25 Sarenith, 4713 – Waldsby
The PCs spend the night in tight quarters at Nadya’s house but the bulk of the storm has abated by the next morning and there is only a light snowfall. The party takes the opportunity to investigate the town and find out all they can about their surroundings. The first thing the party notices is that Waldsby is an almost exact duplicate to Heldren in size and layout.
The PCs split up into smaller groups and visit Verana’s Sundries and sell off some items and stock up on winter gear. In trying to sell the painting of Whitethrone, the party is directed to Katrina Goltiaeva at the tavern who is an art collector.
Another group visits the town’s chapel to Pharasma and makes contact with the priest Rolf Holzberg. Although he is not friend with those in the Pale Tower, he can not openly provide the party assistance due to his fear of retaliation against the townfolk.
Some in the group talk to the carpenter Arbagazor Frimbocket. After a few minutes and some shared information Ingvar and Svala are able to deduce that the carpenter in Heldren, Tengezil are indeed twin brothers who had been separated at birth. He had thought his brother dead because that is what those in Whitethrone had told him. Quick examination of his visitors leads him to believe they are planning something which will hinder some plan of the White Witches. Because he now realize they had lied to him from his childhood, he decides to help the PCs. He gives Alabaster a special staff he had been making for one of the Witches but gives it to him instead at a very much reduced cost.
Hunter returns to Nadya’s house and hears items being thrown an smashed. He enters and winds up seeing a small fey creature telekinetically throwing utensils and dishes about. Nadya explains that it is Hatch, a domovoi who serves as the house spirit and was extremely close to Thora. She has just told him about what happened to her and he is upset and feels somehow responsible because he could not protect her. They leave him to his grief. Because he is concerned about how the party may have placed her in danger, he asks to stay at the house with her family for the night and she agrees.
The rest of the PCs eventually make their way to the tavern and sell the painting to Katrina. They buy food and drink and secure rooms. A woodworker enters and tell the group about a yeti running loose in town. Ingvar and Svala go out to investigate but soon learn that it is only Hunter with his cloak on. The return and say they drove the monster off and everyone settles in for the night.
The next morning the party awakes and prepares to head out when they hear tables and chairs being rearranged in the common room. They are met by a large contingent of guards from the Pale Tower who ask them about the Black Rider. At first feigning no knowledge of the Rider, the guards then determine that they are not of Irrisen and are in town illegally without proper papers. It slowly build to a tense standoff. Katrina tries to slip first Ingvar and then Aiwednil some suggestive tea but both are able to withstand its effects or counter them.
Hunter is outside feeding the dogs when he can detect they are agitated by something in town. He investigates and discovers guards posted outside the tavern. He very quickly sneaks around town and comes up from behind the building. He puts up the hood on his cloak so that he looks like a yeti and runs across the town square to cause a distraction.
Just as Hunter creates a distraction outside, a fight commences inside the tavern when Ten-Penny hits a guard with her dagger just after Alabaster has thrown down a challenge. The party starts out outnumbered but they are able to establish a defense to thin the numbers and then turn to an attack to kill off the guards. The guards outside are dealt with in similar fashion as they come to the aid of their partners insides, except for one, a winter wolf who chases after Hunter.
Hunter leads the creature and long run through town before he is caught in an alley behind the chapel. Just as the creature is about to leap to the attack, Nadya jumps it and distracts it for a moment. Hunter puts two arrows into the wolf and it turns back to attack him with his breath weapon and then a vicious bite. Nadya and Hunter fight a desperate battle against the much larger and powerful creature and after a second bite, Hunter falls. The creature is just about to deliver a killing blow when Svala, (who has left the tavern with the battle there completed) jumps in a kills the wolf with a blow to the head.
The priest comes out and renders a small bit of healing aid and says he will take care of the dead bodies if the party will bring them inside the temple.
Even though the battle in the tavern is over, it is clear that the parties presence in town is only going to draw more and more attention and place the populace in danger. The group cleans up as best as possible and then departs with plans to attack the tower as soon as possible. They first need to come up with a plan and heal from the fight.