The Council of the Four Seasons

Chapter 13 - A Storm on the Horizon

It had been storming all afternoon.

Anna rested her head against the glass, watching the clouds shift and tumble, rain lashing down on the quiet little town below the castle.

She was in her father’s study, the only room in the house where she could escape from the constant demands of being Arendelle’s Acting Reagent. Few people thought to look for her in here. Those that did knew better than to bother her right now.

Lightning flashed outside and she recoiled instinctively. Her heart raced, silently counting down until the booming crash echoed around the castle, rattling the window with its intensity.

Twelve…the same it’s been for the last hour…

Anna took a few deep breaths, concentrating on the rain sluicing down the window and the hazy town beyond. She was alright. It was just a little storm…

A furious little Autumn storm that refused to let up…

The study was quiet and calm, a hopeless wish for what Anna wanted the weather to be doing right now. Her only companions: a cup of cold cocoa and a small plate of biscuits sat forlornly on the desk, a gentle reminder to herself that she should be eating, even if she wasn’t the slightest bit hungry.

A tiny sigh escaped her as she watched the storm. Why did she decide she had to face this alone?

“Princess?” She turned to the soft voice, trying to mask her fear with surprise at the interruption. Ichtaca stood quietly beside the sliding bookcase that hid a passageway down to her mother’s garden. He was as always, impeccably dressed in his palace uniform, his hands folded politely behind his back. If Anna hadn’t known the Informer, she would have assumed he was just another palace page boy, perhaps even the Head Page.

The spy offered her a calm smile. “You called me, mum?” He always called her that, no matter how many times Anna asked him not to.

Anna smiled at him, but the action felt forced. “Yes, Ichtaca. How is the search going?”

“We’ve got all our ears open.” He replied. “Dagrun’s got the boys at the public library combing the records. If there’s anything in there about others like Elsa, we’ll find it.”

The princess crossed the room, leaning against the front of her father’s mahogany desk that had not been used in years. “That was not the search I was referring to.” Anna told him, not unkindly. Elsa preferred not to use this room for her work as Queen. She would never say why.

Ichtaca’s smile fell away and he lowered his head.

“There is still no sign of Reba?” Anna guessed gently.

The boy shook his head. “No mum, we’re doing all we can but she’s gone missin’. Dropped right off the map and no one seems ta have saw her go.”

Lightning flashed behind Anna again and she gripped the wood under her hands tightly. “You really have no idea where she might be?” She asked, forcing her voice to stay calm as she silently counted. One…two…three…

“Can’ say that I do, mum.” Ichtaca replied. “Reba knows this city bettern’ me. If she wanted ta disappear, she could.”

As he finished speaking, Anna hit the count of twelve and like a chiming clock, the thunder rippled across the land.

“And what of Christian and Lord Wilfred?” She asked, silently willing her heart to please slow down.

But as her Informer opened his mouth to reply, a crash resounded through the study. Only this one came not from the storm outside but from the doorway.

Both Anna and Ichtaca jumped as the commanding presence of Wulfric, the captain of the Arendelle guards burst into the room.

“My lady Anna, so sorry for the intrusion…” The muscular man paused, one hand on his sword hilt as he bowed quickly and respectfully to Anna who quickly stood up and tried to look regal or at least not frightened.

The Captain was a powerfully-built man with muscle bulging from his shoulders and arms leading down to a trim waist. Despite his brutish appearance, Wulfric was a calm, rational and as loyal a man as Arendelle could produce. All throughout the Great Freeze, he had never ceased or wavered in his service to his country and his queen. For that simple fact, Anna trusted him completely.

Wulfric seemed startled to find a child in the room with Anna, one thick eyebrow arching in confusion as he looked at the Informer. Without missing a beat, Ichtaca lowered his head and backed into the corner, like an obedient messenger boy waiting to be dismissed. The Captain blinked but seemed to think nothing else of the boy. He turned back to the Princess, bowing his head slightly and placing one fist over his heart in a gesture of respect.

“Your highness, a ship has entered our harbor. It flies the flag of the Southern Isles.”

Anna went rigid. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw her Informer stiffen as well. Lightning flashed again outside.

“Is it a merchant vessel?” Anna asked, as calmly as she could muster.

Captain Wulfric shook his head. “No my lady, it…” He paused and drew a deep breath. “It is a war ship.”

Anna’s mind raced. She didn’t even notice when the thunder crashed outside. She could feel both the Captain’s and Ichtaca’s eyes on her. Waiting for her decision.

