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Challenge #9: First snow


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#1 Ilmatar

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Posted 13 January 2008 - 05:33 AM

Note: Thanks to K'aeloree for translating from English to Dynaheir. ;) Also my first entry in the Fanfic challenges!

First Snow


It was a quiet, pleasant morning in Friendly Arms Inn. Breakfast was already being served in the tavern downstairs, but the Keep was still slowly waking from its slumber. It was the time of the morning when people moved slowly, talked little, and the sleepiest thought it better to sleep for an hour or two more than getting up.

Ewdin Odesseiron was one of the latter. He was used to staying up late - either studying his spellbook or bothering tavern wenches, or - like the trend had lately been - arguing with Jaina. He considered that young woman from Candlekeep an uncivilized, unsophisticated, barbaric, wild and all around silly brat, and her pink-haired little friend was no better. If possible, Imoen was even more impish and annoying in his mind.

And so, when Edwin was peacefully snoring the morning away in his small private room in the Keep, it felt like the gods had a great liking for irony when he was suddenly startled from his sleep by the excited shriek echoing from the corridor.

"SNOW! SNOW! LOTS OF SNOW!" was repeated and repeated and accompanied by the rhythmic and loud stomping of feet in the stairs and corridor. "GET UP, JAY, YOU GOTTA SEE THIS!"

Edwin groaned painfully, turned to lay on his stomach and covered his head with a pillow trying to shut out the shrieking and banging. The source was unmistakable - Imoen, the party's usual early bird, had ran back inside to wake up Jaina because it had snowed overnight. It was snow. Cold. White. Slippery. Who cared? To Edwin's ire, Imoen apparently did.

The pillow merely muffled the door banging and happy shrieking, so Edwin could clearly hear Jaina jump up from her bed in the next room and open the door.

"It's SNOWED! You gotta come out before it melts!" Imoen kept going on in the corridor making sure that the whole Keep was awake by now.

"Snowed! By the gods! Wait, I gotta put some clothes on!" another voice joined in - this slightly lower female voice belonged to Jaina. Shuffling and stepping of feet, and excited girly talk ensued for a couple of minutes. Edwin threw the pillow away and sat up on his bed, blowing his long hair away from his face.

"Unbelievable how those little apes can keep as much noise as an army of Rasheman berserkers... And they're supposed to be rogues..." He muttered under his breath while he got out of bed. He hauled his red robes around him and opened the door, stepping out to glare at Imoen in the corridor. The door of the next room - Jaina's room - was open and Jaina herself peeked out to see who had awakened as well.

"It's snowed!" the dark haired young woman said as if Edwin had not heard it already.
"Nooooo, really?" the mage snorted sarcastically. "What children you are for getting so excited about snow. It snows here every winter. You should be used to it by now, but oh no. You little brats have to wake up everyone just because the weather is completely normal at this time of the year."
"It's first snow, mister Crankypants," Jaina scoffed. Only now Edwin realized that the girl was pulling her pants on and buttoning them - this realization distracted him from his anger a bit, but soon he caught himself and cleared his throat remembering to glare in a threatning manner again.

"And first snow is always worthy of going nuts," Imoen grinned widely. "Now hurry up, Jay! Get that jacket on!"

Jaina hurriedly pulled her boots on and grabbed her jacket.
"Come on, Crankypants, a walk in the brisky snowy morning would do your dusty brain some good."

"My brain is sparkling and sharp, thank you very much, unlike yours that gets so easily bewildered by mundane things."

"Suit yourself!" Jaina shrugged and before Edwin even knew it, the girls were already running down the stairs. The mage, however, returned to his room, rolling his eyes.


After Edwin had finally gotten over his mirror image, he descended to the tavern to have breakfast. It was again peaceful - no one was running, shrieking, jumping or banging doors. He spent a good while on his breakfast, even though he still missed the luxurious long breakfasts of Thay.

