Lost Mines of Phandelver

Kurbis Journal Underdark.5
Hurt, but healing

Underdark 4
As I lay in what one could call a mushroom house I am reminded by a phrase my father once told me, “To have a plan and to execute a plan are two very different things”. The memory makes me chuckle,
which causes several of my wounds to reopen…

It has been 3 days since the battle to free the young Prime. At its core, it was a success. I was able to dispatch the slavers and free their prisoners. The devil, however, is in the details.

First the battle. The Drow Warriors were dispatched easily enough. I was able to lure them into a passageway that was just wide enough for them to come at me one at a time. The two priestess put up a much more challenging fight. They gifted me several of the wounds now seeping blood. Luckily the Myconid were able to temporarily reanimate the fallen Drow warriors and the overwhelming odds turned the tide quickly.

The Myconid Prime (who now calls himself Stump) was secured, along with a few others. The Dwarf, Quagoth, and Kuo-Toa were also saved.

As expected the Lady dwarf wished to be on her way as quickly as possible. She introduced herself as Eldeth Feldrun but would not go into details as to where she was from or where she was headed. She only mentioned that her home was a few weeks walk away and that she would forever be in our debts. After gathering some provisions from the loot secured from the slaver camp she was gone.

The Kuo-Toa introduced himself as only as Shuushar. Aside from coming in and offering me different herbal medicines he has kept mostly to himself. He eyes me strangely and has asked me several times about my origins. He is a strange fellow.

Finally, we have my new shadow, the Quagoth Deren. He refuses to leave my room and rises with fang and claw at the ready whenever my door opens. He also refuses to make eye contact with me and completely refuses to speak.

Tomorrow Shuushar says I can begin moving around again, in fact Stump has asked for a private audience with me as soon as I can stay upright.

Kurbis Journal Underdark.4

The circle was searching for a young Myconid that had gone missing a few weeks ago, a very special Myconid. Every 514229 weeks a Myconid Sovereign Prime is born, these Primes serve as the keepers of generations of their history. They serve has historian, teacher and prophet to all Myconid people. This particular Prime had gotten itself captured by group of Drow slavers that apparently had set up camp roughly an hour away. Being restrictively passive, the circle had set out to find some help and of course ran across me. Short on nearby allies I agreed to do what I could to help.

The circle had been following the slavers for many days prior. Through the rapport spore connection, I was able to absorb all they had seen and heard as if I had done so myself. The group consisted of approximately 4-7 Drow warriors in assorted armor and weapons they appeared to take orders from the commander who went by Shoor. A pair of Drow priestesses ran the show. Ashee a lesser priestess and Ilvara the leader. The captives consisted of quite the rogue’s gallery. The young Myconid, a Kuo-toa, a female dwarf, and one of the biggest Quaggoth I had ever seen in my life.

Luckily my new friends had also thoroughly scouted the area and I quickly identified a location where I could even the odds. I would be facing unknown numbers with only Talon to defend myself with. As we arrived within striking distance ,but still comfortably out of sight, we stopped for a moment so I could get my bearings and the group could rehash the gamble that was disguising itself as a plan.

Kurbis Journal Underdark.3

Underdark Entry 3

My situation has changed…significantly. I awoke to find myself surrounded by Myconid. 12 of them to be exact, which was arguably more unsettling to me than coming awake in the middle of a “Circle”. I’ve encountered a few in my life and knew they are usually a passive people, so outside of my initial shock of waking up surrounded I knew I was relatively safe. That said, the number of them was very concerning.

Myconidi are ruled by some peculiar “rules”. One of with is their inability to travel in anything other than Fibonacci numbers. So to see this group consisted of 12 instead of 8 or 13…well I knew something was wrong.
Once they realized I wasn’t going to start killing them the Sovereign of the group (usually the oldest/largest) offered me a small fungal flower and motioned for me to inhale. This was also surprising. I was being invited into a meld with this circle. Which is exceedingly rare for other races. A meld is how the Myconid race communicates, it creates a telepathic bond, like I said…very rare. Short on friends I inhaled.

