Chapter 1: Phandalin and Wave Echo Cave
The game starts in Mirtul(May) 1498 Dale Reckoning
The party is gathered together via Gundren Rockseeker’s quest to find and reopen the mines located in Wave Echo Cave. While each member of the party has their own reasons for going along here, this is the unifying theme. This chapter ends after the party routes the Redbrands, captures Iarno (i.e. the Glass-staff), and kill the Blackspider. They loose one of the Rockseekers, but two of the cousins survive and decide to press on with their goals of reopening the mines.
Chapter 2: A left turn at Longsaddle
Sometime in Kythorn(June) 1498 Dale Reckoning the Rockseekers head out on a trip to Mithril Hall, the party accompanying them. This chapter is extremely loose in it’;s structure involving a number of semi-related incidents that flesh out a plot in the background involving an Aboleth and it’s Doppelganger servants plot to gain access to ancient dwarven magics.
Here the party helps a lizardfolk tribe rise up agaisnt it’s bullywug and human oppressors, mostly in an effort to get more information on what the Dopplegangers want. They also discover some loose connections to Luskan and the rebuilding Hosttower. This chapter wraps as the party steps through a portal into the mountains near Neverwinter, not all that far from where their journey began…
Chapter 3: A long strange trip
About a ten day into Kythorn (June) the party finds itself in the Crags, the mountain range that is home to Mount Hotenow as well as the roof over the lost ruins of Gauntlgrym.
Here the party recovers items desired by the Abolith to open the way into Gauntlgrym as well as a sword dedicated to the goddess Olyhydra. The items are destroyed in the fires of Mount Doo…err… Hotenow, while the sword is reclaimed and rededicated to Kossuth.
There is a brief detour to deal with some Malarianians. Lani takes her leave to deal with some follow up for the Malarites while the rest of the party continues on to Mithril hall accompanied by their rescued potterfolk. This chapter draws to a close near the end of Kythorn, after the Summer Solstice has passed, and the party manages to make it’s way to Mithril Hall reconnecting with the Rockseekers.
Chapter 4: A refocusing
Picking up as Kythorn (June) gives way to Flamerule (July)
The party is in Mithril hall and has reconnected with the Rockseekers. They are informed of the troubled political climate caused by Bruenor and his quest to reopen Gauntlgrym, and the difficulties of finding miners to return to Phandalin.
They are informed that Gundren has made inquiries into ways to deal with Doppelgangers, and they are to speak to Loremaster Barrelborn in regards to some information she has… our next session will pick up with this meeting.
“The Doppelganger Situation”
In Wave Echo Cave (WEC) the party encounters, and kills, a dopple in the form of one of the Rockseekers. Little insight into it’s purpose there, other than being part of the Black Spider’s group.
On the way to Mithril Hall the party is attacked and discover that another dopple was the leader of the assault. There are some indications that the attack had been aimed at them. The party elects to follow up and track them back to where they came from.
At the swamp castle the party gets involved in a lizardfolk/bullywug battle that is largely secondary to what the party is doing. This fight is used to get into the keep, and then the party engages in some killing. At this point they are introduced to the “Hosttower Connection”. (see below).
Moving through the castle they find a portal and manage to activate it, appearing in a sealed dwarven tomb. After dealing with the tomb guardians and leaving this area they are again assaulted by a dopple led band of creatures. After this fight they capture and interrogate the dopple(Rezmir),
Rezmir is part of a small clan of doppelgangers that servers an aboleth by the name of Pha-zoth. This being is from the far realm (a place beyond this reality), and it’s motives are… hazy, though it is said to “Speak the will of Olyhydra”. But it seems to wants access to places of old magic, places used to forge great weapons. It first sought to gain control of the forge at Wave Echo Cave, but having been thwarted set it’s sites on larger prey… the forges of Gauntlgrym. It seems it wishes to flood the city in order to facilitate its travel to the city. And to do this, it seeks to co-opt the old “funnel” that feeds water elementals into the forge.
This also led to Grace getting her magic sword and the party destroying a key pieced of machinery that was wanted by the Aboleth in order to gain control of the elemental doorways to Gauntlgrym.
Loose threads from this include
-Of the doppelganger clan, 3 remain free. One has been sent to Luskan to gain a place of leadership in Ship Kurth, in order to watch over the Arcane Brotherhood as it rebuilds. The second was sent to Mithril Hall to find information on Gauntlgrym. The last has traveled to Waterdeep in the guise of a merchant, though it’s specific goals are unknown to Rezmir.
-The portal cube that they arty is carrying around which is supposed to take them to the Spine of the World a where there is a lodge there guarded by a person called Talis, along with a few body guards, and used as a staging area for the dopples.
-The Watery Eye is a key to Pha-zoths realm, in Xaroth’s possession
The “Hosttower Connection”
In the swamp castle fight the party encounters a mage who claimed to be from the Hosttower. He indicates that the Hosttower is in the process of rebuilding itself (both figuratively and literally) and that he was there to do some research on the portals in the swamp, as well as the scrying device in the observatory.
His actual connection to the Aboleth isn’t detailed (there is some indication he doesn’t really know anything about that aspect). It’s possible that he knew nothing about this aspect of things. There really isn’t much revealed at this point, beyond the fact the tower is rebuilt, the Arcane Brotherhood has started to flex it’s muscles, and that a mage by the name of Cashaan the Red is currently in charge.