Jocelyn looked up and saw the alignment of Falcon, Estaria's largest moon, and she knew winter would hit within the hour. She was rushing to get home. Anyone caught outside would die within minutes of exposure. As she ran through the all but empty streets she chastised herself for taking the winter closing shift at the saloon. She knew the dangers, but the pay had been too tempting. She was too receive 3 Griffon Marks assuming the bar lasted the week. She had closed everything properly and knew she would get paid. Now the only question was will she survive the next hour.
Jocelyn noticed a figure as she passed the alley beside the Golden Sun, the tavern she works at. The eyes shown red from the silhouette.
"My dear, would you be able to give a Dog to a poor man? It is all the money I need for a shelter. I will die otherwise." His voice was strange and not entirely real. She didn't want to stop she felt like she had no time, but she couldn't let him die. She searched her pocket and found a single Dog Coin. It was all she had left after stocking up on supplies and she knew a huge pay day was coming.
"This is all I have." and she threw it to him. The man caught the coin and smiled. Or at least Jocelyn sensed that he had smiled. It was then that Jocelyn felt the first wave of winter rush over her. She nodded to the man and ran.
"Thank you!" he shouted at her from the dark of the alley.
She was still about twenty minutes away from her personal shelter. She was poor and couldn't afford one of the nicer shelters. It was expensive to heat the larger spaces. She always felt claustrophobic inside her tomb, but she would live.
Her breath was starting to burn both from exertion and the cold. But she could see the rows of doors that were part of her vault structure. This vault structure housed about 40 individual tombs and 10 family tombs. No tombs were connected to prevent any breaks that could take out the entire vault. Her vault was on the opposite side she was getting so cold.
Falcon was rising a cold blue orb that filled the skyline. Larger than the sun this orb of death marked the new year. Everything would be born again once Falcon finally set. Falcon passes around Estaria once a year and all regions mark its path around Estaria instead of Estaria's path around the sun.
She was finally at her door, with no time to spare she reached in her pocket. She couldn't feel it. Ripping her pocket out it was empty. Where was her key. The vault door was unmovable without a key. She swore to the Fifteen and turned out her other pockets two at a time. It wasn't there. The office would have closed hours ago. Just like everything else in Pestle.
Already everything started to go numb. Breathing was pain she huddled against the door barely able to search her pockets any more. But that was her only hope.
Her fingertips could feel nothing. The cold was inescapable. Jocelyn fought back the impending, but it was too much. Pulling her hands from her pockets she slowly opened her fingers which were turning black. And in her palm sat the key. As she died she thought she saw the red eyes staring at her from the white darkness of Falcon's Winter.
Not sure how many parts this story will be, but it is based off of a campaign idea I had. I don't get to role play at all any more. So, I decided to write the story. The world of Estaria will become more richly detailed as you read, but it has been very fun for me to mentally design.