Winter's Valley-Chapter 1
It’s been 200 Winters since the Darkening.
Winter is merciless. Every year, She rains shards of sharpened ice rain from the sky, demanding blood from those without shelter as though a supplication to the gods. Winter banishes the sun, forbidding it to temper Her blistering ice. She hides the sun’s warmth with a veil of thick, breathless dust that chokes and grays out the landscape. Her fury is still but deadly.
Man knows little of how this world came to be. Some say that Winter has always hated him and has forever sought to smother him in Her blighted grip. Others say Winter murdered the gods and placed Herself above man as his new master. Still, others say that man angered the gods and they abandoned him to his well-deserved fate as Winter’s prey. Even more curious and unbelievable legends are spoken of in whispers. Such whispers are the mere pitiful whines of man to understand what has turned him into the skittish, desperate cry from the greatness that once was his.
For the shadows of his previous life do mar the valley. Ancient, enchanted ruins, adorned with the echoes of times past, serve as homes for Winter’s wicked servants. Her minions seek to steal the hard-earned resources accrued by man during his summer reprieve. They are enemies to all. Winter has infested certain men with her hunger, pitting him against rebuilding, against peace, against himself. Those men seek to take what they did not earn during summer. They are hardened, and thirsty for blood and bread.