The party continues into the forest, following the directions of the bird that spoke to Eldon. As they are preparing to break camp, they hear a party passing through the woods nearby. Eldon creeps nearer and sees a Dark One (a Shadowfell equivalent to gnomes) leading a couple of werewolves. Eldon pulls his hood close over his face and manages to pass himself off as another Dark One; the actual Dark One asks how his artifact-gathering is going and invites Eldon to join the party. It becomes clear that the Netherese are sending out groups of enslaved Dark Ones to scour the area for magic artifacts and bring them back to the Netherese base. The rest of the party follows along behind at a safe, stealthy distance, except for Baern whose armor is too noisy.
The Dark One leads the group to an Eladrin tomb sunken into the forest. Eldon, the Dark one and one of the werewolves go inside and begin looting; the other werewolf stays outside. The party attacks the werewolf, drawing the rest of the Dark One’s group out of the tomb and into the battle. Eldon plays his part as long as possible, pretending to be completely inept at attacking his own party. Eventually the werewolves are killed, the Dark One is captured, and Eldon becomes very unpopular with the Dark One.
The party uses their captive to learn how to reach the Netherese base they saw through the portal. It is the ruins of a fallen enclave named Xinlenal, currently populated by several hundred Netherese and their various servants. Rather than riding straight in, they decide to scout around the periphery. However, Ovid’s communicator gem starts to activate; Shen asks him why he has come to Xinlenal but hasn’t checked in at the center of town. Ovid realizes that the gem gives away his position, and that he must go into town to meet with Shen. He does so, after learning as much as he can about the layout of the central parts of the city. After meeting with Shen and assuaging his suspicions, he slips the communicator gem into the pocket of a Dark One.
Eldon is again mistaken for a Dark One, and is herded into the areas used for housing Dark Ones. After reporting that he has no artifacts to deliver, he is whipped by a Netherese slavemistress. He escapes back to the party.
Baern, Udonan and Grumbar scout out the largely-unoccupied outskirts of the city. They make a map of their findings, which makes a fairly detailed, complete map when combined with the notes taken by Eldon and Ovid. The party knows that they cannot attack the encampment directly with so few people, so they leave with the intention of coming back with a much larger force in the future. They head back directly through the forest, since they are now going downstream and can raft much of the way. They still have the Dark One with them – they cannot release him, since he would give away Ovid’s identity as a non-Enclave-supporter immediately.
Halfway through the forest, Udonan heads north to the Eladrin encampment that serves as his home base. He brings the Dark One and tells his superiors about the looting of magic artefacts, possibly from Sharandar. They intend to milk the Dark One for as much information as possible.