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The Untold Adventures of Fap Longwood & Friends!

mikeawmids

Explorer
The Adventures of Fap Longwood #1 (Lost Mine of Phandelver)

Having decided to seek his fortune as an adventurer, Fap Longwood (half-elf ranger) leaves his hometown and travels to the city of Nerverwinter. He hears that Gundren Rockseeker (dwarf prospector) is hiring heroes to escort a wagon of mining equipment to the frontier town of Phandalin. Fap meets with Gundren and his human bodyguard Sildar at a bustling tavern. He is hired, along with three other aspiring heroes; Horatio Hornstone (dwarf fighter), Mara Lemonrock (halfling wizard) and Brian Blessedbeard (dwarf cleric).

The next morning, Fap and his new companions assemble at the city gates. Gundren and Sildar ride ahead, telling the party they will meet up again in Phandalin. The heroes follow in creaking wagon hauled by a pair of fat, flatulent oxen. The journey is uneventful - until a few miles short of their destination, they find the road ahead blocked by a pair of dead, arrow-riddled horses. One of the beasts looks familiar and Mara remembers seeing it being ridden by their new employer.

“This is goblin mischief!” Horatio growls, after examining the black-feathered arrows.

Three goblins jump out of the bushes beside the road and attack! Fap is caught off guard and gets jabbed by a goblin blade! Rolling away from his diminutive assailant, Fap pulls the bloody dagger from his leg and throws it back at the goblin, killing it outright! Mara incinerates the second goblin with a fire bolt and Brian calls sacred flame down upon the third attacker.

Goblin tracks lead away from the road. The heroes hide the wagon and follow the trail. Fap takes the lead and spots a snare hidden amidst the deadfall covering the ground. The party skirt around the trap. He does not spot the next trap and nearly falls headfirst into a deep pit, only his half-elven agility saves him from a nasty tumble.

The tracks lead toward a cave entrance. A shallow stream emerges from the dark opening. Fap spots another two goblins malingering nearby. He tries to sneak up on them, but trips over an exposed root and falls flat on his face, alerting the guards. Fap picks himself up and shoots one of the two goblins dead before it can raise the alarm. Mara burns the other to ash with her magic.

The party take a short rest before exploring the goblin cave.

The heroes advance to level 2!
 
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mikeawmids

Explorer
The Adventures of Fap Longwood #2 (Lost Mine of Phandelver)

The heroes enter Cragmaw Caverns to rescue their new boss. Mara is the only member of the party who cannot see in the dark, so she stumbles ahead blindly, clinging to Brian’s arm. Fap and Horatio take the lead.

Three wolves are chained to a big rock near the entrance. They cannot reach the heroes and the goblins don’t respond to their howling, so the party ignore the beasts and move along.

Ahead, a single sentry perches atop a rocky ledge, 10ft higher than the tunnel floor. The goblin is happily picking his nose and eating what he finds up there. Horatio interrupts his feast by shooting him in the head.

The party reach a junction; the smell of smoke and burning meat wafts from the western tunnel, the sound of rushing water echoes from the eastern passage. The party head east, hoping the waterfall will mask the sound of their approach.

An underground river feeds a large, dark pool. Two goblins watch a third, who is trying to snatch fish out of the water with his bare hands. He gets one! Unimpressed by this feat of dexterity, the heroes attack! Mara casts a spell so she can see what she’s doing, the goblins cry out and swat at the dancing lights.

The sound of combat draws reinforcements from an adjacent chamber; a hulking bugbear and his pet wolf join the fray, flanked by a pair of goblin archers.

Brian explodes the wolf with a Guiding Bolt. Horatio interposes himself between the cleric and the bereaved bugbear. Mara casts Burning Hands, sculpting the spell to avoid damaging the dwarven fighter. One unfortunate goblin is caught in the cone of fire and reduced to ash. The bugbear is smoked, but still standing.

“Good work!” Fap congratulates the halfling mage. He spots one of the goblin marksman taking aim at the little wizard, “Mara, look out!”

His warning comes too late, Mara is shot in the back and falls down, unconscious and dying!

Fap returns fire and the kills the goblin sniper. Realising the tide of battle has turned against him, the bugbear retreats. Horatio goes after him, slips on the fish the goblin caught earlier and falls into the pool. Fortunately, the water is not too deep and he clambers out, wet and angry. Unfortunately, the bugbear has made good his escape.

Brian stabilizes Mara and the party take a short rest. Searching the bugbear’s lair, the heroes find a modest amount of treasure and a couple of healing potions. There is also a stack of stolen goods stamped with the trade seal of the Lionshield Coster.

The party return to the junction and explore the western tunnel. Four goblins cavort around a smoky fire and two more sit astride a bound human prisoner. It is Sildar Hallwinter, Gundren’s (apparently unsuccessful) bodyguard!

Mara casts Burning Hands, taking out half the goblins around the fire! One of the other goblins holds a blade to Sildar’s throat and starts screeching in a language none of the heroes comprehend. Mara casts Colour Spray, blinding the hostage taker, who drops his knife and covers his eyes.

The heroes finish off the goblins and release Sildar. The bodyguard confirms that he and Gundren were ambushed on the road to Phandalin. He was hit on the head and woke up in this cave, he does not know what happened to his charge, although he heard the goblins talking about a ruined castle to the north.
 

mikeawmids

Explorer
The Adventures of Fap Longwood #3 (Lost Mine of Phandelver)

Sadly, it seems the heroes’ employer is literally in another castle!

