Before the friends leave the Townmaster’s Hall, Sildar takes Quinn aside and asks him to be part of the Lord’s Alliance. The lad agrees and Sildar gives him the title of “cloak.” After exiting, his friends ask him what that was all about, and he tells them what happened. They express annoyance that he may be called away to do things which would leave their group under-powered. He suggests that they come along on the Lord’s Alliance missions, and in fact what they are doing now is one of those missions. The issue seems unresolved.
The friends go to the orchard and meet Daran Edermath, an older elf who used to be an adventurer. He congratulates them on defeating the Redbrands and says that if they are looking for more trouble to visit the Old Owl Well about 50 miles east of town. Undead have been seen here, and since it used to be a place of evil magic, maybe the magic has risen again. He does not have any information on Cragmaw Castle, however, and suggests to talk to Qelline since she knows everyone around here.
Visiting Alderleaf Farm on the southeast side of town, the friends are confronted with a small halfling who threatens them with a stick. Nylian breaks the stick and the boy runs and hides in the bushes. Qelline, dressed in farmer’s clothes and holding a hoe apologizes for her son Carp as he “gets riled up sometimes” and asks them what she can do for them. They ask about Cragmaw Castle and she says she doesn’t know the location, but a friend of hers named Reidloth might. He is a druid and “knows every inch of these lands.” He went up to the ruins of the town called Thundertree which is northwest near Neverwinter. They can seek him there. She draws them a map. Carp pokes Nylian in the butt with a stick and challenges him to a duel. Nylian says that he agrees and the child runs away again. Qelline seems a bit disturbed but wishes the friends well on their journey.
The friends decide that they need help and go back to the Stonehill Inn where they find Saffron drinking and chatting. She greets them and they tell her about their adventure rooting out the Redbrands. She also meets Brunig and says that he looks like “a fine warrior.” They ask her if she’d like to come with them to Old Owl Well and she doesn’t seem that interested until they offer her money up front and a cut of anything they find (equal shares). They settle on 100 gold and Brunig pays her. She is happy to come along.
The friends visit Barthen and purchase supplies for their trip, including some trail rations (Quinn purchases a huge bag!), three horses (a strong-willed horse named blackie; a paint that is good for hauling, and a well-behaved chestnut) as well as a wagon. Saffron insists on putting hay in the wagon so she is more comfortable and Rhys joins her. The friends set off for Old Owl Well which is to the east along the Triboar Trail.
They travel for three days and are not attacked, but they do hear animals in the distance. They arrive at Old Owl Well on the fourth day and it is quiet here. They see the ruins of a tower (really just a stump) and a tent. They approach the tent and announce themselves. A man with a shaved head and a tattoo on his forehead comes out and introduces himself as Hamun Kost. He says that he moved here to “get away and find peace” and when asked about undead, he says that he’s been here for six months and hasn’t seen any. Nylian notices that the tattoo on his head is a necromantic symbol so he is skeptical. Kost says that he could use some help with a few other things — there are orcs near Wyvern Tor that have been scouting toward the Well and he is concerned about them. Also, he says that there is a banshee at Conyberry who may know the name of the mage who built the tower here at the Well, he would like to know this information. The friends are non-committal and decide to leave. He goes back inside his tent.
Nylian tells the others that he recognizes the necromantic symbol and that this man is likely an evil mage. They decide to attack him. Quinn asks if he wants to buy anything from them, but the man declines. Quinn whispers “Brunig, attack now!” a little too loudly and Kost hears him and moves to attack. Quinn hits him but he teleports away and calls for his “friends” to help. Brunig strikes him down but several zombies shamble out of the ruins of the tower and attack. After a moment, several more come out, totaling twelve!