Lost Mines of Phandelver

Wraiths, Secrets and Roundabout Paths
"Elvish is NOT a dark eldritch secret!"

(No Theren this week, so he spent the game as a giant spider.)

After clearing the Forge of Spells, our intrepid adventurers headed to the Wizard’s Guesthouse, as suggested by Klek. They encountered Mormesk… an old acquaintance of Klek’s.
However, he wasn’t himself. As they entered, he claimed their lives forfeit. A ghostly creature, he shrieked in anger, as he said “Your presence is offensive to me. My treasures are mine alone, not yours to plunder!”.

The group didn’t know what he was, but Arranis guessed, miraculously, that he was a wraith, an angered, vengeful spirit of the dead. They tried to bargain with Mormesk, trading magical knowledge and weapons with him, for their lives. It was then that Wesley tried to give him the breastplate he took from the Forge of Spells.

Mormesk exclaimed “You have Dragonguard? Did this mean the spectator guarding the Forge of Spells has gone?”. When the group affirmed this assertion, he disappeared, speeding out of the room. The party took the opportunity to steal all of Mormesk’s possessions, which they loaded onto a floating disk conjured by Klek.

It was then that Klek reasoned that The Black Spider might be in the temple, dedicated to the dwarven god of mining, Dumathoin. They headed the south but were stopped as the floor of the cavern ahead was covered in mushrooms and other fungi. Concerned, they used the floating disk to ride above the room, but unfortunately the fungus ejected poisoned gasses just from their presence. They made it to the otherwise, but just barely.

Finding themselves in a corridor, they took a short rest to recover. Wesley took the time to count their new found riches. Arranis performed some rituals, and Klek identified some magic items, including Arranis’ Boots of Striding and Springing.

At full strength, they journeyed on, entering the original entrance to Wave Echo Cave, noting the ground littered with the skeletons of fallen dwarfs. Klek went to them, feeling saddened at their passing. Arranis stayed back, nervous at the possibility of being attacked by more undead while Wesley headed out to see what was in the next area.

Unfortunately, horrible winged bat-like creatures attacked from the ceiling, flapping around and attaching themselves to everyone. Recognising them at stirges, they fought to kill them as quickly as possible. Klek was worst hit, but Wesley helped him clear them. Next, Klek fired a colour spray that blinded Arranis and the stirges attacking him. Arranis performed a little blind surgery and killed the two that attached to him, before using throwing knives on the third. They pulled through, with a little help from Theren, who provided a little healing.

After a little more recovery time, our adventurer’s made it to the temple. Klek went to see what was going on. He overheard conversation between two males, in a language he didn’t understand. Discovering that there are two entrances to the Temple, Arranis goes to listen at the other door, listening intently as the two voices speak in Elvish. They are making battle plans of some kind.

Who are these people, and what are they planning? Find out next time, for the thrilling conclusion!

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Magical Methods and other knowledge
The application of poking objects with sticks

Grieving their dead companion, Reust, the party arrange his body, reinforce the apparent dining room they had taken residence in and took watches so that finally, they could rest.

During this time, the group spotted something that no one has noticed during the initial excursion into the room: A large crystalline structure in one corner.

After awakening, Arranis and Wesley begin doing magical study (aka, poking it with sticks) in order to discover what the object was. It was then that Arranis recalled that this kind effect can occur when spells mis-fire in areas of high magical density.

Wesley tries to poke the crystal with his sword, but as it is about to make contact, a small spark of magic occurs, and the crystal breaks down. From within, first a skeleton is ejected, and then the diminuitive body of what appears be a gnome.

Introducing himself Klek (followed by approximately 17 other names) Doublequick, he immediately began to talk with the group. Apparently he was a wizard who was working here, before an Ork attacked him. Unaware of the time difference, some amusing conversation occurs where Arranis and Klek insult each other’s approaches to magic.

The group asks Klek to lead them to the Forge of Spells, and he obliges. The Forge turns out to be a brazier that emits GREEN FLAME! According to Klek, the aura of the Forge has significantly reduced. He tests it on a dagger, which takes on a weak magical aura, but fails to hold the spell that was intended. Arranis then enchants his daggers.

