022

Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition
Lost Mine of Phandelver with the European Union

The European Union consists of-
Bob (Serbia & the world) playing Ken Lee, Male High Elf Wizard (Folk Hero)
Christer (Sweden) playing Zyler, Male Human (Variant) Cleric of Tempus (Hermit)
Pedja (Serbia & Germany) playing Hellwhip, Male Human (Variant) Ranger (Pirate)
Simon (UK) playing Zalt, Male Half-Elf Warlock (Sailor)
Zoki (Serbia) playing Grimm, Male Human (Variant) Paladin of Tymora (Sailor)
&
Me- Goonalan (UK) playing everyone else (DM)

We play using Fantasy Grounds and Skype, usually once a week for approx. 3 hours.

And so-

Session #022 Wednesday 27th January 2016
The Black Spider is a Bastard

Starring-
Zalt, Male Half-Elf Warlock (Sailor) Level 4
Zyler, Male Human (Variant) Cleric of Tempus (Hermit) Level 4
Grimm, Male Human (Variant) Paladin of Tymora (Sailor) Level 4
Ken Lee, Male High Elf Wizard (Folk Hero) Level 4

Alas Hellwhip, Male Human (Variant) Ranger (Pirate) Level 4 can’t be with us tonight, he’s away working in Germany and can’t get a signal in his hotel, at least not for more than five minutes at a time. The Ranger will be botted this session by Simon (who plays Zalt).

The Action-

1) Racing to the Climax.

The guys are at present chasing three Bugbears down a wide corridor, the Black Spider has already made it back to the Temple, the goblinoids are heading in the same direction, and so on with the action…

Hellwhip steadies himself and fires an arrow into the back of the already critically injured Bugbear, seconds later the creature dies twisting in agony on the cold stone floor.

That however is the first and the last of the adventurer’s efforts to thin out the herd, the remaining two Bugbears rush around the corner and into the “Temple”.

The guys slow up their charge- wary now of what may lay ahead, a brief chat includes mention of ‘traps’ and ‘an ambush’ on many occasions.

The guys gingerly head to the doors to the “Temple” and take it in turns to peer into the gloom.

2) Threats & Promises from the Black Spider.

Wave_Echo_17a.jpgThe Temple of Dumathoin.

Note Sister Garaele, in the map above, has not been ‘revealed’ yet.

The huge pillared chamber ahead (perhaps more than thirty feet tall) it is indeed a temple, and of Dwarven construction and dedicated to Dumathoin, the God of Mining. The great statue ahead- some twenty five feet tall depicts the burly Dwarven deity clutching a pick axe and outfitted for the mine.

Ranged around the chamber are around half-a-dozen Bugbears, several of them (actually two of them) are already injured and breathing hard after the chase.

Bugbear.jpgBugbears.

At the far end of the chamber, by one of the massive stone pillars, stands the Black Spider.

Drow-_Black_Spider.jpgThe Black Spider.

The bastard Elf is clutching a Dwarf before him, Nundro Rockseeker- Gundren’s brother, the guys are looking for him. Nundro looks to have fallen down the stairs (once or twice) recently, he’s taken a beating.

Nundro.jpgNundro.

The guys, and the Black Spider, get to chatting- the Drow is initially cordial trying to get the guys to tell him a little about their adventures to date, at some point (pretty quickly) the conversation turns to the fact that the Black Spider wants access to the Forge of Spells, while the guys want the Black Spider dead (and the Forge for Gundren- and themselves).

The Black Spider has a bargaining chip- Nundro Rockseeker, hmmm.

The guys have a bargaining chip of their own- they know how to get the Forge up and running again and also a patented method of dispatching the guardian- Rupert the Spectator.

Rupert.jpgRupert.

The guys make threats, the Black Spider has threats of his own.

It escalates when the Black Spider drags Sister Garaele out- the guys have been looking for the Priestess from Phandalin for a very long time- Grimm has a ‘connection’ with the Priestess (he snogged her).

Sister_Garaele.jpgSister Garaele.

The Black Priest has two bargaining chips it seems- he’s calling the shots.

The Drow tells the guys that they have twenty minutes to make a decision- he wants them to go and fire up the Forge (and dismiss its guardian) or else he’s going to start killing the hostages.

