Ongoing Story Record of the Frost King (a novella, inspired by D&D/Pathfinder) - RPG Crossing
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Old Dec 10th, 2020, 09:44 AM
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Record of the Frost King (a novella, inspired by D&D/Pathfinder)

Chapter 01
~in the land of everlasting winter, the frost king reigns supreme~

My father once told me that I would someday rule his kingdom, taking his place as the king, just like how he became the king, taking his father's place. At that time when he told me that, I didn't quite understand what he meant, though he often reassured me that I would understand someday.

I wished he could explain more about being the king, though I knew that he would not be able to even say anything to me again as he was laid to rest in the magical ice coffin. Clad in white garb, my father seemed like he was slumbering rather than being dead in the coffin, and small part of me wished to see him reopening his eyes so that he could talk to me again.

In hindsight, that would be a terrible thing to happen, if a dead man suddenly opened his eyes while inside his coffin.

"Karol, it is time…" My mother spoke as she stood next to me, her hand on my shoulder. Her eyes remained focused on the body in the clear coffin. "Your father will rest here, alongside his ancestors." He would be entombed in a crypt just under the castle, alongside my ancestors. Due to traditions, their bodies were preserved in this crypt, and their bodies remained intact despite how long it had been.

I shivered slightly, for the first time feeling bothered by the coldness around me. The kingdom that my father used to rule is a land enchanted with everlasting winter, which made living rather difficult, but the people had gotten used to the coldness that they didn't seem to mind about it anymore. And now, the kingdom would be mine, and I would ascend the throne as the new king.

"Your father will join his ancestors in the Will of Balfrost…" my mother said, looking up as if seeing where my father would be heading to. "From now on, he will be watching over us and provide us with his guidance." She caressed my cheek tenderly, smiling despite just losing her husband. "You will become the new king, my sweet Karol. The whole kingdom is yours to rule, just like your ancestors before you."

"Mother…" I spoke, looking at my mother. "Will I be able to become a good king?" I hesitated as I looked back at my father, still in his ice coffin. "Will I be able to rule justly and wisely like father and the kings before me?" I still had quite a misgiving about ascending to the throne and ruling the kingdom, considering that I was still young. "I am unsure if I really have what it takes to become the king." I looked down, still wishing for the impossible, still wishing for my father to still be alive, giving me his advices on how to rule my people.

My mother, smiling sadly, stroked my cheek before she embraced me, her body trembling slightly. "Oh, my sweet Karol. Do not fret, sweet child. You will become the best among us. You will become the best king Balfrost will ever know." She stroked my cheek, her steely gray eyes boring into mine. I did not inherit the color of those eyes, taking after the fiery hearth of my father's instead. She kept looking into my eyes, as if lost in thought before she continued, "You will rule Balfrost wisely and justly. In this land of everlasting winter, you, the Frost King, shall reign supreme…"

The Frost King. For many generations, those who rule Balfrost were known as the Frost Kings, the monarchs who ruled the land of everlasting winter. And with the passing of my father, I would become one of them, taking the title for myself. Such a title felt heavy upon my shoulders, and I was unsure whether I could handle the weight of it alongside the crown that would rest upon my head. Still, the words of comfort from my mother seemed to have lessened my worry, and after she released me from her hug, I turned back to see the sleeping face of my father and continued my vigil.

"Father…" I mouthed out softly, addressing the man who had already departed from the world of living. "I can feel the weight of the crown that you had left for me, even though I haven't put it on yet. Still…" I smiled wanly, still feeling downhearted for losing someone I looked up the most, but I could also feel hope despite how uncertain my future seemed to be. "I will do my duty as the king of this kingdom, just like you and our forefathers. I know it will be hard, so…" I clasped my hands together, as if in prayer.

Closing my eyes, I prayed for my father whom I love despite leaving me too soon. I prayed for the wise king who left me the kingdom for me to rule. I prayed for the man whom I admired the most. I knew I would never be able to talk to him again, and it would be childish to wish for him to speak to me for one last time, but still, I prayed for him.

"Please, give me guidance."

Both my mother and I remained in the icy crypt, praying for the departed man who had joined his forefathers. I could barely feel a comforting presence, alleviating my grief a little. At the very least, this would help me to prepare myself for what to come, where nothing was certain.

**********

Arjuna332 presents...

RECORD OF THE FROST KING

**********

For future chroniclers, I would be known as King Karol II, the Savior King and the Ghost King of the North, but for the most of my life, I am simply known as Karol von Niflheimr. After the death of my father, King Klaus V, I didn't immediately ascend to the throne due to me being too young, at the age of fourteen. According to the laws, in order to become the king of the realm, one must be at the age of seventeen, and I still had to wait for three years to formally ascend to the throne.

Due to this, my mother became the queen regent, ruling in my stead for the time being until the day of my coronation as the king of Balfrost. My mother, the Dowager Queen Katarina von Niflheimr, was not a part of the royal bloodline, being married into the royal family. Even so, her family, the House of Laufey, was still a powerful noble family in Balfrost, and they were well-known for their sorcerous bloodline. My mother herself is a powerful sorceress whose unique bloodline allows her to manipulate ice. Being her child, it would be natural to assume that I inherited such ability.

Of course, being the heir to the throne of Balfrost, I was trained from early age on how to fight with weapons rather than with arcane arts. I started my combat training when I was at the young age of seven, and my father ensured that I would receive the best combat lessons from the finest warrior in the kingdom. While it was common for the children of noble families to receive combat lessons from early age, the lessons that I took were quite exceptional, and despite me never being in combat situations, I became learned in the arts of combat, adept in many forms of fighting, though I preferred using a greatsword, a bladed weapon that requires two hands to be wielded while in combat.

With my mother still being the regent, I still had my freedom with me, and I often took this opportunity to learn more about my kingdom, Balfrost. The land is in the northernmost part of Western Continent of Rignellia, and due to an old covenant, the land is enchanted with eternal winter. Due to its climate, Balfrost is commonly known as the Land of Everlasting Winter. The cold climate makes it hard for its people to cultivate its land, but its people had endured its harsh climate for many generations.

From what I had seen, the people were hardy and robust after adjusting to the harsh living condition in the wintry land, and I could see pride and fulfillment in their eyes. They were proud to be in the kingdom where land was scarce, but still able to endure. Also, after many years of enduring the harsh climate, the people had gotten used to the winter. The winter made people dependent to each other, cultivating tight bonds between the people of the realm. While it might be hard to grow crops here in Balfrost, the people managed to get by just fine.

