D&D 5E Lenora's Journal for Our Phandelver Campaign Transition into Curse of Strahd


Session 11 – Into Thundertree – Dragon Cultists not Zombies

We all decided to scout into Thundertree to see what it was like. The town itself seemed abandoned, many of the buildings left in ruin. We saw a sign of warning flapping in the wind, “Danger, Zombies,” and then we saw a few buildings that were less destroyed and ruined. Heinrick led us up to one in the south east of town near where we entered from the road. The windows were covered from within and the door was closed. Heinrick opened the door to find a small room littered with debris. There was another door to the north of this room, and when Heinrick and I were inside, the door flew open as a streak of light seemed to produce a number of humanoids – two wore flame colored outfits while another was dressed all in black, wearing a mask. They threatened to feed us to the "mother" and the "child." They spoke about the dragon and they attacked us.

Heinrick took the brunt of the attacks as I tried to maneuver into a position that would allow for me to spread forth burning flames. Singing a bladesong before two of the cultists attacked me, saved my skin. Heinrick attacked with his sword and got hit a few times. Rasputin fired off Eldritch Blasts when he could, while Brace jumped in to sneak attack cultists when possible. Gerald hung back waiting for a time when his healing arts would be needed. Before too long, more cultists came from the adjacent room. I was able to catch two of the red ones and the one in black. The two red ones died immediately, but the cultist in black stood his ground. Heinrick hacked into another cultist taking him down, and Rasputin blasted the one in black as Brace slid his blade into the masked cultists back, killing him. We took down the others pretty soon, but realized that the flames from my spell were now burning throughout the room.

After nearly 30 seconds and a lot of uncertainty, grabbing drapes and clothes, even using the bodies of the fallen, we were able to put out the fire before it did more damage. A few of us took some heat damage from the flames and Gerald was weakened by the smoke.

After controlling the blaze, Rasputin looked at the masked cultist and assumed his visage. In the other room we found some food and drink and the door and window leading outside from that room had been boarded and shuttered pretty solidly. Gerald and Heinrick stayed in the room and took a rest while Rasputin, Brace and I went out to inspect the outside of the building. Brace climbed up on to the roof to look out over the town and see what he could see. Rasputin saw some signs of force used against the outside door to the north, but he couldn’t tell if they were old or new markings. I kept an eye out behind Rasputin to watch his back.

Rasputin scouted further to the west and found a building that might have been a smithy. The door was stuck so he left it closed and looked a little to the north finding a partially ruined building as well. I hid behind some ruins and waited for Rasputin to return. Shortly he came back and we went back to our new camp inside the building we cleared. When we got back, we found that Heirnick had chopped up the cultists to make sure they didn’t come back as zombies as he stated that he could tell we were on desecrated soil. We dragged the dead outside the building and piled them to the east of the building. Then we set watches and took our night’s rest.

Although there was a terrible storm that night, we rested undisturbed and woke refreshed, and very happy that we did not have to spend a night out in the storm. Peeking outside, we found that the storm had subsided, but the town did look more windswept and rain scoured than when we first arrived.

Personally, I think the story about the zombies that came to attack the residents 30 years ago was an old story. The new threat seems to revolve around this dragon cult we’ve encountered and the possibility that there is or will be a real dragon somewhere near. I am both frightened and curious to see such a creature. For a bladesinger like myself, the tales of Tal’ana Culith – Dragon friend and Elf protector are always on my mind.
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Session 12 – Exploring Thundertree – Ash Zombies and Twig Blights

After preparing ourselves for the day (studying my spells and casting mage armor), we followed Rasputin to the smithy building he had found. Heinrick, sensed the desecration around us, and pushed open the door. Inside, two shambling ash zombies lurched forward. When Brace hit one with an arrow, it issued forth a putrid gas and rot that made Rasputin sick. The zombies beat on Heinrick, but eventually we were able to take them down, even after one tried to stand again after getting hacked by the Dwarf’s longsword. We could tell that Gerald’s sacred flame did damage that kept a zombie down too.

The smithy was only a small 20’ x 20’ building with some anvils and tools, but little else so we followed Rasputin back east to another ruined building that looked like a weaver’s shop. All the while, Rasputin disguised himself as the masked dragon cultist dressed in black.

