The castle was silent.
Ivory adjusted her thick white plait of hair and gripped the talisman around her neck quickly afterwards, Franz's paws pattering away behind her.
Lady Spring's disappearance had caused an air of panic to permeate the walls of Tempore Castle. Many villagers had already been enlisted to the cause of finding her once more, and the Lords Autumn and Summer were likely among their parties or elsewhere in the castle.
The Lady Winter would not have known. She was much too busy in the Great Hall, inspecting the frost-covered windows leading to the outside world.
She was alone with the exception of her hound, drawing on the magic within her blood to send snowflakes drifting lazily to the frozen ground and chilly winds blasting them through the streets.
Ivory, like her three companions, had a time that was her domain. As it neared Lord Autumn would pass her the role and as it ended she would give it to Spring.
But, as the young noble had gone missing, Winter had been forced to continue her spell beyond its time.
It was not an undesirable task, no, quite the opposite.
Casting the world into the cold and wintry was an art. A delicate, fragile art.
That was why Ivory demanded total solitude as she did, and spent the remainder of the year within her tower preparing. Franz and her other dogs provided company enough and a few words in passing showed the other three nobles of Tempore that she acknowledged their presences.
Franz nudged the Lady's leg and she accidentally sent hail raining down onto the windows.
"What is it?" she asked icily, only to see that the thick-furred dog had a scrap of cloth gripped in its teeth.
Something...green. Probably a part of Spring's dress.
Ivory held it up to the light and then put it into a pocket, patting the snowy beast as a reward.
Lady Winter made the snow cease, letting the winds slow to give the people a bit of solace from her wrath.
Very little of them cared for her, and even less realized that she was essential to the balance of their world.
If she had gone missing they would likely have celebrated.