A small party of adventurers were travelling from Neverwinter to Phandalin with a wagon of supplies on behalf of Gundren Rockseeker, a dwarf who hired the party with the offer of 50 gp each when they arrived. Gundren had travelled on ahead with his companion Sildar Hallwinter and had been very secretive about his true intentions, only promising that he had found “something big”.
The party travelled an eventless journey down The High Road, though shortly after they turned onto the Triboar Trail towards Phandalin, they turned a bend to find two dead horses sprawled ahead, blocking the path. Adrik went ahead to investigate the wreckage, noting they were the horses of their employers, Gundren and Sildar. Before further investigation could take place he was surprised to see two goblins sprinting down the embankment on his left, with a third loading a shortbow up on the hill.
They may have been surprised, but the group dispatched of the goblins easily; Adrik held the front line while Elron rained down accurately placed arrows, and Orfeas, still seated upon the wagon, unleashed his magical abilities.
One of the goblins had been knocked unconscious and lay across Adrik’s shoulder as the group decided how to continue. The goblin stirred, wiggled free and fled the group. All attempts to subdue him failed, he dexterously squeezed between the closing grasp of Elron and didn’t pause for long as Orfeas made a stumbling attempt to intimidate his foe. Eventually the arrow of Elron was needed to permanently strike down the goblin, but along with him went any valuable information the goblin may have held.
The party desired to find out what was going on and checked out the area that the goblin had tried to flee towards, discovering a lightly trodden path into the woods. Orfeas cast a light illusion over the wagon to help conceal it away from the road and the group trod single file down the path. Traps were spotted, disabled and avoided, allowing the group easy passage to a cave that opened in the side of a hillside. As they proceeded towards the cave mouth two more goblins were defeated, the second hastily tied down and interrogated for secrets.
The goblin’s tongue was loose and the party discovered that a fierce bugbear called Klarg was in control of the cave and had been instructed by his master, King Grol, to ambush traffic on the Triboar Trail in order to capture Gundren and his companions. Gundren had been captured and sent off to Cragmaw Castle earlier in the day, while Sildar was being held prisoner in the caves the party stood outside.
After a short rest they made their way inside the hideout, choosing to proceed up a short staircase and past two rabid wolves, who were loosely chained in the small dank chamber. The party was reckless and their presence aggravated the wolves; leaving them surprised when the wolves broke free of their chains and went for the throat of Elron. Only his quick feet saved his skin as the party recovered and put the animals to rest.
The dank chamber lead to a pile of rubble and rubbish that had been discarded through a narrow fissure 30 feet above in the ceiling. The party went quiet and decided to climb through the fissure, discovering they had found the back entrance to Klarg’s personal cave. Klarg sat dosily near a roaring campfire, his loyal wolf napping by his side. Two of his personal guard, ordinary goblins, stood across from him. The party could not make out the full conversation but were able to make out Gundren’s name, it appeared to be a status report of some sort.
Elron loaded a strong arrow into his bow while Orfeas and Adrik concealed themselves behind a large boulder. The shot was strong and straight, striking Klarg high in the left arm, alarming the room to the adventurer’s presence. The wolf snapped into consciousness and the pair of goblins rushed Elron, striking him down with two crucial blows. Klarg, believing a foolish assassin had been easily crippled, ripped the arrow from his arm and burst into laughter, his wolf prowling for scraps.
Adrik and Orfeas felt a little foolish as they stood behind their boulder, with their plans laid waste by the quick actions of their foes. They eventually entered the action with a barrage of magic missiles. Adrik the cleric summoned his magical skills and touched the leg of Elron, breathing new life into the fighter.
The goblins looked on at Adrik in a perplexing way, then swung down their scimitars to bring the cleric to the floor, deep into the clutches of death. Elron had been healed enough to recover and managed to dodge enough blows to take down one of the goblins while Orfeas took down Klarg’s prize wolf. The tides of the battle had turned and the once overconfident Klarg mourned the loss of his friend. He fled the battle, running towards the fissure from which the adventurers had come; Orfeas stood in his path but was shoulder barged to the floor. As Klarg descended the narrow fissure, Elron drew another arrow and cannoned it down the shaft into Klarg’s back. He fell twenty feet, crumbling into a broken heap on the ground.
The final goblin stood in a frozen stupor. A few moments ago he was filled with the adrenline of the battle, covered in the blood of two of his foes, now his feet turned to jelly as the tall stature of the fighter Adrik stood over him.
The goblin bargained for his life, divulging where Sildar was being held and how many of his kind were with him. He repeated that Gundren had been taken to King Grol in Cragmaw Castle, along with a very important map. The Black Spider had requested the Cragmaw’s to capture Gundren, but he didn’t know why. He gave basic directions to Cragmaw castle, which lay 20 miles northeast of the hideout, hidden in the Neverwinter woods.
The party rested for several hours while Adrik recovered himself, taking inventory of the contents of Klarg’s personal space. Within they found several crates bearing the marks of the Lionshield Coster, which had clearly been stolen recently and may offer a ransom if returned.
Fit and ready, they then proceeded through the remaining part of the dungeon. More goblin blood was spilled, with little of it offering much resistance to the group. The final room of the cave, the goblin den, held Sildar Hallwinter and further soon-to-be-slain goblins.
The keen targeting of Orfeas ensured that Sildar was rescued alive. He was extremely grateful to the group and introduced himself as an agent of the Lord’s Alliance, a group of allied political powers concerned with mutual security and prosperity. He had been heading to Phandalin to investigate the fate of Iarno Albrek, a human wizard and fellow member of the Lord’s Alliance who had recently disappeared. He offered the group 50 gp if they escort him to the settlement. He told the group that Gundren had recently located an entrance to the long-lost Wave Echo Cave, site of the mines of Phandelver’s Pact. A map to the cave had been taken with Gundren to Cragmaw Castle.
What will the party do next?
- Gundren’s wagon sits idly by the Tribar Trail and could potentially still be worth money to the group.
- Sildar would like to be escorted to Phandalin so that he recover and can buy new supplies.
- Gundren has been taken to Cragmaw castle, 20 miles to the north-east, along with a map that details the location of Wave Echo Cave.