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Phandelver Page 3

Page history last edited by Gillian 9 years ago

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Session 11 (12/27/14)


In Wave Echo Mines, Marion had just died at the hands of the wizard-wraith. The other PCs carry her body back to town, meeting their old friend Cora on the way. In Phandelin, Sister Gayna tells the PCs that if Marion is not buried within a month in "triple consecrated ground", she will rise as a wraith herself. So they decide to take her back to Candlekeep for burial. They ride down to Woodsvale and are given an interview with Count Michael, who graciously praises their efforts to restore Gundren and Nardo to safety, and to assure the success of the Mines. He also gives his personal blessing to Alzardel's plans to restore Cragmaw Castle and found Caermawr Barony on the northern flank of Greenvale. All the PCs bought riding horses, and a mule to carry Marion's coffin.


The trip to Candlekeep is a relatively easy one; via horseback to Karrville, and then on a riverboat along the Karr river, on the northern border of Greenvale, then south through the village of Shadybrook, Dene, and eventually into Fordon in Karland County. In Fordton, Theron sold his horse and purchased a warhorse in its place. Alzardel spent their rest day there copying spells purchased from the House of Ivorr into his spell book. On leaving Fordton, they traveled north via Littledale along the coast to Hemmingford, where Baron Alan's manor of Thetford is located. Gia and her companions were greeted with open arms by Gia's mother, Dowager Baroness Eldgyth. She soon informed them that Gia's brother, Baron Alan, was engaged to a woman named Belsante, who claimed to be a Shalani whose fellow caravaners had been killed by bandits, and rescued by Alan. Eldgyth is not at all certain this is a good thing.


Investigation by the PCs soon reveals that Belsante is probably NOT Shalani, as she has made several basic errors in her story about her life; Alzardel determines that she is more likely from Miran, given her appearance and the clothing she was wearing when she was rescued. Cora and Doodlebug question her, search her belongings, and otherwise determine that she's definitely scamming the baron, trying to win a comfortable position as his wife. However, they soon found her journal, which pointed to a strong interest in Candlekeep.


The next day, they finished their journey to the scholarly keep, where Gia's sister is in residence. Belsante accompanied them "because the ride sounded entertaining". Cora noted that she was VERY interested in all the comings and goings of the people, and in exactly where the books were housed. After doing their research, Gia and Theron learned they wanted to know about the book they had found in the Mines, and Alzardel found a set of interesting maps of the Westron River Valley north of Cragmaw Keep. There were four wizards mentioned in the registration book in Wave Echo Mines. They researched the four names and discovered the following:


  • The King of Cadeathia was killed in the siege of his home city during the Collapse. However, that city was located in what is now today the Barony of Greenlake, south of Greenvale proper, on the banks of Lake Iylyria. It is well known that the ruler of Greenlake is an adventurer wizard who has made it a guiding goal of his rulership to loot every ancient ruin in his Barony, for his own benefit. He also very much dislikes “intrusive” outside adventurers, although he has been known to hire adventurers for some tasks.


  • Betrys the Fair was a traveling wizard who had no home; she was a follower of Khutaba, the sky god. No one has any record of her fate after leaving the Wave Echo mines...


  • Searlait de Rochdale's work was done for the Knight Sir Eliauris – who was the champion of a Temple of Mikol in the middle days of the 2nd Empire, well before the fall, in the city of Kahakor, which now lies in the heart of Umade's Barrens. Sir Eliauris was buried at the end of his loyal service in a grand tomb outside the Cathedral of Mikar in Kahakor. It is possible that despite the destruction of the city during the Empire's collapse, the cathedral and the tombs around it still exist.


  • Murchadh was a wizard famed for his creation of methods of communication. He lived during the last days of the empire, when it had already splintered and begun to fall apart, shortly before the raid which destroyed Wave Echo Mines. His tower lay along the banks of the Dorian River in what is now County Kanass in Greenvale. It is said that the magical barriers that surrounded his tower protected it from all attackers.


They also convinced one of the wizards in Candlekeep to cast a detect thoughts spell on Belsante, paying 50 silvers for the spell, and warning them that they feared she might be a thief. They discovered that she was most definitely from Miran, not an escaped slave in all likelihood, and probably interested in robbing something from the Keep. 


