27th-28th of Highsun, 1481 DR
The Heroes of Phandalin found themselves deep in the heart of Wave Echo Cave in search of Nundro Rockseeker and the evil Black Spider. After clearing out the assayer’s office and the guard room of skeletons, the party continued taking paths on the right until they came upon a large cavern with a carpet of greenish blue fungus.
As each member made careful progress through the room, Orrick tripped and fell into Bart, who then faceplanted in the fungus. A thick cloud of poisonous spores sprayed into Orrick’s, Bart’s, and Claudius’ faces. However, they managed to stave off the dangerous effects.
After the fungus room, they found themselves in a cavern with a building carved out of the side of the cave. Claudius sensed a very powerful undead presence in the building, but upon inspection, they found nothing but burnt furniture and a chest. However, when Pimpernel tried to use mage hand to unlock the chest, the room became very cold and a wraith named Mormesk coalesced in the room, demanding a reason for them touching his chest.
Danial clumsily explained that they were in the cave to clear it out of the Black Spider’s minions, which seemed to satisfy Mormesk. Mormesk explained he was the last wizard to defend the Forge of Spells 200 years ago, forever tied to the building and one of the contents of the chest. Mormesk struck a deal with the group instead of killing them, promising everything (save for his precious smoking pipe) in his chest and free use of any of his old books in exchange for killing a spectator in the Forge that killed him long ago.
Not knowing what a spectator was, the party went to the Forge and was confronted by the floating eyeball with a mouth and four tentacles. It demanded to know why the party had intruded and if they were ready to die. The party sprung into action and relieved the spectator of its duties quickly. Xidas managed to find the rare magical mace, Lightbringer, and the magic armor known as Dragonguard in the Forge’s storage room.
They returned to Mormesk and he gave them the treasure in his chest, took his pipe, and left this plane of existence, his spirit sated. Upon searching the books, Xidas found a map to a location south of the Sword Mountains. She kept it for future study and exploration.
Keeping to the right hand pathways, the party then made it to the far northeast corner of the cave, discovering the source of the wave crashing sound. An underground body of water ebbed and flowed, its waves crashing against the cave wall and causing the sound to echo throughout the cave system. Moving along from there, they emerged at a crevice with a stream running through it.
Claudius, with his boots of springing, jumped to the other side with ease, but botched the landing and alerting two bugbears further down the stream of his presence. The bugbears immediately approached him, calling for backup in the process. A heated battle ensued, and part of the way through, a drow entered the fray as well.
Danial managed to get one of the bugbears to succumb to Tasha’s Hideous Laughter, allowing Claudius to turn its head into paste. Bart beheaded the other one. After taking a flurry of damage from the drow, Orrick managed to strike a few blows himself before the drow retreated up some stairs. The group followed and found themselves just outside the room where their ultimate test resided.