Brownbeard, TechMaster, GlassOnion, Glac (DM)
We begin at a seedy, morally questionable bar in Neverwinter called the Rusty Sailor (not that there's anything wrong with that). An odd group of 3 friends are hanging out at a bar - Hjaldor, the dwarf, Aloc, and Bruce. After a few ales, a filthy dwarf named Gundren Rockseeker comes in, gives a quick nod to Hjaldor (dwarves will usually seek out their own in strange places) and saddles up next to him at the bar to speak to a familiar type of face. After a few ales, Gundren mentions that he and his brothers have found something near the town of Phandalin, and he'll have to make a trip back there pretty soon, but he needs to lock down a few more supplies first and he'll ride ahead of them by a day or so and meet them in Phandalin.
Hjaldor, offers the services of he and his merry (not that there's anything wrong with that either) group of friends to help out a bit. They end up on an ox pulled wagon on the way to Phandalin when, after a few days, while traveling on Triboar road they have to stop as there are 2 dead horses in the middle of the road. Right as Hjlador goes to start dragging one of the horses off the road, they're set upon by a group of goblins that have obviously been using this area to stage raids on travelers. The group dispatched them easily, although someone will likely have to have a discussion with Bruce regarding fire safety and etiquette of fire spells in heavily wooded areas. Smokey the Bear wants to speak to him, no doubt.
After further investigation of the area, the travelers notice an empty map case and a trail that dissappears into the woods. Hjaldor decides to scout alone down this trail and notices a few more dead bodies (where the goblins have dragged corpses of their ambushes and falls into a pit trap. Ever the athlete, he handily climbs out and rejoins his party eager to deliver the wagon as promised rather than investigate the trail.
After another day's journey, the travelers come to Phandalin, a fairly busy mining town that is a mixture of run down buildings and fresh construction. They drop the wagon off at Barthen's and find out that Gundren never arrived from Neverwinter. Could he have been ambushed by the goblins? The travelers don't know, and don't care, they are thirsty, so they head to the bar.
No sooner do they get to the Sleeping Giant, than a few ruffians with Red bandannas around their arms start... picking... on the group. They call them puppies. They have a few really witty obvious DM generated names and insults for them, and things may not have gotten physical, but Hjaldor hadn't had a drink in a while, so he walked up to the nearest ruffian and smashed them with his warhammer. The group handily dispatched 4 of this obvious gang that they'd come to find out were named the RedBrands and proceeded to enjoy drinks on the house at the Sleeping Giant. They also discovered that the Redbrands were kind of the scourge of the area and really making life hard for many of the townsfolk, blatantly murdering residents and disrupting businesses. They found out that they operate out of Tresendar Manor.
After a short reprieve at the bar, the now heroes investigate no further and walk straight up to the entrance of the castle like home and kick in the door.
We'll see you next week!
Brownbeard, TechMaster, GlassOnion, Glac (DM)
Our heroes start the evening at the doors of Tresendar Manor. After a thorough investigation of the run-down structure, they discover that it's not what's above ground that matters. Rather they take the stairs into the basement of the estate and discover that something is definitely going on down there. They enter a basement storage room where they discover a cistern with several supplies submerged within. After a brief check around the room, they find a hidden door leading into a large cavern with a huge crevasse and a telepathic Nothic being within. Rather than fight, the heroes negotiated with several sets of rations and found out that it is a man called Glasstaff who runs the hideout. He took a lab in the northwest corner of the area. The Nothic retreated to the bottom of the crevasse, not before heroes were left with a feeling of the Nothic's defensiveness about its personal belongings below. As the heroes moved on across the bridge of the crevasse, Aloc, ever aware, noticed the obvious body of the woodcutter that had gone missing after the redbrands murdered him in front of his family. It's obvious he was killed there and thrown to the Nothic to feed. Aloc, a master of the Arcane further investigated the Crevasse and came to understand that a cold dark magic exists within which causes things to decay at a much slower rate.
After the heroes moved on from that tricky situation they came to find four ruffians engaged in a lively game of Knucklebone and were taken quite by surprised by Hjaldor kicking in the door and the heroes rushing in. Although that advantage didn't last long and Bruce, the mage, after engaging like a melee combatant was struck unconcious for several seconds, and Aloc, the druid was critically injured. The party managed to muster and dispatch the redbrands and moved further on to a lab in the north west corner of the basement occupied by a single rat that tried to run and hide. It was a cute one, but that didn't deter the bloodthirsty Hjaldor. He smashed the poor thing with his hammer. Yeah, I thought it was messed up, too.
In the lab and in the empty adjoining chambers, the heroes discovered a few things including a Dwarven tome containing information about Wave Echo cave and the Mines of Phandelver, where multiple races came together to build a great magical forge. The town of Phandalin was nearest and acted as support for those efforts. The heroes also learned that someone called the BlackSpider was working with Glasstaff to find the mines and set up Ruffians to disrupt the area to prevent people from impeding that search. They were certain that Gundren Rockseeker had found the mines and were going after him.
The adjoining room was obviously the personal quarters of whoever worked in the nearby lab. Bruce, recovered from his wounds noticed a secret door that led up a flight up steps, back into the crevasse chamber and into a crypt populated by undead that the heroes dispatched handily. On moving on from that crypt, the heroes heard noises coming from the basement entrance (they had almost circled the entire area and were back where they started) and came to find a black bearded man searching for something in the cistern where they had found the parcel containing, among other things, a potion of invisibility. A glass staff lay nearby.
So the heroes charged him and grabbed the staff before he could react. He tried to get off one spell before he was so injured that he surrendered. After trying to talk himself out of the situation by offering information, the uninterested heroes struck him down.
