Our adventure takes place in the Forgotten Realms.
In the city of Neverwinter, a dwarf named Gundren Rockseeker asked you to bring a wagon load of provisions to the rough-and-tumble settlement of Phandalin, a couple of days’ travel southeast of the city. Gundren was clearly excited and more than a little secretive about his reasons for the trip, saying only that he and his brothers had found “something big,” and that he’d pay you for escorting his supplies safely to Barthen’s Provisions, a trading post in Phandalin. He then set out ahead of you on horse, along with a warrior escort named Sildar Haliwinter, claiming he needed to arrive early to “take care of business.”
Our companions traveled a few days along the High Road south from Neverwinter until they veered east onto the Triboar Trail. The territory is known to be dangerous, but they’ve encountered nothing of note yet. Henry Callihan, the Human Paladin, has been marching in front while Val and Aaron, the Half-Elf Cleric and Elvish Wizard respectively, drive the two oxen led wagon. Ox, the Half-Orc Fighter, takes the rear guard.
After half a day on the Triboar Trail, our adventurers come round a bend to find two dead horses. Each horse has several black-feathered arrows sticking out of it. The trail narrows here, the woods pressing close, steep embankments and dense thickets on either side…….
Henry Callihan notices the horses first as he walks in front of the party’s wagon. He spots a map case and as he reaches a hand out towards it, just as two arrows whistle out of the brush from either side of the road. Quickly he stands up and turns left, raising his shield towards the hidden enemies. He pounds his lance against his shield calling out, “I AM HENRY CALLIHAN!”
After a quick and bloody battle, two goblins lie dead from self-inflicted wounds, the third was decapitated by Ox’s hammer, and the final surrendered to Val. The goblin tells them of their employers ambush and capture, informing them of a nearby cave that they raid from.
Ox leads the party, Henry follows with the prisoner, and the magic users take the rear. Along the way, Ox sets off a snare trap, giving the goblin a chance to escape. He is quickly set upon by the party and is lanced through by Henry, who leaves his body on the lance. Henry also fashions a rabbit foot necklace from the body of a rabbit he accidentally killed with his lance. The luck does not help him because with him now in the lead, he falls down a pitfall trap. After assisting his escape from it, the party continues.
Coming to the end of a tree line, a small river leading out of a cave can be seen. Calling upon the power of his deity, Henry scans the area to detect evil creatures. In the woods to the right of the cave entrance and stream, he detects two goblin foes. Aaron raises his hand towards the creatures, casting sleep in the midst of them. The party goes into the goblin blind, finding both asleep and killing them.
Henry forfeits his lead to Val who can see better in the dark. The turn into the first room they see and suddenly notice three ravenous wolves chained up there. They start to growl at the group, pulling and jostling at their chains. Henry removes the body of the goblin and throws it to the wolves as a gift. Well, all but the head, for Ox had decided to remove and keep that for reasons of his own.
They leave the room, Val in the lead until reaching another cave on the opposite wall. Val scouts ahead alone into it, finding five goblins sitting around a small bonfire and eating, while there leader, looks down on them from a ledge. She can also see a chained human figure on the wall. It is Sildar, he’s still alive!
Val makes her way back to her companions and informs them of her find. They use their previous plan Aaron puts the ones around the fire to sleep while Ox and Henry finish them off. While this is happening, the leader is quickly taking his prisoner and putting a knife to his throat. The party negotiates with the goblin Yeemik, who wants them to kill the bugbear Klarg, the leader of the cave, for the human’s life.
Agreeing, the party goes past the goblin, quickly betraying him and rescuing Sildar. With their employer rescued, they continue on. Val leads the way, scouting ahead until she gets to the exit of the tunnel where she sees the goblin guarding the bridge. She calls to him, trying to mimic Yeemik, but the goblin yells out “Flood!” Water begins to pour down the main way of the cavern. The party rushes forward killing the guard, and Val, as Yeemik, convinces the goblins in the other room to kill themselves.
In the final room, ready for them, is the bugbear Klarg, his pet wolf, and two other goblins. Ox takes the head he’s been carrying and hurls it at Klarg, smacking him in the face! Henry rushes forward yelling, “I AM HENRY CALLIHAN” and stabs Klarg though his gut, but Klarg just starts to walk up his lance! The party is able to prevail against the foes, with only Henry being hurt when the wolf jumped up and bit him, taking him to the floor.
The party heals up and loots the cave finding a good sum of gold. They also spot a few crates bearing the symbol of a blue lion on them. Sildar explains to the party that those must belong to the Lionshield Coster, a merchant company in Phandalin. Val and Aaron go to retrieve the wagon and bring it back to the cave to carry the extra cargo and to give Sildar a rest on the journey.
While loading the now returned wagon, Sildar begins to tell the part about what happened. Gundren, Tharden, and Nundro, the Rockseeker brothers had recently located the entrance of the long-lost Wave Echo Cave, site of the mines of the Phandelver’s Pact.
More than five hundred years ago, clans of dwarves and gnomes made an agreement known as the Phandelver’s Pact, by which they would share a rich mine in a wondrous cavern known as Wave Echo Cave. Human spellcasters allied themselves with the dwarves and gnomes to channel and bind that energy into a great forge (called the Forge of Spells), where magic items could be crafted. But then disaster struck when ores swept through the North and laid waste to all in their path.
A powerful force of orcs reinforced by evil mercenary wizards attacked Wave Echo Cave to seize its riches and magic treasures. Human wizards fought alongside their dwarf and gnome allies to defend the Forge of Spells, and the ensuing spell battle destroyed much of the cavern. Few survived the cave-ins and tremors, and the location of Wave Echo Cave was lost.
He also told them that Klarg had orders to waylay Gundren. Sildar overheard the goblins say that Black Spider went word that the dwarf was to be brought to him, but he doesn’t know where. Gundren had a map showing the secret location of Wave Echo Cave as well, but the goblins took it when they captured him. He believes that Klarg sent the map and dwarf to the chief of the Cragmaws at a place called Cragmaw Castle, although he doesn’t know where that is. He does tell the party that someone in Phandalin may know where it is.
Sildar also informs them about a contact that he has in Phandalin whom he is trying to get in contact with. A human wizard names Iarno Albrek was supposed to go there to establish order in the town, but he has not been heard from since. Sildar’s order, the Lords’ Alliance has sent him to investigate the disappearance.
Before leaving, they release the chained wolves up who run into the forest. The party then sets off, back to the main road. Along the way, Sildar tells them he is willing to pay them for the rescue and the escort, but seeing as his belongings were taken, he will get them money once they get to town.
A little while later……
A hooded figure approaches the cave, bow drawn. He enters, leaving a few minutes later with a couple severed goblin heads. He looks to the ground, finding something and stalks off, following the tracks of horses and a wagon…
Who is this Black Spider and what does he want with Wave Echo Cave? Where is Cragmaw Castle and will our adventurers get there in time to save Gundren? Will they be able to find Iarno in Phandalin? And who is that hooded figure following them? Be sure to check out the next session!