The party exit the cave system and complete the journey to Phandalin. Two dozen modest homesteads stand amidst the tumbled ruins of a bygone age. Mara makes a mental note to examine the ancient stonework when she gets the chance. Gundren and Sildar had made reservations to share a room at the Stonehill Inn, so the party head there first. Fap tosses a handful of copper to some children playing in the street and asks them to keep an eye on the wagon while the party freshen up. After arranging their lodgings, the heroes convene in the common room and discuss their next move over a flagon of ale.

Sildar reveals that he is a member of the Lords Alliance. He explains that while he did take the contract to guard Gundren on the road, the real reason he came to Phandalin was to track down a renegade nobleman called Iarno Albrek. Sildar is prepared to reward the heroes for any information leading to the wastrel’s capture.

The innkeeper warns the party to steer clear of the Redbrands, a gang of thugs who have been stirring up trouble in town. They are easily identifiable by the red armour they all wear, supposedly stained that colour by blood. Horatio snorts into his ale, sending foam everywhere.

“Sounds like a right bunch of arseholes!” he laughs.

Brian asks if the town is facing any other problems that a group of well-intentioned heroes could resolve.

“I think you meant to say ‘well compensated’,” Horatio adds helpfully.

Apparently, there are rumours of an orc raiding party roaming the Triboar Trail. The heroes agree to deal with the orcs, should their paths cross.

One of the youths Fap paid to watch the wagon rushes into the common room.

“Oi! Elf-Ears! Some blokes are nicking your stuff!”

The heroes head outside and interrupt four human thugs in the process of hijacking their unattended wagon. All four men are wearing red armour.

“Get off our wagon!” Horatio roars.

“I think you're mistaken, stranger,” one of the Redbrand thugs replies with an unpleasant smirk, “This is our wagon, aint’ that right lads? Unless you want trouble, best you lot were moving on.”

“Perhaps we can sort this out over a round of drinks…?”
Brian suggests, but his attempt at diplomacy is undermined when Horatio takes a swing at the nearest robber.

Unfortunately, he misses and slaps one of the two oxen still hitched up to the wagon on the rump. The beast bellows and begins to move forward, dragging the wagon. The two Redbrand thugs standing in the wagon lose their balance and tumble to the ground. The runaway wagon begins to pick up speed – it is bearing down on an old woman s-l-o-w-l-y crossing the street, oblivious to her impending doom!

Fap runs after the runaway wagon, leaps onto the driver’s bench and tries – unsuccessfully – to slow the beasts. Mara casts Magic Missile, targeting three of the wagon’s four wheel and blasting them to flinders. The wagon grinds to a halt and the old lady is saved!

It swiftly dawns on the Redbrands that they have picked a fight above their weight and the ruffians disengage. The heroes let them go with a stern warning. A grizzled old man approaches the group, introducing himself as Daran Edermath (retired adventurer).

“The Redbrands are easily startled,” he says, “But they will be back – and in greater numbers.”

Daran offers to hide the party in his orchard. The heroes don’t want to abandon their wagon in the street, but with only one wheel, it’s not going anywhere. Daran reassures the heroes that even if the Redbrands do abscond with their provisions, they will surely take the ill-gotten goods to their headquarters in the ruin of Tresendar Manor. Sildar opts to remain in town and keep an eye on things there, since the Redbrands did not see him and the heroes together.
 
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mikeawmids

Explorer
The Adventures of Fap Longwood #4 (Lost Mine of Phandelver)

The party make camp behind a hill on the edge of Daran Edermath’s land, where the roaming Redbrands won’t find them.

“Why are you helping us?” Fap asks the old man.

“Like you, I was an adventurer, back in my youth,” Daran explains, “I was a member of the Order of the Gauntlet. It doesn’t sit right with me, how those Redbrand ruffians run roughshod over the good people of this town. I figure you lot might be of a mind to do something about that.”

Daran adds that one of his neighbours was murdered by the gang. He stood up the Redbrands outside the Sleeping Giant taproom, after the thugs started harassing his pretty young wife and was straight up butchered for his trouble. Townmaster Westen is a coward and will not act for fear of violent retaliation from the gang.

Daran knows the leader of the Redbrands is a wizard calling himself Glasstaff.

The heroes decide that the Redbrands need to be taken down a peg or three. At dusk, they march on the Sleeping Giant. Having jumped to the conclusion that the strangers must have left town, six Redbrand thugs are getting drunk inside. Every so often, one of the (increasingly intoxicated) robbers staggers outside to use the facilities (i.e: the back wall of the building). Against Horatio’s wishes to kick open the front door, the heroes lurk outside and pick the Redbrands off one at a time. When two men emerge simultaneously, Mara drops them both with a Sleep spell. The last two thugs drink themselves into a stupor, saving Mara a spell slot. The party truss up their captives and tie them to the trunk of a large apple tree in Daran’s orchard, where the old adventurer will babysit, a heavy crossbow resting across his lap.

It is nearing midnight as Fap Longwood and friends march on Tresendar Manor.
 

mikeawmids

Explorer
The Adventures of Fap Longwood #5 (Lost Mine of Phandelver)

The ruins of a large, derelict house lie still and silent, the moon’s pale light casting long shadows across the rubble-strewn grounds. Stone stairs descend into the cellar, where boxes and barrels of stolen goods are stacked haphazardly around a cistern brimming with grey, oily water. Mara’s eyes alight on a sack of rosy red apples and she pops one into her pocket. Battling injustice is hungry work!

