Session 0: From Neverwinter to Cragmaw Hideout

Sword Coast From Neverwinter to Cragmaw Hideout
In the city of Neverwinter, the old warrior Sildar Hallwinter introduced the characters to his dwarf friend, Gundren Rockseeker. On Sildar's referral, Gundren hired them to escort a wagon of supplies to the village of Phandalin. The characters were to be paid 10 gp each by the owner of Barthen's Provisions in Phandalin upon safe delivery of the wagon to the trading post.

Alturiak 20
Gundren Rockseeker has informed me about something they found, something “big” near Phandalin. I, of course, immediately accepted; I’ll take any excuse to go home for the first time in decades. He did seem a little suspicious, but Gundren has a good reputation, and so does his partner, Sildar Hallwinter. I have a feeling that I can work with him… I will be taking their supplies from Neverwinter to Barthen’s Provisions in Phandalin.
~ A.H. Valentinus

Gundren was clearly excited and more than a little secretive about his reasons for the trip, saying only that he and his brothers had found "something big," and Sildar told them he was going ahead with Gundren to attend to business in the town while the characters followed with the supplies.
Alturiak 21
I met some others today. Gundren has hired a self-righteous cleric, Turenim Sendri, an old, wired ranger, Lee, a hermit, Moula, and a… kid? “I’m Pippin Thomas, and you’re yogurt salsa.” What a weird bunch… At any rate, we are making considerable progress down the Triboar Trail.
~ A.H. Valentinus
And so the group of five departed Neverwinter. They consisted of:
Lee, a human male former soldier turned ranger,
Pippin Thomas, a very young human male urchin boy turned rogue,
Moula Arbacent, a human female monk from the east,
Turenim Sendri, a human male scholarly priest of Lathander, and
Atilius Hummus Valentinus, a human male sage and wizard.

• • •
Alturiak 22
Considerable progress is being made down the Triboar Trail. We are now halfway to Phandalin.
~ A.H. Valentinus
After traveling south on the Triboar Trail for just over a day, as they group came around a bend, they spotted two dead horses sprawled about fifty feet ahead, blocking the path. Each had several black-feathered arrows sticking out of it. The woods pressed close to the trail there, with a steep embankment and dense thickets on either side.

As the group approached the horses, Lee spotted goblins in the thickets off to the side. Two of the goblins charged ahead with nasty barbed blades, while two other hung back taking shots at the group with arrows. Lee and Pippin immediately started firing arrows back at the goblins, while Atilius threw firebolts at them, and Moula threw her darts at them. With three goblins down the remaining goblin turned to flee up the trail, but was shot down by Lee.

After healing the group, Turenim tried to revive one of the goblins for questioning, which Lee objected to and an argument broke out over the morality of killing and saving goblins.

Eventually the group decided to steer the wagon away from the road and tie off the oxen so they could follow the goblin's trail.

About 10 minutes after heading down the trail, Lee spotted a hidden snare trap and steered the group around it.

Another 10 minutes down the trail Lee spotted an obviously camouflaged 10 feet deep pit, and steered the group around its 6 foot width.

After following the trail for about five miles, the woods opened up into a clearing. Across the clearing was a large cave in a hillside. A shallow stream flowed out of the cave mouth, which was screened by dense briar thickets. A narrow dry path lead into the cave on the right-hand side of the stream.

As the group approached the cave, their banter alerted two goblin guards hiding behind the thickets. The goblins alerted the group to their presence with crossbow bolts.

The party immediately began firing back at the goblins but was hampered by the cover of the briar. Pippin and Moula both leaped over the stream and drew out the two goblins, making short work of them.

After a long debate about whether the goblins presented an immediate danger and the wisdom of entering their cave, the group decided it would be safer to retrieve Gundren's goods and continue along the Triboar Trail to deliver them to Barthen's Provisions in Phandalin.

Alturiak 22
Today, we noticed a score of dead horses with black feather arrows sticking right through them - truly terrifying. However, we noticed the perpetrators of this truly heinous crime; a whole score of goblins! We easily dispatched them all, but Lee and Turenim had a brief spat about what to do with them. Thankfully, it did not result in violence. Soon after, though, we encountered more goblins! With the help of some well placed arrows, backstabbing, and fire bolts, we took care of them as well. However, they were just outside of a strange cave; we argued whether to abandon our provisions for a short time in favor of going in. The consensus became clear, as by a vote of 4-1 (Lee being on the wrong side) we decided to venture in the stronghold.
~ A.H. Valentinus

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