Legacy of Phandelver

Christmas Hiatus and Last Session

Alright, just a heads up: first of all, the last session wasn't too in depth as I was tired and unprepared, but Isaiah, Josh, Tim and Alan made their way into Waterdeep and visited Luna at her tavern, Selune's Smile, where they found out that Mirt hadn't been seen in a few days, and that he'd disappeared right after long time ally of the group Sildar Hallwinter had been found hanging from the mast of their ship, dead and flayed. Luna directed them to the local Harper's Hall as Mirt was a well known member of the group in his adventuring days and here they also found out that Elros (Josh's character) is a Harper himself. They stated that Mirt had been through there but long since left, and that the best bet for info would be one of the local thieves' guilds as a number of Red Wizard agents had been asking around for info at the guilds on both Mirt and the sewer systems. The group sent the ever reluctant Antien (Tim's character) to hit the guilds, and he found out that the Red Wizards had been asking so that they could avoid the Xanathar's territory in the sewers while they hunted for Mirt. So, after taking a map and a job offer from the thieves' guild, Antien returned to the others and informed them of all this, and they prepared to head down into the sewers…

 

For any who may not have seen, we'll be picking back up on January 12 of next year at Alan's place (as usual) with our new player, Brendon! Can't wait to see you there, guys.

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Dancin' in the Desert...
...blowin' up the sunshine

So, with the aid of a caravan set up by Mirt, the players arrived at the outskirts of Anauroch and negotiated some info from Gilfor, the dwarven leader of the Zhentarim reconstruction effort on their old HQ, the Citadel of the Raven. He informed them that some of his men encountered a number of Red Wizard corpses on a journey through the desert, but were too freaked out by the corpse of the mysterious creature in their midst to investigate further. Gilfor gave them the location and the players thanked them and made their three day journey out to the spot, encountering a very amorous lamia along the way. Upon arriving they saw not just Red Wizard corpses, but the barely corporeal bodies of the Shadovar as well. They investigated the bodies and found a note on one of the Thayans stating that the mystery creature, a phaerimm, ate only things and beings that possessed magic and that it had been single mindedly making its way toward an old Shadovar site and that the Thayans were to eliminate any Shadovar resistance and kill or capture the creature and then see what it was after and if it could be used to their ends. They also found that while many of the Thayans and Shadovar bore weapon and spell marks, an equal number bore strange but vicious looking teeth marks. Elros broke away from the group here and found the phaerimm and, realizing it was still alive, elected to move close to it and raise his spear to finish it off. However, the creature was more awake than he realized and used its tail to send Elros flying. The others quickly joined and, after a very tough fight, managed to bring the creature down, though not before it impregnated Antien with its eggs. They then cut the creature open and found a dagger inside of it that belonged to a nearby statue of Shar, goddess of night and patron deity of the Shadovar. They placed the dagger in the statue's hand and watched in amazement as the desert began to roil and revealed an enormous temple hidden under its surface.

 

The adventurers noticed more symbols of Shar, which made Elros very uneasy and, after talking it over for a moment, elected to send Antien inside to investigate. As soon as Antien stepped inside the door slammed shut and the goddess Shar began giving him an official sounding speech, but cut it short after noticing that he was the only one in the temple. The exasperated and desperate goddess informed Antien that an artifact lay within the this temple that would be of great value to the Red Wizards and that she wished it destroyed before it could be bent to their nefarious purposes. She also informed him that three trials would need to be passed to gain access to the Orb of Souls and then opened the doors again and sent him out to grab his friends as he would need their help to get through. Antien reluctantly left and had to be put under a zone of truth spell to get the entire story out of him, and the heroes, feeling that the needs of the many were greater than their own personal religious prejudices, made their way into the temple.

