Adventurers – Biblio (Barbarian), Ellywick (Monk), Silver (Rogue), Tim (Warlock)
A Solid Investment
Phandalins nightlife continued to thrive, with the Wheel of Fortune proving a popular new haunt for those feeling lucky. Or a place to squander ones riches gained from adventuring out in the wilds. So it was that a hulking dragonborn danced with lady luck and found her generous in her gifts, and indeed with her ale. But that kind of scene does not go unnoticed, and the dragon was not shy about displaying the gold around his belt. But Biblios had the ever watchful Ellywick by his drunken side, and only a fool would try and wrestle their riches away from them. Phandalin was a safer place these days, but was still home to charlatans…
Silver approached the dragonborn casually, complementing the warrior on his winnings and his obvious martial prowess. The rogue had need of investors, who would be willing to put their gold into the business of the Stoneshield twins. The dwarves showed obvious talent in their craft, but lacked the coin for much needed equipment. Turns out that Biblios and Ellywick liked the idea of better weaponry too, and the trio headed over to the town smithy. A fourth figure kept pace with them, disguised behind a ornate mask and cloak. Tim was curious.
A deal at the smithy was quickly struck, and Tim was convinced to throw in after being spotted loitering in the shadows. Digna Stoneshield took the gold, and made note of the weapons required, while her assistant Dirk harried her customers. The chatty Dirk proved harmless, and even pointed out the activity at the old burnt down manor…
Biblios realized his coin belt was now significantly lighter, and was not impressed. But the rogue promised riches and more as they approached the old manor. Which was now a hive of activity, and bore a freshly crafted Brass Lantern insignia. Silver greeted a few familiar faces, introduced his new friends, then began fishing for information. Graves informed them that they would have to travel to Neverwinter in order to gain more insight into the troubling events at Wave Echo cave. While the cave invasion was still troubling, this was a group that put coin above all else, and was eager to replenish their finances. So they took up a local contract for a lost merchants daughter, which would hopefully pass the time while they waited for shiny new weapons.
The four made haste for the Triboar Trail. Ellywick riding on the back of SIlvers horse ‘Jackpot’, while Tim galloped alongside on his own steed he had affectionally named ‘Tims Horse’. The brass dragonborn, Biblios, pounded behind with huge shuddering strides. The trip proved uneventful, and they passed time cheating at cards which cost the rogue his pride and a few more gold coins. Yet it wasn’t long before a mysterious figure stood cloaked in the middle of the road. Silver spurred jackpot to leap the figure and continue on, but in mid jump Ellywick had other ideas and leapt off acrobatically. The cunning Gnome knew better, and in a breathtaking display of martial arts spun in the air and yanked the figures head clean off before landing gracefully near by. Biblios caught up on foot then quickly spotted the ambush and alerted his allies. Tim stayed on his horse, and began hurling forth arcane energy into the forest edging the trail. Kenku, strange bird-men like creatures set off their ambush and attacked the party. A few riding atop squawking bird mounts with wicked beaks and talons.
The fight was brutal and short. Biblios swung his massive two handed sword in bloody arcs, and incinerated a few with his lethal fiery breath. While Ellywick bounded about, diving under and over with her sword slashing at the feathery foes. Even Silver got his hands dirty, but not his clothes mind. The Kenku knew they were outmatched and fled, one completely obliterated as Tim unleashed an unforgiving blast from his hand. As the group caught their breath they noted that Biblios wasn’t present, the dragonborn had bounded after the last Kenku into the unknown of the thick forest…
Unfortunately Biblios didn’t get far, and in his haste had found one of the Kenkus devious traps. With only the brass dragons pride harmed, he leapt out of the hole as the party caught up. He complained that his ‘rock was hot’, a trophy he had gained from a pervious encounter with orcs. Silver looked to Tim for his knowledge of the arcane, but the warlock was so repulsed by the rank stone that he got nothing from it. Ellywick remained focused however, and used her knowledge of the forest to commune with a helpful squirrel, who was greatly amused by the misfortune of Biblios and the hole. As they contemplated the squirrels conversation, a babies cry pierced the air. But the Kenku ruse was seen through, and the fleeing mimic caught and questioned. The bird man communicated in words he had heard, and repeated what sounded like a woman in distress, then pointed deeper into the forest. Biblios ended the Kenku with a sickening smack against a tree, as the group were contemplating his fate. The dragonborn shrugged.
