MRK - Lost Mines of Phandelver

Maze of Death & Beyond
The Shadowfell

The party recovers after a long rest deep in the haunted halls of Castle Nether, after vanquishing Ellydia (the halfling vampire) and her Shadar-kai company, and also a dreaded wraith that wanted to secure their deaths in this realm.

As they come to their senses, they notice Adami‘s ghost hovering close up against the bookshelf in the room they found, unresponsive and by all appearances as dead as ever, his rottin’ corpse starting to smell awkwardly.

As Sorkoss the quasit, Adami’s fiendish familiar, runs into the room to inform them all that something is happening with the halls outside the room…
Diedrich, Music, Sir Luther and his bastard brother Edmund gathers their things and head out, just to notice that the previous paths in the halls have changed, either magically or mechanically, and are now sealed both ways – enclosing them within the castle.

(Sir Luther rolls a natural 20 on his investigation check)

The vampire noble naturally finds a loose rock to push and finds them all a way out.
Back walking in the halls, they start to hear screams from one end, and for some reason runs towards them – only to discover that Torment (their long-lost “friend”) is cornered by a wraith and two specters…
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They run to the tiefling’s rescue, eventually killing off the dark beings feeding off of his life force.

Afterwards, the party regroups for a short rest, as Music plays a beautiful rythm that faintly echoes throughout the complex.

Later they move forward, going back and forth through the maze of halls that change every now and then as they turn.
At one of these times, they encounter a closed room that they force open, revealing a lone chest within…
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The chest, sprawling a trap (duh), at least gives them a few ancient gold, a note from its owner and a pretty nice magical item (a Cloak of the Bat).
They leave it at that and carry on…

Eventually, hours later after going through the unending madness of corridors, they happen upon a dead end – With a huge mouth!
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They come to the understanding that the “thing” in the wall is hungry, and needs live flesh to eat.
In the end, it really comes down to either Music, Torment or Edmund (since they are the only one still technically alive and breathing), although none of them are ready to really lose an arm or their lives just to push forward… The situation is complicated..
Just until Sorkoss shows up, uncloaking from his invisibility spell, checking how things are going.
The rest of the party look at eachother and nods, then they all jump towards the tiny demon – catching him off guard and throws him into the darkness that is the mouth of the wall!

An ear-piercing sound can be heard as the tiny fiend is crushed (as if shewed) and the wall opens up to reveal another room beyond…

This room contains an isolated dark obelisk, pulsating with strange green markings on its sides. After examining the unknown object, it eventually starts to communicate with them in an alien and horrifying way…

What happens next.. takes them briefly to a another realm far far away…
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Death Certificates & Castle Nether
The Shadowfell

Straying back and forth from the obviously cursed and ruined castle Nether, located a few hundred feet from Thorntown, our dark heroes had seen their share of death

If the first deaths of Adami and Banaar weren’t enough, the twisted town of Thorntown or the dark ancient castle corridors gave the rest of them no further “rest”.
While their trip to the Shadowfell initially had seemed profitable, the lifelike party slowly drifted towards the gloomy undead magic that was at work throughout the plane of shadow.

Starting with the death and unholy resurrection of Adami and Banaar by the hands of Lord Voldimer, that ended in with the life stripped away from Sir Luther and Diedrich – becoming undead vampire spawns of Voldimer.

Banaar, the previously holy knight, in body or not, was not unable to keep up as his body was destroyed and killed a second time at the hands of a Black Pudding.
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Fortunately, a young tiefling by the name of Music, joined the party as they set their tunes on deceptiveness towards Lord Voldimer, seeking a way out of the Shadowfell once and for all…

Although, death was not far away again, as Adami’s physical self succumbed to the horrors of Castle Nether and its deadly traps.
And while his ghostly form is made manifest in the halls of the Shadowfell, the grip of his lifelike self is slowly slipping away…

With Adami dead and slipping away, only Music, the newest member resided in life. And Sir Luther’s bastard brother Edmund of course.

… But for how long?

