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Session 10: Toward the Crags

General Summary

According to Gundren, the mine was only about a day's hike from Phandalin. The party pushed into the foothills of the Crags, a nearby mountain range, following what paths they could and cutting through the forest where they could not. They soon noticed a thin haze of smoke coming from on the other side of a nearby hill, and went to investigate its source.   The party found a ravine, narrow and steep, with a cave mouth at the end. The smoke was issuing from a large bonfire inside; two orcs stood guard outside the cave and more could be seen within. The party, unseen to this point, decided to hang back and use the jade frog statuette they had found to scout the cave   Inside the cave were several orcs with tents set up, and one enormous, overlarge tent. Narrowly avoiding an orc who tried to catch it for lunch, the frog scout wriggled through a flap in the canvas. Inside was an unpleasant sight: the interior of this tent was littered with animal carcasses, bones, and one very large ogre, fast asleep.   At this point the party was disrupted by a sudden roar from outside the cave: A lion--unusual for the area--had sprung from the tall foliage near one of the orcs and pounced on it, tearing at it with teeth and claws. Seeking to take advantage of the distraction, the party moved in to attack the other orc, which called a warning back into the cave. As the first orcs fell, the lion's form shimmered and turned into that of a lavender-skinned tiefling: a druid! But there was no time for her to introduce herself, for with the thumping of enormous feet, accompanied by more shouting, Grog the ogre came lumbering out of the cave, flanked by more orcs.   Thorny vines erupted from beneath the monsters as the druid cast a spell, entangling one of the orcs but failing to hold the ogre. The tiefling's form shimmered again, changing into an enormous hyena which went toe-to-toe with the ogre. The orcs fought viciously, with one scoring a particularly brutal blow on William that crumpled his armor and left him with a serious gash across the chest. But the adventurers turned the tide, with a precision-placed arrow from Marcus into the eye of the ogre, killing it instantly, and causing it to crush the last remaining orc when it fell.   The tiefling introduced herself as Callista, a druid from a small tribe of tieflings that lived in the faraway Dunes of Maran. She also introduced her companion Cass, a pure white pseudodragon that was blinded in one eye. Callista explained that Cass had fallen ill with some sickness she couldn't cure, and she was trying to find some way to help her. The party, along with Gundren and Sildar, agreed that having another member would certainly be helpful, and Callista joined them in their quest for Wave Echo Cave.   The party rested for a short time at the orc camp, discovering a chest full of coins and what seemed to be some small vials of perfume. They tried burning some of the bodies, but stopped quickly when it became clear they were only making the fire smolder even worse than it was already. Instead, they set out once more to try to find the cave before they lost the daylight.   The party continued on through the wooded floor of a valley, between two large mountains. It was Adelaide who noticed it first; she had a persistent feeling of being watched, but couldn't see anything following them. Wary, the adventurers pushed forward, but more of them began to sense that something was wrong. There was the occasional rustling in the foliage, off in the trees, but nothing was visible. Finally, Adelaide attempted to make noise to scare away whatever it was--only to be answered by a piercing screech as a bear with the head of an owl leapt from the bushes to attack her!   As if one of the feathered monstrosities wasn't enough, another screech announced the presence of a second owlbear, this one near William and Malcolm. Callista, in a bid to match the owlbears on even footing, changed shape into a brown bear and began fighting off the one near Adelaide. The other wasted no time getting its claws into Malcolm, who fell during the fight, but both owlbears were soon dispatched by the adventurers and the wizard was revived.   Nursing their wounds from the fights they had endured that day, the party pressed onward until Gundren began to recognize the area. The dwarf led them away from the valley floor, up a barely visible game path, and finally to a small cave entrance cloaked by trees. The dwarf commented that it was odd that no one was present; he would have expected one of his brothers to be keeping watch outside. Malcolm used the jade frog statuette to scout into the cave, where could be seen the remains of a camp site, some mining supplies, and a dead dwarf slumped up against the wall....

Campaign
Lost Mine of Phandelver
Protagonists
Report Date
21 May 2019

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