S4: Meet me in Phandalin – Part 1

dndamp-32(October 1st, 2016) – Today’s session begins in the aftermath of the assault on Elmarch. It has been several tendays since the red-skinned Hobgoblin’s horde burned a large portion of the town to the ground, ultimately ending with the murder of Darcaryn. The players have been assisting in the cleanup and rebuilding efforts in Elmarch. During this time they have befriended two recent visitors to the town, a Dwarf named Gundren Rockseeker, and a Human named Sildar Hallwinter. Gundren’s skill in masonry and stonework and Sildar’s exceptional carpentry skills were welcome help in many facets of the rebuilding effort. One morning during breakfast Gundren approaches the players with a business proposition.


Chapter 1:

Gundren explains to the players that by assisting with the rebuild of Elmarch, he has put himself seriously behind schedule for a business appointment he has in the town of Phandalin. He offers to pay the players a sum of 25gp each if they will escort a wagon of supplies from Elmarch to Phandalin, and deliver them to a store called Barthen’s Provisions. The wagon of supplies is pulled by two oxen, and Gundren cannot travel at such a slow pace and still make his meeting on time. The players agree to escort the wagon, and Gundren atop a brown horse and Sildar atop a white horse, quickly set off to Phandalin.

The players examine their map and begin to plot their course. They will move south from Elmarch, taking the road east at the Merchant’s Fork, travelling to the town of Kassich. They will leave Kassich headed south overland for about 7 miles until they link up with the Triboar Trail. Taking the Triboar trail for about 15 miles south-southwest before taking a left and heading south on Toiler’s Trail for another 12 miles. Altogether it’s looking like 2 days worth of travel.

The players head out of Elmarch and stop off to visit Marge’s at the Merchant’s Fork. They have ale and stew and press Marge for any new rumors. She has none to offer other than rumors of a Goblin tribe that has been harassing the area, something the players are already painfully familiar with. Heading off again the players  continue on to the town of Kassich. Kassich is a more diverse town and slightly larger than Elmarch. The players decide to stop here for the night. Having grown curious of the contents of the wagon they are escorting, they decide to take a peek. Pulling back the burlap, they see various tools, shovels, pickaxes, crowbars, provisions, water, a cask of oil, and four sacks of flour. Seagold examines the sacks of flour to see if maybe they contain something else, but by all appearances they are as they claim to be.

The players make their way to the Barn Owl Inn. They rent a room for the night, eat dinner, and then rest while taking shifts guarding the wagon. The night passes without incident.

 

Chapter 2:

The next morning the players grab breakfast and then head back out on their journey. Heading south they reach they Triboar Trail without incident, and then turn southeast. After about a half day of travel, as they are rounding a bend to the left, they come upon two dead horses lying in the trail. They are about 50 feet ahead blocking their path. Florian leaps from the wagon and climbs a tree for a better look. Seagold exits the wagon and heads in the direction of the horses. 

I hear some papers shuffling in the distance, I ready my bow. -Tim

Seagold investigates the area. Two things are obvious, there is a brown horse and a white horse, similar to the mounts that Gundren and Sildar had left Elmarch on, and that the horses are peppered with black-feathered arrows. Seagold is able to discern that the arrows are very similar to the type of arrows used by the Goblin raiders in Elmarch. Algiz keeps close watch from the wagon, holding the reigns tightly. Seagold finds a map case laying in the grass near the trail. He’s cautious and investigates the case for traps but finds none. Opening the case he finds it empty.

Algiz asks Seagold if he sees any blood. As Seagold takes a closer look there is a commotion in the bushes to either side of the trail. Four Goblins leap out, two from each side.  Florian seizes the initiative and fires an arrow at one of the Goblins. The arrow strikes dead center in the Goblin’s chest and fells the foul creature. One of the Goblins charges Algiz who has stepped down from the wagon. He swings but Algiz parries the attack with his mace. The cheap, rusty sword employed by the Goblin snaps at the hilt from the impact and skitters off into the weeds. A Goblin fires his bow at Seagold but misses. The remaining Goblin fires his bow and manages to land a hit on the tree-sitting Florian. Seagold retreats behind a downed horse and fires his bow at one of the Goblins but misses.