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The Netherese & The Shadowfell
Eleasis 5 - 1489 DR Year of the Warrior Princess

Going back in time…

The adventurers Adami, Sir Luther, Diedrich and Banaar dispatched the Red wizard of Thay that was researching the Netherese ruins in the area around Old Owl Well.

Alongside the tiefling Torment, they searched the sub-surfaced catacombs that was revealed to be older than anyone had thought.
In the end, after encounters with both mimics, oozes and zombies, our heroes found an ancient portal to the plane of shadows, a.k.a. the Shadowfell – and entered the cryptic portal without question!

Well about in the plane of shadows, they emerged in another netherese crypt. The group ironically fought a dozen undead shadows that would otherwise eat their strength for supper, before besting the creatures and emerging to the dark surface.

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Instead of being miles below the surface, they were now miles above, on a mountain path with a grayscale hostile environment that greeted their every step…
They saw a light down below in a valley, although obscured by mist, they decided to head towards those lights.

Trekking through the mountain paths, they encountered a group of Shadar-Kai mercs.
Without success in their deplomacy, out heroes managed to stay out trouble with the native humanoids, but without guidance, they ventured forth down the rocky path…
Hours later, they encountered a huge hole in the rocky walls beside them, moments later – the terror emerged!
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A dark apparition of a giant worm, larger than almost anything they’ve seen, plunged forward and a furious race of survival ensued. The gigantic worm raced them down towards the valley…
In the end, Diedrich and Sir Luther stood above the dead corpses of their friends, Adami and Banaar, only to drag them all the way to the nearest town in some absent hope of saving their asses…
Then, they finally reached the distant dark town of Thorntown
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As they reached the dark town dragging their friends in the gray dirt, they encountered withered houses and roads filled with hooded figures, zombies, Shadar-Kai and other undead creatures – none that were directly hostile at that moment.
The town itself was surrounded by what looked like a river of lava.

There, they eventually encountered a vampire lord named Voldimer, who proclaimed himself lord and ruler of Thorntown.
Lord Voldimer agreed to revive Adami and Banaar. For a price.
The price being Diedrich and Sir Luther being bitten and transformed into his vampire spawns…

The party agreed to this, and so it happend.

As they all woke up, they were then tasked by the vampire lord with venturing into the ancient castle of Nether, situated on a large dark hill a few miles from Thorntown…

After that… Everything started to go even darker than the darkest darkness.

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A Red Wizard at Old Owl Well
Flamerule 25 - 1489 DR Year of the Warrior Princess

Looking back, our heroes were able to swiftly slay the orcs of the Many Arrows tribe at Wyvern Tor. As they headed back to the town of Phandalin, they encountered a small family of hill giants in the forest. Though quite aggressive, the party insisted on killing the hill giant parents, and took their oldest son (a young hill giant the size of an adult human) as prisoner with the thought of taming him later on and use him for some unknown dark means…

Back in Phandalin, the party split up momentarily to sell and gather resources for their next adventure. They also located the townmaster Harbin Wester, in order to claim their reward for dealing with the orcs in the nearby area.
During this time, Diedrich ended up using his whip on his new hill giant child – giving it several whip lashes out in the open square of the town. The townspeople, while not overly fond of hill giants and such creatures, shuddered at the torture that was going on and took more and more distance from the dark ranger. Meanwhile, Sir Luther, his servant Edmund and Adami watched the show with at least minor amusement, while Banaar took time to pray and visit the clergy in town.

Before long… At least before the young poor hill giant passed out due to pain from all the whip lashes, one could hear one individual applauding in the distance of the town square. A tiefling in dark garments, whom they met before briefly, revealed himself clapping his hands at the spectacle.
After exchanging words for a time, the tiefling named himself Torment. He had seen the works and results of the party, and wanted to hire them to do him a favour.
Accepting the tiefling’s offer, our heroes set out towards the location of Old Owl Well, in order to uncover why someone recently set up a camp in these old netherese ruins…

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After a days marching in the small forest glades south of the Triboar Trail, and encountering a hobgoblin party (apparently sent out to kill them by someone known as the “Black Spider”) our heroes eventually saw the ruins of Old Owl Well.

