Illustrations by Tom Varani.
Snow is the second installation in what will be a trilogy created by Garrett Ammon.
The first in the saga was Winter, based on myths of the Magpie, a cunning and mischievous bird with a penchant for stealing shiny things.
One winter evening, the Magpie watched as a couple named Thomas and Elizabeth came home from a party. Elizabeth glittered and shone, and as the couple settled in for the night, the Magpie snatched the woman up to keep with her many treasures.
Upon waking to find Elizabeth gone, Thomas ventured into a forest full of magic in search for his lost love. Seeing his devotion for Elizabeth, the Magpie yearned to be the object of his affections and placed a curse on the woman – trapping her as a magpie and taking her place as Thomas’ wife…
Beware of spoilers beyond this point…
The story of Snow takes place 18 years later. The new “Elizabeth” and Thomas now have a family with two daughters, Rose and Fanney. Enter another cursed creature: Fenris of Jotunheim. Fenris is a powerful wolf transformed into a human by an evil dwarf. The only way to break the spell, and return to his wolf form, is to perform one selfless act…
Upon hearing the tale of the Magpie, Fenris knows that his chance has come.
As he waits for the moment to get close to the family, an opportunity wanders into his path. Victor, a traveler from afar, has been tracking a selfish and murderous wolf with the intention of restraining it for all eternity. Not knowing that Fenris is the wolf he seeks, Victor shares his mission. Seeing a way to both return to his true form and retain his freedom, Fenris introduces Victor to the lovely Rose.
When Victor and Rose meet, it is love at first sight, and the happy couple quickly prepares to marry. In the meantime, Fenris has become a trusted friend of the family. Achieving his goal of proximity, Fenris prepares a potion that he plans to serve to Elizabeth at the wedding – returning her to a Magpie and freeing the real Elizabeth. As Fenris watches breathlessly for her to take a drink, she hands the cup to Rose who, thirsty from dancing, drinks from it eagerly.
More suddenly than a rock sinks into the ocean, the curse hits Rose, and before anyone knows what has happened, she is transformed into a cardinal. Thinking her dead, Rose’s family and friends mourn, and Fanney and Victor’s grief cause them to seek comfort in each other’s arms.
Fenris, although not entirely successful in his endeavor, had spent years selflessly trying to help the real Elizabeth. Upon completion of this selfless act, he is once more returned to the form of a wolf. However, Victor, now without a wife and full of remorse, returns to his quest with a vengeance. He tracks Fenris to a high mountain pass where he finally captures and ensnares the wolf, tying him with magical ropes so that Fenris cannot harm another individual for as long as he lives.
Meanwhile, Fanney has a prophetic dream that reveals the full story of what has happened to Rose. Upon waking with the discovery that her sister was in fact not dead, and in shame of her behavior with Victor, Fanney takes her own life at the foot of a Juniper tree. Her spirit flees up into the Juniper tree, and for the first time in history, the tree blooms with bright blue berries.
To this day, Juniper berries are there to nourish cardinals through harsh winters.