by thefourpartland

Roaring and growling as it sprayed forth from the cliff, the avalanche tumbled onwards, some falling upon the downed Hanians, most of it missing and landing beyond them, wedging them in against the base of the cliff.

Some of their belongings were not so lucky, with Canere’s pack having been struck by a large chunk of ice that had fallen from the lip above, landing barely away from where he had lain. Crushed as it was, food and blankets and the like were probably retrievable, but some of his more valuable spellcasting item were almost certainly gone.

By the time they had dug themselves out from the snow, the light was failing, and while almost all of the items buried in the avalanche had been retrieved, a cold wind had picked up, whipping through the long valley of the mountains and scouring the slopes, the temperature plummeting with the fading light of day. It was clear that shelter was a necessity, for otherwise it would be dangerously cold. And one of the items to be broken was the rods that held the tent aloft.

Scouring the land surrounding the cliff, Ira led the search for a place that could hide them from the cold. Only after the sun had dipped below the horizon, and the cutting wind become into a scything knife, did she find an appropriate abode: a dark mouth buried against the face of rock, low and with an overhanging stone.

The deep cleft ran back into the mountain, turning as it did, narrow and dim, and the three squeezed into it, grumbling all the while.

“So now we don’t have a tent?” Yaden scowled as he peered at the opening of the cavern, almost hidden by the dim night.

“Actually, the tent cloth is fine. It’s the rods that hold it aloft that are broken. I’m not much of a hand with crafting things, but I’d suspect between us we can make replacement fitments with the daylight.” Much as it would have been helpful, Canere’s magical capabilities did not extend much into the realm of creating or fixing items.

“I can probably manage the matter, although the carven branches will be heavier than the light rods that came before.” Ira was eyeing the dagger that was strapped to her form. Not an ideal knife for whittling, but it would serve.

Yaden snorted. “In other words, just a delay. Which this blasted valley seems full of. How many days are we going to have to spend trudging back and forth across this? Our food isn’t going to last forever.”

At that, the arcanist’s face fell. “I wasn’t thinking of that, or else I’d have felled the winter beast. We could have frozen its meat and used it as food.”

“On second thought, maybe starvation is a better option. You’re suggesting we eat something like that? Uncertain magical beast meat?”

“There aren’t too many entirely natural creatures that can survive the cold and the lack of food this far north. There’s certainly some, but we’re on the very edge of their territory, I would suspect.”

“So random magical beast meat will sustain us. That’s lovely. I always wanted to explore new avenues in cuisine that involved possible poisons.”

“That’s okay Yaden, I’ll be more than happy to eat your share.” Ira grinned at the roustabout. “Too much meat might add muscles on your frame, anyway. You’d lose your waifish looks.”

A little glowing bee that buzzed around Ira’s head and kept settling on the tip of her nose was the answer she got. Annoyingly, any attempt to swat the creature did little more than send it skittering about again, until Canere and Yaden were both chuckling loudly at her antics.

Although when it dove down her shirt and began trying to tickle her there, the glare that she shoot Yaden was enough to make him end the spell.

Moods restored, the three of them hunkered down for the night.


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