Sephira had been ordered to pay a visit to Windward Haven that day. The structure had been terribly impressive compared to some of the smaller command posts. Large arcing rooflines were paired with study stone walls that were securely buried in the top of a large mountainous foothill. Sephira had been given only a break after the flight to rest and eat in the barracks before her task would begin.
A small group of Air Troops would be leading a survey into the mountains later that afternoon and having a Rupturer along would make things a touch easier if they needed someone to quickly return to the Haven for help if there was an emergency. They would be going on foot to carefully check if there were any bandits or unsavory types holed up just north of Egilrun. Additionally there were a couple scholars in the group who would be reviewing the local flora and fauna since an ecological survey of the mountains was a rarity.
The group was waiting just outside the Haven, dressed in warm furs with packs hefted on their backs. The survey would take a few trials to complete, so they would be camping along the way. Sephira was not well suited for roughing it outdoors. She stood out like a sore thumb in her crimson clothing and black wool cloak. At least she’d had the good sense to braid her hair that morning to keep her hair out of her way during the trip. Tipping her hood over her eyes to cut off the glare from the snow, she set off with the team, lagging slightly behind to bring up the rear.
Breaks passed as they ascended along an old mountain path. Pausing every so often to allow the scholars to write down notes about the sparse foliage or the pale white winter foxes they sighted from time to time. The mage quickly grew bored when they stopped for what seemed like the tenth time that evening. She seated herself on a rock just off the path while the team made their notes of what they had seen since the last pause in their journey. Idly the mage picked up a smooth glistening pebble in her hand and tossed it off over the lip of the path to send it skittering down the mountain. This amused her for a few trills, but eventually boredom struck again, and Sephira could not stand boredom.
Glancing behind her she turned and reseated herself to look behind her. In this direction was a vast stretch of evergreen trees caked in fresh snowfall along with a tall wall of stone that bled into the mountain. Standing, the mage wandered a short way through the trees and approached the stone, musing to herself as she placed her gloved hand on the smooth rocky surface. Her footsteps crunched in the soft white powder, her cloak trailing behind her.
Suddenly the hoarse growl of a massive animal could be heard in the distance from the depths of the forest. Sephira froze as a massive brown furred form could be seen lumbering quickly through the trees as if it was pursued by something. The bear was headed frantically toward the mountain and what appeared to be the opening of a cavern. The cave presented itself as a large fracture in the mountainside, with impressions of old runic symbols clinging to its wide gaping maw. The animal did not seem to see the woman while it huffed into the entrance with lethargic steps and disappeared into the darkness.