Fap and Horatio take the lead and press on through a doorway in the north wall. They walk over a trapdoor and fall into a 10ft pit. Brian lowers a rope and hauls them back up. Mara spots a narrow ledge skirting the length of the pit and the party edge across carefully.

The party enter a crypt, where three skeletons have been propped up against their dusty sarcophagi. There are two obvious exits on the opposite side of the tomb, but approaching them triggers the skeletons to rise up and attack! Brian channels the light of Ilmater to turn undead. The skeletons cower fearfully, their old bones rattling with fear and the rest of the party put them to rest – permanently this time.

The first door is locked and the party don’t have the key, nor the means to pick the lock. The second door opens into a prison, where a frightened woman and her two young children have been left to languish in a small, dirty cell. A ring of keys hangs by the door and Fap releases the prisoners. The woman is Mirna Drendar, wife of Daran’s murdered neighbour. The children are all that remain of her family.

The heroes escort the civilians out of the dungeon. Brian and Horatio give the children piggyback rides across the pit. They leave the family with Sildar at the Stonehill Inn, while they return to the manor to hunt down Glasstaff and what’s left of his criminal enterprise.
 
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mikeawmids

Explorer
The Adventures of Fap Longwood #6 (Lost Mine of Phandelver)

Other than the locked door adjacent to the prison, the party can discern no other way to proceed. Horatio and Brian fall back on their dwarven stonecunning and find a secret door disguised to match the surrounding brickwork. The door opens into a large underground cavern beneath the foundations of the manor, divided by a deep, dark fissure in the rock. Two arched wooden bridges span the chasm. The area is unlit and there are no Redbrands in sight. Warily, Fap and Horatio approach the edge.

“Maybe you should hang back,” Horatio suggests, laying a hand on Fap’s arm, “You do have a habit of falling into almost every hole we come across….”

Fap shrugs the dwarf’s hand away and steps up to the lip of the crevasse. He has the unsettling impression of being observed from the darkness below. Was that a large green eye staring up at him, or did he imagine it…? Fap starts to feel a little wobbly and Horatio reaches up to steady him, uncharacteristic concern etched across his battle-scarred features.

“You didn’t leave your hometown to be an adventurer…” a soft voice whispers in Fap’s head, “You were driven out by your kin…. You are a liar and a thief….

“And a murderer….”


“My backstory!!” Fap cries, reeling away from the pit, “Who are you? How do you know that?”

“Who are you talking to, lad?”
Horatio asks, raising his sword “Is there someone down there?”

The dwarven fighter snatches Mara’s torch and tosses it into the hole. The bottom of the fissure is choked with bones! A gaunt humanoid figure draped in filthy rags recoils from the light. The creature has a single, large eyeball set above a mouth filled with toothy fangs! It hisses and scuttles into the dark.

“A cyclops?” Horatio hazards, “Never fought a cyclops before. Should be a laugh.”

“A nothic.”
Mara corrects him, “A spellcaster corrupted by their hunger for arcane lore. Pitiful really, but still quite dangerous.”

Brian notices one of the skeletons is clutching a glowing longsword. The two dwarves climb down to get it, while Fap and Mara provide ranged support. There is no sign of the nothic, but Brian keeps watch while Horatio prises the sword from the cold, dead fingers of its previous owner. The hilt and crossguard have been crafted in the likeness of a hawk with its wings outstretched. As the primary damage dealer in the party, Horatio claims the blade. There is also a battered chest half-buried beneath the bones, containing treasure, potions and scrolls.

The nothic sees the two dwarves grubbing through its modest hoard and subjects Horatio to its rotting gaze. An arrow whistles passed and hits the cyclopean creature in the eye! The nothic shrieks and flees along the floor of the ravine, pursued by the two dwarves. They follow the trail of milky eye goo to a cave mouth overlooking the woods around Phandalin. Unfortunately, the wounded nothic is nowhere to be found.
 

mikeawmids

Explorer
The Adventures of Fap Longwood #7 (Lost Mine of Phandelver)

The heroes continue to explore the Redbrand’s hideout. The door ahead stands ajar and raised voices can be heard from the other side. Fap peeks in and sees a drunken goblin dancing on a table, cheered by three appreciative bugbears. One of the bugbears has a large iron key hooked on his belt. Remembering the locked door near the prison, Fap reaches for the key….

“Oi!!” the keybearer yells, slapping Fap’s hand away, “Who are you then?”

The bugbears jump up, knocking over the table and sending the surprised goblin cartwheeling across the room.

“I’m the dwarf who’s gonna’ slice off your nethers!” Horatio roars, barging passed Fap and swinging his new sword at the closest enemy.

Two bugbears gang up on Horatio and knock him down. The third exits via a different door and circles round to flank the party. Brian heals Horatio, who rises groggily and re-joins the fray.

The third bugbear creeps around the corner and catches Mara unaware, bringing its maul down atop her skull with a sickening crunch. Mara’s eyes go blank as she falls to the ground, blood pooling around her head. Her silver-rimmed spectacles go flying across the room.

The heroes defeat the bugbears. Brian heals Mara and hands over her glasses, miraculously unbroken during the fight. Horatio waves the cleric away and quaffs a potion instead. Fap lifts the iron key from the dead bugbear’s belt.

Horatio grabs the drunk goblin and slaps him sober. None of the heroes speak goblin, fortunately the goblin speaks a bit of Common. His name is Droop and he was sent (with the bugbears) by King Grol to reinforce the Redbrands. King Grol can be found in a ruined castle to the north and is allied to someone (or something?) called the Black Spider. Since Droop claims he can lead them to the goblin king’s castle, the party let him live – for now. Fap ties Droop to a chair. The party plan to collect him later, after dealing with Glasstaff.
 
