Lost Mine of Phandelver

Kronk and Pi Super Best Friends
Devastating Moves of Devastation

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Kronk’s Refrigerator Art:

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Episode 1: Of Ambushes and Close Calls

Kronk, Pi, Arigii, and Doran set out on the Triboar Trail to deliver Gundren’s goods to Barthen’s Provisions in Phandalin. A day or so in, they came across two dead horses in the road, pierced with black feather arrows. As the party stopped the wagon, the semi-drunk dwarven cleric moved to the bushes along the road to make water. Luckily for him, he kept his eyes peeled. Both Arigii and Pi, noticed rustling goblins in the bushes, and the party found themselves sandwiched between two sets of two goblins on either side.

At times, the party fought as if they had all been drinking of the dwarf’s ale stock. Kronk’s sword glanced laughably off of one goblin, and Pi could hardly pierce the wretched green skin of goblin that was just feet away. When all hope seem lost, the party turned the tide on the goblins, decimating them with thrown axes and diagonal slices with a butcher’s precision. One goblin begged for his life to Kronk, croaking “I…can…tell you thingssss…..” But Kronk, usually so simple and compassionate, raged over the killing of the two innocent horses in the road. He decapitated the goblin with cold efficiency but noble intent.

The party investigated the killing grounds. Kronk revealed to the party that the two horses were Gundren’s, as Kronk had been permitted to pet and feed them when he was last at Gundren’s stables. The group surmised that the two horses had been ridden by Gundren and Sildar Hallwinter, his human warrior companion. Amidst the carnage, the saddlebags and a leather map case were searched, but to no avail. Everything had been taken during the ambush on Gundren and Sildar.

The impish Pi was troubled by the disappearance of Gundren and Sildar and searched the surrounding area for any clue as to where they might be. Their bodies, after all, were nowhere to be found. As he poked around the brush on the side of the road with his shortsword, he faintly noticed what appeared to be four drag marks and several goblin-sized footprints leading through the brush. “This way,” he said.

“We must rest,” the surly dwarf proclaimed, and sat himself on the ground with his wolfskin of ale. The party was hurt and agreed they could not go on until they recovered precious lost energy and tended to their wounds.

Before dawn the next day, the group hid the wagon of provisions in a dense thicket, covering it with large branches and leaves. They took their two horses and set off down the newly worn path, tracking with great care. The group was content to let the oafish Kronk lead the party, allowing his carefree outlook to relieve them of the burden of their growing fear.

Pi and Kronk narrowly avoided a snare trap, but their watchfulness kept them from being undone by the goblin trick. Instead of simply cutting the snare rope with a sword (as any adventurer would know), the party members took turns trying to put a stick in the snare. This tactic finally worked and the party and horses continued on.

An hour or so later, Arigii, usually content to drink himself into a pleasant state of controlled revelry, managed to look at the road at just about the time Kronk was preparing to step on some odd-looking ground along the path. He yelled a quick, profane warning to Kronk, who nearly lost his balance. In front of him, where his toes had just stepped, the ground opened. A pit trap! Kronk balanced himself and pulled the reins of both horses to protect them. The pit trap was narrowly avoided.

After a morning’s travel, the group had followed this newly-worn trail to a steam running from the mouth of a cave. Across the stream was a thicket of bushes. Arigii, looking for a semi-private area to once again urinate, rustled up two goblins in a blind created by the thickets.

The goblins were dispatched with brutal, decapitating killing blows from the arrows rained down by the halfling Pi. The party tied up the horses and proceeded into the cave.

Awaiting them were two wolves, chained to a rod in the middle of a room. Behind them was an unknown darkness. They could proceed up the stream or seek what the wolves were protecting. Kronk, typically an expert animal handler, failed at taming the wild wolves. But Arigii, the sour dwarf, managed to find kindred spirits in the wolves, who enjoyed his ale as much as he did.

Past the wolves, the party found an opening in the wall, which appeared to be a rubble chute that went up at least 8 feet. Pi used his advanced acrobatic skills to ascend what ended up being a 30-foot climb to the top of a shelf-like area. He summoned the rest of the party to the top of the chimney.

As they could not see to the bottom, Arigii drunkenly spoke the incantation to “Light,” and Pi immediately was surrounded with a glowing aura. Arigii laughed with satisfaction, but Pi was furious that his sneaking ability was now ruined for an hour by the careless spellcasting of the dwarf. The party had to wait for an hour for the spell to wear off. In the interim, they saw that the tunnel continued down 30 ft from their shelf to another entranceway.

Just as the spell wore off, Pi suggested they flip the rope to the other side and use it to rappel down. After tying the rope to himself and asking Kronk to hold it, Kronk grabbed his “little friend” and tossed him over the edge. Kronk thought this would be the easiest way down for Pi. With his acrobatic ability, Pi managed to rescue himself halfway down the chute with only some scrapes to show for it. Pi will never know how close he came to getting uber-pwned by his dimwitted companion.

The rest of the party joined Pi at the bottom of the cave eventually and found itself in a cave filled with the bugbear, Klarg; Klarg’s loyal wolf Ripper, and two goblins. Arigii used thaumaturgy to amplify Pi’s voice into a booming rattle as Pi yelled “be gone, ye goblins, or your heads will be mine as your friends’ were!” The two goblins fled to the edge of the room, hiding behind the entranceway near the stone stairs. Klarg took several brutal hits to begin the combat and was felled with sickening brutality by the party.

Then, despite his love for animals, Kronk realized that Ripper had been turned by his master into a vicious shell of the beautiful wolf he once was. In the wolf’s eyes, Kronk saw a hatred that could be the end of his new companions. He swung back his boot and kicked the dog into the embers of a fire in the middle of the room, nearly killing Ripper.

A final death blow was administered, and just as the party began to relax, the two goblins from before charged from the stone stair way. They were decapited and mutilated by both an arrow and two thrown axes. The thrown axes were especially lethal, the first lopping off the goblins head and the second hitting it midair and throwing it with a clang against the cave wall.

Finally, the party could stand still for a moment and take stock. They saw a large pile of loot in the corner, mostly provisions. They had an insignia on the packs, which looked like a shield with a lion on it. In the corner, behind Ripper’s bed, was a chest. Pi inspected the lock closely and, finding no signs of a trap, picked the lock open.

Inside the trap, the party found: 600 cp, 110 sp, two potions of healing, and a jade statuette of a frog with tiny golden orbs for eyes. The frog does not seem to have magical properties, but Kronk is immediately obsessed with the shiny object.

As the party sat to take a short rest, Kronk looked away from the frog statuette for the first time and said, “No Gundren, and no Sildar…{sigh}.” There were decisions to make. Explore the cave further? Leave? Retreat to Phandalin? The party cannot rest long here, so whatever happens, it needs to happen quickly. There is a feeling Doran cannot shake that they are not alone…

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