The Lost Mine of Phandelver Complete Play Report

(I have merged all my Phandelver posts into this one for easy access.)

[D&D 2e] Lost Mine of Phandelver 1

A couple months ago, our D&D DM switched up responsibilities at work and stated he couldn't run our games for a while. He offered to let me run something while he got back in the groove at work. We play 2nd edition D&D, but I wanted to play the Lost Mine of Phandelver. I wanted our group to be part of a shared adventure experience, though we play an old edition.

Last month we got together and made characters. Here's what I have going into the game:

Human Shadow Walker (Wizards and Rogues of the Realm Handbook)
Human Justifier (Complete Book of Rangers)
Elven Mage/Thief
Human Ravager (Complete Book of Barbarians)
Human Windwalker (Specialty priest of Shaundakul - Faiths and Avatars)
Human Fighter using the Gladiator kit

I can tell I'm going to have to step up the number of enemies listed in the adventure.

[D&D 2e] Lost Mine of Phandelver 2

Hobgoblin Ambush: The ranger and the elf suspected an ambush but were not able to see anyone hiding in the trees. The hobgoblins (I upped the difficulty from goblins) shot out of hiding and hit the priest. The ranger was able to spy the creatures hiding in the trees and point them out to the rest of the party. The priest used this aid to line the hobgoblins in Farie Fire. The party took out 4 hobgoblins, and one ran away.

Hobgoblin Trail: The party hid the oxen cart and followed the stray hobgoblin. The ranger was so intent on the trail that he failed to notice a snare trap in the path. He found himself hanging upside-down 10 feet off the forest floor. They found the rope and eased him down. The shadow walker helped him check for traps from there on and found the pit trap before anyone ended up in it.

Cragmaw Hideout: The shadow walker snuck up to the cave opening, silently crossed the stream, and backstabbed a hobgoblin lookout. The other one started to attack her, but the elf was quick to have her back with his throwing knives. The shadow walker then snuck into the cave to check out the first room. She reported back to the party, who decided to chop the hobgoblins up to feed them to the wolves.

Then, as a group, the party started sneaking up the corridor. The entire party either has infravision, night vision, or blind fighting. The two with darkvision led the others up the corridor by rope. They spied the hobgoblin lookout on the bridge. He didn't see them until the elf tried to throw a knife, only to have it fall out of his hand onto the floor (fumbled). The hobgoblin then yelled to his pals up the corridor, then turned around to shoot an arrow before getting off the bridge.

The elf was the only one to hear the oncoming rush of water before it hit. The wave of water hit the party and washed them back out of the cave complex. There were some minor bumps and bruises, but nobody was hurt too badly. However, the inhabitants knew they were there. The party set up outside the cave entrance, waiting for the counterattack.

The counterattack came, with 3 hobgoblins sneaking down to let the wolves loose. The hobgoblins followed the wolves out of the cave. Team hobgoblin had numbers, but the party had them bunged up in the cave entrance. The hobgoblins and wolves didn't stand a chance against the party, even after more reinforcements arrived from inside the caves.

When the slaughter at the cave entrance ended, the party sent the elf, the ranger, and the shadow walker in to explore. They found the remaining hobgoblins and a bugbear holding the human prisoner deep in the caves. The bugbear demanded his release in exchange for the prisoner. The bugbear pushed past the party members, shoved the prisoner into their hands, and commanded his hobgoblins to attack as he fled. The three party members took out the two hobgoblins easily.

The bugbear didn't know there were more party members outside the cave entrance. They didn't know he had traded for his release. The bugbear ran past them, but the barbarian was able to catch him. The party didn't even think about leaving survivors.

The party combed the caves, found what treasure there was, and carted off the supplies of the Lionshield Coster.

Phadalin: The party split up in Phandalin before returning to the Stonehill Inn for dinner. The elf and the priest delivered the goods to Barthen's Provisions. Barthen tried to pay them just 20 gold (10 gold each, as promised by Gundren). They convinced him there were more people who escorted the goods, and Barthen gave them the whole 60 gold.  Barthen asked about Gundren and told the party Gundren's brothers should be back in town any day.

The two then went to the Lionshield Coster and returned Linene's goods to her. She gave them a reward and offered to help them in any way she can.

The shadow walker took a tour around the periphery of the town. She checked out the smithy, the Coster, the empty woodworker's house, walked by the Alderleaf farm where a young halfling waved at her, saw some of the ruins of the manor, and walked by the Sleeping Giant where she was harassed by some Redbrands. She also stopped by the Townmaster's Hall, where she saw a flier offering a reward for orcs cleared out of Wyvern Tor.

