The Lost Mine of Phandelver

Memoirs of Krystiana (featuring Varrus Valerion)
I don't feel so good... (Kythorn 10, 1489 DR)

DM Note:  Get comfortable…

"Guys, I heard a noise.  Over there.  It's that damned bugbear, Klarg.  He's moving and not dead!"

Klarg is lying there in a pool of his own blood begging for us to spare his life.

He weakly stands up, but can only manage to lean against one of the stolen crates in the back of the room.  "I can help you, yes.  I can bring you the prisoner man.  I will give him to you and then you can leave.  Oh, and I can help you more.  I can tell you where you can find the ugly little dwa….ugh…"

I guess Varrus became impatient with the bugbear's attempts to bribe us, as the warrior hacked into Klarg with his great sword right across his neck.  As the bugbear was falling, I noticed something in it's left hand.  A green bottle falling from his grasp crashing onto the floor.  I tried to catch it, but it happened all too quickly.  In a flash, a green mist engulfed the room.  I couldn't see a thing.  All I could do is cough.  And cough.  And cough.  I have to try and get out of this room.  Where is everyone else?  Oh my.  I'm fading…

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - -

Oh that stench!!  Thankfully my Inquisition training prepared me for this.  I (Varrus) can't see anyone.  I need to get out of here.  I climbed out the small passage back to the room where we encountered the wolves.  The mist doesn't seem to be coming into here.  Maybe I should go and help…  Nah, they will all make it out I'm sure.  See there's Krystiana now crawling through the rubble.  Hmm…  She's stopped moving…  Let me drag her in here to safety.  I don't see the others.  I'll just prop her up against the wall here and she'll be just fine.  Now to find another way to that room.

Heading north into the passage, it's getting really dark.  So I light a torch and venture forward.  Up ahead I see an overpass.  There are 2 levels to this place?  I think I'll just take the passage I saw going west.  Ah nice!  There are stepping stones made just to cross the water to that passage.  Heading across, I clumsily slipped on the last rock and fell into the water.  Aghh!  I hit my face on the wall and it freaking hurt!

Just as I was recovering from my little mishap, I hear a strange scream from the northern passage.  I don't know what that could have been.  More goblins maybe?  Then a few seconds after, the loud sound of rushing water!  I lost my torch in the fall so I really couldn't see.  I just know I need to climb.  I think that western passage should be right around here.  Just managing to avoid a rush of water coming down the main passage, I climbed up into the passage.  Drying off, I attempt to light another torch.  My stuff is soaked!  It took a few tries, but I finally got one lit.

The western passage led to a dimly lit room with a small pit of fire towards the back.  There are 2 goblins in there.  As luck had it, they didn't know I was there yet.  I battled the 2 goblins, then a 3rd one appeared on a ledge in the back of this cavern.  Proceeding further into the cavern, I now see a human prisoner.  Time to be a hero!  Battling and defeating the 3 vermin, I manage to save the prisoner I later learn to be Sildar Hallwinter.  Isn't this that fellow who was traveling with the missing dwarf, Gundren Rockseeker?  They must have been ambushed down the Triboar Trail where we found the cart remains.

Sildar is badly beaten.  But luckily his gear is here and he has some sort of drink that made his wounds heal.  Huh.  Convenient.  Sildar wants me to help him get back to Phandalin.  But I insist I will help only after I find the rest of my group.

After exploring this wretched hideout and dispatching of another couple of goblins, we finally find the room adjacent to the other side of the room where the poison mist was dropped (Brain bender there).  Thankfully my friends are all there.  They managed to crawl out to safety.  But man, they look awful.  They are barely conscious, extremely disoriented, and they just don't stop vomiting.  And they aren't getting any better.   

Sildar and I help the group out of the cavern, and start heading down the trail towards Phandalin.  About an hour after getting to the main road, a merchant cart stops and offers assistance getting back to town.  We gladly accept.

Once arriving in Phandalin, Sildar insists we head to the Lionshield Coster.  I wait outside trying to care for my friends the best that I can.  Inside, I can see Sildar talking to some woman.  Then someone else enters the room.  Sildar receives some coin from one of them.  Finally after what seems an eternity, Sildar comes back with a wizardly looking fellow wearing red robes.  He is introduced to me as Iarno Albrek.  He says he can help.  After examining the ill party, he offers to go get a cleric to assist. 

Sildar knowing the town fairly well, escorts us all to an inn.  I notice the name, "Stonehill Inn".    Hmmm…   We get the largest room available.  Then about an hour later, the wizard returns with a cleric named Durgold Lightbringer.  After careful examination, (which includes skin, blood, sweat, and saliva samples), he claims that he and Iarno need to carefully test the samples to try to figure out any possible remedy.

