if the north was the heart of ice, then farther north and beyond the wall was its head. the one that breathed direction into the cold winds and gave it strength. not much is known of this land, as if its very history was made unclear by frost. its people were called wildlings—wild of of bearing, and wild of thirst. nomadic, as though even their feet were carried by the winter winds—a people scattered, sparse, like the frozen lands that refused to bear the marks of human hands. the wildlings bow to no mortal emperor, for who could usurp winter, that which they thought to be lord and master of all. yet genghis khan managed to rally the wildlings behind him. his empire had no religion and no law but for the law of the victor. southward they marched, and when the wall refused them, they stormed old stone with older strength.