The journey to Father Winter in the Highlands was as perilous as I had expected. As I rode through the woods above Caer Pathogen, Koronin’s hell-hounds soon gave chase. Mercury was steadfast and swift, and a fortuitous snowfall covered our tracks, though it was lucky we did not become trapped in the blizzard ourselves. As we rose higher, the skies cleared; enough to see the moon and the snow-capped Highland peaks. As the mists parted, I found the tracks of Father Winter’s arctic fox, and followed them to his warm, welcoming lair.
Father Winter had much news for me. He had received tidings of an Apothecary in the distant Kingdom of Vaccinia who has developed a tincture which will provide protection from the pestilence which ravishes our lands. The Apothecary hopes to travel to Lockdownia by ship with a consignment of this tincture, enough to protect my people. A brave Rebel Leader of the Outlands is also set to join him. He will lead the charge against Koronin in order to attain Knighthood and avenge past wrongs done to him by the wizard. Unfortunately for my people, their plan has been placed in jeopardy by the evil witch Brexicorax. She has raised a storm which has stranded the ships of Vaccinia in port. All we can do is await clement weather, and hope Brexicorax’s spell will soon be broken.
Father Winter has given me two gifts: the first is one vial of the tincture which will allow me to travel throughout my land without fear of infection. The second, a miniature crystal screen with which I may contact you even when I journey far from home. I have captured some moments of past time which I will convey to you at the end of this missive.
This very night, I shall descend with Father Winter and light a candle of hope in every single household of Lockdownia, as Father Winter leaves gifts for the children. The final gift I shall bestow will be the first gift of Christmastide in my household: a kiss for my children as I return.
May the blessings of the season be upon you,
I remain, as ever
Your Queen in the Highlands.