Henrick and I stepped inside the ruined weaver’s hop and saw some of the sticks and vines on the ground coil and form into small creatures, twig blights. 6 of them stood before us and soon they were closing on Heinrick. Heinrick got hit by a number of the pesky creatures as I killed a few with my blade and the cascading green flame that lept from one to another. Brace stepped forward and stabbed deeply into another creature reducing it to inanimate debris. One of the twiggy creatures slashed at me and opened a wound on my sword arm, but Heinrick hacked another bringing it down, all as poor sick Rasputin’s eldritch blasts could not find the mark. Eventually we defeated the last of the blights, but the room did not have anything else of interest.

We worked our way to the north east of town, seeing a statue of a founder who fought to defend Thundertree so many years ago. The statue’s face looked brave as it wielded sword and shield in defense. Then to the north we saw a tower to the west and a barracks to the east. Both seemed in tact. Keeping to the periphery of the town, we went to the barracks.

Heinrick pushed open the door and quickly two more ash zombies stepped up to attack. We fought them at the door as another joined in, and a few moments later two jumped down from the roof of the barracks, one hitting Gerald, the other missing Brace. Heinrick found it quite easy to resist the sickness caused by the cloud of putrid ash, but Gerald and I both got sick as we fought. Heinrick got hit a few times. Brace and Gerald also took damage from the attackers. One Zombie went down twice, but got back up again to attack Heinrick with vengeance. One of the zombies would have hit me, but I conjured a magical shield to block the blow. Eventually we put the zombies down for good and moved into the barracks.

We spent a short time cleaning the place so that we could use it to rest. It was a more fortified position than where we slept last night, so we wanted to keep it as a safe place for the next time we needed a long rest. Henrick needed to rest and bandage his wounds so we spent an hour, which I used to call back some spell energy I had used that day. Heinrick patched himself up, and I used a little of my own fortitude to help staunch the small wound I received.


Session 13 – Green Death – Venom Fang

After resting, Rasputin re-disguised himself as one of the Dragon Cultists we had defeated earlier. He scouted to the west near the tower and ruined castle. Heinrick, Brace, Gerald and I followed at a distance and kept to the trees. I used the message cantrip to communicate with Rasputin. Apparently, he saw two dead, shriveled and puckered, giant spiders that seemed to be dragged near the front door of the stone building. Then, suddenly, the sun was blocked momentarily and a young green dragon flew above and landed near Rasputin. I could not make out what Rasputin said as he was speaking some strange language (I can only assume it was Draconic because the dragon seemed to understand him), but soon after he did say something to the dragon, the dragon turned toward Heinrick and approached our advancing Dwarf Paladin.

Gerald blessed Brace, Heinrick and I, and then Rasputin fired an Eldritch blast at the dragon but missed so even though I didn’t want to fight the creature, we had committed to battle. Heinrick took a claw that opened a gash across his chest. The creature spoke in strange tongue we could not understand, but we could hear his name – Venom Fang. Brace angled for a shot, and connected with Venom Fang, which caught the dragon’s attention. The dragon flew off toward Brace, who had ducked behind a statue in the road. Heinrick took a swing at Venom Fang with his blade, but his blade bounced harmlessly off the dragon’s hide. I moved toward the northern copse of bushes and a tree and tried to inflict Venom Fang with frostbite, but his constitution was too high for my spell power to work against him. Then Venom Fang clawed and bit at Brace, knocking him down, unconscious. Then, a final claw dug into Brace and we could tell Brace was nearly dead.

Venom Fang turned back to face the others as Gerald’s sacred flame scorched the dragon for some minor damage. I created a rope trick hidden in the bushes under the tree where I was and then I moved out to get a shot at Venom Fang with my short bow, before firing the bow I yelled out to my friends, “run to the tree – meet there and I can teleport us away.”

Rasputin hexed the creature and fired another Eldritch blast. This time he did some damage, but before Venom Fang could get to him, he had to fight Heinrick who had tried to climb up his back and tail to attack him from the topside. Unfortunately, Heinrick slipped and fell so Venom Fang attacked, missing with claws, but biting for tremendous damage. Heinrick was down, unconscious but not dead.