The guys throughout this exchange are however highly suspicious- they figure one of the two prisoners is a Doppelganger, they’ve fallen for this trick before.

Here’s the secret- Shhh, don’t tell the guys; both of the prisoners are the real deal, it’s the Black Spider that is the ringer- he’s the doppelganger. The real Black Spider is stood behind the pillar (Invisible) to the right of the faker- the Doppelganger is reading the Black Spider’s thoughts, the Drow is telling the creature what to say next.

Obviously I can write the above here because the game has moved on.

The guys roll a bunch of checks trying to figure out which of the prisoners is the Doppelganger, they get nowhere with this- I wonder why?

The adventurers shuffle off for a chat, it seems the Drow (for now) has them by the balls. Twenty minutes later the guys return with their answer- they’ll do what the Black Spider asks, in reality they’re buying time for themselves to think up a rescue plan. The Drow gives them 24 hours to get the job done- the guardian of the Forge dismissed, the Forge itself up and running again; at which point he will release one of the prisoners.

The guys grumble a while longer.

The Black Spider cuts one of Nundro’s ears off.

That concentrates their resolve.

Mostly incandescent with rage the adventurers head off- they have 24 hours to figure it out.

3) Members of the Phandelver Pact = One (living).

The guys head back to a meeting with Mormesk, the Ghost (maybe) of one of the Human Mages that worked, and crafted magic items, in Wave Echo Cave.

Mormesk.jpgMormesk.

Alas to get to Mormesk they either have to either take the poisonous fungi route or else brave the Flameskull, they decide on the poison path- a couple of them are left choking for a while, and feeling a little queasy- but no long term effects.

A short while later, after getting Mormesk up to speed with events, they hand over the Wand of Phandelver to the spectral creature and an hour or so later (after a few Skill Checks) Zalt is a member of the Phandelver Pact, as easy as that. The Warlock during the ceremony swears that he will see the Forge of Spells working again. This in turn will release Mormesk from his present incorporeal state- win-win.

Wand_Phandelver_small.jpgThe Wand of Phandelver.

Sorted- the guys head to the Forge of Spells to dismiss Rupert the Spectator.

Only they don’t get there- one of them (I can’t remember which) has a bright idea, it goes a little like this- “Why don’t we dismiss Rupert and then summon another guardian, or else pretend we’ve dismissed the guardian and then get Rupert to help us ambush the Black Spider.”

It’s not the finished article but its the start of an idea.

The guys press on to the Forge of Spells- they first need to chat with Rupert, would he be up for a little chicanery?

Short answer- No, Rupert insists that politeness is the answer (and not violence), it seems the Black Spider has already paid a visit to the Forge previously- before the guys arrived on the scene. The Black Spider attempted to ‘take’ the Forge, Rupert may have accidentally killed a couple of the Drow’s Bugbear henchmen during this first encounter. The Spectator however insists that the Black Spider may have since seen the error of his ways- in short he’s not going to ambush the Drow.

The Spectator patiently explains that just attacking people is wrong, he is also duty bound to warn anyone approaching the Forge of his presence, and the consequences of attempting to use the Forge while he still lives. He does however also confirm (again) that he can be dismissed by a magician member of the Phandelver Pact- and that Zalt qualifies.

The guys however are not done yet, they head back to Mormesk, much more chatter ensues- the upshot of which is that the spectral creature agrees to teach them the ritual necessary to summon another guardian- although this will take some time. Mormesk also explains that it is possible to bargain with the creature summoned with regard to exact nature of its services.

The guys are onto something.

4) Learning the Guardian Summoning Ritual- a Montage.

The draw back is that it will take six hours to teach the guys the ritual, that’s okay the adventurers grin- they’ve got another 22 hours left.

Zalt and Ken Lee are up for it- the two line up ready to be taught the summoning ritual, Ken Lee figures he can be back up for the Warlock, and assist.

The other guys get in a Long Rest- or at least the first six hours of it.

We break into a MONTAGE!

The two adventurers are put through their paces- spending an hour striking action poses, an hour of aerobics, an hour of learning the words of the ritual chant, and hour of… oh you get the idea. At the end of each hour- after a little chatter and role-play, they each make a Skill Check. I specifically pick out Skills the guys are good(-ish) at.

