"Stinging needles of ice and snow whipped across the frozen
road, clawing at Prince Gaelin Mhoried. He shivered in the
teeth of the bitter wind and drew his heavy woolen cloak
closer to his body. Although the month of Pasiphiel was nearly
gone, winter hadnít released the land of Mhoried from its grip.
Nearly a foot of snow still lay over the countryside, and in
places man-high drifts lingered in the shadows of the woods
beside the road. It was unseasonably cold weather, even for
Mhoried, a land accustomed to long and cold winters. Worse
yet, the skies brooded with the promise of more snow.
Despite the cold and gathering gloom, Gaelin enjoyed the
ride. The ancient forest on either side of the road was deep
and dark, steeped in a sense of purpose that silenced his
thoughts. Mhoriedís wild places brought him solace and
quiet reflection, an emptiness in which he could examine
himself with unflinching honesty. The harsh weather only"