Chronicles of Ascension

What has Reginald been up to?

Reginald had taken religious duties in the church until a priest was found and then became the judge for the region and acquired a war horse to get around. Whilst on his way to give a verdict in a small hamlet on the outskirts of the town Strahd supports ambushed Reginald which in the melee Cupcakes was killed. Cupcakes was taken back by Reginalds bravery in trying to save him, his spirit has bound to Reginald and is ready at his beck and call.

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Book I - Chapter Four
Old Owl Well

The group emerged from the manor just as dusk falls over the town. They make their way back to the Stonehill Inn. The Inn is quiet, very few townsfolk are present – a stark contrast to their first night here. Azor is sitting by the fire with Sister Garale who has tended to his wounds.

Sildar is standing by the stairwell with Keyan, noticing the group’s presence he walks over.

“Good evening my friends, what news do you bring?”

The group relay the events which occurred at the Manor

“Interesting, I can only express my disappointment, I must say I never knew Iarno well but there were many in the Alliance who held him in high regard. Equally disappointing is the fact that he escaped. I must ask that I take this letter from you, such an allegation will need proof and right now this is all we have. If your information is correct we will need the assistance of the Alliance in taking on the Cragmaws”

The group agree and Loristel hands over the letter, keeping the copy she made earlier.

“I am most grateful for this, I will send word immediately. Even those loyal to Iarno will have no choice but to act on this evidence.” Sildar places the letter in the satchel to his side. “It will take some time before any support arrives, I’d recommend you get some rest tonight. I believe the townmaster would like to speak with you before you go. He is upstairs with the prisoner.”

Sildar takes his leave and calls Keyan over to join him by the fire.

They reconvene and head upstairs. Harbin, The townmaster, greeting them as they approach the top.

“Greetings adventurers, I must first thank you for your actions and apologise for my own. I let fear cloud my judgement, putting yourselves and the entire town at risk. I do not seek your forgiveness, but I wish to express my gratitude. I have made arrangements with Toblen and he has agreed to let you stay here free of charge.”

“Before you take your rest I must ask a favor of you. You have already done so much but as it appears you will be staying with us for some time I would appreciate your assistance with another matter which has been plaguing our town.”

“You have no doubt seen the notice by the town hall. Orc raiders have been threatening trade along the Tribor trail near the ruined town of Conyberry. The Redbrands were a group of low life scum but at least they seemed to have a goal, these Orcs seem more intent on simply murdering innocent people as they pass through. People from the east have all but stopped traveling to our town in fear of being raided. A member of our community, Daran Edermath, was in that area recently and he believes he has located their camp. I’d recommend you seek him out come morning and find out what he knows, I know he had his own goals in the area that were not fulfilled and he may also require your assistance. You’ll be able to find him at his Orchard not far from here in the morning”

“We are truly grateful for your assistance, I cannot offer you much but I managed to secure 100 gold pieces. If you complete this task for our town I would gladly hand them over to you, along with my gratitude.”

The group waste little time discussing the issue, unanimously agreeing to complete the task come the morning. Harbin is greatful for their support, thanking the group. Before he leaves he turns to the group and asks them.

“What are we to do with the prisoner? We don’t really have the means to deal with him here, we don’t even have a jail let alone a court to trial him in. Given all you have done for us and my recent short comings I will leave his fate entirely up to you.”

The group discuss the issue amongst themselves. While Xanros believes they are best served simply killing the former Redbrand, the rest of the group decide that it would be better if he were able to somehow help the town. They Decide to let the prisoner go free and work off his debt to the town via community service.

Harbin nods in and agrees, deciding to take the ruffian on as his assistant. He then takes his leave and the group take to their rooms and rest for the night.

Morning breaks and the group arise, feeling well rested. Each member gradually makes their way downstairs and settle around a table at the Inn. After partaking in the meal for a shot while Sildar enters the room and walks over their table. Droop entering the door behind him.

“Good morning fellows, I hope your night was well, you certainly earned the rest.” “I sent out letters this morning asking for support from our allies. As I said last night, it will take some time before any support arrives but Harbin tells me he already has a task for you to perform in the meantime. While you’re gone I’ll be heading into the forest with Droop, hopefully his information is accurate and we’ll be able to scout out the location. I’ve left Keyan in charge while I’m gone, he’ll stay in town and help the townmaster with whatever he needs.”