The weight of her situation hit her hard. No one else was here. Arendelle was facing a crisis and it all came down to her. Anna’s hand instinctively went to her hip but the sword wasn’t there. She couldn’t exactly wear it when acting as a diplomat.

Thunder rumbled again outside, startling Anna from her panicked thoughts. For once in her life, she was grateful for the interruption.

“Send an armed escort to Prince Christian’s quarters.” She told the Captain, surprised to find not the slightest waver in her voice. “He does not leave to speak to the ship without them accompanying him. Lord Wilfred is still here correct?”

Wulfric nodded curtly, not noticing Ichtaca’s mirroring action over by the wall. “I believe so my lady…”

“Detain him in his quarters,” Anna commanded, “he does not leave until I speak to him. Assemble as many troops as we can spare and send them down to the docks. Prepare defenses in case they try to fire or invade the shoreline. Your prime directive is to keep the people safe, do you understand?”

The Captain seemed startled that such strategic orders were coming out of the mouth of the girl who had once accidentally wounded five of his best soldiers when she had attempted to swing from the chandelier to the banister and miscalculated completely. But his professionalism won in the end and he bowed and made his exit.

Anna turned back to Ichtaca, her heart racing again. She swallowed hard. “You know what to do?” She asked him.

The boy nodded, seeming a little pale. “I’ll go find Dagrun, we’ll have every Informer in the city ready to lead people out if we have to. And we’ll get a dock-hand near that ship right away.”

Anna nodded weakly. “Then go. Be careful.”

Ichtaca flashed her a smile that lacked its usual calm reassurance and slipped out behind the bookcase again.

Anna turned back to the window, arms tightening around herself. The study was cool and empty, even more so than it had seemed before the news had arrived.

Lightning flashed again and her grip tightened. The storm was picking up, leaves were whirling in tight spirals and rain pelted the windows. It was odd though, these clouds seemed to be stuck in one place. Anna cocked her head to the side, observing the sky through the curtains of rain. There was no wind pushing them, nothing to push them past Arendelle and out across the fjord. Instead the clouds hung over the kingdom, pouring out rain and colliding endlessly in sharp bursts of light and sound.

The thunder came, ever-reliably 12 seconds after the flash and Anna was instantly reminded of hazy memories of crawling into her sister’s bed during storms, clutching the cool body next to her with trembling hands. Pleading quietly for the scary storm to stop.


Elsa had always found peace in the lightning. Somehow, the sharp cracks of light and the rumbling boom of the thunder brought a deep calm to her features, a calm that she had always effortlessly projected onto her frightened little sister.

Anna shivered, trying to imagine her sister ‘s comforting words from so long ago.

They are just playing a game, Anna. The thunder is chasing his brother the lightning but his brother is too quick. Just a harmless game, we wouldn’t want to spoil it for them by being scared would we?

Anna wasn’t scared of the thunder or his faster brother. She had never been scared so long as Elsa was there to remind her why it wasn’t scary. But she was terrified of the storm brewing on Arendelle’s horizon. She was terrified of facing this storm alone.

“Elsa…where are you?” She whispered as the rain and dead leaves battered the windows. “When are you coming back?”

At another window, Christian watched the ship that signified the start of change drop its anchor. It was small for a warship but the cargo more than made up for what it lacked in size. Months of planning were finally about to pay off. But several key pieces were still missing. If they did not arrive in time, all this could very quickly go to hell.

The Southern Isles prince curled his hand into a fist, trying desperately to keep his temper and nerves in check.

“Your plan better work little brother…” He said softly. “too much is at stake for you to fail again.”

The Mother was weeping the loss of her finest Guardian. At least, that was what the Head Councilor preferred to think.

Logically, Theo knew that the world did not mourn the loss of the Guardian the same way it might the death of a powerful host. But the logical part of her had been smothered by the weight of recent events.

As the autumn rain pounded down outside the temple, she descended alone into the bowels of the ancient building, clutching a haphazardly wrapped bundle to her chest. Branna lit a few of the torches as they passed, more out of sympathy than the need for light. Theo didn’t need the light to make her way down here. She knew the way even in the dark.

Her footsteps echoed deafeningly on the stone steps as she descended the ancient stairwell to the very center of the foundation. Instead of a thick cornerstone, the building opened up into a large space supported by thick arches and unbreakable pillars. Here, was the Hall of the Guardian.

