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The Winter Wars

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The end of the Golden Age was a time of darkness and despair with the knowledge that nothing would be the way they used to; the Fearlings, Nightmare Men, and Dream Pirate were defeated, and the Fearlings’ hold over the Golden General, Kozmotis Pitchiner was broken, but the end of the war came with significant losses.

Although his mind had been freed, Kozmotis Pitchiner was forever tainted by the Fearlings that tricked him; his skin had changed from a glowing peach color to a gray pallor, and his eyes became a silvery-gold, his golden armor was exchanged for dark robes that blended into a moonless night, and he retained control over the power that gripped his mind mercilessly. Having become someone totally different from who he used to be, Kozmotis changed his name to Pitch Black and dubbed himself the Nightmare King, but vowed to use his dark powers to help rather than hurt, even if the methods would be suspiciously unorthodox. His daughter, Emily Jane, became Mother Nature on Earth after a shooting star she had been sealed in by the Constellation, Typhon, crashed; she changed her name to Seraphina as a symbol of starting a new life having let go of her rage towards Pitch for abandoning her and his wife, and her grief at the loss of her mother. She used the abilities to control nature Typhon had taught her to keep watch over the world using everything from clouds to rainbows. Before Pitch regained his mind, he led his armies to the Warren, a domain of everlasting springtime where the Pooka dwelled, and slaughtered all but one of the clan. Tsar Lunar, the Man in the Moon, lost his dear friend, Nightlight, after a battle with Pitch before the former General regained his mind; the boy warrior remained frozen in time when he fell to Earth and MiM watched over him always pining to bring him back somehow.

Over the centuries, MiM leant his power to Seraphina when she found she needed to distribute the strongest attributes of her powers; the world moved with the four seasons of Winter, Spring, Summer, and Autumn, but she could barely keep up with the changing of the seasons alongside her other constant duties. She found in her years on Earth that she also desired children, but she could not find a suitable sire for any; she confided her wishes and sorrows to her father and MiM, but for a while neither knew what they could do to help her, until one autumn day in Scandinavian region of the world, a village under siege from its enemies.

The village was of a hardy tribe of Viking under the rule of a young chief; they all fought as best they could alongside the dragons they coexisted with, but their efforts weren’t enough and all but the chief and his dragon perished, the young chief only wounded but fading fast. MiM sent Pitch to them so that he could lead them to his daughter for rest and healing; MiM had seen the two many times as he watched over the planet, and he was fascinated at how the human won the loyalty of the last of the most infamous species of dragon, a Night Fury, and then brought humans and dragons together. The human had the heart of a chief and the soul of a dragon, and it was these traits that convinced MiM and Seraphina to combine their powers to grant the human and his dragon companion immortality, thus giving Seraphina her first child whom she could trust a portion of her power to. He became the Herald of Autumn.

Then next child she took as her own was a young Scottish princess with the bravest heart any human could possess, and a fiery spirit to match; her kingdom fell in war against another kingdom from a country next to her own, but her strength wore away too soon against her enemies and she was captured. She was going to be forced to become the bride of the enemy prince to hold sway over her remaining people, and with a strong defiance she threw herself from a cliff near her fallen castle that overlooked the sea; MiM believed her loss would be great and sent Pitch again to retrieve her for Seraphina. She was healed and trusted as the Herald of Summer.

Seraphina’s third child was found by the last remaining Pooka, Aster, by accident; he had been out on one of his rare ventures from the Warren when he saw a young couple left for dead after being attacked by bandits. The man was already gone, but she was still holding on, so Aster took them both to Seraphina; she healed the girl and they gave the man, her husband, a proper burial and it was a few years before they broached the subject of her becoming a Herald of Spring. She accepted after debating with herself for a few weeks.

Years later, when the colonies of New England were still young, MiM witnessed the act of a young boy that made him especially deserving of one of the greatest honors he could bestow; the boy and his younger sister were out skating one day unaware that the ice on the lake was unsafe in some spots. The young girl had skated onto one of the weak spots and the ice began to crack under her, and at the risk of his own life her brother had saved her using a Shepard’s crook; the momentum it took to throw her to safety had in turn thrown the boy onto the weak spot he’d just pulled his sister from and it was only a matter of seconds that he fell through and drowned all too quickly due to the cold that overtook his body. MiM decided that he would give the boy new life and immortality as well as giving Seraphina her last Herald, the Herald of Winter, and in addition to Seraphina gaining another child, he would see his old friend, live again. The boy had by coincidence fallen into the same lake Nightlight had fallen into after his battle with Pitch centuries ago; MiM knew that Nightlight couldn’t exist as he used to, so he combined what remained of the warrior with the brave human boy and made a new warrior to give to Seraphina. No memories of either life for the time being, but in time they would come back as he grew stronger and learned to use his power.

The four humans he blessed and given to Mother Nature, a whole family to help keep the world in balance, and to love and support each other through the good and the bad. If only they knew the evil they would soon need to face…