The flower contained spores that allowed me to communicate with the circle. In such instances Myconid usually do not refer to each other by name and all thoughts and knowledge is shared. In a gesture of respect, I cannot begin to describe how significant, my initial “conversation” began with me and the Sovereign only. He_ (such is not appropriate as Myconid do not have such classifications but the voice in my mind was male while others would be female (ater so I shall refer to them as such)_ explained to me that the bloom I had inhaled allowed only my thoughts directed to the group to be shared, as they did not care to give me all of their secrets and did not wish to take away all of mine. Once this was settled the rest of the group entered my the “conversation” and I learned that it was going to be a really long day….

Kurbis Journal Underdark.2
Underdark Day 1

Underdark Entry 2
Day 1 -somewhere on the shores of Whispers Lake -

How exactly the Bag of Holding Feron made became separated from me before I fell into the earth is something I am afraid will never be truly explained. Fortunately, I have a good habit of splitting supplies between traveling bags. I now sit beside a well-hidden fire in what one might call a cave watching a small pot boil a stew. After some sorting and emptying of pockets…my provisions are as follows:

-Clothing: My Red Cloak, Chainmail shirt and traveling clothes. (Were I not lost, alone, thought dead, and had no idea how to get back to my companions I would expend absurd resources to get the damned plate armor from the bottom of this lake ##$*! $!!!)

-Food: If I ration I will have roughly a week’s worth of provisions. Fresh water trickles down from all over. I hope to scavenge tubers and mushrooms to supplement. Not ideal, as I am not nearly as familiar with underdark foraging as I am on the surface…

-Weapons: I have my Kukri knife, my Mechanical Shield, and Talon. Of note, Talon is …. off down here. I had grown accustom to his mumblings while traveling, but down here he’s just off. Instead of whole thoughts I get emotions (fear, anger, humor and so on). Granted I have only been here for roughly 18 hours.

-Misc.: A bed roll, cooking pot, flint and steel, rope (Thank God), 1 invisibility potion, 3 health potions, half stack of bandages, my Journal (obviously), pack of candles, travel blanket, spare knife, one of Dregan’s throwing hammers, bottle of oil, water skins and a crowbar. So a rogue’s gallery of either very useful (more than one water skin) or very useless (A throwing hammer?!) items.

While I can’t be sure, my body is telling me it would be late evening. The fire has driven off my fear of hypothermia; and my stomach has finally settled from the fall thanks to a stew of dried sausages, a few tubers, and some dried herbs I had stored in my pack.

Now to sleep and pray that a rested mind will give me some insight into how I can escape this place.

Kurbis Journal Underdark.1
Underdark Day 1

To say I have lived a life riddled with bad luck would be unfair to those who have truly had bad fortune. That said, I do believe it is fair to say my luck can be quite streaky.

Consider this, while I have only the faintest of memories when it comes to my blood relatives, I was blessed with an adopted family that was rich in character, kindness and education. This trend has continued as one will throughout my life. Recent events are no exception.

I found myself falling for an unusual period of time and at a very inappropriate speed. Much too slow and for far too long. When I return to my friends…my family I will have to ask Tots if this was indeed the Feather Fall spell or some bastardized version of it that allowed such a thing. I fell for so long that I became comfortable with falling. So comfortable that I did not think to notice the fast approaching sea approaching below me.

It is in this lake that many of my belongings still remain. My Armor, Javelins and most of my non-essentials had to be ditched or I would have drowned, this is of no question. After hours of swimming I found myself exhausted, wet, and cold on the dark shores of Whispers Lake.

Resigning myself to not die of hypothermia I gathered some kindling and began to assess the situation…

New Lands and New Adventures
aka What the $%*^ is going on!?

I write these words with trepidation. I am neither a part of these events nor an innocent bystander. Just know that I was there. My name is unimportant but I chronicle these events for those who cannot. After the RBB (or New RBB? maybe just heroes though some will beg to differ) left Phandelver they arrived in the Dressin Valley to an elemental chaos. People were panicking and those who were “sane” were not seeming to take care of their own. The group had been lounging or resting or training for the past 6 months so when they arrived they were not entirely prepared for what was going on. Tinker Tots was away on some study and inititation into the Lord Council since she was the one who would replace the last Lord of Glass (or whatever that scum was called). And the party had lost Roland to some fools errand of the local rangers. Kurbis, Feron, and Dregan needed to continue on to deliver goods to the valley courtesy of Gundran. Upon arrival in Red Larch they chance upon another companion, Mach.

