Iacta alea est: the dye is cast
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A dank mist had settled over the remote valley. The greyness of the sky gradually merged into the whiteness of the ground. Frost covered everything in sight. Germanus shivered, watched himself blow the cold air out of his mouth, just like he did as a boy, wiped his wet nose on his sleeve, looked around to make sure that no-one was watching, and then proceeded towards the cave-house. He had last been here – well, he could not quite remember when - but it was certainly before he married Eustachia, because that was why he had been here – to seek advice on what to do, on how he should prepare for his future. And now he was back, but this was a darker future, without the love of his life, and with only a limited prospect of success. A scrawny, bald cat looked down at him from the safety of i...

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