SUMMARY: Moira thwarts an assassination attempt on Pim and learns that dozens of assassins have been hired out of Concord to kill many targets, including the four heroes. Asger defeats Najir, who was paid by Master Rankins to kill him. Zelu defeats a magical spirit assassin similar to the sword wind in the first blizzard. He learns Master Rankins created and sent it. Master Rankins left town the night before. The group leaves to catch him. Tiaga parts ways and the other three continue alone.
At the edges of town, Zelu is investigating the source of the widespread enchantment over the entire region. He passes by a snowbank and hands made of sticks grab him and pull him into the snow. It’s a stick golem, similar to the Sword Winds that attacked them in [[Book 1, Chapter 1: A Cold Beginning… | chapter 1]]. Being pressed into the snow, he can’t use sorcery, but he frees himself, then blasts the stick golem with fire, destroying it. Examining it with Witch Sight, he’s able to see that it was enchanted. He also recognizes it as one of the stick puppets that Master Rankins had hanging in his wagon.
Meanwhile, in the center of town, Asger is confronted by Najir. Najir has a cursed knife. During the fight, Najir tells him that Master Rankins paid him to kill ASger, but that he would have done it anyway. Asger overcomes him in a wrestling match and uses the blade to kill Najir. He feels something strange and realizes the knife is a soul drinker of some sort. He keeps the knife.
Moira alerts the town of the attempt on Pim’s life and everyone congregates in the temple. Mayor Eila is deeply grateful (Pim is her son). The halflings take custody of Cassandra, but the first part of the interrogation is done in the temple.
The heroes learn that Cassandra and Master Rankins are both assassins and both were hired by the same mysterious patron. A man in Concord put out a call for dozens assassins and each got a different list of names. Cassandra had Pim. Master Rankins had the four of them on his list (that’s the list they found in [[Book 1, Chapter 1: A Cold Beginning… | chapter 1]]).
They ask around and discover that Master Rankins left the night before. They leave (with the gratitude of the entire town) to go hunt Master Rankins down.
However, Tiaga decides she needs to part ways with her sister and the others. She heads east, into the Queen’s Wood. She plans to send dark elves back, like they promised the troll Mother Xiola.Then she’ll fulfill her duties that Tiranna gave her (except that she knows her sister and firends will be long gone by then. The twins bid each other a tearful farewell and hope to be reunited soon.
(Tiaga’s player had to drop from the game after last session. She wasn’t here this week and probably won’t be back again this campaign.)