Lost Mines and After

I Don't Hate This...

Rumors in Review

Toblin Stonehill – proprietor of the Stonehill Inn. Toblin welcomed the party and gave them food and drink. Shared rumors of the town, the plight of the goblin raids on the trade roads and warned the party of the dangerous Redbrand gang here. The Redbrands claim to be mercenaries but behave more like brutish thugs that prey on the people of Phandalin. Trilena, Toblin’s wife, told the party that the Redbrands had murdered Thel Dendar, a wood carver, once stood up to the Redbrands. Thel’s wife and kids are now missing and the townsfolk fear the worst.

Elmer Barthen – Barthen’s Provisions. Paid each of the players 10 gp. on delivery of the goods. Shared with the party that Gundren had not made it to the town, but expected him. Also mentioned that Gundren’s two brothers, name and name, had not been to town in the last ten-day but he expected them to come in and pick up provisions any day now. Was very troubled about the news that Gundren had been kidnapped by goblins and urged the party to do something about it.

LaneneLionshield Coster. Party had heard of her good reputation. Sells weapons and armor for the Lionshield Merchant Consortium. When Gif’s presence was made clear, she asked the party to leave, stating that she didn’t, “sell to bandits, brigands, goblins, or Redbrands.” Lanene is not a fan of the party for 3 reasons. 1. They have a goblin companion, 2. Grimaldi attempted to kill the goblin in her shop while the party was attempting to make excuses about Gif, and 3. Otadek the Friendly failed to intimidate her into selling the party goods to disguise Gif and forcefully took the goods while leaving gold behind.

Redbrands Bandit group or mercenary company. Rumors state that they have goblin servants, though no one can claim to have seen one. No one knows why they are in Phandalin other than to terrorize the populace because they can.

Meeting the Mayor

After dropping 3 Redbrands outside of the Sleeping Giant Taphouse and capturing a fourth by the name of Gerrolf. The party decided to turn them over to the Mayor. Mayor Harbin Wester was found to be a portly and from descriptions the party was given, “a pompous old fool.” Harbin seemed to be completely intimidated by the fact that armed strangers had come into town and roughed up some members of the Redbrands, the group he claimed to be a mercenary company. Harbin spent most of his time trying to inflate his image and importance to the party while trying to diminish the cruelties (and the reported murder) that had been committed by the Redbrands. The party left the unconscious Redbrands and Gerrolf with Harbin to do with as he would, retiring for the evening.

The night passed uneventfully with the exception that Otadek and Oskar woke up to a room full of chicken feathers and chicken parts. Gif proudly sat on the floor picking at a wing remnant while holding the food up to Oskar and proclaimed, “Duck!” The party inquired with Toblin if they were missing any chickens and Toblin said that he was not so where the chickens came from is still a mystery and has shown that Gif has yet to be fully rehabilitated to ‘civilized’ lift.

The party decided to return to the Townsmaster and question the Redbrands that they had dropped off the day before. Unfortunately, the party found out that Harbin had released the Redbrands, fining each of them 5 gp. for disorderly conduct and even though the party knew that the Redbrands could not pay that fine at the moment of their incarceration (they had counted 11 gp. total amongst the brigands once the party had subdued them) Harbin explained that the Redbrands, as a group, would certainly pay because they wished to have a favorable working relationship with Phandalin. This did nothing to move the party at all, and Harbin continued playing the dullard or at least the pawn in the contention between the town’s populace and the Redbrands.

2nd Encounter with the Redbrands

Upon exiting the Townsmaster’s Hall, the party met Cyril and 3 new Redbrands making their way to the party. They had learned that Cyril was a captain of sorts within the mercenary band and it became apparent that Cyril was interested in retribution for the party’s previous transgressions against them. Combat ensued, Cyril and another Redbrand were stabilized while 2 others died of their wounds. Feeling that nothing would come of turning the Redbrands into the Mayor the party decided to leave the wounded brigands on the side of the road.

While the party was trying to figure out what to do with the wounded brigands and the dead bodies, a young halfling boy by the name of Carp attempted to speak to the party a second time. The first time was after the party had subdued the Redbrands outside of the Sleeping Giant Taphouse. He had asked them then if the party claimed to be heroes and so shouted their praise when they had defeated the Redbrands a second time. Carp claimed to have seen the Redbrands exit a small ravine when he was playing in the woods on the outskirts of town. They skulked about like they were being sneaky, Carp thought, but assured the party that the Redbrands had not seen Carp. Offering the child a shiny silver piece from Grimaldi, Carp took the bait and led the party to where he claimed his mother had told him not to play. The ravine led into a hillside on the south side of Tresendar Manor, a ruined old complex that echoed the past worth of Phandalin.

