Felim collapsed into the snow, exhausted. It felt like it would be the last fall this time, his limbs stiffening and flesh numb. The adventurer had heard of natives that thrived out here, men who slew bears and made coats of seal fur. But who could build anything out here...?
Just as he felt light start to fade, Felim cast his gaze up to see the sky one last time. He was startled - or would have been, if his body had the energy - to see a furred hood and a leathery face with a toothless grin. "Ho there, brother!" it spoke. "You came to just the right place."
Some parallel worlds have different time-flows, like the fabled dwelling-places of the elves: those who visit them under the hill for a night return to find that years have passed in this world. Perhaps it is the gate leading between the worlds which causes the alteration. If a gate were 'misaligned', the shift from '| |' to '| \' or '| /' as it were would lead to that difference, much as a light-beam split and bent by a prism ends up taking a longer path. There might even be a mathematical function linking degree of misalignment to alteration of time-rate.