Having decided to make the trip to the Northlands, the party depart the Citystate, traveling northwest. Two days of travel by horseback brings them to the Elurian border. Once inside the bounds of the ancient imperial lands, there are inns at regular intervals and patrols ensuring the peace. Three days from the border lies the capital of Redbridge.
After nearly a week on the road, the party chooses to spend the night at the famous Pig & Whistle Inn. Over a hearty meal in the taproom, they overhear rumors of war in the Northlands. No details are heard, and discrete questions return noncommittal or no answers.
After a night in comfortable feather beds, the group takes the North Road from Redbridge to the Frontierlands. Two days of easy travel bring them to Dunlough, a crystal-clear lake near the foothills of the Dragonspine Mountains. On the southern shore of the lake a ring of standing stones lend the place an aura of antiquity.
Recalling the letter, Opheila’s orders are to make a small fire near the circle. Shortly a cloaked Dwarf shows up and shows his scorpion tattoo, demands to see hers. He tells her that her party is to travel to the entrance to Bordinar’s Cleft, and take the Deepway north to the Northlands. This will take them beneath the mountains safely. However, she is to find and assassinate Bosi Stronghelm, the gate captain. She will be contacted with new instructions later.
Returning to camp, Ophelia and Freya sneak into the entrance to the Deepway, where they carry out the orders and escape back to camp safely. In the morning, the decision is made to avoid the Deepway, using the trails over Bitter Pass to cross the mountains.
Two days of trudging along narrow trails, with the pathway becoming steeper and the occasional griffon eyeing the horses hungrily brings the party near Bitter Pass.