On the way back to Thetford Manor from Candlekeep the group confronts "Belsante" with what they've learned. She admits she's a thief, that she wants to steal a book from Candlekeep, and describes it as one of the map volumes they looked at. She says that a man in Fordton caught her trying to pick his pockets, and is forcing her to do this job in return for the safety of her younger sister. Nobody buys much of her story, but they offer to help her by escorting her to Fordton and rescuing her sister. She agrees with easy promptness. 


Fordton is two days hard ride to the south (40 miles). Once there, they rapidly determine that a great deal of what Belsante told them is false. There is no strange man at the Inn holding her sister hostage; in turn, Alzardel decides to charm Belsante, who fails her wisdom save; he convinces her that the other PCs are "chumps" and that he will help her steal her book, if she will tell him what they're looking for. She reveals that her "mentor" is a mysterious wizard who can find her no matter where she goes or what she does. He has set her on this mission to steal a book that has something to do with the "cauldron of life", which can be used to brew potions of eternal youth. While charmed, Belsante also reveals that her name is really Domina, she has no sister, and that she's an adventuring rogue from Miran. However, when the charm wears off and she realizes what she's given away, she tries to escape with a fly spell. Alzardel prevents her - Cora, who was close behind on her Sable Pony, joins the pair quickly, and the rest of the party joins up in a few more minutes. They escort Belsante back to Candlekeep, turn her over to the wizard-scholars there, and leave. Gia tells her mother what went on, but avoids seeing her brother Alan. Once that's done with, they leave again, heading south towards Kanass and Emerton, where they hope to learn more about both the impregnable tower of Murchadh, and perhaps hear some history about the King of Cadeathia Province and the fate of his flame tongue swords. 


Short Session (Jan 3, 2015)

Later, they reach Fordton once again, and while there, hire a young cleric named Nevyn as a healer for the party. At this point he's not much more than a hireling, but may become a henchman. They investigate rumors about Murchadh, and eventually travel south into County Kanass, where they learn that many folk know of the impregnable tower, but regard it more as a place to be avoided, an annoyance, rather than a place of adventure where treasure might be found. They're warned that giant beetles are common in the neighborhood.


Session 12 (Jan 11th, 2015)

Finding their way to the ruins of the old Keep, the PCs discover that it is an utter ruin, with bare foundations, and in the center, the Impregnable Tower, quite small but surrounded, as legend had indicated, with a potent blue energy barrier. In their exploration of the ruins, Doodle discovered Bombardier beetles in one foundation, Alzardel accidentally roused the Assassin Vine (Blight) in the orchard, and Gia discovered the sinkhole in the northeast tower. In the end, they decided to descend via the neat hole in the floor of one building's foundation, as they judged it was safer than the sinkhole. Once in the cellar, they distinguished the variations in the stonework, found the armory, and noted the odd claw-marks; they decided that the older tunnel, where the claw-mark making creature did NOT go, might be the safer route to explore first. They soon found many insignia of St. Meeker, who knelt in honor of the humble. They crawled over a collapsed area in the passage, and then found a room with several skeletons and coffins and a statue. They were quite amazed when the COFFINS, rather than the skeletons, began to fight them. Gia was forced to run down a side passage, cut off from the rest of the party, and discovered another pillared hall. Meanwhile, battery of the coffins soon was joined by skeletal assault as 8 skeletons emerged from yet another passage. A long, painful fight ensued, but eventually all the skeletons and the coffins were destroyed. Alzardel thunder waved, and Nevyn turned out to be fairly good in the "turn undead" school, and a good healer as well, although his macework is weak. They found one magical item - a short sword on the skeleton of a deceased adventurer turned out to be a +1 blade of warning! They also found a few handfuls of ancient coinage and some more modern silvers. The total take was around 350-400 sp. They took a long rest in the skeleton room, so Nevyn and Doodle could heal a bit. 


