Session 2: Cragmaw Hideout; Enter Phandalin
The party carefully investigated the hideout, which they now knew belonged to the Cragmaw tribe of goblins. After quickly (and quietly) dealing with some inattentive sentries posted outside, they ventured into the cave, probing deeper into the dark caverns until they found Sildar chained up, bloodied, and unconscious. They attempted to distract and dazzle the nearby goblins through a clever combination of spells and invocations (and were mostly successful), but a conniving and ruthless goblin named Yeemik held Sildar hostage until the party met his demands: Bring him the head of the "bug-bug" Klarg, so he could be the boss of the hideout. Though warned by a groggy Sildar not to trust the goblin, the party agreed, and made their way through the caverns to take on Klarg. They found him amidst a pile of pilfered caravan loot, where he, his savage wolf Ripper, and some loyal goblins had been alerted by a sentry and were waiting to attack. Klarg's savage weapon was nearly the death of both Coryn and Adelaide, but eventually he and his wolf fell under the combined weight of the party and the revolting goblins. After reviving their fallen party members, tending their wounds, and inspecting the stolen goods (belonging to the Lionshield Trading Company of Yartar), the party returned to Yeemik, Klarg's head in hand. However, Sildar's warning rang true. After being hailed as the new boss of the goblins, Yeemik demanded a ridiculous ransom of 500 gold for the human, "graciously" lowering it to 50 gold after the party protested. In a moment of brilliance, Malcolm cast Minor Illusion to make it appear as if they had the ransom money. When the suspicious goblin asked for a piece to test, Malcolm tossed over a genuine gold piece of his own. Satisfied, Yeemik released Sildar, and the party quickly made their escape from the hideout. Outside, Sildar profusely thanked the party for their assistance, and told them what he knew, and what he had heard and seen while in the hideout: That Gundrin and his brothers had reportedly found an entrance to Wave Echo Cave, site of the mines of the Phandelver's Pact; that Gundren had been taken to a place called Cragmaw Castle; and that someone or something called the Black Spider had been looking for the dwarf. Sildar insisted the party make their way to Phandalin as quickly as possible. The party agreed, returned to the caravan, and rested for the remaining duration of the trip. The caravan soon arrived in Phandalin, where the party delivered it to Barthen's Provisions, and then secured lodgings at the Stonehill Inn. Malcolm, looking for a purveyor of magical items, made his way to the Lionshield Coster, where he met Linene Graywind, its proprietor, in the middle of a heated argument with a customer about a shipment of shields that was supposed to have come in. After attempting to negotiate a discount on armor by offering a map to the shipment (and failing), Malcolm returned to the inn. As the party mingled among the townsfolk that night, they picked up several rumors: That a group of toughs calling themselves the Redbrands were shaking down local businesses for protection money, that a child named Carp had found a secret tunnel near the old manor house on the hill, and that if they were looking for some person or place, the halfling farmer Quelline Alderleaf would be a good person to visit, as she seemed to know the strangest places and characters. After resting in the inn for the night, the party set out the next morning to visit Quelline. They found her at her home, and she promptly welcomed them in with a fresh-baked batch of cookies. As it turned out, Carp was Quelline's son, and dreamed of becoming an adventurer one day. The halfling boy was enthralled with the real-life adventurers visiting his house. Quelline suggested that if the party was looking for Cragmaw Castle, that they would want to visit the druid Reidoth, who was currently in the old ruined town of Thundertree. The party then asked if they could take Carp through the town, intending to gain more information on the secret entrance under the manor without getting the boy in trouble with his mother. Quelline agreed, and sent them off with another batch of cookies. After convincing Carp to give directions to the entrance, the boy revealed that he had seen Redbrands use it when he was there. The party gave the boy some words of caution, and a well-timed Minor Illusion gave him a tail just like Adelaide's. Beaming, Carp skipped off, and the party began to march up towards the manor, intent on confronting whatever lay within...
- 10 gp per person, along with a 20% bonus for bravely rescuing Sildar from Cragmaw Hideout
- Yeemik Boss: The party defeated Klarg and brought his head to Yeemik.
- Caravan Escort: The party delivered Gundren's caravan to Barthen's Provisions in Phandalin.