Challenger of the Ancients
Gundren Rockseeker is eldest of the Rockseeker brothers. He has the heart of an adventurer but the head for commerce. Always ready with a genuine laugh and listening ear, he’s a dwarfs dwarf.
He and his brothers, Dardin and Nundro, formed the Three Picks Delving Co. years ago and have parlayed success after success into a thriving mining, salvage, and treasure finding operation based in Neverwinter. The brothers ranged far and wide seeking out new ventures, which ultimately led to the recovery of an extremely valuable map to Wave Echo Cave, a lost mine near Phandalin with enormous mineral value and home to the Forge of Spells. With increased hostile activity on the roads and trails around Neverwinter, they have taken to hiring young up-and-coming adventurers to escort their goods to the outlying villages.
While in Neverwinter, a small contingent of adventureres (who would soon form the Masters of Cool) was hired by Gundren to escort a wagonload of equipment to the town of Phandalin, on the outskirts of Neverwinter Wood. This should have be a simple task, and the most trouble the party expected would have been a small roving band of goblins or kobolds—nothing a small party of fledgling adventurers couldn’t handle. Gundren promised that the proprietor of a shop in Phandalin, called Barthen’s Provisions, would pay each of them 10 gp upon delivery.
En route to Phandalin (ahead of the convoy), Gundren and his associate Sindar Hallwinter were taken captive on the road by a goblin clan under the employ of the mysterious Black Spider, later revealed to be the drow elf Nezznar. He was soon sent to Cragmaw Castle per the Nezznar’s orders, along with his precious map. He was later freed by the Masters of Cool from certain death by the Masters of Cool (thanks to a prudently-placed magic missile from Guinevere to his captor King Grol, who was holding a weapon to his throat).
After his release, Gundren wholeheartedly thanked his former contractors and offered them 10% interest in the Wave Echo Cave’s operations if they could successfully clear out the cave of hostiles and dispose of Nezznar, which was successfully completed. Within ten days, the mine had opened up and readied their first shipment of raw material for transport by the Masters of Cool.