The young elf moves forward, swiftly, noiselessly, the soles of his bare-toed feet and the tip of his gnarly, branching staff mage's barely making an imprint on the patchy, greyish carpet of snow that covers the round porous rocks and the streaks of pale, lace-like, dried-up moss, and grows thicker, fluffier, and cleaner the higher uphill he climbs. His eyes, light-brown like the shell of a forest nut, are narrowed intently on his angular, freckled face, as he gazes fixedly ahead at some remote goal that he is supposed to reach.
Absorbed as he is by tracing his path, he does not notice another face bobbing up and down in the shrubs in his wake. Although broader, paler, and with rounder contours, this face is marked by bold tattoo lines, just like his. Except that the patterns etched into the young travelling mage's skin (in dark-red ink to match the frizzy strands of hair that flutter in the breeze under the rim of his dark-green hood, with slits for ears) resemble the crown of a tree