Night falls early upon this already shortened winter day. As the sun sinks behind the twin mountains which form Dagger Pass they cast their long shadows across the snow covered foothills. Sprawled before the largest path to the north, and obscured by the shadow of its western peak, is the town of SpringWater.

The streets of the town wind between squat, northern buildings built of pine and stone. Snow covering their rooftops and filling the alleys between buildings. Despite the abundance of the frost the smooth cobblestone streets bear only a light dusting of snow, apparently from the gentle flakes currently drifting down from above. The gently drifting snow is the only motion visible in the bitter cold winter on this night. But on the other side of the warmly lit windows casting their golden glow into the street it is a far different scene. Warm, smelling of the hearth and hot meals, filled with the moving forms of living people, and almost entirely lacking in snow.

On this particular night the interior of the Dragonskull inn and tavern, so named for its central fireplace fashioned from a dragonskull the size of a man, was no exception. Within dozens of travelers find both refuge from the cold and their hungry stomachs. Various human and humanoid people in common traveling garb for the region sit at the tables or one of the worn wooden stools, obviously many times repaired each, resting near the aged bar. A solemn looking dwarf with a long, well-kept red beard down to his belt, but no hair above his eyebrows, serves drinks to the patrons at the bar while a plain, blonde human woman carries meals and drinks out from a door at the back to the tables. A drunken northern skald wails out a slightly slurred drinking song from a corner of the room, to the apparent delight of most of the patrons. A roaring fire currently serves as the main light source of the room. In addition to its warmth the and light the flamelight dancing through the eye-hollows of the dragon skull serves as a mildly haunting sight for those who s eyes linger too long...