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mikeawmids

Explorer
The Adventures of Fap Longwood #8 (Lost Mine of Phandelver)

The party enter what appears to be a wizard’s workshop; half library, half laboratory. Shelves bulge with dog-eared tomes of arcane formula and glass beakers bubble over with angry froth. A single rat scurries across the floor and squeezes beneath a door on the other side of the workroom. There is no sign of Glassstaff, although the wizard must be close. The party advance cautiously, careful not to disturb the arcane apparatus.

The door opens into a bed chamber draped with rich scarlet cloth, furnished with a comfortable bed and small writing desk. A smouldering pipe lies on the carpet beside the desk, dropped in haste and abandoned.

“Glasstaff was just here!” Fap says with surety, “He must have known we were coming for him and fled.”

“But how?”
Horatio asks, “There's nowhere for him to go! Some spell perhaps?”

Fap spots the same rat from before, scurrying behind the drapes. Grabbing the crimson cloth, he pulls the heavy curtain off the wall, revealing a hidden door into a storeroom packed with the Redbrand’s ill-gotten gains. The storeroom door opens into the large cavern where the party encountered the nothic. Fap spots a bearded man hustling toward the exit. Fap raises his bow and takes a shot, hoping to bring the man down or at least hobble his escape. His aim is true, but his target is protected by a magical shield that deflects the arrow’s flight. Glasstaff pauses long enough to flip Fap the bird, before breaking line of sight.

Meanwhile, Brian and Mara search the wizard’s quarters for clues. The desk contains correspondence from the Black Spider, addressed to ‘Lord Albrek – or Glasstaff, as you style yourself these days’. The letter proves the Black Spider orchestrated the abduction of Gundren Rockseeker to secure a map in the prospector’s possession.

“Sildar will want to see this.” Mara says, slipping the letter into her pocket.

Unfortunately, Glassstaff has escaped. When the heroes go to collect Droop, they find the goblin has slipped his bonds and fled also. The party have ended the Redbrand menace, but are no closer to finding their missing employer. The heroes return to town and advance to level 3!
 
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mikeawmids

Explorer
The Adventures of Fap Longwood #9 (Lost Mine of Phandelver)

Mara hands Sildar the letter proving that Glasstaff is the rogue noble he is hunting. Sildar summons aid from the Lord’s Alliance to deliver the captive Redbrands to Neverwinter, where they will stand trial for their crimes. Townmaster Harbin Westen awards the party 200gp for breaking the gang’s hold over Phandalin and offers an additional reward if they eliminate the orc marauders along the Triboar Trail.

The owner of the Stonehill Inn offers Mirna Drendar and her children free room and board until they are back on their feet. The young widow does not have much money, but she tells Fap where to find a family heirloom hidden in the forsaken village of Thundertree. Fap turns down the offer of compensation, but promises to return her mother’s necklace, should his travels take him so far north.

Impressed by how efficiently the party ended the Redbrand menace, Daran Edermath asks them to look into strange sightings at the ruins of Old Owl Well.

The heroes accept his quest and follow the Triboar Trail east toward the ruin, looking for signs of the orc raiding party along the way. They come across a burnt-out farmstead, the charred remains of the family that lived there huddled inside where they burnt to death. Fap finds tracks left by a half dozen orcs… and something bigger. Quietly, the heroes bury the bodies and Brian utters a prayer to Ilmater, tears streaking down his whiskery cheeks.

The party spend the night in the barn, unaware that is occupied by a swarm of blood-thirsty stirges. The hungry critters descend from the rafters, but are quickly exterminated.
 

mikeawmids

Explorer
The Adventures of Fap Longwood #10 (Lost Mine of Phandelver)

The heroes spend the next day following the orc’s trail further into the wilderness.

“Might be we can kill two birds with the one stone,” Horatio says hopefully, noting they are still on course for Old Owl Well.

The party make camp and the night passes uneventfully. The next morning, the orc tracks swing south, toward the barren foothills of Wyvern Tor. After climbing for several hours, the trail ends at the mouth of a dark and uninviting tunnel. A single orc stands watch, scraping a whetstone along the killing edge of his monstrous axe.

Fap nocks an arrow to his bowstring and takes a deep, steadying breath, hoping he can neutralise the sentry in a single shot. His arrow takes the orc in the shoulder, spinning him around, but failing to kill outright. The orc roars in alarm and the rest of his war band charge screaming from the tunnel. Half the orcs lob their javelins, the rest charge into melee. They are lead by a particularly large and fearsome brute called Brughor Axe-Biter. Bringing up the rear is a huge, stupid-looking ogre, dragging a massive club.

Horatio charges the ogre, but Brughor moves to intercept him.

“Dwarf!! I’ll cut off your beard and use it to wipe my arse!!” the orc chieftain bellows.

Brian targets the ogre with Guiding Bolt, but misses his mark. The ogre turns sluggishly and lumbers toward him. Flames dancing between her fingers, Mara projects a cone of fire into the ogre’s dumb face. It panics and spins in place, howling like a child. Brian steps forward and swings his warhammer into the brute’s leg, shattering the kneecap as though it were made of eggshell. Unable to support its weight, the ogre goes down like a felled tree.

“Gog want to live!!” the ogre pleads.

Brian hesitates, but only for an instant. He remembers standing over a shallow grave behind a burnt-out farmstead, the salty tang of tears on his tongue.

