Something Big

Episode 9: The Lost Mines

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1 Mirtul, 1489DR

After rescuing Gundren Rockseeker from Cragmaw Castle, and returning to Phandalin, Altheon, Alexander, and Gorbek, were summoned the following morning, and found Sildar Hallwinter in his office, having a meeting with Phandalin’s most influential citizens: Halia Thornton, Daran Edermath, Sister Garaele, and the roaming Druid of Neverwinter Woods, known as Reidoth.

They thanked the Heroes of Phandalin for everything they’d done to help the town and the local miners, and explained the importance of finding out who the The Black Spider was and why he was trying to prevent anyone else from learning about the mines of Wave Echo Cave. They explained that the note found on Favric might have been intended for The Black Spider, meaning he might actually be working with the Cult of the Dragon to accumulate significant wealth from the lost mines, most likely to be used for their common practice of bribing Dragons. If this was so, then it meant the cult was expanding northward, and recent events in the south attributed to the cult were more significant than previously thought.

The Heroes headed out, with Gundren Rockseeker leading the way to secluded cave entrance hidden in the rocky foothills near Phandalin. Just inside the entrance they found the body of his brother Tharden Rockseeker who had promised to meet him at the mines. Gundren became enraged and was ready to charge in to avenge his brother, but Sildar Hallwinter and the party talked him down, convincing him to wait at the entrance as a rear-guard with Sildar. They used this time to bury his brother where he fell, and perform simple funerary rites.

Exploring the old dwarven mines, the party found the remains of dwarves and orcs everywhere — evidence of the great battle that happened when the orcs swept through the area 500 years ago. They encountered zombies, and dwarven skeletons, as well as ancient magical creatures still guarding the ancient chambers, remnants of the days when the mine was still in operation.

They encountered Mormesk, the wraith of a wizard who met his end during the great battle that destroyed the mines, who had gone mad after so many centuries.

They eventually found the Forge of Spells. Its magic had waned over the centuries, but it was still able to enchant weapons and armor for a few hours. There they also found Lightbringer, and Dragonguard, two of items that were created and left behind ages ago, when the forge was still in operation.

The finally found the The Black Spider‘s camp, in a large chamber containing a temple to the dwarven god Dumathoin. Gundren’s brother Nundro Rockseeker was also there, and begged the party to save him. After dispatching a group of giant spiders hiding in the room who ambushed the party The Black Spider revealed himself, attempted to learn what he could from the party, and offered to make a deal with them to clear out the mines and make them safe enough to resume operations. However the party knew he could not be trusted, and decided to subdue him and take him into custody. Gorbek cast a silence spell, rendering the drow wizard nearly powerless, and they bound and gagged him for transport back to Phandalin.

Nundro thanked them for rescuing him, then suddenly attacked with great force and ferocity, revealing himself to be a imposter, as the party had already suspected. After dispatching the doppelgänger, the party found the real Nundro beaten and bloody in a nearby chamber.

They returned to the cave entrance,where Nundro and Gundren embraced, and grieved over their dead brother. The party then left the mines, The Black Spider in tow, and headed back to Phandalin.

As per their agreement, in addition to 10% of any future profits from the mines, the HoP also found a variety of magical items which the kept.

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Episode 8: Finding Gundren

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29 Tarsakh, 1489DR

Tarrae Rasphyre had taken Droop north to Neverwinter Wood to scout for Cragmaw Castle, where they hoped to learn about Gundren Rockseeker’s fate. They found it, and returned to Phandalin and provided a map to Sildar Hallwinter. A few days later, Altheon and Bonan returned from the Tower of Hugo Harpell, and Portabia returned from Thundertree.

On their way to meet Sildar Hallwinter, walking through town, the townsfolk were friendly and grateful for the changes that have been happening around town, and credit the recent spate of adventurers who have been coming and going. They have started to refer to them as the Heroes of Phandalin.

They met with Sildar, Daran Edermath, Reidoth, and young wizard who arrived in town a few days earlier, named Alexander, who agreed to help. Sildar told them that they know The Black Spider had been using the Redbrands and the Cragmaw Goblins to gain control of the Wave Echo Cave for himself.

