Title: Ice Prince
Settings:Somewhere in the coldest part of the South Pole, a castle made of ice and snow hidden by blizzards and snow storms.
Summary: Yes, the guardians have heard of him. With hair as white as snow, skin as pale as the moon, eyes as blue as the sky: he was the legendary Ice Prince put to sleep by Old Man Winter 300 years ago. And now MiM wants the guardians to simply go and wake him up? Wait… why?
"What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness."
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
Chapter 1 "Old Man Winter"
Black stood out against the pristine white in alarm. Tendrils of something dark, of something evil crept up in the cold palace as it slowly surrounded the quiet place of seclusion. The howling winds, usually so noisy in this time of the year were mournfully quiet, the animals that live near the castle of strength were nowhere to be found.
The atmosphere was eerie and silent, the coldness was bone-chilling and unnatural, which was something to say in the castle made of ice and snow.
Old Man Winter was hurrying about the hallways. He looked old, so so old but regal as well. His hair was light black with streaks of grey, lips unnaturally blue but it looked fitting with his pale white skin. He had a robe around his shoulders covering impressive blue and silver robes that shined when the moon's light reached it, signifying his status in the natural order. In his hand, with delicate frosts spread out intricately in its wood, was an old shepherd's staff that radiated power.
Known as the King of Ice and Snow amongst the spirit, the old man did not only reign over all that was cold, he was also the leader among the seasonal spirits under Mother Nature. Despite being the harbinger of coldness, Winter was surprisingly warm, charismatic, and he was loved by all who knew him.
"Please let him be alright…" Winter prayed as he hastened his steps, the speed creating thicker trails of frost in his wake. His brilliant blue eyes, which had been dulling through the years, were narrowed and sharp, as he took a turn and stopped in front of ice made doors.
A silent gasp echoed throughout the expanse of the hallway as Winter looked up at the dark tendrils decorating the light blue hue. If he hadn't known this door for years, he would have thought that the black was a part of design, curling at the edge and spreading out of the door's hinges.
But he knew that the black should not and could not be here!
Slamming the staff on the floor in panic, frosts spread about the floor when the old but powerful object made contact. A harsh wind with snow and ice pushed towards the door in response to the old man's panic, and as though it was something merely made out of weak plastic, the door was thrown out of its hinges and into the room before him.
"Oh my, look who's impatient?"
"Pitch." The name came out as a hiss from his lips while he growled lowly at the dark man before him. He sounded like one of the arctic wolves he had known and cared for near the castle. He sounded cold and menacing.
"Ah, old friend! How nice to see you have not lost that feral look on your face. It always warms my heart to see you so agitated." He sighed as he ran long fingers through his dark robes.
"What, are you doing here? You are not welcomed in my palace!" Winter said as he brandished his staff threateningly at the boogeyman before him.
"Oh? I must have missed the sign that ban me from ever coming to this place." Pitchiner shrugged as he looked about the white walls. "Nice place by the way, although I think it needs a bit more darkness to set off the mood."
"Stop changing the subject!" There was a gust of strong wind but Pitch smiled when he felt the hesitance behind the power. "Tell me what you are doing in this specific room."
The dark-haired man smirked as he glided towards the King who stepped back in caution. "Well, you know how fast word spreads in our word. I heard something about you… Something about you 'adopting' a son."
Winter froze as he saw Pitch vanish before him. He felt a presence not far and he knew the dark spirit had reappeared behind him, on his shadow.
"And he's not just any winter sprite, oh no. I heard that he is known as the 'Ice Prince'. A winter sprite with powers that can rival your own! Turned by the man in the moon himself! Now, isn't that interesting?"
Winter shivered but it wasn't from the cold. He could feel long fingers on the back of his head, taunting him, his worst fears coming true. Pitch didn't come to the palace for him. "I-I don't know what you're talking about."
"But I'm sure you do."
There was suddenly a muffled scream and Winter turned sharply, just as Pitch vanished behind him. Blue eyes widened however, when they met with wide and vibrant electric blue eyes. A figure of a teen registered in his mind. The boy was at least ten feet from him. The teen who was barely eighteen was being strangled by the dark tendrils he had seen on the door.
Winter's eyes widened.
"JACK!" Old Man Winter stood up from his throne in panic. Dull blue eyes were looking around wildly as he felt his heart slowing down when they eyes found nothing. He sighed tiredly as he sat back down on his throne.
His face was old. Older than the one in his memory. Ever since that fateful encounter with the boogeyman, the once powerful King of Snow and Ice had been plagued by nightmares. His hair which used to be black was completely white now, emphasizing the old and worn out look on his face.
Three hundred years of nightmares, three hundred years of being alone in his big but empty castle. Winter was already at his limit. Already he could feel his power slowly draining from him along with his life force.
"Jack…" He whispered and his eyes shifted from the spot on the floor to a coffin made of ice and glass not far.
Standing up, the old man gripped his staff with shaking hands as he leaned against it. The once vibrant glowing of his most powerful weapon had also dwindled down to signify how powerless he was getting.
Taking small steps, Winter made his way to the coffin.
Wind blew lightly into the castle, ruffling the white-haired old man's hair in silent comfort as he stopped and looked down into the person lying in the cold container.
A young face of a boy greeted his sight.
The boy was barely eighteen, with hair as white as fresh snow, lips as blue as Winter's, and skin as pale as the moon in a dark but starry night.
And Winter knew, that if the boy could- or would- open his eyes, he would see the most vibrant blue.
Placing a shaking hand onto the cold surface, Winter closed his eyes tiredly. "I do not have much time left." His eyes opened as he looked out of the window and right at the moon. "I have been suffering in silence for the past three hundred years, always alone. I think the time for me to leave is at hand."
The light from the moon began to shine brighter at what he said, but it was a sad light that washed over his old features.
"I may be immortal, my friend, but my powers are not endless. I can no longer keep my Jack asleep. Not for long anyway. And when I have vanished along with my powers, Jack will awaken. But who will protect him from Pitch? Who can save him?" Winter said in a long and tired sigh.
The moonlight became brighter and for a moment, Winter shared a silent conversation with Manny who whispered in his thoughts.
"Aye, the guardians." Winter shook his head as his blue eyes became distant. "Oh I remember those four, they are indeed good people. Will you entrust my Jack to them?"
There was silence but Winter seemed to take that as a 'yes'. "Very well. I will trust my son's safety into your hands Manny. I will entrust my Jack to them as well."
Another silence in the air, but it was clear the moon was conversing.
"I can last until tomorrow morning. It's best to send them here as soon as possible." Suddenly a dark shadow appeared at the corner of his eyes. Winter swiftly pointed his staff at the dark shadow as something blue erupted from it and hit the moving shadow.
A whine of pain echoed throughout the chambers.
Winter panted lightly as he clutched his staff closer to him, his hands were shaking badly now and his eyes were duller, taking on a milky blue hue. "O-Only until tomorrow."
And that's when the moon said no more.