I haven't written anything for Pellinor before, but I have loved the books for years. I used to spend hours pulling apart the plots on the SFF forums, so it only seems right I should do a bit of writing too!

This is Nim, the Jussack boy who was kind to Mearad.

I have always known where I am. It is the blessing of my fathers, a kinship with the ice, that allows me to track the slightest changes in the landscape and always find my way back to the settlement. And now I know that it is a blessing indeed. Without my skills I would never have met the most beautiful girl in the world, never have heard of the great green land, and never have learnt of the spirit of woman.

My fathers teach that women are nothing to men. They cook and bear children, but are otherwise unimportant. I thought the fierce life I saw in the eyes of the wonderful girl from the south was something rare, but when I returned to the settlement, I saw the fire and mettle in my mothers eyes as she sat by the pot, cooking to keep men alive. In my sisters eyes as she stood before her new husband, ready to give life to help men endure.

'Oh Mearad', I say her name privately in my mind. She had the curious, baby-clean face of the Pilanel, no tribal tatoos or kinship markings, and their dark, dark hair, but the same white skin as us. She was a thing of mystery, to be delivered to the Ice King himself, and surely, I had though, there to die, or to give him her servitude.

But the Ice King is no more, they say. When the stars realigned themselves, after the calamity in the South, his influence ended. The Jussack Father, our leader, claims the icy North for himself, he says we will no longer live under threat of constant attack from the Pilanel, no longer tolerate their stubborn domination of our lands. We will move North and never set eyes on another dark theif as long as we live. No-one speaks up for the knowledge that we have never, in living memory been attacked, yet have bombarded the hill-settlements and the travellers for many lifetimes.

None of the men I travelled with speak of Mearad, but they cannot have forgotten her. To them she is the Annaren woman, worthless, yet worth risking their lives for on the ice, and for the indignancy of that they will never lose their bitterness. But they will also think her long dead, as none who enter the Ice Palace came out again. But I know otherwise. My Mearad, if I have right to call her that, is alive. She was involved in the calamity to the South, but I feel her life beating out it's days as surely as I feel the wind on my face and the paths of the ice. As surely as I know the Ice King still lives, he who is ageless. I feel his presence in the ice and in the mountains, in the very air we breath. Mearad changed him, he stopped dominating the North, and became the North himself.

I do not know how I know these things, or why the knowledge has been laid upon me. I can only thank Mearad for opening my eyes to the world, and perhaps, in doing so, she opened them to this knowledge. Or perhaps it is another gift of my fathers.

I wanted, more than anything, at the time, to take my Mearad as a wife, but she would never had submitted to the laws and will of the Jussack Father. So I married Hersa ka Nemum instead, and she lost her fathers name, becoming Hersa ka Nim. But I would never force that name upon her, to me she is my darling Hersa, and that is all. I have moved up the ranks of the settlement, and one day I hope to become Jussack Father. Then I will show my Jussack Brothers the spirit of woman, as revealed to me by the one who beleived I could become the Jussack Father, when she told me to become a cheiftain.

My Mearad, the second most beautiful girl in the world.

Second only to my darling Hersa who, without Mearad, I would never have known. Never have loved.

A Jussack with a heart :')

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