DEADWOOD

The frontier town of Deadwood is built on the ruins of a much older settlement (Phandalin). Hundreds of years ago, the old Phandalin was a thriving Human town whose people were firmly allied with the Dwarves and Gnomes of the Phandelver’s Pact. However, the same Orc horde that sacked the mines at Wave Echo Cave laid waste to the settlement, and Phandalin was abandoned for centuries.

In the last three or four years, hardy settlers from the cities of Neverwinter and Waterdeep have begun the hard work of reclaiming the ruins of Phandalin and renaming it Deadwood. Deadwood now a bustling frontier settlement has grown up on the site of the old town, and is home now to farmers, woodcutters, fur traders, and prospectors drawn by stories of Gold and Platinum in the foothills of the Sword Mountains. Unfortunately, more than a few bandits and brigands have settled in Deadwood as well, taking advantage of the fact that the area has no local Lord or Authority to chase them off. A gang known as the Redbrands has controlled Deadwood for the past 2 months, extorting and bullying everyone in town.

The gang is led by a mysterious figure known to the townsfolk as Glasstaff.

Deadwood Map - Neverwinter Woods (PC)
Map – Neverwinter Woods (PC)

CHAPTER ONE: THE BEGINNING

The characters are in the city of Waterdeep when their Dwarf patron and friend, Gundren Rockseeker, asks them to collect a Puzzle Box from Korbus Brightjewel and also hires them to escort a wagon to Deadwood. Gundren has gone ahead with his Warrior friend, Sildar Hallwinter, to attend to business in the town while the characters follow with the supplies. The characters will be paid 10 gp each by the owner of Bartholomew’s Provisionsin Deadwood when they deliver the wagon safely to that trading post.

Gundren Rockseeker and Sildar Hallwinter separate from the characters, a few days before they reach Neverwinter, and ride off Eastwards. The Dwarf, Gundren Rockseeker, on his Liver Chestnut Pony and Sildar Hallwinter ridding his Gray Thoroughbred.

The characters arrive at Neverwinter, visit the Driftwood Tavern and try unsuccessfully to inspect the rooms looking for Korbus Brightjewel. They then visit the Lady Seahorse Ship and inquire about the ships travel and original port. Then the characters finally book rooms in the Beached Leviathan.

The characters find that Korbus Brightjewel does not show to the meeting, as arranged at the Driftwood Tavern. The Tavern was being watched by a single Male Human (Redbrand?) who ran away when the characters leave the Driftwood Tavern.

The characters then made their way back to the Ship, the Lady Seahorse, and asked about Korbus Brightjewel and they were told he hung out in the Moonstone Mask Festhall.

The characters then head to the Moonstone Mask Festhall, Lofty and Astrid together and Galdor following up separately.  Once inside they ask a Dwarven Female employee for Korbus Brightjewel. Galdor notices a Human in a Turban (Paid Local?) watching the 2 Halflings via a polished tankard. The Halflings then spot the Dwarven Female employee leaving the building surreptitiously. The characters follow and a chase across Neverwinter ensues.

Astrid loses sight of the Dwarven Female employee while Lofty is able to keep-up until the last minute, when he also loses the Dwarven Female employee. Lofty persuades a civilian to say if they spotted anyone running and the civilian tells Lofty that he saw the Moonstone Mask Dwarven Female employee run into the Fallen Tower Tavern.

Lofty enters the Fallen Tower Tavern and goes to the rooms on the first floor and waits for the Dwarven Female to show herself. Lofty sees that the Dwarven Female exits a room and leaves the Fallen Tower Tavern. Lofty then attempts to enter the room by using his Thieves Tools to try and pick the Lock. Not only was he in full site of the other Patrons but he alerted Korbus Brightjewel to his presence in the attempt. Lofty eventually persuades Korbus Brightjewel that he has been sent by Gundren Rockseeker to take possession of the Puzzle Box. Korbus Brightjewel is a trader from Daggerford that deals in Treasures and Items of Magic.

Who was the Single Male Human outside of the Driftwood Tavern?

Who was the Single Male Turbaned Human inside of the Moonstone Mask Festhall?

What is the Puzzle Box for and what is inside it?

What awaits the Adventurers in Deadwood?


CHAPTER TWO: GOBLIN AMBUSH & CRAGMAW HIDEOUT

The adventures set off early the next morning and make their way to Deadwood on the cart carrying the provisions for Bart Stonehill.

15 miles from Deadwood the heroes find the remains of 2 dead horses that belonged to Gundren and Sildar and as they approached, they are ambushed by some hidden Goblins. The Goblins are all dispatched and the party find tracks of Goblins and follow them back from the ambush location.

Deadwood Map - Cragmaw Hideout - (Player)
Cragmaw Hideout – (Player)

The party then come across a cave entrance flanked by dense briar thickets and what they believe to be a hidden guarded area. Astrid and Lofty swim up the steam, which runs into the cave, underwater using a straw to breath and surprise the 2 Goblins on guard and killing them instantly.

The party then move into the cave and realise that it is in complete darkness. Galan moves in first and in the first cave off the main tunnel to the right he hears the noise of several Wolves and on closer investigations sees that they are all chained to the walls and that the cave narrowed to a steep fissure at the far end. Galan retreats and the party decide to move down the tunnel.

Light is used by the party so that the 2 Halflings can see.

They come across another tunnel heading off to the left and which was choked with rubble and has steep escarpments going up to another level. Continuing down the tunnel the party then made out a rickety bridge of wood and rope crossing over the passage above them.

The party continue and then hear the sound of rushing water and they all attempt to avoid the oncoming wave, set-off by the Goblins who had been alerted to the party by the Goblin Guard on the bridge as he had spotted the light. Astrid and Galan climb up the wall to the righthand side of the rickety bridge and Lofty runs back and around to the main entrance, avoiding the wave.

While waitting Lofty feels a little light headed.

2 Goblins then attack from the righthand side of the bridge, where Astrid and Galan had climb to, and they are killed by the 2 heroes. As Lofty rushes back, Astrid and Galan move off to a large cavern where they fight with 3 more Goblins. In this chamber they see the origins of the noise, a roaring waterfall making it hard to hear clearly, 2 large pools of water, both dammed and ready used as a weapon to flush unwelcome visitors out the front door.

Beyond the cavern, to the bottom right, are a set of stairs leading up to another cavern entrance. The adventures are unsure if they should advance any further and elect to head back to the bridge.

The party cross the bridge, to the left of the main tunnel, and Astrid sneaks up the tunnel alone. Beyond Astrid finds a tunnel head off and down to the main tunnel, possibly to the choked with rubble area as it also has steep escarpments, and down to another large cavern.

The cavern is split into 2 areas, the first is lower and looks like the living area for the 7 Goblins and to the South, a 12’ foot higher level that had a Goblin and a chained Sildar Hallwinter.

The party sabotage the bridge and Astrid runs back and taunts the Goblins out in order to have then fall from the bridge. This is successful and 2 Goblins hang as they fall in between the bridge slats. 2 other Goblins are also killed.

The party then go back and finish off the remaining Goblins, but not before Sildar is killed by Yeemik who fails to persuade Astrid into killing the Bugbear leader Klarg for Sildar’s life and Yeemik kills the old soldier.

Sildar is revived and he tells the party the following.

  • The three Rockseeker brothers (Gundren, Tharden, and Nundro) recently located an entrance to the long-lost Wave Echo Cave, site of the mines of the Phandelver’s Pact. (See background of the place)
  • Klarg, the Bugbear who leads this Goblin band, had orders to waylay Gundren. Sildar heard from the Goblins that the Black Spider sent word that the Dwarf was to be brought to him. Sildar doesn’t know who or what the Black Spider is.
  • Gundren had a map showing the secret location of Wave Echo Cave, but the Goblins took it when they captured him. Sildar believes that Klarg sent the Map and the Dwarf to the chief of the Cragmaws at a place called Cragmaw Castle. Sildar doesn’t know where that might be, but he suggests someone in Deadwood might know.
  • Sildar’s contact in Deadwood is a human Wizard named Iarno Albrek. The Wizard travelled to the town 2 months ago to establish order there. After the Lords’ Alliance received no word from Iarno, Sildar decided to investigate.

Sildar is badly wounded but follows the party and tries to help as much help as he can, giving the party his hidden ‘Potion of Healing.

The party decide to head back to the fist cave and Galdor moves in and attempts to calm the 3 Wolves inside. He doses such a good job that the animals eat from his hands and then follow the Cleric through the Cargmaw Hideout.

The party decide to split-up, with Galan, his Wolves and Sildar heading back to the Pool area to provide Arrow Cover and or a distraction for the siblings to be able to execute their plan. Astrid and Lofty would climb-up the fissure, at the back of the Wolf Kennel, sneak and ambush the Bugbear and his allies.

Astrid and Lofty find that there are 3 Goblins, a Large Wolf and a Bugbear (Klarg) all waiting for someone to walk in through the main entrance to the cavern.

Klarg is tall and hulking humanoid distantly related to, but larger and stronger than, Goblins and Hobgoblins. Orange fur and despite their intimidating builds, Bugbears move with surprising stealth. They are fond of setting ambushes and flee when outmatched.

Astrid and Lofty struggle to kill Klarg, Lofty is trapped by his large frame as Astrid moves away. Galan and Sildar confront the 3 Goblin, hidden behind creates and the Glador’s 3 Wolves attack Klarg’s Wolf called Ripper. Astrid aids in attacking the Goblins next. while the Wolves make easy work of dispatching Ripper.

Lofty attempts to flee back down the fissure, landing acrobatically, but is closely followed by the now enraged Klarg. The Goblins are all dispatched and help arrives in time to aid Lucky Lofty.

Captured stores which were return to the Lionshield Coster in Deadwood. A reward of 50 gp and the friendship of Linene and her trading post company. In addition to the stolen provisions, Klarg has a treasure chest that contains 600 cp, 110 sp, 2 Potions of healing, and a Jade Statuette of a Frog with Tiny Golden Orbs for eyes (40 gp). The frog statuette is small enough to fit in a pocket or pouch.

The party take everything of value and take the carte onto Deadwood.

Sildar tells the party of the History of Wave Echo Cave:

More than five hundred years ago, clans of Dwarves and Gnomes made an agreement known as the Phandelver’s Pact, by which they would share a rich mine in a wondrous cavern known as Wave Echo Cave. In addition to its mineral wealth, the mine contained great Magical Power. Human spellcasters allied themselves with the Dwarves and Gnomes to channel and bind that energy into a great forge (called the Forge of Spells), where Magic items could be crafted. Times were good, and the nearby human town of Deadwood) prospered as well. But then disaster struck when orcs swept through the North and laid waste to all in their path.