So we wait.  The group is looking worse and worse.  I'm starting to wonder if they are going to survive this?  Finally the cleric and wizard return.  Durgold informs us that he believes he can create a cure, but is missing 1 crucial ingredient.  He describes it as "Troll birth fluids".  My lord, I think I'm going to hurl just imagining that.  "Without this, no cure can be made".  Then Iarno offers me a large jug.  He claims it's unbreakable and can withstand the elements it needs to contain.

But where the hell do I find a troll?  A PREGNANT troll?
Some crazy wizard spell later, I have directions to the Yartar Bridge, a little over a days travel east of here.  Fascinating…

Renting a few travel horses, we ride at a feverous pace.  Sildar and I are likely getting very close, but we are also losing light.  And I am so very tired.  So we agree to setup camp and continue at 1st light.

But the evening would not pass without incident.  I apparently dozed off during my watch, as I awoke to the realization that something was going on!  Sildar was being dragged into the forest by 2 cloaked figures.  I began to chase them down when an arrow whizzes by my head from behind!  Battling these bandits proves to be extremely challenging.  Every time I think I'm about to deliver a death blow, they manage to dodge my blow ever so slightly to lessen impact of the strike.  It's uncanny!  We manage to kill 1 of the attackers, but the other 2 manage to escape into the forest.  Returning to our camp, we notice that they must have gone through our bags!!  Missing are some coins and, more importantly, the unbreakable jug!

There was no tracking these rogues down, so we rested the remainder of the night until sunrise.  Traveling little more than 2 hours, we see what looks to be a huge bridge about 500 feet ahead.  Scouting it out, 2 trolls have made a makeshift home beneath the bridge.  Curious as for what to expect, I sent my horse running forward towards the bridge.  Closing in about 50 feet from the bridge, a large rock comes flying towards the my horse.  Unable to avoid the deadly accurate aim, the horse is struck and killed instantly.  What am I going to tell the stablemate?

I go to get a closer look to the west side of the bridge, while Sildar enters the woods out of sight to the east.  Seeing no other options, I start firing my crossbow at the male troll who appears to be guarding the female.  In return, the troll starts lobbing nearby boulders at me.  Getting nowhere, I begin to close in on the bridge.  Just as the troll looks like he is going to engage me, I see an arrow come flying and sink deep into it's back.  On the other side of the bridge, I see Sildar shoot his bow and then start running into the woods.  The male troll begins to give chase east after his ranged attacker. 

Sildar glances at me directing me to the bridge.  But instead, I give chase to the troll who, in turn, is chasing Sildar.  After a few missed crossbow shots and about 100 foot of chase, I feel a strange sensation in my head.  I "hear" the voice of Sildar in my head, clear as if he were mere inches from my ear.  "You moron!  Get to the female troll.  We can't possibly defeat them both in combat!"  I'll lose the male in the forest.

Getting the hint, I make my way into the underbelly of the bridge.  Inside I see the female troll.  She is extremely pregnant and her breathing is greatly labored.  In my typical style, I take my great sword in hand and begin attacking her.  Battling her, I see she is lashing out at me frantically but obviously suffering with being in labor.  The female troll is cradling her stomach with every attempted defense.  Seeing this opening, I slice open her stomach with my blade.  Oh what a mess!  Blood, mucus-like fluid, and what looks like a dead embryo now lie in a thick puddle on the ground.  The strike heavily staggered the female and she let out an awful scream falling to the ground.  Taking my opportunity, I emptied my water skin and refilled it with some of the awful afterbirth that poured out of the creature's belly.

— Krystiana:  Ok, the horse sacrifice was bad enough.  But it's a good thing I wasn't conscious, as I couldn't protest more as to how this situation with the female troll was handled!!!

Having filled my water skin with this disgusting missing ingredient, I begin running up the path back in the direction we originally traveled.  Seconds later, I see Sildar approaching me on horseback from behind.  In one short swift move, he reached down and pulls me aboard the horse.  Looking back over my shoulder, I can see the female troll crawling towards what was once her ready to be born infant and the male rushing to her side.  Both letting out heart wrenching screams of anguish looking down at the remains.

— Krystiana:  <crying>

Arriving back at the Priest's Bane Inn (which I could have sworn was called the Stonehill Inn), I deliver the last needed ingredient.  Administering the doses, both Iarno Albrek and Durgold Lightbringer assure me that after a good night's rest the group will awake to feel like new men (and a woman).  So the wizard, cleric, and Sildar leave us to recover.  Quickly I fade off into a deep sleep.

