Aussie new world campaign-Adelaide

Mines of Phandelver - The journal of Belami Griffinmont
Goblins are small and make good puppets

A deceleration has been sent out and we are a group of adventurers keen on exploring the New World (or old world as it may be to some). To this end we are going to be tested to see who has the appropriate nous and skills to assist the settlers of the new kingdoms, and hopefully gain some advantages along the way.
Thrown together by fate, our group “we poke things with sticks” (hurriedly named by the local publican, that will have to change..) was met by our guide and score keeper Caelynn, a musically inclined elf. She hurried us along as time is shorter than a gnome, and we headed out to the small town, possibly rustic, rural, small minded, and I could go on… of Phandelver.
We headed north, towards the desert and the hilly lands to these mediocre copper mines, and along the way we learned from our esteemed guide that the town has been troubled by bandits (in my opinion it’s other villagers fighting over the one pair of dentures they have to share no doubt). People have been “killed” and are “disappearing” (we use that lightly since no bodies have been found and apparently everyone is accounted for) and on the odd occasion trade caravans are being robbed. We have been sent to solve this puzzle.

We stopped at 2 Inns along the way and as we notice civilization is becoming scarcer we noticed a cart that looked broken ahead. With closer inspection we realised that there were Goblins.

Goblins: generally known to be pests in general, in greater numbers they are more likely to eat your ankles clean off rather than just throw rocks at you.

A quick discussion amongst those who hadn’t already sneaked off to see what had happened and a cunning plan was devised (NB: keep an eye on Needles). I threw a couple of minor illusions on the Paladin and the Dwarf to make them look more half orc, Not to shabby a job if you ask me, but maybe not my finest work, I suppose it’s more about what bases you have to work with…
((Paladin = Jonathon?)
The braver members of the party approached and attempted to intimidate the goblins, but it seemed they would have no part of it, or maybe they just didn’t understand orc. A scuffle ensured and after some time we killed them all and managed to capture one!

Searching the area around the cart we noticed a manifesto of goods with two recipients, also some crates were marked with a lion and others with a blue shield. The only things left were the mining supplies and some casks of ale.
((sorry I seemed to have been confused here and don’t know who’s symbol belonged to which party, the general traders and the miners))
On the manifesto we saw that there was also 2 people listed as being on the cart, one Gundren the Rockseeker and one Sildar Hallwinter (Sildar, I assume, may have been a guard or a friend of Gundren but the manifest didn’t state which, or possibly someone returning to town?)

Suddenly we realised the goblin spoke in broken common, just enough to make his babbling comprehensible. He spoke of Klaug, King Groll in the castle and The ‘Spider’ mentioning that someone wanted the Rockseeker to find a ‘map’, it concerns me that no mention is made of Sildar, I suspect he could be in more trouble than Gundren at this time.
Klaug seems to be a humanoid about our size who governs over the goblins, my money is on an orc, or possibly a bugbear.
King Groll on the other hand, he lives in the castle and tells them only to ‘pillage’. Maybe he is the bigger orc in question, Groll sounds like an orc name to me.
The ‘Spider’?: well we got no-where with that. The name makes me wonder how many feet he has in his mouth, or fingers in pies.

We left for town after attempting to hitch the remaining oxen to the cart and somehow failing. Needles stayed behind, one could only imagine what he would be needing to stay behind for, but it’s not up to me to question the tastes of others.

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Phandalen town - The journal of Belami Griffinmont
This town trembles in it's boots!

Phandalen, a small town with a few dozen residence, major attractions include Bandits, Goblins, and a general store.
It was noticeable that Phandalen seemed to have once, or maybe twice, been a bigger town than it has settled in to become. The main buildings seem to be a General store, a smith, an Inn, a town square, a small shrine (whom we found out is attended by Caelynn’s sister) the Lion shield Coaster and a large public building.