After six check Zalt’s highest unadjusted roll is a ‘5’ (50% of his checks are a ‘1’), and remember the guys are rolling these checks in the Dice Tower on Fantasy Grounds- only I can see the results. Ken Lee learns the ritual, Zalt does not- spectacularly.

The guys however are getting cocky- straight after learning the ritual (or not) Zalt and Ken Lee are allowed to complete their Long Rest.

They have seven hours left when they finally head back to the Forge of Spells.

5) Bye-bye Rupert.

The guys bid a teary farewell to Rupert- they have enjoyed the Spectator’s company, the eye monster has been a charming companion- a little bit of an over-exuberant puppy, but very pleasant company, and very helpful.

And then Rupert is gone.

The ceremony to dismiss the Spectator takes but a moment.

Ken Lee grins and then spends the next hour or so getting to know the Forge of Spells- at the end of the hour the Wizard has pretty much figured out how the thing works, although he’s not ready to put it to the test yet.

Zyler has also been busy, the Priest of Tempus has spent the last hour (or two- see later) attuning Painbringer, his new magical mace; and Dragonguard, his new magical armour. The Priest is tumescent.

All is well with the world.

The guys have about five-and-a-half hours left.

6) Summon the New Guardian.

Ken Lee is next up, time for the Wizard to summon a new guardian…

The High Elf can tell things are going wrong very early on into the ritual- he’s confused, Ken Lee is certain that he is doing everything that Mormesk taught him, eventually he ceases the effort.

What’s gone wrong?

It takes a while but eventually the Wizard, with help from Zalt, figures it- Ken Lee is not a member of the Phandelver Pact, therefore the ritual will not work for him.

Bugger!

Four-and-a-half hours until the guys have an appointment with the Black Spider.

What to do next- the answer is of course either he teaches the ritual to Zalt, or else Zalt inducts Ken Lee into the Phandelver Pact- it’s a no-brainer; it could take another six hours to teach Zalt the ritual- it’ll only take an hour or so to induct Ken Lee into the Pact. Zalt’s not happy about it (secretly he likes the idea of being the last Phandelver alive), however there’s no other way. Now both adventurers have to complete a series of Skill Checks to complete the ceremony correctly, exactly as Mormesk did with Zalt.

It goes without a hitch, except for the fact that it takes two hours.

The guys have just over two hours left.

It takes two hours to complete the summoning ritual.

Ken Lee gets to work- immediately.

More Skill Checks follow, the Wizard is mentally fatigued and yet he presses on- and aces it.

The New Guardian appears.

Rupert.jpgThe New Guardian.

Rupert is back, and he’s pissed off-

“Six hundred and thirty eight years! Six hundred and thirty eight years! That’s how long my last summoning lasted for! I get six hours off…” The Spectator is incredulous, he’s also only halfway through eating his sandwich.

The guys have no time for this.

Ken Lee gets down to bargaining with Rupert-

“I wish for you to serve as my familiar, to answer and obey, in order to guard the Forge from its greatest threat ever.”

Rupert sighs- “Okay.”

It’s Ken Lee’s turn to be incredulous- “Do you mean you’ll do it?” The Wizard gasps.

“Yep. For 101 minutes.” Rupert replies.

The deal is done.

7) The Plan to Kill the Black Spider.

The guys don’t have a lot of time- if they hustle they’ll only just get back in time… shit, they need a plan.

“We’ll all go in and get as close as we can, we’ll keep chatting all the while and tell the Black Spider the good news- the ‘old’ guardian has been dismissed. Then I’ll introduce Rupert and we’ll take it from there.” That’s Grimm’s plan.

Remarkably no-one can think of anything better.

Although during the run back to the Temple the guys also discover a few of Rupert’s powers, the guys briefly discuss this new information, eventually Ken Lee orders the Spectator to hit the Black Spider (holding Nundro) with his Paralyzation Ray, and the Bugbear holding Sister Garaele with his Fear Ray- Rupert is ‘on it like a car-bonnet’, at least that’s what the Spectator says.

And so it comes to pass.

8) Almost…

Wave_Echo_17a.jpgThe Temple of Dumathoin- looks familiar.

