You head into the mountains east of Phandalin to where Kee-Kee said they can find the entrance of the Bonesplitter Lair. It takes about two days to pass through the hills then follow the mountain pass up to the entrance of the goblin lair. Once you enter the plateau where Kee-Kee told you the entrance would be, you are surrounded by Bonesplitter goblins and their wolves. After being disarmed, bound and blindfolded, you are brought into the warrens. Brought into some kind of room where goblins told you to relax — all (except Milo) feel themselves lifted off the ground and then a bright light. Only Milo takes fall damage — the rest land lightly on their feet. Pushed into a visitors room, you meet a gnome who ask them what they seek. He receives Kee-Kee’s letter and agrees to convey their request for an audience to Chief Yatta. When asked for the group’s name, Kavier responds that you are The Avengers.
Confronting the Chief
You are escorted to a great hall, interrupting the goblins’ meal. All eyes are on them as they are led to the throne. The letter Kee-Kee wrote was read out:
First, I make no apologies for escaping with Imik. I have the people who hold this letter to thank for my rescue. They defeated our enemies and set us free from Cragmaw cages.
You have often spoken of making alliances with outsiders. The dragonborn is your chance for this. They aim to hunt down the Cragmaw and find another of their own. They know the location of Cragmaw Castle. What they lack is information about who they oppose.
Do not look for me or Imik. I will further your instructions from afar and find the alliances you seek. I will return on proving that we are worthy as partners in furthering the Bonesplitter tribe together. Know that our strength is in working together. Not keeping us apart.
Await our triumphant return.
Your loyal nephew,
Yatta and Eldon tell you what to expect at Cragmaw Castle. You learn of the the goblin horde that has formed, made up of two goblinholds, Pointy Sticks and Necksnappers, under Cragmaw bugbear rule. And that the bugbears are presently in talks with Iron Fist hobgoblins to join in alliance. Tactically, this means that not only is the castle a fortification, they have at least two groups of levy meatshields and a bugbear infantry. Depending on how their talks with the Iron Fists go, they may also have a cavalry.
Yatta believes that to have any chance of winning, there needs to be some kind of infantry or levy (perhaps recruited from Phandalin?) to oppose the Cragmaws. A siege engine of some kind would also be needed to down the castle. Eldon suggests approaching Reidoth in Thundertree who may know of treants who can act this part. Yatta is not interested in committing his troops without a credible force to oppose the Cragmaws.
You learn that Bonesplitters have resisted Cragmaws so far as they have hidden themselves in the mountains and evaded through magic. They are the only goblin clan who have magic users. The conversation turns to trade — Eldon arranges three different objects for viewing: a dagger with wondrous balance yet half the weight of steel; an intricately crafted jewellery box; and a survival bracelet. Myrl buys two daggers and a survival bracelet. Ixir and Redspear convey that trade with Phandalin is contingent of their friend being rescued and assistance is rendered. And so the discussion comes to an impasse.
Eldon ushers you back to your room where the benches have been laid out and converted to bedding. Redspear tries to convince Eldon that this is the opportunity for the Bonesplitters to take the place of the Cragmaws. Eldon agrees this is a good opportunity but it ultimately depends on Yatta. Redspear also shows him the journal of an adventurer named Urmon, it describes the history of the Lost Mine of Phandelver and the Forge of Spells. In addition, Urmon records that a magic mace named Lightbringer was commissioned by priests of Lathander, the god of dawn, from the mages working with the gnomes and dwarves of the Phandelver’s Pact. The mace was lost when Wave Echo Cave and its mine vanished from history. In exchange for the book, Eldon promises to bring something back to Redspear in exchange. He leaves.
To be continued…