Lost Mines of Phandelver

Dungeons and Deceptions

The players of Jack and Eli will no longer be joining us for this campaign, so again we have a reduced party.

Arriving in the woods just south of Tresendar Manor, Carp shows the remaining half of the party the area he saw Redbrands emerge from a few days ago. Searching around, they find a tunnel leading north, underground. They tell Carp to go home, while they venture ahead.

The tunnel is about 150feet long. Walking along to its end, they emerge into a cavern, with a huge crevase splitting the room in two. Suddenly, within their minds, the group can hear vague mutterings, cackles and the titters of some unholy creature, as it steps out in front of them.

It appears hungry, and knows things I shouldn’t. Arranis thought-casts with it, convincing it that it will let the creature eat the Redbrands they kill, so long as they are allowed to pass. It begrudgingly accepts the deal, and climbs down and away.

The group moves on, listening for noise at various doors. They enter what appears to be a small alechemy lab, which Arranis deduces is being used to create Potions of Invisibility. Shortly after entering, they hear something made of glass smash on the stone ground. Wesley investigates by peeping through the keyhole of the door leading next door, and watches as a humanoid picks up a staff made of glass and escapes through a secret door in the room.

Moving into the room, they find a letter, addressed to “Iarno”, and signed with the mark of a Black Spider. In addition, they find a small chest of treasure.

Carrying on through the cellars, they enter a room filled with Redbrands playing a game of some kind. Convincing them that the creature was attacking more of the thugs, they trick some of them into helping, returning to the cavern. One of them climbs down, while Wesley pushes the other in.

Moving to attack, Arden walks onto a bridge across the Cravass, but the bridge is rigged, and he falls in. The redbrands attack the creature, while the party attacks them, until Wesley begins to attack the horrific thing as well. Eventually, they are successful.

Investigating, Wesley finds a small treasure cache, including a sword, labelled “Talon”, with a hilt shaped like wings of a bird of prey.

The other two drunk Redbrands come by to investigate, and the group attacks them as well.

Further investigation led the group to a room filled with bugbears. They decide it wise to return later, instead heading to a room in the southeast, filled with supplies. Bursting from an adjacent room come three more thugs, who knock Wesley unconscious briefly, before the group takes them down. They hide out in the small room to rest.

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Interrogations and Investigations
Where'd they go?

Both the players for Jack and Eli were absent for this session, inspiring the revelations made in this session. In addition, this session was shorter than normal. Approximately 2 hours long.

After talking to Sister Garaele, Eli went to take a walk, while Wesley hung about town.

Meanwhile, in the Sleeping Giant Taphouse, a few Redbrands picked a fight with Arranis and Arden. Chucking them outside, 4 of the brigands began attacking, when Wesley took notice. Arranis cast some hideous spell on the first, destroying his brain in the process. Wesley stabbed the second, before knocking a third out with the pommel of his sword. The fourth, afraid, ran away.

Taking the thugs cloaks, they dumped the bodies, taking the unconscious one to the Townmaster’s Hall. Interrogating him, they find that they are being lead by Glasstaff and were hired by the Black Spider to capture any dwarves, as well as scare away adventurers. Apparently they are based in the manor at the edge of town.

After this, they take some rest in the Stonehill Inn, and get some lunch. Realising no one inside the Inn has seen Eli or Jack in a while, they ask around. Elsa, a barmaid, tells them of a retired adventurer living in town, but sadly hasn’t heard from the missing party members since the morning.

The three search town looking for them, visiting the Shrine of Luck before splitting up. Wesley encounters someone, who tells them about a carpenter, who was killed after standing up to some Redbrands. His family has been missing for a little while now too.

Meeting back up with Arden and Arranis, the group go to see Duran Eldermath, who expresses his desire that the team stand up to the Redbrands, and drive them out of town. He tells them a little about the cellars of the manor, before they go on their way.

As the group returned to town, the noticed that they were followed by a small halfling child. Cornering him, he introduces himself as Carp, who apparently spotted some Redbrands near some shrubs in the forest. he thinks theres a tunnel there. He offers to show the party.

The group decide to attack tomorrow, early in the morning, so they return to the Inn for the night.

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Brawls, Bards and Bek.

Left alone in a cave in a hillside, surrounded by the bodies of bugbears and goblins, our adventurers found several boxes of supplies, branded with a blue Lion’s head. Thinking they might be able to sell some of it, they take a box or two, in addition to the treasure already collected and load it into the wagon.

Sildar Hallwinter re-iterates his wish that the group escort him safely to Phandalin, for a reward when he can secure the funds. The group set off, with Bek tied up in the back of the carriage, along with the other supplies.

After another days travel. the party make it to Phandalin, as the sun begins to set. They check into Barthen’s Provisions to deliver their goods and retrieve their reward, 10gp per party member. In the meantime, Arranis Rookwood makes his way over to the Stonehill Inn for a drink, and sets up a large tab there.

Barthen’s shop-hands point out that the boxes have the logo of the Lionshield Coster, a store on the other side of town, and suggest to go over there. Wesley, Jack and Arden walk through the town square, noticing a minstrel playing some music on a flute, with a longbow and small satchel close by.