When he was finishing, he noticed Minsc coming in. The berserker was holding his little hamster delicately as ever in his big hands, and he was smiling widely. His witch Dynaheir met him by the door. She was adjusting the purple hood of her robes on her head and was also heading out. Edwin could hear their exchange even in his distant table, since the tavern was still relatively quiet.

"Boo has been playing in the snow all morning, even though only a short moment at a time. A hamster's toes get easily frozen," Minsc explained with a happy tone.

Dynaheir laughed and stroke Boo's orange fur with her forefinger.
"I was simply coming out for a breath of fresh air. Luckily, I had woken earlier, far before Imoen ran in to wake Jaina."

"The girls are still outside. I helped them make a snowman, and he turned out pretty handsome."

"This I must see. It hath surely been twenty summers since I last built men from snow, and I am sure thy creations deserve considerable merit."

The Rashemani went out together, and a moment later Edwin noticed a slender figure draped in a long dark cloak move silently through the tavern. Viconia was going outside, as well. Now he realized that everyone else was in the yard because of something as trivial as first snow. Finally Edwin gave up, stood and put on his red cloak. He needed only to open the door and the laughing, giggling and shrieking already reached his ears.

The whole landscape that had been painted of greys and browns only last night as they arrived was now shimmering with the brightest white. Snow had covered everything during the night, the trees were covered in silver frost, and the sky seemed deep azure blue with the sun shining it's cold light upon the Realms. Even Edwin Odesseiron in his spite for the Swordcoast had to admit that the morning was quite beautiful.

The yard was bustling with an excited snowball fight. The Red Mage stood safely on the top of the stairs watching how two grown women ran around throwing snowballs, tackling each other down and laughing and playing like small children. Some local children were doing the same, but the far noisiest were Imoen and Jaina, who kept laughing and shrieking in their playful war with snow as their weapon.

"Can't catch me, sucker!" Jaina yelled at her pink-haired friend and got Imoen to chase her around the yard. Both of them kept throwing soft snowballs at each other, until Imoen finally caught the dark girl and jumped on her to tackle her on the ground. They kept rolling in the snow laughing, until they were apparently out of breath and laid there on their backs, completely covered in snow.

"It is a rare gift for one to feel joy and happiness in the small things, as children do," Edwin heard a familiar accented voice tell him. He turned to look at Dynaheir now standing beside him on the staircase.

"That mindless running and screaming is only barbaric and proves what simpletons those Candlekeep monkeys are," the Red Wizard snorted.

"Truly? But still thy eyes are trained upon them - upon her, awe expressed in thy very features. Thou dost envy her spirit, free, which cares nothing for the opinions of others."

"You know nothing of what I think, witch," Edwin snarled at Dynaheir, but in truth he was taken aback of how the Rasheman had read him like an open book. He tried to deny his thoughts from himself as well, but he could not turn his eyes away from Jaina - how snowflakes glimmered in her dark hair like tiny diamonds, how she laughed in the most open and happy manner, and how gracefully she ran and played with Imoen.

Then he suddenly realized that Jaina was looking at him, as well - their dark brown eyes met, locked, and Edwin felt like he was levitating in the air, entranced by the young woman's gaze... He realized too late that Jaina was actually smirking mischievously, and did not notice what she was doing while looking at Edwin. The wizard was suddenly brought back to reality by the snowball hitting hard on his shoulder and sprinling snow on his clothes and face. A wave of utter embarrassement hit him at that exact moment - Jaina had only planned to throw a snowball at him, and was looking at him because he was her target...

"Why you little pest!" Edwin shouted at Jaina who laughed heartily with Imoen. The man happened to glance at Dynaheir - who was also grinning at him - and could not stop himself from avenging the girl.

With a spark of magic on his fingertips, he mumbled a few arcane words and motioned his hands in the air as if gathering a.... rather large snowball... The snowball was actually forming some 10 feet away hovering above the ground. Jaina and Imoen's laughter died away soon when they realized the wizard was magically making a very big snowball to throw at them.