Rasputin ran to where I had created the rope trick and tried to all out, grab the rope and climb, but he misgrabbed the rope after climbing 20’ up, and he fell, hitting the ground with a resounding thump, perhaps breaking a rib or two. Then, Venom Fang turned on Rasputin and struck him down. The dragon picked up Rasputin, the unconscious warlock, and flew up to the tower. We had no idea what had become of our companion.

Gerald seeing an opportunity, ran over to Heinrick and casted cure wounds. Heinrick told him to “run” and he proceeded to crawl toward Brace, the nearly dead rogue. Heinrick touched Brace and imbued him with a small portion of life (1 hp).

Brace, Heinrick and Gerald all started to move closer to the rope trick, but before they could get there, Rasputin’s body fell from the tower. He was dead. Then Venom Fang landed but 10’ away from us and he breathed a cloud of noxious gas. The poison engulfed at least Gerald and I. I can’t believe it didn’t kill me. Unfortunately, Gerald was not so lucky. I watched as his body contorted in painful spasms, and his skin blistered and turned green and sickly. He dropped to the ground, a quivering mass of disfigured flesh. Brace panicked and ran to the south. I ran to the rope trick. Heinrick ran with me.

I was able to get up into the extradimensional space, but when Heinrick got to the rope, he climbed up and swung himself toward the dragon rather than enter the space with me. He tried to jump on to the dragon with his sword drawn, but he was unsuccessful. Venom Fang seized the opportunity to finally down the Dwarf paladin, and in the next few seconds, the dragon swallowed the Dwarf entirely.

I pulled up the rope and hid inside the rope trick space, hoping that the dragon would not stay around when the spell ended. It seemed as if Brace ran off to the south so I was unsure where he had gone or what fate had visited him.

While I waited, I rested and bandaged my wounds as best I could. My lungs burned, but I started to fell a little better.

When the rope trick ended, I climbed down and tried to quietly make my way to the east so I could retrace our steps back to the side of the town and down to the road we came in on. I made too much noise and the dragon flew down toward me. I ran to the barracks building to the east and dove for the door. The dragon flew by and clawed me once, tearing into my flesh, nearly knocking me unconscious (1hp). I managed to open the door and dive in and hide myself in the middle of the barracks. As I was in there, I could hear the dragon landing on top of the building. It was tearing at the roof trying to get at me. I casted another rope trick and hid myself in the extradimensional space once more.

When the spell ended, I made my way down and saw that the top of the roof had been ripped open, but a portion of the south rooms seemed to still have a roof. I hid myself in the enclosed area and spent the night without sleeping. I was badly wounded and low on energy. Eating rations and drinking some water kept me from being overly fatigued, but I was in bad condition. After a few more hours, I snuck out of a window on the east side and snuck my way to the edge of town. I was lucky not to encounter the dragon or any other hostile creatures, but I was at least 20 miles from Waterdeep, and a few days through the woods to Phandalin.

I started my way toward Waterdeep, and saw some farm lands. Some of the farm hands saw me and rushed to my aid. They took me in and tended to my wounds. That’s were I am now. Three of my comrades are dead, and I don’t know what happened to Brace. When I’m stronger, I’ll make my way back to Phandalin. Perhaps Brace made it back. In any event, I’ll need to join up with some new adventurers and get my life back on track.
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...I started my way toward Waterdeep, and saw some farm lands. Some of the farm hands saw me and rushed to my aid. They took me in and tended to my wounds. That’s were I am now. Three of my comrades are dead, and I don’t know what happened to Brace. When I’m stronger, I’ll make my way back to Phandalin. Perhaps Brace made it back. In any event, I’ll need to join up with some new adventurers and get my life back on track.

Wow, a near TPK. The green dragon encounter is a bit ridiculous. In most scenarios where PCs encounter the Dragon, they are simply dead adventurers walking. Unless they get very, very lucky retreat isn't much of an option - the Dragon will catch them.

Did your group continue from this or start fresh?


