A Storm of Wind and Ice
The sky was filled with clouds, but they were not dark clouds. They were a light gray, letting some of sunlight through but not much. The wind blew across the green hills on this early January morning and swept right through Geamhradh's cloak. It was cold, colder than most winters Geamhradh could remember but it didn't bother him any. He enjoyed the cold, it made him feel alive and free.
Geamhradh was a young man of nineteen, average height and weight. He had brown hair and a full bread that covered his face but did not hang past his chin. The green hills he was standing on was a part of his fathers land in Kerry Ireland. His father, Daearen, owned a large stock of sheep and was one of the most well known shepherds in the County. Daearen meant earth in the language of the land.
The flock of sheep were standing around eating the grass, and Geamhradh was sitting on a near by rock watching the sky. He loved the country he lived in, it was so luscious and green, it was pure beauty. While he was sitting there with the wind flowing through his cloak, he heard a voice from behind him.
He turned to see nothing but more beautiful green hills. As he turned back he heard the voice again.
He whipped around and responded.
“Father, is that you?”
There was no response. Geamhradh turned toward his sheep again and heard the voice a third time.
This time he stood up and turned around to see a dark figure floating behind him. The figure was clad in a black cloak and there was no face inside the hood. Darkness flowed from this mysterious figure and covered the land. Geamhradh immediately pulled out his knife he had tucked under his cloak. The figure moved his bony hand and the knife flew from Geamhradh's grip. It then spoke to him in a voice that sounded like death itself.
“No need for such foolishness young one. I am not here to harm you. That is unless you disappoint me in someway. Anyway I am here to offer you a contract.”
“What kind of contract, and why should I trust such a dark being?”
“Pardon me, I forgot to introduce myself. I am Bas, I come from darkness and am a part of darkness itself. I am here to offer you a contract as I said before. Darkness is about to take this land and swallow it whole, killing everybody and everything in it's path. Once all the meaningless is destroyed it will reform this land. The new darker land will need a leader, and I am offering this position to you.”
“Why do you think I would want any part of destroying this land? I love this land with my whole heart and soul.”
“Geamhradh, do you know the meaning of your name?”
“No, I do not.”
“Geamhradh means winter in the Celtic language. This is why you love the cold and the winter. You have a coldness in your heart that would be quite useful to our kind. Sadly all the warmth and love of this land has ruined your heart, but I believe that if you were to bring out your true self your cold heart would emerge.”
“Your crazy Bas! I would never join you and your darkness!”
“We shall see about that young one!”
Bas moved his bony hand again and lifted Geamhradh off the ground, and began to suck some of the life from him. As Geamhradh was struggling to get free a voice rang out from the bottom of the hill the two were standing on.
“Geamhradh! Where are you? Daearen said you were out with the sheep.”
Bas let Geamhradh fall. He twirled his black cloak toward the voice.
“Who is this that calls to you?”
“That is Gra, she is a good friend of mine.”
“Good friend? Hahaha! I can see in those eyes that you see her more than that. I have to leave due to this interruption but I am not finished with you yet. You are lucky your little friend stopped me from taking your soul. I shall give you a second chance and time to think of what I have offered. I must go now.”
Bas disappeared in a cloud of dark smoke. As soon as the smoke faded Gra had reached the top of the hill.
“There you are! I ran all over the hills looking for you. Anyway, how have you been?”
“I, uh, have been doing well.”
“Geamhradh, whats the matter?”
“Nothing for you to worry about. Now what did you want from me?”
“I just wanted to see you, maybe take a walk to the Cliffs of Donmire?”
“Actually that sound wonderful.”
Gra grabbed Geamhradh's hand and they walked down the hillside. These two have known each other for three years now and have grown a good relationship. They headed down the path that led to Donmire Cliffs. Geamhradh stopped and held both Gra's hands in his.
“Gra, we've known each other for sometime now. I really care about you a lot and would do anything for you. I'm not sure if you really know it, or if you feel the same way but...I love you.”
Gra's eyes sparkled and she let loose a beautiful smile.
“I have been waiting forever for you to tell me that! I have always felt the same way but was too afraid to mention it. Geamhradh you have made me so happy now!”
Gra grabbed Geamhradh's hand tighter and ran down the trail to the cliffs. They stopped at the edge where a bench Daearen had made sat. They sat down and looked out at the ocean. The sun was setting over the calm water and the sky was a hundred different colors. Gra leaned in and kissed Geamhradh. After the kiss both of them smiled and finished watching the sun set over the ocean. After it was dark Gra looked over at Geamhradh and smiled.