For many years, Balfrost has relied on exported goods from neighboring kingdoms in order to sustain the lives of the people, exchanging livestock and foods with minerals, mundane and magical alike. Due to this, Balfrost has cultivated warm relationships with neighboring kingdoms, bringing in foreign traders and merchants to sell their goods.

Still, due to its riches, Balfrost had become a target of invasion numerous times at many points in history, but all those attempts to conquer the kingdom had failed due to the might of its army as well as the sheer strength of the Frost Kings, whose powers had brought many other kingdoms to ruins and devastation. The Frost Kings were said to be empowered by something called the Will of Balfrost, a divine force that had been worshipped by the people of Balfrost for thousands of years, and the infamy of the Frost Kings earned them the moniker 'The Boogiemen of the Western Continent'.

Speaking of which, once I ascended to the throne, I would also be known as the Frost King, but I knew I wouldn't go around destroying other kingdoms, since that would be horrible. Once I became the king, I planned to become a good king, just like father before me. But for the time being, I would be free to explore the realm, learning more about the world and becoming a wiser and kinder person in the process.

**********

Having nothing better to do, I spent most of my time wandering around the Frozen Keep, the castle where the royal family lived as well as where the royal court would be held. The Frozen Keep was made of ice, made possible due to magic and masterful engineering, and for normal people, it was a wondrous sight to be seen. But for me, I had spent most of my life in this ice castle, and there was nothing much to be seen. Of course, there were some parts that weren't made of ice, but that was neither here nor there.

Making my way down the icy corridor, I adjusted the enchanted ring that I wore to keep it in place. The ring was to ensure that I could stay warm around the structure, and despite its appearance, there were some parts of the castle that were warm, thanks to magic. Putting that matter aside, I continued walking down the corridor, thinking where to go after this.

I walked slowly and languidly, and as I was thinking about where to go, suddenly a pair of hands showed up from behind and covered both my eyes.

"Guess who?"

I let out a chuckle as I heard a familiar voice that sounded very energetic and feminine. Letting out a sigh, I brought my hands to the hands that were covering my eyes before I moved them away. "You're aware that I recognize your voice, aren't you?" I said, smiling wryly at the person behind me as I turned around to be greeted by the sight of a short-haired girl, whose smile was as bright as sunshine.

The girl, who was a bit taller and looking older than me, gave me a cheeky grin as she brought her hands to her back, tilting her head cutely. Her black hair was short and a bit messy, making her seem boyish in appearance, but the way she dressed herself made it clear that she was indeed a woman. Her outfit consisted of cropped hooded top and short shorts which exposed a huge amount of skin, and her belly was tantalizingly shown for everyone to see. Still, despite the exposure, she didn't have trouble with coldness at all due to her wearing the same enchanted ring that I wore. If anything, her outfit was tailored to allow her to move freely and swiftly due to her being a skilled hunter.

Of course, the most conspicuous feature that she had that made her seem different compared to other people was the fact that her ears were pointy, indicating that she was a half-elf. Elves have been living alongside humans for thousands of years, and elves are able to interbreed with humans, giving birth to half-elves. She was born from an elf mother and a human father.

Still, despite her having pointy ears, I smiled at her and spoke, "You seem healthy, Linde…" She smiled pleasantly upon hearing that from me, and the smile that she showed me could melt many hearts of those who saw it. "I'm sorry that you have to accompany me for today."

The half-elf, Linde, just shook her head and replied, "Nah, it's fine, Karol. It's my duty as your steward, after all. Plus, if I'm around you, no one's going to glare at me for being a half-elf. People won't show their ire at me in front of their future king, after all." Her pointy ears twitched after saying that, and I remembered the reason why she became my steward in the first place.

Linde von Ardrick was my childhood friend, with her uncle being my father's best friend back then when he was still alive. Still, the circumstances of her birth made her the black sheep of the family, and she was shunned by many people as a result. Her father was married to an elf, which caused quite a controversy among the people of Balfrost, who viewed the union between a human and elf to be unnatural. And due to an incident, both her parents died, leaving her under the care of her uncle, Lord Gordin von Ardrick. Lord Gordin himself was a widower with no children of his own, and after adopting her, he named her his heir and the future head of the House of Ardrick.

This caused an uproar among the nobles of Balfrost, and this decision made Lord Gordin unpopular among his peers. Still, due to him being my father's best friend and closest ally, he was practically untouchable and despite his decision making him unpopular, no one dared to challenge his decision, knowing that he held so much power due to his position. Still, to ensure her safety as well as to protect her from the ire of her relatives, Lord Gordin decided to have Linde fostered under my father, which explained why we grew up together since our childhood.

While I was trained to fight using swords, Linde was trained to use bows and arrows, making her a peerless marksman. Many thought that it was due to her heritage as a half-elf that allowed her to become such a marksman, but it was mostly due to her determination and desire to prove herself to those who looked down on her. And after being fostered under my family, Linde officially became my steward, someone tasked to accompany me wherever I go, effectively becoming a bodyguard of sorts.

So, with her being my steward, nobody dared to sneer and jeer at her for her mixed heritage and they could only resort to talking behind her back. Many nobles might be ambitious and power hungry, but they also knew to never offend the members of the royal family. After all, there was a reason why the House of Niflheimr managed to rule the kingdom for thousands of years, and they didn't want to invoke the wrath of the dreaded Frost King.

"Well, it sounds like it's convenient to have me around," I remarked to her jokingly, smiling teasingly at my childhood friend. Hearing that from me, her pointy ears twitched as her cheeks reddened.

"T-that's not what I meant! W-well…" Linde stammered before twiddled her fingers, looking flustered as I gave her a teasing look. "I-it's true that it's convenient to have you around, but that doesn't mean I'm taking advantage of you." She pouted a little. "Geez, you make me sound like some kind of opportunist!"

I laughed, savoring the look of embarrassment on her cute face. "Now, now, why don't you calm down a little? I'm sorry for saying that," I reassured her. "Don't worry about that. If you feel safe around me, I'll be glad to accompany you everywhere."

"Geez…" Linde blushed as she looked away from me, as if trying to hide her reddening cheeks. It was rare to see her being embarrassed like this, with her being the one who got to tease me, but it seemed that I managed to turn the table around this time. "F-fine, if you insist on that, then I'm going to continue taking advantage of you until I'm old and wrinkly."

