Taramitsu and Casimir avoid running into the elves again and return to the village of Ulbram with the wounded halfling, Isileth. The mayor tries to reward the two for their effort but it is curtly refused. The people of the village mourn the loss of their friends and family with Isilieth, feeling shamed, wanting to leave the town immediately. She explains that she has no family and since all of her friends were killed, she has no reason to stay in Ulbram.
Taramitsu explains to her that they need her great-grandfather’s legacy to defeat the dragon. She is confused and says that she never knew Arlan so she doesn’t know how to help.
The party decides to head into the mountains toward Sudorheim after one last night’s rest. Isileth decides to stay in the inn with a room opposite Taramitsu and diagonal of Casamir’s. In the middle of the night, Taramitsu is roused by a loud clatter from Casamir’s room. Grabbing his no-dachi, he exits his room, noticing Isileth’s door is open as well as Casamir’s.
Taramitsu identifies the man in Casamir’s room as an agent of the Black Hand, on top of Casamir, shoving a blade in his gut. Taramitsu springs into action, pinning the assassin on the ground and trying to question him. The man only tries to break free and Taramitsu finishes him. The blade he used to stab Casamir was poisoned, deteriorating his health rapidly. Sadly, Isileth did not survive the attack and was dead before Taramitsu rose. The assassin left a not on his person, revealing that the Black Hand’s headquarters were at Doomhold. It also stated that he was supposed to kill only isileth and avoid the Estlander. A misstep that cost him his life.
Rushing to tell the mayor, Taramitsu runs into the Light Warden, Aeryn Palamas, who had disappeared in the Heart Tree long before. She relents that she was tracking the Black Hand Agent but what too late to stop him from attacking the party. She offers to help Taramitsu with stopping the dragon and Black Hand as she seeks to rout out all evils.
In Isileth’s room, Taramitsu and Aeryn find that she indeed had some of her great-grandfather’s things and was keeping them secret because she did not trust Taramitsu and company. She had Arlan’s journal, groups of maps, and his strange orichalcum compass. His journal was a retelling of the founding of the storm knights at Stormhold. However, Arlan did not want to serve the storm knights, at they were too strict. He left and headed for Sudorheim.
The pair of them tell the mayor what happened before having to set out. It appears that Casamir would hopefully survive his wounds. Taramitsu reflects that Casamir was a kind soul that sacrficed his own life so that he could kill the dragon. Without Logan or Kayla, Taramitsu was the only person who could carry out the orders they had and he vowed to do it so that his companions sacrifice would not be for nothing.