“You don’t deserve to live.” Brian answers, bringing the hammer down on the ogre’s skull.

The party cut down the orcs, leaving no survivors. They find the war band’s plunder stashed in the cave, including three vials of smelly perfume which the ogre could have benefited from. Horatio beheads the dead orcs and throws their severed heads into a sack, which he will present to Townmaster Westen as proof that the marauders shall maraud no more.

The party make camp atop Wyvern Tor, to recover health and spell slots, before investigating Old Owl Well upon the morrow.
 

mikeawmids

Explorer
The Adventures of Fap Longwood #11 (Lost Mine of Phandelver)

Old Owl Well turns out to be a fallen watch tower overlooking the Triboar Trail and surrounding lands. A large, colourful tent has been erected amidst the ruins and the stench of decay wafts upon the morning breeze. The smell gets less and less bearable as the heroes approach the tower.

“Pass me the orc smellies.” Fap asks.

Horatio proffers the sack of heads. They stink.

“Not those.” Fap snaps.

After dousing a scrap of cloth in perfume and tying it around his face, Fap scouts ahead. A dozen rotting corpses have been packed into the tower like sardines in a tin. Big black flies crawl over their waxy flesh. Unlike most dead bodies Fap has seen since the start of his adventuring career (and there have been a few), these lively fellows are still shuffling around aimlessly.

“Blurk!” Fap groans. He heads back to warn his friends about the zombies.

The party plan to advance within 30ft of the tower, pause for Brian to implore his deity to turn undead, then mop up any stragglers who don’t get the message. Mara produces a Scroll of Fireball and reads aloud the words of power inscribed upon the parchment. There is a deafening explosion and charred zombie bits rain down from the sky. Embers fall upon the roof of the pavilion and the colourful canvas catches fire.

A tattooed man in crimson robes bursts out of the burning tent. Mara recognises from the strange markings on his skin that this man is a Red Wizard, a powerful order of Magi from the distant land of Thay. Brian doesn’t care – this guy is clearly a necromancer and Brian hates necromancers!

“What is the meaning of this?” the Red Wizard shouts, “You burn my house, disturb my research and attack my servants? Vandals!! Delinquents!!”

The magi commands his zombie minions to stand down and extinguishes the burning tent with a Cone of Cold. His name is Hamun Kost and he is researching ancient lore amidst the ruins of Old Owl Well.

“My servants and I are not hurting anyone.” Kost argues, “I had some trouble with a mob of truculent orcs, but I will deal with them myself should they return.”

“Too late.”
Horatio says, producing the sack of heads.

Kost offers to buy the contents of the sack for 100gp but Brian vetoes the deal. He really hates necromancers and all that they stand for!

Kost offers the party a magical Ring of Protection if they assist his research. He wants them to act as mediators between himself and a “hysterical” banshee haunting the abandoned village of Conyberry. He needs information in the ghost’s possession, but his last attempt to compel her compliance ended badly. Kost wants the name of the wizard who raised the tower at Old Owl Well and will surrender the ring if the party come back with that information.
 

mikeawmids

Explorer
The Adventures of Fap Longwood #12 (Lost Mine of Phandelver)

Since the heroes are only a days’ travel from Conyberry, they decide to go there and commune with the “hysterical” spirit of Agatha the hedge witch. Brian is not wild about helping a necromancer, but the rest of the party really want the magic ring that’s on the table – even if that table is littered with bones.

Meanwhile, Klaarg Wolf-Eyes (the escaped bugbear from the Cragmaw Caverns) is leading a band of four hobgoblins south to negotiate an alliance between King Grol and Warchief Brughor Axe-Biter – unaware that Brughor’s severed head is bouncing around in a sack.

Klaarg is scouting ahead when he spots the heroes making camp. He immediately recognises the scarred dwarf who humiliated him in battle. Anger bubbles like black bile in the back of Klaarg’s throat, as the vengeful bugbear plots his revenge….


In the heroes’ camp, Fap and Mara are taking the first six hour watch. Mara casts Darkvision on herself so that she can actually see. Fap detects movement in the long grass about 60ft away and spots the giveaway glint of bared steel.

“Attack!” Fap cries, raising his bow, “We’re under attack!”

Abandoning stealth, Klaarg charges forward, while the hobgoblins hang back and ready their longbows. Fap takes a shot at the approaching bugbear - but Klaarg keeps on coming, the arrow barely slows him down. Horatio runs to intercept and inflicts a pair of grievous injuries with his new +1 sword. Klaarg has a moment to reflect on the old monster saying that 'a goblinoid who seeks vengeance on a dwarf should maybe just dig their own grave and save everyone some time’, before he succumbs to his wounds and dies unceremoniously.

Mara lights up the night with a barrage of Magic Missiles, targeting the hobgoblin snipers. The archers focus fire on the wizard and she is hit twice for serious damage. Mara drops prone, where the long grass will obscure the hobgoblin’s aim. Unable to target the spellcaster, the hobgoblins switch targets. Brian retaliates with Guiding Bolt, exploding an archer. The remaining three hobgoblins withdraw into the night, covering their retreat with a volley of arrows.

Fap searches Klaarg’s body and finds the missive from King Grol to Warchief Axe-Biter. Horatio hacks off the bugbear’s head and adds it to the sack.
 

mikeawmids

Explorer
The Adventures of Fap Longwood #13 (Lost Mine of Phandelver)

At dawn, the party continue north toward Conyberry. Fap spots fresh, humanoid tracks and follows them to find the three surviving hobgoblins from the aborted raid on their camp the previous night. Two wounded hobgoblins are resting, while the third keeps watch.