Daran Edermath also pointed out that there may be reason to think The Black Spider‘s interest in the lost mines has something to do with recent events in the south, and Favric’s unsent letter regarding Greenest may have been meant for The Black Spider.

Sildar offered 500gp to the group if they can find out exactly what happened for Gundren, put an end to the goblins and their raiding of travellers along the Triboar Trail, and learn whatever they can about The Black Spider. He was wearing armor and sword, and led the party north to find the ancient castle ruins that the goblins have been using as their home.

They entered the castle and were immediately surrounded by goblins and hobgoblin guards, but killed them all in glorious battle! They then found a room being used as a chapel by a goblin priest and his acolytes. They priest said he was expecting the players, and that they had come to fulfill the prophecy, and other nonsense and gibberish. The party tired of his religious rumblings, and as Bonan swung his battleaxe, he lost his balance, and hit his friends instead! The goblin priest’s conviction that Bonan had been sent by Maglubiyet was short lived, when he and his acolytes were quickly killed by the others.

They eventually made their way to the back of the castle, where they found the goblin king Grol in an argument with a female drow, and the unconscious dwarf Gundren laying beaten and filthy in the corner of the room. At one point the drow turned to kill Gundren, but was slain, and was revealed to be a doppleganger. They revived Gundren, killed the goblin king, and found the stolen map.

Gundren informed them that he’dlearned that The Black Spider had already found the lost mines, and kidnapped Gundren and the map only to make sure no one else would find it. He was very worried about his two brothers who he asked to meet him at the mines, and promised 10% of all future income from the mine to the Heroes of Phandalin, as well as any treasure they migh find, if they would help him reclaim the mines and rescue his brothers.

The party agrees to help, but first headed back to Phandalin to rest up and prepare.

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Episode 7: The Mage's Tower

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26 Tarsakh, 1489DR

While Cal Talmost, Moran, and Portabia were in Thundertree putting their lives at risk for the good of the Sword Mountain region, Gorbek decided to spend his time shopping and getting drunk!

On the evening of 1489DR, Tarsakh 24, he found himself at the Stonehill Inn, drinking with a few other newcomers to Phandalin, a dwarf named Bonan and a human named Altheon, who were themselves in search of adventure.

But adventure slammed open the door and found them… A goblin named Skwelch suddenly burst in, collapsed bloody and exhausted on their table, muttering “Help me. I’ll make you rich!”

The innkeeper Toblen Stonehill immediately left to get the new town constable Sildar Hallwinter, while the few locals in the Tavern grew rowdy and began to threaten the goblin’s life. Being dwarves with a strong hatred of goblins, Bonan and Gorbek considered putting an end to things then and there, but Altheon convinced them to wait until they heard more of Skwelch’s story.

The took him outside, more locals arrived, and it looked like a mob would attack. But Sildar arrived and brought calm and order to the situation. Taking Gorbek aside, he suggested that they satiate the mob’s bloodlust by making a show of taking the goblin to the jail cells at the new militia camp. Once out of site of the townsfolk, the group could lead the goblin out of town, and go along with his request for help, in the hopes that he might be able to offer them some information on the location of the Cragmaw goblins. So this is what they did.

Unfortunately Skwelch‘s Deathrot Tribe were from a location across the Swordcoast Mountains to the southeast, and he had no knowledge of the Cragmaw goblin tribe. However after relaying his tale, he convinced the group to join him in the search for treasure. He told them how his tribe had crossed the valley from the Kryptgarden Forest in search of mining camps to raid in the hills near Phandalin. Instead, they found an old abandoned tower, at the base of the mountains to the south of Phandalin. Nesting in the top of the tower was a red dragon wyrmling, which they killed and and who’s treasure hoard they claimed for themselves. But Skwelch demanded a larger share since he was the one who found and scouted out the tower for his tribe. The tribes leader Glubnose disagreed, and Swelch barely escaped with his life. He promised the party that he would give each of them 85% of the treasure if they would help him return, slay Glubnose, and take over as the new leader of the clan. The group agreed.

