Your party has been traveling through the Summer Marsh, a thin, flat swamp that skirts the southern edge of the Armistice Mountains. It is midwinter, but the Marsh has been earning its name. There was a foot of snow on the ground when you left the last Shali outpost yesterday, but you haven’t seen a hint of frost since the ground flattened out and judging by the bountiful rice paddies you passed, no one else in the swamp has either.

You know it can’t last. You’re just passing through. The Rin are the only civilized folks around, and selling a whole village for scrap probably wouldn’t bring in the sort of gold your services command. But for a few days, it’s nice to feel the sun on your face and not worry about who you’ll stab next.

Or it was. You’re second night in the swamp, with two more to go before you reach the Hawn Gate, you awaken in Dint to find a crowd trying very hard not to gather in the crossroads that essentially comprise the village. From the window of your room at the inn, The Ramshackle, you can see the center of the road.

Or you could, if not for the small, bloody body so unkindly lying motionless on top of it.

Rising to a Boil