A powerful force of Orcs reinforced by Evil Mercenary Wizards attacked Wave Echo Cave to seize its riches and magic treasures. Human Wizards fought alongside their Dwarf and Gnome allies to defend the Forge of Spells, and the ensuing spell battle destroyed much of the cavern. Few survived the cave-ins and tremors, and the location of Wave Echo Cave was lost.

For centuries, rumours of buried riches have attracted treasure seekers and opportunists to the area around Deadwood, but no one has ever succeeded in locating the lost mine. In recent years, people have resettled the area. Deadwood is now a rough-and-tumble frontier town. More important, the Rockseeker brothers, a trio of Dwarves (Tharden Rockseeker, Nundro Rockseeker and Gundren Rockseeker), have discovered the entrance to Wave Echo Cave, and they intend to reopen the mines.


CHAPTER THREE: TOWN OF DEADWOOD

STONEHILL INN (Elsa Fairfoot – Bartholomew Stonehill):

The proprietor is Bartholomew Stonehill but the Inn is run by Elsa Fairfoot, a Halfling female that originated from Waterdeep.

BARTHOLOMEW’S PROVISIONS (Bartholomew Stonehill):

The proprietor is Bartholomew Stonehill, a lean and balding human male shopkeeper of fifty years with a kindly manner. He employs a couple young clerks (Ander and Thistle) who help load and unload wagons, and who wait on customers when Bart isn’t around.

LIONSHIELD COSTER (Linene Graywind):

The master of the Deadwood post is a sharp-tongued human woman of thirty-five named Linene Graywind. She knows that bandits have raided Lionshield caravans, but she doesn’t know who is responsible.

PHANDALIN MINER’S EXCHANGE (Halia Thornton):

The Guildmaster is an ambitious and calculating human woman named Halia Thornton. In her attempts to establish the Miner’s Exchange as the closest thing the town has to a governing authority, she acts as more than a simple merchant.

She is also an agent of the Zhentarim, a powerful organization that seeks to exert secret control over the North through wealth and influence. Halia Thornton is working slowly to bring Deadwood under her control, and can become a valuable patron to the characters if they don’t cross her.

SHRINE OF LUCK (Sister Garaele):

The shrine is in the care of a scholarly acolyte named Sister Garaele, a zealous young elf who despairs of ever ridding Phandalin of the Redbrands.

Sister Garaele is a member of the Harpers, a scattered network of adventurers and spies who advocate equality and covertly oppose the abuse of power.

THE SLEEPING GIANT (Grista):

This rundown tap house is a dirty, dangerous watering hole at the end of Deadwood’s main street. It is frequented by Redbrand thugs and operated by a surly female dwarf named Grista.

TOWNMASTER’S HALL (Harbin Wester):

The current Townmaster is a male human banker named Harbin Wester, a fat, pompous old fool. Completely intimidated by the Redbrands, he claims that they’re “just a mercenary guild, and not all that much trouble, really”.

TRESENDAR MANOR (Redbrand Ruffians):

TRESURE:

The victors make it safely back to Deadwood with the provisions that they have to deliver to Bart Stonehill and those found belonging to Lionshield Coster company.

Deadwood Map - Deadwood (DM)
Map – Deadwood (DM)

The party meet Bart, a very nice and charming man, who pays for the work carried out and insists that they stay in his place called the Stonehill Inn for free. Bart is a good friend of Gundren. The adventures tell how Gundren has been taken.

Bart explains how the Sheriff retired a while ago and the only Law, in Deadwood, now was taken over by his men who now called themselves the Redbrands. After a while they became more trouble than they were worth and bully everyone now that this Glasstaff has taken over them. Bart also mentions that 2 more Rockseeker brothers, Nundro and Tharden, are camped somewhere outside town. Bart hasn’t seen them in a tenday (1 week) and expects the brothers to return “any day now” to resupply in Deadwood.

Sildar bids everyone good day and goes off to try and find his comrade Iarno Albrek and to check-in with the authorities at the Deadwood Townmaster’s Hall.

Lofty discovers that the barmaid, at the Stonehill Inn, is his first and true love, Elsa Fairfoot.

Galdor finds a small temple to his deity, Tymora Goddess of Good Luck, called the Shrine of Luck.

Astrid and Lofty return the goods found in the Cargmaw Hideout, to the Lionshield Coster Company of Deadwood and they meet Linene Graywind and she thanks the adventures, pays them 50 gp for the returns of her goods and offers her Weapons and Armour service to the party if they ever need to use it.

The next day the party have a quick look around town and Galdor insists that they visit the Shrine of Luck in Deadwood. Here the party meet Sister Garaele, a scholarly acolyte of Tymora the goddess of luck and good fortune.

As they walk into her small dwelling, they are meet with a strange scene. Sister Garaele is laying hands on a dead body and attempting to commune with it. She appears frustrated and pained that it does not work.

Sister Garaele believes that her power to Speak with the dead has been blocked by Magic and she knows that a Banshee, named Agatha, is to blame. Her poor soul must be set free in order for her to be able to pass over and for Sister Garaele to regain her power of communion with her Deity. The team just need to have Agatha answer a question regarding a spellbook. Sister Garaele had sought out Agatha in her lair, but the poor creature did not appear for her.

Sister Garaele desires the party to bring Agatha a suitable gift, a Jewelled Silver Comb, and persuade the Banshee to tell what she knows about the location of a spellbook belonging to a Legendary Mage named Bowgentle. For this they would have her thanks and she would provide 2 Potions of Darkvision and 1 Potion of Greater Healing.


CHAPTER FOUR: CRAGMAW CASTLE RECONNOITER

Sildar visits the party the following morning and suggests that Astrid accompany him back to the ambush area to see if they can find clues as to where Cargmaw Castle maybe or even find more Goblin’s that may tell them where Cargmaw Castle was or follow back there. Sildar tells the adventurers that Harbin Wester, the current Townmaster is a fat, pompous old fool. He is completely intimidated by the Redbrands and he claims that they’re “just a mercenary guild, and not all that much trouble, really”. Unless Sildar has grounds in intervene, Harbin Wester is the Law in this one-horse town.  Sildar and Astrid both do not trust the man but the Law is the Law.

Sildar and Astrid visit the Townmaster’s Hall and commandeer Harbin Wester’s horse and then Bart

Sildar and Astrid commandeer Harbin Wester’s horse from the Townmaster’s Hall and one from Bart, who was kind enough to offer his, and then ride out to the ambush spot. They wait and see nothing until it gets dark and that’s when Astrid hears, as she cannot see in the dark, movement in the area of the dead horses.

The noise moves away in the direction of the Cargmaw Hideout and Astrid gets to see the creatures in the moonlight. It had dark orange or red-orange skin, and hair ranging from dark red-brown to dark Gray. Yellow or dark brown eyes peered out beneath their beetling brows, and their wide mouths sport sharp and yellowed teeth. It was a male Hobgoblin which might have a large blue or red nose, which symbolizes virility and power among Goblinkin.

Sildar and Astrid follow the tracks, which eventually head back to the Cragmaw Hideout and the Hobgoblins appear to be tracking and they were carrying only equipment. Sildar and Astrid wait for the Hobgoblin Trackers to exit the cave and kill them. The Hobgoblins must have come from a nearby camp or fixed encampment. Astrid finds a Wanted poster for the 2 Halflings but not Galdor.

Sildar and Astrid then wait for daybreak and follow the tracks of the Hobgoblins, from the ambush spot, back to their origins at Cragmaw Castle, some 20′ miles from the ambush spot and 30′ miles from Deadwood.

Astrid stalks around the Cragmaw Castle and discovers the following:


CRAGMAW CASTLE:

Cragmaw Castle is not a Goblin construction, nor is that the structure’s original name. The stronghold consists of seven overlapping towers; however, its upper levels have long since collapsed to heaps of crumbling masonry. Only the ground floor is still sound enough to be habitable.

General Features: The centuries have not been kind to Cragmaw Castle. The Goblins have shored up the weakest areas beneath its falling towers with crude timbers, but it’s only a matter of time before the structure collapses completely.

Light: A small amount of natural light filters through the arrow slits around the Castle. During the day, this provides Dim Light in most areas. At night, all areas will be Dark.

Walls: Exterior walls and load-bearing interior walls are 5’ feet thick, with 3’ feet of mortared fill sandwiched between 1’ foot thick courses of hard stone blocks.

Arrow slits: In the castle walls are 10’ feet above the outside ground level, 4’ feet above the interior floor level, 8’’ inches wide, and 4’ feet high. A creature on one side of an arrow slit gains Three-Quarters Cover against attacks from the other side (see “Cover” in the rulebook).Castle Entrance: The Castle consists of seven crumbling towers of different sizes and heights, but the upper stories are all in varying states of collapse. A short flight of stone steps leads up to a terrace which are in front of the main entryway of Cragmaw Castle. Past the wreckage of a pair of sundered doors lies a shadowed hall. Round towers loom over the entranceway, with dark arrow slits looking down on the terrace.

Deadwood Map - Cragmaw Castle
Cragmaw Castle – Near Deadwood

CHAPTER FIVE: LOOKING FOR AGATHA THE BANSHEE

While Astrid and Sildar head-off looking for Cargmaw Castle, the location of Gundren and the Map to the Wave Echo Cave, Lofty and Galdor decide to find Agatha and ride out of Deadwood together.

Lofty and Galdor go to the Townmaster’s Hall and spot a notice outside:

“REWARD—Orcs near Wyvern Tor! Those of a mind to face the orc menace should inquire within.”

Lofty enters and enquire about the Orcs.

The Deadwood Townmaster’s assistant is very rude and does not think much of the Rogue or his capacity to complete the Orc bounty.

TRIBOAR TRAIL

Deadwood lies in a part of the North known as “the Triboar Trail,” “the Triboar Cut-off,” or “the Cony Gap.” This stretch of foothills and roiling, sparsely wooded plains extends between the Sword Mountains to the south and Neverwinter Wood to the north.

The area gains its name from an old trail that runs from the distant town of Triboar to the east, winding westward about one hundred miles through the abandoned village of Conyberry, then running north of Deadwood on its way to the High Road along the coast.

Lofty and Galdor head North out of Deadwood and at night hear noises in the dark which turn out to be an Undead Dwarf. Lofty and Galdor follow the creature and end-up at the Old Owl Well, which appears to be a ruined Watchtower.

Here there are many Zombies all either working on repairing the walls and Tower or removing items from within the Tower itself. Lofty and Galdor head down to investigate and they see a figure commanding the creatures to do his bidding.

