Hired by the dwarf Gundren Rockseeker to escort a supply wagon to the Forgotten Realms frontier town of Phandelver, the party comes across the wreckage of a goblin raid.
Spoilers below the fold.
Ashley, Biff, and Lord approach the wreckage to investigate, and come under attack. Two goblins emerge from the wood waving scimitars while arrows rain on the unsuspecting party members from the thickets. Lord quickly recognizes one of the horses as belonging to his cousin Gundren, and becomes enraged. The stalwart bunch is able to quickly dispatch of the attacking goblins in melee with well-placed counters, while the young alcolyte Carric joins the fray, firing magic missiles as he detects the hidden foe ducked in the thickets. While the crafty Isaiah pulls the oxcart forward to provide cover, Ashley wields her longbow with confidence and picks the attackers out of the wood alongside Biff as he hurls javelins, while they fill Carric with arrows. After several rounds are exchanged, the party claims victory, and huddles to lick their wounds. Lord provides deft healing to make recovery brief.
After a brief search, Ashley and Biff recover their artillery, and in doing so stumble upon a path through the woods, clearly travelled by many goblin feet and having the marks of dragging something large…perhaps human-sized.
With some debate, decided by Lord’s passion for recovering his cousin, the party decides to cautiously travel up the trail, with the diminutive Isaiah leading the way. At its end, they come across a hillside cave from which a subterranean creek is flowing. They ford the creek to enter the cave, and stumble upon a goblin lookout, which is as surprised as the party is. A brief combat ensues, and the emerges relatively unscathed. They regroup, and send Isaiah ahead to investigate the cave, which looks to stretch beyond the sunlight.
Inside the cave, Isaiah quickly finds a kennel with several wolves bickering and howling. They are mercifully chained to some of the plentiful stalagmites as they strain at their bonds. Returning to the party, they decide to proceed, where Lord offers up some of his jerky ration. This quiets them for a bit, as the party continues along the rough trail. Despite their caution, Biff rolls his ankle, but is able to persevere.
Up ahead, Isaiah notices a rickety footbridge and spies a goblin sentry skulking on it. The party cautiously convenes near a treacherous-looking offshoot and determines a plan of action. Carric casts a light spell above the goblin while Ashley and Isaiah dispatch of the sentry without breaking a sweat. Traveling further up the path, they encounter a number of additional goblins who put up quite a fight. While the melee roars, one of the bandits is able to release a flood from a small pool dammed with a moveable set of boards. Scrambling to the sides, most of the party are able to resist the torrent, but the hapless healer Lord is washed away with the current.
Disoriented, Lord collects himself back near the kennel and begins to work his way back up the cavern to join his party in the fray. Meanwhile, Ashley is slinging arrows at the goblin bandits while Carric Galonodel fires frost rays at the attackers, and Isaiah and Biff engage hand-to-hand. The swirling water in the cavern makes connecting blows a challenge, and the heroes struggle to gain the upper hand. Exhausted, they engage, and eventually the tide turns in their direction, they are able to dispatch their foes. Lord, ready to aid his party, arrives just as the clang of steel quiets, and the party stands victorious. He is able to provide some light healing.
After the battle, they notice an offshoot passage behind them heading back west, along with the greater passage leading south ahead of them, which one of the goblins had passed through early in the skirmish. The parties confers and decides to follow the smaller, westerly path, which leads them across the bridge, and beyond, winding to a large chamber where they hear chatter and the sounds of activity. They unfortunately alert the goblins to their presence, so they are ready when the party emerges from the passageway. There is a cookfire, and evidence of a barracks.
The goblin Yeemik stands a head taller than the others. There are conversations in goblin and common, which prove fruitless, but Yeemik reveals that he controls Sildar Hallwinter, Biff’s idol. The sides square off and a battle ensues. Despite the greater numbers, and stronger foes, the party is able to cut their ranks quickly. Yeemik steps from the fight, and grasps Sildar by the hair, dangling him from a precipice. Carric is struck, and falls to a goblin strike, unconscious, rapidly slipping this mortal coil. The fighting stops, and Yeemik threatens to send the pummeled Sildar down a ledge, suggesting that the party capitulate, and do his bidding to overthrow Klarg, the mad leader of these bandits. Yeemik indicates that there is a way to reach Klarg through the kennels. The party is suspicious, but notices a subtle sign from Sildar, not to trust Yeemik, and challenge him to a fight instead. Yeemik shoves Sildar down the slope and brandishes his weapon. Outmatched, he is quickly subdued and killed.
The party returns to the bridge after looting some treasures. They drop a line to the cavern floor below and climb down it. Carric uses mage hand to untie the know and return it to the party. They proceed to the kennels where they attempt to sooth the fussing wolves, but Lord is bit instead, and they end up slaying the ferrel canines. At the end of the kennel they uncover a channel leading up about 30 feet. They follow it up, cautiously, and emerge among some boxes in Krang’s chamber. They are able to regroup up above, assess the scene, and dispatch these enemies fairly efficiently. The party is not interested in what Klarg might say, his mad words echoing around the chamber, and they square off.
After the battle, the party uncovers some treasure, which they share, and holes up for some R&R.