We picked up where we left off two weeks previous. Our tired and bloodied heroes stood amid the bodes and rubble of Cragmaw Castle. Sadly, Goater’s cousin Gundren bled the last of his life out onto the floor despite desperate attempts to save him. While Goater wrestled with the inevitable – others began looting.
We had failed to fully account for all the experience points gained in the cleansing of Cragmaw Castle in the week previous. That tab was calculated over dinner, which Arcturas brought. It was a delicious blend of spiced crock potted meat and rice…and assorted other delicacies. Well fed and over our repast, plans were laid for the road ahead. First up – kill the tentacle thing that attacked Dickie. But before that could happen, a band of returning Hobgoblins approached the castle. Our team laid an ambush – and hacked them down. Donuts! Then the tentacled thing…was dealt with… and the group debated where to go next. There was indecision all around. In the end, our heroes decided to journey to Neverwinter and seek a raising of dear departed Gundren.
After two days overland, and some challenging negotiations with the local clergy of Oghma, Gundren lives again. The price: everything of value owned by the PC’s and a 10th share of the treasure discovered by Gundren and his brothers.
Heading south again, this time on the way to Phandalin, our heroes were waylaid by a hunting owlbear! The beast got on their trail and ambushed their camp in the deep dark of night. Scrudley took a few light scratches, but the team brought steel and spells to bear and the beast died in less than a round.
After a quick stop in Phandalin to make sure all was still well – and to check on Qelline’s hay loft – they set off to resolve the issue with the angry haunt known as Agatha. Gundren protested and spoke of fears for his brothers and wanted nothing else really but to go to the Mines of Phandelver. Quellin was the party’s spokesperson with Agatha and handed over the silver comb. Agatha was appeased enough to ask a favor, one question. Quellin asked about Bowgentle’s spellbook, as requested by Sister Garaele. Turns out that Agatha traded the book to a necromancer named Tsaernoth from Irieabor more than a century ago.
And with that – the spirit was gone. Where to go next? Some discussion ensued – Gundren lobbied hard for The Mines – but the team was very close, almost within sight of the Old Owl Well – and there was rumor of a wizard there up to no good…and it was sort of on the way toward The Mines and back toward Phandalin.
The wizard was one Hamun Kost, a necromancer and Red Wizard. His naked skull and forehead tattoo revealed his school of magic and his origins from far Thay. He held his zombie entourage at bay while he and our group had some discussions and shared a few pleasantries (some drank from the well and replenished their water skins). There were a few hands on hilts and readied actions – but all parted peaceably in the end.
Off to The Mines via Phandalin, a brief chat with Sister Garaele and receipt of her ample rewards! … Three potions of healing.
To The Mines! Our team journeyed the fifteen miles east and into the mountains. With Gundren leading the way. Overflowing with excitement, he revealed the ancient mountain wall that once bore graven figures and a grand entrance into Phandalin. Now, the entrance is all but lost in fallen ruin. Gundren brought the group to a secret side entrance and with torches and lanterns, they proceeded into darkness…
Several players were dozing at this point. The darkness, the good food, a lack of coffee… it was a good and natural place to stop for the evening.
Next time – Into The MINES!