During the course of the adventure, the characters will advance to 5th level. The adventure is set a short distance from the city of Neverwinter in the Sword Coast region of the Forgotten Realms setting. The Sword Coast is part of the North--a vast realm of free settlements surrounded by wilderness and adventure. Dungeon Masters purchasing this module can use it to run the adventure with very little prep, other than reading through the adventure in advance. The contents of the story are indexed and linked, where appropriate.
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You sit in the Driftwood Tavern after another hard days work, lost in your thoughts and ale. Suddenly you start to pick up on a hushed conversation at a table directly behind you. You turn to regard a trio of dwarves, all dressed in prospecting attire, large dwarven ales of their own in hand. In addition to its mineral wealth, the mine contained great magical power. Human spellcasters allied themselves with the dwarves and gnomes to channel and bind that energy into a great forge, where magic items could be crafted.
Times were good, and the nearby human town of Phandalin pronounced fan-du h-lin prospered as well. Then disaster struck! Orcs swept through the North and laid waste to all in their path.
To make matters worse They were reinforced by evil mercenary wizards, lust for power and riches in their eyes. In a ferocious battle, they attacked. Goodly Human wizards fought alongside their dwarf and gnome allies to defend the prized cavern. After it was all said and done, the ensuing battle destroyed much of the cavern, and few survived the cave-ins and tremors.
The location of the cavern was lost through the ages. Suddenly, you here the screech of a chair, waking you from this most intriguing tale. Their tones grow hushed as the other two stand and surround the small round table. You see one of them pointing to and fro on the map.
You eye several others, of different races, dressed to the hilt in adventuring gear and weapons also trying to listen in, looking on intently. After a moment he yells out to the room in a gruff voice.
You see other adventures quickly standing and going to the dwarf, now holding a parchment signup-sheet.
Lost Mine of Phandelver
It plunders everything cliched and overused from Tolkien but abandons all the strange sadness and the mythological references. Forgotten Realms embraces a pedantic faux-medievalism, but then uses a contemporary positivist understanding to explain magic that allows for cutesy magical technology to gloss over the inconvenient aspects of the pre-modern. That and a player coddling, computer role-playing game derived game design ethos that limits player choice and insults player intelligence in the name of providing a consistent play experience. Many people love this module, I do not. Fifth Edition has a certain promise to players of older editions with a step back from grid based complex combat as the center of the game, towards exploration and roleplay, and Lost Mines could be intended to be an introduction to this style of play. The art is relatively sparse and frequently seems designed for reuse, not showing actual events or NPC from the adventure, but rather generic fantasy monsters and vanilla fantasy adventuring archetypes engaging in non-specific adventuring tasks.
Wave Echo Cave
Mine Wave Echo Cave was a cavern located just 15 miles east of Phandalin and the location of the Phandelver mine. Wave Echo earned its name for the rhythmic thunder of pounding waves that echoed throughout its tunnels. The caves were noted for their rich mineral wealth and in DR, an agreement between clans of dwarves and gnomes to share the wealth of Wave Echo Cave. This pact was overseen by nearby elves and humans. Human wizards from nearby Phandalin joined the pact to help harness the powers of the Forge and soon they began crafting all manner of wondrous items. However in DR, the mine was assaulted by a horde of orcs under Uruth Ukrypt , and during this battle an enormous magical explosion buried the mine and its inhabitants for centuries. However their discovery was soon usurped by the dark elf Nezznar , who then used the Cragmaws and the Redbrands of Neverwinter Wood and Phandalin respectively, to supress the knowledge of it location.