When last we left our heroes, they were fleeing the goblin caves, having slain several both outside and inside the lair, but now having drawn the attention of those within. Caiside used his last spell slot to heal Ambrosia, getting her back on her feet, just as four wolves, followed by a half-dozen goblins and one very irritated bugbear emerged from the cave. Realizing that they could not outrun the wolves, the party quickly climbed several trees, whereupon I promptly informed them that no giant eagles would be showing up to save their bacon.
Silver Feather slew the lead wolf with an arrow. Ambrosia used a cantrip to summon the image of a skunk, while Caiside used one of his to waft the smell of a skunk over the wolves. Since they had already fed the wolves and the wolves failed their intelligence saves, the combined illusion succeeded and the wolves fled. Unfortunately, the illusion was not so successful against the goblins, who quickly split up and tried to approach hidden in the underbrush. The party managed to keep eyes on four of them, but two disappeared from sight, as did the bugbear a round later.
In the meantime, Madox Sprio, an old friend and sailing buddy of Silver Feather’s, came up the trail looking for the kenku. Hearing the noise of battle to the north of the trail, he investigated with caution (which saved him from the goblins’ snare trap).
Silver Feather and Aranel exchanged arrows with the goblins, killing and/or wounding three before the two who had managed to hide appeared behind them and opened fire from a flanking position. One struck Silver Feather, wounding him just as the bugbear emerged from the brush with a roar and began climbing Silver Feather’s tree. Ambrosia jumped from her tree and charged at the other, taking an arrow herself but managing to wound the goblin with a thrown dagger in return. Silver Feather made a desperation move of leaping down on the bugbear. While managing to wound the bugbear slightly, he hit the ground hard and was incapacitated.
Just then, Maddox leaped from his concealed position, killing Ambrosia’s goblin with a slash of his curved shortsword as he ran towards his friend. Aranel managed to distract the goblin and bugbear from their kill with missile fire long enough for Maddox to close, killing the last goblin with a swipe of his sword and delivering an open-handed blow with his off-hand that would have killed a normal man but which barely fazed the bugbear. Fortunately, he was soon joined in close combat by Aranel and Caiside, and the three of them managed to take down the bugbear before it could inflict further casualties.
After a short rest—and four out of five characters actually leveling up due to the module’s instructions that experience points for combat should be given out immediately. Inside, they found some treasure, a fair amount of equipment belonging to the Lionshield Trading Coster. They also found signs that the goblins had had a prisoner, one who they might have missed entirely had not Ambrosia been keeping guard at the cave entrance.
The prisoner, Sildar Hallwinter, had been Gundren’s body guard when the two were attacked. He told the party that shortly after they had been taken prisoner, another group of goblins had appeared and taken custody of Gundren and taken him elsewhere.
The party returned with Sildar to Phandalin, where they received some cash rewards from both him and the Lionshield Coster (for the return of their stolen goods). The party decided that they would create a more formal organization, with half of all earnings going to a group purse and the remainder being distributed evenly among its members.