All around the town, the pixies and the Zippies were zooming, their high-pitched, tiny voices trailing behind them like streamers of sound.
The First Snowfall of the Year – which was differentiated from the constant snow of the town, from the steady white-ness of their landscape and the piling drifts, by a certain glint to it, a certain sharpness to its edges, and a certain extremity to everything about it – was coming down very late in the day, and it was coming down with particular intensity.
For the pixies, and especially for the Zippies, who were (so said the experts, who might know, although others argued) a very small sub-species of kobold, this was very important. While every person in the town wanted to read their fortune in the First Snowfall – because that was another thing that differentiated this snowfall from all the others that fell all the time; it was very good for divination – the pixies and the Zippies, being wee, were especially good at snowflake divination. And dressed in their special Cold-Weather Suits, they could handle the individual flakes without fear of melting the flakes – or of freezing their tiny selves.
The train station, especially, was alight with the tiny creatures, such that one couldn’t move to or from the platform without taking immense care, for fear one would step right onto a wee creature. Since they were dressed in white and the snow was particularly deep around the platform, people had taken to simply levering themselves up onto the railing, which had been cleared of all snow for the moment.
Feegh the Kobold was balanced on that railing at the moment. He would help travelers up or down, pass them along to the conductor, and answer questions in his own way, which was not always the most helpful way, of course, but always left the traveler with something they had not had before.
This was where he often was, as it was how he gained most of his income, but today he was also listening to the Zippies. They were screaming, screaming, about something they had found, but they were speaking so fast even the pixies could not understand them. They were absolutely excited, though, and that meant something was likely to be interesting – or at least profitable – for Feegh.
He caught two of them up in his hand and brought them to his face. “Quiet, slow, quiet, slow,” he hissed at them in the language of kobolds, snakes, dragons, and naga. “Quiet, little ones. Tell me. Tell me what is so exciting.”
Since Zippies love to See, love to discover, and love most of anything to have someone appreciate those seeings and discoveries, they were easy to coax into telling Feegh everything. The problem was getting them to speak slowly enough for him to follow, and one at a time.
After some back and forth he set them down – carefully – and picked up two more, repeating the process. And then again.
His head was beginning to hurt. “But what does it mean?” he asked the eighth Zippy.
“Mean? It means change! It means something is wrong! It means.. It means something is coming.”
Feegh rubbed his face with his free hand. “Two snowflakes the same. And Zirfatagikel is sure?”
“Sure sure, sure and sure and we looked, all of us. Sure!.”
Feegh set down these two Zippies as well.
Two snowflakes the same. Not just the same, they’d said, the same as the last time this had happened.
And the last time this had happened… the first snowfall of the year had come and then snow had simply never stopped.
Who knew what might come next?
This, I believe, happens BEFORE the events of the main storyline of Blizzarded.