The heroes begin traveling to the nearby human village of Zelbross in an attempt to find out where the Cult of the Dragon has brought the kidnapped villagers. Discovering a turn in the trail, however, they instead find an abandoned ruin of some kind— possibly Netherese in origin— with a hidden stairwell leading down into a still-intact basement. Upon proceeding down into the ruins, the Cult soldiers hidden below spring into attack formation. The ruins, it is found, are the very headquarters the party had been searching for.
A fierce battle ensued in which the Cult soldiers were slaughtered to the man, and the Unknown Magic-user leading them forced to flee. The Cult had apparently gained control of a portal to the ruined elven city of Myth Drannor, which they had been using the shuttle the prisoners out of the High Forest (and, in this case, escape when faced with overwhelming odds).
After exploring the ruins, the party proceeded on to Zelbross to rendezvous with their agents and investigate the community. After learning much about the local rumors, government, and smoking pipes, including the fact that the village had suffered its own suspected kidnappings, the heroes returned north to the High Forest to cross the portal into Myth Drannor
The party arrived in a shrine to Mystra built in a cavern below one of the city’s mythal ley-lines. The shrine lay on the outskirts of the city, in a part of the forests not far from the city’s Great Cemetary. Capturing a cult sentry confirmed that the prisoners had been brought to the Tower of Bones, a ceremonial structure in the heart of the cemetary. The party has just stumbled across Tarbash, a gnome entrepreneur with a painful past, whom offers to aid them in making connections in return for assurances of his dearest friend’s natural death, lest he have fallen into the hands of Cult necromancers.