 

The trials of Night, Loss, and Secrets proved to be very trying indeed. They had to navigate a pitch black maze and then a pocket dimension of pure darkness, chase down a constantly moving item in a series of enchanted chests and see just how much they were willing to sacrifice to complete the task at hand. The trials completed, they took the shards they received from each and placed them in a giant symbol of Shar above the temple's final door, opening the final room. Res approached the altar at the other end of the room and had just gotten his hands on the Orb when a number of voices rang out behind them, binding them all with hold person spells. A high ranking member of the Red Wizards waltzed right passed them and took the Orb, stating that the souls within would be incredible source of rejuvenation for their lich master, Szass Tam and then left them to be dragged into the Nine Hells by a summoned pit fiend. The heroes, after realizing they couldn't hurt the creature, managed to find an alternate way out and watched as Shar brought the temple down upon the great devil and then communicated with them one last time. She thanked them for at least trying and then begged them to find and destroy the Orb. Not only would it prevent a terrible evil from being reborn, but it would also free the countless souls of her followers that had been trapped by a mage dedicated to her service in attempt to extend his life (which it did for some thousands of years) and the told them to return to the Zhentarim as they would best be able to help them get to Thay. The players returned and, after telling some of their story to Gilfor, received certain boons from the Zhent and were diverted from their course by an urgent letter (magically concealed in his signature style) from Mirt stating that he had new information and that some events had occurred in other places while they'd been gone…

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Eye of the Beholder and the Shipwright's Ball
Fomorians, poison and red wizards, oh my!

So, the Blind, as advertised, was old, decrepit and blind as a bat. He stated that he might have info for the adventurers, but that he'd only share it if they retrieved an item for him. The catch: it was guarded by a fomorian, a violent and deranged species of giant. After try and failing to sneak around the sleeping monster and its biological security systems, they managed to bring down the evil giant and loot its treasure, finding the book the Blind wanted and bringing it to him. 

 

The Blind reveals that Lammakh's mysterious employer was none other than Torlin Shilvershield, the deposed duke they drove out Baldur's Gate and, more surprisingly, that Silvershield was a powerful type of undead known as a wight. He then directed them to his lair where he'd been building a cult by poaching the Blind's derro minions. 

 

They arrived just in time to interrupt a ritual being performed by the cult which involved the sacrifice of an unconscious Lammakh. Thanks to to some quick work by Res Lammakh was saved, and then he and the rest of the heroes dispatched the psychotic dwarves and revived Lammakh, finding out that he'd been too obsessed with his own revenge to see what Silvershield's real plan had been and had intended to turn himself in upon finding out. He stated that Silvershield still had agents working in town to take out Laeral and that for more information on Silvershield they should investigate his office, and then go to Mirt for their next move.

 

Silvershield's office contained a note that revealed that Silvershield was working for a group called the Red Wizards of Thay, warmongers who were trying to gather soldiers and magical artifacts for their secret plans in the desert of Anauroch. Upon taking all this to Mirt, he stated that the Red Wizards were seriously bad news, as was Anauroch due to all the various unfriendly and powerful magical races that resided there, but that that would have to wait as he needed their help in making sure that Laeral wasn't assassinated. He stated that the best way would be to get into the party and just do low key surveillance, so the adventurers prepared the party outfits, did some early recon and then entered the party.

 

Thanks to some smartly chosen spells and keen observations, the assassination was prevented and the derro apprehended. Mirt and Laeral rewarded them handsomely, and the adventurers prepared to make their way to the mysterious sands of Anauroch…

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Of Moon Elves and Intrigue
Or, A Waterdahvian Tuesday