The following day the group set out, following Skwelch while he continually barked orders at them, turning his back and ignoring them, and generally treating them like common hirelings. Lunch presented itself to the group in the form of three boars who attacked from the underbrush, and they had an interesting encounter with a Naked Man they found later in the evening. The following morning, they arrived at the tower to find a smoldering pile of ashes outside the tower, but no sign of a slain dragon.

As they began to explore the old Mage’s tower, they found most of it old and dusty and in disrepair. However some rooms held a few left-over surprises, and they begain to suspect a trap, or that the goblin was lying and using them for some other purpose. However, he managed to convince them to continue, with promises of great riches and treasure.

As they ascended the tower toward the dragon’s hoard on the top floor, they encountered: a strange room with pipes playing themselves, that turned out to be the abode of a minor air elemental; a library with various papers and books, including one that sprouted legs and scrambled around the room shouting “No! No!” until finally caught and crumbling to dust; a small room with an invisible chest, hidden behind a grey ooze magically petrified to look like a small door; a stone statue of a goblin that had been petrified by a cockatrice that had made it’s nest under the large table of the dining hall; a kitchen with enchanted cutlery that flew randomly through the air, accidently striking anyone in it’s path; and a chantry with a gleaming silver globe sitting atop an altar, guarded by a golem that stepped out of the stained glass window of the room. None of these dangers dissuaded the heroes from finally reaching the top floor, although the fact that Skwelch followed at a distance the entire time, wasn’t encouraging.

They also found The Diary of Hugo Harpell, indicating that the tower most likely belonged to the Harpell family of Longsaddle.

At the top of the tower, the opened the door to the master chamber, to surprise a room full of goblins laying about, gambling, talking, arguing, and drinking, while their leader sat next to a large pile of gold coins and treasure, and another taking a dump in the corner.

Just as they were about to enter the room and attack, they heard a sudden rush of wind, the tower’s wooden ceiling shuddering above them, and an ear-splitting roar. The goblins all began screaming and yelling that the dragon had returned, and rushed toward the door to escape. But the party closed the door, and help it shut agains the frantic efforts of the goblins pounding and pulling on the door, trying to escape. They listened from outside the door as they heard the roof being torn off, and the cries of goblins being burned alive and thrown around the room by the dragon. They peaked inside to see the dragon ripping one goblin in half, and one still crouched in the corner in a shitting position, frozen with fear. The goblin leader managed to get his arm behind the door, preventing them from closing it, but his arm was quickly whisked away with the rest of his body, as he was ripped to pieces by the dragon.

Demonstrating a preference for staying alive, the party fled down the stairs and exited the tower. However, the dragon Talantha climbed out of the tower, perched on the broken rooftop, and began entreating them with promises of friendship, if only they would come back and introduce themselves. At this point, Bonan dove into some bushes nearby in a an attempt to hide.

They realized that they had lost Skwelch. Recalling Sildar’s request to see if he could help them find the Cragmaw goblins, Gorbek convinced them to re-enter the tower, and search the rooms they passed on the way down, to see if he was hiding. Taking a gleaming jeweled orb they found in one of the rooms, Altheon proceeded to the top floor and offered it to the dragon to add to her treasure hoarde. She took this as payment to allow the party to leave with their lives.

The party then made their way back to Phandalin, without finding any traces of Skwelch.

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Episode 6: Thundertree

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23 Tarsakh, 1489DR

Moran and Cal Talmost talked to Sildar Hallwinter in Phandalin and showed him the letter they found in the Redbrands hideout, addressed to “Sir Albrek,” signed by The Black Spider. Sildar was disheartened, but had already assumed that “Glasstaff,” was in fact the missing wizard Iarno Albrek. He took the letter to forward to his superiors in The Lords’ Alliance.

In the meantime, Sildar had learned of a druid friend of Qelline Alderleaf named Reidoth, who wandered the Neverwinter Woods north of Phandalin, and was known to spend time in the ruined town of Thundertree. He was sure Reidoth would be able to lead the party to Cragmaw Castle, where he hoped they wouldfind Gundren Rockseeker and his map to Wave Echo Cave. He believed finding the lost mines, and undermining The Black Spider’s plans of utmost importance. He offered the party a huge sum of money to find Gundren and the map, and drive off the Cragmaw goblins completely.

