Gates of Spring

And it all falls down...
Session 9

R. Lee Fernly’s Recap

Tentacles lashed out grabbing Fernly’s arms drawing him closer to the beak of this great serpent. There was little he could do as he looked to his companions. Knowing they were next if he was no longer able to help them. The events of the last hour ran through his head.

Victory. They survived the main assault on Cragmaw Castle with the goblins and goblinoids waiting in ambush. Fernly and Twiddlewinks checked the south to make sure no one would surprise them from behind. They didn’t expect to stumble into the mess hall where seven goblins were resting. They attacked swiftly dealing a nearly critical blow to Fernly. He recovered some HP with Cure Wounds. Having to do it again because of the large amount of damage from these small creatures.

After dispatching the Goblins the pressed on into the castle keeping Reginald in front. He scouted a fallen tower from a pile of rubble where a wall once stood. With nothing in the room they moved on. The sound of rocks shifting could be heard from behind them. It must of been from Reginald when he was climbing on them. As they moved through the doorway they hear a piercing screech. They look back to see the tips of giant claws coming out of Saag’s chest. Behind him was a massive bear with the head of an owl. The group attacked as Fernly healed Saag. With swords and fireballs they were able to finish the beast.

But there was no time to rest. Before they had a chance to catch their breath a giant serpent with four arms and a beak came in standing directly over the bear/owl. As they attacked another goblin, goblinoid, and strange larger hairy beast entered the room. Twiddlewinks tried his acrobatic attacks but had fallen. Fernly saw the group was losing ground but there was nothing he could do trapped in the corner attempting to subdue the great serpent. But he was caught. The serpent drew him in and bit him. Dangling his body from its beak before letting him drop to the floor.

Fernly lay on the ground unable to move or even open his eyes though he could still sense a light. He heard a yell that seemed so distant. Perhaps it was from Reginald. They found Gundrin. At least he knew that he and his friends were on the right path. As the light narrowed he saw a small hand with tattoos on the arm reaching out to him and a voice that said “Come my friend. It is your time.”

A new friend arrives
Session 8

R. Lee Fernly’s Recap

The group debated on how to best bring back Grakus when they received a fax from his legal team. It seemed he has signed a DNR and they were forced to leave his body.

They headed North until they encountered a river. Their goal was to be far enough away that they would be safe should the dragon return. The river side was a nice place to make camp even though it was still day time. But they were tired from the battle and the loss of a comrade.

Wolves! Reginald woke the group with his screams. Most came out unscathed though Twiddlewinks had taken quiet a beating with his vital points so close to their jaws. Though they were able to kill them all with a final heave of Reginalds javelin. As they caught their breath they noticed a gnome was standing amongst them. He appeared rather peaceful though his speech was impetuous. He introduced himself as Zook and that he was in search of dragons as a personal hobby. This made the group uneasy as the last people interested in a dragon only a day ago were crazy cultists. But they agreed to let this enigmatic stranger to tag along though with a watchful eye. Fernly was entertained by the fact that Twiddlewinks held suspicious and Saag was more accepting of this newcomer. As this was counter to their characters when Twiddlewinks requested to join.

Giant mosquitoes! Reginald woke the group with his screams. Luckily these were easy to find off as the group was tired of getting interrupted. They had spent several days traveling up the river in hopes of finding Cragmaw manor. Perhaps they should have explained their plans to Zook earlier because he laughed and said the manor was perhaps five days journey south. Fernly used that as an excuse why he was unable to find any tracks left by goblins. Not that he was distracted looking for a new animal friend.

They slowly approached the manor. There was a main door on the east with smaller entrances on the north and south. Fernly suggested the north door as that seemed the least used. Twiddlewinks seeming not to hear him suggested the same thing. With general disinterest they proceeded to the main gate. There were no signs of activity until they were practically in the castle. At that moment arrows flew out of the defensive slits of the castle narrowly missing Reginald. They discovered Zook was a wizard as he put several of them to sleep. Not seeing any other enemies Fernly slit their throats to ensure they would never wake up. Giant orangish goblin things appears from the north. Reginald threw his body at them to slow their advance while Saag unleashed devastating attacks felling the giant orangish goblins.

