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When last we left our heroes, they discovered their day trip to the Feywild took two and a half years in their own world. In that time, the Yuan-ti’s plan succeeded…
In sad spirits, the party presses on to the Old Forest. Eona attempts to comfort Oberon and Lianna. Georgie avoids the others, and Nate creates makeshift graves for his fellow orphans who likely died in the attack on Waterdeep. They are met by a ragtag troop of survivors sent by Duncan. When they arrive in the hidden valley of the resistance’s base camp, the party are both celebrated as beacons of hope and jeered as part of the cause of the country’s current state.
They meet with Duncan and discover the number of survivors from the Yinths’ release of the mutative drug Spark and their hostile takeover of Faerun numbers in the mere thousands. No one knows what remains in the mines of Phandalin, but the party suspects the Yuan-ti’s leader may still reside there. In private, Georgie returns Duncan’s enchanted engagement ring to him, although, soon after, Nate takes it from him to be able to keep in touch when they head to the mines in the morning.
Around the campfire that night, things are tense. To ease this, Eona shares some of her unconventional history as a gang enforcer, alcoholic, and prisoner before she found a new purpose in her god Ilmater. Now, she eases the suffering of others. Lianna, relating to Eona’s tale, details how she came to meet the party after her politician parents disappeared and she was imprisoned and then on the run for a long time. Sildar finds them and takes Georgie aside. The two admit that they love each other, but his anger at her for leaving seems too great to overcome. Seeing Georgie is obviously distraught results in Nate trying to beat Sildar into action.
In the morning Duncan supplies the party with the last of the resistance’s magic items so they can infiltrate the mines and destroy the cause of all this at its source. The party decides to approach Sildar together to ask him to join them. He agrees, not really seeing the point of going on living as he currently is. They make a plan to approach Phandalin after learning of another entrance into the mines from Nori Rockseeker, who also lets slip that Sildar had been planning to ask Georgie a certain question regarding a wedding before she left.
In a delightfully absurd and unexpected turn, the army of ducks that Lianna and Oberon outfitted to drill into the mines before they left is still alive. The party plans to use them to access the secret entrance to the mines.
Over the days, the party begins to patch things up amongst themselves. Georgie and Sildar make up, and as Georgie accepts his proposal, the entrance to the mine is unearthed…