Bustas&Dragons: The Lost Mine of Phandelver

Episode 2
Bandits, ruffians, and brigands! Oh my!

After taking Sildar Hallwinter back to Klarg’s lair, they revive him to find out what he knows. Sildar tells the party that the cragmaw tribe has been taken over by someone or something called The Black Spider. Klarg had been tasked with capturing Gundren Rockseeker, and has already sent him off. Although Sildar doesn’t know where, he thinks that some of the locals in Phandalin might have an idea. Sildar also confirms that Gundren has a map, and that he and his two brothers are working on reestablishing the glory of Wave Echo Cave. Finally, Sildar also mentions that his reason for travelling to Phandalin is to find and locate Iarno, his colleague from The Lords’ Alliance who hasn’t been in contact for months, and is believed to be missing or dead, and he will pay 50 gold to the party if they assist him to Phandalin.

After talking with Sildar, the party decides the goblins can’t be allowed to continue living, so they return to the den to find them all packing up and getting ready to leave. Even though they had previously surrendered and sworn not to hurt another living sole, they are all slain.

Arriving in Phandalin , Sildar informs the party that he will be staying at the Stone Hill Inn that night. Most of the party packs it in, but Smokey tries get it on with Sister Garaele. Unfortunately for him, she turns him down. Later, Joe instead decides to make a small offering Tymora and receives a small blessing. Saya and Granny visit The Lionshield Coster, which is run by Linene Graywind, and sells weapons and armour. Linene says that she isn’t going to sell anything to a newcomer, lest the weapons end up in the hands of the Red Brands. Linene informs them that the Red Brands have taken over Phandalin and run everything, but the townmaster, Harbin Wester, is too scared to do anything about it. Instead he insists that they aren’t a real problem, and that it’s being handled adequately.

Meanwhile, Luceim and Granny decide to head to The Sleeping Giant Inn to see if they can gather any more information. As they approach, four tough-looking young humans, all dressed in scarlet cloaks, approach the pair.

“Alright you two, drop your valuables and get out of here”, one of them calls.
“Granny, I think we’ve walked into the wrong part of town,” Luceim murmurs as a look of concern washes over his face.
“Nonsense my dear! I think we’re exactly where we need to be”, Granny replies as she places a wrinkled, but warm and reassuring hand on Luceim’s arm. “Hello dearie!” she calls back, “We just want to come in for a drink!”
“I don’t think you heard me properly,” growls the thug, “hand over your money if you ever want to be able to drink again!” Granny stares at the hood as she pulled out her large purse and picked out a single gold piece and threw it on the ground, all without ever breaking eye contact. “Well if that’s how it’s going to be…” he growled, as he drew his sword and moved towards the pair.

Granny cast sleep on the first of the Red Brands while Luceim cast wild shape and together the tore the remaining Red Brands apart. Taking the still sleeping one captive, they round up the party and let them know what happened. Saya can’t believe they just killed 3 civilians and refuses to take part, but the remainder of the team interrogates their captive. He reveals that the Red Brands are being led by someone called Glass Staff, and that their base of operations is hidden underneath Tresendor Manor. Joe slits his throat and hides the body.

The party approaches Harbin at the town hall, and finds him talking to Sildar. When they ask about the Red Brands, he insists that they aren’t an issue, and that they’re under control. As he faces pressure and more intense questioning, he asks Sildar to get rid of his friends. Sildar takes them outside and explains that this issue must be dealt with, and offers 200 gold if they manage to rid Phandalin of the wretched Red Brands.

Realising that they perhaps needed more information from the Red Brand member, the party decides they’ll just get another one by going back to The Sleeping Giant Inn. The area is deserted, but they can hear sounds of merryment coming from inside the inn. Joe walks up to the door, kicks it in so hard that is breaks in two, and yells, ‘If you’re not a Red Brand, get out!’ Unfortunately all the patrons then decided to stampede out the door to avoid being caught it a crossfire, Red Brands included. The stampede of people makes fighting hard until Xander casts Farie Fire, and highlights the targets for them. Granny puts the rest of the civilians to sleep, while Luceim eats half of the gang members. Two Red Brand prisoners are taken and questioned by cross examination and it’s discovered that The Black Spider has allied with the Red Brands in order to take control of the surrounding area of Wave Echo Cave. It’s also revealed that there is a secret underground entrance into Tresendor Manor. The two Red Brands then both have their throats slit individually.