Sildar also mentioned a strange cultish group that had recently been seen travelling north past Phandalin, and rumors of a young dragon seen in the vicinity of Thundertree. He told the party he wanted them to investigate both, while they were there looking for Reidoth, and learn whatever they could. He mentioned that “something big” was happening in the south, and if they were dragon cultists, as he suspected, their presence didn’t bode well for the region, and was likely connected to these events.

The group agreed to take the job, and spent three days travelling north along the High Road and then along the Neverwinter River. Along the way, they met a druid named Portabia, who agreed to join them in exchange for coin. While camping along the river, they were attacked by a group of hobgoblins, the leader of which was carrying this wanted notice. The party easily defeated the group.

The following morning, they arrived at Thundertree where they found the overgrown ruins of an abandoned town. The party found Reidoth, and conveyed Sildar’s message, mentioning Qelline Alderleaf and the Wave Echo Caves. Reidoth said he knew exactly where Cragmaw Castle was located, and would lead the party there, if he would do him a favor: figure out who the strange men were on the east end of town, and drive off the young dragon in the tower.

After prowling around town and investigating many of the ruins — which were infested with zombies, animated plants, and giant spiders — the party found an old alchemy shop. This was the childhood home of Thel Dendrar’s wife Mirna, and the party found the family heirloom she had mentioned.

The party then approached a building which was obviously being maintained, and a strangely dressed man named Favric stepped out to talk to them. He told the party that he and his compatriots were here to speak with the dragon, and convinced the party to work with him, so that perhaps together they could convince the dragon to leave Thundertree. He and a few of his men led the way, when the party noticed the sounds of more men following them out of view somewhere behind. Fearing an ambush, Cal Talmost immediately attacked the cultists, and except for Favric, the party killed them all — including those who had rushed up from behind to investigate the sounds of fighting. They bound Favric and dropped him off at Reidoth‘s cottage, and then followed the path up the hill toward the dragon’s tower.

Once inside, the party rushed to attack. Moron charged up the stairs to the rafters where the dragon was perched, thinking he could tackle the dragon, but was nearly killed when the dragon immediately spewed poisonous gas at him. Portabia fled under the pretense of “getting help” from the old druid Reidoth, and Cal Talmost and Moran decided to follow. Moran jumped onto his shield, using it as a sled to flee back down the steps. As they ran for their lives, they could hear the sounds of the dragon climbing to the top of the roof-less tower, where it spread its wings and let loose a chilling roar.

Cal Talmost and Moran caught up to Portabia at Reidoth’s cottage.

The captured cultist Favric was carrying this note.

See: Thundertree IC

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Episode 5: Blinky and the Mouse

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20 Tarsakh, 1489DR

After talking to Qelline Alderleaf’s son Carp Alderleaf about the cave he found, the party headed back to town. Bulli Bogglewig and Sternaaier left town together for mysterious reasons. Moranand Tarrae Rasphyre returned to the Inn for the evening, to consider their options.

That day Gorbek and Cal Talmost who had already been loitering around town a few days looking for work, returned to town after Linene Graywind sent them to investigate reports of missing Lionshield crates found in the recently decimated Cragmaw Hideout.

The four adventurers met that night at the Stonehill Inn, and spent the evening drinking and getting to know each other. Tarrae Rasphyre and Moran told Cal Talmost and Gorbek all about Sildar Hallwinter, Gundren Rockseeker and his map, and their recent experiences in and around Phandalin. By the end of the night, they had agreed to work together, and complete the jobs offered to them by Halia Thornton (kill the Redbrand leader “Glasstaff”), and Sildar Hallwinter (figure out what happened to Iarno Albrek).

The following morning, they met Sister Garaele who asked them to help her track down Agatha, the legendary banshee of Neverwinter Woods, and ask her a question about a famous spellbook she was tracking down. She offered her services as a healer, and three potions of healing for the task. Moran managed to get one potion as an advance.

They then found Carp Alderleaf who led them to the cave entrance under Tresendar Manor he found in the woods. In the caves they met a nothic they named Blinky, who spoke to them telepathically — mostly strange gibberish and esoteric riddles. But he did share information about a secret entrance to the Wizard’s chambers, and promised not to eat them, if they delivered the wizards body to them for food.

