The party travels back to Phandalin without incident.
When there, they inform Mirna that they’ve recovered the necklace. She promised it to the party as a reward, and she holds up that promise. However, the PCs can tell by her demeanor that the necklace is important to her, and gives it to her. She breaks down in tears of joy while saying “you are truly the most noble of heroes. Thank you!”
The PCs consider their next move. They decide to rescue Gundren Rockseeker now that they know the location of Cragmaw Castle. It is several days travel to the east, through the dangerous region called Triboar Trail. The trail was once a prosperous trade path, but is now overrun by Cragmaw raiders.
During the first day of the journey, the party is ambushed by stirges. These foul beasts are like oversized vampire bats. Striges attack in numbers from above and attempt to latch onto prey to suck their blood. While stirges are numerous, they are little challenge for an experienced party.
300 XP. Defeated 12 stirges.
During the 2nd night, the party is assaulted by hungry wolves. Ilvellios is on watch. After raising the alarm, Ilvellios shapeshifts into a wolf, causing no small amount of confusion in the melee. Wolves are deadly, but fragile, so the PCs take some damage but eventually kill the wolves.
250 XP. Defeated 5 wolves.
At the middle of the third day, the party arrives at Cragmaw castle. The castle was built long ago by a mage-noble of a now fallen empire. Most of the castle has collapsed and is in ruins. The Cragmaw gang now occupies it, and that has done no favors for the quality of the castle.