At dinner, the party hears a rumor that the orchard keeper used to be an adventurer, and then hears a rumor that the Redbrands killed the woodworker and kidnapped his family. This was all the party needed to hear about the Redbrands. They finished their dinner and headed to the Sleeping Giant.

The party was looking for any reason to attack the gang, and the gang didn't disappoint. They threw insults at the party members who went into the alehouse, as well as the ones who stayed out on the porch. More Redbrands arrived from up the road just at the fight started. The gang didn't stand a chance.

It was nine vs three outside, and the Redbrands were throwing out insults. The barbarian couldn't control herself, and she went berserk. The three party members rather easily took out all the Redbrands outside (with similar results inside), except one who started running away. The berserk barbarian gave chase. So did the gladiator, who, unfortunately, is none-too-bright. The two caught up with and dispatched the last Redbrand, and then the barbarian attacked her teammate.

The gladiator was no stranger to one-on-one combat and gave as much as she took from the barbarian. The elf came out and used a Grease spell to distract the two as long as he could. In the end, the gladiator took down the barbarian. Luckily, the priest was there at the end of the fight to immediately heal the barbarian back to consciousness. The fight, and the rage, was over.

There was one Redbrand prisoner left in the Sleeping Giant. The party questioned him and learned about his magic-using boss. They learned that the gang camped out in the abandoned manor on the hill. They learned that the Redbrands have the family of the woodworker captive in the cells.

The party plans to infiltrate the Redbrand hideout, after healing up for a bit. They are a bit intimidated that the leader is a magic user, and are thinking about seeking refuge from Linene at the Lionshield Coster.

[D&D 2e] Lost Mine of Phandelver 3

The characters began the session very beat up, completely out of spells, and not a little scared after last session's encounter with the Redbrands at the Sleeping Giant.  They had found out that the leader of the Redbrands was a wizard, and they needed a safe place to recuperate before challenging him. 

Gunel the Fearless headed back to her room at Stonehill Inn. She was not going to run scared, not when sleep was calling after an honorable battle. (Gunel's player was absent for most of the sitting.)

The others decided to seek the aid of Linene, proprietor of the Lionshield Coster, for asylum. They had done her a favor in the previous sitting, and she had offered her help in the future. Linene set the party up in a strongroom below the business. She retired to her home next door for the night. Mist was asked to set guard for a couple hours, circling the Coster in the shadows to make sure they were safe. She then retired to the strongroom herself for much needed rest.

Unbeknownst to the party, Glasstaff, the magic-using leader of the Redbrands, had spies in the town...spies who told Glasstaff exactly where the party had secreted themselves for the night. Upon hearing their location, he collected his remaining Redbrand forces and certain scrolls, then made his way to Linene's house in force.

The benevolent proprietor stood no chance against the ruffians that forced their way into her house. The Redbrands tied her up and took her with them as a hostage when assaulting the party. Through Linene, the party had they keys to the Lionshield Coster and the knowledge of the layout of the building. Glasstaff cast Strength on 3 of his goons from certain scrolls in his possession.

The PCs were asleep when the Redbrands thrust open the strongroom door, while Glasstaff cast Sleep. Mist, Jairus, and Kell fell to the spell immediately, some never waking to the opening of the door in the first place. Sanaka remained awake but was taken by Glasstaff's Charm spell before he could arm himself for a fight. The PCs were blindfolded and led out of the Coster toward the Redbrand hideout. Glasstaff, in a show of kindness, left Linene locked in the basement strongroom "for her protection." 

The party awoke in separate male/female cells in the basement of the Redbrand hideout. The cells already contained other prisoners: the family of Phandalin's murdered woodworker. The party's weapons and equipment were missing. They were still out of spells and low on hit points. Their outer clothing lay in a pile in the middle of the room between the two cells. They had nothing.

Except, Mist keeps lockpicks threaded in the seam of her undergarments. Try as she might, she could not pick the locks to the cell, nor could Jairus after she tossed him the picks. However, luck would soon swing their way.