Two arrows hit the lone sentry in quick succession and he falls silently. The two sleepers barely stir as their comrade expires beside them. They are rudely awoken when Horatio tosses Klaarg’s head amongst their bedrolls. Bereft of their weapons and armour, the injured hobgoblins surrender. Playing a hunch, Brian suggests that the prisoners can be traded back to King Grol in exchange for the dwarf captive held at Cragmaw Castle. The hobgoblins mark the castle’s location on the party’s map.

“Still room in the sack for a few more heads,” Horatio cautions the two prisoners, “Best that you lads behave yourself, if you catch my meaning.”

The heroes reach Conyberry at midday. The silent village is certainly spooky enough, but there is no sight nor sound of Kost’s banshee. Fap does find an overgrown track leading into Neverwinter Wood. The track leads up to the door of a lonely cottage amidst the trees, abandoned by man and mostly reclaimed by nature. The air grows bitterly cold as the party cross the threshold and the spectre of an elven maid materialises before them, her otherwise beautiful features contorted with hatred.

“Foolish mortals,” she shrieks, “What do you want here? Do you not know that it is death to seek me out?”

The party look to Brian, who crossed his arms and stays stubbornly silent. Horatio glowers at the cleric, then clears his throat. He butters the banshee up as best he can before broaching Kost’s query.

“The name you seek is Arthindol,” Agatha answers, “Now begone from my home!”

The party don’t need to be told twice. They return to Old Owl Well and relay their findings to the Red Wizard. True to his word, Kost relinquishes his Ring of Protection (+1 AC and all saving rolls).

“You will be glad to hear I have been summoned back to Thay,” Kost says, as the heroes bicker over who will wear the ring, “My servants and I will be gone from this land within the week. If you are ever in Thay, feel free not to look me up.”
 
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mikeawmids

Explorer
The Adventures of Fap Longwood #14 (Lost Mine of Phandelver)

The party return to Phandalin. The journey is uneventful.

Horatio presents the sack of decomposing heads to Townmaster Westen, who is promptly sick. Once he feels better, the townmaster counts out another 100 gold.

Brian explains the events at Old Owl Well to Daran Edermath and reassures the old man that the necromancer has abandoned the ruin. Daran is impressed and offers to make Brian a Chevall of the Order of the Gauntlet. Brian accepts and Daran drafts his letter of recommendation to the Paladins of Tyr.

The party go shopping! Fap upgrades to studded leather and buys a second shortsword. Horatio buys a suit of splintmail. Mara tops up her store of spell components and Brian considers buying a breastplate before concluding it offers no mechanical advantage over scalemail.

The heroes’ next move is to scout Cragmaw Castle and open negotiations with King Grol, hoping they can trade their two hobgoblin prisoners for Gundren Rockseeker.

(We calculated XP during downtime and the party are over halfway to level 4.)
 

mikeawmids

Explorer
The Adventures of Fap Longwood #15 (Lost Mine of Phandelver)

Cragmaw Castle is a large, ruined fortress deep within Neverwinter Wood. The crumbling keep is surrounded by seven towers in varying states of disrepair.

Mara pens the proposed exchange of hostages, stating that the party will wait outside Cragmaw Cavern until dusk the following day. Fap ties the scroll around the shaft of an arrow and fires it into the front gate. A terrified looking goblin is ushered out of the castle to collect the message.

The heroes retreat to the rendezvous point to prepare for the goblinoid delegation. They barricade the cave mouth and pull back behind the barrier. Mara works out that the tunnel can be flooded by destroying the stone dam in the waterfall chamber.

One hour before sunset, three hobgoblins and a hooded prisoner approach the barricade. The hood is removed, revealing the haggard face of Gundren Rockseeker. Surprisingly, the exchange goes as planned and the hobgoblins leave with their injured comrades.

“Are you alright?” Brian asks after checking Gundren’s wounds, most of which are the superficial scars left by ineffectual goblin torture.

“I’ve been better,” Gundren grunts, “What happened to Sildar?”

“He’s waiting for you in Phandalin,”
Fap says.

“How much did Sildar tell you?” Gundren asks, “Did he tell you about the map?”

“Not much. We found out about the map from Glasstaff.”

“Have you seen it?”
Gundren asks, “Have you seen the map?”

“No,”
Horatio says, “We thought you had it.”

“It was taken from me,”
Gundren replies, “But don’t worry, I committed it to memory!”
 

mikeawmids

Explorer
The Adventures of Fap Longwood #16 (Lost Mine of Phandelver)

The heroes return to Phandalin and gather in the Stonehill Inn to celebrate the successful rescue of their patron. Fap dances with Mirna Drendar and her children while the two dwarves engage in a friendly drinking contest. Even Mara lets her hair down a little, indulging in a glass of weak shandy as she annotates her spellbook. Despite the jubilant atmosphere, Gundren seems troubled and pulls Sildar aside for a private conversation in their room.

Fap is curious about what they might have to whisper about and creeps up after them to eavesdrop. He presses his ear to the door, but hears nothing. He peeks through the keyhole but sees nothing. Fap notices that his knees are damp and looks down. He is kneeling in a puddle of blood, spreading from beneath the door!

Fap raises the alarm. Brian and Horatio put their shoulders together to break down the door to Sildar’s room. Sildar lies dead on the floor, his throat slashed open from ear to ear. A scrap of parchment depicting a large black spider has been pinned to the bed with a dagger. There is no sign of Gundren Rockseeker.

