When Jack, Jim, and Jewls return the shackled spirit of Ixion to Washington they are welcomed with open arms by Odin, Loki, and Thor. Shortly after the hand-off Jewls gets a call from his mother. "I have something to give you. Come via the Smithsonian."

Jewls excuses himself and goes to the Smithsonian museum, heading straight for the Egyptian department. It takes only a few minutes for him to find the tiny symbol of Bast and enter her chambers. Bast sits at a large writing desk, and beside her is a spiral notebook. The cover has Book of Winter scrawled across it. "This is a translation of your book, and I believe I get what Spider was about when he gave it to you." It might seem strange that she only held it for a few seconds and was able to provide a translation, but then again this is Bastet, Goddess of Secrets. "I have highlighted the relevant parts."

The book tells the story of the two giant glaciers, Kibo and Mawenzi, that make up Mount Kilimanjaro. Kibo, the spotted one, is so called because the dark naked stone appears in big, steep patches above the snow and ice fields. Mawenzi means "the crumpled," "the jagged," and "broken one." One day, the fire in Mawenzi's hearth had gone out. He went to Kibo to get some fire. Kibo was in the middle of pounding dried bananas. Mawenzi greeted him. Kibo returned the greeting, gave him fire, and made him a gift of a few bananas. Mawenzi went away and put out the fire, then went back to Kibo. He said that his fire had gone out on the way. Kibo muttered, but once again gave him a few bananas. When Mawenzi had gone a little way, he once again put the fire out, and returned for the third time to Kibo. But when he was greeted, this time Kibo did not answer. Instead, he raised his pestle and beat Mawenzi with it. This is how Mawenzi became so jagged.

In a broad pit on Kibo is supposed to live a giant cow, called Rali. From its tail hang big tufts that contain a fat that tastes like honey and conceals supernatural powers. For this reason, people have climbed up to cut off some of these precious tufts. The cow stands with its tail toward the opening of the pit. The people creep up very carefully, cut a few tufts very quickly with their swords, and move away rapidly. Because of her size, the cow can only turn around slowly since its body fills nearly the whole pit. But if she has managed to turn around, she lets out a mighty sound and the break from her mouth is like a hurricane that blows down onto the plains. It carries the offender through the air and smashes him on the plain. Twenty men once went up to get these tufts for the chief, and only two came back. This cow has only one calf, which takes her place when she dies. This cow sustains the sun so that it always renews its strength to overcome the clouds, which in the rainy season often keep its rays from the earth for months at a time. If the cow were found and killed, endless rain would start to fall that would kill everybody.

Jewls recalls reading the legend of Kibo and Mawezi, who are frost giants. There are notes in the margin near various geographical markers in the story, and the notes eventually point to 34'52"S and 3721'47"E, the Rebmann Glacier. Most frost giants' trophies is their blood, but Kibo and Mawenzi are old and powerful, and so might have hearts which grant access to the powers of cold. He contemplates  various methods of sneaking past the hurricane-screaming cow and opts to go straight tot he supernatural rather than attempt to fool it with mundane detergents or perfumes. A brief meditation on his own physiology shows him how to perfectly mask his scent.

Prepped and ready, Jewls catches a flight to London and then another 12 hours later to Nairobi, Kenya. From there it's a long drive South into Tanzania to Mount Kilimanjaro National Park, where countless guides are available to take you up the South East Valley trail and to the Rebmann Glacier, where the ice giant is believed to live. The guide provides survival gear, navigation, and other things one would typically need to climb the highest mountain in Africa. Is there any other prep you want to do before heading out? English is spoken in both Kenya and Tanzania, so language won't be an issue. Travel money is provided by the Smithsonian Institute, which is funding the trip as an exploratory expedition thanks to mommy's influence. Jewls also brings a couple of large two-liter bottles to contain the giant's heart's blood, a handheld GPS with maps, and extra batteries.

