After having Alton resurrected and burying Dain, the group agrees to make Valleria a full member. They awaken the next day to find Skithiryx gone, although they all agree not to worry about him, as he does these kinds of things… Alton returns to the Lionshield Coster to collect the armor he had commissioned from Linene Graywind just before his being attacked by the Redbrands.
Durik questions Droop the goblin, finding out that the goblins they encountered on the Triboar Trail were part of the Cragmaw Clan. He divulges the location of their hideout near the road, and begs the dwarven sorcerer to be his protector. Durik agrees to take Droop as his servant/pet. The goblin also reveals that the the Cragmaws took a dwarf prisoner some time ago, and the group agrees that it might be Gundren Rockseeker.
Leaving Phandalin, they travel west along the Triboar Trail back towards the place that they encountered the Goblins. Along the way, Thorin notices that they are being followed, but cannot discern who it is that shadows them through the woods. Rather than inform the group subtly, he leaves them in danger and keeps the information to himself.
As they neat the goblin trail, they round a bend in the path to find it blocked by fallen trees! From behind them, savage war-cries echo as a pack of orcs charges out of the trees!
Thrown spears hit the group, and then the orcs are upon them! Thorin shapeshifts into a bear, and attacks the lead orcs. Meanwhile, Valleria engages the three that held back to throw more spears. After a short but vicious fight, Alton finishes off the final orc, and the party takes a breather.
After the battle, Valleria cuts off the orcs’ heads and plants them on their own spears along the trail to warn travelers and other orcs alike. Then, she uses one of their axes on the fallen trees while Thorin burns them with summoned fire. The trail is soon cleared, and the party sets off after hiding the orcs armor for gathering on the return to Phandalin.
When they reach the goblin’s hideout, Durik asks Droop if they have guards. The fearful goblin confirms that guards watch the cave entrance from a blind nearby. While the rest of the group debates the best plan of attack, Thorin shapechanges into a snow-leopard and sneaks up on the goblins, finding them asleep. He quickly begins dispatching them, but one strugles as he kills it, awakening the last. It flees, calling for help.
Upon hearing the calls of the fleeing goblin, the rest of the party charges the cave entrance. Snow-leopard-Thorin chases after the goblin, following him into the caves and finding him releasing three chained wolves. Thorin kills the goblin, but is attacked by the starving wolves. The party gets there in time to aid him, but he is still wounded. Feeling his infernal ancestry influencing his decisions, the tiefling feels a blood-frenzy coming on. Now in bear-form, he charges up the tunnel with a stream in it, seeking out more prey that he has scented.
Worried for their friend’s safety and sanity, the party follows as quickly as they can. As the incline of the tunnel increases, Durik casts a spell of light upon one of Alton’s swords and Valleria’s shield. Bear-Thorin roars in anticipation of more violence, but the echoing sound quickly changes into the roar of a crashing wave!
Water surges downward towards the party as a massive wave appears, washing over them. Valleria manages to find a handhold in the cave-wall, and holds onto Alton’s backpack as he is nearly drowned by the surging tide. The bear-tiefling claws his way upward through the wave, and finally makes it to an open cave. Meanwhile, the sturdy Durik watches from a safe outcrop of stone while Droop is washed away down the tunnel…
Once the water recedes, the party catches up with Thorin at the end of the tunnel. In a cave with a now-empty pool for holding water, goblins and hobgoblins attack in ranks behind shields. The fight ends quickly, thanks to Durik’s spells, and the party finds an entrance to another cave just off the first.
There they see numerous crates and barrels stamped with a blue lion. They have found the goods that Linene Graywind told Alton had gone missing along the Triboar Trail. However, before the party begins searching them, bear-Thorin smells the scent of both dire-wolf and bugbear! Its a trap!
Finally seeing the dire-wolf, Thorin charges it! Three bugbears step out from hiding places as the party follows their bear. Thorin’s bear-form charge smashes one of the bugbears down a stone shaft the leads to the wolf pen, and it disappears with a yelp.
After Thorin is beaten to a bloody pulp by the dire-wolf and the bugbear chieftain, Valleria stands over his unconscious and bleeding body while fending off his two attackers. Alton and Durik kill the other bugbear, and then Durik uses his lightning to fry the dire-wolf (singeing Valleria in the process). Badly wounded, the bugbear chieftain gets disarmed and tripped by Alton.
Meanwhile, Droop climbed up out of the same shaft that the bugbear had fallen down earlier, and administers a healing potion to Thorin.
The bugbear, identifying himself as Klarg, begs for his life in exchange for information. Valleria puts the point of Talon to his throat, and asks just what kind of information he has to offer. At that moment, a mixed squad of goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears crashes through the cave entrance and prepares to attack!
The party warns Klarg to order his minions to back down, and when he shouts at them to stop, they halt momentarily. Using their uncertainty to target them while they are clumped together, the now awake Thorin blasts them with a thunderwave! They are hurled back into a wall by the force, and most die upon impact. Alton finishes off the one bugbear that was still twitching.
Valleria demands certain information from Klarg in exchange for his life: the location of Gundren Rockseeker, the location of the hidden fortress Klarg had hinted about, any possible “backdoor entrance”, information about King Grol, and the location of Klarg’s own treasure. The bugbear reveals that he and his minions did capture Gundren Rockseeker and his bodyguard. The bodyguard is still in the caves, but Gundren was sent to Cragmaw Castle at the command of King Groll. Klarg shows them on their map the location of this castle in Neverwinter Wood, and gives the other information as well.