The window is open and Fap vaults through, landing in the street. He finds footprints leading away from the crime scene, but after turning a corner, the tracks change into something else midstride. Fap can’t understand this phenomenon, but after showing the tracks to Mara, she simply states;

“Shapechanger.”
 
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mikeawmids

Explorer
The Adventures of Fap Longwood #17 (Lost Mine of Phandelver)

Infuriated by how easily they were tricked into welcoming a shapechanging assassin into their midst – and the tragic consequences of that oversight – the party return to Cragmaw Castle and this time they are out for blood. They arrive at dawn and Fap picks the lock on the postern gate.

Horatio kicks down the door to what turns out to have once been a banquet hall. Eight goblins – including Droop - scamper around a long table laden with filthy dishes and half-eaten food. The goblins stage a half-hearted resistance before turning tail. Two goblins flee through the northern doors, forgetting the tripwire strung across the floor. There is a loud crash as they are both crushed beneath a pile of heavy rubble, completely blocking that exit.

The party pursue the fleeing goblins through the ruined castle. After clearing several rooms and passage ways, they enter a neglected chapel to Lathander, abandoned and rededicated to Maglubiyet (a goblin deity). Brian is enraged by this desecration!

Three goblins pop up from behind the blood-stained altar, catching the party by surprise. Two goblin acolytes attack with ceremonial daggers, while the cleric of Maglubiyet hangs back, imploring its wretched god to smite the infidels. Mara’s Firebolt hits him in the chest and he flies back, trailing smoke. Spitting curses, the goblin cleric retaliates with Sacred Flame. Brian stomps passed the befouled altar and breaks the cleric’s head open like an egg. Fap and Horatio take out the two acolytes.

Brian finds a few holy relics discarded amidst the rubble of the fallen chapel and takes custody of the items until they can be rehomed or the altar re-consecrated.
The party push through a thick curtain to the south and enter a long, dark hallway. Fap senses movement up ahead and shouts a warning, moments before a horrible octopus-snake-monster-thing erupts from the shadows, slithering toward the party, maw agape. The creature tries (and fails) to grapple Fap, then Horatio chops it in half.

The party continue forward and find two hobgoblin veterans guarding the door to King Grol’s audience chamber. The party kill the guards and kick open the door. The room beyond is carpeted with thick animal furs and the walls are hung with gristly trophies of the King’s former conquests. King Grol, an old – but still physically intimidating – bugbear patriarch sits atop his makeshift throne, flanked by a pair of vicious looking wolves. An unconscious dwarf lies in the corner of the room, secured to the floor by a length of rusty chain.

King Grol barks a command and his savage pets lunge to attack! The wolves attack Fap and Horatio, inflicting damage but failing to knock either hero prone. King Grol pulls a javelin off the wall and hurls it at the half-elf ranger/rogue. Fap spins aside (Matrix-style) and avoids the missile by a hairs-breadth. Brian invokes the might of Ilmater and smites the King with Guiding Bolt. King Grol literally pulls the rug from under Fap’s feet, knocking the half-elf prone. Seizing his advantage, the King moves forward and clobbers the dazed ranger for massive damage, reducing Fap to a single point of health. Mara casts Burning Hands, driving the King and his pets back before they can finish the job. One wolf is killed and cremated in the same instant. Horatio puts the second beast down. Fap crawls away and Brian moves in to stop the King going after his wounded companion. King Grol wallops the dwarven cleric! Mara casts Magic Missile. Four bolts of arcane force hammer into King Grol’s chest, driving the life from his body. Horatio hacks off the King’s head and hangs it on the wall above the throne.

“Very nice. Very tasteful.” Fap remarks, “If this dungeoneering lark doesn’t pan out, you can always pursue a career in home décor.”

Fap draws a bead on the unconscious dwarf and Horatio nudges the figure (none too gently) with the toe of his boot.

“No… No more! I told you everything I know!” the figure moans.

Brian casts Zone of Truth, centred on what does appear to Gundren Rockseeker – but the party have made that mistake before and they aren’t planning to repeat it.

The interrogation begins!

“Who are you?”

“Gundren Rockseeker.”

“Are you sure you’re not a shapechanger pretending to be Gundren Rockseeker?”

“What?! No!! I mean, no I’m not a bloody shapechanger!”

“Do you know what happened to Sildar Hallwinter?”

“We were ambushed by goblins on the road to Phandalin. He was knocked unconscious.”

“What did the Black Spider want with you?”

“My brothers and I found the lost Spell Forge of Phandelver in a place called Wave Echo Cave. The Black Spider seeks to control the power of the forge and twist it to his own ends. He stole my map so he could find the forge, but he’s not been able to activate it. His goblin allies have been torturing me for information about how it works.”

“Do you know how to activate the Spell Forge?”

“No. Not yet. My brothers, Tharden and Nundro stayed behind to study the forge while I returned to Neverwinter for supplies. Nundro is a smart lad, I’m sure he’ll have worked it out by now. Oh! I hope they’re OK!”

“So what does this Spell Forge actually do?”

“In a bygone age, masters of artifice and the arcane would gather in Phandelver and craft magical weapons and armour, using the Spell Forge to seal the magic into the steel.”


The party are convinced that this is the real Gundren Rockseeker and break his chains. They break the news of Sildar’s murder, at the hands of a shapeshifting assassin wearing his face. Gundren is furious and insists on joining the party on the quest to Wave Echo Cave, to rescue his brothers and avenge his friend.