In a rare break from the norm, Branna said nothing. But the legend stored in the spirit’s mind filtered into Theo’s mind anyway and consumed her consciousness: The Guardian was not a child of the Mother but he was still a spirit of her realm. There, he had been the fiercest of warriors, unmatched in battle and valor. In the time before the spirits were banished from their home realm, he had descended to the Earth, bent on finding a worthy opponent to test his skills and prove his invincibility. Instead, he met the Sorcerer. In a game of deceit and trickery, the Sorcerer had stolen the source of the Guardian’s power and pride: his beloved sword. The spirit died but his powers lived on in the body of the Sorcerer, who wielded the sword as his birthright, earning a place among the warriors of the world as a respected general. He had once been ruthless and cruel, using his stolen power as a means to dominate the humans of his time. But that all changed when the seasons were banished.

The Mother came to him at that time, sending him a dream that tormented him for weeks. Finally, he left his kingdom, climbing high into the mountains with only the sword on his back, trying to escape the thoughts that kept him from sleep. At the summit of the West Mountain, he found four children. Four baby girls.

The legend was sketchy at that point, (Branna had just taken a human host for the first time and was sleeping) but the outcome was clear.

The sorcerer who had stolen the power of a warrior had an inexplicable change of heart. He placed his sword in the ground, gathered the babes to his chest and sat there protecting them. They became his girls: Erin of Summer, Kaya of Autumn, Ileana of Winter and Ava of Spring.

With the wealth he had selfishly acquired, he built them a temple among those mountains that was of the Mother’s design.

He lived a long, full life, protecting his girls selflessly, without a thought of his power or the kingdom he had abandoned. When the time came for him to die, the Mother came to him once again. He did not beg for forgiveness for his crime or appeal based on his repentance, rather, he asked to stay behind purely for her daughters, the hosts he had come to love as his own. Moved by his transformation, the Mother granted his wish.

His soul was to be reincarnated each generation, just as the hosts were. Only he would be completely human, blessed by the Mother’s Grace to grant him powers in his mortality. His face and mannerisms may change but he would always be there. Protecting his charges in all of his lives.

In that way, the Guardian never truly died.

It was a truth that brought little comfort to Theo.

The hall was dark and still, shrouded in tranquility and obscurity just as the Guardian himself had always been.

Placing the bundle on the ground, Theo gently reached into it and withdrew the Guardian’s broadsword. The sword of the great warrior spirit, stolen by the Sorcerer. Wielded by her first friend.

With slow steps, she crossed the hall until she reached the center of the room. Waiting for her, was a pedestal of pure black basalt with a single slit in the top. In the dim light, it shone with a dark kind of power. The sword responded to its presence, the edges of the blade glowing with soft white light and the handle vibrating slightly.

Theo closed her eyes, drawing in a deep breath that barely seemed to fill her weighted chest. She raised Garret’s sword, the one he’d used to bond with all of them. Her arms trembled at the weight.

The Guardian’s Rites had not been performed in nearly thirty generations of hosts. The previous Guardians had had better successes prolonging their lives during their duties or had completed the Rite themselves when they had failed to do so. It was only rarely that such a tragedy as the Guardian dying nobly during his service occurred. When that happened, it was the duty of the Head Councilor to carry out the Rite.

Branna knew the words and she fed them to her host with the barest hints of remorse.

“Great Mother,” Theo began in a soft voice, straining to hold the sword aloft. It was far heavier than it looked. “your loyal servant has returned to your embrace. He fought well, honorable to the end, protecting his charges with his very life,” A tear escaped and ran down her cheek. “…just as he promised. May you grant him the rest and peace he deserves before he takes up his task once more in a new form.”

She slid the sword smoothly back into its pedestal, where it would remain until the next incarnation of the Guardian realized his birthright and came to receive the Mother’s Blessing. In the meantime, the hosts were left to defend themselves.

Reunited with the sword, both began to glow with the soft white light that had filtered from the blade. The glow filled the room with a gentle, calming light. Turning away from the abandoned weapon, Theo crossed back to the bundle on the floor and unwrapped it completely. Then she picked up the axe and made her way further down the corridor.

While the sword was their main weapon, each Guardian chose an additional weapon to represent him in the mythology of his predecessors, as a way of distinguishing and cataloging each of his lives.

Garret’s had been his axe.

