After discovering that Jhaelant, the drow wizard, was not the mastermind behind the attack on Phaervorul, the heroes reported to Matron Urlvrain. She was somewhat surprised, given their history. She knew that Jhaelant wanted to accomplish the downfall of Phaervorul.
Matron Urlvrain suggested that the heroes look for Lareen, a priest of Lolth who had been missing from Court for some time. Perhaps Lareen would have some information about the attack on Phaervorul.
The heroes found Lareen, in her villa, surrounded by undead. She had been turned into a vampire lord, but slipped through the heroes grasp before she could be slain.
The heroes found a portal to Deadhold, a strange realm in the Shadowfell.
Passing through the portal, the heroes discovered a Bridge of Webs. Bodaks and ghouls attempted to stop their advance, but were unsuccessful. At the far southwest end of the bridge, the heroes found a large black sphere that ultimately turned out to be a portal to Deadhold itself.
Once through the sphere, the heroes were greeted by The Keeper. They were tested by The Keeper as to their resolve for continuing.
The heroes were able to convince The Keeper that they should pass, by agreeing to a bargain: The heroes must acquire the sword Nightbringer from Zirithian and plunge the weapon into the eye of Orcus. The Keeper stated the heroes would “…know the time to strike when it appears before you.”
Once The Keeper allowed them to pass, the heroes had to forge the desert wasteland.
After ten grueling hours in the desert, the heroes came upon Hordethrone, a small outpost that sits within a plateau in the midst of the Sea of Rot.