Recap May 16, 2020

After some discussion among themselves, they came back down from their rooms and asked Viari some questions about the previous franchise that was located at the Manor House. They asked if he had seen the image of a draconic skull with a sword driven up through it from the bottom. Viari had never seen the image. They also told him about the members of Dran Enterprise arriving at the manor house and were attempting to clean things up. Viari was not surprised that he had happened. His concern was that it had happened so quick. He would let Omin, the head of Acq Inc know about this. He was about to go on but said there are some things I cannot talk about unless you are within Acq Inc. They discussed it a bit more and they decided to sign the franchise contract.

They took the following positions:

Hetty - Obviator

Riva – Cartographer

Kataract – Decisionist

Pixel - Secretarian

Henrik - Occultant

Jasper – Documancer

Viari gave each person their position information and any items that Acq Inc provided.

(Let me know if you need any of that information sent to you. I cannot remember who has access to the Acq Inc book)

They decided to make their first hire: Gildha. They had heard she was good at her job as a major domo. A few people in town had mentioned her as well Viara who had said she was known within Acq Inq for the work she had done with the Fellowship of the Golden Mongoose. She had mentioned to them that she wanted to go back to Waterdeep and retire so she might not accept the offer. Reva and Hetty took a plate of lunch to Gildha’s room and knocked on her door. Gildha invited them in and asked her if she would be their major domo. Gildha thought about it and finally said “My brain tells me to go back to Waterdeep and be done with this life. My heart tells me this is where I should be, that Phandalin is meant to have a Acq Inc franchise. She accepted and they asked the others to come up and they all spoke of other hires to be made. They settled on the following:

Their skilled worker/guard – Toven, the dwarf miner Unskilled workers Liam, Henriette, Jothol (dwarf), Thubrim (dwarf) - these all worked on excavating the secret tunnel in the basement of the manor house

Other – Patsky, the kobold

Their first major task, would be to set up the office/bedroom area for Gildha and Toven (area 11of the manor house) and clean up the room that Patsky was using as a bedroom (area 9 of the manor house). This could take at least 2 tendays. Gildha would get in touch with them if she had questions or needed further instructions. (upload a copy of the manor house to the wiki recap page)

They next began to prepare for a possible trip back to the mine they had discovered. First, they wanted to gather information about the mine and any claims that have been made on it.

Kataract performed in the main room of the Stonehill Inn. He told stories and sang song about lost mines and great battles hoping to get people to talk about the lost mine. It worked. He learned that some people would love to have the mine found. It could mean that Phandalin could once again go back to its heyday. Others were not so keen on finding the mine. They saw it as sacred ground where so many people had lost their lives in the battle with the orcs. It was obvious even after almost 100 years, the lost mine was still on people’s minds. Kataract realized later that he never heard anyone mention that the town had a claim to that or any other mines.

Meanwhile, Reva and Henrik went to the Phandalin’s Miner’s Exchange and Jasper, Gildha and Hetty went to get things set up at the manor house and confirm the new hires. Pixel stayed at the Stonehill Inn with her kittens.

As Reva and Henrik approached the Phandalin Miner’s Exchange they saw that it was not so much a miner’s guild but a general store. This must be the place Gildha had spoken of. They went in and saw a female dwarf behind a counter. She welcomed them and said you are you not the folks from up at the manor house? I am sorry about what happened to your companions. Henrik asked to see information on mines and claims in the area while Reva looked for gear that they would need to explore the mine as well as work on the manor house. The Exchange held the unofficial paperwork and claims made in the area. For the claim to be legal it needed to be filed at the Town Council Hall. Some people wanting to cover themselves also filed the paperwork in Neverwinter and/or Waterdeep. Henrik saw a lot of claims with most of them to the west of Phandalin. He finally came across a file that had promise. It spoke of the mountains east of Phandalin and its description was similar to what they had found on their trek the day before. Then he saw the name on the claim – Gundren Rockseeker. The Rockseeker rune had been found in the boot of the dead dwarf they had found in the first area of the mine. Could that have been Gundren? Two other Rockseekers were mentioned, Nundro and Tharden. They were not claimants but were associated Gundren in some way. Henrik saw notes that led him to believe that Gundren had done a lot of research on this and that he probably had a map dating from the battle of the mine about 100 years ago. Reva came over after purchasing the supplies and Henrik shared what he had learned. She looked through the maps and found several that were so off she was not sure these people had been in the same mountains that they had been. She also saw a few that showed landmarks that matched up with what they had seen on their trek. She looked at Gundren’s notes and saw that his descriptions matched what they had seen. She also found that he called the mine the Wave Echo Mine. Gundren had come from Neverwinter. They had been asked to go to Waterdeep by Omin Dran so they would look for the Rockseekers when they got up that way.