The players took a well earned rest in the city of Baldur's Gate but were put back on the scent of adventure a few months later when they received a summons from a Masked Lord of Waterdeep hidden in an invitation to the world famous Shipwright's Ball. They resupplied their ship and set off, arriving three days later into the splendor of Waterdeep's Fleetswake festival. After receiving a warm welcome from a merfolk escort, the players were greeted by an old friend, Sildar Hallwinter. Sildar introduced them to a comrade of his, a moon elf cleric of Sehanine Moonbow by the name of Elros as he'd heard they were having issues with survivability on their adventures. The adventures welcomed into the group despite a little tension between the newcomer and Antien, and set off to their rendezvous point, Selune's Smile. After meeting Luna, the cheerful proprietor, they bought drinks and settled in, waiting for their contact, Mirt, to appear. An hour later they were seemingly accosted out of the blue by a hooded mage, but he turned out to be in the employ of Mirt, who appeared a moment later. Mirt the Moneylender explained that he'd had his mage cast true sight just to make sure they weren't imposters, and then filled them in. He was worried that Laeral, his friend and the Open Lady of Watereep, was the target of an assassination plot. He had very little evidence but a strong gut feeling honed by many decades of adventuring. He gave them the only lead he had: Lammakh. Lammakh was un unmasked Lord who had disappeared after an outburst at the last lords' moot, and Mirt was sure he was working with somebody. He then told them that the best place to start gathering information was Skullport as all manner of skullduggery was conceived and gestated in that infamous pirates' den. The players bought disguises, and did a little other shopping and some gambling and then made their way down, first investigating a missing mage from Blackstaff Tower. They found the unfortunate mage's corpse, diary AND the item he had been searching for, and managed to obtain it safely without alerting the creature that had most recently stolen it. Then they plunged into Skullport, and began asking around at various taverns, finally getting some help at the High Tide. The bar keep told him that he'd seen the guy they were looking for, and that he'd seen him with somebody else, but he didn't know who the other man was, what they said, or where they went, but said that a local information broker, an old, feeble beholder called the Blind, would almost certainly have more information. The players were distracted from their course, however, when they noticed that their halfling waitress was absolutely distraught. They found out that her son had been kidnapped by marauding pirates call the Riverborn and that nothing she'd tried had convinced them to give him back. The heroes rushed to her aid and, after winning a drinking contest, wormed the location of their hideout out of the group's junior-most member. The found and engaged the pirates, dispatching them with some amount of difficulty as their witch doctor proved to be quite a nuisance. The battle ended with Bert the dwarf getting the captain in a headlock and the Elros using the zone of truth spell on the brigand only to find out that the trap was there when they arrived and he had no idea how it worked. The resourceful heroes managed to work around it and got the boy out without a scratch. After find out that Dolf and his crew had tortured the boy, Elros, Eliza, Antien and Noble stuffed him in the trap and activated it, burning him to a crisp. They returned the boy to his grateful mother who pushed 100 sp from her own savings onto them. Eliza quietly gave the money back, slipping it back into her bag, and Antien took the gold they'd found on the pirates and did the same. Now, with that done, it's time for the players to deal with the Blind…

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The Last Leg of the Campaign and Hiatus

So, the players safely made their way across the Trackless Sea and explored Balduran's Bay. They made their way to Balduran's Beard, the local inn, and met its proprietor, Alban Ironbeard. Alban gave them rooms, albeit for a pretty penny, and sent them off to meet Fenella, the eccentric keeper of the only shop in the Bay.  Fenella lived in Balduran's time and traveled with him as a child. She saw the hammer but was unable to find it after it and Balduran disappeared. She then helps the party find the hammer, and the part also aids a stranded Candlekeep historian in finding knowledge crystals from lost human tribes (fighting a poison dragon and posion miasma along the way) and take on Alban's challenge and hunts down a mutated bulette. They find the hammer and make their way back across the sea with Fenella in tow, and fight off a marauding party of sahuagin. After some discussion they side with Lana Greydust, causing Duke Silvershield to disappear and send his powerful thugs at the party, giving them a hard run for their money. Lana is now in charge of the city and has added the party to the eclectic pantheon of Baldur's Gate's heroes, and the heroes will be taking a few months off to recuperate. 

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Baldur's Gate, a Spooky Detour and the Open Seas
Or, I'm Sorry for being Lazy

So, much has happened since the adventure blog was last updated. The heroes arrived in Baldur's Gate after surviving an ancient dungeon and found themselves in the midst of Baldur's Gate's harvest festival. They directed toward a group of adopted sibling alchemist/artificers outside of town, the Silverweavers, and were able to offload Durthmeck's solid gold, jewel encrusted golem. With the enormous payoff from this they purchased a house and ship.

