The party is overjoyed at the news, but they are intent of wasting little time in their pursuit of Tharden and Nundro, choosing to split up to prepare for their journey to Wave Echo Cave. Alicora and Amelia take Gundren and Nadia to the the Stonehill Inn to rest, while Halvor and Torbera journey to the Townmaster’s Hall to bring Glasstaff to justice.
At the Hall, Sildar is pleased with the rescue of Gundren, and equally appreciative and saddened by the reveal and capture of Glasstaff. He asks the party who the Black Spider is, but the party have little information. When asked, Sildar promises to gather whatever information he can on the drow when he sends word to his contacts in Neverwinter. Later, when Glasstaff is locked away and the party have been given their promised reward, Sildar reveals that he found undeniable evidence that the townmaster was in league with, and in fact funding, the Redbrands. He explains that Harbin will soon be arrested, once he has sent word to Neverwinter, which pleases the adventurers. Before they leave, Halvor returns Sildar’s stolen armor and sword (recovered from Cragmaw Castle) to the man, much to the former soldier’s great appreciation, before the pair of adventurers thank Sildar for all of his help.
Their business done, Torbera returns to the inn, while Halvor visits the Shrine of Good Luck to speak with Sister Garaele in private. After a generous amount of teasing on the ranger’s end, Halvor requests that the cleric ask her contacts about Diviner Elderik Glimstone, which she agrees to do.
Back at the inn, the Cart Company celebrate the return of Gundren and their recent successes with the rest of the village. During the night, Halvor attempts to drunkenly comfort Nadia who tells the ranger of how the dead hill giant seemed lost, looking for “three pig” in order to collect food for someone named “Guh.”
In the morning, the party gather and reminisce about the previous evening’s festivities, before Torbera suggests postponing their trip to Wave Echo Cave temporarily in case Sildar can learn more about Nezznar. The party agree, choosing to travel to Thundertree to help Halvor with his mission to pass the time, before gathering their things and leaving Phandalin.
Making the fifty mile journey north, it is getting close to the end of the day, when Halvor spots a number of crumbling statues in the distance. The ranger recognizes that the statues likely belong to the Uthgardt barbarians and likely are used as markers pointing to the various burial mounds of the tribes. Upon further inspection, Halvor finds a shaped hole in one of the more crumbled statues, inside of which he feels a metal ring, very similar to one used on certain doors. His curiosity getting the better of him, Halvor pulls the rings and vanishes before the party’s eyes. Panicked, Torbera sticks her hand into the hole and pulls, moments later also vanishing.
Halvor suddenly finds himself outside of what appears to be a fine tavern. Housed within, he meets the tavern’s two current inhabitants; the ancient elven druid and friend of Quorin Alderleaf, Reidoth Quen and the owner of the tavern, a Tabaxi named Survi, who after tense introductions explains to Halvor, and later Torbera, that the adventurers found one of the many secret entrances to Survi’s inter-planar tavern, the Fox’s Tale
Assured that they are safe, the adventurers settle down for a moment to gather themselves. Torbera partakes in some planar libations (which leave her dazed and in love with a bowl) while Halvor speaks with Reidoth.
Learning of the party’s journey to Thundertree, the druid warns Halvor to abandon his quest, explaining that undead infest the town. After Halvor notices Reidoth’s mood change, the druid explains that the town was sacked centuries ago by the orcs who also destroyed Phandalin. He was away that day, when the orcs attacked and killed Nemia, the woman he swore to protect. In her rage, Nemia became a Banshee and cursed Reidoth to never set foot in Thundertree again, haunting the town ever since.
Halvor offers to help Nemia find peace, which Reidoth accepts. The druid tells Halvor of a ritual where a divine spellcaster will be required to circle Nemia’s resting place (an old well in Thundertree where her body was dumped) with salt. The spellcaster will need to focus on a ward and when the time presents itself a true prayer of absolution will need to be said for Nemia.
With Reidoth’s information and Torbera’s stupor subsiding, Halvor purchases salt from Survi and makes to leave the tavern. Before they can leave, however, the party is confronted by the appearances of two humanoid-esque travelers who step into the tavern, arriving from what Halvor sees as a sprawling, impossible city. A nervous standoff happens in the doorway, but the travelers do not attempt to block the adventurers.
As they leave, Torbera locks eyes with one of the alien beings, who gives her a long uneasy stare as the door closes…