I laughed after hearing that from her. It felt nice to have her around to talk to despite our age difference. Linde was four years older than me, being eighteen years old. When I was first introduced to her, I regarded her as an older sister, though as I grew up, I somehow stopped seeing her as an older sister. I did have a crush on her at some point, though I thought of it as a childish crush. I thought that it would be better to consider her as my childhood friend who was dear to me.

"So, where are we going now, Karol?" Linde asked as she walked alongside me, bouncing slightly as she walked. "Are we going to see the commoners again? Well, I've got no problem with that. Plus, the kids seemed to love playing with me." Unlike nobles, commoners regarded elves and half-elves with awe and wonder, and Linde enjoyed playing with the children of the commoners. Having her around also helped me seem more approachable to these people.

"I'm not sure, though if you want to go to the town, I see no problem with that." I remarked, but as the two of us walked down the icy corridor, I saw someone coming our way. The person in question was a tall woman clad in white dress which seemed to expose her pale shoulders, her white hair fashioned into a side ponytail. When the woman saw me, she perked up as she approached me, looking at me with her steely gray eyes.

"Oh, Karol…" The woman was my mother, the queen regent, Queen Katarina von Niflheimr. "And hello there, Linde." She gave my childhood friend a small smile before she looked back at me. "Are you going somewhere?" She seemed tired, probably due to her performing her duty as the regent, but she smiled at me regardless despite her apparent tiredness.

I scratched the back of my head before answering, "Well, I'm thinking about heading out, though I'm not sure where to go."

"I see…" My mother mused. "Well, I can understand that you are feeling restless now. I know there are a few things you can do to keep yourself preoccupied." She smiled at me as she looked at one direction. "Last night, I heard some howls of wolves from the forest just behind the Frozen Keep. I believe they are the winter direwolves. Perhaps you can look over there and see for yourself?"

I blinked. "Winter direwolves? You want me to look for them?" I questioned her after hearing her suggestion.

"Since ancient times, winter direwolves are the sacred animals of our kingdom, and they have a close connection to those with royal bloodline," my mother explained, referring to the royal family, the House of Niflheimr. "They are intelligent creatures, and if they live long enough, they will be capable of speaking intelligibly like us. They can even grow as big as a horse, and many of the ancient Frost Kings used to have winter direwolves as their mounts. And if you are worried about the danger they may pose, please do not worry. Winter direwolves will never attack you, considering that you have royal blood flowing in your veins."

"My queen…" Linde addressed my mother respectfully. "While the winter direwolves may not attack us, the same cannot be said about other creatures there. Do you think it will be safe for us to be there in the forest?" She brought up he concern which I considered valid, though my mother didn't seem too worried.

My mother gave Linde a reassuring smile. "Then, I shall trust you to keep my son safe, my dear Linde. The worst that you may encounter in the forest is probably a diresquirrel, and I doubt that it may pose any challenge to any of you." Then, she patted Linde's shoulder. "And, in case if there is indeed something truly dangerous, make use of this." She handed Linde a stick made of crystallite materials. "Snap it in half, then you will return here in the Frozen Keep."

"Very well…" Linde put the stick into her pouch. "I will make sure that Karol will be safe, my queen! I will protect him with my life if I must, I swear it!"

"I'll be counting on you, then." My mother nodded to Linde approvingly, trusting her to keep me safe, even though I could protect myself just fine. "Also, if you happen to find a winter direwolf, don't be afraid and try to communicate with it. If you are fortunate, then it may agree to become your companion." She then looked up, as if recalling something. "Back in the day, your father also had a winter direwolf as a companion before, though he released her back to the wild a few years later. He never explained to me about that, so I don't really understand why he released his companion back to the wild."

Then, my mother closed her eyes and turned around, looking to leave both of us.

"Why don't the two of you move along now? I'll be seeing you later, Karol, Linde." And so, my mother left.

I turned around to Linde, and the two of us exchanged looks before I said, "Well, let's get going now. Hope we can find some winter direwolves." And so, the two of us rush down the corridor, heading over to the barrack where we kept our equipment and prepared ourselves for our journey into the forest. While my mother said that it wouldn't be dangerous to be there, with the worst that we might encounter would be a diresquirrel, it wouldn't hurt to prepare ourselves for the worst-case scenario.

**********

Both Linde and I went to the forest just behind the Frozen Keep, and I had to keep up with Linde as we ventured deep into the forest. The forest was rather sparse due to the cold climate, and I could see clearly in this forest without any vegetation getting in my way.

"Hmm… your mother's right. I don't think we're going to encounter anything dangerous here," Linde told me as she observed her surroundings. She was trained to become a skilled tracker and ranger, making her a great hunter. "Still, I can find some footprints here. Judging from their sizes, I'm sure they are the winter direwolves we are looking for." After a pause, she added, "And there are a few smaller footprints too, so I guess we can even find some puppies." She beamed up after mentioning puppies. "I can't wait to see some cute puppies."

I smiled after seeing her enthusiasm. The two of us continued venturing through the forest, navigating the terrains. Linde showed her skill as a ranger by telling me about the tracks of animals that lived in the forest. Most of them are not dangerous, though we still prepared ourselves for any kind of combat situation. We carried our weapons of choice, with me carrying a greatsword on my back as well as a crossbow in case if I ever needed to shoot something. As for Linde, she carried a composite bow and a quiver filled with arrows. In case if she ever needed to enter a close quarter combat, she also carried a kukri that was sheathed on her hip.

So far, nothing dangerous showed up. We did see some small critters and animals, which posed little to not threat, and we continued onward into the forest to track down the winter direwolves. As we got deeper, we heard a howl, which indicated that the winter direwolves might be nearby.

"Well, these winter direwolves are probably intelligent enough that they can recognize a member of the royal family, but they are still wild animals. Once we see them, try to not spook them, though we have to be ready in case if they consider our presence unwelcome." Linde helpfully told me as we went towards the direction of the howl. We can see a few marks on the trees around us, as if indicating that we were entering their territory.

"If we can help it, in case if they see us as a threat, try to not harm them," I said, remembering what my mother said about winter direwolves being sacred animals in Balfrost. Linde nodded, agreeing with my sentiment as the two of us continued onward.

But then, as we get deeper into their territory, we suddenly hear a monstrous roar that certainly didn't belong to a direwolf. Linde's elven ears perked up in alert, as if alarmed by the roar. She brandished her composite bow and pulled out two arrows from her quiver. Muttering something under her breath, Linde focused her gaze at the direction from where the roar came from, and I could see her eyes shifting slightly. Feathers sprouted out at the back of her elven ears as her eyes changed their color from black to yellow, which somehow reminded me of a bird of prey.

