The night was black velvet, full of stars. The snow was deep and soft and the purest white. The trees limbs bowed under the weight of it. But the light of the full moon reflected on the snow, making everything seem half-lit, like a pale blue dream.
I stood beside the road in a long red coat and boots, with a white scarf wrapped around my head. The night was so still I could hear my heart beating. I waited.
From a distance, I heard a horse galloping. Out of the dark, the Messenger appeared. He rode a beautiful black horse and wore a hooded cloak of fine grey wool, leather gloves and boots. He reined the horse to a stop beside me. Its powerful breaths sent billows of warm air in to the night.
The rider reached inside his cloak and removed a fold of paper. As soon as the message was in my hand, he kicked his horse and without a word disappeared in to the forest.
I turned over the paper. A beautiful red wax seal adorned it. Embossed in the seal was the image of a tree. The tree was surrounded by a circle of vines. Above the vines three birds flew towards a crescent moon.
I gently folded the paper until the seal broke in half. Carefully, I opened the page.
Inside were three words, written in black ink from a quill.