Santalla: Stirring Future's Snowflakes

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Operator Record
Stirring Future's Snowflakes
Santalla icon.png

In Sami's eyes, she was never rejected.

Unlock conditions

  • Raise Santalla to Elite 2 Level 1.
  • Have at least 50% Trust with Santalla.
Samifjod shaman icon.png
Colddeath Shaman
Male Samifjod A icon.png
Colddeath Warrior
Reserve Operator - Caster icon.png
Field Operator
Female Samifjod A icon.png
Sami Warrior
Reserve Operator - Sniper icon.png
Scout Operator
Blank icon.svg
Dark Forest
Underground Rubble
Sami village
Snowy Forest
Tundra Field
Santalla comes across her former people while helping the Infected who were migrating south with their clan. Once again, she leaves her past behind her, and the plight of the Ursus strengthens her resolve to find another way to save Sami.
<Background 1>
Field Operator Well... we're almost at the coordinates, if a bit off.
Santalla I predicted their migration route; if we can't find anyone at the objective point, they might be somewhere closer to the coordinates.
Sweet Spring and Shroomwood are both Samifjod clans with trees, and when a clan tree moves, you can't miss it.
Field Operator I see...
Did you hear that, Norma? You have much to learn from Santalla.
Scout Operator Yeah, yeah...
If I could finish a five day journey in four, I wouldn't have been dismissed from the army in the first place.
Santalla Actually, I may have rushed us a bit, but I was overanxious...
Field Operator It's not your fault. Circumstances in Sami are complex these days. Our expedition is going north, and so are most of Sami's warriors, but the clans are heading the opposite.
At least this time we have their permission to tend to their Infected during the migration. That shows how much they trust us, so a little exhaustion is a small price to pay.
Santalla ...Thank you.
[Santalla and the operators continue heading to the coordinates. While walking, she turns on the Ursine communicator.]
Santalla ...?
[Santalla presses her head close to the communicator, but can't hear anything aside from the static.
She is almost certain Ursus has already blocked the signal, but she has brought it anyway.
As long as she can get any intel on them, then the communicator is more than scrap metal.]
[The trees rustle.]
Field Operator Er, are we almost there?
Scout Operator The treetops in the forest are moving. It has to be the Samifjod who requested assistance.
<Background fades out and in>
[A Sami warrior hears someone coming.]
??? Who's there?!
[Santalla reveals herself.]
Santalla Greetings... Sweet Spring warrior.
Sami Warrior How did you know—You're a shaman?
Santalla A crest can tell a lot, honorable warrior.
You're the one signaled for aid, I presume?
Sami Warrior It was my sister. She's currently coordinating the clans, and couldn't take the time to come out and greet everyone. Apologies.
Santalla Our top priority is attending to the Infected. We can save the pleasantries for once we've arrived.
Sami Warrior Thank you, right this way then.
<Background fades out and in>
[The Sami warrior leads the Rhodes Islanders to the Infected.]
Sami Warrior The Infected from the various Sami clans are all here.
Santalla Faye, could you gather the other operators to do a basic check-up on everyone here?
Field Operator Certainly.
Norma, get over here and translate for us!
Scout Operator Alright, alright... I'm coming...
Sami Warrior They seem like they're... expecting a war...
Santalla Dealing with the illness has always been a war without smoke.
Sami Warrior I agree.
It seems my sister was right, letting you people help us. Given how little we know about the disease, there could have been disputes in the clans over the treatment if you were not here.
Santalla When I first arrived, I saw four Canopies moving. I presume there arefour clans migrating this time?
But the number of people here seemed to be off. Even if these are four great clans, they couldn't possibly have this many people.
Sami Warrior If only it were just the four clans...
Seven, my Sami sister, there are seven clans here.
Among them are two clan Snowpriests who answered Eikthyrnir's call before bringing warriors and clan trees with them up north.
Santalla They're bringing the clan trees?! Would Sami allow that?
