After the Credits roll…
Belinda Frost walked out from the igloo. She was dressed in fur robes and carried a heavy bundle of firewood towards the fire pit. She laid it down, and lifted up the first of the pieces of wood. Dropping it down, the fire pit crackled to life again.
From across the snow a single mound moved through the snow towards her with the speed of a predator. It weaved past obstacles coming to a stop a few feet behind the former merc. Finally a white fur head popped up, giving her a greedy looking smile.
Belinda Frost looked over and smiled at the little face in the snow.
“How goes the hunt, Snowy Touch?” asked Belinda throwing another log on the fire.
“When I lived among the Hobtla Mag’ol I always dreamed of seeing wood like this,” said the white fur Olgog, “But I never imagined burning it for heat.”
“Unless you know some Fire Leyas,” said Belinda, “Its the only way we are going to cook dinner.”
The white fur olgog lifted up a corpse of a Tsoga. The beast had a head very similar to a crocodile with eyes and ears that looked more wolf-like, with a wolf-like body with webbed paws. It was massively muscled, and Snowy Touch had a wound on his shoulder that bled freely.
“A Tsoga? Aren’t these creatures sacred to the Baribur?” asked Belinda.
“They hunt Snowy Touch, so Snowy Touch hunt them,” smiled the white fur showing teeth filed to points, “They stay away, Snowy Touch stay away.”
“Yes, indeed,” she said, converting her own life force to heal the wound. Flesh was restored, fur had grown back, and the broken bone underneath knitted.
“Thank you,” said the Olgog. Using his now operable opposing hand to to begin stripping the flesh and fur from the Tsoga there was an odd irony to his action. Finally with a pile of steaming hides next to him, he began passing Belinda strips of muscle meat. She stuck them on sticks and planted the opposite end into the snowy soil so they hung out over the fire pit.
She waited while crouching, smelling the wonderful smell of the cooking meat and licked her lips. Meanwhile, Snowy Touch was merrily munching on the uncooked entrails. She saw him wipe away a combination of intestines and other darker materials from his lips and she nearly gagged.
While Snowy Touch busied himself with working with the hides, Belinda enjoyed the smell of the cooking meat. In many ways it was her closest connection to civilization. It had been months since her Merc gang and family had been wiped out by Nuria, Grim, Lurtor and Eli McGraw.
She had discovered Snowy Touch hiding in the woods months ago and had crafted the little Olgog a fine spear with a tip made from the clippings she collected so long ago. She viewed the white fur like a little brother crossed with a pet. Belinda and Snowy Touch had found a good compromise and lived well together, but they were not alone.
Always off in the woods was the brown and blue bestial. Its eyes on them. Watching and menacing.
Belinda finally got annoyed, “Blizzard Blue, get over here you big doof. There is at least a pair of raw legs that Snowy Touch won’t be able to finish. Snowy…Snowy…cut them off. Toss 'em to Blizzard Blue.”
The white fur ripped off one leg after another and tossed them in the general direction of the bestial in the woods, but close enough it was within the clearing. The bestial loped from the treeline, picking up both legs in one hand and plopping down onto its knees.
Blizzard Blue said, “Thank you Belinda. And thank you Snowy Touch. I have spent the day watching for the signal lights of the fleet. Tiordane says they are on the way. And we must prepare.”
Belinda wasn’t sure if she could trust Tiordane, but Blizzard Blue seemed to worship the Illuminated. She smelled the meat and it was ready. Pulling out the cooked skewers, she dropped a little sea salt on top of the meat. Then she let them cool watching Snowy Touch and Blizzard Blue reduce the corpse of the Tsoga to nothing more than bones. Snowy Touch formed a helmet from the Tsoga Skull and some sinew. Blizzard Blue was using bits of sinew and leather to bind the bones together into armor for the little guy.
Belinda picked up the skewer and smiled. For a moment, she felt at home for the first time in a long time. She took a bite. It tasted a bit gamey but tastier than she expected. Like a cross between steak and fish.
Since moving to the forests it had been easier than out on the ice sheet. Snowy Touch had a good sense for ambush hunting and he had kept them all well fed. Blizzard Blue had kept away the Wild Giants, Devourers, and other large predators from their camp.
She chewed and enjoyed the pleasure of the bite.
Then Blizzard Blue’s eyes went up and settled upon an approaching Illuminated dressed in blue-black knight’s armor. The Illuminated seemed familiar and then Blizzard Blue grew concerned as he recognized her.
“Good to see you again, Blizzard Blue,” said Unixah Kal Hobtla Mag’ol.
“My lady,” said the bestial pressing his head to the floor.
Belinda Frost got up from where she sat, angry that her enjoyment of a family moment was ruined.
“Who are you and what do you want?” asked Belinda.
“I am Unixah Kal Hobtla Mag’ol,” said Unixah.
“I have heard of the Hobtla Mag’ol but they are all Olgogs,” said Belinda still unimpressed.
“I am the true ruler of those lands, and my grasp will extend even this far before I am through,” said Unixah, “But you are no fool. And I did not trek to the middle of nowhere. I did, to meet with you. Belinda Frost, you have suffered deeply, and you have faced a great many losses.
What if I could offer you vengeance on those that wronged you?”
“What is the price? Everything has a cost,” countered Belinda.
“The price…there is no price you would not pay,” said Unixah, “But the price is simply the death of our mutual enemies. But I need them taken off the board and you and your friends here may be the perfect method.”
“So how will offer me vengeance?” asked Belinda as she suddenly felt dizzy.
She stumbled down into the snow, trying to say something as she felt a spasm moving through her body. It was accompanied by wracking pain. Then she sat up, and saw a symbol of Warmonger had appeared on her aura. She concentrated and the symbol disappeared, but before fading to ice and then entering the center of her aura.
Belinda Frost felt like she was touching a live wire. There was so much energy running through her body. Finally it disappeared, and Belinda fell to her knees.
She raised a hand and the Igloo began to change and grow. Instead of a simple igloo, she artificed a full stronghold out of ice and snow. Then she turned towards Blizzard Blue and Snowy Touch and raised both her hands. Energy flowed outward from herself to the two other beings. There was a flash of light and all three were blown off their feet.
Belinda Frost got up to her feet shakily.
Unixah said, “I am pleased to declare you the Ice General of Warmonger.”
“What is a Warmonger?” asked Belinda with an odd look of confusion.
Blizzard Blue said, “He is the coming storm. He will wipe these Glacial Wastes clean of all life before moving onward to the rest of this reality.”
“I only want the shitheads that killed off my family to die,” said Belinda, “I don’t want to kill everyone.”
“Then serve as Warmonger’s General until the four are destroyed,” said Unixah quixotically, “Then you may relinquish your battle standard.”
“My control over the Leyas seems to have increased,” said Belinda not trusting it.
“It is just one of the many blessings of Warmonger,” said Blizzard Blue. Noting his own claws had doubled in size and his mane of blue fur now sparkled with chill.
Unixah said, “And your powers will grow, Belinda Frost. Go forth and bring destruction and war.”
Placing the Tsoga helm on his head, the little Snowy Touch said, “I think we are finally ready to avenge your family, Belinda. Retribution will be swift and ice cold.”