The trail of breadcrumbs only led into a dark forest and then the snows came and the trail was lost. Wu Meiying and her husband Pietro Verner sought refuge in a recently abandoned cabin. Empires were ending; they could feel it; they could see it in the hasty departure of the cabin's previous residents. The storage lockers were half full and chickens roosted on the rafters. Of course the horses were gone, but the stack of firewood made a cozy fire. But they were no closer to their goal. For five years, or was it only four, they had hoped, wished and chased their way across the broad, unknown lands of this great continent for for wealth, for order, and for a king of these north lands that had the power to connect them to the sea. To grant them ships that they might sail once more to the east and home.