As they enter the Laughing Elk’s tribe, Kavier recognises the elk antler headgear that Twohawk, Plainface’s brother, wears… it looks like the one his mentor wore. They learn that the Laughing Elk is one of five Elk tribes and they were on their way to their ancestral mounds. Plainface brings Myrl and Kavier before the tribe elder, Old Sarah, while the others are given refreshments by Twohawk.
They see Old Sarah surrounded by four matrons. Plainface relates The Avengers’ heroic deeds and Old Sarah acknowledges the blood debt the tribe owes them. Old Sarah offers warriors for the assault against the Cragmaw goblins and asks what they plan to do. Myrl and Kavier asks to bring the other members of their party into the discussion and Old Sarah waves Twohawk to bring them over. They tell Old Sarah that they have goblin allies, the Bonesplitters. Old Sarah draws out what her scouts had found: a slave camp in the north, Pointy Stick (twig hair adornments) goblin camp in the southeast, and Necksnappers (ghost white warpaint) in the southwest. Cragmaw Castle and its camps lie on a hill in the centre. They inform Old Sarah that treants are expected to converge on the castle but do not know exactly where they are. Old Sarah tells them that Twohawk and his scouts can find them. Ixir passes Twohawk Eldon’s Eldath amulet as a form of identification. They confer with Eldon and asks him to bring his booyahgs and wolf-riders to the area.
It was also agreed that the passphrase ‘Macaroni’ to ‘Cheese’. The tribesmen lead them to a clearing suitable for camp. Myrl describes the area to Eldon and plunges her Bonesplitter knife as an anchor for him to portal in. Eldon brings the lance Oohye requests as well as the silverweed and brazier.
That night, Kavier explores the forest to see if he can find silverweed. Unfortunately, he tries out a similar-looking plant that at first numbs then causes great pain. Myrl tries out the ‘follow’, ‘stay’, and ‘hide’ commands in Goblin (Milo teaches her the words) on the giant rat they caught. It only responds to ‘stay’. Meanwhile, Redspear requested and received a spell scroll for Gust of Wind from Eldon (“an advance for the dragon heart”).
The next morning, Redspear sends out Raven to find the treants — Raven found them on the opposite banks of the river. Raven is rewarded with a nibble of silverweed. It dreams of birdseed. The group sets out on their dire wolves to infiltrate Cragmaw Castle. With Oohye in the lead, he hears the sounds of goblins ahead. He manages to alert the group and Milo catches snatches of their conversation: “Found them, report to King Grol,” before they went ahead of them. On their way, they spot a boulder covered in what seems like thousands of spiders over a cave and noped out of there.
They arrive back in the area near the bone pit. They veer away but was spotted by a goblin patrol on wolves that gave chase.
Milo uses his battleaxe, Hew, to slice down tree branches to hinder the guards while Ixir threw salted pork rinds to distract the wolves. This gives them enough distance to lose the tail and quickly hide behind a large boulder. The goblins come… then keeps chasing past the rock. They speak to Eldon and asks him to begin the assault as soon as they get in position. Eldon tells them that Twohawk had found the treants and they are an hour behind. They also ask him to coordinate with the treants.
The group settles in to hide. Milo cuts more tree branches but they are soon spotted by another patrol, this time with three bugbears. One of the bugbears blows a horn. Myrl and Oohye attempt to attack the bugbears but they miss. Redspear sends up Raven to see what is happening, he can see that a group of 20+ goblins are on the way. Knowing this, the group retreats with Ixir in the lead. The dire wolves run through a muddy trail, leaving tracks behind. They decide to let the dire wolves run in another direction while they climb up a tree to hide. Fortunately, the trees here had a thick canopy making the area dark despite it being daylight. Around 25 goblins run past the area and never looked up to see them.
They continue hiding in the tree to give the Bonesplitters and the Laughing Elk time to begin their assault. Redspear sends Raven up into the sky to keep watch. While flying over the castle, he spots a group wearing red cloaks including a black-bearded man with a glass staff. They disappear into one of the tents within the Cragmaw compound. Raven also spots the 25 goblins return the same way. Given ample warning, the group scurries off into another location to avoid being spotted.
They move towards the hill where Cragmaw Castle is. They find that the castle sits on a hill 10ft tall with 20ft tall wooden walls. Redspear, through Raven, sees that a single sleeping guard is on the ramparts while the rest of the camp is in a flurry of activity. Myrl tries to get the grappling hook but misses. This wakes the guard. In desperation, Redspear gets Raven to body slam itself into the wall to fool the guard into thinking this is what he hears. The guard seems to lose interest at what woke him up and turns to observe the frenzy within the camp with his back to the wooden walls. The group manages to climb over and is now within the compound.