The sound of Redbrands celebrating flowed into the room through the one visible door. Later in the night, two Redbrands entered. One immediately fell asleep in the pile of clothing in the center of the guardroom. The other looked to the female cell, then looked to the male cell. He headed toward the males and began relieving himself beside Sanaka's prone form. Jairus immediately leapt up and grabbed the Redbrand by his hanging cloak. He jerked the drunk guard's form into the bars of the cell, bouncing the man's skull off a bar. He slowly lowered the body, and then ripped the guard's keys off his belt. The party and the woodworker's family were free. Sanaka took the opportunity to repay the guard who had urinated on him. Jairus took a cloak.

Mist put on one of the two red cloaks and went to explore the beyond the door. It was a large room with three stone sarcophagi. Against each one was a human skeleton clad in rusty mail. The skeletons ignored her as she poked around the room. She first tried a door to the north that opened to a short hallway with a locked door on the right. Again her lockpicks failed her, and she couldn't get the door to open. (Note these were failed 50% chance rolls, not locks that were exceptionally difficult.)

She returned to the crypt and tried a set of double doors to the southeast. These opened to a long hallway with a doorway at the end. She returned to report to the party.

Sanaka decided to explore the next room a bit. When he entered the crypts, the three skeletons awoke and shuffled toward him. He retreated to the guard room, where he borrowed a red cloak.

He returned to the crypts in the red cloak, and the skeletons didn't move. Sanaka used a short sword, borrowed from one of the downed guards, to hack at the neck of the unmoving skeleton. The sword was unfamiliar in his hands, and it caught the lip of a sarcophagus, flying out of the priest's hand. (FUMBLE!) He picked the short sword back up and hacked at the skeletons in earnest. Their heads separated from their bodies, and the undead collapsed into piles of bones. There were now enough short swords for the entire party.

Feeling accomplished, the priest opened the nearest sarcophagus to look inside. He found a platinum signet ring in each sarcophagus. The party was ready to try the wide hallway to the south.

Mist again walked ahead and didn't see the trapdoor in the floor before she walked over it. She was able to catch herself on the rim of the floor as weakened tiles crashed 20 feet below.

Using ropes from the jail cells and the lids of the sarcophagi, the party was able to navigate the large pit in the center of the wide hallway. At the end of the hall was a doorway to the south. It led into a wide room with stairs leading up to the east and a cistern to the west. Beside the cistern was a door. Around the cistern were barrels. The party set to exploring before heading up the stairs.

The barrels were full of foodstuffs. In the cistern, Sanaka found a rope with a waterproof satchel underwater. It contained two potions, gold, and a set of travel clothes. While Mist listened at the door near the cistern, it slowly cracked open.

An alert Redbrand slowly opened the door to the sound of people rustling through barrels. He caught Mist mostly off guard, but she kicked the door open and he had to move his hand out of the way at the last second lest it be crushed between the door and the wall. A sword fight began in the doorway. 

While Mist fought in the doorway, Jairus jumped on some nearby barrels to add a poke from his sword into the doorway now and then. Sanaka explored the potions in the satchel. One was familiar as a healing potion. He gave it to the barbarian. 

The barbarian, with significantly more HP than at the beginning of the session, took over for Mist when she was injured. The party fought as the guard backed into his room, where two more guards could join the fight. The barbarian fought with her fists against the guards with swords. She was able to knock one out with an uppercut. The other two fell soon afterward, with help from Jairus who had climbed a bunk bed in the room to fight from advantageous high ground. When the adversary was defeated, the two rooms were cleared, and the party exited the hideout via the stairs.

Back in town, the party freed Linene from her shop's basement. She suggested they go to the Shrine of Luck for healing. They stopped in to visit Sister Garaele in her home beside the shrine, then boldly left town to finish a night of rest in peace in the woods. (Glasstaff's spies were all asleep, and didn't track the party out of town.)

The next day the party returned to town to recruit help in dealing with Glasstaff. A couple of the party members asking for help were pointed in the direction of Daran Edermath, a retired "adventurer" who now kept an orchard. He agreed to help the party as an archer in return for them performing a deed for him afterward.

Linene was recruited for retribution against those who invaded her home and kidnapped her.

The proprietor of the Miner's Exchange, Halia, would not lend a swordarm, but suggested that Glasstaff had a goblin lackey who may know the way to the Cragmaw Castle the party had been asking about. She exchanged her information for any information the party could tell her about Glasstaff after storming his hideout.

Sister Garaele was recruited for battlefield medical purposes, though she requested a boon from the party afterward as well. Gunel was awoken after fully recuperating at the Stonehill Inn.

