A sullen Loki-Goat tells Thaco and Kit Khalid has a mission for them, while Marek is told the same thing by a nervous stranger at a his temple’s soup line. Khalid asks the three to retrieve the journals of a fallen warlock comrade, Draigdurroch, from his lair. At the same time, Nevaeh is contacted telepathically by Birel, the head priestess of her convent, to remind her why she was sent away. Not placated by the cleric’s apologies, Birel nevertheless redirects Nevaeh’s attentions to the winter-like climate of mid-summer and asks her to find its cause. (And where Nevaeh goes, Mason Ironbrow follows.) The two set off in the direction of what they believe to be the source of the blizzard, only to meet their other three companions along the trail.
Along the way, the party faces a magical blizzard, a pack of goblins altered by the cold, and animated statues outside Draigdurroch’s lair before finding that ice elementals have magnified a spell meant to punish only Draigdurroch and expanded it throughout the region. The party defeats both the elementals inside the tower and the spirit of winter at its apex, who protects the foci of the winter spell, a fist-sized sapphire. Once the spirit is defeated, the sapphire shatters.
Near the end of the battle with the spirit of winter, Mikaelea Bane, Watcher of Night accidentally reveals herself as the group’s invisible benefactor when a stray shard from the crystal powering the winter spell ricochets off the wall behind her and knocks her down, breaking her glamour of invisibility. She tells the party she has been tracing their steps in order to fulfill a debt she owes to Thaco’s family; after Nevaeh intuits Mikaelea is pregnant, the Watcher of Night admits that Thaco’s father is also the father of her unborn child and that the debt to be repaid is to redress the shame caused by the illicit union. Mikaelea departs once she has captured Thaco’s breath inside an amulet she will take back to the House Eravan as proof she has kept him alive so far.
When the group returns to Gray Harbor, they find a celebration welcoming them in honor of their bravery. A much happier Loki-Goat offers them each of swig of wine (of which only the puritan Marek refuses), and the heroes eventually return Draigdurroch’s journals to Khalid, who seems very pleased to have them in his possession.