Redbrand Hideout

Otadek and Grimaldi entered into the small tunnel or passageway into the hillside while the rest of the party waited outside. The tunnel continued on for about 100 ft. and then opened into a natural cavern that was cut in half by a natural ravine that cut through the floor of the cavern. The bottom of the ravine was about 20 ft. below the cavern surface and was littered with many bones and pieces of what the the two trailblazers could only guess had once been clothing. A body, broken and shredded was also seen discarded in the craggy bottom of the ravine.

There were two bridges that had been crafted to give anyone access from one side to the other. The room was lit only by the faint light of wall sconces from various hallways and rooms that connected to this main cavern area. Otadek moved to check for traps on the bridge while Grimaldi scouted around the eastern outskirts of the cavern. It was here that Otadek caught a glimpse of a monstrous creature using a natural column to hide itself as it spied on the two party members. The creature was bipedal and roughly human size though its skin was broken with many sharp and nasty looking protrusions. A single eye filled half of the space on its head while the other half was taken by a large mouth full of sharp and nasty teeth. It watched the two as they went about their business until Otadek took action and hurled a dagger at it from his crouched stance over the bridge.

The dagger sunk deep within the creatures shoulder and a blood curdling scream of pain and rage could be heard in all of the party members heads. The scream was not vocal, but more telepathic in nature. A black and purple beam of darkness flew out from behind the column and struck Otadek’s body, causing his body to go into a spasm while his limbs and his body was rocked with rigor mortis. Otadek’s body fell, unconscious, onto the bridge, signaling initiative.

The party’s response was quick. The creature, a nothic, took several wounds before cowering against the cavern walls. Grimaldi directed it to go across the northern bridge and wait until the party managed to discuss what to do with it. It complied, walking back towards the bridge and then attempted to dart down the northwestern passage out of sight of the party members. Fortunately Jhereg was watching for this type of behavior and countered the creatures escape with a Thorn Whip that broke the creatures wounded body and pulled it into the ravine where it expired.

Before trying to escape, the creature had stated telepathically that the Redbrand’s leader, a wizard by the name of Glasstaff had made an agreement to feed it in return for keeping watch over the ravine and the rear exit. It claimed that there were prisoners, a woman and 2 children, who had been brought here but that Glasstaff had not given them to him. Much of this information was broken with cries and whines of its hunger and pleading for food or deep fits of laughter which may have given the party the creature’s mental state.

A Lesson In Diplomacy

Ok, so I feel it is important that we may need to set a tone for the nature of the campaign as we begin to get our feet under it. A social contract of sorts needs to be agreed upon that allows everyone to play together without setting each other at sorts with one another. I’ve been keeping the game light because much of this is getting used to FG and with the basics of 5th edition but this group has many strong personalities and character backgrounds to consider so if we are all going to play together and not have it devolve into a inter party back-stab fest we might want to review some things.

For brevity (not my strong suit) I’ll just point out some situations that might have created more inter party conflict than may have been intended and may affect how other players may want to continue.

  1. Gif: We’ve gone a little off the books on this, but that is fine. I think that Gif helps bring some strange comic relief to the game and he hasn’t done anything egregious to the party as yet to warrant a cold blooded killing. Now Grimaldi is a folk hero and a person who strives to free people from oppression (as shared in last nights FG session), so for him to outright try and surprise attack Gif (in a place of business and who was following the party lead) is, at the very least, unscrupulous and bordering on psychotic. The second near attempt to strike at Gif once Oskar had healed him would have been a straight and evil act. No chaotic neutral, just pure evil.

I like the potential discord Gif has brought to the party, I like that there are some disagreements as to Gif’s placement and whether or not he should continue traveling with the group, but you guys need to come up with a way to work around sundering the party just to get one person’s way. As strongly as you might feel a character’s personality might be, we have an entire party of strong personalities that you are not considering when you start making party sensitive decisions.

Just something to consider…

  1. Lionshield Coster – Bravo for pissing off the one upstanding proprietor who has chosen to stand up against the terrorizing of the Redbrands while trying to show her that the party is there to help the town… How do you do this? By trying to intimidate her… (sorry, Otadek, but you rolled a 3 on your Intimidation, wasn’t happening). So Otadek might want to consider if whether or not the party the he is traveling with will support his strong arm ways and back him up if these ways end up back firing on him. Otadek is not in his usual environment, he doesn’t have a pool of similarly groomed people to draw from, he doesn’t know the party members and how they are aligned (not just alignment but what their philosophy and means of carrying out their business is), and he is probably cranky as hell because he was kept up all night from hoot owls and coyotes cackling at all hours of the night!

