The party awakens in the nests of a flock of Aarakocra, the ones who rescued them from the fall from the Spire. The birdmen have been in regular conflict with the Cult of Howling Hatred since they took over the Order of Feathergale Knights. They hope that the warriors they rescued will be willing to continue their fight with the cult, and offer to fly the them back to the cultists’ temple. The party agrees, and, after taking a day to recuperate, they begin their raid.
Set down near to the temple’s entrance, Rowan and Parzival sneak closer, with the rest of the group following. Save for Kurt, who has become distressed that D’vid was left behind in the Spire and insists on being taken back there to retrieve the Goliath, and is in no way panicking about the idea of assaulting an elemental cult’s stronghold. The remaining five engage the three guards outside the temple’s cave entrance, beginning with a surprise assault by the two on point. The sentries conjure up some wind defenses, hindering both missile fire and charges, but not for long. The one Rowan marked with faerie fire takes the brunt of the first exchanges, going down quickly. One other flees into a gatehouse built into the cave. The last one is cut down by Agate and Boult trying to flee.
The party catches their breath before pursuing the last guard through the gate. He stands at the end of a zigzag hall with a ward prepared, but he falls to the first quick salvo. From behind arrow slits in the walls of the hallway, archers that Parzival identifies by their voices as Kenku snipe at the party. Rowan provides cover with a fog cloud to get the party past the gauntlet, but Nuria is still haunted by her last fight in the fog. Beyond the gatehouse, two of the Kenku wait in the hall, but Agate and Rowan make quick work of them. Parzival spies the other two behind a door and skewers one.
Beyond this door is a grandly adorned plaza, where four mediocre flutists perform around a fountain. Boult and Rowan team up to use the fountain to freeze one of them in a block of ice, and an unseen voice begins making snide commentary about their battle. As the party fights these cultists, named by the voice as Windwyrds, a few short the source of the voice – a musician concealed in the corner. Boult, still unaware of him, happens to catch him in a thunderwave, breaking his guitar and bringing him into the fight.
The musician, who the iced cultist identifies as Windharrow, takes a quick beating from the party’s casters, before tossing some sort of enchantment at half the party, which seems to fail, and vanishing into thin air. He continues to blast the room with thunder, remaining unseen and knocking out Agate and Parzival. Finally returning through the door to charge Rowan, the minstrel is taken down by Boult’s magic missile wand.
The fallen party members are stabilized, and the battered group decides to bunker down in one side of the gatehouse for an hour or so to recover, cleaning up the signs of battle and sealing the door with ice.