At the end of the hall was a simple wooden door inlaid with a simple inscription written in a long-dead language. The Guardian’s Oath. Theo paused in front of it, her fragile hold on her emotions rapidly weakening.

She’d spent many hours down here, in this hall by herself when she was younger and the world less complicated. Theo didn’t know what it was, but being around the history of Garret’s legacy was always comforting to her. Maybe it was just the knowledge that he had all that experience buried within him from his previous incarnations that he was using to protect them. And the knowledge that he was waiting for her back upstairs in the light.

Theo’s grip on the axe tightened and she choked back a sob.

Never again would he be there to greet her. He wouldn’t even be there when she died. He’d be reborn as another, with little to nothing of his past life left in his new body. A stranger filling the role of her dearest friend.

She pushed open the door.

Beyond it lay the vault of past Guardians. All that remained of the many incarnations of the Sorcerer.

The summer host entered the memorial, her footsteps echoing on the stone floor. Branna breathed life into the torches on the wall, illuminating what lay on the floor of this room.

Pressing a soft kiss to the handle of the axe, Theo placed it gently in the vault, in line with the descending spiral of the weapons of the previous Guardians: the bow of the previous Guardian, the dual knives of his predecessor, the boomerang of his predecessor, the spear of his predecessor and so on and so forth stretching back centuries, right down to the gauntlets of the first Guardian, Bartholomew the Unconquerable who had stolen from the gods.

Here lay the ever-expanding map of the sacrifices the Guardians had made. Here was the only record of their legacy. They were never mentioned in legends in order to keep this final defense of the spirits protected. And so they died as they had lived: anonymous, mourned only by the all-too-human hosts who had to hold the grief of their loss.

It was too much for Theo.

The sand trickled into her hands but she could not summon the heat to melt it into glass. She did not want to return here. This place held nothing for her without her Guardian.

The summer host fell to her knees, the sand swirling slowly around her as the tears freely fell. She could feel his hand brushing her cheek again, hear him struggling to say his final words… No… she tried with every ounce of her will to push the memory away, to bury as deeply as possible so it would stop tormenting her. As her other defenses fell in favor of fighting this battle, other repressed memories pushed their way forward, clamoring for prominence in her consciousness as she sat there helplessly in her sorrow.

The angry face of her father, nursing yet another burn……Get out! Get out you devil-spawn! You’re going to hurt him…!...The sneer of an ice harvester as he shoved her harshly to the ground……mark my words, that girl is unlucky…she’ll ruin us all…The suffocating clarity of slipping under the ice…you cannot die yet, my host…The first friendly face she’d seen since Antony had left her…I’m Garret. I think I’m supposed to stay with you. Unforgiving, ancient stone walls, silently watching them. A cheerful smile throwing light against them…This will be our home now…you two will be my girls and I’ll be your Guardian.

The sand stung her eyes. “It’s not home without you…”

Garret had been forged in her fire back in those woods. Rescuing her from her own blaze had solidified his place in her life as the Guardian. Now, his body drifted as ash on the wind, courtesy of that same fire. He’d left nothing behind in this large empty hall of stone, nothing that could provide a suitable substitute for his comforting embrace, his aggravating humor and his infinite wisdom.

Just like that cabin in the furthest corner of her memory and the icy lake where Antony had breathed his last, this home too had gone up in flames.

Elsa had always dealt with grief one way: by running and hiding from it and the inevitable backlash of her powers. But this time, there was something that made it impossible for her to curl up in a ball and cry.

Perhaps it was the crippling shame.

Elsa walked down the long corridors of the temple, not caring that she was getting herself hopelessly lost. Nothing seemed to matter much right now. She turned left again to find yet another unrecognizable corner leading down another non-descript hallway lit by tiny floating globes of fire. It was like being trapped in a maze.

The trip back north to the temple had been a tense, silent affair. She and Scara had had to drag Theo away from the castle as it burned behind them, Elsa clearing a path with her ice and Scara using vines to pull the ice block that was Hans along.

They’d had to leave the body behind.

Elsa had formed a large ice platform and, with help from Scara, a strong breeze to take them North. Theo had collapsed on the ice, Garret’s weapons falling from her grip in order to run her hands all over the flawless surface absently, like a child.

Elsa had found it hard to watch her.

Even though she was the one steering, Elsa had not made the journey she really wanted to. So the group had skirted the edge of Arendelle and vanished into the mountains as the sunlight faded once more, plunging them into darkness. But even in the pitch darkness of a starless night, Elsa had found her way to the temple. She suspected Isen might have finally lent some form of help in the journey, although inside, she felt nothing. The guilt would not let her.