I wake to a calming light breeze coming in through the open window, the sounds of townspeople going about their business, and the peaceful chirping of birds playing in the trees.  I look around the room.  I first see Bareic lying face down on the makeshift bedding.  The skin on his neck and arms, once a yellowish purple, now appearing pale but without foul tint.  They must be getting better!

Feeling a sense of relief I head over to the sink.  Running water over my hands and face, I reach for the towel.  I clear out the crust from my eyes.  Looking up into the mirror, I… "OH MY GOD!!!"

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Memoirs of Krystiana Darona
- So what's with all these wolves? (Kythorn 8, 1489 DR)


So after battling the goblin ambush, the guys looted the goblin bodies.
Eww…  I can't stand the thought of even touching these things, never mind after they are all cut up into bloody pulps.

We spotted a path headed to the North West.  I assumed this was how these goblins just appeared out of nowhere.  Despite curiosity, we proceeded to Phandalin to complete our task at hand.

Arriving in Phandalin, we met with Elmer Barthen – the owner of Barthen's Provisions.He is a lean and balding human male shopkeeper of 50ish years with a kindly manner.  He employs a couple of young clerks (Ander and Thistle) who help empty the supply cart.

He paid each of us the remaining 15 GP.

In conversation with Mr. Barthen we learned of trouble in the town being caused by a brigand group known as the Redbrands.  Why do I get the feeling we are going to have future problems with this group?

Once business was completed with shop owner, we left immediately to return to the site of the goblin ambush.  They wanted to investigate that trail we found.  So we traveled immediately, right though the night.  Upon reaching the crossroad, we decided to set up camp.  During the watch, we started hearing noises.  Like something, or multiple somethings, were walking around the nearby woods.  Then the growling…  We were being surrounded by wolves!!  Having no other choice, we fought and killed these wolves.  I didn't feel really good about it, but what other choice did we have?

So once we had enough morning light, we proceeded west to the site of original horse attack where the path awaited us.  We followed the path to a cave, maybe a mile or 2 off the main road.

Rekt proceeded forward to take a closer look at the cave entrance and was ambushed by 2 goblins who were apparently guarding the entrance.

Yet another battle ensued.  Before I knew it, someone in our group cast some sort of magical spell causing the grass, trees, and vines to come alive and grab hold of our attackers. I had no idea they could do this.  I can't do anything that cool!  Maybe I underestimated this group I find myself traveling with.  After dispatching of the goblins, Varrus and Barc entered cave and discovered pathway to the right side.  Inside were 2 wolves chained to the ground.  They started making a lot of noise with their loud barking.  Then 1 more entered the room.  This wolf was even larger, and more importantly, not chained.  We had to dispatch of them quickly before whatever lives in here was alerted to our presence.

Trying to understand where this other wolf came from, one of my eagle eyed companions discovered a hidden opening in the back of the room.  It was obscured from site with rubble and filthy hanging cloth.  I would have never seen that.  I don't know.  Maybe I'm not cut out to be an adventurer after all…

Barc decided to crawl into the opening.  Soon after we hear what sounds like commotion from within the room.  Then the sounds of Barc fighting.  We tried,to get in there quickly, but the opening was small and it was difficult getting through.

But once I did get in, I saw 2 more of these goblin creatures, a bugbear named Klarg (who seemed obsessed with telling us how puny we were), yet another wolf, and a room full of supply crates.  What's with all these wolves anyway?  I feel terrible killing puppies.

So now we find ourselves in yet another battle.  It was surreal.  It was like I was on autopilot (what's autopilot anyway?).  Fighting these deadly foes became almost instinct.  My only real memory of the fight was watching the wolf take Barc's staff from him then somehow attack him with it.  I didn't know an animal could do that.  Wow!  Luckily Barc was able to find another weapon amongst the crates in the room as his became broken in the melee.  

In watching this, I unknowingly must have let down my guard.  I saw my life quickly flash before me as the blade of this nasty bugbear came within inches of piercing my chest.  But just as the blade was upon me, Bareic blocked the blow and struck the foe with a hard hit attack.  He really fought like a master.  I really feel outclassed.

Oh no, that bugbear is now trying to flee!!  But as he attempted to make his escape, that unsociable rogue who travels with us suddenly was there to deal the final blow to him.  I didn't even know he was still with us.  Such a creepy individual he is.  I don't even think we know his name!  

Thank heavens that this is over with.  We rest for a few minutes to collect our thoughts.  We look around the room to see if there's anything useful in here.  

