The party wakes up shaking in puddles of their own drool on the floor of a musty cavern. They all remember following Gundren down here, to the secret side-entrance to Phandelver in this crack in the rock, and they all have fleeting sensations of terror* lingering in their heads. Gundren however, is on his knees by a small canvas tent, weeping big fat dwarven tears over the corpse of his youngest brother, Tharden Rockseeker. A little medieval CSI work reveals that Tharden suffered a clean puncture wound straight through the back, but that his body was also tainted with deadly poisons. All signs point to the Black Spider being responsible, and Vyerith the Doppelganger confirms that this is his style of kill.
*I’ll do the second part of the Halloween adventure later, tumblr lost my draft
Gundren pulls himself together enough to impart some info on the party: he had been not entirely forthcoming with them, hoping to keep this deal and some of his info between his family members. He had been hoping all this would somehow turn out in his favor, but upon seeing his brother dead he realizes that he set himself up for tragedy. So he levels: first of all, he empties his giant duffel, offering the party any mining or dungeoneering equipment they could possibly desire, along with a few choicer items: 2 potions of healing, which he had been saving for his brothers, and 2 charges of Dugmaren’s Hammer (aka DWARF DYNAMITE).
Gundren declares that he must stay up top: it is unfitting for a dwarf to remain dead above ground for so long, and they must bury Tharden immediately. Sildar will stay with Gundren to guard him, and Vyerith will remain with both of them for supervision. As Gundren breaks out the remaining dwarven brandy from the Cragmaw Castle caper, Tipsy decides that she too will help aid them in burying the dwarf. Gundren leaves them with one final bit of advice, gleaned from the dwarven tome they stole from Glasstaff: Phandelver is the name of the mine, but the mine was carved out of an existing cave called Wave Echo Cave. Something in the deepest reaches of the mine creates a massive booming sound, like waves crashing, and it echoes throughout the mine. The deeper you go, the louder it gets. Vyerith adds that she’s never been very far into the mine, she always parlayed with the Spider in the Great Hall, and gives the party directions for how to get there. As the wake for Tharden gets underway, the rest of the party rappels down the chasm into the rift that leads to Phandelver.
They begin in the direction provided by Vyerith, coming into a ruined, round room. Fragments of a grand statue lay scattered across the ground, and some buried stairs leading up and towards the outside reveal that this was once a foyer of sorts for the mine. Ander decides to get a better look and conjures a light cantrip, revealing the ceiling to be covered by a colony of stirges. The bloodsuckers immediately descend on the party, and are summarily slaughtered. Taranion can’t seem to get a hit on the flapping creatures, and spends most the fight trying to smack one with a book.
Ander apologizes for waking the stirges, then wanders into another room and wakes up a room full of angry skeletons. A combination of ancient dwarven defenders and orc raiders, the skeletons begin to attack any intruders they see. The party smashes a few of them to bits, before Taranion casts turn undead and sends them cowering into the back corner. They barricade the undead warriors in the room with some splintery bunks, and proceed back into the foyer.
Rather than follow Vyerith’s directions down some stairs and into the Great Hall, they go into a side room that seems to have once been the assayer’s office. A room behind the counter holds a massive safe, which has deteriorated over the years. They crack it with brute force, and find a skeleton (not animate) clinging to a small chest containing some treasure, including a couple diamonds.
Following this path, they skirt through a couple quiet, empty chambers: the old store room, and a miner’s barrack. Finally they enter the largest chamber they’ve seen so far, a huge room with a tunnel leading down into the depths of the mine. A single set of massive mine carts sits on a track at the mouth of the tunnel. They see a wooden aquaduct leading over the carts. No water runs through the duct, but a thin stream of icy water is running down the stairs from the room to the west, wear the duct appears to lead. Ander hops into the dry duct and follows it to a room with a dark pool, fed from a small water fall in the rock. The duct appears to have once collected water from the waterfall, but has since rotted away and now hangs in the air.
Hank, meanwhile, has decided to test the minecart contraption. Against everyone’s protestations, Hank yanks the lever in the cart, hears a loud clank and…nothing. They notice that a thick cable is attached to the back of the cart, leading around a large pulley set in the floor of the room and then down into the darkness of the tunnel. They are just trying to work out the operation of the carts when they hear footsteps coming from the barracks…
Defeated: 10 stirges, 3 skeletons destroyed, 7 turned
Acquired: 2 healing potions, 2 chrages of dynamite, dungeoning gear, 2 diamonds
NPC’s met: Tharden Rockseeker (dead :C )
Quests: Help the Rockseekers retake Phandelver, rescue Nundro and Tharden