Lost Mine of Phandelver

Reclaiming Wave Echo Cave
A module complete!

Uktar 22, 1491 DR

The Seekers emerged from Wave Echo Cave victorious, having reclaimed the ancient mine and the Forge of Spells from the undead and guardian monsters that had claimed it.

While within the dungeon, the Seekers battled Nezznar, the Black Spider and his minions. Nezznar used the Cragmaw Goblins and the Redbrand Ruffians in his attempt to claim the Forge of Spells for himself. The drow mage was also responsible for the kidnapping of Sildar Hallwinter, Gundren Rockseeker, Nundro Rockseeker, and the murder of Tharden Rockseeker. Hadarai, friend and companion of the Seekers, was killed in the battle with Nezznar.

The mine restored, the Rockseeker brothers have restarted the mining operation and are overseeing attempts to restore the Forge of Spells to its original power. As per the agreement made by Gundren, the Seekers will now get ten percent of the profits of the mine.

Rewards
Please advance your characters to 5th level.

Treasure: 271 cp, 53 sp, 81 ep, 43 gp, 5 pp each.
Locked iron strong box (contents still unknown), potion of healing, potion of vitality, 3 diamonds (100 gp each), wooden pipe with platinum filigree (Hadarai was so stoked on this! 150 gp), treasure map, 9 smalll gemstones (10 gp each), and a Dwarven ale mug made of hammered electrum (150 gp).

Other: Seven days of downtime.

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Rescue Gundren from Cragmaw
At long last Gundren is found!

Uktar 20, 1491 DR

The Seekers arrived at Cragmaw Castle at midday. Orsic, finally having discovered the location of his cousin Gundren, was eager to enter the castle. Within the ruined castle the Seekers fought against the bulk of the Cragmaw tribe, facing goblins, hobgoblins, an owl bear, a wolf, a doppleganger, and bug bear who was serving as the Cragmaw Chieftain. Despite having been badly beaten, and an attempt on his life by the spiteful bugbear chief, the Seekers managed to rescue Gundren.

Gundren, adamantly wanted leave with the for Wave Echo Cave with the Seekers after traveling back to Phandalin, in order to learn the fate of his brothers, Nundro and Tharden. He confirmed that someone called the Black Spider orchestrated his capture. What is more, he has offered the Seekers their next job. Orsic was able to reason with Gundren, and had got his cousin to agree to let the Seekers handle this mission, while Gundren stays in Phandalin where it is safe.

While Hadarai and Brother Seeker Rosch Uskevren stayed at the ruins of Cragmaw to clenes a corrupted shrine, Orlose Cherboga and Orsic travled back to Phandalin. There they delivered Gundren, as well as updated Sildar Hallwinter on their progress, which included collecting their reward for accomplishing Sildar’s final task. The Seekers also returned Sildar’s armor and sword that had been taken from him when he was abducted by the Cragmaw’s and taken to the Cragmaw Hideout. The Seekers have agreed to meet up in the late morning at Wave Echo Cave in an attempt to finally put an end to this threat.

Rewards:

950 Experience each.

Treasure: 155 gp each, 63 ep each, 55 sp each, 5 spears, four longswords, three morningstars, two greatswords, a quarterstaff engraved with stylized feathers and surprisingly light (10 gp), chalice (60 150 gp), censer (60 gp), and knife (120 gp)

Other:
Sildar owes the Seekers a favor for returning his armor and shield.
Hadari will repay both Orlose and Rosch the remaining 59 gp each he owes them.
Hadari has a golden statue that any good character can use once to cast an augury spell.

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The Ruins of Thundertree
You guys! You killed a dragon!

Uktar 18, 1491 DR

The Seekers traveled to the Ruins of Thundertree seeking the druid Reidoth, in hopes of asking him about the location of Cragmaw Castle.

Uktar 19, 1491 DR

In the early hours of the morning, the Seekers were awoken from their rest by the incursion of an owlbear into their camp, setting off Hadarai's mystic wards. Despite attempts to steer the beast by Orlose, the Seekers ended up having to do battle with the ill-tempered beast. 

At first light, the Seekers made their way into the Ruins of Thundertree, traveling to the home of the druid, Reidoth. The druid told them the location of Cragmaw has a favor to Qelline. He told the Seekers he would tell them the location of Wave Echo Cave if they helped him deal with a young green dragon that had recently arrived in the Ruins of Thundertree called Venomfang. The Seekers and Reidoth battled Venomfang in the wyrm's newly cliamed tower, eventually slaying the wyrm and claiming the beast's horde which included the magic battle axe, Hew.

