Icehammer Dwarves: Session 2

As we talked to Adabra, Berreck pointed out how the tail of the dead manticore appeared to be frostbitten.

After some consideration, we concluded that maybe the reason the beast was so easily defeated was that it had previously been in an encounter with the famed white dragon.

Eventually, we managed to convince the acolyte to come with us. She packed her belongings into a wagon and we journeyed back to Phandalin. On the way, I asked her about Harbin Wester and she revealed that although he was technically the townmaster, another man named Sildar Hallwinter was the mayor and handled most issues in Phandalin.

We reached Phandalin without an incident and went to the Townmaster’s Hall to collect our reward from Harbin. After collecting our reward, we observed that there were three new quests, on the notice board, while the one about Gnomengarde was gone.

The first new quest read: "Deep in Neverwinter Wood, along the river that flows west toward Neverwinter, is a logging camp. Every two months, Phandalin delivers fresh supplies to the camp, which is run by the half-brother of Phandalin's townmaster, Harbin Wester. Barthen, the local provisioner, has prepared a new delivery. He needs someone to bear the supplies safely to the camp. Return to Harbin Wester with a notice of delivery signed by his half-brother, Tibor Wester, to claim your reward of 100 gp."

The next one was: "The Mountain's Toe Gold Mine lies fifteen miles northeast of Phandalin. The new overseer, Don-Jon Raskin, just made the trip from Neverwinter to Phandalin and needs to be escorted to the mine. There's no telling what dangers lie between here and there. Once you deliver Raskin safe and sound, return to Townmaster Harbin Wester to collect a reward of 100 gp."

The last quest said: "Orcs have attacked Butterskull Ranch, five miles east of Conyberry along the Triboar Trail! Travel there with haste, assess the damage, and help any way you can. Ranch owner Alfonse "Big Al" Kalazorn is a retired sheriff who can reward you for your efforts. If he's dead, return to Townmaster Harbin Wester with proof of Kalazorn's demise to receive a reward of 100 gp."

After a quick discussion, we decided that since Mountain's Toe Gold Mine was the closest, we would do the second one and asked Harbin about where we could find Don-Jon Raskin. He directed us to look in the Stonehill Inn, so we went back there. After settling all of Adabra’s belongings into the inn, Berreck and I bought food and a room and asked Toblen if he knew where Raskin was. Toblen pointed us in the direction of a boisterous man who was entertaining a table with a tale of a tavern brawl he was in.

We pulled him aside and explained that we were escorting him to the mine. We agreed to meet him in the inn at the break of dawn, and then we parted ways.

For the rest of the day, Berreck and I roamed the town, visiting both Barthen’s Provisions, where Berreck inquired about buying a drum but decided against it, and the Temple of Lathander, where we talked briefly to one of the acolytes.

* * * * *

The next morning, we entered the inn to find Don-Jon waiting for us. We ate hurriedly and then set on our way.

As soon as we got going, Don-Jon repeatedly assured us that he could handle himself alone, but having company on the journey was nice. He also told us about many rumors surrounding the area. Some were that strange magic pervades Neverwinter Wood, confounding navigators and obscuring the ancient ruins of bygone kingdoms lost in its depths, and that Falcon's Hunting Lodge is the only safe haven in Neverwinter Wood. He explained that it lies deep in the forest along a river's edge, and wealthy nobles venture there to hunt while under Falcon's protection. Supposedly, Falcon is a retired veteran of many wars, and it's said he'll offer free room and board to anyone who brings him a bottle of wine, and that as the Triboar Trail runs east, it passes through the ruins of Conyberry, a town sacked by barbarians years ago. There's a ruined temple south of Conyberry where it's said the locals hid their gold.

After we had been traveling for most of the day, we spotted the dragon to the north. It landed quickly and then flew off. We continued on.

Eventually, we found the bodies of six dead orcs. Don-Jon assumed that it was the dragon’s doing, but, after closer inspection, I discovered that the bodies seemed to have been killed by bites and scratches a number of days ago. Berreck took their silver and their javelins.
We kept going for a short time and found the entrance to the mine, which was on the west side of the mountain. We entered with Don-Jon and walked down a passageway.
The room spread out and there were doors to both the south and east. As we were about to go through the eastern door, a voice from behind us asked, “Where are you going?”

We turned, and saw two female humans behind us, each pointing a handheld crossbow at our heads. “We could ask you the same thing. Who are you?” Berreck countered.

“We live here. Now, who are you?”

“Where are all the miners? The Neverwinter Mining Corporation owns this place. Do you work here?” Don-Jon butted in.

“We live here. Who are you?” they repeated.

We told them our names and our mission here, and they explained that they had found the mine abandoned and had made it their residence. When we asked if we could look around and try to renovate it back to being operational, they said they would take us to ‘the boss.’ Then they led us through the door, crossbows still pointed at us.

We walked through a couple of doors and finally came to a room where there sat another human woman and two human men. The pair of women behind us brought us up to the female in the room and explained the situation.

The group of us discussed for a while. We discovered that they had come here recently and, finding the mine empty, decided to inhabit it. They had previously lived in the ruins of a shrine, but orcs had overrun the place. They worshipped no god. They wouldn’t leave unless we cleared out the shrine so that they could return.

The three of us went back into the entry and debated our options. Berreck and Don-Jon thought that we should try to forcefully remove them from the mine, but I didn’t think that they had really done anything wrong, and I wasn’t totally sure the three of us could beat them in a fight. I thought we should just go clear out the shrine.

As it was already pretty late, we decided to sleep on it and make a decision the next day. We went back in to ask them if we could sleep in the mine, but they refused us, so we found a relatively secluded area outside.

The next morning, Berreck and Don-Jon agreed to go check out the shrine. We asked the group for directions and then set off on our way. According to them, the shrine was just south of Conyberry.

Once again, we saw the dragon in the distance, but this time it stayed in the sky.

We arrived at dusk, finding a square shrine with no roof and crumbling walls. Through the missing chunks of wall, we could see an inner building that looked to be in much better shape. Each corner of the outer walls had a watchtower, but only the one on the northeast remained even partially intact. I spotted a humanoid sentry on that watchtower, but couldn’t make out any features in the dim light.
We left Don-Jon behind the crest of a hill, telling him we would call him when it was safe. Then Berreck and I approached, coming from the west side of the northwest tower. We stealthily circled around the northern side of the crumbling structure and went to enter the shrine through a large section of broken wall on the northern side of the shrine.

As we went to cross it, the sentry spotted us and called out. A couple orcs from the south charged us, and Berreck and I charged right back. We clashed, and Berreck and I finished them quickly. However, multiple more orcs approached us from the east and a large ogre came from further south. In addition, the sentry started shooting arrows at us. I defeated each approaching orc with a combination of my warhammer and my spiritual weapon, and Berreck and the ogre exchanged blows until Berreck finally defeated the brute.

Then, the two of us regrouped and took cover from the arrows, sneaking closer to the northeast tower but staying close to the wall. The sentry hit Berreck a couple times, but we got into the tower.

The room was empty save for a ladder that led up to a trapdoor in the ceiling, which presumably led up the floor that the sentry was on. I climbed up and tried opening the trapdoor, but failed. Berreck tried forcing it open while I went outside, sticking to the wall and trying to attack the sentry with spells.

Berreck succeeded in opening the door, but the sentry was waiting for him and attacked. The blow caused Berreck to fall off the ladder and go unconscious. I healed him quickly and then attacked the orc.

He died and fell through the trapdoor, landing next to Berreck and barely missing him.

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