Rise of the Dark Queen

Neverwinter has long been known as a place where adventures abound and where adventurers gather. Even the city’s ruler, Lord Nasher Alagondar, has encouraged such activity by incorporating an Adventurer’s Guild in his city. And it was too this guild that four young adventurers arrived.

Amos the Bard, Leal the Druid, Torgga Ironfist the Monk and Torian the Barbarian all arrived independently of each other, but all went to the guild to join and look for work. They were told that if they agreed to form an adventurer’s company together, work was available right away. After a brief discussion among themselves, they agreed.

It was then they were introduced to Gundren Rockseeker, a dwarven merchant from his apparence, and his human companion Sildar Hallwinter. Gundren and his two brothers apparently were starting up a business of some sort in the rebuilt town of Phandalin, about three days travel from Neverwinter, down the Triboard Trail. He and Sildar have immediate business there and must leave right away, but the dwarf has a wagon of supplies that must reach Phandalin, and wishes to hire the party to drive the wagon there and make sure it arrives in one piece. He offers them a generous pay, and the group quickly agrees.

The next morning, they take the wagon, teamed by a pair of donkeys, and makes their way down to the Triboar Trail. For the most part, the trip is pretty boring, punctuated by the occasional song or bit of music by Amos and his bagpipes. Just a short time traveling on the Triboar Trail, however, lead to a gruesome sight.

There on the road was the remains of a wagon and two horses, who had been shot by black shafted arrows. As they go to investigate, a small group of goblins attack! Thanks to the connection Leal has to the very forest around them, the goblins are taken out pretty quick, though, even the one that tried to escape.

A quick search of the area confirms that these are the horses Gundrin and Sildar rode on, and Torian finds tracks that indicates the goblins dragged the two north, further into the woods. Torian was able to follow the trail, though he somehow missed the two traps the goblins had set up on the way, and eventually the group found a cave with a small stream coming out of it. This must be the goblin’s hideout.

Before they could do much more, however, they were attacked by some goblins hiding in a thick bush by the entrance. They quickly took care of them, mostly through the use of Amos’ Vicious Mockery spell. They entered the cave but inside they found the goblins were not as easy to rid themselves of as the guards were.

The goblins had set up a trap where they dammed the stream at its source, and when they were attacked, they released the damn, causing the party to dive for cover. Leal and Torian, unfortunatily, didn’t make it and were pushed back out of the cave by the water. Leal healed the barbarian, who had taken quite a battering by this point, and the two re-entered the cave. The battle started to turn the way of the heroes when the goblins released a second damn and resulting flood of water. This time, Amos was the one pushed out, but he made it back in quick enough.

With their best weapon spent, the goblins were quickly defeated, and the party made their way around a bend to a fork in the cave. They decided to take the fork that lead back to where the fight just happened, in order to find out where a bridge over the stream lead. And what they found was a group of goblins in a barracks room, who were prepared for adventurers and ready for a fight.

So ready, in fact, that the leader of this group had Silder Hallwinter on his knees with the goblin’s blade at his throat.

This goblin, named Yeemik, offered the party a deal. He would give them this human and take himself and his fellow goblins in this room and leave, if they would kill Klarg, the Bugbear that ran this outpost, and bring him proof. The party thought about it for a second. They could probably easily take these goblins, but Sildar would definitely die before that would happen. They agreed to the terms, and went back to the fork. Taking a deep breath, the party charges into the room and attacked the Bugbear.

Klarg proved to be ready for the group as well, and he, his wolves and his bodyguard goblins put up quite the resistance. While Klarg made threats and talked about himself in the third person, he managed to do a significant amount of damage to Torian. Meanwhile, the rest of the party took out his bodyguards, and eventually the wolves. With a healing spell from Leal, Torian got back up in time to deliver the final blow to Klarg, ending the fight.

After taking a breather, they return to Yeemik. The goblin smiles at seeing Klarg’s head, and tosses the party a beaten and battered Sildar Hallwinter, then takes his remaining goblins and leaves.

Leal using another healing spell on Sildar , and the group decides to rest up in the cave before moving on to town. They ask Sildar where Gunder is, and get the following story.

Sildar tells the party that he is an agent of the Lord’s Alliance, who was on the way to Phandalin to find out what happened to another agent, Iarno Albrek, a human wizard who dissapared shortly after arriving in Phandalin. On his way there, Sildar ran into Gundren Rockseeker in Neverwinter, where he heard the dwarf’s story. Gundren and his two brothers, Tharden and Nundro, recently located the entrance ot the long-lost Wave Echo Cave, the site of the mines of the Phandelver’s Pact, the mines that made the people of Phandalin rich many years ago. Gundren had on his person a map showing the location of Wave Echo Cave, but the goblins took it from him when they were captured. Apparently, Klarg had orders to waylay Gundren. Sildar had heard the goblins talking about a Black Spider that wanted the dwarf brought to him. Sildar had no idea who or what the Black Spider was, but he suspects that he wants Wave Echo Cave. Klarg apparently sent Gundren, and presumibly the map, along to a place called Cragmaw Castle. He has never heard of it, though, and so has no idea where that is. He believes that someone in Phandalin might be able to aid the party in finding that.

Armed with this information, the party decides that getting to Phandalin as soon as possible is the best idea, but before they leave, they want to rest after their battle, in case there is any other trouble.

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