Reidoth gave the Seekers the location of Wave Echo Cave, as well as his thanks, before returning back to his home. The Seekers continued to explore some of the ruins in hopes of locating the old apothecary where they were told they could kind find a lost heirloom.  

Their search eventually lead them to a band of six strange cultists, who seemed to be lead by a man named Favric. Favric and his company seemed to have no ill intent toward the Seekers, although they did express a great deal of interest in the slain dragon.

At long last the Seekers had an idea of where they might find Gundren Rockseeker. They left the ruins at midday, having found Mirna's heirloom, and headed back to Phandalin. They arrived at Hillcrest late in the evening, returned Mirna's necklace to her, updated Sildar on their progress, and settled in for some much needed rest, as at they planned to leave for Cragmaw in the morning.

Rewards:

968 Exp each.

Renown: +1 Emerald Enclave for all characters.

Treasure: 200 sp, 38 gp, four silver goblets set with moonstones (60 gp each).

Other: Hadarai will repay Rosche and Orluse 29 gp each.

 

 

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The Od

Rosch saw Hadarai sitting apart from the others after camp was set.  He seemed to be using a faint magical light to read one of his ever present books.  Rosch felt some guilt over not trusting the mages wards and being relatively new to the group felt it was in his best interest to make peace with the elf now rather than letting any ill feelings foster.

Drawing upon manners learned long ago as a child Rosch ask, “Your pardon sir, I was wondering if I might join you for a moment.”

The mage looked up a little surprised at the humans formal phrasing, “of course and why the formal address?”

“Well to offer and an apology and an explanation,” Rosch said as he lowered himself to sit on a nearby log.

Hadarai raised a single thin eyebrow at the Simbian’s words and gestured for him to continue.

“First and foremost I am sorry for not trusting in you and your magic more, I have….an issue with trusting something that has not been proven to me.  I…was betrayed in my past and I’m afraid the incident has affected me negatively”

“Think nothing of it,” the mage said with a wave of his hand, “I’ll consider us even if you answer but a single question for me.”

Rosch smiled at the answer, “well ask away.”

Hadarai leaned forward in anticipation, “I have noticed your power seems…odd.  My question is this; what is its source?”

“The source of my power?  Well the source of my power comes from the same place as your, and Orsic’s,” the mage got an approving look as the Simbian said gesturing towards the Cleric, “and his.”  To Hadarai’s surprise Roush pointed lastly at Orlose.

“His power?  He is a skilled fighter to be sure but I have never seen him use magic…”  the mage trailed off absently stroking his chin.

“Magic?  No, well i’m sure he has a little, we all do; at least that is what I was taught,” Roush said with a shrug as he picked up a stray stick off the ground.  “He has ki, or uses ki primarily I guess I should say.”

“Ki?”

“Yes, the power of the body guided by the mind.”

The mage nodded while stroking his chin, “ki?  Hhhhhmmmmm I believe I have heard of such a thing.  Yes!  Practiced by monks in the east and the south mostly, I have read of this.  But….I don’t think our friend there is a monk.”

“A monk?  No, I should think not…a skilled combatant absolutely.  Coordinated, strong, fast, resilient.  Ki.  The monks you speak of have just refined a process of mastering their ki.  Much like your own magic compared to a sorcerer,” Rouch smiled at the elf, “at least that is what I was taught.”

“You seem to have been taught a number of odd things friends.”

“I had a…unique teacher.”

The elf regarded Rosch thoughtfully, “‘so if Orsic and I have magic and Orlose ki, what do you have?”

“The last of the trinity of the Od, psi,” Rosch stated simply as he finish using his stick to draw a simple design in the earth.

"The trinity of the Od?”  Hadarai asked interested, “I had not heard of such a thing.”

“Od the greatest of all power, as I was taught."

Hadarai smiled, “greater even than magic?"

"The Od is a power that results from the cycle of life and death.  As the two primal forces grind against each other they release the Od in its primal state.  In that state it is to powerful for almost any being to handle, even the gods.  However, over time, like sand mixed in water, it will separate out into lesser elements.  Magic, ki, and psi, “Rosch drew three lines forming the points of a triangle around the symbol on the ground.