Florian targets the Goblin that hit him with an arrow. He fires from the tree and again sinks a perfect shot into the chest of the Goblin, killing him instantly. The Goblin with the broken sword throws aside his hilt and successfully grapples Algiz. The other Goblin fires an arrow at Seagold but misses. Algiz wrestles himself free from the grappling Goblin. Seagold returns fire and sinks an arrow into the Goblin’s chest killing him.

Florian drops from the tree drawing his short swords called “Dirk” and “Diggler”. He engages the last Goblin and is able to land two blows but not with sufficient force to bring him down. The Goblin, knowing he has no chance of victory, disengages and begins to flee. Seagold attempts to punch the Goblin out as he runs by in hopes of interrogating him, but the Goblin ducks under his swing.

Florian fires an arrow at the fleeing Goblin ending his escape attempt.

 

Chapter 3:

The players search the Goblins and recover a small amount of silver but not much else of value. They find a concealed trail near the direction the Goblin attempted to flee. The group decides to pull the cart off the road while Seagold scouts down the trail. About 10 minutes down the trail Seagold notices and avoids a snare trap. A little further down the trail Seagold fails to see a covered pit trap, but his quick reflexes allow him to scramble away as the ground collapses. He decides to return to his friends and relay what he has seen. The players talk about it and choose to explore what else lies down the trail. They guide the oxen further down the trail to conceal them from passers by and tie them up with rope to prevent them from wandering off.

Seagold leads the group back down the trail and helps them avoid the traps. Moving slowly and probing the path ahead of them for about 5 miles before coming to a large cave opening. A 5 foot wide, shallow stream is running out of the cave. On the opposite side of the cave entrance, a narrow path can be seen leading into the cave alongside the flowing water. The players either hop over or wade through the stream to get to the other side. Florian checks the area for traps and finds nothing. Satisfied the entrance is safe, the players begin moving into the cave mouth. Suddenly they are alerted to the presence of something behind them trying to sneak up. Turning they see two Goblins approaching.

Algiz quickly unleashes a Sacred Flame but the Goblin steps deftly to the side. Florian introduces the other Goblin to “Dirk” and “Diggler”, with death being the result. Seagold fires an arrow at the remaining Goblin, but again it manages to evade. The Goblin steps forward and lands a nasty slash to Florian’s right thigh with his scimitar. Florian is hobbled and in trouble.

Algiz moves forward and swings his mace, but the Goblin raises his shield to stop the blow. Florian attempts to slash at the Goblin with his two short swords, but his injured leg doesn’t plant properly and the resulting momentum of his swings cause him to tumble to the ground. Seagold fires an arrow, and this time there will be no lucky dodge. The arrow sinks into the Goblin’s abdomen and he crumples to the ground.

Florian casts a healing spell on himself. Seagold pitches in and casts a healing spell on Florian as well. With Florian feeling better, the three make their way into the cave.

 

Chapter 4:

The sound of rushing water drowns nearly all sound as the players walk in. The cave smells of animals and is very dark. Moving cautiously forward and probing as they go, the players see a staircase to their right. Climbing the stairs they hear a snarling noise. They are confronted bydnd-wolf three Wolves in the chamber. Taking the initiative Algiz fires his crossbow at one of the wolves but misses. Florian attacks with his short swords and manages to strike with one but not hard enough to bring the wolf down. The three Wolves converge on Florian and viciously attack him has a pack. He is bitten twice and dragged to the ground unconscious.

Algiz steps forward and grabs one of the Wolves and casts Inflict Wounds on it. The Wolf squeals and its body tenses, but then goes limp and falls to the floor. Florian’s condition worsens. Seagold fires an arrow and lands a critical hit, but fails to do enough damage to bring the Wolf down. The stricken Wolf turns on Seagold and painfully bites down on his hand. The other Wolf lunges at Algiz but is blocked by his shield.

Algiz channels divinity and uses a Healing Word to heal both Florian and Seagold. Florian regains consciousness and staggers back to his feet. Seagold fires an arrow from extremely close range but finds enough room to drive the arrow home. His target falls lifeless to the ground. The last Wolf again lunges mindlessly at Algiz but meets only his shield.