"Hey, that's cheating!" Jaina shouted just before Edwin motioned forwards with his hands and the big snowball flew towards Imoen and Jaina. They tried to dodge but were too late - they were hit with the luckily soft snowball, fell on their backs in a pile of snow, covered in the shattered remains of Edwin's snowball. The wizard himself walked down the stairs with a victorious grin on his face, but that grin was in turn soon wiped away by two fierce girls charging at him bombing him with smaller old fashioned hand-made snow balls.

Dynaheir just laughed watching her Thayvian rival getting into the very first snow ball fight of his life - and actually ending up having as much fun as the girls. Though he never admitted it afterwards.

Edited by Ilmatar, 14 January 2008 - 07:01 AM.


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#2 Solar's Harper

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Posted 13 January 2008 - 07:17 AM

:ROFL: That was wonderful work Ilmy, especially the last bits with the giant snowball and all.

Edwin should be counting his blessings that Alora wasn't included... that halfling freaks me out, and for a very good reason too. :mellow:

Oh, and I'd say Edwin's inflated if somewhat bruised ego was right on the spot; I liked how he and Dynaheir would be able to talk to each other civilly, despite their differences and the fact they were enemies. :)

Wonderful work again. :hug: :cheers:

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#3 Orthodoxia

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Posted 13 January 2008 - 07:49 AM

I'm bad at giving comments but I really, really like this very much. Edwin is so spot-on and human with his talk with Dynaheir instead of the more usual grumbling.

And I swear I could always read the adventures of Jaina, though I am afraid at the thought of her and Imoen teaming up. And I get the feeling from your writing that with Jaina around Edwin's ego is always bruised - be there snow or not.

Great work.
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#4 Ilmatar

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Posted 13 January 2008 - 08:19 AM

Thank you, thank you. I'm always a little worried of how my Edwin comes through (in both art and fiction) but I'm glad I haven't softened him too much. :)


Ilmatar's portraits for the Baldur's Gate series | | Ahem. Ilmatar =/= Ilmater. | | deviantART gallery
Grunting is a perfectly acceptable reaction to being struck with a blunt instrument. -berelinde
And, just out of curiosity, my dear, what *are* you wearing? :D - Tempest to me.


#5 Choo Choo

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Posted 13 January 2008 - 02:53 PM

Oooh, Ilmatar, I love it! Reading it makes me a bit "grumble grumble", though, since there's no snow here yet and I want it to be so badly!

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#6 Ilmatar

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 07:02 AM

Oooh, Ilmatar, I love it! Reading it makes me a bit "grumble grumble", though, since there's no snow here yet and I want it to be so badly!


We have no snow either. :( Had for a couple of days there but it melted already. Oh well! Thankies!


Ilmatar's portraits for the Baldur's Gate series | | Ahem. Ilmatar =/= Ilmater. | | deviantART gallery
Grunting is a perfectly acceptable reaction to being struck with a blunt instrument. -berelinde
And, just out of curiosity, my dear, what *are* you wearing? :D - Tempest to me.


#7 SpAE

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 04:12 AM

:D Awwww, Edwin has a (caaaarefully hidden) mushy and even fun side! Just gorgeous, still love the Jaina-Imoen team and how you write them. And hee, Boo's toes. And Dynaheir is awesome. Miiiinor nitpicks, but I may harrass you with those next time all personally.

#8 Ilmatar

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 12:10 PM

Miiiinor nitpicks, but I may harrass you with those next time all personally.


Will look forward to that! And thanks sweetie! :hug:


Ilmatar's portraits for the Baldur's Gate series | | Ahem. Ilmatar =/= Ilmater. | | deviantART gallery
Grunting is a perfectly acceptable reaction to being struck with a blunt instrument. -berelinde
And, just out of curiosity, my dear, what *are* you wearing? :D - Tempest to me.


#9 Dave Greenblade

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Posted 16 January 2008 - 04:18 AM

I really like this! Your way of writing is really great!

Minor nitpick is that I Dynaheir is a bit too friendly to Edwin, but for the rest it's good!
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