Almost ritually the Psion continued, “magic, the power of the spirit guided by the body.  Ki, the power of the body guided by the mind.  Psi, the power of the mind guided by the spirit."

Finishing with a whisper, “these form the trinity of the Od.”

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Gift Basket
A gift left at the fledgling trading house creates questions and answers.

Uktar 17, 1491 DR

Rosche Uskevren surveyed the fledgling trading house he and Orlose Cherboga had thrown together, almost overnight. The  exhiled Sembian understood his dwarven companion, Orsic's, sense of urgency to locate his missing family members. It would have been nice to be able to take a couple days to have a proper set up, but Roche would share Orsic's driving desire for discovery were it his own family member that had gone missing. Even still, the make-shift stalls were secured by heavy locks and, for the most part, the manner ruins were now covered by whatever tarps, animal skins, and even a repurpsoed sail (Which Rosche was surprised to find for sale considering how far inland Phandalin was.) Orlose had said that Mirna and Nilsa had taken to instruction well, and the fighter was confident that the women would be more than capable of running the basics of the trading house while he and Rosche were away. Rosche would have been more reticent were the initial goods more complex, however, at Sildar's request, the Hillcrest Trading House would deal primarily in the importation, exportation, and distribution of raw goods. This meant fairly simple inventories and minimal book keeping, which is about the only way Rosche was going to let his first enterprise be managed by proxy.

Rosche's mental preparations were interrupted as Hadarai entered the covered area of the ruins. The elf was favoring some of his ribs with one arm, and had polished Darkwood box under his other. Hadarai wince-smiled at Rosche revealing a split lip and what would almost assuredly be a black eye. Rosche had seen this type of beating before in Sembia. Certain issuers of debt will use these type of "reminders" with borrowers if they fear that the borrower may be delinquent in payment. Hadarai owed money to both Rosche and Orlose, and evidently other, less understanding parties as well.

"I discovered this outside," Hadarai said curiously, holding up the box under his arm. "Had we a door, it would have been laid upon our doorstep. Very mysterious."

Hadarai flipped the box with a dismissive gesture, letting his eldritch hand guide the parcel towards Rosche. At first mildly intrigued, Rosche was suddenly startled to notice that there was a platinum embossed pattern on the lid that looked remarkably similar to the tattoo upon his chest. Rosche refocused himself quickly, not wanting to show his alarm at the recognition of the strange symbol.

No sooner had Roche taken the weight of the box then Hadarai's mage hand had pulled open the polished black lid. Rosche could only flinch before breathing a sigh of relief. He wondered how sheltered the elf's upbringing must have been that he would just open the lid of clandestinely delivered package left on his "doorstep". Rosche seemed to be intact, and not polymorphed into a slug, so he looked into the contents of the box.

The black box bore a gold velvet lining that sparkled in the light of the ruin. Nestled inside the box was one of the finest sets of merchant's scales Rosche had seen, even in the trading houses of Sembia, a simple scroll tube of the same Darkwood as the box bearing an unbroken red wax seal with the same symbol on the lid, and a bottle of sparkling wine of excellent Eversultian vintage.

Rosche set the box down in front of him, only half paying attention as Hadarai's mage hand deftly lifted the bottle from the box.  Breaking the scroll and unrolling the parchment, Rosche only slightly registered Hadarai calling to Droop for what he guessed was the fetching of goblets, although he didn't speak the goblin's native tongue as Hadari did. Rosche all but ignored the stream of muttering curses that issued from below as Droop begun undergoing his task.

Unrolling the fine piece of vellum, Rosche began to read the scroll. The writing was in a flowing and neat script:

To Rosche Uskerven of the Hillcrest Trading House,

Let us offer our most heartfelt congratulations on this, your first step towards your destiny.

Rosche scanned the missive a few times, looking to see if there was anything more. The salutation had not even been signed. He held the vellum up to the sunlight, having heard of missives that come sometimes only be read under certain types of light. He pawed through the box to see if there was anything else contained within.

A loud "pop" startled Rosche. He looked up to see Hadarai with the bottle of wine, the contents foaming from the mouth of the bottle down the neck. The elf smiled as he poured a goblet and and sent it Rosche's way with his mage hand.

"What does the scroll say?" Hadarai asked after taking a sip of his own goblet. He hissed as he inhaled, the alcohol no doubt stinging his split lip.

