The Road to Phandalin
Thus far, the trip had been uneventful. Several days of slow travel along the High Road from Neverwinter, the occasional merchant or traveller, otherwise, nothing to be concerned about. The party had spent some time getting to know each other, most were here on commission, the dwarf, Gundren Rockseeker had paid them to escort supplies for his mining expedition, Freddie was here as a favour to his old friend.
Gundren was excited, unusual for the normally gruff dwarf, when he had asked Freddie along. He had found "something big" and had tasked Freddie with finding an escort for his wagon, before setting out with a well-armed escort ahead of the wagon. Accompanied by a well-seasoned warrior, the dwarf would reach phandalin several days ahead of the heavily laden wagon.
Zinovia, Windsweeper and Turtle were all known to the silver dragonborn, they had shared a drink or two in local taverns and the like. The three outlanders travelled from place to place regularly, generally sleeping in the wilds, or acting as guides into the wilderness for travellers. Their reputations strong and built over many moons, a simple delivery job would be a nice change of pace.
The young wizard, however, was an unknown. She had completed her first year of studies at the college, and was looking for some work on her break, a chance to earn some gold to put towards books and materials. She was highly referenced, though. Some ward or other of the warrior accompanying Gundren.
And so, the first few days were spent in general conversation, acquainting themselves with each other, while keeping a wary eye open for trouble. They'd made camp before starting down the Triboar Trail, and in the morning split from the High Road and began down the ruddy tracks of the path less travelled. Phandalin was a small town, and they were due to hand over the supplies to the owner of Barthen's Provisions prior to being paid. After that? Well, whichever way the wind blew would be fine.
It was just after lunch when the pleasant trip took a turn. Rowina, lazing in the wagon with the supplies, Windsweeper and Freddie driving the horses, and Zinovia and Turtle strolling along each side, watching the woods as the trees began to close in around them. Squinting through the beams of light that occasionally penetrated the branches above, Windsweeper noticed something in the road ahead. Were they... Horses? Calling the procession to a halt, the group cautiously approached the gruesome barricade that stood in their path. The horses lay, dead in the path, blocking any further travel down the road. Black fletched arrows still protruded from their bodies, and it was clear on investigation they had been moved to create a blockade. Reaching out for tone of the arrows, Windsweeper found his hand quickly stopped by the young wizard. "They might be trapped" whispered Rowina.
It was then, that arrow went whipping through the air, and straight past Freddie's ear. Reaching his hand up to check for blood, the cry went up, "Ambush!"
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