Ding dong, the witch is… Uh oh.

“Begone, fool!” Angrat exclaimed, stamping her foot with an explosive report against the throne room dais.

The shock wave exploded outward from the impact, erupting violently in all directions. As it grew, it gathered before it all of the wind and snow that was Angrat’s to command. The tide crested as it rumbled down the Great Hall towards me. And I threw up my arms to protect my head as tons of snow and ice broke over me with tsunami force, and I was transported away.


The first impression is “dark”. Followed, in short order, by “cold” and “weight”. I can’t move much, clearly I’m trapped. It takes a little while, working through all of the other sensations, but eventually the memory of Angrat’s sneering face surfaces and…

She’s buried me.

Angrat is, in the simplest terms to understand, a witch. Both nasty and powerful. Her sphere of magical influence is over Winter; cold, ice, snow, wind, hail, the whole gallery. That huge stomp she just used on me has to be one of her most potent effects, snow wave combined with a teleport. Get rid of your enemies and bury them with an avalanche. Disagreeable, right?

Wherever it is that she’s sent me, it’s sure to be very, very cold. And given her disposition, far from hearth or comfort or civilization.

Well, there’s no help for it.

“Lights please,” I summon one of my earliest cantrips. It doesn’t do much, of course. Centered on my right hand, several feet away through the packed snow, it’s still pretty dark. I concentrate, turn up the intensity a bit, and begin to see a dim red glow in that direction, which grows much brighter as I wiggle my arm.

The snow seems fairly loosely packed around my arm; I conclude with some relief that it hasn’t settled yet, or isn’t very deep. I am able to work my hand up to my face, and clear snow from around my face, providing more breathing room.

“Compass.” Another general-utility cantrip, which just produces a small, glowing pointer that is always aimed North. Noting that it’s fairly level with my perspective, I conclude that I’m almost upright in the bank of snow, and that “Up” lies in that direction.

So far, so good. Not exactly dressed for the outdoors, I am dressed only in a light tunic. Snow is insulating though, and I probably won’t freeze to death immediately. Not until the snow melts and the fabric gets soaked through, anyway.

“Wish I was one of those fire mages,” I mutter to myself while pondering my situation.

Shoving my lighted hand in the “up” direction proves to be quite difficult. The snow is harder to move through now as it settles. But I am relieved to feel my hand break through the snow’s surface into the open air. Fairly shallow, I’ve heard it’s possible (through rare) for hikers and such in the mountains to extricate themselves from a shallow avalanche.

I’m mentally flipping through my list of spells for today, there surely must be something I can use. But the problem is, I’m an Illusionist. Most of my spells are simple projections, light and…ooh, that’s an idea.

One of my spells includes a minor heat component. Nothing like what a Fire mage can do, of course, but it is warm enough to melt snow, if you’re in no great hurry about it.

So I conjured up a Sunbeam, focused on my right hand (the one already glowing with light of the more standard pure-illusion sort). A beam came down from above, narrowly focused, about five feet in radius around my hand, roughly equivalent to the brightest summer sun. And I began to feel a trickle running down my arm, melt-off from above.

In a half dozen hours I had enough snow melted away to fight free and pull myself, soggy, wet, and cold, out of the avalanche. I rolled quickly up out of the depression left by my body, and onto a moss-covered rock. Looking around me as I focused another Sunbeam spell to warm me and dry my clothes. I might have a bit of sunburn later, but I suspected that would be the least of my worries.


From the looks of things, I was pretty high up in the mountains. Turning about slowly I could see only rock and snow, in every direction, to the limit of my vision.

It looked to be a very long walk home.

RecDave Seal

You were caught in an avalanche. To be rescued, you need to make it through the night. What thought(s) would give you the strength to go through such a scary, dangerous situation?

Trudging across the tundra, mile after mile