Sami Warrior Only Sami herself can tell...
In short, this place is in chaos.
At least we still have five clan trees with us in the center. That way we're able to rest easy at night.
Santalla Five?
Sami Warrior Yes, five.
The Colddeath clan tree is still young, so its Canopy hasn't grown past the forest roof. You could have missed it on your way here.
Santalla !
Sami Warrior What is it?
Santalla No, it's nothing.
The people of the Colddeath clan... Where are they?
<Background black>
[A strong wind can be heard blowing.]
<Background 1>
Scout Operator (In Sami) No need to fear, your symptoms are still minor. But you should avoid picking at the lesions. It won't do anything besides making you feel worse.
(In Sami) Yes, regularly taking shots and medication can keep your condition from worsening.
(In Sami) Why would I lie to you? Look, I'm also Infected.
Field Operator The Originium assimilation of these infected isn't looking too bad, and the medicine we brought should suffice. Once the support arrives, the Samifjod can have a portion of our rations.
Where's Santalla?
(Glances at their watch)
Norma, have you seen Santalla?
Scout Operator (Sami Language) Right, just take this medicine and you should be fine. You don't need any incantation or shaman's ritual.
Yes, what is it?!
Field Operator I said, have you seen Santalla?!
Scout Operator She just finished speaking with the Samifjod who's hosting us, and walked towards the edge of the crowd!
Why, is something wrong?!
Field Operator Never mind, you do your work!
(Is she... looking for her clan?)
(But isn't Santalla...)
<Background fades out and in>
How long had it been since she left them? Years, maybe over a decade?
Her discontent and disappointment have dissipated, melted down into a trickle of nostalgia.
She still faintly remembers a few familiar faces, and some of the clans' customs and traditions.
The warmth and beauty from her past still echoes in her memories. It's just...
[Santalla approaches a warrior from the Colddeath clan.]
Santalla Greetings.
Colddeath Warrior I haven't seen you before, vina.
Would the warriors of the clan recognize the daughter of snowstorm?
Colddeath Warrior Which clan are you from?
Santalla I...
She has always been honest with people, no matter friend or foe.
But today, she is doomed to spew lies.
Santalla We're just outsiders passing by, tasked with delivering a message.
Is your clan leader here?
Colddeath Warrior She's still in her tent. I can take you to her.
What should I call you, vina?
Santalla Please, call me Santalla.
Colddeath Warrior Santalla, that's a nice name.
This way.
Santalla Thank you...
Once, she resented her people for forsaking the old tree.
Now, she is the one forsaken by her people.
[Santalla follows the warrior to the clan leader.]
She walks past her clansmen. Familiar faces now look at her with unfamilar eyes.
They are curious about this "outsider."
Who, in magnificent clothes and holding a steel staff in hand, walks among the children of Sami.
No one could recollect, since there's nothing to recollect.
Forsaken. Forgotten.
Colddeath Warrior This is the place. Please wait while I go inform.
[The warrior enters the tent and comes outside after a while.]
Colddeath Warrior Come on in.
Santalla Thank you...
<Background 2>
Colddeath Shaman I welcome your visit, vina. What can I do for you?
Santalla You are...Eras's granddaughter?
Colddeath Shaman That I am.
Santalla I remember the interim clan chief being your brother. What happened to him?
Colddeath Shaman He...
My brother went along with Eikthyrnir's march towards the north. I act as clan leader on his behalf for the moment.
And who exactly are you, if I may ask?
Santalla ...
The forsaken child, rescued by the branches of the old tree. Daughter of the Santalla tree. Do these words ring a bell to you?
Colddeath Shaman Forsaken, you say...
I'm truly very sorry... I only remember the ceremony where we bid the old tree farewell. Everything about our days when it yet lived, or the people we've lost, they are beyond me.
She, too, belongs to the past now.
Just like the old tree.
Santalla ...It's alright.
