uring a battle with the young heroes in Session 17, Veradin lost the Tome of Blood to Fow Bang Chow. Veradin organized Nicci and her companions and chased after the group, hitting them in a surprise attack and facing them with an terribly one sided fight. Rather than retreat, the heroes fought their pursuers at the order of their mission leader, Talin, and fought ferociously. Tsing Tao of the Pink Staff engaged Nicci, who’s power was legendary among the Order and she showed it in this battle. After a few exchanges of blows, Nicci hit Tsing Toa with a lethal blast of blue fire, ending his life. Kio, seeing his friend dead, leaped into the air screaming at the loss of his companion, and gave his life energy into a stream of flames, sacrificing himself to land a near fatal blow against the woman known as Death’s Mistress.
Shocked at the kamikaze style attack, the other women became unorganized and panicked, giving Aumanil the chance to take down Leoma while Merissa and Cecilia were taken hostage trying to protect Nicci’s body. Veradin convinced Fow Bang Chow to give him the book, as the Airbender was far too strong to stop, especially after the death of two valiant team-members, but not before he slipped the note and the last two pages of the book out and into his bag. Talin, mad with rage, rushed Nicci, who was now unconscious and near death, even slashing out at Aumanil who attempted to stop him, and slit her throat. By this time reinforcements had arrived via sky bison, and Higen placed Talin under arrest at he order of Avatar Jaraiya and Monk Arhat.
Jaraiya filled in the group about the progress of the siege, and it seemed the Order had an insider. The forward wall had suddenly fallen, and the traps set above the canyon failed to work. An airbender sent into the mountains to find out what happened encountered groups of Empire troops already there, somehow alerted about the trap. Not only that, but the Earthbender from Asloth that was guarding the temple Fort had vanished. Thinking the Earthbenders had been working for the Order, High General Reibesch had already sent an Airbender to the Fort in the mountains guarding the forest behind the temple, as the last Earthbender was stationed there. Returning to the library where their rooms were at the temple, Aumanil found an old book in the Northern Air Temple that was in the same ruinic language of the tome, and by finding a copy in his own language he was able to translate the ritual on the last two pages, which were labeled Sacrificial Solstice.
Fow and Fang Po Po spent the night talking to Jaraiya about the events that transpired and the moral implications of this war, as well as mourning their two comrades, as their deaths had not quite hit them yet… Long after the others went to bed, Aumanil managed to translate the ritual, not worrying about the note yet as the ritual was very much exciting him. After discovering the rituals components, he decided to get a few hours sleep, and that he would not tell his allies what he had discovered. Meanwhile, Talin had been locked in a cell for the night to be tried the next morning. Cecilia and Merrisa were in the cells on either side of him. Cecilia fell asleep quickly, while Merissa was still unconscious from a head wound she received when she resisted the guards. Talin, seeing that Cecilia’s hair was just in reach, pulled her closer and using a wooden spoon in the back of his cell, choked her to death, making it appear as a suicide, then went to sleep.