Lets take a minute to talk about Mach…and in some ways Dregan. Mach’s history is somewhat shrouded in mystery. He didn’t at the time explain a lot of his past but his sense of honor was strong and he liked to help those who couldn’t fight for themselves. Dregan on the other hand…..well Dregan is like a brother to me but the kind of brother who would drink with you then get you into a fight you were looking to avoid. I don’t know if Dregan felt threatened at first or what but he made it his mission to challenge Mach to a “duel”. Mach was more than willing to fight him and ended the fight rather quickly. Ever since the two have become drinking buddies as well as friends though now it was harder for the rest of the group to get them out of trouble.

While getting their bearings in Red Larch noticed there was things amiss with the town leadership. It was during their first night that out of no where a portal tore through reality and Tots was shoved through by your new mentor Kelban Blackstaff. Through the portal the group could see a coming fire but then it snapped shut behind her and she was left in the middle of the road. Without much to go on the group rested for the evening and decided to head over to Kurbis’s Paladin Order Hall.

I will write more as I gather my notes together and my thoughts. Things begin to get interesting in the days to come.

Happenings over the Last 6 months

What the Hell is going on….AKA 6 months of RP notes

The town has gone from backwoods crossroads to bustling gold rush town. Silar is fighting every instinct he has to get out of town and go smash something but stays as he know no one else can do his the job of town master. In the 6 months Phandelver has almost tripled in size. Nothing in the regards to significant trouble has manifested itself, thanks to Sildar’s militia, Edermath’s Rangers, and the Hero’s staying in the area.

Wave Echo Cave: The mine has served as the spark of growth in the area. Not only has Phandelver started grow into a city again, but places like the ruins of Conyberry, Cragmaw Castle and even the Cragmaw hideout have started the transformation into civilized establishments (a town, a troop garrison, and an Inn respectively). Despite Sildar and Kurbis’s warnings Gundren has taken to hire most any able bodied person that shows looking for work, without taking much effort to vet their quality of intentions. This has led to surprisingly few arrests. Within weeks the Mine was cleared of dangers and in just under 2 months the first bars of Platinum, Gold, and Silver were minted. One of each was gifted to the party.

Tresendor Manor*: Kurbis returned to Tresendor manor a few weeks after the battle with the Black Spider. The manor sat at what appeared to be an exceptionally defensible position above the city and could serve as a keep for the townspeople in a time of need, also he wanted to further investigate the spirits he had encountered months prior. Once there Kurbis immediately noted that the feeling of evil had subsided and moved to more of a grey of neither good nor evil. A spirit presented itself as the steward of the Manor. This led to subsequent visits with other members of the party and eventually Joeb (kurbis’s adoptive father) as well. During these visits the party learned much.
• The sword Talon was much more than a simple family heirloom, its history was ancient and mostly unknown. After a pass through the flames of the Forge of Spells the blade revealed itself to be matte black with silver accents and a sentient voice manifested in Kurbis’s mind.
• The Tresnedor family had once ruled a good portion of the area, the last King in that line being Bane Tresendor. Bane was a mighty warrior and the oldest of 3 sons. Just as he was about to reach his life dream of establishing true lasting democratic peace he was betrayed by his brother Alleen.
• The spirits are the adults that were murdered during Alleen’s betrayal. Their children’s spirits were either destroyed or consumed by the darkness of Alleens magics. As such the spirits are somewhat (and rightfully so) blood thirsty when it comes to any remnants of Alleens line.
• Agatha was actually Alleens wife. An arranged marriage that was to be a center peace in a treaty between Elves and the people of this area.
• Alleen was also responsible for Agatha’s part in the destruction of the Battlebrand line.
• Bane has agreed to let builders begin reconstruction of the Manor, that said, the inner most sanctums are strictly off limits to anyone but the Party and those the party has given permission to.
• Joeb found the spirits to be not quite evil, but not quite good either. During his visit Kurbis, Joeb and Feron found the great library. Believed to be the most complete and largest library in all the lands. Fearful that such knowledge could be stolen the trio request some workers to drop a wall until proper protection could be arranged. Joeb had a contingent of Paladin and Initiates assigned to protect the Library. The very devote and borderline fanatical Paladin Eyan returned and has taken up residence in some some servant quarters. The Paladins avoid other areas of the manor, the spirits avoid the Paladins. Sildar is aware of the situation. Kurbis and Eyan are not on friendly terms…
• A secret tunnel to Wave Echo Cave was discovered, but has been sealed by powerful runes.
• As the town, manor, and surrounding lands have begun to show improvement and resettlement, Bane and his people have started to gain power. They now walk freely through the town and and in Bane’s case even further. They have sworn to stay hidden and hurt no one. Descendants of Alleen could be exceptions.

