Shortly after Qelline discovered that her son was dead, she retreated back in hysterics. Merni asked Taman what was to be done with the Glass Staff, but before the conversation could truly start, several machinations erupted from the building, with Qelline at the head. The elderly gnome began turning the robots against the party in an attack.
Althaea and Merni tried to persuade Qelline to stop the attack, but she could not be convinced to stop. Thorin threatened to end her life if she continued.
The Glass Staff attempted to convince Merni to let him go so that he could assist, and then later share his arcane knowledge. The gnome wizard did not believe him, and found both the Glass Staff’s wizardry book and quarterstaff, and stored them both in his Bag of Holding.
The battle continued, and the evil wizard eventually broke free of his bonds and tried to tackle Merni to the ground, but failed. They were both knocked out: a robot KOed the gnome and Shamash snuck in and slashed at the Glass Staff.
Eventually Merni was revived with a potion and broke the Glass Staff‘s hands, and Qelline was KOed by one of Althaea’s arrows. While Taman ran over to the Glass Staff to revive him, Thorin rushed over to Qelline and decapitated her just as the Phandalin sheriff and his deputies arrived at the scene.
The party finally reached Phandalin, where they found both Harbin Wester, the current town master of town, and Halia Thornton, the owner of the Miner’s Exchange, having a heated argument in public. Halia was challenging Harbin‘s competence in office, as well as how he failed to act against the Redbrand’s violence. Harbin retreated to town hall in time, where the group met with him to discuss payment for the wiping the orc camps out. Harbin explained that the town was in debt and so he could not pay as much as promised, to which Merni charmed him into giving the group all of his gold.
The group then went off of their own business. Shamash met with Halia to see if his poison order came in, and was propositioned by her to plant false evidence on her political rival in exchange for free wyvern venom. Shamash accepted her terms, but then proceeded to show Harbin the false evidence, thus alerting him of the danger. The Dragonborn then returned to the Miner’s Exchange and collected his poison.
Merni met with the gnomes Qelline and Carp, and learned that his parting gift (a mechanical badge) can also turn itself into a dagger and a key, although Merni could not find what the key fit into. Carp then told Merni about some strange figures he’s been spotting off in the woods, and the wizard identified them as drow. He alerted the rest of the party when they arrived at the barn, and they began taking watch until dinnertime.
During the night, the drow attacked the barn. After a few rounds of combat, the Glass Staff emerged and joined in the battle, setting off a fireball attack which started to burn the farm down. While Althaea, Taivas, Shamash, and Thorin battled drow, Merni fought against the Glass Staff and eventually took him down with the help of the elf cleric’s spiritual weapon. Though the drow and Glass Staff himself were arrested or dispatched, the party was unable to reach Carp in time to save him, who was cut down by one of the dark elves. Qelline was held back from looking at the corpse of her young boy while Thorin began to take him away from the burning barn to be properly buried.
Taivas and Droop took a drow raider captive with them on their trip back to the Feywild, and Taman brought the Glass Staff into custody to await trial.
Before exiting the forest, the party was found by Taivas, the Eladrin who assisted them in their attack on the Redbrand hideout. He explained that his exposure to the world outside the Feywild enticed him, and they agreed to allow the cleric to travel with them for a while. They explained that they would be breaking up an orc camp that threatened the nearby villages. Along with Taivas was the goblin he had rescued from the hideout, who called himself Droop and was equipped with some weapons and nice clothing.
After some travel, the group came upon a small camp, consisting of a handful of warrior orcs. Thorin was able to overhear the word ‘Lyra’ used in the orc’s conversation, and Merni was able to identify that as a deity associated with pain. Deciding it was best to deal as much surprise damage as possible, the gnome wizard used his Scroll of Fireball to send a blast of flames down on the unsuspecting orcs, instantly killing two of them. Before the other two orcs could reach them, the group managed to slay them from a distance. The group continued on their march.
Eventually the orc camp was in sight. They could see it was manned by four warrior orcs, and that they had an ogre in chains as well as several goblins, all of which were busying themselves with manual labor. Merni decided to magically disguise himself as an orc to get close to the camp after Droop pleaded that they rescue the enslaved goblins. Using Thorin’s chains, the disguised gnome shackled up the goblin and approached the camp. Their plan was to free the goblins and encourage them to fight alongside the group. When they got close enough, Droop identified the working goblins as part of the Cragmaw clan, and exposed his teeth to show that they once tried to get him to conform. “Kill them,” he said. With this new information, Merni decided it was a good idea to head back to the group and re-think their plan.