Rosche snatched the goblet from the air in front of him, more ot get it our of his face then to consume it. Despite all the distraction, the wine smelled full, and sweet, and the bubbles looked pleasing amidst the amber liquid. "Not much," Roche replied before taking a sip himself. The drought he sipped was warm, and floral, and he was quick to take another sip.

"Interesting choice to use that symbol," Hadarai said absently, swirling his own goblet.

Rosche nearly spit out his second sip in surprise. He gulped, and the warmth of the wine turned into a burn, as if offended at being consumed in such a fashion. "You know it?" Rosche croaked.

"Of course," Hadarai said somehow not sounding smug, but still pedantic. "You are of course familiar with the god Denir. Centuries ago some rather fervent followers of the scribe of my lord, Oghma, believed that there were glyphs that could represent important concepts of existence. They believed that the concepts could be realized as glyphs, and the glyphs, manifested correctly could communicate some of the fundamental concepts of a society or race, despite language barrier. It was theorized that these "weighted concepts" as they called them, were so universal that anyone, or anything, that saw the glyph would know exactly what the glyph was meant to express."

Rosche had all but forgotten his wine, setting the goblet down absently. All this time there had been so many questions, and now, just at random, this parcel appears, and his companion of nearly a week has insight into the enigma that has plagued the exile for years. Could this random turn of events be a blessing from Tymora?

"The glyphs were all the rage for a time," Hadarai continued. "War, Conquest, and Passion glyphs found their way into many works of art, tattoos, and even some families that rose to prominence during this period. Yet for the most part, the school of thought was eventually dissolved by rhetoricians that argued that a gnoll and halfling did not have the same sense of "love" therefore they could not look at glyph and see that it meant the same thing. There was actually a fairly stunning discourse around the assertions of the Denrites, as chronicled by some the preminnet sages of the time, which would go on to inform the thinking at the crux of Thace'y'iksis's Morality Pogrom and, though he would never admit it, Gver'uk's Theory of Modulated Emotional Accessibility. The former was, of course a tragedy, though at its core had some interesting structure when it came to usurpation of dominant thought paradigms as held by the-"

"But this glyph!" Roche's head was spinning enough as is, it didn't need to endure Hadarai's dizzying dissertations of the banalities of scholars of which Rosche had never heard of. Roche snapped the Darkwood box closed, thrusting the lid side towards Hadari. The silver glyph stood out against the black lacquered wood like a beacon. 

Hadarai raised a single eyebrow at Rosche's sudden emphatic engagement in a subject so few would normally find intriguing. 

"Well," Roche continued, lifting the box into the air with his mage hand and flipping it to face Roche. "The most simple translation is "commerce". However that is like translating the word "sword" to be "weapon". See, here?" Hadarai indicated to the pattern.

"Either side mirrors the other, save how the lines are emboldened after intersection with their counter part. This implies that both sides of the pattern are strengthened by the interaction with one another. Or that both sides mutually benefit from the transaction. In this instance, the benefit is a visual representation of strength, as illustrated by the emboldened and more powerful lines. In summation, this symbol is more a representation of the ideal of equitable commerce. A commerce predicated on both parties being better off for having engaged in the activity, and growing equally in strength, becoming more whole if you will, for participating in the transaction. Would that there were more in the world that saw commerce in such a fashion," Hadarai mused, gently probing his newly battered ribs.

"I see," Roche said. Snatching the box from the air and tucking it under his arm. "I need to attend to something below."

Roche needed to be work through everything that had happened in so short a time. He vaguely registered a greeting as Orlose passed him coming up, as he was going down.

Orlose heaved himself topside looking quizzically after Roche as he descended.

"Droop was complaining about have to fetch goblets. Is there wine?" The fighter asked, smiling at Hadari.

 

 

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Old Owl Well and the Banshee's Bargain
Wherein the adventurers quest in the area around Phandalin.

Uktar 15, 1491 DR

The adventurers' morning began with Hadarai's wards sounding an attack and Orluse's shouted warnings, as three stirges set upon the camp. The dangerous pests were denied their meal, and the adventurers avoided exsanguination.