Rather than enter through the secret door, they went around and found a room of gambling Redbrands who they killed, and then collected their winnings. They found the wizard’s laboratory where he had been working on alchemical potions of invisibiility, and his mouse familiar, who notified the wizard of their presence, giving him enough time to flee through the secret exit the party had discovered earlier.

They found various papers on his desk, one addressed to Iarno Albrek from the The Black Spider. Leaving through the secret entrance, Blinky informed them that he saw the wizard fleeing, and was angry the party broke their promise, and attacked. The party killed him, and investigated the strange crevasse running the length of the cave — when climbing down into the crevasse, one could feel a strange, unnatural chill radiating through their body. Her the party found the corpse of the town woodcutter who had been murdered a week ago — but there was no decomposition. They also found an chest hidden in the rubble, which contained the sword Talon.

Other information the party gleaned from Blinky before his death, was a nearby room full of bugbears who had been sent by The Black Spider to aid in the oppression of the town. At the insistence of Gorbek, the party agreed to take them out, to keep the town safe. They found the bugbears tormenting an old, weak, goblin named Droop. They killed the bugbears, then interrogated the goblin to see what they could learn.

Intercession IC: Tresendar Cellars

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Episode 4: Two Missions or One?

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20 Tarsakh, 1489DR

Moran is a mercenary who had been loitering around Phandalin for a few days looking for work. On 1489DR, Tarsakh 21 Halia Thornton sent him to find and retrieve a party of travellers who had just arrived, murdered a group of Redbrands outside The Sleeping Giant, and were then seen poking around the ruins of the old Tresendar Manor that morning.

Meanwhile, in the cellar of Tresendar Manor, the party had been discussing what to do with the slaves they discovered there. Content Not Found: solbreicht ripped off his Redbrand shirt, and charged off to seek justice. He was immediately attacked by awakened skeletons in the crypt room next to the slave cells. Hearing the ruckus, Bulli Bogglewig, Tarrae Rasphyre, Sternaaier joined the fight. Having just entered the cellar in search of the party, Moran heard the sounds of fighting and approached. Trying to aid in the fight, he threw his handaxes at the wall.

After defeating the skeletons, they also found a small room full of stockpiled weapons. In this room were some orcish words chiseled into the wall.

After Moran explained why he was sent, the party decided to return to town, and meet Halia Thornton. She employed them to find and kill the leader of the Redbrands, a man known only as Glasstaff.

That afternootn, the party visited the Townmaster’s Hall, to talk to Sildar Hallwinter. There they also met Harbin Wester, who kept insisting that the Redbrands were not a problem, and that he was in charge, not Sildar. After a few stern words, and a warning regarding the party’s unlawful actions the previouse night outside The Sleeping Giant, Sildar took them outside away from Harbin, and asked them to find his predecessor Iarno Albrek who had disappeard a few months prior. He believed that Iarno might have been taken hostage by the Redbrands, since he was last seen investigating the ruins of the old Tresendar Manor. Sildar also asked that the party put an end to the Redbrands, but to do so less publicly than they had the night before.

The party had heard rumors of a tunnel in the woods outside town, and believed this might lead them to the Redbrands leader. They found the halfling boy who knew were it was, Carp Alderleaf, at the Alderleaf farm. They met his mother Qelline Alderleaf, and had a quick snack at their farm, getting her permission for her son to lead them to the tunnel.

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Episode 3: Arrival at Phandalin

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19 Tarsakh, 1489DR

After a long day of travel, the party finally arrived in Phandalin late in the afternoon. Sildar Hallwinter left to find lodgings for himself, and asked them to meet him the following morning to discuss a reward and how they might proceed in searching for their employer Gundren Rockseeker.

