27th of Flamerule 1482 DR
My dearest EB,
I have wonderful news. Recently I have become acquainted with a diverse company. We were hired to protect the good s of a dwarven ‘merchant’ to a rough and tumble place, Phandlin. They consist of a pair each of Humans, Halflings and Dwarves. There is Lord Bernard Stonehaven, not quite as stuffy as his name would suggest, a quite capable warrior, and Fletch McGonial, an archer almost good enough to qualify for the 3/7 Rangers, one wonders if he has a touch of the blood in his ancestry. Asha Highhill is able to hide as only the wee folk can do, although the other Halfling, Eldon Laughingleaf, seems a bit, how shall one say, vicious is too strong a word, but I would not wish to be on the receiving end of his blades. The Dwarves, twin brothers, Hazradad and Thran Brightaxw, are drawn to two different faiths. They have the blessings of their Gods and have proven themselves courageous although Thran is a bit more cantankerous than his brother. Before meeting Gundren Rockseeker, we all met and discussed how we should handle certain mundane tasks. It was decided that we should split any and all proceeds eight ways, with the extra share being a party slush fund. Thran volunteered and was unanimously accepted as party treasurer. Fletch was chosen to be the war leader, while Lord Bernard and Eldon are to represent us in more mundane matters. With these minor matters behind us we set out from Waterdeep.
It was a beautiful midsummer’s day as we walked alongside the cart with our patron’s goods. The goods in question seemed mostly to be mining implements and gear, one wonders what he is after. It was an uneventful morning and most of the afternoon until we spied, as we came around a bend in the road, two dead horses, feathered with black fletched arrows. We went back a short ways, no mean feat with the cart, I will never understand people’s reliance on oxen. They are a most dull and intractable creature. But I digress; we brought the cart back up the road and using the Halfling’s native skills at hiding, secreted the cart and our patron’s goods out of sight. We then cautiously proceeded back to the site of the ‘ambush’, with Asha and Eldon scouting our flanks in the underbrush. We were almost upon the dead horses when several arrows flew out from both sides while several Goblins advanced and made to attack! I saw Lord Bernard stagger from the force of one arrow that buried itself almost to the fletching in his side. Doughty warrior that he is, he yanked it out and prepared to meet the Goblins. Thran and Hazradad called upon their respective Gods and channeled the radiant holiness into the vile creatures, one of which seemed to glow from within before collapsing into a pile of ash. I watched as Fletch sunk his arrows into several goblins, pinning the eyes of one to the back of its skull. I heard a yelp of pain, then Asha came running out to the road, blood streaming from a nasty arrow shot to the knee. Calling upon the power as taught to us by our master, I caused several of the nasty creatures to fall asleep, while Lord Bernard used his blade to respond to the affront of being shot. In as many moments as it took to look around the band of Goblins was slain, they numbering almost a dozen. I recognized the horses as being those ridden by Gundren and his bodyguard when we had last seen them. Eldon was able to find a path behind the blinds that the Goblins had hidden in, leading off the Gods knew where. Fletch was able to discern that nigh onto a dozen or more had passed that way, dragging two creatures with them. We decided to follow the trail in hopes of rescuing our patron and his body guard.
The trail led on a ways into the countryside before leading us to a clearing wherein we spied a cave mouth, partially obscured by thickets. The keen eyes of several of our party espied the Goblins on watch and Fletch demonstrated his mastery with the bow by slaying one, while Eldon snuck up and gutted the other. Passing by the dead guards, we came into a natural tunnel with a shallow stream flowing out of it. We found a small cave off the path with three half starved and obviously angry wolves. Hazradad demonstrated his connection with the beasts, winning their trust and then releasing them. They quickly and happily left that vile place. A shallow crack was found which led to a midden heap over which we could see an opening. Lord Bernard scaled the rock face, bringing my rope with him to assist the rest of us getting up. Hazradad quickly followed with Fletch and the Halflings ready to follow. Thran and I kept an eye to insure we were not ambushed. Suddenly there was an enormous roar and a bestial growl soon followed by Hazradad flying down and landing on his face. I fear that it was only due to his brother’s divine aid that he got up. Lord Bernard quickly, although not as fast as Hazradad, descended and rejoined us. A large goblinoid came to the edge of the shelf recently vacated by my comrades and began shouting threats at us. Klarg was its name, and a fouler looking brute I have yet to meet. We left and went back to the main tunnel with Eldon in the lead, when suddenly there was a roar and a rushing of water which quickly became a flood. All of us, save Fletch and Lord Bernard were washed out into the clearing. Drying ourselves out, we waded in behind the Dwarven twins to rejoin our comrades in a side corridor they had found. This soon ended in a partially collapsed rock face, resembling a stairway. Hazradad used his keen Dwarven understanding of the rock to climb up and secure us entrance into the cave system. Having a choice of left or right, we went to the left, following the flickering of a fire we could not immediately see. We entered into a medium sized cave in which dwelt more of the foul Goblins. Taking the fight to them we forced our way into the cave, cutting down a few until I was able to see and cast my Sleep spell again. This left us with the leader, a slightly larger Goblin, who then dragged a beaten and tortured Human to the edge. He threatened to kill the Human if we did not surrender, while we kept the stupid brute talking, Hazradad worked his way under where the Human was dangling and once he was ready, Fletch skewered him with a pair of shafts! This left us with two breathing but sleeping Goblins, one of which it was soon determined didn’t speak a word of Common. Slaying the beast, Eldon interrogated the last Goblin and learned the layout of the remaining cave system and where Klarg could be found. The Goblin also informed us that Klarg and his band had been hired to waylay our patron who was taken not back to where we had followed but rather had been sent to the Black Spider. I know not who that person is, but Asha seemed to shudder when his name was mentioned. Eldon then stabbed the Goblin in the back, eviscerating him before our shocked eyes. Cleaning the debris out of the way, we set a guard and rested for the night.
Gundren’s bodyguard, Sildar, mentioned when he was recovered that our patron had discovered what he believed was a long lost dwarven mine, which supposedly has magical properties imbued in the rock and ore.
When the morning came I readied myself with my ever trusty Sleep and Mage Armor. Our plan was to advance into Klarg’s stronghold, where I would put as many Goblins to sleep as I could, while the rest of the party would dispatch the rest. We hoped to do this before Klarg and his pet, a wolf named Ripper, could enter the fray. Hat is just what we did, although I foolishly, advanced to begin slaying the sleeping Goblins. I had just dispatched one when with a horrific roar Klarg entered the fray and was intent on smashing me into the rock with his Morningstar. The Gods smiled upon me and caused him to slip in the gore from several of the now dead Goblins. At that point it was quick and bloody work to stab, slice and shoot the remaining Goblins, Klarg and Ripper. We were able to recover quite a store of looted and stolen goods which we decided to move and pile onto the cart and bring them with us to Phandelen. We also recovered a store of coin, some potions of healing, a carved jade frog with bulging gold eyes and 3 gold teeth (I believe they may have come from the bodyguard’s mouth). Gundren’s bodyguard suggested that we continue with all haste to Phandlin, where we might enlist a hireling of Gundren, a Human wizard named Yarno to assist in determining where Gundren had been taken. Thus decided we strode as fast as our feet would bear us onto Phandelen.