As the Empire burns, a cold front is coming in from the west. The snow will clear away the soot and make the air again smell fresh and clean like evergreens on a hopeful Christmas day. Winter is upon us.
We know winter always comes before the spring. Rebirth may be around the corner, but first the Snow Princess Garver will survey what has been put asunder and draw on the elfish Changelings to compose a plan of redemption. The Emperor will be handed pink swaddling to cloak himself in as he departs the debacle and the Viceroys will likewise take leave, each carrying his head out the door in a basket of fine wicker.
The Bumble's weakness has been recognized and it is sinking. It will not bounce this time. The chief elves, Hefferen, Ladwig, Whitesides, and Monje will attempt to put Santa's workshop back together and new reindeer tryouts will immediately commence. ARES and Orion will be banished to the land of misfit toys, to be forgotten as footnotes on a misbegotten path. Not even Yukon Cornelius will rescue them from their imminent demise.
We collectively hold our breath and look forward to a favorable touch from the Snow Princess's wand. It won't be long now.