The party advance to level 4!
 

mikeawmids

Explorer
The Adventures of Fap Longwood #18 (Lost Mine of Phandelver)

Wave Echo Cave is in the foothills of the Sword Mountains, less than a day’s travel east of Phandalin. As the heroes are leaving town, they are intercepted by Daran Edermath. Seeing the heroes in action has rekindled his adventuring spirit and the old man has come out of retirement for one last quest. The heroes are only to happy to have him along, watching their back. Fap notices Daran has switched his heavy crossbow for a nondescript shortsword, but thinks nothing of it.

The dungeon entrance leads into a large cavern supported by a pillar of natural rock. A thunderous boom sounds deeper within the complex, shaking the ground.

“What was that?” Fap asks, after the earth settles.

“They don’t call this place Wave Echo Cave for nothing,” Gundren answers.

The party find the remnants of an abandoned campsite in the shadow of the stone pillar. A dead dwarf lies among the abandoned supplies, staring up at the cavern roof.

“Tharden!” Gundren wails, cradling the body. “My brother… Noooooo!!”

Tharden’s Boots of Springing and Striding are still on his feet. Horatio literally squeezes into a pair of dead man’s (magical) shoes.

To distract Gundren from his grief, the heroes ask him to lead them to the Spell Forge. The party enter a tunnel decorated with scenes of dwarven and gnomish miners hard at work. Skeletons in rusted armour litter the ground. There are several long dead dwarves, but most are orcs, distinguishable by their thick, brutish skulls.

The party hear flapping as a swarm of stirges detach from the ceiling and attack! Mara casts Burning Hands and four smouldering bodies drop out of the air. One of the bloodsucking bugs latches onto Mara’s neck and starting to drink. Horatio pulls it off and crushes it in his palm. The stirge explodes like an over-ripe tomato.

Fap sees a door up ahead and peeks inside. Three ghouls squat in the middle of a miner’s barracks, crunching on a pile of brittle bones. The treacherous hinges squeal loudly, alerting the undead. The ghouls leap up, eager to dine on fresh meat! The narrow tunnel filters the ghouls toward the party in single file. Horatio moves to the forefront to meet them. Rancid claws rake along the surface of his shield. Fap shoots over the fighter’s head. One ghoul gets through Horatio’s defence and scratches at his face. Horatio feels the numbing taint of the ghoul’s poison, but resists the effect.

Once the ghouls have been defeated, the party search the barracks. They find nothing of interest and move on. Gundren leads them into a large cavern separated by wide stone steps. Hundreds of skeletons litter the ground, suggesting this was where the fighting for Phandelver was fiercest. Another seven ghouls pick through the bones. Brian presents his holy symbol, turning two of the creatures. The other five attack! Horatio is clawed again and this time he fails his CON save and is paralysed! The ghouls begin eating him alive! The battle is tough, but the heroes overcome the undead.

The next area the party enter is dominated by an enormous blast furnace, a dark mountain of silent metal. Nearby carts are laden with coal and unrefined ore mined from the depths of the mountain. Bodies litter the floor around the engine. Floating above the furnace is a flying skull, wreathed in eldritch fire. Eight of the bodies rise up and shuffle toward the heroes. The Flame Skull cackles and casts Fire Ball, carelessly incinerating two of its own allies and grievously injuring both dwarves. Fap places his Hunter Mark on the skull and then crits on his attack roll! He inflicts 23 damage - reduced by half due to the skull’s resistance to piercing weapons. Brian hits the skull with Guiding Bolt and Mara follows up with Magic Missile, blowing the skull apart! The party demolish the remaining zombies.

“The forge is just through here!” Gundren cries, running ahead.

An eerie green flame flickers atop a small brazier in the centre of the room. Above the forge hovers a strange guardian with four eyestalks protruding from its spherical body.

“Hello!” the monster says cheerfully.
 

Goonalan

Adventurer
Supporter
The Adventures of Fap Longwood #16 (Lost Mine of Phandelver)

The heroes return to Phandalin and gather in the Stonehill Inn to celebrate the successful rescue of their patron. Fap dances with Mirna Drendar and her children while the two dwarves engage in a friendly drinking contest. Even Mara lets her hair down a little, indulging in a glass of weak shandy as she annotates her spellbook. Despite the jubilant atmosphere, Gundren seems troubled and pulls Sildar aside for a private conversation in their room.

Fap is curious about what they might have to whisper about and creeps up after them to eavesdrop. He presses his ear to the door, but hears nothing. He peeks through the keyhole but sees nothing. Fap notices that his knees are damp and looks down. He is kneeling in a puddle of blood, spreading from beneath the door!

Fap raises the alarm. Brian and Horatio put their shoulders together to break down the door to Sildar’s room. Sildar lies dead on the floor, his throat slashed open from ear to ear. A scrap of parchment depicting a large black spider has been pinned to the bed with a dagger. There is no sign of Gundren Rockseeker.

The window is open and Fap vaults through, landing in the street. He finds footprints leading away from the crime scene, but after turning a corner, the tracks change into something else midstride. Fap can’t understand this phenomenon, but after showing the tracks to Mara, she simply states;

“Shapechanger.”
Oh. That's really good- kudos for pulling this stunt.

Cheers goonalan
 

Goonalan

Adventurer
Supporter
Great story hour, and I'm really liking the style, can I ask questions?

Like how many sessions is this?
Are you VTT or tabletop (pre-meltdown)?
Is the game ongoing?
Have you finished Lost Mines?

I have other questions, sorry- I'll back off if you're disinclined.

Great work regardless, kudos. Keep it up.

Cheers goonalan
 

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