“I have never been so happy in my life, I don't want to leave! This is just great I could...”
She was interrupted by a hiss and black smoke. There floating over the cliff was Bas. Gra screamed and tried to run but Bas raised his hand and in a second she was floating there with him. Bas looked at Geamhradh and spoke.
“This thing is clogging your thoughts on our contract. Only one way to fix that.”
Bas faced Gra so that her eyes looked into that faceless dark pit in the hood of his cloak. She did not scream but only had a look of pure fear on her face. After a few seconds the life had been taken from her. Bas threw her on the ground next to Geamhradh. Geamhradh ran to her screaming her name. The one woman he loved was dead and lifeless. Bas floated next to Gra's body.
“There is only one way to cure your friend. Embrace the wintery heart that is inside of you and join me in the destruction of this land.”
“I will never join you! This land is mine, and you have already taken one thing I love. I will not bring her back into a world of darkness. You will pay for this Bas! I will never let you live after this.”
“Is this your choice foolish boy?”
“Yes, yes it is! I will not let you take my land. I will do everything in my power to stop you.”
“Then that is how it will be, I shall not deal with you right now. The time has come for me to begin the dark overtaking. I will deal with you later. I do not believe you will stick to this though. I can feel that cold heart coming out in your hatred for me. Embrace it, and take it in. Your wintery heart is the only thing that will give you enough strength to do anything. Do what you must do I have to go.”
The darkness swallowed Bas and he was gone. Geamhradh walked over and picked up Gra's body. He carried her down the trail and back to the cottage his father and him built. As he approached the cottage Daearen came running up.
“Geamhradh what happened?”
“Father, Gra is dead. There is a darkness that is about to cover the land, and I have to stop it in some way.”
Daearen looked at Geamhradh and motioned him inside the cottage. They laid Gra on the couch and then they sat at the table. Daearen began to unfold secrets that Geamhradh could never imagine.
“Son, you are not technically our son. We found you one winter nineteen years ago on a snowy mountaintop. We named you Geamhradh because of where we found you. Somehow you had survived the frigid weather and piercing wind. Your mother and I could not understand how an infant could last two minutes in that weather. We took you in and raised you as our own. You were never a normal child. The cold never bothered you and you never wore any warm clothing. When your mother passed she told me to keep an eye on you, she was afraid that whatever was inside you would one day come out. She was not sure if it was good or evil, but either way she still loved you. I think something is happening now, that darkness that is coming is bringing out what has laid dormant for years. I see no evil in it but if you used it the wrong way it could end that way. Always remember that hatred will never win. Once you learn to conquer the cold you have inside you, you will be able to use it for good.”
Geamhradh sat and stared at his father for a second, not sure what to think. He then got up and walked outside. As he walked out the sky was becoming darker and black clouds rolled in from the North. He knew that the darkness had already started. This had to be stopped, this land meant to much to him. He did not know what was inside him but he was willing to use it to destroy Bas and get revenge for Gra.
Daearen motioned Geamhradh towards the back of the cottage. Daearen leaned down and stuck his hand under a huge boulder. He pulled out a white sword, the hilt had snowflakes and vines etched into it. It gleamed in what little light was left, and was as white as fresh snowfall.
“We found this next to you when you were an infant on the mountaintop. Take it, it is yours, use it to save this land and Gra.”
Geamhradh took the sword and felt a coldness go down his spine. He turned toward the North and began to walk toward the center of the darkness. As he was heading up the hill and out of sight, Daearen shouted to him.
“Remember, hated will never win. Do not let the ice inside of you become dark!”
Geamhradh marched up the hill, sword in hand. Snow began to fall, and the higher Geamhradh went the thicker the snowfall became. The wind was blowing at a very high speed making the snow blow into his face making it hard to see. Geamhradh marched on up the hill as if the blizzard had no affect on him. Then a voice rang out from the sky, sounding of death.
“You are strong in the cold Geamhradh, but you are only a Shepard you could not handle any form of battle. Take him dark souls!”
