However, Jacek spotted various traps up ahead, which indicated an ambush. Sure enough, you were attacked by five kobolds, who made heavy use of traps
During the fight, Volterra noticed her magic was behaving oddly
As well as the now-usual blizzard erupting around Lital when she raged, one of her hands also became caked with permafrost and she reached out to grab an enemy as if attacking with it – but the attack missed
Once the kobolds had been dealt with, you started looting, providing a large bag of cash, some new armour for Lital, and a map:
Resolving to investigate Golthrash’s hoard after you’d rested up, you headed towards the village
On the outskirts, you came across a (human) woman crying over a (human, male) corpse – the latter clearly having been murdered
Jacek set about comforting the woman, who introduced herself as Moira, and identified the body as Kalen, a local druid
She explained that with increased Imperial presence here on the frontier, Kalen had been working to strike a balance between the demands and rights of wild folk and those of the expansionist Imperials, and had made enemies in the process – including a half-orc forester called Pogral who threatened to kill Kalen just yesterday!
Volterra asked local plants about what had happened, but they provided little useful information
Vallessa looked at the tracks and noticed a few odd things – several booted feet, including some really small ones, and a partial print of a giant wolf
Daechir investigated the body and noticed that the actual cause of death was that the throat had been shredded by animal teeth – the ritual knife in the chest was put there afterwards. The flesh around the wounds was dried up and puckered like a prune
He also noticed that the four little piles of stones arranged around the body had been part of a strange ritual to steal the murdered druid’s soul and power
Jacek used the power of his Ring of Honeyed Words to convince Moira that you were all heroes who would bring the murderers to justice – everyone else was horrified at how skeezy he was
You headed into the village of Thorn, where Moira had agreed to let you all stay the night in her house/herbalist shop. In the morning, you talked through your ideas and plans.
Ruling out the idea that Lital had chopped off her hand and replaced it with an ancient artefact, Daechir performed some tests on her blood, discovering it contained tiny ice crystals/snowflakes
You bought a bunch of potions off Moira, and went out and about into the town. Vallessa bought some replacement swords, and then you tried to track down Kalen’s apprentice Silverleaf. Asking around you realised that no one else knew the news yet, and soon a large number of villagers were clamouring outside Moira’s shop, wanting to know what was going on.
You decided to head out of town and fulfil Jacek’s promise to Moira…