So while Earth was busy not ending, here is what was going on in the land of Hommund:
The players had just gotten through with spending a week in the Hobbit Hills training the militia, failing to seduce a mute nymph, and taking lots of drugs they caught some bandits smuggling, when they set out to see if the tunnel up to the Tsuran Plateau (where the elven forest is) had finally been cleared by the dwarf they hired to do it, Roderick.
So they set out traveling, fought some undead in the Elf's Ear Gorge, Boone got bitten but not seriously injured, but more distressingly began to go into withdrawal, having been the one most partaking in illicit substances and failing his CON save. So no one thought it was too weird when he started getting a fever and the sweats... right up until he turned into a zombie and they had to bash his head in.
Turns out there are a lot of zombies around, as they found more biting at Roderick's heels where he was mutilated and strung up from the ceiling of the cave entrance to the tunnel, "turn back" carved into his severed arms.
The obvious solution being to press on, the party did so, eventually emerging in the midst of some seriously inclimate weather and then moving further into the valley, where they killed some more zombies and met some wild men who kindly gave them some herbs and pointed them in the direction of the elven forest.
The next day they were promptly captured by elves.
Also, the party has now in tow two carts drawn by a camel and horse named Yossarian and Fortinbras respectively. The dog is named Perchik. I have no idea where that one came from.