Many figures began to form from the dark blizzard. They were skeletal figures of humans, humans who had died long ago, hearts filled with hatred. Geamhradh lifted his sword to fight, rage filling him. He slashed through the dark souls one after the other as if slicing butter. Bas did not like this so he increased the number of souls. Soon Geamhradh was fighting fifty dark souls at one time. He began to struggle, his endurance could not last this bombardment much longer. Yet he kept destroying each dark soul with his white sword. The souls kept coming and soon Geamhradh was down on one knee fighting with the last of his strength. He looked to the sky and yelled at Bas.
“You coward! You hide behind these dark souls because you know who I am and are afraid of me. Send these souls off and fight me and show that you are not a coward!”
The souls vanished in a dark mist. Geamhradh topped the hill, and when he reached the top he was taken to another place outside of his land. He was in a ruined place, a dark place. The trees were dead, grass did not exist. The most disturbing thing was the snow, it fell in large black flakes.
Ahead of Geamhradh was the cloaked figure of Bas. He floated above the grass-less ground and laughed.
“Hahaha! This is what your land will become once I am finished. You have not agreed to the contract so there fore this can not be yours. I must kill you now.”
Bas raised his hand and Geamhradh was lifted off the ground. Bas was about to take the life from Geamhradh when a giant white flash came from the white sword. Bas was thrown back and Geamhradh landed on his feet. He held his sword high and white snow swirled around him in a chaotic wind. His true power had been unleashed. Geamhradh ran toward Bas, his sword raised to strike. Bas saw the attack coming and dodged it. This frustrated Geamhradh, so he lunged again and again missing each time. After the third try Geamhradh let out a yell that could freeze blood. The snowy swirl had turned into a blizzard or wind and ice. He was barely visible under the mass of wintery might. A leap into the air he aimed his sword for Bas' head. He landed with and icy explosion and stood up grinning in victory. Once the air had cleared he noticed the spot he had hit was empty. He whirled around to see Bas behind him laughing.
“Very good Geamhradh! You are embracing your Ice Lord power with hate. You may end up joining us anyway.”
“Yes, you are an Ice Lord. Your real parents died fighting me. I left you alive to save for later. Ice Lords are people who come from the mountains. They live in conditions no one else could, and because of that they developed a very strong wintery power. That is the power you now have unleashed.”
“I...I'm an Ice Lord?”
“The last of your kind. Now join me, you can not defeat me no matter how strong you are.”
“I will never join you, I will destroy you!”
“Fine then, I will actually kill you this time.”
Bas came floating toward Geamhradh at a very high speed. Geamhradh, thinking back to what his father had told him, stood motionless. Bas stretched out his hand at the last second and pierced Geamhradh's abdomen.
“I am very sorry to see you leave this world, I could have really used you.”
“I...am...not...done with you yet!”
Geamhradh had frozen Bas' hand when it entered his body, making it impossible for Bas to remove his hand. Bas was now in a very vulnerable position. Geamhradh took his white sword and ran it through Bas' cloak, and a flash of white light exploded from the dark cloak. Bas fell to the ground and faced up toward Geamhradh.
“You...you have destroyed me. You can not destroy me for I am darkness itself!”
“I, Geamhradh, Ice Lord, have destroyed the darkness with my icy might. Go now darkness and never taint this land again!”
Bas faded into a dark mist, and the world around Geamhradh faded as well. He was back on the hilltop and a beautiful white snow was falling. He remembered his father and Gra, and ran back to the cottage. Daearen was standing in the doorway smiling.
“I do not know what you did, but you did it! I could never be prouder in my life. You are the bravest, strongest, and mightiest man in this land. Now, come in there is someone to see you.”
Before Geamhradh could come in, Gra peeked out the door. In a happy excitement Geamhradh ran up and picked up Gra and swung her around laughing.
“Your alive! I thought I had lost you. Gra, I love you. I hope you will always know that, and I will never let anything happen to you again.”
“Geamhradh I love you too!”
Somehow when the darkness had left, it lifted the evil out of Gra's body and brought her back to life. She kissed him and they both turned to look at Daearen. He smiled and asked Geamhradh how he had defeated the darkness.
“Father I learned that sometimes we have to put away our hatred and let things come at us. When we think we are defeated is when what we hate is most vulnerable. I have destroyed the evil chill inside of me and embraced the light. I am an Ice Lord and will never again let darkness take this land or any land.”
Geamhradh, Gra, and Daearen lived happy lives after this event. Any darkness that tried to take the land was swiftly stopped by the Ice Lord of Kerry Ireland. The storm of wind and ice would never haunt the earth as it had before, and all people lived in light.