Lost Mine of Phandelver

Session 4

Plants vs Zombies Edition

<metagame>
It appears Kithry and Goldtooth will not be returning any time soon, if at all.

Brief discussion about multi-classing and feats, as well as whether to distribute the loot. Kevin multi-classed into rogue.

Kevin nominated Klang as the party CFO after his meticulous record keeping. Klang in all his wisdom stood stupefied. “Well, if y’all insist. I likes me coin well counted.” was Klang’s reply.

The adventure continues with:

  • O’Dell Hammersmiter former dwarven soldier Officer (Bob)
  • Klang Rockseeker former dwarven soldier Sergeant (Toby)
  • Taklaan Hammerlock dwarven warlock clan outcast (Grant)
  • Kevin Bright human figher (Ward is back in the story)
  • Valin wood elf ranger (Steve)
  • Droop goblin rogue (NPC being run by Bob)
    </metagame>

After some rest and deliberation, the party decided to depart Cragmaw Castle and leave the remaining occupants as a show of good faith. It also relieved Droop from having to choose between his recently found friends and those of his race.

Setting out in wagons with a quick check of distances on the map, the party headed back to Phandalin. It was an unusually busy trip, first encountering a band of goblins on the first day, a band of orcs that night, and another set of goblins on a subsequent day. Suspicions were high that the Cragmaw Castle hobgoblins may have alerted every nearby band of goblin-kind to the party’s presence in the hopes of eliminating them.

That did not happen. Instead, 16 goblins and 6 orcs made an unexpected one-way trip to their deity’s realm. Unfortunately, Droop was among them. O’Dell was so disappointed that he gave Droop a burial by fire (after stripping him of anything of value). Klang’s hopes were high that O’Dell was starting to come to his financial senses.

The party took note of Taklann’s purple and dangerous necrotic magic, giving some of his fellow party members pause about him and his purpose. Valin demonstrated his ability to become a javelin pin cushion – the party was suitably impressed. He did not enjoy their removal as they were barbed.

The net take was 16 scimitars, 16 sets of leather armor, 16 shortbows, many arrows, 14 javelins, explorer’s pack, thieves tools, 25 electrum, and 80 gold. Kevin retained the explorer’s pack and thieves tools.

Upon our return to Phandalin, Gundren gladly paid us each 25 gold (125 gold total). We again traded in these poorly crafted weapons of destruction for the fine currency of the land. Then headed out to Conyberry, first to address the Banshee we had heard so much about.

Upon stopping at a clearing, Kevin’s heightened perception found a small rock inscribed with a smiling face. Nothing else was note worthy on the trip, other than 3 pesky wolves and the reminder that elves only sleep 4 hours a night – something the dwarves continue to find creepy, yet useful.

Nearing Conyberry, the forest darkened and a dome of branches could be seen some ways off the road to the north. As we neared that dome, the forest grew colder and darker. It was a sure sign of something foul and certainly not inviting. O’Dell and Taklaan summoned their courage and made their way off the road with comb in hand towards a dangerous foe while those with less charm waited, preparing for the worst.

The foe made its appearance as a graceful, yet twisted female elf in a gown. The two dwarves kept their wits and manners about them and engaged in careful banter with this creature, which matched what little they knew about Banshees. After learning its name was Agatha, they were able to secure the answer to Sister Garaele’s question regarding the whereabouts of Bowgentle’s spellbook. She said she had traded it to Tsernoth in the City of Iriaebor about 100 years ago.

Making haste to depart at their first opportunity, they escaped a tricky negotiation successfully and made it back to the wagons. Heading out immediately, they set out for Old Owl Well – back south out of the forest and towards Conyberry, then due south off the road through some foot hills – a source for fresh water used by travelers along this route.

Arriving in only a few hours of travel, the party arrived at night and cast light on the smiling stone. It was clear from the odor that undead were about. Sure enough, 12 zombies shuffled into sight. As the party readied themselves for combat, a wizard appeared from a tent nearby calling a halt to the violent encounter.

The wizard was human, dressed in red, and had tattoos on his face that suggested he was schooled in necrotic magics…the well known trappings of the Red Wizards of Thay…a dangerous bunch. He divulged his name was Hamund Kost and that this was his base of operations. He wanted the nearby orcs at Wyvern’s Tor dispatched and offered the party 1 platinum each to do so.