By making such a showing in a business to an owner in front of the party, makes the party complicit in the act. You are essentially forcing them to make a decision into either breaking the party by confronting a hostile and strong willed character, or possibly breaking their own ethics by going along with it. Neither option will cement this group or its PCs with one another.

Both of these scenarios are reflective of the poor GM trope of railroading. Every player likes to feel that they have a chance to pursue their own character’s goals and that they have a choice in building a story by challenging and altering a plot with their actions. That’s what RPing is all about, community storytelling. If I, as the GM, force you to go this way and that, eliminating your chance to affect the plot or the story as a whole, then most of you would balk at the game and start looking elsewhere for your gaming fix. This, in essence, are what the two examples above are doing, so I would ask that you consider this as we move forward.

Not a sermon, more of a scolding…!

An Ally and an Escape

A Chance Encounter

Arrow found himself alone and without his normal contingent of spells.  He needed to rest but he pushed himself along the trail so as to find the oxen and wagon that they had left behind.  He attempted to remain vigilant but he was very much out of sorts and the stresses of the day and the loss of his companions distracted him greatly.

Grimaldi pushed through the undergrowth.  His ribs ached and his head hurt.  He had made his way to Phandalin to find his fortune and make a name for himself.  He was a man of action and deeds and his reputation, he hoped, would precede him to Phandalin which he had heard was a rough frontier town bereft of law or order.  Having entered into Phandalin, Grimaldi was quickly accosted by a group of ruffians who referred to themselves as Redbrands which seemed to refer to the red cloaks that they would wear while swaggering through town.  The Redbrands had surrounded Grimaldi and managed to get a few lucky shots in, stunning him.  Because Grimaldi had stood up to them, the Redbrands decided to make a showing of Grimaldi, tying him up and dragging him out of town tied to ponies.  When they got far enough away from the town, they untied the battered monk and told him that if he ever came back to Phandalin, that they'd, "Finish the job, proper-like!"  Once he had managed to recover from his beatings, he began stumbling through the woods trying to find the road so that he could locate someplace that he could recover in safety.  

Both Arrow and Grimaldi surprised one another by stumbling into each other's path.  Grimaldi fell through a briar which tripped him and threw him face first on the trail directly in front of Arrow.  Taking a moment to assess each other, they spoke and shared their stories.  Each needed rest, and finding out that Phandalin was an unlikely place to find aid, Arrow resolved to return to the cave that night and do the best he could.  Grimaldi, surprised at having run into adventurers in the wilderness agreed to assist Arrow, wondering how an armed party could have been captured by… goblins…

Breaking the Chains

The captives found themselves bound beside Sildar, the veteran who had accompanied Gundren from Neverwinter.  Sildar described the ambush that threw them from their horses, and how they had searched Gundren thoroughly, saying, "Rockseeker" when they believed they had found what they were looking for.  Gundren, Sildar had explained, had been taken elsewhere, to meet some goblin king, but he had not been wanted, so he felt that the goblins were going to make good on their threats to eat him.  They had been chained and tied to a stalagmite on a ledge above a sleeping area where a goblin was being hoisted on the shoulders of other goblins and being paraded around.

Yeemeek was thoroughly enjoying his recent rise to prominence.  A cask of some sort of alcohol was brought in and many of his cohorts were cheering and drinking to Yeemeek's success.  Gif had been found and released from his bonds, but was being treated cruelly by the goblins who had managed to defeat a party of human whereas he had been captured by them.  Through the abuses, Gif was given the task to bring food to the prisoners, adding a cautious, "Burr-Nor!" to Oskar, when he had a moment.  

Otadek managed to free himself and Thorwyn from their bonds as the goblins drank into the night.  Yeemeek eventually left the sleeping quarters, assumedly to claim the previous captain's room, leaving only a couple of drunk and snoring goblins behind the guard the prisoners.  Gif also laid down on the stained pallets in the room and when the party tried to show that they were going to escape, Gif's eyes opened wide as he shook his head, "No," vehemently.  Laying his head down, Gif began to feign sleep.

Otadek continued to release his companions from their bonds, Oskar looked down to Gif to find out that though he believed Gif was trying to feign sleep, his rhythmic breathing indicated that he probably was going to be no help in their escape as he had fallen asleep.

