Faerun

Game 10
Black Earth Part 1

The Darkwinter Company are superheroes at the ranch! Although it is a bitter-sweet victory… Niki and Gorm help to dig graves for the dead while Gotha supervises. Gavaris helps with the rebuilding and along with Xaven ‘consoles’ the distraught villagers.

What is up next? Fire Elemental or the monks?…They discover that the druid and elves from Cryptgarden Forest have taken out the Fire Elemental so their choice is clear… Looking for the monastery. The DWC take a long rest at the ranch. Gotha dismisses Skorn and summons Skarp.

The next morning, waiting to take to the sky on their hippogriffs the DWC find themselves waiting for Xaven… He’s busy ‘consoling’ the bereaved. Gorm says “What? You could use Xaven as an egg-timer!”

When the heroes are finally assembled they fly up on their mounts. It doesn’t take long for them to locate the monastery on the southern edge of the Sumber Hills in a rocky vale.

On the clifftop (80’ up) the wind howls furiously as the party dismounts and spies on the structure. It is about 100’ E/W and 80’ N/S. There is a garden hidden behind it and walls of sandstone around it ranging from 20’ to 40’ high with a few gaps that lead to paths down into the vale.

The party lands about a mile away and sneak up to the cliff edge to watch… the only activity they see is someone doing some gardening for about an hour. Looking from the south they see the walls of the monastery has windows that are tall and thin, like arrow-slits. The wall surrounding the garden is 10’ tall.

Niki suggests going in from the garden… the 10’ wall is easy to climb and covers their approach and there are fewer windows on that side. Watching the place for 24 hours they see that there is no activity at night. Ok… so we’ll make our attack at night.

Leaving their hippogriffs tied to a stump they descend and approach the garden wall at around midnight.

ROUND ONE
Gavaris (22) climbs the wall. He sees some gargoyles and other humanoid statues along with some flowers but mostly veggies planted in the garden. He gives a ‘thumbs up’ signal and readies his bow.

Niki (21) gives a sign to Gorm and moves to him ready to take his hoist up and land on the wall. However, her boots are wet from the dew and her foot slips off Gorm’s hands. Niki face-plants into the wall, chipping a tooth and getting a swollen lip.

Skarp (21) delays.

Gorm (14) manages to stifle a laugh at Niki then steps back from the wall and jumps clear over it, landing amidst the vegetable garden, Bionic Man-style.

From a window beyond the garden they hear a voice say “Who goes there?”

Skarp (delayed) moves close to where Gorm landed and bursts up through the vegetation, flapping like a bird. Did she hear a clang from Gorm’s armour or did she fall for the bird trick? Skarp discerns which window the voice came from.

Sam (12) climbs over the wall.

Gotha (7) climbs over the wall and positions himself just west of Gorm. He notices a nearby statue is of exceptionally fine craftsmanship.

Xaven (6) pulls a piece of leather off of Niki’s armour, rubs it in between his hands and says an incantation. A magical energy field briefly appears around him then quickly disappears, as does the piece of leather. “See ya on the other side.” He’s over the wall.

ROUND TWO
Niki (26) swears at herself, shakes it off and collects herself. She quietly climbs over the wall and moves closer to the building drawing her bow… not so quietly. A twig snaps underfoot and she sees movement in the window but not in time to get off a shot.

Gotha (23) moves up to the door closest to the woman’s window. With gargoyles staring down at him he opens it and looking in with his Devil’s Sight sees stairs going up all made of stonework. He steps aside a bit for cover and beckons on his comrades.

Gavaris (21) drops down from the wall. He stows his bow and draws his swords while stealthily making his way up to Gotha. He readies his weapons.

Gorm (20) goes over to the other door to the building.

Sam (14) makes a bit of noise as she joins Gorm. She’s nervous about the statues and examines one closely. It is human, the detail is insanely fine, and the expression on his face is one of fear. Uh-oh… Flesh To Stone?

Xaven (11) moves near Niki. He produces a small length of copper wire and winds it around his finger which he then points at Gotha and whispers “What do you see?” Gotha replies also in a whisper. Xaven tells Niki, “He says it’s all clear.”

Skarp (6) moves to the top of the stairs 10’ up. (Can’t read my notes here, I think is says more stairs go another 20’ up… is this right, Jeff?) The hallway continues another 20’ with a door on the west about 15’ along, with other corridors further in going east/west. There is also another door about 40’ from Skarp. He moves up to the west door and sees the woman from the window coming this way. She is wearing monks robes and a mask. Skarp relays this through their telepathic link with Gotha who tells Gavaris “Go!”

ROUND THREE
Gavaris (22) moves up the stairs and engages her in the hallway just outside the door. She ducks under his first swing with ‘Talon’ but he manages to pierce her with his off-hand and the second attack with his magic blade. (14 pts all together) She screams “Intruders!”

Gorm (17) books it to the other door and up the stairs to join the fray beside Gavaris.

Niki (16) dashes into the building and up the stairs trading her bow for her blades and joins the melee.

Gotha (16) moves to the top of the stairs. His first Eldritch Blast crackles into her (8pts) but the second flies wide.

Sam (14) looks at another statue which is also a clearly frightened human. She heads to the building and up the stairs to watch their backs.

Xaven (11) moves in and up the stairs.

Skarp (9) moves further down the hallway. He sees another corridor and at least 4 doors.

Monk Lady tries to disengage and move away, however, much to her surprise Gavaris is ready for that and uses his Sentinel training to make an Opportunity Attack which not only hits her (10pts) but also stops her retreat… she can’t go anywhere. She shouts in surprise and frustration.

ROUND FOUR
A door is heard opening from the south-west corridor.

Gorm (21*) first swings wildly at the monk who easily dodges, but he then anticipates her back flip and hits her square in the stomach (24pts) but she still seems feisty.

Gavaris (22) moves 5’ to flank her with Gorm. He puts an end to her with two jabs to her midriff (22pts). As she falls to die on the floor her mask slips off and they see she is human but she has no eyes. Creepy!!! Gavaris turns and moves down the corridor.

Niki (16) drags the body into the room she came from. It is a bedroom with a bed, a desk and a table.

Sam (15) and Gotha (14) both move into the bedroom.

Xaven (4) moves into the bedroom and creates a Light.

There is torchlight and footsteps approaching from the south-west corridor. Three monks who scream “Intruders!” when they find themselves 10’ from Gavaris.

ROUND FIVE
Gavaris (22) “Three more! I’m on it! This one is for you, Gorm!” With an aggressive flourish of his swords he says a prayer to Meiliki imbuing his attacks with her radiant power. He strikes down a monk with two hits from magic blade (23pts).

Monks 2&3 move to flank Gavaris. 3 misses but 2 clocks him good with a roundhouse kick and again with a fist. (2 Crits 18pts)

Gotha (19) moves out into the hallway and catches 3 in midair with Repelling Agonizing Eldritch Blasts. He gets knocked back 20’, his mask spinning off his face (13pts).

Xaven (18) moves out and sends two Eldritch Blasts at 2. The first nicks him (3pts) but he manages to duck the second.

Niki (12) moves out and slashes her scimitar at 2 who goes down holding his neck (15pts) then moves up to 3. She can see down a hall that goes 40’ and ends in an open door to the west.

Skarp (11) moves and checks out the hallway near Gavaris then moves east and sees a hall going south and some doors.

Gorm (7) moves up to Gavaris and chucks a javelin at 3 (5pts).

Sam (4) moves out and brings down a Sacred Flame on 3 who drops, burning.

ROUND SIX
All seems quiet.

Niki (28) moves up to the south door and listens… nothing. Opening it she sees inside a Scriptorium. She moves back to everyone and says to Sam and Xaven “You guys are gonna wanna check that place out.”

Gotha and Skarp (22) go into the Monk Lady’s room and check out her desk and table. There is an unlocked chest under the desk. Gotha uses Mage Hand to open the chest. Inside is coins (1200sp, 100pp) and a cowhide wrapped around 18 semi-precious stones (10gp each). On her desk is meditation notes on the power of stone, earth and rock.

Xaven (11) goes to the bedroom and loots the monk’s body, finding a key.

A key is also found on a door jam (both keys M12). Niki has both keys. She surmises that if there is something here that turns people to stone maybe the monk lady was its caretaker and that was why her eyes were taken out.

Gavaris (9) and Gorm (8) are checking doors in the hallway. Gavaris finds a Dojo training room with a triangular symbol on the wall. Gorm finds an old unused laboratory with dusty alchemical equipment.

Sam (5) finds an abandoned bedroom off the lab.

Gotha flips the monk lady’s bed but finds nothing. Xaven takes a quick look in the Scriptorium. It is full of books on Elementals. Gavaris checks a door and finds stairs going down to the west, then turns south. Niki checks the double doors just north of the Scriptorium. Beyond is a courtyard heading west for 120’ and 40’ wide. It is made of redstone and there are big copper-sheathed double doors each 10’ wide in the middle of the north wall. There are four statues, two on either side of the copper doors. There are some windows on the south wall.

Scarp flies into the courtyard while the rest of the party go through the door between the Scriptorium and the courtyard. It is the main entrance and it is made of basalt. The main door is to the south and there is another door to the west. Skarp looks through the windows further west to look beyond the door the DWC is currently behind. He sees two doors side by side directly opposite him on the south wall and one to the south-west corner. He returns to the party.

Opening the door they see a hall with the doors that Skarp saw. Skarp flies in and sees the hall turn north ending in a door. Niki moves in to the first door and Gavaris to the second. Niki hears chanting but all is quiet behind Gavaris’ door. Niki gestures that she hears noise behind the east door and listens at the door in the north hallway which is also quiet.

The DWC position themselves outside the east door with the chanting behind it. Gotha says he has a surprise for them.

SURPRISE
Gavaris (21) opens the door and steps in. He sees a 20×30′ room with bunkbeds. There are at least a dozen sleeping figures in the beds and three monks are sitting cross-legged on the floor in masks and robes, chanting. He steps back out and readies his blades.

Niki (19) delays.

Gorm (14) delays.

Gotha (11) produces a pickled octopus tentacle and steps up to the doorway murmuring arcane words. A bitter cold blackness envelopes the room filling it with a cacophony of soft whispers and slurping noises. All those inside are blinded and in difficult terrain. Otherworldly tentacles reach out harm them. Gotha steps back and closes the door, concentrating. Gorm grabs the handle.

Niki (delayed) opens the west door and sees four monks waking in their beds. One is in different robes so Niki targets him. She moves in to assassinate, slashing and piercing with both swords (40pts). “Surprise” she whispers. Then she retreats out the door.

Gorm (delayed) holds the east door.

Skarp (8) moves and hangs with Gotha.

Sam (5) moves into the west doorway and brings a Sacred Flame down on Niki’s mark and he dies burning in bed.

Xaven (5) sends two Eldritch Blasts at a waking monk, one missing, one hitting (1pt).

Screams come from the east room… the tentacles…(11pts)

ROUND ONE
Sam (21) Sacred Flames again but the monk shakes it off.

Xaven (18) shoots a Ray of Frost at the other monk, slowing him down (6pts).

Niki (14) moves back in and slices the non-slowed monk (10pts).

Gotha (12) pins the non-slowed monk to the wall with an Repelling Agonizing Eldritch Blast (18pts). More screaming and a panicked tugging at the east door. Gorm holds it.

Skarp (12) hangs with Gotha.

Gavaris (10) moves into the west room and attacks the slowed monk… blades swirling, all three jabs find their mark (20pts).

Gorm (9) still holds the door against the monks trying to escape the Hunger of Hadar.

The monks move to flank Gavaris. He dodges one but takes two nasty knees to the gut (Crits 11pts). One also hits Niki who manages to uncannily dodge most of the hit.

ROUND TWO
Gotha (24) sends one Repelling Eldritch Blast at the monk on Niki but narrowly avoids hitting Niki (crit fail) but the other Blast sizzles into the slowed monk, knocking him back and unconscious (11pts).

Gavaris (21) targets the monk who hit him with three good hits (26pts) but the monk stays on his feet.

The monks in the east room are no longer tugging at the door.

Gorm (17) lets go of the door and moves into the south west room, swings his maul first at the monk Gavaris just hit, slamming into his hip and he crumples (14pts). He then brings it around puts down the last monk too (14pts).

Niki (14) moves to the hallway and listens… hears footfalls.

Xaven (13) delays.

The west door opens but they see nothing… invisible?

Xaven (delayed) moves towards the door and bumps into something. An enormous (10’ tall) white-bearded, grey-skinned titan appears, wearing scalemail and armed with a warpick.

The titan tries to come through into the hallway but Niki is in his way so he swing his pick at her. She takes the hit but manages to partly dodge to lessen the blow.

Xaven (13) conjures two Thunderous Chromatic Orbs and hurls them at the titan. One hits his shoulder, the other right in his chest… the energy convulses him and he drops to one knee.

When Sam’s (8) Sacred Flame takes him (10pts) he falls, transforming into a 3’ dwarf.

ROUND THREE
Gorm (17) moves up to the door and sees 6 monks. Gotha says “Don’t go in there.” Gorm shudders and readies his maul.

Gavaris (15) takes a healing potion (up to 33) and steps out of the south/west room.

Gotha (15) moves up to behind Gorm with his pickled tentacle and the cold blackness rises again in the north/west room.

Niki (14) tries to shut the door but something she can’t see is blocking it. Another transformed dwarf appears.

Gorm (readied) brings the giant to one knee with a mighty swing of his maul (15pts).

The giant dwarf (13) tries to fight back but misses.

Two new threats suddenly appear as they attack Gavaris (10pts). More Enlarged dwarfs?

Sam (11) moves up behind Gavaris and heals him (up to 43).

Skarp (10) is sticking close to Gotha.

Xaven (7) moves into Skarp’s area and slows a new giant with a Ray of Frost (9pts).

The monks in the north/west room are blind and in difficult terrain. Terrified, they make their way to the door only to be blocked by the giant dwarf there.

ROUND FOUR
Gorm shouts “This is for the Rockseekers!” and slams his maul into the giant in the doorway (13pts) and pulls the door shut.

Gavaris (21) in melee with one of the new giants, scores two hits (14pts).

Sam (18) takes him out with a Sacred Flame (12pts).

Xaven (18) moves to see the last enemy standing in the hallway and bloodies his nose and sends teeth flying with an Eldritch Blast (13pts).

Screams come from the north/west room as the tentacles start their gentle caress. Gorm holds the door.

Gotha (15) sends an Eldritch Blast right through the eye of the giant in the hallway and he crumples (12pts).

Gorm holds the door until they stop trying to get out. Gavaris Lays Hands on Niki (up to 27).

Gorm and Sam search the priest’s room and find a locked chest. The key is found on the priest’s body. It is not locked and inside they find 180gp, 135cp, cloth of gold priestly vestments (60gp), a leather pouch with two gold bracelets (45gp each), and three scrolls: Earth Bind (2nd Druid/Sorcerer/Wizard), Maximillian’s Earthen Grasp (2nd Sorcerer/Wizard), Transmute Rock (5th Druid/Wizard).

Gavaris and Niki search the Duregar room. It is very spartan. The monks did not seem to own anything. The dwarves had some coin on them though (80gp). Lots of gear and weapons and doors have the triangle symbol on it… Ogremach… they called out to him when they died.

Pressing on, Niki listens at the north door at the end of the hallway. Hearing nothing she opens the door to 50×40′ empty dining hall. There are two doors on the northern wall. One is quiet. From behind the other they hear some whistling and scrubbing.

SURPRISE
Niki (26) opens the door and sees 6 shocked monks. She moves in with Advantage and nearly slices one in two, “Surprise!” (28pts) but she fumbles her second attack and drops her short sword.

Gavaris (20) jabs at monk with “Talon” twice (19pts) but sprains a finger on his off-hand as his attack goes awry.

Gotha (17) slinks into the kitchen and fires two Agonizing Eldritch Blasts. One takes out the one Gavaris already bloodied (12pts) and the other crackles over another monk (5pts).

Skarp (16) hangs with Gotha.

Gorm (14) moves in and smashes the one Gotha injured making him drop to one knee (16pts).

Xaven (8) steps in to the side of the door and finishes off the kneeling monk with an Eldritch Blast. The second Blast gives another monk a flesh wound (1pt).

Sam (7) moves into the kitchen and sends a Sacred Flame to the monk that Xaven nicked (13pts).

ROUND ONE
Gavaris (24) engages an uninjured monk. He scores three hits, even with his sprained finger (Disadvantage) (18pts). He’s still up but bleeding badly.

Monk 4 (19) kicks Niki (6pts).

Xaven (19) finishes off the monk he previously damaged with another Blast and sends his second to finish off the one Gavaris started on.

Niki (17) is on the last monk. She slices her (6pts) and draws a dagger in place of her dropped short sword and stabs (5pts). A big swell of blood seeps from her side but she’s still conscious.

Gorm (13) jumps over to the monk and grabs her “We have some questions for you!”. He ties her up.

The monk does not break under interrogation nor does she succumb to Gotha’s Charm spell. She is dispatched. There is a door on the west wall of the kitchen which is a larder. There are also a set of stairs going down from the kitchen. In the middle of the monastery there is a huge empty shrine. There are 4 large columns and a wide set of stairs going down. Also in the north-east corner of the shrine they find a lever. Niki cannot determine what it might do so they leave it untouched.

They rest for an hour in the Scriptorium. While there Xaven looks at the weave and finds two scrolls: Dust Devil (2nd Druid/Sorcerer/Wizard and Erupting Earth (3rd Sorcerer). There are lots of books on the Elemental Planes. Something called “the Fane of the Eye”, “Visions of Earth Walking”, “Ironfang Holy Implement of Earthen Power”. Five copies of the same text in a safe storage box “Testament of Marlos Urnrayle, Prophet of Earth”. Marlos was drawn to a place called “the Fane of the Eye” by powerful visions. There he found “Irongfang, the Holy Implement of Earth Power,” and took it for his own. Marlos established the Temple of Black Earth in the ruins of a long-abandoned dwarven stronghold that exists below the Sacred Stone Monastery. He nurtures something called the Black Geode, and when all is ready, "the Evergrowing Mountain shall come and remake these lands in his own image. The book collection is valuable… 2 bookshelves of books worth 25gp each.

Proceeding down the middle staircase (I think that means the one between the Scriptorium and the monk lady’s room) they find some buckets… empty but wet. At the bottom of the stairs there is a 20’ corridor ending at a door. Listening, Niki hears a lot of loud snoring. Cracking the door she sees an oddly shaped room with two doors, a well and 5 sleeping brutes (1 ogre and 4 half ogres).

The plan is to sneak in and kill them in their sleep. The DWC position themselves, each taking a sleeping form with Xaven in the middle ready to clean things up. As Gorm quietly approaches the ogre his maul starts to glow blue and the lights casts eerie shadows as the party all raise their weapons over the sleeping forms (Nazgul in the Prancing Pony).

SURPRISE (all crits)
Niki does 36pts… still alive “Surprise!”

Sam does 10pts… still alive.

Gavaris does 32pts… still alive.

Gorm does 53pts… still alive.

Gotha does 23pts on the ogre… dead! And 10pts on Niki’s…still alive.

Xaven does 8pts + 2 poison on Niki’s… dead.

ROUND ONE
Niki (22) jumps on top of one of the waking ogres and puts her short sword through his eye “Surprise!” then slashes out at Sam’s who is barely up on one elbow (9pts).

Gavaris (21) stabs one to put it down and further injures Sam’s.

Xaven (20) steps up “Bye” and Blasts the last one dead.

Exploring, they find corridors with cave-ins and rubble and finally come upon a cell. There are human and dwarfs in rags behind the bars. There are three pens with 17 commoners and one not-so-commoner. Bruldenthar, an historian, was a member of the Mirabar Delegation. The delegation was ambushed by earth cultists south of Beliard, who slayed most of the guards. The cultists and their captives were ferried across the Dessarin River by pirates who received the books on mining as payment. Those books were to be a gift to the Rockseekers. Bandits flying on giant vultures ambushed the earth cultists somewhere in the Sumber Hills. The bandits captured the Prince. Bruldenthar and the rest were brought to the Sacred Stone Monastery. Rhundorth and Teresiel were taken below to an unknown fate, while the historian and the other local captives were made to mine sheets of sandstone.

Hmmm… some of the Feathergale Society rode vultures…

There are a set of dwarven-made stairs going down.

View
Game 9
Gavaris' Vengeance

As the Darkwinter Company circle in to land within the fortified half-walls of the Dellmon Ranch Gavaris spies an orc banner in amongst the nearby trees. It is a banner he has seen before… none other than Zarakh Blooddrinker himself! It looks like Gavaris’ Vengeance is at hand!

Coming in for a landing they see people waving and beaconing. The hippogriffs touch down in a dusty cloud among a community of clearly frightened people. A human in armour approaches saying, “Gods be praised!” She is Erin Stoutblade, a knight who arrived just before the horde. They also meet the local noble Kerbin Dellmon and his family; wife, Marka (a scout) and their children, Perd, Dreena (a druid), and Fyndrick (a guard). A halfling scout, Flameran Verminbane and two dwarves, Stol and Branikan (blacksmiths) are also introduced.

Gavaris introduces the Darkwinter Company and does his whole Meilikki spiel. [Michael, feel free to write what Gavaris would have said.] He and Stoutblade hit it off immediately over the Retribution to orcs thing. The Company asks for any information on the warband. It is known they have at least one spellcaster.

Gavaris is grave and focused. He asks Kerbin Dellmon if the Company can take charge. “Yes, yes please.”

Assembling all those who can fight they have; Kerbin Dellmon, Erin Stoutblade, Dreena, 7 guards (including Fyndrick), 12 commoners (including Stol and Branikan and Perd), and 4 scouts (including Marka and Flameran). The Company each take charge of a small group and take up defensive positions. The non-combatants take refuge in the barn.

As the day grows dark they see orc scouts start to fan out around the homestead at the edge of the surrounding forest.

ROUND ONE
Xaven takes to the air on his hippogriff… the only one that can sniper from a safe distance. Dreena casts Longstrider on Gavaris who casts Divine Favour on himself and waits for something to come in range. Everyone readies their ranged weapons. Gorm winks at Stoutblade, “Are you ready, lassie?” Skorn invisibly searches in the forest for the spellcaster. She hears drumming and follows it to a one-eyed orc shaman with a hawk-feathered headdress, dancing and beating a drum on his hip. Skorn moves up and stings him! (Poisoned DIS on attacks and ability checks 4 rounds). The drumming falters and Skorn slinks back into the forest.

ROUND TWOTWELVE
Xaven manages to get 5 hits with Eldritch Blast. And some of the scouts manage to feather some orcs causing them to fade back into the forest. Then they wait…

ROUND THIRTEEN
The orcs emerge from the forest, screaming and running towards the walls from all directions. Arrows fly! Some orcs go down. Skorn stings the Shaman again but it shakes off the poison. Xaven sends Eldritch Blast from above. Gorm screams and yells.