Kost is a stout, red-robed figure with sallow skin, a shaved scalp, and a black tattoo on his forehead.

One of the Zombies is a Dwarf and on closer inspection turns out to be Tharden, one of Gundren’s brothers. Why was he killed and Who killed him?

The Red Wizard, Kost, explains he is looking for trinkets and a Spellbook and if Lofty and Galdor help he would reward them for their efforts. Coincidently, it was also the location of Bowgentle’s Spellbook.

Lofty and Galdor head off to deal with Agatha and eventually find her home made of a dome of woven branches. After much parlay, Lofty figures that Agatha has lost her mind and if it wasn’t for his charms and the Jewelled Silver Comb, thing would have gone every badly for the 2 Heroes.

Agatha tells them that she traded the book to a Necromancer named Tsernoth from the city of Iriaebor more than a hundred years ago. She does not know what became of the book afterward. She is at peace now and leaves this mortal world.

Lofty and Galdor ride back to the Old Owl Well and claim their prize from the Red Wizard Kost. Lofty is given a Ring of Protection for his help. Lofty and Galdor take Tharden’s body back to Deadwood so that Sister Garaele can talk to the dead.

As the 2 lone adventurers are leaving the Old Owl Wellin the late evening, Lofty notices an extremely well-hidden figure shrouded in black in the trees some distance from the two of them. The figure appears to sense that they had been spotted and they disappear among the trees. Lofty attempts to track the mysterious spy, successfully tracks the assailant, and finds the tracks are of a slight man or a woman and very light of foot. They eventually mount a horse and depart in the direction of Deadwood.

Lofty chooses not to eat that evening, as his stomach was upset and he had a slight head pain.


CHAPTER SIX: BACK TO DEADWOOD

Lofty and Galdor ride back to Deadwood to take the body of Tharden to Sister Garaele. They discover that Astrid had returned and that she had left the Stonehill Inn and went to check on The Sleeping Giant tap house, the hangout for the Redbrands.

Lofty and Galdor follow after Astrid accross Deadwood.

Meanwhile, Astrid had walked, cross-country, to the rear of the Sleeping Giant Tap House, know hangout for the Redbrands, to see if she could spot anything of interest. After a short while, having seen a few Redbrands enter the premisses passed the 2 Redbrands on the door, 3 Redbrands bring out a civilian to the rear of the Inn and begin roughing them up. Astrid, unable to see a anyone get away with bullying, decides to jump-in.

After the initial scuffle, more Redbrands come out of the Inn after they hear a cry from the third Redbrand and Astrid found herself surrounded and outnumbered. It was at that time that a lone figure, swathed in black threw 2 Darts at the Redbrands from a nearby rooftop and the 2 of the Redbrands fall. Astrid deals with another of Redbrand as the last one runs away.

Lofty and Galdor catch the end of the fight and see the appearance of the black clad figure.

She introduces herself as Astraea and Astrid thanks her for her help. Astraea appears to know of Astrid, her Brother Lofty and their companion Galdor. She says that she can help find their friend Gundren and all she asks for is the Puzzle Box which one of them has on their possession. The party declines her offer and she leaves disappearing into the darkness.

The full team head back to the Stonehill Inn and rest, everyone that is apart from Lofty who has a late-night encounter with his old love, Elsa Fairfoot. The next day the party visit Sister Garaele as she communes with the dead body of Tharden. The party have 3 questions:

  1. Can you see who killed you?
    1. Yes, it was a Giant Spider and it bit me
  2. Is the Black Spider there?
    1. Yes, there is a tall black hooded figure, pale skinned and whom they call the Black Spider.
  3. Was it the Black Spider that commanded your death?
    1. No, I was looking at his face and he did not command the dark creature

Sister Garaele notices after preparing the body of Tharden that his boot radiate Magic. The Boots of Striding and Springing are given to the party, until Gundren and Nundro decide what to do with them, and they are worn by Leif ‘Lofty’ Bilberry.

While you wear these boots, your walking speed becomes 30′ feet, unless your walking speed is higher, and your speed isn’t reduced if you are encumbered or wearing heavy armor. In addition, you can jump three times the normal distance, though you can’t jump farther than your remaining movement would allow.

The party walk over to the Townmaster’s Hall and eventually head back to the Stonehill Inn. There Lofty notices that Elsa Fairfoot is not working and that is when her finds out that she is to be married in the next few days but that she had not been in so far today. Alarm bells ring and the party head off to Elsa Fairfoot’s house. There they find signs of a struggle and track leading off towards the rear of the Sleeping Giant and towards Tresendar Manor.

I knew it said Astrid.

The party head directly to the ruins of Tresendar Manor.

Deadwood Map - Redbrand Hideout (Player)
Redbrand Hideout (Player)

The party find the Manor in a ruined state but manage to find a door, behind which are stairs leading down. Fresh tracks can be seen all around this area. The party heads down quietly and discover a used basement with a cistern of rain water.

In the first chamber there are 2 doors leading off the room West and North as well as barrels and creates. The adventurers decide to head off Northwards. In the adjacent corridor Lofty, using his catlike Dexterity, manages to avoid falling down a hidden Pit Trap making a deafening noise as it falls.

At the end of the corridor are 2 large copper plated doors and as the party enter the room, having listened for foes within, to find a large chamber containing 3 Large Stone Sarcophagi and 2 other closed doors to the North and East. The party, discovering that the door was locked, wait for Lofty to pick the well-maintained lock and the Rogue is successful.

Opening the door Astrid can see a short corridor with a thick Oak Door banded with Iron. Once again Lofty uses his Thieves Tools and picks the door and discovers an Armoury behind it. The Armoury contained many new weapons and Redbrand cloaks. Astrid is convinced that there must be a secret door in this corridor and so the party check but all fail to successfully find anything, not even tracks.

The party then head back to the Tresendar Crypt and realise that they had overlooked the door to the East. Astrid heads over to the door and when she reaches it all 3 Sarcophagi lids are pushed open and 3 Skeletons emerge. A fight begins and the party manage to defeat the 3 Skeletons while only taking minimal damage. The party do not check the sarcophagi and listen at the eastern door.

Behind the door they hear the noises of whimpering and movement. Astrid attempts to open the door and a warning is called out from the room. Redbrands were in the chamber and they had Elsa Fairfoot and another 2 women and a girl. Astrid attempts to strike a deal with the Redbrands and they kill one of the hostages to show they mean business.

The party strike up a plan to have Lofty getup on Astrid’s shoulders, place one of the new Redbrand cloaks on, Lofty to cast ‘Disguise Self’, try and persuade the Redbrand guards to open the door and then they would storm the room.

Having persuaded the Redbrand Jailers to open the door the 2 Halflings enter to they find that the room beyond were 2 Cells and found 2 Redbrands, one dead woman, Elsa Fairfoot and a woman with her child (Mirna Dendrar and eighteen-year-old Nilsa). One of the Guards is killed whilst the second makes a break for it and falls down the pit trap.

Elsa Fairfoot, who looks to have been beaten, explains how they took her as Lofty and his friends were sticking their nose where it shouldn’t be. While Mirna Dendrar explains how her husband had disappeared soon after criticising the Redbrands and she and her daughter were taken that night. Also, in the holding area in between the cells a heap of discarded clothing is piled carelessly against the far wall. The party believe this could be the remains of other townsfolk that were sold, or killed for sacrifice Astrid offers.

The party decide to head back to town and check the basement before they escort the prisoners out. Back in the Cellar with the cistern the torch above the door out had gone out, or put out, and the party were suspicious.

Another ambush as several Redbrands had moved the barrels and crates, to make barriers, and they started firing arrows at the party. 2 Redbrands to the North-West of the basement and in front of the second door, not investigated by the party, are killed. To the South-West 2 more Redbrands fight and whilst one is killed the seconds escapes through a secret door in the South-West corner. Astrid follows behind and discovers a dark large natural cavern, a Crevasse too dark for her Halfling eyes and so she returns to the party.

The Adventures, and the prisoners, all exit and return to the Deadwood Stonehill Inn were they meet with Sildar to discuss their findings.

Elsa Fairfoot gives Lofty back his half of a, heart shaped, love locket. It later turns out that it was Magical Healing Amulet and, if worn next to the skin, it would revive a dead person (0 hit points) and they would recoup 10 hit points.


CHAPTER SEVEN: RETURN TO TRESENDAR MANOR

The adventurers return to the Stone Hill Inn, wake Sildar Hallwinter and then they return to the Townmaster’s Hall to quiz Harbin Wester.

They are accompanied by Sildar Hallwinter, a battered and bruised Elsa and Mirna Dendrar and her eighteen-year-old Nilsa. Elsa told Lofty that A few days ago, the Redbrands murdered Mirna’s husband, Thel, for defying them.

The Adventurers demand to see Harbin Wester and the clerk wakes the Townmaster.  Harbin Wester denies any wrong doing or involvement with deaths or other non-white collar crimes. Astrid locks Harbin Wester in the cells below the Townmaster’s Hall.

Galdor had called for Sister Garaele and she tended to the patients and stayed with Sildar Hallwinter. Before the adventurers leave Sister Garaele suggested that they go and speak with Halia Thornton, owner of the Miner’s Exchange, as she had no love for the Redbrands and could help with knowledge of other possible ways into the Redbrand Hideout.

The Adventurers are confronted by well-armed guards at the Miner’s Exchange and Lofty persuades then to wake Halia Thornton. Halia Thornton meets with the party and explains they might wish to visit the woods under the cliff upon which Tresendar Manor was built.

The Adventurers make their way to the woods followed by 2 of Halia Thornton’s guards, who then go back once they had entered the wood.

Lofty and Astrid each take their ‘Potion of Darkvision’.

Astrid is able to pick-up the sign of tracks which leads to a hidden tunnel entrance at the base of the hill.

Astrid: “I can see that there are various tracks of large booted humanoids and many barefooted humans. But no barefoot tracks head towards the tunnel entrance.”

The adventurers move down a tunnel 5’ feet by 100’ feet long and eventually emerge under Tresendar Manor. The Manor seems to have suffered damage from a sinkhole of crack in the earth and a 20’ foot deep crevasse runs north to south.

Lofty moves in first, stealthily moving into the Manors basement. With his ‘Darkvision’, Lofty can see various tunnels heading off East and west, an old makeshift bridge over the crevasse and a large stalagmite.

Lofty then hears a voice in his head of a slightly crazed individual who seems to know of his darkest secret. The creature offers to help Lofty if they enter into an agreement and payments made. Lofty ignores the voice and goes back to inform Astrid and Galdor.