The party headed toward the Redbrand Hideout, equipped with borrowed weapons and armor from the Lionshield Coster (they had never found their stuff in the Hideout before leaving). As they were walking up the road toward the Sleeping Giant, they heard Glasstaff shouting for the town to give up the party members before he was forced to destroy it in order to find them. His position given away, the party spread out to meet their challenger. Jairus was given a potion of Invisibility Sanaka found in the underwater satchel. 

On the road to the east of the Sleeping Giant, the party saw Glasstaff behind 6 Redbrands who, in turn, were behind three bugbears. Glasstaff let the party advance a bit up the road before casting Fireball from a scroll. Mist was knocked down. Gunel, Kell, and Sanaka were wounded. The others were outside of the area of effect. A few buildings, including the Sleeping Giant, and a tree were lit on fire.

Gunel charged the bugbears, with Sanaka attacking at her flank. Daran shot arrows at Glasstaff from the corner of the Sleeping Giant. Sister Garaele healed Mist so she could return to help in the battle. Linene protected Daran's flank from Redbrands who were circling around the flaming taphouse. Kell ignored bugbear and Redbrand to charge Glasstaff's position.

Redbrands fell to Garaele and Mist's opportunistic stabs, Kell's barbarian rage, Daran's deadly arrows, Jairus's flashing daggers, and Sanaka's massive claymore.

Bugbears were unable to stand against the gladiator's professional solo fighting tactics. Sanaka, Mist, Linene, and Daran helped finish off bugbears as Gunel held them at bay.

Glasstaff cast protective magics about himself, but was unable to stop the assault from Daran's arrows as well as the crazed, charging barbarian. When Glasstaff eventually turned tail to try to save himself, Jairus let loose a deadly backstab from his invisible position.

The Redbrand Ruffians, along with their magic-wielding leader, were no more.

The characters helped to extinguish fires before exploring the rest of the Redbrand Hideout. They found areas that had previously gone unexplored in their earlier hasty exit. Their weapons were found behind the door Mist was unable to unlock. Their personal equipment, as well as a hiding goblin, were found in a bunkroom. Glasstaff's personal rooms contained a potion laboratory and a desk with telling paperwork. Glasstaff was Iarno Albrek, the person Sildar Hallwinter was coming to Phandalin to find. Also, Glasstaff was charged to take the party hostage by one calling himself The Black Spider.

All other follow up will have to occur via messaging until the group can meet again.

[D&D 2e] Lost Mine of Phandelver 4

Cragmaw Castle

Droop the Goblin wanted to get in good with his new masters. They were interested in finding Cragmaw Castle, and Droop led them straight there.

As soon as the party could see the castle through the forest, they stopped. They sent the mage/thieves ahead to scout the perimeter.

While circling the perimeter, the two noticed a concealed entrance on the far side of the castle. This entrance was quickly selected as their entry point, over the front and side doors which were heavily guarded.

The concealed entrance led to a ruined tower. There was an entryway to the south, covered by a heavy curtain. There was a door to the east and a crumbled ruin of a wall with a small hole at the top to the northeast.

The elf mage/thief slipped in through the east door. It was an oddly triangular room with another door directly east and an entryway covered by curtain to the south. Jairus snuck south, tripped on a protruding edge of the wall, and slid under the curtain. A hobgoblin guard turned to see what the noise was. Jairus ignobly crawled a retreat.

The gladiator and priest entered the triangular room to cover Jairus' retreat. They met the hobgoblin in armed battle, but not before the creature could bang on the wall to the east, alerting those in the next room something was wrong. A second hobgoblin turned from his lookout perch to fire arrows at the party.

The barbarian was aggravated at the sound of battle she could not reach. She parted the curtain in the original tower to look south. She saw a hallway of crumbled walls and a dangerous looking ceiling. She entered to find a door to the east, a back way into the room with the hobgoblins. She entered and joined the fray.

After the hobgoblins were dispatched, the party crowded the eastern door, behind which was whatever parties the hobgoblin had alerted. The adventurers heard growling. The gladiator and barbarian opened the door, ready for an attack.

They were met by a large wolf, which lunged into the doorway. Behind the wolf, a fierce old bugbear swung a long mace. In the background, the party could see a dark elf and a tied-up Gundren Rockseeker.

The fighters held the doorway. Jairus was greatly concerned by the dark elf and cast a Magic Missile. The priest wanted to get to the downed dwarf and cast Sanctuary upon himself. Mist, fearing she had no way to join the battle, decided to check out the opening at the top of the rubble in the tower room. From the direction it faced, it just might lead in behind the current battle.