Examining the western passage that Gia had run down, they found a small chamber with another statue in it, this time of St. Meeker himself. Decoding the trap (a swinging blade that kneeling avoided) took just a bit of doing, and then the secret door beyond was opened via Doodle's expertise; Alzardel found himself face-to-face with the wraith of Sir Glarion, St Meeker's faithful follower. A rude assault, a turning, and a mass ranged attack eventually led to the wraith's defeat, but again it was a hard fight. Everyone agreed it is time for a long rest! In Sir Glarion's treasure were a magical light bringer longsword (no plus in combat, though), and a golden breastplate with no magical powers, and some other mundane armor.


Session 13 (Jan 31, 2015)

After the long rest (and a level up! They're now 4th), they forged on, going back to the entry tunnel and turning towards the newer construction. They moved into a room that held a number of prison cells, and immediately were attacked by an otyugh who was trapped here and starving. It smacked Doodle with two tentacle attacks, and took the rogue down to the ground, unconscious and bleeding out. Gia and Theron attacked, while Nevyn bravely healed Doodle. Alzardel's first spell missed the creature. Doodle, now barely on his feet, dodged around behind the otyugh, and sneak attacked.  In the second round, Gia cast Witchbolt, and Theron used his lunge attack. Alzardel  cast ray of ice. The otyugh lashed out again, hitting Gia, and then the PCs attacked again. Doodle sneak attacked again, with Gia and Nevyn on the other side. Eventually, the creature was wounded enough that it wanted to retreat, but Doodle prevented it, and Theron delivered the final blow. Everyone was exhausted, and they immediately took a short rest.


After their rest and search of the room, they decided to investigate the door at the far end of the chamber; it revealed a very badly collapsed chamber that had once been the Jailor's room. Two tunnels were burrowed through the walls, and air currents carried distinctly musty animal scent to them. They could also see large claw marks in the walls, indicating at least three creatures laired here. They listened carefully and decided to go east, rather than north, where they could see daylight filtering in. 


In the eastern chamber, which was quite filthy, they encountered two owl bears. The mated pair growled and charged, but the PCs stayed in the tunnel, and were able to take them on one at a time. With clever use of a cloud of daggers by Alzardel, and brute strength attacks by Theron and Doodle, they took down the first of the two bears, and the second was unable to approach freely. It could only squeeze around to hit Doodle with one claw attack. But from behind the party, they heard the sounds of another owl bear approaching! They wheeled around to see, about 10' away, a larger and obviously much older owl bear intent on ambushing them. But they were able to fend it off with Alzardel casting Thunderwave, and Gia entering melee combat. Theron divided his attention between the two bears, and Doodle bravely stood up to the front bear, causing it enough damage that it retreated, more intent on defending its young than in killing the PCs. Once it retreated, they were able to focus on the big bear and soon killed it. Then Theron hunted the wounded one down and killed it. They found two cubs, and decided that since everyone except Nevyn was wounded, it was time to go back to the nearest village for a night's rest. They sold the two cubs to the local baron for 125 silver pennies, and Alzardel used his ability to transform materials to convert two raw owl bear hides into two fully tanned skins, beaks attached.


Session 15 (March 28)

Back in the dungeons under the tower, (one missed session of notes), several traps were overcome, a magical set of locks was opened, and a force shield was brought down. Finally the tower was reached, and it was discovered that the "unopenable" blue force shield around it was controlled by a single lever, from OUTSIDE the tower! They were amazed and confused. Entering, they found themselves in the wizard's living/bed chamber. There, they also met his ghost, after finding his skeleton lying in his bed, wherein he had eventually died of old age, having been sealed into the tower by his spiteful apprentice when she sabotaged his new spell design.


He was extremely grateful to the PCs, and begged them to lay his bones to rest so he could move on to his well-deserved rest. They agreed, and he awarded them each a magic item. Gia requested a pair of Goggles of the Night, while Doodle accepted Bracers of Armor, and Theron took a +1 ring of protection. Alzardel took a +1 wand of the war-mage. Their henchman cleric Nevyn accepted a jar of Keoghtum's Ointment. Murchadh offered them the chance to live in his tower, and they considered it for a while. But then they decided to play with one of Murchadh's most potent magic items; a crystal ball. Alzardel suggested they check on the Goblins of Caer Mor, whom they were afraid might raid Wave Echo Cave. To their shock, they saw the goblin shaman bowing down in loyal servitude to Venomfang, the green dragon!  Immediately, they knew they had to do something to destroy the dragon. Theron had a brilliant idea! Seal the dragon into the tower with the forcewall! 