Shamash decided to go off alone before Merni and Droop decided on their mission. The Dragonborn was able to get close enough to see that one particular orc was leading the rest, and that the ogre they had chained up was badly wounded. Shamash eventually spotted Merni in disguise, as well as Droop who was in chains. He thought they were acting peculiar so he followed them until they bumped into one another in the dark as Merni and Droop were heading back to the group. Quickly showing the Dragonborn that he had a squirrel companion with him, Red Tail, Merni told Shamash all that he knew, and they decided that perhaps they could try to free the ogre instead, since he obviously resented its captors.
Once the group was situated close enough, Merni snuck behind a wall with Droop and asked the goblin to create a diversion. The goblin ran across the entrance to the camp, cursing and yelling, causing several of the orcs to follow. After the group began sniping at the closest orc with ranged weapons, the gnome, still in disguise, used his minor illusion to call out to the ogre. However, the ogre could not respond right away since he was being prodded by Axebiter, the lead orc in the camp. Red Tail headed out to wave the ogre closer, but it decided the squirrel would be a nice meal instead and rushed over, just missing Red Tail with his bite attack.
Eventually the fight was brought out in the open, and Axebiter was one of the last remaining orcs who was dispatched by Thorin’s club. Raiding the camp, each member of the group found something special: Althaea found magic gloves that would help her archery. Shamash found elven boots made for stealth. Taivas found a staff of healing, and both Thorin and Merni found bags of holding. The wizard also found a pearl of power for his spell slots, and the barbarian found a magic shield. After lobbing off the orc’s heads and putting them in bangs of holding, the group divvied up the gold and started to head back towards Phandalin.
Along the way the group was ambushed by hobgoblins, but they enemies were slain in time.
The party finally reached Conyberry and explored the area, learning that there is simply no living thing around the area. They set up camp, rested, and prepared to enter the woods and meet with Agatha the next day. The next morning, Scribbles was missing but later met with Merni once the group entered the forest.
After walking through the forest for a time, the group came upon some marshland and got ambushed by a packs of gnolls. They battled and won the fight, and soon came upon a portion of the forest that was marked by posts and a sign with Elvish written across it. Althaea translated for the rest of the group that they were stepping into the banshee’s territory. Althaea called for Agatha in Elvish and the banshee appeared to the group, and each member of the group offered a trinket or other special item to her. The banshee told the group that the spellbook the group hunted for was given away to a necromancer 100 years ago, she does not know where Sildar is currently located, and gives the group some information as to where they may find Cragmaw Castle. Before leaving, she also warns the group that there have been Drow entering the woods lately.
On their way out of the woods, the party spots several Drow crouched by the mounts they had tied up before entering Agatha‘s territory. Merni and Althaea drank their Potions of Invisibility and snuck over to the mounts and untied them. The duo meant to divert the Drow’s attention and meet up with Thorin and Shamash back at Conyberry. While the elf and gnome escaped, the dwarf and dragonborn failed to sneak away from the Drow and were captured.
After waiting for a while at Conyberry, Merni and Althaea worried for their friends, and the gnome wizard used a Scroll of Augury to learn where they may be. He learned that they were captured by Drow and the two of them decided to use their magic and proficiency in disguise to masquerade as Drow to break them free. Once they got close to the camp, Merni asked Scribbles to sneak into the camp to return with any information. However, the squirrel did not return to him, and so Merni and Althaea decided to try and bluff their way through to get to their friends.
Scribbles revealed himself to be a traitor, as he pointed them out to the Drow, forcing them to get into a fight. Halfway through the battle, Thorin managed to break free of his bonds and kill Scribbles, who was knocked unconscious by Merni’s magic missiles. It was then revealed that the squirrel was actually the Glass Staff’s pet rat in disguise. Before the last Drow was killed, a swarm of squirrels overtook the camp and broke Shamash free, and the leader spoke to Merni as they had met before when on the road to Cragmaw Cave. The squirrel leader then introduced his eldest son, who wished to travel with the party as Merni’s companion. He was named Redtail, and the group thanked the squirrels before turning to leave the forest.
