So, a bit ago I posted a character idea for the RPG in the appropriate forum that some people seemed interested in. This is basically just a fleshing out of a bit of that character, and a bit of how Mana as a concept works in their world.
The issue opens with a boarded up wooden cabin, Snow is drifted around the door, a small section of it cleared away so that the door can be used. The inside of the cabin is lit by a candle as we see the inside, a wooden chair propped up next to an unused fireplace. A person sits in the chair, a somewhat hefty bag leaning against the wall next to him. The candle sitting atop the fireplace illuminates the persons gloved hands writing in a small journal with a somewhat beat up pen.
The panel shifts to show the writing in the book, which slowly fills strange symbols arranged as if in math equations, with the occasional scrawled down diagram. The runes eventually are replaced with normal writing.
"Day 3. This blizzard has shown no signs of relenting, though snow rarely accumulates beyond where a determined hiker could find a path. The sun is blocked out, forcing one to rely on other forms of timekeeping. During my mid activity break, inside of a sheltered cave, a careful sample of the area yielded a measurement of the area's current levels of mana. As shown by the equations above, the comparisons above show a below average concentration per zone.
As you know, this area has been plagued with the blizzard for 10 days at the time I write this. When the blizzard refused to disperse in spite of the weather predicts for half a week, I began my venture to attempt to discern a possible unnatural cause. Assuming that I'm keeping a steady pace, I should be in a zone no more distant than normal from natural source of mana. While unable to sample the blizzard itself, I am concluding that the blizzard is in some way connected to the lack of mana.
Mana is a general term for energies usable when conducting acts of Magic, and it can often be drawn from the environment in various ways as well as from within the self. The flow of mana through an environment has been linked to it's vibrancy and ability to adapt to damage. Draining a human of mana is almost universally bad for their health. If this entire region is being drained of mana to sustain the blizzard, then allowing it to continue on could be highly destructive to the ecosystem.
I end my writings here for the night to rest."
The man approaches a grove of trees lacking leaves, which seem to be strangely lacking snow. He pauses outside of the grove, a released breath fogging in the air floating across the boundary. It vanishes as it reaches, seeming to disperse as if in high temperatures. Hitching up his pack, the snow tracks from his boots melt away as he steps into the grove. While the more inner trees are sparely leafed, there's a distinct lack of animal life. The panel shifts from different angles, showing the shadows of the trees moving behind the man. He pauses at one point, unzipping a jacket and doffing his gloves to reveal calloused hands. He closes them into fists, a small 'POP' as the joints move from their static positions.
With hands free, and still wearing at least one jacket zipped up, we see him writing in the journal as he walks, seeming to examine the area as he moves through it.
'"Day 10. I believe I have found the center of the blizzard. The temperature here is significantly above seasonal, and aside from the lack of animal life, I would think that we are experiencing an extended autumn." We see him gently laying a cloth on the ground with a woven circular pattern on it, and a panel or two of him kneeling on it, before the writing continues. "This area also has a greater than normal mana concentration."
"Day 12. I did not believe that I could go much farther in a straight line without leaving this reprieve in the storm, but I was mistaken. I am pausing for a time to prepare before going further. I have been using samping to measure mana concentration, using that as my guide now to ascertain the direction to the center of this area. The ritual cloth will not be a guide beyond this point either. It was not designed for this range of conditions.
Assuming that the observed rate of increase in mana concentration does not increase further, going much farther would put even prepared mages at risk. When mana concentrations become excessive, the human body becomes uanble to compensate. Anything is poisonous in sufficient quanitites after all.
I will venture inwards when I have adequately prepared, unless the circumstances change. If I do not return, then this journal will be a record of my journey.
May human history look kindly upon you;
The last page shows the ritual cloth wrapped around something shaped like the journal sitting underneath a tree, seemingly surrounded by roots protruding from the ground.