Artur and Pants who have been patrolling near Hearthguardholt catch up with Gorse who asks for their help in tracking down the mysterious creature who has been hovering around the village. Their path intersects with the others who have just finished their battle with the invisible creatures and their single-minded pursuit of Cronny. The giant cat's presence spooks Strelk and his companion who quickly fade away into the wilderness. After a brief catch up, the party sets off for the village. They soon run into a band of scouts from Hearthguardholt, consisting of some of the Zittag Army and some halflings. They tell the party of their discovery of a odd crater-like depression along the mountains to the north. They explored a tunnel underneath it and were set upon by the kobold residents and their traps. Several of their number were captured and left behind by the scouting band who barely managed to escape.
The party returns to Hearthguardholt and gathers reports from Gorse and catches him up on their encounters on the road. They also report to Zittag, the head of the Hobgoblin Army, before heading to investigate the kobold lair.
The kobolds have a guard posted outside the tunnel that leads under the odd crater. It has been there for quite some time by the look of things with some plant life growing over the area, but nowhere near as robustly as the surrounding area. Cronny uses his charms to convince the kobolds to lead them inside despite their insistence that they keep anyone from interrupting 'the ritual'. One of the guards takes a particular shine to Cronny and leads the party inside, past a couple of traps and leaves them with a warning of the oil on the floor inside the welcome room.
Negotiations with the welcome room quickly turn sour, with the party quickly assaulting the welcoming committee. Cronny's magic disables the ones who were ready to ignite the oil slick on the floor and the battle, while vicious, is over quickly. The party pursues one of the kobolds who ran off, leading the party to a morgue supervised by some sort of kobold priests who engage the party with magic of their own. Still, the party prevails quickly, leaving them with a choice of where to proceed next.