Upon reaching the second floor of the manor, Merni, Thorin and Althaea were able to see the Sleeping Giant Tavern engulfed in flames. From the looks of it, the townspeople of Phandalin revolted against the Redbrands while the party overtook their secret hideout, disbanding the gang once and for all. A document written by the Black Spider was also found, with information that seemed to suggest that Taman’s associate was Glass Staff, the wizard working alongside the Redbrands.
Thorin found a hidden treasure chest which, apart from containing riches, a longsword. After studying its surface, the group found it to have magical properties, allowing it to strike easier and harder than regular blades. Althaea, being the only one proficient in longswords, took the weapon for herself.
The party decided to travel towards Conyberry to investigate the stories about a banshee named Agatha, while Taman mentioned he’d travel towards Thundertree to learn more about Cragmaw Castle, the goblin-infested location where Sildar may be kept. The party agreed to meet up in Phandalin in a few days time to discuss further plans.
The party stayed at the farmhouse with Qelline and Carp as their hosts again. During their stay, Shamash snuck out and interrogated Halia Thornton of the Miner’s Exchange and put in a request for poison vials to be delivered to Phandalin. Upon returning, Merni cast a Charm Person spell on the Dragonborn to test his newly-learned magical ability and succeeded, although this knowledge enraged Shamash after the spell’s effects wore off.
After haggling for a horse and pony to rent for their trip towards Copenberry, Merni was approached by a friendly gray squirrel. After speaking with the small beast, the gnome recruited the squirrel as a traveling companion and named him Scribbles. The group was assaulted by an ogre after the first day of travel. A battle ensued, and the ogre was slain and the group needed to stop their trek to recover their wounds.
On their next day of travel, the ground encountered a pack of wolves but managed to kill the beasts. They were later ambushed by nine Goblins but managed to get away without a confrontation after paying them a hefty amount of gold. Just hours before reaching Conyberry, the group saw the town in the distance, reduced to ruins. Another ogre rushed to the group for a fight and died. Thorin took the ogre’s club, believing it to be an improvement from the club he previously had with him.
After defeating the Redbrands in the center of town, the party had gathered a large crowd of cheering fans, as well as the attention of the sheriff of Phandalin. The group explained how the fight broke out and Flint Ironfist, a Dwarf Fighter, was charged with the duty of sticking with the party for the time being. Merni then led the group to the gnome farm as he originally intended.
There was much drinking and eating as the night went on. Eventually a High Elf visited the group, asking to speak with Althaea. The High Elf did not reveal his name, but questioned Althaea for any information regarding Ethereal or Abyssal magic. After some thought, the High Elf revealed himself as Taivas, a Cleric who is searching for a High Elf female. Althought nobody knew of her whereabouts, Taivas decided to travel with the group for a time. They all were invited to spend the night sleeping in the barn next to the farmhouse.
A pair of Redbrands visited the barn the following morning. The two elves of the party sensed their presence, and got most of the group to wake up in time to launch a surprise attack against them. After the two Redbrands were killed, one of the gnomes led the group to a secret passage leading to the Redbrand hideout. The group decided that they would flush the hideout out, but Flint left to get reinforcements.
Upon entering the underground entrance, the party met two cyclopean creatures called Nothics. The Nothics played tricks on their minds and revealed that the Redbrands feed them flesh. As the creatures got closer, the group decided they must attack or be attacked themselves. The Nothics launched psychic battles with their minds, but the party eventually killed them both, though they were still harmed, even after Taivas’ healing.
The group then found a room where they heard the sounds of several large humanoids bullying a smaller one. They identified the smaller voice to belong to a Goblin. Merni and Taivas used their cantrips to create the impression that a dragon had awoken in the cave, and several Bugbears began to flee the room in surprise. The party was not expecting to start such a fight, and they began retreating while flinging ranged attacks at the surprised Bugbears. Eventually, though, Flint returned with Taman and the sheriff and together they killed off the rest of the Bugbears.
The group then decided to split up and search the cave. Shamash and Merni discovered a wizard’s alchemy room, where a rat communicated to Merni that the Redbrands conduct slave trades down below. Althaea and Taman found and defeated more Redbrands, and Thorin discovered a jail cell. Taivas befriended the abused Goblin and the Goblin led him to the jail cell as well, where he found the High Elf he had been searching for. She was to be sold to the Drow known as the Black Spider. Taivas vowed to return after safety bringing his companion back to the Feywild.