 

While exploring the house they found a corpse which launched them into an investigation that uncovered an old conspiracy in Baldur's Gate centered around the town's officials and a defunct revolutionary group known as Balduran's Fist. It turned out that the group was still operating in secret with the original leader's daughter running the show and looking for revenge. She had committed the murder to draw attention to the injustices and used her righteous fury to march into Baldur's Gate and challenge Duke Silvershield, the perpetrator of her father's murder, for control of the city via an ancient rite known as Balduran's Justice. It involved Balduran using his mighty warhammer to make legal decisions and had been a highly respected way of dispute resolution until the hammer had been lost during Balduran's adventures in the lost continent of Anchorome. The adventurers, fielding offers of power and heroism from both sides, contemplated this while preparing their ship to make the voyage…

 

However, there was a detour. The adventurers met some new hired muscle (a human barbarian named Kenneth and a tiefling warlock called Legend) at their mansion and were on their way to the harbor when they were suddenly enveloped in a thick fog. This fog routed them to a mansion they'd never seen and, after a strange encounter with two children who desperately asked for help, trapped them inside. The heroes spent a long night of harrowing exploration and dark discovery and found that the mansion had been home to a dark cult that worshipped a vampire lord that dismissed them out of hand. This only increased their fervor and ultimately damned them to haunt their headquarters for eternity. The intrepid adventurers broke this curse and laid the many trouble spirits of the place to rest, and then suddenly found themselves back in parts of Baldur's Gate that they recognized. Sorey had decided to stay behind and Kenneth took up his slack as they launched out to sea.

 

The voyage to Anchorome was long and quite eventful. In the first week the heroes fought off a ghost ship and its spectral crew, though Antien was possessed for a time. The second week, the heroes encountered a fearsome dragon turtle after navigating their ship through a field of wicked debris. Nickolash's dragon heritage really shone as he communicated with the beast and found that it wanted a toll of 800 gold. He tried to barter it down but failed, and so he and the crew forced Antien to give up his diamond that he'd acquired in Durthmeck's dungeon. In the last week, just as Balduran's Bay was in sight, the heroes found their ship incapacitated by a might kraken. The beast was formidable but ultimately fell to the heroes and, so, the party was able to safely dock in this strange new world…

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Of Deep Gnomes and Dungeon Crawls
...and new friends and new adventures!

So, Sorey deciphered the map found in Wave Echo Cave and showed it to Sildar. Sildar saw great potential for riches and adventure and immediately set about putting together a caravan to delve into this far corner of the lethal and bizarre Underdark.  Knowing the danger of this place, Sildar hired on two new adventurers: Res, a enormous but quiet goliath druid and Antien, a clever moon elf rogue. After a few days travel the party arrived at their destination and took in a stunning sight: a colossal door made of silver, embedded with precious stones in a few places and carved with artistry beyond any the party had seen. It depicted Calladuran the gnome god in combat with Lolth the Spider Queen and her spiderlings. The party approached the door and were a bit taken aback when it opened on its own, but plunged in and shortly found themselves in a barracks.

 

Nearly everything in this barracks was destroyed with age save for one bed and the chest at its foot. A few of the adventurers approached it warily while Sorey went to investigate a book shelf on the opposite wall. The chest bore an inscription that stated "Start at the book case." So, upon further investigation, the party found a key on the shelf and used it to open the chest, where in they found a diary with no pages, an amethyst with three holes drilled into one side, a potion of greater healing and some crossbow bolts. An alchemist's table in the middle of the room was examined and found to contain a scroll of detect traps

 

The players pushed on and found themselves in the middle of a hallway and, after careful examination of either end, they found closed doors with pages from the diary on it. Upon reading them they found out that this place had, at one time, been a training facility for deep gnomes to combat the marauding drow, and had been built by a deranged by brilliant Svirfneblin named Durthmeck the Unbreakable. They also realized that both rooms were going to be dangerous and that they were their only way onward through the place. So, elected for the west room first and to face a challenge of shadows and stealth. After some clever usage of some of the heroes' abilities, they managed to find, pin and trap all four shades in their soul gems, and with only seconds to go before they were crushed by the moving, glowing fungus-constructed walls. This unlocked a crystal case in the center of the room which contained a long, thing crystal of amethyst that levitated out of the jewelry box and into a slot on the chunk of amethyst held by Sorey.

 

They then headed north and east through the room and on to the next hallway. There they found another diary page on a set of closed double doors and found out that this room had been a combat training room in which recruits took on drow golem constructs animated with the souls of actual drow, which made them incredibly dangerous but the party plunged in anyway as they were hesitant to face the east room's mind-controlling illithid golems and poisonous spiders. A member of the group investigated one of the hanging constructs and activated them in the process, sparking one of their toughest fights yet. The heroes prevailed, however, and did so with style when Antien performed a truly spectacular wall run that resulted in a devestating back stab on one of the constructs. Here a chest was revealed under a floor tile in the center of the room that contained yet another key crystal, a scroll of true seeing and a magic ring which enhanced the strength of cantrip spells.

