Snow and Ice.Mature

Keth

The feeling of being sucked through the void, you could never get used to it. The sound of air being sucked past your ears at a million miles an hour, before being yanked upward by every fiber in your being; and then landing like you've fallen from a great height, yet not been hurt at all while all of the air sucked up from your takeoff thunders down around you. And the sound, the resounding crack of space suddenly being torn open as you appear in the new world.

Well, old world for me, but something had gone wrong.

My legs were bent under me from the heavy landing, and as I stood they suck into the deep snow well past my knees. I open my fist to inspect the blood-link amulet, the key to teleportation. It doesn't look like much, just a small disc of ice really, with a small pinkish rune carved into the top. 

She is screaming and yelling, obviously disorientated by the teleport and probably very angry at being snatched away from her home planet, but her noise is dulled in my ears- the teleporter never fails. 

"WHERE ARE WE!?" she screams at me. I look up, I know where we are, and I know where we have to go, but for some reason I hesitate before answering her.

"We're about sixty stretches from Winteroaks Hold; see the two mountains on the horizon? The castle rests just between them, and the city in the valley behind them. But look this way-" I point to our left, "See how the horizon is blurred? That is the great steam from the marshlands on our border, we'll not be going near them though. Come." 

I wade forward through the snow, to a small crest nearby that we can't see over, she follows me, walking in the trench I carved through the deep snow. As I make the final steps up the small crest, I turn to watch her. As she comes up beside me her face drops in amazement, then raises instantly in excitement, her green eyes are glowing and the flush in her cheeks has turned from one of exertion and anger, to something else entirely.

"Welcome to the kingdom of Winteroaks, princess." she turns to me, that same disbelief written across her face. 

She stammers for a moment, before waving at me awkwardly to continue. "We behold the beauty of the North; 'The Queens Wrath". Legend says that a great and powerful warlock attacked Winteroaks northen border, summoning up a great storm of waves and torrential rain and lightening to destroy all in its path, but the Queen of Winteroaks flew out upon her great white eagle to meet him. They say the meeting did not go well, and the Storm continued to ravage our lands- yet the Queen was reluctant to use her magic in violence, and it was not until three of her sons, the princes Gorin, Elt, and Reck were killed that she rose up, and in a great anger,froze the entire storm with one sweep of her hands- encasing it all in solid block of clear ice. They say, that when the ice melts, the storm will return and demolish all life in the kingdom."

She seems to have forgetten about her kidnapping as she stares into the deep blue ice of the frozen storm, "Come princess-"

"Stop calling me that."

"We need to find shelter before dark. Follow me." 

I follow the path we made back down to where we teleported in, scanning the snow for any bumps that might indicate the shelter we need.

"What are you looking for?" 

"A tree, for us to spend the night in."

She scoffs, "Good luck buddy! There aren't any trees anywhere."

I struggle out a few more meters before responding, "Is that so?"

She just looks at me strangely.

"Come here, you have to trust me." I say, as honestly as I can. And thankfully, she still hasn't recalled that I've snatched her, and dropped her in another realm, as she comes over to me. 

I take her hands in mine, when I say 'Three', you need to jump, ok?

I see the confusion in her eyes, and her mouth begins to move with the start of a question.

"One, Two, Three!" I basically yell, before she has the chance, but she still jumps.

A whirl of black and green and white flashes past my face as we plummet, our fall cushioned and caught by the arms and leafs of the old pine tree. And when we land in the soft powder at the base of the tree, she looks like she is torn between hitting me, and hugging me. The thought of it makes me smirk.

"During the winter, the snows build up so that they cover the trees completely- If you ever find yourself out in the open without shelter, this is always a good fallback." I pat the strong brown trunk affectionately. "In the morning, we just climb the tree back up to the surface."

She shivers slightly, and a realize that she is still wearing nothing but her thin cotton uniform. Under the tree we have enough room to stand comfortably, the size and shape of it reminded me remarkably of my small bedchamber back in the hold. I unbuckle my leather chest piece, releasing the straps on my shoulders and sides before lifting it off myself. It's a little heavy, but not to much- a hardened leather exterior with an internal padding of wolf furs. I'm wearing nothing but the thin woolen singlet I use as an undershirt, but it doesn't bother me overly much- living here, you get used to the cold. 

I offer the armor and as she accepts it, our hands touch- and the moment pauses slightly, but only for a second. 

"Thanks" she half mumbles, half whispers. And for some reason, I find myself smirking again.

The End

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