Nothic
Nothic

Astrid is also probed and services are once again offered in return for being fed. Astrid wants no part in the bargain. The Monk also notices that the south-eastern corridor leads to the Secret Door and onto the Cellar room with the cistern.

Galdor cast a Spell to boost the adventurer’s resistance, they jump over the bridge and they head to the Secret Door. Here Astrid’s keen senses smell out a Bugbear and could also hear the sound of others behind the Secret Door and so Galdor casts his ‘Silence’ spell and that allows Astrid to spike the Secret Door shut without being heard.

The party then head back and choose to head north. As they move onwards, they pass another bridge crossing the crevasse and spot a room filled with barrels and crates.

Astrid: “Lofty check that corner for a Secret Door.”

Astrid and Galdor keep guard, whilst Lofty begins to look for and finds a Secret Door. The Rogue listens at the door but can hear nothing beyond.

Lofty: “The coast is clear.”

Lofty quietly opens the door and realises that he is in the corridor by the Armory and Slave Pens.

The team head South, crossing the Crevasse, and move stealthily West down a 5’ foot corridor. Galdor still carrying the arrow with ‘Silence’ cast upon it and behind Astrid and Lofty. The party then head West over the second bridge and find stairs leading down. Astrid moves ahead without being stealthy and at the bottom of the stairs she find a Redbrand guard staring up at her. Luckily, the arrow with ‘Silence’ means the fight is not initially heard but the Redbrand guard opens the door to his South and not the door to his North.

Another battle begins with 2 Bugbears coming from the Southern room, 1 stands by the doors, 2 rush to fight the heroes and 2, drunk, Redbrands also exit the room. The Bugbear is dispatched quickly by Astrid and Galan, who had to fire his arrow with ‘Silence’ as it was loaded on the bow. Astrid looks into the Southern room beyond and finds it empty and looks to be a guard’s common room. Astrid remembers these men from the fight behind the Sleeping Giant.

Astrid then checks the door and room to the North and finds what appears to be a Wizard’s Workshop. Under one of the many tables is a Rat looking up at the Monk. Astrid immediately throws a Dart at the Rat and it is killed instantly but not as a normal Rat as it disappears, leaving behind no physical form.

Astrid believes she had killed the Wizard Glasstaff and so does not check the room or the door on the East wall of this Wizard’s workshop.

Meanwhile, Lofty is attacked by the Nothic which had been hiding under the bridge and the Rogue is hit by its Rotting Gaze. More Redbrands can be heard coming from the Common Room up from the South.

The feeling of the Rotting Gaze is not so unpleasant Lofty thinks before he is shcked back into reality.

Astrid rushes to aid her brother and catches, out of the corner of her eye, a Bugbear moving into the Northern room closing the door behind itself.

The Nothic is killed by the party and they turn South to deal with the remain Redbrands. Before the party engage with them the sound of a door closing is heard from the South-East area, had Obadiah Hakeswill escaped again?

The Redbrands are confronted by Astrid and Galdor whilst Lofty moves back North into the storage area, spots a secret door on the Western wall as it had been left slightly open and here Lofty attempts to hide but is spotted by the hidden Bugbear that attack the Rogue. Lofty uses his Rogue skills and manages to run away after being hit by a Javelin. The party come to the aid of Lofty and the final Bugbear is killed.

The party search the area and find the following:

Armoury = 12 Spears, 6 Shortswords, 4 Longswords, 6 Light Crossbows, 8 Quivers holding 20 Crossbow Bolts each and 12 Red Cloaks

Storeroom = 30 Beaver Pelts (2 gp each)

Common Room = The wealth in the room is all on the table, having been bet in the game. (Knocking over the table or mixing up all the enemies’ loot is a great way to distract them for a short time.) The total amounts to 75 cp, 55 sp, 22 ep, 15 gp, and a Gold Earring Set with a Tiny Ruby (30 gp).

One of the coins found by Astrid stands out, as it has a pie on one side, and after Galdor cast ‘Detect Magic’ on the coin it was found to be a ‘Medal of the Meat Pie’.

You gain 2d4 + 2 temporary hit points when you use an action to press this medal to your mouth. Once this property has been used, it can’t be used again, and the medal becomes non-magical.
While magical, this medal is slightly warm to the touch (as if it’s fresh from the oven) and smells faintly of baked pie crust.

The party head to the South of the Common Room and find a closed door to the South which Astrid opens. Behind the door is a Goblin and her sudden appearance causes the Goblin to faint. Astrid kills the fainted Goblin and gone is any information the Droop may have given the party.

Guard Barracks = Mosk the Bugbear leader killed by Galan has a Belt Pouch containing 33 sp and wears an Eye Patch made of black leather set with Semiprecious Stones (50 gp).

Crevasse = A chest with 160 sp, 120 gp, 5 Malachite Gems (15 gp each), 2 Potions of Greater Healing, and a Scroll of Augury.

+1 Shortsword in a Silver-Chased Scabbard. The sword is inscribed with the name “Talon,” and its hilt is worked in the shape of a bird of prey with outspread wings. It once belonged to a great knight named Aldith Tresendar, known as the Black Hawk.

The party finally head back to the Wizard’s Workshop after realising that the noise of the door closing earlier was Obadiah Hakeswill leaving via the secret door to the Cellar. The party deduce that the Rat was Iarno Glasstaff’s Familiar and the Wizard could see through its eyes.

Wizard’s Workshop = Tome written in Dwarvish. The journal of an adventurer named Urmon, describes the History of the Lost Mine of Phandelver and the Forge of Spells. In addition, Urmon records that a magic mace named Lightbringer was commissioned by priests of Lathander.

3 Small Bottles hold rare reagents: Mercury, Dragon Bile, And Powdered Nightshade. These are worth at least 25 gp each to an Apothecary or Alchemist.

The party go through the door to the East and enter Glasstaff’s Quarters. Various papers and notes are stacked neatly on the desk, mostly consisting of Iarno’s written orders to apothecaries and alchemists in nearby settlements for more materials for his workshop. The party also find a letter signed with the Black Spider’s symbol.

Also among the Wizards papers are a note with the flowing written in Glasstaff’s handwriting:

  • The Redbrands are going to get dominion over Deadwood.
  • The Bandits (Orcs) of Wyvern Tor will get money and riches from the mines.
  • The Cragmaw Goblins have been assured sovereignty, in that region, and that their castle will be repaired.
  • The Black Spider will own the Forge of Spell in the Wave Echo Cave.

Glasstaff’s Quarters = An Unlocked Wooden Chest holding the best pickings of the Redbrands’ loot over the last two months. It contains 180 sp, 130 gp, and a silk pouch containing 5 carnelians (10 gp each), 2 peridots (15 gp each), and 1 pearl (100 gp). It also contains 1 Scroll of Charm Person.

In Glasstaff’s Quarters there is also a secret door which was slightly ajar and lead to stairs going up and to the Secret Door which the Bugbear, which threw a Javelin at Lofty, was hiding behind.


CHAPTER EIGHT: FINDING GLASSTAFF UNDER DEADWOOD

Astrid decides to go out through and down the tunnel that they initially entered and back to the main way down to the Cellar looking for Glasstaff. Whilst Lofty and Galdor followed the way taken by Glasstaff.

Astrid makes her way out of the tunnel, climbed up the Deadwood hill and made her way to the door down all whist looking intensely for Glasstaff. Astrid finds nothing and goes to the door to listen and hears the sound of battle behind it.

The fighting was Lofty and Galdor who were being attacked by Redbrands and Obadiah Hakeswill. Astrid opens the door and rushes in to aid her brother and brother-in-arms. This is when the ‘Invisible’ Glasstaff took the opportunity to ‘Fireball’ everything in the Cellar. All die except for Lofty and Obadiah Hakeswill.

Obadiah Hakeswill take his leave, while still on fire, via the Secret Door to the Cavern and out. Lofty had the hard choice of saving his sister and Galdor or following Obadiah Hakeswill. Obadiah Hakeswill would have to wait for another day.

Lofty rushes over to Galdor and pours a ‘Potion of Greater Healing’ down his throat. Galdor then is able to cast a ‘Cure Wounds’ on Astrid. Astrid then goes to attack Glasstaff aided by Galdor and Lofty. Seeing that he is out matched, and having been given a thorough bashing, Glasstaff surrenders and insists he is taken to Sildar for a proper trial.

The adventurers find the wet footprints of someone who had been searching the cistern and it turned out that it was Glasstaff retriving his go bag which contained a ‘Potion of Healing’ and ‘Invisiblity’, 50 gp and a used Scroll which had ‘Fireball’.

Glasstaff to locked-up in the Deadwood Townmaster’s Hall, in the small but serviceable jail in the cellar. Harbin Wester is also jailed for his part too.

Glasstaff = ’Magic Staff’ and a ‘Potion of Invisibility’.


CHAPTER NINE: ORC HUNT FROM DEADWOOD

The Adventurers stop at an abandoned estate and are attacked by Ghouls.

Lofty feels sorry for the poor creatures.

The party then decide to eliminate the Orc threat at Wyvern Tor. The adventures travel some 30 miles, from Deadwood, along the Triboar Trail and 30 miles across country to Wyvern Tor. Once the party had reached the area of Wyvern Tor, the crag being a prominent landmark in the rugged hills Northeast of the Sword Mountains and is easily visible from twenty miles away, they spent the best part of the day looking for the Orc encampment and they eventually find it in the late afternoon after Astrid had spotted light smoke.

The party eventually find a walled building and tower complex which is guards by patrolling Orcs (x2), Orcs on the tower (x3) and the sound of others within the complex too.

Lofty is tasked with taking the ’Potion of Invisibility’, stalking and studying the defences of the complex and its layout.

Lofty checks half of the area around the complex before climbing the walls and finds 3 hidden, but poorly disguised Pit Traps. Lofty also notes the time taken for the patrol to compete a circle of the complex.

Within the complex Lofty can see that there is one small boarded-up building holding a large chained humanoid creature that the Rogue could not get a clear view of.

A large, fairly empty, 2 story building used for sleeping and eating by the Orcs. Lofty enters via the roof windows and finds more Orcs (x2) eating and preparing food. Back on the roof of the large building Lofty can see that in front of the 4-storey tower are 2 Large Orc guards.

Lofty then makes his way down to the courtyard and proceeded to climb the tower hoping to be able to see and enter through one of the windows. The ground floor is well kept and hold Orc Guards (x2) who looked like the others and so the 2 Larger Orc Guards appeared to be from another clan?

The first floor is a reception room furnished with rugs and a seating area.

The second floor was a war room and has maps, a large table, plunder and 2 formidable Orcs talking to each other in a language unknow to the Halfling Rogue.

