Ulthgar and Dax were headed south on the High Road out of Neverwinter; their destination a small town along the Triboar Trail called Phandalin. Ulthgar’s cousins, the Rockseeker Brothers, had found “something exciting” near Phandalin but hadn’t yet said what was going on.
Following Ulthgar and Dax with a small mule drawn wagon was a motley pair, a half-orc named Urg and a monk named An… it became clear to Ulthgar and Dax that the other two were headed the same way as them when they turned off the High Road onto the much less used Triboar Trail.
As dusk was setting on their first day on Triboar Trail, they crested a hill to find a dead horse and a dead pony about 75 feet up the road from them. Ulthgar, fearing it may be his cousin’s party, approached the scene while Dax faded into the brush along the edge of the trail. As Urg and An approached the stopped wagon, they witnessed a goblin ambush as black-fletched arrows shot out of the surrounding woods striking Ulthgar in the thigh. Urg and An both leaped forward trying to close the distance to the injured dwarf as quickly as possible.
Dax was able to quickly dispatch a goblin that was hiding in the woods south of the trail, while Ulthgar was able to back away from the ambush and wait for this odd pair of sudden allies to take the fight to the goblins. Urg and An quickly dispatched a goblin each, and then Urg ran off into the thickets north of the road to track down the last of the goblin ambushers.
Stopping to finally take time for introductions, Ulthgar realized his cousin had hired these two unlikely allies and the four of them made camp, set watch, and tended to their wounds, intending to head out in the morning and track the goblins north from the trail.
The next day, with Urg in the lead, the party avoided one pit trap set by the goblins but Urg stumbled into a snare-trap further on the trail. Luckily, the party was alone and able to get Urg down without incident. A bit further up the trail, they came across a cave complex with a slowly trickling stream meandering out of the caverns. Dax once again tried to circle around in the brush, but An and Ulthgar were determined to find out of the one of the Rockseeker dwarves was inside the cavern and came under fire from a pair of goblins guarding the cavern entrance.
The party quickly silence the guards, and then moved into the caverns, bravely challenging the goblin’s trained wolves just inside the cavern entrance.
A lone sentry hiding on a bridge up above the stream deeper in the caves was almost silenced by Dax but the goblin detected the clank of the dwarf’s armor and ran off to warn the rest of the complex.
As the party awaited an assault of goblins, they were completely surprised as a 10 foot wall of water came crashing down from a reservoir higher up in the cave system and none of them were able to gain a foothold or climb out of the water’s path fast enough.
Thoroughly soaked, but not particularly injured, the party rushed back into the caves and Dax was able to sneak up in the lone guard and silence him, allowing the rest of the party to finally make a determined assault on the goblins and their leader, a bipolar bugbear named Klarg and his pet wolf, Snarfy.
Urg, finally sensing an opponent worthy of his skills, raged forward slaughtering Snarfy and sending Klarg into a sobbing fit as his only real friend was killed before his eyes. The rest of the party surrounded Klarg, and then had to deal with his anger as his emotions boiled over. Luckly, Urg was able to absorb the massive blow that the bugbear unleashed and the rest of the party was able to take Klarg down.
The party, not finding any evidence of Rockseeker, but finding a massive store of supplies stolen from local caravans, pressed on, discovering Rockseeker’s hired bodyguard, Sildar, a human of 50 winters held captive by a goblin captain in the other half of the cave complex. Ulthgar was able to save Sildar’s life with some quickly applied clerical magic, and the rest of the party quickly dealt with the remaining goblin threat, capturing one goblin and leading Sildar back to their mules and wagons along the Triboar Trail.
Sildar was able to reveal that Gundren Rockseeker and his map to a place called Wave Echo Cave was sent from Klarg’s cave to a place called Cragmaw Castle. Sildar doesn’t know where that is, but he suspects someone on Phandalin may be able to help. From what he knows, Wave Echo Cave was a site where dwarves and gnomes had built a forge capable of making extrordinary magic items but that it has been over-run by orcs decades ago and lost since then. Sildar also revealed that a former ally of his, a wizard named Albrek, was sent to Phandalin months ago but hasn’t been heard from since.