Colddeath Shaman So I take it the business about delivering a message was an excuse?
Santalla I do apologize...
Colddeath Shaman I don't blame you. My clan has experienced so much displacement, and much was lost, including out past with people like you.
If there's anything you need, just say the word.
She honestly hopes that others might remember her, but what would happen if they do?
What would an outcast of the past change?
The wind of Sami has taken with it her story...
Let it leave, then, along with her regret.
Santalla You would excuse my rudeness, Alma of the birchbranch.
I am an outcast of Colddeath, daughter of the Santalla tree, Simone. By our rules and customs, I should never have returned to the clan.
But I still want do something for the clan before I leave.
If, of course, you would allow it.
Colddeath Shaman How do you know my name?
I... I see.
You were... a part of the clan.
As you can see, we are still in the midst of migrating, and there have been trivial issues that require our attention along the journey. However, we have been able to manage, thus they need not concern you.
But our home... I'm talking about where we lived after mvoed to the woodlands. We were unable to hold a ceremony to comfort our ancestors before we left there.
Santalla Because of the disaster in the north?
Colddeath Shaman Yes... Certain phenomena were about to polute[sic] our shelter, so we were in a hurry to leave.
Our clan still doesn't have a new Snowpriest, and our shamans are feeble against the disaster.
You're also a shaman, aren't you?
Santalla I am capable of performing a shaman's duties, yes.
Colddeath Shaman Then may I entrust you with this matter?
Santalla You will not be disappointed.
Colddeath Shaman I'm very sorry, daughter of the Santalla tree. You offer your earnest assistance while we fail to recognize our sister.
Santalla It doesn't matter anymore, Alma. We all ought to leave stories from the past behind us.
Farewell then, leader of the Colddeath clan.
May we meet at the other side of Sami's spine.
[Santalla leaves.]
Colddeath Shaman *sigh*...
A strange one indeed. Perhaps she was once Grandpa's student?
If Grandpa were still here, he'd probably ask me to be confident and humble a leader as her.
(Pulls out the amber pendant that she carries with her)
If you had came across something like this, how would you deal with it?
The shaman stares in a trance at the pendant left to her by a departed friend. A gift she got as a child, from a young apprentice shaman she used to play with.
She still remembers that she was a Feline.
And her eyes were exactly like the visitor just now...
<Background 1>
[Santalla returns to the two operators.]
Field Operator Ah, Santalla, you're back.
Santalla Mhm.
You have enough hands here?
Field Operator We'll manage.
Santalla Then I have something else to attend to.
Some clansmen reported that the collapsal paradigm was approaching where they lived at the time. If the collapse has been heading where we are now, it will be a problem.
I need to look into it.
Field Operator Are you going alone? Isn't that... risky?
Santalla Having more untrained hands isn't goin to help.
I was trained as a shaman. I know how to handle corruption, and I'm the only one here with the power to solve it.
It will be fine.
Field Operator Well...
I should report this to the office right now, at least. They need to send a few shamans, preferably Snowpriests, to come help us.
There's also Typhon. After she returns with the expedition team, she needs to to go take a look there.
Santalla Where is the last expedition team set off now?
Field Operator They should have made their way across the forest as we're talking. It's just some mountain paths they will have to walk before they enter the icefield.
Santalla Then we need to contact them. Better safe than sorry.
Field Operator I'm already making calls.
Well then... take care on your journey, Santalla.
Santalla My apologies for the additional workload I just imposed on you.
Field Operator It's no problem at all.
[Santalla leaves.]
Scout Operator Did Santalla leave already?
Field Operator Dude, you sound like you've never worked with her before..
Sami's oddities are still way out of our league. It's not like we can solve anything without troubling her.
How are the Infected doing?
Scout Operator They are being very cooperative and calm. For the time being there's nothing that demands our attention.
Field Operator Phew....That's good to hear.
Then I need to ask you to lend a hand, Norma. We need to send an urgent telegram to Čappat.