Dragons? We don't need no stinking Dragons!
Session 7

Twiddlewinks’ Recap:

Our heroes pressed onward from their hiding place amongst the ruins, slowly going from building to building. Eventually they stumbled upon a building that stood out from the rest. The windows were boarded and unlike many of the structures, the walls remained intact. The doors were found to be locked. Using a combination of savvy diplomacy and brute force, Grakus and Twiddlewinks negotiated the surrender of a group of men confined within. They appeared peaceful and claimed to be in the area to study they dragon that lived in a tower in the north of the ruins. Having apparently lived pampered lives free of deception and backstabbing, our heroes trusted these strange men’s words implicitly and set out with two of them in tow to find and kill the dragon. It did not take long for the two strange men to betray them, however, and soon our heroes were caught between defending themselves from the dragon and dispatching the traitors. In their dying throes, the strange men called for the dragon and asked for its thanks for the meal they had provided it.

Thankfully, a meal these heroes were not. Though the stronger and braver among them suffered, and indeed one of them succumb to the dragon’s teeth and claws, the team was able to attack with such ferocity as to drive the beast off into the air. R. Lee Fernly lost his spider in particularly idiotic circumstances.

Not content with having just scared off a dragon, our heroes proceeded to clear out the remaining buildings in the area of zombies and twigblights. By the time the sun set they were less one man, one spider and a whole lot of trust in the world.

R. Lee Fernly’s Recap:

The band of men recovered from their short rest and pressed onward systematically clearing buildings. One looked out of the ordinary. After breaking down a door only to find another door they attempted communicating. To their surprise they found a peace full group studying the dragon. They requested aide as they were not capable of getting closer having no defensive abilities.

They weaved through buildings careful not to disturb dwellings containing zombies and twigblights. Thankfuly the dragon was away because it was best not to fight such a formidable opponent. They reached the farm house connected to the tower where the dragon would rest. After inspecting the carcasses of local spiders they were caught by surprise. Rather than members of a scientific community these robbed scholars were actually servants of the dragon itself.

With a yell from their leader with human offerings the dragon awoke. Reginald the human wall gallantly went forth to dispel the dragon only to be felled by its breath. The others took to the cult eliminating what they could before focusing on the main threat.

Twiddlewinks rummaged through Reginalds belongings to find a healing potion knowing we need all the help we can get for fighting. Grakus seeking the mightiest of battles continued for the dragon giving it a solid blow. Again the dragon released a toxic cloud rendering Reginald unconscious while it proved to be more than Grakus could withstand. Both their bodies residing next to the dragon. Ranged attacks were employed by the rest not wanting to meet the same fate while a brave spider crept behind for a sneak attack.

To the air it went. Flying higher and higher until it was out of range by even the ranger Fernly. The spider still managed to stay on biting the dragon. It must have been close to 200 feet they though when considering options. Their weapons proving feeble at that range.

They hoped the dragon was finished having decide the group to be more menacing that it originally thought until it pitched and dove directly for the group. Once in range both Saag and Fernly let an arrow fly. They watched helpless as the arrows hit in flight knowing they would be off target. By stroke of luck one of the those arrows paths took it alongside the face of the dragon. With blood pouring out the dragon it had finally decided it had had enough.

With the spider on retreat the Fernly asked his faithful spider to return by silken parachute. He didn’t realize that giant spiders are unlike the little ones he had seen as a child and couldn’t do this. But the spider tried non the less. Splattering on the ground becoming unrecognizable.

The band continued with Reginald carrying the limp body of Grakus in hopes of reviving him. Hardly a proper trade for the gold and silver they were able to recover.

