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.