Dungeons & DiSers Part eleven: It’s murder at the Cragmaw, you’d better not kill the dwarf

Swords and spells and that.

As always, apologies for any errors.

And again, sorry for being so tardy with this :slight_smile:


The cast

The cast

Gloran Hopback (@grievoustim) Dwarf Monk
Sir Kelross (@ericVII) Half-elf Ranger
Zana Dalanthan (@dingaling) Wood Elf Druid
Sir Curtas Sulazar (@keith) Human Fighter
Fannloy Roade (@anon67149139) Human Cleric


Previous recaps: Dungeons & DiSers Part one: Don’t know who you are, pal
Dungeons & DiSers Part two: Big Cave and The Bad Deeds
Dungeons & DiSers Part three: Let Sleeping Giants lie
Dungeons & DiSers Part three: Wyvern long face?
Dungeons & DiSers Part five: Back to The Phandalin
Dungeons & DiSers Part six: Shut up and roll the crits
Dungeons & DiSers Part seven: The Linton Gravel Cavern
Dungeons & DiSers Part eight: Staff meeting
Dungeons & DiSers Part nine: Crossbow, Skills & Crash
Dungeons & DiSers Part ten: More killing stuff in a castle


The story so far

The dwarf Gundren Rockseeker, a close friend of the party, is missing. He’d recently found a map he thought would lead him and his two brothers to Wave Echo Cave; a magical cave that most people assume is a myth.

Gundren and his bodyguard, Sildar, were ambushed on the way to the town of Phandalin. The party rescued Sildar but Gundren had been taken to Cragmaw Castle at the request of The Black Spider.

The Black Spider is a dark elf who wants to find Wave Echo Cave. He arranged the ambush and kidnap of Gundren after hearing that he’d found the map.

The party have become local heroes after saving the town of Phandalin from a band of mercenaries. They are now battling their way through Cragmaw Castle, looking for Gundren.


Part eleven: Murder at the Cragmaw, you’d better not kill the dwarf

After a short rest, the party pressed deeper into Cragmaw Castle. Through some untypically successful sneaking they found two hobgoblins guarding a curtained-off area. They found two ways to approach them and decided to split up and execute a pincer move.

Fannloy cast a trickery spell to make the curtain behind the hobgoblins flap as if someone were moving it. They turned to check what was causing it and one of them took an arrow from Sir Kelross. Seeing the enemy, one of the hobgoblins ran to attack Fannloy while the other ducked through a door leading away from them.

Gloren sprung the pincer move from the other side but failed to land a strike on the remaining hobgoblin. Fannloy, reacting to having been hit, reached out and cast Inflict Wounds on the beast, telling him not to touch what he couldn’t afford. The hobgoblin shuddered violently with pain and fell dead in an instant.

Zana cracked open the door the other hobgoblin had run through. In the room beyond she saw the hobgoblin talking to a large bugbear. At the back of the room she saw her friend Gundren, lying motionless on the floor.

After relaying what she’d seen to the rest of the party, Zana immediately shifted into dire wolf form. Sir Curtas took the lead, crashing through the door and immediately knocking the hobgoblin to the ground.

As the others readied themselves and moved into position, Fannloy decided to look for another way in and climbed across a pile of rubble to the north. As the wind whipped at the cleric moving along the exposed shelf of debris, he was able to edge his way along and into a room adjacent to the one the party were currently storming into.

Sir Curtas, taking advantage of his spectacular entrance, told the angry looking bugbear that he was here on instruction from The Black Spider. As he declared this, he noticed there was a creepy-looking dark elf at the bottom of the room and a wolf at the top.

King Groll, the large bugbear, did not buy Sir Curtas’ claims and demanded that the party stop. He pressed his sword against Gundren’s prone body.

As Zana and Gloren ran into the room, Sir Kelross fired two arrow shots - the first hitting the hobgoblin who had only just got back to his feet and the second hitting King Groll. Sir Curtas pushed passed the hobgoblin, whose attempt to attack was pitiful, and advanced on King Groll.

Seeing the party rush forward, King Groll leaned his weight onto his sword. The blade sank easily into Gundren and was then withdrawn, sending blood spraying as it did.

