It had been a harsh winter in Venth, cold city and cold stone. Now a chilly spring has taken up where the winter left off. Strange mist has been rising up in parts of the city. Noises are distorted, stones are slippery and sometimes frozen over.
On patrol, Araevyn and Jorrim spot two men attempting to abduct a woman near the temple of Jozan. Spotting them Areavyn cries out to the would be attackers. One pulls a knife to the throat of the woman and commands the other bandit to “warn the others”. The other man runs down the alley. Across the street on the rooftop Il Duce sees all this with calm focus.
Sahara awakes to unusual sounds being made within the temple. When she wakes up she hears a faint scream from outside the temple. Walking out into the hall, unarmored but equipped with her quarterstaff, she notices the adjacent room, belonging to her uncle, has its door ajar and a hoarse whisper from inside says, “get up old man.”
Callidus hears an intruder enter his room. In assassin form he jumps to the ceiling with rope in hand, ready for his attacker. As he the intruder enters the room, Callidus drops the rope around their neck and begins twisting the rope violently, digging a little deeper into the flesh with each jerk. The intruder manages a glancing blow on Callidus’s arm, but alas, that would prove to be his final action in this life. Silently hiding the body under the bed, Callidus steps out of his room to take in the full view of the situation at hand.
The temple of Jozan, where he is staying, has been desecrated. Tar is coated on the walls and on the statue of Jozan himself. He can see figures shuffling around, destroying cabinets, tapestries, and books. Across the way he sees the young cleric he met earlier, Sahara, attempting to free her uncle from the dagger of an intruder.
Sahara, still groggy from sleep, swipes at the bandit. She misses, but her prayer to Jozan is heard and she sees her uncle radiate a faint blue aura of protection; the blessing of law. She gets a quick look at the scene below, of her beloved temple being destroyed, and rage fills her. She rushes and drop kicks the intruder over the rail. Adrenaline pumping, she jumps over the banister and lands right next to the intruder, dropping her quarterstaff on his skull.
Meanwhile, Araevyn and Jorrim, with some help from Il Duce, have dispatched of the two bandits from the alley and have made their way inside the temple. A few minutes of combat elapse, and the vandals have all been disposed of, yet one casualty stands out.
Orus, Sahara’s uncle, had been murdered, his throat slit by a panicked bandit. She had been too late by a mere breath of a second, and now she lay kneeling, lamenting the loss of her uncle and mentor.
Callidus, unfazed by the rude awakening, continues to make preparations for a meeting he is to attend. A few minutes pass and the captain of the guard enters with a few men. Araevyn salutes and begins briefing the captain on what passed in the temple. Meanwhile the other guards begin to descend upon Il Duce, a known vigilante and criminal. After talking to Araevyn, the captain begins to question Il Duce.
Before he can make a deal with Il Duce to garner his help from his underworld contacts, Sahara, now fully dressed in battle garb, grabs Il Duce by the front of his shirt. “You have no choice in the matter. You will take me to your contacts so that I may exact justice upon my enemies. With your leave captain!”
With a small smirk and a nod of his head, the captain grants his leave, and Sahara drags Il Duce out of the temple, followed quickly by Araevyn and Jorrim. Callidus leaves a few minutes later for his mysterious rendevouz.