Play Reoprt: Lost Mines: Cragmaw Castle, Part 1

We return to our Lost Mines of Phandelver game, where we last won the Tournament of Champions.

Our party is currently level 4 and consists of:

Aratesh – half goliath champion fighter 3/barbarian 1

Baradan – eladrin psi knight fighter (the UA version, not the Tasha’s)

Daesys – half elf swashbuckler rogue

Kaizer – tiefling warlock

Droop – goblin sidekick spellcaster healer

As you can see, we’ve added a new player to our group! After winning the Tournament, we were approached by Kaizer, a tiefling warlock that had watched the tournament, and was looking for a new group to join.

First we took care of some housekeeping with our new winnings. We visited Vistra Rockseeker, a dwarven forge cleric that ran the local smithy. Aratesh has a mysterious broken sword that he handed over and put down a down payment to have it re-forged. Baradan traded in his chainmail and short bow for half plate and a longbow. Daesys and Droop upgraded to studded leather. Daesys also gathered up the components to cast find familiar, and got an owl. Rolling on a table of owl names, Daesys got the name Pecker. Many Pecker jokes were made (and will continue to be made).

The party also took a day trip to travel down to the old windmill to visit Adabra, the old apothecary to pick up a few potions of healing. She only had a couple, having sold most of her stock to the Tournament, and a visit there requires sitting down for tea and telling tales of what we’ve been up to, while Adabra tells tales of her short adventuring career.

Lambholt Elder by Matthew Stewart

After that we set off for Cragmaw Castle. We had gotten the location from Sister Garelle at the Shrine of Luck in Phandalin. We had found evidence that they were worshippers of Orcus, and may be holding Vistra’s cousin, Gundren, there. With the Midsummer Festival and Tournament going on, there were increased patrols in the area, so the two day journey was uneventful.

We approached the ruins and Kaizer sent his raven familiar, and Daesys sent his little Pecker to fly around the ruins, scouting it out and revealing several entrances. We heard goblin voices coming from the rubbled opening in the bottom left. Kaizer sent his raven in, revealing a pack of goblins that were spooked by the bird flying around, and they let fly with arrows, killing the raven!

Wanting to avoid the front door, and climbing thru the opening to this pack of goblins was undesirable as well, so we stealthily approached the southern door. Daesys attempted to mage hand the door open, but ended up having to pick the lock. Daesys sent his little Pecker down the large ruined hall, making sure it was empty.

Not wanting to be flanked by these goblins, we gathered some rubble and piled it in front of the door to their room, barricading them in. We instead chose the door to the right. Mage hand to open the door, and seeing a couple goblins in the room, Baradan used his boots of striding and springing to leap into the room, twin short swords flashing.

These turned out to be a couple stirge wranglers, which we had trouble with back at the Cragmaw Hideout back at level 1.

The stirges proved troublesome again, though not as deadly. After killing one, the second fled to the south, opening the door to the tower, wanting to release the owlbear that was kept there. Baradan used his eladrin misty step to pop in behind the owlbear, and proceeded to go toe to toe with the creature for several rounds, The goblin that opened the door then caught Aratesh in his grapple pole, while stirges attacked him from behind, spit roasting him. Funny thing, the stirges blood loss ability doesn’t have a damage type, so the barbarian damage reduction does not apply. Things got tricky for a few rounds, with Aratesh stuck in the doorway, and Baradan left to battle the owlbear alone. Kaizer’s dice were extremely cold, all his eldritch blast attack rolls staying in the single digits (including modifiers). Daesys and Droop were able to finally finish of the other wrangler and the stirges that were still flying loose, and Aratesh broke free from the grapple, smashing the stirge attached to his arm against the stone wall.

The owlbear at this point was in rough shape. Baradan’s new half plate proving to be a good investment and the psi knight’s protective field negating a lot of the hits he received. The remaining wranger then turned on the owlbear and dealt it the killing blow, and surrendered.

Not as many tabs this week.

We were up against the clock here, and had to end the session. Daesys began interrogating the goblin, who seemed nervous. Baradan leaned in and said (in goblin) answer his questions, and left the room, cleaning his weapons. I had to leave the voice chat at this point.

The rest of the “session” continued in our Discord server. Aratesh and Daesys doing a bad cop/good cop routine with Skarsnik, the goblin. A test question asking about goblin numbers to the west, which we knew, and he was able to confirm (in a ballpark range). He then told us about King Grul, who was holding a dwarf captive, just north of our current location. King Grul also has a big magic stick and a really big stirge. Though the stirge doesn’t whisper to Skarsnik, which makes him sad.

Apparently King Grul also does weird experiments on goblins. The goblins he takes for experiments never to be seen again. About a half dozen goblins went in earlier today, and haven’t come out.

Droop has been edgy since we’ve been here. He lived at Cragmaw Castle for a time, and doesn’t have good memories. He dislikes Skarsnik and wants to kill him. Baradan kept Droop distracted, giving him a grapple pole to practice with. The dead wrangler still has a couple stirges in his cage, which were agitated at the smell of the spilled blood. Baradan tells Droop to quiet them down. Droop casts speak with animals and bats the side of the cage and berates the small beasts, finally getting the stirges quiet. Will Droop be a stirge wrangler for us? The DM and I talked about trying out the falconry rules from the Theros Campaign Handbook that I reviewed.

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