Chapter 1: The North

I do not know if this story has truly come to pass in exactly the manner in which universe amongst the countless ones this story should supposedly take place. I do not know if what I am telling is of truth. It may in part or the whole, be fabrication, nevertheless, this story should be told.

My soul is weary and my heart is broken by the world, and I know, that you, dear reader, that have grown tired of the countless facsimiles of the same tales and of the same heroes, old or new, being told and told over again in countless eras, and in many different mediums. Indeed, this tale if shown to a judging eye is a derivation of many other countless stories, but again, and I shall say it now matter how many times it need be, this story should be told, not because it is a derivative, not because it holds some fascinating characters, story, or world—indeed this world has been reused by countless other lesser weavers of tales—but because this tale rings dear to my heart. It screams and it pounds ceaselessly, day and night, as it yearns for the story to be put down, born out of the long count of tired years.

This story is not of the protracted and unending battle between good and evil, nor is it a tale between the struggle of three heroes, nor of two sides, nor the people who argue on and on about two sides of the same coin. This tale is simply a tale of two people. It is not known which day or month it was, but what can be assured that it was before the Great War in the cold East. Our story opens in a similarly cold place in the North, where thunder and lightning ride the clouds and roll upon the mountains, where cold air turns rivers to bridges, and where winds blow away the creations of Nature and Men alike, where Wintertime seemed harsher, and where Spring was even the more sweeter than all others in the world. T'was this place where the common stories of lore was born, and where our story begins.

One Wintertime, there was a man from an island in the East who once dwelt in a Great City of White. He, like many others of his race, was of black hair, and complexion. But he was lean and tall, and had strong body, and his face showed a hidden fierceness in them, and for good reason. It was because he left the White City, for it gave him great distress. There was once was a woman, not a lover, but more like blood. They shared the same family, and had great intellect far above any normal Men, but this where their similarities end. For though the man used his great mind for the benefit of the living and the nurturing of children, the woman and the many, if not all of his family, used theirs for what any normal Men might call Evil. Malice born out of their mind, their very nature was to stretch the limits of the human Mind and of decency, and it is in their very nature to do anything that would reap the most Evil. Perhaps it was not the City he was running from, but from himself, though only he can answer this question. He had done good apart from his family, and it maybe the very reason for the woman's scorn upon him, forcing him to do an evil act in order to do good, it maybe the very reason for his fall, a fall that he himself choose to do. For even if he was hailed as a savior, he still chose evil, a deed he can never forgive even if it was himself. And so he fell, and the man planned to revenge against the woman. But he knew he could not beat her in the way he wanted to. And so, the man travelled the World over for the power that would allow him too. He travelled and travelled and had come upon the North, where Wintertime was at her fiercest.

There were talks among the locals that a legendary being with wealth and power beyond their knowing laid deep in the mountains, still searching for gold. And so he went to see the being, despite the locals protest, for they do not want the being to put a curse on them for leading an outsider to the being, rather than genuine concern for the man's life. But the man cared not for their concerns, and in the cover of twilight, left the village, as the storm has passed for now, and his life was in danger, and he did not care to take another other than the woman whom he seek to revenge. And so he left. A fool he was, but a brave fool nonetheless, and his Mind made up for what he lacked, especially strength against the cold.