The grotto was just as Arkin remembered it.

Hardly a surprise, that. The mountains were treacherous; only one with wings could hope to get this deep into the range, and even then, only the surest of fliers would make it past the chaotic winds. He was Frostkin, though – he didn’t need to fear the cold, and could take the longer, surer approach through the chilly currents up above the peaks. It was still a difficult flight, though, and one with no reason to attempt – unless one knew of this place.

Arkin had only shown it to three others in his life. The first was dead now, rest her soul; she’d chosen the risky path of the warden, though, and he thought her spirit would find satisfaction that she’d died protecting her home. The second was as a stranger to him now, cold and aloof, living as a moneylender of all things.

The last, dearest to his heart, was still out there somewhere – his hearth rune still glimmered, however faintly, or at least it had a few days ago when last Arkin was home.