Algiz swings at the Wolf with his mace but finds only air. Florian takes two swings at the Wolf but misses, hampered by his groggy state. Seagold fires an arrow at the remaining Wolf, piercing its chest, and bringing it down.

At the far end of the room is a pile of collapsed stone and garbage. The players examine the area and realize a narrow, steep passage leads to an opening above. They decide to climb up to see what is up there. The Rangers climb with ease, but Algiz has difficulty and slides back down. On the second attempt he is able to climb to the top without issue. As they reach the top and peer into the space they see they are in a large cavern. Sacks and crates are piled up along the south side of the cavern. A fire burns in the center of the area and two large stalagmites pierce up from the floor near the spot where the players emerged. As they look straight ahead they see a Bugbear looking right back at them. Sitting in a chair he holds a thick chain at the end if which is a Wolf. To both his left and right stands a Goblin.

 

Chapter 5:

The Bugbear speaks.


Bugbear: “Who dares enter the cave of Klarg!”.
Seagold: “Don’t you know who I am?!?!”
Klarg: “No I don’t know who you are! Who are you?”
Algiz: “I am Algiz, and I’m looking for two friends of mine.”
Klarg: “I don’t know who you are, but I am the subject of Grolsh Bloodcoat, and you are invading my home!”
Seagold: “I’m looking for my two friends.”
Algiz: “A Dwarf and a Human, have you seen them?”
Klarg: “Hahaha, of course I’ve seen them!”
Seagold: “Well if you’ve seen my friends, where are they?”
Klarg: “Where they are is not of concern to you, I will build a throne from your bones!”
Seagold: “Your concern should be that we’re not afraid of you.”


Seagold attempts to intimidate Klarg. Klarg looks unsure of himself and sinks back a bit into his seat. He looks to his left, and then to his right.


Klarg: “You are only three and we are many, why should I be afraid?”
Florian: “I don’t see many in front of you.”
Seagold: “All we are is looking for our friends and we’ll be on our way.”
Klarg: What do you have to offer?
Seagold: “Your life.”
Klarg: “My life?!?!”
Florian: “Two silver pieces.”
Klarg: “Do you think my life is worth but two silver pieces?”
Florian: “Yep!”


Enraged, Klarg let’s out an angry roar and releases the chain holding the Wolf. Florian steps behind one of the stalagmites and fires an arrow at Klarg striking him in the thigh. Seagold draws his bow back for a shot but the wood of the bow splinters at the middle and breaks in half. Klarg draws a javelin from behind his back and chucks it at Florian. The vicious throw is true and Florian collapses to the ground, impaled by the javelin. The Wolf snaps at Seagold but bites the air. Both Goblins swing at Algiz with their scimitars. One misses, but one lands a solid hit klarg-roomto Algiz’s shield arm. Algiz attempts to strike one of the Goblins with his mace but misses. He follows up by casting Healing Word on Florian with his bonus action.

Florian’s eyes flutter open. Seagold casts Hunter’s Mark on the Wolf and follows up with a missed attack that throws him off balance. Klarg grabs another javelin and throws it at Algiz but it hits the wall far left of his target. The Wolf bites down on Seagold’s leg. The Goblins both engage Algiz with one landing a solid strike. Algiz casts Healing Word on himself and then swings his mace at one of the Goblins, but the Goblin brings up his shield to absorb the strike.

Florian casts Hail of Thorns and then fires his longbow at Klarg. Klarg is struck by an arrow and is swarmed by a hail of thorns that he manages to partially avoid. Seagold lands a vicious strike against the Wolf attacking him but it manages to stay on its feet. Klarg grabs his last javelin and launches it at Algiz but misses once again. The two Goblins continue to engage Algiz as well. The second Goblin lands a blow that makes it through Algiz’s defenses. The Wolf lunges at Seagold and bites down hard on his arm. Seagold collapses into unconsciousness from massive blood loss. Algiz swings his mace at the Wolf and smashes it in the skull killing it instantly.

Florian fires his longbow at Klarg who manages to dodge at the right time avoiding the arrow strike. Seagold’s condition worsens. The two Goblins continue attacking Algiz. Algiz manages to parry the first attack but the second Goblin again manages to sneak a hit through his defenses. Klarg grabs his mace and charges forward at Florian. Florian uses the stalagmite as cover and Klarg’s swing hits it sending a shower of stone chips in all directions. Algiz takes this opportunity to attempt to shove Klarg backwards into the campfire, but Klarg is just to big and heavy.