"Something showed up there." Linde spoke, focusing her raptor eyes at the direction where the roar came from. I could feel that with those eyes, she could see things that were far away from her. "It's attacking the direwolves!" She sounded alarmed before she looked at me, those feathers fell off from her ears as her eyes reverted to normal. "Come on, Karol! The direwolves are in danger!"

Hearing that from Linde, I immediately broke into a sprint, with her following me. I unsheathed my sword, ready to enter combat. Then, we entered a clearing, and we could clearly see the creature that was attacking the winter direwolves.

The creature was tall, looking rather ape-like, standing on both of its feet, and its body was covered in white fur. As for its build, the creature was lanky, with its arms disproportionately long for its body, and it had huge belly. And its fur was covered in blood, with each of its hands tightly holding a crushed body of a direwolf puppy. Linde gasped as she saw such a gruesome thing, though she immediately recovered and nocked her arrow on her bowstring, ready to fire at the furred creature.

Meanwhile, it was facing another creature, also covered in white fur. It was a winter direwolf, which was as big as a horse. It seemed to be grievously injured, judging from its wounds, but it growled at the massive creature that had slain its puppies as it kept itself between the creature and its remaining puppy, that seemed to be frightened by the sight of its siblings being crushed by the creature's massive hands.

The creature seemed to be preoccupied by the injured winter direwolf, not realizing our presence. I took advantage of this by taking aim with my crossbow before shooting a bolt right at its side. The creature let out a cry of pain, but it didn't look like the bolt did much damage on it.

Realizing that it was attacked, it turned its attention on the two of us, and it tossed aside the crushed remains of the puppies that it had killed before. It let out a human-like growl, wiping its bloodied palms on its white fur before it let out a roar. I stood my ground, my heart filled with determination as I prayed to the Will of Balfrost, hoping to channel my fury to be my strength. The blade of my greatsword turned radiant as the Will of Balfrost answered my call, and the blade would harm anything evil.

I breathed out, feeling energized by my righteous fury. I could feel evil radiating from the very being of the creature before us. It had slain the winter direwolves, the sacred animals of the kingdom, and I saw such action as evil.

Not wanting to give the creature an opportunity to attack first, I launched myself towards the creature, closing the distance between the two of us before I struck at its belly with my greatsword. I could feel the blade cutting through its flesh, and it let out a massive roar of pain as the very essence of my blade was anathema to its very being.

Still, after attacking, I placed myself within its range, and the creature tried to attack me with its long arms. But before it could land its hit, two arrows flew past me, hitting the creature right in its chest. It let out another roar of pain as it staggered back. I took this opportunity to move past the creature and tried to attack at its flank, and once again, my greatsword cut through its hide, wounding the creature once again.

I tried attacking the creature from different directions, but no matter how many times I landed my hit, the creature simply refused to fall and die. In fact, it continued to fight, swinging its arms wildly, and I took some of its hits. Luckily, my chestplate lessened the blow, though it still hurt.

Eventually, I had to slow down due to exhaustion, and the creature remained standing despite taking many hits on its body, which was littered with wounds from my sword. I could see almost a dozen arrows sticking on its body, including one in its eye, but all those wounds hardly slowed it down.

"Karol, I'm running out of arrows…" Linde informed me, and I could see that her quiver was almost empty. "We should get out of here."

"But… the direwolves…" I said, looking at the mother direwolf that was protecting its puppy. It was terribly hurt, and its puppy snuggled against it.

Linde seemed to be trying to come up with a solution before she pulled out the crystal stick that my mother handed to her earlier. "Maybe… maybe this can work…" She looked at me. "Karol, come here! If we huddle together, maybe we can get out of this with them too!"

Hearing that from Linde, I rushed towards her, barely avoiding another strike from the creature. She rushed towards the wounded direwolf, and it let out a whine as the two of us pressed ourselves against its body. The creature was about to attack all of us as Linde broke the stick, and the moment the stick was broken, we were surrounded in light as the forest disappeared.

I could feel that my eyes were overwhelmed by the light around us, and once my vision returned to me, I found myself right in front of the Frozen Keep. There were a few onlookers around us who gawked at us, who somehow showed up out of nowhere. Linde still pressed herself against the injured direwolf's body before she opened her eyes, finding that we were no longer in the forest.

"A-are we… safe now?" Linde questioned as she looked at her surroundings before she let out a sigh of relief. People around us realized that there was a horse-sized wolf with us, and they were alarmed.

As we were surrounded by curious people, I could see that my mother was making her way towards us. Realizing that the regent queen was coming, the people moved away, not wanting to stand in her way.

"What's happening here?" My mother asked, befuddled by the sudden appearance of the wounded beast right before the castle before she saw both you and Linde. "Karol? Linde?" After a while, she realized what was happening, and she looked at the wounded direwolf, looking rather concerned by this.

"Mother…" I said, standing up to address my mother, but she just smiled at me.

"Get inside, Karol. Linde, please escort my son into the Frozen Keep." Then, she moved closer towards the wounded beast, inspecting its wound. Nodding to herself a few times, she then got up before she addressed her guards. "Bring the beast and its child in. Try to find someone who can treat its wound." She then bent down and stroke the winter direwolf's head. "We can't let it die."

And so, everything went blur afterwards. As for me, I got myself checked and found that there were a few bruises on my chest thanks to the hits that I had taken from that creature, but I was mostly fine. As for Linde, considering that she used her bow and arrows to attack from a distance, she was also fine. The winter direwolf and its pup were brought into the Frozen Keep and treated.

Meanwhile, after making sure that the mother direwolf was fine, my mother went to see me and apologized for everything. She didn't know that there was a dangerous creature in the forest, and she had already dispatched a squad of elite soldiers to hunt the creature down.

"Are you sure you are unhurt?" Linde asked me as she brought her hand to my chest. I blushed slightly as I shook my head. We were at the dining room, getting ourselves something to eat after everything that had happened.

"I'm fine, don't worry about it." I told Linde before I tried to change the subject. "Putting that aside, do you know what kind of creature that thing was?" I asked Linde about what that creature might be. Linde brought her hand to her chin, as if deep in thought.

"Hmm… from its appearance alone, I believe it's probably a yeti," Linde reckoned before she dropped her hand from her chin, looking at me. "But a yeti typically never attacks other creatures unless if they need to hunt for food. And they will never attack creatures like winter direwolves to hunt them down. It feels like it attacked and killed those puppies for the sake of killing. Also, the yeti refused to fall after taking many attacks from us, so there had to be something that drove it to attack the direwolves…"

The two of us continued mulling over the matter while enjoying our foods, not realizing that this was just the beginning of what to come for us. We had no way of knowing the future, and at that time, we did not know that something big was awaiting us in the future.