Sildar takes his leave and exits the Inn. Droop follows, stopping only briefly before leaving and looking over to your table. He smiles, as best a goblin can, and gives a small wave. Loristel tosses him a piece of bread before he leaves. He seems thankful for the food, gives another jagged smile and then makes his exit.

After finishing their meals the group move on into the town, while everyone else heads straight for Daran’s Orchard, Loristel first heads to the Miner’s Exchange to seek out Halia. She presents her with the copy of the letter they found in the Manor and relays that they were unable to capture or kill Glasstaff. Halia is most disappointed, and gives only a fraction of the original reward. She does find the letter interesting however and requests that Loristel bring her any other information about the Redbrands and the Black Spider they might find.

The rest of the group arrive at the Orchard and walk up to the old wooden shack. The door opens as they approach and a tall silver haired elf welcomes them.

“Good morning, I expect Harbin sent you?” Hotknutz confirms this as Loristel catches up with the rest of the group.

“Well met then, my name is Daran, please come into my home” Daran opens the door and invites them in. The cottage is quite comfortable, the smell of a well cooked meal still lingers in the air. Maps and artifacts from all corners of Faerûn adorn the walls and shelfs of the small home. Signs of Darans obvious life of adventure. Daran and the group sit down by a small table.

“Thank you for coming, I know the townmaster is quite eager to get this whole mess sorted so I’ll get right down to it. There is a set of ruins known as Old Owl Well not far from Conyberry. They are the remains an old watchtower built by the ancient magical empire known as Netheril, and I fear that dangerous magic might be dormant there. More disturbingly, several prospectors have reported being chased from the area by undead. Given the trouble with the Redbrands I took it on myself to investigate these rumors. Unfortunately before I was able to reach the ruins I was attacked by a group of orcs. Thankfully they underestimated my abilities and despite a few injuries I was able to defeat one of the beasts. This seemed to be enough to deter the others and they ran off. The Orc I slayed had a crudely drawn map on his person.”

Daran gives the group a crudely drawn map.
OrcMap.jpg

“Unfortunately my injuries did not allow me to press on personally, I’m not quite the young man I was. I believe these Orcs are behind the recent attacks along the Triboar Trail but I don’t believe they are connected to the ruin itself. In fact their scribbly map suggests they are actively avoiding the area.”

“I hope the map helps you locate the Orcs, It looks like they have set up in the old Wyvern nest now known as Wyvern Tor. A group of adventures cleared the place out years ago but it seems a good location for bandits to set up camp. I’d only ask that you take the time to visit the ruin on your way and place the gem at the center of the ruin.”

“With one hand on the stone simply read the contents of this scroll. It will cast a ‘Dispel Magic’ spell over the area, using the gem to hold the spell in place, it’s not permanent and the gem itself is very sensitive so be sure to place it somewhere secure. Even the slightest shudder could interrupt the spell. Hopefully this will buy enough time for my allies in the Order of the Gauntlet to secure the area permanently. If you complete this task for me I will reward you as best I can. I’m retired these days so I’m short of gold but I have quite a few valuable items you may find interesting.”

The group agree to undertake this mission for Daran.

“I thank you for undertaking this task for me, I’ve already contacted the Order and I’m sure they’ll appreciate your help with this matter.”

Daran bids the adventurers farewell as they leave the cottage and set out back into town. They collect supplies and discuss their travel route before eventually setting out. Deciding to follow the crude map towards the tower first before taking care of the Orcs.

The journey takes roughly 3 days. Signs of bandits are obvious along the trail, and they spot a few abandoned carts stranded by the side. Picked clean of any valuables and definite signs of struggle surround them, some still even have stains of blood from their unfortunate owners. Recent rain has made any tracks difficult to follow, but Xanros is able to determine that they seem to all be heading east. The very direction they are heading.

Eventually they reach the hills. As they crest a low ridge, they spy the crumbling ruins of an old watchtower standing amid the rugged hills. The place is so old that the walls are only mounds of rubble. A darkness seems to hang over the ruin, as if the sun is not permitted to shine upon it anymore. The group take their time and approach the tower, spending little time examining the surroundings before heading straight into the tower. Gareth opens the door to the old tower, discovering a small group of Zombies inside. The group approach to assist and begin to tackle the approaching undead.