 

The party finally, reluctantly tackled the last room after a well deserved rest back in the barracks and sent in an invisibility spell-enchanted Antien to investigate. He and the rest of the party were puzzled when they found the room to be much better lit than the previous rooms but also devoid of any features. However, upon a closer investigation by the bard, they found that there were hatches in the floor tiles all around the room. Before they had a chance to fully investigate, some of the party members wandered in the center of the room, causing magical barriers to go up over the two doors in the room, and each of the tiles began to glow blue through designs around the edges. The tiles opened up and expelled four thin, chest heigh mounts with magic wands on them which each emitted spiders, and two ancient looking mindflayers equipped with some strange armor. Before the party could even react, Nicolash and Res had their minds immediately taken over by the illithids and were commanded by the squid-faced horrors to attack their comrades. Eliza quickly defeated one of the illithids with a scroll of feeble mind spell, freeing Nicolash, but Res cast a damaging spell on his friends before they could break the other illithid's concentration. The party succeeded, however, in finally destroying all the spell casting wands, though not before Sorey took nasty bite from one of the spiders and then focused on the mindflayer, finally freeing their comrade and taking down the creature, though not before it tried to make a meal of Sorey's brain. The last key crystal slotted itself into the amethyst, and the amethyst lead them to a hidden doorway in the back of the combat room and, after a quick moment to heal, the party prepared to face the final room.

 

When they entered, they saw a large stair case starting from the middle of the room that rose to about the middle of the opposite wall, where it terminated in a platform. The platform contained long, ornately carved casket, which included an indent that matched the shape of the crystal and an enormous gold and jewel encrusted statue behind it in the wall. Sorey, at the urging of his comrades, placed it in the indent. It rose slowly and slotted itself into the statue's forehead, causing the statue to lurch forward and prepare itself for combat. Nicolash used the scroll of true seeing to reveal that the amethyst was, in fact, a phylactery but they were not immediately able to spring into action as the massive golem slammed its hands together, sending out a shockwave that stunned all in the party save for Eliza. Eliza, meanwhile, had a hunch and tried to fire some magic missiles at the amethyst but found out that it was magically protected. The rest of the party finally recovered and they, too, began to focus on the amethyst, but all of them kept missing the tiny, high up target. Finally, thanks to an exceptional show of strength from Res (who conjured a magic thorn whip and used it to throw the construct off balance), they struck the crystal and felled the mighty foe.

 

The construct got back up, this time not in combat mode, and, after the stairs and platform reappeared, showed them a hidden door in the all behind where its head had just been. They entered hesitantly, with Sorey grabbing the amethyst on the way and found a last diary page. This page revealed that Durthmeck had grown bitter in his old age and had built this massive construct and overhauled his facility as a last act of defiance.

 

The party then raided the treasure room beyond and then elected to take them golem with them as both its hide and inner workings were quite valuable. After some deliberation and a confirmation from the spirit of Durthmeck, they reactivated the golem and waltzed out of the dungeon, startling a group of enterprising drow cutpurses and saving Sildar's life. Sildar, upon seeing what they had and how valuable it was, decided that, instead of taking them back to Phandalin and tanking their entire economy, he'd take them to Baldur's Gate. After taking some winding passages, they came to an subterranean branch of Baldur's Gate known as the Undercellar. The night guards took one look at the tough adventurers and the massive golem with them, decided that they didn't want any trouble and let them pass, allowing them to find some where to rest for the night in the Undercellar's sprawling inn.

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It's nearly time...
...for a new adventure!