Lenora will limp back to Phandalin and meet up with some new adventurers. We'll see how we progress. Most of the players are rolling up new characters and one is joining the group. I think the new person is going to be playing a noble's daughter who has some hired companions (the other players). Eventually they will seek out Lenora because they will hear rumors that Lenora survived the encounter with the dragon

I played last night as a guest (running one of the new PCs for someone else). The 1st level PCs had to do some pre-adventure to get them together and get them to a point where they can travel to Phandalin.


This is glorious- I'm loving the action, I hope the new guys get levelled up and back into the fray soon. I also hope you write up, or summarise, the adventures of the heroes to get back to this point.

I've just started writing up (again, I tried once before but was unhappy with the result) the action from our venture into the Lost Mines of Phandelver, the first session is here- The State of the Union

Keep up the great work, I dearly wish one of my players would write up a journal as you have.

Cheers goonalan


Session 13, 14 and 15 – Lenora meets new Adventurers

I was able to catch a ride with a farmer who was taking some of his goods to the outskirts of Waterdeep. Then I made my 3 day journey to Phandalin. Exhausted, dejected and alone, I checked back at the Stonehill Inn. Toblin and Myrna, the innkeeper and his wife, greeted me, but they could tell I had been through an ordeal. They didn’t even ask me about the others yet, sensing what had happened to them. Brace was nowhere to be found so I offered to pay for a room so I could just rest. Toblin would not take my money.

Eventually, I told Toblin and Myrna what had happened to us in Thundertree, and I spent a few more days writing and contemplating. That night, a red-headed young noble woman with three retainers (a priest, a druid and a monk) arrived at the inn. Pretty soon, the noble woman was addressing me. She had heard about our encounter with Venomfang, and she was way too excited to go see the dragon. Over dinner and drinks, I was able to calm her down and impress upon her how dangerous dragons really are, and I learned that her father was a wealthy noble in Waterdeep. Her name was Syvrina, and she was on an expedition to see the world and help her dad. The priest with her, who kept saying, “yes, m’lady” to Syvrina, introduced himself as Brigby. The druid was Bynn, a man who had a taste for drink, but Syvrina kept him in check so that he only could have one drink. The monk, Yut ief, was not a very bright one, but he seemed pretty reliable. It turns out that Syvrina’s father was paying these guys to adventure with his daughter and keep her safe.

Syvrina told me that she was unable to get shipments of perfume because there were disturbances up this way. I had three vials of perfume from my days adventuring with my departed companions so I gave them to her. As trade, she gave me a map that showed the location of Cragmaw Castle, and she said that that was the source of the disruption. She asked if I’d join them as they explored and ended the disruption. I figured it was time to get back out in the world, and I remembered our original reason for coming to Phandalin, to find Gundrun Rockseeker, the cousin of Heinrick the Dwarven paladin that I used to adventured with. My earlier exploits revealed that Gundrun was taken to Cragmaw Castle, so now at least I could do a good deed for my dead friend.

We spent one more night at the inn, getting ready for our new adventure and started off in the morning. We traveled up to the Triboar Trail and headed west until we could cut north and enter the forest. Bynn and Yut were both quite good at finding trails and aiding our travel. I tried to play a tune for Syvrina on my viol, but when Brigby sang along, it made me shudder so I was not at my best. Syvrina seemed to like Brigby’s tune though so whatever.

A few hours into the woods, with Yut sneaking to our left, we were attacked by a small band of Hobgoblins. I remembered how tactical and tough they were so I didn’t try to conserve my spellpower. With Mage Armor already on, I sang a bladesong. My companions were already in battle with the Hobgoblins, Yut put up a fight, but was eventually knocked down by two of the foes. Brigby fought beside Syvrina and Bynn while I moved over to protect the fallen monk. Using a more powerful burning hands, I was able to kill one and injure another Hobgoblin. Brigby moved into position near two more of the brutes, but before he could blast them with a powerful Thunderwave, another knocked Syvrina unconscious. Brigby blew the two Hobgoblins away with his mighty spell, and was soon able to use some divine magic to save Syvrina, “m’lady.” Bynn moved towards Yut and although his thorn whip did not catch a foe, his healing word restored Yut and got him up again. As the last Hobgoblin turned and ran, I gave chase, but I could not take him down right away. While the others were getting up and regrouping, I continued my chase and faced off against the Hobgoblin. He was unable to cut me so he ran again, but I was able to cut him down.

