Machinations of the Slave Lords!

Danger at Darkshelf Quarry, Episode 2
Faervel tries to commit suicide by ghoul

The party continues to investigate the suspicious mining operations.

The boom that killed the giant frogs at the end of last session had attracted attention of other dungeon denizens. We decided to press on rather than wait for them to come to us. We entered a large cavern with a small underground lake. Several kobolds and one of those lightning lizard things were there (The DM let slip they’re called Mud Tigers even though we all failed our knowledge rolls). Punty, Gary, and Gurtak charged into those foes. Sten was the only one who noticed the purple robed human hiding in the shadows and attacked that foe with his mighty clerical rays of goodness. Faervel used Sten’s magical rays like tracer rounds to find the robed assailant.

A few swings and spells later, (including one critical failure that hit Punty in the back eliciting a complaint of “Cheap shot Gary”, and all of the bad guys were dead.

Curiously, the human was dressed as a cleric of the drow goddess Lloth who apparently is known by Sten as only having female drow elves for clerics. Why did she accept this male human? What does the “33” mean on a bottle of Rolling Rock? How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll Center of a Tootsie Pop? The world may never know. The cleric also had two strange vials of non magical liquid that Sten thinks are likely some kind of medicine. Also, found out during a short rest later that the cleric’s leather armor was magical black dragon leather that is both +1 and gives resistance to Acid.

Faervel and Gary scouted stealthily in two different directions and reported back. Faervel found more kobolds in another cave arguing with each other and pointing to the cave with the PCs. Gary found a weird fish butchery (It’s can’t be a cannery without cans) with two pools of water.

Sten speaks Draconic, dressed in the dead cleric’s garb, and tricked the kobolds into an ambush where we made fast work of them. Ironically, Sten is the only one who failed to kill a kobold during the ambush.

OOC we have amusing sidebar while discussing on who should wear the pair of boots of springing and striding that we’d found previously. A cursed version of those boots, called the Boots of Tigger, where in the curse being you must choose jumping and bouncing as your movement. In short, we’re hilarious.

After a short rest, Gary attunes to the Black Dragon Leather armor & Gurtak attunes to the Boots of Springing, we headed towards the room with the two pools of water and fish cleaning stuff. We think the pools are occupied, and possibly a spawning pool for baby lightning lizards. We decide to avoid contacting the pools in any manner. Gary & Faervel attempted to stealth by the pools towards a passage to the south, and both fail spectacularly and end up knocking stuff over and nearly face planting. Gary responds by trying to hide again, and Faervel just ran off down the hallway. Sadly, he ran down the hallway into a pack of 6 ghouls. Faervel attempts to acrobatically flea only to critically fail another skill check, and falls flat on his face. The six ghouls proceed to gang up on him and the rest of us hear his gurgling screams. Punty gets there first, and using his paladinriffic smiting ability, dispatches a ghoul. Gurtak used his power surge to leap (literally using the magic boots) into the melee, grab & toss Faervel’s limp form out of the melee, and then killed a ghoul. Sten turned the undead, but only two of the remaining 4 fled the room. The ghouls manage to paralyze Punty. Gary bravely leapt in front of the now helpless paladin and Gary and Gurtak managed to finish off the two remaining ghouls.

Silly Faervel, ghouls are for fighters!

In an attempt to prevent a perceived escape (after making noise trying to sneak in to the next room), Faervel the thief leapt forward into the dark ahead and directly into six ghouls leaving the rest of his party behind him. Luckily for him, his party leapt in directly behind him.

Punty, even being only about 3 feet tall, manages to Divine Smite one ghoul dead. Gurtak proceeds to hike Faervel to safety and the rest of the party proceed to massacre the ghouls, chasing 2 away.

A Call to Action
Danger at Darkshelf Quarry Episode 1

Six months have passed since our heroes have established themselves and played a major hand in defeating the drow agent known as the Spider and his band of Redbrand Roughians, returning the lost Mines of Phandelver to the Rockseeker Clan of dwarves, who have moved in and begun operations once more. In the following months, the former wild frontier hamlet of Phandelin in the north of the Menowood has transformed into a bustling export town, and the homestead gifted to the Paladin Punty by the Lords Alliance has boomed into a popular Inn for those traveling between the town and major seaport cities such as Naerie, over a week’s journey to the northwest. The Gnomish merchant clans of the Waltons and Dayton-Hudsons have set up respective operations at opposite ends of the town, engaging in underhanded industrial espionage operations which are typical of their kind.

The Lords Alliance has assumed nominal administrative oversight of the town under the guidance of Sildar Hallwinter, who has been largely successful in building a society dedicated to commerce, law and respect for all life. The former Burgomaster, Harbin, still serves as mayor, though in a more nominal sense as Hallwinter’s assistant, a position which Harbin is more than happy to fulfill.

So it is that things are progressing very well for the town, until one day a visitor comes to town, a cleric named Sten who has traveled approximately 100 miles from a town called Darkshelf in the east. Darkshelf is a far outpost in the Kingdom of Sunndi, whose entire economy is based upon the export of stones of varying types from Darkshelf Quarry.

