Phandalin Heroes

Cragmaw Cavern Delvers
Prequel/Day One

In the city of Neverwinter, a fortune-seeking dwarf named Gundren Rockseeker hired five of his acquaintances to escort a wagon of supplies to the town of Phandalin to the south east of Neverwinter. He and a warrior named Sildar Hallwinter rode ahead to arrange the delivery, as he had big (but unmentioned) plans in that region and was excited to begin work.

The wagon escort group consisted of John Corinn, nobelman and trained fighter; Meltune Gamnar, the dwarven cleric and ex-soldier-for-hire, also the cousin of Gundren; Sylvan Veretas, an archer from the ruined town of Thundertree; Wicey Fenline, a shady halfling who never thinks before she acts; and Zalanar Farafel, an elvish wizard seeking knowledge wherever he can.

After a couple of days travel down the High Road, the group started on the Triboar trail; but not long after travelling, they came across two dead horses lying in the road. Meltune recognized the horses belonged to his cousin Gundren and his friend Sildar. Additionally, they spotted some goblins hiding in the bushes, ready to ambush them.

John shouted a loud threat to the goblins, scaring away one of them, the others rushed out and attacked the group. Fortunately, the goblins were defeated, though one was spared and tied up using the reigns from one the dead horses. Drag marks indicated bodies were dragged up a makeshift trail.

John carried the captured, unconscious goblin on his shoulders and Meltune spotted a few traps while on the trail. They eventually came to a cave mouth where they were again ambushed by goblins — a good indication that they were on the right trail. John left the captured goblin tied up outside the cave.

Inside the cave they were met with a number of goblins bent on stopping them from entering the cave, until they eventually came across a group of goblins holding Sildar captive and in bad shape. The group fought the goblins until the supposed leader of the group grabbed Sildar and held him near a ledge threatening to drop him to his death if the fighting doesn't stop.

The group made a truce with the goblin boss, Yeemik, promising to bring the head of the bugbear leader deeper in the cave. They found the bugbear leader of the Cragmaw Caverns, Klarg, and defeated him (technically he defeated himself by falling into a firepit while trying to push John into it).

They now plan to return the head of Klarg to Yeemik to retrieve Sildar; but Gundren is nowhere to be found.

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Arrival in Phandalin
Day One

The rescue party, having defeated Klarg in the upper chamber, returned with the head of the bugbear leader to the makeshift dining hall where Yeemik held Sildar prisoner. Yeemik saw this as an opportunity to exercise his new self-appointed status as king of the cavern and demanded that a sum of 50 gold coins be paid for Sildar's release.

This did not please our fledgling group of adventurers. After a brief huddle, Meltune used a spell to make John's sword appear to spark and crack with electricity pulsing around the blade (though in truth this was a mere parlor trick). John held the "magic" sword above his head and loudly proclaimed that the other goblins should not listen to Yeemik, for he is a weak king, but instead should follow him as their new leader. This actually seemed to cause a stir in the goblins, who seemed to be considering John's offer.

This diplomatic victory was short-lived, as Wicey immediately shot one of the goblins in the face, killing it instantly. Zalanar, assuming it was time to fight, followed up with a blast to another goblin's face. So much for that plan, the goblins raised their weapons and attacked! Yeemik angered by this, shoved Sildar off the upper level, rending him unconscious and slowly bleeding out.

It was a fierce close-quarters battle, John was defeated early (the stray arrow from Sylvan wasn't much help), but was rescued from the grips of death by Meltune (who also managed to stabilize Sildar); but the goblins were slain and Yeemik was killed by Sylvan.

After mending their own wounds and Wicey forcing a potion of healing down John's throat, they picked up any valuables they could find. Certain that they had searched every inch of the cave without sign of Gundren, they left the cave (Sildar was still unconscious and was carried by Meltune).

Exiting the cave, they found the goblin that was tied up outside had awoken and was trying it's best to escape. The adventurers surrounded the goblin and untied it, then proceeded to tell it that it was the new goblin king of Cragmaw Caverns. The confused goblin (named Lart, though Wicey and John insisted on calling him Gart) ran away into the cave, having been frightened, confused, and outnumbered.

Once back at the cart (which remained safe during their foray in the caverns), Sildar awoke and thanked the adventurers for the rescue. He was sad to report that Gundren had been taken to a place called "Cragmaw Castle" and added that they also took his map to the lost Wave Echo Caves. Not wanting to pressure the injured man, the party allowed him to sleep in the cart until they made it to the town of Phandalin.

On the road, they discussed Phandalin and Wave Echo Cave. Wicey, having lived there a number of years explained the history of the town:

"Centuries ago, the mining town of Phandalin was established by humans. They had found an enormous cave full of platinum veins, they say that you can hear the sound of waves somewhere deep in the cavern, thus it was dubbed 'Wave Echo Cave'. There was a problem though, the cave was also utilized by gnomes and dwarves. The humans made a pact with the gnomes and the dwarves, so that all could utilize the cave in peace. This was called the 'Phandelver Pact'.

Decades passed and as the town of Phandalin had grown in size and was becoming a city in its own right, a hoard of orcs raised the entire region, leveling the town and driving out the inhabitants of the Wave Echo Cave and by doing so, the location of the cave was lost.