The third floor is the personal chamber of the Orc leader with a plush bed and all the trappings. Banditry is very profitable they stand to earn more from their treaty with the Black Spider.

The fourth floor was a guard room containing cots, weapons, crates and boxes.

The roof was occupied by more Orcs (x3) all with Longbows.

Lofty then goes back to Galdor and Astrid to tell them of her findings. The party want to know more about the area and these other Orcs, so Lofty returns to the tower to spy on the Orc leader and his Large Orc Visitor. The party consider setting fire in the roof of the Orc build to distract the Orcs.

Lofty finds a third hidden Pit Trap on his way over the wall and suspects that they will be found close to vulnerable areas of the perimeter. Then the Rogue makes his way along the wall and spots the food being taken to the tower, for the guest the Rogue suspects. Lofty deftly climbs the tower wall once more using the windows as points of accent and to glance inside.

Unfortunately, Lofty is unable to understand the Orc conversation but does pick-up the odd common word or two. (Bloodgate Keep – Daggerford – Red Wizards of Thay – Duergar – Runedardath) Lofty’s keen eyes are also able to pick out a mark on the fine new weaponry carried by the Large Orc. The Rogue also see how the guest hands the Orc leader a box which he opens to reveal a pair of Metal, Engraved Gauntlets.

Item - Firehammer Hold
Deadwood – Firehammer Hold

Lofty returns to the party and they decide to wait for the Large Orc and his 2 guards to leave the complex and then they could deal with them separately. Unfortunately, as it was dark and the Orcs are use to running, the party lost the trail of the Large Orcs who head out to the South-East.

What Do We Do Next???


CHAPTER TEN: ORC EYE OF GRUUMSH

The party elect to return to Wyvern Tor to deal with the band of Orcs. Once back at Wyvern Tor Lofty came up with a plan to have himself infiltrate the Tower, recover any important information or items of interest, have Astrid and Galdor eliminate the 2 patrolling Orcs, then have the 2 join Lofty in the complex to deal with the 10 Orcs and the Cleric of the Orc band.

Lofty stealthily moves towards the Orc complex, waiting for the 2 patrolling Orcs to pass him by, and climbs the front face of the Tower. Lofty finds that the front facing windows are all bared but provide cover from any Orcs within the courtyard. Staying close to the corner, Lofty is able to ‘Invisibly’ and stealthily climb up pass the windows of each floor and also had a sight of the inner courtyard. Lofty can see that there are 2 Orcs by the main gate, one appears to be sleeping and the second was nursing a wine skin.

Lofty is unable to see into the ‘Entry Hall’, as it was below the wall line, but looks into the First-Floor and sees that the ‘Reception Room’ is in the same state as when he looked inside previously and so Lofty continues to climb. Looking through the Second-Floor window Lofty is unable to peer past the darkness of the room. From his memory this was the ‘War Room’ which had a big table with Papers, Maps, Etc.

With finding the Orc Cleric Leader a priority Loft continues to climb up to the next floor.

Meanwhile, the 2 patrolling Orcs continue their circuit of the complex, followed by Astrid and Galdor Stealthily creeping-up behind them as a safe distance.

Lofty reaches the Third-Floor and finds the Orc Cleric, out for the count on his cot and snoring away. Lofty looking inside the chamber and has a clearer view as there is a brazier with a few hot coals burning next to the Orc Cleric cot. There is no one else in the room and the Rogue can make out several Chests, a table with papers and scrolls on it and that the 2 trap doors are both closed but not bared.

Lofty, wanting to take full advantage of his ‘Invisibility’ Potion, decides to continue to the Forth-Floor to investigate the other Orc guards posted on the Towers top. In the chamber at the top of the Tower, the courageous Halfling realises that all 3 Orc guards are asleep in their cots. Light from the moonlight above allows Lofty to see in and deduce that they have left the trapdoor to the roof slightly open.

Lofty then hatches a plan to carry out the following:

  1. Lock or block the trapdoor to the roof, and so preventing ariel cover and as a delay tactic.
  2. Enter the Orc Cleric’s chamber and lock the trapdoors to both the Second-Floor and up to the Forth-Floor and as a delay tactic for reinforcements.
  3. Search the chamber.
  4. Use his 1,000 ball bearings to make the floor of the Orc Cleric’s room hard to walk on.
  5. Use the Cantrip ‘Message’ to communicate with Astrid and co-ordinate their attacks.
  6. Finally, sit in the window, furthest from the Orc Cleric, Surprise him, Fire His Bow, cast ‘Magic Missile’ on him and hope he falls and lands Prone from the 1,000 ball bearings.

Galdor casts ‘Silence’ on one of his arrows and Astrid tossed a Gold Coin near to their hiding place in order to distract the 2 patrolling Orcs. Lofty and Galdor successfully Surprise the 2 Orcs, Astrid manages to dispatch her Orc in under 6 seconds, while Galdor has makes more work of it even using his Longsword twohanded. The ‘Silence’ on the 2 Heroes covers the screams of their victims.

Lofty, who is now visible having cast ‘Message’ casts it again to tell Astrid and Galdor to approach the complex wall but to avoid the Pit Traps and the building with the large humanoid creature. The Astrid and Galdor make it to the wall and wait for Lofty to cause havoc within the Tower.

Lofty bars the Trapdoor on the roof.

Lofty climbs around to the courtyard side of the Tower and enters the Orc Cleric’s chamber. Inside Lofty finds the flowing while he deftly moves about:

  • The Dwarven Belt, worn by the Orc Cleric and given to him by the Visiting Orc Fighter. An exquisitely well-made thick leather belt with three straps across and a square runic carving on the sides and the face of a Dwarf as the buckle.
  • A Holy Symbol of an Orc Eye of Gruumsh. Lofty believes it is from Gruumsh, the mightiest of the orc deities and their creator, and he has it in his backpack now.
  • 3, possibly, Magical Scrolls which he found on the Orc Cleric’s desk.
  • 3 Chests, one with Coins and Gems, taken by Lofty, and the Other 2 with valuable non-treasure items.
  • Various old valuable books, none of importance, that also appear to be bounty from their Bandit Raids.
  • The Orc Cleric’s Ring Mail Armour and Spear, which Lofty leaves.

Lofty bars the trapdoor to the Forth-Floor and Second-Floor and then uses the Orc Cleric of Gruumsh garments to gently spread-out the 1,000 ball bearings. Lofty make a sound, by dropping a single ball bearing, but the Orc Cleric of Gruumsh is too intoxicated to notice.

Lofty then begins his first assassination. First the Rogue fires his Shortbow and strikes the Orc Cleric of Gruumsh straight in the neck, having Surprise the Orc Cleric of Gruumsh the Rogue calmly casts ‘Magic Missile’ at him too. The following action is that of the Cleric of Gruumsh who first grabs for his Holy Symbol, which is in the possession of Lofty, and when finding it not around his neck rushes for the Rogue perched on the windowsill and fails to stay on his feet and land prone. Lofty while hearing the sound of banging on the trapdoor above him, fires his Shortbow and kills the Orc.

At the sound of the commotion from the Tower, Galdor and Astrid climb the wall of the complex and approach the 2 sleeping guards at the main gate and as Galdor is carrying the ‘Silence’ arrow, they are both unable to callout for aid and the 3 Orc’s inside the Large building also hear nothing.

Lofty casts ‘Sleep’ on the 2 guards and put one of the two to sleep.

Astrid and Galdor kill their respective Orc Guards, Astrid’s Orc was under the effect of Lofty’s ‘Sleep’ Spell. 


CHAPTER ELEVEN: FROM WYVERN TOR TO DEADWOOD

Lofty felt that sick, gut-churning sensation once more, an ever-present reminder of how high up he stood on the Tower’s edge. The feeling gnawed at him as if he hadn’t eaten for days, or weeks even. It had all started soon after leaving Neverwinter. Steeling himself, Lofty glanced below, where the battle raged on.

Galdor, the Elven cleric, was locked in fierce combat with an orc, his blade flashing under the grim sky. Astrid, the nimble monk, took advantage of her temporary freedom from battle and darted towards the building used by the orcs as living quarters. Lofty, ever vigilant, maintained his watch atop the Tower, his keen eyes scanning the scene below.

The noise of orcish voices reached his ears as they smashed through the trap door to the chamber of Grimish, the fearsome cleric of the Eye of Gruumsh. The orcs’ guttural cries filled the air, and Lofty readied his flask of oil with a rag wick, prepared to rain fire upon them if needed.

Galdor quickly dispatched his orc adversary, drawing his longbow with practiced ease. Astrid, peeking into the orc quarters, spied three orcs gathered around a table, listening intently to a larger, more commanding figure. Lofty’s ears caught the sound of chopping as one of the orcs within the Tower began to smash the trap door leading to the roof.

Near the southwest corner of the courtyard, Galdor kept his distance, an arrow imbued with the spell of Silence nocked and ready, careful not to interfere with Astrid’s reconnaissance. The door to the Tower burst open, and an armoured orc, wielding javelins and a Greataxe, charged at Galdor. The elf met the onslaught with his longsword, and the song of steel rang out once more.

Astrid crouched behind crates and barrels, a shadow among shadows. Two orcs, armed and armoured, emerged from the quarters and made their way into the Tower, oblivious to the halfling monk. Hot on their heels was Brughor Axe-Biter, the commander of the orc band of Wyvern Tor.

Lofty waited for Glador’s signal, then loosed an arrow from his shortbow, striking an orc with precision. Glador’s blade found its mark, felling another orc, though not before one managed to land a blow on the elf cleric’s forearm.

Astrid sprang from her hiding spot, aiming to take Brughor by surprise. The orc commander, however, was not so easily fooled. They clashed, weapons biting into flesh. Astrid, calling upon her training, unleashed a flurry of blows, her strikes swift and sure. Brughor staggered under the assault, but still, he fought on.

Above, the trap door gave way, and Lofty hurled his flaming flask into the lower floor. Flames whooshed up, and the panicked cries of orcs filled the air. Lofty quickly hid himself among the Tower’s crenelations as the orcs rushed to the roof. Failing to spot the hidden halfling, they peered over the edge, oblivious to his presence.

Galdor, his last orc opponent defeated, sprinted to Astrid’s aid. The monk’s relentless attacks finally overcame Brughor’s defences. The orc commander fell beneath her furious blows.

Lofty, hearing the trap door splinter, descended swiftly, slipping through an unbarred window into Grimish’s chamber on the third floor. The orcs above had little time before the roof would be fully aflame. He called out to Astrid in Halfling, urgently requesting her aid on the first floor.

