Upon waking, the PCs set about taking care of the horses. Then they rode off toward the Horizon Shrine, meaning to the take the bridge over the violently surging Urdonn Waterway. Instead of a bridge, they find goblins have gotten there first with pet Fire Beetles in tow. They have already set fire to the bridge, collapsing it into the river. Hunter and Flingen leapt into combat, while Alfonso and Xhaian strategically sniped from the woods nearby. After taking care of the goblin problem, Hunter theorized that they should go to Pongo Plaza to be able to ford the river. Agreeing on this, the PCs rode back along the crossroads. At nightfall, they reached the inn they had stayed at the previous night; it has been burned to the ground. The mass grave Alfonso dug seems to have been completely emptied. Alfonso, sensing that the area was unsafe, offered to ride south toward the Barrett Hills; he knows a gnome who would let them stay for the night. They rode south without incident, and Alfonso generously gave his kinsman 5 gp. Flingen turned in early, while Hunter tended to the horses. Xhaian and Alfonso scaled a sloped hill to look off in the distance. They could see smoke, and Xhaian recalled that a great war seemed to be rocking the Barrett Hills: goblinoids versus gnomes and halflings. It seems very far in the distance, so the two decide to turn in. Hunter, likewise, follows.
The next morning, the group thanked the gnome and his son and made for Pongo Plateau. Upon arriving that evening, they witnessed a discouraging sight: another burned bridge. This one led up to the plateau, and the PCs could only look into the gully where the river used to flow. Oddly, it was dried up and only trickling. A stormclaw scorpion and several goblin troops guarded an entrance into the plateau itself. Two snipers perched in nearby makeshift wood towers. After dispatching the enemies and toppling the towers, the PCs rested, hiding in the ruins. The next morning, Flingen casually unlocked the entrance in the plateau, only to find a complex labyrinth. The goblins had renovated the emergency entrance into a keep. Within the first room, Flingen got the drop on two goblins and their wolves by sneaking through the foyer. After Flingen attacked, the two goblins unleashed their pet wolves on the PCs, but with a combination of Hunter’s tactical maneuvers and other such abilities, the PCs efficiently dropped their enemies. Entering the next room was quite a surprise: it was a cave. Xhaian snuck into the room, as did Flingen, but the Eladrin nearly was caught in the face by a Goblin Sharpshooter perched behind a shield of stalagmites. Firing an eldritch blast upward, Xhaian hoped to drop a stalactite right on the archer’s head, but it only succeeded in aggravating a swarm of Kruthiks, who burrowed out of the walls and ground. The sharpshooters did not last long with the infestation, and the ceiling collapsed as one tried to escape, only to be torn to pieces by young Kruthiks. After driving the insects back, the group continued to the next room, a formal-looking chamber. The center of the chamber sunk into a poison-spiked pit. Precariously, a chest was perched on a platform just above this pit. Using ropes and the warforged as an anchor, Flingen made his way to the center, as did Xhaian. Flingen began to pick the lock with success, but made one wrong move. He leapt on top of the box as he did, avoiding spikes on the small platform jutting out. Xhaian quickly teleported back to the ledge with Hunter and Alfonso before he was hurt, barely avoiding the trap. Finally, Flingen picked the lock and presented the party with treasure and a pact blade for the warlock. Across the pit lay two doors, but there was also another door by the PCs that was unopened as well.