After a hard won victory against the undead bandit king in the Forlorn hills you captured the assassin. Before leaving the keep however a portal was discovered in the ruined manor house nearby. It was semi functioning which meant to dangerous to use. So someone scribbled down the strange symbols on the gate to translate later.
After returning the trader to the army camp he revealed (under the effects of a candle of truth) that a trader was hidden deep within the Church of Lathander. The groups new orders were to investigate.
On the journey back they stopped to get the damage to the Ardeep forest repaired. The small group of Elves that watched over the woods were grateful and got to work. With that the group took the north road to Waterdeep.