For my first foray, I’ve decided to incorporate the Starter Box Set adventure, The Lost Mines of Phandelver, into my story, using it as the launch point for the whole campaign. Already several sessions in, my group has taken well to the changes in the rules since last we played Pathfinder, though some mistakes have lead to some perfectly meta results.
So, for this, my attempted return to the blogging life, I present to you…The Story So Far……
Our story started off in the city of Neverwinter, Jewel of the North. Having begun the recovery process from all the chaos and damage that had been wrought upon it, the city was alive and business thrived. And with the first thaw of the new year, trading coasters were sought guards and teamsters to escort their first goods to new destinations.
And that was what brought our wayward band of travelers together. Having responded to a Help-Wanted poster found scattered throughout the city, the group congregated outside the warehouse for the Rockseeker Mining Company along with other hopefuls. In no time, they met with the Company’s owner, a dwarf named Gundren Rockseeker, and were hired on as teamsters and guards along with a young lad, Willhem.
While Gundren and an associate of his, a human named Sildar Halwinter, were planning on traveling to their destination, the mining town of Phandalin, ahead of the group, the caravan itself would not be able to set out until the next day. So the group, to get to know each other better, dined at a local Minotaur restaurant, at the suggestion of one of their newfound companions, and then split up to spend the day as they saw fit. Some spent their day in contemplation and research while others spent it in revelry and debauchery, exposing the young Willhem to things he never expected to see in his lifetime.
Finally, the morning came and the caravan set out with their supplies, bound for the village of Phandalin. Much of their travel was relatively uneventful as they slowly got to know each other a little more.
Aela Farwalker – A seemingly aloof elven (?) woman who preferred to keep her nose in a book than socialize with the rest of the group. An odd on for such a job.
Bim and Phina Tosspot – A Halfling brother/sister duo who seemed to live up to the trickster-like reputation Halflings tend to have.
Bannon Halfelven – A curmudgeonly young warrior who seemed to prefer revelry to combat. He seemed to know several members of the group already.
Ser Charles, Lord of Norys, Shield-Arm of Torm – Thought of as a blue-collar paladin, Charles looks to embody the overly helpful paladin mentality while not lording his position over anyone as some paladins do.
Burlybeard – A dwarf found in the company of the withdrawn Aela, he seemed to be the antithesis to her quiet nature, as his unusual choice in weaponry, a black-powder pistol, tends to show.
Thrak – the trailblazer of the group, this Minotaur hails from a world not completely unlike the Realms. Unlike the Minotaur of Toril, Thrak’s people are smaller in stature and more civilized in nature.
As the group closed in on their destination, they discovered a blockage in the road comprised of their employer and his associates horses, their riders no where in sight. Almost immediately, they were beset by goblins from the woods who set about an ambush for the caravan. Despite some faulty spellcasting from Aela (“It never use to work that way! I swear!”) the group dispatched their attackers and set about looking for their now missing employer. They hid the wagons, sent young Willhem ahead on horseback to Phandalin to retrieve more hands, and followed a trail they found that seemed to be the direction Gundren and Sildar were taken.
The trail led them to a series of caves where a hobgoblin and a tribe of goblins had set up camp in order to raid the local caravans. they dispatched most of the tribe present but only found one of the two men; Sildar. Saving him from near death, they discovered Gundren was taken elsewhere. Sildar informed the group that Gundren and his brothers, Tharden and Nundro, had apparently found the entrance to a long lost mine known only as The Wave Echo Cave. This mine was a place of power over 500 years ago but was lost during a battle for the riches and power within.
Sildar explained that Gundren and his map to the cave were apparently taken to a place known as Cragmaw Castle where the rest of the tribe resides along with someone known only as The Black Spider. He did not know the name nor the way to the castle, but convinced the group that someone in Phandalin may know the answer, recommending they make haste for the town. They quickly met up with Willhem who had just returned with help and made their way to town.
Once there, they found a bit more than they bargained for. They delivered the supplies to a place called Dukal’s Provisions where they my the manager, Elmar Barthen, and the business owner, Harrington Dukal. They both spoke highly of the missing dwarf and bade the group find him as soon as possible. Dukal himself even offered to aid the group with whatever help or supplies he can.
As Sildar recommended a need for rest and recuperation since a tired rescue party would be of no use to Gundren, he recommended The Stonehill Inn. There they met the proprietor, a colorful man named Aseir Mostana. He seemed to take quite a shine to the group, especially Bim. As Sildar left the group to make his way to the Townmaster and get started with his reason for being in town (searching for one Iarno Albrek, an agent of The Lord Alliance to which Sildar was a member), the rest of the group went about running a few errands before resting for the night.
Most of the party visited the Blue Lion Coaster to report to the owner, Linene Graywind, they they had found much of her apparently missing supplies in the goblin caves. While she regretted that they could not bring them back to her, she was thankful for the information. They then visited the Shrine to Tymora, Goddess of Luck, to whom Phina was a priestess of. There they met Sister Garaele, a follower of Tymora who was a bit down on her own luck. They discovered she was tasked by the church to find some information to which she had currently been unsuccessful in doing. Between Phina and Charles, the group managed to find themselves now handling the poor priestess’s task in hopes of aiding a fellow holy person.
Meanwhile, Thrak made his way to the Townmaster Hall to report what they had found and ended up finding more work for the group involving both an orc threat and Sildar’s search for Iarno Albrek. Between them all, they discovered that the town was apparently plagued by a mercenary group known as The Redbrands. But, before doing anything about them, they reconvened at The Stonehill Inn where they rested for the night, planning to set out to The Sleeping giant Taphouse the next day to confront these thugs.
As for poor Bim, he spent his evening in the company of Aseir who showed him a pleasant night on the town, small as the town is.
So, there are a few changes I’ve made to the adventure which I shall refrain from currently discussing here. Those of you familiar with it will know what differs. But the changes were made mostly to fit the campaign and my players. Though I do admit, Aseir’s attitude is a definite homage to two different characters from other works that I’m a fan of; Sean Gilmore from Critical Role and Prima “Pree” Dezz from the Killyjoys TV series. Bim’s player is familiar with Gilmore and ran with the idea of Bim/Aseir.
Tonight, the group will get to confront the Redbrands and discover a little more than they bargained for as they search for the location of Cragmaw Castle and their missing employer.