He died defending me.

Every time that simple truth came to mind, it was like a punch in the stomach.

She hadn’t known her Guardian for very long but he had effortlessly slid his way into her life, providing her with a sense of comfort and stability as her entire world shifted around her. He was a rock, a calm and reassuring presence amid tumultuous times. A keystone in an archway.

And because of her, that support was gone. For all of them.

So now Elsa wandered aimlessly, desperately trying to stop remembering the plume of smoke that had been the Guardians’ funeral pyre. She turned down yet another hallway, taking the staircase that she found blocking her path down into the depths of the temple. Snow crystals followed her, perhaps unconsciously leaving her a trail to follow.

Elsa ran a hand along the wall as she descended the stairs. Being back in the temple was odd, but in no way comforting. It still felt like a prison. Ice spread where her hand touched the stone but she did not will it away.

At the base of the staircase, she found a corridor marked only by several nondescript doors and a stone wall closing off the far end. Nowhere else to go.

Unwilling to climb the stairs again, Elsa chose a door at random and stepped through it.

Her first impression was that it was empty. But a few seconds later, her eyes adjusted and she could make out the contents of the room. A small sleeping pad that had clearly seen better days spread out in one corner. An ancient, thin bookshelf craning under the weight of several dozen books. A few hooks on the wall where several rags and spare black tunics hung limply.

Although there was absolutely nothing distinguishing about it, Elsa just knew: This was Garret’s room.

She stepped inside, her feet making a quiet tapping sound on the stone underneath. The room was dim and dark, as if nothing had lived here for decades. But there was no dust anywhere, a weak but distinct scent clung to the air. Elsa could imagine the Guardian coming up behind her, making a comment about his “humble abode” and asking her what was on her mind.

The feeling was so strong that she had to turn around to remind herself that he was not there. He was gone.

Her foot hit something and she looked down. A book sat next to Garret’s pillow, a tiny scrap of parchment sticking out of it to mark his place. Swallowing hard, Elsa leaned over and picked up the book, turning it over to read the title.

The Price of Penalty by Edwin the Wise. The book he'd borrowed from her library all those months ago.

He’d never finished it.

Ice crept along the cover and for a moment, Elsa found she could not will it away. Tucking the book under her arm, she left the room and closed the door softly, as if afraid to disturb what little of Garret’s calm, protecting presence remained in the place of his dwelling.

Back in the hallway, Elsa turned left and continued further into the depths of the temple. It was cool down here. A pleasant chill oozed from the walls, as if she had already coated them in ice. Reveling in the comfort of a foreign cold and running her fingers over the cover of the borrowed book, Elsa let her feet carry her to the door at the furthest end of the hall without thinking.

A door that had been hidden behind a false stone wall that she could not possibly have known about.

She did not remember the feel of the knob in her hand but suddenly she found herself in another room.

Much like the Guardian’s humble abode, the room before her was devoid of any form of furniture or material comforts. The walls were made of stone, dank and dark in the half-light provided by a single slit window at the northern corner of the room. Opposite the door, a large faded curtain covered a sizable portion of the wall.

For a moment, Elsa was reminded of her meditation space in the Arendelle dungeons and she shuddered.

The only thing that made this room more comforting was something that should have made it less welcoming: It was noticeably colder in here than it had been in Garret’s room.

Elsa took a step closer and felt a sudden icy draft upon her face. She blinked in surprise. The air wasn’t coming from the direction of the window or even the door…

The cold was coming from whatever was under that sheet.

She crossed the room in two hurried strides, coming to stand before the drab curtain hanging limply across the stone wall. The cold intensified, so much so that it would have been intolerable to anyone but her. Before her better judgment could kick in, Elsa yanked the cover away and threw it to the side.

She froze.

It was a mirror. An enormous slab of paper-thin ice that reflected the room and her own form with the precision of polished silver. It seemed to be hanging by itself in mid-air, not quite touching the wall behind it or the floor below it.

The book slid from her hands and fell to the floor with a dull thud. Elsa barely noticed. She stepped forward and gazed at her reflection. Her usual desire to evade the sight was gone, buried by some long-suppressed desire to remember what she looked like…to See again…

“Seers need a Portal…this one can be yours.”

It is just my ice, child.

