The west of Alestra had bore the brunt of the biting winter that passed its icy white hand over the land. Treebrook was shin deep in snow the night they came. Three men standing gaunt atop their sinewy steeds scanned the small town from a hill, their breath drifting in cloudy wisps into the air. The man at the front dismounted and the two others quickly followed suit, landing with a gentle crunch in the crystalline snow. The front man pointed to a house close to a small frozen lake: “That is the one,” he spoke in a hushed, gravelly pitch. “We will wait for you, Tobias. Should anything go awry we will come.” The slender man to the left nodded and made his way down the hill and into the town proper.
As it was after midnight, Treebook was silent in its slumber. A baby lay in its crib, its mother and father close by in their low bed. Nobody heard the door unlock and nor did they hear the figure enter the house and creep into the baby's room. They were in too deep a sleep to react when the intruder slowly lifted the child from its bed, careful not to wake it, and carried it out into the winter night.