Things take a turn for the worse however as more fiends suddenly burst through the earth behind the group. Taking them by surprise and forcing a change in tactics. Gareth, Azor and Loristel do their best and take out the zombies inside the tower, attempting to clear them out. Hotknutz and Xanros do their best to fight back the zombies outside but their inventive tactics prove ineffective against the sheer number of foes they face. Eventually the group clear out the inside of the tower and fall back inside it, funneling the witless zombies through a bottleneck. Azor and Gareth hold the line but they are outnumbered. Hotnutz and Loristel decide they need to place the gem now, hoping it will help turn the battle in their favor. After an initial fumble, Hotknutz manages to encase the gem inside some hot wax he’d bought previously. Keeping it steady while Loristel casts the spell.

The spell is cast and a burst of pale blue energy radiates out from the gem. This causes many zombies to simply disintegrate, however many still remain and continue to advance towards the tower. The doorway now clear the group decide to take advantage of the opportunity and Gareth slams the doors closed.

The undead are however not so easily dispatched and continue their approach, banging on the door. Their lingering moans echo through the old tower. Realising that the zombies are now grouped together at the door, Hotknutz decides to simply drop the door on them! The group agrees and they remove the bolts from either side of the door, followed by a hefty kick from Gareth’s boot.

The door crashes down, crushing the zombies beneath it. All but one are completely destroyed by the fall, not that the survivor really fared much better. It lies, struggling under the weight of the door before Hotknutz walks over and finishes it off with an arrow to the face.

With the zombies defeated the group turn their attention back to the stone. It seems to have worked, glowing faintly and emitting an almost heavenly hum. They notice that the sun has now started to shine on the tower. The strange darkness that lingered here seems to have passed.

Happy withe their achievements they decide to take rest in the tower, confident that it is now safe. They clean their arms and armour, tend to their wounds and prepare to head into the hills the next day. The Orc camp still awaits…

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Book I - Chapter Three
Keeping up with the Redbrands

The Group awoke the next morning and began formulating their plans on how to best tackle the Redbrand problem. It was obvious they’d need to investigate the manor but a major discussion was had regarding their approach.

Amid this discussion Loristel returned from the forest and joined the group. She had spent the night preforming the necessary rituals for summoning a Pixie to her service. On her way back to the group she also came across Halia Thornton at the Phandalin Miner’s Exchange. She seemed to have a particular problem with the Redbrands and offered the party a generous reward for killing the Redbrand leader Glasstaff and returning any papers or correspondence they might find in the hideout. She also gave a few clues as to the movements of the Redbrands.

With this information the group came to the decision that attacking via the secret entrance through the woods around midday was the best course of action. The gathered their things and after a short rest and a good meal at the Inn they set out towards the manor.

Arriving at the edge of the woods beside the manor, Loristel first sent her Pixie to scout the area ahead. Finding the way clear they entered through a cave beneath the manor. This lead the group into a dark chasm, with dim light illuminating the area above. A foul stench filled the air, clearly emanating from what appeared to be the remains of several bodies. The bodies had been eaten and left to rot, a feast for some as yet unseen monster. The party found the walls of the chasm easily scaled and began their assent to the top.

Above the Chasm they found what was clearly the lower levels of the manor, dank and unkempt. Resembling more of a decaying tomb than a prestigious manor. As they investigated the remains of the old hall they all felt increasingly uneasy, hearing strange voices and finding their hearing becoming muffled, barely able to hear each other. Loristel honed her senses and detected magic emanating from the other side of the chasm. Azor decided to investigate, jumping across the chasm. On the other side he spotted a strange creature hiding behind a broken column. He called out to the group who readied themselves for action. Before they could identify the creature Hotknutz drew his bow and equipped one of his specially made arrows, firing it behind the column.

The arrow was tipped with an oil flask which he had slipped a piece of cloth into. Lighting the cloth before fired the arrow he had created a crude cocktail of fiery death. The flask cracked on impact with the floor and ignited in a ball of fire, gravely wounding the strange creature. Loristel was next to act, crossing the chasm and getting a good look at the creature. Using her vast knowledge she was able to identify the creature as a Nothic, a seldom seen creature who spoke with telepathy and was known to have a particular taste for rotting flesh. She let the rest of the party know what they were up against and the engagement continued. After Xanros failed to hit the Nothic with his bow, Azor ran close to the creature, attempting to grapple with it and throw it into the chasm. Unfortunately the Nothic proved too slippery for him and escaped his grasp. The beast reacted by blasting Azor with his necrotic gaze, searing his hardy draconic flesh and causing grave injury. Azor reacted by recomposing himself and delivering a shattering blow with his fists, outsmarting the creature with his martial skills and plowing his mighty fist straight through the beasts eye. The shattered husk of the Nothic slid off Azor’s fist and collapsed to the ground, the feeling of unease slipping away as it’s body splayed out across the floor.