<Background 3>
A few days later...
[Santalla arrives at her destination.]
Santalla This is the place.
[Santalla turns on the communicator.]
Santalla Is there a signal here?
(Operates the communicator)
Might not be the signals...
Naturally, there is no response. A giant shadow somewhat resembling a clan tree approaches.
Santalla The shadow of Colddeath's clan tree is wandering about in daylight?
No prominet[sic] signs of hostility, but definitely not peaceful.
This is an omen of disaster.
Let's give the Columbian way a try...
1234, 1334, 4444.
1 + 1 = 4.
Next up is...
(Takes out a mini calculator)
(Presses a few buttons without looking at the numbers)
[Santalla is pressing buttons on the calculator.]
Santalla The results are completely inconsistent...
As long as the corruption lingers, any solution is futile.
O ancestral spirits of Colddeath, pray forgive my neglect.
I will be back soon.
<Background fades out and in>
Santalla Without a clan tree, there's no sanctuary from the corruption.
In that case... the old tree shall shelter its people one last time.
Santalla takes out a dead twig of the old tree—her last tribute to it. She cuts her own finger, and the blood drips onto the dry twig before falling into the ground.
Santalla Heed me, O the Eternal, and return the unfaltering tranquility to the land.
When Santalla's blood hits the ground, it turns into clear water. Under the influence of her Arts, it quickly turns to frost and spreads.
Clean frost swarms over the dead branch, which seizes the chance to burrow into the earth, attracting the gaze of the past.
The gray fog shrouding the rising moon begins to disperse. However, the vegetation still grows gradually more yellow and listless.
The past is both a blessing and a curse.
Santalla Not good enough...
Santalla looks around before landing her eyes where the clan tree has taken roots.

She picks up some twigs and leaves. Untainted by the corruption, Sami’s primal vitality lives on within them.

Santalla These will suffice.
Branches, both old and new, are woven together, and crushed tender leaves are scattered on the ground.
Through Santalla’s ritual, they have become the symbols of her intent.
Santalla Arbora, Soknarferd.
May the past tie to the present, whilst the tree erects tall.
May the eyes ever keep vigil, be they standing or fallen.
All-Father, spirits of ancestors, souls who roam upon the earth.
Bear witness.... Bear witness to me!
Heed and answer the plea of Simone, daughter of the Santalla tree.
Cleanse the land of its filth, and bring back Sami's purity!
[A force manifests and cleanses the corruption.]
Twigs entwine into "Arbora," and leaves patrol on "Soknarferd."
The proclamations that answer only the beckons of Foldartals now manifest at the call of the shaman's call.
The collapse ceases in an instant, and nature begins to regain its former vitality.
However, at the edge of the forest, a dense dark fog refuses to disperse.
This pestilence and the source of most of Sami's corruption.
Santalla ...
The Black Mark...!
??? (Heavy breathing sounds)
[Santalla casts her Arts.]
Within an instant, the snow and ice around Santalla coagulate into a sharp blade darting at the figure.
<Background 4>
[Santalla runs away.]
An Emperor's Blade can finish off any unprepared challenger in a blink of eye.
And in the face of a Demon-taken Blade, her chance is even grimmer.
Santalla *Pant*... *pant*...
She can choose to press on her attack, which would only send more Demon escaping from the enemy before her.
But if nothing is done, it would butchered all life around them, corrupt the earth, and trample over every inch of Sami land.
Even though the blessings summoned by the Foldartal are still in effect, Santalla still had to consider the calamity each attack would bring.
This isn't a battle.
And she is relieved for the fact.
[The Black Mark slowly follows her.]
The Black Mark staggers forward, stepping out and taking an offensive stand.
However, with its next step it disappears into thin air right before her eyes.
Under nature's purification, the collapsal had vanished without a trace.
Santalla It ran away?
But that's...
<Flashback starts here>
<Background 5>
Santalla Is there anything I can do to help?