ROUND FOURTEEN
The orcs continue running… they are now 180’ away. Arrows fly, some hitting, some missing. Skorn misses Blooddrinker. Xaven drops to 160’ and sends a twinned Acid Chromatic Orb at the Shaman and Blooddrinker. Blooddrinker gets hit hard and the Shaman even harder… full in the face, the acid melting his eyes and brain… gross! (Crit)

ROUND FIFTEEN
The orcs continue running and those that make it are now 90’ away. However, some get snared in Dreena’s Entangle spell and some drop from arrows. Blooddrinker gets pummelled by Eldritch Blasts from both Xaven and Gotha, the latter’s knocking him 10’ back, prone. Gavaris, jumps the wall and starts making his way around to engage Blooddrinker, mano a mano.

ROUND SIXTEEN
Most of the orcs move up to 30’ from the walls and throw javelins… A few commoners go down. Another group of orcs books it right up to the wall. Niki and her scouts take some down from range. Sam casts Bless. Gotha’s Faerie Fire fizzles and Xaven twinned orbs miss Blooddrinker. Gorm takes two down with two twirling handaxes. Gavaris continues his way toward Blooddrinker. At about 55’ away he falters from a flashback of the destruction of his home. He holds his holy symbol of Meilikki and channels some energy through it (Abjure Enemy) but Blooddrinker is not effected and laughs, saying, “I remember you.” Gavaris casts Hunter’s Mark (bonus action) and says, “You will now face the wrath of Meilikki!” Blooddrinker chucks a javelin at him but Gavaris bats it away.

ROUND SEVENTEEN
More orcs make it over the wall, some funelling in between the barn and forge. Orcs converge on Kerbin and some guards and commoners go to help him. Some from each side go down. Niki and the scouts again do well with their arrows. Gorm and Stoutblade smile as at last they are in melee. Dreena sends out a Thunderwave taking some out and Gotha sends some to Sleep. Xaven manages to trap some of the invaders who were in between the barn and forge with a Web. Gavaris closes with Blooddrinker and ‘Talon’ rips into his ear and out the back of his neck but missing the brain (crit with Divine Smite 27pts) but Blooddrinker swings around with a might attack of his own and Gavaris falls unconscious to the ground. Blooddrinker steps over his body and moves towards the wall.

ROUND EIGHTEEN
The battle continues, now mostly inside the walls. Niki and the scouts continue their good work… especially Niki and Marka with crits. Orcs fall but so do some people. Gotha and Xaven both hit the approaching Blooddrinker, one with an Eldritch Blast, the other with a powerful Lightning Chromatic Orb but he keeps coming. Stoutblade is injured and Gorm helps her out by dropping a Healing potion where she can get it. Skorn moves to Gavaris and feeds him a Healing Potion.

ROUND NINETEEN
The orcs surrounding Kerbin are too strong and the noble falls. More orcs fall… some from arrows, some from Dreena’s flames. Sam sends a Spiritual Weapon against Blooddrinker for a solid hit but still he comes. Gavaris is up! He moves and draws his bow on Blooddrinker and misses but it does get his attention. He turns to the elf and says “You should’ve stayed down boy!” Then an arrow takes Blooddrinker from behind and punches through his chest! Nice shot Marka! Blooddrinker falls unconscious, bleeding out in the dirt. Gavaris approaches with his blades drawn “Your death is from Meilikki!”, and beheads his enemy.

The remaining orcs break and run to be picked off from hippogriff back. It is a bitter-sweet victory as many people fell. Those that survived… Erin Stoutblade, Dreena, Marka, Perd, the 3 other scouts, 3 guards (not Fyndrick) and 4 commoners, plus 8 non-combatants.

Elves from the High Forest come galloping up…. Too late! Gavaris informs them that he has done what the Lady of the Wood had asked of him. “My task is done. My allegiance is now to the Darkwinter Company.”

View
Game 8
...of the Darkwinter Company's Big Day, Fire Elementals and Hippogriffs...

The Darkwinter Company are reunited… all except Gavaris, who is late. They all catch up with what everyone has been doing the last two years. “Two years?” Ask Xaven and Gotha, “Why, we only left you three weeks ago.” It seems time has different rules in the Feywild. Xaven’s usually exemplary memory is a bit fuzzy on his weeks spent there but he enthuses that “the Feywild is a magical place.” He shows sketches he made while there that help jog his mind a bit. As do the stories Gotha tells of how Xaven was the life of the party.

Neifion granted the answers to three questions asked by Xaven and Gotha. They first asked the wisest course of action concerning the Green Dragon that the druid wanted us to get rid of. “Wait until you are stronger,” was the reply. “What is the safest way to travel with the crown of Rockthwar?” “There is no safe way. And don’t ever wear it.” And finally, Xaven asks “How can I repair the rift in the Forge of Spells?” Neifion’s answer is a little vague, as is his wont, “You need the strength of a God and a blade as sharp as can be made.”
*Rod and Paul, please embellish!*

Sam has a tale of pirates!… *****Noelle, you’re up… write Sam’s story!******

It is the night before the party and Gavaris has not yet arrived.

Pavilions are set up all around Wave Echo Cave and there is a festive atmosphere in the air. Gundren Rockseeker is upset because the dwarven prince from Mirobar and his entourage are also late for the festivities… by two weeks! The party is tomorrow!

The heroes are in Gundren’s tent. He is drunk, drinking hard liquor from a bottle. Not only is he upset about the prince but he also says, “My clients think I can create magic weapons. If you can’t fix it I’ll be exposed as a fraud!” The heroes try to cajole him and he perks up a bit at the idea of giving them a sneak preview of the mines, “They’ll be a might different that last you saw them, I’d wager!”

Just then they hear a horse galloping toward the tent. Someone jumps off the horse and they hear a familiar voice, “I am Gavaris Autumnleaf, chosen of Mielikki, and member of the Darkwinter Company. Let me in now, as I must speak to my friends immediately!”

​He is breathing rapidly, and he appears as if he has just been in a fight, if not a war. You see scars on his face and arms. You see that he is a little leaner than when he left with Gotha and Xaven. You see that his armour is riddled with notches, scratches, and dents. There is also an even steelier, more determined look in his eyes, if such is possible
​"Greetings, Rockseekers," he says, nodding to Gundren and Nundro. Then he looks at the assembled members of the Darkwinter Company and says . . . .
​“Friends, please accept my sincerest apologies for intruding upon your dinner like this, and for arriving this late before tomorrow’s festivities.

​“I would have come sooner, but . . . obligations have kept me in the High Forest. In truth, I did not want to come at all, but I was commanded to do so by the Lady of the Wood. She believes that I must represent the Or-tel-quessir at this significant occasion, and so I have ridden these past several days from the High Forest to be here.

​“Yet I fear that I cannot stay for long beyond tomorrow’s ceremonies. I must return to the High Forest as soon as possible.

​“My people need me. We are at war with the orcs. Not just any orcs, but the tribe of Zarakh Blooddrinker.

​“It was he who led the slaughter of my village and the community of those dedicated to Mielikki, of which I was once an acolyte. It is him and all his tribe against whom I have sworn holy vengeance, charged by Mielikki herself to cleanse the world of their blight.

​“Today, that vengeance is within my grasp.

​“In the final battle in the mines, when we faced our deaths, Mielikki was there, even in that deep, desecrated place. She favours us. I believe it in my very soul.

​“This is why I humbly ask you now to return with me to the High Forest. Come with me, and together we will mete out Mielikki’s vengeance upon Zarakh Blooddrinker and his tribe. We are destined for this, my friends. We will gain Mielikki’s eternal gratitude, and we will be forever honoured as saviours by the Or-tel-quessir.

​“I know that I am asking you to risk your lives for a cause that is not your own. I would not ask if my people’s need was not great. I would not ask if I held any uncertainty about our success.

​“If you agree, we must depart for the High Forest after the ceremonies.

​“What say you, friends? Will you come with me?”

Niki, takes a bite from an apple and shrugs a shoulder, “Personal vengeance? I get it. I’m in.” Gorm nods and raises his mug, “Killing orcs? Sounds good!” and downs his ale. The others of the company nod their agreement… but the party first, right?

The Darkwinter Company join Gundren for their sneak peak of the mine. The road built going to the entrance is quite grand and someone stuffed the Beholder which is mounted above the entrance, staring down menacingly. They reach the Forge of Spells and everything is shiny and beautiful. Statuary has been reclaimed by the miners and there is fancy, comfortable furniture spartanly placed. But Gundren is forlorn again and with a cry of “It’s all a lie!” promptly passes out.

Oh boy… well, maybe, they surmise, if we save Gavaris’ people the Lady of the Wood will grant us a ’God’s strength’… then we just need the sharpest blade of all time. Gorm isn’t so worried about it. “Let’s not worry. We’re still getting the mirthril. It’s his issue about the magic.”

The next day, the festivities start with a procession along the road leading to the mine entrance. The Darkwinter Company are in their finest adventuring gear… all spiffy and shiny. Gavaris is distracted and fidgety… he just wants this to be over and be on the way back to High Forest. The others of the company enjoy the attention of the many folk who came from far and wide to get a glimpse of this new force who reclaimed the Forge of Spells, taking their time and shaking hands along the way.

There is a ribbon cutting ceremony where Gundren individually mentions each Company member and he also presents Gotha with a Belt of Dwarvenkind (DMG pg 155). The elite of the crowd then enter the mine for the party while the plebs have their fun outside. At the entrance to the mine, even the guests of honour are asked to leave their weapons behind. Although not incredibly happy about it they do so, Niki making a show of producing dagger after dagger after dagger from her finery.

During the party Gotha makes a big show in the telling of the taking of the mine, using Illusion and Prestidigitation to really sell it. This attracts some investors and some recruits. Niki also talks with Saewynn Saehild, a disaffected youth, daughter of one of the nobles. She’s interested in making a name for herself and joining the Company too. Niki also slips a little packet of white powder in the drink of one of the more insufferable nobles.

Approximately 10 pm the party is in full swing. Gavaris is being unsociable and hanging out near the entrance. Gorm and Sam are in the pub the dwarves set up… Gorm is drunk. Xaven and Gotha are at the Forge and Niki is in the dining room, waiting for her mark to show some signs of discomfort.

Near the entrance Gavaris hears a disturbance and sees signs of combat… a glimpse of humans with gargoyle masks, fighting with hands and bare feet. Dwarven guards are going down. He turns into the mine shouting, “Raiders!!!”

ROUND ONE
Niki hears Gavaris’ shout and looks disappointed at the ass of a noble while she collects six of the sharpest knives off the dining room table. She hears the noble shit his pants as dashes out of the room and smiles. Gotha dashes to make his way up to intercept and sends his new familiar Skorn to find Gundren to get the keys to the armoury.

Then, from the top of the gallery, a man wearing a gold gargoyle mask appears. He is covered in cuts and wounds and is holding a yellow orb. He leaps and lands, hard, on the bridge, yelling “This abomination ends now!” He then hurls the orb down into the temple. There is a massive burst of energy and the whole mine starts to shake.
[I thought he leapt out with the yellow orb and brought it down on the centre column of the mine, killing himself and setting off the quake – Rod]

Almost everyone falls down in the earthquake (except Gotha). Gavaris gets up and dashes towards the man on the bridge. Sam gets up and looking around for a weapon finds a pickaxe behind the bar. Gorm gets up, shakes his head to clear it, and smashes a chair to make a club. Xaven gets up and looks out to the bridge. He sends a Fire Chromatic Orb speeding towards the masked man and sets him of fire!

ROUND TWO
Gavaris moves up to the intruder and punches him in the face, knocking his unconscious and he falls off the bridge to his death. Sam casts Cat’s Grace on herself and joins the line of panicked people trying to get out. Gorm slaps himself in the face to sober up and moves. Gotha is on the move and Skorn is still looking for the keys. Niki starts making her way to the top and Xaven casts Mage Armour and starts his way out.

Debris is falling everywhere and deep fissure are opening all around. Xaven falls into one! The ground is still shaking and everyone keeps falling down.

In the end, the Darkwinter Company all get safely out and capture one of the monks. But there are many injured and some dead of the other guests. Two huge rock walls came down and the fire elemental is loose. The mine is not going to be producing any mithril until it is fixed, which won’t happen until that fire elemental is dealt with.

Gavaris wants to go and leave this mess to the dwarves. “Guys, you promised! After the ceremony, we’d go to High Forest!” But the rest of the Company are pissed at this attack on their mine and want to deal with that first. “This is personal! They wrecked our mine!”

Gotha talks with the captive, “That was a bold attack. Those people were chumps.” The monk says something about “The fruits of the earth belong to Ogramach.” Apparently Ogramach s from the Prime of Elemental (earth) Evil.

A meeting is called with the higher nobles, the Rockseekers and the Darkwinter Company. People are freaked… there has been increased banditry, the orcs in High Forest, unnatural weather (drought and storms), pirates, and now this Old God stuff going on!

There is a debate after which Gavaris reluctantly agrees to take care of the fire elemental first, “But then High Forest, right?” “Well, after that we’ll reassess our priorities.”

The Company enter the mine again and head for the flame to temporarily imbue their weapons with magic. Gorm wears the fire resistant welder’s gear. They find the elemental in a deep crevasse that is slowly filing with water.

Xaven realizes he can talk with it in Primordial, casts Spider Climb and heads down, leaving his compatriots a little bewildered.

“Hello, friend.”

“Friend? You are no friend to me, fleshpod.”

“I could be.”

“I don’t trust you. Your kind trapped me here for hundreds of years.”

“No us. We could help you leave if you help us get to the Plane of Fire. You are about to be immersed in a lake of water. I’d like to avoid that.”

“Go on…”

“You are magnificent.”

“Yes, I am.”

Xaven books it back up to the top to get Gorm. As they return back down the fire elemental shouts “No dwarves!” but as the water starts to lap at its fiery feet, “Ok, Ok.” However, as soon as it reaches the top it takes off… The charred trail shows it is heading towards the Sumber Hills… and he might have said something about going to a door.

Well, that didn’t go exactly as planned but at least the Rockseekers can get back to restoring the mine… again.

So… the monk problem…

The party pretends to turn on Gotha as an elemental sympathizer and tie him to a pole beside the monk. “What’s your plan for getting out of here?” he asks the monk. “To die well.” “We need to warn your master. These guys won’t stop.”

Gotha uses Skorn to ‘break them out’… [the notes about this stop here and we are suddenly heading out with no monk…. not sure what happened.]

Heading into the Dessarin Valley…
The Company head first to Coneyberry and are attacked while camped at night by werejackals and although their lack of silvered weapons is a hinderance they manage to put them all down. Continuing on to Triboar they hear tales of missing scouts. In Westbridge they stay the night at the Harvest Inn and chat with the halfing innkeep, Heriven Dardregan. “Its terrible what happened to those kids… homesteaders just outside of town. Abducted by raiders!” She also confirms that the Prince of Mirobar’s party did stay here, about a month ago.

Travelling to Red Larch they see a group of about 6 birdmen fly overhead. When they get into Red Larch they find a likely tavern. Here they hear tales of the elves in High Forest. It is not going well… The orcs are overruning them. Many dead, lost homes and refugees. The innkeep also mentions the weirdness happening in the Sumber Hills… hot winds, fog that persist, lightning from ground to sky, and it’s getting worse… a fell magic.

There is a half-orc in the tavern who had been a caravan guard for the Prince but had quit the Mirobar delegation 15 days ago at Beliard because she hates dwarves… to Gorm “Get out of my face dwarf.” Gorm balls his hand into a fist but does not strike. Gavaris stands beside him while Niki, quite obviously, goes to stand behind the half-orc. Niki calmly informs her, “You owe my friend an apology.” “Fuck you.” A slight smile, “You OWE my friend an apology.” “Get out of my way!” The other patrons are getting nervous and starting to leave but before things get out of hand Gotha casts Sleep catching the half-orc and a few innocent bystanders, while Xaven uses Prestidigitation to make a fart noise, “Excuse me!”

Before the innkeep can complain Gotha says, “I just deferred a bar fight. We don’t want any trouble.” All is ok.

Chatting with a priest in the tavern they ask about Ogremach. The priest once skimmed a book that mentioned him… an ancient prince of elemental evil. “Do you have the book?” “No, it is a rare book. The one I read was at Candlekeep.”

With directions on how to get to Featherdale Spire the Company depart at 9 am. They see the spire rising high from quite a distance away. It is high on a limestone cliff and the wind is howling through the valley. They approach the closed drawbridge. “Ho there!” “Hey! What are you doing here?” “We want our hippogriffs!” “Are you the Darkwinter Company?” “Of course!”

The Company is let in and greeted by a woman who leads them up the spire. They pass a dining hall that is being set up, apparently by for a big party. When they reach the top they are introduced to man in a feather cape. “Ah! The Darkwinter Company! My best clients… 6 hippogriffs! Quite a handful.” They pay him the 6000gp owed and convince him to throw in some harnesses.

They meet their hippogriffs… Gotha and Niki gets girls (Rainbow and Foxglove respectively), while the other are boys (Gorm names his Pokey). Training starts right away but on mature mounts. “Learn your gear or you will die.” is the advice of the trainer.

After training, they are invited to attend their 10th anniversary party! Much is discussed at the party, including the plight of the High Forest elves and the weird weather and the abductions. The birdmen are archokra… savages, not hostile but not friendly. Just when the conversation turns to the monks a rider bursts in, screaming, “Manticore!”

The Darkwinter Company with a day of training under their belts take to the sky with the Featherdale Society. They don’t do so badly and the manticore is eventually taken down by a Web spell from Xaven. They return to the spire and Xaven collects his prize as the one who took down the manticore, a hippogriff ring.

The next day training is complete and the riders tell of a monastery nearby. The Darkwinter Company, on their young Hippogriffs, take off from the Spire in search of it. They soon see a dark column of thick smoke rising in the air. It’s coming from a farmstead. “Oh shit!” says Gavaris, “The Hemsfords!”

Circling in to land, Xaven does what he can to douse the flames with Rays of Frost. Sam rushes to an injured half-elf and heals him.

“Where’s my wife? Gods! They must have taken her!” A band of orcs sacked his farm and took his wife… he’s going after them!… And so are we!

It takes 15 minutes to catch up to a band for four orcs with several prisoners. The orcs are dispatched and the people saved. Some of them were on their way to the Delvin Ranch. “We hear it’s been fortified and is our only chance. There is a much larger force out here somewhere!”

Approaching the Dellmon Ranch from the air they see a small fortified ranch and a warband of orcs, maybe 40 approaching through the forest……..

View
Game 7
Kneel before Rokthwar

After the near TPK, the DWC decided to clear out all the creatures and then explore with both hands free. It takes about a week… fighting rust mosters and stirges etc.

While exploring they eventually find where Nezznar, the Black Spider, and his mercs were hiding out. There is a prisoner there… a dwarf, bound and gagged slumped over a table. The heroes release him and Sam heals him. He is Nundro Rockseeker.

“You saved me from a madman! The Spider – Nezznar – my brother fell on the stairs and he was waiting for me. He was obsessed with an iron crown and something called Rockthwar. He would meditate and speak in magic tongues… but I could make out the name Rockthwar.”

The party show Nundro their contract with his brother to prove we work for him. “Thank you for saving my life.”

When they find Nezznar’s body they find some interesting things on it… A necklace of a skull with a pulsing green saphhire for an eye. Xaven says it doesn’t read as magic, yet it clearly is. Gotha takes it for now. Sam takes a Potion of Healing. Gorm shoulders the exporers kit and Xaven’s eyes light up at the Spider’s Staff (Web, Spider’s Climb, +1d6 poison, 10 charges), 3 small gem stone (8sp each), a dwarven ale mug made of electrum (100gp)

They also recovered the fire resistant apron and visor and Gauntlets of some kind of strength.

The DWC finds an Eye of Minute Seeing in the gemology lab. Niki takes it for now. They also found a Potion of Hill Giant’s strength (Gavaris) and a mithril chain shirt which they will sell, and some periodot gems.

Now… about that crown… it takes only an hour to get it out of the ground… they were really close!

Gotha uses the Eye to gaze into the Black Sapphire. He sees a Pit Fiend and six lesser devils in about two acres of Hell.

Xaven meditates on the iron crown.

Jeff Orchard: [I’ve described to Rod the first 8 minutes of his experience with the Iron Crown, after first encountering the weave. So 18 minutes of meditation. It looks like he was finally going to say something but slurred his words.]

We immediately try to break his concentration then… I think Gotha had an idea how to do that…

[He stipulated more severe conditions which is why you were triggered a bit later. I’m still awaiting Rod’s initial reply.]

Xaven is not Evil yet …..

[I have replied to Rod]

“Gnnsshhhh….lllllldddddnnn…”

“Friends, the sorcerer becomes incoherent. What shall we do?”

Smack him

Hide the crown

Gavaris moves to throw a sack or cloak over the crown

[Xaven’s face had just contorted when you slapped him]

Gavaris now definitely puts a sack or cloak over the crown, so Xaven can no longer see it or the gem.&

[The DM returns to the table with Rod]

Lord Gloomwing continues to slap the sorcerer.

Gorm will try and find some water to splash in his face

Quickly! Fetch me that eggplant.

okay, well since i apparently WON’T need the augury spell, I cast resistance, bless and cure

I don’t think what Xaven’s doing obviates the casting of Augury. We can still do that. There are multiple ways we can try to understand what the crown is.

if i knew xaven was doing this, i would have prepared and cast Protection from Evil and Good (so that’s three rounds)

“Could you all please stop that. Why did you light my feet on fire?”

[This was about 18 or 19 minutes. yes, Xaven was wincing in pain but his feet aren’t actually burned.]

Xaven looks down at himself to confirm that he is still restrained as instructed. “Incredible, I don’t know how that happened but it explains how they could not touch me….I shall have to look into this phenomenon…..”

[There’s a pregnant pause as the Darkwinter Company looks to Xaven, curious despite their better (for the most part) natures.]

Gotha, looks slightly disappointed. His hand ready for more slapping.

Looking right at Gotha, Xaven speaks directly to him.

“Rokthwar is a singularly unpleasant creature, I did not like him at all.”

“So you’re not possessed?”

“No, why? Should I be? He did ask me to kneel but I wasn’t going to do that.”

What happened? What was it like?

who else was there?

Did you see my uncle?

He was rather unpleasant

Snicker

But seriously, what happened?