The group regained their composure but Azor was badly injured, the fight taking a great toll on him. Feeling the need to press on the group continued on through the manor as Azor scaled back down into the chasm unable to continue on he returned to town, eager to rest his wounds.

Xanros scouted some nearby doors ahead. One room contained a group of thugs, heavily engaged in a dice game. The other room he was unable to see into clearly from the keyhole. Honing his instincts he decided to attach a mirror to the end of one of his arrows and slip it beneath the door. Scarcely a moment passed before he saw a large shadow cast over his mirror as a large foot came down and shattered it. The party turned startled, just in time to see Xanros slide swiftly to the side before the door was kicked clean off it’s hinges.

Three bugbears emerged from the room, ambushing the party, clearly they had heard the early conflict and were prepared for this attack. Two went to engage the group directly, Xanros luckily remaining hidden behind the broken door. The other Bugbear walked over to the other room, no doubt attempting to bring the other guards into the fight. Xanros noticed a goblin in the room from which the bugbears emerged. He seemed to have little interest in the fight, appearing to simply fall asleep as soon as the battle began. Xanros headed into the room to investigate.

The rest of the party engaged in a tough fight with the two bugbears as sounds of a scuffle could be heard from the other read, something clearly delaying the bugbear seeking assistance. Xanros had ventured into the room to investigate the strange goblin. His people skills clearly still lacking, Xanros woke the goblin and began threatening him with his dagger. The Goblin was unresponsive, cowering in a ball and retreating under the bed.

The party eventually emerged victorious, defeating one bugbear and leaving the other severely injured. In desperation the bugbear staggered as fast as it could towards the guard room, hoping for assistance. He barged into the room, and discovered the game table had been overturned and his bugbear companion was on the floor, being pummeled to death by the group of guards. Apparently he’d interrupted their fun and they didn’t take kindly to folks barging in and ruining their fun. The guards turned to the bugbear, just in time to see him disabled by an arrow to the knee from Hotnutz, smashed down by Gareth’s mighty warhammer and finally pieced through the chest by sharp shards of ice from Loristel’s powerful magic.

As they watched the creature collapse to the ground, Hotnutz emerged with his bow drawn on them. He shouted for surrender. Silence fell as the guards looked at each other for a moment before raising their arms to the air and surrendering.

Unfortunately they had very little information to share but they did give up the location of Glasstaff, his quaters apparently just the next room over. Clearly only loyal to the coin the group decided the bandits were harmless and let them go.

Meanwhile in the other room, Loristel applied a lighter touch and encouraged the Goblin out from hiding. His information proved much more beneficial. He revealed that he was working for the Cragmaws and was acting as a guide for the bugbears who were overseeing operations in the manor. He called himself ‘Droop’ and swore no allegiance to the Cragmaws, feeling more of a servant than a colleague. He seemed more than happy to help the party and promised to escort them to Cragmaw Castle, where he confirmed Gundren Rockseeker was being held captive.

The information gathered, they sent Droop to wait in the nearby woods, fearing he might be attacked if he went to town on his own. They party then went on to pursue Glasstaff. Unfortunately it appears all the comotion had given the wizard enough time to flee the Manor through a secret escape route, an empty bottle suggesting he’d scoffed a potion of invisibility before he fled. This made the chances of finding him highly unlikely and the party believed it best to investigate his quarters rather than fruitlessly persuing him.

Luckily in his haste he left behind a crucial document. It was a letter which read:

Lord Albrek,

My spies in Neverwinter tell me that strangers are due to arrive in Phandalin. They could be working for the Dwarves. Capture them if you can, kill them if you must, but don’t allow them to upset our plans. See that any dwarven maps in their possession are delivered to me with hast. I’m counting on you, Iarno. Don’t disappoint me.

The note had been stamped with the symbol of a black spider. Calling card of the nefarious Black Spider who seemed to playing a big game, somehow motivated by the Rockseekers’ latest discovery. It’s identity however still remained a mystery.

