The continuing adventures of the murderhobo group, Droop Troop. Session 4 was here
Spoilers for the starter kit ahead as our Party search for leads to Cragmaw Castle and the Kidnapped Rockseeker Brothers.
We rejoin our party as they leave Tressander Manor after Iarno Albrek AKA Glasstaff escaped their grasp by delaying them with the Nothic. No sooner do the party exit the cellar that they can hear the urgent ringing of bells coming from the Town of Phandalin below. George, Milo, Riswynn and Roland make their way to town unseen and hide behind of of the nearby buildings where they can see 6 Redbrand gang members standing over the prone form of the Innkeeper Toblen Stonehill.
The sound of the bell quickly became apparent as the Townmaster Harbin, who up to this point the party has, somewhat correctly assumed to have been a coward, can be seen ringing a hand bell and standing behind Sildar Hallwinter, Sister Graele and Darren Edermath as they face off Weapons Drawn against the Redbrands.
Roland and Milo quickly closed ground on the Redbrands with Milo getting the jump on one of them. Riswynn and George harassed the redbrands with spells and arrows and slowly the tide of battle shifted in our parties favour. With the fight over, Sister Graele rushes over to Toblen Stonehill’s prone form and stabilizes him before taking him back into the Inn to recover.
Sildar tells the party that he’s requested aid from the Lord Alliance to help secure the town but with the Manor cleared and this remnant removed outside the Inn, he feels that the Redbrands shouldn’t be causing any further trouble. With no leads due to Iarno’s escape, Sildar shares information that he’s gathered from the townsfolk. He tells the party that Harbin is aware of an encampment of Orcs up at Wyvern Tor, and with discussion of the “Black Spider” fears they may be working for him. Sildar also shares a rumour of a shadowy figure scene lurking around Old Owl Well. On top of this information Daran Edermath suggests they also might want to head towards the ruins of village of Thundertree and speak with the Druid Reidoth as “if anyone knows where Cragmaw Castle is it’s him”
Armed with this information the party decide to rest up and head towards the Orc Encampment at Wyvern Tor. With a uneventful journey towards the encampment , they find a lone orc sentry guiding the entrance to a cave. Not wishing to directly assault the single cave entrance, the party formulated a plan to lure the Orcs out. George, Milo and Roland waited hidden by the cave entrance while Riswynn and George hidden further back in the forest. The Cleric Riswynn then used the Cantrip Thaumaturgy to cause the ground to shake within the Cave system causing the Orcs to flee. Unfortunately for the party the orcs not only outnumbered them but also had an Ogre accompanying them.
The party confident in their ambush, proceeded their attack and targeted the orc leader in the hope of taking out any coordination. Their plan proved correct as when the Orc Leader was knocked unconscious , the remaining orcs fled. The ogre however wasn’t smart enough to follow. After a prolonged battle and Milo getting knocked out, the ogre finally succumbed to the parties assault. Unfortunately for our party, the orcs know nothing of the Black Spider and are only here to raid local homesteads and prey on the locals. The orc leader attempted to bargain for his life with information related to the shadowy figure located at Old Owl Well, he informed the party that the area was inhabited by a necromancer. For his actions, the party sentenced the orc to a swift death.
Camp was made just near the orc encampment with plans next day to leave for Old Owl Well and see this necromancer for themselves hoping for a lead on Cragmaw castle. Before leaving at dawn a messenger arrived looking for George bearing ill news, his father was poorly. George made the decision to leave the party and return home to care for his father.
After wishing George good fortune, our adventurers carried onto the ruins of Old Owl Well. The journey however wasn’t straight forward as the party were attacked and caught off guard by a swarm of stirge. These creatures are a cross between a bat and a mosquito and latch onto their prey with sharp claws while using a proboscis to drain their blood from their victim. The party was struggling with bringing down the swarm due to sheer number and their close proximity when arrows from the woods beside them punctuated the air and started felling the Stirges.
Droop after recuperating at the manor after the fight with the Nothic decided to follow the party and aid them. With Droop’s help the party overcame the Stirges and continued on their way towards Old Owl Well.
