Maurice, Negro, and Daren left the burning forest behind them and travel back towards Phandalin. Along the route they encountered a half-orc named Ezekiel, whose wilderness home had very recently been burnt down. The newly expanded party sets up camp for the night, but are wakened by a small raiding party of orcs. In the middle of the fight, K'lika'qualkua Kuna bursts into the scene and helps the party handily defeat the orc threat. Explaining that the party absolutely needs to rescue Gundren from his captivity at Cragmaw Castle sooner rather than later, the he guided the party back to Phandalin.
Once there, Negro slipped away to further investigate the strange happenings at Tresendar Manor. Daren gave Maurice a thank-you gift for helping him investigate the Old Owl Well: an immovable rod. He also gave Maurice Javelin of Lightning to give to Negro. The group retired to Aunt Quelline's house, where Quelline informed Maurice that she was considering sending Carp to the Deus Vult Academy of Excellence instead of Sister Garaele's school. Alarmed, Maurice refused to give her the 40 gp tuition that the DVAE required for non-recruitees, but still gave her the usual allowance. He then questioned Carp about his friends who have transferred to the new school.
After dinner, the party decided to go check out the manor at night. They drew phallic symbols on one of the banners and barely escaped one of the guards patrolling the perimeter. The next day, the party set off to find Cragmaw Castle.
K'lika'qualkua Kuna got the party lost in the woods, and Maurice tried talking to a raccoon, who directed them towards the lair of a hulking ogre. Escaping the ogre, the party eventually oriented themselves and found themselves gazing upon Cragmaw Castle. After trying and failing to light pieces of scaffolding on fire with arrows, the the party decided to enter via deception, with Ezekiel pretending to have captured the dwarf and gnome. Entering, they were led to the room of the bugbear King Grol, who was discussing something with a female drow when the party entered. The king had a large wolf by his side and was gesturing to am open map on a nearby table, next to which laid an unconscious Gundren.
After being intensely questioned by the female drow, who kept changing shapes, Ezekiel convinced the throne room that he wanted to privately torture all the captives unsupervised, so he led all three prisoners to a sacrificial chapel near the entrance of the castle. The chapel showed signs of once having belonged to worshippers of Pelor, but had since been converted to a crude shrine to Maglubiyet.
An unfortunate encounter with a hidden grick outside the chapel led to a fight with the female drow and various hobgoblins. Making deft use of the immovable rod, the party escaped the castle by the skin of their teeth, with Gundren in tow,