The barbarian slew the wolf, and the gladiator pushed into the room to fight the bugbear. Jairus hit the dark elf with a thrown dagger, and the elf bolted for an exit to the northwest. The priest made sure Gundren was stable, and then he turned to fight the bugbear.

The bugbear was soon dispatched, but the dark elf was escaping. Fortunately, Mist chose to enter in the exact spot the dark elf chose to escape. Mist could not stop the dark elf, but she did slow the elf down. Jairus cast a Leaping spell to chase after the elf as she tumbled past Mist to exit the castle. Jairus caught the dark elf before she entered the forest. He killed the creature with another throwing dagger.  Upon her death, the dark elf reverted to her natural form...a doppleganger!

Back in the room, Gundren is healed and was grumbling about finding his map before he can leave. The party found the map under the bugbear's bed, along with some silver, some electrum, and three potions of healing. The party gathered the loot and the dwarf and headed out the same way they came in.

Conyberry and Agatha's Lair

The party was eager to head straight to Wave Echo Cave at this point, but Gundren was in no shape for travel. The party returned him to town to heal and gather provisions for the trip to the cave. In the meantime, they decided to explore some of the quests they were given in exchange for help fighting the Redbrands.

First they decided to head to Conyberry and Agatha's lair. This was the quest given them by Sister Garaele, the elf cleric of Tymora who aided the party with healing spells while fighting Redbrands. She wanted them to bribe Agatha, a banshee, with a jeweled comb in exchange for information.

The party traveled past the ruins of the old village of Conyberry and headed straight to Agatha's lair. They decided Jairus would be the spokesperson, since he is an elf as well and he is the smoothest talker of the group (highest Charisma). Jairus decided to wait until night to enter Agatha's hut. The barbarian spent her time circling the area. She noted that there was no fauna for miles around the lair.

When Agatha appeared, Jairus was polite, professional, and to the point. He did not stray from the goal or waste his question frivolously. He exchanged the jeweled comb for the information Garaele wanted and left in good standing with the banshee. In fact, she suggested he might visit her again in a hundred years or so.

The party decided to remove themselves as far as possible before camping, and made it back to the ruins of Conyberry before setting up camp. Other than a few stirges attracted to the fire, the night was uneventful.

Old Owl Well

The Old Owl Well was not too far out of the way on the party's return trip, and they were eager to complete the quest Daran Edermath had requested. They spied the well area on the approach, and saw the colorful tent set up in the middle. Mist, the Shadow Walker, used her special ability to raise an aura of darkness around herself and hid in shadows to examine the place. She came back to report a ring of 12 zombies around the camp and a stout, red-robed figure with sallow skin, a shaved scalp, and a black tattoo on his forehead inside the tent.

The party sent her walking amongst the darkness again, back to the tent, while they assaulted the camp from the entrance. Sanaka gave the "attack" order. The gladiator and the barbarian charged straight through camp to the colorful tent. The elf and the priest stopped to hold off zombies.

The red-robed figure stepped to the entrance of his tent, shot a Magic Missile at the charging barbarian out of self defense, and said "what is the meaning of this?!?"

Sanaka, feeling the red-robed man may wish to talk this over, yelled "Parlay!" Everyone stopped their attacks, except Mist. She tried to stab the man in the back from her hiding place in the tent. She got mostly robe, but did leave a cut in the man's flank. He turned and growled. The zombies starting moving again.

Sanaka called "Attack!" once more, and the red-robed man was beset upon by three vicious warrior women. He quickly feel to the overbearing attacks of the gladiator and barbarian. The zombies wandered the area mindlessly after the man was killed.

The party paused only a short time to deliberate on the ethics of their actions before they raided the dead man's supplies and took off once again for Phandalin.

They arrived to find Gundren healed, packed, and ready to ride for the caves.

[D&D 2e] Lost Mine of Phandelver 5

Printed Intro

Fifteen miles east of Phandalin, in the deep vales of the Sword Mountains, lies Wave Echo Cave. The rich mine of the Phandelver's Pact was lost five hundred years ago during orc invasions that devastated this part of the North.

In the centuries since, countless prospectors and adventurers have searched for the lost mine, but none succeeded until the Rockseeker brothers found the entrance a month ago. Unfortunately, the Rockseekers did not realize they were being trailed by spies working for Nezznar, the Black Spider, and they inadvertently led the drow villain to their prize. Nezznar and his followers dealt with the two Rockseekers who were guarding their find, then arranged for Gundren's ambush. Learning of the adventurers' involvement with Gundren and their exploits around Phandalin, the Black Spider has given orders for characters to be dealt with. Meanwhile, Nezznar has begun his exploration of Wave Echo Cave.

