It was cold out. Winter had never been particularly friendly to the wayfarer in the wilds beyond reach of city or road, let alone to fugitives, fleeing their former masters. Snow had piled deep through every thicket and stretch of the wood, ice coated the river in all but the most rapid sections, and no path was visible in any direction.
In short, Ishalt was lost, which wasn’t a terrible thing in summer when there was food for forage and the only thing that mattered was suitable distance from one’s pursuers. In winter, it could mean life or death to find shelter.