As Lofty turned, an orc hurled a javelin at him. The projectile missed, and Lofty, with a mocking bow, scampered down the stairs. One of the orcs from the quarters dashed out of the Tower, a large sack over his shoulder, and fled into the night.

From his perch, Lofty spotted the fleeing orc and called down to Galdor to give chase. Astrid intercepted the orcs on the stairs, her rapid strikes keeping them at bay. Lofty, his shortbow ready, felled the two orcs with precision, their earlier burns weakening them.

Galdor pursued the fleeing orc, who attempted to hide among the bushes. The elf’s longbow sang, and the orc fell, wounded but alive. Galdor, disliking unnecessary death, knocked the orc out cold.

The adventurers gathered the orc bodies, searched them, and built a pyre to burn the foul creatures. They inventoried their spoils: coins, perfumes, cleric scrolls, and Grimish’s treasures. Galdor cast Detect Magic, ensuring nothing of value was overlooked.

Galdor even finds that the Topaz Gem, which he took from one of the Bugbears in the Redbrands hideout in Deadwood, had Magical properties.

Lofty attunes with the Belt of Dwarvenkind after discovering its powers whilest dreaming of Deadwood.

  • Belt of Dwarvenkind – Darkvision 60’ – Speak-Read-Write Dwarvish – Advantage Vs Poison Saving Throws & Resistance to Poison.
  • Treasure chest – 750 cp, 280 sp, 92 ep, 130 gp, and 3 vials of perfume (25 gp each).
  • Grimish Cleric Scrolls x3 – Cure Wounds 1st – Sanctuary 1st – Enhance Ability 2nd
  • Grimish’s Items – Coral Necklace x3 (30gp) – Gold Signet Ring x4 (10gp)
  • Topaz Gem – Spell Gem – DC of 17 and an attack bonus of +10 – Contain any 1 Spell – If higher level then DC equals 10 + the spell’s level

As the sun dipped below the horizon, casting long shadows over the rugged terrain, Galdor moved with purpose, guiding their borrowed horses to the makeshift camp. The steeds, hardy and resilient, had seen many battles, and tonight they would rest as their riders prepared for the trials yet to come.

In the gathering dusk, Astrid and Lofty busied themselves with scavenging what meagre provisions they could find. Lofty, ever the stalwart warrior, tried to swallow a mouthful of the coarse bread they had procured. His stomach rebelled against the unpalatable fare, and he discreetly spat it out, determined to keep his discomfort from his sister. “She will only worry”. he mused silently, “and surely it is merely the poor quality of the food, nothing more sinister than that”.

Galdor’s return brought a wave of relief. The elven healer moved with a serene grace, his presence a balm to their weary spirits. With a touch of his hand and a murmur of ancient incantations, he invoked the power of Cure Wounds, mending their injuries with a warm, golden light. The adventurers settled into a brief but rejuvenating respite, the soft glow of their campfire warding off the encroaching darkness.

Lofty, now feeling the restorative effects of Galdor’s magic, joined his companions for a hearty meal. The warmth of camaraderie and the shared relief of survival lent flavor to their simple fare, and they ate with the gusto of those who had stared death in the face and lived to tell the tale.

As the first light of dawn crept over the horizon, casting a pale glow on their determined faces, the party mounted their horses. With renewed vigor, they set out towards Deadwood, the ominous forest looming in the distance. Laden with hard-won treasure, crucial information, and their orc captive, they were ready to face whatever challenges awaited them. Each step brought them closer to their destiny, and the air hummed with the promise of adventure and the whisper of dangers yet to be revealed.


CHAPTER TWELVE: CRAGMAW CASTLE

The Adventurers, having clean-up Wyvern Tor of the Bandit Orcs, return to Deadwood. On arriving to Deadwood, they are met with grateful townsfolk who thank them for dealing with the Redbrands and now the Bandits of Wyvern Tor.

The party ride to the Stonehill Inn where they are met by Sildar Hall Winter and Sister Garaele. Sildar thanks the Adventurers and promise that they will be paid, in full, for their work at Wyvern Tor and that they now had the freedom of Deadwood too.

Lofty begins to tell Sildar of their finds but is cut short by the old fighter and told to join him inside the Stonehill Inn for a drink and a rest. Inside Inn the patrons give the Adventurers a big cheer as Sildar leads them to a room that had been set aside for the Heroes and there they ate, drank and retold their recent mission.

Sildar openly wrote down all that he thought important and that he intended to send onto Waterdeep, while Sister Garaele also paid close attention but was much more subtle about it. Galdor notes that Sildar is now wearing Chainmail and that he is also carting a Longsword. His equipment was taken by the same Goblins that took Gundren and his Map of Wave Echo Cave.

Lofty insists that they now needed to concentrate on rescuing Gundren Rockseeker, and possibly his last remaining brother Nundro too. We must go to Cragmaw Castle and make sure he is at least alive. Sildar assures the young Halfling that they must need Gundren, if not just for information regarding the Puzzle Box, but possibly to be used as a bargaining chip against the Adventurers.

Lofty ‘Messages’ Sister Garaele and asks if she would help him as he does not feel well. Sister Garaele invites Lofty to her home, later on that night, and says that she would be more than happy to help in any way she could.

That night Lofty visits Sister Garaele and explains the illness to her and his symptoms. Sister Garaele at first finds nothing wrong with the Halfling and so begins to question him regarding his recent history and it was then that he mentioned the Puzzle Box. Sister Garaele cast ‘Detect Good or Evil’ on the box and found that it was not Good but not wholly Evil. Sister Garaele suspects that this is the cause of Lofty’s current illness and that it is alleviated if Galdor casts his ‘Healing’ Spell upon the Rogue. But this is by no means a cure and you need to return the Item within the Puzzle Box sooner rather than later.

Finally, Sister Garaele having grown fond of the Halfling or maybe she had an ulterior motive, elected to cast a ‘Divination’ Spell to see if Tymora could help with their quest. Sister Garaele goes into a trance and her voice changes to that of a musical and cheerful woman’s voice. What one single question, Rogue, do you have for me concerning a specific goal, event, or activity to occur within 7 days.

Lofty: “What single thing can Galdor and myself do to rescue Gundren Rockseeker from Cragmaw Castle with the best chance of succeeding?”

Tymora: “Take out the King first and you both may stand a chance of surviving you quest.”

Sister Garaele then tells the Lofty that she was able to finish off one of Iarno “Glasstaff” Albrek’s potions which he had started and it was a ‘Potion of Invisibility’, just like the one he had on him when they captured him. Lofty Spots the alembics, retorts, distillation coils, and other alchemical devices from Glasstaff’s Workshop.

The Adventurers make purchases in Deadwood, arrows, food, etc, and then they ride off to Cargmaw Castle accompanied by Sildar Hallwinter. It takes the Adventurers some 11 hours to reach the forest where Cargmaw Castle stands and they make their wat to within a mile of the Castle.

The Adventurers then walk the next half mile until Galdor, Lofty having failed to find anything suitable, finds a perfect shelter for the horses. Here Galdor insists that Lofty practises his animal husbandry and look after the horse’s food and accommodation.

The party head quietly, at dusk as planned, to Cargmaw Castle making sure that Astrid and Sildar hide some 100’ – 110’ feet West of the Castle by the Main Gates. Here Lofty casts ‘Invisibility’ on himself, while Galdor Cast ‘Guidance’ and then drinks the ‘Potion of Invisibility’.

Lofty and Galdor setoff, both ‘Invisible’, both moving as silently as a stalking Rune and aiming to walk around the full perimeter of Cargmaw Castle to make sure they both have an idea of the best way in and to look for current defences. Lofty leads holding a 10’ foot long piece of fishing line, while Galdor follows holding onto the other end of the line. The two had previously decided on a few simple commands. One tug STOP, two tugs CONTINE, etc.

The time is around 10:30 at night and the Sun had just dropped down under the horizon.
Lofty and Galdor head first to the Cragmaw Castle entrance, which has a large path leading to it, to check the area and then they head clockwise around the ruined monument. Lofty stops to see if he can see or hear anything as they both move to the bottom of the stairs.

Cragmaw Castle
Cragmaw Castle

CASTLE ENTRANCE:

The castle consists of seven crumbling towers of different sizes and heights, but the upper stories are all in varying states of collapse. A short flight of steps leads up to a terrace in front of the main entryway. Past the wreckage of a pair of sundered doors lies a shadowed hall. Round towers loom over the entranceway, with dark arrow slits looking down on the terrace.

The pair then pass the first of the 7 Towers and it is one of the 2 that are some 40’ feet wide.
Arrow slits in the castle walls are 10’ feet above the outside ground level, 4’ feet above the interior floor level, 8’’ inches wide, and 4’ feet high. A creature on one side of an arrow slit gains three-quarters cover against attacks from the other side.

Lofty checks the area in front of the steps for traps and finds none.

Lofty chooses not to stop and listen for any noise coming from within the Castle and the pair reach the Northern side of the Cargmaw Castle. Here there is another path heading to the third northern Tower, which had mainly collapsed. Galdor stops and Lofty moves back towards him.

Galdor: “Look yonder Lofty. Do you see there, at the base of the tower, it is a large grey canvas hiding a possible way into the tower. Also, look here on the ground this path is well travelled.”

Lofty Bilberry: “This is fortunate indeed. Let us continue and then re-join Sildar and Astrid.”

Galdor: “”Sometimes the Lady smiles, sometimes she laughs out loud.”

The 2 Adventurers continue on around the East side of Cragmaw Castle and find nothing more of interest. Upon reaching the Southern side of the Castle, Lofty is interest to check the locked side door into Cragmaw Castle, but is weary of the arrow slits overlooking the Southern path. The little Rogue move below the arrow slits and listen out for any sounds from within.

The Rogue can here the sound of various Goblinoids talking, jeering and laughing. Lofty, tugging on the fishing wire, gestures Galdor to join him and proceeds to climb up onto his shoulders and then climbs up to the arrow slit. Within Lofty can now see what is making the noise.

BANQUET HALL:

The western portion of this large hall ends in a wall of rubble, but the remainder is still intact. This must once have been the Castle’s banquet hall, with a soaring ceiling 25’ high. Two large wooden tables with plain benches stand in the middle of the room, and a brass brazier full of glowing coals is tucked into one corner. Dirty dishes, half-full stewpots, mouldy heels of bread, and gnawed bones cover the tables.
This hall holds several miserable Goblins and their leader? a fat, cantankerous Goblin enjoying himself at the cost of the others.

Lofty also spots a closed door in the bottom east of the hall. This is near to the side door and apparently not guarded.