The town was nothing but ruins until about 20 years ago, settlers from Neverwinter and Waterdeep came together to resettle the town atop the ruins. Now the town is inhabited by miners who mine the rivers and fields surrounding Phandalin for ores and minerals."

Not long after Wicey's tale, they rounded the bend in the road and entered Phandalin. Sildar got a room at the Stonehill Inn and asked the group to find him the next day at the Townmaster's Hall (where they would be paid for helping him). The group took the wagon to Barthen's Provisions, as instructed.

On the way in to Barthen's Provisions, they met a couple of ruffians in red cloaks. They were obviously hostile, but after exchanging a few words, the ruffians decided to move on, but leaving a threat "you betta' watch yer backs." Afterwards, the group dropped off the cargo, cart and all, and retired to the Stonehill Inn after receiving payment.

Later, at the Stonehill Inn, John buys a round for everyone in the common room. The group learns that a group of ruffians fitting the description of the two they saw at Barthen's Provisions, called the Redbrands, were extorting the town for money and causing general ruckus. They even murdered a shopkeeper in broad daylight for talking back to them after they insulted his wife (and they supposedly kidnapped his wife and child).

Wicey admitted that she used to be a member of the Redbrands, but left town when someone tried to have her killed. She filled the group in to where the Redbrands used to hang out back when she was a member: the Sleeping Giant Inn. The group then decided to head to bed and planned to give the Sleeping Giant Inn a visit the next day. They each rented a room and went to bed.

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Storming the Redbrands
Day Two

After a much needed night of restful sleep, the group awoke. They had breakfast down in the common room then hit the town, selling off some of the items found in the caves. Along the way they learned of reports of undead at the Old Own Well, a site two days distance from Phandalin – a man named Daren Edermath, owner of the local orchard, is worried that some old magic might be dorment there.

When they completed their deals, they went to visit with Sildar in the Townmaster's Hall. Upon entering the Townmaster's Hall, the group noticed a bounty post offering a reward to anyone who can remove a band of orcs at a site called Wyvern Tor. Inside, they met with Sildar who thanked them for rescuing him. Sildar also filled them in on what he knew about Gundren's whereabouts:

"The goblins took Gundren and the map to a place they called 'Cragmaw Castle.' I do not know of this location, but the goblins seemed to indicate it's somewhere in the forests to the north. Perhaps another goblin can be persuaded to give directions? The goblins say the goblin king at Cragmaw Castle was told to capture Gundren by order of someone, or something, they called the 'Black Widow' and whatever that is is searching for something called a 'Spell Forge – whatever that is.'

Sildar implored that the group continue searching for their mutual friend at Castle Cragmar, though admittedly had no leads other than questioning the random groups of hunting goblins. Sildar informed the group of the reason he had come to Phandalin. He is a member of the Lords Alliance, a group of allied political powers who's members ensure the safety of cities and settlements by proactively eliminating threats. Two months ago, another Lords Alliance member named Iarno Albrek came to Phandalin to help create a local guard, but he went missing shortly after his arrival. Sildar has come to not just replace Iarno, but to also ascertain what has happened to him.

After the meeting, the adventurers decided it was time to handle the obvious threat the Redbrands pose to the town, so they set forth to the Sleeping Giant Inn. Outside, a few Redcloaks we hanging around the entrance. Upon seeing Wicey, the Redbrands attacked the group. Not long after the fight began, a few more ruffians from inside came out to join the fight.

Eventually the Redbrands were defeated and the group headed inside the Inn. The interior was empty, save for the barmaid who answered all the questions asked of her, pointing the headquarters of the Redbrands to be below the collapsing mansion at the far end of the town. John made a point to tell the barmaid to go into hiding for a while.

They headed straight for the mansion and went through the front door. The mansion was empty and in very bad shape (given it's centuries of neglect). They headed into the kitchen where they found a door to the cellar which lead deep underground.

Once underground, they were ambushed by a group of Redbrands in the cellar. The adventurers fought their attackers for a short time, but John ran off into a cave opening in the side of cellar wall. When he came to the end of a tunnel, he found a large chamber with a chasm dividing the chamber (bridges connected the two sides). It was then John started hearing voices.

The evil whispering voice came from everywhere, it was talking inside his head, telepathically. The voice proved to know much about John and eventually showed itself to be a hideous one-eyed monster with a gaping maw. The creature tried to mesmerize John, but he resisted and fled the area, just as Zalanor rounded the corner to check on John.

John continued running past Zalanor back to the fight with the Redbrands, and Zalanor found himself face-to-face with the monster. The others continued the fight as Zalanor studied the monster and realized it was a creature known as a "Nothic", the result of wizards who delved too far into the weave of magic and became corrupted. The Nothic convinced Zalanor that it would share it's unlimited knowledge and mesmerized him, which Zalanor complied with.

Zalanor's mind temporarily merged with the nothic, as the Nothic began rending Zalanor's flesh, eventually Zalanor fell unconscious and began bleeding out. Fortunately, the rest of the group finished off the Redbrands and came to Zalanor's rescue by killing the creature. Meltune healed Zalanor, but Zalanor's mind had been permanently tainted by the insanity of the nothic.

Wicey noticed a small chest in the chasm and climbed into it to retrieve the contents of the chest. There she found a magical sword inscribed "Talon", which she let John have. In addition, there was a number of coins, gems, and potions.

There is still much to explore in the chambers and caverns below the mansion.

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