The Bellhalls, murderous accomplices that they were, had skadadled. Luckily, trusty Ryn the ranger was able to find tracks leading out the back of the trading post into the spooky woods. Jaris the mayor tried to insist that they were just normal woods but Daro counter-insisted that those were just as bad. But the Muckabouts had little time to argue and so set off to track down the people who had been part of the weird bone-melting Talona cult.
In the woods of variable spookiness the group suddenly got the sense that they were being followed. Ryn got the idea that it was something wolf sized, and Daro just muttered about everything in nature being terrible. Aurana floated the idea of druids and the ensuing argument about the precise capabilities of druids lasted until whatever was following had long since given up.
But just as night began to fall and they reached the other side of the woods an old friend popped up. It was Ug the goblin, sporting his jaunty “all my friends are dead” hat. Daro was pleased to see the little thing and cheerfully chatted with him while the rest of the group remembered that Ug had tried to kill them as his first introduction. Ug delivered a warning about a nearby goblin camp as well as pointing the way the two Bellhals had gone before barking and vanishing into the night.
By now the group had figured out that the Bellhalls had to be heading for an X mark on a map they had found in the secret basement and so did not need to spend time following tracks in the dark. That map lead them to a hill with a secret bunker-type building dug into it. Varis snuck up to the door and listened, confirm that he heard two voices inside. After unlatching the door with some wizardly goodness, the group burst in and quickly subdued the Bellhalls, stopping them before they could destroy more of the coded messages.
A search of the small, two room base did not reveal much of note and when the caltives woke up the interrogation began. The two were fanatics and mostly spouted rote cult nonsense about “the end is coming”, “Death’s final answer”, and “all shall fall to doom but in destruction we chosen shall receive exhalation”. You know, that sort of stuff. However, Varis with a suspiciously good impression of a murderous bastard managed to plant a seed of doubt in the youngest.