We stayed where we were for the night, but had to defend ourselves against a small group of Orcs. They were not as difficult to put down as the Hobgoblins, but their great axe swipes could have been nearly as dangerous. We bested those vermin, and continued our journey toward the castle nearly refreshed from our night of rest.

When we got to the castle, Syvrina walked right up to a side door and started to speak yell out, “you hoo…come out…are you there?” I had to speak with the lady and tell her that all of this could be dangerous and we needed to be more quiet. When I could tell that this wasn’t really getting through to her, I told her that it would be more fun if we were quiet and tried to sneak into the castle. I had heard her talking to her hired men earlier about sneaking into daddy’s kitchen to eat pies, so I figured maybe I could appeal to this playful side of her. Brigby, Bynn and Yut gave me the nod. Truth be told, Syvrina was actually really good at sneaking so we needed to use that to our advantage.

The door, it turned out, was locked. Syvrina took a hair pin out and used it to open the door, just like when she opened doors in her own house. I palmed my head in dumfounded amazement as Brigby helped open the door. Inside he was shot at by goblin shortbows, and he took an arrow wound immediately. Yut came running up from our flank and entered the castle. That monk could really move. He smacked down two goblins with a quick snap of his hands, and then he positioned himself by a doorway to the left. We all entered and fought with a number of goblins, one looking a little more beefy than the others. It seemed as if the others called him Yegg. Our fight took us deeper into a dining hall and another hallway, down a corridor and to another room. Yut and Bynn peeled off to the left into the dining hall to fight some goblins in there, while the rest of us fought the ones right before us. Brigby, Syvrina and I fought up to the right and cornered Yegg, but Yegg was able to scramble up some rubble into a room behind a door to the east. Syvrina went up to follow, but then she came down again, cut by a blade, telling us that two hobgoblins were in the next room with Yegg. A hobgoblin opened the door we were near and I disengaged to get away. Then Brigby let loose another of his thunderwaves to throw both of the hobgoblins back dead. We were able to take out Yegg too, but as we waited for our companions to catch up, we realized they were not coming to us.

In the dining hall, Yut and Bynn fought against a number of goblins. Bynn had turned himself into a dire wolf and was ripping some of the goblins to shreds. Yut slapped them with his unarmed strikes, downing a number of the little humanoids. But, just before we got back to assist, Yut was struck down by a goblin. Bynn still in beast form tried to take out another of the goblins. When Brigby was cut by one of the goblins and he too went down, dying, Bynn reverted back to druid form and healed the dying cleric, who in turn healed the dying monk. Eventually we finished off the goblins and none others came to defend. We searched the area quickly, but didn’t find much. Then I told the others that we should make it look as if we fled the castle, using blood smears, bloody footprints and all to lead away from the castle, but then, sneak back in and hide in the corner of the dining hall near a ruined tower in a the extradimensional space I could create using my Rope Trick spell. This would allow us to hide and take an hour to reinvigorate ourselves. Bynn executed my plan very well, and we were all able to slip into the rope trick and “disappear” for an hour.
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Session 16 – Cragmaw Castle – Goblins, Hobgoblins and Owl Bear

After the Rope Trick ended, we dropped down to find that many of the goblin bodies that littered the ruined dinning hall had been dragged away. Slightly concerned, we kept exploring to the north. As we opened another door into a shrine like room, we encountered some more goblins. I neglected to sing my bladesong, during our battle, one of the little buggers cut me and ran past me to escape. While the others took on the few goblins in the shrine room, I tried to find the goblin that fled past me. I climbed over some rubble into the hall to the east, but could not find the little green menace. The others took care of the goblins, and when I came back to the shrine, I saw that Bynn had taken a ritual chalice from the alter and smashed it under foot. Yut, who had used his shortsword and open hand attacks had been able to take down many of the goblins. Syvrina and Brig did their share of killing too. Before we could search much more, Yut ran off to the west.