Sten has been sent to ask the heroes’ help by the overlord of Darkshelf, Nestor, who has concerns on several accounts:

  • The mines have been suddenly producing too much, too fast since a new, mysterious clan of dwarves under the guidance of one Bazili Erak. Erak has been astoundingly successful at overseeing the mines, but is never seen, instead sending an elf named Glyrthiel to handle all dealings and negotiations.
  • A few weeks ago, there was an accident in the mines where an underground aquifier was accidentally breached, flooding some of the lower portions, and resulting in a number of miners’ deaths. That has since been cleaned up, but since that time, there have been disappearances and deaths around town. Bodies have been found partially eaten. At first the bodies were near the local river and carnivorous fish were blamed; later, bodies have been found further inland.
  • Slavers have been active in the area. Several weeks back, Bazili led a raid on a slaver camp, killing the slavers and freeing 20 captives. The surviving slave leaders were brought back to town and quickly tried and executed, a process that Nestor felt was “too fast and too clean.”
  • Nestor sent an agent named Kwon into the mines to investigate operations. He hasn’t heard from Kwon in several weeks; his last report revealed two alternate entries into the mines: a hidden shaft and a hidden dock on the local rivers.

The heroes agree to investigate the situation, discover if there’s anything untoward going on, and if possible, find Kwon. The direct approach fails, largely due to the PCs attempting to be honest about their intent to just have a look around and make sure everything is all right. A few warning shots from the guards convince them that there is indeed something to hide, and to pursue an alternate entrance. They opt for the river dock. It takes them a few hours to find it, and Gah-Ri and Faervel co-opt a small boat from a local fisherman and they set off to find the hidden entrance.

The boat leads them to a cave that leads deep into the depths of the mines. As they stand on the shores, they are suddenly attacked by two fearsome creatures, amphibious in nature with enormous claws and teeth, and displaying the ability to emit electrical fields. They manage to deal with the monsters, theorizing that these are the cause of the local deaths, and move deeper into the mines.

After assessing their options (passage ways all leading east at the north, due east, and southern areas of the large cabin), the group opts for a south passage where they enter a room with a hot spring, full of sulfurous air. Here they are attacked by a group of giant frogs that emerge from the spring. Gah-ri launches a fireball, which detonates the flammable air. He manages to kill the majority of the frogs, but the group gets a bit singed as a result. Teh remainder of the battle goes quickly, little more than a cleanup for the more experienced heroes. From here, the group decides to take a breather to consider their next move…

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1. Invite your players

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5. Write your first Adventure Log post

The adventure log is where you list the sessions and adventures your party has been on, but for now, we suggest doing a very light “story so far” post. Just give a brief overview of what the party has done up to this point. After each future session, create a new post detailing that night’s adventures.

One final tip: Don’t stress about making your Obsidian Portal campaign look perfect. Instead, just make it work for you and your group. If everyone is having fun, then you’re using Obsidian Portal exactly as it was designed, even if your adventure log isn’t always up to date or your characters don’t all have portrait pictures.

That’s it! The rest is up to your and your players.

Background and First Steps...
The Lost Mine of Phandelver

The first steps for this group were to complete the Lost Mine of Phandelver mini-campaign in the D&D Starter Set for fifth edition. We unfortunately only began this site after that adventure was completed, but for those who are curious, check out the Starter Set, which is well worth the cost even if you’re a veteran D&D player.

As the adventure logs begin, it has been six months since the No-Longer-Lost-Mines re-opened under the care of the Rockseeker Clan of dwarves, and the Redbrand Roughians in association with the drow known as the Spider were driven from the area. The surrounding Menowood remains an untamed and dangerous place, but the town of Phandalin has turned from a small village outpost to a thriving trade town directly on the southern road to Naerie City, which is 200 miles to the northwest.

The Forge of Spells, so far as anyone is aware, has not been re-activated as the mystical knowledge required to use it is lost to the mists of history, but the dwarves have hope and have sent emissaries to seek out goodly magi they feel they can trust for counsel and advice.

Our heroes are celebrities in town, have been awarded the title of Town Protectors, and are colloquially and collectively known as the Heroes of Phandalin.

Of note to this campaign, the following things happened in the adventure:

  1. The heroes did not explore the ruins of Thundertree.
  2. The heroes did parlay with Harmun Kost and Agatha, and left both alive (or existing, in Agatha’s case).
  3. Punty became a member of the Lord’s Alliance
  4. Faervel made certain acquaintances in the local underworld.
  5. The group was awarded Transadar Manor as a base of operations. They set up the place as a boarding house, and allowed Mirna Dendar and her children to move in, offering free room and board in exchange for the family of the deceased woodcutter acting as caretakers and administrators of the business. The heroes have cleaned up the dungeons beneath the manor, which act as their personal quarters and base.
  6. In return for ongoing services rendered to the town, Sildar Hallwinter (now the mayor and administrator) has agreed that the town will foot the bill for property upkeep and security. Business expenses and supplies still fall upon the shoulders of the PCs to manage.

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