Snow drifted lightly onto the roof of an Inn. The snowy season had begun again, as it did every 81 days. Inside, many of the folk who inhabited the land, travelers and those who had sunk into a routine that involved the place daily, moved casually throughout the building, keeping their heads down or conversing with wanton abandon in equal measure.
A booted foot kicked the unlatched entrance, and it dropped to the floor with little resistance. Several men and women dressed in identical rubbery grey coats marched in. They wore goggles, those thingies (a word recognized by the New Oxford American Dictionary) that surgeons wear around their mouths, and simple yet surprisingly fashionable bowler-esque hats. Most notably, they wore around their necks forest green candles that smelled of wild roses. The head among them’s was a bright red, which was clearly how you knew he was in charge. Most of the customers took immedi