The drow is searching for the Forge of Spells, where the human mages of old Phandalin enchanged dwarven weapons and gnome gadgets. However, Nezznar's exploration has been hindered by the restless undead and dangerous monsters that lurk in Wave Echo Cave, forcing him to proceed with great caution.

Enter the Party

 Outside the entrance, the party found a large cart and a couple draft horses. Sanaka cast Speak with Animals to question the horses. The horses essentially described hobgoblins delivering delving equipment. They also said they'd be perfectly happy leaving with the party whey they left, instead of waiting for the hobgoblins to come back out.

The cave entrance was a long tunnel into a mountain that opened up into a cave. In the cave were four hobgoblins arranging equipment to shortly be lowered into a fissure in the back of the cave. The party fought through the four hobgoblins to find the dead body of Tharden Rockseeker, dead for at least a week. Gundren's other brother, Nundro, was nowhere to be found.

The party noticed two passageways at the bottom of the fissure, one to the east and one to the northwest. They had to fight three spear-throwing troglodytes whose chameleon-like abilities had kept them hidden up to this point. Sanaka quickly negated the spears by putting up a Windwall.

After some scouting to the east by a Spider Climbing Mist, the party took the northwest passageway, the one more obviously used. Their exploration was almost immediately stopped by bugbears guarding the tunnels. The party members who had first entered the tunnel were a bit overwhelmed by the bugbears until Jairus threw up a Globe of Darkness. The party then retreated from the passageway to regroup. The bugbears evidently had the same idea, as they were gone when Jairus dispelled the darkness.

The Battle at the Pool

Four bugbears had regrouped in a cavern with a dark pool. They lined up in front of the room's openings, making the party attack them one or two at a time. Mist foiled this scheme with more Spider Climbing up and over the bugbears' heads. Unfortunately, as she was descending on the rear of the bugbears' position, two troglodytes burst out of the dark pool and threw spears.

In the end, the party won the battle, at the cost of spells and their own blood spilled on the cavern floor. The dark pool was plumbed, finding two platinum rings and a wand still held in the hand of a skeleton. The party decided to retreat with the find to the cave entrance to rest and recuperate. 

The Battle in the Temple

There was minimal resistance when the party marched past the dark pool cavern. Jairus chased one bugbear until he threw enough daggers into it to kill it. The party scouts followed the main trail in the other direction to a set of large double doors. 

The doors opened into a large temple with pillars lining the hall. At the north end was a huge statue of a dwarf. In front of the statue was a camp of sorts. The party was soon joined in battle with 3 bugbears, 4 giant spiders, 2 dopplegangers (one originally in the shape of the missing Nundro), and the Black Spider himself.  Weapons rang, spells flew, and the Black Spider was the only enemy to leave the temple alive. Kell, the barbarian, chased Nezznar to the east, where he jumped in a stream at the bottom of a giant fissure and got away.

Exploring the Caves

The party regrouped in the temple, with the barbarian explaining how the Black Spider got away. There was little to do but patch wounds and carry one. They still needed to find Gundrin's brother Nundro and find out about this "Forge of Spells." They headed east to a door the barbarian had passed in her chase. On the other side of the door were quarters containing a "badly disheveled dwarf." Here was Nundro.

The party passed through a collapsed cavern next, at the bottom of which was the stream that allowed the Black Spider his escape. There was a worked hallway on the southern side of the east wall and an unworked tunnel on the northern side. They chose the worked hallway first.

The Shadow Walker explored the hallway and entered a large smelter cavern. She quickly made note of the corpses in the room and the floating green-flamed skull hovering over them. When she reported back to the party, they decided to try the unworked tunnel to the north instead.

The tunnel was a short, narrow, dried up old streambed. They had to crawl through at points, but nothing took advantage of them while they were prone.

The streambed led to a booming cavern with a narrow ledge overlooking a vast expanse of water. The sound of Wave Echo Cave is made by surges of water funneling into this cavern and slamming against the wall below the ledge. At first, the party thought of exploring the body of water, but some quick observations noted that it likely extended far beyond their ability to explore. It was a wide-open expanse of water, but it was essentially a dead-end.

