A Very Frosty Education

Earlier this year, in Urlachmar, Father Ratanele of Saint Gathlyn’s Orphanage undertook the long journey to visit New Celest. He had made an appointment with Ayehenue, the Civic Engineer, who greeted him warmly by the Pool of Stars. The weary Father explained he felt compelled to travel so far to seek help from the kindred spirits of the Light for a remodeling and expansion project at the orphanage. The project was necessary because the recent level of turmoil and conflict in the Basin had left ever larger numbers of children orphaned, and the number of these orphans finding their way to Saint Gathlyn’s was higher than ever before. Even viscanti orphans from the Blasted Lands were showing up on their doorstep! No child in need would be turned away. Given the increased population, Father Ratanele and the staff felt the need to begin giving the children a more formal education. Hence, he came to seek out Ayehenue for her help in expanding the classroom.

As a group of Celestians, including Faragan Ladyn, Tridemon Regalis, Cienoa Re’Leo, Yinuish La’Saet, Romaan D’Varden, Auriella Zayah, and even King Aramantos Re’Leo, all gathered at the Pool to listen to Father Ratanele, so too did Yanitone Symfale, tutor of the Archons, make an appearance. Yanitone heard his friend and acquaintance was making a rare visit to the city, and quickly caught up to speed on the desired expansion of the orphanage’s offerings. With Ayehenue taking care of the construction, Yanitone asked, with a sparkle in his eye, if the assembled Celestians would want to come together to fund a gift for the orphanage in honor of their new classroom. The Celestians offered forth the requested commodities in no time at all, and Yanitone promised something special would come.

Ratanele’s last request for help was for someone to deliver a letter to a former inhabitant of the orphanage – one Seden, who apparently had applied himself to his studies and now lived the life of a scholar. Tridemon volunteered, if somewhat by accident, and set off to find the intended recipient while Ratanele slowly made his way back home. Tridemon eventually found the young scholar in the World Library. Though at first mildly irked at the commotion interrupting his studies, Seden read the message from Father Ratanele, and carefully considered the request. He was torn at first, for he promised himself as a child that he would work hard so that one day he could leave the orphanage, a place that reminded him of his painful past. But the direct request from Father Ratanele could not be refused, and so Seden acquiesced, asking for a final bit of peace in the library to finish his reading.

A few months later, Yanitone announced to the city that the gift was ready. King Aramantos, Herald Inagin, and Romaan assembled in front of the Archons’ guildhall to see how they could help, only to discover that a bout of heavy, manual labor was needed. Yanitone had the gift, disassembled and covered in a tarp, ready to go on a cart to the orphanage, but the cart required a team to push it (and was, quite unfortunatley, not outfitted to have a certain large mastiff help). After a bit of searching around for the final volunteer, Holy Prior Yinuish appeared to complete the crew, with Aeral Ladyn coming soon thereafter to lend moral support.

Alas, the start of the journey was complicated by some malfunctioning wheels, requiring a grumbling Yanitone to do a bit of mechanical fixing. The crew then set off – hampered slightly by some rough terrain on the highways and the mountains – and after much heaving and pushing, finally arrived in front of the classroom in the gardens of the orphanage. There, Seden, Ratanele, and Ayehenue greeted the crew and discovered what precious cargo was under the tarp: a carillon of bells to be installed in the new belltower of the classroom, to help summon children to class!

Ayehenue’s crew made short order of assembling the bell, and soon all had gathered in the belltower, urging Father Ratanele to do the honors of ringing the carillon for the first time for the orphanage’s first ever formal class. As Ratanele approached the instrument, however, an unnatural wind arose. The wind picked up speed, beginning to buffet the wary crowd, and then, all of a sudden, came a booming voice: the Frost Spite, making his displeasure sharply known. The nemesis of the orphanage boomed a warning loud enough for the whole Basin to hear, and laid a curse upon the carillon, freezing it in a layer of unnatural ice.

These events drew the attention of others around the Basin, and soon Exeryte Stormcrow, Xenthos An’Ryshe, Evette Stormcrow, Xiran Stormcrow and Huskii Myeras all appeared to investigate. Shaken but not badly injured, Father Ratanele and Seden asked the crowd to try working the carillon, wishing to persevere in their attempt to gather the young truants. After much effort, the bells did eventually ring and Romaan was able to bring the last missing student to class, allowing Seden to launch into his first lecture on modern history.

Though the commotion in the orphanage had a happy resolution, the Frost Spite was not one to be so easily defeated. Angered by the continued presence – now expanded – of the orphanage in his territory, the Frost Spite tried a different tactic for making his displeasure known: sending a snowstorm to rage across the Basin of Life. Thankfully, his powers were not at peak strength, and the snow he sent did not end up causing too much havoc, becoming instead a plaything, inspiring all to create all sorts of snow sculptures representing the life of their nations.