“It is no different from a mirror…look into it…tell me what you see….I made it just for you…” The body smiled. “Maybe it will show you your home…”

The body looked up, into eyes that were painfully icy-blue and deeper than the ocean…

Vision returned in a rush. She could See again:

…A young woman all alone in the dark, her hands over her ears, tears spilling down her face…

You are home now my child. You must lead this Council as all your predecessors have.

The child violently shook her head. “No, why me?”

You were chosen, Theonia. It is your destiny to take this path. My Daughters need you in this time of change…

“How can I save them…?”……

Something new swam across her vision, dancing in her peripherals……A newborn with hair as black as night and hands that called the fire…a familiar soul that burned in her gaze…ragged breathing of one she had loved…

“I see you’ve found Isen’s mirror.”

Elsa snapped back to the present, her eyes skittered guiltily away from the mirror as if she had been doing something wrong. She turned to see Goren watching her from the door. “What is this?” She asked the troll, trying to get her heart rate back under control.

“It’s called Isen’s Mirror of Truth.” Goren said, rolling forward to stand next to Elsa. “Like Død’s Blade of Death it holds properties of the spirit’s power.” He gazed at his own reflection for a moment but, unlike Elsa, appeared to see nothing but himself.

“Do Branna and Livet have objects as well?” Elsa asked, curious.

The troll looked up at her and she could see his breath billowing in the cold projected by the mirror. “Yes.” He answered her. “Branna’s is the Quill of Wisdom which is kept under lock in the library for inscribing the scriptures. Only Summer’s host can write with it and record the ancient legends, records and secrets. Livet’s object is…harder to keep a hold of. Hers is the Flower of Healing and it pops up wherever it likes, usually independent of the host’s discretion, during the lull between each generation of hosts. Its power can be harnessed by any who know the Song. The host can find it and teach the song if they so wish.”

“And Hans’ sword?”

Goren shuddered and took a step away from the mirror. But Elsa suspected his discomfort had less to do with his proximity to the mirror and more to do with the topic of their conversation. “The Blade can only be conjured from the Mother’s Realm by a powerful host of Død. It’s the ultimate weapon, killing all with a single touch. The Mother forbade Death from carrying it in human form unless approved by the Head Councilor. And usually it’s never able to be harnessed properly without Livet’s Flower nearby.”

Elsa turned back to the mirror, carefully avoiding looking at her own reflection this time. “What about this then?” She asked, gesturing at it.

“It has been a permanent fixture here since Ileana conjured it into being from the Mother’s Realm.” Goren told her. “It is said that only the strongest of Isen’s hosts could gaze into the mirror and see the Truths of the Mother.”

Elsa turned to look at him. “The what?”

“The hidden truths that drive the cycle and reveal the unknown future.” The troll replied, his eyes glowing in wonder. “Isen was a Seer, the first and most powerful of those who saw the past, present and future. When she chose to come to this realm, her power dimmed but this mirror allows the host to unlock that power if they wish. All you have to do is look into it.”

Elsa took a half step away from the enchanted ice. A Seer? The chance to see past, present and future? “So why hasn’t Theo forced me to look into this?”

Goren’s smile faded. “She doesn’t know it’s here.” He said simply.

Elsa was surprised at his nonchalance. “You haven’t told her?”

“It would only drive her crazy.” The troll replied. “Ileana created this and kept it secret from all but the trolls. Even Erin was not told. All the legends of its existence say Isen conjures a shadow of it in all her ice in times of great changes to try to see what truths she can. The scriptures make no record of this room or the fact that the Mirror is a physical object.” He gazed around the room, his eyes settling on the tiny window. “This is Isen’s Scrying room, a place only hosts of Isen and the trolls have entered. When Isen is Head Councilor, she typically leads her host down here on the Winter Solstice to gaze into the Mirror. Then they See.” He turned to Elsa and smiled expectantly at her. “Did she lead you here?”

Elsa flinched. “No, I just…” She looked up into the reflection again. Her own piercing blue eyes staring hauntingly back at her. “I just found it…”

“What do you see?” The troll asked eagerly, padding up next to her.

Elsa stared at the polished, perfect surface, the portal for the Seer to see hidden truths and the cycle of fate. She looked into eyes too familiar to be strong. Piercing icy-blue eyes deeper than an ocean…“I see nothing.” The queen replied flatly. “Just my reflection.”

“That isn’t nothing.” Goren tried to reassure her.

Elsa turned away from the mirror. “Yes, it is.”

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