They thanked Sharna and briefly talked about an agreement that would bring in building materials from Neverwinter or Waterdeep. They then left and went to the Town Council Building. They opened the front door and saw that the building was under construction. A couple of offices were being added to a large room that held a jail cell over in ones of its corners. There were a few other rooms off the main room but they could not tell what they were. A young woman sat a desk and looked up as they entered. She said I am Marga. Is there something I can help you with? They told her and she went into one of the rooms and brought back box of files going back 10 years. Looking through it, it was what was not there that stood out. There was no official claim from the Rockseekers. They other thing that stood out was several notes referring to “The Book or the history book.” Reva asked Marga about the book and Marga came back with a good sized old leather bound book. She said this is the history of Phandalin.

They looked through it and found a section on the Wave Echo Mine.

More than five hundred years ago, clans of dwarves and gnomes made an agreement known as the Phandelver’s Pact, by which they would share a rich mine in a wondrous cavern known as Wave Echo Cave. In addition to its mineral wealth, the mine contained great magical power. Human spellcasters allied themselves with the dwarves and gnomes to channel and bind that energy into a great forge (called the Forge of Spells), where magic items could be crafted. Times were good, and the nearby human town of Phandalin prospered as well.

But then disaster struck when 97 years ago orcs swept through the North and laid waste to all in their path. A powerful force of orcs reinforced by evil mercenary wizards attacked Wave Echo Cave to seize its riches and magic treasures. Human wizards fought alongside their dwarf and gnome allies to defend the Forge of Spells, and the ensuing spell battle destroyed much of the cavern. Few survived the cave-ins and tremors, and the location of Wave Echo Cave was lost.

They made a few notes and Reva saw that much of the description on the Wave Echo Cave matched what she had noted about the mine they had found. They would go back to the inn, send for the others and tell them what all of the information that they had found.

When Kataract mentioned that no one had spoken to him that Phandalin had a claim on any mines, Henrik and Reva realized that they had not seen any documents that the town had claims either. They decided to head back to the mine to at least retrieve the dwarf body and see what else they could discover. Would their be other bodies? They planned to bring the remains to Waterdeep to return them to their family.

They had dinner and then got some rest with plans to head out the next morning.

The mine was about 15 miles from Phandalin. They would not be wandering around like they had before so it would not take as long to get there. They arrived and entered the mine:

The entrance tunnel leads into a large-cavern supported by a natural pillar of rock and containing three stalagmites. In the western part of the cave, behind the column of rock, are three bedrolls and a heap of ordinary supplies-sacks of flour, bags of salt, casks of salted meat, lanterns, flasks of lamp oil, pickaxes, shovels, and other gear. The flour salt and meat had all long ago gone bad. There was a little lamp oil left but that oil may not even be able to be lit now. Amid the supplies, you see the body of a dwarf miner, long dead. The northeastern section of the cavern has collapsed, forming a ten-foot-wide, twenty-foot-deep pit. An old stringy hemp rope was tied off around a nearby stalagmite and dangles down the side of the pit, at the bottom of which is a rough-hewn tunnel heading northwest and east.

They tied a rope around the stalagmite and removed the old rope. Hetty went down first and looked for any bodies under the collapse. She did not find any. The other followed her down into the pit. They did not want to go east towards the stirges so they went west and found themselves in:

This area consists of numerous intersecting passages. The ceilings here are only six feet high, and several of the passages end in partially excavated rock faces.

Jasper found that some of these excavations were worth digging in briefly. He stopped several times and found a total of 3 pieces of mithral ore. (Each piece worth an estimated 50gp each).

They explored making their way east. They found small area:

The eastern wall of this chamber has collapsed into a mass of rubble. To the north, a door stands ajar, leading to a good-sized storeroom. Dusty kegs are tucked neatly against the walls, all of them cracked and split open from age. Reva realized that this may be a good room to secure as a resting place if they found that they needed such place.

