Nora closed her eyes and tried to endure the biting cold of the forest. The rock beneath her was also very cold, the forest around her was very quiet and all she could smell on the painfully cold air was the tree behind her. Slowly the few sounds of the forest and muttered conversation from her companions ceased, replaced by a low howling moan not unlike a winter gale.
Her ‘sight’ opened again, seeing the winter forest. Her companions had faded from her sight. Except for 2 small spirits, the glade was vacant. There were prints in the snow, large ones, evidence of something passing. It seemed to Nora that they had not been there when she had sat down. One of the spirits was a slim spirit of water, its essence tied to the cold pond. The other sat in the branches of the oak, its green form covered in patches of leaves and bark. Both of them regarded Nora’s arrival in their little home with curiosity rather than outright hostility.
Nora slowly got up, keeping an eye on the two spirits. She could just about see a faint outline of her body where it was sat outside the spirit-seeing. Moving about the spirit-seeing within the borders of the Zedlei was easier than moving through its border. Even in the spirit-realm, the cold was biting into her bones.
“Who are you?” The voice came from the oak tree, resembling the rustling of leaves in a harsh wind.
“Who are you?” The pond asked with a voice like ice-filled water hitting rocks.
“I am Bergen,” She replied, “And who are you, Oak and Pond?” It seemed to Nora that her voice was lighter than it used to be.
“Sprig.” The Oak replied, its embodiment spirit bowing its faceless head towards her.
“Splish.” The pond replied, its form flowing to bow like its companion.
“Who stands Bergen with?” The two spirits asked simultaneously, the ground shaking slightly as Sprigs embodiment leapt from the branch to stand beside Splish.
Nora did not yet know much about the great seasonal spirits, certainly not enough to even make an attempt at trickery. “Bergen stands with Bergen. Who does Splish and Sprig stand with?”
“Arhi-Spring.” Sprig replied, resolute.
The pond spirit shrunk a bit and shied away from Sprig. “Splish stands with the one that is Awake. Now two are awake. Splish stood with Arhi-Spring before the Totema disrupted the balance and woke Klahuu-Winter.”
Totema? Nora did not know that word. “The Totema?”
Both embodiment spirits nodded vigorously. “The Totema. Guardian spirits, strongest of all. Great Dragon Adrammalech of the Gales wandered the forest and his presence awoke Klahuu-Winter before its time.”