This led them to their final plan: one of Murchadh's other marvelous magical contraptions was a magnificent carriage and six magical flying animatronic horses. It would fly only to five specific locations chosen when it was constructed, unfortunately, but Wave Echo Cave was one of those locations. They traveled in the carriage (at night so no human saw them) to Wave Echo, went out into the forest and captured a group of goblins. They made the goblins carry a message to Venomfang, begging him to come to his loyal servants - that they had found him a most marvelous treasure! Being young and not wary enough, the dragon came. Seeing the marvelous carriage, he was mightily impressed. The party swore that the carriage was the least of the treasures in Murchadh's tower, and that it was all ripe for the dragon's plucking. No mention of impenetrable force shields was made! Cautious, but greedy, the dragon agreed to follow them. Now, Alzardel had stayed behind, and as soon as he saw the flying carriage and the dragon returning, he manned the lever that raised the shield. Previously, he had cast an alarm spell on the door that led to the top level of the tower, so he would know when the other PCs had fled. The PCs arrived in their carriage, and the dragon very carefully scoped out the scene from a distance, dived on the tower, and inspected everything. He could see the PCs in the top of the tower with the great carriage-house doors flung open, and plainly nothing lay in wait. So, the foolish young dragon landed in the tower. As soon as he entered, Gia flung open the door to the lower floor, and fled. Theron and Doodle followed, and Nevyn was last, to his grave misfortune. Immediately, the dragon realized the tower was a trap, and breathed his poison gas at the escaping PCs. Nevyn, being only 2nd level, made his save, but could not overcome the amount of damage taken; he collapsed at the dragon's feet. Alzardel's alarm went off even as Gia first flung open the door, and the dwarf, three levels down below, flung the lever to raise the forcefield. The dragon was trapped!


The next tricky moment was waiting until the dragon stopped throwing himself at the barrier and began ripping the floor and walls of the tower apart, attempting to break the forcefield. While he was distracted, Alzardel had to lower the forcefield long enough to let Doodle, Gia and Theron escape from the tower (Oh, they did thoroughly loot the tower before they did all this; they profited to the tune of about 6,000 sp). 


They spent about a week after capturing the dragon bricking up the basement entrance that had the lever that would bring down the forcefield; they wanted to be very sure the dragon would not be accidentally set free by anyone! And then, one day, the local Count and his retinue showed up; the dragon's capture had been seen by any number of folk who saw it fly by on its way to the tower, raising considerable concern across Greenvale. But the dragon was plainly visible, trapped behind the tower's forcefield. Count Elledar was amazed, and invited the PCs back to his castle in Emerton for a few days' stay, and a grand feast. Their whole dragon-trapping quest, travel time, waiting and ambushing and such, had taken them a month, but they were given a 1,000 sp reward by the Count, and have begun to amass a reputation as true adventurers across Greenvale!


Session 16 (4/11)

After resting, visiting with Count Elledar, selling off goods from the Wizard's Tower in Castleton, and hiring a new NPC cleric (a motherly figure named Madsen who follows the god of War, Kehret, and was a mercenary for a number of years), the PCs began their lengthy journey back to Phandelin. Their first night on the road, they stopped at an Inn halfway between Emerton and Jerint. At the Inn, the three women (Gia, Doodle and Madsen) shared a room while Theron and Alzardel also shared. That night, a rogue slipped into the women's room and rifled their bags. All Doodle and Madsen's money, and the crystal ball, which Gia carried, were taken. Astonishingly, none of the women woke! It was not until the next morning they discovered the theft. By questioning the Inn's servants, they narrowed the likely theif down to a small, weasely man with a missing finger. And by questioning folk on the road, they discovered he had ridden towards Jerint. This pleased everyone, since Doodle is from Jerint, and has both familiarity with the city and plenty of contacts. They soon discovered the rogue's name was Henrig, and that he had contracted to sell the crystal ball at a black market auction the following night. 