Within a few seconds, Yut came running back yelling about more hobgoblins. Apparently, he had opened a door into another tower room to see four of the brutes. Bynn, transformed into dire wolf form and stood guard right outside the closed door that Yut said the hobgoblins would use. Then, when one of the foes stepped through the door, Bynn pounced and took it down in one blow. Syvrina stood ready with her bow for another who came out, and then the rest of our group came into the room to fight the hobgoblins. Somehow, one of the foes made it to the south of us and came up, trapping Brig. Brig brought his Morningstar down on the hobgoblin, a mighty blow, but it wasn’t enough to stop the hobgoblin from getting revenge. The hobgoblin skewered Brig and took Brig down.

Meanwhile, Syvrina, Yut and I were both fighting the other hobgoblins. I stepped up and used burning hands to kill the two in the doorway, and then I stepped into the room to engage another. Syvrina ended up firing upon the creature, wounding it as Yut moved around to take out the hobgoblin that downed Brig. Bynn moved close to Brig and assumed his Half-Elven form. Then he placed a goodberry into Brig’s mouth and induced Brig to swallow it. Syvrina and I took down the last hobgoblin and took a breather to decide how to proceed.

Eventually, Bynn used his last healing spell to restore some of Brig’s health, and then he gave out the rest of his goodberries to boot. We knew we were low on resources, but we decided to explore a little more before finding another safe place to rest in my Rope Trick. We ended up searching the area finding some edible provisions, a long sword from Neverwinter, some bloody chainmail and a crossbow. None of it looked especially well made, but at least the sword looked official. Bynn also went back to the alter and destroyed the dagger and other goblin objects.

Soon after, Yut scrambled off to the south west and went to the doorway that we had found earlier where I had heard growling behind. As he neared he saw many of the dead goblin bodies, some missing arms, legs, huge pieces torn from their dead bodies, etc. After a little while, we heard Yut outside the castle to the north, running around to get behind us. It seems as if an owl bear was on the loose and Yut got bitten, nearly going down when he was exploring the area to the south east. He yelled for us to get out so we all regrouped to the west side of the castle and headed a little bit to the west to find a place so I could cast the Rope Trick. I was able to do that without encounters so we took an hour in our extradimensional space where I was able to tend to my wounds, and the others were able to tend to their wounds as well.


Session 17 – Rescuing Gundrun Rockseeker and Running from Targor’s Warband

We made our way back into Cragmaw Castle and everything seemed pretty quiet. We let Yut lead us since he was the one that saw the owl bear. He weaved his way to the tower where the owl bear had probably nested and he crawled into the room over a rubble pile. Syvrina went in after him. We didn’t hear any screaming or other ruckus, so Bynn, Brigby and I walked around the northwest way through some doors to enter the tower with the others.

Inside, Yut and Syvrina were moving tables and wooden benches near a ledge that was 20’ up. Atop the ledge was a small chest. They were trying to get up to the ledge, but the tables and benches kept falling over. We pulled a bed in from the other room and propped it up so Syvrina could bounce and climb to catch hold of the ledge above. Up on the ledge, she used her hair pin to open the lock of the chest. Inside she saw coin, a couple of scrolls and a vial of liquid.

Not wanting to waste time, we pocketed the spoils and moved to the northern area and a door that we never opened to the east. At the door, Syvrina heard growling. We backed up and made a plan to open the door and charge in to get the jump on whatever was inside. With that, we positioned ourselves and Yut pulled the door open. Inside the room we saw a very large bugbear standing next to a wolf that must have been its pet. There was also a hideous looking Drow woman who hissed at us as we entered the room. Also, in another corner of the room, behind some tables Yut could see a bound up, beaten Dwarf. When I entered the room, I could tell that the Dwarf was Gundrun Rockseeker.

Yut moved into the room and faced the Drow. Syvrina hid herself in shadows and made her way all around the outskirts of the room behind the bugbear. Then she slashed the beast from hiding. The creature took the damage and looked as if he could take much more. The Drow woman, who seemed to be named Vyerith, struck Yut viciously. Then she disappeared as a wisp of smoke. I ran into the room singing my bladesong and positioned myself as to fire burning hands directly at the bugbear and his wolf. The flames damaged them both, but they didn’t go down. The wolf turned to attack Syvrina, but it could not bite the agile young lady. Bigby helped restore Yut’s health, and moved into the room. Syvrina and Yut both struck at the bugbear and were able to kill it. Then, Bynn transformed into a wolf and attacked the wolf…wolf on wolf. That finished off the foes, but Vyerith then appeared from a doorway to the north east. She struck at Yut as she uttered a prayer to Lloth, the Demon Queen. After dealing a near mortal wound to Yut, knocking him unconscious, she retreated to the room she came from.

