The duchess sat in her feast hall, sipping a glass of wine.
Last night, the long table had been piled high with sought-after delicacies and rare vintages. It remained so this morning.
Not a single guest had arrived for her feast, and she did not know what that meant. She had long been a player in court politics and was no stranger to intrigue, but to be so utterly abandoned was an unexpected puzzle, and she feared what it meant.
She despaired until a servant entered and opened the grand windows, revealing a blizzard that had covered the kingdom overnight.

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