Those aren't pillars, they're snakes. Huge, like basilisks, standing in rows like the pointed log parapets atop Wild West forts.
We have no choice of escape except to jump from the walls. It's like looking straight down a cliffside. Your companion, self-assured, steps into air and glides gently to a rooftop a hundred feet below. You hesitate: you don't have those powers. He beckons upward to you: just jump, he'll use his wizardry to keep you safe. As you glide gently downward you realize what it is to be protected.