A wizard shows up at the almost-complete tower. Elias asks him what he wants. He was sent from the wizards from the coast. He has information about the hive. After rounding together Astaria, Asanja, Kal and Saena, he introduces himself as Marius Eventide. He tells everyone about the hive and its dangers.
The four adventurers and Ludo head out in the snow towards the demon hive. As they approach the cave, they notice the snow starts turning brown and putrid. As they get closer to the cave, the smell gets worse and the snow starts becoming too vile and sticky to actually be snow.
They notice the cave is guarded by a few drone demons. Astaria summons a fire mephit to distract it, drive it up out the cave and block off the way back in. As they rush into the cave, they find an open room, noisy and buzzing, adorned with pods containing figures. Upon closer inspection, most of the figures are dead, or almost dead, their bodies having been filled with tiny demon larvae. They find four mostly-alive bodies and free them: a kaleshtari, two humans and a knoll. The knoll is the only one capable enough to speak. Kal, Asanja and Ludo take the others back out the cave while, having convinced the knoll to help, he, Elias, Saena and Astaria go after the hive queen, using the knoll’s ability to smell out the queen.
Kal, Asanja and Ludo make it out of the cave easily, but once there, they are swarmed by demons. Kal tells Asanja and Ludo to run with the survivors as he tries his best to fend them off.
Meanwhile, Elias, Saena, Astaris and Greshak, the knoll, combat the hive queen. Astaria attempts a new spell, but winds up damaging her instead. Saena casts enlargement on Elias and he and Greshak hack away at the Hive queen as Saena and Astaria provide magical support. As Elias makes the final blow, the swarm that had been fighting Kal stops and falls to the ground.
The group thanks Greshank for his help as he walks away into the forest.