End of Chapter 01



Author's NoteThis is an original story that I wrote sometime ago, which is inspired by D&D, or rather, Pathfinder. There are some aspects of the games that can be seen in the story, and as you can see, there are several D&D/Pathfinder aspects in the story. Hope you guys like the story, and if possible, you can give your thoughts about it. Thank you for reading.
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-Record of the Frost King

Last edited by Arjuna332; Dec 10th, 2020 at 09:53 AM.
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Old Dec 11th, 2020, 05:09 AM
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Chapter 02It had been a week since both Linde and I ventured into the forest to look for winter direwolves, only to stumble upon a berserk yeti that was murdering a few direwolf puppies. We fought the ape-like beast to the best of our abilities, but no matter how many times we struck it, the yeti simply refused to fall down, and due to our exhaustion, we were forced to escape, bringing a direwolf mother and its remaining puppy with us.

After hearing about the murderous yeti in the forest, my mother dispatched a squad of elite soldiers into the forest in order to hunt down the beast, but somehow, the yeti had disappeared. There were a few traces of it, including the carcasses of the crushed direwolf puppies it slew, but the actual beast was nowhere to be found. In the end, the soldiers stayed around the area and patrolled the forest in case if the yet showed up again.

As for the direwolf mother and her puppies, the two of them had been nursed back to health, and my mother ended up adopting the direwolf mother. Despite her not being someone from the royal family due to her being married into it, the direwolf mother seemed to have taken quite a liking on my mother, probably due to her helping the healers to nurse her back to health.

Just like what my mother said, direwolves are intelligent creatures. From what I had seen, they could understand verbal instructions, and despite being around the same size as an adult horse, the direwolf mother acted like a normal dog, much to the amusement of the people in the castle. While there were those who were spooked by the direwolf's size, the direwolf never attacked anyone. In fact, she was docile, and many children seemed to have taken a liking to her, and I often saw her playing with children.

As for the puppy, I ended up taking care of her, and it was Linde who confirmed that the puppy was a female. I named her Aurore, and she seemed to be liking the name. While she might be cute and cuddly now, she would grow up to be as huge as her mother. My mother even told me that I could even use her as a mount. Many Frost Kings in the past used to have winter direwolves as their mounts, riding them into battles.

I couldn't imagine myself getting into battles while riding Aurore but riding a direwolf seemed more interesting than riding a horse. From what I had learned, direwolves grew up rather quickly, and in three months, Aurore would grow up to become as large as a pony, if she got good foods and enough space to run around freely.

In the end, the matter about the yeti was put aside, considering that the beast had disappeared from the forest. Perhaps it simply left, though no one knew for sure. The soldiers occasionally went into the forest to patrol the area just in case if the yeti might show up, but so far, the yeti was nowhere to be found. Now that I had put the matter out of my mind, I spent most of my time playing with Aurore, training and hanging out with Linde.

But then, one day we received a message that we would be getting some visitors, and we would have to prepare ourselves for their arrival.

**********

"The orcs are coming?" I inquired my mother after hearing it the first time from her. Earlier, a messenger had arrived that a contingent of orcs was heading to the Frozen Keep, looking for an audience with the regent, who was my mother. As mentioned earlier, I was still too young to ascend to the throne and become the king of Balfrost.

"Yes. It looks like they received the message about the king's passing…" my mother said, her face looking impassive. We were currently in the hall where both Linde and I were walking around, having nothing better to do. My mother found us and informed us about the arrival of the orcs.

The orcs came from Vilhammar, which was located at the northernmost part of Balfrost, and they had been the subjects of the kingdom for many years. Normally, orcs would never submit under the authority of a human ruler, but the orcs of Vilhammar had been loyally serving the monarch for many generations as the defenders of the realm against the invaders from the north, which consisted of the tribes of ice giants as well as the wildlings that sought to invade Balfrost for their riches.

In exchange of their service, the orcs of Vilhammar were granted full citizenship, allowing their children to receive education and basic cares. While the orcs still maintained their nomadic lives in Vilhammar, schools and hospitals had been built. This in turn also allowed them to interbreed with humans, giving birth to half-orcs.

Unlike half-elves that were regarded with prejudice among the nobles, the half-orcs were highly respected by the orcish society of Vilhammar. Considering that half-orcs seemed to inherit both the best traits from their parents, they were better fighters and tacticians among the orcs, and in their society, they seemed to favor their strength and battle prowess.

Speaking of which, the delegation of the orcs of Vilhammar would be coming to Balfrost due to the passing of the king, my father. From the message that we received, they would be coming to Balfrost to pay their last respect, though we already knew that they were coming in order to ascertain me, their future king. After all, the reason why they were willing to become the subject of a human kingdom was due to the strength of the Frost King. And now, an unproven young man would ascend to the throne, and they would like to see whether I was worthy of taking the mantle of the Frost King or not.

"So, the orcs are coming, huh?" Linde said after my mother left. "Aren't you worried, Karol? I mean, they're going to see your worth as their future king. If they decide that you're not worth it, they may end up rebelling against the kingdom…"

I shook my head. "Even if they don't approve of me, it would be a bad idea to rebel against the kingdom." I went over to a window and looked outside. "Even without the Frost King, the army of Balfrost is considered the strongest one in Western Rignellia. Also, the orcs of Vilhammar are honorable warriors. They can't simply renege on the deal that they had with the kingdom before just because they see the new king as weak."

"Huh." Linde shrugged before she crossed her arms under her breasts, somehow pushing them up, emphasizing their size. I tried my best to not stare. "Well, try your best to make a good first impression and impressing them, Karol. You're supposed to be the future king of Balfrost, right? Maybe you should start acting like a king from now on…" Then, she gave me a teasing grin. "You should at least grow a few inches taller to make yourself look intimidating, for starter."

I blushed, fully aware that Linde was slightly taller than me in terms of height. Well, it couldn't be helped. I was still young and hadn't finished growing up yet. I'm sure that at some point, I would become taller than her, and she would never tease me again.

"I'm still not done growing up, you know?" I pointed out. "One day, you'll have to look up just to see my face, I'm sure of that." I was expecting a sarcastic retort from my childhood friend as I said that, but instead, her cheeks turned rosy red as she looked away.