A quick trip to the coaster and we were able to drop off the few lost goods we could bring with us, and paid for our efforts! A bounty was given if we should happen to find more. We did manage to also find out that the Tresendar mansion, upon the hill, was considered ‘empty’ and no-one was living there, and it’s not worth our time going there. What a poor lier, we shall have to investigate that area as well.
Next we went to Barthen’s Provision shop – who was supposed to be holding the mining supplies for Gundram. Here we learnt that the Dwarf Gundram has 2 brothers who are possibly still in the area, and that they were talking about an old map of something up past the mines, a mention of wave echo cave was also made – and although this friendly keeper was looser with his lips, he still left us guessing at much more.
Nails left with some young men (two sons of the Trader Elmar Barthen, Eli and Wilhelm(16 and 18)) to return the cart and anything else they might be able to find.

Once we settled at the Inn I relayed a brief history of the area as well as I could remember it (thank you to Barthen for jogging my memory with the mention of wave echo cave!).
In Brief;
Wave echo cave is an old mine in the area, it was rumoured that an old magical forge was kept there, one that could produce items of magical quality.
Orcs also have a history in this area with Cragmaw castle being the old residence of the high nobles that left about 500 years ago, these nobles were half orc and were disgraced that recently by a green dragon who now resides in the swamps.
The Tresendar family took over as regents of the area around 150 years ago and opened up the mines with the help of dwarves. An earth node was discovered in the mine and subsequently The spell forge was built around the earth node, and cannot be moved as the forge on it’s own is useless without the node.
Not long ago, about 60-70 years, the mines were overrun by raiding orcs and this whole area was decimated.
Phandalin was a midway point (from the major city we came from?) to Cragmaw castle and Thundertree to the south – which was wiped out not long ago and any remaining survivors leaving for safer lands.
No-one seems to know where Cragmaw castle is any more and I don’t recall any maps I might have seen of the area.

((Please notify me of anything I might have missed?))

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The Inn-side story - The journal of Belami Griffinmont
We dub thee the hanging goblin

((Summary of the information gained from the Inn, As I said before I sometimes have trouble hearing and so I am guessing at names, please forgive me if I get them wrong..))

Jonathon has tied the goblin from the rafters for a bit of fun, would be even more so if I had something to whack it with other than used tankards. He made friends with a local called Daran Eddermath who claims strange smells and sounds have been coming from the area of the mines and believes it could be goblins, Adrik questioned the miners after they came in for dinner and found out there has indeed been strange noises and the smell of rotting flesh coming from further down the trails, it is possible that there are undead along the trail and even further down – orcs. The reports are from a structure in the area – some old ruins to the east (Oldarwell? Old owl well?) which could possibly have been a (soldering, soldiering?) camp or a tower for a wizard – or possibly the wizard from the court of Cragmaw castle. The orcs could be at the Wyven Tor which is further east still.
Unrelated – they mine copper, zinc, tin in the mines and sometimes get gold from the river. They also mentioned that we should talk to (Halia Thorton?) at the Miners Exchange.
We also discovered that there is a druid Reedloth in the area to the north who may know the location of Cragmaw castle and that this druid has good relations with sister Grace and the Alderleaf family.

I spoke with the Inn keeper Toblen Stonehill, Carp found something but we don’t know what, it might have to wait as I couldn’t pull any information from Toblen about it. It might be worth speaking to Matriarch Qelline Alderleaf about the bandits and the mansion near her family farms (and possibly what Carp has been up to). Linene (from the Lionshield Coaster) has warned Toblen to keep his children away from the mansion and he also personally recommends we stay away from the Sleeping giant Taphouse as unsavoury strangers seem to regular these areas. He informed us that Daran has trained the farmers and the youth in the use of weapons for defence. Harben, the townmaster seems unconcerned about the increase in illegal activity on the roadways and the strangers in town and it may be worth also speaking to him at a later date. There is also lady Liadon’s sister’ – sister Grace, who may have more to say. Hopefully Tolben will be happy to assist us by keeping his ear to the ground.