So, the summer is on its last legs, and that means Thomas will be returning soon, and the campaign will resume! If you recall, Eliza, Sorey, Nicolash and Bert found a map at the end of the Phandelver expedition. Sorey, being proficient in the gnomish language, realized that this map leads to an old gnomish training facility in a far corner of the Underdark. They show the map to the Rockseeker brothers and Sildar, and Sildar, with the aid of the Lords' Alliance, a new adventurer (Tim will be joining us!) and a very unwilling (but unable to refuse) Iarno, they mount an expedition into the Underdark…

 

In the interim I've found a neat program called Syrinscape. They create sounds, background music and mixes thereof for all sorts of RPG settings. We'll give it a try for the first session back and see what we think and go from there. If you any questions for starting back up, let me know through here or via text, FB message, whatever is most convenient for you.

 

Quick addendum: there will two new players joining us! Another co-worker of yours, Isaiah, expressed interest in joining earlier today! This just gets more exciting!

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Session 5 & 6
The heroes victorious!

Our heroes, after taking another hard-earned rest in Phandalin, set out to investigate the city of Thundertree in hopes of finding a valuable emerald necklace they'd learned of from a family of slaves they rescued. They found Thundertree in a sad state. It was a abandoned and burnt out by years of raids courtesy of the Cragmaw tribe. They found the jewelry with little incident and left town, heading now to Cragmaw Castle in hopes of finding their comrade Gundren. Along the way they had a brief encounter with speedy but weak flying monsters and, at last, made it to their destination. 

 

The heroes, as with the Keep, took some time to plan and attempted to quietly examine the crumbling entrance to the building to see what they could see. However, they were spotted and set upon by goblin guards in the doorway and their bow-wielding companions in the towers above them. The fought off the Cragmaw goblins and pressed on into the castle, exploring first a large cathedral that contained a tentacled, beak-mawed Grick that they fought off. They then doubled back  and explored to the north and found a room with an unlocked door. Sorey threw caution to the wind and kicked down the door, only to find that he had awakened four very disgruntled hobgoblins. His weary party barely survived the conflicted and retreated to rest for the evening.

 

The heroes spent just as much time in their camp giving Sorey grief as they did recovering but they were ready the following day and plunged back into Cragmaw. Upon reentering the cathedral, they spotted rubble on the far wall and dug through it to reveal a shrine to a goblin god at which three goblins were worshipping. They quickly took drew their weapons but were just as quickly put down by the party members. From there they moved forward and entered another one of the castle's towers, this time stumbling right into two more hobgoblins, one of which ran off and alerted their boss, King Klohr, to the presence of intruders. The heroes managed to dispatch the guards and then went on to face the king himself. The king stood in the corner by Gundren's unconscious form, sword pointed at his face, and tried to warn the pesky adventurers off. To make matters worse, the massive bugbear was flanked by a Drow woman (later identified as a shapeshifting Doppleganger by Nick) and his equally massive pet wolf. It was a tense standoff that ended with a quick strike from one of the heroes that sent Klohr and his companions into a full battle rage. After a vicious fight and a few mishaps (including Sorey hurling his sword and nicking Bert) the villains were dispatched, and the dwarf freed and healed. Gundren expressed his gratitude and told his new found friends that he wished to head back to Phandalin to recover and then set out to Wave Echo Cave and finish this whole mess.

 

So they set off to face the Black Spider, revealed by Gundren to be a Drow wizard named Nezznar, and find the other Rockseeker brothers. The heroes entered and took a moment to mourn with Gundren as they found the first of his two brothers dead in the cave's entrance, and the moved on. Thanks to a bit of luck and some guidance from Gundren, they very shortly found their way to Nezznar's headquarters, though not before an encounter with ochre jelly that they were able to escape with the help of an ice spell from Eliza. Eliza used her innate affinity for stealth and an invisibility spell from Nick to get a look inside the room where she identified Nezznar himself and his two bugbear body guards, as well as a statue of some sort of deity that was identified by Gundren to be the dwarven god of mining. The statue contained two emeralds in the eye sockets that Eliza managed to quietly steal, but shortly after this feat they were forced to engage Nezznar, who was now flanked by four large spiders as well as his brutish minions. The party engaged the enormous goblinoids first while Nezznar cast his spells. All that commotion alerted another Drow-disguised doppleganger nearby and he and his three bugbear workers joined the fray. Just after this, Nezznar managed to mind control Gundren into defending him, but the spell was broken shortly thereafter as Eliza finished off him in a hail of magic missiles, vanquishing the Drow and his summoned arachinds. Bert cast a command spell on the doppleganger, allowing a frustrated and wounded Nick to level an expertly aimed slash with his rapier and take the monster's head. The party then watched in awe as the last remaining enemy, a bugbear engaged in a fierce duel with Sorey, with Sorey striking the decisive blow, and ending the threat of the Black Spider and his planned abuse of the Fore of Spells forever. 

