It’s not yet winter, and not yet dawn. Black, dead branches rattle like dried bones, slapped by an icy wind. Curled, crumbling leaves whisper down a narrow mountain path. A pebble pops beneath a wooden wheel. Grey as the sky behind him, a man approaches, pushing a rough-hewn cart. The path is steep, but his step is steady. Somewhere in the darkness, something breathes. The man pauses, his black eyes fixed on the sound. Hidden until now by the filthy folds of his robes, his right hand rests lightly on his belt, thumb poised just below his sword’s hilt. He almost smiles. In the cart a boy, a baby, sleeps, silent and unafraid.