Needles arrived back quite late in the evening, and as I have little need for sleep I was on watch, he politely informed me of much of what we already knew about the miners rumours. Sadly he also relayed about bags of flour being torn and strewn about the area of the cart he went to reclaim and how he also found an empty leather scroll case that could possibly have contained a map, I do wonder if the two lost men will be safe until tomorrow. It seems the creature making this mess would have been rather large. I still think it is an orc or a bugbear, we will soon know. It also seems he took some time to check the manor and spoke of a group of bandits who wore red head bands and arm bands – redbands perhaps sums them up. It must have spooked him as he has landed on the roof to sleep for the night.

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The goblins lair - The journal of Belami Griffinmont
Where wolves drink equine and eat cheese

Will this acrid smell ever leave my nostrils? Even after multiple uses of prestidigitation I can still smell the rotting leather and stench of goblin.

On arrival we saw the flour and the widened path of destruction leading back to the goblin lair. Our ‘pet’ goblin happily informed us of about 30 goblins living in the lair and telling us about an upcoming snare trap before plummeting to his death into a spike trap. Sadly I believe he deserved a better death, but who are we to choose. To keep things short I will only talk about important discoveries we found in the caves.

Firstly, hungry wolves like to eat unguarded horses, it is no wonder that adventurers find it hard to get mounts in any town, I myself wouldn’t give one to an adventurer either.
Secondly, the goblins seemed unusually well armed for goblins. These weapons they had were well built and its obvious they have been supplied, but from where? My wandering mind wonders if they have something to do with the bandits.. or the redbrands? It’s a very thin connection and time will tell.
Thirdly, we have two humans who curiously can’t see anything in the dark, I must find a way to take advantage of this, possibly talking to needles might spark some ideas.

We managed to rescue Sildar Hallwinter from the vicious goblins before they could do him in. He informed us that King Groll is infact a bugbear and has taken over Cragmaw castle, Sildar came to investigate rumours of the redbrands as he had sent an agent – from the Lords Alliance – to investigate these rumours a few months ago.
Later we found cases with more bows and arrows marked with a coppery K – a trading symbol which has been in operation since the last war, it was used to get merchandise to the front line fast, it’s not a business – per se – but possibly more of a wholesaler.

Unfortunately we were unable to spare any goblins or the bugbear himself and so we are in a bit of a lurch as to where to head next, and who is next in the chain of command. It may be possible that we can contact this Druid for information on Cragmaw castles location, but that will have to wait until we get back to town.. and that depends on if we can carry all these boxes!
By my count there was also about 6 or 7 goblins unaccounted for, it could be possible they were sent as a guard with Rockseeker, and the map was also unaccounted for.

(Lords Alliance – they are a stabilising influence and assist with removing chaos wherever it may be. They work where the King and Queen either can’t wont or don’t).

( the Hallwinters are a military family with military titles of nobility as officers. he is a noted duelist and has an esteemed military career, he also is a member of the Lords Alliance).

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Redbrand in the mourning, shepherds warning - The journal of Belami Griffinmont
Carp-e diem.

We finally got all the boxes back thanks to an ingenious idea to turn the bridge into, well, something that could cart all those boxes back. After a short rest at the Inn we decided to visit Sister Grace (Jel????) to find out if she knew where the Druid Reidoth could be located. We were direct to search Thundertree for his location. This shouldn’t be too hard to get to, but we hear rumours that this place was, well destroyed or cursed, so who knows what to expect once we are there. The good sister also informed us that the Redbrands have been making threats to the townspeople and racketeering protection money, working from the taphouse. It is rumoured that they are responsible for the disappearance of the Woodcaver and his family – Master Thel, Mirna and their 2 children Nars and Nilsa. It is possible that they will sell them into slavery.

Our next visit was to the halfling matriarch Qelline Adderleaf and the halfling child Carp. We needed to know what it was Carp had discovered a few days before as I believed it was a possible lead. The old lady was expecting us and gave us all a piece of prophecy before leaving us with Carp to find out that he had discovered a secret back entrance to the Mansion on the hill.

