Arrival at Arctic Bay
Arctic Bay has been home to humans and their gods for over five thousand years. Inuit hunters, tracking herds of caribou from the west, named it Ikpiarjuk, "the pocket," referring to the mountains surrounding the inlet. The Polar Night last for months, and out of the perils of a dark, dangerous Arctic the Inuit wove their religion of spirits, heroes, and gods. Taboos teach them to survive against the brutal landscape. Rituals teach them to thrive within it. Every tale mixes the practical with the mythological, featuring heroes who embody both physical and spiritual strength.
A stranger arrives in a boat, as frigid waves eat at the rocky shore. Her departs, with only a pack slung over his shoulders. He wears a massive orange coat, orange trousers, and orange shoes. He trudges, alone, along the only street-- dark, empty, covered in snow, with only the lights from windows to combat the endless night.
He enters the brightest building in town, a bar, empty save for a few locals, who notice his entrance but say nothing. He walks over to the bar, and the bartender-- tall, bespectacled, old, (like every bartender in the beginning of every tale) and weather-beaten (like any Arctic dweller) shuffles over to take his order.
"How can I help you?" he asks.
"I seek the Shaman of the North," replies the orange-clad stranger, "the one swift he hitches caribou to his sled, running alongside it as he crosses the sky in a single night."
"Well, that's not too impressive," the bartender replies, "Nights up here last for a whole month," he pauses, "But if it's shamans you're looking for, talk to Nannuq, over there. He's the local medicine man." He indicates an Inuit man sitting alone in the corner. The man's face, carved by the Arctic wind, looks ageless. He wears a cloak of white fur with the hood thrown back. The stranger and the shaman, clad in the garments of opposite worlds, make eye contact.
The bartender coughs, "I meant, though, what can I get you to drink?"
"Oh," the stranger turns back to the bartender, "Just a water, please. I have a long way ahead of me."