There were two passages leading out of the cavern on the southern end of the room. One led back to the room with the green-flamed skull. They decided to continue to avoid this room if at all possible. The other path led to a starry cavern with two rooms worked into the eastern side. One was on the level where they entered, and the other room was down a flight of stairs worked into an escarpment. They tried a door to the room near where they entered.

"Hello," said a think, burbling voice in their heads. "Would you like some tea?" The speaker was a Beholder, specifically a Spectator. The more knowledgeable in the party were scared stiff. Luckily, the Spectator was a bit insane, fully in denial, and long as the party didn't try to take any of the items it was charged to guard.

The Spectator told them it was guarding some things, and that it's master should be back any time. In reality, the master had been dead for hundreds of years. The party wasn't quite sure about that party, but they figured out after talking to the creature for a while that it didn't have a perfect grasp on reality. 

They talked, and it told them they were carrying some magic items, though it couldn't identify what they were. It told them how to use the Forge of Spells, which was located in this room. The party laid some weapons and shields down on the forge long enough for them to become charged with magical energies (which would come in handy during the next sitting). The party left on good terms with the Spectator, leaving alone the items it was charged to guard. They promised to stop in for tea again next time they were in the area.

Finishing the Caves

The party left off in a starry cavern with two rooms worked into the eastern side. One was on the level where they entered, and the other room was down a flight of stairs worked into an escarpment. They tried a door to the room near where they entered and ended up having a tea party with a slightly mad Beholder-kin.

They left this room, headed down the stairs, and explored the room at the bottom. The door was cracked open, it's hinges melted. It took a couple of the stronger members of the party to pull the doors open. From the doorway, a scorched iron chest caught the party's eye at the foot of an old bed.

The moment someone stepped into the room, a ghostly form rose up from the floor. "Your presence is offensive to me, your life forfeit. My treasures are mine alone, not yours to plunder," it said in gravelly tones. The character backed out of the room. The priest came up with a plan.

"This actually should be pretty easy..."

Sanaka cast Protection from Evil and sent Gunel and Mist in to attack the ethereal creature on consecutive turns. He knew enough about undead to know that this creature could only be hit with magical weapons, but he was unable to turn the spirit. Luckily, Gunel and Mist had placed their weapons on the Forge of Spells shortly before coming to this room.

Sanaka had failed to remember the fine print on his protection spell. The moment he or Gunel attacked the spirit, the spell ended. Poor Gunel found out that the spell ended the hard way: she was hit by the creature and had a level of experience drained. Just like that she went from 3rd back to 2nd level. Luckily the character was really notice (INT 3). Sanaka noticed, though, and started thinking of ways to make it up to the poor gladiator after the creature was killed.

The iron chest had a few hundred gold worth of coins, gems, and a carved wooden pipe. It hardly seemed worth losing a level of experience over, but you never know that until after you try.

From the starry cavern, the party headed south. Mist, the Shadow Walker, scouted ahead and found a room full of weird fungi, including puffballs, shelf fugus, and large stalks and caps. Some of the puffballs glowed with green phosphorescence. Sanaka, the Windwalker, took no more chances. He send a Dust Devil through the room to the corridor on the other side. The spell set off the fungi, and spores exploded throughout the room. Sanaka then cast Gust of Wind to push the spores ahead of the party as they cautiously continued. The barbarian took no chances with the spores. She decided to place her loincloth over her face to keep the spores out. In the end, the room that had halted the Black Spider's eastern explorations was contained with a couple wind spells.

The party's explorations had taken them back to the entrance of the mines, and they exited the caves to find Droop, their sycophantic goblin, trying to talk to the horses as Sanaka had done before the party entered the caves.

Back to Phandalin

The party quickly wrapped up a few loose ends in Phandalin. They were fed up with the townmaster's cowardice and ousted him from his position. At one point the townmaster was dumbfounded, "You're threatening my body?"

The priest replied, "I can threaten your soul..."

Townmaster Harbin was returned to his banking duties only. Sildar Hallwinter was set up as the townmaster, with the party's full support.

Ties were renewed with Linene at the Lionshield Coster. Supplies were requested and paid for at Barthen's Provisions. In the end, the party figured it would be just as expedient to head to Neverwinter themselves for the majority of the supplies they needed to settle in to the old Redbrand Hideout.


The first stop was a shop to identify their new magical items. The shopkeeper used a large libram, which sat on a large pallet that hung from the ceiling via chains on the four corners, to identify the items. They found out that the items that were imbued on the Forge of Spells were no longer magical. The shop owner ended up trading his identification services for one of the looted spellbooks the party was carrying.

