Just want to re-state something about the current condition of the Hood Gang and their cave.
I've done some work lately on the Gang and the cave which has changed things from the way they were before, but which is not complete. The most obvious symptom is the locked door to the closet.
You should clearly note that while the Gang are unfinished, as they are right now, there's not a lot of point to trying to interact with them. They're not going to do anything special -- yet -- and they're not going to solve the puzzle of the closet door for you.
I'll make an announcement when they're ready. Meanwhile, my encouragement is to not invest huge sums of time with them: I don't think they'll repay your effort.