Shortly after striking camp the adventurers arrived at the Old Owl Well. There they discovered a necromancer by the name of Hamun Kost, and his twelve zombie minions. Hamun was searching for lost Netherese artifacts amidst the tower ruins. After a prolonged battle, the adventurers vanquished Hamun, and minions, and were able to accomplish the task asked of them by Daran Eddermath

After a short reprieve, the adventurers rode northwest to Conyberry seeking the lair of the banshee Agatha, on behalf of Sister Garaele. The adventurers comported themselves to the tragic spirt's liking and, upon giving the banshee the gift of the silver comb, they were able to accomplish Sister Garaele's task.

Uktar 16, 1491 DR

The adventurers returned to Phandalin.  Upon returning, they discovered that Sildar, who had no confidence in the elected Townmaster's ability to maintain order, had taken up residence in the Townmaster's Hall. In addition to rewarding the adventurers for their completion of his task, he inquired as the whether to whether or not the adventurers had discovered anymore about the location of Cragmaw Castle. Lastly, Sildar informed the adventurers that he had taken the liberty of applying for an Adventuring Charter on their behalf. The adventurers needed think of a name for their band, or company, as Sildar was using his contacts within the Lord's Alliance to have the charter executed by none other than Dagult Neverember, Lord Protector of Neverwinter, himself.

Rewards:

319 exp each.

Renown: +1 The Harpers, +1 Order of the Gauntlet, for all characters.

Treasure: 9 sp, 5 ep, 30 gp, 2 pp.

Tiny decorated jeweled box (25 gp).

Other: Hadari currently owes Rosch 88 gp, Orluse 88 gp, and an unknown lender 300 gp.

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Orc Trouble at Wyvern Tor
At Sildar's behest, the heroes deal with orcs menacing the Triboar Trail.

Uktar 13, 1491 DR

Hadari, Orlose, Orsic, and Roche all traveled to Wyvern Tor to investigate the recent orcish activity. The heroes arrived as the sun was setting and decided to investigate under the cover of night. Shortly after locating orcish tracks the heroes were ambushed by goblins. The heroes dispatched their assailants and set out to investigate the cave where the orcish spore led.

Within the cave, the heroes stood against Brughor Axe-biter and his band, which included seven orcs, and brutish ogre. The heroes triumphed, and after clearing out the cave of the corpses, set up for an evening of much needed rest.

Uktar 14, 1491 DR

Having dealt with the orcs the night before, the heroes set out to follow the tracks of the goblins who attacked them the night before, in hopes of tracking them back to Cragmaw Castle, having identified the creatures as members of the Cragmaw Tribe.

It was slow going, and eventually the heroes tracked the goblins back to the Triboar trail however, with waning light, and Rosch's trepidation about being able to follow the tracks the next, the heroes set up camp and decided to instead investigate other quests, first at Old Owl Well and then at Conyberry.

Rewards:

413 exp each.

Treasure: 188 cp, 25 sp, 14 ep, and 8 gp each.

Owed 100 gp for completion of quest from Sildar Hallwinter.

3 vials of exotic perfume worth 10 gp/vial.

 

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Redbrand Hideout Conclusion

Uktar 12, 1491 DR

Having dealt with the Redbrands and their leader, The Glass Staff, the heroes rid Phandalin of the Redbrand's main presence. They discovered a letter from the Black Spider, to Glass Staff, that informed them that the Black Spider was aware of the heroes' presence, and he wanted them captured or killed, in an attempt to not let the heroes thwart his palns. 

The heroes assumed control of the family crypt beneath Tresendar Manor, using it as their base of operations while in Phandalin. In doing so, for the time being, they have inherited the services of Droop, an abused Cragmaw goblin. The heroes also freed Mirna Drendar and her family from captivity, warranting her appreciation, and her telling them of her family's lost heirloom.

Having dealt with the Redbrands, the heroes fulfilled the requirements for the job offered to them by Halia, as well as informed Sildar Hallwinter of the true fate of Iarno Albrek

The people of Phandalin expressed their gratitude for the heroes freeing the town from the Redbrand menace by planning a feast in the town square.

Uktar 14, 1491 DR

During the celebration held in their honor, the heroes had the opportunity to meet more of the townsfolk. During the celebration they discovered that there were a number of opportunities in the area to explore.

Rewards:

Exp: 513 each.

Renown: +2 People of Phandalin, +1 Lord's Alliance for all heroes.

Coins: 19 cp, 74 sp, 7 ep, 116 gp each

Gems: 2 garnets ( 10 gp each), 5 carnelians (10 gp each), 2 peridots (15 gp each), pearl (100 gp).