Lofty climbs back down and moves off with Galdor towards the side door.

POSTERN GATE:

On the south side of the old castle, an overgrown path leads to a passage that climbs up into the wall. A large iron door stands here, sheltered from direct outside attack. Arrow slits ten feet above the ground overlook the path. A postern is a secondary door or gate in a fortification such as a city wall or castle curtain wall. Posterns were often located in a concealed location.

Lofty checks the area in front of the steps for traps and finds none.

Lofty notes the door itself is very well reenforced and would take a great blow to damage it. However, always look for the weakest spot, the lock. The Rogue believes he can pick this lock, but it would be a hard task to do.

Lofty and Galdor return Astrid and Sildar and explain what they have uncovered.

Sildar Hallwinter: “If you intend to enter by the side door, then I suggest that Astrid and myself move over to the Northern hidden entrance and use that to enter Cargmaw Castle. Do you investigate any further inside past the canvas?”

Lofty Bilberry: “I’m afraid not Sildar.”

Lofty and Galdor return to the Side door and Lofty easily manages to pick the lock, open the door and all in complete silence. The 2 lone heroes were now within Cargmaw Castle and Lofty quietly closes, but does not lock, the side door.

Galdor is comfortable in the darkness and now so is Lofty, having attuned with his newfound Belt of Dwarvenkind, as he also can see in the dark.

The two heroes can see that the ceilings, unlike the Banquet Hall, are 15’ feet high. The Interior doors are made of wood reinforced with iron bands. They have neither locks nor keyholes.

The floors are cracked and uneven flagstones and conceal a dirt floor underneath.

The light source come from a small amount of natural light that filters through the arrow slits around the castle. During the day, this provides dim light in most areas. At night, all areas are dark.

Finally, the exterior walls and load-bearing interior walls are 5’ feet thick, with 3’ feet of mortared fill sandwiched between 1’ foot thick courses of hard stone blocks. Interior walls are 1’ foot thick worked stone.

To the west the Rogue can see the door that leads to the Banqueting Hall, to the sides the corridor is whole and then ends at the northern section full of rubble, with a path leading to a large heavy curtain stretching across the corridor.

Lofty approaches the curtain as silently as he can and peers around the Lefthand side of it. Beyond Lofty can see that the area behind it is an upside-down T-junction, with a door to the east, a door to the west and another large heavy curtain stretching across the corridor to the north.

Dragging Galdor along by the fishing line, Lofty first goes to listen at the western door and, possibly due to his heart pumping so hard, can only hear the sound of it and nothing else behind it. The pair move over the western door and Lofty once again puts his ear to the door and listens for any noise. Again, the Halfling ears hear nothing beyond the door.

Lofty and Galdor then move up to the large heavy curtain stretching across the corridor to the north. Once more to the dismay of the Rogue he hears nothing behind the curtain. The Rogue moves close and this time peers around the righthand side, as there is more rubble piled to the left.

RUINED TOWER:

This tower has almost completely collapsed, although the ground floor still has a little open space. Rotting crates and ancient barrels show that provisions were once stored here. A heavy curtain blocks a crumbling area to the south, and an intact door leads east. To the north, a short passage through the rubble ends before a screen of canvas.

As the Rogue and Cleric head towards the western door, Galdor notices something of interest on the creates and tugs Lofty off.

SILDAR’S GEAR:

The Chain Mail and Longsword belong to Sildar Hallwinter.

Galdor decides that he will use these items and changes into the chainmail and leave his Leather Armour hidden behind one of the barrels.

Galdor: “I am sure that Sildar is grateful if at least his longsword is returned to him. But for now, it will be used within Cragmaw Castle by me.”


CHAPTER THIRTEEN: KING GROL

The two heroes decide that their next move should be to investigate the eastern door in the Ruined Tower, where they currently were, as they still wanted to follow the advice from the Deity Tymora, assisted by Sister Garaele’s ‘Divination’ Spell, and take out King Grol first.

Lofty listens at the door and again is unable to compose himself enough to focus on the task at hand. The fear of finally being in a real adventure has unsettled the Halfling Rogue. Fairly convinced that the coast was clear, Lofty oiled the hinges of the door and proceeded to quietly open the wood reinforced with iron bands door.

Beyond the door, as Lofty quickly pulls Galdor through with him and closes the door behind them, the Rogue and the Cleric find themselves in a L-shaped corridor with another door to the east and another heavy curtain to the south. Lofty elects to first listen at the eastern door and then the southern curtain.

Lofty fails to hear clearly again at the eastern door, but makes out several beings speaking in common.

At the southern curtain Lofty can make out the sound of marching or pacing and also the sound of creaking leather.

Lofty tries the eastern door again and can hear the voices of King Grol, Jingles the Goblin Jester, a wolf called Snarl and a male Drow. King Grol is refusing to handover Gundren’s Map unless he is paid. King Grol appears to want now to sell the Map instead of surrendering it. and he and the Drow are negotiating a price. Vyerith first wants to question Gundren to find out if anyone else knows the location of the mine.

Lofty then bravely, or foolhardily choose to take a peek behind the heavy curtain to the south to make sure they knew what to expect to appear from that area. Lofty attempted to listen again beyond the heavy curtain but was unable to decern any further information.

The Rogue, quite as a mouse, moves the curtain to one side as he heard the guard moving away from it.

GUARDS BARRACKS:

A stone brazier full of coals glows in the middle of this small barracks. Four straw pallets are lined up along the east wall. The wall to the south has collapsed, but a barred wooden door in that direction is still clear. A curtain hangs in an archway to the north.

Lofty can now clearly see that one of the Hobgoblin’s was watching out of one of the arrows slit and the other marching from the curtain, to the western door, to the southern door and then back to the northern curtain. The Rogue eases back the curtain and silently returns to Galdor’s side.

Lofty then had the bright idea to deploy his 1,000 ball bearings in the area in front of the southern curtain, behind which he suspected were some guards. Next, the plan was to open the eastern door and attempt to surprise the enemy beyond it. Galdor was to open the door, assess what was beyond and enter to engage with King Grol. Lofty would hang back and use his Roguish Skills to inflict the most damage possible from his shortbow arrows.

Galdor opens the door and catches all those within the King’s Quarters, apart from the Drow, by Surprise.

KING’S QUARTERS:

This chamber has been set up as a crude living space, with thick furs thrown on the floor to serve as carpets, old trophies hanging on the walls, a large bed to the north, and a brazier of coals burning brightly. A round table with several chairs stands to the south near the door. Near the table, on the floor, is an unconscious Dwarf who looks badly beaten.

Galdor rushes in and attacks King Grol while he was still ‘Invisible’ and he can also see those within.

The creatures’ descriptions.

Galdor successfully hit King Grol with his Longsword and a follow-up attack by Lofty also strikes true and King Grol is bleeding but by no means fazed, the old warrior must be still alive for a reason. King Grol, Jingles the Goblin Jester and Snarl the Wolf are all too surprised by the ‘Invisible’ attacks and fail to act while they all take-in what had just happened.

Galdor attacks again as does Lofty. Meanwhile, the Drow, or Black Spider as we now know him to be was out of Lofty’s line of sight behind the door and to Galdor’s back, had move back into the room to the north-west of the King’s Quarter’s.

Lofty, knowing that the Hobgoblin guards would exit the Guards Barracks soon, open the door to the Ruined Tower and back off towards the western side of the chamber.

Out of the southern curtained room, The Guard Barracks, then appear two Hobgoblin’s. They are dressed in the same livery, tabards with the crossed hand-axes of King Grol, while the first Hobgoblin was carrying a Longbow the second had a Longsword drawn. Both Hobgoblin Guards avoid slipping over the 1,000 ball bearings and one moves off to aid King Grol whilst the second stands in the corridor.

King Grol: “Stand back loyal guard, this minor inconvenience is mine to deal with.”

The Hobgoblin stows away his Longbow, steps back and draws his Longsword.

King Grol: “Jingles, Snarl go after that little morsal for me would you.”

At that command the Goblin Jester jumps on the back of the Wolf and they head out westwards after the Halfling Rogue.

King Grol: “As for you young Cleric, I MARK you and you will fight me as I have fought all those who have challenged me over the years. Be forewarned, I killed them all.”

King Grol draws his mighty Flail and swings it right at Galdor’s head. The Cleric was able to avoid the worst of the blow but he was caught and it did hurt greatly.

The second Hobgoblin looks to Lofty and then dashes off southwards back towards the Guards Barracks.

Jingles and Snarl slowly move out of the King’s Quarter’s, due to all the furniture having been upended throughout the chamber, and ends up in the Ruined Tower just a few feet from the unsettled Rogue.

Galdor and King Grol continue to fight with Galdor striking the King for more damage and then calling upon Tymora for her ‘Healing’ favour. King Grol strikes again and Galdor realises that he may have bitten off more than me could chew.

King Grol rises to his full height and flexes his muscles at Galdor, showing the many scars that covered his body.

King Grol: “You will not last much longer as my blows are too much for you to take and I offer no quarter Elf.”

Galdor is overawed by the Old Bugbear King and his intimidations was too much for the Elf as he saw himself slowly backing away from his foe.

Lofty feels he has no choice but to run out, via the hidden canvas entrance, and seek the aid of Astrid and Sildar who were still hiding to the north of Cragmaw Castle.

Lofty Bilberry: “Astrid, Sildar the time has come for you to aid us. I will meet up by the entrance as I’m being chased by a Jester riding a Wolf.”

Sildar Hallwinter: “What did he say, I don’t understand Halfling.”

Astrid: “You won’t believe me if I told you Sildar, just be ready.”

Lofty rushes out of Cragmaw Castle via the hidden entrance and sees Astrid dashing up the path towards him, with Sildar totting up behind him. The 3 Heroes wait for the enemies to exit the Castle and the Rogue begins by casting ‘Sleep’ on the creatures that rush out. First out was the Goblin Jester, riding the Wolf, followed by a single Hobgoblin Guard. The Goblin Jester and Wolf succumb to Lofty’s Spell and they both drop to the ground.

Astrid then takes over the task of clearing the way into Cragmaw Castle and lays into the Hobgoblin with her Flurry of Blows which leaves the Hobgoblin dead without having swung his Longsword.

Lofty sprints back into Cragmaw Castle, being the only one of the 3 heroes that had been within, as he is desperate to help Galdor whom he had left alone inside fighting with King Grol.

A scream rings out and can be heard coming from within the Cragmaw Castle, but thankfully it is too guttural to have been Galdor and Lofty believes it could be one of the Hobgoblin Guards. But what could have attack him, did he not flee southwards?

