We were even shorter than our previous nerd-night-light session. The only souls in attendance were Ned, Nobo, Silverwind, and myself. We decided to rendezvous at Ned’s place. He hired out the food task and the four of us shared some Thai food. Some shared themselves more generously than others. Silverwind.
After some rather glowing online reviews, we decided to give the newest resurrection of D&D a try. I purchased the Starter Set and our three players chose up characters. Some chose more aggressively than others. Silverwind. We decided it would be a good idea to bring along the Dwarven Cleric so the team ran that persona collectively. But really Ned handled it. Ned also picked up the ranged fighter. Silverwind took Mr. Melee (another human fighter) and Nobo picked up the Halfling (Tiefling…blech…horrible name) Rogue.
Our group was hired to deliver some mining supplies for some greedy dwarves, cousins of the Dwarven Cleric, Groater.
Ambush!! On the caravan route to Phandalin (pronounced like Mandolin) some goblins had killed the mounts of Groater’s cousin and his body guard. Battle ensued and donuts followed. They were Safeway donuts and Seven is the appropriate number for four Sons of Iowe on a given nerd night.
These goblins were of a particularly fierce tribe known as the “Cragmaw Goblins” after their habit of crudely filing their teeth into jagged points. Bodies were piled and a few heads were skewered on pikes. After some discussion, the group stashed their oxen and cart of supplies and went in search of Groater’s cousin and his bodyguard.
Soon after, the group followed the path of the little flat-footed miscreants over hill and dale. There were two traps on the trail that the rogue narrowly avoided. Miles later, five miles later, the group came to a clearing against the base of a large hill. From the hill a clear swift water issued from a dark cavern. Cautiously the group approached from multiple directions. Some walked straight across the clearing, others took a stealthy and more circuitous route. There was a disagreement as to exactly how to approach. At the last minute, things got changed up and everyone fell into line. Silverwind.
Ambush again! Two goblins opened up on the group from some cover – but they were quickly dealt with. Inside the cavern, up some low stairs into the first chamber on the right, our group of humble heroes faced down some goblin pets – wolves. There were four wolves and one took its toll on the Rogue and savaged his leg badly, dragging him down and submersing him, though just for a moment, in the fast flowing waters. Finally, after a few vicious bite wounds, our group prevailed. Some healing was doled out by Groater and then up the cavern they went. The natural, rock cavern I mean.
They didn’t notice but a sneaky little goblin fellow saw the group from a footbridge above the party and ahead down the tunnel. That goblin gave the signal to another little sneak who opened the floodgates on a pool ahead and around the corner. A tidal wave of water swept through the party. The Rogue was flushed back to the entrance, and took some damage from smashing and tumbling his way down the hall – as did Groater. About this time, things started to go a bit south for the group. Some members went ahead into a large chamber and got ambushed again. Ned’s ranged fighter took max damage from a goblin hit and went down. Groater was down. Silverwind’s fighter was down. Only Nobo’s rogue stood standing. Goblins were everywhere.
Working carefully, the rogue managed to get all of his incapacitated friends back to the wolf chamber where he hid them under the wolf carcasses. Then he launched his own little insurgency against his foe. The goblins came looking and there were at least two epic moments where he released the goblin “torrent of water” trap on his foes. He also killed several with deadly sneak attacks from range, and even one goblin in melee – but there were too many in the end and eventually his three comrades were found and their unconscious bodies were defiled by the goblins and their Bugbear captain.
As they regained consciousness, their wounds stinging and their armor reeking with the stink of goblin urine. They were in the Bugbear’s main chamber. Several goblins had been dispatched to collect firewood for a big feast – humans and and a dwarf!
As our captives worked themselves free, the Rogue got a great sneak attack on the bugbear leader and nailed him in the back for 11 points! The leader and his wolf gave chase to the impish offender. Meanwhile, our heroes struggled desperately to free themselves. A great battle ensued. The fighters and cleric inch-wormed their way across the floor to their gear, freeing themselves and killing a couple of goblins in the process. Everyone was running everywhere and goblins were dying left and right.
The bugbear chief, King Klarg, ran down the rogue and the ranged fighter at the bridge. Working together, Ned and Nobo cut the bridge and Klarg and his wolf companion fell to their deaths on the rocky cavern floor below.
The group was heavily wounded, however. Groater had been washed out the doorway once more and lay unconscious at the mouth of the cave. The group gathered their fallen and retreated for some healing. Nobo’s rogue stood watch and got in another ranged execution on the first goblin to nose out the door.
In the morning – everyone was mostly well. In they charged and quickly cornered the remaining goblins – only one escaped. A lesser Cragmaw Chief by the name of Yeemik went running into the woods and disappeared.
Our humble band of heroes rescued Sildar Hallwinter, bodyguard of Groater’s cousin, Gundren. The group also found a haul of sacks and crates sealed with the mark of the blue lion, symbol of the Lionshield Coster, a merchant company with a trading post in Phandalin.
Sildar knows that the three Rockseeker brothers (Gundren, Tharden, and Nundro) recently located an entrance to the long lost Wave Echo Cave, site of the Phandelver’s Pact. He is sure that Gundren, and his map showing the secret location of Wave Echo Cave, was sent to the chief of the Cragmaws at a place called Cragmaw Castle. Klarg was ordered to capture Gundren by someone called “Black Spider.” Sildar thinks someone in Phandalin might know where Cragmaw Castle is. Sildar’s contact in Phandalin is a wizard named Iarno Albrek. The wizard travelled there two months back to establish order. Sildar hasn’t heard from Iarno since – and he was on his way to find out what’s going on. He’ll pay you all for your help in getting there – 50 gp to split however you like!
With a load of provisions, your mettle tested on the field of battle, Phandalin awaits!