I ran into the room, but could not see her at first. As I moved into a corner to set up for another burning hands spell, she took a swipe at me with her blade from on top of some rubble to the north. I cleared her attack and spun shooting flames into her face. I swear when the flame hit her, it seemed as if her flesh was falling off, but it didn’t seem to hurt her that much. Brigby healed Yut once more, and then Bynn as a wolf ran into the room to attack the Drow. Eventually we surrounded the Drow and Yut was able to deliver the killing blow. As she died, she transformed into a grotesque, naked, gray humanoid creature with big green eyes.

We thought we were in good shape when the owl bear Yut had seen earlier appeared from outside a hole in the northern wall. We faced it and although we were frightened and didn’t know if we could defeat it, we did pretty well. During fight, Syvrina ran back to untie Gundrun. He said we needed to get out of here. He was upset that the goblins and worse were taking over his mine. Then he started to gather a bunch of his stuff. After that, Syvrina ran back to help us with the owl bear. We were lucky that we didn’t get hit by any of the owl bear’s first attacks. I was able to stick it with my rapier while Bynn as the wolf bit it viciously. Syvrina returned to fire an arrow at it, doing some mighty damage as she gave off an angry huff. Brigby stood in the doorway and threw a dagger at it doing a substantial amount of damage as well. The owl bear attacked me again, but I was too quick for it. Then, I released another burning hands spell that singed the creature quite badly. Yut concentrated all of his spiritual energy and unleashed a flurry of blows and was able to kill the creature before it could do any more damage.

We took some time to get back into the room where Gundrun was kept, but Yut stayed outside to carve up the owl bear. Don’t ask why. We told him we needed to go, and Gundrun warned us that we should go before Torgar Bloodsword and his war party returned. The monk was bent on carving up the owl bear, so we just left him to it. In about 10 minutes, Gundrun warned us again. He even gave us some healing potions and a map of The Wave Echo Cave. He told us we needed to get back to Phandalin and then set out for the Cave to save the mine. I was just about to look over the other things we found and perform an identify ritual when we heard Yut screaming and running from the north, through the castle to the south door. He said that the hobgoblin war party was back.

We quickly scooped up all our goods and ran to the south. Outside the castle we found Yut hiding against the wall of the castle. He was a bloody mess, and he looked as if he was about to drop down. Bynn reverted to his Half-Elven form and cured Yut a bit. Then we looked at each other and ran south. Bynn was able to cast pass without a trace on us and we used every ounce of strength and will power to get through the forest and back to Phandalin. In 10 hours we made it back to town, tired but alive. Gundrun was still excited about the mines and he told us again that we had to go to the Wave Echo Cave to save the mines.

Back in town, I was able to learn two new spells (comprehend languages – a ritual, and misty step) and become a little more quick of foot (finally perfecting the art of mobility). We also realized that the sword we found with the Waterdeep insignia, and the chainmail and crossbow belonged to Sindar, Gundrun's friend who we rescued from the goblin caves when we first started our travel to Phandalin about a month ago. A bath and bed at the Stonehill Inn was in order.
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Session 18 – To the Wave Echo Cave

Back in Phandalin, Gundrun kept pushing us to get a move on it to the Wave Echo Cave to clear it of the evil that has overrun it. He was concerned about his brothers, Nundro and Thardin, but I think he was more concerned about the mine itself. He offered us 25 gp each and a 10% stake in the mining profits to go there and get rid of the evil in the mines and find out what happened to his brothers. He mentioned the Black Spider, and I remembered that name was responsible for the torture endured by my old adventuring companion, Brace. Brace had escaped Venom Fang’s ire, but still I have not seen or heard word of his condition or his whereabouts. We rested the night at the Inn, but decided to prepare for travel early the next day.

