The party was gathered in the town of Dunmoore in the kingdom of Ulmeer by their friend and patron Gundren Rockseeker. He asked them to take a cart load of supplies to the city of Phindalin, a few days journey south. Phindalin was a relatively new settlement and was in need of supplies, and Gundren promised them the sum of 10gp each upon deliver. He left Dunmoore ahead of them accompanied by a human warrior, due to ‘pressing business’ awaiting him in Phindalin.
Along the way, the party spotted a dead horse and pony, both riddled with crude arrows, on the road. Investigating, they were ambushed by four goblins. It became apparent that the horses were those of Gundren and his escort. This was confirmed by a goblin taken prisoner. The ranger of the party, Chani the half-elf, found a trail leading away, deeper into the forest that hugged up against the road. After traveling a few hours, they discovered a cave and entered cautiously, but again were attacked by hidden goblins. Staying more alert, they delved into the cavern.
Discovering this den of goblin bandits, they made short order of the foul little beasts, thwarting a trap and dispatching of half a dozen goblins. They encountered a huge menacing bugbear, calling himself Klarg. The battle with Klarg was bloody but decisive as the party slayed him rather quickly, with Grimlore Wolfsbane the barbarian absorbing most of the blows before Teos the halfling rogue buried his dual blades deep inside the beasts chest. As they finished off the last of the creatures, they found Silgar, the human warrior, but Gundren was no where to be found. Silgar said Gundren had been taken away, to a entity known only as The Black Spider to a place called Cragmaw Castle. Silgar asked the party to accompany him on to Phindalin and there, they would discover what they could about The Black Spider and Cragmaw Castle.
Along the way, Silgar told them of the pressing business Gundren alluded to:
More than five hundred years ago, clans of dwarves and gnomes made an agreement known as the Phandelver’s Pact, by which they would share a rich mine in a wondrous cavern known as Wave Echo Cave. 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 (called the Forge of Spells), where magic items could be crafted. Times were good, and the nearby human town of Phandalin (pronounced fan-duh-lin) prospered as well. But then disaster struck when orcs swept through the North and laid waste to all in their path. A powerful force of orcs reinforced by evil mercenary wizards attacked Wave Echo Cave to seize its riches and magic treasures. Human wizards fought alongside their dwarf and gnome allies to defend the Forge of Spells, and the ensuing spell battle destroyed much of the cavern. Few survived the cave-ins and tremors, and the location of Wave Echo Cave was lost. For centuries, rumors of buried riches have attracted treasure seekers and opportunists to the area around Phandalin, but no one has ever succeeded in locating the lost mine. In recent years, people have resettled the area.
Phandalin is now a rough-and-tumble frontier town. More important, the Rockseeker brothers-a trio of dwarves-have discovered the entrance to Wave Echo Cave, and they intend to reopen the mines.