They backtracked a bit and then went north into a large chamber:

Steep escarpments divide this large cavern into three sections-high ledges at either end, and a lower section in the middle. Carved stone stairs climb up to the ledges. Two large tables stand in the middle section, along with a pair of old braziers. A smaller table stands on the eastern ledge. The skeletal remains of dozens of dead warriors, dwarves, gnomes, orcs, and ogres, attest to the fierceness of the fighting that took place here long ago.

They explored the room and not finding anything they took the stairs on the eastern side of the room up to that ledge. They saw a passage to the north and found themselves in another large room:

A blast furnace and a mechanical bellows powered by a waterwheel dominate this large chamber. The furnace is cold and dark, but heaps of coal are piled nearby, along with carts full of unrefined ore. The waterwheel sits in a ten-foot-wide channel cut into the floor of the room, but the channel is dry. Passages exit to the west, south, and east. The empty channel exits to the north and east.

More than a dozen withered corpses are scattered around the room. These slain dwarves and ores are still wearing the remnants of their armor. Floating above them is a skull engulfed in green flame.

The skull turned towards them and fired its rays of fire and then floated towards them. Several of the dead bodies rose as zombies and attacked as well. Hetty obviated the skull and learned that it was a flameskull an undead that rose from wizards or sorcerers that had been killed in battle or another disasters. The rays of fire were as likely as spells as they were an ability of the magic using undead. She shared this information with the others. They focused on the flamseskull and it fell really quick. The zombies kept attacking and another flameskull came from the north passage. They again focused on the second flameskull and soon it fell. The zombies hit hard, that is what they connected but they too soon fell.

They went west and a door that would not open. It was not locked. Henrik said it feels like it has been blocked or barricaded. They went south to see if they could find a way around to that room that the blocked door closed off. They found themselves back in the room with the escarpments. Several ghouls stepped out of the shadows to the west. They had been on a ledge waiting for anything to come close to them. They ghouls were a little tougher than the zombies but it did not take that long to defeat them.

They continued south and found themselves back in the section with the intersecting passageways. They went east and Henrik found himself face to face with a minotaur skeleton. The minotaur skeleton swung its greataxe at Henrik. The moved to engage with the minotaur skeleton. They heard movement with the passageways around them and saw at least one other minotaur skeleton making its way towards them. They took out the first skeleton and Henrik moved to the second one. A third minotaur skeleton appeared beside it and attacked. The rest of the group moved down to help Henrik. 5 other minotaur skeletons appeared around them. The minotaur hit hard and more health than the other undead they had fought before. Soon they were all defeated. They went back to the room with the ghouls and took a 15 minute rest to heal and recover some abilities and spell slots. They went back down south and then to the east to a door Henrik had seen before.

The door was not locked. Opening it they saw 2 ghouls and another ghoul-like creature. Old stone bunks in orderly rows line the walls of this chamber, and a corroded iron brazier full of old coals stands near the middle of the room. The bones of a half dozen dwarves and ores lie strewn about, clad in scraps of armor. Three gray, hunched figures squat among the remains, pawing at the scraps and gnawing on the bones.

The ones they knew as ghouls moved to attack as Henrik moved toward the uglier (if there is such a thing) ghoul-like creature. Hetty followed to join in his attack. Pixel conjured a sabertooth tiger to create flank for Henrik, Hetty and the tiger. The Pixel cast Healing spells on Henrik and Hetty. Reva stood in the doorway and fired her crossbow bolts into the ghoul boss. Kataract cast Dissonant Whisper and Vicious Mockery on the boss ghoul. The two other ghouls were defeated easily. The ghoul boss hit hard with Bite and its Gravedust attack. It seemed to be angry at Henrik as it focused its attacks on him. Henrik fell. Kataract ran in and healed him. Pixel followed Kataract and gave Henrik more healing. Pixel wildshaped into a sabretooth tiger and joined in with the attacks. Finally, the ghoul boss was defeated.

Henrik saw a strongbox under one of the beds. Hetty checked it for traps. Finding none she attempted to pick its locked. It was a stubborn lock and it took her a few times but she finally got it open with assistance from Kataract’s Bardic inspiration and Pixel casting Guidance on her.

Inside the strongbox was 600 cp, 180 sp, 90 ep, and 60 gp.

They needed to rest and recover. They went back to the old storeroom and made a small camp. Jasper stood guard while the others took a long rest. They were not disturbed for those 8 hours.