Otadek moved down to the lower sleeping area and grasping a rock, attempted to smash the head of the goblin closest to the room's exit.  Weak from his wounds, his swing was not as powerful as it normally should have been and the goblin woke with a squeal as the rock struck his face, however a second blow before the goblin managed to act broke the goblin's face and Otadek gazed around the room, feeling panicked and grim.  Oskar risked releasing one of his holy cantrips, lighting up the room for a brief moment and singing the second goblin as he scrambled to get up and call an alarm.  Having found both guards dead, the party began assessing their options when a cheery cry of, "Burr-Nor!" was heard from Gif, who seemed quite happy at the party's success.  

Armed with a few goblin scimitars, short bows, and a javelin, the party moved to retreat from the cave and regroup, not knowing the fate of Arrow, who had not been captured.

Returning to Cragmaw

The prisoner portion of the party ran into Arrow and his new companion Grimaldi outside the entrance to the cave.  Relieved that they had all managed to get out of the cave, they decided to retreat back to where they left the wagon, rest up, and return the following day.

It was late morning when the party managed to make their way back to the goblin's cave.  They had asked Gif more questions about the goblins and Oskar even coaxed Gif a little by encouraging him that they would make Gif the new, 'Big Boss'.  Gif responded in Gif fashion which was not so much informative than confusing.  When asked how many goblins were left inside the cave, Gif counted on his hands several times before showing six fingers while saying, "Eight!"

The second entry into the caves proved much more successful.  Grimaldi, the new companion, pushed a more frontal assault in lieu of skulking around and risking the raising of an alarm.  On the second assault, only Oskar would fall unconscious as his footing slipped when the goblins released their water trap which turned out to be a series of dams made that caught and held the water of an interior waterfall.  When intruders were detected an alarm was raised an a section of the dam was released, sending a torrent of water down the slick passage way.  Those who witnessed Grimaldi's martial arts were impressed, 4 different goblins attacked at Grimaldi with scimitars and short bows with not one of the goblins hitting their target.  Thorwyn moved up beside Grimaldi, gave a quick glance at his graceful movements as he moved and danced from each attack, and then ran the goblin through that stood in front of her with her goblin scimitar before turning to smash the face of the goblin that stood in front of Grimaldi with her torch.

Now, with all of the goblins having been killed (save Gif, "the convert") the party recovered their lost items and returned to Sildar who stayed behind at the wagon.

The Road to Phandalin

The Contract

The party, strangers to one another, met Gundren Rockseeker at the Green Dragon Inn where he informed them that he was going to precede the party to Phandalin with a friend and veteran, Sildar Halwinter.  Gundren offered to pay each of the party members 10 gold pieces once they delivered his wagon of goods to Barthen's Provisions, in Phandalin.  Gundren said that the proprietor had been instructed to pay each of the individuals once the good had been delivered and that Gundren may not be in town to receive them.  Gundren seemed excited and wistful to get on his way and rejoin his brothers who he claimed that they believed that they had relocated some lost mines that were rich in minerals.  The wagon was being loaded up that day and would be ready to begin its journey in the morning.  Gundren and Sildar, Gundren shared, would leave after the meeting completed.

Trouble on the Road


  • Party encountered two dead horses on the road that had recently been slain by black feathered arrows.  
  • Party moved in to investigate and were ambushed by a number of goblins armed with short swords and short bows.
  • Party finished off 3 of the goblins and chased down a fourth who was trying to escape down a warn down foot path.
  • Investigating the dead horses, Oskar recognized the Rockseeker crest on one of the harnesses the dead horses were still wearing.
  • Following some very scant goblin tracks, the party left the wagon and its oxen near the entrance of this foot trail and followed them hoping to find and/or rescue Gundren.

Cragmaw Hideout

The trail led to an opening in a small cliff side where a small stream was exiting.  As the party crept closer, they noticed 2 goblins behind a makeshift blind lazying the day away.  The party charged in, killing one of the Goblins and subduing the second.  Oskar Thunderclap and Arrow, both speaking goblin, moved forward to interrogate their prisoner.

The goblin's name was Gif, and though he suffered through some rough hands of the party spat out all the information that he knew to save his skin.  The party found out that the goblin king, King Grol, had ordered Klarg, the leader of Gif and the other goblins, to capture a Dwarf by the name Gundren Rockseeker and to send him and all of his belongings back to King Grol.  When asked how many goblins lived in the cave, Gif answered lots and lots more, looking confusedly at his hands.  The only other bit of real knowledge that the party managed to get from Gif was not to enter into the water.  Not knowing what to do with that information, the party tied up Gif and made sure he couldn't get away.