In this room, a Spectator (a creature summoned from the Far Realm) exists which guards the room. It talks with the group. Apparently, it has been defending the Forge from zombies and other undead, and seemed perfectly fine about this fact. Klek explains that the spectator, called Gretlana (pronounced Gret-Laaa-naaa) was summoned by Devin, another wizard, in order to protect the Forge.

Klek tells Gretlana that their services are no longer required, and its employment can now end, so it disappears back to The Far Realm. There are a couple of spare items in this room, which the group pockets.

What awaits the party now?

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I'm a Firestarter
Twisted Firestarter

Leaving the forge room, with the left over remains of the zombies, the party head west down a corridor. Thirty feet down they meet a door, which appears to be barred. Listening close, the sounds of goblinoid are heard, but after standing, battle ready, for a minute or two, nothing happens, leaving our party perplexed.

Next thing they knew, they were being attacked by ghouls. Fortunately, Wesley spotted them, alerting the others, before taking out two of the three, while the party handled the last one.

Went down the passage to find a room to rest in, feeling severely exhausted. Unfortunately, the large room they entered was filled with yet more ghouls. ElfDruid used a flaming sphere to reduce the pace of the ghouls, but their paralyzing touches managed to snag Wesley and Arranis for a time. Reust broke the line to attract their attention. They persued him across the room, paralyzing and knocking him unconscious. They dragged away his body and began clawing at it, killing him. Vulpe, his faithful companion, managed to kill one of the two remaining ghouls before disappearing, leaving Reust upon the ground, limp.

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Wesmond and the Spelunkers

Venturing forth, our intrepid adventurers marched to Wave Echo Cave with purpose, to liberate it from The Black Spider, and get revenge for all the misdeeds he has performed.

Upon arrival, the group discover the dead body of Thurden, the younger of Gundren’s two brothers. He offers Thurden’s magical boots to the group, albeit sadly.

Moving further into the cave, they discover a small lake, with a few skeletons of humans. After some slacking off and slapstick, Reust discovers a Wand of Magic Missile and some platinum hidden under the murky depths.

They waded through part of the lake, ending up in a large cavern with a rift on the far side. A drow and bugbear were here, looking over the edge. Arranis tried to intimidate the pair, but Reust interrupted, breaking down negociations. Fighting ensured, revealing that two more bugbears were in the rift, digging for something.

The group takes care of the lot, but not before the drow cries out, shouting for his “Master”.

They move on, walking down a tunnel which turns out to be part of a water channel, used to power a waterwheel and furnace. A floating ghostly fire-skull exists in here, and it begins attacking the party, in addition to three large zombies.

(We ran out of game time here, but we assumed the group would have taken all the zombies down, after using some resources.)

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Ice to Meet You
"Do halflings even have family?"

The group were making a return trip from Cragmaw Castle back to Phandalin with Gundren in tow, when they emerged from the forest and noticed a battle occurring.

They spotted Sildar Hallwinter with a sword trained upon another man, wielding an intricately decorated staff made of glass. Inferring that this was the infamous “Glasstaff”, who was in charge of the Redbrands, the group came to Sildar’s aid.

They overheard the two conversing. Sildar expressed his disappointment in Glasstaff’s activities. Apparently they knew each other. Glasstaff was referred to as “Iarno”.

As our party showed up, Glasstaff conjoured a trio of ice golems to fight for him. Unfortunately, they weren’t particularly smart, and in the confusion of battle, ended up knocking Iarno out.

While this was happening, an elven druid was patrolling the edge of the woods. Noticing the combat, he gave his aid, morphing into a giant spider, using his webbing to slow down the golems.

Once they were all shattered, Sildar expressed his thanks, relieving Iarno of his staff and giving it to the party. (Now wielded by Arranis).

The druid revealed that he had watched over the forest for almost 100 years. Gundren, impressed with his abilities, invited the druid to join the quest to take back Wave Echo Cave, offering a percentage of the profits therein.