In another magical shop, the party traded the Glasstaff for some low-level magic weapons...for next time they meet a creature that can only be hit by magical weapons.

Finally, the party asked around for a temple most likely to help a wounded person. They were directed to the temple of Ilmater. There they had to agree to go on a Quest for the church in order to afford the cost of having Gunel's level replaced. They readily agreed (guilt will do that to you). The party was told to arrive at the temple the next day for Quest assignment. The party had one more stop they wanted to make before showing up at the church the next day.

Ruins of Thundertree

The party searched through the ruined buildings of Thundertree, looking for clues to the whereabouts of the old herbalist's shop so they could find Mirna's missing heirloom. A few houses in, they encountered a priest of Eldath named Grog (this is a backup PC). Grog warned the party of giant spiders, strange men in capes and spiny helmets, and a green dragon all currently living in the ruins of the town. He also told them which building was the old herbalist shop. Grog then continued his travels and headed south.

The party decided to stay as far away from the lair of the dragon, a tower on the top of the hill, and skirted south behind a ruined store. They had to cut through giant spider webs, and kill the spiders which came scuttling out from the store. They found the herbalist shop, searched until they found the hidden heirloom, and returned to Neverwinter post-haste. They never laid eyes on the dragon, and they all seemed happy.

Thus ends the official adventure The Lost Mine of Phandelver. We shall continue with the Quest laid upon the party. They shall have to brave AD&D module I2: The Tomb of the Lizard King.

Ramifications of Phandelver

I just finished running the Lost Mine of Phandelver for my D&D [2e] group. There were a couple little bits they chose to skip, like the dragon, the cult, and the orcs, after making informed decisions and prioritization. What surprised me, however, with the published adventure is the setup for further machinations and how long the party can adventure using this basic setup as the basis. Here are a few things that have been set up between them and me:

Relationship with the Dwarves. 

The party did their part. They helped Gundrin Rockseeker find the lost mine and free his brother. For this, Gundren promised them "10 percent share of the mine's wealth once his operation there is up and running." I started looking at this from the point of view of a greedy dwarf (isn't that how we're told dwarves are?). Four out of the five party members are human. In my game, the Black Spider got away from the party after his troops were cut down. Gundrin is going to go after the Black Spider to get revenge for his dead brother. If that takes a long time, who cares? Dwarves are long lived. The longer it takes Gundrin to get the mine up and running, the more likely the party members will be dead (at least the humans) and the less he has to pay them out of his wealth.

Relationship with the Townmaster

It didn't take much for the party to realize the townmaster of Phandalin was a worthless, cowardly banker who wasn't fit to run the town. When they returned from the mine, they ran him out of office and backed Sildar Hallwinter for townmaster. In my mind, that makes a man bitter. Where can a bitter ex-townmaster turn for help? Well, Halia Thornton runs the Miner's Exchange, has been "working slowly to bring Phandalin under her control" since before the party arrived, and, oh, by the way, is an agent of the Zhentarim. These two will be up to no good while the party is away [see Quest below].

Relationships with Linene, Daran, and Sister Garaele

The party forged a great relationship with Linene from the Lionshield Coster. They also made nice with Daran Edermath, to the point where he invited one of the party members to join the Order of the Gauntlet. Finally, the priestess at the Shrine of Luck, Sister Garaele, asked the party cleric to join the Harpers.

Relationships at the Redbrand Hideout

Midway through the adventure, the party cleared out the Redbrand hideout after a showdown with Glasstaff and his cronies on the edge of town. They had saved Mirna and her children from the Redbrand holding cell. They then traveled to Thundertree and retrieved her family heirloom, giving it back to her instead of keeping it for freeing her from captivity. She is in the party's debt, without work, and without her husband (who the Redbrands killed before the party arrived in Phandalin). The party has asked her to start settling the ex-Redbrand hideout on their behalf. They hope to use it for their base of operations when returning to town.


The party will be away from Phandalin for a while. They may never come back, actually. One of the party lost a level to the wraith in the mine. After finishing the adventure, the party traveled to Neverwinter to petition a church to Restore the drained level. What would make a high level priest willing to cast Restore and give up a couple years of his life? A quest on behalf of the church, naturally. and not a simple one either. Enter the Tomb of the Lizard King. May the gods of Faerun have mercy on the party members' souls.

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