The trek up Kilimanjaro is easy, and Jewls finds he doesn't even need the warm clothing that was provided. Several times Ajali, who explains his name is Swahili for destiny (though he doesn't believe such things), remarks on the man's stamina.

As they near the peak the going gets rougher, and Jewls has to wait for Ajali several times. The rock turns to ice and Ajali explains that they will need ice climbing gear to safely ascend the glacier itself, but that will not be until tomorrow, longer if they are forced to wait out a herd of buffalo. He speaks sadly as he explains that the Rebmann Glacier has been shrinking in the last hundred years, victims of global warming. Before long he fears he'll be bringing only scientists up here, as the desire to explore is replaced by the desire to study that which was lost.

Jewls crests one of the many false summits and on the next sees a herd of mountain buffalo, with one exceptionally large individual that must be Rali. Ajali points to her with awe and says that he has been coming here all of his life and that large female has run the herd all this time. It is amazing because the mountain buffalo typically follow a bull, not a mare. Also, he has been coming for at least 30 years and she was an adult when he was just a child. The average African buffalo only lives for around 20 years, so she is truly a miracle.

He begins to set up camp, though the day is only half gone. "We must wait here. The buffalo are very unpredictable and dangerous. It is unlawful to kill them here on the mountain, but they will eventually move off the path. The longest I have had to wait was three days."

Between his new power, stealth, and Phase Cloak Jewls is easily able to slip past the herd and scout ahead. The glacier itself is mostly white, dotted by brown and gray rocks. Throughtout the stories, the brothers Kibo and Mawenzi would always call to each other with a familiar greeting, "Hodi" which means "may I enter?" The brother would then respond "karibu" meaning "welcome." Given the manner of these places it is likely that "hodi", coupled with an expenditure of legend, is the means of entering the terra incognita that represents Kibo's home. Whether the reply of "karibu" unlocks the door is is merely a formality is unknown.

If the legends are true, the pit would be under Rali, or at least somewhere around her.  Jewls moves up and makes the call, taking onthe scent of the buffalo.

With his scent hidden Jewls easily slides past Rali and starts the climb up the glacier. He scrambles up the ice like some sort of polar monkey, and calls out "Hodi." A few moments later a puzzled voice responds in a deep baritone, "Karibu?"

The sky changes and the glacial cap grows taller. From atop the peak Jewls sees a column of smoke rising and a figure looking down. He zooms his vision in and sees Kibo, a 50 foot tall african man with hair and fingernails made of ice. On his back a humongous spear-shaped icicle hangs in a harness. The giant calls down the slope to Jewls, "Waitwa nani"

Jewls guesses it's time to speed up global warming and pulls out his gun and takes aim. The shot rings out and the giant falls backward as Jewls watches its life force be snuffed out. He moves up cautiously and draws a canteen full of heart's blood before field stripping the carcass to remove the heart, which turns out to be a head-sized lump of ice that pulses with an inner light. A quick use of the Unlidded Eye tells him the heart will indeed work as a conduit for Frost, and he tucks it into his pack.

As he heads back down the glacier he hears another baritone voice calling out. "Hodi?" A few seconds later it continues, "Hujambo?"

Jewls turns invisible while masking his sent as a local bird, and flys away quietly, feeling a small measure of satisfaction for gaining a little revenge for the previous dealings he's had with frost giants stealing his house and selling blood as street drugs from it.

As Jewls leaves an anguished roar tears through the air behind him. Another frost giant strides down the hill, his face a mixture of rage and anguish. This is Mawenzi, and he carries the corpse of Kibo in his arms. He sees Ajali, whose eyes are wide and feet are frozen in shock, and storms down the mountainside towards the man.