"W-well… I'll be sure to look forward to that…" Linde said, as if trying her best to sound nonchalant. Then she started muttering something under her breath, though I could hear a few words like 'big' and 'stud' from her. I wasn't sure what she was talking about, so I just chalked it up to her being a little weird.

**********

The day of their arrival had come, and we could see their delegation from the tower of Frozen Keep. They might seem like a visiting delegation, but they way they presented themselves felt like they were coming for war. They carried their war banners with them, and instead of riding horses, they were riding raptors as their mounts. Raptors are highly aggressive reptilian animals that are bipedal but can be ridden. Other than being their mounts, they can also attack with their razor-sharp teeth and claws.

As for the orcs, they were wearing thick pelts as coats to protect themselves from the cold, though many of them were exposed to the elements, showing off their muscular frames and skin tones, ranging from various shades of gray to dark green. And as they entered the town, the people were advised to get into their houses and clear the path to prevent agitating the raptors. While they might have tamed the raptors as their mounts, they were still very unpredictable due to their aggressiveness.

Soon, the contingent of orcs finally arrived at the Frozen Keep, and from the sound of it, their chieftain was also coming with them. They entered the castle and went into the royal court where both my mother and I were waiting for them. As the regent, my mother sat on the throne while I sat next to her on the smaller throne.

There were at least a dozen orcs that entered the courtroom. They removed their cloaks, revealing their clothes underneath. They were lightly dressed, with some of them even going topless, with only a few leather straps and shoulder pauldrons as their protection. There were also some female orcs that joined the rest, and like the rest of them, they were also lightly dressed, wearing only small strips of fabric to cover their breasts and small loincloth to cover their loins. Still, it was undeniable that all of them were seasoned combatants, based on the scars on their bodies.

The herald announced the presence of the chieftain of the orcs, whose skin was dark gray, and he stepped forward. He towered almost everyone in the courtroom, and he was even taller than the rest of his entourages. Clad in a sleeveless leather armor, I could see his muscular arms that were covered with bracers, thick and cordy, and they were riddled with scars. His face seemed rather leathered and wizened, and his black hair and beard were fashioned into braids, decorated with beads and talismans. He also had a pair of tusks coming out of his mouth, which made him look like a boar.

Contrasting with his appearance, however, the chieftain's eyes were pale blue in color, almost glowing as he tipped his head, casting shadow on the upper part of his face. They seemed to lack the ferocity of a mighty warrior, and those eyes made him seem like a mystical sage.

"It has been a while, Chieftain Barok." My mother, the regent, spoke first as she addressed the chieftain.

"It has been a while, indeed…" Chieftain Barok responded. "I apologize for the delay. The message took longer to reach us at Vilhammar, where the cold is much harsher." His voice was deep, but his words were well-articulated. "Still, Vilhammar is here, and we would like to pay our respect to the departed King of Frost."

"We are grateful for that. Vilhammar has been assisting us in keeping the peace of the kingdom, and we are forever indebted to you. Still, I believe that you have another purpose to come here in place, no?" My mother said, and Chieftain Barok looked up to see the face of the queen.

"Indeed. Besides paying our respect to the late king, we are also here to… ascertain something…" Chieftain Barok then turned his attention on me, who was seated on the smaller throne next to the one that my mother was sitting on. "The boy… is he the new king?" He asked.

"My son still hasn't come of age yet to formally be coronated as the new king." My mother pointed out as she gestured towards me. "Under our laws, he will be coronated as the king of Balfrost at the age of seventeen, three years from now. For the time being, I will be ruling in his stead as the regent."

"I see…" Chieftain Barok mused before he looked at me again. "I wish to see him. I wish to see the face of our future king." He sounded like he was demanding to see my face, but my mother didn't take any offense to that as she looked at me and nodded her head, smiling softly.

"Go ahead. Let him look…" my mother gestured to me to move down to give the chieftain what he wanted. Hesitantly, I got up from the throne and walked down the altar so that the chieftain could properly see my face. He was taller than me, and I could only reach the height of his lower chest. In order to look at my face properly, he got down and bent his knee, bringing himself lower so that he could see my face much easier.

He studied me, looking straight into my eyes. His pale blue eyes glowed slightly as he tipped his head again, and he was stroking his braided beard as he studied me.

"What's your name, little king?" Chieftain Barok asked, his voice booming though sounding much gentler than before.

"Karol von Niflheimr," I answered, the Will of Balfrost dulling my fear.

"Karol…" Chieftain Barok mused before nodding. "In old language, Karol means 'liberator' or 'a strong man'. A fitting name for a boy marked with greatness." He smiled, and his tusks became more pronounced. "You have the face of your father. You look exactly like Klaus when he was still a child…"

That got my attention. "You knew my father?"

Chieftain Barok nodded. "He was a great man and a mighty warrior. He was a friend of mine." He then got up. "His passing is a huge loss for the people of Vilhammar."

And with that, Chieftain Barok was done looking at me. When it was time for him to pay his respect to my father, he decided to bring up something.

"Also, I would like to provide a tribute for the kingdom…" Chieftain Barok spoke out before he gestured towards one of his entourages. A female orc stepped forward before she got down on one knee, bowing her head. From what I could see, her skin tone was gray like Chieftain Barok, only lighter. She was lightly dressed, only wearing a skimpy outfit which consisted of black bikini top and bottoms, though her body was also adorned with bracers and belts that were magical in nature, providing protection to her body in lieu of actual armor. "This is Duryath, my daughter. Starting today, she will be staying here in the Frozen Keep as the little king's retainer. Though still young, she is a mighty warrior, and she will definitely serve him well as his retainer."

"If my son assents to it, then she will be a fine retainer for him," my mother said before she looked at me. "Karol, would you like to take her as your retainer?"

I put my attention on Duryath. Despite her being an orc, she was actually very beautiful. I still could see her tusks peeking out from her mouth, but other than that, she looked like a human rather than an orc. Also, she seemed very strong, and it was in my best interest to have someone strong around me. Seeing no problem with that, I nodded.

"Very well. Then, I shall trust you to keep the safety of my son, Duryath…" my mother said to the female orc. Now that the matter was done, it was time for Chieftain Barok and his entourage to pay their respect for my father.

It was a solemn affair, and it was clear that the orcs respected my father so much. They respected not only his strength, but also his integrity and charitable nature. It seemed that I had a very big shoe to fill now that I was to inherit the throne and the crown of the king of Balfrost. I wasn't sure if I could grow up to be a great man like my father.