The wolf ran to attack Zana (currently a dire wolf) and managed to get a bite in, but Zana was the larger beast and knocked the wolf down as she bit back. Meanwhile, Gloren made short work of finishing off the hobgoblin.

Fannloy ran in from the other door, the wolf snapped at him as he ran past but missed.

Sir Curtas and Sir Kelross rained more attacks on King Groll who seemed to be shrugging off whatever the party threw at them without much concern. His retaliation, however, was a brutal strike on Sir Curtas.

As Gloren stepped up and rained blows on the bugbear, the dark elf in the corner creeped over and pulled a roll of paper from Gundren’s bleeding body.

Pulling from the deepest reserves of his drunken self-belief, Fannloy managed to spit out a perfect prayer. Light flooded from the cleric mending Sir Curtas’s injuries and rejuvenating the entire party.

The boost was slowly joined by sadness as the party noticed Gundren was not healing. It seemed King Groll’s sword had killed their friend.

The Heroes of Phandalin kicked up the attack. Zana ignored the wolf, shifted back to her normal form and swung her scimitars at King Groll. Sir Curtas continued battling the beast with sword and shield, with Gloren at his side in a blur of axe and fists. From the back line, Sir Kelross and Fannloy machine-gunned arrows into the bugbear.

King Groll was taking a lot of attacks from the party but was still standing and attacking with the same ferocity. He landed a savage hit on Gloren, repaying the dwarf for a critical attack he’d struck. The wolf, meanwhile, ran down and sunk its teeth into an unsuspecting Sir Curtas, causing a severe wound to the fighter.

Gloren managed to land another couple of well-executed strikes on King Groll and chose to artfully disengage, denying the beast a chance to follow-up with another blow.

Fannloy conjured a spiritual weapon, choosing the form of a giant dildo, and battered both King Groll and the mysterious dark elf with it. As the baffled dark elf recovered from the attack, Fannloy noticed that it wasn’t a dark elf after all. The thing he’d struck was actually Zana. A quick double take showed that Zana was still also attacking King Groll. There were now two Zanas.

Zana reacted by throwing a spear at this other version of herself and turning back into a wolf.

As King Groll battered his sword against Sir Curtas’ shield, he over extended. Seeing the opportunity, Sir Curtas brought his sword overhead, said “Gundren’s dead!” and swung it down. The blade cut through King Groll’s neck, sending the bugbear’s head flying away from its falling body. The lord of Cragmaw Castle was no more.

The bugbear’s grieving wolf took its revenge and sunk its teeth into Sir Curtas once more, taking him down and leaving him fighting for his life. Would avenging Gundren be Sir Curtas’ final act?

Zana leapt over and effortlessly tore the throat from the wolf, as Fannloy ran over to stabilise Sir Curtas.

Without pausing to blink, Sir Kelross changed his aim to the ‘other Zana’ and fired an arrow into it. As it hit, he noticed it wasn’t Zana he was aiming at. It was himself! And this other him was attacking the already injured Gloren.

As the dwarf battled whatever it was that looked like Sir Kelross, the image of his friend looked him in the eyes and taunted him “Poor little dwarf, lost his brewery and about to lose all his friends”.

Fannloy’s giant dildo failed to hit the creature, but finally a combination of Sir Kelross’s arrow and Gloren’s axe, sent the creature reeling. It’s form was now a splindly grey, almost featureless creature the party recognised as a Doppelganger. As it fell, mortally wounded from the melee, it attempted to rip the map it had taken from Gundren’s body.

Gloren easily snatched it from the creature’s weakened grasp. “It doesn’t matter,” it said before finally dying, “He’s already there!”

A quiet fell over the room. The party were able to take in the situation before them. Gundren, their friend, was dead. He’d been murdered in front of them and they had killed the beast that did it. Sir Curtas was healed but still hurt and Gloren was very badly injured. The Doppelganger had tried to destroy the map, which they could now see did indeed show the location of the mythical Lost Echo Cave.

Zana, still in wolf form, decided to quickly explore the rest of the castle to check for stragglers or treasure.

