The breeze passed through the trees, whose sticks grasped at the sky in pointless boredom. Their leaves were gone, and there wasn't much sun to feed them anyway. The woods were quiet, not much going on except the whistling of the rushing air. Snow sometimes piled up on top of branches, or in little hills under the trees, windswept, and resembling those of a sand dune. It was winter. But it was winter for years. It felt as if it would never end, this endless expanse of cold. Those who lived in the local village regretted not building up enough lumber to last this long, and most certainly food was becoming scarcer. No one knew what caused the Reign of Cold, but somewhere along the way, quite a number were catching on how to survive it. For instance, most learned that dunking blankets in water, and laying them atop their houses allowed them to freeze in a straight sheet down walls of their home, being extra protection from the wind, and also hanging onto the heat on the inside. Small details kept the villagers running. As if the cold wasn't enough of a plague, there had been an influx of monsters as well. Demons, who stole children in the night, and destroyed homes who seemed to flourish under the cold. Hunters had begun to form to take out the dangers, but few were hearty enough to last very long on the long, cold watch schedules. And worse, those who were alone sometimes disappeared. One of those such demons, a jester, one sat idly on a branch, blowing little ice crystals into the air, and watching them form snow. He had been idly playing with his magic, and so bored, swung his thin, long legs from the branch wondering what to occupy his time with.