Field Operator Not yet, we just spoke to the Rhodes Island operators in Skarphaket. They coordinated with members of an expedition team that had just set off, and sent them sufficient support.
<Background 1>
Santalla Where is the last expedition team set off now?
Field Operator They should have made their way across the forest as we're talking. It's just some mountain paths they will have to walk before they enter the icefield.
<Flashback ends here>
<Background 4>
They were near the location of the expedition team, and though calamities appear unpredictably, there are always omens...
For example...
If there is more life, more beings returning to nothingness.
Santalla I'm going to have to let Typhon know at once.
O noble Sami, please forgive me my transgression.
[Santalla casts her Arts and freezes the ground.]
Santalla lifts her staff and plunges it into the earth.
The frost on the ground forms shapes as she wills.
Santalla Enginna... Enginna...
O Sami, I know you watch over their fate.
Please take this omen, and send it to my friend.
[The ice disperses.]
Following her request, the pattern of ice rapidly disperses, and the ground is once again as dry as ever.
Santalla Everyone's safety depends on you, Typhon.
I... still have more I was entrusted with.
<Background 3>
Santalla had hunted a hornbeast and picked some fruit.
These were to be presented as sacrificial offerings to the ancestors.
It wasn't much, but it would suffice to comfort the Colddeath ancestors.
Santalla Father, Mother, Snowpriest Eras, and all the ancestors.
By the will of the clan leader, I come here to offer up these sacrificial offerings to you.
May the ancestors protect our people, care for their restless hearts, and guide their way in their dreams.
I also hope...
That people will remember you. That you will be spared the worry of being forgotten.
I look forward to it.
[Santalla burns the offerings.]
With a burst of flame, the sacrificial offerings disappear into the fire and enter the food basket of the ancestors.
<Background black>
All throughout the night, Santalla stares at the flames. Once they've burnt out, she slowly falls asleep.
<Background 3>
[While sleeping, Santalla's communicator gets a signal.]
Santalla ...
[The signal appears again.]
Santalla Huh?
[Santalla wakes up and answers the call.]
??? This order is being sent to all search teams. An area believed to be damaged by Obsidian was discovered. Nearby teams are requested to act immediately. Confirm the reports at the specified coordinates and withdraw. Do NOT enter the damaged area.
Repeat, do NOT—
Santalla Obsidian?
That's the direction the Black Mark came from.
The Ursus are still hiding something!
Santalla glances at the sacrificial site and where the Foldartals had appeared.
The offerings had been reduced to ash, the living and dead branches were still entwined.
She thinks for a moment, then scatters a handful of ash over the roots of the branches.
Then, she leaves the woodlands towards the direction indicated by the Ursus.
She would never return.
<Background black>
[Wind can be heard blowing.]
<Background 6>
Santalla These are the coordinates.
It's already deep in the icefields. What could the Ursus be planning?
I can feel the corruption in this place...
Is it... here?
<Background black>
[Wind can be heard blowing.]
<Background 6>
Fierce snowstorms shroud the area, as if trying to hide something.
But before Santalla's will, the snowstorm seems to dissipate.
[A strong wind blows away the snowstorm.]
It finally unveils the truth within:
Three Royal Guards, wrapped in Dominion.
Santalla ?!
<Background black>
[Wind can be heard blowing.]
<Background 6>
Fear grips her soul for a moment, and something seems to come back from the void, ready to turn its sights on her location.
However, the snowstorm blows in just in time, shrouding her in its winds.
Santalla (Corrupted or not, they could have killed me then and there.)
(What happened here?)
She composes herself and waits until her mood has steadied before stepping out of the snowstorm. Then she walks towards the edge of the Dominion.
At its center, the three Royal Guards remain motionless.
This time, she can see them clearly.
Each of them had pierced their own hearts with an Ursine sabre.
Maybe it was Originium Arts, maybe some kind of spell.