As she burst into a room to the south, she was set upon instantly by an angry owlbear.

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The monster pecked and clawed at Zana and left her badly bleeding as she failed to bite back with enough force to cause any damage. With her fur covered in blood from her severe wounds, she howled in the hope her friends would hear.

Sir Curtas did indeed hear and, ignoring his many injuries, ran to help. He fired a crossbow bolt into the enormous creature. Sir Kelross followed quickly with an arrow of his own, before Gloren did the same with his crossbow.

Further angered by a salvo of missiles piercing its feathery hide, the owlbear struck again at Zana. The savagery was too much and the wolf fell dead, leaving Zana back in her natural Elf form.

As she backed carefully away from the monster, Sir Curtas signalled the retreat. He decided he needed to get Gundren’s body out of here and ran to get it.

Zana, Sir Kelross, Fannloy and Gloren fled from the owlbear. It gave chase and struck Zana again. Luckily, she was able to keep running.

Sir Curtas put Gundren’s corpse over his shoulder and ran over the rubble Fannloy had ventured over earlier. Using the slope to slide his way outside.

Sir Kelross, seeing the owlbear’s continued focus on a wounded Zana, decided to try distracting it. He called out “Hey, dickhead!” as he fired a perfectly aimed shot into the monster.

It worked. As Zana made her way to a northwestern room with Fannloy and Gloren, the owlbear charged at Sir Kelross. With a devastating snap of its beak, the owlbear put Sir Kelross down. He had taken attention from his friend but was now bleeding out at the feet of an angry monster.

In a burst of collective inspiration, Zana cast her thorn whip to snare and drag Sir Kelross’ prone body towards her as Fannloy slammed a door shut on the owlbear. Sir Curtas climbed back into the room and put Sir Kelross over his shoulder. The party all made their way outside, knowing the owlbear would soon make its way round to resume the chase.

How long will the owlbear chase them? (seriously, anyone know? I tried googling). Will Sir Kelross recover from the owlbear’s fierce peck? Will the party make it to Wave Echo Cave? Will they do some side quests first? Providing they can escape the feathery bear chasing them, of course.

Kill count:
36 goblins
9 redbrand thugs
7 orcs
7 skeletons
6 hobgoblins
5 wolves
5 bugbears
1 ogre
1 doppelganger
1 grick
1 nothic

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Thread title :grinning:

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Also, I really love the idea of an owlbear. Less so the destruction they cause, wasn’t sure if everyone was going to make it out of that one.

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Had a great idea for something I could do tomorrow to get us away quicker, but I used up both my wild shapes. Seriously what a fucking idiot.

Fannloy looks around at the crew…

Which one do I have to be faster than?

They still might not :grimacing:

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Well, if Gloren has any Ki points left, he’ll leave you in his dust. But Sir Curtas carrying Sir Kelross is definitely going to be the slowest.

Fannloy Lives Another Day! :partying_face: :running_man: :dash:

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i can’t believe i did this

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It was an amazing chaos as it all unfolded :smiley:

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We have this amazing and hilarious ability to just open one door too many when we really don’t have to :joy:

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Really wish I’d recorded it (again)

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I’m going to be running this for my girlfriend and her sons.

Is it fun?

I love it!

Are you doing the same campaign?

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if it’s the adventure book from the Starters Edition then yes.

The oldest boy bought the box and was mystified by the contents. I don’t blame him to be honest. I said I’d run it for them.

I bought the starter set for my son a couple of years ago. I think it’s fair to say he did not engage with it

I did not realise the campaign we are doing is in the starter set, good thing I’ve never looked at it :grinning:. I promise I will not be peeking to find out how to escape from Albért @sadpunk

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But perfect if you are going to DM it for you, you’ll have a great time

I can’t remember which one is in what set, but one of them contains this campaign (Lost Mine of Phandelver) and the other has Dragon of Icespire Peak.

If this newbie DM can be any help, let me know! :slight_smile:

Yep, the Starter set contains LMoP. I haven’t DMd in over thirty years so I feel a little rusty.

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I hope so. Moreso I hope the kids like it.