On the subjects of Spiders, Caves and Debts....3

Having dealt with the Spector we made our way back to Mormesk. A brief and uneventful conversation ensued where he laid out the paths we could take to the area where the Black Spider had set up a camp.
We decided upon a route and set off once again.

After working our way through a (for me at least) rather small tunnel we found ourselves standing on the ledge of a natural cavern. The sounds of labor echoed as 3 rather unsavory bugbears, who were being supervised by a Drow we had not seen before in our trails.

Having both the advantage of surprise and the high ground it was decided I would engage the Bugbears while the others focused on the Drow, being he was the only wildcard. I slide down the wall with a surprising level of stealth and waited for the others to unleash their magics.

All went mostly according to plan. I grabbed the attention of the bugbears, Dregan incapacitated one of them, Wren entangled the other in a mass of webbing, and Feron blasted bolts of liquid fire across the room towards the Drow overseer.

The 2 bugbears quickly broke free of the webbing and split off; one towards myself and one towards the rest of the party. I was caught unawares and the bugbear struck me with an impressive cut, tearing through my mail shirt and into my flesh. I was now locked in combat with both of the beasts. The other bugbear began to ascend the cave wall to attack the party above. The drow also sprang into action, rushing down the cave wall and moving to attack me as well.

I’m not sure how to describe the sequence of events that lead to our victory. With the casters assistance the enemies on my level where dispatched. The bugbear that was attempting to act the party on the cliff inspired an unexpected chain of events.

Having the obvious advantage of high ground the Dregan, Feron and Wren had no desire to allow the beast to engage them in hand to hand combat. First as the bugbear began to climb our rope Dregan and Feron simple cut the rope and let the beast fall to the ground. This enraged him and in a feat of pure athletics the monster leapt the distance and landed directly behind the group.

I am fond of my party. These past few months I have grown to think of them as family…as such I feel it is fair for me to say that I believed that none of my friends on that cliff ledge are equipped or of the ability to handle a creature as relevant as a bugbear in hand to hand combat. On this assumption I was grossly incorrect.

Dregan Battlebrand is not on to perform tales that focus on his own exploits, the battle that ensued between him and the bugbear is such a tail where he should make an exception. As the beast landed Dregan roared in challenge causing the beast to charge him with a howl. Using some grappling skills that I did not know he had Dregan performed what might be called a Judo throw. Using the bugbears momentum and weight Dregan tossed the beast over the cliff. In this same motion, Dregan latched onto the beast and followed him to the floor, adding his weight to the impact. As he struck the floor the beast screeched in agony. The bugbear sprang to his feet, spinning on Dregan. Cool as the north wind Dregan twisted his legs around the legs of the bugbear and brought the beast to the ground again and again the beast roared in anger. Dregan pushed off with his hands and landed in a upright position, moving like flowing water my dwarf friend spun on one foot and smashed his elbow into the chest of the beast… stopping its heart instantly. We all stood in silence and awe for more moments than any of us would likely admit.

With the bugbears and their drow overseer handled we went about inspecting the cave area. Dregan followed a collapsed tunnel and found the remains of a fallen dwarven warrior. There he collected what appears to be an ancient crown and a pair of gauntlets that bestow the wear with greatly increased strength. After the quick inspection we moved on to our showdown with the Black Spider.

We found the Black Spider leisurely inspecting the remnants of a dwarven temple. With him a pair of bugbears growled and sneered as we entered the room. I found the Black Spider to be unnervingly pleasant in the conversation that followed. We offered him the chance to surrender, which amused him greatly and as a villain will do, he offered us the chance to join him, which of course we refused. The exchange over the final battle began.