“It was like nothing I have ever experienced before. I focused on the Weave around the crown but it…drew me in, I suppose. It was almost like unravelling a twisted rope or getting through a labyrinth…there was a smell like rotting flesh and I could hear the fires and the intense burning in my feet. My mouth seemed full of ash….I was standing in mud before a towering, red and black Pit Fiend, Rokthwar. An amazing specimen, truly. His body writhed with muscles and power, covered in scars. He sat across from me, seated on a throne of bone, flanked by Spined Devils to either side and all in front of a cliff behind him. He did not speak aloud but I could hear his voice in my head. The pitch was so low, I could barely make it out.”

" Who are you?’ he asked and I replied ‘I am Xaven. Who are you?’ "

“I would swear I was there, but my body seemed… absent… translucent… perhaps Astral? I do not know. I do know that I did not speak back to him but more..thought my reply to him, almost as if in a dream.”

" ‘I? I am Rokthwar, your King" he sent to me. "Once and Future King of Faerun. Kneel, mortal. Who is most important to you, in your little life, I wonder?’ "

’ “A curious question, Demon Lord. I believe I am most important to me, who else?” ’ I did not kneel, of course. I wasn’t really there so why would I kneel?"

His answer was curious, I found. ’ “An appropriate answer. An inappropriate posture.” ’ Then his two Spined Devils tried to force me to my knees. They tried to push down on my shoulders from behind but their scaly claws passed right through my insubstantial body. They were quite upset about this and one snarled right beside me. I don’t mind admitting that I was quite startled by that. I believe it broke my concentration and returned me here, not that I really left mind you but ….I didn’t leave did I? That would have been quite something else entirely. It was a very interesting experience but I do believe that it is not something we should risk again. I suspect the consequences of that would be..unfortunate."

A low whistle from Niki. Sheeeee-it.

Wow

We almost lost you buddy

So who’s next?

Yuck yuck yuck

How is Rokthwar there (wherever there is) when he is dead and desiccated down there?

(Pointing down the shaft)

Pit fiends die when they die, right?

I would have thought so before but I believe that Rokthwar, or perhaps a part of his essence, was transferred into the jewel in the crown. His power is or was on a scale we can only dream of. Imagine, if you will, a being whose power is such that their imaginings can change the shape of Reality. He might have taken over a part of the Realm of Death for all we know. All of this is speculation but whatever way you choose to interpret this, he is a being beyond our power.

Hmmm… And you just got his attention.

I’d say this crown might be hard to destroy

Some anti-magic water from the forge might not cut it

The statue or augury… We have to know how.

I’m guessing Rokthwar is looking for a host so he can return to this plane

Let’s try augury first. We don’t want to waste those statue uses

I’m sure there are some who would gladly be that host.

I can think of one

And he’s nasty enough already

Your uncle?

My father

Well, let’s make sure that doesn’t happen.

He’s usually holed up in the citadel, busy messing with necromancy

I don’t think augury will tell us how to destroy it… The statue might. And the hag will answer a question!

Yes, the hag is also a good idea

[Yes, the hag Agatha will answer one question]

Such power!

The power for one over so many. It’s gotta go.

Agreed, my friends. Let us compose a question to ask and let Sam determine the plan’s merit. We will ask after the anti-magic water first?

Makes sense…as we’re here.

Perhaps using Augury to determine which course of action is likely to be the most successful and then we can turn to the Statue if we need a more specific answer?

Trying to carry the crown in a bag proved futile as it would just rip through. Eventually it was wrapped in chainmail, then put in the bag until Gorm makes a mithril chest for it.

The first Augury question… “If we put Rockthwar’s crown in the anti-magic pool, will it reduce the danger posed to the Faerun Realm by Rockthwar and his allies?” WOE.

Next… “If we put Rockthwar’s crown in the Rift in the Forge of Spells, will it reduce the danger posed to the Faerun Realm by Rockthwar and his allies?” SILENCE.

Next… “If we destroy Rockthwar’s crown will it reduce the danger posed to the Faerun Realm by Rockthwar and his allies?” WEAL.

“Will immersing Rockthwar’s crown in molten mithril destory it?” WOE.

“Would smashing Rockthwar’s crown with the mine machines destroy it?” WOE.

“Would feeding Rockthwar’s crown to the fire elemetal destroy it?” WOE.

Gotha asks the statue, “How do we destroy Rockthwar’s crown?” A voice inside his head tells him, “CAST IT INTO THE LAVA BENEATH THE WEEPING COLLOSSUS IN THE FIRE NODE LEADING TO THE PLANE OF FIRE DEEP BENEATH THE SUMBER HILLS.”

Okay then!

EXITING THE MINE

Before leaving the company fishes the teleporter out of the river.

At this point the crown is in a mithril chest, fashioned by Gorm. No one is ever left alone with it (minimum three people around it) and no one carries it for more than 45 minutes.

The Darkwinter Company spend some time figuring out how to put everything to the best use for getting out with as much as they can possibly carry. Using the gauntlets, some Ability Enchancement spells, a web spell (just for falling insurance), and a nifty Misty Step or two by Xaven they leave the mines a very rich party… the equivilent of 153,180gp in mithril.

They decide to go back to Phandelver by way of Neverwinter to do some research on Green Dragons and get some things Identified. Gavaris’ new breastplate is +1 mithril with ADV vs dragon breath. Sam’s new mace is called ""Lighbringer". It was commissioned 500 years ago and can shed light on command and does +1d6 vs undead. Nezznar’s strange necklace is an Amulet of Proof Against Detectiion and Location. Niki trades the Eye of Minute Seeing with Gotha for this.

They learn that Green Dragons breath chlorine gas and basically everything from the 1st paragraph of the Monstr Manual entry.

They also deposit some of their mithril into a few different banks around Neverwinter.

On the way back to Phandelvin Gotha creates a Minor Illusion to make the wagon of money look like a wagon of hay. Nundro is delivered to his brother.

Upon reaching the Darkwinter Company manor grounds they bury the rest of their ingots around the property.

TWO YEARS OFF
… in which….
Xaven and Gotha get freaky with the Fey.

Sam has a sea adventure.

Gavaris goes home to see what’s happening and start a family… :)

Gorm and Niki stay close to home. Gorm oversees the clearing of the land and reclaiming stone for the rebuilding of the keep. Niki designs a lock for the crown’s chest and a secret, trapped hallway to a secret trapped vault for the secret trapped chest. Gorm builds it. Niki also establishes a spy network in the surrounding area with contacts in Neverwinter and other towns.

June 13 at 2:59pm · Edited · Like
Jeff Orchard Gundren is spending a lot of his time hiring, during those initial two months. Meanwhile, the mining town restoration gets fully underway, though it will be another 10 months before the earthquake damage is fixed (all windows, terrible cracks, etc.), the art restored and the collapsed tower dealt with. Some of the bridges were precarious.

The DWC is invited as special guests to the opening ceremonies, a hard ticket to acquire. Some aristocracy will be present.

June 16 at 11:31am · Like
Jeff Orchard Your hippogriffs are transported for training to the Feathergale Society, in the Dessarain Valley, for the last six months of the two year break. You’ll be trained on mature hippogriffs at first, then switch over to your own once you have the basics

View
Game 6
The Taking of the Mines of Phandelver

The Dark Winter Company in the Mines of Phandelver – Game Six, May 9, 2015

So, the Darkwinter Company find themselves in a bit of a tight spot. Although dozens and dozens and dozens of skeletons are falling through the inverted teleporter to smash to pieces 5 miles down, a Beholer is hovering more than 80’ above them. The heroes have moved into the stairwell and are covered by a magical Darkness that Sam cast over the mouth to the stairs down to the centre of the earth where lies an ancient Pit Fiend skeleton with a mighty crown halfway unearthed from it’s stony grave.

Sam and Xaven have only Cantrips at their disposal and Xaven has wounds from the skeletons’ swords, Gavaris has many wounds that are running with blood, Gorm has multiple wounds and is also carrying Niki who was paralyzed and grievously injured by the Beholder. Gotha has taken some nasty necrotic damage from the Beholder but he has all of his spells at hand… He can also see through the magical Darkness and is only a few steps down…

ROUND TWO
Scarp (20) delays.

Gavaris (15) Lays Hands on Niki for 5pts of healing and moves 30’ down the stairs, drawing his bow.

Sam (15) moves down the stairs near to Gavaris.

Gorm (14) quaffs a Potion of Healing (7pts) and moves 30’ down with Niki slung over his shoulder.

NIki (13) doesn’t break the Paralysis.

Gotha (10), with his Devil’s Sight, is not imepeded by the Darkness spell and (with Advantage) sends an Eldritch Blast hurtling towards the Beholder. It tries to deflect the Blast (reaction) but cannot and the damaging energy crackles over its hideous body (8 pts).

Xaven (10), just a few steps down, steps up out of the Darkness, looks with his ‘other sight’ and targets the mutli-eyed abomination also with an Eldritch Blast. Again, energy burns over the Beholder (9pts). He then slinks back down below the Darkness.

The Beholder (9) moves upwards another 60’ to hover 180’ above the floor at the top of the stairs.

ROUND THREE
Niki (25) again fails to break the paralysis.

Gotha (21) sees that the Beholder is out of his range and delays.

Xaven (14) uses his ‘other sight’ to shoot an Eldritch Blast with his superior range (Disadvantage with Darkness) and manages to hit again (4 pts)! “You can run but you cannot hide!”

Scarp (14) delays.

Gorm (11) delays.

Gavaris (9) moves up the stairs to Lay Hands on Xaven (5pts) then steps back down 10’ with bow drawn.

The Beholder (9) says “You’ll never leave with the crown!” Gotha responds “We already have the crown!” The Beholder continues to move up out of sight.

Sam (8) delays.

Some time goes by… Niki is no longer paralyzed.

The party decides to descend no further and to try to get their last half hour of rest that will restore Sam and Xaven’s spells.

After ten minutes the Darkness disappears.

Xaven puts some pitons into the edge of the stairs and secures ropes to them hanging down the shaft.

Half an hour goes by and the spell casters have their arsenal back.

A shuffle of armoured feet is heard at the top of the stairs. Not wanting to waste their time fighting skeletons and not seeing anywhere else to go the Darkwinter Company decide to go ‘through the looking-glass.’

Gorm runs up the stairs and jumps, stretching out his hand to touch the teleporter facing down the shaft. The rest of the Company do the same. Before they disappear they see at least a dozen skeletons and the Beholder.

On the other side…

map-mine-battle.png

It’s really smokey… water drips from the ceiling. The WHOOSH they’ve heard before is much louder here. It is caused by the waves of an underground lake. The water powers a waterwheel by a mill.

(Jeff help me out the the description) In the mill is a furnace and bellows with keys like a piano. There are shovels and raw mithril… moulds for making ingots… a fortune of mithril. The waterwheel is powering a machine for crushing rocks and another teleporter…

Gorm says “Guys stop! They are going to follow us through the teleporter… Lets’s put it in the water.” The heroes push the teleporter disc in the water. It flips over and gets washed down stream by the current.

NIki, with bow in hand checks out the door… she sees waaaay down below her the floor with the stairs going down to the centre of the earth and across a bridge a room with a burning blue flame…. it is a huge area. (Jeff help with description).

Niki stealthily moves across the bridge and sees a furnace, three doors and and an exit to another bridge.

There is a hose connecting the furnace to the teleporter from the other room and slag coming out of the furnace which is delivered to a teleporter bucket. Smoke is rising to another teleporter affixed to the ceiling but it is askew which accounts for the smokiness in this area. There seems to be a sentience to the fire in the furnace.

Xaven tries to use Mage Hand to fix the teleporter to clear the smoke but it is to heavy.

Two of the doors are closed and one is open. Niki and Gavaris check out the closed doors. One reveals an armoury in which they find a magic mithril maul (yay! Gorm takes it), a suit of mithril (not magic) dwarven platemail (Gorm also takes that), a magic (+1) mithril breastplate, a magic mace (Sam takes it), a human-sized suit of mithril platemmail (Sam takes it), and a mithril chain shirt. Niki exchanges her short sword for a mithril one and Xaven does the same with his daggers.

Niki cracks open the other door to peer inside. There is 25’ long corridor at the end of which is a human statue with arms crossed and eyes closed. There is a pool of water behind the statue. Niki closes the door.

Looking at the blue flame Sam gets nothing with an Arcana Check. Xaven checks it out and finds it to be a pure source of magic. While he meditates on it Gavaris is standing by the bridge they haven’t crossed while Gotha and Scarp stand guard at the bridge they came from. Xaven uses a pair of tongs from a nearby table and puts one of his daggers into the blue flame. When he retracts it it is glowing… it has been imbued with magic. The rest of the party takes a couple minutes to do the same with all their metal weapons.

Back to the corridor with the statue… an arcana check reveals nothing. Niki approaches it wearily. The statue talks weirdly, not moving it’s mouth and raises a hand to to signal her to stop. Niki says to it “We mean you no harm.” and takes another step. More weird language from the statue. Niki, responds “I don’t understand you.” while she checks the walls and floor around her. Finding nothing she approaches the statue and gives it a “high five” trying to repeat what it said to her.

The statue tries to punch her… the first fist misses but the second connects. She takes a step back but the statue follows her.

ROUND ONE
Niki (20) tumbles past the statue and attacks it with her newly magic-imbued weapons but they just skitter off its stone body. Gorm shouts to her “Choose again!”

Gavaris (17) delays.

Sam (17) sends a Sacred Flame down upon it and the radiant damage chips a little stone off of it (2 pts).

Gotha (13) also chips away at it with an Eldritch Blast (2 pts).

Xaven (12) moves closer to the forge and misses with an Eldritch Blast.

Gorm (9) moves in to engage and draw fire.

The Golem (9) attacks Gorm missing with one fist but connecting with the other (4pts).

Scarp (9) moves to check the un-explored bridge but sees nothing.

Gavaris (delayed) casts Divine Favour which imbues his attack with Radiant damage but his arrow can’t penetrate the Golem’s stone hide.

ROUND TWO
Niki (26) turns to have a quick look around the room and water but sees nothing. She then moves back to flank the Golem with Gorm.

Golem (19) gets in another punch on Gorm (4pts).

Xaven (15) tries again with another Eldritch Blast and this time some stone flies (7 pts)!

Scarp (14) is watching for trouble from the bridge.

Sam (10) chips away at the Golem with a Sacred Flame (1 pt)

Gavaris (8) misses again with an arrow.

Gotha (7) can’t connect with a Repelling Eldritch Blast.

Gorm (4), flanking with Niki takes a big swing with his new magic maul. It smashes into the Golem and a large chunk of stone comes flying off.

ROUND THREE
Xaven (21) chips off some stone with an Eldritch Blast (1pt).

Gavaris (18) has another miss.

Niki (14) tries to slam a piton through the Golem’s foot to pin it to the ground but can’t pull it off.

Sam (13) sends another Sacred Flame down upon it (3pts).

Gorm (9) still flanking with Niki sends his maul smashing into the Golem’s stomach and the stone statue crumbles, lifeless. “That’s how you do it, boys!”

Niki thoroughly checks the room but finds nothing. Xaven is curious (as always) about the pool of water. He dips a glowing dagger into the water and when he pulls it out it is no longer glowing. Niki tests a glowing arrow against one dipped in the water and the glowing one is definitely better. Huh… an anti-magic pool.

Looking out into the chasm the heroes see other islands like the one they are on all connected by bridges. There is also one in the middle with a Dwarven statue on it.

As the party is crossing the next bridge the Beholder floats up into view near the middle island. It sees the party. Niki and Gavaris have made it across the bridge and as Sam is crossing she gets fired at but the ray misses her. This triggers her readied action and she casts Bless on Niki, Gavaris, Xaven and Gotha. Gavaris takes a shot from one of the Beholder’s eyes but manages to shake it off (makes his Will save).

The party makes it across the bridge and find a wall that provides cover. There is a door leading to the chasm area and stairs going up and down, and another bridge.

Gotha casts a Minor Image of Niki on the bridge. The Beholder takes the bait and fires at the illusion, making it disappear. They all dash across the bridge but Xaven gets hit with the Beholder’s second attack taking some Necrotic damage (4pts). As Gavaris is crossing he takes a shot with his bow and glowing arrow… a solid hit! (11pts).

This new area seems to have been a dormitory. The walls to the chasm are only 3’ tall. The Darkwinter Company quickly make a plan.

Everyone but Gorm sneaks in to the chasm area, keeping low and take up positions for sniping from behind the low wall.

ROUND ONE
Everyone delays for Gotha.

Gotha (15) creates a sound from the previous promontory “Use the crown now!”

Gorm (21*, delayed) books it across the next bridge, making his way to the middle island.

Niki (24, delayed) pops up over the wall and sends an arrow whistling at the Beholder (5+magic pts). She then drops back behind the wall.

Scarp (20, delayed) moves 120’ to be ahead of Gorm on the bridge.

Sam (17, delayed) (with or fighting a 50% cover) sends a Sacred Flame at the Beholder who reflects it back to her (1pt).

Gavaris (9, delayed) as a bonus action casts Hunter’s Mark for extra damage… and his arrow strikes the mark! (15pts)

Gorm (21* delayed) moves 10’ then using his Boots of Striding and Jumping jumps 50’ onto the bridge.

ROUND TWO
Niki (20) moves and casts True Strike.

Gavaris (21) (fighting cover) hits the Beholder with an arrow (12pts) and it plops down dead!!!

The rest of the Darkwinter Company join Gorm on the middle island. It used to be a temple to Moradin but is now defaced with symbols of the Dwarven God of Greed. There is a rotten banner, a prayer book and pews. The ceiling is nicer as they haven’t yet ruined the dwarven architecture.

Time check… 10:30 am… it’s been half an hour since weapons were dipped in the magic flame.

Xaven stays with the party but goes to his happy place to study the magic flame from a distance… it seems to be a weird rip in the veil… a source of pure raw magic.

Retracing their steps a bit they search the dormitory… beds, a chest, an ivory statue of elephants humping.

Checking out the pool of water that was guarded by the statue, Xaven casts Ray of Frost at it… it seems to be cancelled out. Hmmm…. Xaven and Niki both fill a waterskin with it.

While this exploration is going on Sam and Gorm spend some time in the temple attuning to their new magic weapons.

At 11am the company is heading back towards the room with all the mithril when 4 skeletal wights emerge from the water… guess they used the teleporter that is now washed downstream. There is a gnome in elaborate clothes (Goudy Whyhelm Trifeelix); a human in the remnants of holy robes (Bruenig Doon); a dwarf (Rivvus Argustus); and another dwarf, the one in welder’s gear that Scarp saw (Kunther Asternax Jax). They make their way toward the heroes.

ROUND ONE
Xaven (19) books it over the bridge to the temple (double move).

Gorm (19) moves to a narrow spot by the bedroom.

Niki (17) quickly moves to inside the door of the bedroom, hiding (double moves and dashes).

Gotha (13) is out of range so he readies a Repelling Eldritch Blast .

Sam (10) moves and sends a bolt into the gnome from her crossbow (4pts).

Gavaris (9) double moves to the temple bridge and calls upon Meiliki for Divine Radiance.

Scarp (60 hangs with Gotha.

ROUND TWO

Niki (29*) stays in her hiding spot and delays.

The Wights (22*) move 60’ and are on the bridge when…

Gotha’s readied action gets triggered and the Blast takes the undead welder over the bridge (7pts)! but he manages to grab and hold on to dangle from the bridge over a very very long drop.

Gorm (20) delays, feeling the weight of his new maul in his hands with anticipation.

Gavaris (19) moves onto the temple island and sends an arrow whistling towards the vulnerable Kunther A. Jax… with the magic of the flame, the arrow manages to pierce the dangling dwarf (12pts) but he manages to continue holding on.

Xaven (16) lines up a sniper shot (ignoring 3/4 cover)… (Inspiration for Advantage) he conjures as powerful a Thunderous Chromatic Orb as he can muster (2nd Level), twinning it and sending them rumbling toward Kunther…. but both orbs tumble beautifully down into the darkness (SAD-vantage!).

Scarp (14) grabs some soap from Gotha’s backpack and flies toward the dangling welder.

Sam (11) sends a bolt to Kunther A. Jax, but cannot penetrate his welder’s apron.

Kunther A Jax provokes attacks from Scarp as he tries to climb back onto the bridge. Scarp misses his bite and sting and Jax, still hanging, grabs Scarp by the neck and squeezes. Gotha feels cold as Scarp disappears and the soap falls into the chasm.

ROUOND THREE
Niki (29), successfully timing her movement so she won’t be seen by the approaching enemy, runs and jumps the yawning space to land on the next island over to be behind them. She cracks the door and waits.

Gotha (19) (using the Inspiration from the idea of using the teleporters to our advantage) sends another Repelling Eldritch Blast at Jax… this time it sends him falling the long dark fall (Wilhelm scream!)

The DWC all quietly make mental notes to themselves to go get his stuff when this is all over.

Sam (15) moves and readies a Sacred Flame…

Gorm (14) delays…

Gavaris (13) readies his bow…

The Wights (10) approach and Sam’s Sacred Flame singes Rivvus (1pt). Gavris’ arrow hits the gnome, Goudy, hard (12pts)!

Xaven (8) readies a twinned Witchbolt.

ROUND FOUR
Niki (28) moves quietly into the hallway behind them. She points her finger at the last one… the remaining dwarf, Rivvus. The cantrip reveals a brief glimpse into his defences (True Strike). They don’t notice her.

The Wights (19) keep moving onwards. Xaven’s readied spell is triggered just before they go onto a bridge. Two Witchbolts crackle outward. One finds Goudy (4pts) and the other tags Rivvus (6pts). He concentrates to keep it going.

Sam (12) sears the gnome again with Sacred Flame (6pts).

Gorm (10) reluctantly sheathes his maul and twirls two hand axes at Rivvus at the back. One flies wild but the other thunks into the bones (6pts). In a creaky, dusty voice Rivvus says “Mortals, prepare to die.”

Gotha (10) misses Rivvus with an Eldritch Blast.

Gavaris (8), on the temple island, moves and targets Goudy with an arrow. A hit (8pts)!

ROUND FIVE
*notes in this round refer to Bruenig Doon as hanging from a bridge… can’t find where that happened.

Gotha (23) sends a Repelling Eldritch Blast at Bruenig Doon, hanging off the bridge.

Sam (21) singes Goudy Whyhelm Trifeelix again with Sacred Flame (3pts).

Niki (20) moves and dashes and sneak attacks (Advantage) the hanging Doon (10pts).

Gorm (17) (Advantage) smashes his maul at Doon, but the once human wight manages to swing away from the attack.

Goudy and Rivvus (18) gang up to try shove Gorm off the bridge but cannot overpower him.

Gavaris (15) misses Goudy with a ranged attack then moves.

Bruenig Doon (9) swings up from his dangling position to land on the bridge, taking a hit from Gorm’s maul (Opportunity Attack 13pts). He then misses Gorm.

Xaven (6) is concentrating on his twinned Witchbolt one of which drops the gnome, the other lights up Rivvus (5pts).