They crept into the cave, hearing the sound of growling and the occasional bark.  Easing their way in, they found a side passage that had 3 large wolves chained to a stalagmite who immediately began lunging at the party.  Afraid of the noise alerting the goblins, the party moved in quickly to quiet the wolves and after a few wounds managed to silence the animals without, apparently, drawing attention from the goblins.

The stream of water seemed to follow the main passage further into the cave, it rounded a bend to the right end out of site since the party did not want to use torches to light the darkness.  Inside the kennel room, a small thin passage way led up a steep climb where a flickering of torch or fire light could be seen.  The light was not enough to shine into the kennel so Otadek decided to investigate and see what lay above.

Otadek deftly climbed up the steep embankment and entered into a room where a camp fire lit the room dimly.  He saw a huge figure of a very hairy goblin lounging on a pallet and two smaller goblins where muttering to themselves near a fire where they roasted something that smelled of meat.  Signalling Thorwyn to follow, Otadek moved himself into a hidden cubby to try and take these goblins unawares.

Unfortuantely, Otadek was not used to having to work with armored companions.  Thorwyn's armor made it difficult for her to climb the steep embankment, even with the assistance of the rope and keep her armor from sliding across the many rock projectiles within the thin escarpment.  

The noise woke up the large goblin's wolf, who sprang up, barked and charged into the darkness.    The large goblin, which Otadek and Thorwyn took to be Klarg at this time, roared, "Intrudors!" in goblin and followed his 2 lackeys and his wolf to attack Otadek and Thorwyn.  Otadek took a heavy blow from the wolf, dropping him unconscious while Thorwyn was faced with a hard decision; she could face overwhelming odds after watching Otadek fall to the wolf's first blow or she could retreat and get the hell out of the cave.  Thorwyn chose the later and threw herself down the steep climb, gaining many bruises and cuts for her efforts.

The sound of alarm filled the cave, many chitters of excitement and anger could be heard echoing through the stone walls and the party was faced with fighting goblins who knew the terrain and could fight without the assistance of light.  The party fought hard, and decided to escape out the cave's entrance once Thorwyn cried out that Otadek had fallen.  A surge of water came down the cavern knocking a few party members off of their footing and making the wet rock of the caves surface even more hazardous.   Escaping to the outside of the cave, the party regrouped near the blind where they found Gif furiously working to sever his bonds against a sharp rock.  Once the party's shadow descended over Gif, he looked up sheepishly and then moved his bonded hands away from the rock giving a meek, and toothy smile.  The meaning was apparent, but the chiseled teeth of the goblin took away some of the sentiment that Gif may have been trying to impart to the party.

Klarg and several goblins charged out of the cave.  The party attacked and through magic and arms finally killed Klarg who turned out to be a large and burly bugbear, a relative of the goblin family.  Having killed the goblin's leader, the party felt more confident and decided to try and go back into the cave to retrieve Otadek.  

Unfortunately, once the party reentered the cave, they ran into more goblins who attacked them.  Jhereg attempted to parlay with the goblins, claiming that they had killed Klarg and were powerful warriors, but the goblin that the party was talking to, in common, was Yeemeek, a goblin who apparently took Klarg's passing as a promotion.  When the party tried to push to have Yeemeek's prisoner released, Yeemeek became angry and called out for his goblin minions to attack.

The party's luck ran out, all fell to various goblin blows as the party tried to use the kennel's room to their advantage.  Only Arrow had managed to elude capture, having climbed up through the thin escarpment and hiding in the shadows of Klarg's room.  When things had quieted down, Arrow escaped out of the cave hoping to make his way back to Phandalin and get help and return to save his companions, or at least bury their remains.

The Green Dragon Inn
A blog for your campaign

Otadek the Friendly runs into Eddy the Shark, a two bit hustler who had previously managed to sell Otadek some costume jewelry for real gold.  Eddy was gambling at a table with a couple of commoners and raking in piles of coins. Otadek decided that he'd press Eddy and show the commoners the kind of person Eddy was.  A brief exchange, some heated words, and a fight broke out, pulling in two of Eddy's associates who were sitting away from Eddy's game.  

Seeing the odds of the brawl not being fair, Oskar Thunderclap joined in to keep the ruffians from making the fight unfair.  After the brief skirmish was over, Eddy attempted to run out of the tavern, followed by Otadek to struck him in the back with his sword, knocking Eddy out.  Taking a few moments to reach into Eddy's jerkin, he pulled out a pendant that proved he was a member of a criminal organization.  Feeling that this would embarass Eddy enough, Otadek left Eddy face down in the mud of the street and returned to meet with Gundren Rockseeker, an employer who was looking to hire men to escort a wagon of provisions out of town.


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