The PCs promptly made the following plan: Doodle contacted a friend of hers in the guild, and got Alzardel an invitation to attend the auction, in disguise as a human wizard. Then Alz and Doodle cased the warehouse where the auction would be occurring. Doodle hid inside the warehouse by use of Alz's invisibility spell. She chose to hide on an upper loft area, where there was a trapdoor and rungs leading to the roof. Previously, on the roof, she cut almost all the way through some boards that were plainly ready to be used to allow access to another nearby roof. Anyone attempting to escape that way was in for a nasty surprise!


Gia and Theron, accompanied by Madsen, went straight to the local watch captain, and told him that they had been robbed, but they knew when and where the theives would be auctioning off the merchandise. The Captain was thrilled, and quickly fell in with their plans; he gathered his four most trusted men, and met the PCs outside the warehouse at midnight, just as the auction was getting underway. Two guards stayed outside to prevent anyone from escaping from the roof or windows, while the Captain, Madsen and two guards went in through one entrance, and Gia, Theron and another guard went in via the dockside entry. Alzardel was already inside as an attendee, while Doodle was in hiding on the platform. 


A massive battle ensued, with the auctioneer and his attendant, six thugs, five attendees, the four PCs and their henchwoman, and the Captain and his guards. At the end, they had killed all but two of the rogues (one thug escaped, and one was grappled and caught). The auctioneer and his clerk were both dead, and all the stolen merchandise was recovered. Doodle was the only injured PC, and one guard was nearly killed. The Watch Captain also split all the cash that the auction "attendees" had on their persons; a nice 500 sp for each group. But Henrig was not among those present. Doodle used the crystal ball to scry him, and they were able to see him, hastily saddling his horse in a stable, which Doodle's familiarity with the city allowed him to recognize. With this advantage, they were able to cut him off before he fled the city, and between Gia's Witchbolt and Theron's deadly archery, he soon joined the rogues. Happily, they recovered from him all their stolen money, a small amount of extra coin, Madsen's two stolen potions of healing, and a potion of invisibility. 


Note: for a spur-of-the-moment sideplot, this adventure ran quite smoothly. Henrig was a fully statted 5th lvl rogue NPC, but the guard captain and his men were just pulled out of the MM, as were the thugs, the commoner attendant, and the auctioneer, who I ran as a reduced-HP assassin. 


Sessions 17 and 18 (4/18 and 4/25) 

On their way from Jerint back to Phandelin the PCs had a significant and interesting encounter; they discovered an abandoned winery high in the hills on the eastern flank of Holdfort County. Exploring it, they made the horrible discovery that the owners, the Gluant family, had accidentally hired a slime-demon worshipping man to act as the head of the harvesters. He managed to convert many of the workers to his beliefs, and when the family realized what was happening, he killed them all. Unfortunately, he was then apparently attacked by his own "goddess" and killed. The PCs explored the house, killed a huge ochre jelly and then the slime demoness herself. Doodle and Madsen both nearly died in this fight, and it was a close race to see who won. But the PCs pulled it off and saved their downed comrades. Gia decided that this winery was exactly the resource her brother needs to help re-establish his baronial fortunes. She paid the local baron all the back taxes on the property, and got permission for her brother to take over the deed. She hired some workers to begin cleaning up the place, and then sent an urgent message to her brother to come quickly and take over. Without waiting for him to arrive, she and the other PCs then headed back to Woodsvale, where Count Michael desired to speak to them. He offered them a deal; first, for "slaying" the dragon Venomfang, they were appointed "Count's Men" with the right to call on him if they need his aid; second he proposed that if the PCs would go to Cragmaw castle and clear it of goblins/hobgoblins/bugbears, he would personally speak for them to Prince Starbow and have their claim on establishing a Barony around the castle recognized as official in Greenvale.


They turned down a chance to help Gundren escort a shipment of ore from Wave Echo Cave to Red Larch in southwest Greenvale, and thus on to Koruzd. However, Gundren has promised to send any recruits he can to Alzardel, who plans to become the Baron of Cragmaw. Alzardel hired two human men-at-arms in Phandelin, named Bud and Roger. 


When the PCs arrived at Cragmaw, they discovered only a pair of bugbears living in the ruins. They killed them, and have now claimed the ruins. They fixed up one tower, left the two men-at-arms there, and returned to Phandelin to hire more workmen and a mason. 

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