They hear a voice coming from up and to the west… an unexplored area… “Kill them. Kill them all.”

ROUND SIX
Lots and lots of bugbears appear from the west.

Gotha and Sam miss with their spells. Gavaris scores a hit on Rivus who remains in the fight, even with Xaven maintaining his Witchbolt on him… Until Gorm steps up and caves in his head! Niki abandons her bow for her blades and sends Doon to his doom. The undead are all taken care of… but what about those bugbears!!???

ROUND SEVEN
Everyone retrieves any dropped weapons and steel themselves for the advancing bugbears. Readied actions are triggered and Niki scores first blood with an arrow, while Gorm scores the first kill with two tossed handaxes. Gotha’s Spell, Crown of Madness, fails as does Xaven’s attack. Sam casts Bless on Gavaris, Gorm, Niki and herself. Gavaris’ action is not triggered.

ROUND EIGHT
Gavaris continues to ready his swords. Xaven and Gorm get the only hits… More handaxes from Gorm and Xaven with a Ray of Frost on the lead bugbear; his slowed movement causing the whole line of them to get backed up. The bugbears move as much as they can and some uselessly throw javelins.

ROUND NINE
Six large spiders climb in from the windows close to Gotha, Sam and Xaven! They fling webs restraining Xaven and Gotha. Gorm moves to help on the spider front and Sam casts Aid on Gotha and Xaven. Xaven breaks free of the web and moves away from the spiders but Gotha is still trapped in the sticky tendrils and the spiders approach him. Gavaris engages a bugbear, wounding him greatly but taking a nasty hit himself while Niki drops a bugbear with an arrow.

ROUND TEN
Xaven moves onto the bridge and sends a twinned Witchbolt into two of the spiders. Gotha manages to break free of the web and jumps the gap over to the bridge. Sam misses the spiders with a Poison Spray and luckily the spiders miss with their webs. Gorm wades in, and takes out a spider with a Sweeping attack and with an Action Surge severs the leg of another. But he takes a hit himself while moving to set up a flank with Sam. Gavaris Disengages and moves back with a melee attack readied… Two bugbears are on him… one taking two brutal hits from Gavaris remains standing… the other hits Gavaris. Niki takes out a bugbear and gets an opportunity attack on another as it jumps over to a bridge… several bugbears follow suit and jump over as they were stuck at the back of the line. One lands by Xaven who takes a hit.

ROUND ELEVEN
Two spiders miss both Sam and Gorm with bites. Sam then Poison Sprays one and Gorm finishes it off with a crunch from his maul. Two other spiders are luckier and get Sam and Gorm who manage to shake off the venom. Xaven has two bugbears on him who both hit, taking the sorcerer down! Gavaris bloodies one the the bugbears on him. Niki has her blades out now and takes down another bugbear while Gotha knocks another off the bridge with a Repelling Eldritch Blast. Xaven makes his first of three Death Saves.

ROUND TWELVE
Sam takes out a spider with another Poison Spray and Gorm mightily wounds another which is still up but shaky on its eight legs. The spiders all miss. Niki engages one of the bugbears on Gavaris, wounding it greatly but not putting it down. Gavaris also hits it and leaves it swaying but on its feet. The bugbears miss, others jump, one taking an opportunity attack from Niki. Xaven makes his second Death Save.

ROUND THIRTEEN
Sam Poison Sprays a spider but Gorm gets a nasty bite from another… shakes off the venom though. Niki does some damage and is missed in turn. Gavaris puts down one of the bugbears on him but another steps in and its blade goes through the paladin, sending him unconscious to the floor. Xaven makes his third Death Save and is unconscious but stable. Is this the Dark Winter Company’s last stand?

Suddenly, a Drow wizard swings in through the window where the spiders came from… “Ah-ha!” Gotha’s head snaps around to catch the evil figure landing on the windowpane, far behind the spiders. Gotha points his finger, a ripple of force snapping down his arm.

“No,” he says, as a purplish Eldritch Blast streaks across the expanse, striking the Drow full in the chest, blowing him him back through the window and into the dark abyss. The Drow plummets to his death (Wilhelm scream!) The spiders are under his control so they take off… the mercenary bugbears fail their morale check and break and run!!!!

WE DID IT!!!!!!

View
Game 5
Against the Skeleton Army

The Dark Winter Company are on the stairs above the busily excavating skeletons. There is a ladder from the stairs down to the ground where the skeletons obliviously toil to free Rokthwar, one specifically working on the crown. No sign of a sceptre.

Sam bestows Bless upon Gorm, Gavaris and Niki with a sprinkling of holy water.

SURPRISE
Gavaris (23), bypassing the ladder jumps and lands lightly among the skeletons. He sends ‘Talon’ crashing down on a bony shoulder, shearing off the arm. He then feels Fharlaghn’s Blessing as he swings his other short sword and severs the spinal column (13pts). R4 crumples.

Niki (21) gets a bead on the skeleton working on the crown (R2). Her arrow whistles through the stale air of the mantle of the earth and the skeleton’s brittle skull explodes (26pts, assassinate)! “Surprise!”

Scarp (20) flies down to flank one of the many skeletons around Gavaris (Y3).

Gorm (18) jumps down and although he doesn’t land as lightly as Gavaris he does manage to send his sword cracking through the ribs of Y3 (11pts).

Xaven (11) sends an Eldritch Blast slamming into the ground beside Y3… must have been the weird angle of being above them…

Gotha (7) whispers and four skeletons (Y1, 4, 5 and R1) begin to sparkle with a violet hue (Faerie Fire).

ROUND ONE
Gavaris (23) jabs ‘Talon’ at the skeleton Gorm already broke some pieces off of (Y3) and breaks the rest (12pts). It falls with a clatter. He takes a purposeful stride and brings his off-hand in to chip off some of the glowing R1 (3pts).

Red Skeletons (22) R1 raises a bony hand. Purple energy shoots from its finger bone at Y3 who begins to raise! Oh no!!!! R1 then disengages from Gavaris and tries to move away… however, Gavaris uses his Sentinel training and attacks the magic-wielding skeleton! He manages to crack many bones (12pts) but R1 is still up and finishes moving away.

R3 swings his pickaxe at Gavaris but the wood-elf ducks and easily avoids it.

R5 moves to surround Gavaris and misses wildly.

R6 manages to pierce Gavaris’ thigh with it’s pickaxe (5pts).

Yellow Skeletons (21) Y1, flanking Gavaris, also gets through his defences and draws more elf blood (6pts).

Y2 moves to flank Gorm but his pickaxe skitters off the dwarf’s armour.

Y3 is reassembling.

Y4 moves so Gavaris is surrounded but engages Gorm whose armour again turns the pickaxe.

Y5 swings at Gavaris and misses.

Gorm (19) brings a brutal swing with his sword down upon Y3, splintering the reassembling bones to bits (14pts). “I said sit!”

Gotha (16) from his perch on the stairs crackles a Repelling Eldritch Blast down at R1. The energy attack from above blasts the skeleton prone, it’s bones crack and a few fall off but it is still assembled (10pts).

Sam (14) also staying on the stairs evokes a Sacred Flame that descends on R1, blackening some bones (2pts).

Niki (11) feels Fharlaghn’s Blessing as she sends an arrow to pierce R1 who is still going (5pts). Wanting to get where the action is, Niki drops her bow and draws her blades as she drops to the ground to flank with Gorm.

Xaven (9), staying on the stairs, pulls a lightning-blackened twig from his belt pouch, waves it in a specific pattern while saying some magic words… two crackling beams of blue energy arc out from the twig. One strikes into R1 and disappears when the bones fall apart (3pts). Yay! No more raising! The other slams into the glowing Y1 (4pts) and Xaven concentrates to keep the energy beam going and attached to Y1.

Scarp (8) moves to flank with Gavaris.

ROUND TWO
Niki (25), flanking with Gorm gets a Sneak Attack, her scimitar slashing and short sword jabbing at Y2. She leaves it in pieces on the floor (23pts advantage, sneak attack) and moves to flank with Gavaris.

Gavaris (23) changes Y5 into a pile of bones with his main hand (10pts) and manages to poke at Y4 (1pt, flanking with Scarp).

Gorm (21) moves in among the skeletons trying to draw their attacks. He also pulverizes Y4 (15pts)… more scraps for the bone heap.

Sam (13) brings another Sacred Flame down from upon high and the divine heat cracks some bones of R6 (4pts).

Scarp (16) moves to flank.

Gotha (8) thinks it worked so well the last time… another Repelling Eldritch Blasts comes hurtling down from the stairs into R6. The crackling energy damages (5pts) and knocks it prone.

Red Skeletons (7) R3 moves to flank and attack Gavaris who is dodging and weaving.

R5… a swing and a miss.

R6 is on Niki but her studded leather deflects the pointed axe. The attack provokes a reaction from Gavaris (Sentinel) who hits (7 pts, with Advantage) and now even more bones are littered over the devil’s skeleton stuck in the floor.

Xaven (5) concentrates on his Witchbolt, still attached to Y1. It crackles with white hot energy (6pts).

Y1 (4) flanking Gavaris (Advantage), gets through his armour (6pts).

ROUND THREE
Sam (22) burns the bones of Y1 with a Sacred Flame (6pts). Dead!

Yellow Skeletons (19) are all heaps of bones and dust.

Gorm (17) rattles the bones of R5 (6pts).

Xaven (16) nicks R5 with an Eldritch Blast (1pt).

Niki (14) moves, slashing and jabbing at R3 (16pts). Dead… again.

Red Skeletons (14) The last skeleton (R5) is on Gavaris and it’s pickaxe bites (3pts).

Gavaris (9) has had enough. Swing, swing! The last skeleton explodes into dust (8pts).

The heroes are sweaty and headachy. A mist covers the floor and there are periodtite gems everywhere. Gorm knows that these gems are incredibly hard and difficult to mine.

Sam heals Gavaris using her most powerful magic. Xaven sits to contemplate.

Rockthwar’s crown has three points and a sapphire. There is no sceptre in sight. Rockthwar’s hands lie in the rock partly uncovered… as if he lay in two inches of water.

Gavaris and Gorm want to start smashing the devil’s skeleton. Gotha, Sam and Xaven’s Arcane Knowledge gives no insight as to the wisdom of this course of action. They start smashing and the devils’s skeletal remains succumb to the enslaught, splintering and crunching into bits and dust.

Xaven goes to his happy place and examines the weave… it draws him to the crown. He grabs a pickaxe and starts to excavate it. The other heroes look uncomfortably around at each other… “Uh… Xaven? What are you doing?” “I’m getting the crown,” he replies quite rationally. “But maybe that’s not such a good idea as that was what the bad guys were trying to do and the crown does belong to a devil…” “Hmmm… Yes, you’re quite right,” he says as he continues his work without looking up.

Gorm grabs the pickaxe and says “No!” But Xaven shrugs him off. Gorm gets more forceful about it and manages to take the pickaxe away from Xaven and dwarf-handle the sorcerer away from the crown.

The heroes consider their options… try to destroy the sapphire? No… not sure what would happen.

Looking around they notice the buckets the skeletons were throwing the dirt and rock into. They are empty… More teleporters. Also, all the metal parts of all the tools the skeletons were using are made of mithril.

Gotha sends Scarp into a bucket who must be teleported more than 100 feet away as Gotha loses contact with him. Gotha counts to 30 then dismisses his familiar.

When resummoned, Scarp relays what he saw to his master… the same foundry he saw before… smoke rising from a furnace… a humanoid covered in welders gear working something there…

Sam heals Niki, who along with Gavaris notice that their headaches have been soothed by the divine healing. Gavaris Lays Hands upon the others (1pt) to relieve them also.

Around 8 pm, after an hour of rest, the heroes start the long climb upstairs. They take some buckets with them. Going down was bad, going up? A whole lot worse. They are heading up to the area with the hovering teleportation disc, just half an hour from reaching the top… it is about 9:30, when they hear the sounds of a flute, a drum and skeletal feet echoing down the stairs, heading straight for them!

There is nowhere to make an ambush, nowhere to go… the heroes stand exposed on the stairs ready to make a stand.

ROUND ONE
Gotha (23) delays.

Scarp (18) moves and gets ready to aid Gotha.

Gotha moves and sends a Repelling Eldritch Blast flying towards a skeleton who ducks. The blast explodes against the wall.

Xaven (17) points a finger while incanting and a frosty ray speeds at Y1. Frost coats its bones, shattering some and slowing the dead thing (3pts).

Niki’s (16) arrow chips away at Y2 (5pts) then she drops her bow and moves, drawing her blades.

Gorm (16) moves but his sword slides off the bones doing no damage.

Gavaris (14) makes two terrible attacks… with ‘Talon’ he just misses but his off-hand shortsword misses wildly and flies out of his hand… it skitters towards the shaft in the middle of the spiral staircase but Gorm manages to stop it with his foot before it goes over. It sits, useless, balancing on the stairs.

Sam (14) sears R6 with a Sacred Flame (2pts).

Red Skeletons (10) R1 points a finger at Gotha, sending a purple ray speeding towards him… he dodges and the ray misses.

R2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 all jump over the stairway shaft to land amongst the heroes!

Yellow Skeletons (9) Y1 takes a swing at Gavaris who dextrously avoids the attack.

Y2 attacks Gorm who takes only half the damage (platemail or class thing?). This attack also opens the skeleton to Gavaris’ Sentinel reaction attack that hits and takes the abomination down (12pts).

Y3 misses Gavaris.

ROUND TWO
Gavaris (20) stabs at Y1 (7pts) then takes a step and kicks his sword that is lying on the stairs up into the air… it twirls once or twice then is grabbed by his outstretched hand.

Yellow Skeletons (18) Gavaris is bobbing and weaving, avoiding the attacks off Y1 and Y3.

Y4 strikes a solid hit on Gorm but only manages to scratch the dwarf (nat 20 for 5pts) and also leaves itself open to Gavaris’ Sentinel reaction which breaks bones (9pts).

Y5 is not in position to hit anyone.

Gotha (15) moves, deftly slipping sideways in between R3 and R4, positioning himself, into just the right spot, and with Scarps’s aid…. Repelling Eldritch Blast at R4. R4 takes energy damage (7pts) and is blasted back into R2 (who takes 3pts) and both tumble like dominos over the edge of the shaft but manage to hold on to the edge.

Niki (13) makes a sneak attack to take down R5 with scimitar and short sword (14pts).

Xaven’s (11) Chromatic Orb goes wide.

Sam’s (9) Sacred Flame also misses.

Scarp (9) flies to flank with Gorm.

Red Skeletons (5) R1 points a finger at Y2 who is a heap of bones under Y4’s feet and a purple ray begins to reanimate it.

R2 climbs up from hanging in the shaft.

R3 swings its pickaxe at Gotha, drawing blood (6pts).

R4 also climbs up from the shaft.

R6’s pickaxe jabs into Niki (3pts).

Gorm (5) uses his training well… his sword sweeps left through Y4, leaving behind a pile of bones (14pts), and continues (Sweeping Attack) to crash into Y1 (2pts). He then brings the blade back to the right (Action Surge) to bite into Y1 again, this time taking it down (13pts) and his greatsword continues right (Sweeping Attack) to find Y3 (5pts)!!! all of this with a great war cry!!!!

ROUND THREE
Red Skeletons (21) R1 sends a burst of purple energy at R4, healing it.

R2 moves then jumps across the shaft.

R4 jumps across the shaft to engage Gavaris but misses. Gavaris, using Sentinel gets a reaction attack on R4 (12pts).

R6 has Niki’s number and it’s pickaxe jabs into her side (6pts).

Niki (19) takes down R2 with a swipe of her scimitar (17pts) and R6 gets a piece taken off it from her off-hand (3pts).

Gotha (17) can’t make his Repelling Eldritch Blast count against the magic-wielding R1.

Gorm (16) explodes Y6 into dust with a mighty swing of his sword (16pts).

Sam (15) misses with a Sacred Flame.

Gavaris (14) turns Y3 into rubble with two solid hits (10pts).

Scarp (9) moves to aid Xaven.

Xaven (8) (advantage) sends an Eldritch Blast crackling into R1 (9pts).

Yellow Skeletons (8) Y5 manages to nick Gorm (1pt).

ROUND FOUR

Gotha (23) and Niki (21) delay.

Scarp (21) moves to give Gotha advantage who sends a Repelling Eldritch Blast slamming into R1who is thrown back 10’ (2pts).

Niki, with a deathly grace, moves to place R3 in between herself and Gotha (advantage). She reduces the undead thing to a dusty pile of splintered bones (sneak attack 15pts).

Sam (20) calls a Sacred Flame down upon R1. Bones crack and blacken (6pts).

Xaven (20) moves and aims an Eldritch Blast at R1… nothing weird happens and it crackles over its smoking bones (3pts).

Yellow Skeletons (17) Y5 again makes to get through Gorm’s armour (2pts).

Gavaris (10) swings with both swords at R4 and takes is down (11pts).

Red Skeletons (8) R1 heals R6, who then attacks Xaven but the sorcerer steps back to avoid the blow.

Gorm (3) determinedly strides to R1, not even noticing the attacks from Y3&5 as he moves by them. He then brings his blade down upon R1 ending its unnatural life-force (13pts).

The Company then has no problem clearing away the rest of the riff-raff.

By 10:30 pm they are on the level with the teleportation disc deciding to try to rest for 8 hours. Scarp is positioned about 80 feet from the stairs down, toward the tunnel that leads to Rockseeker’s body, the ‘stirge ladder’ and the way out. The rest of the party are another 60 feet down that tunnel.

During their rest they hear loud rushing sound… then a BOOM!

Around 4 am, during Gavaris and Niki’s watch they see flaring blue light and a gong sound from several hundred feet above them. Then they hear lots and lots of footsteps.

Xaven and Niki make some kind of wager about a Necromancer being the Big Bad here in Wave Echo Cave.

Scarp flies up to see what is going on up there. When he returns he tells Gotha “…towers with blue light… lots of skeletons, lots and lots walking bridges and ledges… blue flames coming from stacks…”

At 5 am a crew of 11 skeletons in mithril chainmail with mithril short swords and an undead Dwarf (not skeletal) in mithril platemail with two mithril long swords appear on the disc. The heroes let them go… they aren’t done their rest after all…

Shit! Should have cleared the dust and bones off the stairs! They’ll be back in an hour… half an hour too soon for our spellcasters.

To try to buy some time and make some difficult terrain they can hide behind the heroes use whatever rubble and boulders they can find and put them on the stairs.

When the undead crew can be heard returning Sam casts Bless on Gavaris, Gorm and Niki.

Unfortunately, Gavaris blows their surprise and as the undead party are making their way up toward them the platemailed Dwarf raises his hand and the crew stops.

ROUND ONE
Undead Crew delay (20).

Gorm (20) hurls two hand axes at his undead brethren. One thunks through it’s armour while the other is deflected by it (6pts).

Gavaris (15) sends an arrow whistling at the dwarf. It pierces the platemail at the shoulder joint (11pts). He then drops his bow and draws his blades.

Niki (12) delays for Gotha (12) who casts Faerie Fire. The Dwarf begins to glow with purple light, as do 5 skeletons (Y1, 2, 5, R2 & 3).

Niki then sends an arrow to slam into the undead Dwarf (advantage FF, sneak attack 14pts).

Xaven (9) misses with a Ray of Frost (advantage FF).

Undead Crew. The Skeletons march up the stairs through the rubble area. The Dwarf moves enough to be able to try to hit Gorm. ‘Try’ being the operative word.

Sam (5) misses the undead Dwarf and moves (advantage FF).

Scarp (3) moves.

ROUND TWO
Niki (22) sprints (Dash bonus action) towards the teleportation disc to put herself between it and the skeletons, then artfully twisting back around she puts Y1 down with an arrow to its skull (17pts advantage FF, sneak attack).

Gavaris (21) moves in to engage the Dwarf. As ‘Talon’ slips in through a join in the platemail Gavaris sees he could not have done more damage if he’d tried (16pts max). His off-hand also lands a solid hit but the wound should have been more severe (5pts)… his off-hand short sword is not magical, ‘Talon’ is. (advantage FF)

Yellow Skeletons (20) Y3 stabs. Gavaris’ parry was just a bit off and he is hit (4pts).

Y2, 4, 5 all move as much as they can toward the disc.

Undead Dwarf (19), wielding two longswords, feints with one and Gorm falls for it. The other longsword bites deep in Gorm’s side and he feels a coldness sneak in (CON save fail for 5 necrotic 8 sword = 13pts!) Gavaris uses his Sentinel reaction to make the Undead Dwarf pay dearly for hurting his friend by striking him down (14pts)!

Scarp (16) hangs to give aid to Gotha.

Gotha (8) aims at Y4 who is heading for the disc but forgoes the Repelling, as it would just knock the thing closer to the disc, and sends an Eldritch Blast to crackle it with energy (5pts).

Red Skeletons (8) R1 points at the dead-again Dwarf and sends a purple ray to start raising it again.

R2 moves then misses Gorm.

R4 moves to engage Xaven. The sorcerer takes a hit (5pts).

R5 starts to climb over some boulders.

R6 moves at engage Xaven who is more wary and dodges its attack.

Xaven (7) draws his quarterstaff and aims a blow at the glowing R3 (advantage FF). The blunt weapon satisfyingly crunches through the animated bones (6pts).

Gorm (6) does not want to see that Undead Dwarf raised again and uses his Sweeping Attack (32pts) but it continues to get up!

Sam (5) moves to help Niki protect the teleportation disc. She then shoots a crossbow bolt at Y2, sending some bones flying (advantage FF 8pts).

ROUND THREE
Niki (27) drops her bow, draws her swords while moving 10’ to Y2. She slashes it into a pile of bones (advantage FF 8pts) then Dashes to the disc and shoves it as far as she can down the hallway.

Gavaris (23) puts the Undead Dwarf down again with ‘Talon’, then swings his off-hand to crash into R2 (advantage FF 9pts).

Scarp (21) moves to aid Gotha.

Gotha (19) Blasts and knocks R1 back 10’ (9pts).

Gorm (18) sets his sights on R1 and provokes 2 attacks from other skeletons as he moves to engage. One misses but the other gets lucky (8pts on Gorm). It doesn’t mention Gorm’s attack on R1 after that so I assume he missed

Xaven (14) twirls his quarterstaff and lands it squarely into R3’s neck, causing it to crumple like the sack of bones it is (advantage FF 10pts).

Red Skeletons (11) R1 shoots energy at R2, healing it.

R2 &4 swing and miss.

R5 runs to the disc, passing Niki who gets a free swing as it does so (8pts) but it keeps moving.

Yellow Skeletons (10) Gavaris ducks out of the way of Y3’s attack.

Y4 is moving to the disc and makes it! It disappears.

Y5, also booking it to the disc takes a bolt from Sam (AOO 9pts), but keeps moving and makes it. It also disappears.

