Loop 7 begins with the party deciding to split once again in hopes of covering more ground. Torinn, Tellrah, and Gnerx headed back to the signal fires at what would eventually become Cragmaw Castle, while Rhogar, Boirin, and Roden all head inside to reattempt their diplomatic efforts in the mine. After striding through the fey wild, they get there a bit earlier than the last time they arrived, and the sounds of fighting echo from inside the keep. Upon entering, they discover that the orc army has nearly finished off the small group of soldiers who guard it. Soon they see the dark shadowly portal open and the orcs funnel through it. When all but a few orcs have gone through, the party engages the stragglers in combat hoping to leave one alive for questioning. However the final orc critically fumbled an attack and accidentally finished himself off, leaving only orc corpses behind. Torinn and Gnerx decide to follow after the orc army through the dark portal to see if they can discover any useful information. Tellrah runs up the stairs and lights the signal fire before returning downstairs and running into the portal after his friends.
Inside the portal, the party is confronted by a desolate, forboding waste of a landscape. The very essence of this plane of existance imposes itself upon the party members, and while Gnerx and Torinn were able to resist the negative effects, Tellrah found himself overcome with apathy and a sense of worthlessness and sits down in place refusing to budge due to there “being no point.” Torinn and Gnerx leave Tellrah to stew in his own misery before giving up and chasing after the orc army marching off into the distance. Shortly thereafter, Tellrah is beset upon by a Gibbering Mouther – a hideous beast of ooze and body parts of its victims. Tellrah opted to let the beast have its way, and is soon devoured, before finding himself back in the white space. Torinn and Gnerx faired only slightly better, successfully tracking the orcs until an unfortunately waredrobe malfunction sends Torinn’s shield clanking against his armor, and the orcs are alerted to their presence. Torinn stands his ground attempting to give Gnerx time to run ahead and perhaps escape the orcs, but a chasm opens up and swallows Gnerx up and now the three party members are all reunited once again in the white space.
While all the orc adventures were occuring, Rhogar, Boirin, and Roden were all back inside the mines of Phandelver. This time Roden was acting as the emissary, with Boirin as advisor and Rhogar as bodyguard. Before the talks began in earnest, the various groups all milled about as usual, mingling together at times and waiting for the negotiations. The party knew that the first time that they were able to attend the negotiations, the human representative from Neverwinter was killed by a small crossbow bolt, though they weren’t able to discern the culprit. As such, Rhogar was interested in using his ring to see if he could determine who might be carrying a crossbow at the talks. The dwarves seemed to not have any, but the ring pointed both towards the gnomes and the humans. Boirin, Rhogar, and especially Roden engaged the gnomes in conversation, attempting to see what they could learn about their group, their weapons, and their thoughts on the humans. Before long it seemed likely that the gnomes were responsible, and Boirin used Tellrah’s scrying bones (which he had borrowed earlier) to see if one of the gnomes was responsible for poisoning the brandy. The bones affirmed their suspicions, and Boirin once again set up an interrogation room with Phandred’s help, with Rhogar joining to ensure that they had enough muscle should things go south. Roden stayed at the treaty discussion, and was seated with the other groups to begin their talks.
Boirin & Rhogar’s first request was to speak with the gnomish bodyguard, Findarfin, who was accompanied by his apprentice, Beltiln. With the help of a Zone of Truth spell, it didn’t take long at all before Findarfin admitted to poisoning the brandy, stating that he had been tasked by the Order of Founders to ensure that the treaty was not signed. However the poison was his own idea and he acted by himself. Phandred’s guards took him away, and Boirin and Rhogar returned to the treaty discussions to find that Roden had already convinced everyone present to sign the treaty! His smooth talking had paved the way towards a peaceful resolution, and suddenly all members of the Phandalin Force 5 were aware somehow that the first seal on the door to the Forge of Spells had opened! Boirin used Sending to message the orc-adventure party members to let them know things were going great and for them to get back quickly, but upon hearing the return message knew things weren’t quite going to plan for the others.
Phandred had already seen the signal fire to the north, and the party members inside the mine began working to see what they could prepare to stop the orcs. Boirin retrieved the ship-in-a-bottle from Shava, and Roden retrieved the gnome’s magical horn with unknown powers, while Rhogar scale the mountain to once again try to get the frost giant to engage the orcs in combat. Boirin hid cautiously behind the door peering out as Roden went out of the mine and blew the horn. A celestial being descended from the clouds and demanded from Roden to answer his question: “do you deserve to live?” Roden honestly answered “no” hoping that honesty would be the best policy, but the being took out a flaming sword and struck down the halfling in one blow. Boirin now came out and the being demanded the same answer from him. Boirin explained his steadfast and good nature and said that he did believe he deserved to live, but the being knew the blood of Aldrik was on Boirin’s hands and slew Boirin were he stood as well. Rhogar successful roused the giant, who descended the mountain in his anger at being awoken by an arrow, and a glorious battle ensued between the giant and the celestial being, before the being sliced off the giant’s head with a swift attack. Rhogar descends the mountain but is overrun by the orc army and all the members of the party were now back inside the white space.