**********

After a few days, Chieftain Barok and his entourages left the Frozen Keep to head back to Vilhammar, and he left his daughter, Duryath, so that she could act as my vassal. Once her father left, Duryath began exploring the castle, bringing both Linde and I as her guides.

"So, you're telling me that this castle was made thanks to magic?" Duryath asked Linde as she learned more about the Frozen Keep.

"Well, without magic, there's no way we can live inside here. Cooking still need flame, so a little bit of magic is required to allow that," Linde explained. Duryath's expression brightened as she learned something new.

Also, it turned out that Duryath was a half-orc, with her mother being a human. That could explain why she managed to get along with Linde, who was a half-elf. They seemed to be bonding over their mixed heritages, even though Duryath never had to deal with the prejudice from the nobles due to her being a half-elf. In the orcish society, half-orcs were never ostracized because their mixed heritage made them better fighters, and orcs valued strength over something petty like prejudice.

"Speaking of which, aren't you feeling cold, Duryath?" Linde asked. "You don't look like you're wearing any enchanted ring to keep yourself warm. And you're even dressed like that." She pointed out that Duryath was wearing essentially a bikini armor, which exposed a huge amount of skin. I tried my best to not be flustered by such exposure. I had lived most of my life seeing the exposed stomach of Linde, so I should be able to deal with such heavy exposure.

"Nah, the cold never bothered me anyway," Duryath shrugged nonchalantly. "Vilhammar is even colder than here, and we orcs are already used to the cold to even care." Then, she shamelessly flaunted her body, and I averted my gaze, trying my best to not get some funny ideas. "And since I've got this body, may as well show it off for all to see. Covering it up feels like a total waste."

"Well, that's an interesting way to look at things," Linde commented. "I don't think I have enough courage to show off just like that, and I'm proud of my own body." She brought her hands onto her breasts and cupped them. "Look at these! I gotta thank my mom for giving me this body!"

At this rate, I decided to ditch them before things became too heated. I heard the two of them laughing upon seeing me retreating from them. Feeling my cheeks flushing, I made sure to cool myself down. I knew that they were only teasing me, but I still needed to distance myself from them for the time being and give myself some room for myself.

So, now that I had left both Linde and Duryath behind, I decided to walk around the Frozen Keep for a bit. Thinking that the two of them would be alright on their own, I made my way down the frozen corridor, thinking of what to do next. Some servants passed by and greeted me, and I returned their greetings.

Then, as I walked, I noticed that I was being followed. Thinking that it might be Linde or Duryath who decided to pull a prank on me, I just left them be. But then, I realized that the corridor had become empty, and my surroundings turned dimmer. The Will of Balfrost swirled inside me, steeling my resolve and filling me with courage. I had no sword in my hands to wield, but my fists should be enough to arm me against whatever that was stalking me.

I wasn't sure what was happening to me, but I was certain that I was no longer in the Frozen Keep. Sure, the surroundings might seem familiar to me, but the oppressive feeling made it feel like I was being transported into another dimension. My fists glowed with righteous fury, made to be used to smite the wicked.

"Whatever you are, come out now," I said, telling whatever that was stalking me to show up already. It might have caught me in a bad time, but I would surely fight back if it decided to bring harm to me.

Then, an apparition appeared. It was a pale young girl with white hair, dressed in white dress. There was no expression on her face. From the look of it, she was barefooted, and the coldness around her didn't seem to affect her in any way despite her wearing a sleeveless dress.

Her most striking feature was her eyes, which were red in color, like mine. However, unlike my eyes, which were often compared to warm hearth, her eyes were blazing like hellfire, and when our eyes met, I could hear a voice talking directly into my mind.

"It is not time yet for you to be here…"

I assumed the voice was hers, and her voice was filled with sorrow. I tried channeling the Will of Balfrost to see if the apparition before me was evil in nature, but nothing came up, indicating that the apparition wasn't evil. Still, I kept my guard up, knowing that I couldn't simply let my guard down just because the apparition before me wasn't evil.

"Who are you?" I questioned her, keeping my fists up in preparation for anything. "What do you mean by that? Where are we? Why did you bring me here?" I gave her question after question, but she didn't seem to be in a mood to answer any of them.

"A great calamity shall befall you in the near future…" the apparition spoke to me in foreboding tone, her voice echoing inside my mind. "That's all you have to know so far…"

I was confused by what she was saying. "Great calamity? In near future? What are you talking about?" I questioned her again, and like before, she wasn't going to answer that.

"One day, we will meet again. In another place. In another circumstance. And we will need each other." A hint of emotion could be seen on the apparition's face before her lips curled up into a sad smile. "You and I are bound together. Until then…"

She brought up her hand, as if trying to reach out to me. The floor that I was standing on felt like it was crumbling, and I instinctively held out my hand, trying to hold onto the hand that she held out.

"…farewell, Frost King."

My senses were getting overwhelmed as I felt like everything turning upside down around me. The last thing I saw before I blacked out was the smile on her face.

"Please, hang in there…"

**********

"Hey, are you okay?" I felt someone shaking me, and I regained my senses only to see the concerned look on Linde's face. Next to her, Duryath seemed curious as she looked at me. It seemed that I was back in the corridor in the Frozen Keep, and there were other people around me. "You're spacing out, Karol."

It seemed that everything had returned to normal. The lights had returned in the corridor, and there were people passing by as we stood there. The apparition was nowhere to be seen, though I still could remember her last words before everything went back to normal.

"Uh, did I do anything weird?" I asked. Both Linde and Duryath looked at each other for a bit before the half-elf answered my question.

"Well, you were staring off into the distance while standing here," Linde pointed out. She studied my face for a bit before she asked, "Did something happen? Were you thinking about something serious or stuff like that?"

I was unsure what to tell her. I wasn't even sure if that meeting with the apparition earlier was even real or not, and I didn't want her to think that I was being weird. Eventually, I decided to give her some white lie. "It's nothing. Just thinking about something unimportant."

"Huh." Linde looked unconvinced, but she seemed to accept my answer as she nodded. "Well, if it's nothing, then I don't have to worry, then. But if you want to space out, make sure that you're not standing in anyone's way. People are going to bump into you if you're not careful." She reminded me to be careful. I smiled bashfully at her, accepting her scolding despite her being my steward.

"Then again, I don't think anyone wants to bump into him, considering he's the future king and all. They don't want to end up having their own heads on the pikes, or something like that," Duryath pointed out, grinning.

