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The Council of the Four Seasons

By wolfchic011

Fantasy / Adventure

Prologue - A Summer Storm

The troll named Goren was running so fast he was practically rolling. He dashed past the chapel and the meeting hall, trying his best not to curl up in a ball. If he did, he might inadvertently go into hibernation. He rounded the corner, hopping several times on his left foot to keep himself from falling over.

He knew he wasn't supposed to interrupt the Mistress's meditation but this was unprecedented. This could not go ignored.

After two more hallways, he finally skidded into the isolation room, his legs giving out underneath him so that he ended up slipping on his rocky rear end. He shot right past his meditating mistress and ended up having to claw at the ground to get himself to stop. He rolled several times ending up on his stomach.

"Theonia!" He called out towards the woman in the center of the room."Mistress, it's happened!"

The black-haired woman sitting cross-legged in the middle of the floor opened her eyes slowly, like an ember slowly breathing to life. "What." She stated simply, not even looking at him.

He scrambled back to his feet and gestured her to follow him. "Come! Look outside!"

She grabbed her cloak and hurried after him, fastening the billowing material around her neck as she went. He led her to the temple entrance, rolling a bit so he could keep up with her long strides. When they reached the entrance hall, Theonia went straight to the window. Her eyes were immediately drawn far to the east.

"A winter storm…?" It was the summer solstice. Theonia's grip tightened on the window sill. "Where is that place?" She asked, picking out a castle in the epicenter of the storm.

The troll rolled along the floor curled up in a ball and then sprang into the air, barely managing to catch himself on the edge of the windowsill. "I believe it is Arendelle, the castle on the fjord." He told Theonia as he scrambled back to his feet. "It is a small kingdom, peaceful but prosperous and notoriously secluded."

Theonia gazed out towards the miniscule castle in the distance as ice began to climb its many turrets and balconies. She turned to the troll just as he managed to gain a favorable footing on the window. "Goren! The scroll!"

Undeterred by the unfortunate timing, the tiny troll scampered away and raced over to an untidy bookshelf in the next room. From the very bottom shelf, he tugged on a long blue scroll until he finally freed it from under a stack of books.

Goren raced back to Theonia's side, crashing into the wall under the window and panting hard.

"Births in that kingdom on the summer solstice." She commanded, not sparing him a glance as she continued to watch the city.

The little rock man unfurled the scroll and peered carefully at the tiny moving writing.

"None today my lady." He replied, gasping to regain his breath.

"Check past years."

He diligently unfurled the scroll further. "None…none…none…oh wait!" He called as his eyes fell on one tiny name inscribed near the end. "Ah yes… there was one."

Theonia bristled. "Who?"

Goren glanced up at her. "My lady, this birth was twenty-one years ago…"

"Well, that's exactly how long we've been looking isn't it?"

Goren looked at the scroll again. "She's a princess…"

Theonia visibly froze. "…impossible…" Her eyes followed the howling storm winds for a full minute before she turned to Goren. "How long has the kingdom been sealed?"

"Fourteen years." Goren replied.

"That would make her…seven when she…"

The two of them turned back to Arendelle, watching the icy winds swirl and twist, gradually building so much that they obscured the castle from view. Theonia shivered visibly.

"'Winter's fury knows no master.'" The troll said softly from his perch on the windowsill. The long scroll had fallen behind him, unfurling across the floor.

"'Except the warmth that quells it faster.'" Theonia finished just as softly. She watched the swirling storm with a mixture of fear, awe and excitement. "Call to Scara and Garret," She told Goren. "we leave immediately."

A young man entered the room then, drenched in sweat and carrying a heavy axe effortlessly over one shoulder. "What's going on?" He asked, wiping his brow as he looked from Theonia to Goren to the scroll.

Theonia met his gaze, her eyes burning. "We've found her."

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