Face first, Zander and the rat land on a soft blanket of snow. Rising to his knees, Zander looks around in wonder.
"So beautiful," he says.
"Yes it is my friend," the rat says next to him.
"Where are we?"
"First things first, I am Antonio Baliammo, lord of Maltair." Antonio bends at the waist, in a sort of bow.
Zander stares at the rat for a moment, trying to figure all this out. Finally, he decides that this is too much of an opportunity to pass up.
"I'm Zander, lord of nothing, and confused beyond words."
Antonio laughs, "yes, I'm sure you are. Come, my castle is just over the ridge. I will tell you everything then."
Zander shakes his, "I can't believe I'm talking to a rat!" He rises and the two set out for the castle.
"Reality doesn't care if you believe in it."