After much discussion my fellow adventurers decided to confront some of the Redbrands at the taphouse in hopes to get some of their bandanna’s. A small scuffle and some gold coins left us with a couple of sore ruffians and some defected young bandits. We headed to the Edermath orchard as quietly and inconspicuously as we could to further question these hostages. With the help of Daran we discovered that ‘the one with the glass staff’ has been recruiting street urchins to their gang with offers of food and clothing. That there are about 20 people in their organisation including about 4 bugbears, some goblins, possibly some trained dogs, something in the Crypts and something else beyond that!
This thing beyond the crypts? Glass staff made a deal with it, it has one eye and walks like a man.
The Bugbears and goblins? Glass staff has made a deal with someone else connected to Groll, so not Groll himself? Hrm.. The only player I am unsure of is the Black Spider, could it be he or she is the connection here?

I would have loved to talk with Sildar more about his lost spy and possible connection with this "glass staff’ but my companions were still blood hungry for adventure and there was no time since we had already created a disturbance, it would be too simple to lose any advantage of surprise that we may have by being slow now or taking unwarranted respites. Our position is precarious and we have revealed our hand as to our next venture, but who is watching?

(Qelline Adderleaf is an unusual woman, could she be a witch? or something else? Still, she talks in hopeless riddles that make no sense to me “What is good and what is bad?”. And what of that bag of incense she handed to Jonathon?)

(Sister Jelena – known to the town inhabitants as Sister Grace is a cleric of Tymora and a blood sister to our guardian Caelynn. Defining features are her belt of coins, which are shuriken – effectively making her belt a bandoleer.)

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All your bases are belong to us - The journal of Belami Griffinmont
Squishing red backs and black spiders.

During our exploration of the mansion we discovered that Glassstaff is infact Iano, Sildar’s friend who was sent to stabilise the region. Seems like he did just that, but not in the way intended. The lovely wife of the wood carver informed us that she had also herad some names that were dropped while she was listening – The Merchant, The Spider, Glass Staff, and Groll. Later once we had rescued the Tiefling – Kira, she informed us that ‘the merchant’ had duped her into working for glass staff – Men who wore K pins, and that he would also purchase the ill gotten gains from the redbrands. That there are hobgoblins and goblins in the building who are go betweens with Groll. She also kindly pointed out that there are two bandit leaders, the other leader – Jase – has his main base at the taphouse. lastly there are some ‘black cloaks’ who come to visit glass staff at night and whom are very stealthy – I suspect drow, which leads me to believe the black spider is a drow as well.

We surprised Glass staff with 2 black cloaks, who did turn out to be drow, and we managed to take them down. Searching Glass staffs room we discovered a letter from the black spider who wants us killed and the maps delivered to him. A journal by Ormond the dwarf with notes about the mine and the forge stating that a pelor subranch/cult – League of paladins (speicalists in undead, necromancers and called the ‘light bringers’) ordered a comission on a set of maces to be made. Only one was delivered and here the journal ended.

From the drow we managed to learn that: the lady collected the drow left after the war. The spider has 8 servants working for him on this case. The spider is always moving. Albreck isn’t one of the 8 and then this was where the female drow escaped. Untidy of us, but then I’m learning we aren’t perfect.

Later Jonathon took Droop the Goblin as his apprentice and side kick. This should be interesting and I do wonder how the locals will react to ‘such a dangerous creature’ in their midst. At least in the mean time he will hopefully be more fun than the last one was.

After we had claimed the base we went to tidy up our loose ends at the Taphouse Inn. A minor scuffle and we took them down.

We made our reports to Sildar, Daran and Sister Grace and discovered the Tifeling left with her sister to find their other friends. More adventurers maybe?