Thinking the cult also lied about what lay wait in the dwellings said to have Zombies and Twigblights they went back to see if they too held a treasure. Zombies were waiting behind the first door they opened. With no armor or weapons they didn’t prove a great threat and were dispelled by the men. Thinking the battle was won they were surprised by their return to the semi-living. The removed the zombies heads thinking that would put a stop to them. Until one again stood up with no head. Pretty much annoyed with the situation they made their way to the Twigblights.

Fernly instantly took to the wall making his way up. His plan to stealthily spy the inside. If only Twigblights resided then they could leave without battle. The group continued to the open doorway to begin a frontal attack. Fernly still fighting gravity as he was only a foot off the ground decided he should take arms and attack on ground. The battle was swiftly won by Reginalds realization of his weapons on hand. He smashed the remaining Twigblights with the lifeless body of Grakus.

Something, something, GRUK!
Session 6

We interrogated the mayor and he proved pretty useless. We locked him up in a jail cell. We ran out of leads so decided to pursue some other quest that hopefully will be tangentially related to the main quest. It involved a long, hard trek across some difficult terrain but we all survived. Along the way we met up with annoying ol’ Gruk the Goblin, who told us about a dragon that lived nearby. Agreeing that we were all more or less anti-dragon, we proceeded to the ruins of a castle. While there we fought some more-aggressive-than-usual plants and won. Charlie’s spider tagged along and fought with him though almost died. After dealing with the plant menace we met an old man who warned us about going further. We ignored him and agreed to proceed.

Collateral Damage
Session 5

“That’s not what happened,” Gee slurred and motioned for the barkeep.

“Well then what did happen then, stranger?”

“It was the half-elf who killed that woman.”

“Now why would the half-elf kill the woman? He’s the hero of this here tale.”

Gee dug in his pocket to retrieve a coin and slapped it on the bar after the barkeep was done pouring the ale. He grabbed the mug by the handle and turned in his seat to face the two men seated at a table behind him.

“He didn’t mean to. She was being held hostage by one of Iarno’s men and the half-elf was aiming for him, not the woman. He missed. A couple times.”

“Oy, you some kind of expert then? Were you there?” the storyteller asked.

Gee only smiled.

“You mean Harbin’s men? The woman was being held by Harbin’s men?” the other man at the table with the storyteller said, confused and looking back and forth between the two men. He was drunk, drunker than Gee at least, and having a hard time keeping his eyes open.

“Iarno. He’s the wizard,” Gee began. “Turns out he was a friend of Sildar, the very man who sent the adventurers on the quest to the cave to begin with. Sildar didn’t know that though until the adventurers put two and two together for him.”

“Listen, mate,” the storyteller said. “You telling this story, or am I?”

“Sorry to interrupt. Please continue,” Gee said, leaning back in his chair and sipping the froth off the top of his mug.

“Right,” the storyteller said, glaring at Gee. “Where was I?”

“Our heroes had explored the wizard’s lair but found nothing but a big spider. A smart one,” the storyteller’s drunk companion enunciated as best he could through the drink.

“There ain’t no such thing as smart spiders, you daft fool,” the storyteller corrected. “He was an evil spider.”

“Smart enough to follow Fernly and the rest of them to the inn in town when they left the wizard’s hole,” Gee said into his mug.

The storyteller ignored him. He began counting the story details out on his fingers. “Right, so then they went to the inn and got some rest. The spider was there, trying to get Fernly’s attention for some no doubt evil reason, but they survived the night. They met Sildar in the bar the next morning over breakfast. He was very nervous, skittish even.”

“That was Harbin, the town master.”

“Listen, you knob, I was there, in the bar wit them, was you?”

Gee downed his ale and shrugged.

“But you’re right, it was Harbin and not Sildar,” the storyteller relented. “Sildar had this proposition for them. Big grab, five hundred gold pieces to clear out this castle north of town. Goblins had been running a duck.”

