☀I was born in the frozen town of Gilsa, while rarely ever visited by outsiders it was still a large bustling hub for the folks who lived there. Considering that 7 months of the year Gilsa is all but near impossible to reach due to the horrible winter that shrouds over the town, it’s not hard to tell why no one ventured out there. Superstitions heavily influenced the culture and it always seemed as if everyone was on edge. Most parents tell their children not to stay up late or else a goblin will take them away, knowing well that it’s a lie, but in Gilsa the young and the old full heartedly believe those tall tales. The town folk didn’t like different things and if they found something that was abnormal it would be treated in an obviously different way. Without fail every year someone was stoned to death, beaten, burned, starved, or frozen… in short brutally murdered. I was only 8 but my age didn’t save me from the discrimination of the town or my own family.
I was naturally very drawn to magic and it also seemed, intelligence wise, I was surpassing the other children at a pace that allowed me to take some high school classes. I would hide away and watch the magic users in town and I slowly began to find out that I could learn the magic they used. All of the other 8-year-old kids were still enjoying their naivety; running around and playing games. I can still distinctively remember my mother, Abiel, begging me to play with the others and I honestly did try. However, I would always accidently conjure up a spell and their parents would usher them away whispering under their breath. It hurt because when it came to studies I could grasp the material with ease but with social interactions I just couldn’t seem to understand what to do. I hated it and I hated them; but for me studying and watching the magic users in Gilsa was much more fun than playing hide-n-seek.
One-day I was running home to my mother and I was very excited to show her what magic I had learned. When I conjured a pulsating hot flame in the palm of my hand she slapped me hard across my face and asked how and where I learned that. Holding my cheek tightly I answered her honestly; I was just able to do it if I put time into it. See typically, in Gilsa magic isn’t a part of everyday life. Only those who have ventured out and learned it have the acceptance of the town to use it. She was furious and dragged me inside the house covering me from prying eyes. My mother raised me by herself while my father traveled; selling hand crafted musical instruments. He was elusive and maybe once a year I would be able to see him. Looking back, I know my mother did the best she could to deal with me with what little she knew about the world of magic. After that day though I never truly felt the warmth of her love as I once did. If anything at all she began to treat me like every other person in town, cold, judgmental, and scared. I couldn’t understand why she reacted that way, why I had to hide the magic, why the other kids couldn’t play with me, what was wrong with me? It hurt and that hurt began to rot away at my heart; festering in the dark depths of myself. I couldn’t talk about any of this with my mother who I saw less and less of but I did have one person who I knew wouldn’t be afraid of me. I had a professor in high school who specialized in plant science; Mr. Borrick. He and I became quite close since instead of shunning my innate abilities he found them interesting and advised me to continue my self-improvement with magic; which I did. He saw something bright and wondrous instead of something dark and putrid. I continued to secretly watch and study the magic users, learning spell after spell and practicing in the woods behind my house. Mr. Borrick was a sweet old man who wasn’t native to Gilsa so at one point he too was also shunned from the towns folk but eventually earned their trust. He would always tell me that one day they would warm up to me too.
With all of the time I devoted to this study I began to be less and less a part of the town. That’s when the rumors started because while I forgot all about the ignorant people they however, didn’t forget about me. Whispers scattered through their mouths and my secret outings to the woods became known. Mr. Borrick suggested that I practice in his science lab so I wouldn’t cause any more gossip; which I did. A few months passed calmly and the coldest month of the year rolled its way around and froze the town into a hush. One very frigid day Mr. Borrick didn’t show up to class and wasn’t in his laboratory after school which happened time to time. Sitting down at a desk I was practicing a language spell called Tongues, when I heard footsteps come from the door. A woman’s screaming voice echoed in my mind accusing me of stealing magic and draining the magic energy from her and the other users since they had all fallen ill. She was void of the common knowledge that a harsh cold runs rampant through the town this time of the year. I could hear the fear in her shaky voice. She continued to threaten to rain hell down upon me if I didn’t give them their power back and leave them alone.
I was so baffled by the words spewing from the woman that I simply walked to the door and threw it open to see if she was real. There standing with the magic user was my mother, the town council, and a good 30 people crammed into the small high school hallway pushing their way to get a view of the drama. She continued to scream and I begged and pleaded that I hadn’t stolen anyone’s magic power but that I was just practicing what I had seen them do. No one was listening to me and I believe no one really had the intention of doing so, they only came with one purpose. The mayor stepped forward and said to me that if I insisted on being a plague and a nuisance to the town that he would take care of it. He slammed the door in my face and locked it with a loud click. I distinctly remember being so terrified of what he meant, there was nothing I could do since I hadn’t learned any spells that would help in a situation like this. Within a fraction of a second the lab sparked into a hot flame and inside my mind I heard the same women speak calmly. That I was something evil incarnate and that I should be exterminated like the illness I was. The flames crawled their way towards me and I screamed, I screamed and screamed for my mother to make them stop but I was never granted that.
As the smoke stung its way down my throat and filled my lungs I tucked my knees in tight to my chest and prayed. I prayed for the whole fucking town be ripped off of the face of the earth. I wanted, no, needed every living thing to be crushed till the snow was stained red. The infected darkness and hatred inside myself over flooded. My eyes burned and I my coughing began to spew a mucus… then nothing hurt anymore. It became freezing cold and I was no longer inside the lab but curled up in a frozen cave. Staring into the eyes of a giant with a white flowing beard who was sitting upon a chilled boulder. My breath escaped me in puffs of white and the giant stood, towering above me, and introduced himself as Thrym the god of frost giants and war. He told me he heard my plea and explained that this time of the year something called the Arcane Solstice allows the different plains to become “closer”. Also due to Gilsa’s location he had been particularly fond of watching over the inhabitants and found that my ability for magic could greatly service him in his end goal which I was never told about. He gave me 2 options one was that he could save me but in return I had to become a follower of his and walk the path of a cleric or I could be placed back into my realm and have my flesh burned away slowly. I smirked back to him that I didn’t just want him to save me but I wanted him to kill everyone, everyone who did me wrong, harassed me, judged me, whoever saw me unfit to live. He gave a large crooked smile and things became dark.
When I awoke I was sitting in an untouched lab. I ran to the door and threw it open and what was there could only be described as war zone and a massacre. Dead bodies were thrown askew in the snow still spurting blood. Organs and limbs decorated the white backdrop. There in the powder was a double-bladed axe stained red and written across the ice were the words “Take it and wait for my first instructions.”