9 Mirtul, 1489DR
After another meeting with the Council of Phandalin, the Heroes of Phandalin made the decision to investigate the disturbances in the Dessarin Valley, and head toward Red Larch.
Although Droop had been released from custody, he had no where to turn, and continued to loiter around the outskirts of Phandalin. The Heroes were asked to lead him away from town, and ensure that his service in eliminating the threat of the Cragmaw Goblins was rewarded.
The party also encountered Max, a young beggar they met on the road to Old Owl Well a few days prior. He offered them some advice: “the greater your help to those in the need, the greater your rewards.”
After taking a shortcut through the foothills of the Sword Mountains, and finding a place for Droop to live out his remaining days as a fisherman, they connected with The Long Road south of Triboar and headed toward Red Larch.
As they were travelling, they saw a small cabin in the distance perched on a large outcropping of rocks. An old man came running toward waving his arms and yelling for help, claiming that his wife needed their help, after a wolf attack. The party investigated, only to find that the old man had a gang waiting inside to ambush them. The party was taken captive, and led into a nearby forest, where there was an ancient abandoned Obsidian Temple, concealed in the overgrowth.
The party learned that they had been captured by a cult who worshipped the god of death, Myrkul, and that they were to be used as sacrifices. They were thrown into a cell with a grumpy old Tiefling named Starmin Gamentador, who informed them that they would be slowly sacrificed over the course of weeks, as pieces of their bodies were removed one at a time, and used in the cult’s rituals.
Unwilling to wait until nightfall, the party lured a few guards into their cell, in an attempt to escape. An alarm was raised, and a fight ensued, as members of the Cult of Myrkul attempted to subdue them. The leader of the cult, Snakeskull, and his hellhound arrived to help put an end to the prisoner’s uprising. Starmin charged out in an attempt to flee, but was killed by the hellhound.
Things were not looking good for the Heroes. Their weapons had been taken from them when they were first captured. Alexander was able to summon some temporary weapons, but they were no match for the large number of cultists in the Temple. Things were looking grim.
And then suddenly, a familiar screech echoed from behind the cultists! A goblin came rushing forward, pushing his way through the surprised cultists, his arms full of the heroes weapons which he threw down at their feet. It was Droop! He had followed them all along, and while they cultists were distracted, he had snuck into the cultists storage and gathered the party’s weapons!
Weapons in hand, the Heroes of Phandalin had little trouble putting an end to the cult leader’s life, and upon seeing this, the remaining members of the death cult fled in fear. Unfortunately, during the battle Droop was mortally injured, and lay dying. Alexander acted quickly and healed him, bringing the heroic goblin back to life!
After a quick sweep of the now deserted temple, the party resumed it’s journey south toward Red Larch.