More importantly this lead to the revelation that the Glasstaff was actually Iarno Albrek, the Lords Alliance contact that Sildar had been sent here to make contact with.

This information and their new companion in tow, the group set out back into town to meet back up with Azor and break the bad news to Sildar.

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Book I - Chapter Two
Welcome to Phandalin

The group rolled into town late at night after with Sildar and proceeded towards various goals around town. Sildar, Gareth and Keyan went to the Stonehill Inn to re-cooperate while Loristel and Xanros pursued a few of their own goals in the town.

In the Inn Sildar met up with the proprietor Toblen Stonehill and rented rooms for his companions, thanking them once again for his rescue. Keyan and Gareth decided to settle in with the town folk for a while before taking to their rooms. Sildar decided not to join them, preferring to sit on his own and gather his thoughts.

Meanwhile Loristel visited the home of Sister Garaele. Hoping she might some information and offer guidance regarding her visions. Her famous social skills in full swing, Loristel didn’t make the best impression with the sister, who informed her such questions were better left until the morning. She departed and met up with Xanros who was on his way to meet up with his aunt at the Alderleaf farm. After a gracious greeting, Xanros gifted his aunt some money, she accepted begrudgingly and offered the pair a warm bed for the night. They agreed, although Loristel would spend the night in the barn, unable to fit in the small halfling beds.

Azor and Hotknutz arrived in town a few hours after the others, heading straight for the Inn to begin their search for information. After finding the local prices surprisingly cheap, Azor spread the wealth and purchased a few gallons of Ale for the tavern patrons. This was met with applause and much joy was had. Too much unfortunately for poor Gareth who’s famous Dwarven constitution failed him that night, he would scarcely remember anything the following morning. While their the pair met with Sildar and they discovered their common goals; the search for Iarno. He advised them to meet with him in the morning at the Townmaster’s Hall where he was to begin his search. The pair agreed and to spend the night at the Inn, enjoying the comfortate and entertaining the townsfolk, particularly the solemn music from Azor’s dulcimer.

The following morning Sildar, Keyan, Hotknutz and Azor set out for the Townmaster’s Hall to speak with the Mayor. Gareth elected to stay behind and spend the day in his room atoning for his excesses the previous night.

Loristel and Xanros departed the farm in the morning after a rather enjoyable halfling breakfast. They set out to Barthen’s Provisions to deliver the wagon they had been escorting and receive their compensation. Sildar had also aquired a loan earlier that morning and left their share of his reward for his rescue there. While there they learned of a group of thugs known as the Redbrands who have been terrorising the town.

Similar information was being gathered by the rest of the group at the Townmasters Hall. They learnt the the gang was led by a wizard known as Glasstaff. and had shown up out of the blue a few months ago. Little is known about their goals other than basically making life hard for the townsfolk. Although the Mayor seemed reluctant to do anything about the problem, preferring to just stay out of their way and urging the adventurers to not get involved.

After collecting their earnings, Loristel and Xanros went back to pay the Sister a visit, the hour more forgiving. Unfortunately she had little information regarding Loristel’s visions but believed she might be able to point her in the right direction. A member of The Harpers the sister had recently been sent into the woods to investigate a banshee named Agatha, who is believed to have great knowledge of the area. The Sister was meant to ask about the location of an ancient spell book belonging to a legendary mage known as Bowgentle. Unfortunately the banshee was quite temperamental, after appearing she promptly disappeared when the Sister was less than patient with her. She was unable to coax Agatha into appearing again. Sister Garaele believes that the banshee would definitely know the location of the shrine from Loristel’s visions and gave her directions to the Banshee’s lair near the ruined town of Conyberry.

After their meeting at the Shrine the pair noticed Azor and Hotknutz leaving the townmasters hall. Keyan having stayed behind to help Sildar with his investigations. The two groups approached each other, Azor and Hotknutz having heard about the other two from Sildar and Keyan. They exchanged pleasantries and discovered their similar goals, they also all took notice of a warning on the noticeboard near the hall, telling of Orc bandit raids in the area. They agreed this was probably worth investigating if they had the time, especially Xanros who decided that burning the notice was a good idea, preventing someone else from getting to any potential rewards first. This was quickly snuffed out by Loristel’s magic thankfully before anyone from around the town could notice. However before they could even raise their eyebrows at the strange behaviour exhibited by the little hafling, a cry came out from across the common.

