High in the snow-covered mountains of the Feellie a young man by the name of Kean is hastily setting up camp in preparation for an approaching blizzard. Despite the temperature dropping well below freezing he is dressed rather lightly with a bear fur cloak over the otherwise lightweight but rugged mountain gear. Instead of setting up a shelter or tent he carves a circular diagram on the tree he is standing beneath. He then carves runes into the diagram in a meticulous and well practiced fashion.

When the diagram is complete a gust of hot air flows out of the tree instantly evaporating the ice and snow from its branches. The hot air blows past Kean without touching him with its full intensity and instead only surrounding him in a constant bubble of warmth. The layers of ice at his feet evaporate leaving dry warm ground exposed beneath. The bubble of warmth extends in a dome around the tree completely shielding Kean from the elements outside.

Kean takes off his travelers bag which is nearly as tall as he is and places it on the ground beside him. He rummages through and pulls out a sleeping sack, unrolling it on the ground before sitting down. He pulls out a small container of dried meat and eats while looking up at the worsening storm which is unable to penetrate the magic he set up. He turns and looks at the tree and sees a small amount of char appear around the diagram he drew on the trunk. Pleased with his work he turns back around and looks out into the storm.

”Should last until morning. ” Kean assures himself. ”Not like I am going to run out of trees anytime soon though. ”

He takes out a few more pieces of dried meat and closes the container. He undoes the bear cloak and places it on the ground beside him since he no longer needs it to keep the snow off of him. Next he removes his belt with his war machete and arcane six shot revolver. He keeps the revolver close but placing the machete with the rest of his gear. Lastly he pulls out a small notebook from his pocket. A small magic circle on the cover prevents the pages from creasing or being damaged while he travels.

”Looks like I will be out here for a few more weeks. ” Kean sighs as he looks over the pages. ”Damn, what I would give for a kieri pie right now. ”


Kean wakes up on the morning of the Thesfon Winter Solstice. Instead of being back home taking part in the celebrations he is alone in the mountains. His clan sends their male and female members on their rite of passage on their twentieth birthday. He was unluckily born in the winter and had been out for the past three weeks. The only solace being his near immunity to the cold thanks to being born in the winter and having the blessing of the Goddess of Winter Batri.

Keans clan is a secretive organization that has the unique magical power to steal the abilities, knowledge and magic of others. The process to do this will kill whatever they use the ability on, but that is of little concern for the clan. Kean was hoping to find a wolf and kill it for the ability known as lesser lycanthrope. However, neither the wolf or bear abilities he obtained will be accepted because they are so common.

The only other options are to find a powerful magical beasts and hope he can kill it or find a powerful mage and take them out in their sleep. Some members of their clan were assassins and only opted to hunt mages during their trial. However, Kean was not in an assassin family and does not want to become a murderer right off the bat. Besides finding a mage with the abilities that would be accepted by the clan and successfully taking them out is beyond Kean current ability.

Kean looks at the tree as the snow once again starts falling around him and the heat that once kept him warm fades away. The once large tree looks little more than a burnt match in a pile of ash and charcoal. Kean sighs again and collects his things starting with his belt and revolver. He then opens the tin of dried meat and takes out a few pieces as he walks out into the winter wonderland around him.

He walks for several hours around the mountain side looking for the tacks of any magic beasts that are supposed to live out in this region. In his journey he has only uncovered a few more wolves and snow foxes which are useless to him since he already had the abilities of the wolf. He was hoping to find a yeti or a lesser snow wraith so he could return home. As he sneaks around a pack of wolves in the distance he finally spots one of his targets, a lesser snow wraith sitting on an exposed stone in the snow while wailing excessively. Animals were smart enough to stay away from it so Kean didn have to worry about the wolves.

The lesser snow wraith is a magical malicious spirit that takes on the elemental properties of ice. They vary in appearance but generally take the shape of a crying woman made from bloody snow and ice. They are considered to be extremely dangerous as they are capable of manifesting and shooting ice like projectiles from their body. If hit it will make the body freeze solid if not removed quickly or if the wraith is not killed. Kean was confident in his ability to take out the creature as his resistance to cold meant the spikes were no more dangerous than an arrow.

What Kean is more worried about is the wraiths speed. The creature could glide across frozen surfaces unnaturally quickly. Despite their weight they could walk on the surface of even powdery snow without disturbing it as if it were solid ground. So Kean knew having a means to counter the creatures speed is of paramount importance. He didn want the creature to get behind him if he needed to run or for it to escape if it felt too threatened.

Kean takes off his travel pack slowly then stealthily shimmies to a neighboring tree. He takes a small wood carving knife out of his boot and begins inscribing a magic circle into the tree. This magic diagram is much more complex than the one he used to set up his camp the night prior. He looks over his work while glancing at the snow wraith every few seconds to make sure it did not see him. Once he is finished he moves to a new tree a few meters away from the first and starts carving the same diagram. He repeats this process on three more trees until he feels satisfied with his traps.

He surges the magic energy in his body calling forth the power of the wolf. He feels his body get lighter and his senses heighten. His ears elongate until two wolf ears stick out of his long loose curly platinum hair. He uses his new agility to quickly and silently return to the first tree carved his trap into.

He takes out his gun and pulls out a small container from a pouch on his leg. Inside were six small stamps each labeled with different elemental magic and a complex but small magic diagram. The stamps are labeled fire, water, wind, rock, toxin and healing respectively. The stamps are temporary magic enchantments that will allow him to siphon magic into them for the desired effects. He takes out the one labeled fire and stamps the barrel of the revolver then on the handle of his machete before putting the stamp back in the container and placing it back in the pouch on his thigh.

He aims his revolver at the unassuming creature as it screams into the forest. He pushes his magic into the gun which reacts with the stamp causing the black metal to glow with a faint red light. The gun fires which hits the back of the creature causing it yelp out in pain as it turns around. The wraiths eyes dart the landscape, searching for its assailant. Kean fires again which gives away his position but hits the monster in one of its eyes. It quickly regenerates the damage as it absorbs the cold around it.

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