Past the fight in the pit and beyond the locked door in the North wall, the party came across goblins worshipping at the feet of a large ogre statue. The smell of decay was strong, and sounds of scraping and shuffling were heard across the hall.
The goblins were on alert, and turned to face the intruders. One flipped a switch, and the iron bars that kept the undead at bay were raised, allowing the rotting zombies to sally forth and and engage the party. A melee broke out in the tight corridor, and the party prevailed without issue. The long corridor led to an iron door down a short flight of stairs.
Past the door, hobgoblins stood arrayed and waiting for their prey. In the fight that ensued, the party nearly lost one of their own to the foul creatures, and the goblin hexer cast a stinking, poisonous cloud over the whole area, obscuring view. His comrades fell one by one, and he retreated down the long spiral staircase. They caught up with him and slew him before a locked door. This was the goblin that led the charge against Loudwater, and he carried with him the Horn Totem.
Inside the locked room there sat a single goblin shaman praying over a large stone sarcophagus with crude goblin runes etched in red. At first the party attacked, to show they meant business, but soon realized that this Goblin was much more powerful than the rest, and also not about to throw his life away so easily by fighting entire adventuring party single-handed.
This was High Shaman Sancossug, leader of the goblin tribe. He was waiting for the goblin raiders to return with the Horn Totem so he can perform a ritual that he believed would revive the Ogre King. Unfortunately for him, the ritual was found in a crude cookbook, not a magic tome, and the ritual would be wholly ineffective. (It also included carrots.)
Dismayed by this revelation of futile effort, he let them have the Skull Totem and left in a huff. The party looted anything they could find and left at once for Loudwater. They found no trouble in the day’s return journey, though they had a close call with what they thought was a bear in the dark of night. Though, the wizard had a vision of the vast forest ringed by white trees.
Lady Moonfire was pleased to hear of the party’s success and gladly paid the other 50g for their services. Back at the tavern, the wizard Curuvar the Brazen was surprised to see the Skull Totem again, and made good on his promise to tell them what he knew about the Ogre King, who as it turns out was an Oni, come to use the goblins for his own gain. It sought to learn more about the Dire Wood and the magic contained therein. The Dire Wood, which he described as a 60 mile area of forest ringed by albino oak trees. He described it as a very dangerous area which few dared enter willingly since the time of the Spellplague.
Moreover, there was an area North of Loudwater on the edge of the Dire Wood that required the attention of an able party of adventurers. Draigdurroch Tower is a stone structure sealed beneath a layer of magic ice. Beneath its frozen cocoon, the tower stands three stories tall and is capped by a windowless spire. At night, witchlights dance above the tower. A warlock named Draigdurroch built it 30 years ago hoping to enhance his own magic by studying the strange phenomena of the forest. He amassed a library of rituals and lore and was said to have forged a warlock pact of mysterious origin. Before he finished his studies, magical weather boiled out of the Dire Wood and sealed his tower in a layer of ice. None have seen him since, and recently the weather has been getting dangerously colder, threatening Loudwater.
Intrigued, the party agreed to invesitgate the tower. Curuvar would pay well for any interesting tomes they could find, and arranged for transport up river to a shore close to the tower.