Other valuables: Black leather eye patch set with semi-precious stones ( 50 gp), golden earring with tiny ruby (30 gp), 30 beaver pelts (2 gp each)

Other goods (These good can be used for the trading business or claimed by heroes. Any that are sold will be worth half the value from PHB): 12 spears, 6 shortswords, 3 longswords, 5 light crossbows, 7 quivers of 20 bolts.

 

 

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Phandalin and the Redbrands
Heroes arrive in Phandalin and immediately address the criminal elements.

Uktar 12, 1491 DR

Olorse, Hadarai, and Orsic accompanied Sildar to Phandalin. Upon arriving, the heroes went to Barthen's Provision to complete the delivery of Gundren's supplies. While there the heroes met Rosch, a Sembian trader and fellow adventurer, as well as Elmar, the owner of the establishment. Elmar was saddened by the hero's news that Gundren had been abducted, telling them that Gundren had two brothers, Nundro and Tharden, that were camped outside the town. Elmar expected them back any day now. Elmar further went on to say that he hoped the heroes could find Gundren, as Elmar considered him a good friend and was excited for the dwarf and his claims to have found an entrance to Wave Echo Cave.

Afterward delivering the goods, the heroes found their way to the Phandlain Miner's Exchange, having been told that Halia would likely offer a reward to any who were willing to take on the criminal band known as the Redbrand Ruffians. Elmar was correct, and upon meeting her, Halia offered the heroes a job.

Making their way to the Stonehill Inn, the heroes stopped by the Shrine of Luck. There they met with Sister Garaele. The acolyte of Tymora was delighted to me meet them, even enlisting them for help.

Upon meeting Sildar at the Stonehill Inn, it became evident that everyone would be better off if the Redbrands were no longer in Phandalin. The heroes were told by Toblen Stonehill's son that his friend, Carp, had found a cave that the Redbrands chased Carp away from.

Traveling to the Alderleaf Farm, the heroes met Qelline and her son, Carp. Carp worked with his mom to draw the heroes a map to the cave he had found. Upon investigation, the heroes discovered that the cave led to the crypts under Tresender Manor which were being used as a base of operations for the Redbrands.

Within the crypts the heroes begun removing the Red Brand menace, and rediscovered a treasure thought to be lost. Seeking reprieve, the heroes disguised themselves as Redbrands, but were unable to convince some actual Redbrands that had come to investigate the commotion they heard, that they were part of the gang.

Now the heroes stand face to face with three Redbrands, one producing a wicked looking club, another a flail, and a final one who grins sadistically as she reveals two-bladed gauntlets.

Rewards:

206 exp each.

Treasure: 47 sp each, 46 gp each , 4 ep each, two garnets (10 gp each), four malachites (15 gp each), clean set of ordinary traveling clothes, waterproof satchel.

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Wrath of Klarg
Bugbear boss gotta bone ta' pick.

The bulk of the recently slumbering bugbear, Klarg, rose slowly, causing a rotting stench to emanate through the cavern as the stink of the decaying heads on Klarg's belt were no longer being suppressed under his hulking girth. A battered and mangy wolf, Ripper, Klarg's pet and favorite torture victim, whimpered as the necrotic stench assailed his sensitive nose. The bleary haze of sleep sharpened into the cognizant focus of wakefulness, a sensation Klarg enjoyed not at all. It had been twelve or more hours since Klarg and laid down for a rest, not nearly long enough for the bugbear's liking.

The six goblins that barked and pleaded as they darted around the bugbear were making too much racket for Klarg to comprehend them. Shifting lifting girth with his huge hands, Klarg snapped a heavy, steel-toed, kick directly out in front of him. The boot slammed into a goblin with a satisfying crunch. The goblin launched back a few feet directly away from the assault, landing in a crumpled, whimpering heap. Not wanting to meet a similar reproach fate, the other goblins quickly silenced.

Klarg, hunger and a small act of violence now having brought him fully awake, began surveying the hideout he oversaw. It was far too quiet. There wolves Klarg chained and starved were not whining or fighting. What is more, he couldn't hear Yeemik, the self-styled goblin underboss who Klarg had deemed likely to have to kill soon, and his band weren't squabbling, spitting, or cackling as they tortured their most recent plaything, an aged human captive.