Sam (3) misses.

ROUND FOUR
Niki (23) runs and jumps on the disc…

SECOND FRONT: Niki appears beside Y4&5. She puts Y5 down with her scimitar (8pts) but can’t quite do the same to Y4 with her off-hand (3pts).

Y4 moves but Niki misses her opportunity attack. The skeleton goes through a door…

MAIN FRONT: Xaven (22) moves then misses R4.

Gavaris (21) swings ‘Talon’ around on R2, reducing it to a pile of rubble and armour (11pts advantage FF) but misses R4 with his off-hand.

Gotha (20) knocks R1 back another 10’ (1pt), then moves toward the teleportation disc.

Gorm (20) slashes at R1, sending bones falling to the floor, but not all of them. It’s still up (10pts).

Scarp (16) flies to flank R1 with Gorm.

Red Skeletons (13) R1 turns it’s magic upon itself for healing.

R4 strikes at Gavaris who can’t avoid the nasty swing (10pts).

R5 moves onto the disc and disappears.

R6 swings and hits Xaven (4pts).

Yellow Skeletons (11) Y3 misses Gavaris.

Sam (9) steps on the disc and disappears.

SECOND FRONT: Sam appears beside R5 but her bolts whistles through its ribs.

ROUND FIVE
MAIN FRONT: Gavaris (22) stabs at R4 with both blades. Bones are flying but it won’t go down (16pts).

Gotha (21) delays.

Gorm (20) strikes at R1 with his Sweeping Attack but the magic-wielder still stands (11pts).

Scarp (16) aids Gotha who Blasts R1 into a cloud of dust (6pts).

Red Skeletons (8) R4 manages to gets through Gavaris’ defences (6pts).

R6 also scores a hit on Xaven (7pts).

Yellow Skeletons (6) Y3 gets a lucky strike on Gavaris (5pts)!

Xaven (5)‘s quarterstaff is a blur until it crunches into R6’s skull, crushing it (16pts). He then moves toward the disc.

SECOND FRONT: Sam (22) drops her bow and draws her mace, swinging it into the skeletal face of R5. It drops (8pts).

Niki (20) follows the skeleton through the door. There she sees more skeletons… lots and lots and lots of skeletons… and floating above them is a…. BEHOLDER!!! “Fuck me!” She turns and runs back to the disc, shouting to Sam “Go back! Go back! We gotta tell them its a Beholder!” They both jump back onto the disc and disappear.

ROUND SIX
Gavaris’ (24) first swing with ‘Talon’ glances off R4’s bones but his off-hand comes up to shatter it’s skull (9pts).

Niki (19) and Sam appear on the disc. “Guys! It’s a beholder! And a shit-load of skeletons! They’re coming!” Niki begins pushing the floating disc (Sam having a ride) toward the shaft of the spiral stairway. She manages to push it 45’… conveniently right to where she dropped her bow…

Scarp (17) delays.

Gotha (16) moves to the disc then pushes it another 25’… “If we can tip this up…”

Yellow Skeleton (13) Y3 is the only skeleton left on this side of the portal. It attacks Gavaris none-the-less and the wood elf is taking a beating (4pts… down to 11)!

Gorm (12) moves and makes a solid hit on Y3 but not enough to end it (13pts).

Sam (10) jumps off the disc and moves it right up the lip of the shaft down, she then calls a Sacred Flame down upon Y3 (2pts).

Xaven (10) moves towards the disc and throws an Eldritch Blast at Y3 (2pts).

ROUND SEVEN
Niki (24) picks up her bow, Dashes up the disc and tries to lift it up vertically… no way… skinny little elf.

Y3 (20) misses Gavaris… luckily!

Gotha (18) moves to the disc and waits.

Gavaris (17) strikes Y3 down and quaffs a Healing Potion (19/43).

Sam (15) moves to Xaven and ties a rope around his waist then moves back to where the disc is hovering by the hole, holding onto the other end of the rope.

Scarp (6) delays.

Xaven (6) steps into the open air of the shaft and grabs hold of the lip of the disc, his body being a weight to tip it on an angle.

Gotha, having waited for this moment, now casts Repelling Eldritch Blast to the now exposed underside of the disc… the stone dais tips up 90 degrees to the long drop down.

Gorm moves to help Sam pull Xaven back up.

Sam Heals Gavaris (11pts) and Sam and Xaven sit to see if they can finish up the half hour they need to regain their spells.

Two minutes later they hears the sounds of crashing metal and splintering bones coming from the stairwell. Skeletons are appearing on the teleportation disc and immediately falling down the very deep hole. Groups of 11 at a time… another then another, then another…

SURPRISE
Suddenly Gotha clutches at himself feeling a cold, cold pain (18 CON save but took 12 necrotic pts anyway… probably half damage! Yikes!!!)

The Darkwinter Company look up to see a Beholder hovering 90’ above them.

ROUND ONE
Niki (29) (at disadvantage due to range) misses the Beholder with her arrow then Dashes down the stairs.

Scarp (21) delays.

Sam (19) produces a piece of bat fur and a small piece of coal from her belt pouch and says some divine words directed at an arrow (a bolt I presume as she has a crossbow) and a magical Darkness spreads in a 15 foot radius around it. She then gives the bolt to Gotha.

Gavaris (17) is in the Darkness but he pulls a small scrap of parchment from his belt… if it weren’t dark, one could see it has Holy scripture written upon it… with a gesture and some holy words a shimmering field appears around him… again, if it weren’t utterly Dark. (Shield of Faith). He then jumps down onto the stairs.

Beholder (17) shoots a ray from one of its eyestalks at Niki (2 failed saves) and she becomes Paralyzed! The Beholder then moves 30’ up.

Scarp (16) hangs with Gotha.

Gorm (11) moves, jumps down the stairs and picks up Niki.

Gotha (11), aided by Scarp shoots back at the Beholder with an Eldritch Blast (3pts advantage, Scarp). “We’ve taken your army and have hit you!” He moves down the stairs taking the Darkness with him.

Xaven (3) now out of the Darkness, moves down the stairs.

“Let’s go get the crown.” Says Gotha.

The Darkwinter Company hears the Beholder bellow “Stop stepping through the portal!”

View
Game 4
Descent into Darkness

skeltal-miner.jpg

The Darkwinter Company are back in Phandelin selling their loot and making plans.

Xaven takes his time to cast Detect Magic as a ritual on the elf statue from the Owlbear room. It is fey and is Divination/Augury magic. He asks it “What is the greatest threat to us in Wave Echo Cave?” An answer is heard in his head. It says “Rohkthwar.” Xaven then asks “What nature of creature is Rohkthwar?” He receives no answer. Niki then asks the same question and she does receive an answer which is “A devil.” Yikes! So the statue might answer only one question per person per day or maybe even only one per person. They stash the statue for later use.

The Company realize there are threats to Phandelin that they have not yet dealt with like a band of orcs they were told of, and some undead at Old Owl Well. There is also the Banshee that the priestess wanted them to go to for her and of course, the dragon at Thundertree.

It is decided the orcs should be dealt with first.

Having been told the general area that the band of orcs have been terrorizing, Niki is easily able to locate their base. It is on the lower slope of a hill. A rugged ridge runs up to a plateau from which smoke is rising from a campfire.

Scarp scouts up in the trees and sees a pig-faced orc standing guard at a cave mouth where the campfire is.

orc.jpg

Niki and Gavaris sneak to the plateau and hide behind some boulders. Gavaris readies his bow in case Niki’s assassin’s arrow doesn’t down the guard. Her arrow flies true however and pierces the orc’s brain through its eye. He falls in a heap. “Surprise!”

The sign is given for the rest of the party to join them. They wait for 2 rounds to see if there is any response from the cave to the guard suddenly falling down with an arrow sticking out of its eye…. nothing.

The party sneaks up closer, while Niki and Gavaris sneak closer to the cave mouth. Gavaris recognizes the orc as part of the Many Arrows Clan… The clan that destroyed his home.

Xaven casts Mage Armour.

The not-so-quiet members slowly make their way closer to the cave, staying hidden behind boulders.

Getting ready for their assault, Gavaris whispers to Niki, “These guys are mine. I know them… They slaughtered my people.” He has Inspiration.

Niki takes point and peers into the cave. It is quite small and there are 9 orcs and 1 ogre in there. They are playing games and hanging out. Totally unaware. Just how we like it.

Sam gestures and whispers some divine words while sprinkling some holy water. Everyone but herself and Gotha are now Blessed.

SURPRISE
Gavaris (22) delays for Gotha.

Gotha (21) whispers an incantation. Two of the four orcs he targeted are now glowing with a violet outline, making them easier to hit.

Gavaris, with a gesture and a prayer to Meiliki, is now filled with divine radiance (Divine Favour, bonus action). With Sam’s Bless and advantage gained from Gotha’s Faerie Fire he just manages to hit one of the violet orcs. The arrow, glowing with Meiliki’s radiance pierces it’s chest and it falls, dead! (14pts).

Gorm (16) moves out from behind the boulder and sends two hand axes twirling through the air. Both ka-chunk into the Ogre (the 2nd thanks to Bless. 19 pts). He’s still up.

Xaven (13) holds a diamond while arcanely gesturing and chanting. A Chromatic Orb appears in his hand and after fluctuating colours it stops on green. He throws it and it splits in two. One slams into the ogre (14 pts) who remains on his feet, and the other into an orc who falls, barfing poison with his last breath. (17 pts)

Niki (6) sends an arrow flying at the ogre. It buries deep in the ogre’s chest (32 pts, assassinate). He grabs the arrow and falls on his ass.

Sam (5) says a payer with words and hands to Fharlaghn, and the ogre turns to ashes in the Sacred Flame.

ROUND ONE
Niki drops her bow and impulsively enters the cave drawing Talon and her scimitar. She sneak attacks an orc with Talon, the blade piercing its lower back, and slashes with her scimitar opening a bloody rent in its armour (19 pts) but it doesn’t fall.

Xaven using his diamond again, conjures an icy Chromatic Orb. He hurls it and it splits in two. Two orcs are hit… one right in the face. He freezes solid then breaks into frozen bloody bits (crit 25 pts). The other remains standing (12 pts).

Orc Group 3 (#1,2,3) all move to the mouth of the cave where Xaven is standing. #1 passes by Niki who manages to stick him (8 pts). They proceed to slash at Xaven with great axes. All three manage to penetrate his Mage Armour and the sorcerer falls, bleeding.

Gavaris delays for Scarp.

Scarp moves to flank an orc (#1) with Gavaris.

Gavaris says a quick prayer to Meiliki who imbues his main-hand short sword with thunderous power (Thunder Strike, bonus action). He stabs it at orc #3 who is pierced by the blade and knocked back by the booming thunder (19 pts). He falls and does not get up. Gavaris then flicks his off-hand blade at #1, bloodying him (7 pts).

Orc Group 2 (#5, 6) converge on Niki. #5 fells Niki with a wicked slash of his great axe. #6 continues to move to the mouth of the cave. His axe swings at Scarp and the pseudodragon disappears in a cloud of bats.

Gotha doesn’t care for that at all. Taking some sand from a belt pouch he says the incantation for Sleep and blows the sand towards all the remaining 5 orcs. 3 of them succumb and lie down for a nap (#1,2,6).

Sam creates some divine fire to rain down on one of the orcs who didn’t fall asleep (#5) who gets singed. (2 pts)

Gorm moves and flanks #5 with Gavaris. His maul thuds sickeningly into its stomach. Gorm then activates his Action Surge and brings his maul up, taking the orc in its chin, snapping its head back with such force that it snaps its neck..

Only one orc is left standing… it looks like the orc boss who was standing beside the ogre before the attack.

ROUND TWO
Gorm kills him.

Gavaris leans over and lays his hands upon Xaven’s terrible wounds. He murmurs a few divine words… the wounds close and Xaven awakens. Gavaris then does the same for Niki while the rest of the company dispatch the sleeping orcs. They finds some coins and perfume bottles, and collect the great axes and javelins (see Loot).

One orc is kept alive for Gavaris to have a word with. The orc says they were following orders from the Eye of Grumsh. Gavaris asks him if he has ever been to High Forest. The orc claims to never have heard of it. It’s possible… the Many Arrows Clan is very large and spread out. It seems this was just a raiding party. The orc says “You’re gonna let me live for talking, right?”

“No.”

He shuts up. Gavaris slits his throat.

They decide to rest in the cave before starting back to town. They talk about Rohkthwar, this devil in Wave Echo Cave. Gotha has heard a story of Rohkthwar. He was a ruler in the First Age but was cast down by a god and broke the earth. Oh, great.

Gotha re-summons Scarp. Yay!

A post-mortem of the last battle is done around the camp fire… Niki apologizes for going into the cave… “I can’t help it. I just get caught up in the moment. I’ll try to stop that.” Gorm turns his gaze to Xaven… “And you, sorcerer… You should know by now that squishies stay in the back!”

During his watch, Gavaris sees a shadow pass over the plateau. Looking up he catches a glimpse of something that looks like a lion with wings. It passes by, then returns. And again a few times. Gavaris says nothing but puts some bodies at the mouth of the cave.

When it comes back and looks like its coming in for a landing Gavaris wakes up those who are asleep and gets the attention of those who are not.

A manticore lands and warily approaches the dead bodies at the mouth of the cave. It starts chewing while keeping an eye on the party watching back in the cave. It then lifts its head and lets out a roar. Shortly after a Hill Giant comes lumbering up the ridge onto the plateau.

Gotha… “You are both welcome to eat your fill from our kills. We have taken everything we need from them.”

“Orc meat… stringy.”

Niki… “Hmmm, yes. But it doesn’t bite.”

The monsters consider the obvious power of the Darkwinter Company and decided to eat their fill and go.

Back in Phandelin…

The heroes check in with a retired adventurer (name?) to find out about Old Owl Well and the undead there. He says it was built by the old Netheril Empire. Human, and very old. Netheril doesn’t ring many bells among the party… guess they didn’t pay much attention in history class. They remember the Netheril were known for aqueducts and dangerous magic.

To the well!

Approaching the ancient ruins they see a tower. It’s 15’ tall at most and crumbling badly. A colourful tent has been erected in the courtyard but there is no one in sight. Niki recognizes the coat of arms outside the tent as being from the Kingdom of Thay… where the notorious Red Wizards come from. There is also a deathly odour coming from the tower. Looking for tracks, Xaven finds some. They look like dragging feet in the mud… zombies?

Scarp flies discreetly around… looking into the tent he sees a man whose entire skin is tattooed. On the back of his head is the stars and balls of the Red Wizards. He is holding a stone and working on it with a brush… an archaeologist? The tent is sparse with a bed and washbasin and desk.

Going to spy into the tower Scarp tells Gotha “I see dead people.” There are zombies… a lot of them. Maybe a dozen or more all huddled together. Sam knows for sure he is a Necromancer.

Testing the number of questions the elf statue will answer, Xaven asks it what the name of the Red Wizard in the tent is. No answer. Ok… one question per person.

Xaven concentrates on the tent and immediate area around it while casting Detect Magic… nothing.

Quietly moving around the wall, Niki sneaks into the courtyard and gets into position to cut the ropes of the tent if Gotha’s Sleep spell doesn’t work.

Gavaris moves steathily along the crumbling wall.

Xaven casts Mage Armour.

SURPRISE
Xaven (20) delays.

Scarp (19) watches the Red Wizard who continues, oblivious.

Gavaris (15) delays.

Gorm (13) delays.

Gotha (9) sends his sleeping sand blowing at the tent.

Niki (6) hears the Red Wizard fall to the floor of the tent. The rest of the party see her enter the tent where she binds and gags him.

Xaven moves and talks to Sam about possibly using Silence.

Gavaris moves to the well where he can see the zombies in the tower.

Sam moves towards the well but not quietly enough and alerts the zombies.

Gorm moves into the courtyard.

ROUND ONE
Niki (24*) checks the wizard for wands or rods etc. Finding nothing, she moves to the desk where she sees rocks with runes carved on them. It looks like he’s been cleaning them too.

Xaven (20) moves then holding out his hand and uttering the proper arcane words sends a Ray of Frost shooting from his hand, but it misses the zombie it was aimed at.

Gavaris asks Meiliki for Divine Favour (bonus action) which she grants. His arrow, glowing with radiant power flies true and pierces zombie G6 (12 pts).

Zombie Group 3 (G1-4) (13) move out of the tower. Zombie G1 lunges at Gavaris but the elf dodges the attack. These zombies have tattoos on their necks.

Scarp (10) keeps watch over the slumbering wizard.

Zombie Group 1 (Y1-4) (9) all move towards the door of the tower.

Gotha (8) moves and with a well aimed Repelling Eldritch Blast sends zombie G3 tumbling into the well with bits of rotting flesh flying. Willhelm scream!… or wait… do zombies scream?

Zombie Group 4 (G5-8) (8) all move and G6 is able to attack Gavaris but not able to hit.

Sam (8) brandishes the symbol of her god and says “Run from me fetid creatures of the night, in Fharlaghn’s name!” 9 of the 11 zombies that are out of the tower cannot withstand the might of Fharlaghn. Two can however as do all 4 that haven’t yet made it out of the tower.

Zombie Group 2 (Y5-8) (3) start moving to try to get out of the tower towards the brainzzzzzz.

Gorm (2) brings his mighty maul down on zombie G8 (not turned). The maul smashes into its shoulder which crumples and the rotting arm falls off.

ROUND TWO

Xaven (17) tries again with a Ray of Frost, this time hitting zombie G8, and an icy film covers the undead thing. (8 pts)

Gavaris (15) drops his bow and pulls his swords, readying an attack on any unturned zombie that comes near.

Gorm (15) shoves at zombie G7 who topples backwards into the well!

Scarp (7) continues to watch the sleeping wizard.

Gotha (7) dashes around the tower.

Zombie Group 3 try to flee from Sam back into the tower but cannot get very far in as unturned zombies are trying to get out.

Gavaris grabs G1 and throws it into the well!

Niki (5) moves and readies an attack on any unturned zombie that comes close.

Sam (4) shoves G6 and it too topples into the well.

The remaining turned zombies are all jostling to flee back into the tower while the unturned ones are struggling to get out… a stalemate.

ROUND THREE
Gotha (23) delays.

Niki (18) figures her comrades have the situation under control and returns to the tent to search.

Sam (17) tries unsuccessfully to bring her Sacred Flame down upon an unturned zombie in the tower.

Gorm points out the keystone of the tower to Gotha who throws a Repelling Eldritch Blast at it. The crackling power easily blows the crumbling stone to bits and the rest of the tower comes crashing down to trap all the zombies amongst the wreckage. Yes!!!

The Darkwinter Company enter the tent for the interrogation of the Red Wizard. They keep him bound and gagged and use Scarp to communicate with him so he has no chance of casting any spells.

He seems angry and frightened. When asked what he’s doing here he responds “I’m here to study… their secrets and magic. The spell engravings on the rocks.”

“Whats’s with the zombies?”

“They are cheap labour. It’s common practice where I come from.”

“Well, we aren’t where you come from right now, are we…”

Niki and Gotha, using their Insight, agree that they think he’s lying about something.

With his Warlock power crackling up and down his arms, Gotha shouts ""Liar!!"

Cowering the Red Wizard breaks. “Don’t take it from me! The ring… it’s my thesis! They were so sophisticated…”

Niki finds this ring, along with a scroll, a potion, a pearl (spell component) and some coins in the desk.

“Why should we spare you?” asks Sam.

“I have an 8 year old girl…”

“As what?”… ouch.

Xaven suddenly kills the wizard… he’s done that before.

Xaven takes a look at the ring which is a series of shields. Protection, he figures.

Sam takes the scroll which is Darkness. Niki gives Talon to Gavaris and takes the ring. The potion is of Healing (?)

With that little mystery all wrapped up the Company are headed back to Phandelin when they hear a ruckus… it sounds like fight between very angry, big birds. Other birds and animals are fleeing the area.

Suddenly the corpse of a Hippogriff crashes through the trees to land at their feet! A black ooze is leaking out of puncture wounds on its body.

Looking up the escarpment they see another Hippogriff fighting a Wyvern. Neither have noticed the party.

SURPRISE
NIKI (23) dashes up the escarpment, moving 45’ (bonus action). She gets a bead on the Wyvern and sends her assassin’s arrow speeding through the air. A solid hit (25 pts) but the Wyvern takes it and turns to look at her.

Gorm (20) delays.

Sam (17) casts Bless on Gavaris, Xaven and Gorm.

Gorm takes a double move up the escarpment.

Scarp (17) flies to flank the Wyvern with the Hippogriff.

Gotha (15) readies a Repelling Eldritch Blast for when the Wyvern comes into sight.

Xaven (14) readies a thunderous Chromatic Orb for when the Wyvern comes into sight.

Hippogriff (10) cannot capitalize on Scarp’s flanking and misses both claws and beak attacks.

Gavaris (8) dashes up the escaarpment.

Wyvern (1) sheds the hippogriff with its claws, killing it and takes to the air, flying 80’ up.

Gotha, his spell readied, Blasts the Wyvern (5 pts) sending it tumbling in the air. It drops 30 feet.

Xaven throws his Chromatic Orb, and with Sam’s Bless manages a booming strike the on the wyvern. (14 pts)

Gavaris feathers the creature (10 pts).

Sam (10) also finds the mark with an arrow (5 pts).

Gorm (9) throws two hand axes… one keeps twirling through the air but the other buries it’s head in the monsters shoulder.

Scarp (8) flies over to his master.

Wyvern (8) dives at Niki with it’s claws outstretched, meaning to pick her up… however, the axe in it’s shoulder makes it miss badly leaving an opening for the rogue. Niki feathers it (5 pts) and it crashes, ba-dumping over and over on the ground. It’s dead.

The party then sees what the hippogriffs fought to the death for… a nest containing 6 hippogriff eggs! “Hey, you can ride these things, right?” They take the eggs back to Phandelin to ask Syldar the Griffon rider if he knows anything about training hippogriffs.

Hippogriff_foal.jpg

The Darkwinter Company, after this fight, feel better than ever. Techniques and spells that were previously too hard now seem easy… 4th level!!!!

Syldar doesn’t know much about Hippogriffs but says there is a place in Neverwinter that could hatch, kennel and train them for us. The Darkwinter Company decide to escort their precious cargo to Neverwinter themselves and research Rohkthwar while they’re there. Before leaving Gorm trades in his splint mail for plate (party kitty).. and his maul for a great sword… what? Really??

It takes 4 hours to get to Neverwinter at a leisurely pace. There they find Weirdo Animals & Co. They leave the eggs with them (price? – 1500gp as a downpayment?rod)

Sam and Niki find little about Rohkthwar. He was a sadistic tyrant on the Prime Material Plane during the 1st Age. Something about a Sceptre and a Crown. He was defeated and killed in combat by a god.