Taman and the party recuperate outside the cave and wait for morning to travel to Phandalin. Everyone shares a bit of personal information with one another before taking turns keeping watch while the rest of the group sleeps.
Heading back up the road from whence they came, they spot the wagon they entrusted to the squirrels in the forest. Suddenly, the group is ambushed by swarms of squirrels, but Merni manages to speak with the squirrel ringleader and fulfill his promise, feeding the entire flock of squirrels with 3 days of rations from his Explorer’s Pack. The wagon and its contents were discovered to be unharmed, and they took the wagon with them to Phandalin.
Taman takes the group to meet Elmar Barthan, a Human who owns Barthan’s Provisions in town. The group learns about the infamous Redbrand gang which causes trouble in Phandalin. They then proceed to Stonehill Tavern, where the group discusses where they may find Sildar. It’s decided that the group should split up and collect information.
Merni learns about a fellow Gnome who lives at Alderlead Farm who is familiar with a Druid named Reidoth. Reidoth is very familiar with the surrounding land, and may know more about Cragmaw Castle, a Goblin-run fortress where Sildar may be kept. Using a Minor Illusion cantrip to trick the Gnome into seeing Taman Hallwinter in the distance, Merni convinces the farmer Gnome to allow the group to rest at the barn and celebrate for the evening.
Althaea learns of a High Elf named Sister Garaele living in Phandalin and meets with her. Althaea then hears of the Harper organization, a secret society mostly comprised of Elves who act as peacekeepers. The Harpers are attempting to appease a banshee which has knowledge on the whereabouts of a particular spell book. Althaea decides this information should be shared with Merni, who is known for his obsession with magical objects.
While at the tavern, Thorin is greeted by a fellow Dwarf who recognizes him for his deeds as a Folk Hero. The Dwarf tells Thorin about a job to deal with a slew of Orcs which have been causing problems in the past few weeks.
Shamash decides to visit Town Green in search of information about the Redbrands, and indadvertedly causes a young child to be beaten by the gang of thugs. Shamash fires a warning shot arrow at one of the Redbrands before retreating, causing the gang to start a town-wide hunt for the one responsible.
Shamash and Merni meet first, where the Rogue warns the Wizard about the angry Redbrands. The rest of the group, including Taman, collect outside Stonehill Tavern, where Merni tells everyone to follow him to the barn where they can drink and rest for the remainder of the evening. Taman expresses his disappointment in the fact that nobody has any real answers as to where Sildar may be kept, but agrees to follow the group to the barn. On the walk, Althaea and Merni walk further down the road in private, where the Elf informs her companion about the spellbook.
Suddenly, a rock is thrown at Merni’s face, injuring him. A fraction of the Redbrand gang reveals themselves and challenge the Gnome and Elf to fight. After a few seconds, Taman and the others join the battle, and the group manages to kill all the Redbrands. Thorin is knocked unconscious as a result of the fight, however, and the group scolds Shamash for his reckless behavior which caused the Redbrands to hunt for them all in the first place.
While then group was resting, five Humans headed towards the party from Phandalin’s direction. They warned the group about recent Goblin attacks and shared an important piece of knowledge: Goblins are cannibals which feast on the brains of their slain kin; if they were to eat enough Goblin brains, they could become something more powerful, such as a Bugbear. The Human visitors advised the group to bury the Goblin corpses before Shamash asked them to leave, as the Dragonborn mistrusted them.
Instead of burying the Goblin bodies, Merni suggested using rope from their Explorer Packs to bundle the bodies up, and using the oxen to drag the Goblin corpses towards Cragmaw Cave to use as bait. If they could lure out any living Goblins this way, the party could potentially set up an ambush. The party decided this was a good idea.
After only a moment of travel this way, the wagon got stuck in some harsh terrain and the group realized they could not press on. Merni used his Gnomish skills to convince nearby squirrels to guard the wagon until they returned. Thorin then used his Animal Handling skills to get the oxen to drag the Goblin bodies along as the party traveled towards the cave.