It was revealed that the “Black Spider” was responsible for Gundren’s kidnapping, so that he could likely have the cave’s riches to himself.

They returned to Phandalin for a final rest.

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Fallen Friends and Enemies
We Shall Remember You

(This report was written about 4 weeks after the session, so details are scant. Also, Arden’s player has left us, and this is his finale.)

We left our party last time in the aftermath of a fight with King Grol and the mysterious drow, we learned that the drow was a devoted servant of the Black Spider, who was here to kill the dwarf and take the map marking the position of the Wave Echo Cave, so that none may know its secrets. She refused to divulge any further information, loyal to the end, so the party killed her.

Wesley buried her outside the castle.

To make sure they were safe, the group had to deal with last of the castle. First they scared off some of the hobgoblins in the next room and proceeded south to the final area, where they encountered an owlbear waiting for them. And it was hungry.

Reust went in first, launched a few attacks and dived under a table.
Arranis followed, distracting the creature briefly, while Wesley tried to get a few hits in.

(This bit is especially incomplete, due to the aforementioned month gap.)

The beast retaliated, knocking Wesley back and out of the fight again.
It was then that Arden ran in, using the last of his healing magic to give Wesley a last chance, as the owlbear used its claws, plunging them deep into his chest. Lifting him bodily, and off against the wall, Wesley rose for a final bout.

Between them, the party avenged their ally and friend, before returning to King Grol’s quarters, in order to rest and recover from the onslaught of goblins.

Their rest was briefly interrupted by a band of hobgoblins, returning in the night. Impressed that the group had defeated their leader, whom they were planning to overthrow, they allowed our adventurers to rest for the night.

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He gets knocked down...
...and he gets back up again!

(Arden was played remotely this session, with a problematic skype connection.)

Following last session’s fights, the group began moving through the ruined castle, rooting out goblins at every turn. They went to the north west towers first, where they dealt with the sleeping goblins there, doubling back to handle the groups watching the surrounding area through arrow slits.

They moved to the north-central spot, where they encountered an altar, covered in blood-soaked cloth, with three golden items placed neatly upon it: A knife, a chalice and a censer.

Before it were three goblins, kneeling and praying. As the group enter, they look up, and begin exclaiming about their great deity, Maglubiyet (chuckle). Arranis uses his telepathic abilities on the head goblin, pretending to be Maglubiyet, telling him that he orders the goblin to leave, as fast as he can. The goblin appears surprised, before running away, taking his flunkies with him. The party examines the room, discovering that underneath the cloth, the altar is carved with the carvings of good deities, like Tymora and …., indicating that the structure is human made, rather than goblin made.

Progressing to the center of the castle, the group is ambushed while examining a brazier, by a horrible worm-like creature with tentacles by its mouth. Spotted first by Arranis, he warns Wesley, who gets to make the final blow, beheading the abomination.

Further east through the castle, they discover more ruined areas, before stumbling into a fork in the road.

(The final part of this session log was written by Reust’s player.)

The party hear a bugbear and drow conversing as they approach the door on the left. As is now standard, Reust uses a Mage Hand spell to open the door and the group walk through as though they own the place. They notice, in addition to the drow and bugbear, a wolf and an unconscious dwarf.

The bugbear turns to face them, asking who they are and why they’re in his castle. The party decide to adopt a confusion strategy – Reust rambling about people following each other, Arranis claiming that they came on a rescue mission, and Wesley deciding that they’re here to rescue the Drow. Despite backing this final claim up with some unexpected knowledge (and a claim from Arranis that he and the drow are siblings, for some reason), the two see through this claim.

At this point, Reust decides that taking the wolf out of the fight would be useful, so he casts a minor illusion to create a cage around it. Sadly, the wolf sees through this as easily as its allies saw through the rescue mission lie. There is no further option besides combat.

The party arrange themselves for battle – Arden staying back to heal whilst the other three move forwards to attack. Immediately, the drow engages Reust. After taking a few hits from her, an arc of lightning bursts from Reust’s hand to hit her – but instead of dissappating as normal, it remains on her, continuing to damage her over time. Reust stays nearby to control the lightning, but otherwise tries to stay out of the way of the combat. VolpĂ© generally gets in the way of the wolf, kicking dust into its eyes and harassing it so that it can’t act properly.

