Francis Snow, named for the winter in which he was born, is a blacksmith. Though only a fledgling, he has started to travel, selling his wares to the nearby villages riding from one to the next on his Bethany, each spring as people find their tools in a rusted lather. While the money is good, his true dream is to become a knight as his half brothers are, so that he may own some land, and spend the rest of his days making his craft as he wishes, defending his house on his own terms. Francis is a nobleman’s son, but his mother was but a nursemaid. A bastard who, while given some help from his father, was forced to leave the house of Valderon at the age of six to begin training as a blacksmith. He did not hate his father for this abandonment, in fact he felt some what thankful, for not more than three years after he had left, the house was burnt to the ground. His family had gone too far in debt and had borrowed money from some of the wrong people. Most of the house was thought to be dead, though his older brothers may be serving some where far from here, their whereabouts were unknown. So for now Francis, protected by Snow, continues to peddle his wares, as he learned what he could of footwork and mounted combat, saving what scraps he could to forge weapons of his own, he even bought a set of cloth armor, which doubled as winter clothing for some of the longer journeys to villages that needed a blacksmith during the winter months. Nestled in the hilly valley of Bindor there were rarely anything for the people of Gahten to worry about. Surrounded by mountains with half the year spent in winter the greatest worries were bears and harsh blizzards. No one had a reason to attack them, and the cold kept the bandits well away from the valley. What befell the house of Valderon was only proof that bringing in help from the outside meant trouble. But lately there had been reports of odd creatures sighted in the woods, and a few people had gone missing on days too warm and calm for them to have been claimed by the cold. Francis was not worried though, he had traveled the paths between Gahten and the other, smaller villages many a time.