“What was that?” Gee asked.

“What? They was running a duck, ruining the whole castle, like a bunch of running ducks.”

“I think you mean ‘muck’, friend. Running a muck.”

“That make no lick of sense whatsoever. You ever seen a duck run? Fucking mental. And I ain’t your friend. May I continue?”

Gee raised a hand apologetically.

“Sildar, he also mentions that he’s been looking for a man named Iarno…”

“That man already said that,” the drunk interrupted, pointing to Gee. “He was that there wizard they’d been looking for. Ducks and such.” He ran a finger along the bottom of his empty mug, attempting to retrieve what ale was left.

The storyteller fumed but still slid his full mug of ale over to his friend. “Right, sorry. So the heroes, they tell Sildar they know who this Iarno fellow is, and plan to hunt him down. But before they can arrange for that adventure, in comes Harbin. He’s anxious and scared over something.”

The drunk took a long sip from the beer that suddenly appeared before him and began to laugh loudly and inexplicably. The storyteller continued, raising his voice to talk over his friend’s cackles.

“Harbin, he tries to get them off Iarno’s scent, he wants them explore some reports of orcs in a nearby town. Our heroes, though, they’re smart ones. They see through this ruse, this clever attempt at trickery, and they stall.”

The storyteller glances over at Gee. “Oy, you been quiet. How am I doing?”

“Just fine,” Gee begins as he idly searches his pocket for more coin. “Just make sure you get this next part right.”

The storyteller smirks. “So they part ways and decide to check in on this man imprisoned down at the town hall, see if he has some info on Iarno for them. Here’s the thing though: town hall’s locked up tight, and guess who done it? It’s Harbin hisself. Yelling through the door for them to go away and such.”

“But they aren’t having it,” Gee interjects as he sits at the table, a fresh ale in hand. The storyteller attempts to speak up but Gee only continues. “Reggie the paladin rams through the door, knocks it clear off its hinges. Inside there’s Harbin, a ball of tears and sweat, plus me and my fr…a couple of those Red Hand fellows, or whatever they call themselves. They’ve taken prisoners, a woman and her kids, in the anteroom as well as in the back. The adventurers charge. The guards are killed but in the confusion Saag, the half-elf, kills the woman. They tie Harbin up and get set to question him.”

The storyteller places a stern hand on Gee’s shoulder. “Nice try, friend. You forgot something.”

“Did I?”

“Yeah, one of them guards escaped.”


“Yeah, mate, one did. Now may I continue the story? Or are we to get more of your expert testimony?”

Gee nods, his attention distracted by the tavern door opening. A dark figure consumes the whole doorway.

We're off to see the Wizard! The terrible Wizard of the cellar!
Session 4

Our intrepid wanderers, reunited at last, went off to see the wizard. They found his lab but it wasn’t very interesting but for a friendly rat and some evidence that ol’ Glass Staff had cooked up some invisibility potion and the call could be coming from inside the house. A careful, deliberate approach that would slowly but surely win the day was talked about but ultimately cast aside for something more direct. The group took it upon themselves to trash Glass Staff’s bedroom, moving his shit around and stealing his private correspondence. Though many would assume that was vengeance enough, they continued on, encountering such fearsome foes as The Dead End and The Confusing Map. An innocuous looking supply room turned out to be anything but when the gang stumbled upon a group of guards who were just trying to get through the another fucking day. Fights ensued and the half-orc almost died but then he didn’t.

A short rest that was due to feature a concert from the bard that no one was particularly excited for because, while he had been great once, his latest album kind of sucked, was fortuitously interrupted by yet another group of guards. Chase was given, at least until the group’s latest nemesis, The Hole That Was Deep But Not Too Deep, slowed them down. Most of the group proved more than capable of overcoming this minor obstacle, but unfortunately both the halfling and the elf were ensnared by that most notorious evil: Overthinking. As they did battle against their perennial enemy, the rest went forth and almost-but-not-quite saved one of the prisoners that were ostensibly the reason for them being there. Fights ensued, this time against skeletal warriors no doubt the product of the (still invisible? Or maybe he’s the rat?) Glass Staff. The halfling showed up just in time to take credit for one of the skeleton deaths, and the elf ranger delighted friend and enemy alike with his classic brand of almost-falling-into-the-hole-he-knew-was-there antics.

