It was cold on Mount Tonitrua. It was cold most of the year, but in the deep of winter, it had become almost unbearably cold. Every morning he woke to find that his nose had frozen stiff and not even several minutes of palming it between his frozen fingers could bring it back to life.
It had gotten so unbearable that Cassander had invented a spell that was meant to insulate his cave and create an invisible net around his door to keep the cold from seeping under the cracks. If it worked, he had yet to experience its effects. He had actually tried to insulate his home with sheepskins from the market in the town below, but that had little effect and he couldn't affix them to the wall without the aid of magic. Even with magic, the stickiness that kept them up was weak and they would peal and fall off periodically. At night, he slept in his bed covered in a bearskin blanket with both of his cats snuggled in close to him. At that point, he had abandoned the use of magic to try and keep himself warm – the bearskin and the shared body heat from the cats would have to be enough.
It was one such freezing morning when he woke, his face feeling as though it belonged to another man. He lay in his bed for awhile, trying in vain to gain more warmth before he braved the non-bed world. It did no good and he only drifted off a couple of times. Afraid that he would fall back asleep only to wake back up at noon, the magician forced himself from his warm cocoon with a groan and immediately shrugged on his thick, bearskin robe and pushed his feet into bearskin house shoes. There were a lot of bears in these mountains. He glared at his cats with jealousy as they burrowed deeper into the blankets.
He staggered to the kitchen, his teeth chattering. There was little that could be done about the temperature, but he could make himself some hot coffee and warm himself from within. He had accomplished enough at household spells, by now, that he merely had to glare at the stove and it sprang to life under his kettle. He poured out the dregs from the coffee pot and reached for the contained where he kept the grounds, but he found it empty. He groaned and tipped the container upside down as if that would make it better. Realizing that it did no good, he set the container down on the counter, silenced the stove with a wave of his hand, and began to get dressed. He pulled on a fur-lined tunic and boots with thick, woolen leggings, and a thick cloak of navy blue, embroidered with silver streaks. Pulling his wings tightly around him, he grabbed his staff and started down the mountain, not wanting to fly just yet.