Brownbeard, TechMaster, GlassOnion, Glac (DM)
Our heroes battled their way out of the dungeon, effectively purging the RedBrand scurge completely from the area and even freeing prisoners that were to be sold as slaves. During their efforts to clear this dungeon, the heroes entered a room to find a mother and two children held as captives by Redbrand Guards. Hjaldor in particular, enraged to his core, dispatched them with the help of his comrades and after speaking to the woman, learned that this was murdered woodcutter's family that was to be sold into slavery. They had no rewards but offered a treasure known in ThunderTree, a village about 50 miles NE of Phandalin.
Upon further investigation of the area, they crossed paths with the telepathic Nothic again, who, on orders of the now deceased Glasstaff, attacked the heroes on site. Although it was a tough battle, the heroes were able to put the creature down and even recover a chest previously guarded by the creature which contained, among other valuables, a +1 Longsword named Talon. Talon was identified by Aloc and was immediately equipped by Hjaldor who can hopefully one day swing it effectively.
Once the heroes approached what they could only assume was the final room in the area, they heard loud barking orders and upon kicking in the door and surprising 3! Bugbears abusing a poor defenseless goblin, who didn't attack them, they engaged in one of the most intense battles so far. First the poor goblin was killed by a reckless spell cast by the fingertips of Bruce. Next, Hjaldor was actually knocked unconscious and instead of healing him, Aloc healed Bruce!
The party was able to overcome the threat, but in their wake left a series of bodies and barely got any answers from them.
The only thing they know was they heard something about Wave Echo cave and the Black Spider. But who would they ask about this?
The party was wounded so after a final sweep of the dungeon, they headed back to the Stonehill inn and rested feeling more empowered as they did. Hjaldor took to the Inn bar and started asking everyone he could about Wave Echo cave and the Black Spider. Now hailed as a hero in the town, everyone was happy to talk to him and help if they could, but nobody knew anything about the questions he was asking. One person mentioned perhaps Sister Garaelle could help, another mentioned a retired adventurer named Alderath that owned an Orchard in town and a few others mentioned maybe the Mining Company knew something.
Hjaldor decided while the wizards were nerding out over spells in the Inn, he'd go talk to the Orchard owner/ex-adventurer, a pragmatic, but otherwise very helpful halfling lady. She did not know anything about what Hjaldor was asking about, but did recommend the party seek out a druid (forgot the name - will come back and edit) in Thundertree. She said he knew this land better than anyone and she was sure he could help.
She offered Hjaldor the hayloft for a night's rest, but he went back to the Stonehill to drink and think.
Brownbeard, TechMaster, GlassOnion, Glac (DM)
Tonight we find our heroes in Thundertree, seeking the druid Reidath for some answers to this nefarious goings ons that they've found themselves in.
Thundertree is a ruin of a village, victim to a volcanic eruption 30 years ago, and its residents are mostly Ash Zombies and a wildlife slowly reclaiming the area, as the heroes soon discovered. While slow and weak, the Ash zombies true strength was mostly their numbers, so the heroes attempted to investigate the area with a bit of caution after dispatching over 12 of the ashen dead and 2 giant spiders. They soon came across a ruined tower and discerned a powerful being within, most likely not human, Bruce the wizard could swear he saw green scales in the tower with the destroyed roof. After determining it was likely not the druid they were searching for, they continued their quest and discovered there was a group of Dragon Cultists in the village. They were within a locked building with boarded walls and told the adventurers that they were there because they tracked a green dragon here and wanted to ally themselves with it. After moving on, the adventurers found the herbalist shop and the necklace within mentioned by the lady who they had freed from the redbrand dungeon.
The adventurers decided to continue investigating the area cautiously until they finally came to what was perhaps the house in the best shape in the area - Reidath's. He invited them in where they were able to finally rest. The druid was old and gaunt, not accustomed to company, but perfectly hospitable nonetheless. They discussed the happenings to this point and Reidath was quite surprised and reacted strangely when they mentioned Wave Echo Cave. He said he would not tell them where it is, but he would take them there IF they would drive off the Green Dragon that had taken up residence in the northern tower.
This is all the adventurers needed to hear and they gathered their things and set out at once. Whether they were interested more in Wave Echo Cave or attacking a dragon remains to be seen, but they were ready for a fight.
Slowly the adventurers crept up to the area and attempted to sneak into the cottage attached to the tower. Hjaldor tripped on a step entering the building and fell with a crash. Bruce, who was following him to closely toppled down on top of him, but Aloc was able to tiptoe around his fallen comrades.
Bruce then lit a magical orb and floated it into the tower to try to investigate it with a bit more light, but as soon as the orb entered the tower doorway a great green dragon reared up and bellowed. Quickly Hjaldor rushed in to attack him but was thrashed by several quick and vicious attacks from the party. Bruce burned the dragon with his green orb attempting to give an injured Hjaldor some cover as he tried to extract himself from the proximity of such an overwhelmingly dangerous enemy as Aloc tried ranging his attacks through the cottage doorway into the tower area. The great green dragon then put his head through the door and with an searing, acrid breath blew a poison fireball at the adventurers. Aloc was fast and of such resolve that although he took the brunt of the acid breath, he remained standing. In healing his comrade who was now back attempting to melee the great dragon and firing crossbolts at the great green wyrm, the heroes were able to beat the dragon back further into the tower where it suddenly took flight and blew out of the tower into the forest beyond.
The heroes had driven away the dragon.
And before they made their next move, they spent time searching through the dragon Venomfang's guarded treasure where Hjaldor found a magical dwarven battleaxe named Hew.