As the party reach the ruins of Old Owl Well, they can smell the somewhat familiar stench of decaying flesh. The only thing they can see however is a crumbling tower and a bright red tent. Being ever entrepreneurial, our party decide to start snooping and head towards the tent. Upon reaching the door of the tent, the hear the moaning and shuffling of around 12 zombies coming towards them. As quickly as they knock them down, they get back up when suddenly a shout breaks through the noise of fight.
“What is the meaning of this?!” roars a bald headed man with a tattoo upon his forehead. The party recognise the mans attire and tattoo as that of a Red Wizard of Thay meaning they had found their necromancer. The zombies shudder to a stop and the necromancer introduces himself as HamuinCost and wonders why the party were trying to rob his belongings from his tent. After some fast talking, the party convince the necromancer that they were just looking for information of Cragmaw Castle and were investigating a mysterious figure at Old Owl Well. Although the necromancer is not working for the Black Spider, he is aware of the location of Cragmaw Castle and will give that information for confirmation that the orcs that have been harassing his camp are removed. Luckily for our party, it’s the very same orcs they removed not too long ago. The necromancer demands to be left to his studies and warns our adventurers to maybe not loot random seemingly unguarded tents in future.
Looking for confirmation on Hamun’s information, the party decide to seek out the Druid Reidoth in Thundertree. As they approach a sign warns them of “plant monsters and Zombies”. After fighting their way through a few ruined buildings against said Plants and zombies, they come across a home that seems in decent repair, with it’s doors and windows shuttered. It’s here that they meet Reidoth who gives them not only information on Cragmaw Castle but also Wave Echo Cave, The lost Mines of Phandelver! He asks that the party help move the dragon that now inhabits Thundertree along as it’s upsetting the balance of nature within the area.
Locating the ruined tower that the dragon now calls home, they attempt to speak with the dragon with little success. Venomfang informs them that he hasn’t long eaten so will give them this one chance to leave him in peace. Our party, rather smartly accepts the dragons offer as they have no wish to fight it within the confined tower.
Reidoth had also mentioned cloaked figures in Black Masks and cloaks at the eastern end of town, although he also mentions they were keeping to themselves and not causing a disturbance. However he could think of no legitimate reason why they would be here. The group came across a shuttered building and assume this is where the cloaked individuals were. Milo stepped up to the door and brazenly knocked on it asking if anyone was there. After convincing the person behind the door to speak, our party learn that the group are “Dragon worshippers” and come to worship Venomfang. They manage to convince the Cultist leader Favric that they also wish to worship the dragon.
Favric consults with someone beside the door in “Draconic” believing the party has no knowledge of the language. Roland however understands and figures there are 5 other cultists in the building. Roland manages to hide the fact he can understand them. Favrec believes that 9 of them together will be enough to impress Venomfang and allow them into his service. Despite listening to the Cultists, Roland was unable to make out their hushed whispers as they spoke to each other, it seemed they did not yet trust the party.
As the group reached the base of the tower the cultists stepped forward and Favrec shouted in Draconic “Venomfang, we bring you these 4 as an offering” Roland relayed this to the group as Venomfang descended from the tower. The dragon was unimpressed with the offering, instead attempted to breathe poison over both the cultists and the party. With the betrayal by Favrec, the party had already moved back to get some distance between them and the cultists. The cultists however were not so lucky with all of them falling to the dragon’s breath.
Roland quickly ran towards the dragon attempting to get it’s attention as Milo skirted around it’s legs hoping to catch it from behind. Droop, looking resigned kept firing arrows into the dragon while Riswynn frantically called upon the power of her god to heal the party. Roland and Milo managed to keep the Dragon’s attention and were slowly whiting it down when a vicious combination of a clawstrike and bite felled Roland. As the dragon then turned it’s attention to Milo, Riswynn managed to bring Roland back to his feet and charging into the fray. This distraction would prove disastrous for Venomfang as Milo would take advantage and cause massive damage to the dragons back.
With a roar, the dragon spread it’s wings and vowed vengeance upon the party as it’s sped away into the skies and away from Thundertree…