It seems we have made an enemy and I wonder how far up the chain this ire goes? Maybe only to the black spider so far. But at least we have lifted the dagger from the throats of these poor towns people. Plus its always good to see men like Sildar squirm when those they dislike prove their worth, maybe he will think twice next time, and its a good reminder to me to be humble.

So now we have a new base of operations, One run down manor home.

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Druid orders - Dragon cults and a nice side of fries - The journal of Belami Griffinmont
Do they really want us to hug trees?

Owlbears! They are monstrous creatures, but we cut a tidy little rug out of this one, and I now have an owlbear heart to melt into essence. With our little Goblin Droop in tow, I’m surprised he didn’t run at the opportunity. Maybe the new clothes and easy supply of food has already turned him into a pet. Our next stop is Thundertree and the druid Reedloth.

Welcome to Thundertree, with bustling commerce, and all the amenities you could need, where privacy is paramount and your safety comes first! Come and enjoy the al fresco dining facilities, or see the giant spiders! All our plant life is fuelled by local, organic and free range green corrupting ash, courtesy of our very own Green Dragon Queen!
And there it is, complete with little skull and crossbones sign warning us to keep out. These places send shivers down my spine. The stench of evil surrounds this place and I feel my blood start to boil at the thought of the corruption left by the Trickster Queen – a green dragon of the previous age who now resides in the swamps near my homeland. She breathes a fire that when it burns it corrupts you into a zombie like creature and turns all the animal life into something twisted. What more could you really expect from a Green dragon.
There is a feeling of unease in this town and as we explore further with Adrik chosing to parley with the foilage, and it attacked him! Blighted twig like creatures, twisted darkness from the ash. We also discovered green ash zombies, but finding the druid wasn’t an easy task.
Finally we stumble upon Reedloth’s base of operations. Why he would chose such a classy location is beyond me, but then who can really fathom a druids mind – I assume its something they smoke. He seemed standoffish, it could have been the axe Adrik was brandishing and it probably didn’t help that he was muttering about chopping wood with it.

We had questions, he had missions! It was almost a match made in heaven and wedding bells chimed… In exchange for helping us with repair of our Sword, a map to the forgotten Castle Cragmaw and helping young Archibald – (I can see why he prefers Needles!) with his true calling (More mystical ceremonies, as Archi was directed here by Quelline’s wondrous words) We now have to clear the town of spiders, zombies and corrupt twigs, remove some cultists and of all things have high tea with a lovely young adult green dragon!

Of all the things a druid could ask us to do. Hug trees, plant flowers, sing to squirrels. He chooses that we should drive out a dragon.

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Why do Cultists always get the best looking gear! - The journal of Belami Griffinmont
I GOT MY FIRST GYM BADGE! - cult of tiamat

cultist.jpgTaking out the spiders was relatively easy! At least easier than I expected. We still have potions of antidotes left since we didn’t have to use them. They will come in handy should we face this green bastard of a dragon. After a short rest we decided to pay the cultists a visit. Needles quietly piled wood at their back door and doused it all with oil, lighting it on fire while we hid around the front waiting for the cultists to attempt escape.
We made short work of them that is for sure, more questions and a quick search led us to believe that they are cultists of the dragon goddess Tiamat – leader of the chromatics. We can assume they would have come to tempt the dragon to join their ritual of summoning to bring Tiamat into the known world. With more.. ‘insistent’ questioning we discovered their contacts, message board in Tribor (Kluven) and what their sign/counter sign is; this we will pass on to the authorities. I also nabbed a nifty little cloak and mask which should come in handy later if we have to deal with the dragon.
Taking care to skirt around the tower where the Dragon lives, we headed back to Phandelver to rest and recoup before heading to Castle Cragmaw. 2 days walk north east of town and we reach the decrepit castle. A quick scout and we decided to try enter from the side by climbing some rubble. The first room we walk into and we discover a drow and Groll talking in halted common! We charge in and rout them, slaying them in the chaos. We have rescued Gundren! I feel better knowing that he is the last on our list of people needing rescue. But now we have the rest of the castle to explore.
The drow was actually a Doppelgänger, It confuses me as to where this being sits in the information we were given, maybe are they the shepherd?
I feel sorry for poor Adrik and Jonathon, wolves seem to put them on edge.

