Our story starts in the city of Neverwinter, where a dwarf by the name of Gundren Rockseeker gathers together a collection of skilled individuals to help he and his brothers out in the rough-and-tumble settlement of Phandalin; Ruin the warlock, Yana the cleric, Rendarr the ranger, as well as two rogues – Perchalad and Mourdi. Gundren asks them to bring a wagonload of supplies through dangerous territory, south along the High Road, and then East on the Triboar Trail, finally heading south again along an ancient roadway to the Phandalen. In total, the trip should take them about two days.
Along the way, the group chatted and got to know one another. Yana, oathbound to Lord Aeric Fleet, was asked by her master to attend to the Rockseeker brothers. Rendarr and Ruin knew the Rockseekers from previous adventures, and Gundren approached them directly for their assistance. Mourdi was assigned to Gundren by the Thieves Guild when the dwarf approached the guild leader looking for assistance. Perchalad has not yet been forthcoming with how he ended up with the group. Yana, with education in some historic lore, told the group that she feels that Gundren’s excitement in his “big find” near Phandalin may have something to do with the ancient “Phandelver’s Pact” between a group of gnomes and dwarves, and had something to do with a mysterious cavern and rich mine known as Wave Echo Cave, it’s location lost to time.
About a half-day after turning east along the Triboar Trail, the group discovered a grisly scene; an overturned wagon and two dead, black-arrow-filled horses at a bend in the trail. Mourdi, Rendarr, and Ruin approached to investigate, and were immediately set upon by goblins hiding in the trees and thickets alongside the road. In the surprise attack, Yana and Mourdi were nearly cut down by the goblins’ black-fletched arrows.
The fight was quick. Soon three of the four goblins lay dead in the trail. The fourth was kept alive, allowing Rendarr to speak with it in order to get information. It seemed the goblins were here for a reason; their leader, Klarg, had been ordered by King Grol to watch the trail for a dwarf and his companions. The day before, Gundren and his escort, Sildar Hallwinter, were set upon and captured. Gundren and a special map he carried were sent north to King Grol at Cragmaw Castle. Sildar was taken a short distance through the woods to “the eating cave”, where Klarg had set up his lair and collected goods from merchants ambushed on the trail.
Rendarr refused to let the group kill the goblin, instead sending it off into the woods with a chunk of horseflesh tied around it’s neck. If it survived the wild, it was free to go.
Deciding to camouflage their wagon in the thickets, the five explorers prepared to strike north along the goblin’s trail to search for the cave and rescue Sildar.