Suddenly, a group of thugs in red clocks make a ruckus, harassing a couple of people who were listening to the music. Jack gets their attention and the two groups pass insults between each other. The minstrel stops playing and tries to calm them down, but to no avail, as fighting begins.

The bard picks up their flute again and suddenly one of the thugs looks terrified and starts to run away. Jack hits the runner with his crossbow, severely injuring him. Wesley sidles up to another, striking him with his sword. Arden tries to command the thugs to grovel, but they ignore him. The runner escapes, while the leader, unhurt thus far, makes a run towards Jack. Suddenly, the bard is holding the longbow and there’s an arrow through the leader’s head. Killed instantly, he falls to the ground in-front of Jack. Briefly surprised, Jack moves over to the final red-cloaked bandit, sword drawn, hand crossbow raised. He makes the shot as he approaches and the bandit crumples, dead.

The fight lasted less than 12 seconds, so the bystanders are a little surprised. Jack orders Wesley to move the bodies to one side and goes to comfort the bystanders, before heading to the townmaster’s hall. The bard packs up and leaves their spot as well.

At this point, Arden goes to the Inn to find Arranis, and joins him for a few drinks, sampling the local ales and cider. Wesley waits with the bodies, finding 10cp in their pockets.

Walking together to the townmaster’s office, both Jack and the minstrel walk in, finding Sildar and a man they presume to be the townmaster having a conversation. Looking up, he introduces himself as Harbin Wester, he listens as Jack explains the situation, his expression appearing to grow increasingly nervous with every word. Apparently the thugs were part of The Redbrands, who Harbin describes as “just a mercenary guild, really.” But it is obvious from his expression that he is troubled by them. (DM Note: The bard definitely did some valuable talking here also, but I can’t for the life of me remember the whole discussion. Apologies for the omission.) Harbin follows the pair back to the square to survey the damage and arrange for someone to handle it.

The bard takes off for a stroll around town, while Jack and Wesley go to rejoin the others at the Inn. After arranging for some rooms, Jack visits Bek in the unloaded wagon, explaining to him that he needs to stay in the wagon, tied up, to keep everyone safe and calm and prevent them panicking. Bek agrees and remains there while Jack wraps him in a blanket and leaves. Soon, Bek begins to sing to himself, when the bard enters the wagon. They talk about why Bek is there, how he is part of the Cragmaw Clan and how he is pretty happy, if a little uncomfortable. The bard introduces himself as Eli, and eventually they both fall asleep.

Awakening early the next day, Eli undoes Bek’s ropes, letting him be free if he wants to be. Bek stretches and gets comfortable, falling back to sleep again, before the rest of the group turns up outside. Eli jumps out and the group argue a little. Jack is upset that Bek is untied, but Arranis points out that Bek didn’t run away, which is interesting. Discussing the magical and martial arts, Eli and Arranis begin to bond, and Jack agrees to allow Eli to join them on their little quest.

The party heads over to towards the Lionshield Coster to see about returning the goods that the goblins had found. Linene, owner of the establishment, thanks them, taking note of where the shipment was and getting the rest unloaded straight away. She gives the group a bag of 50gp as a reward, in addition to offering any other help she can provide.

After this, Arden and Arranis walk to the Sleeping Giant Taphouse to sample their drinks, Jack goes to visit Sildar at the townmaster’s hall and collect their payment while Wesley and Eli go to pay their respects at the Shrine of Luck, which Wes recognises as a shrine to Tymora.

Inside the shrine stands a woman in white robes, with a pin on her breast. Eli mistakes her for Tymora, before she introduces herself as Sister Garaele, a member of the Harpers. She was impressed with how the party handled the Redbrands the day before. She tells them that they usually hang out around the Sleeping Giant, when they aren’t hassling the townsfolk. She also mentions that she might have a task for the group, if they are available.

Jack meets with Sildar, who pays 50gp for their escort services, and expresses his desire that they find Gundren Rockseeker soon. Sildar is remaining here because he is looking for someone.

Arranis and Arden walk into the Taphouse and find a seat in the corner, after getting some expensive drinks (1 and 2sp, respectfully), from a very surly female dwarf. The tavern is occupied solely by red-cloaked figures. One comes up to Arden and says pointedly, “Were you one of the guys that beat up my friend, yesterday?”. Arden claims he wasn’t (because he actually didn’t hurt anybody during the fight), but that he knew those guys.

The thug presses a fist into his other palm and growls, “Well then, I want you to deliver a message from me…”

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Goblin Plumbing

As the proper first session of the campaign, we did a few introductions and established a few pieces of background, which I will expand upon as the campaign world develops.

The four characters for our session were:

  • Wesley Darwin, an ex-soldier from the Neverwinter Militia. Missing a hand, which has been replaced by a gauntlet that can grip his sword, or other objects.
  • Jack Harman, ex-platoon leader of the Militia before a crushing defeat.
  • Arden Abbey, a halfling cleric, who’s worked with Jack and Wesley before, as a group of mercenaries.
  • Arranis Rookwood, Warlock. The group were travelling just outside Neverwinter when they rode past him. He jumped onto the wagon and hitched a ride, eventually proving his worth as an adventuring partner when the group were ambushed.