6 healing potions (50gp each) were purchased along with a climbing harness, a wagon (35gp) and two stout mules (Will & Tom) (16gp).

TO THE CAVES!!!!

As The Darkwinter Company follow the road that according to Rockseeker’s map leads to Wave Echo Cave, find that said road disappears. They are forced to leave their wagon behind. They take a wheel off the wagon, bury it and overturn the wagon on top of it and camouflage the lot with foliage.

They find the waterfall they expected from the map and 300 paces beyond they find the hole that is the entrance to the cave. The hole is located at the muddy border of a rivulet that cuts across a field of tall grass. It’s like a sewer at the edge between the street (rivulet) and the sidewalk (the grass).

The party bring Tom & Will about 50’ from the hole and tie them off to tree branches… tight enough that they can’t wander but loose enough that they could bolt if they needed to.

The hole goes down at a 30 degree angle. There are foot/bum prints indicating that someone fairly recently, went down on their bum.

Gavaris goes down similarly and the rest follow.

They enter a natural cave and follow a crevasse to another hole. Steps are dug into the descending wall creating a crude ladder (like this image, but without the handrail):

steep-stair.jpg

“It’s really fucking dark down here”, remark the humans. Xaven casts Light on a rock and puts it into an open pouch so that it sheds a dim light.

They descend at least 180 feet, sometimes on bums, sometimes using the dug out ladder… arms are aching “…and we’re going down, unencumbered!” Continuing down on their bums they reach an abyss. Scarp finds another dug out ladder in the wall at a more friendly angle.

Scarp does a flying scout and reports a huge hole coming up… a 30’ gap in the ladder and there is a wall 120’ across from us.

Using pitons and rope the party descend the gap and find a small dug out where they can rest their aching limbs. Scarp does some more reconnaissance. He hears squeaking and reports seeing some “large, fat hairy bats with gripping claws and large nose stingers.”

“Ugh, Stirges!” Well, let’s bring them up to us… Scarp leads the overgrown mosquitos to the party.

Gotha targets all the Stirges with Sleep… they all fall… a few onto the ridge where the party is but the others, well, it takes a while before the splatter, splatter is heard.

Finally the party reaches the stirge-splattered floor. An opposite wall angles down towards what looks like a mithril mine! There are vapours down here… causing headaches. There is also a body at the foot of the ladder… A dwarf, with the look of a Rockseeker… must be the brother. He’s been sucked dry by stirges and has fallen a great distance… There go us but for the grace of the gods…. He doesn’t have any weapons but does have some good climbing gear and a VERY nice pairs of boots… Gorm seems the one to try them on and testing them in a quick race with Niki he realizes he can move much quicker now in his heavy armour… and jump really good too! (Boots of Striding and Spinging)

There are two passages… one to the left, one to the right. Scarp scouts to the left which continues without change for 100’. Checking the right passage, he finds it is a dead end.

The party goes left. Scarp leads, then Niki… checking, checking….

This passage opens up after about 100’ to a cavern. (with passages leading out of it??)

Niki checks the floor etc leading to the cavern… all appears safe. The party has a short rest here. (Time check 3-4pm)

While resting here they realize they can hear the distant sound of a hammer echoing through the halls. Taking a more concentrated listen, Gorm thinks it sounds more like a hammer on an anvil… smith-like sounds as opposed to mine picks and hammers.

Continuing along the path (no mention of other possible passages commented on earlier) they enter an area where the walls converge and there is a stone disc (5’ radius ?) with a step to up it. It is covered with Dwarven runes and is hovering over the floor.

Looking at the magical Dwarven runes those who know how to read such things say it translates to “Safe Passage.” hmmmm…… well, the ladder cut into the wall sure isn’t is great way to haul stuff out of a mine… maybe this was the previous owners solution.

Xaven stops as he nears the disc and simply stares at it, almost entranced by it. Much to the surprise of the rest of the party he sits down and begins to study it. He continues to study the weave as it swirls around the disc, bringing his Detect Magic ability into focus. Almost absent-mindedly, he pulls out the scroll case of his traveling notes and sketches and begins a new entry in his list of wonders that he has found. (Jeff-what did he discover re:school and such?)

The party decides to do a little investigative problem-solving. They throw a pebble onto the disc. It disappears. Ok… wonder where it went… The disc also moves slowly if pushed… quite easily.

Checking the cavern, 2 ways are blocked but there are 6 other passages and a set of stairs going down. In this cavern there is also a broken statue of Moradin in the area where the hallways converge.

The party’s curiosity leads them back to the disc.

Scarp is instructed to land on the disc… he disappears… count, 1, 2, 3… Gotha dismisses him, then re-summons him. He reappears and tells Gotha what he saw… A foundry… an enormous room.

Checking the passages off the disc room the party finds them to be nothing more than mine tunnels…

So, it’s either the disc to foundry or the stairs… The Darkwinter Company are polite guests and decided to take the stairs.

Down they go with Scarp on point… down… and down… and down… and down again. 900’ and still down. An hour traveling and still down (2 miles). Two hours (4 miles) and still down!

Shortly after the 4 mile mark… maybe after 10 minutes, the party feels it getting warmer and hears music drifting up from below… a flute and drums playing a miners song. It’s coming up… towards them.

Scarp checks it out and sends a message back to Gotha… “11 dwarven skeletons coming to you!”

tumblr_milo75GGzU1qzv4vio1_1280.gif
SURPRISE (party has higher ground)

Xaven (19) sends down an Eldritch Blast (a little something he picked up from Gotha) but the curve of the stairs stymies him and the blast goes wild.

Niki (17) sends an arrow to smash the skull of Y3 (Assassinate 23 points). Down.

Gotha (12) sends a Repelling Eldritch Blast (showing Xaven how’s it’s done) shooting down the stairs to slam into skeleton Y2 blasting it back prone into Y1, hampering it’s movement.

Gavaris (11) moves down the stairs and brings his momentum down with both swords onto skeleton Y1 (8 pts).

Sam (6) directs her mace, smashing it into Y1’s skeletal face… it explodes!

Scarp (6) delays.

Gorm (3) misses (with throwing axes or that stooooopid sword he traded for his awesome maul… notes don’t say).

ROUND ONE
Niki (16) drops her bow and moves down the stairs drawing her scimitar and short sword. She sends them spinning at Y5 (6 pts).

Scarp (16) delays.

Skeletons (16) Y1 misses.

Y2 stands up and it’s bony hand swings its pickaxe at Niki. Ouchie (7 pts)!

Y4 misses Niki.

Y5 misses Niki… she’s working on the not-rushing-in thing, OK?

Y6 has it’s choice of Gavaris or Gorm… chooses the fellow dwarf but can’t penetrate Gorm’s new plate. Gorm reacts to the attack with his own (16 pts) and Y6 falls in a clacking pile of bones.

Y7 manages to bloody Niki further (4 pts).

G1-3 move and G1 manages to make it into a position to successfully strike at Gorm (4 pts).

Gotha (14) casts another Repelling Eldritch Blast (with Scarp giving him Advantage). Y7 gets smacked by the Warlock’s power and is knocked back.

Gavaris (12) sends both blades stabbing at G1. The two swords put the undead down (hopefully for good) and he moves.

Xaven (12) moves, then targets Y8 with his softball of fire (C.O., 2nd lvl) and splits it in two to also flame into G3… both skeletons shriek as the sorcerer’s fire consumes them.

Sam (11), enjoying the heavy feel of her mace, sends it into Y2, splintering bones and life force alike. All Praise Fharlaghan!

Gorm (2) brings his stooooopid new blade down onto Y1 splintering bones and spattering marrow. (14 pts)

ROUND TWO
Niki (25… get used to it) again sends scimitar and short sword whirling… but Y4 is still up (12 pts).

Gotha (23) also on Y4 with help from Scarp manages to take it out (spell or weapon unclear… probably a regular Eldritch Blast).

Gavaris (21) sends Talon in his main hand piercing at Y5… it severs it’s spinal cord dropping it in a heap of scrap bones. He moves and sends his other short sword towards Y7… chipping off a few ribs (3 dam).

Xaven (16) gets the hang of Eldritch Blast enough to hit Y7… kind of (1 pt).

Skeletons (16) Y7 brings its pickaxe around hard and it slams into Gavaris’ side (Crit, 7 pts).

G2… well it doesn’t matter… the Darkwinter Company dispatch the last couple abominations. And Sam feels really good… a little more in touch with her god. (4th level) Yay!

Reaching the bottom of the stairs … six miles below the crust of the Earth … the party sees a group of 11 skeletons excavating the bones of a devil, as well as a black metal crown almost loose from the floor’s grip — a floor of oddly green-tinged rock speckled with light-reflecting, green gemstones.

Peridotite!” Gorm exclaims, wiping the sweat from his eyes, “We fight on the mantle of the Earth!”

Each member of the Darkwinter Company, drenched, exhausted, legs cramping from the descent, eyes, teeth, and forehead pounding with an ever-worsening headache, steels for another fight to the death.

pit-fiend.jpg

View
Game 3
The Origins of The Darkwinter Company

The heroes find themselves at the ruins of Cragmaw Castle. The surrounding forest has crept close to the castle, providing cover to the stealthy party. It is decided that they should do an investigative circuit of the castle… the main party keeping amongst the forest at about 200’ out while Niki, Gavaris and Scarp (Gotha’s pseudodragon) venture closer… to about 50’.

Xaven casts Mage Armour… prudent.

Gotha’s eyes roll back to show white as he starts seeing and hearing through Scarp, and he needs to be led through the forest by Sam.

Meanwhile, Niki and Gavaris creep closer to the SW tower just off the main entrance. Through a crack in the wall they see 4 goblins sleeping in bunks, a wall and a door.

Continuing on their sneaky circuit they spy guards through the arrowslits in the SE tower.

On the NE crumbling wall they find a concealed door. Well, it is more of a hole with a canvass flap over it, painted to look like the wall, and there is a trail through the brush going to it. Taking a peek inside they see a room with rubble and an iron-banded door with no keyhole or doorhandle.

In the middle tower on the north side they see no signs of life through the arrowslits.

In the NW tower (on the other side of the main entrance) Gavaris hears Hobgoblin voices…“If I have to eat that stew again I’m going to complain!” Listening, Gavaris guesses there might be 6 hobgoblins in that room.

Doing an aerial recon Scarp (and Gotha) see that there are many age-related cave-ins on the roof… possible points of entry.

The party regroups where they started in the SSW, 200’ from the castle. It is decided that the sleeping goblins will be the first to die (hopefully quietly). So, Niki and Gavaris go in stealthily, climbing the walls a little to reduce the chance of dislodging the rubble. They silently approach the sleeping figures and efficiently dispatch all four.

Niki listens at the door in the room but hears nothing while Gavaris covers the hallway to the kitchen from which they can hear the sounds of water, clatter and chatter.

The signal is given for the rest of the party to come in. Gorm, bringing up the rear, stumbles on the rubble causing a mini rockslide… Shit!

There is laughter from the kitchen “Haha! Are you guys alright in there?”

Gavaris replies in goblin “Ya… just woke up. A little groggy. Will be out to help with the dishes in a minute.”

“Whaaaat? Why would you help with dishes?” and footfalls are coming…

Gavaris “ummm…”… recovering “Well, someone has to take charge in there you useless pieces of..”

“oh, ok, ok…” the footfalls retreat back to the kitchen.

SURPRISE
Gotha (23) moves in and readies an action.

There are 11 goblins in here sitting at two long tables with benches. One of the goblins at the far table is much bigger than the others.

Niki (19) Dashes (bonus action) in, jumps on the first table, launches off it, flips in the air and lands on the second bench in front of the large goblin. She puts the pointy ends of her swords through his eye and heart, killing him instantly. She looks at the other goblins around her and says “Surprise!” It is her first assassination.

Scarp (19) flies in to engage the goblin closest to the only other door in the room. This triggers Gotha’s action but even with Scarp’s aid the warlock misses.

Gavaris (16), still shouting in goblin about the lazy nature of the kitchen staff to hopefully disguise the sounds of combat, moves in, jumps on the first table and buries his sword into one goblin and wounds another with his other sword.

Xaven (8) moves in and, using Mage Hand, knocks over a big stack of pans hoping for a Rube Goldberg effect to further disguise the sounds of goblins dying.

Sam (7) moves in and sends a Sacred Flame down upon a goblin, scorching it but not dropping it.

Gorm (4) moves in, jumps onto the first table and sends two hand axes twirling. Only one hits but its enough to take down the one Gavaris had wounded and the goblin falls with an axe buried in its brow.

ROUND ONE
Gavaris (23) steps down from the table and uses his two blades on two different targets. His main hand pierces a goblin in the chest and it goes down with a sucking chest wound. His off-hand comes up short.

Sam (21) fizzles a Sacred Flame.

Goblins (21) B1, 2 and 3 all freak out! They disengage and take off through the door yelling “Intruders!!!” Damn it!

Goblins (19) Y2, 4, 5, 6 all make for the door.

Xaven (16), an idea occurring to him, mutters to himself “I wonder…” and casts a metamagic twinned spell for the first time, sending out TWO Rays of Frost. One gives Y2 an icy death while the other badly damages and slows Y4. Nice!!!

Niki (12) takes down Y6.

Gotha (4) moves toward the fleeing goblins and hurls a Repelling Eldritch Blast at their backs, wounding B3.

Gorm (2) moves and chucks two more hand axes at the cowardly goblins, but neither can find the mark.

ROUND TWO
Niki (19) moves through the door and takes B3 out of the equation and then moves back into the room to make space for her comrades.

Sam (18) moves and sees the icy and slowed Y4 and decides to warm him up with a Sacred Flame. Whoosh! Dead!

Xaven (18) shoots a Ray of Frost at Y5… not enough to take him down but wounds and slows him.

Gorm (13) moves through the door brandishing his maul. He swings at the running goblin B1, catching him in the back. He goes down broken and twisted.

Gavaris (11) jumps over the table and strides through the door. There are two goblins left. His first jab pierces the chest of one goblin and it slides lifelessly off his blade. His second sword flicks at the last goblin, drawing blood but not taking it out.

Goblin (10) B2 disengages and runs towards a door.

Gotha (9) slinks into the hallway and just as the goblin reaches the door, screaming for help, he lets fly with a Repelling Eldrtich Blast! The goblin gets slammed against the door and slides down in boneless heap.

Yay!!!! We slaughtered the kitchen staff!!!!!

However… the door the goblin was at opens and 6 hobgoblins emerge! One looks at the heroes and says “Look boys, dinner!”

ROUND THREE
Niki (24*) moves 20’ and with Gotha also threathening HG2 she sneak attacks but misses. She then disengages and moves another 10’.

Xaven (21) moves to the kitchen doorway and using his newly discovered metamagic casts 2 Chromatic Orbs at HG 4&5. Lightning crackles from the first orb, searing some flesh off HG4’s face. HG5 is luckier and the lightning bolts just makes his hair stand on end.

Scarp (20) disengages and flies through a hole in the roof.

Gorm (20) moves 10’ bringing around his maul at HG3. A miss.

Gavaris (18) casts Divine Favour (a bonus from his god), climbs up some rubble to have higher ground, then strikes at HG2 with both blades. His off-hand weapon comes away a little bloody.

Gotha (18) blows some sand from his outstretched hand and puts HG2, 3 & 4 to sleep.

Sam (9) brings a Sacred Flame down upon HG5 who’s resolve fails in the divine fire. He takes maximum damage but is still up.

The Hobgoblins morale is strong.

Hobgoblins (5) HG1 moves into the sleeping HG3’s space and misses Gavaris.

HG5 is on Gotha to no avail.

HG6 moves into the sleeping HG2’s space. Taking his pick between Gorm, Gavaris and Gotha, he chooses Gotha but cannot connect!

The sleeping Hobgoblins start waking up from being stomped on.

ROUND FOUR
Gorm (20*) swings wide with his maul.

Xaven (20) stays put and snipes from the kitchen doorway. He cools HG5 off and slows him with an icy Ray.

Niki (15) dashes over the rubble and sneak attacks HG1. ‘Talon’ shreds his lower organs and he falls.

Scarp (13) scouting over the rooftop looking through the holes sends a telepathic message to Gotha… “Big bugbear coming!”

Gavaris (12) scores two brutal hits on HG6. The first piercing his throat causes a pulsing fountain of blood and just to make sure he’s dead the second slides up under his ribs to his heart.

Gotha’s (12) Repelling Eldritch Blast crackles wide of HG5.

Hobgoblins (10) HG2 stands up but Gotha misses his opportunity attack.

HG3 stands up only to be pierced by a critical hit from Niki… but he still gets up.

HG4 is still asleep.

HG5 swings and connects with Gotha.

Sam (5) moves, then misses with a Sacred Flame.

ROUND FIVE
Niki (19) disengages and moves to the sleeping HG 4. She makes sure he will never wake again with a coup de gras.

Hobgoblins (19) HG2, working with his comrades, has Martial Advantage but he misses Gotha anyway.

HG3 also with Martial Advantage manages a nasty strike on Gavaris (12pts).

HG5 also misses Gotha even with MA.

Gavaris (18), his hands slick with his own blood, misses with both swords.

King Groll (16), a bugbear, comes through the door, bellowing, “Who the fuck is in my castle!?” Then, looking at the intruders, he says to the wolf just behind him “Gettem Goretogue!” Goretongue then races into the hallway to attack Niki (“oh no… not wolves again” she thinks), but its teeth slide off the metal studs in her fairly new armour (and she says a silent “thank you” to the dead elf in the spider’s web). King Groll then rounds on Gavaris, taunting “You’ve got a lot of nerve coming into my place!”, and swings mightily with an enormous morning star, which not only misses but smashes into the crumbling floor and gets stuck!

Scarp (12) continues his rooftop scouting.

Gotha (10) sets his parameters for Faerie Fire… it will get all the bad guys except HG2… although it will also get Niki. Niki manages to shake off her friend’s spell, unfortunately so do all the bad guys except HG5.

Gorm (9) has a swing and a miss and lets out a frustrated ""Uggghhhh!"

Xaven (8) giving himself advantage with his metamagic and splitting his Witchbolt sends an energy bolt crackling wide of Goretongue but the other bolt slams right into the face of King Groll (rolled a 20… HOUSE RULE: max damage for first roll).

Sam (5) casts Bless.

ROUND SIX
Sam (18) sends a Guiding Bolt towards King Groll but should have guided it a bit better.

Hobgoblins (16) HG2 &5 concentrate on Gotha and with slashes from two long swords take the Warlock down.

HG3 also scores against Gavaris injuring the Wood Elf further (14 pts).

King Groll (16), after his initial embarrassing miss, has something to prove to Gavaris but misses him again!

Gorm (15), getting impatient for another hit, uses an Action Surge. He sends his maul crunching into HG2’s face who crumples. He then steps forward, with a Sweeping Attack against HG5 who takes Gorm’s maul in the stomach, turning all his organs to liquid. Another down. And lastly the Action Surge kicks in and the maul comes up to connect with HG3 for some damage. SMASH!!!!!!!! Gorm is smiling through his beard.

Xaven (12) concentrates on keeping his Witchbolt fixed on King Groll (6 pts)

Gavaris (12) brimming with Meiliki’s Wrath moves 5’, casts Thunder Smite (bonus action), and stabs at King Groll, puncturing him twice! The bugbear cannot bear Meiliki’s might and the divine thunder knocks him back 10’; he lands prone on top of Goretongue. But he is not dead.

Scarp (12) delays.

Goretongue (11) takes a point of damage from his master’s bulk landing on him but he twists away and is not pinned. King Groll is pissed and orders the wolf to attack Gavaris. But moving in to attack Gavaris brings it by Niki, who hamstrings the beast (‘Take that wolf!’)

Niki (10) jumps and lands straddling King Groll, her two swords stabbing into his chest (17 pts) but he’s still breathing so she disengages and moves away.

Gotha (10) Death Save………….. Yes!!!!

ROUND SEVEN
Scarp (22) delays.

Niki (19) jumps again on the prone, self-proclaimed, King, saying “The King is Dead!”, but again her two good stabs (18 pts) do not end the bugbear. She retreats again.

King Groll (16) gets up, and retreating to another door says to the remaining Hobgoblin “Hold them off!”

Hobgoblins (15) HG3 connects with Gorm (6pts).

Gavaris (13) puts a quick end to HG3 and moves through the door, following King Groll.

Sam (12) moves and Heals Gotha (for 12!)

Gorm (10) sends a hand axe spinning towards King Groll’s back. There is a satisfying ka-chunk as the axehead is buried into the King’s spine. As the body splats on the floor, Gorm asks “What did he have on him?”

Niki potion (10/17). Gotha potion (20/27).

2 Healing Potions were found that went to Xaven and Gorm. King Groll had 4 pp and a morning star and some wrecked armour.

Niki takes a tooth from the head chef that was her first assassination and puts it in her silver snuffbox.

They have a short rest.

They’re short on spells but they’re gonna go!!!!

The door from which the goblins came is a bunk room. 14pp are found. Listening to a door to the south they hear snorting and stamping like from a bull.

They decide to check out the door where King Groll was headed… Niki takes point, cracking the door open she sees a relatively posh room. There is furniture, and furs are serving as carpets on the floor. As she opens the door further, there is Gundren Rockseeker, sitting at a table, beaten to a pulp. A Drow has her arm around his shoulders and a knife at his throat. She sees Niki and says “You’re cute.”

“Well, thanks.” responds Niki as she fully opens the door so her comrades can see what she’s seeing.

A negotiation begins.

Gotha uses Scarp to watch the Drow to improve his Insight… he can see some telltale signs of anger.

She talks of something she wanted from Groll… she wants it and then she wants to leave. She’ll trade the dwarf for the map case (she doesn’t know it’s empty) … and ‘tells us all you know about Glass Staff’ (notes vague here… any help with gaps please).

She suggests… “Give me the case and I’ll leave the dwarf in the forest…”

“Nope. You need to be at least 10’ away from the dwarf before you get the case.”

She doesn’t like that. “No, no. Put the case in my hand. I’ll let the dwarf go.”

“Absolutely not. Scarp will take the scroll case 30’ down the hall. You will leave the dwarf where he is, take the case and leave this castle.”

She agrees to be 30’ away from Rockseeker.

She moves away from the stuporous Rockseeker to the scroll case 30’ away from the party. She opens it and swears… then with a look of hatred takes off. Looks like another enemy is made… and we never got her name.

Gundren wakes up and Sam starts aggressively asking questions. "Hey lady! Back off! She was looking for maps that King Groll said he had.

King Groll’s quarters have thick furs, trophies, a bed and table and chairs. They find 4 healing potions that go to Sam, Gavaris, Niki and Gotha. Also 330sp, 240ep and Gundren’s maps to Wave Echo Cave.

