After a lengthy conversation with Lady Cara Seltune in which the group explained what they had just been through and what they had found, the adventurers learned from Lady Seltune that Baileforge is on the verge of war; a war that is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore given the proximity of the Seminary to the nations in conflict: Baileforge and Vellandria. Regardless, "A deal is a deal", she said as she escorted them to the Seminary's vast library, as was their arrangement if they retrieved the artifact from Meldizar's tomb.
They spent the next week researching various books as well as sending letters to their loved ones to make sure they were safe. Through a few scrying rituals, they determined everybody's families were safe and sound, except for Renald's mother who could not be found by the ritual. During a trip to the nearby town of Ghaya for some basic shopping, the group was approached by a young woman going by the name Marianne. She noticed they seemed like a capable group, and hoped that they would be able to find her family. They were residents of the nearby village of Bastow, but recently all of the residents of Bastow had disappeared overnight, without any sign of struggle. The group was already familiar with the town, having been dubbed the Heroes of Bastow by the townsfolk after they dispatched the tax collectors plaguing the village. So they decided to heed the call of this young girl, and they set off for the town the next morning, hoping for a lead in their search for Achaka Metalbeard, the Dwarf that they now believed was responsible for all of their recent troubles.
They arrived at Bastow late that night only to find that it was indeed a ghost town currently. They looked around for a bit and stumbled into the Open Hearth Inn, where they had stayed last time they were here. The place appeared to be empty, but as they were exploring they discovered a trio of mutated humanoid creatures. Before Silva could really react they were already attacking him and if not for the quick thinking on the parts of his compatriots, he might have been done for. They managed to kill two of the creatures before the third one scurried through a hole in the wall and escaped towards the Tempest Mountain pass.