It was decided to take a proper rest in an abandoned and not at all spooky jail cell. From there, true adventurer awaited, etc.

The curious case of the Bugbear in the night.
Session 3

The 9th Day of Ches, The Claw of Sunsets
Dale Reckoning 1489
Late Evening

“Let them handle it.”

“It doesn’t sound like they’re doing particularly well.”

“They’re adults. They’ll come to us if they need us.”

Greez leaned back in his chair, still tense. “You realize we’re just falling into the stereotype.”

“And what stereotype is that, Greez?”

“That bugbears are lazy.”

Mintz set down the scroll he had been idly perusing and looked up at Greez. “Bugbears aren’t lazy. It’s just us.”

Greez stood up. “I’m going out there. Following me if you want.”

Just as Greez reached for the door, it flung open. One of the human guards, small and puny and clearly still drunk, stumbled in.

“We’ve got them on the run!”

Mintz barely stifled a laugh. “See Greez? Sit down”

Greez ignored him. “What happened?”

“Looks like some wanna be adventurers stumbled into the cave. They just came barging into our card game. Walked right past out one-eyed friend.”

“Yeah? He make an appearance?” Mintz asked, casting a quick glance back to his scroll and the crudely drawn sketches of bugbear in various states of undress.

“He did but he was much clumsier than we gave him credit for. They took him down as they ran away from us.”


“But come on out. There’s just one asshole trying to take on the lot of us. Most of them are back at the entrance to the cave, taking potshots when they can. Some midget keeps trying to sneak up on us and scurries away when we catch a glimpse of him. It’s actually kind of hilarious”

“Come on Mintz, you need the exercise,” Greez said as he picked up his weapon.

With only a slight sigh of protest, Mintz lurched to his feet. “Alright.”

The hallway was more frantic than the human had suggested. The asshole he talked about was actually making short work of the other drunkards, and his friends seemed to be building up something resembling courage. Greez, with as much enthusiasm as a bugbear could muster, charged at the asshole. Mintz contented himself with taking some shots from distance.

Mintz was preparing to hold back a yawn when the frenetic motion of the fight between Greez and the asshole, some kind of paladin if Mintz guessed right, suddenly came to a halt. The paladin produced from his belt some kind of jar. He dumped a handful of salve out of the jar and began to spread it across his bare chest. The flickering light from a dropped torch seemed to reflect and refract across the man’s flesh. He glowed, he sparkled. Mintz had never thought about going cross-species until that moment.

All too soon, it was over and the paladin was attacking Greez with renewed health and vigor. Blow after blow landed on Mintz’s…friend? No, coworker. Associate at best. Nevertheless, the sight of Greez falling mixed with Mintz’s confused lust to inspire him to charge the man.

Time slowed down to a trickle. Between the blows, Mintz took in the scene. Their one-eyed friend lie dead on the staircase along with two or three slain humans. The paladin in front of him, mad as hell and yelling at his friends twice as much as he yelled at Mintz. The midget, a halfling maybe, throwing darts much harder than he had any right to. A foppish dandy insulting him in ways that hurt more than he could ever admit. How did he know that his dad abandoned him when he was five? And in the back, at the top of the stairs, two skittish figures popped out from around a corner for only an instant at a time, sending arrows well over his head.

Suddenly it came to him: these were the adventurers the boss, the wizard Glass Staff, told them about. They were causing trouble in town, asking the wrong questions and punching the wrong people. They were weak and poorly organized. Two of their party died on the very first day of their adventure. Their replacements were a tiny person and another who apparently didn’t even bother to show up (though Mintz assumed he had a very good reason for not being there). These were not opponents he should be losing to.