As they ventured forth and closed in on the old watchtower, they saw a large tent set up in and several lit up bracers. Moving closer, they were surprised by a dozen zombies rushing against them.
Before they were really attacked, a red wizard halted his zombie horde, in order to rule out why the heroes were trespassing on his “scientific grounds”. Hamun Kost, as the red wizard named himself, had tattoos showing off his school of magic being necromancy (something our Paladin didn’t like one bit) and revealed that he was researching the old ruins of relics belonging to the ancient empire of Netheril. He was tight-lipped on further questions regarding his presence there though..

Although the rest of the party tried to make a deal with the red wizard, the paladin was unable to hold himself.
Banaar the dragonborn paladin rushed out towards the undead, killing the most good-looking elf-zombie that the red wizard had raised. Enraged by this, he cast a spell on the young hill giant that the party had in chains, following them up till now… The dark spell contorted its bones, rotted its flesh and made it into a giant undead skeleton.
The battle was on…

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What happened after that, we’ll see quite soon…

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Many Arrows in Wyvern Tor
Flamerule 16 - 1489 DR Year of the Warrior Princess

Our heroes are found in the small town of Phandalin, just below the old ruined Trescendar Manor, as they continued to cleanse the Redbrand hideout, killing off the last bandits they found in the last unexplored room in the dungeon.

Taking a longer rest there afterwards, the scent of rotting bodies and blood of humanoids marked the victory they had achieved in the lower dungeon of the Trescendar Manor. The loud sobbing and weeping of Mirna Dendrar, the mother who had now lost two of her children in this conflict, could keep the most tiresome adventurer, with a decent conscience, awake all night – but these heroes slept all to well in the dark murderous ruins of old…

That night, they remembered and dreamt of the stories that they had uncovered in the dusty bookshelf inside Glasstaff’s alchemy room:

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… More than five hundred years ago, there is history of an old mine that was said to be located in the area near the town of Phandalin. A mine that was eventually shared by both dwarves, gnomes and human wizards alike through an agreement known as the Phandelver’s Pact. In addition to its mineral wealth, the mine contained great magical power. The wizards channelled and bound the energy into a great forge, called the Forge of Spells, where magical items and weapons could be crafted…
Around this time, an old kingdom of orcs, reinforced by evil mercenary wizards, swept through the North and eventually attacked the cave to seize its riches and magic treasures.
Almost every creature perished in the ensuing spell battle between the two sides that also destroyed much of the cavern itself, and its true location became lost in the ruins of that time…

Before heading back out to town the following day, they gathered up one last time before releasing the family that had been prisoners of the Redbrands.
Mirna Dendrar, still at loss of her lost children, stared with tearful eyes on the adventurers, but still recalled the offer she made them earlier – The Dendrar family has little to offer as a reward for their rescue, but in the town of Thundertree, her old family had an old herb and alchemy shop, inside which a case containing an emerald necklace was hidden beneath a section of storage shelves… Another mission to pursue for the party later on.

With that, the family left them with Sister Garaele, who had also been imprisoned in the hideout. Before she left, she gave the heroes a crucial look, before revealing herself to be an agent of the Harpers, and also extending a hand for recruiting our heroes, if they would wish to join their noble cause!
… After they sort of kindly turned her down on that offer for the moment, they scattered and assembled themselves in town..
Diedrich, Banaar and Sir Luther, all going about their own small businesses, selling and exchanging gear in the local shops of Phandalin. Adami on the other hand, corrected his mask, threw a minor illusion and then disappeared out of everyones view…

Regrouping shortly after their trade, our heroes regrouped and relived the moment as they stumbled into the Townmaster’s Hall, and encountered Harbin Wester – a fat, pompous old fool that was mistakenly elected townmaster of Phandalin twice.
After a good chat, that rendered Harbin utterly shaken and beyond tears, they had acquired a new quest when the townmaster offered them 100 gold pieces to search and destroy a band of orcs that reportedly terrorize the Triboar Trail to the east, near the hills called Wyvern Tor

Orcs, brutal and gruesome as they are, was also the favoured enemy of the ranger Diedrich, and he offered to lead both Banaar and Sir Luther there so that they could all share the sweet bounty that was promised.

