Campaign Diary #1: Goblin Ambush!

The following is the first of my Campaign Diaries, where I recap the latest game of Dungeons and Dragons that my friends and I play. This is one of my earlier recaps, which I originally wrote for my players. In the future, there’ll be more photos and “Behind the Screen” style commentary! See here for the Campaign Diaries in order, and see here for a Dungeons and Dragons introduction post!

The first game begins. I’ll be referring to the characters by their in-game names, rather than their real names. (That would be too confusing!)

It was a soft spring day in the Forgotten Realms. A band of people for hire, who never met before, had just spent three days on the road, guarding a wagon of goods from the city of Neverwinter to the outpost town of Phandalin. They were Theon, the Wizard, Gryff the Ranger, Dovogholz the Fighter and Ser Donat of Rosenbeck, a Paladin. All had been hired by a dwarf by the name of Gundren Rockbreaker.

Gundren, and another gentleman named Sildar, had scouted ahead on horseback as they approached the Triboar Trail, a dangerous road that was the only way to Phandalin. Theon, Dovogholz (Dovo for short), Donat and Gryff were ambling slowly behind, with their horse drawn cart. They turned a corner in the road and found a dead horse blocking their path.

Upon inspection, Gryff recognised the horse as Gundren’s. As they inspected the scene, coming across some clues, they were attacked by Goblins!

Not the nicest of chaps. Image from DnDBeyond.com

The first combat began, and the players and I had more fun than I thought we would fumbling and trying to figure out how to play the game. You have to keep in mind that none of us had ever played before, so it was a serious case of the blind leading the blind!

The fight went on, successfully, and the party followed the last goblin (it got away!) through the forest. Eventually they came across a small cliff with a cave entrance in it. A clear shallow river was flowing out of the cave and they followed the trail inside.

What followed were some ridiculous hi-jinks. What my players didn’t realise is that goblins really like to place traps. As they ventured deeper into the cave a wall of water came crashing down, flushing some of them out and knocking Dovogholz clean out. Thankfully they had a potion or two to bring him back to his senses.

After the party returned to the cave, finding some wild dogs they managed to calm down by thowing food at them, and finding a small entranceway to enter into another chamber in the cave, the gang found themselves fighting not just three goblins, but a bugbear and a wolf.

Yeah, this guy. They’re quite big and vicious. Image from DNDBeyond.com.

Ser Donat, the Paladin, takes a serious blow to the head with that spiked club, however Theon the Wizard casts a Fire Bolt spell which hit the bugbear right in the face. It keels over, dying. The party take a moment to explore the chamber they’re in, finding plenty of supplies for a shop they know is in Phandalin. “$£%^ even found a small frog statuette, carved out of jade. He liked it, so he pocketed it.

Further through they cave the group went, eventually finding a large empty resevoir with a small broken dam on one end. They figured that was where the wall of water that washed them out came from.

As the party ploughed on, they found another chamber that seemed to be the sleeping quarters of the rest of goblin gang. One particular goblin seemed to be torturing a man they could recognise. Sildar, the other man hired by Gundren. He looked hurt, his armour had been removed, and he was tied up.

The party decided to rescue him, fighting off many more goblins, and eventually Theon saved the day again, casting a spell called Tasha’s Hideous Laughter, which caused the goblin torturing Sildar to fall flat on the damp cave floor, literally rolling around in laughter.

The party gathered the supplies stolen from the shop, healed Sildar, and made their way on to Phandalin.

Why did the goblins attack Sildar and Gundren?

How did they plan such an elaborate ambush?

Where is Gundren now?

Find out these questions and more, next time!

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