Campaign 1 – Episode 3: A Fair Trade

The party followed the raging and bloodthirsty Gore-Grey into the next part of the goblin cave and were suddenly halted by the sight of a new foe: a taller than average goblin with an ugly scimitar pressed against the neck of a badly beaten human male dressed in travelling gear. This creature, calling himself Yeelick, called for a truce. The party grew hesitant and had to persuade Gore-Grey to calmness – and then decided to parley with the goblin; Zinssa and Akra pried information from him that his leader, Klaarg, had been ordering the tribe to ambush local travellers over the past few months. The party also learned from him that Gundren had been taken and quickly moved from the goblin cave, but Yeelick refused to speak further when pressed for details and was soon set upon by his own goblin horde for betraying them. The party revived an injured Kai and defeated the goblins, Pinrun secretly looted what he could find, and they all escaped the cave with the injured human and Yeelick leading the way to the exit.

Upon leaving the cave, the party found its way swiftly back to Gundren’s supply wagon where Yeelick abruptly left the group and escaped into the wilderness. The group decided to continue their journey along the trail towards Phandalin, and sought refuge for the evening in an abandoned windmill which lay a short walk from the road. Pinrun and Kai quickly discovered that the windmill was empty and safe for rest, and made their way inside to rest and recover after the difficult battle within the goblin cave. The party were uninterrupted during the night, but Zinssa, taking final watch for the party, had a dark and disturbing dream:

The cleric dreamt of a beautiful coastline, and saw Akra poised at the edge of a cliff-face which overlooked the ocean. Zinssa could only watch as the Water Genasi fell forward into the depths below, and suddenly turned to see a dark shape walk towards her: a humanoid silhouette which drew steadily closer before transforming into a huge and ugly black spider which blotted out the sun. Zinssa fell back from the cliff, waking from her dream before her body hit the water.

As the party woke, rested and replenished, they realised that the injured survivor from the goblin cave had now awoken – he introduced himself as Sildar Hallwinter, and provided the party with the following information:

1. Gundren had located the entrance to a long-lost mine called the Wave Echo Cave and considered the exploration of it ‘life changing’.

2. Sildar had overheard that the goblins had been ordered by a creature called the ‘Black Spider’ to waylay Gundren and his supplies at all costs.

3. Gundren had a map of the Wave Echo Cave in his possession – but both the map, and Gundren were now seemingly missing.

4. Sildar was travelling with Gundren to Phandalin in order to investigate the disappearance of his friend Iarno Albrek – a wizard of importance who travelled south three months ago.

After learning this information, the party watched as another company of travellers headed towards the windmill. Pinrun watched expectantly from a hole in the wall, whilst Zinssa bounded forwards to greet them. The travellers appeared weary and fatigued, dressed in an assortment of leathers, but all seemed to wear red apparel: handkerchiefs, bandannas, and bracers – all sitting or leaning against a caravan which they were seemingly escorting. The caravan was being led by a single horse, and the cargo in the back large, but covered with a hide tarpaulin tied down to the wood of the cart. The largest of the male group, a man in uniformed armour and carrying a bastard sword strapped across his back, greeted the party and eventually informed them that they were taking something to the city of Neverwinter – and that someone had offered a ‘pretty price for what’s inside’  – a ‘deadly thing’ the man called it, before offering to show it to the party for a silver piece. He untied the knot of one of the ropes holding down the tarpaulin, and pulled back the hide. Staring back, with afraid eyes, was a tiny, golden-furred monkey with small wings. Akra instantly recognised the creature as her own – to the party’s surprise – and the party quickly negotiated a trade for the creature with the loot secured from the goblin gave, before once again taking the road. Sildar thanked them all for rescuing him, wished the group farewell and told them he would meet them again in Phandalin for a reward. As the morning sun began to rise to in the sky, the party plotted their next move…

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