<click>

Uh guys, what was that?

 

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Memoirs of Krystiana Darona.
- It all starts here (Kythorn 5, 1489 DR)

It's 1489 DR and the small downside to this renewed peace throughout Faerûn is how work has now become so tough to find. With seemingly 20+ adventurers fighting for each available job, it's a wonder I even eat (though maybe my waistline gives thanks!). But today I came across a work opportunity that I couldn't possibly pass up.

A dwarf named Gundren Rockseeker arrived in Neverwinter with what seems to be a "too good to be true" work opportunity.  He's interviewing candidates for a seemingly simple job – escort his cart full of provisions and supply goods from Neverwinter to the trade post in Phandalin.  It's only a couple days travel southeast of the city.  Gundren was clearly excited but more than a little secretive about his reasons for the trip, saying only that he and his brothers have found "something big."  And he's offering 20GP each for escorting his supplies safely to Barthen's Provisions, a trading post in Phandalin.  Wow!  I could do a lot with 20GP.  A fancy new lute maybe?  I'm excited!

The interview process was a little intimidating.  There must have been almost 30 adventurers of various races, colors, and professions all vying for the opportunity to make some relatively fast gold.  But I got in there early didn't allow him to say no. Dwarves can never refuse a big smile and a few fingers running through their beard.  I was in!  

Many others were not so lucky.  From what I saw, only 8 were selected.  Among these 8 were two warrior brothers named Denjen and Parsak.  They are extremely full of themselves and too authoritative for my liking.  Hopefully they prove to be the mighty warriors they claim to be. Then there was this really creepy hooded fellow who really didn't talk much.  He makes me nervous. I think I'll keep my distance for now.

On a more positive note, there were these 4 other gentleman. They seem to be a group who have worked together before. Barcallias, an apparent druid, Varrus Valerion, a soldier of some sort, Rekt, a strange form of blue humanoid that I've never seen before, and Bareic, a holy warrior.  Funny story, I actually met Bareic the night before.  I thought he was kind of dashing, for lack of another word.  I gave him a little bump to try and get his attention.  Unfortunately after a quick introduction, things went nowhere and we parted ways.  I must have been having a bad hair day or something.

After Mr. Rockseeker selected his escorts, he set out ahead on horse, along with a warrior escort named Sildar Hallwinter, claiming he needed to arrive early to "take care of business".
So the following morning I arrived at the stables a bit early to see if I could lend a hand to get this venture started early and smoothly.  But upon my arrival, there was already someone there. Varrus, part of the foursome I met the night before, was there.  I'm not sure what he was doing.  He just seemed to be secretly lurking in the shadows, unsuccessfully mind you, scoping the place out.

Eventually the other 6 arrived and we departed on our quest.  We proceeded south down the High Road for many miles.  Of course, the 2 warrior buffoons, Denjen and Parsak insisted on driving the cart.  Whatever…  I didn't have any desire to drive it anyway.  The view was nice traveling down the coast.  After a day and a half, we veered east from the High Road onto the Triboar Trail.  We are making great time!  This gold is going to be even easier work than expected.

Having been on the Triboar Trail now for maybe half the day, Barc has signaled for the cart to be stopped.  He was scouting ahead looking for trouble and he apparently has found it.  Ahead blocking the trail were 2 dead horses.  Closer inspection shows they have been shot with black feathered arrows.  The saddlebags have also been looted.  I have a bad feeling about this… Before I knew it, there were more arrows whizzing through the air towards us!  Then it was full on with us battling a bunch of goblins.  When all was said and done, we were victorious.  But we paid a price…  Parsak and Denjen, the two boastful warriors and drivers, lay dead from the goblin archers attack.  Maybe if my arrows had shot true, these deaths could have been avoided.  I feel terrible…

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Renewed light across Faerûn
- A New Hope

The date is 1489 DR (Dale Reconning).

It is a time of rebirth and restored optimism throughout the lands of Toril.  Many dark years across the land, where most had given up hope for tranquility, have finally started to give way to light with the unexplained conclusion of the War with the Orcs.  The years of darkened skies have been restored with sunshine.  Vegetation and crops now grow where none had for years.  Prayers that had been left unanswered by the Gods are now being heard once again.

Sages and scholars far and wide have been conflicted as to the cause of this sundering and even more-so as to it's cure. There's even one very old, but highly respected, wizard who has been so bold as to claim that this is the result of war amongst the mighty Gods themselves.  

Here our tale begins.  Four adventurers meet up in Neverwinter - a city that is part of a much larger collective area commonly known as "The Sword Coast".

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