Kalarel is defeated. Ninaran has been slayed by the unlikely hero Splug. The rift to the Shadowfell is closed, and Winterhaven is, for the time being, safe. A day-long feast and celebration erupt in thanks to the Bizarre Force. The heroes and townsfolk alike dance, eat, and drink long into the night.
The following morning, the group sets out to return to Windhill at last. On their way, they encounter a burned-out village. Fearing for the worst, they approach the ruins, only to find that those responsible were dead in a giant heap, villagers and farmers standing around, cleaning up the mess. The villagers explain these marauders came from the north, and a mysterious dragonborn appeared and single-handedly eliminated the threat. Erik notices at this time that the raiders all are wearing tunics with the symbol of an eye—the same symbol on his mother's ring. The Force continued westward, and twice more they encounter a burned-out village on the road, and each time their story is the same.
Finally, the group arrives at Windhill. The town is the way they had left it; a slummy soiled spot on the map. The group first visits Douven Staul, who gives them their promised reward. It turns out Douven had found an artifact from before the Demon-Dragon War, and had sold it on the black market for several thousand gold pieces. With this new fortune he plans on taking an expedition to the pyramids of Ancalagor.
The group took this time to sell goods, visit their respective temples, and gather information regarding the mysterious dragonborn, the marauders, and the man that bought Douven's artifact. They learned little about anything, and for the most part were heckled and pickpocketed.
When their chores were done, the group reconvened at their regular haunt, The Bawdy Whore. There they were reunited with Sophie Kurdelve, the proprietor of the inn and a good friend. After speaking with Sophie, Nadia and Kingsley learned that the name of the terrorizing group was The Hand of Naarash, a mysterious cult operating in the north. After a round of drinks and heavy flirting with Sophie, the group retired for the night, determined to do something about the cult in the morning.
The Force woke to the smell of smoke and the flicker of flames. The inn was ablaze! Kingsley, Tiya, Nadia and Erik jumped from their windows, while Ganifa desperately sought out Sophie, and Kublah, naturally resistant to fire, frantically ran through the burning building, searching everywhere for those in peril.
The four outside suddenly found themselves in combat with five men bearing the symbol of the mysterious eye. As they desparately warded off these assailants, Ganifa gave up her search for Sophie and ran to the entrance of the inn, while Kublah continued to calmly, methodically rescue the inhabitants.
Ganifa burst out the front door and shot down an enemy mage, which began to stumble away. She tackled the man, hoping to capture him alive. Oddly, the mage pulled the pendant hanging around his neck off its chain, and the man's head suddenly burst like a ripe melon. Covered in pieces of bone and brain, Ganifa stood, perplexed.
The other enemies were taken down nearly the same time as Kublah exited the building, five survivors and Sophie in tow. Kingsley set to work reviving and tending to the wounds of the victims while the others rallied help to smother out the fire. Though the inn was unsalvageable, the fires were quickly taken care of.
When she came to, Sophie was furious. She quickly identified the bodies as members of the Hand of Naarash. She pleaded with the Force to help her seek out revenge on the Hand. Ganifa, who is smitten with Sophie, quickly agreed that the Force would do anything to help her. As thanks, Sophie gave Tiya her father's warhammer, a family heirloom, and promised Ganifa something more special.
The group decided to set out, but not before visiting the library to learn more about the Hand of Naarash. After hours of searching they learned nothing and came to the conclusion that this cult was relatively new. They turned their attention northward and headed out.