Winter had come to Icehome. A thick blanket of snow buried the ground, and once again the Haslanti had changed to using their “winter doors” on what would normally be the second story. Despite the bitter cold and never-ending wind, the city was as alive as any in Creation.

Darius Wintersun observed the city from his modest cottage. Though he had been offered a larger dwelling in light of recent exploits, he saw no reason to change and insisted that the city offer it at a reduced rate to a family that could use the extra space during winter months. He often slept alone and owned few worldly possessions. Military tradition was hard to unlearn.

On this morning however, he was not alone. Covered under many layers of elk and bear skins, his new interest still slept, blissfully unaware that Darius had been awake for nearly two hours already. Glancing back to the bed he smiled and thought of the ribbing he would likely receive from the likes of Halvar.

He quickly ate a small meal of goat cheese and flat bread, chased with fresh apple cider, before returning to his morning exercises. Looking around as if somebody was going to catch him, he also snagged a honeyed puffball and determined he would work a little extra to make up for it.

It still seemed odd to him to not be sore from previous battles, to not feel the ache in his bones or the sting of fresh wounds. Though most would consider it a blessing, that part of his Exaltation he just couldn’t get used to. Privately he thought it distanced him from his land and his people.

After another hour of exercise, he returned once again to the window as the first rays of dawn crept over the cliffs surrounding the city. The light played off their frozen waterfalls as well as the icicles hanging from every building of the city. Though he was still clumsy at it, he offered silent prayer to the Unconquered Sun, attempting to emulate what he had been shown by the Zenith, Ragnar.

Once the sun had fully risen, the sound of stirring from the bed drew his attention from the window. Drawing back the covers just enough to reveal the occupants head, he brushed aside wispy blue hair and gently kissed her on the forehead.

“Morning Kaheila.”


Exalted: Northern Skies rpowell138