Man writing a book

The next fantasy series?

The infant's shrill cries could be heard across the snow-covered courtyard.

“This is the last one,” Gideon promised himself again, “the very last one.” He glanced to his left at the short gray-haired man crouched beside him, knelt and leaning his weight on a worn oaken staff. Bastinus was an old hand at baby stealing, but this work had never set well in Gideon's own thoughts, nor in his dreams.

“Did you see anyone, Gideon?” Bastinus whispered, peering again over the crest of the short stone wall they hid behind. The man's eyes weren't what they used to be, and his squinting combined with his pinched face made him resemble a weasel, Gideon thought.

“No guards, not a soul,” Gideon replied. “Only we are fool enough to be out in this cold. Let's be at the thing and get it over with.” Bastinus nodded and clutched at the rose crystal hanging from a black leather loop around his neck, his eyes knitting in concentration. Gideon began to walk purposefully through the snow, and his booted feet made no sound at all breaking through the icy crust or against the cobbles beneath. Bastinus followed, projecting the aura of silence around them both. They were careful to walk closely together.

They moved cautiously past the wall and into the open courtyard, their footsteps crunching soundlessly in the few untrammeled snow. Stealthy we may be, but we'll leave tracks everywhere we stride down here. A terrible time of year for a job like this. As they crossed the courtyard Gideon put out his hand to Bastinus, indicating the older man to pause. Gideon turned, his youthful face focused on the field of white snow, now with two sets of tracks laid through it. His hand swept across his body, while the incantation formed in his mind. The snow billowed before him, spreading across the area as if thrown by a sudden wind, filling the tracks in a few moments before calming to stillness again. The snow still piled unevenly at the edges of their footprints, so it wasn't a perfect sheet as before. The best we can do. He sighed, feeling fatigue from his efforts and a chill from the cold night air.

Space Marines on patrol

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