“Hey! What’s with these fellas ’ere ’den”

four rough looking humans approached them wearing tattered red cloaks. Not wasting any time with deception the aggressors introduced themselves as members of the Redbrands. Attempts at negotiating seemed pointless, even with Hotknutz’s special brand of silver-tongued cockney swarve. Frustrated, and most likely bored, Xanros decided to approach the leader of the bandits directly, motioning him down to whisper something in his ear. The rest of the party found this quite odd and suspicious but they couldn’t make out what he was saying.

Whatever it was, it failed miserably and the bandit leader let out a boistorous laugh before pushing Xanros flat on his back. At this point the adventurers readied themselves, conflict it seems was inevitable at this point. Azor was swift and quickly approached the group, hissing violently he blasted the bandits with his powerful dragon breath. One of them attempted to fight back, swinging his sword violently at Azor but with very little effect, barley breaking through his scales.

Xanros reacted next, still slightly dazed he managed to gain his composure before grabbing a piton from his pouch and smashing into the foot of the bandit who kicked him down. The bandit screamed out in pain, his foot now firmly planted in the ground, unable to move.

Loristel saw the wounded state of the lowly bandits and took advantage. She stands back and delivers a cone of searing flame from her fingertips, expertly dodging her companions and delivering the killing blow to all but the now immobilised bandit leader.

Hotknutz called out the the bandit leader, urging him to surrender but he was too stubborn and angry to simply lay down his arms, scoffing at their mercy. Hotknutz would have none of this however and decided instead to deliver a swift blow to the bandit’s head with the hilt of his sword. Injured and barely able to react the bandit could not defend against this and was promptly knocked unconscious.

The town cheered, revealing in the display of heroism. The Mayor however, was not so pleased. He refused to allow the group to bring the captured bandit into his hall, fearing viscous reprisal from the rest of the Redbrands if they found out. His obvious cowardice did not impress the adventurers or Sildar. Unable to convince the man they decided to instead take the prisoner to Xanros’ family farm and interrogate him there. Sildar and Keyan stayed with the Mayor, attempting to calm him down.

Xanros was first off the block in the interrogation, but the halfing still thinks he’s bigger than he is and his attempt fails horribly. Thankfully the smooth talking of Hotknutz is able to loosen the Bandit’s tongue. Clearly only loyal to the coin, the bandit lets them know just about everything he can. It turns out the bandits are hold up under the abandoned manor to the east of town. He also confirms what they already know about the group being lead by a Wizard named Glasstaff, unfortunately he knows little more about him other than his name and profession. He also mentions that the Black Spider is tangled up with his group as well, again he has no idea of this figure’s identity but he knows that Glasstaff has been receiving orders from them.

Deciding this is worth investigating the group question the bandit about strategic information regarding the hideout. He obliges but knows little other than a secret entrance and word of ‘extra muscle’ being sent by The Black Spider to assist an upcoming operation. Satisfied with the information they’ve received the group, despite Xanros’ objections, decide to keep the bandit alive and send him to the Inn where Sildar and Keyan can keep watch over him while they investigate further.

Sildar is troubled by all the news and fears Iarno may be tied up in all this somehow, insisting that the group investigate. They agree and decide to head out the next morning and tackle the issue.

Before this however Loristel decides to question a few more people in town and see what else she can find out. Very little is known unfortunately but she does meet an elderly lady named Halia who owns the Miner’s Exchange. Halia doesn’t impart much knowledge but does offer a substantial reward for any documents they find in Glasstaffs quarters. She also seems interested in having the wizard killed. Loristel is interested by the offer and takes it under consideration but does not confirm this with Halia. She first discusses it with the group who seem to agree that there seems to be little harm in the arrangement.

The rest of the group all retreat back to the Inn and rest their wounds. Gareth, now recovered, agrees to meet them in the morning and assist with the bandit problem. Hotknutz and Loristel visit the trading post and gather a few supplies to prepare themselves for a possible fight ahead. While Hotknutz returns to the Inn with the other Loristel declines and takes a bag of strange components into the woods. She promises to return in the morning.

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Book I - Chapter One
Goblin Arrows

While travelling along the Triboar trail the adventurers spotted two dead horses sprawled in the middle of the road, blocking their path, obviously the victims of a vicious ambush. Upon investigation they discovered the horses belonged to Gundren Rockseeker and his travelling companion Sildar Hallwinter. Before they could react to the information the group came under attack from a small group of goblins. After a hard fight they emerged victorious and decided that hiding the wagon and following the goblin’s trail was the best course of action.

