The adventure begins with a party of four:
- O’Dell Hammersmiter, former dwarven soldier Officer
- Klang Rockseeker, former dwarven soldier Sergeant
- Kevin Bright , human fighter
- Kithry, half-elven rogue
They were enlisted to aid in the shipment of provisions from Neverwinter to Phandalin. In return, the party would be paid 10 gold each.
Their employer was Sildar Hallwinter (human fighter) and his partner Gundren Rockseeker (cousin of Klang and head of Three Picks Delving Co. based in Neverwinter).
The recipient was Elmar Barthan, proprietor of Barthan Provisions in Phandalin. Sildar and Gundren set out on horseback a day or so before the party.
They set out with a filled wagon pulled by two oxen. Towards the end of the party’s travel along the road to Phandalin, they came upon the dead horses of Sildar and Gundren. Goblins ambushed the party, but were handily laid low with one – named Slink – taken captive.
Upon investigation, the party found among the dead horses an empty map case and goblin tracks. After some friendly interrogation of Slink, the party learned Gundren and a map to Wave Echo Cave were taken to Cragmaw Castle to be questioned by King Groll. Slink did not know the location of Cragmaw Castle. However, Slink did know the location of the goblin “eating cave” (aka the Cragmaw Hideout) where they took Sildar and where Klarg the bugbear rules.
O’Dell, not wanting to let good horse meat go to waste, took several pounds of it with him. Kithry and Kevin kept an eye on Slink and the surroundings while Klang parked the wagon off the side of the road with a sign “Do Na Steel!”. The party set off to the goblin cave with a restrained Slink in tow. Along the way, Slink informed the party of various traps, the roughly 20 goblins in the caves armed with scimitars and short bows, and the sentries posted outside the cave entrance. He also dropped the name of “Black Spider” as the leader at Cragmaw Castle. He was rewarded with some horse meat…a delicacy among goblins according to Slink.
A good distance from the cave, Slink was tied to a sturdy tree while the party proceeded towards the cave entrance. A small river ran from the cave entrance and the party spotted the sentries on the river’s far side. Kithry and Kevin, planning to out flank the goblins, followed the river several hundred yards into the woods away from the cave entrance and crossed. Making their way up behind the goblin sentries and with luck on their side (and the less than stealthy dwarves distracting the goblin sentries from across the river), they were able to dispatch the pair of goblin sentries with arrows and nary an alarm.
The party quickly made their way into the cave, befriending some sentry wolves with horse meat and animal handling skills, eventually setting the wolves free from their chains. Further into the cave, the party came across a bridge 20 feet in the air where Kithry’s keen eyes spotted a sentry before he spotted the party. Again, luck was with the party and the sentry was silently dispatched with arrows.
After some dwarven inspection, the bridge was found to be rigged to be dropped if needed. After deciding we needed to take a less expected route, the party opted to take a side passage cluttered with rocks and debris. It took several minutes to traverse the obviously unused collapsed tunnel path that led up an incline. Reaching the summit, the path ended at a cross tunnel, from which goblin cavorting could be heard…and smelled.
Down the mostly unlit tunnel, the party spied a gaggle of gambling goblins. One goblin was on a raised mezzanine and was seen torturing an out of view prisoner. A thaumaturgy ground shake distracted the goblins for a surprise round, enabling the party’s archery prowess to dispatch the goblin on the mezzanine. Melee ensued until the party’s hard won battle had them an captive goblin and in need of rest. So in spite of the goblin odor and their precarious situation, the party rested.
While resting, they released the prisoner – Sildar – and confirmed the stolen map was to Wave Echo Cave. He explained that he’s been working with the three Rockseeker dwarves to find the Wave Echo Cave, which was created as part of the “Phandalin Pact” long ago. It resulted in a place strong in magical power and in the “Forge of Spells”, which was subsequently buried in an earthquake by a wizard who was accompanied by a horde of Orcs. He mentioned the disappearance of his acquaintance Iarno Albrek, a human wizard in Phandalin. Sildar asked to be escorted to Phandalin for 50 gold, to which the party readily agreed.
After resting, they gently interrogated their goblin captive (named “Emick”) and were able win him over with horse meat. The party learned that there was another trap awaiting them if they had continued along the river tunnel into the cavern – a water dam that could be released flushing anything in that tunnel out.
Endeavoring to use this to their advantage, the party tried to have the captive goblin trick his fellow goblins into leading them into the trapped tunnel and flush them out while the captive goblin would hand onto a rope the party had left hanging in the tunnel. The goblin was only able to convince a few goblins into the tunnel and, when Kithry released the dam, he was unable to grab and hold onto the rope. Later inspection found all the flushed goblins had perished.
The dam’s release got the attention of the remaining goblins and of Klarg the bugbear leader. At which point, the party was already charging into Klarg’s antechamber. Ranged attacks were used to fell several goblins, but it took close combat to finally fell the foes.
The final tally of treasure included 3 gold teeth, 125 silver coins, 600 copper coins, 2 potions of healing, a jade statuette, a morning star, 4 javelins, and many scimitars and short bows of dubious quality. The also recovered items belonging to Linene Graywind, someone who Sildar indicated would probably offer a reward and some friendship if returned to her.
Sildar expressed an immediate need to return to Phandalin. Klang was eager to track down his cousins there. O’Dell felt his call to be a paladin and need time with his thoughts. There was also the wagon of provisions left unattended on the roadside. So they head off straight away to the wagon and then to Phandalin.
Kithry and Kevin felt obligated to check on and release Slink (if he’s still alive), telling the others they would find their way to Phandalin in due time.
All party members received 350 experience points.