After the fall of Skyreach Castle, some of the heroes found themselves in a deep forest. Freia and Melisandra began to head away from the wreckage and towards any signs of civilization. Further into the forest, the wizard Marat awoke from his escape to find Edward the Bard close by. The two also made their way to what they hoped would be civilization. Ultimately finding an abandoned campsite, the two hid as the heard approaching footsteps. These footsteps belonged to their two companions, whom they helped navigate a dangerous trap-filled corridor. Reunited, Edward explained that Thorandir went down with the castle, but not before handing over deep, black opal and asking him to take the jewel to Lady Talitha in Tirana.
Hunkering down for the night, the group took turns keeping watch, catching and killing a deer. As they night wore on, however, the sound of advancing footsteps alerted the group. A pack of Gnolls attacked as they lay in wait. Taken by surprise, the gnolls were no match for the adventurers. Killing several, the group saw their food taken away as the remaining pack ran off. Dejected, the group packed up and moved on, using what skills they had to find a small river and get closer to civilzation.
Running low on rations, the group became desperate for food, feeling the pangs. After days of walking, the group began to smell cooking meat. Sneaking closer, Melisandra found a group of Bugbears. Sneaking up, the halfling was captured, but not before mortally wounding one of the bugbears. As they prepared to cook the hero and another human captive, Edward tried to bluff his way in. Using his silver tongue, the bard tricked the bugbears into releasing their captors for the promise of better food.
Realizing they were tricked, the bugbears doubled back, chasing after the heroes and the other captive. Alerting them to the presence of a boat, the man led them to a river, where they fought off the bugbear advance. Once on the boat, the man said it was too crowded and someone would have to leave. The group pushed the man off, leaving him to the bugbears, as they headed down the river to Waterdeep.