The Movements of the Snow Warrior
The icy wind cuts through the air, howling through abandoned buildings and craggy mountain tops as it goes. Loose flakes of snow drift across the earth. The Stenza are long gone, as they always are, save a figure striding across the Ice Flats, a number of pups trailing behind him. A layer of thick hoar frost is in their wake.
The biting cold of the northern winds is brought into the Ice Flats by the Snow Warrior, who is thought to speak them into existence (a relic of one of Jeshra's epithets: "Whose Voice is the Wind"). The winds bring with them the bitter cold of High Winter, signaling the change in seasons. However, sometimes he brings these winds early, and the screaming, howling, biting wind drive Stenza to seek shelter within their clan residential. It is said that anyone who sneaks to the surface to observe the goings on never returns home, and so it is advised to wait it out in the safety of the underground bunker of choice until well after the storm has passed. During the cleanup efforts, attempts are made to recover the bodies of those foolish enough to sneak out before it is time to reemerge. Very few are found and reinterred.
Stenza monitor changes in weather and climate almost aggressively. The usual patterns are programmed into their instinctual responses, particularly surrounding the need to migrate elsewhere and then the indication that it is time to return. Their ears are designed to detect changes in air pressure and ionization, indicating coming storms, and drives them to seek safety in such an event. Extreme weather events, almost always cold waves and blizzards, have been recorded by the Stenza since time immemorial. Many accounts survive in clan Khe'drakha, while others were logged on a handy piece of stone or ice and then preserved in case of it happening again (or, as some have believed historically, the end of the Stenza species entirely, which was surely nigh). These accounts, while useful, do not provide any kind of pattern to these extreme events and so cannot offer a useful model for predicting them. However, recent climatology studies have suggested that a year containing at least one freak weather event is more likely than a year that does not, to have an unseasonably cold winter, and it may take somewhat longer for the Ice Flats and surrounding area to warm back up to suitable temperatures.
Because extreme weather events lack a "rational explanation" in the minds of some, the legend of the Snow Warrior's wanderings (usually including his pups) lives on in the minds of Stenza living in the sheltered regions, especially under the northern mountains. Because of its unusual spread relative to other Snow Warrior myths (which tend to be confined to Pass clans and their immediate neighbors), folklorists have been immensely curious about its origins and change over time.
Variations & Mutation
The clans of the Greater Pass believe that when they hear the howling winds that signal the Snow Warrior's movements outside the rim surrounding the Ice Flats, then it means that there will be another such storm within the rim soon and it is time to prepare for such an eventuality. The clans sheltered by the northern mountains consider the Snow Warrior's erratic movements during these times to be chaotic and wild, and tend to depict and think of the matter in terms of being "pup-driven", rather than considering the possibility that the Snow Warrior and Pups are in complete control of the situation and creating the storm for their own ends. This latter view is exceptionally common in Pass regions, and "city folk" and "hillbillies" tend to regard each other with suspicion when it comes to the Snow Warrior's movements. In the Low Pass, people believe that they receive warnings from the Snow Pup Migration whenever a freak storm is about to move in. He seems to appear most frequently at the entrances of caves and in front of entrances to the residential, serving as a measure similar to the Greater Pass's tracking of storms beyond the relative safety of the basin containing the Ice Flats.