After a bit of research and work the party gathers and creates the items they need to attempt the ritual. The Watcher… watches them, but does not interfere until the forge starts to sputter and flicker during the ritual. It tells them to stop, and after a brief internal debate Xarath does so. The party decides to trek to the temple of Kossuth that lies not far from Thundertree, as opposed to possibly damaging the forge.
This trip is largely uneventfull, and with the party providing the materials needed to power the spell Grace’s status as a member of the temple allows them to raise her at no additional fee. They spend a day to allow Grace to recover some of her strength and then head back to the caves.
They head back to the forge and discover that the Black Spider did in fact make a brief attempt to enter the forge area, but was rebuffed by the Watcher, who appears to have killed a couple of bugbears. The group heads off, following the tracks back to the NE area of the caves.
They proceed through a small barracks area containing a half dozen bugbears, and then further into a rough area that appears to be being excavated. There a drow watches over a small group of bugbears. The drow attempts to warn the party of, calling to Xarath by his name and promising the Black Spider’s leniency if they leave now. The party quickly dispatches two of the bugbears and the drow flees… spending only a moment to finish ioff the final bugbear the party gives chase, and though his lead is short they hear yelled from ahead “Intruders come!”.
With a quick peek into a closed door, in which appears to lie a crumpled dwarf, the party continues on to what seems to be an old temple of Dumathoin. Inside two bugbear are readying for combat, a dwarf cowers near the statue of Dumathoin, and a number of spiders lurk behind pillars (though not all see them).
Xarath uses a scroll to charm Gerk the bugbear, who quickly comes to his aid and frees him from the webs of a spider. Grace charges forward to confront the remaining bugbear, striking him with might blows. The spiders advance upon the party, but their assaults prove ineffective… the black spider himself appears, launching magic missiles then mental assaults though these are all rebuffed and he attempts to flee under the cover of a darkness spell. At this point the dwarf has also apparently decided that fear is the better part of survival and is also trying to flee… Unfortunately for the Black Spider the party manages to catch him and slays him with much slaying. They also stop the dwarf, who at first appears to be Gundran (Their original employer) and says he was captured and brought here…
Xarath is skeptical, but for the moment passes as they start to examine the room and bodies, questioning Gerk a bit. Amber and Lani go to check on the crumpled dwarf, finding the final cousin Nundro. As Lani wakes him, he is confused and then suddenly started by something as Gundran turns into a lanky blue, near featureless creature that attempts to flee… only to be brought down by Fire Bolt (and other miscellaneous attacks).
Now having a captive the party attempts to find out some info. Gerk is a mercenary hired in the markets of Skull port, and has no particular loyalty to “The boss”. The boss is a drow by the name of Nezznar, who came from a city in the underdark and seems to be the mastermind behind this scheme. His interest lay solely in the forge, though no one knows for sure what he sought. The fo-Gundran is a doppleganger by the name of Vhalak, though that is irrelevant now that his attempts to buy his life with revenge plans plucked from Grace’s mind is soundly rejected by Amber’s hammer… Gerk however, proves to be a true member of his species and accepts Xarath’s offer of amnesty and food in exchange for helping them get Gundran from Cragmaw castle.
After a brief stop by the Watcher’s room ,where Nundro argues with it over the ownership of the mine and eventually “fires” it the party returns to Phandelvar with Nundro. They take a brief time to bury the dead dwarf Tharden in a cairn near the entrance, Nundro saying that is a fitting place for his brother to rest. Nundro also offers the party a share of the mine in exchange for tracking down and rescuing his remaining brother.
This small round steel shield bears the carving of arrows breaking upon an anvil in it’s center front. As well as dwarven runes of protection around the rim. The words “Arrow Breaker” are carved on the inside. In addition to being a +1 shield, when the user is struck by a ranged attack (including spells) they may spend a reaction to cause the attacker to roll again (as if they had disadvantage).
Appearing to be plate gauntlets of fine manufacture these gauntlets provider the wearer with a 19 strength.
The top of this metallic black staff is shaped like a stylized spider. The staff weighs 6 pounds. When wielded as a quarterstaff it counts as a magic weapon and deals Id6 extra poison damage on a hit.The staff has 10 charges, which are used to fuel the spells within it. With the staff in hand, you can use your action to cast one of the following spells from the staff if the spell is on your class’s spell list: spider climb (1 charge) or web (2 charges, spell save DC 15). No components are required.The staff regains Id6 + 4 expended charges each day at dusk. If you expend the staff’s last charge, roll a d20. On a 1, the staff crumbles to dust and is destroyed.
Wand of Magic Missiles
This wand of about 18” appears to be made of wood that narrows to a point on one end. A “grip” of runic symbols twists around the wider base. This wand has 7 charges. With the wand in hand, you can use your action to fire the magic missile spell from the wand-no components required-and expend 1 to 3 of the wand’s charges. For each charge you expend beyond 1, the spell’s level increases by 1. You can use this wand even if you are incapable of casting spells.
The wand regains Id6 + 1 expended charges each day at dawn. If you expend the wand’s last charge, roll a d20. On a 1, the wand crumbles into ash and is destroyed.
At first look this staff appears to be made of oak or some other hardwood, but is as hard and dense as iron. It’s surface is carved with a vine and claw motif as well as elven runes declaring it’s name. It functions as a +1 quarterstaff, but with two twists in the hands of a druid. The first is that it functions as if shillelagh had been cast upon it, allowing them to use their wisdom in place of their strength when attacking. The second is that while in animal for their natural attacks are treated as if they were +1 magical weapons.