Winter is here, and as the vibrant golden hues give way to the soft blues and icy whites, the mischievous spirit of winter, Jack Frost, is behind the transformation. But this season, the frosty air has a bitter quality...
Jack lived for this frigid season, and he had immense pride for his artistry of ice and snow. Every year his beautiful magic transformed Gaia into a winter wonderland, and he was going to make it even better this year.
Jack covered Aekea and Barton in fluffy white snow. Bass’ken lake he froze solid, and the Isles of Gambino he frosted in crisp air and ice.
But as he approached Durem he noticed something was wrong. Where were the people to play in his snow? They were all sleeping, slumped over chairs and collapsed on the street. How could they appreciate this beautiful winter he was going to make for them if they were sleeping?
Jack smirked and frostnipped one’s fingers. That would surely startle them awake, he thought. But it didn’t. He rolled them over to n** at their nose, and horror crept over him as he looked at their face. Their sockets lay empty, but their breath still fogged the air.
Jack knew of this handiwork. He’d heard of a man who could lull Gaians into a dream with his golden sand, and in their sleep he would steal their eyes. The Sandman.
Jack flew up above the skyline. He was going to find this Sandman and give him a piece of his mind. How dare he do this to Gaians? At the start of HIS season, no less!
Frost barely dodged the dragon’s charge in time, but he was still blown back by a gust of air from its massive wings. He crashed through the clocktower face, landing hard on the gears inside.
Jack heaved his body off the ground. In the shadows, a figure lurked. Jack squinted as the light coming in from outside glinted off of golden dust. It was the Sandman.
Come out, Sandman!” Jack shouted. “I know this is your doing! Show yourself and fight!” “Very well,” the shadow answered, stepping out into the light...
The Sandman wasn’t a man at all. Jack tried not to lose focus. “What was that huge dragon doing in Durem?”
“Fafnir?” She smiled. “He is blanketing all of Gaia with my dream sand. And in exchange, he can pluck all the gold he could ever want off of their eternally sleeping bodies. Dragons can be such simple creatures.”
And you? Such vivid blue eyes... you must be the Jack Frost I’ve heard so much about. How are you not affected by the sand?”
Jack shrugged and smiled. “Guess your magic dust doesn’t work on me. But now I know I have to take down that giant glittering lizard.” The Sandman snarled and charged Jack Frost. “I won’t let you!”
Their fight lit the Gaian sky. Never before was there such a spectacular array of frost and light. Sandman’s glimmering dust fell off her from Jack’s blows, and ice littered the ground beneath their battle.
The Sandman, however, was relentless, and Jack (who is merely an artist, after all) eventually fell. “You cannot defeat me, Jack. All of Gaia will sleep... forever,” she cooed as Fafnir landed behind her.
“You really do have such beautiful eyes...” the Sandman whispered as she grasped his face tightly. “They’ll make a lovely addition to my collection.”
Desperation setting in, Jack ripped the blindfold off of the Sandman, throwing ice into her exposed eyes. Blinded by the ice, the Sandman recoiled and shrieked in fury. With Jack's last ounces of energy, he poured every remaining spark of Winter he held into the Sandman’s blindfold...
The explosion could be seen from Durem, Aekea, Barton, and even Gambino, if you were awake to look.
But as the snow and golden dust settled, the spell released its grip upon Gaia, and you woke up to one of the most magical and peaceful winters you’ve ever witnessed...