To give new readers some insight on how things developed towards the current campaign, a proper prologue is necessary. However, to embrace the virtue of brevity, I shall condense their prior adventures into but a single chapter by foregoing the dispensable details.
Our heroes Alistair Theirin, Allanon Rahl, Ryza Hyperion, and Ryu first met during a mission to escort a supply caravan to Phandalin, once a prosperous city but has fallen into decline. Halfway along the route, the heroes came across the dead horses of the their clients, Sildar Hallwinter and Gundren Rockseeker. An investigation led them to a nearby cave inhabited by a goblin clan, where the rogue Ryu forgot how to rogue and ruined his sneak attack by oafishly trudging into a stream—getting knocked out as a result and subsequently molested by forest animals. After several skirmishes and a couple water traps, the party came across and freed the captive Sildar, who asked the party to finish clearing out the caves to search for Gundren. The party eventually cleared the cave of goblins and their leader Klarg, in thanks to Allanon (Beta version)‘s well-placed sleep spell and one particularly dashing hero not getting KO’d. With no sign of Gundren, the party returned to Sildar and escorted him and the caravan to Phandalin.
After delivering the caravan to the local provisioner Elmar Barthen, then began exploring the town a bit, coming across new jobs by various townsfolk:
- Clearing orcs from Wyvern Tor, for the townmaster Harbin Wester,
- Discovering the location of Bogentle’s Spellbook from the banshee Agatha (unfortunately traded to Tsernoth of Iriabor 100 years ago) for Sister Garaele,
- Investigating the appearance of undead at the Old Owl Well (summoned by necromancer Hamun Kost for protection as he searched for ancient, hidden magic and lore) for Daran Edermath,
- Dealing with the local ruffian Redbrands,
- and bringing the head of the Redbrand’s leader Glasstaff to Halia.
The party was also hired by Sildar Hallwinter the next day to clear out Cragmaw Castle—while keeping an ear out for any info on the disappearance of his former faction mate, Iarno Albrek of the Lords’ Alliance.
After dealing with the simpler jobs, the party rested and headed to the secret entrance to the Redbrand’s hideout under Tresendar Manor (revealed by Quillene Alderleaf‘s son, Carp). During their infiltration (which involved negotiating with a mysterious Nothic for passage), the party manages to save Droop, a cowardly goblin who provided information on Cragmaw Castle’s and the hideout’s layout in exchange for protection. Soon, in a surprise blitz attack into Glasstaff’s office, the bandit leader was quickly overpowered, and revealed that the Redbrands were in fact ordered to destabilize Phandalin to smooth their takeover of the Wave Echo Cave. After commandeering his staff—and his head—our heroes finished exploring Tresendar Manor, freeing captives.
Once the party had finished their business, many of the Masters of Cool were inducted into the Order of the Gauntlet by the retired adventurer Edermath—save for Guinievere, who chose to align herself with the Harpers. The adventurers then followed a lead to Neverwinter, where a Harper messenger brought instructions for Guinevere to immediately make for Thundertree to kill or drive off the young dragon Venomfang. Once inside Neverwinter, the party went to the Stinky Giant’s Toe Tavern to rest, despite some harassment from several local punks. The very same local punks ambushed the party once they left for Thundertree, but a series of embarrassingly poor intimidation attempts actually led to them being free to go out of pity.
Once in Thundertree, the party began combing the ruins and found themselves in the company of the druid Reidoth, who offered to reveal the location of Cragmaw Castle and the Wave Echo Cave if they successfully drove off or killed the dragon who has taken residence. He also pointed out potential problem—a group of men dressed in robes who were recently seen in the locale. Continuing their combing of the ruins, the adventurers did in fact find their refuge of the mysterious settlers, who turned out to be a sect of the Cult of the Dragon, who barred them entrance. However, Alistair and Garen managed to kick open an extremely sturdy side door, catching the cultists off guard, and cut them down quickly (in a somewhat maniacal, serial-murdering fashion). After neutralizing the rest of the cultists, Alistair took the leader’s robes and decided to don them to catch Venomfang off guard for a surprise attack. YES, THAT WAS THE INTENT—A SURPRISE ATTACK. The attack plan of utilizing ranged weapons with full cover while the warriors attempted to mount the young dragon didn’t quite pan out, but they ultimately managed to cause the dragon to panic and flee for its life. Once they relayed the news to Reidoth, he provided the information he had promised, and the party resolved to make for Cragmaw Castle.
During the assault on Cragmaw Castle, our heroes managed to cut through their defenses and get into the castle without causing much alarm. Unfortunately, the ultimate decision to open a door holding two owlbears both cut into the party’s health reserves and alarm the castellan, King Grol, to their presence, making for a tough fight ahead. When the party entered the throne room, they approached Grol and a few large wolves, but were blindsided by a hidden shapeshifter disguised as a female drow elf. As Grol’s companions were being attacked, he seized the prisoner Gundren Rockseeker and held him as a human shield, holding a weapon to his throat. Guinevere sent a magic missile his way, however, which struck Grol and caused him to reel and drop his weapon and Gundren. Soon, the party had neutralized all threats and saved Gundren. First confused, he suddenly realized he was saved and wholeheartedly thanked his former contractors. He then offered them a 10% stake in the Wave Echo Cave if they would secure the mine, which the party happily accepted.
Utilizing the map they found to the lost mine, the Masters of Cool set out for the Wave Echo Cave. Upon entrance, they immediately discovered the corpse of a dwarf with familiar traitsr—soon identified as Dardin Rockseeker. The party decided to take some sundries from his inventory, since he wasn’t using them anymore—most notably, some boots that helped the party cross a divide to a secondary ledge. After some exploring, the party eventually came across Nezznar, the drow elf vying for control of the cave for his own chaotic ends—whom was cut down in a surprisingly short time. They soon found the captive Nundro Rockseeker, who was mournful at the discovery that his brother Dardin no longer lived, but was yet grateful for his rescue—he was in no condition to fight, but he humbly let the party continue exploring the cavern without fuss while he followed along. Further exploration led to several wraiths which dealt severe necrotic damage that almost killed a couple party members, but luckily, all survived the encounter.
It was finally time for the Masters of Cool to reunite the remaining Rockseeker brothers at Phandalin and receive their hard-earned reward. Unforunately, it was revealed that the 10% of the profits from the Wave Echo Cave was not binding, as Gundren did not have the rights to grant such a reward—so, instead, the members were rewarded useful and valuable gear, as well as an invitation for Alistair to join the ranks of the Lords’ Alliance. Several weeks later, our heroes set off to escort the first envoy of supplies from the Wave Echo Cave, marking the start of their next chapter.