"Tell Klarg wut 'appened," The bugbear's deep voice boomed of his cavern walls, reverberating in his underlings stomachs. The voice was already gravely, but made more so from his throat's lack of use in half a day.

"The bridge is out," the battered goblin that Klarg had just kicked wheezed as it tried to rise.

"They have killed the pens," another goblin, less afraid now that another had spoken, squeaked.

"They have killed Yeemik," a badly scarred goblin offered up in a rasp. Klarg noticed the creature was covered in scars and half of its head looked like it was caved in at one point. "Taken the our human play-thing too!"

Klarg reached for the cavern ceiling with his huge hands and elongated arms in a mighty strecth. As he did, joints popped, and slabs of corded-muscle rippled under fur and flab. His tooth-crammed maw popped as he worked his square jaw back and forth, showing off his filed teeth. Without so much as a look at the goblins cowering beneath him, Klarg stomped his way out of his cavern, grabbing Ripper by the mangy scruff of the wolf's neck. Ripper emited a piercing whimper in surprise as the wolf was yanked forward. The six goblins skittered behind Klarg, barely able to contain their pleas and assurances that the attack wasn't any of their fault.

Having walked the hideout, Klarg saw the goblins said had spoken true. Yeemik and his lot lay in heap. The kennel was full of dead wolves, and the bridge that spanned the gap was a pile of rubble. A slow brooding anger rose through Jlarg as he saw what remained of his hideout. Klarg didn't care about the loss of his minions. Goblins were annoyingly prevalent throughout this area.

No, Klarg's ire stemmed from the fact that these adventurers had caused him inconvenience. Klarg had been given control of the hideout, and it suited him fine, for he didn't have to do anything. This part of the Triboar trail was far enough away from the human settlement that the watch couldn't stop a raid in time. The trail was close enough that peasants, and commoners, still had to traverse it in order to get their wares to market. In short, Klarg could laze away his days napping in his cavern, while his goblins looted, raided, and preyed upon the weak. The takes were not the greatest, but Klarg didn't care. They sufficed enough that the boss was happy, and when the boss was happy he left Klarg to do, or not do, as the case may be, whatever Klarg wanted.

Klarg sloshed through the stream, winding through the natural tunnel that lead back to his lair. At this point the goblins could no longer contain the need to inform their boss of their lack of blame for what had happened. The creatures chattered and gnashed their filed-teeth. They darted between Klarg's loping steps, prostrating themselves before him, before leaping to the side to not get stepped upon. A small squabble broke out behind the bugbear as one goblin blamed another for the attack.

Within his lair, Klarg displaced a heap of stolen goods to reveal a battered chest. Lashing a rotting hemp rope to the chest, he fashioned a makeshift sling and slung shouldered his prize posessions. Next Klarg patted the loop of rusty metal wire on his belt that termined in bone handles on either end. All trouble this lot of adventurers had caused him, he was going to need to use his "'ead-popper-offer" on at least one of them. Lastly the bugbear looped a knotty cudgel, covered in rivets, spikes various sizes, and bits of dried hair and gore on to his belt. Certain he had all he needed, Klarg looked down at the rotten heads he had as trophies. Most of the skin had sloughed off them long ago, all that remained was yellowed bones and bits of stringy hair. It would be good to get some fresh trophies, this lot hadn't spoken to him in ages.

"Roight," Klarg said, dipping his multiple chins briefly in the direction of his goblins. "Klarg is going to find them wut busted up the place. Ripper is gonna sniff 'em out proper for Klarg, and Klarg is gonna pop their 'eads off." 

Klarg cocked his head, peering at the six goblins around him for a time. "One uv you lot is ta blame for this. Don't care which, but one you has to end up dead. Them that's left meet me outside da 'ideout."

Klarg started his bulk forward. Ripper rushed to heel, not wanting to be yanked again. The goblins stared dumb founded at one another. The bugbear's lumbering footsteps could be heard as he clopped toward the stream.

"One more 'fing," Klarg's voice echoed from the earthen hall. "Use them weedy hands of yours fer the killing. If Klarg finds out the deed was done anyway but as I say, Klarg'll split the lot of you open and let you watch Ripper eat yer guts. Get to it!"

Klarg stepped into the stream that rushed through his hideout his lips rolling into grin. Hisses, grunts, and shrieks echoed through the cavern once more.

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