Dura’s frail fist trembled as he punched at the gusting breeze ahead of them, but it struck with the power of the mightiest hammer. Any of the razor shards of ice flying across their path were obliterated, smashed to the smallest slivers. The howling winds on either side seemed to buckle and balk when his reed-like voice cried out in the old speech. An avenue of calm opened through the whirling maelstrom.

Elph dashed forwards, hearing the others’ feet crunching on thickly frozen snow as they raced along the ridge. Once they were safe  on the bare rock at its far end, where sharp ridge met sheer mountain, the bowman turned to see what they had come through. The old magicker, Dura, panted at Elph’s side. His hands were still and his tongue had ceased yelping enchantments.

A mere few paces behind them, a wall of rippling silver stretched from earth to sky, thousands of blades of jagged ice spinning and flying in the highland gale, shredding the blanketed snow and throwing it up to the clouds.

“There’s no going back that way.” Elph muttered.

“That’s a shame and no mistake.” Dura responded. “I’m not optimistic about what lies ahead.”

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