The day had been magnificent, a fine strong wind blowing the fallen snow in lacework across the rolling slopes, crystals clinging to crystals in delicate growing blades that, he was sure, the unseen fae had some small hand in. On the road to the covenant, far below, the upper part of a small black figure labored in the growing cold and blue shadows, kneedeep in last night's fall.
The mage stood, and walked along the cornice where he had been resting, a gulf several men tall below him before the steep rocky ridge reappeared from beneath the curved lip, unencumbered by the heavy clothes one might expect for such a location. He had been high up on the slopes that day, to the edge of a glacier and within it, his thoughts as deep and cold and meandering as any of the crevasses he navigated with casual ease.
But now his path led him down, back toward the covenant, tho' it was hardly near at hand, and his path and the road need not be the same. His thoughts - his stomach, truth to tell - were turning toward dinner, and a fine fire and a warm bowl of stew; he did not relish leaving the cold, for he loved the warmth no more, but appreciated it still.
It was then that his thoughts were broken by... a feeling. The type of feeling that makes one's eyes open of a sudden at night, and listen, and not be tempted to shut again until they have heard, or not heard. The very snow under his feet was shifting, sliding - he knew what this was, and could see it was large, too large for him to stop, and it was gaining speed. A rising anger grew in him with himself that he had not foreseen the danger, not been more crafty of the ways of the slopes, and had allowed himself to walk into such a position, even tho' he also knew it was at times impossible to avoid, and that he was in no real danger. With a word and a gesture, he was back on the windswept icy ridge, watching the majesty of the wrath of the mountain unfold below him, rumbling like his unforgiveness of his own mental errour.
And only then remembering the figure, below. His gaze turned, and watched it disappear in the leading edge of distant roar, a cottony froth from where he stood, only able to struggle a few paces and then throw an arm up in futile defense against the onslaught.
The mage waited until the inevitable had passed, the roar of the snows had softened and hissed into silence, and then in a heartbeat he was standing down near the road, eschewing the slopes even as the last of the snow-dust settled. He cast his gaze this way and that, his gaze penetrating the snows as if the clearest pond on a sunny day, and spotted what he was looking for - the figure, cast like a ragdoll, now some hundred paces below the road and under several man-heights of snow. In a blink, he was there, and with a gesture the figure was exposed, the tons of snow and ice now only a thin grey mist curling in the evening winds from the exposed hole.
He strode down into the pit, and felt for the life pulse - dead. He frowned a bit, and wondered what the person's purpose was that brought them this way at this late hour, and heaved a sigh. For all his power, it did nothing to save this life. Many die on the mountains, some unfound, some unmourned, and he did not regret this loss, but his inability to stop it. He wondered if, had his learnings not been ended and then begun again on a different track...
He stooped, lifted the figure in his arms, and carried it back up to the road, now himself laboring, at times thigh-deep, as any mundane would. He could see where the road was under the new fall, and set the cooling clay aside and uncovered the path again in a few short minutes, the entire length that had been lost, now clean and free under the tall shoulder of dusk-blue snows.
The corpse he left by that roadside, and returned his path toward home, and his thoughts toward dinner. He would remember to mention it to the seneschal when next he saw him.