1.2 – Bitter Cold

Take my hand, weather the cold
We’ll make it through
To that place, that haven
Safe, buried in the snow.

– From “Path of the Water Star,” Selkie fairy tale


It’s cold.

It’s so very cold.

The transition between asleep and awake is almost not existent. One second I’m arguing with an ostrich about whether stools or chairs were better for ridding on top of a hippo, and the next second I’m more awake and more cold that I thought I ever could be.

Cold? Why am I cold? I shouldn’t be cold. Where am I? It’s so white. Everything’s white. Has the world always been this white? I… I can’t remember. I had the feeling that it had been green… or brown… gray? I shiver. Or I try. Shivering is… shaking from the cold, right? I am freezing. Shouldn’t I be shivering? Goosebumps raising on my skin or something? But what are goosebumps? Skin is… the thing covering the body, soft, flexible… Mine… mine is hard and slick. That’s wrong, right? And white stuff’s beginning to attach to it. I don’t like it. I try moving, try to get the stuff that’s making me colder off. I stretch and strain with all my mind and… nothing happens.

Why can’t I Move?  This is scary. I’m freezing cold, no idea where I am, and can’t move. Someone Help!!!! Please! I don’t like being alone! It’s scary! And cold! And really I don’t know where I am and I don’t know how I got here or what’s happening and I feel like I lost something really important but I can’t remember what it was! I can’t remember anything!

A blast of freezing air assails me. Sharp, cold bits pound against my skin. It stings, but also brings me back to reality, cooling my raging thoughts. I grimace. I think I do, anyway, or maybe it was more in my head than anything else, just like my panicking rant earlier. Okay. Calm down. Deep breaths. In and out. That’s not working. I can’t breathe.

I start to hyperventilate in my head. A small part of me wonders at the things I keep trying to do but don’t seem to be able to accomplish. Was I something else besides a hard, little, round, smooth thing?

Okay, okay. Breathing is out. I’m okay now. It didn’t matter. Think about what I do know. I don’t know anything. Stop that line of thought. The panic will come back if I follow it. What do I know? I must know something, right? I… I know I’m cold. Good, that’s good. Keep going. I know what I am… kinda, and some of the things I can’t seem to do. Okay, what else? I know all I can see is white, and cold air and hard little bits keep hitting me. I really want to get out of this… this… Blizzard? Is that was this is? It’s comforting to have a name for it…

A name! I have a name! I’m Devin… I’m female? I have a dad… and a mom! I grin triumphantly! There. I’m not so lost as I thought I was. I can make it through this. First things first. I should probably look around a bit more closely now that I’m not panicking anymore.

Okay… I see… white. Alright. Good to know. White is this direction. I turn a bit. White in this direction as well. I turn again. And… more white. Alright. We’re making good progress. Turn again. I see white. Turn. A lot of white so far. Turn, and we’ve made a full circle now it looks, and all white. What I’ve discovered, it’s very white wherever I look, low visibility with all the blizzard stuff flying around, and apparently I can look completely around myself without moving anything. I… don’t think I used to be able to that.

Alright, before I start to panic again, what’s my next step? There is nothing around me except white, which I don’t think will help me very much. I’m starting to get too cold to think, so I need to think fast, and the blizzard stuff is really starting to hurt. Think. Think… Think… I can’t think with all this stuff hitting me! I push outwards in frustration.

Suddenly, there’s a pocket of silence as nothing hits me as well as nothing under me. I fall the short distance to the ground and the blizzard stuff resumes it’s assault against my skin. What was that?

Slowly, but surely, this ice will freeze my heart. – the last words of Gremil the Infallible

Congratulations! Frost is slow, but it builds, conquering even the mountains with its icy breath. Not many can conquer it.

[Ice Manipulation I]: You can now slightly control any ice around you for a slight cost of mana. (1 cmR/ 5 mana)


And what the heck is this??? I stare at the floating blue screen. Ice Manipulation? What does that mean? What is ice? I can control it? Ice… it couldn’t be… the white stuff, could it? What is mana though?

Mana: The forces that govern the world have changed from what you once knew. A mysterious power drifts through the universe now, and you have learned how to utilize it to exhibit your will on the world. 


Okay… that didn’t really help. So… I can use mana to affect things around me? That’s nice, ’cause I can’t really move at the moment. Could I build like a wall of ice around me to stop the blizzard stuff from hitting me? A mental image of a white, hollow dome appeared in my head. An igloo… Okay. That’d work. How do I do it though? How much mana do I have? I think I used some earlier to push… stuff away from me, and I created a slight divot in the ground that was already sort of protecting me from the… I think they were ice bits in the blizzard. Can I do it again? How much mana do I have?

