Day 6; late afternoon
It was late in the day of Day 6, just after a largely successful raid on the Redbrand hideout when the team returned to the farm to find that Dak Tealeaf had decided to take up his enterprising cousin Reed’s offer of partnership in a start up venture – running a brothel in Phandalin.
In the evening, Kheg asked his Aunt Qelline Alderlead for more details on the druid in Thundertree named Reidoth. Qelline explained to the party that he was extremely knowledgeable in the geography of the Sword Coast and could be of great help if the squad needed location information.
In the morning of Day 7, Sister Graylie came to the farm to speak with Amon. She had an assignment she wanted the squad to take regarding a banshee who lived in the village of Conyberry. Sister Graylie explained that a spell book written by a wizard named Bogentle is wanted and that this banshee who is named Agatha may know where it is. She further explained that Agatha has a high regard for vanity and could be persuaded to give the squad the information they seek if they gave her a gift of vanity. Upon saying this, Sister Graylie pulled jeweled comb from her hair and handed it to Amon. Upon Sister Graylie’s departure, the team discussed all of their options on what to do now that the Redbrands have been eradicated.
With Gundrin, his brothers as well as Glasstaff — aka Iarno Albreck — still missing and the town interested in the rediscovery of the Phandelver Pact Mine, locating Kragmaw Castle even with the help of Reidoth wasn’t such an easy task. It would take 3 days to reach Reidoth’s home and the squad felt that they didn’t have the time to spare. There were orc problems in Ybrin Tor; a cave filled with goblins putting fear into the town’s people; and now a special request from Sister Graylie that all needed the attention and skills of the team.
As the team discussed their options; they argued throughout the morning. Guntar wanted to go to Thundertree. Kheg felt they should try to find Kragmaw Castle and ultimately free Gundrin Rockseeker although his true intention was his suspicion that they would find Glasstaff there. Jack wanted to find the goblin liar and put a stop to the problems they have been causing the people of Phandalin. The spell casting Jones twins were more interested in going to Conyberry in hopes of finding Bogentle’s spell book. With the party so split on choosing a quest, Amon made an executive decision and decided that the team would visit Kragmaw Cave.
After a quick stop at the supply store, it was noon by the time the team left Phandalin and headed towards Tribore Trail. As the party traveled on foot and reached the trail, they could see that the clouds were starting to get dark and it wasn’t long after they stated heading west that it started to rain.
After a half day of travel in the rain, the party had the added displeasure of approaching an area with an awful stench. Moments later the team came upon two dead horses and the corpses of 4 goblins and upon realizing that these are the goblins they had slain 4 days prior, the party knew it was time to head north into the woods.
Finding the cave didn’t take long and as the crew waited in the woods, Amon stealthily moved forward towards the entrance. Upon no sign of goblin guards, the rest of the team moved forward as the rain poured. Upon entering the cave the crew encountered 3 wolves that had been chained up. With all of the barking that and growling that the wolves made with the proximity of the team, it was clear that they needed to be silenced in order for the team to keep their advantage of surprise. The party found a dead human male about 50 years of age. It appears that the naked athletic body had been abused and that he died a day or two ago. It also appeared that his death was due to loss of blood. Guntar suspected that it’s the body of Sildar Hallwinter. Leaving the corpse behind, the party came upon a bridge that didn’t look to safe to cross. They took their chance and crossed without incident. A short time later they were in a cavern that was stocked with crates and a single goblin was going through them. The goblin was startled by the squad’s approach, but it seems to have been more startled by the fact that he got caught red handed rather than the presence of the team.
Charlatan was able to speak with the goblin and he was told that more goblins could be expected to return to the cave at any moment. Upon hearing this Amon gave the order to vacate the cave system immediately . Guntar argued over this in puzzlement since the whole purpose of coming to the caves was to slay goblins and that vacating the caves made the half day trek in the rain a pointless waste of time. Kheg agreed and felt that interrogating the goblin about the dead human and the location of Kragmaw Castle was necessary. However, due to the fear of an impending fight with the goblins, the team exited the cave.
Now out of the cave the team decided that a visit to Kragmaw Castle was finally in order, but the map drawn by the goblin named Droop who is now deceased by the hands of Qelline Alderlead, wasn’t enough help; the squad needed assistance and believed that the druid Reidoth was their best hope. Reidoth lived in Thundertree – a 3 day journey north toward Neverwinter. It was night and the team needed to make camp near the trail. It was known that Stirges who are common in the Sword Coast are attracted to light so Charlatan suggested that they don’t light a fire in fear of attracting any unwanted company. The night was uneventful and so was the the following day (#8) except for the sighting of the cloud city and the winged humans called Antelonians that inhabited it.
During the morning of Day 9 while walking north along the High Road, the squad comes upon a wayside shrine that was occupied by two humans in plate mail. They were Brothers of the Northern Suns, a pseudo military order against orcs and they did their best at trying and rattle Vola’s cage, but as Vola said, she “turned the other cheek” and what had the potential for a volatile encounter went over very smoothly. Kheg was surprised to hear the men mention Iarno Albreck and sensed that in order to get more information from them on what they knew about Albreck, he’d have to give up some too. With the others in fear of telling the men about what they know of Albreck and his exploits with the Redbrands, Kheg didn’t care and was determined to learn all he could no matter the consequence. It was a big gamble, but as far as Kheg was concerned learning that his foe Glasstaff is on the Seat of Neverwinter was well worth any animosity it may have created between him and the rest of the squad.
On Day 10, in the very early morning hours, while it was still dark, Miz’ry, Charlatan and Jack were on watch when a pack of 5 wolves appeared. Kheg was still asleep when one of the wolves attacked him, but armed with great dexterity and halfling luck, he managed to avoid a lunge for his throat. Charlatan wasn’t as lucky though and once again become incapacitated. Guntar’s medical skills came in handy as he managed to stabilize Charlatan.
As the group reached a large, wooden bridge, Guntar tells the party that they are about to cross over the Thunderoot River and that the origin of the river is near Thundertree. Seeing this bridge had a real impact on Guntar because after two solid days of traveling on foot, he suddenly starts to bring up some pretty significant things about Thundertree. The eventual disclosure of rumors of a dragon and Ashe Zombies as being potential encounters made a very uncomfortable final leg on their journey.
Before entering the village, the party did a perimeter survey of it first and as they made their way all eyes were kept on the tower that they believed might house a nesting dragon. It turns out the teams fear is a reality, because the team ran across some mask wearing cultists that “watch” as they say, the green, evil, acid spitting dragon named Venom Fang. After visiting with the cultist and getting the low down on Venom Fang, they departed with unsettling and mixed feelings about the cult and what to do about the dragon since it is a menace.
The party made their way to Reidoth’s “old brown house” as they Guntar tried to drum up support for dragon slaying operation and if this wasn’t enough he also tried to drum up support to rid the village of its Ashe Zombies population too. The party made it to Reidoth’s 1 room home before dark and was given warm reception. Reidoth eager gave Amon the location data to Kragmaw Castle, and also invited the team to share his home for the night. At 2:00 am (Day 11), the mercenaries witnessed two men headed in the direction of the old tower and both of them where wearing masks.
Day 11; 2:00 am
Thundertree, home of Reidoth