In the city of Neverwinter, three humans by the names of Leo, Taro, and Sealmyd, are hired by
a dwarf named Gundren Rockseeker to transport a wagon of goods to the nearby settlement of Phandalin. He and his bodyguard, Sildar Hallwinter, leave ahead of them on two horses in order to “deal with business.”
After three days of following the High Road, the party veers east along the Triboar Trail. They come across a couple of dead horses covered in arrows and are ambushed by two goblins. One is killed, and the other, Xeela, is taken prisoner.
Taro interrogates the goblin. The party learns of a nearby cave where he and fewer than 20 goblins dwell, a great spot for them to plan ambushes on the road. They also learn that King Grol is the leader of his tribe, the Cragmaws, and is stationed elsewhere in Cragmaw Castle. Orders came from the castle to Klarg, the leader of this specific band of goblins, to intercept Gundren and to send him and his things, specifically a map of some sorts, to Cragmaw Castle. Apparently someone named the Black Spider paid them to do this. Xeela tells them that Sildar is being held back in the cave. Finally, they learned that a goblin named Yeemik is in charge of planning the ambushes.
Xeela is forced to lead them down a hidden path, veering them past traps, to the Cragmaw Hideout. Once there, the party is attacked by hidden watchmen, but they are quickly dispatched. Xeela is also killed by a single fire bolt from Sealmyd when he runs off.
The party enters the cave, discovering two barking wolves chained up in a chamber near the entrance. Leo feeds them some jerky from his rations to calm them down, then frees them. The wolves run off into the wild.
As the adventurers trek further into the cave, a flood is released, washing all but Leo out of the cave. Shortly after, Leo spots a goblin on a raised bridge up ahead. A second wave is then released, but the party takes sanctuary in the wolf chamber, avoiding the damages. Leo then tries to climb some rubble to a passageway 20 feet up, but falls, the rubble tumbling down with him.
The party is then attacked by three goblins on a bridge ahead. Taro takes out one of the ropes of the bridges, sending one goblin tumbling to his death. One of the others is killed shortly after, while the other has Leo’s dagger embedded in his leg. He runs off into a passage connected to the bridge. The party climbs up to it, venturing down the passage.
At the end of the passage is discovered a room with three goblins ready to attack and another one, slightly bigger than the others, on an escarpment, holding a naked, beaten Sildar with a dagger to his throat. This goblin, Yeemik, makes a deal with the party to kill Klarg so that he may take over. Although Sildar expresses distrust over Yeemik, shortly before being reprimanded for it, the party agrees.
The adventurers make their way to Klarg’s den, killing both him and his pet mangy, wolf, Ripper. After the battle, the party looks through his loot to find crates with a lion crest on it and a chest full of plenty of treasure. They grab the bugbear’s head then head back to Yeemik.
Just as Yeemik said he would, he frees Sildar. He also takes the head of Klarg, bashing it to pieces in the hands of one his goblins. Covered in blood, he licks the crimson off of his fingers, rips Leo’s dagger out of one of his goblins, and hands it back to Leo. Shortly being departing, Leo takes off his robes to cover Sildar, revealing himself as an aasimar to the party and goblins.
The party then leaves the cave, carrying the crates, full of weapons and armor and marked with a lion, to the wagon. Sildar recognizes the logo as that of the Lionshield Coster, a store in Phandalin. Taro leaves ahead of them to prep the wagon. The party then departs for Phandalin as night arrives.