After a two month hiatus the party reconvened for more Dungeons and, possibly, some dragons. They had leveled up, too, and had some new tricks up their sleeves:
Quoras, Alex’s halfling rogue, has gone down the “assassin” path and has become even deadlier when you don’t see him coming.
Dolemite, Justin’s dwarf cleric, has access to level 2 spells and can now heal the entire party in one go. He also currently has two wolves at his beck and call.
Rizzo, Cally’s wizard, can also cast level 2 spells, including the ominous “Crown of Madness”.
Clant, Phil’s human archer, took the “battle master” archetype, learning combat manoeuvres1 fueled by a pool of “superiority dice”2.
When last we met
After Quoras rescued himself and the group slaughtered nearly all of the Redbrand Ruffians they took up residence at Quoras’ sister’s farm. After a night of rest, where Rizzo learned the staff Quoras had gifted her from the dead Glasstaff was a staff of defense, able to cast certain spells at will, they decided to hunt down the goblins that had attacked them at the very start of the adventure.
They had no problem locating the cave the goblins used as a base, nor dispatching a room full of the creatures. Rizzo and Clant had had some problems avoiding two huge waves that had come rushing down the stream in the cave.
How to get away with murder
A human lay dead at their feet. He had no equipment or items and no identifying characteristics, so after thoroughly examining him — including Quoras rooting around in the man’s anus, in case something was hidden in there Pulp Fiction style — they decided to shelve the mystery and continue exploring.
The room led to a bridge, which everyone but Clant — the sole adventurer lacking darkvision — recognized as having been above them as they approached where the waves had come from. Rizzo obligingly cast dancing lights so Clant could see, and Quoras hummed a jolly tune.
As soon as they rounded a corner a trio of goblins attacked them.
The narrow entrance to the en-goblined room acted as a choke point, so after Quoras rushed forward to do his roguely duties of stabbing fools what need stabbing everyone else hung back and attacked with arrows, spells and, in Dolemite’s case, a thrown handaxe.
The goblins used their nimbleness to their advantage, with one shooting an arrow while the other two dashed in for attacks with scimatars before dodging back. Clant tried to use one of his new manoeuvres3, “riposte”, to attack a goblin after it missed, but his die failed him.
Dolemite, meanwhile, had no issues with dice: his thrown handaxe implanted itself in the skull of one of the goblins, and the twin quasars of death, Gatekeeper & Keymaster, converged on a second, reducing the goblin to a bloody mess.
They dispatched the third goblin soon afterward and surveyed the area: a waterfall blocked out most of the outside noise, and two pools had been created using rocks and sticks but lay mostly empty: most likely the source of the two waves that had washed away Rizzo and Clant.
The room had a second outlet, and Dolemite, wolves in tow, led the way. It looked deserted except for piles of treasure and an active fire. Suspecting treachery, Dolemite stopped the group and looked around. Behind the natural pillars in the room he saw goblins and a bugbear, crouched in wait.
The bugbear, the obvious leader of the group, directed his wolf to attack the group while he hurled a spear, which missed its mark. Clant and Quoras managed to subdue the wolf while Rizzo played with her new toys: she cast Crown of Madness on the bugbear.
A crown of jagged iron appeared on its head and its eyes took on a maniacal glow. It turned, mechanically, toward a goblin taking cover behind a pillar, and threw another javelin at it. This one missed too: the bugbear must have overslept on javelin throwing day in school. Having done Rizzo’s bidding it reclaimed control of its body, and seeing its fallen wolf let out a cry of anguish and escaped through a hole in the corner of the room.
Dolemite and his wolves continued their reign of terror and bloodshed, slaughtering another goblin. From there they mopped up the survivors, Clant and Quoras moving methodically to circumvent the goblins’ cover and Rizzo ending the fight with a well-placed Ray of Frost.
They looted the cavern, finding gold, treasure and a series of crates marked with what they recognized as the symbol of Phandalin’s Lionshield Coster.
With the goblin cave left a smoking pile of rubble, metaphorically speaking, the party headed back into Phandalin. There they took care of some odds and ends: they visit the Lionshield Coster, where Linene Graywind pays them a reward for the location of her missing shipment. They do some shopping there and at Barthen’s Provisions, then stand around a bit awkwardly. What do they do next? They asked Linene if she needed any more help with things, but since she had recovered her missing goods and the Redbrands wouldn’t bother her or anyone else anymore she felt fairly satisfied.
She asked if they had talked to Halia Thornton at the Phandalin Miner’s Exchange. They hadn’t, so there they headed. Halia seemed friendly but guarded and asked if they had come across any correspondence in Glasstaff’s quarters. They had: a note signed with the mark of a spider. She offered to pay them for it, an almost suspiciously high amount which she explained by saying it also covered the dispatching of Glasstaff.
They asked her if they could help her in any other way: she said no but offered the names of a few other people around town. They had talked to nearly everyone, with the exception of Daren Edermath. They thanked her and decided to visit him after a night of rest. Before they turned in they spent the night with Quoras’ sister, Quelline, and a keg of ale they had purchased. Quelline told them if they needed to find anything in the area — say, Cragmaw Castle, where Clant had heard he could find the head of the Cragmaw goblins — they should seek out Reidoth the druid, who last she heard had taken a trip to the ruins of Thundertree.
They had literally kicked ass and taken names. Tonight they would rest, and then: adventure!