Without much need for convincing, they all eventually loaded all their heavy stuff on Edmund, Sir Luther’s servant, and headed out from Phandalin, stalking the small forests beside the Triboar Trail heading east.
One day’s hike later they turned south when they spotted the ruins of Conyberry, just like a sort of friendly tiefling from the local had told them to do if they wanted the safest route to Wyvern Tor

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As they searched the hills for orc trails, it became clear to them that these orcs covered their tracks well. Before they knew more, a lone Ogre came rushing out the trees at their location, looking for easy targets.

The fight against the Ogre was over fast enough, with our heroes emerging victorious as the monster lay dead on the grassy hill. Diedrich once again took up the mantle of trying to find the orc trails, and eventually found it in a low point of a hilltop. The trail took them further south, towards the Sword Mountains

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A few hours later following the trail, they spotted a lone orc in the distance, sitting watch outside a cave entrance.
With a failed attempt to hide and approach the orc with stealth, our heroes were met with a orcish roar when the now wounded orc fled into the cave to warn the others of the incoming trespassers..
A fight against the fierce monsters was inevitable, and soon enough – axes and swords clashed as flying javelins tore through the air in the caverns of Wyvern Tor.

Brughor Axe-Biter, a hardened and large orc scout leader from the Many-Arrows Tribe in the north, had taken residence here alongside his six orc brethren and an Ogre named Bog… And Brughor was more than determined to resolve the following battle in blood…

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How did the fierce battle end for our adventurers?

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The Redbrand Hideout
Flamerule 10 - 1489 DR Year of the Warrior Princess

Light rain pours down on our heroes as they make their way west on the Triboar Trail. After a while, the party dropped the trail and took a ‘shortcut’ through the small nearby south-western forests that would lead them directly to the old town.

The rain stopped for a bit at dusk, as the heavens above opened up and the current day marked its end as the godlike sun set before them in the western edge of the world. A day’s march through the highland forests remained until they would arrive back in Phandalin

As the sun set behind the western trees, drowning itself in the Sea of Swords, the party lit a torch which they gave to Edmund, the halfling servant of Sir Luther Ludwig the Brave (or whatever title he has given himself), ordering the halfling to stay behind the ranger Diedrich, as he skillfully navigated the dark forests and guided them all to a naked hillside for a nights rest.

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Edmund lit up a campfire, as the others took out positions around it, whereafter he promptly gave his master, Sir Luther, his daily footbath. Adami, the masked spellcaster, took his place beside them and the fire, as the dragonborn Banaar sat himself down a bit further away, taking distance from the dark ranger in the party.
It wouldn’t take long before the fire attracted vile creatures – and before they could blink – the campsite was overrun with a group of bloodsucking Stirges

Before long, but not before Adami had used his magic to channel a thunderwave that killed all but one, the stirges lay dead on the dark hilltop, and our heroes eventually got their long rest up til’ the dawn of the next morning.

The next day was uneventful, except the fact that the rain had started once more, giving the plains and small forests outside the town a grayish theme.
The wet rain followed them as they stumbled into the town of Phandalin later that day, only to give them a even colder welcome as a crowd of peasants had gathered outside Sister Garaele’s house, sobbing and pointing at the small child that hang dead from chains above.

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The small child, a 7 year old girl, saved by our heroes just a few days ago, and delivered to Sister Garaele’s care by the righteous paladin Banaar, was dead. Killed by the Redbrands that haunted the town. The elven priestess herself was also gone, and her house looked as if it had been turned upside-down..
Before they left the scene, another peasant came up to them and mentioned that they had found even another corpse of an old farmer known as Nerith in the bushes to the North… They blamed the Redbrands for that as well, while Diedrich put out a smile under his hood.