The party found Barthen’s Provisions where they were tasked with delivering the wagon of mining supplies, and talked to the proprieter Elmar Barthen. He had been expecting the delivery, but was confused that Gundren hadn’t arrived ahead of them. The party informed him of the ambush and capture of Gundren, which saddened him greatly, since he considered the dwarf a friend. Elmar offered to pay the amount owed for the delivery of the wagon from Gundren’s account, with the stipulation that the party continue their search for him. He also told them that Gundren’s brothers Nundro Rockseeker and Tharden Rockseeker were camped somewhere outside of town, and should be returning any day for supplies. Elmar also complained about the Redbrands gang that had taken over the town, extorting the local businesses and oppressing the population.

The party then found their way to the Lionshield Coster where they met a sharp-tongued impatient woman named Linene Graywind, who represented a merchant company that shipps goods to Phandalin and other small towns throughout the region. Recently a caravan that was expected to arrived never showed up, and when the party showed her the crate with the blue lion stamp, which they had retrieved from the Cragmaw Hideout, she offered to pay a small reward if a map provided by the party led her men to the stolen goods.

Visiting the Stonehill Inn the party was told by a nervous Toblen Stonehill that there were no rooms available, but they might perhaps find a place to sleep at one of the local farms. However, it was clear to Bulli and Tarrae that this was a lie, but they were not sure why. They were able to get a meal, and interact with a few locals, until suddently Toblen’s wife Trilena Stonehill began loudly scolding her husband behind the bar. All eye’s were on her as she screamed at her husband and called him a coward, stormed over to the party, and informed them that the town needed their help putting a stop to the Redbrands. She told the party about the recent murder in the streets of the woodcutter Thel Dendrar, and the disappearance of his wife and children that same night.

This sent the young, naive, and virtuous Solbreicht into a rage, and the party headed off toward the known hangout of the Redbrands, The Sleeping Giant where they were immediately insulted by ruffians sitting on the porch. Incensed, Solbreicht charged into combat, forcing his compatriots to come to his aid, resulting in the murder of four Redbrands. After interrogating the proprieter of The Sleeping Giant, a female dwarf named Grista, the party learned that the Redbrands had made a hideout out of the ruins of the old Tresendar Manor.

Deciding to get a good night’s rest, the party headed to the apple orchard of Daran Edermath, as recommended by Toblen Stonehill, on the northwest edge of town, where they were offered a place in his barn for the night. After speaking with him at length, the part learned many things — most importantly, that undead seem to be chasing prospectors away from the Old Owl Well. He asked the party to investigate the old ruins.

The following morning, after scouting out the old manor house, and finding nothing but ruins, Tarrae found tracks leading to the old kitchen cellar. Finding the door unlocked, they entered. Murdering a few Redbrands in their sleep, they found an old crypt, and eventually came across a room with cells, holding the family of the slain woodcutter Thel Dendrar. The party killed the two guards, and freed the family.

Inter-session IC: Redbrand Hideout — Slave Pens

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Episode 2: A Meeting and an Invasion

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18 Tarsakh, 1489DR

The morning of 1489DR, Tarsakh 19 was cool and sunny, but the winds were strong. After some breakfast, Bulli and Sternaaier were surprised to see a human warrior Solbreicht approaching them along the road.

After exchanging friendly greetings, Solbreicht informed them that he had also found Gundren Rockseeker‘s notice in Neverwinter, but arrived at the Bears Paw Inn a day late. He was informed by the innkeeper Rimig that there had been a “big meeting” the night before between Gundren and Rimig’s “close friends.” Rimig wasn’t sure what was discussed, but he was sure the two mercenaries hired by Gundren were clearly bound for greatness and glory. He was confident they must be great adventurers, and that Solbreicht could only benefit from getting involved. So the young fighter decided to head off down the High Road, and catch up to them and join them on their adventures.

Agreeing to work together and search for Gundren and his companion, the trio headed back into the woods, following goblin trail. After some walking, they stopped when they saw two goblins arguing up ahead on the trail, as they attempted to re-set the pit trap Bulli and Sternaaier had uncovered the prior day. They rushed the goblins and quickly ended their lives.

Continuing on to the Cragmaw Hideout, the party left a trail of goblin bodies in their wake, while exploring the tunnels and caverns in search of their kidnapped employer. They killed the bugbear chieftan Klarg, and found a large number of crates stamped with a blue lion symbol in his den. They also found Sildar Hallwinter being tortured and beaten by a goblin named Yeemik, who attempted to strike a deal with them, but they followed the advice of Sildar and killed the goblin lieutenant.