 

The party explored the room and found a great deal of treasure, including Nezznar's spider staff as well as a map they could not read, and, to Gundren's relief, a room containing his still living but unconscious brother Nundro. The party spent one more night in the ancient cave and then, with the aid of th Rockseekers, explored the rest of Wave Echo Cave, finding it completely abandonded now save for the Forge of Spells itself. Upon entering that legendary room, the party immediately spotted two things: a copper brazier full of brightly glowing green flame, and an enormous, spherical, one-eyed creature guarding it. At sight of the creature, Sorey immediately began to direct his fellows out of the room, but, after a thoroughly non-threatening "hello" sounded in their minds, the party investigated this ancient beholder. The Rockseekers found out that the beholder had been placed here but the original masters of Phandelver Mine and, as the brothers soon realized, was unaware the cave had been lost to the ages. The beholder acknowledged the dwarves as his new masters quite happily and, upon learning of the party's deeds, allowed them to make use of the forge to enhance their of choice of one weapon or their armor. So, the heroes left their new friends to study the mine and headed back to Phandalin to look more into the mysterious map… 

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Sessions 3 & 4
Phandelver and the Redbrands

Our heroes returned triumphant from Cragmaw Keep and took some much needed rest in Phandelver's local inn. Upon waking, our heroes did a bit of exploring and chatting with the locals. The bard found out from the innkeeper that most of the locals wouldn't be of much help due to the Redbrands, a local gang that was terrorizing the town with impunity. The heroes tried appealing to the mayor, but he feared the Redbrands too much, so they talked to their new friend Sildar, who told them a little more about his wizard friend Iarnor. Iarnor had last been seen near Tresendar manor, which just so happened to be the Redbrands' hideout.

 

After dealing with some bloodthirsty Redbrand emissaries, our heroes plunged into the ancient building and dispatched the first few Redbrands. From there they came upon a dark hallway. Bert the dwarf, more than a little inebriated, went first but managed to get the end of the hallway without incident. The others did not. Nick the dragonborn took so much damage, in fact, that he rendered himself unconscious.  Sorey revived him and then tossed Eliza the halfing out of the pit and, with Bert's help, fished their comrades out of the trap. They proceeded through an ancient set of double doors and entered an ancient crypt. No sooner had they entered than they found themselves beset upon by animated skeletons. Nick was once again knocked unconscious, and the party, not in much better shape themselves, decided to take a few hours to rest. 

 

Their wounds and energy restored, they pressed on and dispatched two more Redbrand ruffians and freed a family they'd intended to sell as slaves. The Dendrars thanked the heroes with information: they informed them that the Redbrand boss, Glasstaff, employed bugbears, and then told them of a priceless family heirloom they might be able to find as a reward. The heroes told them to stay put while they cleared the building out and moved further in, finding themselves in a large natural cavern with an equally large crevasse in the floor. The passage was halted by the presence of a one-eyed monstrosity called a nothic. However, the formidable creature's powers failed it and it was dispatched with relatively little effort from the heroes. They moved further in and found themselves outside a common room full of drunk Redbrands. They dawned the capes they stole earlier and disguised Nick as a prisoner and entered. Things seemed dicey at first as the Redbrands pegged them as imposters immediately, but a bit of smooth talking from Sorey convinced the drunk gamblers that they were new recruits. They gained Glasstaff's location and pressed onward, only to find that they'd just missed the crafty wizard. They did, however, find a note identifying him as none other than Iarno, the very man they'd been sent to rescue, and the Iarno was in the employ of the mysterious Black Spider. They then noticed a secret door ajar and, after emptying the room of its valuables, dashed out and caught up to Iarno. Sorey landed a solid tackle, capturing and disarming the wizard. Realizing his defeat, he submitted and gave the party some more key information, including the revelation that the Black Spider is a drow elf. So, armed with new leads, the party handed Iarno over to Sildar and prepared to make their next move…

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