Far in the north on the western edge of the Northern Continent on the planet Trall, there is a tribe of warriors surviving in the frozen tundra. Boys are made men and true warriors after their thirteenth birthday when they leave the village into the frozen wastes on their Grealak, a form of spirit quest. While on these quests, they will meet an animal, one that will have a connection with them like fire in their veins and they will be imbued with the powers of that animal.
However, a young girl, Isaria, desires to be a warrior like her six older brothers. Though she is far from being as strong as though, she struggles to keep up and always demands perfection of herself. It is after she turns thirteen that her life and the tradition of the Grealak are broken. She is denied permission to leave and is smuggled away through friends in the tribe and sent north, following the string that pulls at her heart, leading her through places she never knew existed and meeting strange new people, until she reaches the farthest point north—a small island. It’s there that she meets her newest friend and life-long companion, Riyage, a beast of great magnitude and is tasked with a quest to reunite the world together.
Snow pressed in on all sides, closing in tight like a little white cocoon. Breath loses its potency in such a tight sphere of security and strength. Nothing is left but for you to sit, wait, breathe and bide your time before you strike at your prey.
Isaria sat in the tight circle of snow that she had made about herself, keeping away from her six brothers. It was a game they played often. Out in the expanses outside the village before the wastes were huge mounds of snow, each a fortress waiting to happen, waiting to be made and used by a young child playing a game. It was a game of hide and seek, though much more geared towards training future soldiers. It is the goal of each child to burst from their mound when their prey is near, tackling them to the ground. In truth, the prey could be anybody. There were few rules, other than you needed to wrest your opponent to the ground before they could attack you back. It was a difficult game, one of wits and waiting. It took patience, and that was not always something Isaria had.
She sighed, pushing one of her braids away from her face. She listened, closing her eyes and trying to hear the crunch of snow outside. She could hear the crunching of snow underfoot nearby but not close enough for her to burst forth from her shell and attack. There were always bonus points to anybody who could crawl out of their hiding hole and attack their opponent without breaking the snow, but Isaria didn't possesses the patience or ability to do that. All she wanted was to tackle, bite, kick, scream and take her opponents down.
The footsteps came nearer, only just outside her hole. She took a breath in to steady her wits that were jangling with the long confinement. Suddenly, she sprang.
Snow flew from all about her tiny frame as she reached forward, her arms ready and blunt stick in her hand to attack. Her victim smiled briefly before grabbing her, swinging her down and around to the ground where he pushed her into the snow that she had just flung into the air. The crystals pushed close against her skin, packing tightly as she was forced several inches further down. She gasped, breath barely escaping her tight chest. Another figure was soon over top, a pole pushed down into her chest.
"That's no fair!" she squalled, kicking her feet out to catch either of her brother's in a sensitive area. "You can't team up!"
The first laughed, squinting down into her tanned face. "There is no rule against it, Ria, and you know it."
She screamed deep in her throat, refusing to accept the inevitable that she had been beaten. She would get them; just wait.