Valin launched an arrow at Hamund, ending further negotiations. Things got messy from there, with undead being turned, then shattered, and the wizard came to an untimely demise. Once the undead were returned to their afterlife place of rest, some multiple times, the party claimed the wizard’s tent and all its belongings. It included a large chest with a leather bag and a jewel encrusted chest. The contents totaled 35 silver, 20 electrum, 20 gold, 5 platinum (it seems he could have honored that orc deal), a pearl (100 gold), a potion, a scroll in a bone tube, and a ring. After some inspection, the ring was determined to be Netheril and from the school of abjuration (motion).

There is likely some bigger plans in motion if the Red Wizards of Thay are involved. The party will need to be more watchful now, particularly with stakes in the Wave Echo Cave mining operation.

<metagame>
When we notify Daran Edermath of the old owl well situation has been cleared up, we’ll receive additional experience for it.
</metagame>

Without resting, the party pushed on to Wyvern’s Tor, only a few miles further south towards the foot of the Sword Mountains. Rumors were that an orc band associated with the Many Arrows tribe used it as a base and were being led by Brughor Axe Biter.

Sure enough, the party’s keen eyed human and elf spotted a lone orc sentry who was easily dropped at range by arrow and spell. Seeing opportunity, Valin quickly skinned the orc sentry and donned it for deception. There were some shared looks of disgust among the dwarves about this, reinforcing the dwarven measure of elves as insane.

As Klang stood guard by the cave exit, the rest of the party used stealth to spy what was inside. They counted 8 orcs, one bigger than the rest. As they made their way back to the exit, one orc unwittingly followed them and was silently ambushed and slain as he exited the cave.

Thinking they could repeat the process, the party attempted the same. This time all the orcs noticed them and the battle was on. While gruesome, it was mercifully short with no losses for the party. In fact, their gain included 40 javelins, 8 great axes, and a chest with 750 copper, 180 silver, 62 electrum, 30 gold, and 3 vials of perfume (estimated at 10 gold each).

Not keen on lingering in the area, the party packed up their wagons and headed back to Phandalin. There was some discussion about staying or stopping at the Sleeping Giant tap house to show pity on the dwarven proprietor, but even the dwarves thought twice about that and headed for the Stonehill Inn. Once there, the party took a long night’s rest.

The following day had the party visiting Daran Edermath to relay what transpired at the old owl well. Klang was offered and accepted the opportunity to join the Order of the Gauntlet as a Chevall. At this point, some in the party began to wonder how these factions might cause divisions among them, or worse, send them on fool’s errands.

But it didn’t stop them from following their hearts, for as they stopped at the Shrine of Luck (i.e. the temple to Timora) to inform Sister Garaele of Bowgentle’s spellbook’s whereabouts, yet another – Taklann – was enlisted to the Harper faction as a Watcher. Good thing there are only five of them as we have three covered now – oy!

After so much talking, the party’s thirst led them back to Stonehill Inn for some drink…and to inform the miner who was driven from his mining by orcs, that they would bother him no more! A few drinks later and O’Dell was ready for some trade negotiations at the coster, provisions store, and miner’s exchange. Goods were traded for coin. Good thing too as the wagon was getting heavy.

Valin, tired of talking, decided to take a look around town, scanning what’s become of Phandalin in the last few days with no Redbrands to harass them. Things appeared to be picking up, particularly trade. More wagons full of supplies coming and going, more people in the streets spending their meager coin.

What Valin did not expect was to be approached by a attractive halfling, one of the few fairly-like folk in this town. While he had not met her before, he had heard her mentioned as offering her barn for shelter. She had seen Valin teamed up with the band of adventurers that had rid the town of Redbrands, so he was probably worth her time to know.

So taken was she by Valin’s down-to-earth charms that she kept him company for most of his tour of Phandalin. Valin was a bit confused by this sort of attention, but didn’t mind her company.

Meanwhile, the rest of the party paid a visit to Town Master Harbin Wester to claim the 100 gold he had promised for clearing the orcs from Wyvern’s Tor. Despite surface dwarf jokes painfully lowering the intelligence of others, the 100 gold was claimed and it was time to head for Thundertree to find the heirloom.

The party knew a little of Thundertree’s past with Mount Hotenow’s eruption having driven most from the area. The city was now mostly abandoned and rumored to have strange magic and mutated vegetation. Less believable rumors hinted that a dragon or at least dragon cultists were in the area. Ruins remain and, while few visit, none stay.

The trip to Thundertree was uneventful for a change. On the outskirts of town was a sign warning travelers “Zombies and Dangerous plants, Flee!” Valin confirmed this and that there were also humans, spiders, and a dragon in the area. He said it was one of his “gifts” as a ranger, but others in the party were more than a little skeptical. And speaking of strange – it was awfully polite of them to warn us with a sign written in common.