Sooner than later, the heroes set out together, pulling out their weapons, heading towards the Eastern part of Phandalin, where an old ruined manor stood high on a hill which was rumoured to be the hideout of these Redbrand bandits

As they ventured into the ruins of the old Trescendar Manor, they quickly found the only possible hiding place through the old kitchen and down through the old supply rooms in the dungeon below…

With every room that followed after that, waited only more and more dangers in dungeon crawl that expanded before their eyes – treacherous traps, bandits behind every door they opened, undead nobles and skeletons of the old trescendar family and more…

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Eventually, our heroes found the prison cells, holding the Redbrand’s latest catch of human peasants which they intended to sell to a unknown buyer..

Among the prisoners found, was Mina Dendrar, the mother of the child that was hanged in town, along with her two other children, a 13 year old son and a 18 year old daughter. Sister Garaele was also there, and blessed them as they rescued the cursed family and herself.

Our heroes continued their slaughter, going from room to room in the dungeon that laid before them. Until they came to a stop, as the dungeon evolved into a smaller cave complex, and a viscous voice entered their minds before they set their foots into it…

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A cruel nothic hade made its home in the cave, and called out to them as they ventured forth, whispering twisted thoughts into their minds.

Diedrich ordered the small 13 year old boy forward, throwing him a shortsword, letting him meet the Nothic head on.
Moments later, the boy turned his head to the adventurers, as he met the monsters gaze and his body crumbled to decay with necrotic damage. The mother had lost yet another child….

After a good scene of fighting with the abberation, the creature fell to its knees. They found a suitable treasure at its feet, and Adami quickly carved out the big eye as a souvenir before venturing forth to the last rooms nearby..

After dispatching the last bandits and almost getting killed by a hardened bugbear the party Went into the last northern rooms, only to find a wizards alchemy lab, a fat and inteesting bookchase and an empty room in which they believed the leader of the redbrands had resided.

Glasstaff he was called, they learned..
And he had apparently escaped the dungeon before they managed to get to him…

What is the next step of their journey?

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Redbrands, Owlbears & the Banshee
Flamerule 5 - 1489 DR - Year of the Warrior Princess

After reaching the remote town of Phandalin, our heroes took their time to adapt in the local tavern, the Stonehill Inn, and rested for the night. The masked wizard Adami insisted on drinking several ales infront of the owner Elmar Stonehill before finally coming to rest after their previous journey.

During breakfast the day after, they were encountered by an old farmer known as Nerith, who welcomed them to town, and told them to seek out the local priestess Sister Garaele if they wanted to help out with anything…
The old farmer also mentioned a band of thugs running around in Phandalin, known as the Redbrand Bandits.

Afterwards, as the morning rain poured down on the small town, they visisted the Shrine of Luck, in which they met with the elf priestess.
She welcomed them in elvish prayer, and then explained that her divine superiors from out of town had tasked her with the delicate mission to persuade a banshee named Agatha to answer a question about an ancient spellbook. Garaele sought out Agatha in her lair, but the creature did not appear for her.

She desires that our heroes brought Agatha a suitable gift, a jeweled golden comb, and persuade her to tell them what she knows about the location a powerful spellbook belonging to a legendary mage named Bowgentle…
For this, she would gift the party with three Potions of Healing.

Thereafter, our heroes took a moment to split up for some personal matters:
Sir Luther, the noble knight, prompted his servant Edmund to go and find some important information in town, while he himself took a break in the shadow of a household.
Adami, the masked wizard, took a short leave to Barthen’s Provisions and bought himself some new goods for his next journey.
Banaar, the dragonborn paladin, stayed awhile and listened. He asked the priestess for sacred incense to light in favour of his god Bahamut.
Diedrich, the dark ranger, followed the old farmer Nerith back to the north-east of town, to Edemath Orchard. After which he pulled the old man aside, intimidated and questioned him of the Redbrands in the town just before he slit the poor old farmers throat, and then looting him of 2 gold pieces…

After that, they all regrouped and headed towards the ramshackle that was known as the Sleeping Giant, where obviously a bunch of Redbrand bandits already awaited them…

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After a pretty harsh fight almost killing both Sir Luther and Banaar, the bandit’s captain lay dead and the thugs were out of favour.
Our heroes eventually searched the old house in which the bandits resided, and found a young little girl hidden in a trapdoor in the rubble. After some drama on the site, she found some safety at the paladin Banaar, as he later took the young child to the local shrine and care of Sister Garaele

After the fight against the bandits, our heroes needed a longer rest in order to tend to their wounds before venturing forth…
They took another night in the Stonehill Inn, gathering up a few hours before midnight.

