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 ch

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