The crew from the barge continues the battle for a bit in the tunnel with the local guards. Soon it becomes apparent that Grub is down (though Dig Underhill has stabilised him, and the battle is not worth continuing. Lord Birel also arrives on the scene to break up the battle. He instructs the guards to gather the grain and bring it out, and for everyone to meet in his manor house to sort out what’s going on. Dig and Raslin in particular do not trust the guards to do the job, so they go into the grain-filled room and help bring grain out.
At the Birel manor the story comes out. Lord Birel acknowledges that Grub is obviously not perfect, but that he is very dissatisfied with how this band of outsiders from the barge has handled the situation. He requests that they all meet again the following day after Grub has revived.
While the meeting is going on, Lia, who was not involved in the battle and so is not noticed as absent from the meeting, picks the lock on the cupboard in Grub’s quarters. She finds a little food, a few valuable trinkets, and a journal.
After the meeting, Pippa Weaverdew heads back to the tavern to spread gossip about Grub, but her tune changes a little when she sees the journal. Gradually the journal is passed around and the group learns of a ‘spider witch’ and a coercive presence that was forcing Grub into the situation where he found himself. Dig and Marthis find Pim and inform him of what has gone on. Dig even offers to go with him and bless and tend to the graveyard, which Pim accepts gratefully. The two spend the night at his house again and help him with the last of the harvest in the morning.
After the meeting, Raslin makes his way back to room with the grain to explore. He finds a locked door. He tries everything he can think of, including freezing the locking mechanism with a ray of frost, but is not able to open the door. So he has dinner in the tavern and returns to the trading post to rest.
The next day the group meets with the soldiers at the Birel manor to conclude the previous day’s business. The journal is read aloud and Grub confirms everything as fact, even showing a missing pinkie finger on his left hand as proof of his claim. Lord Birel instructs his guard to bring the grain out and distribute it to the people and he asks for volunteers to go into the tunnel and find this spider witch. The group from the barge all volunteer to go, and they volunteer Grub to come with them. Lord Birel wishes them well, and says that with a little luck they’ll clear the place out and be back in time for the harvest festival to celebrate the next day.
Before they enter the guard house, Dig insists that Grub should apologize to Pim. Marthis goes first to smooth the path, and Grub goes after, bowing before Pim to explain himself and ask for forgiveness. Pim kicks him in the face, knocking him down and bloodying his nose, but then declares they can be considered even, which Grub accepts.
When they reach the locked door, they find that Raslin has come prepared with a retinue of spells to help them enter. With some research, Lia gives her expert opinion that the door is simply bolted on the other side with a wooden bar. Raslin uses his mage hand to lift the bar and the door swings open. At the bottom of a long passage the hallway widens into a long room. The floor and walls are covered in spider webs. Dig casts detect poison and is able to discern two hidden giant spiders, lurking in alcoves in the walls. With their locations known, the group, lead by Marthis are able to make short work of the spiders.