Wren and Feron let loose, the heat and cold from their spells flashing off my armor as projectiles raced across the room. Dregan captured the mind of one of bugbears, setting it against its companion. The Black Spider also sprang into action, with a clap he summoned his name sake, 4 giant spiders descended all around us. We were outnumbered and surrounded.

Immediately the spiders sprayed us all with webbing, but none of so much as Feron. He was cover so that I could not even see him from just 30 feet away. I suspect the wounds he inflicted on the black spider moments earlier had caught the attention of the beasts, but such is only assumption. The battle hung on a razors edge for what seemed an eternity. The Black Spider began a hit and run strategy, bouncing in and out of an invisible state, wren sent all she had in magics towards out enemies, Dregan fought with pride and valor despite significant wounds, and Feron again and again found himself entangled by the webs of the giant spiders.

The numbers and strength of our enemies began to turn the tide of battle against us. I could feel the wound from the bugbear earlier tearing open with every move. Dregan was down to his last moments of consciousness when he moved to heal me, I stopped him and told him to take care of himself first. Our enemies seeing his ability to restore strength quickly turned their attention to him and took him down. I was able to take down one or two more before I found myself also laying helpless and bleeding out on the ground, same with Feron who had resorted to asking Wren to burn off the webs with him. I lay on my back and watched one of the finest duels of wizardry I have seen or heard of.

Outnumbered and running low on magic reserves Wren Strifelaughter stepped betwixt the bodies of her injured comrades and faced evil all alone.

Utilizing the staff of Iarno “Glasstaff” Albrek and her sheer will Wren deflected and counter attacked the Black Spider. Bolts of Fire and Ice along with darts of liquid energy streaked across the room, bouncing off of shields and deflected by enchanted armors. Each spell cast was met with an opposing incantation. I know not how long this battle lasted. I drifted out of conciseness during, but when I awoke the room was silent and the Black Spider had fallen. I looked to my friend Wren, who weeks ago seemed so small, now appeared as a master of magics, a worthy member of the Lords Alliance.

On the subjects of Spiders, Caves and Debts....2
part 2

I cannot speak as to how many hours passed inside that dark dank storeroom. If not for the ever so persistent “BOOM” from the back of Wave Echo Cave I feel as if one could simply forget time existed in such a place and through some dark portal, vanish from this world altogether.
Even so we managed to recover our strength and venture forth to finish what had been started month ago.

We kept to our North East West plan. Reaching the source of the constant “boom”. A large cavern with a as yet explained tidal push crashed against a rock wall. This cavern also marked the furthest north our current path would take us. Keeping with our, again completely unscientific, method we took a Eastern hallway. It was here we encountered the Spirit Mormesk.

I believe Mormesk exists on this plane out of sheer ego. Not ghost nor specter nor liche, he simply remains. He first berated us for existing in his presence, then threatened to end our lives for destroying his “brother” the flame skull that almost cost us our lives, and then…incredulously he requested we remove a Spector from a nearby chamber. Inside of these conversations we learned that Mormesk had been a powerful wizard, helping to operate the mine centuries ago and that Mormesk had two brothers, one of which had become the flame skull. Other items of interest were his affinity for books, a surprising willingness to share his knowledge and most importantly the location of the Black Spider’s basecamp.. His patience did reach an end as he sent us off to deal with the Spector or die in the process.

The Spector turned out to be the guardian of the Forge of Spells. At the height of the mine’s operation the Forge was used to create exceptionally powerful magical weapons, weapons that shaped the very history of this land. Wren quickly formulated a plan. I would slip into the room and after the rest of the party had taken the attention of the beast, I would charge in and strike. My blade swung true and mortally wounded the creature. Unfortunately it wasn’t quite enough and the beast unleashed a brief and ineffective counterattack. Feron ended the creature mercifully with arcane fire.

We bathed our armor and weapons in the arcane flame still flickering in the Forge and made our way to the Temple where The Black Spider had set up camp.

On the subjects of Spiders, Caves and Debts....
Part 1

From the Journal of Kurbis Nadaar.

To say the excursion into Wave Echo Cave, the trials therein, and the showdown with the creature known only as The Black Spider was eventful would be an understatement.

After rescuing Gundren our party was quick to resupply and set off for the mine. Time was of the essence as we knew not what had happened to Gundren’s brothers who had been at the hands of the Spider.