The party was looking for an apothecary that may still hide Mirna’s heirloom. The town was eerily silent. Exploring what appeared to be cottage homes just inside the town, Klang was accosted by twig blights. While easily dispatched, they were definitely annoying, mostly because Valin and the sign outside town were accurate.

After only a brief search of what appeared to be a merchants home, the party turned up a chest with 700 copper, 160 silver, and 90 gold. Not exactly what they were seeking, but certainly worth their time.

Next stop was what appeared to previously had been a bar or pub. It was O’Dell’s good fortune to sally up to the door and open it. Nothing happened. No boogy men, no rush of goblins or orcs, nothing. Looking inside, he saw ash all about with a dilapidated roof and walls. So he stepped inside and that’s when the zombies popped up, throwing ash in the air.

Klang’s turn undead ability was again handy, as was O’Dell’s hammer, Kevin’s and Valin’s arrows, and Taklann’s spells as the foul undead creatures were returned to their afterlife – hopefully this time they’ll stay there.

Approaching one of the few well kept and boarded up structures, O’Dell approached and was greeted by a gaunt, white-haired and bearded human. He introduced himself as Reidoth the druid. No, that’s not strange at all…?! A druid living in a city destroyed by a natural disaster, where the plants attack, zombies throw ash, a young dragon has taken up residence, and a dragon cult is making plans. Klang, for one, was suspicious of Reidoth.

He invited us inside and gave us a quick summary of the town – the buildings, the location and types of dangers, and confirmation that a dragon inhabited the tower on the hill. Now the party was just downright unsettled about Valin’s powers of perception – could he see our small clothes too?!

<adlib>
O’Dell would catch hell if anyone knew he was wearing flower-patterned small clothes under all that armor. And Klang wondered if anyone notice he tried a dab of one of those perfumes. Yikes! Elves are downright unsettling.
</adlib>

While most of the party was caught up in their own thoughts, Reidoth pulled Valin aside and offered him a position with the Emerald Enclave faction. Without hesitation, Valin accepted and was given the title “Spring Warden”. That covers 4 of the 5 known factions.

After locating the apothecary and deciding on a path, the party made their way to it. On the way, they decided to check and clear a nearby building (that appeared to have been a smithy) to avoid an ambush. Again, ash zombies laid into O’Dell as he stepped into the building and were similarly dispatched. There was nothing of value found inside despite Taklann’s close inspection of the tools and fire pit.

The apothecary was strangely vacant. A thorough search found Mirna’s heirloom (valued at 200 gold) as planned. The party agreed to return it to her instead of exchanging it for gold. That completed what we set out to do on this mission, but figured we had come so far that we should at least discourage the dragon cultists.

Another block over we confirmed what the druid had told us – a group of human dragon cultists were occupying a still mostly intact cottage home. Want the cultists to have some motivation, Valin fed oil down the chimney and set it alight. The fire and smoke drove them into the open where they were easy pickings for Valin and Kevin.

Stabilizing the last human, O’Dell interrogated him. They were there to treat with the green dragon. They planned to offer tribute – 3 diamonds (100 gold each) – foolish humans. Searching the bodies and the building, only a flying potion was found. We left him to his fate while the party returned to the druid’s home for a long rest.

That night, there was some talk of confronting the dragon, spiders, and clearing the town of foes for good measure. Many boasts were made and some stories grew taller with each telling. But the door and windows were still barred tightly before any rest their heads.

Even at a safe distance, one look at that tower on the hill gave the party pause. Dragons are no minor beast to be dispatched. Rather they are cunning creatures to be approached with great caution and ample preparation.

<metagame>
Summary of faction membership:

  • O’Dell, Cloak in the Lord’s Alliance
  • Klang, Chevall in The Order of the Gauntlet
  • Taklann, Watcher in The Harpers
  • Valin, Spring Warden in the Emerald Enclave

Total party coin: 3209 gold, 1400 silver

Did we ever get the experience for notifying Daran Edermath of the old owl well situation?

Can we just collapse the tower in on the dragon?

The only task from the original Phandalin quests that remains it returning Mirna’s heirloom. That suggests we’re about to be loaded up with more quests when we return there. Some related to the opening of the Wave Echo Cave, others from our various faction superiors.

I nominate Ward to update the adventure log for the next meet up. Ha!
</metagame>

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PaeliusWorldBuilder Valkyrinn

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