Writing 2014-03-30



(Note: I did a tiny bit of editing, because I thought of  phrase I didn’t want to lose.)

The winter finally comes in earnest, just a few days after the examinations.  Many of the students do little but hurry to and from class.  The dining hall is also quite popular, with the heat from the kitchens and all the students, making it one of the few really warm places on campus.

Larrikan spends extra time at his new job, helping the dryad find and fix problems caused by too much snow or ice, too suddenly.  He hardly notices the cold, and knows how to move around on the snow.

The ice-bound rade is spectacular, with fey skating on the frozen surface of the lake the rade island is in.  Some of they fae are bundled up warmly, but many are not bothered and skate or dance nearly naked through the snowdrifts.  It is both beautiful and surreal.  Larrikan’s hand had not healed enough to play the violin, but he plays the recorder, sings, and dances.

The winter class is going well for Larrikan, and he studies regularly with Haoys.  She appreciates this, and tells him she is sure she wouldn’t be doing so well without him.  He denies this.

Coldwillow, in her role as Larrikan’s advisor, tells him that he will start regular classes in the spring.  She feels he will be reading enough by then, and they will make special arrangements for exams.  Larrikan is worried by this, but says he will do his best.

As days pass it continues to get colder.  It is soon too cold to snow, and the temperature stays far below freezing all day.  Nights are brutally cold.

The University implements curfews, and strongly suggests always traveling in pairs, even just around the University.  The four dryads, Larrikan, and several of the trollish students are all bothered less by the cold, and begin checking on people.  They do a head count every evening.

This is the first time Larrikan has dealt with the trolls much.  He knows of their usual demeanor of course, but most Shy Folk give the boisterous and ruggedly strong trolls some space.  He discovers they are pretty much good to have around as long as you remember you are fragile.

Larrikan and Tornr have spent the day checking on people, and it has gotten dark and cold.  Dämeteakfrau finds them and tells them everyone seems accounted for.  She escorts them to Barrow Hall, and leaves Larrikan there, escorting Tornr back to the trollhome.

The next morning, ice covers the world.  The four dryads have left notes in all the dorms, “Class cancelled due to ice storm.  Stay indoors.”

Larrikan was up early, admiring the sparkle of ice and the rainbows thrown through it by the dawn, as it slowly lights a perfectly clear pale blue sky. When Dämeteakfrau delivered the note to Barrow Hall, she asks him, “if you are up to it can you deliver a note to the trollhome?

Armed with a copy of the note and his warmest cloak, Larrikan takes off to the trollhome.  He has never been there but knows where it should lie.  On a clear day it is a simple walk.  Today, it is a dangerous trek, even for a Shy Folk.  The ice grips the world with a heavy, frozen hand.


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