The party begins their adventure on Traitor’s Isle, a prison island where the minimum sentence is 15 years. Lord Calydor has asked the party to investigate the disappearance of prisoners.
After spending some weeks on the island, the party tails Caldwell to find that he is using some sort of powerful, unknown magic to penetrate the walls of the prison, and that he is working with a still unknown “them” to send prisoners off the island.
After a skirmish with Caldwell and a hooded female humanoid, the party discovers a hidden cave, containing a portal and some adventuring gear. The party blows the whistle, calling in Calydor and his cronies, and reveals their findings to them.
The party is transported to Suzail. The resident war wizard council investigates the party’s findings on Traitor’s Isle.
The war wizards deduce that Caldwell and “they” were using the (shadow weave-powered) portal to send prisoners on a deadly mission in the Ice Rim mountains, promising them wealth if they were successful. All but the earliest surveyor maps were altered to conceal the cave’s existence, almost definitely by someone inside the court.
Given the options of 1) Traveling through the portal, 2) heading to the mountains on foot, or 3) smoking out the hidden agent, the party decides on the lattermost.