The party returned to Hommlet in triumph only to receive an urgent summons from the mayor to report on the events at the ruined moathouse. The mayor seemed willing to blame the party for the actions of spies and saboteurs, with whom the party had had some dealings. Zarra, a half-elf bard of drow descent, convinced the mayor otherwise. Zarra had recently rescued Jaroo, the town druid (and nudist), and she had not planned to stay in Hommlet for long, but as soon as she saw the spider scarab that Uvogin had taken from the assassin Zarbo, she decided to join in the fight against the cult. It was well that she did, because almost immediately afterward, she helped the party to repel a brazen attack on the town by undead cultists.
The companions had passed a quiet day in town, establishing themselves and trying to learn more about Otis, when Elmo, deep in his flagons at the Welcome Wench, told them that Otis was ready to meet them. Elmo led them a day’s march east to the town of Nulb, where Otis was living in secret as a blacksmith, working on behalf of the viscount of Verbobonc to keep an eye on the Temple of Elemental Evil. Many believe this temple to be the source of the cult, as it had been a decade ago.
The party agreed to infiltrate the temple and report back to Otis about what they find. To complete their disguise as merchants, Dominico suggested that they empty the ruined moathouse for goods to sell to Otis’ smithy.