Beneath a leaf covered sky, in the world of Kigan, there are undoubtedly more spirits than those born wholly from physical flesh.
Spirits born from magic and emotions, from magic seeping into an old bag over years. From a cliff upon which many travellers died. From the cold and the flow of magic.
The flow of magic, that can be considered the mother, or depending on who you talk to, the father of all spirits. The flow moves through the world, each thing it encounters giving rise to patterns, the images of the rules of the world.
Sometimes, that pattern forms an artefact that changes the fate of a nation, or just a single child. Sometimes, that pattern grows like a bird inside an egg, before bursting forth.
Spirits more so than those of the flesh, are more easily changed by the flow, by other patterns, and sooner or later, no matter the extent of strength a spirit reaches, it will be washed away in the flows of magic.
Either in a moment of weakness, or defeat, or sorrow, or simply due to a large swell of magic.
Yet… are those born of flesh really any less transient in the end? Their flesh fails, one way or another and then, they are left with spirit, bare as the rest.
What a strange thing, that some believe a man’s spirit to be a soul, and yet calls all spirits soulless.
In the lands of Nortrieln, ruled by hunter, prey and above all piercing winds, by far the two most common elements that help produce spirits are cold and wind.
Wind is wild and free, yet, it can have currents itself, set paths.
The cold however, is not as complicated as the wind. No, cold is quite strongly an expression of the prime element of Order.
The cold does not move. It stops. Seals.
Yet, the wind is happy enough to carry it.
Shall I speak of a small tale of love?
A spirit of wind and spirit of ice? I warn you, as with many tales of spirits, it does not possess a happy end, but then, what is to be expected? When cold remains and lingers and wind blows away?
As it goes, there was a handsome and strong spirit of cold, each time the tale is told, it is some different form, but it is usually something large.
There was also a wild and wondrous spirit of wind. She usually gets a bit more care and attention in the tales, but then, apart from other reasons, she does have the active role.
The spirit of cold, Hynns we shall call him, was atop a mountain as he usually was. Hynns, even if he wasn’t a spirit of ice, would have likely enjoyed the cold mountain air.
Though, while Hynns spend most of his time enjoying the air and slowly but surely growing in power, what he enjoyed most was a particular gust of wind that, every now and then, blew right past him.
If things had been a little different, perhaps he would have become a spirit worshipped by many as a god. Things are never a little different, but always just as they are.
It wasn’t really the gust he was interested in of course. It wasn’t even, at first, the wind spirit, Fiogg we’ll call her. It was the news of the things Fiogg had seen and heard that interested him.
As everyone knows, like the shadows, winds and thus wind spirits come to know many strange and obscure things, and are prone to overhearing secrets not meant for their hearing.
It is always a good idea to only tell a secret in a well lit room, fully shut from the outside. Better yet to never tell a secret at all.
Fiogg for her part, at first, just thought Hynns was funny looking, that and she had to get her gossip from somewhere and give her gossip to someone.
So, that was a state that went on for many years, in some stories, centuries.
It is said that one day, Hynns had grown so much that one day when Fiogg came a riding in on her pet gale, she slapped right into him.
After a bit of awkwardness, Fiogg noticed that Hynns was, apart from being a little bit funny looking, quite handsome and strong. She began to notice how cool he was too.
Sorry, that one always has to be part of this.
Hynns, for his part, noticed that really Fiogg was quite charming and dainty, though evidentially sturdy enough not to break on impact.
Thus, though not love, the seed of attraction was planted, which in turn was nurtured by their interest in what each other had to say. Some tellers of this story have quite a bit of fun with this part, given how peculiar spirits can be in shape.
From that point on, whenever Fiogg blew along, she would rest in Hynns arms, or more commonly told, on his back.
This continued for many a year, some say they consummated their love, that their union brought forth scions of gale and snow. People even tell tales of such scions, frequently as tragic as the tales of their parents.
Hynns however, began to feel a yearning. Fiogg would never stay with him, but as the wind does, would blow away.
Hynns wished to see the sights that his lover saw, to travel together with her on the winds.
So, naturally Hynns asked her to take him with her.
If this was another story, and Fiogg was not a wind spirit, she quite possibly would have pleaded with Hynns to give up on such an unreasonable desire. As it was, she thought this was a wonderful idea, and threw her gale at Hynns, intending to lift him up.
Given that Hynns had been growing on the mountain for a indeterminate, but assuredly large number of years, well, let us just say that Hynns didn’t even twitch.
Fiogg was a bit put out, but still determined, so she rode away and promptly came back with a more savage gale.
The results were no better than the previous time.
Of course, this repeated several times, in due course, Fiogg marshalled a tempest she could barely direct herself.
This time, Hynns snapped right off the mountain, tumbled down and smashed to pieces as he rolled down.
Fiogg for her part was blown apart by the tempest.
Was that a bit bleak? Oh well, this is a tale told in many ways, so in a few tales, Hynns survives diminished, as does Fiogg, blended into the wind.
Together they blew around the land of Nortrieln, some say they treat couples spitefully, others say they treat them mercifully.
Others of course, shake their heads. A great many things happen in the world of Kigan. Some things are just stories of course, even with a world of magic and spirits.