An owlbear’s screech echoes through the darkness and benighted castle, piercing the quiet night to announce the death of its prey.

Back inside the Ruined Tower the trio of heroes look through to the King’s Quarters and can see Galdor, in a more defensive stance, looking around nervously as he fought King Grol. King Grol, on the other hand, was laughing and enthusiastically wielding his Giant Flail at the Cleric.

Lofty places an arrow on his Shortbow with the intent of firing at the King. However, at that very moment the heroes hear a blood chilling sound, it sounded like the growl of a huge creature mixed with the chattering of some form of bird?

Astrid waits to aid Galdor, to allow Lofty to release his arrow, while Sildar stands in front of the Halfling Rogue just like a Knight would protect his King. Lofty’s aim was true and deal significant damage to King Grol.

Meanwhile, Galdor was still intimidated by the dominance of King Grol and choose to cast another Spell upon himself, ‘Shield of Faith’. A shimmering field appears and surrounds Galdor providing him with Tymora’s protection. Then the Elven Cleric gains a little courage from knowing his family had come to help him. This is because Galdor, like the 2 orphans Astrid and lofty, had no other known family. Galdor strikes the Bugbear King, who is forced to take a ‘Potion’, the potion’s red liquid glimmers when agitated by the drinking of it.

Galdor is struck again by King Grol, even with the extra Holy protection and the battle hangs by a tread. Galdor calls to his comrades in Halfling.

Galdor: “Gundren is here on the floor, he is in a bad way.”

Out of the room to the west Galdor spots a creature emerge and fly over to King Grol’s large bed.

King Grol: “Stay away from my royal bed chamber; it is not for the likes of you or your master the Black Spider. There is nothing of value to be found there creature.”

Galdor takes a quick glance behind and spots the creature and know what it is, a Kobold. Kobolds are craven reptilian humanoids that worship evil dragons as demigods and serve them as minions and toadies. But this one had wings. The creature immediately turns and begins to pull the bed apart.

Astrid was about to sprint forward to the Clerics aid but she was stopped in her tracks by what happened next. From the L-Shaped corridor, the one the second Hobgoblin had fled down, a huge creature appears after having run into the room and had slipped due to the 1,000 Ball Barings. The creature had feathers covering its thick, shaggy coat of its bearlike body, and the limpid pupils of its great round eyes stared furiously from its owlish head.

All those confronted by the Owlbear brace for the imminent fight that they expect to have.  Lofty and Sildar move back and away from the creature hoping to gain his Roguish advantage, whilst leaving the close-quarter work to his sister. Astrid plants her feet and assumes the crane position.

The Owlbear chooses freedom over captivity and burst out of Cragmaw Castle at a speed greater than that of any of the adventurers and none volunteer to follow the freed creature.

Back with Galdor and King Grol, the fight continues and the Cleric of Tymora swings with all his strength but misses the Old, but still agile King Grol.

Galdor is too busy to stop the Winged Kobold, who he saw had found a leather sack hidden under Grol’s bed mattress, from flying past him and King Grol. The Winged Kobold had discarded the coins and bottles within and take a map.

Is this the map to Wave Echo Cave?

King Grol: “Your technique is flawed and I have you now.”

Galdor: “Not while I have one last toss of the coin, Tymora bring me luck”.

Galdor prays for godly favour and luckily is able to bring back around his Longsword, which he is wielding two-handed, in an arch and strikes the surprise King Grol. The large Bugbear fall dead and so ends the rein of the Cragmaws.

Lofty can see into the room and he spots a nude creature fly across the King’s Quarters, heading towards the south-eastern arrow slit.

Lofty Bilberry: “Did I just see a Winged Kobold fly past with a Map or Scroll in its clawed hands?”. For the next few seconds Castle Cragmaw is silent.


CHAPTER FOURTEEN: GROL IS DEAD, LONG LIVE THE KING

All the adventurers move into the King’s Quarters.

Lofty moves into the room by the door. Here the Rogue looks around and can clearly make out that the room was once a splendid bathroom which had fallen into disrepair. However, the Goblin’s again have tried to improve the room and its facilities as best they could for King Grol to use.

On the floor Lofty sees a pile of discarded cloths and the Rogue considers checking them.

Astrid closes the door, leaving a gap to be able to listen through and listens out for more enemies.

Sildar crouches behind an upturned table, loads his Heavy Cross-bow and aims at the door.

Finally, Galdor is attending to Gundren Rockseeker who is unconscious but still alive.

Lofty realises that the Black Spider was not in the bathroom and that the cloths must belong to him. But also, what was a naked Winged Kobold doing in the King’s Quarters and where had it gone, out of one of the arrow slits?

Lofty moves out of the bathroom and spots that King Grol’s bed had been upended and the Rogue could see an open a stitched leather sack containing 220 sp, 100 gp, 160 ep and 3 potions all containing a red liquid that glimmers when agitated.

Lofty Bilberry: “Gundren’s map to Wave Echo Cave, that dammed Kobold must have taken it.”

Astrid hears no sounds from behind the door and informs the party.

Galdor tell the adventurers that Gundren Rockseeker needs to be healed before he can be moved and that’s when Lofty holds up the Potions of Healing.

Astrid Bilberry: “I’ll take one of those if the Cleric is saving his heavenly powers.”

Lofty hands over one of the Potions to his sister, then moves over to Galdor and does the same with the second Potion. Galdor administers the Potion of Healing and Gundren Rockseeker wakes, battered and bruised but in good spirts now that he was with his favourite orphans.

Lofty and Galdor both hug Gundren Rockseeker and the Dwarf tells his adopted kin that he doesn’t know much apart form having met the Black Spider and he was wanting his Map. King Grol wanted to exploit that and demanded more for its return.

Lofty then had to tell Gundren Rockseeker of his brother’s Nundro death. Tharden may still live but we believe that the Black Spider knows the location of Wave Echo Cave and all they needed was the Map.

Lofty Bilberry: “That is not all remember.”

Lofty says sheepishly and reminds everyone of the Puzzle Box.

Gundren Rockseeker did not know what was inside the Puzzle Box and had expected to have found out once it was given to him. He also did not know what its purpose was but he was told he need this to appease those guarding Wave Echo Cave.

Lofty was unsure how this was connected to what Sister Garaele had told him.

Sister Garaele: “The box was not wholly Evil but I sense you have been exposed to Shadowfell Magic, but its presence was certainly troubling. I suspect it is the cause of your illness and I suggest that Galdor’s healing spells have provided temporary relief. However, you need to return the item within the Puzzle Box soon to be fully cured”.

Lofty Bilberry: “What is Shadowfell?”

Sister Garaele: “So the Shadowfell is a parallel plane to the material plane (like the Feywild) made from the Plane of Shadow and part of the Negative Energy Plane. During this time, until the Second Sundering, the parallel plane (Shadowfell) became the place from which Necrotic energies and Shadow magic stemmed. Or Undead Land to you young Rogue.”

Astrid moves over to Gundren and in an unusual show of affection, also hugs Gundren for a long while.

Lofty decides that he should attempt to check the Cragmaw Castle from the outside and explains that he will climb out of the arrow slit and down to the floor. He will then stealthily check the outside of Castle to find the best way to escape. With the help of ‘Guidance’ from Galdor, a rope and a helping hand climbing down the tower Lofty had no difficulty in doing so and quietly too.

As the Halfling Rogue made his way clockwise around Castle Cargmaw, he notices something on the ground some 60’-70’ feet away half hidden by a bush. Lofty believes it to be the Winged Kobold, that he now knows did fly out of the arrow slit, and as he drew closer Lofty could see that the Map was by the body.

As lofty Cautiously moves closer and stands over the naked creature he is shocked but not surprised. This allowed the cleaver Rogue to make a successful grab for the Map and run off back to the rope hanging from the arrow slit. The Rogue looks behind him and sees the Winged Kobold fly up into the air.

Lofty reached the Tower first and knew he only had the advantage of moving first and hoped that he had the speed and stamina to climb the rope and into the arrow slit before the Winged Kobold tried to prevent him.

Lofty makes it to the arrow slit and is just about to dash inside when he feels the rush of air generated by the diving Kobold and them squirms his way out of the clasping claws of the creature. Lofty was safe and he sees the Winged Kobold fly up and out of his line of sight.

Lofty Bilberry: “I think we need to make a move, don’t you? Oh, and look what I found.”

Lofty holds up Gundren’s Map.

Wave Echo Cave - Drawn Map
Wave Echo Cave – Drawn Map

Gundren Rockseeker: “I don’t think I am the person to take that now, do you Lofty?”

Lofty Bilberry: “I think it is ours now to hold and use, yes indeed Gundren.”

Lofty moves back over to the door and the party begin to organise themselves to exit the Cargmaw Castle via the Canvas exit in the Ruined Tower. The Rogue takes the opportunity to listen at the door while away from the others and he hears the pattering of Goblin feet attempting not to make any noise.

Quietly the Rogue informs the adventurers and they prepare for combat. Sildar with his Heavy Cross-bow hides crouching behind the table, Lofty elects to prepare his Shortbow to fire down the corridor, as does Galdor with his Longbow. Gundren waits, hidden behind a piece of furniture as he is a lover not a fighter and finally, Astrid is ready, with Short Sword in hand, to open the door; allow the archers to fire and she would use her Darts. This way the whole party could stay protected within the King’s Quarters.

Astrid opens the door and Sildar let fly his bolt, which hits one of the skulking Goblins carrying a Shield and Scimitar. Sildar ducks down and re-loads his Cross-bow.

Galdor steps out next and finishes the first Goblin. The Elf Cleric steps back out of the line of sight of the other Goblin’s, and their leader Yegg, who were waiting further back with Shortbow’s drawn and Aimed at the King’s Quarters. His intension was to protect Gundren at all costs.

Then it was the turn of the Rogue who fired his trusty Shortbow and the second Goblin and he was hit. Then Lofty scurries off and Hides behind the bathtub.

Finally, Astrid steps from around the door and lobs her Dart at the Goblin, killing the second Goblin. Knowing that they had lost the Surprise, the Monk closes the door behind herself.

The attack does not happen and so they decide to perform the same trick again. Astrid opens the door but the Goblin’s had moved away.

Jingles, the Goblin Jester and Snarl, King Grol’s personal Wolf also appeared and they were both dispatched off very quickly.

Astrid Bilberry: “They didn’t fancy their odds. Mayhap they have gone for reinforcements?”

Lofty Bilberry: “I think they have headed south, possible back to the Banquet Hall, or through the closed door to the west, in between the hanging curtains. We didn’t check there but I heard nothing when I had a listen.”

Galdor: “Where to next then Lofty?”


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