After taking Benjamin Hunt into custody, the party set out towards Welwyn. Upon realizing they were out of water, they stopped at a babbling brook to refill. There, Jargar noticed a familiar and angry cockatrice in the branches above. It had burns on its leg from Bonny the Bonfire, signaling that it was the creature that once guarded the entrance to Tamyra’s bandit hideout. This time, however, it had brought its entire flock of almost twenty cockatrice. All of which descended upon the party, who quickly fled.
Unfortunately, carrying Benjamin slowed down Jargar quite a bit, causing the rest of the party to stand and fight. Blackwood created an illusion of flaming panthers to ward off the flock, as they were naturally afraid of the big cats. Benjamin insisted upon being freed, as he had many spells to handle such a legion of monsters, but the party refused him. Much of the cockatrices were taken down by the party, but one bit Jargar on the snout, quickly turning him into stone. The rest of the party protected him, and eventually killed the entire flock. Tamyra explained that one of her own was bitten before and recovered after a day; the party need only wait for Jargar to return to flesh. Blackwood and Jaeden scouted the area to make sure it was safe enough to set up camp, and Blackwood secretly passed Hunt’s Spellbook to Jaeden for safekeeping. Meanwhile, Tamyra and Cho went to work dressing up Jargar’s statue in a flower crown and sweet smelling tea leaves.
The next morning, Tamyra declared that they should at least try to drag Jargar towards their destination. She picked up the prisoner while the rest of the party handled the stone paladin. By the time they reached the Welwyn gates, Jargar was breathing once more, and was thoroughly cut down by Knightfall who filled him in on what happened.
As the paladin went off to sulk, the rest of the party went into the city through the gates, much to the chagrin of the refugees. Inside the walls, the halflings of the city paid them no mind, being far too distracted by a mountain whose snowcap seemed to be getting steadily larger by the minute. Cho knew that the mountain was far too short to have a permanent snowcap and never at this time of year. The party pressed on and went to the mayor’s office but Fredgar, the mayor’s assistant, informed them that they had to wait until after Novak’s meeting with his wife. The woman emerged on the verge of tears, and quickly rushed upstairs.Xoorin Novak greeted the party, and was surprised to hear that Timberholde had not fallen to an army but rather the prisoner the party held. Xoorin took Benjamin into custody, promising that he’d be tried for his crimes. However, the mayor felt he could no longer uphold his end of the bargain as the ice on the mountain threatened the city’s crops. “How can I be expected to feed all those people if the crops die out from frost?” According to Novak, the cause of the blizzards was the hags that lived on the mountain, a common pain in winter, but never has he seen them so active in late spring. Blackwood seemed incredibly interested in meeting hags, known to be masters of the arcane. Tamyra, on the other hand, was livid that her people were not going to be fed. Jaeden informed the mayor that it was important for him to keep his promises, and Novak couldn’t help agree eventually. He decided that he would feed the refugees meals while the party investigated the cause of the blizzards. From there, the party went into the shops to prepare for their expedition, buying warm clothing, armor and weapons.