A dwarf named Gudren Rockseeker hired guards to escort a caravan from Neverwinter to Phandalin. The dwarf claimed to have discovered the location of Wave Echo Cave, and touted that his map to the fabled forge would bring gold flowing from every city on the Sword Coast. Our party met eachother as the wagon set out and after a day’s travel ran into trouble. Two dead horses and an empty map case set the stage for a goblin ambush. Cricket, a ranger of human descent, tracked the goblins to a watery cave. The party cleared the goblins out, rescuing a young paladin named Sildar Hallwinter who had accompanied Gudren as an escort.
The company of adventurers arrived in Phandalin, securing the wagon that had been stolen by goblins for a bitter old man named Elmar Parthen, the proprietor of Barthen’s Provisions. The party learned that a gang of ruffians who called themselves the Redbrands had been harassing the townsfolk, extorting them for coin and even murdering the town’s carpenter. After roughing the Redbrands up at a run-down tavern called The Sleeping Giant, the party tracked the fleeing survivors to a ruined manor. Leading the charge, the paladin of Tempus Shaun carved a swatch of destruction to the leader of the Redbrands, Glasstaff, who met his end from Cricket’s arrow.
A letter in Glasstaff’s quarters tipped the party off that a figure named The Black Spider was pulling the strings from a place called Cragmaw Castle. Two women were held captive in the Redbrand’s hideout, and when the party asked them about this Cragmaw Castland, they spoke of a druid who may know the way. The adventurers set off for a destroyed town called Thundertree in search of this druid.
The ruins of Thundertree proved to be as perilous as they were overgrown, with living vines, ash zombies, and Dragon Cultists investing the remains of the town. As the adventurers explored, the druid Reidoth approached them, requesting that they rid Thundertree of it’s most recent inhabitant – A young green dragon named Venomfang. However, the druid did not have knowledge of Cragmaw Castle’s location.
After attempting to deceive the dragon, the party prepared for their most dangerous battle yet. Kylea, the volatile Sorcerous, channeled destruction magic toward the green. With the blessings of Tempus from Shaun, a volley of arrows from Cricket, and the axe of a conscripted bandit-turned-squire O’kaelon (lovingly dubbed Keith), the dragon was felled.
Upon their return to Phandelver, the party encountered a drow named Raylen Xolorn. Though tensions were initially high, the drow explained that he had been following them for a time, and knew they were seeking Cragmaw Castle – a location he had previously visited. For unknown reasons, he offered to assist the party in attacking the bugbears and goblins inhabiting Cragmaw.
Cricket and Raylen scouted much of the castle, and with a decisive strike the party attacked the leader’s chambers. The bugbear that claimed dominion of the castle was in a meeting with a changeling who had disguised itself as a female drow. The party killed the duo and rescued Gudren Rockseeker from the brink of death. The adventurers cleared the rest of the castle, including a Grik, several bugbears, half a dozen hobgoblins, and a swarm of goblins.
Keith and Shaun left ahead of the party to return to Phandalin, and the wagon with the remaining party members was attacked by a troll in the night. The combined efforts of Kylea, Raylen, Cricket, and a wounded Gudren saw the end of the beast. The sunrise heralded the next step on their adventure…