In the morning, I went to the Coster’s and purchased a long bow. Then I went to Barthan’s Provisions and was able to get a pouch of colored glass “gems” that I could give to Yut. He really likes gems, so I figured I’d get him some cheap ones to play with. Yut is a quick and powerful monk, but he doesn’t have much upstairs. After a little shopping, we heard that the mayor of the town was found murdered, an arrow to the neck. We contemplated checking into this, but Gundrun pressed us to go to the Wave Echo Cave. Lady Syvrina, Brigby, Bynn, Yut and I told Gundrun to meet up with his buddy, Sildar, and together, they could check into the murder and attempt to restore some order to Phandalin. We promised him that we’d go to the Wave Echo Cave.

Travel to the cave was quite pleasant although Bynn warned us that a storm was on the horizon. We found the cave a little after mid day, before the storm, so we went in to investigate. We slowly walked down a small tunnel of natural rock, Brigby igniting magical light on his shield. Pretty soon, we found a larger cavern area with signs of a campsite, and a dead body. The body was a Dwarf, and in his pack we found a letter. Brigby could read the Dwarven language and we found that this was a note from a woman named Deena to Thardin. Upon inspection, the dead Dwarf did look a little like Gundrun, so we believed he was Thardin, poor man. Along with a bunch of mining gear, ropes, picks, lanterns, and the like, I noticed that the boots Thardin wore were etched with runes. I studied them for a short while and recalled that these could very well be magical boots of springing and striding. We gave the boots to Brigby since he is by far the slowest of us, but we didn’t spend any time to rest so he could not attune them yet.

We continued our search after giving Thardin a burial under stones in the corner of the cavern. Yut jumped off a small ledge into a 20’ depression and he barely managed to avoid hurting himself. Everyone else saw a rope tied to a stalactite so we shimmied down without mishap. After checking two tunnels one north and one to the southeast, we decided to search to the north first. After many off shoots and dead ends, where mining had been done, we doubled back. From behind us, we heard Yut yell out, startled by a huge ochre jelly that dropped from the ceiling and tried to engulf him. His agility saves his hide, and we were able to fill the jelly with arrows before Yut could strike it down. Although we heard the sizzle of its acidic slime, we were lucky and nobody suffered any harm.

Moving as far north as possible, we came to an underground pool with a set of stone stairs to the east of it. Lady Syvrina washed her hands in the pool while Yut moved up to the water’s edge and went fishing using nothing but his bare hands. He slapped into the water once and then again, and was able to pull out a small fish with his second strike. The fish was too small to make for good eating so he threw it back. As the fish hit the water, Yut could swear that he saw a larger white flash under the surface of the water, but it was indistinct.

After this short interlude, we walked up the stairway, Yut guarding our rear, worried about the thing in the pool. At the top of the stairway we saw a passage to the north with another stairway a passage to the south that had a collapsed mine area and a passage to the east with a closed door ahead. Syvrina listened to the door and could hear some guttural voices, nothing she recognized, but they didn’t seem friendly. I told the others to hide around the corners, and I planned to open the door, look in and then run back this way to try to draw the inhabitants out into our ambush. We set up and I tried the door. It was barred from the other side so I just banged on it a bit and then I ran back.

We waited a short time, but nothing came out of the room. Yut strode up to the door and started bashing it with his bare hands. Soon the door was splintered, and Yut could see 5 bugbears within. They all launched javalins at Yut, but the door wreckage gave Yut some cover and he was able to dodge all of the projectiles. Then he stood in the doorway to face the bugbears. Two of the creatures moved up to Yut and struck him hard with large morningstars. Yut could feel the pain. Syvrina moved into the hallway and shot her bow, striking one of the bugbears, and then we fought for a little as Bigby healed Yut and blasted the bugbears with a divinely inspired shatter spell. Bynn transformed into his wolf form and stood beside Yut, tearing into one of the bugbears, as Syvrina and I both kept back and fired arrows into the pack. Pretty soon, when Yut stepped into the room, I ran in as well, but instead of striking the last bugbear down, I stood defensively, and let Yut take that brute down. Fighting along side this monk, I realized that whenever he strikes a killing blow, he gains vitality, at least for a little while.

Inside the room, we found some beds, some coins and a door at the other end of the room. It was also barred from the inside, which made it look as if the bugbear were actually hiding out in this room. With that, we turned back to the stairway that continued to go up to the north.
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