At the end of the trail they discovered the goblin’s hideout in a small cave by a stream. The adventurers fought their way through the hideout and defeated their leader Klarg and rescued Sildar Hallwinter.

Greatful for the rescue, Sildar informed the group that the tribe was part of a group known as the Cragmaws who had orders to plunder any poorly defended wagon or caravan that come past on the Triboar Trail. Klarg had apparently also been given special orders to waylay Sildar and Gundren by a person known only as the Black Spider, instructing that Gundren was to be brought specifically to him.

Sildar unfortunately didn’t know who or what the Black Spider is. He was also able to share more information on Gundren’s intentions in the area, telling that he had a map showing the secret location of a place known as the Wave Echo Cave, but the goblins took it when they captured him.

Sildar believes that Klarg sent the map and the dwarf to the chief of the Cragmaws at a place called Cragmaw Castle. Sildar doesn’t know where that might be, but he suggests someone in the nearby town of Phandalin might know. To repay the adventurers for their courage he agreed to pay the group 50gp to escort him back to town where he might find more answers and get in touch with his contact from the lords alliance.

His contact is a wizard known as Iarno Albrek who traveled to the town two months ago to establish order there but there had been no word from since.

The group also discovered a hoard of stolen goods marked with the image of a blue lion. Sildar recognised this as the symbol of the Lionshield Coster, a merchant company with a warehouse and trading post in Phandalin.

The group agreed to take the supplies and Sildar into town in the hopes of finding out more information and perusing some of their own goals while in town.

Meanwhile, not far behind, Azor and Hotnutz were also nearing the town of Phandalin and looked to arrive about a day behind the rest of the adventurers. Their paths seemingly destined to meet up in the town.

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Book I - Preface
The Call to Adventure

We begin in the great city of Baldur’s Gate. Leosin Erlanthar, A Monk working for The Harpers. Is currently investigating the notorious Cult of the Dragon. Hearing rumours of Cult activity far north in the ruined town of Thundertree he enlisted the aid of another Monk named Azor Achkoral, a Dragonborn who owed Leosin a great debt. He asked Azor to seek out Iarno Albrek, a member of The Lords Alliance stationed in Phalandin just a few miles south of Thundertree. Once there he should liaise with Iarno and find out whatever he can about Cult activities there, staying as long as necessary and reporting anything he can back to Leosin. This mission would also relieve Azor of his debt to and leave him free to pursue whatever path he sought once the job was done.

While seeking passage on a boat to Neverwinter Azor and Leosin came across a strange dock worker named Hotknutz. After hearing of their mission he managed to convince his captain to let this strange Dragonborn on board. In exchange he asked only to accompany Azor on his quest, as a native of the now ruined Thundertree he had his own goals there. Leosin and Azor said their goodbyes, uncertain if they would ever meet again. They then set out on the trading vessel, bound for Neverwinter.

Meanwhile far North in the city of Neverwinter, a dwarf of the Lords Alliance named Gundren Rockseeker put out a call for aid. He sought assistance in bringing a wagon load of provisions to the rough-and-tumble settlement of Phandalin, a couple of days’ travel southeast of the city.

Four young adventurers answered the call. A Human Noble named Keyan Harcast, drawn by the promise of gaining favour with the Lords Alliance and the chance to prove himself worthy of his name. The Dwarven Cleric Gareth Gobblecoque, former mercenary and cousin to Gundren. A quiet elf Wizard named Loristel Amdir, drawn to the town of Phandalin by visions of from her deity Oghma. Finally the Halfling Rogue Xanros Mongothbeard, a native of Phandalin seeking coin and personal reward.

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 the adventurers well for escorting his supplies safely to Barthen’s Provisions a trading post in Phandalin.

He then set out ahead on horse, along with his escort Sildar Haliwinter, another member of The Lords Alliance with his own goals in town. The adventurers gathered their supplies and set out the next day towards Phandalin.

Shortly after their departure Azor and Hotnutz arrive at the Docks. They gain passage with a trader who agrees to let them travel with him for a small fee. They climb into his old fruit cart and begin the next phase of their journey. First stop Phandalin, then onto Thundertree.

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