Part 1: Goblin Arrows
- Ben - Graeber of Collinghill - Level 1 Lawful Neutral Human Fighter
- Harry - Durden Rockseeker - Level 1 Neutral Good Hill Dwarf Cleric
- Josh - Zeist Jefferys - Level 1 Chaotic Good High Elf Wizard
In the city of Neverwinter, Durden’s cousin, Gundren Rockseeker asked you to bring a wagonload 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 ten gold pieces each 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 Hallwinter, claiming he needed to arrive early to “take care of business”.
You’ve spent the last few days following the High Road south from Neverwinter, and you’ve recently veered east along the Triboar Trail. You’ve encountered no trouble so far, but this territory can be dangerous. Bandits and outlaws have been known to lurk along the trail.
After a few days travel with Zeist ranting about how he neede to restore a defiled alter you spotted the two dead horses of Gundren and Sildar on the path. Upon investigating the party was ambushed by a group of goblins. Quickly they were dispatched and then, after a discussion, the party headed into the forrest on the trail of their leaders and their friends.
The trail winds through the forest and the characters manage to dodge a few hastily placed traps along the way thanks to the observant eyes of your wizardly companion. The trail opens up into a clearing with a large cave in a hillside five miles from the scene of the ambush. A shallow stream flows out of the cave mouth, which screened by dense briar thickets. A narrow dry path leads into a cave on the right-hand side of the stream.
The party noisily crosses the stream and narrowly avoids waking the goblin ambush on the other side of the thicket. When they realise they are there they dispatch them without much fuss.
Following the river into the cave mouth the party quickly realises that it is pretty dark and the human fighter is having problems seeing in the dark. They glance into the first cavern to their left and notice some dogs tied up. The party decides to throw them some food and head the other direction. Durden uses the power of Moradin to turn rocks into beacons of light and leaves a trail of them next to the river until you came to a slope heading left and upwards. In the distance you see a bridge but the party decides to head up the slope instead. Durden leads the way up the slope lighting the way for the rest of the party. Everyone manages to scale the slope effortlessly.
At the top is a path and Durden once again forges ahead creating a path of light as he goes until he reaches an T-junction. He hears voices coming from the left and the party gathers together and charges in.
In the chamber is a group of Goblins with Sildar bound up next to their leader and on the edge of a ten foot high escarpment. The leader attempts to negotiate with the party to get them to help him to take over the goblin troop but Sildar says they shouldn’t trust him. Zeist begins to fire and the battle is on. The goblin leader drops Sildar off the edge of the escarpment knocking him unconscious. The battle is long and draining. The party healer, Durden, is knocked unconscious. Eventually though the goblins are defeated.
Everyone at the end of this battle is feeling downtrodden. With two men stabilized but unconscious they are considering leaving the cave and heading back to town for help. They decide to take the other passage that is available to them and head down it carrying a light source as they went. They begin to hear the river again and come across a slippery looking bridge as they do.
At this point the party has decided that they just need to leave the cave to recuperate. Then one of them notices something moving on the other side of the bridge in the shadows. Graeber launches a spear across the river and strikes a goblin hiding on the other side. The party then makes their way across. There is still no way down and they have to forge forward some more through the tunnel on the other side.
The tunnel opens into a cavern half filled with two large pools of water. A narrow waterfall high in the eastern wall feeds the pool which drains out the western end of the chamber to form the stream that flows out of the cave mouth below. Low fieldstone walls serve as dams holding the water in. A wide exit stands to the south, while two smaller passages lead west. The sound of the waterfall echoes through the cavern, making it difficult to hear.
The party see the three goblins camped here with their backs to the men and decide that they will risk a fight. They decide to distract them with a light show on the far side of the cavern and when they are sufficiently entertained attack from the rear. The tactic works and they over power them. One of the goblins is interrogated and the party learns that the next cavern belongs to this group’s leader - Klarg. This small victory gives the party a boost of morale and they decide to camp to try and revive their comrades.
After an hour or so of resting they manage to get both of their men back on their feet. Durden uses his powers and the party is healed. Sildar is given a weapon and the party head into the final cavern - Klarg’s Cave.
Sacks and crates of looted provisions are piled up in the south end of this large cave. To the west, the floor slopes toward a narrow opening that descends into darkness. A larger opening leads north down a set of natural stone steps, the roar of falling water echoing from beyond. In the middle of the cavern, the coals of a large fire smoulder.
Durden starts the encounter by using pyrotechnics to create a massive burst of flame in the coals and summon his Moradin’s wrath. The smaller creatures in the cave cower in fear. The bugbear Klarg rushes forward though with his pet wolf. Sildar moves forward to fight him but is knocked unconsious with Klarg’s first blow. The battle is bloody and vicious. Klarg is obviously insane and fights as such. Eventually the party overpowers him and his minions leaving his corpse to rot.
They loot the place and find a treasure chest that contains 600cp, 110sp, two potions and a jade statuette of a frog with tiny golden orbs for eyes.
The characters head down the last slope to the tied up wolves. The Zeist casts sleep on them and they start to slumber. The party moves out of the cave with their loot, the rescued Sildar and the knowledge that Gundren Rockseeker has been handed over to the King Grol on behalf of the Black Spider. They trek back through the forest to their wagon and continue on to Phandalin.
The rutted track emerges from a wooded hillside, and you catch your first glimpse of Phandalin. The town consists of forty or fifty simple log buildings, some build on old fieldstone foundations. More old ruins - crumbling stone walls covered in ivy and brairs - surround the houses and shops, showing how this must have been a much larger town in centuries past. Most of the newer buildings are set on the sides of the cart track, which widens into muddy main street of sorts as it climbs toward a ruined manor house on a hillside at the east of town.
As you approach, you see children playing on the town green and townsfold tending to chores or running errands at the shops. Many people look up as you approach, but all return to their business as you go by.
Sildar seems much more at ease.
“My friends,” he says, “let us secure lodgings. I’m told the local inn is very quaint.”