Jens' Reign of Winter
A young mother of three, the rebellious and wilderness-savvy widow Nadya Petska struggles to import much-needed food and supplies to the village of Waldsby, all while nursing a hatred of the White Witches of Irrisen.
Only 26 years old, Nadya Petska has already experienced a lifetime’s worth of tragedy and hardship. Widowed 2 years ago when her husband Hjalnek fell to a greedy ice troll in the Hoarwood Forest, Nadya harbors a grudge against the White Witches of Irrisen and their monstrous allies. Since her husband’s death, she has struggled to care for their three children—a 7-year-old daughter, Thora, and twin 5-year-old sons, Orm and Mjoli. The task is made even more challenging, however, because Nadya must provide for her family, which forces her to rely on friends to look after her children while she travels. Shortly after her husband’s death, Nadya took up his trade as a food merchant and importer for the eastern reaches of the Hoarwood, including her home village of Waldsby.
Hjalnek had taught her many things about survival and travel in the wilds, allowing her to carry on his work and succeed despite the challenges that she faces. As a result, many people in Hoarwood rely on her business, including the local Jadwiga aristocracy, who use Nadya’s provisions to supplement the food they import for themselves from Whitethrone and outside Irrisen.
About a year ago, Nadya established peaceful contact with a friendly tribe of Kellids near Irrisen’s border with the Realm of the Mammoth Lords, trading with them for grain, raw meat, livestock, leather goods, and furs. Nadya’s dogsleds make frequent, multi-week runs through the forest and the tundra of eastern Hoarwood so she can barter with the Kellids and restock the village storehouses. Because of her boldness and the invaluable service she provides, Nadya has become a trusted name in Waldsby. Unfortunately, she still struggles to win influence with the White Witch Nazhena Vasilliovna, who rules the region from her Pale Tower. Nadya supplies the
Pale Tower in addition to Waldsby, but the witch’s guards routinely commandeer Nadya’s shipments rather than pay a fair price for them. In exchange, the peasants of Waldsby receive a little less harassment when the soldiers visit the village. Although she resents Nazhena’s sense of entitlement, Nadya has come to view this arrangement as a necessary food “tax”—one that earns her the continued freedom to look after the well-being of her friends and family.