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Episode 1
The not-so-lost mine

Offering 10 gold a pop to escort a caravan to Phandalin, Gundren only wanted the best. Apparently he’d found an ancient map that showed the location of Wave Echo Cave, a once-powerful magical hub fused with a mineral rich mine that had been destroyed by ork raiders and lost to time. The dwarf sat behind a table interviewing adventurers for the job. Most were dismissed before they even finished introducing themselves. After a short while only 7 remained;

  • Joe, a paladin of neverwinter with a mysterious past
  • Smokey, a rogue assassin of mild fame with a mysterious past
  • Saya, a fighter and ex-townguard with a mysterious past
  • Luceim, a druid with a mysterious past
  • Granny, an old, mysterious wizard
  • Xander, a charming and attractive bard, with an unknown past
  • Rhodar, a cleric, and more importantly, a Kobold

‘Alright, listen up!’ Gundren had climbed up onto the table so he could see everyone. ’We’re going to be leaving here at first light tomorrow morning. It’s nearly a full days journey so we won’t have much time for delays. I’ve arranged for your payment to be made by my good friend Elmar. He runs a trading post in Phandalin, where we’ll be delivering the supplies. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have business matters to attend to’

The newly forged party of adventurers returned to the inn the next morning, only to find a note from Gundren. Urgent business had come up, so he hired an additional human warrior, Sildar Hallwinter, to begin the journey. Transporting the caravan would be slow, so the unburdened party would be able to catch up quickly. The party left for Phandalin immediately, travelling south. After journeying for half a day, they saw scattered cargo and debris on the road ahead. It was obvious that this was Gundren’s caravan, but there was no sight of the dwarf or his human companion. Smokey snuck ahead of the rest of the group to investigate, and found everything of value had taken including the ancient map. As the rest of the group approached they were ambushed by a small goblin raiding party. The goblins were effortlessly dispatched, with one kept prisoner for interrogation. He quickly told them that they had taken Gundren and Sildar to their hideout to the North while begging for his life. It didn’t work.

Smokey saw the entrance first, “That must it, let me sneak ahead and see if there is any danger”. Nobody wanted to argue with that request. Living up to his name, the rogue effortlessly floated silently into the cave before motioning to the others to follow. “Wolves!”, he whispered while motioning at a room to the side, “We’ll want to avoid those”. Ahead, the path split in two. To the right, Smokey was able to make out a goblin sentry in the distance. Not wanting to be spotted, he lead the team to the left. The light began to dim and the cold, damp walls of the cave became increasingly more difficult to see. Unable to see clearly, Smokey slipped down a pile of rocky debris, stopping abruptly as the cramped cave opened quickly into a large cavern. “Stop right there kitty-cat, or the human dies!”

Yeemik entered into negotiations with the party, claiming that the bugbear, Klarg, had taken control of the goblin tribe and was forcing them to raid travellers on the Triboar Trail. If Klarg was dealt with, Yeemik said he would give Sildar over to the party, leave the hideout, and return to living in the forest in seclusion from the rest of the world. The party agreed to the terms so long as some goblins came to help the fight. The extra goblins also made sure the party was able to get through the cave without causing any fuss. They soon arrived in Klarg’s lair, which he shared with his pet wolf and two most loyal goblins.

“You’re time is over, Klarg!” squealed one of the goblins, ruining any chance of surprise. Klarg seemed unfazed by the goblins new found friends and roars,
“You dare defy Klarg?! Klarg will build a throne from your bones!” as his pet wolf, Ripper, pounces onto Luceim. Luceim catches the wolfs snarling head in his hands, holding it’s snapping jaws inches away from his face, and slowly begins whispering to it in druidic. Almost as suddenly as Rippers attack began, it stops, instead happily licking the face of his new friend. Klarg runs into battle, swinging his giant morningstar into the first goblin, it’s bones crunching sickeningly as it’s entire upper body collapses from the hit. Sensing his new friends are in danger, Ripper bites at Klarg’s legs, as magic missiles and arrows pummel his body. Almost entirely unaffected, Klarg swipes Ripper away in one blow, sending it’s now lifeless body flying to the side of cave. Joe charges in, sword swinging, carving chunks from Klarg’s flesh as another volley of arrows and javelins rain down. Visibly injured, Klarg raises his morningstar above his head with both hands, and brings it crashing down on Joe’s head, beating him into the ground. A viscous smirk begins to spread across his face, as a single arrow from the remaining goblin lands right between his eyes. Klarg falls to the ground, smirk in tact, as darkness begins to overpower his will to stay conscious.

Returning to goblin den, the party tells the story of Klarg’s death. As thanks, Yeemik says that he will sell Sildar to the party for 50 gold. Yeemik’s face then meets 7 simultaneous ranged attacks, and does not survive. The remaining goblins in the room drop their weapons and surrender, giving Sildar over and promosing to return to the forest. The party takes Sildar back to Klarg’s cave to collect loot, rest, and find out what Sildar knows.

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