Session 1: Into Cragmaw Hideout

Cragmaw Hideout
Having just defeated the goblins at the cave mouth, the group considered their next move.

The group was divided, but after much debate they decided to bring the supplies to Phandalin without exploring the cave.

• • •

Meanwhile, back in Phandalin, Barthen was concerned that Gundren and Sildar had not arrived on schedule as expected, and asked Ivor, a paladin who happened to be passing through Phandalin, to investigate the roads from Neverwinter. When he reached the site of the goblin ambush, he was also ambushed by four goblins. Despite being hit by two arrows he quickly took two goblins down, and caused the other two to flee. Ivor chased them down for miles until they ran into a clearing.

• • •
Alturiak 22
As we prepared to move we noticed the panting and heaving of a strange man with goblin blood on his hands; his name is Ivor the Great, so he states, and he is on the same mission that we are. However, apparently Gundren is not where we think he is; Ivor went to go find him. As a result, Ivor joined our group of friends. We ventured into the cave with resistance.
~ A.H. Valentinus
As the group was preparing to head back down the path towards the Triboar Trail, two goblins ran into the clearing, followed by a paladin with two arrows sticking out of him. The group immediately started firing upon the goblins and dropped them quickly.

After introductions and healing, upon hearing from Ivor that Sildar and Gundren never arrived in Phandalin, the group agreed that they should investigate the cave, with Ivor joining them.
Cragmaw Hideout Entrance
The group crossed the stream and waited by the entrance with torches while Pippin snuck in to the dank caves just past the edges of the torchlight. Over the sounds of water filling the caves, sensing a large opening to the left, Pippin signaled for the rest of the group to advance. There they saw two large wolves chained to an iron rod driven into the base of a stalagmite.The group decided to continue down the stream-side passage. Turenim cast light on some coins, and the group advanced further into the cave.

A short way beyond, they found a steep side passage on the other side of the shallow stream. They all crossed, and Pippin easily made his way up to the next landing. The rest of the group found it too dangerous to climb unassisted. Pippin went to the top of a second landing and tossed down his rope. He hammered a piton into the top of the landing, and as he finished five filthy goblins stepped into his circle of light. The goblins approached the child curiously, while Pippin surreptitiously tied his rope around the piton.

As the group made their way up the landing the goblins grabbed Pippin. Lee made his way to the upper landing quickly and the goblins attacked while the rest of the group was still struggling below. During the melee Lee tried to prevent the goblins from grabbing Pippin, but in his effort he fell to the next lower landing and fell unconscious.

With Atilius throwing firebolts and Moula throwing her darts at them, while Pippin dodged and attacked, the goblins were eventually all down, and the rest of the group made their way to the upper landing. Lee was then brought back to consciousness by Turenim.

Looking around the group saw a large open chamber to their left, and a tunnel to their right. Moving into the open chamber, they found a large cave divided in half by a ten-foot-high escarpment. A steep natural staircase lead from the lower portion to the upper ledge. The air was hazy with the smoke of a cooking fire, and pungent from the smell of poorly cured hides and what must be the goblins living quarters.

Yeemik in Cragmaw Hideout
At the top of the escarpment stepped a larger goblin holding a bound and gagged, and barely conscious, Sildar Hallwinter. Holding Sildar over the edge of the precipice with a blade to his throat he yelled, "Truce, or this human dies!" down to the group.

"Who are you, and what do you want?" Atilius called back.

"I am Yeemik, the leader of the Cragmaw Goblins here, and I want you to bring me the head of Klarg. He's on the other side of the cave and thinks he can boss us around. Bring me his head and I'll give you this human! Otherwise he dies!"

In the midst of some debate over how to proceed, Lee threw his handaxe at Yeemik. Yeemik covered himself with Sildar and the axe went right into Sildar's chest. Yeemik slit Sildar's throat and dropped him off the ledge.

Atilius immediately dropped Yeemik with his magic missiles, while Turenim rushed over to cast spare the dying on Sildar. There was an argument about Lee's rashness, but it was short-lived as all ended well.
Sildar Hallwinter is rescued
With Sildar stabilized Turenim healed his wounds and they heard his story. "As you already know, I agreed to accompany Gundren Rockseeker from Neverwinter to Phandalin to assist him in reopening the old mine, and help restore Phandalin to a civilized center of wealth and prosperity," Sildar told them. "Gundren and his brothers, Tharden and Nundro, recently located an entrance to the long-lost Wave Echo Cavern, the site of the mines of the Phandelver's Pact. You see 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 Caven. 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 Phandalin (pronounced fan-duh-lin) prospered as well. But then disaster struck when orcs swept through the North and laid waste to all in their path.