Knowing they will probably not make it undisturbed through a long rest they try it anyway… 7 hours into it they hear the door being tried. “The King’s door is blocked! They are in the King’s quarters!”

Gavaris shouts through the door “We are taking care of things. Don’t anger the Black Spider.”

“We are the Cragmaw’s. You will not talk to us this way!”

Referring to their King’s dead body they undoubtably see Gavaris growls “You see what happens when your King displeases. Go and pick another leader. We’ll pay double.” The adventurers are hoping they might fight among themselves…

They reply “Turgar is not back from the hunt. He will decide.”

“Fine! Do not bother us further while we deal with the dwarf!”

While resting and wondering about this Turgar, Gavaris is getting twitchy about not fighting the hobgoblins and goblins that were outside the door.

OK… so we’re gonna kill them… but we’re gonna have fun with it.

Using Deception and Disguise Kits Gotha and Niki work on making Niki into the Drow. Sam and Xaven use what they can find and Mending to make a chainmail bikini like the Black Spider was wearing… Looks pretty good.

Gavaris shouts through the door “We’re tired of waiting for Turgar. Choose among yourselves and send him in.”

He comes in.

Niki stands up from behind the desk. “You’re… cute.” She saunters around behind him, draws her weapons and stabs him in the back with both swords. The 15 damage is one short of taking him down and he shouts “Treachery! Help!”

Niki and Gorm try to go with it, saying “Choose again!”… they snicker together.

Gavaris can’t take it any longer and rips the door open to embrace the righteous combat.

ROUND ONE
Scarp (22) delays.

Hobgoblins (20) HG1 slashes at Niki’s kidney.(8 pts)

HG2 misses Gavaris.

HG3 however, possibly capitalizing on HG2’s miss manages to get through Gavaris’ defences (17 dam!!!)

Gavaris (19) responds with Divine Favour and two hits with his short swords (I3 pts) on HG3.

Sam (18) inspired by Fharlagn’s divinity calls down a Sacred Flame and strikes HG1 down dead, wreathed in fire.

Niki (12) moves and disengages, then strikes at HG3 on Gavaris but only strikes a glorified papercut (2 pts).

Goblins (10) Y1&2 move to flank on Gavaris and Niki. Niki is hit for 3 and Gavaris is missed.

Gotha (6) moves in and the energy of a Repelling Eldritch Blast slams into HG3 knocking it back as it convulses with the crackling energy in its death throws.

Gorm (6) SMASH! HG2 falls with a maul-sized cavity in its chest.

… and the heroes finish off the rest of the riff-raff.

32gp were found on the hobgoblins and 34 cp on the goblins.

The north door off King Grolls room is an empty antechamber.

They proceed to the room with the snorting and stamping. Niki still hears the same. She moves back and gestures to anyone else… “Knock yourself out.”

Xaven opens the door… there is an Owlbear in there! He shuts the door.

Gav and Niki take Healing Potions.

“…so… what are we gonna do?” says no one in particular.

SURPRISE!
ROUND ONE
Xaven opens the door and casts a Witchbolt… exciting! but he misses.

Scarp (22) delays.

Gotha (20) hurls a Repelling Eldritch Blast knocking the monster back 10’. He then moves back.

Niki (17) moves to the door, drawing her bow. Her arrow flies true (9pts), then she drops her bow, Hides (bonus action) and climbs 5’ up the side of the door.

Gavaris (11) casts Shield of Faith (bonus action) and buries one sword into the feathery hide (8pts).

Gorm moves in with an Action Surge and his maul is a flurry! Two solid hits thwack against the body of the bizarre creature (40pts!)

Sam (9) casts Bless and gets everyone excpet Gotha and Xaven.

Owlbear (9) sinks its beak into Gorm (10pts).

ROUND TWO
Gavaris (22) calls upon Meiliki for his Smiting power. His two blades send blood and muscle and feathers flying… and the corpse falls to the ground.

The sudden quiet is not to be ignored… “We have taken Cragmaw Castle!”

Xaven looks something up in a book while looking at the Owlbear… “oh ya, that’s gonna be worth something.” There is alos a chest in the room containing coins (see Loot) and two scolls (Revivify, Silence) which Sam takes and a healing potion (?). On a stone brazier there is a small gold statue of an elf. When Xaven tries to discern something about it he hears a voice in his head saying “Ask me a question”

As the heroes are leaving ‘Cragmaw Castle’ which used to be ‘Darkwinter Castle’ they are considering taking it as their homebase… and maybe they should call themselves ‘The Darkwinter Faction’, or ‘The Darkwinter Party’, or ‘The Darkwinter Posse’, or ‘The Darkwinter Syndicate’, or ’The Darkwinter Circle… Consortium… Cartel… Company?"… “Wait, The Darkwinter Company sounds pretty…”

When Tugar and 6 Hobgoblins and 3 wolves come into view…

All trace of mirth leaves Gavaris’ face and he says to Turgar “You are welcome to turn back now or face Meiliki’s Wrath.” He pulls out King Groll’s head and throws it at Turgar’s feet.

Turgar produces a canvass bag with a smile and pulls out three Elven heads. He throws them to land at Gavaris’ feet, staring lifelessly in mute appeal. There is something in Gavaris’ eyes… He knows these Elves… they are his relatives, his cousins.

ROUND ONE
Gavaris (23) freaks out! “You have sealed your fate! They were hunting deer!” He utters a Vow of Enmity (bonus action) on Turgar “For what you have done to my family, Meiliki will strike you down!” He moves, his two short swords flashing out at Tugar, spilling blood. (12pts)

Niki (23) gets caught up in Gavaris’ family tragedy and before she knows it she’s dashing in to engage Turgar also. She scores two hits, including a sneak attack (16pts) but he’s sill standing.

Hobgoblins (22) HG 1 swings wide of Gavaris with his long sword.

HG2 slashes at Gavaris with his longsword, parting the armour and flesh and muscle (13pts!)

HG3 rounds on Niki hitting hard (12!!!).

HG4 targets Gavaris and his hit leaves Gavaris barely standing (at 1pt).

HG5’s attack is dodged by Niki.

Turgar also swings wide of Niki not once but twice!

Xaven (21) produces an orb the size of a softball. It rapidly fluctuates with colour… red, black, white, yellow…various hues of green. As it settles on red, Xaven throws it and it splits into two in mid-air. One engulfs Turgar with a fiery whoosh (crit for 30pts) and Turgar burns to a cinder. The other orb slams into HG4 with another flash of light and heat (16pts) and there is another dead hobgoblin smouldering on the forest floor. Xaven then, instead of moving, holds up a Potion of Healing and calls Scarp’s name.

Gorm (20) misses with both hand axes.

Gotha (17) puts Wolf 1 & 3 asleep but W2 resists his lullaby.

Wolf (15) W2 moves and his snapping teeth cannot get through Gavaris’ armour.

Scarp (14) swoops in and grabs the potion from Xaven’s outstretched hand and wings it to Niki to whom he administers it.

Sam (11) casts Sanctuary on Gavaris (bonus action) and casts Bless on herself, Niki, Gorm, and Gavaris.

ROUND THREE
Gavaris, Gotha, Niki and Gorm all use Inspiration to try to gain Initiative.

Hobgoblins (20) Y1 attacks Gavaris despite the Sanctuary but misses.

Y2 misses Niki twice.

Y3 hits Niki with help from the wolf… she goes down… 1st time this game!

Y5 tries to attack Gavaris despite Sanctuary but Sam’s spell holds and the Hobgoblin is forced to pick a new target, Gorm. Attacking Gorm however, provokes an opportuinty attack from Gavaris who drops him the the ground in a bleeding mess.

Niki (18) Saves vs Death and stabilizes… wouldn’t have without the Bless!

Wolves (17) only W2 is awake and it misses Gorm.

Scarp (16) delays.

Gavaris (15) can only manage to wound Y2 with his off-hand.

Gorm (13) using an Action Surge strikes once at Y3, missing, and again… this time smashing with the maul and Y3 goes down with a crushed skull.

Gotha (12) puts Y1 and Y2 to sleep.

Sam (12) takes out her mace and moves 5’ to engage the only thing left standing Wolf2. She smacks it for a crit but its still up.

Xaven (11) then obliterates it with a Thunderous Chromatic Orb. But wait!!! That doesn’t happen as Xaven failed his spell roll. Gotha is instead affected and although he could have done something terrible he just is not capable of doing anything for a round.

Gotha throws a punch at Xaven but misses. The sleeping enemies are dispatched. Gavaris buries the elf heads and places the heads of the goblins and hobgoblins on spikes around the castle… The Castle of the Darkwinter Company.

The 6 members of the Darkwinter Company escort Gundren Rockseeker back to Phandelin. He gives them 25gp each and promises 10per cent share of the Forge of Spells.

View
Game 2
Iarno Albrecht foiled

Back in Phandelin…

Bob gets called back to Neverwinter… seems his mother is sick or something… whatever… he never really fitted in with us anyway.

These are some of the rumours we hear…

There is a Shrine of Luck in town and the priestess had gone somewhere and come back injured. Luck is good, when it’s good…

Orchard keeper Daren was once an adventurer.

Town Master (HARBIN WESTER) is concerned about an orc presence to the east of town. Filthy orcs… we should kill them all.

BARFIN, the storekeep, tells of the Red Brand causing trouble. A Woodcarver stood up to them so they killed his son and took his wife and daughter. Cowards.

QUELLIAN, a Halfling, found a secret passage the Red Brand is using but was almost caught. Sloppy.

Miners are talking about undead at the old Owl Well. Undead? Ugh.

There is a Banshee in the forest who will answer one question. Hmmm…..

Syldar offers us 600gp to find Kragmar Castle… this is fact, not rumour. Cold, hard cash.

We figure we should talk to Quellian but first we drop by the Shrine of Luck. The Priestess is there window washing. There is also another human, female cleric there, hanging around. Gavaris talks to the Priestess and finds out she was attacked by dogs… her arm is bandaged. The other cleric is Sam, otherwise known as “Wind Rose”, a sailor. After talking to her a bit she seems like-minded and we need a cleric so she joins our merry band.

Now on to see this Halfling. It was, in fact, Quellian’s son who found the secret passage in the forest. He also saw some Red Brand mooks talking to some monsters… sounded like a goblin and a bugbear by the description. The secret passage probably goes to the abandoned mansion of the Trasander family (wiped out in the original orc invasion) and the Red Brand is using it as a base of operations. Although we find out in this conversation that their public hang out is the Sleeping Giant Pub.

Quellian also tells us that the Red Brand showed up about two months ago and just took over. She doesn’t know where Kragmar Castle is… the druid would but he’s in Thunder Tree. The banshee is about the same distance away but in the opposite direction.

So after some discussion we decide it makes sense to first sort out this local gang/orc problem and maybe by doing so we will discover the location of Kragmar Castle. Xaven got the kid to describe in detail where the secret passage is as he has some kind of eidetic memory.

We approach the secret passage from the south. Xaven makes Light rocks for everyone. We easily locate the secret entrance and Niki finds no guards, traps or alarms… very cocky, this Red Brand.

Inside is a large natural cavern. There is a crevasse with two sets of wooden bridges (with no handrails) over it and a disgusting smell of rotting flesh coming from the depths. There are two columns in the cavern and a set of stairs coming down from the west. Sam finds bootprints coming from the western stairs. All is quiet except for the sound of dripping.

Niki takes point, moving into the cavern to explore… when she sees a wormy creature descending from the ceiling!

ROUND ONE
Gorm (19) throws two hand axes at it! One hits (7 pts) one misses. The worm-thing opens its maw and howls… and tentacles come out of it!!!! Ewwww!

Gotha (18) moves onto the first wooden bridge, which gives way under his feet! He falls 20’ and lands prone in a jumble of rubble but manages to fire off his Eldritch Repelling Blast, but hits nothing.

Gavaris (16) moves in, stylishly jumps over the broken bridge and fires an arrow feathering the tentacled monster.

The worm right above Niki attacks but doesn’t hit.

Niki (9), however, hits with shortsword and dagger (14 pts).

Sam (7) moves in and misses with her mace.

Xaven moves in and throws a Ray of Frost… damaging (3 pts) and slowing it.

ROUND TWO
Gorm, maul! Miss.

Gotha takes a quick glance around to see if anything is down there. There is a half eaten body. He stands and casts an Eldritch Blast that goes wide of the target.

Gavaris misses with his arrow.

The worm grabs Niki with its tentacles and tries to reel her in for a bite but misses.

Niki strikes back with a crit from her short sword that hacks off a tentacle and she jabs her dagger into its beak-like mouth! (17 pts) but it’s still up.

Sam sends a Sacred Flame scorching down upon it and it drops down dead!

With the melee done, Gotha checks out the body in the pit. It is a human male with a sword slash as the killing blow but it has also been partly eaten… presumably by the creature we just killed… maybe the Red Brand feeds it to keep it here as a guard.

Gavaris moves further into the cavern while Niki looks up to see if this thing came down from its lair… She sees a ledge and climbs up to find a pile of shiny things. 180gp, 240sp, 8 malachite gems (15gp each), 3 potions, a scroll and a broken chest with a shortsword that has a black hawk for its hilt and ‘Talon” etched into it. It glows slightly. Huh. “Just the kind of thing I’ve been looking for” she thinks. Niki moves her dagger from her belt to her boot and straps on her new shortsword around her waist… it certainly outshines the one on her other hip… “I’ll have to keep my eye out for a matching one.” Everything else is tossed down to those below.

Xaven wants to see “Talon” and sits down with it going sort of trance-like for 10 minutes… it is magical… it will always keep its edge (+1). The potions are all healing… Niki takes one as does Sam and Gorm. The scroll is Divine… an Augury spell that Sam takes.

Sam also heals Niki and she feels good as new.

Gavaris is checking out the room. He finds crates and barrels with no insignia full of hammers, nails, crowbars and straw… also a cache of beaver pelts (30, worth 3 gp each). An aberration on the wall catches his eye and he calls Gorm over who finds that it is a cunningly hidden door.

Sam also finds another secret door…

So, we’ve got two stairwells going down to the west (the southern most ends in a doorway), one hallway going north and two secret doors to the south and north.

We decide to get the lay of the land before we decide where to go… so Niki goes into paranoia scout mode…

The hallway to the north seems to be a dead end but Niki easily finds a secret door… it’s not so secret from this side but probably is from the other side.

The southern secret door is quiet with no traps and the mechanism is easy. Beyond it is a stairwell going down to the north.

Checking out the northern secret door it is similarly easy and untrapped. Beyond is a 15’ hallway with two doors, one to the east and one to the south.

While Niki was checking the doors, Xaven and Sam were cleaning up the crime scene and Mending the broken bridge.

Everyone congregates outside the doors in the hallway of the northern secret door. The door to the east is locked and we hear nothing inside. Picking the lock is easy and inside we find an armoury. There are a bunch of dirty red cloaks, which Xaven magically cleans and everyone takes one. There are 18 spears, 9 short swords, 6 long swords, 9 light crossbows, 12 quivers with 20 bolts each. Sam takes one quiver and puts the rest into a barrel.

Beyond the door to the south is dusty crypt. Creepy. There is a double door sheathed in copper plate with the Trasander family crest (an oak tree) on it and there is a single door to the east. Five sarcophagi are in here, each with a skeleton propped up against it. Gavaris uses Divine Sense and although they are not animated at the moment he knows they are evil undead.

SURPRISE!
Gavaris rushes into the room to annihilate the abominations!!!!! He smashes one into dust. The others animate.

ROUND ONE
The four remaining skeletons (22) surround Gavaris and one hits him but good!

Gotha (19) moves into the hallway and yells “Duck!” then sends a Repelling Eldritch Blast cracking into the room. It slams into one knocking it back away from Gavaris.

Niki (16) gets in there with her two short swords for a sneak attack and another crumbles to dust. “Hey Gorm! I got one! Now it’s your turn!”

Gorm (16) comes in yelling and smashes one with his maul! Apparently these things are vulnerable to bludgeoning and it spectacularly EXPLODES!!!!!! (34 pts)

Xaven (11) moves in and sends a Ray of Frost crackling at one, slightly damaging it (1 pt) and slowing it.

Sam (9) calls down a Sacred Flame upon it but it remains standing.

Gavaris (7) gets one hit from his swords and there is more dust on the floor.

ROUND TWO
One skeleton remains and it crawls over a sarcophagi to Niki scoring a brutal hit. Even so, Niki calls for everyone to hold… She wants to see Gorm explode it again! That was so cool!

Gotha delays.

Niki delays.

Gorm SMASH! KAPOW!

The sarcophagi open and rotting stuff spills out. We find a signet ring on each skeleton (50 gp each).

We rest for an hour and Gavaris uses his paladin healing skills on Niki and Gotha.

Opening the single door off the crypt we see a 15’x15’ room with two cells. In one cell is a boy and the other holds two women. They all have leather collars around their necks. Slaver scum. There are also two Red Brands in here, actually there are three and embarrassingly the third one gets the jump on Niki.

SURPRISE!
RB gets one hit on Niki (4 pts).

ROUND ONE
Gavaris (23) moves in and scores two solid hits (13 pts) then moves 5’.

Niki (19) says to the guy that surprised her in Thieves Cant “Dead man.” She pierces him twice with her short swords (17 pts).

(17) Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to take him down and the RB scores a crit and another hit, taking her down.

One RB manages to get by Gavaris’ defenses twice but the other guy misses.

A Ray of Frost comes hurtling from Xaven (13) and a RB is now in pieces stuck frozen up against the wall.

Sam moves in and heals Niki for 7.

Gorm (6) moves in but has to stand over Niki’s prone form. The disadvantage is too much and he misses.

Gotha (5) moves in and realizes there is small chance he could hit Gorm by accident… “Meh…” he thinks with a shrug and sends a Repelling Eldritch Blast into a RB who gets slammed back up against the bars of the cell.

ROUND TWO
Gavaris takes down one of the two remaining RBs, but leaves the one that made Niki unconscious, knowing she’ll want revenge.

Which she gets… using her acrobatic skills she tumbles out from underneath Gorm and truly makes him a dead man, opening his throat with ‘Talon’.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you!” say the prisoners. They are the Drendar family. They say they know nothing about anyone called Glass Staff but they do know that the Red Brand leader is a wizard and although the gang is mostly human they do have some inhuman comrades.

Gavaris and Sam insist on taking the freed prisoners all the way back to town but Niki, Gotha, Gorm and Xaven stay behind. They decide it might be wise to guard their companion’s way back.

On the way into town the Drendar’s tell Gavaris of a family heirloom lost in Thunder Tree… “Maybe you could find it…?” Gavaris assures them we will try.

Meanwhile, while waiting, Niki and Xaven get curious about the copper-plated double doors. They open them. Thick dust covers the floor of the hallway. No one has used this in a long time. It goes 40’ then turns. Xaven, ever curious, starts down it. Niki kinda wants to go too but then says, “You know what, Xaven? I think we should wait. I’ve been knocked out already today and that was when we were all together. Its only us two here.” He considers, and with a dice roll agrees. 5 minutes after they left, Sam and Gavaris return.

Gavaris and Niki take a cure potion each and are fully healed.

Proceeding to the NE passage they go downstairs to the southern door, which is unlocked and not trapped. Niki gives a listen… There is dice game going on in there! The opposite door is also not locked or trapped and the only thing heard is bubbling and dripping.

Gorm checks the door in the SW passage and finds that it goes to the dice game room from the other side.

A plan is hatched…

Gavaris and Sam wait outside the north door while Niki and Gorm go to the south door. Xaven uses Prestidigitation to create a fierce tattoo on Gotha’s face and they both don their red cloaks. Gotha gives Xaven a pouch with 15gp in it and tells him to toss it on the table at his signal.

Xaven then slams open the door and shouts “Stand for Lord Gotha!” Gotha pulls out a deck of cards and starts shuffling.

Niki cracks open her door a little to watch the show.

Six Red Brand’s are in the middle of a knucklebones game and are quite drunk. “Who are you? A new recruit?” Smiling Gotha replies “Ah…. No.” And he suggests a game of Hunt the Cunt. “Well, we already have a game on the go…” Gotha nods to Xaven who tosses the bag of coins on the table. It easily matches the amount already on the table. “Ok, well, you can get in on the knucklebones game.” Gotha approaches the table so he is positioned with the Red Brands all around him.

He casts a spell and suddenly a swirling mass of bats emanates from him surrounding the Red Brands scratching and clawing. They take necrotic damage (1 less than max and cannot make a reaction until their next turn), which kills one outright and leaves the remaining five screaming in pain and reaching for their swords.

ROUND ONE
Gavaris (25) moves into the room and hacks at one with his short swords taking him down (max damage).

Three of the four remaining RB’s (19, disadvantage from drunkenness) all take two swings each at Gotha but only one connects. The other gets one hit on Gavaris.

Gotha (15) sends one into the wall with a Repelling Eldritch blast; he does not get up.

Niki (9) moves in and scores one hit and although it doesn’t take him down he does drop one of his swords.

Sam (9) moves in and casts Sacred Flame on the guy that dropped a sword. He dies in the divine fire.

Gorm (5) moves in but his maul does not smash.

Xaven (1*) casts Ray of Frost on the one on Gavaris but it goes wide.

ROUND TWO
Gavaris’ swords make and end to the second last RB in the room.

The last RB drops his sword and surrenders.

The door that Niki and Gorm came through smashes open and a big hairy arm (Bugbear 1) attacks Niki but misses!

BB2 moves in provoking an AOO from Gorm (13 pts) and proceeds to miss Niki.

BB3 moves in provoking an AOO from Niki (11pts) and clobbers Xaven (7 pts).

BB4 moves and swings at Niki… ouchie!!! She’s down!

Gotha casts Fairy Fire on BB2, 3 and 4 who all fail their save (everyone has advantage on them now!)

Niki makes her Death Save! Yay! Way to not die!!!

Sam sends a crossbow bolt into BB3 (6 pts).

Gorm uses an Action Surge and scores a crit and another hit, smashing his maul in the face of BB1. His head is crushed.

Xaven taking advantage of the Fairy Fire advantage uses his quarterstaff on BB3 (7 pts). (Although it doesn’t say he must have killed it as the notes don’t mention BB3 again)

ROUND 3
Gavaris uses Divine Favour and scores two crits with his short swords! BB4 goes down in a great gout of blood.

BB2 has a swing and miss at Gotha.

Niki crawls out of the melee and stands.

Sam sends another bolt flying, this time it buries into BB2 (9pts).

Gorm finishes off the last Bugbear, smashing it with his maul.

