Frost Fairies Delight - The Origin Story – Arcane Alchemist

Frost Fairies Delight - The Origin Story

Story by MeowgickleWitch

Galdur Forest, the largest forest of the Winter Court, was, as expected, cold. The leaves of trees such as Maple, Oak and Elm were bare, their branches frozen in time by ice and snow. Others, like Evergreen and Cedar, were full and glistening with fresh sparkling powder, undisturbed, like a picture.

A wandering Alchemist who specialises in magical elixirs and liquors has been searching these woods for days. He had heard of a rare fruit, one with naturally occurring shimmer, like glitter. So rare, no one has tried its sweetness in a hundred years. However, rumour had it that it can only be found around the time of the celebration of frost and snow. Some call it Noel, but its most common name is Yule.
Sam, as this Alchemist went by, slowly made his way through the dark thicket. Snow coated his woollen cloak as it fell from the disturbed branches he passed. Ice coated leaves made a musical sound like glass windchimes and the icy wind seemed to whisper to him,

“This way, this way”

He followed the whispers to a clearing. Not very large with the heavily leafed and snowy bushes surrounding it, but bright. The sun, though not warm, shone brightly through the trees and seemed to bounce off invisible mirrors in all directions making a natural light show that few have ever been blessed enough to witness.
After basking in the reflecting light, Sam looked closer at these “mirrors”. Closing in on one he gasped in delight, The very thing he had been searching for was right in front of him, a small, blue coloured berry shining with tiny silver stars throughout. The snow had disguised the colour, as if done intentionally, but the shine was unmistakable.
Sam reached forward to pluck it from it’s vine, when suddenly,

CHOMP!

Something had bitten his finger! He drew it away fast and inspected it. Tiny beads of blood began to blossom on his index finger. Sam swung his gaze around, looking for the cause of his hurt, yet found nothing. He turned back to the bush and found himself face to face with a pair of Faeries, no bigger than his hand in length. One had crimson around its lips and teeth, clearly the one who had bitten him.

Both were dressed in tiny armour with spears and bows and arrows. Sam stopped and stared in awe, the legend never said anything about angry Fae creatures guarding the fruit. And yet here they were.

Frost Faerie Guards.

“And just who do you think you are?!” Said the one with the spear, and the blood on its lips, which it slowly began to lick clean.

“I… I beg your pardon?” replied Sam, dumbfounded.

“I said, who do you think you are?” The Faerie repeated.

“I am S-...I am merely an Arcane Alchemist” He stopped himself in time from speaking his name to the Fairies. Names are easily taken, especially when one has vexed the Fae already.

“I have come in search of the fruit you are guarding, though I had no idea there would be such fearsome and competent guards.” Sam put his right hand to his heart and gave a small, yet respectful bow of his head. Flattery and charm always appealed to the Fae.

“I wish to take some of your fine fruit, and turn it into a fine mead! Once crafted, I will be taking it with me to the Winter Ball, for all to sample and try! The celebration will be within the year and I can’t imagine a more wonderful way to toast than with a drink so magical. Think of it! A mead as blue as the winter sky at dusk, with the shine of silver stars floating through. Oh the joy it will bring for years to come!”
Sam hadn’t even finished speaking before the Fairies before him started shaking their heads.

“No no no no no. I’m sorry, We can not allow you to take them. We are sworn to guard them with our lives! They are the property of our Lady and we cannot let you simply take them, especially to squander them on something as ephemeral as drinking!” This from the Faerie with the bow, but just as the creature had finished speaking, the wind picked up.

It grew stronger and stronger until a whirlwind of fallen leaves and snow twisted and turned in the centre of the clearing. Sam shielded his eyes from the icy wind but tried to see what was happening. The Faerie creatures beat their wings as best they could, but ended up clinging to Sam’s cloak so as to not be blown away.

The wind died down to a gentle whisper, and an almost ethereal creature stood before them, no bigger than a small child. She appeared to be floating off the ground, though you couldn’t tell by the length of her skirts and drapery of snow white petals and fern fronds. The two Faerie guards, who seemed even smaller than before by comparison, bowed deep and so Sam followed suit.
“Our gracious lady, we did not expect your arrival. To what do we owe the pleasure?” Sam didn’t know which of the guards had spoken but it was clear that this creature now before them was the Lady they had spoken of.

“I heard the woods call to me, that someone is trying to take our sacred fruit. Is it you, young man?” The creature's voice was childlike and petulant at the thought that some of their berries would be taken. She crossed her arms and frowned deeply at Sam.

“Yes, My Lady. I promise you that I meant no disrespect,” he waited for a cue to continue and as soon as the creature waved her hand, he quickly and carefully retold his plans for the fruit.

The Faerie Lady listened quietly and when Sam had finished, she burst into a twinkling laugh. The petulance that she had carried with her moments before seemed to have been forgotten as quickly as it arrived.

“What dedication you have to your craft to go in search of a berry that might not have even existed. I admire it, dear Alchemist. But, Flint and Flight are right. We can not let you leave with them for nothing.” She turned to disappear into the woods with Flint and Flight beginning to tug, albeit with not much success, at Sam’s cloak to drag him in the opposite direction.

Sam dropped his head in defeat then paused with an idea!

“I can offer you something in return!” He burst out.
“Oh really?” Inquired the Faerie Lady. “And what can the Alchemist offer the Lady of Galdur Forest?”

Sam spoke his suggestion quickly to the Lady, who giggled again at his idea. When he finished, she nodded her acceptance, and then with the help of Flint and Flight, filled his bag with as many of the berries as he could carry and was allowed to return before the season was out to collect more should he need them.

Upon his return home he set his small team to work on creating the most magical mead in existence. It took several attempts but finally, the drink was perfect. The team looked at the large stock they had created and each had a small glass of it to celebrate.
That night, Sam wrote label upon label for each and every bottle, adhered them and then loaded up some of the bottles into a separate cart and was wheeling them out of the brewery before the morning sun had crested the horizon. He was stopped by a member of his team.

“Where are you disappearing so early? And with some of the mead we made?” They asked. Another, hearing the commotion, picked up one of the newly labelled bottles.

“Frost Faeries Delight?”

Sam sighed, “I made a deal with the Fae Lady of Galdur forest. We can collect the berries we need for our mead every year, in exchange for some of the final product going to them…and they get to name it.” With that, he set off for the forest once more, his team looking at him with concern and confusion in their eyes.

And thus, the origin tale of Frost Faeries Delight. To this Day, Sam, The Arcane Alchemist, journeys to the Galdur every year to deliver the mead to his, now, friends of the forest in exchange for another collection of the berries. And every year it is a staple of the Winter Ball Celebration. One that is enjoyed by many.

Will you sample its flavour this year?