After safe stepping several traps along the road, including a pitfall that slightly harmed one of the oxen, the group found Cragmaw Cave. Upon reaching their destination, Merni asked Shamash and Thorin to dump the Goblin corpses near the mouth of the cave. As the Dragonborn and Dwarf approached the cave entrance, they spotted two Goblins across the way, and Shamash snuck over into position to strike. Thorin managed to get Althaea’s attention before the group attacked and killed the two Goblins, and added their bodies to the pile in front of the cave.
Merni attempted to impersonate a Goblin and called into the cave, however was unsuccessful at disguising his voice well enough, and incited an attack. Four Goblins and a Wolf headed down the cave, and the party proceeded to use ranged attacks, while Thorin dealt melee damage. Thorin was knocked unconscious but the party rested overnight allowing all the wounded party members to regain their health.
Deciding to keep to a more stealthy approach in their rescue mission, Althaea and Merni realized they both had Disguise Kits and were proficient in them, so they disguised themselves as Goblins and tried to scout out the cave while Thorin and Shamash buried the Goblin corpses. They found a pair of Wolves tied to a post, as well as a lookout Goblin, which spotted the disguised Gnome and Elf and demanded to know what was happening outside. Althaea failed to trick the Goblin into revealing information, causing the lookout Goblin to believe they were intruding creatures. The Goblin lookout pulled a lever which opened a floodgate which ejected Althaea and Merni from the cave, though it did not harm them.
Shamash then decided to take matters into his own hands and crept into the cave alone. He discovered a part of the cave where two Goblins occupied, as well as the bound and unconscious Taman Hallwinter. Shamash failed to go unnoticed, and one Goblin named Yeemik fetched up Taman to use him as leverage. Shamash blasted one of the Goblins with his breath attack, though it did not kill. Yeemik and Shamash continued to hurl threats at each other from across the room.
Althaea (still disguised as a Goblin) became troubled and went into the cave to check on Shamash, while Merni (still disguised as a Goblin) decided to explore the area with Thorin. The Elf Fighter bumped into the Dragonborn Rogue, revealing her position. Her approach was more diplomatic, as she and the lead Goblin discussed terms for Taman’s release: kill a “boss” named Klarg and they would let Taman go. Althaea believed his words to be true, and that a Bugbear may be the leader of the Goblins.
Meanwhile, Merni and Thorin bumped into another Goblin scout, who demanded what they were up to. Merni pretended that he was taking the Dwarf prisoner and got into an optimal position for an ambush. Together, the pair killed the Goblin without being noticed.
After a brief battle between the Dragonborn and a Goblin, Althaea was promised a Goblin guide to take her to Klarg. None of the Goblins would talk about Sildar Hallwinter. The Elf left with the guide while Shamash stayed with the Yeemik, who was still holding Taman prisoner, continuing to antagonize him. Eventually he went to follow Althaea, where a battle already took place where they killed the Goblin guide.Yeemik quickly investigated the area, and Merni immediately cast a Sleep spell and tied him up with rope while Althaea escorted Taman out of the cave to rest.
Merni, Shamash, and Thorin were led by Yeemik on a leash to the boss’ part of the cave. Merni made the Goblin enter the room first and was slain instantly. Shamash then attempted to sneak into the room but was instantly spotted, Klarg the Bugbear let a Wolf loose to attack the would-be Rogue.
A skirmish broke out between the party and the Bugbear, Wolf, and another Goblin. Eventually Althaea and Taman re-entered the cave and aided in the fight, though Taman was too tired to battle. Klarg and his accomplices were slain, but Shamash was knocked unconscious and stabilized on his own. There was no sign of Sildar anywhere. Thorin and Althaea found packs of crates that were stolen from a specific trading company: the Blue Lion Trading company, as well as a treasure chest.
The party was interviewed by Sildar Hillwinter for a caravan escort mission, from Neverwinter to Phandalin. All were hired and their condition of payment discussed in private. The party met Taman Hallwinter.
On the last day of travel, the party discovered two slain horses on the road. Althaea identified the horses to be Taman’s (Asheaba) and Sildar’s. The group was subsequently ambushed by four Goblins. During the battle, Shamash consumed the stolen Potion of Healing.
After slaying the Goblins, Merni looted their bodies and found a Map which marks towards Cragmaw Cave. A path that extends away from the road is discovered, along with drag marks. Before traveling down the hidden path to look for their employers, the party rested 4 hours for Althaea to naturally heal her wounds and Merni to recover a spent spell slot.