We left our adventurers last time as they were about to enter the goblin’s hideout. Sliding into the first room, they spotted three wolves chained up to a stalagmite. Seeing the party, they ran to them, snarling and nashing their teeth. Jack impaled the first one on his rapier. Wesley raised his greatsword and beheaded the second. The third was immolated by Arden’s Sacred Flame spell.

Investigating the rest of the room, the group spotted a fissure, opening to what much have been a natural chimney, leading upwards. They decided to leave it, and progress through the cave. Coming around the bend, they simultaneously spot a passage way choked with rubble, and a bridge. Jack spots a goblin on the bridge, surprised to see the party. Jack fires a shot, missing him narrowly, and the moves out of sight, accompanied by the sounds of goblin shouting.

The party spends a moment deciding what to do. Flowing water is heard. Arranis began climbing up the passage to the left. A rock slips beneath him, and he tumbles to the bottom, unconscious.

At that point, a huge surge of water sweeps up the party. Wes leaps to catch Arranis’ body and gets a grip on the wall. Arden is swept up, but clings to Arranis’ robes, and Jack is caught by surprise and pushed out of the cave. The rest of the party run out of the cave and retreat to make camp, to rest for the night.

After resting and recovering, the group went for a new approach. They first interrogated Bek, who informed them that the goblins could cause two floods, and that the chimney goes up into Klarg’s cave. Klarg is the leader of this group of goblins.

Returning to the chimney, Wesley strugged, but successfully climbed up first, after a little help from Arden’s magic. Immediately, a huge bugbear spots him, as he tumbles into the room. He quickly ties a rope to a stalagmite nearby, shouting for the others to get up here. The bugbear rushes him. Arranis hurries up the rope and casts “Charm Person” and befriends the bugbear, who turns out to be Klarg.

They convince him to release Sildar Hallwinter. The goblins who bring Sildar to Klarg’s cave begin muttering between themselves, while the party tries to convince Klarg to overthrow King Grol, chief of the Cragmaw clan, of which these goblins belong. The goblins suddenly attack Klarg, and in the confusion, the group manage to steal one of the boxes of supplies the goblins must have stolen from others during their ambushes.

Battered and bloodied, Klarg emerges victorious, having killed all four of the goblins. Coming back over, Arranis pretends to give him a hug, but proceeds to stab him twice in the neck and chest, before Wesley beheads him.

Riffling through the boxes, a treasure chest containing hundreds of coins, and a couple of gems and potions are found. In a pouch by one of the goblins, Arden finds a few gold teeth and some more money. Among the stolen goods are a wagonload of boxes with the picture of a blue lion’s head on the side.

Sildar begins talking to the party. He thanks them for rescuing him and requests that they escort him on to Phandalin, offering 50gp for their services. He then informs the party about the Phandelver’s Pact, as well as the fact that Gundren and his brothers had apparently found Wave Echo Cave, the location specified by the pact, and were coming to uncover it, and bring wealth to the area.
In addition, he recalls the goblins saying that someone, or something, named The Black Spider had apparently paid King Grol to have his clan capture Gundren as well as all of his possessions (including a map to the cave) and bring them to him, at Cragmaw Castle.

Jack gives him one of the goblin’s scimitars and leads the party on through the cave, sneaking up on and defeating the remaining creatures in the cave, putting a stop to the tribes tyranny for a while, at the least!

At this point, the party levels up, with a total of 350xp each.

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Off the Beaten Path

The events which start our campaign are partially based on the way a one-shot was run prior to our group forming, but using the pre-generated characters from the Starter Set, as well as with a couple of different players.

What follows is the set up to the rest of the campaign.

We join our adventurers in the city of Neverwinter. A dwarf, by the name of Gundren Rockseeker, approached the party excitedly, asking them if they’d be willing to run an errand for him, claiming he and his brothers had found “something big.”

Gundren, and his companion, a warrior by the name of Sildar Hallwinter, set off ahead of the group on horseback, so that Gundren could arrive early and “take care of some business.”

And thus, the party found themselves escorting a wagonload of supplies along the Triboar Trail, heading east towards the town of Phandalin. They were to take the wagon to Barthen’s Provisions, a trading post in Phandalin, for the reward of 10 gold pieces each.

A few days since leaving Neverwinter, they notice an obstruction on the road ahead. Two dead horses blocking the path, each peppered with arrows. As the group brings the party close to investigate, they are attacked by a band of goblins.

These adventurers are no pushovers, however, and despite a couple of lucky shots on the goblin’s part, our heroes dispatch three of them, sparing the life of the last one.

Introducing himself as “Bek”, the goblin says that they were ordered to watch the trail, robbing anyone who came past. However, he also says that they were recently ordered to capture a dwarf, along with all his belongings, to return to Grol, King of the tribe. Apparently, someone named the “Black Spider” is paying the tribe to capture Gundren.

In exchange for his life, Bek offers to lead the party to the goblin’s hideout, avoiding the traps along the way. After arriving, they swiftly dispatch the guards outside hiding in the thickets and thus, they enter the cave…

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