Schroeder paced the halls of the library. Something Hart said in the tavern stuck with him, and he couldn’t shake the spectre of a winter army from his mind. What if it was true? What if his brother was trapped in the North while an army scoured his lands, unimpeded by the freezing cold?
He ran his fingers along the shelf and settled on a dusty old tome. It was well-loved, its yellowing pages aching to part from the ancient glue that bound them. Schroeder carefully leafed through it before eventually finding what he was looking for: an old poem about an endless winter, half-remembered from his schooldays.
His armies march across the land
By nightfall, ice and snow,
No mortal-born can stay his hand
And stop his evil blow.
The demons heed their master’s will
Through land and flesh they rend,
No mercy, for their lust to kill
Shall last ‘til winter’s end.
Schroeder slammed the book shut and disappeared into the night.