That night, they agreed on doing the elven priestessยด request. They ventured out of Phandalin, following the Triboar Trail eastwards headed towards the ruins of Conyberry town. From there, they were out to find the lair of the undead banshee, Agatha…

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After reaching Conyberry ruins after about a day, a town that had been destroyed by barbarians years ago, they turned north towards the Neverwinter Woods as instructed.

The sun set was imminent as they trespassed on the foresty grove.

Their time the dark woods were not long, but equally not uneventful.
Shortly after their entrance, the ranger Diedrich sensed that they were tracked by a fierce predator of the wilds.
He used his innate ability to speak with animals, and got information from an owl hanging in the tree above – An owlbear had picked up their scent…

Moments later, the large monstrosity of an Owlbear dashed towards them from the darkest corner of the forest… A fight for their lives was imminent..

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Bloody and with his left eye almost destroyed, the ranger stood alone, and victorious, over the corpse of the large owlbear. His life had almost been forfeit, had it not been for a strike of luck and his previous experience with predators.

He helped the rest of the party regain their feet, before they moved on to Agatha’s lair.

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The banshee eventually appeared before them. And as they gave her the golden comb and succeeded in persuading her to be a nice evil undead banshee, she only revealed that the spellbook they were searching for was traded to a necromancer in a far off city over a hundred years ago…
Chills went through their spines before the dreadful banshee left them unharmed and vanished into the thin air without coming back.

Dismayed, the party gathered up and started their day away trip back to Phandalin, hoping to gain somewhat more of a price for their effort of doing this quest for the priestess in town…

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From Neverwinter to Phandalin
Kythorn 28 - 1489 DR - Year of the Warrior Princess

Having departed from the grand city of Neverwinter, the supplies going to the remote town of Phandalin was on route. Gundren Rockseeker, a friendly dwarf with a nose for business, hired a small party to escort the goods.
A ranger known as Darkeyes and Adami, the masked wizard, led the way initially alongside a female rogue.

After two uneventful days on The High Road , as they made their way towards the Sword Mountains and turned left onto the Triboar Trail, as they had been told, they came across a small bridge next to a river.
Across the bridge and further, lay two dead horses, one showing to be Gundren’s lotter horse.
Just then, the Goblin arrows came flying…

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… After suffering almost critical wounds but succeeding in dispatching the goblin kin, the party proceeded further with the wagon of supplies, directing the horse to a nearby tower ruin in the woods.
Taking rest for the night there, the female rogue took on the first watch, as Adami and Diedrich went into the towers deeper dungeons to uncover its secrets…

Down on the dark corridors and cave openings, only they know what actually awaited them besides hungry bats, undead shadows and sentient fungus…

Meanwhile, back in Neverwinter, a human noble known as Sir Luther was frustrated having missed the supply wagon he was promised to secure for his dwarven friend Gundren. The noble punished his servant frequently until he found a suitable sellsword to persuade to accompany him to Phandalin. The sellsword, known only as Banaar, appeared to be a Dragonborn, and a Paladin of Bahamut no less.
A worthy company, the noble thought as they set out on the High Road after the supply wagon…

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Two days later, they reached the wagon by following the trail of goblin blood. Reunited, the rogue woman was seen missing from the wagon. The Ranger quickly spotted her trail deeper into the woods, and our heroes decided to look for her jointly, leaving behind the servant of Sir Luther.

The day quickly went to dawn, and dawn to night as the darkness spread throughout the forest grove. The hour went past without a sign of Selise, the female rogue.
Until the trail vanished…

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Our heroes battled the giant spiderkind into the night, found their lair, and managed to freed the rogue woman and get back to the wagon at dawn…

The next day, the party went on to Phandalin, reaching the far off town at the end of the day. Even though they got their reward, there was a tension in the village, and still no sign of Gundren or his associate…

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