It is suddenly quiet and we all turn to look at the Red Brand who surrendered, now cowering in the corner. Gorm hits him in the face with the hilt of his maul. “It’s just a job, OK? I needed the work!” he pleads. Gotha stands behind Gorm with sparkling energy wrapping around his arms. “Who is in charge?” “Glass Staff?” “Where is he?” “Over there…” pointing to the room with the bubbling sounds. “Where is the Black Spider?” “I don’t know. He just sends messengers.” “Where is Kragmar Castle?” “I don’t know.” Xaven then unexpected shoots his with a Ray of Frost. A cold death.

Searching the bodies we find 100gp, 80sp, 27 ep, 20 cp, a gold earring with a ruby worth 40 gp. The Bugbear leader had a pouch with 40 sp, an eyepatch worth 65 gp and an iron key which Niki takes.

Niki also checks out the room from which the bugbears came and finds nothing but a cowering goblin who she hands over to Gavaris. He is asked where Kragmar Castle is and although he says he was taken from there he doesn’t know where it is. Gavaris says “It doesn’t matter. I’m going to slit his throat in a second anyway.” “Ummm… I don’t know exactly where it is but I can help you find it!”

Sam is concerned that there may a Necromancer about and we are surrounded with dead bodies.

None-the-less we rest for an hour, Gavaris helps Niki out with a Laying on of Hands and then we open the bubbling door. It is a wizard’s quarters and achemist’s lab and there is no one there. It is obvious he left in a hurry, probably as soon as he heard the fighting. There is an open, empty chest at the bottom of the bed and a secret door standing ajar.

Searching the room we find lots of books about alchemy, especially about making Invisibility potions. In fact, there is enough here for us to know how to brew Invisibility potions. We find some rare reagents worth 35 gp (x3), 170 gp, 240 sp, a silk pouch with 8 carnelians (10 gp each), 2 peridots worth 20gp (x2) and 2 pearls worth 100gp each. Nice haul!

There is a book describing the Forge of Spells and a magical mace called “Lightbringer”. There is also a note with the symbol of the Black Spider on it to Lord Earno Albrec (aka Glass Staff) instructing him to get/kill us and bring him any dwarven maps. Lord Earno Albrec is a friend of Syldar’s. He must be told that his friend is actually Glass Staff.

Back to the dusty hallway behind the copper-plated door. Niki takes point and just beyond where Xaven had stood she triggers a pit trap! She manages to catch the edge though and doesn’t fall. Everyone jumps the pit and carries on. The corridor turns south and ends at a door. It is not trapped or locked and looks to lead into the manor.

Gorm kicks it in. There are four Red Brand members in the room.

SURPRISE!
Sam (20) moves in and casts Sacred Flame RB3 (8 pts).

Gorm (17) moves in and makes a crit with his maul in the face of RB3 who crumples.

Gavaris moves in.

Niki moves in but misses her two attacks.

Xaven moves.

Gotha moves.

ROUND ONE
RB3 & 4 are on Gorm who takes 2 hits (10 pts).

RB 2 scores a crit on Niki but can’t make it really count (4 pts).

Sam moves and sends another Sacred Flame at RB2 (3 pts).

Gorm misses RB1

Gavaris moves, taking the AOO from RB4 (3 pts) and sticks RB1 with both short swords (11 pts).

Niki manages to sneak attack RB2, two hits with her blades takes him out.

Xaven is chillin’ in the hallway as there is no room in there.

Gotha sends a Repelling Eldritch Blast around the corner. It smacks into RB4, knocking him back.

ROUND TWO
RB1 scores a crit on Sam (8 pts).

RB4 is on Gavaris but cannot connect.

Sam sends a Sacred Flame down on RB1 (2 pts).

And Gorm finishes RB1 off with a good crunch from his maul (12 pts).

The last one surrenders.

So, back to town. We show Syldar the note which proves that his friend Lord Albrec is actually Glass Staff. He gives us 300gp for taking out the Red Brand gang. We take the prisoner to the town hall and keep the goblin with us to help us find Kragmar Castle.

We spend the night in town and in the morning we’re off to Thunder Tree. We make it there without incident. It is a ruined town with a tower upon which sits a large, green, winged creature. There is also a sign stating “Danger! Zombies and plant creatures. Turn back!”

Cautiously entering the town we see that one house seems to be in better shape so we knock on the door. An old man answers. It is the druid. Gorm asks him “Why do you have a fake dragon?” “It’s a real dragon!” he responds.

He tells us that Kragmar Castle was originally called Darkwinter Castle but that family is long gone. The goblins renamed it Kragmar. He will tell us how to find it.

He also knows where Wave Echo Cave is but he’ll only tell us that if we chase off the dragon.

Gavaris asks about the Drendar family heirloom. The druid tells us that their house is in the SW section of town. The husband was a woodcarver but the family were herbalists. He warns us to watch out for spiders, and that besides the dragon there are twigblights and ash zombies.

As we approach the herbalist’s house we see it is covered with large spider webs. Sam casts Sacred Flame and they go up with a whoosh! Then the giant spiders come out to attack!

ROUND ONE
Xaven (21) sends a Witchbolt at Spider 2 but it scuttles to avoid it.

Gorm moves to the closest Spider (#3) and swings his mighty maul. Nice damage (13 Pts) but it doesn’t go down.

Gotha blows some sand at S3 and it falls asleep.

S1 misses Gorm with its mandibles.

S2 bites Niki but she shakes off the poison.

Gavaris makes both blades count (13 pts) but the giant arachnid is still kicking.

Sam’s Sacred Flame fizzles.

Niki blades cut deeply (12pts).

ROUND TWO
Xaven’s Ray of Frost hits (6 pts) and slows the spider.

Gorm smashes! (12 pts)

Gotha targets the most wounded spider but the Eldritch Blast goes wide.

Gorm is missed again.

But Niki gets bit again and maybe the poison has built up in her system and she succumbs to it… down again she goes.

Gavaris, blades whistling slices one to pieces with max damage and moves onto the one engaging Gorm.

Sam heals Niki… (guess who is Niki’s new best friend?).

Niki regains consciousness and stands.

ROUND THREE
Xaven’s Ray of Frost misses.

Gorm smashes again! (14 pts)

And Gotha finishes off the last one with an Eldritch Blast.

In the tattered remains of the web we find the body of an elf. It is wearing studded leather armour, which Niki takes (maybe the extra protection will keep her up), a short sword and a belt pouch containing a healing potion (Sam takes it), 30 gp and 35 sp.

The gold necklace heriloom is procured.

We decide to take on some these ash zombies and find 6 in what was the local tavern slumped against the bar.

SURPRISE!
Niki manages a sneak attack which gives the assassin a crit. The zombie goes does but exploded in dusty grossness. Niki fails a save and is at disadvantage.

Xaven hits one.

Then Sam turns them and we kill them all.

We decide getting in a fight with a dragon is not, at this time, worth finding out where Wave Echo is so we are on our way to Kragmar Castle.

We find the castle. It has seven towers but the 2nd floor and up is crumbled and uninhabitable. There are arrow slits in the walls that remain standing. There is a main entrance and a side entrance. The path to the side entrance is overgrown.

View
Game 1, part 2
Cragmaw Hideout

The party sets out the next morning with a wagon brimming with Rockseeker’s goods, strapped down with linen. It’s the Fall. The leaves are changing, and as the party passes the gates of Neverwinter it’s drizzling and unseasonably cold. The air is still, except for the sounds of polite conversation and the snorts and varying gaits of the horse and oxen on the stone road.

Following the road they pass by many caravans, just like their own, going in both directions.

Shortly after turning off the stone The High Road onto the dirt and grass Triboar Trail, the adventurers come across two dead horses sprawled on the road. Each is peppered with arrows. As they approach and begin to investigate the scene they recognize the horses… They are Gundren and Syldar’s!!! Furthermore, Gorm surmises that the arrows sticking out of the horse carcasses are definitely goblin…

SURPRISE!!!!
More goblin arrows come whistling out of the foliage from either side of the road. Everyone is missed except for Bob who takes one in the thigh.

DavidATrampier-Goblin.jpg

ROUND 1
[DM: Remember that everybody is actually acting simultaneously over six seconds]

Gavaris (init 22) moves up the slope and sees three goblins. He attacks with both weapons… the first swing biting deep into the goblin’s side, up against its spine. Gavaris meets the gaze of his, and the party’s, first kill before wrenching his blade free.
Seeing that the first is done Gavaris sends his second attack at a different goblin, sending it also sprawling into unconsciousness.

Xaven (init 17) pulls the forces of chaos around himself creating magical armour.

Niki (init 12) moves up the opposite slope through the difficult terrain drawing her shortbow. She lets fly but the arrow fails to make it through the goblin’s armour.

Gotha (init 12) moves and takes cover behind the dead horses. He sends an Eldritch Blast crackling through the forest.

Gorm (init 10) moves up the same slope as Niki, drawing two daggers. He throws them at two different targets but fails to connect with either of them.

Four of the six goblins (init 4) are still in it. One of them drops its bow, draws its sword but swings wide of Gavaris. Another is luckier against Gorm who is hit by an arrow. And Niki is also feathered. The fourth misses. The three goblins on the Gorm/Niki side manage to hide again amongst the foliage.

Bob (init 3) can’t see any of the goblins so he casts Healing Word at Niki and then moves towards the commotion in the bushes.

ROUND 2
Gavaris takes a step towards the last goblin on his side of the road. One of his short swords connects but the little creature is still up!

Xaven casts a Sphere of Cold at the goblin squared off with Gavaris. It hits and the goblins falls to the ground covered in frost.

Niki tries to find the goblin that hit her but finds a different one instead… oh well. She drops her bow, points a finger at her prey casting True Strike and moves towards it pulling her short sword and dagger.

Gotha (who has Inspiration from hiding behind the dead horses) gets up and moves into the forests where he sees a hiding goblin. He sends an Eldritch Blast flying at it. The energy sends goblin intestines flying through the foliage.

Gorm moves and catches sight of the last two goblins. He sends two daggers flying… one at each. One thunks into a tree but the other solidly sinks into goblin flesh. He is hardly though and remains standing.

The last two goblins manage to hit Gorm and Niki with little short swords. And again, they successfully disappear into the undergrowth.

Bob sees them but misses his crossbow shot.

ROUND 3
Gavaris, with his keen elf eyes, can see the goblins hiding from across the road. He takes a bead and with a sniper’s shot another goblin goes down!

Xaven can’t see what’s going on and moves.

Niki, being able to see this goblins’ weaknesses from True Strike manages to stick him in a vital spot.

All the goblins are dead… except the one at Gavaris’ feet who groans. The wood-elf drags the goblin to the dead horses in the road, informing his comrades with a shout that “We’ ve got a prisoner!”

Meanwhile, Gorm is looking for his daggers and Niki is retrieving her shortbow.

The goblin needs to be revived if he is to be interrogated and although it obviously disgusts him to do so, Gavaris lays his hands upon the filthy creature and invokes the power of Meiliki to heal it… just enough to talk. As it doesn’t seem to understand Common Gavaris translates for Gotha and Xaven.

As the interrogation begins, Gorm, Bob and Niki begin dragging the bodies down to the road. Niki notices a trail with marks of two humanoids being dragged along it. She quietly shares this information with the interrogators. Gotha suggests that they pretend that one of the dead goblins is alive… to bind it and fake that it is struggling. They make it so.

Gavaris has a sword to the prisoner’s throat and is asking where they took the dwarf and human. It freaks out, crying that is doesn’t want to die! Gotha , through Gavaris tells it “We’re going to try to help your friend,” gesturing to the others who are “struggling” with the other “captive” as they place it on the opposite side of the dead horses.

The goblin tells them that the dwarf was taken to CRAGMAW CASTLE where a bugbear who calls himself “KING GROL” rules. The human was taken to the feeding cave in their hideout up the path where another bugbear named KLARG is in charge. He doesn’t know much but he knows that Klarg got a messenger goblin from King Grol a few days ago. The messenger told him that someone named the Black Spider was paying the Cragmaws to watch out for the dwarf Gundren Rockseeker, capture him, and send him and anything he was carrying back to King Grol. Klarg followed his orders. Gundren was ambushed and taken along with his personal effects, including a map. The dwarf and his map were delivered to King Grol, as instructed. The dwarf’s human companion is being held in the “eating cave.”

With a little ruse they reveal that the goblin does in fact understand and speak Common. Gotha tells it “We’re going to see your friend is more truthful.”

Passing the dead horses Gotha notices an empty map case and picks it up. He then performs an elaborate pantomime of interrogating the other “prisoner”. It ends with Gorm smashing the already dead goblin’s head like an over-ripe melon with his maul.

The live goblin blurts out, “There are 30 of us! They have a steam-breathing dragon! There are scouts in the hedge to the right!”

The team figures they’ve learned all there is to know from this creature and as they never promised it its life, they let Gavaris put an end to it. Gavaris is weirdly intense about it and meditates by himself for a while afterwards.

The party shares the small amount of relative knowledge. Cragmaw Castle is a goblin stronghold now but they certainly didn’t build it, and it’s named after the Cragmaw tribe. This “King Groll” also goes by other names like “The Mountain that Walks”.

When searching the bodies 16 cp, 8 sp and shitty weapons and armour are found.

They decide to bury Rockseeker’s goods in case they can retrieve them. Off the road in the forest they bury the everything including the saddles from the horses and one of the wagon wheels. The wagon is turned over on top of the buried goods and they make a map of where to find it. The oxen pulling the wagon are tied up in the forest; tight enough to keep them from wandering but loose enough that they can bolt if they get spooked by something.

The six companions continue down the trail, following the drag marks. Niki takes point and finds some traps along the way… a snare and a pit trap, which are easily avoided.

As dusk is setting in they approach a large hill with a stream flowing out of a cave mouth. There are hedges to either side. Niki and Gavaris split off and circle wide to the right to take up positions behind the scouts the goblin warned them of.

Indeed, they find 3 goblins hiding in the hedges, in a conversation about girls… “Silverteeth is the hottest female!” “No way! Browntips is hotter!” Hiding with bows drawn, Niki and Gavaris give an eagle call to let the others know they’re in position.

Gotha, Gorm, Bob and Xaven are hiding in the hedges to the left of the cave when…

ROUND 1
Xaven (20) sends up a shower of sparks.

The goblins (15) grab their bows and look through the bushes. Arrows fly and one finds Xaven. “Who goes there?” demands a goblin in Common. Xaven exaggerates his wound, “…Mother!” and lies down so that he can see their approach. One goblin instructs another to “Get the dogs!”

Niki (15) fires at the goblin heading to the cave to get the dogs. The arrow punches through its armour between the shoulderblades and he falls.

Gorm (14) delays but keeps watch on the cave entrance.

Gavaris (13) fires an arrow but can’t make it count.

Gotha (12) also misses with his spear.

Bob (6) however unloads his crossbow, sending a bolt right through a goblin eye! [1st natural 20, Critical Hit by guest-star Heather Finlayson]

ROUND 2
Xaven stands and sends a Ray of Frost harmlessly in the forest.

The last standing goblin sends an arrow flying past Niki then bolts for the cave.

Gorm now moves to intercept the goblin.

*Niki*’s arrow plunks into the stream.

Gavaris finds his mark and brings down the last scout.

The bodies are dragged back to their hiding spot and arranged to look like they’re sleeping. They find 3cp and 1 sp on each of them.

Barking is heard from the cave. It sounds like dogs fighting amongst themselves. Xaven suggests to Gavaris that maybe a goblin leg could come in handy with the dogs. Gavaris nods and hacks one off.

Xaven also takes a moment to cast Light on 6 rocks and distributes them among his companions. They will last an hour. The party enters the cave with Niki a little ahead, followed by Gorm, Bob, Gotha, Xaven and Gavaris with all light sources hidden.

cragmaw-hideout.png

The stream flows north/south and there is a ledge running along the eastside. Off this ledge a little ways in is a small set of stairs rising to the east. The barking is coming from there.

Looking into the room they see a natural chimney and four wolves chained to a stalagmite. Niki suggests the wolves should be left alone, for if they suddenly go quiet it will be as good as an alarm. The goblin leg is tossed to them and they happily fight over it.

Continuing on there is a slope going up to the west, and to the north-east there is a rickety rope bridge which spans the river and connects two corridors above. There is a goblin on the bridge. Gavaris takes it down with a single shot from his bow. It falls into the stream and they get 5cp and 2sp off the body.

Beyond the bridge is a large cavern with waterfalls filling two natural cisterns. There are boulders and stalagmites… and 5 goblins! There is also a set of stairs but they cannot see where they lead. The adventurers make a quick plan… With Light sources still hidden and using the noise of the waterfall to cover their approach Gavaris and Niki get into place.

SURPRISE!!!
Gavaris (22) takes down one of the goblins with a nicely placed arrow. Dropping his bow he moves to block the stairs, drawing his swords.

Niki (17) sneaking through the darkness, uses her sword and dagger to make another goblin fall without a sound.

Gorm (10) moves into the cavern, drops his Light stone and throws a dagger… another goblin goes down with his dagger quivering in its eye socket.

Gotha (9) dashes to the stairwell to take up position with Gavaris.

Bob (8) moves into the cavern but his crossbow bolt provides no help.

Xaven (1) also moves into the cavern and casts Ray of Frost. The fourth of five goblins falls with an icy covering.

ROUND 1
Gavaris moves back down the stairs and engages the last goblin. His short swords easily part crappy armour and goblin flesh alike.

All the goblins in the eerily lit cavern are down, but a deep voice booms (in goblin) from beyond the stairs, “What’s going on? What with the light?”

Gavaris, the only one who understands it freezes, “…Uhmmm… there was… uhmmm… something… uhmmm…. with the wolves…?”

“What the fuck?!!!! Who the hell is there?!!! What are you doing in my cave?!!!”

Klarg, the bugbear (18) moves up to Gotha and smashes the Warlock with its mace. The three goblins with him take out their bows and fan out into the cavern. Reeling from the mace hit Gotha is unable to hit one as it rushes by him.

Niki attacks a goblin who succumbs to her blades.

The wolves (11) are told to get the “soft ones” and are pointed at the back line, which currently is Niki and Gavaris. One wolf takes Niki down with a brutal bite. She’s unconscious.

Gorm swings his mighty maul, messily splatting one of the two remaining goblins.

Speaking words of magic and blowing a pinch of fine sand from his hand Gotha casts a spell and the final goblin and one of the wolves fall asleep.

Bob moves and channels positive energy in the name of Pelor into Niki’s unconscious body.

Xaven misses an attack [no details in notes].

ROUND 2
Gavaris closes with Klarg, his two swords scoring two solid hits.

Klarg returns the attack but cannot make it count.

Niki, shrieking as she regains consciousness, jumps up and ferociously attacks, killing the wolf that is still awake.

Gorm moves in to engage Klarg, but his maul fails to connect, while Gavaris is shouting, asking “Where is the human?”

Gotha casts a charm spell which the bugbear succumbs to. Klarg holds up his hands, “Let me live… I’ll tell ya…” He says that Syldar was taken to the feeding pit.

Gotha asks to see Klarg’s mace. He surrenders it. Gotha graciously takes it and then tosses it into the cistern.

Niki kills the sleeping wolf.

As the charm spell wears off, Gorm smashes him in the face. Klarg surrenders, “Don’t kill me.” He is tied. He says that the dwarf’s map was sent to Cragmah Castle which is about an hour to the NNW.

In Klarg’s cavern there are a lot of crates marked with a blue lion. A treasure chest is found containing 900cp, 165 sp, a jade statuette of a frog (worth 60 gp), and three potions of Healing. Gotha drinks a potion. Niki and Xaven claim the other two but stow them.

Gorm leads the way to the feeding pit with a bound Klarg in tow. They see quite a few goblins sitting around a table eating, and beyond them looks to be a pit.

They decide to split and approach the feeding pit by both corridors, Niki and Gotha taking the one with the pits.

After securing a rope around her waist, the other end being held by Gotha, Niki jumps the first pit. As she lands the ground beneath her suddenly gives way! But the rope holds… Thanks Gotha!

“What the?… Who goes there?” comes from the goblins.

A parlay begins in which a deal is struck to trade Klarg for the human. [my notes get a little vague here…] Syldar is delivered but somehow Gorm ends up killing Klarg. Gorm also has to convince Gavaris to leave the cave without killing the remaining goblins… at least right now. Gavaris demands an oath from each of his new comrades to come back and clear out this vermin. Oaths given, Gavaris is satisfied and after a little deek that makes the new chief flinch the Party leaves the cave with the unconscious Syldar.

The adventurers set up camp just outside the cave entrance. Bob stabilizes Syldar who remains unconscious. They free the wolves who take off. Some look through all the merchandise they managed to carry out while Gorm checks out the carvern mouth. He discerns that he could manipulate the structure so he could rig a small cave-in with a rope trigger.

A potion of Healing is found which Gotha claims and they see that all of the goods and receipts have the same logo… a lionshield coaster belonging to a merchant in Phandalin.

Before settling down for the night they set up some brush in front of the cave mouth and Gorm sets up his rope-pulled cave-in.

During the first watch, Gavaris sees two goblins approach the entrance. He puts one down with an arrow and the other quickly scampers back from the way he came.

After a nice long and quiet rest the party wakens refreshed and feeling more confident. [2nd LEVEL!!!]

Syldar is conscious. He tells his saviours that Gundren had found the Lost Mines of Phandelver! He mentions Wave Echo Cave… Human/Dwarves/Gnomes… Forge of Spells… He doesn’t know who the Black Spider is.

Background

More than five hundred years ago, clans of dwarves and gnomes made an agreement known as the Phandelver’s Pact, by which they would share a rich mine in a wondrous cavern known as Wave Echo Cave. In addition to its mineral wealth, the mine contained great magical power. Human spellcasters allied themselves with the dwarves and gnomes to channel and bind that energy into a great forge, called the Forge of Spells, where magic items could be crafted. Times were good, and the nearby human town of Phandalin prospered as well. But then disaster struck when orcs swept through the North and laid waste to all in their path.

A powerful force of orcs reinforced by evil mercenary wizards attacked Wave Echo Cave to seize its riches and magic treasures. Human wizards fought alongside their dwarf and gnome allies to defend the Forge of Spells, and the ensuing spell battle destroyed much of the cavern. Few survived the cave-ins and tremors, and the location of Wave Echo Cave was lost.

For centuries, rumors of buried riches have attracted treasure seekers and opportunists to the area around Phandalin, but no one has ever succeeded in locating the lost mine. In recent years, people have resettled the area. Phandalin is now a rough-and-tumble frontier town.

// end of background

They wait a day but when there is no sign of the goblins coming out, the party goes back in. The goblins have someone on watch on the bridge again. Gotha tries something but it apparently fails as the goblin yells, “They’re here!” There is a noise from the cistern room and the stream begins to rise. Gorm jumps across to a different corridor and Bob remains standing but everyone else gets washed off their feet to the cave entrance. The party regroups and kills all the goblins [handwaved by the DM].

They go back to their buried goods and reassemble the wagon, adding all the contraband from the cave.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.