I wonder how easy it would be to throw wolf howls with my illusion cantrip….

(Tiamat: a 5 headed dragon goddess of the chromatics who represents the best and worst of each dragon. Tends to focus on the manipulation of the gods and old dragons rather than mortals. Her cultists tend to focus mainly on bringing her into the realms to create havoc and destruction.)

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Do elves get grumpy when they have no sleep? - The journal of Belami Griffinmont
THEY DAMNED WELL DO! *fires magic missiles*

It’s dark, and cold, and since I was harshly awoken by being run over by a dwarf with no sense of proportion (how big his feet is over my FACE) as he runs away from a measly wolf I shall write my journal now and make it succinct.

We were unable to salvage the doppelgänger but we did get a few questions in with ‘King’ Groll, then we put him to good use! Mainly his head as a trap detector, then a makeshift torch, and finally just something to throw so poor Droop wouldn’t be hurled at random monsters.
We learnt nothing new or that hadn’t already be concluded from previous questioning. We are however closer to our final goals. Soon we will be delving into the mines and meeting Gundren’s brethren, I hope they are safe and that the drow have not had an opportunity to create more troubles (although somehow I doubt it, these drow seem to be ahead of the ball). We continued to clear the castle of it’s unmentionables with Jonathon even showing some grace and letting a few of the lesser kind leave with their lives. I will note however that hobgoblins are nasty little creatures and it was lucky they had my ire or I might not have let those goblins leave, it is probably for the best.

As for Adrik, we need to give him some therapy, it seems he has taken on a mental malady of sorts where he fears wolves. If it wasn’t for our previous encounters with the feral beasts then I would be suspicious that it could be something else. Perhaps something could be done if we were to get him a dog to care for? I do feel sorry for him.

Also, I wonder how we will spin our story for the Adventurers league. Murder Mystery, Brave adventure, or Romance! I wonder if Jonathon and Jeremy are hitting it off? They seem to be touching each other in those strange, youthful, school yard ways… could it be a budding romance? hrm, maybe not.

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Why are zombies always tired in the mornings? - The journal of Belami Griffinmont
Because they have to work the graveyard shift.

Having just scribed some new spells into my book I am in high spirits! So lets review what we have been doing.
After waiting for the young lads to return from a short shopping spree, we headed out to the Old Owl well and the abandoned wizards castle. A rotten stench hung in the air and we could see some redbrands working hard, something we realised was a bit amiss – Redbrands? Working hard? Usually they are gutless wonders who are lazy bones. We told them some jokes to raise their spirits but it seemed someone bet us to the punch line. A Necromancer appeared and threw some coins at as, it was his death toll as we wailed like a banshee upon him. Hence me writing new spells into my book!

The old owl well was a wizards tower at one point, the necromancer seemed to be spending his time trying to collect trinkets and magic from a long gone age. We couldn’t find much more information about what he was searching for or who sent him here, so we have left it.

After a short rest we headed towards where we had been told the orcs were camping. A simple task we would hope, and possibly worth a bounty when we return to town. It was a giant suprise to see an Ogre! We thought it was all ogre now. But like true heroes we exploded it like an onion being peeled with a hammer. I was a little bit upset that I left my disinshrektant back at town, but prestidigitation made short work of all the gore left behind, that and a licking from Archie. Strange one that Archie.

We decided not to head back to town. We have wasted enough time and we had a perfectly good cave vacated just for us. Overnight we were ambushed by a returning scouting party. Still, glad it wasn’t wolves!

The next day we marched forward to the Mines. Those damned Drow bet us there! Waiting for us outside the entrance with some goblinoids. Evil beasts the lot of them! I fear we are too late.

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