Their bodies hadn't been blown over by the winds, nor were they used by demons.
They maintained the posture of their final moments, before being engulfed by their own Dominion.
Santalla then notices that they are positioned as if there were four of them, standing back-to-back before they were killed.
In the empty space, there is only an Ursine saber stuck in the snow.
Santalla Is this where you came from, Black Mark?
The great deeds of the Ursus were far outweighed by their evil ones.
But here, at least, what these heroes had done with their lives was more than enough to move the Samifjod.
Santalla (Sami had no other intentions. The snowstorms protect this place to guard these people in their sleep.)
(I salute you, warriors.)
(The Ursus aren't far from here.)
(I'll remove the snowstorms, so you can safely return home.)
At the same time, however, there is something on her mind.
Santalla (So even the collective acts of the entire Ursus war machine can only end like this...)
(Eikthyrnir, when you tore apart Sami's clans and gambled the future of the Samifjod on a hopeless expedition, did you ever think about the consequences?)
(Sami promised you I would not interfere.)
(But I am also a part of Sami.)
(I will use my own methods, and together with my allies from the south, we will win a better future for Sami.)
All-Father, please bear witness to my resolve.
O snowstorm, follow me, and leave these heroes to their attendants.
In my next life, I will offer wine to the ancestral spirits among the branches and leaves.
Farewell, souls of the Ursus.
[A blizzard appears.]
She disappears into the blizzard, and it dissipates shortly after.
It wasn't long before the Ursus sounded their horns on the icefields.
<Background 5>
Two weeks later...
Santalla I'm back.
Field Operator S-Santalla!
Santalla Wh-What's wrong? Why are you so nervous?
Field Operator You've been gone for so long! Any longer and I would've reported to the landship that you went MIA!
Santalla Am I not back now?
Field Operator I know you're dealing with a lot of things. But next time, please help me prepare myself, mentally. What would we do if you disappeared one day?
Santalla Okay, it's my fault, I'm sorry Faye.
Field Operator Don't think you can get out of this with just an apology...
Santalla I'll make you some roasted hornbeast, alright?
Field Operator Roasted hornbeast?!
Santalla Are we settled, then?
Field Operator Hmph... Seeing how you're being so sincere, I'll overlook it just this once.
Santalla Thank you, Faye, you're a true friend.
Field Operator F-Flattery will get you nowhere.
Santalla Hehe.
Ah right, has the expedition team returned yet?
Field Operator Ah... Of course, no one told you.
The expedition team ran into some trouble before entering the icefields. Some sort of horrible monster, like the ghost of an Ursus officer or something.
Luckily, Typhon was prepared, and everyone withdrew in time. Otherwise there would be casualties. Which, well, would be hard to explain.
Santalla I see, that's good to hear.
What about the clans who migrated south?
Field Operator They found a place to settle down. The Infected, if they so wish, can still live with their clan and visit Rhode's Island's Sami clinic for treatment.
Santalla Oh, that's good.
Then I have nothing to worry about.
Field Operator Ah, Santalla, where are you heading this time?
Santalla Just back to the dorms to take a nap.
Field Operator Oh, so even you know how to rest. Finally.
Santalla Then tomorrow we'll visit Skarphaket and meet up with Magallan and Typhon.
Field Operator I take it back, you're unstoppable.
Santalla This is what every Sami shaman... what every Rhodes Island operator should be doing, no more and no less.
Field Operator If I worked as hard as you, I'd be sent to Medical within a month.
I know this work is important, but that's all the more reason to balance it out with proper rest.
Santalla And to me, taking a nap here is proper enough.
Field Operator That's not going to cut it, you really need get some sleep.
We can save the rest for tomorrow.
Now go on, go.
Santalla Ah...
Fine, fine, I'll rest.
Thank you, Faye.
Field Operator Sweet dreams, Santalla.
Santalla Yes, goodnight.
[Santalla heads to the dorms.]