Jewls makes his way over to see if he can run interference so Ajali Ajaku can run away, his skin oozing ichor that quickly forms armor. He trips Mawenzi with a shot to the leg, then grabs Ajali and flies away. "Kumamako!" Though Jewls doesn't know the word Ajali says, the gist is easy enough to get as he swoops invisibly out of the sky and grabs the guide. Behind them his shot has wounded Mawenzi, and the giant clutches at his torn calf. As the ice from Mawenzi's veins melts onto the sands the whole mountain begins to shake. Kibo peak, the highest point on Kilimajaro, begins to crumble into an avalanche of snow and gigantic ice boulders. The smoke Jewls saw in Kibo's terra incognita now rumbles out of the volcanic cone that caps that third of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Farther to the west Mawenzi peak also shudders, though it does not fall. The giant who bears its name turns away from his pursuit and runs back up the mountain, drawing his icicle spear.

The last peak on Mount Kilimanjaro is Shira. It is now over a mile shorter than its brothers, having fallen, according to geologists, a half a million years ago. Its caldera is now a plateau, filled by its last eruption over 350,000 years ago. The volcanic cone still stands and it swells now, bulging like a bubble, then bursts. Red hot lava splashes down the sides of the hills and a glowing red finger follows it, attached to a fire giant which is easily 120 feet tall.

The giant shouts "Mimi niko huru!" as it looks down at Mawenzi and lets out a laugh that sounds like rumbling earth. Shira, the fire that waits, lost avatar of Muspelheim, is loose in the world. Jewls gives himself a metaphorical pat on the back and watches as Shira advances on Mawenzi, who throws his icicle spear. It arcs through the air and strikes the larger giant on the back of a swinging fist and the lava it touches turns to basalt as the spear cools it down. But only the fist is affected, and the arm behind it still swings, slamming into Mawenzi and sending the giant flying fifty feet down the mountain where he tumbles and skids to a halt.

Mawenzi stands up painfully, wobbling just a little on his slowly-healing leg. He reaches to his back and the icicle reappears in its harness where he can grab it and throw it again. Jewls puts down the human and moves to aid the frost giant, reckoning that a titanspawn frost giant is a lesser evil than a titan's avatar. He  moves to cover behind a boulder, even as it still drips lava from the blast.  He takes careful aim at the 120 ft tall behemoth. Taking bead on where its heart should be, as it's brain has very little function anyway.  Reciting a silent prayer of blessing to Thor, the famed giant slayer, asking for some of the unyielding strength and commitment Thor has always possessed in battle with the giants.  Jewls lastly draws on the natural order of things to steady his aim, scions battle titans.  It is the traditions the gods have placed upon reality for eternity.  Until the old gods or new gods change this order, it is what drives action.


The shot rings out and Shira, the Fire that Waits, stumbles as the hardened volcanic rock across his chest cracks and lava flows out like molten blood. A moment later Mawenzi's spear lances across the sky, its tip growing a cold blue as it plunges into the hole torn by Jewls's bullet. Even through his intense internal heat Shira feels the familiar gnawing chill sapping away at his newfound vitality. A cone of angry lava engulfs the giant and the scion, scorching their clothes but not doing much else.  Jewls takes aim again as Shira extrudes more magma through his rocky exterior, hardening it into yet another layer of armor, and picking up a boulder which he infuses with his ownd estructive essence. The massive rock promises to be a mortal stroke should it land a blow. But Mawenzi has seen Shira's tricks before, and the giant hurls his spear unerringly at the boulder, shattering it in the titan avatar's hand.

Jewls lets fly two rounds in rapid succession and despite their small size compared to the monstrosity, they send it rocking back on its feet. Shira bellows a command to the earth and it grows up and around the feet of Mawenzi, who strikes a fierce blow, shattering the crystal before it can imprison him. Mawenzi responds be eschewing his spear altogether and calling upon the power of Frost to again freeze the lava Shira calls blood. Jewls continues firing and Shira continues to try to trap the giant to prevent him from freezing the titan again, which is how the brothers captured The Fire That Waits centuries ago, but the giant is driven by duty and a need for harmony, and cannot be held.

In the end Shira succumbs tot he cold and slumps back under the earth. Jewls, still invisible, slips off into the landscape to leave the giant to mourn Kibo and figure out how to keep the titan contained without the help of his brother.