Irony is a cruel mistress, hundreds of lives have gone to waste…even lost in searching for the Wave Echo Cave. All the while, it sat just a few miles outside of town, hidden by a dense grove in the forest. A cruel mistress indeed.

Upon arriving to the entrance we were saddened to find the body of one of Gundren’s brothers. Kill from a lack of cooperation, or simply for sport, we have yet to find out. The sight however was just another enforcement to our purpose. Retribution must be enacted against the Spider and his minions.
We left the Gundren at the entrance to grieve and bury his brother, tho he is of fierce soul the work that was to be done inside the cave was beyond his martial skills.

As Dregan was quick to point out, the entrance levels to the mine still illustrated the craftsmanship of dwarven miners. The battle centuries ago had left scars no doubt, but the structure of the mine had stood the test of time easily. We were speaking on this when our first intersection presented itself.

Feron and I took to the short hall to investigate. His door presented what appeared to be the pay master’s office. . A chest rewarded us with gold silver and copper as one might find in the coffers of such an office. My door however yielded ….less than desirable results. Nine Skeletons rose and began to shamble towards me. Simultaneously A large group of Stirges descended upon Dregan and Wren. Despite being outnumbered (as a group) roughly 1 to 5 the creatures were slow or fairly weak or both. I managed to use the doorway as a bottleneck so I would only face 2 undead at a time. The rest of the party focused on the mass of blood suckers swirling around them. Quickly dispatching them with magical incantations. Once free of the bat like creatures the group came to my aid and burned down the undead as well. If such was to be the norm in the cave, we had quite the challenge ahead of us.

We gathered ourselves and moved the coin chest to a safe location and continued east. It was not far till we reached a grove of fungi and cave plants. Not knowing what effects these plants may have on us, we doubled back and took the north passage.

The cave constantly presented options in destination. We decided that the best course of action would be to move north as much as possible. If the way north was blocked, then east. If neither, we would go west. While not a plan based upon a scientific method, it got us in and out of the cave alive. The constant and rhythmic “BOOOOM” that originated from the north also had peaked out curiosity, so that certainly had an effect on our decision making processes

We faced Ghouls and Zombies along the way. Beasts long dead and cursed by dark magics. I hope by destroying their physical forms the spirits that may be trapped inside could move on to the next plane of existence. Of note, during these fights Wren occasionally had exceptional bursts of power. Her wielding of the arcane is proficient to be sure, but on one instance in particular it appeared that the force of her spell was such that it even caused her physical harm. It was when we faced the Flame Skull…

We had found a room where we could use as a safe harbor, marking it on my map. Anxious to press forward we continued down a long hall to the north. Shortly we found ourselves in what appeared to be the main smelting chamber. The equipment (still in remarkable shape, another comment from Dregan ((MID BATTLE NO LESS)) noted more fine craftsmanship) had stood the test of time, unfortunately so had the bodies of many of the fallen, Zombies rose as we entered the room. On the far side of the chamber a skull surrounded in green flame with red eyes of malice rose from the ground as well. As soon as it noticed us it attacked. Sending beams of fire from its eyes.

The group acted quickly, with blade, hammer, and magic. The Flameskull, however, was sending such devastation towards us with its abilities we were finding ourselves overwhelmed. Two instances of note during this encounter. As the zombies surrounded us I noted Wren distracted in her spell casting for just an instant, as if something was speaking to her silently. As she released the spell an explosion vaporized many of the foes. After this we thought we would have had the upper hand, this was not the case. The Skull had sent high level abilities against us, Fireballs and Spheres of pure flame. Most of the party collapsing from injury and exhaustion. Just before the darkness closed in upon us I saw Dregan whispering to himself, as if in negotiation with some unseen, unheard voice. A flash of light erupted from his hand, the usually hidden dwarven mark pulsing with energy. My wounds healed instantly, so fast in fact I could feel a broken rib painfully knit itself back together. The Flameskull emitted a hellish howl as it’s flames were somehow ripped from away, washed away in the energy storm, Then silence.
Dregan lay on the ground still, looking drained of life, but alive.

We took measure of ourselves and realized we had to recuperate on all levels. With the eerie silence following us, we made our way back to the room we had discovered earlier, barred the doors with and quickly fell into rest.


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