They escorted the wounded Sildar back to their wagon, camped for the evening, and resumed their journey on the morning of 1489DR, Tarsakh 20. Sildar talked to them at length about the history of Phandalin, Wave Echo Cave, and what he knew of Gundren’s plans. Sildar had heard that the goblins had specific orders from someone named the The Black Spider, and believed that Gundren and the map to the lost mines were sent to someplace called Cragmaw Castle.

Sildar also informed them of his own mission in Phandalin. Another member of The Lords’ Alliance, a wizard named Iarno Aibrek, had been sent to the frontier town a few months ago to help establish order, but the faction had lost all contact with him.

While on the road, the group ran into a traveller named Tarrae Rasphyre, who also had business in Phandalin, and agreed to accompany them for the remainder of their journey.

Inter-session IC: On The Road to Phandalin

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Episode 1: Goblin Ambush

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16 Tarsakh, 1489DR

The first day on the road was was both sunny and uneventful for Bulli Bogglewig and Sternaaier, except for two wolves who were easily fended off in the afternoon, yielding some meat for an evening meal.

The following day, after turning east off High Road onto the Triboar Trail, they stopped their cart when they saw two horses peppered with goblin arrows, lying dead in the middle of the road. Almost immediately they found themselves under attack by goblins hiding in the trees, on the hills overlooking both sides of the road. Sternaair used his magic to create the sounds of a dragon hiding in the bushes, which frightened and confused the goblins, allowing them to easily get the upper hand and kill their attackers.

After inspecting the horses, it became clear that these were the horses of their employer Gundren Rockseeker and his travelling companion Sildar Hallwinter. Further inspection turned up an empty map case, as well as a heavily used trail leading north into the woods. The trail showed signs of human sized bodies being dragged through the dirt and underbrush.

Bulli and Sternaaier decided to secure the cart and oxen along the side of the road and follow the trail, hoping to find and rescue their employer. However, they found that the trail was booby-trapped. Bulli found himself hanging upside down from a tree in a common snare trap, but was cut down mostly unharmed. Further along the trail they found a covered pit on the trail, but managed to avoid harming themselves.

They eventually arrived at the mouth of a hillside cave, where they found themselves immediately under attack by goblin archers hiding in some bushes. Unprepared for a fight, they fled back to their cart, set up camp, and rested for the night.

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The Beginning

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15 Tarsakh, 1489DR

Thousands of restless would-be heroes from back-country farmsteads and sleepy villages arrive in the city of Neverwinter every year in search of wealth and adventure. It is situated in a region where daring souls delve into the wreckage of ancient strongholds, and explore the ruins of long lost cultures.

After a few days wandering the city in search of adventure, two strangers, Bulli and Sternaaier, each found a notice posted near the city gates on 1489DR, Tarsakh 16, leading them to the Bears Paw Inn, to meet each other, and a dwarf named “Gundren Rockseeker.”

Clearly excited, Gundren told them that he and his brothers had found “something big,” but refused to share any details. He informed them that he was looking for a team to deliver a wagon of mining supplies to the nearby settlement of Phandalin at the base of the Sword Mountains — a few days travel south along the High Road. A contract was signed, stipulating 10gp would be paid to each, when the wagon and it’s supplies were delivered intact.

After Gundren left the Inn, both Bulli and Sternaaier stayed behind, and spent the evening getting to know each other better. Both being penniless, they offered to provide the inn with some light entertainment in exchange for a meal, but the innkeeper Rimig was only willing to provide a cup of ale. Undaunted, the two travellers launched into a performance singing the praises of their host, leading to his change of heart and offers of a full meal.

The following morning (Tarsakh 17) Bulli and Sternaaier began their journey down the High Road with a cart pulled by the Oxen Trundle and Bear. Gundren and his bodyguard Sildar Hallwinter traveled ahead on horseback, to take care of some “pressing business.” Riding atop the oxen themselves, our brave adventurers headed off down the road toward Phandalin, in search of gold and adventure.

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