A gentle wind blew out from the mouth of the cave, carrying with it a handful of snowflakes. As I hugged the lip of the cave, standing in direct sunlight of a summer day, this seemed unlikely at best. Curiosity drew me further in, and I did my best to follow the wall quietly while still holding my footing on ground that became more and more sleek as I ventured on. The temperature must have dropped tenfold in the mere few seconds I progressed. A sting came to my lungs as my breath poured out visibly before me; I felt heavy and winded like my lungs had too much work to do sorting oxygen from ice. Snowflakes flew across my face, more violently this time. I pulled my cloak closer, neared the corner, and peered around the bend.
"Ah, that's more like it. Home sweet, icy, subzero home," came a gentle voice from within. A woman of small stature stretched her arms over her head and a pair of fla