Back at their inn they had washed and changed, having agreed to meet Uksahkka at around eight that evening. They had little clue as to whom their back clad assailants had been, as they had been forced to abandon the burning vessel in fear of their lives, and the uproar from the funeral party on the shoreline. They had made themselves scarce, very, very quickly.
Rasha glanced outside again. There seemed to be an awful lt of ravens about, and he had a suspicious mind. No longer covered in soot, smoke or blood, the group made their way towards the Fire Quarter and the Temple of Shaelyn. Uksahkka had given them a small clay statuette of the Goddess, and told them to present it to the priest Yin-Po who could be trusted.
However, as they approached the crisp night air was suddenly pierced by the sounds of screams and the crashing of tumbling masonry. Dust and rocks blossomed over the heads of passers by, and the screams increased in intensity and volume. Drawing steel they rushed forward.
Ahead, above the press, the shrine of Shelyn slowly swayed and then collapsed into the street, dumping its facade of stone and mortared brick on those unfortunates below, resulting in another wave of screams of pain and fear.
As they drew near the shrine, they saw a large figure composed of rocks and dirt pounding away at the building and quickly reducing sections of it it to rubble. An elderly Tian priest lay injured on the street nearby.
“More Ravens” thought Rasha. And did one of them look larger and have red tips on its wings?
“Iss Elemental” said Ailukka, “Powerful spell.” And then she started casting and a ripple of frozen air steaked towards the thing, coating one shoulder in rime ice and staggering it momentarily.
“Yewarrrrrrrr!” screamed Ungo, by now very drunk, rushing at the thing with C***slicer. Ragnar followed with his blade, and then was swept aside like a rag doll by a slap from one of the creature’s hands. Rasha put his sword way and pulled out his bow nervously. Dinald drew the Poker, which failed to poke effectively.
As Ailukka pumped spells at the thing, Ragnar and Ungo tried to land blows without getting flattened. The creature was almost nine feet tall, and its fists hit like an avalanche. Both Ungo and Ragnar were in poor shape, but the creature too seemed in some way to be losing its integrity as bits of it fell off. A final swing from Ragnar and the thing final collapsed in on itself, leaving a cloud of dust, and a pile of sand and rubble in the courtyard.
Dinald helped the elderly priest to his feet, who started jabbering in Tien. Ailukka moved over to help Dinald calm him down, and showed him the clay figure.
Meanwhile Rasha was looking around, keeping a wary eye on the ravens which were even now watching them. Stooping down he picked up a a large black feather-much too large for a raven; too large even for the blood tipped larger bird he had glimpsed. Twirling it in his and he walked over to the others.
The old priest saw the feather and his eyes widened.
“Very bad! Very bad!” He hook his head looking frightened. Motioning them forwards he ushered them through the rubble to an alley behind the shrine. He led them to a secret door to a hidden cellar where Uksahkka was hiding, but the door had been battered
down and Uksahkka was nowhere to be found.
“The elemental was a distraction” said Rasha. “Someone’s kidnapped her.”
“Look here” said Dinald reaching down. He picked up a small dart. of the sort fired from a blowgun.
“An assassin’s weapon” said Ragnar.
“What do you know about the feather old man?” asked Ailukka in Tien. “No time to lose: speak swiftly.”
“Frozen Shadow. Very Bad.” said the old man, looking frightened.
“I am priest for many of Tian community. I hear many things. I hear of Frozen Shadows in last two, three years” said the old man hesitantly.
“Frozen shadows are….I not know word….Killers for hire. Members rumored to have magic powers and to move unseen. Sometimes they leave big black feather as calling card.”
“Still not much to go on” said Rasha glumly, “An assassin’s guild won’t have a shop in the high street.”
“What about the big blood red tipped raven?” asked Dinald. “Know anything about that old man?”
“Is very bad look in Kalsgard” said the Priest. Then he paused.
“But I know of one. Is said to be familiar of Goti Runecaster-a magician of the Rimerunners Guild.”
“Hmm the Rimerunner’s Guild again” said Dinald. “Their name seems to keep cropping up.”
“They specialise in trade across the Roof of the World as well” said Ragnar, “Could be more than coincidence. Maybe we should pay them a visit.”