The blue glow of uncertain dawn stretched into a horizon wrought of ice farther than a red eye could see.
In a bright scarlet gown, Lady Melisandre stood on top of the Wall, peering over the edge of the world.
From above, it didn't look that frightening.
Seven hundred feet underneath where the red woman stood, the men were freezing. A tiny black-clad ant could occasionally be seen running between the decrepit crumbling towers of Castle Black.
Most had fallen into disuse over the past three turns of the moon, with the cold winds rising. There would be more human bugs in the wormways, she knew.
Those long, low tunnels connected the different parts of the main outpost of the Night's Watch under the ground. It was less cold down there, now, at the end of autumn in the North.
Both the men of the Night's Watch and the wildlings agreed that the winter was almost upon them. It was the only thing they agreed about. The chill went deep into the bones, unbearable.
It was becoming worse day by day, and the nights had already been unspeakably cold for a while. The black wool and boiled leather kept the men alive, but didn't help them feel any warmer.
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