 Status Menu 
Name: [Locked] Race: Dungeon Level: 1  Attribute: Green
Health: 16/20 (1/hr) Mana: 5/20 (1/hr) State: Severely Cold (All regeneration is reduced to 1/hr)
Named Monsters: 0 Rooms: ?%Ξ] Floors: ?%Ξ]
Monsters: 0 Animals: 0 Plants: 0
Skills: [Influence I] [Incorporation I] [Ambient Aura IV] [Earth Manipulation I] [Plant Growth I] [Green Thumb I] [Tamer I] [Karma I] [Ice Manipulation I]*


Okay… This is weird. Is this supposed to be about me? I have a name, though. It’s Devin. Why is name locked? I’m a dungeon? What’s a dungeon? Okay, not right now. I’ll figure that out later. By the looks of it, I really need to get out of this blizzard. My health went down a point even just looking at this blue thing… a screen? A floating screen? I really hate not knowing what things are. Okay, stop getting distracted.

I give a metaphorical slap to my mental face and focus on the screen once more. I have 5 mana. Math… I suck at math, but weirdly enough, I seem to have an innate sense of measurement. I’m not sure if this is a new thing or not. Well, whatever.

Let me think. That means I spent 15 mana to make a 1 cm diameter circle around myself by the looks of the divot I’m in. And that circle wasn’t even full of ice. I think the amount of ice I moved was probably a third of the size. That doesn’t make sense. [Ice Manipulation I] said it cost 5 mana to move circle with a radius of 1 cm, if I understood that right.  Unless… I didn’t have [Ice Manipulation I] before making that circle. So, after getting that skill, I got better. I got way better.

The problem was that first 15 mana I spent. I am cold. Apparently cold enough for it to actually affect me. Regeneration… I regenerate 1 mana and health per hour because of that? What was my original regeneration? Forget it. Can I make an igloo with the amount of mana I have? I can move a single 1cmR circle of ice… supposedly. Can I move less? Does it have to be a circle? How about, say, a tendril? How do I go about doing it anyway?

An hour is a freaking long time! I can’t wait for it to regenerate. My health is down to 14. I’m going to die if I don’t figure this out. Alright, let’s do this. Ice! Move!

Ice Manipulation, Activate!

Abracadabra! (What?)

Okay, that was pointless. I feel stupid. Um… I’m not sure what to do… What exactly did I do last time?

I… pushed? I pushed outward? Is it like a push and pull thing? Can I grab onto the ice? I reach out with my mind tentatively. It took a few seconds and some mental acrobatics, but finally, I get a slippery hold on a tiny bit of the ice right in front of me. I pull up… and my hold slipped. Crap! I quickly check my mana. I still have the same amount. I breathe a sigh of relief. Okay, that scared me. Looks like it won’t cost me anything if I don’t actually move anything. Let’s try it again.

…And again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

And… finally! I managed to pull the piece of ice up, creating a little pillar of ice about 1 inch tall and .5 cm wide. I was ecstatic! And then my high fell. That took all of my mana. I moved too much. I can’t finish this.

The ice, it encroaches on our domain. Our world begins to die. – Emril’s Journal

Congratulations! Ice is eternal, and as you grow closer to its essence, so are you.

[Ice Manipulation II]: You now have slightly more control over any ice around you for a slight cost of mana. (1.5 cmR/ 5 mana)

Level [2]!: You future is bright; you steadily march forward; though small, someday you will seize might. You’ve discovered your first Rare skill and improved upon it: (+1 health; +1 mana; +1 path point; paths unlocked)


I couldn’t believe my eyes. This… this… I started crying in my mind. This literally saves me. I was ready to give up, but now, now I can live. With my now full mana, I could move around 58 inches, give or take. I’m around 2.5 inches in diameter. I can surround myself with 58 inches. I make make an igloo!

I pulled and pulled and pulled the ice up, over, and around me, making a full dome. It… took a while to say the least. I was down to 5 health by the time I got it up high enough for the blizzard to stop affecting me so much. I kept expecting another level, happened. I did get another one in [Ice Manipulation], though.

There is a natural ice castle near the city of Tirom. It is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. – The Journey of Luloulan

Congratulations! Ice is slow and methodical. You are learning to be the same.

[Ice Manipulation III]: You now have slightly more control over any ice around you for a slight cost of mana. (2 cmR/ 5 mana)


Now, I’m safe. I’m tired again. It’s less cold, now. I think I’ll go to bed…

 Status Menu 
Name: [Locked] Race: Dungeon Level: 2*  Attribute: Green
Health: 5/21* (2.5/hr)* Mana: 5/21* (2.5/hr)* State: Cold* (All regeneration is reduced by 50%)
 Rooms: 1* Floors: ?%Ξ] Named Monsters: 0
 Monsters: 0 Animals: 0 Plants: 0
Path Points: 1*
Paths: {Beginner I (0/5)}*
kills: [Influence I] [Incorporation I] [Ambient Aura IV] [Earth Manipulation I] [Plant Growth I] [Green Thumb I] [Tamer I] [Karma I] [Ice Manipulation III]*


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AN- I drew some inspiration with the skills and stuff from the novels: Randidly Ghosthound, and Bound Dungeon on the website, Royal Road if you’re curious. They’re both good novels by the way.

Tell me what you think so far. And I’m bad at math and stuff, so please tell me if I get any of the equations wrong or it doesn’t make sense. My leveling system is going to be a bit weird. Also, making tables is hard and annoying. Bleh.

I’m having fun with flavor text. heehee. Hard to think it up off the top of my head though.


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