and its accessibility.