Game Synopsis.   Posted by Game Host.Group: public
Game Host
 GM, 173 posts
Sun 22 Apr 2018
at 20:31
Game Synopsis
Our Story So Far...

Hired by a dwarven merchant named Gundren Rockseeker, the group was originally charged simply to guard a single wagon on the road between Neverwinter and the recovering mining town of Phandalin. The job was easy money and attracted a number of prospective mercenaries who otherwise may not have entered the field. Unfortunately, as so many "simple" things do, the situation quickly got complicated when Rockseeker insisted on riding ahead to Phandalin with only a single bodyguard, rather than traveling with the others.

Less than a day later, our heroes rounded a bend in the woods to discover Gundren's horse dead by goblin arrows, along with the steed of his man-at-arms. Before much more investigating could be done, they were themselves ambushed by a number of goblins armed with bows. The greenskins proved short work for the motley crew of experienced and fledgling adventurers, who took as prisoner one of their attackers, by the name of Grottot.

While the goblin knew little, he did mention the tribe's leader Klarg answered to someone or something calling themself "the Spider," and that this entity probably now had Gundren. Grottot seemed to intensely dislike Klarg and cared only about food and survival, but was frightened enough of both the sellswords who had decimated his own party and of the Spider that he fell on his sword rather than be tormented further. This was more than enough to convince most of the mercenaries that their employer needed immediate rescuing, and—after some brief argument—they proceeded up the trail discovered by Caine and Marcus, reasoning that the goblins' lack of supplies meant their lair couldn't be far.

After hiding the wagon and horses as best they could, the sellswords navigated some less-than-prideworthy traps to reach the greenskins' cave. Making swift work of the guards there, they proceeded further inside, only to be attacked by half-starved wolves the goblins had chained near the entrance. The beasts were quickly dispatched, but not before they were able to reduce the intruders' own numbers by one...

Forced to leave Caine's body behind, for the time being, the surviving adventurers pressed on with all speed, led by Marcus up a crack in the rock to where a bugbear—the infamous Klarg—lay asleep with his personal pet wolves. The lot were ruthlessly eliminated before they could awaken and sound any further alarm, followed soon after by a pair of guards who met a fiery end thanks to Darion and Klavis's magic. This left only a handful more goblins pinned in a dead-end room with their sole bargaining chip: The unconscious Sildar Hallwinter, Gundren's bodyguard.

Talked down somewhat by Portia and her fellow tiefling, Shiva, the least cowardly of the bandits—a hefty goblin named Yeemik—conveyed that Klarg dealt directly with the Spider and had traded Gundren for supplies and rewards. The phantom arachnid seemed to be specifically looking for the dwarf, who had already been taken from the cave. With little time to pursue, the hireswords neatly finished off the last of their enemies and withdrew to the wagon with Sildar, Caine, and what spoils they were able to collect.

Back at camp, Sildar informed his rescuers that Gundren and his brothers believed they had found a genuine map to the fabled Forge of Spells—a gnomish artifact of great power, Klavis said, but which was also the bane of all who went searching for it. The Spider apparently wanted this information, and had set out to capture Gundren and possibly the other Rockseekers, as well, in their attempt to steal the map and find the Forge. This proved perhaps too big a responsibility for Shiva, who was greatly impacted by Caine's senseless demise and who decided it was probably better for her to try and return the dead man's remains to any friends or family he might have in Neverwinter than to continue down her current path. Accompanied by Darion for protection, the planetouched warlock headed back west while the others continued on to Phandalin.

Reaching the mining village provided few additional answers. After transferring Gundren's goods to the appropriate parties, Sildar discovered his friend—the wizard Iarno Albrek—was missing. Even more troubling, a local mercenary corps called the Redbrands seemed to be causing more trouble than they were preventing; worried townsfolk even attributed several kidnappings and at least one murder to the "peacekeepers." Linene, proprietress of the Lionshield Coster, was glad to receive three crates of stolen goods taken back from the goblins, but complained of broader bandit activity near Phandalin—perhaps linked to the greenskins gathered at Cragmaw Castle, nearby.

With so much more suddenly going on in Phandalin than they expected, the remaining members of the original group were faced with some difficult decisions about what to do next. Between Portia's determination to do the right thing by saving Gundren, and Klavis's interest in the hefty rewards promised by Sildar in exchange for his help, it seemed they were sticking around. The question that followed was how to proceed...