In the meantime, Wesley tries to engage the bugbear, with Arranis switching between the two as necessary. Pretty quickly it becomes apparent that the bugbear is not an easy creature to take down – with it knocking Wesley unconscious repeatedly, resulting in a battle between the bugbear and Arden to see whether the fighter can be kept conscious for long enough to do any damage or not!

After a lot of effort, the drow finally goes down (though not before VolpĂ© jumps onto her head to distract her), and with the increased firepower on the bugbear he doesn’t last much longer. Exhausted, their spell slots all used up and one familiar unsummoned to prevent it from getting killed, the party collapse, the next stage of their quest complete.

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Let Sleeping Goblins Die?

(No Arden again this week. Oh well)

Waking up after a night’s preparation, our intrepid adventurers met up with Bek, and, after a few unusual seating antics from Reust, the group began their journey north towards Cragmaw Castle.

With Wesley at the reigns, Bek by his side, Arranis Rookwood and Reust (who was sleeping) in the back, the wagon rolled on, until they began to leave the path, the Triboar Trail.

It was then, suddenly, that something quick darted through the canvas of the wagon, missing Arranis by a whisker. Peeking out the back, he sees a quartet of orcs speeding toward them, wielding javalins and greataxes.

Striking first, Arranis fires off a dissonant whisper, prompting one to turn tail and run away.
He wakes up Reust who, without thinking, launches an attack of his own, tearing a hole through the cabin wall at another orc. To his surprise, his mysterious powers de-age him by about five years.

Bringing the carriage to a halt, Wesley leaps off to confront another orc, sword and axe clashing loudly, neither gaining an upper hand.

Taking advantage of the hole in the carriage, an orc throws a javalin, hitting Reust square in the shoulder, the third aiming for Arranis.

Eventually, the party gets the upperhand, defeating the orcish attackers, before continuing on. Reust drives for a while to allow Wesley to rest and recover.

An hour or two later, the wagon reaches the end of a forest, and the horses can’t continue. Leaving the horses and cart behind, they venture into the woods (after correcting Reust’s path). Soon reaching the castle, they scope it out, noting several arrow slits in the rundown walls of the building.

Reust and Arranis walk upto one of the main doors, knocking. They try convincing the goblins that answer to take them to their King, offering a ransom for Gundren Rockseeker. Sadly, the goblins lead them into a trap and attack them, hoping to steal their money. Fighting breaks out, but suddenly, Arranis kills the group’s leader, and the rest get scared and try to escape.

Wesley watches them go in, before hearing the goblins starting to shout. Bek informs him that they said “They’ve got money. Kill them!”. They run in through one of the collapsed sections, stumbling upon some goblins waking up from poorly made beds. Wesley warns them that it’d be better to stay in bed, than get out on the wrong side of it, and suddenly, he encounters a flood of fleeing goblins.

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A Circular Stroll
Around and around we go...

Arden Abbey’s player was away this week.

After dealing with the bugbears harassing a goblin last time, the goblin introduces himself to the group as “Droop”. He is grateful that they saved him from the bugbears, who were bullying him for fun.

Droop identifies the main bugbear as “Mosk”, who is wearing an eye patch inlaid with gems. The group try to interrogate Mosk and Droop, learning that they were working for the Black Spider, and would share little else.

Killing Mosk, the party allows Droop to follow them around the remainder of the Redbrand’s hideout. First, they enter a storage room, filled with barrels of beaver pelts and food. Then, they return to Glasstaff’s study to find out where he went. Discovering the secret passage in his room, they followed it, until Arranis discovers the passage leading back to the resource room. The revelation that Glasstaff has escaped dawns on the party.

They return to the town of Phandalin to get a drink at The Sleeping Giant. The barkeep, a surly dwarf, serves them drinks while they tell the tale of how they got rid of all the Redbrands.

