Xelya the Farslayer notes the blooming of more crocuses this year. Ramsgaters called them “frostflowers.” Every time Xelya picks one she gets a chill. Finds it suspicious. The air feels wrong.
Not that the port is in any danger. Colder, sure. Ice in the air. Snow on the ground. Frostflowers … too many frostflowers. Sure. But the old man would know why. Xelya would talk to him later. Ask him why the wind sounds wrong. Old Arkan could hear the winds too.
She sees a team of Slayers coming back from the hunt. Meeting with friends. Heading back to the Broken Blade for warmers and a night of tales. If they notice the frostflowers, smell the change in currents, or wonder where the Behemoths keep coming from, they don’t seem to dwell on it.
“Frostfall,” Xelya says. Turns back to the darkened sky. Snowflakes whirl like living things dancing in the cold. She allows herself a grim smile as she imagines a Pangar and a Skraev doing the same. “Most wonderful time of the year.”
It’s that time of year again – the season when Ramsgate and the Shattered Isles drift into a persistent weather layer that suffuses many of the floating landscape with frost aether. Snow, ice, and frost come with the phenomenon, which the city celebrates with traditional festivals and gatherings. The diverse cultures of the various island states observe this time in different ways, but most share common traditions that point to an ancient origin for this nearly universal holiday.
Like many in the Shattered Isles, the citizens of Ramsgate celebrate the story of Silver Nikola, the Frostfall Queen. A figure of legend and song who has taken many forms over the centuries, Silver Nikola is said to sail the Shattered Isles at the coldest time of every Frostfall season, spreading joy and gifts to good children everywhere.
Ramsgate is experiencing its mildest Frostfall in living memory. Frostflowers – a species of cold-adapted crocus that bloom wild during the season – have sprung up all over Ramsgate in greater numbers than ever. This has caused the Regent of Ramsgate some concern, and so the city leadership is offering Silver Stars to Slayers who collect these flowers. The Regent hopes a thorough study will reveal more about the phenomenon (and keep the place tidy).
Spirits of Frostfall Pass
To help ensure Ramsgate is safe during this sometimes turbulent season, the leadership of the city has also authorized Silver Stars to be awarded when certain Behemoth break parts are taken as trophies or even when completing challenges for civic leaders around town. Silver Stars count toward ranks in your Hunt Pass. Pay a visit to Ramsgate’s resident stylist Gregario Flynt to learn more about the Hunt Pass and how you’ll unlock new rewards, including exclusive transmog gear and valuable reagents.
Frostfall is a season of contradictions: celebration and danger, storms and silence, warmth and ice. But as the annual chill settles into the bones of the city, the Slayers of Ramsgate will be ready to face the challenges of the long cold night.
“Xelya? Are you there?”
A man is in front of her. He’s not dressed as a Slayer. Like Xelya, his arms are bare against the cold, and like her, it doesn’t seem to bother him. The hammering man who works for the loud Ostian weaponsmith.
Xelya breaks away from the skies just for a moment. Cocks her head to one side like a Shrike assessing a Slayer’s arrival.
“You see me, Zebko. Where else would I be?” she replies.
“Well, see, that’s the thing,” the man continues. “I – we – that is, Mr. Bormen and I thought you might want to join us back at the forge. We’re working through the night, but we were going to have an evening meal anyway. Since things seem quiet out there, maybe you might want to join us?”
Xelya doesn’t say anything for a moment. She’s watching the skies above. Clouds hide the moon tonight, so the dancing of frost aether alone illuminates them. The Farslayer sees a shape, cold and swift against the storm. Her sharp ears pick up the Behemoth’s challenge.
She turns back to Zebko. Shakes her head with a grin. “Thanks. Thought about it. Appreciate the offer.”
The man readies a protest but she raises her hand as she steps onto her skyboard and kicks its tiny aetherdrive to life. “Maybe next year. Really. But it’s Frostfall, Zebko. And this is how a Slayer celebrates the season.”