“I studied the man standing beside the Erlking.... He was a sharp contrast. The Erlking was huge, but there was something about him that suggested agility and grace. It was like looking at a tiger. …
“This man wasn't a tiger. He was a bear. His shoulders were so broadly proportioned that he made Herne [the Hunter, the Erlking] look positively slender by comparison. His forearms were nearly the size of his biceps, and he had the kind of thick neck that you see only in power lifters and professional thugs. There were scars all over his hands, and more on his face, all of them faded away to ancient white lines, like those you see on some lifelong bikers. He wore a coat of mail of some kind – a creature of Faerie couldn't abide the touch of iron, so it had to be made from something else.
“Over the mail he wore a long, open coat of scarlet, trimmed in white fur. It was held in with a wide black leather belt. He had such a barrel of a chest that even a modest bit of stomach was a considerable mass on his huge frame. His gloves were made of black leather trimmed with more white fur, and they were tucked through the belt, right next to the very plain and functional hilt of an unadorned broadsword. His hair was short, white, and shining clean, and his white beard fell over his chest like the white breaker of a wave. His eyes were clean, winter sky blue.
“I lost track of what Eldest Gruff was saying, because my mouth was falling open.
“The second man noticed my expression and let out a low, rumbling chuckle. It wasn't one of those ironic snickers. It was a rolling, full-throated sound of amusement, and it made his stomach shake like . . . dare I say it?
“Like a bowl full of jelly. …
“His hand engulfed mine as he continued to chortle. His fingers could have crushed my bones. 'I know who you are, Dresden,' he rumbled. 'Call me Kringle.' …
“'Dude,' I said. 'Dude. You're . . . freaking Santa Claus.'
“'Not until after Halloween,' he said.” (pp. 37, 38)