I flushed. "T-there's no way that's going to happen. I am not that cruel, you know?" I countered, and Duryath guffawed upon seeing me being flustered. Linde joined her in her laughter. Seeing that the two of them were laughing at my expense, I simply sighed before I joined in as well.

"Well, let's hope that's not going to happen anytime soon," Linde said, smiling softly at me after she finished laughing. "Karol isn't that kind of person, right? You're going to be a good king. There's no way you're going to do something so cruel."

"Heh, you don't look like someone who likes cutting off people's heads, so I'm not too worried about that." Duryath pointed out, grinning at me as she crossed her arms under her breasts. "Plus, if you're going down that path, we'll make sure to smack some sense into you…"

I smiled at the two of them. I could feel that I could trust the two of them, even though I only met Duryath recently. At that time, I wasn't aware that the two of them, alongside many others, would play their important roles in preventing me from slipping down a slippery slope. At that time, I simply felt grateful to have the two of them around.

"Thank you…" I expressed my gratitude to the two of them. "Well, I'm glad that you two are here for me." I felt a little embarrassed after saying that. "I feel silly for saying that, but I really am glad."

"Hey, I don't mind a little bit of silliness once in a while," Linde said. "I am glad that we get to talk about this, Karol. I mean, when that girl came over and told us that you're spacing out and standing here, I didn't think we're going to have this kind of conversation."

"Yeah, that girl," Duryath nodded. "She seemed pretty worried, though, so we rushed over here to find you. We thought you were in trouble." She looked at me as she said that.

"A girl?" I asked, looking at both Linde and Duryath quizzically.

"When I think about it, I never saw that girl before. I thought she's a servant's kid." Linde put her hand under her chin, seemingly recalling about something. "She's pretty cute, though now that I think about it again, she's wearing a flimsy dress, and she's not even wearing a ring like us."

"She didn't look too bothered with the cold," Duryath interjected. "Maybe she's used to the cold."

"Yeah, I guess so…" Linde nodded. "Still, I don't think we're going to miss her in case if she's around here. I mean, she's got white hair, like Karol. And she even has red eyes too."

That got me thinking. Was the girl they were talking about the girl that I met earlier? Did the meeting earlier really happen? As questions began to form in my head, I saw the girl with white hair walking away from us. Before she disappeared, she glanced over her shoulder, directing her gaze at me.

Then, she brought her finger to her lips, as if shushing me. Right after that, before she turn around the corner, disappearing from my vision, she left her last words directly into my mind.

"It's not the right time yet…"

End of Chapter 02



Author's NoteThis is the second chapter of Record of the Frost King. Feel free to drop a comment or something, that will be appreciated. More contents to come in the future, so please look forward to it.
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Old Dec 11th, 2020, 06:46 AM
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Karol von Niflheimr
Karol von Niflheimr
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Class: Paladin

Race: Human

Alignment: Lawful Good

Physical Description: Standing at 5'6", Karol von Niflheimr is a young man with a slight build. Clad entirely in white, even his armor, the only thing that clashes with his color scheme is the color of his eyes, which are bright red, often described as red as a fiery hearth. His white hair is slightly messy, and he has quite a pale complexion due to him living in a cold, wintry place. Being the future king of Balfrost, he has quite a regal appearance, and despite his slight frame, he has quite a commanding presence.

Personality: Karol von Niflheimr has been trained since his early age to be a ruler and a warrior who fights for the righteous and just causes. Despite his youth, he seems to have adopted the persona of a grim warrior king whose duty is for the kingdom and its people. After being anointed as a paladin, he is fearless in the face of evil, and he will do everything he can to eradicate evil that appears before him. He is a honorable man who wishes to emulate his forefathers, the previous kings, to become just as righteous as them. Even so, he is still a young man, and despite him wanting to be an ideal king for his kingdom, he still has to struggle with other things that a growing man has to go through. He is aware that despite all the lofty expectations that he has on himself, he is still a very flawed man, and while he knows that he can never be perfect, he will strive to reach such ideal, for the sake of his people and the kingdom that he is bound to rule.

Background: Born the only child from House Niflheimr, the ruling family of Balfrost for thousands of years, Karol von Niflheimr was groomed to become the next king of Balfrost by his father. But before he could reach his maturity, his father suddenly died. Not yet an adult, his mother became his regent, and she would continue ruling the kingdom in his stead until he reached the age of seventeen. That would be the time when he would ascend the throne and become the real ruler of Balfrost. Technically, he was the king of Balfrost, but for the time being, his mother would do all the hard works in ruling Balfrost. So, for now, he was free to do whatever he wanted, and he had enough time to grow into a fine man who would become the next Frost King.
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Old Dec 11th, 2020, 07:19 AM
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Linde von Ardrick
Linde von Ardrick
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Class: Ranger

Race: Half-Elf

Alignment: Neutral Good

Physical Description: Standing at 5'8", Linde von Ardrick is a young woman with a slight build. Her preferred outfit consists of a cropped top trimmed with fur, accompanied with a hood, and a pair of short shorts. Due to her outfit of choice, her stomach, arms and legs are exposed, though she seems untroubled by the exposure due to her wearing some kind of equipment that keeps her protected from the elements. And her outfit of choice is predominantly pink in color. She has short black hair and gray eyes, and her pointy ears indicate that she is a half-elf. Being a ranger, her weapon of choice is a composite bow.

Personality: Linde von Ardrick has a warm and sunny disposition, and being the childhood friend of King Karol, she is very close to him and loves to tease him whenever she gets the chance. She is very upbeat and doesn't let herself be hampered by bad things that can get in her way. Due to the prejudice that nobles have towards half-elves, she is used to being jeered and mocked by people around her, but she doesn't let it affect her, becoming strong-willed in the process. Due to her closeness with King Karol, she is determined to become someone he can rely on. After growing up together with him, she has developed some kind of feelings towards him, though nothing seems to happen between them yet.

Background: Linde von Ardrick was born to a human father and an elf mother. Due to the prejudice that the nobility of Balfrost has towards half-elves, Linde spent most of her time growing up being jeered by people around her. Even her father's family didn't accept her, except her uncle, the current lord of House Ardrick. One day, her parents died, and her uncle decided to have her fostered by the Frost King, who happened to be his best friend. Due to this, both her and Karol ended up growing up together. As she was being fostered by the king, Linde was trained to become Karol's steward and minder, and since then, the two of them became close. Becoming the next king's steward also made her untouchable to other nobles, due to them fearing that they might draw the ire of the king and could only resort to talking behind her back.
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