Next, the group heads to Barthen’s Provisions to sell and buy a couple of mundane items, before visiting Halia Thornton, who runs the Phandalin Miner’s Exchange, to sell some of the accumulated precious items for some coin. Halia asks the group if they managed to kill Glasstaff, offering a price for his head. She also asks the party to collect any correspondence they can collect from him. Finding a letter in the hideout, they show her. She ponders it with great interest, before returning it.

At this point, the party retires to the Stonehill Inn for a well earned night of rest.

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A Long Way To Fall
Down... down... down...

(As the players of Jack and Eli are no longer in our campaign, they have become NPCs of convenience.)

Recovering after the battles of last session by hiding in one of the rooms in the Redbrand hideout, our intrepid heroes listened at the door until the coast was clear, before venturing to explore the doors of this chamber, which contained a little drinking pool, and crates of supplies. As they emerge, they first realise that some of the supplies have gone. They climb the stairs in the room and open the door. Behind it are stone steps that lead up to the ruins of the Tresendar Manor’s kitchen. Figuring they’ve gone the wrong way, the group returns to the cellar, and through its other door.

This door led them to a hallway, with faux columns on its sides, every 10 feet down, leading to a pair of copper clad double doors. Wesley examines one of the columns while Arranis went down the corridor to the doors. About half way there, the tiled floor gave way under him, giving him milliseconds to react. Fortunately, he catches the edge of the pit, as the tiles and timber holding them up fall to the ground. Wesley pulls him back up.

The group decide to send Arden Abbey into the pit, to see if there’s anything interesting down there, so he wraps some rope around his waist and Wesley lowers him in. He finds nothing. Wesley moves around the edge of the pit, pulling Arden back up, on the door-side of the hole. They go to investigate the door. Arranis follows Wesley’s path around the edge, but slips and falls in. Wesley pulls him back up, a second time, and the group continues.

They push the copper doors open, to reveal three sarcophagi, being rested upon by animated skeletons. Arranis thought-casts to ask them if they may pass, to which the skeletons nod. So the group check the two doors leading from this room.

They see Redbrands in one of the rooms, through a keyhole, so they mix a little nightshade into a couple of drinks and Arranis stumbles in, pretending to be drunk, to offer the pair a drink. He spots two females, a boy as well as Eli and Jack. The brigands take a drink, thank Arranis and promptly expire, crumpling in a heap. The rest of the group filter in, and free everybody. Apparently they have rescued the family of Thel Dendrar, a carpenter who was killed by the Redbrands. Jack offers to escort the family back to Phandalin. They leave, and quickly run back in, screaming as the skeletons begin attacking them.

Our heroes run in, Wesley first, followed by Arranis, with Arden bringing up the rear. Wesley gets stabbed by a skeleton and slashes at it, before a shortbow-wielding skeleton hits him, taking him down. Arden invokes the powers of his deity to turn the undead. Sadly, he only manages to turn one of them, who promptly cowers in the corner. The skeleton wielding a sword moves over to Arranis, taking him down, but not before he looses a bolt of Eldritch power that melts its ribcage.

Arden runs over to Wesley and finds his healing potion. The ceiling creaks and cracks a little. He uses “Cure Wounds” to save Wesley, before returning to feed Arranis the potion. Suddenly part of the ceiling gives way, and a tiefling falls through, landing in the room, following shortly afterwards by a fox. Instantly surveying the room, the tiefling zaps one of the skeletons, but misses. The skeleton swipes at him, and suddenly the creature is engulfed in flames, killing the skeleton in one burst of fire. The group dispatch the sword-wielding skeleton and chase the turned skeleton out of the room. The tiefling casts an illusion over the pit and the skeleton falls in, breaking apart.

Introducing himself as “Reust”, the tiefling says he was wandering around, bored, so the group invite him to join them. After this, the rescued Mirna offers a little information about some valuable jewels from her home town of Thundertree, before Jack and Eli lead her and her family away.

Exploring the hideout, they discover a room of mundane weapon stores, and decide to go and tackle the bugbears, who they discover were tormenting a goblin on the floor. The group eventually dispatch the bugbears, killing all but one, as well as rescuing the goblin…

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