Mintz was dimly aware that reinforcements had finally come. More of his bugbear associates, and that absurd goblin who ran more often than not. He launched into the paladin, assuming he finally had the edge. Unfortunately it was the wrong type: the tip of the paladin’s sword pierced Mintz just below his bugbear heart. He staggered back, attempting another swing but instead fell face forward into the stone of the staircase.

He came to moments later, unable to move. The blood loss was too much. He opened his eyes. The dark green liquid pooled around his chest and leaked slowly down the stairs. There was talking above him. The human, the one who dragged them out into the hallway, was captured and telling the adventurers everything. Coward. Below Mintz lie the bodies of the other bugbears, apparently slain after the paladin was done with him. The goblin was no where to be seen. The words were hard to make out, but there was some tension in the group. An uninvited guest, the halfling. He snuck up on the party, warned them of the monster. It sounded to Mintz like he was a pretty stand up dude, all things considered. He was here to help avenge the death of his fallen friend Tayasal. Despite such an honorable mission, he was accused of bringing the one-eyed monster to them. It was a dick move on the part of the adventurers, and Mintz didn’t blame the halfling when he caught him disappearing off into the shadows.

The remaining adventurers began looting the bodies of the fallen. They would rest here until they had enough strength to continue onto Glass Staff. Mintz tried to conjure up some sympathy for his enemies. Glass Staff would not underestimate them as he had. In fact he would take the revenge Mintz wished he could.

A half-elf, one of the ones from the top of the staircase, pilfered through his pockets. As he began to stand he caught Mintz looking at him. Silently he unsheathed a dagger and put it to the bugbear’s throat. Mintz declined to give him the satisfaction and died just before the blade cut into him.

Will these caves ever end?
Session 2

The 9th Day of Ches, The Claw of Sunsets
Dale Reckoning 1489

(Again, I’ll update this soon unless someone else wants to)

Phandalin or Bust!
Session 1

The 5th Day of Ches, The Claw of Sunsets
Dale Reckoning 1489

Gundren Rockseeker met everyone at The Frothy Mug tavern in Neverwinter. He asked that you deliver a wagonload of supplies to the town of Phandalin.

Gundren would not say exactly what he was doing with the supplies, only that it was “something big.”

Gundren was leaving to ride ahead of you with an older human named Sildar Hallwinter. He was to meet you at Barthen’s Provisions in Phandalin and pay you your agreed upon 60gp for the group. After a night’s rest, you all left the next morning for Phandalin.

The journey was without incident until about a half-day after turning off the High Road onto the small trail leading to Phandalin. A pair of dead horses, peppered with arrows block the path.

Pre-Campaign Introduction
Let's Get To Rollin!

You have each made your way to Neverwinter for various reasons. Some coming to seek their fortune in a city full of opportunity, some merely to shake off their weariness after long weeks on the road before heading out once again, some others at the call of a friend or acquaintance in need. Whatever the reason, you find yourself at The Frothy Mug tavern near the main harbor. You have been gathered here by a dwarf named Gundren Rockseeker. The proprietor of The Frothy Mug, Yeldo Guk, has lead each of you to a large table in the back corner of the common room near the fireplace. He hands you a mug of ale or a glass of wine and says that Gundren will be along shortly.

The room is lit by candle lanterns along the walls and tallow candles at each table. Warmed by the large fireplace at the end of the room, the common room is comfortably filled with travelers and locals alike. A good mix of sailors, dockworkers, merchants and miscreants fill the air with pipe smoke and conversation. Whenever a discussion gets a little too heated, Yeldo or one of his two hired hands quickly breaks it up and escorts the offenders out into the street. Yeldo can’t stand to have any trouble in his establishment.

Since it seems it may be a while before Gundren arrives, you may as well introduce yourselves to one another.


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