Florian, from behind the stalagmite, fires another arrow at Klarg. The resulting hit is amplified by the hail of thorns, that this time, Klarg fails to avoid. Klarg bellows in pain and collapses from the prickly assault. The hail of thorns also manages to pepper the nearest Goblin. Seeing their leader fall, the Goblin’s raise their hands and step back.


Algiz: “Drop your weapons!”
Goblin: “No! How do we know you won’t attack us?”


Florian ends the discussion by firing his bow at one of the Goblins, but the arrow misses. Seagold’s condition worsens even further. The Goblins turn and run from the room. Algiz casts Spare the Dying on Seagold and stabilizes him.

Florian charges to the doorway in pursuit of the Goblins and fires off another arrow. This one finds it mark and drops one of the Goblins from behind. Algiz searches the Bugbear for treasure.

Florian moves forward down a set of steps into the next room to see if he can fire another arrow at the last fleeing Goblin. He enters a large chamber with two pools of water to his north and a waterfall on the eastern side. He spots the fleeing Goblin. Unfortunately he is fleeing in the direction of three other Goblins who look confused as to what is happening. Florian draws his bow back and fires an arrow, not at the fleeing Goblin, but one of his comrades. The arrow cuts through the Goblin’s left arm severing an artery. Bleeding profusely the Goblin crumples to the ground. Seagold quickly steps back into the relative safety of Klarg’s chamber.

The fleeing Goblin, emboldened by his comrades, turns and charges along with them to the base of the steps. Algiz fires his crossbow at the first to step around the corner but only manages to nick him. Florian administers a healing potion to Seagold. Seagold regains consciousness and his wounds heal significantly. The Goblins all fire their short bows at Florian, but the difficult angle causes all three to miss their mark.

Algiz takes cover behind a crate and fires his crossbow at the same Goblin as before. This time he lands a good hit to the torso, but the Goblin stays up. Florian fires his longbow at a Goblin but misses his target. Seagold casts Cure Wounds on Algiz. The Goblins charge into the chamber and attack Algiz. The first Goblin grabs onto Algiz with a successful grapple. The second Goblin throws a punch that Algiz manages to avoid, but the third Goblin lands a kick to his shin. It’s devolved into a street fight.

Algiz breaks free from the grasp of the Goblin holding him. Florian fires an arrow at one of the brawling Goblins but misses. Seagold charges forward with his sword and swings at one of the Goblins but finds only air. The grappling Goblin attempts to grab Algiz again, but this time Algiz is ready for him, and blocks the attempt. The remaining two Goblins attack Algiz with their scimitars but are thwarted by Algiz’s superior parrying.

Algiz follows up with his mace and lands a solid blow to the grappling Goblin. The blow staggers him but he retains his feet. Florian fires his bow but again misses, yelling out in frustration at his repeated failed attempts. Seagold attempts another attack with this sword but it lands harmlessly on the shield of the Goblin. The grappling Goblin attempts to grab Algiz but can’t find a handhold. Both scimitar bearing Goblins swing at Algiz. The first one is parried away harmlessly. The second Goblin’s follow-through goes too far to his right and strikes his Goblin comrade in the neck killing him.

Algiz swings his mace at the grappling Goblin who manages to dodge the blow. Florian fires his longbow at the last Goblin holding a scimitar. The arrow buries itself deep into the Goblin’s chest killing him. Seagold immediately lunges forward with a powerful thrust, running the grappling Goblin through, and ending the battle.

 

Epilogue:

The players search the area and recover a small amount of silver and copper, a jade statuette, and two potions containing red liquid. Florian tosses two pieces of silver onto Klarg, exactly what his life was worth.

 

Food:

A cheese platter along with pizza & wings from Bella Pizzeria. Several choices of wine and a bottle of bourbon from Seneca Lake along with a few choices of beer.

 

Up Next:

The players are exhausted, bloodied, and in bad need of rest. Deep within the cave, can they safely shelter here to recuperate?