The Magpies Nest
As the adventurers approached a clearing in the forest, they kept low and adopted a stealthy approach. Looking into the clearing they saw towering statues of stone, depicting warriors of old, and a handful of crumbling structures now inhabited by the Kenku . Around a central well, a colorful shaman clung to a gnarled staff as few other bird men stood close by. Silver silently drew his newly purchased crossbow, took a slow breath and lined the shaman between his sights. Before he could fire there was a loud crack that echoed through the trees and sent birds flying. The party looked at Biblios, and his giant brass foot that had crunched a sizable log in half. Before they could say anything, the earth rumbled as rapidly growing vines viciously tangled and rose to block their path. While a flock of crows swarmed and circled a nearby building. It appears their foe was now very aware of them. The dragonborn snarled, and picked up both halves of the log. Hurling the improvised projectile into a kenku with a crunching thud, and saving the other half for latter.
The rogue swiftly moved into the closet building to the left, ruined by a huge tree that had grown through it. Silver paid no attention to the bones and rotting smell, and hid himself in the doorway. Ellywick quickly followed suit and prepared to attack, while energy began to swirl around Tims outstretched taloned hands. Biblios had other interesting ideas, and barreled full force into a building on the right. Sending bricks and rubble flying as he left a dragonborn shape where parts of the wall used to be. As he shook debris and dust from his head he glanced up to see a slightly confused Owlbear. Thankfully the beast was chained, and hadn’t considered attacking… yet.
The party entered combat with the Kenku, as the shaman directed the crows to attack the dragonborn barbarian. Biblios bellowed and swung his sword wildly, as the crows attacked him in a black cloud of feathers and beaks. Tim reacted quickly with a few magical words, and a ear shattering blast of noise erupted around the crows and Biblios. The frenzied birds falling dead to the ground, while the dragonborn gripped his ears and growled. Ellywick was already in the midst of the Kenku, a swirling blur of kicks, punches and sword slashes. While Silver delivered whizzing bolts from a distance. The kenku were overwhelmed, and the shaman dispatched efficiently by the gnome monk. The group took in deep breathes and nursed their wounds, while quietly looking in the remaining buildings. Biblios was discovered feeding the owlbear dead crows, and had suddenly become quite attached to the feral creature. A hidden stash in the wells mechanism, gifted a few more treasures too. They even fought off a singing harpy, hidden away and luring Biblios in with an enchanting song, until Ellywick finished her in a gruesome manner.
Eventually a frightened young woman was discovered chained up in a dank makeshift cell. The rogue winked, and deftly removed the locks as she was set free. Lilya Haldenfrond was grateful, and relief filled her pretty features as she recounted the tale of her abduction. Silver reassured the young maiden once more, and handed her one of his trusty daggers to defend herself. Lilya asked if the group would recover a priceless heirloom, which raised a collective eyebrow, until she informed them it was only of sentimental value. Never the less, the adventurers continued to search.
The largest structure appeared to be a shrine or temple to a great warrior. In its depths, a handful of Kenku were oblivious to the demise of their kin. Busy counting coins and other trinkets taken from unlucky travelers. The party got the jump on them, and battle irrupted in the echoing old building. A larger Kenku appeared to be giving orders, and the bird men retaliated with a hail of arrows. Ellywick caught a shaft out of mid air, and in one fluid movement hurled it back at her assailant. The arrow silencing the bird with a wet thump. Silver took down two with his crossbow, impaling one to the wall as it flailed around. Tim and Biblios inflicted their own brand of violence on the bird-men. The barbarian sped after a fleeing kenku, weighted the remaining log half, and then sent it soaring through the air. The gnarled hunk of wood smashed the bird-man completely off his feet, sending its weapons clattering. With their number decimated the remaining two gave up for fear of their lives, making coin jingling noises and pointing. The day was won.
The party bathed in the golden glow of the loot pile, and grinned. A nice bonus in addition to the coin they would receive for returning the young lady in one piece. As for Lilya, she was over joyed to be free, and once again in possession of her heirloom.
Back in Phandalin, Graves handed the group a hefty bag of coins, Biblios displayed an impressive set of teeth as he grinned to Ellywick. No doubt the pair heading back to the Wheel of Fortune along with Tim. The monk asked Silver to capture her dramatic horseback dismount decapitation as a painting. The rogue nodded agreeably, the image still vivid in his mind. He then turned and ushered Lilya back towards his guest house, convincing the young lady to view his painting in progress before traveling back to Neverwinter…