Our story happened on a cold winter eve. The sun had almost done its daily duty and was about to give the reins of their chariot to their sibling, the Moon. The blanket of snow was already covering the nature in its cold embrace, only for it to reawaken in spring once more. And in this painting of winter, a triad of fellow beings were travelling, connected by their craving for the wondrous uniting thing called adventure. One of them, a strong and boisterous fellow, one who does not shy away from any fight nor any revelry. The second of the three was a being of pragmatism and subtlety, their knives sharp, and their words and wits even sharper. The last one was an enigma, a figure hiding their features behind the curtains of a cloak. A creature cavorting with dark things from which it gained power. The three were focused on the perception deafening task of debating, when their way was intercepted by another being. A cheerful being of plump figure, with a wooden staff to lean upon and in a woollen garb of red and white. Over their shoulder, a heavy sack of unknown contents. The red stranger approached the trio as closely as to form a quartet, and greeted them with wishes of merry festivities. The three riposted with a greeting of similar kind, and the engagement was ready to begin. “Tell me of your deeds.” he said towards the travellers. The trio were well acquainted with the tale of a being that comes bearing gifts to those of good heart, and coal to those with lack thereof. “I shall tell you of my great deeds good spirit. But beware, for all deeds pale when compared to mine.” Said the strong one, and began their tale. It was a tale of great valour and courage, of many slain enemies and many worthy quests, but once their tale had ended, the spirit seemed unimpressed, and sad. “You boast about killing and conquering, you think yourself good, but greed is your true master. Greed for fame and glory, greed for a legacy. Did you ever think about all the innocents that suffered due to you? You are not good, but you are neither evil, and you are not past redemption. A lesson is in order for you.” The disgruntled barbarian said a few words of an unkindly manner, and went ahead to calm his displeasure. Watching this, the second traveller formed a plan of their own. As the spirit didn’t seem to appreciate the nuances of shades of grey and deeper character, they decided to weave a web of tales to satisfy the spirit’s desire for good-heartedness. Their tale began, and their forked argent tongue began dripping venom of honeyed kind into the spirit’s ears. It was a tale of goodness and kindness, and the red clad stranger seemed satisfied once it was over. “A tale of a truly unbelievable kind. I am truly astonished by such a display of skill and oratory. I swear that this tale shall be rewarded accordingly.” The second adventurer did a elaborate respectful bow and ran after the barbarian with a mischievous grin, and mockful attitude. The third adventurer waited until their companion was out of sight until they addressed the spirit. “I see past your guise spirit. I am in no search for redemption, and I am no fool to believe the allure of your gifts. I refuse to take part in your game. Begone!” The spirit of red and white respectfully nodded, and then became one with the wind and snow swirling around. The third companion went after their friends, and once they reached them, they began setting up camp. Their rest was peaceful and uninterrupted, and they awoke into the paradise of a new day. But their peace was suddenly cut short by a rising of voice coming from the strong of the travellers. Whilst they were searching through their pockets, they found out that at least half of their minted treasure was replaced by the black worthlessness of fire called coal. The sly adventurer mocked the strong one, and they went to saddle their horses and embark on their journey once again. Their mockery was cut short however, by the realization that neither their horse, nor the saddlebags filled with treasures that had found themselves upon said horse, were anywhere to be found. After a quick search, it was also apparent that their carefully hidden gems and weapons were also absent. Only thing remaining in their place were small lumps of coal. The sly adventurer, and the strong adventurer started fighting about who had robbed whom, and meanwhile, the silent adventurer was still lying in their tent, waiting for their tempers to cool down in the winter weather outside. Some may have the power to crush rocks with their fists. Some may have the power to control people with just words. Some may have the power to control reality and fate. But sometimes the greatest power of all…is the power to step aside.