"Then a powerful force of orcs reinforced by evil mercenary wizards attacked Wave Echo Cavern 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 Cavern was lost.

"Gundren had a map showing the secret location of Wave Echo Cavern, but the goblins took it when they captured us. I heard from the goblins that Klarg, the bugbear who leads this goblin band, had orders to waylay us, and that that the Black Spider sent word that the dwarf was to be brought to him. I don't know who or what the Black Spider is. I believe that Klarg sent the map and Gundren to the chief of the Cragmaws at a place called Cragmaw Castle. I don't know where that is, but someone in Phandalin might know.

"But the other reason I agreed to accompany Gundren is that I want to find out what happened to my good friend larno Albrek, a human wizard and fellow member of the Lords' Alliance who disappeared shortly after arriving in Phandalin. He traveled to the town two months ago to establish order there, but the Lords' Alliance received no word from Iarno."

Everyone agreed that before heading back to Phandalin, the group should search the rest of the cave for any clues to Gundren's whereabouts. Sildar insisted that despite being healed he was in no shape to fight and would hang back.

The group headed back to the right tunnel and followed it for a while before arrows came into their circle of light as they turned around a bend. Lee began firing arrows into the darkness ahead, while Pippin tossed his light coin as far as he could. Up ahead they could see goblins retreating across a bridge back into the darkness beyond. With the sound of a waterfall echoing through the cavern, the group charged ahead across the rickety bridge with their light in an effort to remove the goblin's advantage in the darkness.

On the other side of the bridge they engaged a total of four goblins in a larger chamber with two very large pools and a waterfall feeding the stream that flowed out of the cave. With Ivor and Moula engaging the goblins directly, Lee and Pippin firing arrows, and Atilius throwing firebolts, the four goblins were soon defeated.

The group surveyed the chamber and found that the two large pools of water were surrounded by low fieldstone walls which served as dams holding the water in. Atilius concluded that the walls were structured in such a way as to allow the goblins to flood the tunnels below, flushing any intruders out of the caves entirely.

After Turenim bandaged everyone's wounds, the group headed through into a wide exit to the south where they could see the traces of light from a fire pit.

Inside another large chamber they saw two goblins sitting atop sacks and crates piled up in the far end of the large cave. To the right the floor sloped toward a narrow opening that descended into darkness. And in the middle of the cavern was a bugbear sitting by the smoldering coals of a large fire with his wolf as two goblins sat in the corner.

The bugbear leaped up roaring "Who dares defy Klarg? Klarg will build a throne from your bones, puny ones!"

Immediately Ivor charged at the bugbear with Moula close behind, while Lee and Pippin exchanged arrows with the two goblins. Atilius threw firebolts at the various opponents. "Get 'em Ripper!" shouted the bugbear, and the wolf leaped onto Ivor, pinning him, and tearing into his face. Everyone aimed their attacks at Ripper until he crumpled and fell off Ivor, whose eye had been badly mauled by the wolf.

Everyone was badly wounded when Ivor finally struck the killing blows, slicing into Klarg with his two long swords, causing Klarg to stumble back into the coals where he died.

One of the goblins, apparently not dead, but crumpled against the sacks began to clap, and cried "Yay, you killed Klarg! You killed Klarg!"

Alturiak 22
We vanquished all who opposed us, and our greatest enemy was the word; there were arguments galore. I will spare the death and carnage, but we eventually found ourselves on an outcropping, with a vile bugbear on the other end. With his minions, we also noticed Sildar Hallwinter! Yeemik, the goblin and the head of this cave, threatened his death if we did not comply. Obviously, we needed to think hard on this one; would we go and commit the crime that he wanted us to, or would we indirectly kill Sildar? We refused to surrender, and Yeemik was not kidding; he threw Sildar down towards the crevasse below. Thankfully, Turenim was there to intercept the pass, and we managed to nurse Sildar back to health. However, firstly, Klarg and his minions were becoming hostile, and we had to dispatch them. After a tough fight, we ended up with… clapping? A goblin.. Clapping? His name is Snowg, and he was very appreciative of our help.
~ A.H. Valentinus

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