It is a couple of hours before dawn. Restless Ignatious lies sleeplessly in his bed, staring blearily upwards at the room’s ceiling. Suddenly the chair that he used to wedge his door closed scrapes quietly across the floor. In the dead silence of the night this sounds to Moor like a deafening screech, and his awakening attention is immediately fixed on the door. It comes slowly ajar, and whispering voices can be heard: “It’s not here. Kill them all.” Ignatious silently begins to reach for the shaded oil lamp at his bedside table.
The door opens and a dark figure creeps in. Moor feigns sleep, his heart racing, and senses the figure’s approach. He hears the distinctive sound of a blade being drawn. This has gone on long enough. The seasoned warrior grabs the warm lantern and flings it at the intruder. The silent assassin is caught off guard and gets covered with blazing hot oil which quickly sets his robes ablaze. The figure screams in surprised agony, and screams so loudly that Moor’s companions wake up to find a robed murderer in each of their own rooms, all about to make a killing strike.
Encounter: Naked Wizard Attack
The five warriors fight off the assassins, killing three as two escape. The ruckus awakens many in the inn, the innkeeper among them. Ignatious pushes his way downstairs and goes outside to look for a trail. Wistark frisks the bodies but finds that they wear only robes, boots and greatswords. The robes bear an emblem, but not one he recognises. Leaving the bodies where they are, Wistark walks down the corridor to explain things to the innkeeper. He is reminded to put some clothes on (by Grimlock of all people) just in time.
Re-emerging fully clothed from his bedroom, the wizard gives the innkeeper a brief explanation and asks that he rouse the city guard. Wistark leaves the Cantering Cow with Norman and Gravilla to find that Ignatious has discovered a trail of blood. Concerned that the trail might go cold, the group follow it into the city. Unfortunately, it eventually runs dry. Wistark, Norman and Ignatious make their best guesses at the assassin’s heading and continue the hunt. Their keen senses lead them true – they find the missing killer, dead from blood loss.
Ignatious takes the body to a guard post and the warriors return forlornly to the Cantering Cow. The city guard have now set up a perimeter and the group are interviewed on the night’s events. Norman feels it is unsafe to linger and presses Wistark to find a new inn. Ignatious votes in the dwarf’s favour, pointing out that it would be foolish to give the assassins a second chance. Having heard from Ignatious that the would-be killers were looking for something, Wistark decides to check up on Oliver Finnagin.
They arrive at Heddibrun University to find that the historian has also been attacked, though fortunately this too was unsuccessful due to the valour of the Knights of Arcelor. The Necronomicon is safe for the moment. Wistark sees an opportunity to get some more coin out of the knight captain and proceeds to kick up a fuss. He argues that perhaps the tome should be investigated next Season when things have died down. The knight captain is angered by this suggestion and questions the rightful ownership of the book.
Wistark convincingly bluffs outrage, pointing out that the book has achieved nothing but good in his hands and that someone did just try to assassinate him. Grimlock and Ignatious chime in, certain that they too deserve something for their trouble. The knight captain relents, winning the wizard an increase to his deposit and the entire group 50ip each as a gesture of good will. Wistark shows Professor Finnagin the emblem on the robes of the attackers. It is the mark of Esselfine University – a rival of the university Finnagin works for.
Oliver mentions that, should they want to look for the assassins, he knows someone who can sneak them onto Esselfine’s campus. Further discussions are interrupted when a large man in green paint enters the room. He is accompanied by a frightened, bruised woman. He explains that she was ambushed on Gerelden’s outskirts while delivering necromantic tomes to Finnagin. The books were stolen and she awoke in a ditch not long ago. Before departing he suggests that the scene of the crime might be worth investigating, and gives Ignatious its location with only a little prompting.
The Capital Punishers decide to investigate the assassins themselves, and set off with a mind to take the law into their own hands. On their way out of the city they are intercepted by a city guard who calls himself Lt. Gordon. He provides them with information on a possible meeting place of the Droogs, the band of thieves encountered the day before, in the hopes that they will go clean them out. As the Punishers continue to make their way to the ambush site the city shudders beneath them with the knowledge that a new era of brutal vigilante justice has come.