I am running Hoard of the Dragon Queen for my players. I am currently preparing the next session and am reading "Episode 4: On the Road". The event No Room at the Inn (page 36) mentions an encounter with four Assassins. The description of the encounter leaves no doubt that if faced, there is little possibility of avoiding fighting the Assassins.
However, characters are levels 4 to 5 at this point. Assassins are a CR 8 encounter alone. (MM, p. 343). I doubt the designers had an encounter with four Assassins, an absolutely deadly encounter in mind when they designed the events. At least not without including a warning as they do throughout the book.
This leads me to my questions: have Assassins ever been anything else than a level 8 encounter?
Note I am well aware that I as a DM am in control of these things and can change the encounter, I am not looking for advice on the encounter itself. Thank you!