The heroes made their way over the plains and into the Neverwinter Wood in search of Cragmaw Casle. Finding an occupied ruin, the heroes snuck around to a back entrance and entered the castle, but fumbling in the dark, Bree alerted two bugbears to their presence. The party dispatched them quickly, but discovered a captured owlbear. Rather than slaying the beast, Hjalmar befriended and freed the owlbear, setting it loose in the castle, which caused an uproar.
As the heroes watched on from the shadows, they noticed the same drow assassin trying to sneak up on them. Caught in the act, the drow made a hasty retreat. The heroes followed the drow into a throne room where they were assaulted by a bugbear leader named King Grol and a vicious wolf, in addition to the assassin. After a tough fight, they slew their enemies and rescued Gundren Rockseeker.
In exchange, Gundren offered the heroes a 10% share in the mines of the Wave Echo Cave, once they are operational. Hjalmar negotiated this to up to 15%.
The group got the drow to spill the beans about the Wave Echo Cave, and that the Black Spider – who the heroes had deduced was the mastermind behind everything – was somehow related to the Regrims nemesis, the drow Matron Mother Matron Zeerith Q’Xorlarrin. After questioning the assassin, Bree slit his throat.
The group then decided to skip clearing out Cragmaw Castle completely and returned to Phandalin, where Gundren encouraged the heroes to press on to the Wave Echo Cave the next day. Regrim returned to the Sleeping Giant taphouse, which was full of people and a merry Grisla…