The guys get a little further into the chamber this time- the chat is going well, at least for the first ten or so seconds- Grimm is still a sentence or two away from calling for Rupert when…

The Black Spider decides to call the guys bluff- he asks Agatha (the Banshee- remember her, she’s lodged within Ken Lee) if the adventurers are telling the truth.

Agatha speaks, through Ken Lee’s lips and tells the Black Spider all about the adventurer’s deception- she also tells the Drow that she has had a good look at the Forge (thanks Ken Lee) and has learned a number of rituals that may also be of benefit, in short she knows what the guys know- the adventurers are superfluous.

The guys have been shafted.

The first question is- “How does he know that Agatha is in Ken Lee?” The Priest of Tempus is not the brightest of lights- he’s handy with a warhammer however.
“Because they planned it all along.” Ken Lee simply states.

The Wizard also spots something above him- several somethings in fact, Giant Spiders.

“We’re Screw…” Ken Lee states, alas his words are drowned out.

As are the words of the Black Spider who is about to tell the guys about how clever he is, and therefore how stupid they are.

Grimm screams “Rupert!”

The Spectator zooms in and lets fly with his eye rays.

Next comes the fight, however in the interest of narrative development (or lack off), I’m going to hold over the action until the reporting of the next session- the simple reason, we were mid fracas (and already 30 minutes over time) when I called an end to this session.

Just prolonging the climax- fnarr.

Session #022 Ends.

Ongoing Quests- Quest #13 Explore Wave Echo Cave & Kill the Black Spider(s)- GETTING THERE & Quest #14 Find Nundro Rockseeker- LOCATED! Also the Wand of Phandelver has been found and used- Zalt (& now Ken Lee) are members of the Phandelver Pact, they have yet to fire up the Forge and release Mormesk from his torment- and then grab the spirit’s treasure.

NPCs of note- Gundren Rockseeker (Patron)- RETURNED, Sildar Hallwinter (Lord’s Alliance), Elmar Barthen (Barthen’s Provisions), Toblen Stonehill (Stonehill Inn), Tilena Stonehill (Toblen’s wife), Pip Stonehill (Toblen & Trilena’s young son), Linene Graywind (Lionshield Coster), Sister Garaele (Shrine of Tymora)- FOUND HER AT LAST!, Harbin Wester (Townmaster), Daran Edermath (ex-Adventurer), Halia Thornton (Phandalin Miner’s Exchange), Qelline & Pip Alderleaf (Halfling female Farmer and her son), Iarno Aldbrek aka Glasstaff (the leader of the Redbrands)- DECEASED. Mirna and her kids (the dead woodcarver’s family), Agatha the Banshee & Hamun Khost, the Red Wizard of Thay. Reidoth the Brown- Druid in Thundertree. Targor Bloodseeker- King of the Cragmaw Goblins. Mormesk the Undead (???) & Rupert the Guardian (Spectator)- DISMISSED & THEN SUMMONED AGAIN- CONFUSING.

Enemies of note- Klarg (Bugbear Chief)- captured ESCAPED; Hobgoblins lead by Targor Bloodseeker (took Gundren)- SORTED; King Grol (Cragmaw Goblin leader)- DECEASED & the Black Spider?- a DROW or a bunch of DOPPELGANGERS? Glasstaff (Iarno Aldbrek) & the Redbrands- DECEASED. Orcs in the hills- Wyvern Tor- DECEASED OR FLED. Zombies, plant creatures and other nasties in Thundertree- DECEASED. The Cultists in Thundertree, and the Green Dragon- DECEASED. Cragmaw Castle Goblins et al- MOSTLY DECEASED. Wave Echo Cave- Flameskull- the BASTARD- DEAD! (Not quite) the Flameskull is still alive. Lots of Ghouls and undead- All DEAD. Lots of Bugbears- some DEAD.

New Info- The guys are about to go toe-to-toe with the Black Spider, they know the secrets of the Forge and should they win through two of their members are now members of the Phandelver Pact; they just have to win.

XP Awarded-
450 Section 2) Threats & Promises from the Black Spider.
200 Section 3) Zalt joins the Phandelver Pact.
100 Section 4) Learning the Guardian Summoning Ritual- a Montage.
200 Section 6) Summon the New Guardian.
200 Section 7) The Plan to Kill the Black Spider.
1150 XP Total

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Goonalan's D&D 5th Edition Campaigns goonalan