- Full of inspiring and cautionary tails from military experience relevant to most combat situations.
- I trust my Gods to protect me and I am fearless in most situations.
- Our lot in life is to lay down our lives in defence of others.
- Those who fight beside me are worth fighting for.
- My hatred for my enemies makes me blind and unreasoning.
Greetings! I’m Kathra Hammerstrike - a Shield Dwarf born on 19th Ches 1361 in the Citadel Abdar. I was born into a family of proud noble-dwarves, and it was intended that I would become a acolyte for The Triad. During the summer of 1404, while I was training, the God Tyr called for me to join armies as a healer to fight against orcs and goblins alongside other races. I took this call, although my father did not want this, and rose through the ranks becoming the captain of The Healers of Alberdor. During my time there, I saved many lives, including a human - Jack Sticks - and when this war was over, I continued to serve in the army. Satly, this could not last forever. A second war started but, alas, it was not against creatures of evil but instead with a neighbouring nation. This lead me to leave the army to become an adventurer, to meet my vision - to irradicating all that is evil from this world!
In the spring of 1481, I travelled to Neverwinter to meet my excited cousin, Gundren Rockseeker, after hearing about his need to escort a wagon along the Triboard Trail to Phandalin from Neverwinter. Here I was suprised to meet Jack Sticks who, since I had last saw him, had also left the army. I also met 3 others: Canton, a folkhero human sorcerer; Lothrax, a hermit dragonborn ranger; and Binzo, an orphaned halfling rogue (although he was less well met than the others). Following Gundren the next day - he left early to deal with some business in Phandelin - we left with the wagon. Surprisngly, espcially for the Triboar trail, the first few days of journey went without incident. However, when we were close to Phandelin we were ambused by goblins, who we quickly dispatched. We discovered the same had happened to Gundren and Sildar but it looked as if that they had fared worse; their horses were slain and a map had been stolen. I feared for their lives at this point. Through some questionable means we found a path which lead to a cave full of gobilins, some wolves, a bugbear, and a very beaten up Sildar. Sildar thankfully survived but knew little else about what went on after he was kidnapped.
We finished the journey and finally made it to Phandelin. We tried, in vain, to find where Gundren had been taken. During this time, we might have got into an unfortuante “spat” with the local mob, the Redbrands. Very few people in Phandalin had stood up to the Redbrands including the Townmaster, Harbin Wester, who said that “they were harmless”. In the end, we displaced them - through possibly violent means - from Phandelin. Their main place of residence was Tresendor Manor. While fighting the Redbrands in the manor house, we discovered that Iarno “Glassstaff” Albrek, a wizard that Sildar was acquainted with was working for a mysterious entity known as the Black Spider; he fled the manor. We discovered through a letter addressed to Glasstaff that Gundren had been kidnapped and taken to a place known as Cragmaw Castle. In regrettable and embarassing anger I burnt Tresendar Manor to the ground and returned to Phandelin to give the Townmaster an earful for his negligence. At this point, Sildar invited me to join the Lords Alliance and I graciously accepted.
After “displacing” the Redbrands, we stuggled to find any information about the location of Cragmaw Castle, and so we decided to travel to see a Banshee named Agatha, close to the destroyed town of Conyberry. The elf in charge of the local shrine gave us a silver comb to give to Agatha in exchange for infomation about the location of Cragmaw Castle. A relatively easy journey led us to Agatha; in exchange for the comb she obliged and showed us on a map where the castle was.
We travelled straight to Cragmaw Castle to try to free Gundren and succeeded, also finding his map. I was disappointed in what I had thought was our decent party as the others wanted to kill an unarmed doppelganger.
After travelling back to Phandelin with Gundren, he asked for us to allow him a tenday to prepare for - what the whole purpose of the quest was - to find and reopen the Mines of Phandelver. We had little to do so during this time so we travelled North East past Conyberry after hearing stories of various unnatural happenings in the area: a necromancer, and some goblins. First, we travelled to where the necromancer was reported to be. When we arrived, we were greeted by a cloaked man, and a group of zombies who held us in place. The cloaked man asked to speak to Jack Sticks alone who agreed, albiet with little choice. Soon after he entered the tent we heard shouting; the cloaked man exited followed by Jack Sticks. Something wasn’t right, though. Jack was no longer being held by any zombies and wasn’t lashing out at the cloaked man either. Jack Sticks was now a zombie. Enraged, I called upon the power of The Triad to turn the undead that were holding us; only a few zomibes withstood that power, including Jack Sticks. Lothrax and Binzo slew the necromancer quickly. I ended the monster that Jack Sticks had been manipulated into - I decapitated Jack Sticks. Although I wanted to stop everything and weep, I kept going on to destroy the remaining zombies that I had sent fleeing knowing that it was my single purpose in that moment. It did not take us long.
These had been the hardest moments in my life - killing what, just moments before, had been one of my best friends. We built a pyre and held a ceremony in his honor, so that he could find his way to the Heavens. I built a small memorial to him there.
We did not stay for long, as the surrounding hills did not feel safe and travelled back to Conyberry to sleep for the night. The following day, we hunted down the nearby goblins and bugbears and slaughtered them quickly. I have prayed since then that I might show more mercy in the future, as in a weak moment, I did not keep to my oath.
We returned to Phandalin sad to be without Jack Sticks. Here we had a few more days to rest and dwell on the events that occured before Gundren was ready to travel. Before we set off, he explained that his brothers had set off to th cave before he had arrived in Phandalin and we could expect to meet them in the area.
Our journey to the entrance of the Mines of Phandelver was easy as we met no other soul on the way. A large rock which had, from the markings on the ground, clearly been moved away. It didn’t take us long to decend into the cave. It was in the second section of the cave that we found one of Gundren’s brothers. He was dead. Killed in his own camp. Gundren asked to stay behind to take care of his brother and asked for us to continue on, if we wished. We continued to explore the cave: overcoming various dangers; almost not overcoming dangers; finding the old furnace and spell forges; the source of the loud echoing wave sounds. It was in the spell forge that we discovered the mace Lightbringer, made for the God of Dawn, Lathander. I knew of the mace from my studies and quickly knew how to wield it - it would light up on command and grant its commander additional power over the undead. I was honoured when the others let me be the wielder.
After a few days of exploring, we finally met our foe - The Black Spider with two bugbear cronies. I urged him to leave the Mines of Phandelver while he tried to bargain with us. When he saw that I would not back down, he apologised for the problems that he had caused and the people he had killed. He promised to leave. I kept my word and allowed him past us. He did not make it to the door before breaking his word. Giant spiders hiding behind columns in the room ambushed us and the Black Spider disappeared. Canton, the clever man, covered the area where he disappeared with a magical dirt. Together we took care of the spiders and the bugbears. It was at this point, I heard a mighty boom. Canton had created a magical force of sound at the point where the Black Spider had originally been standing. He was visible once again and had fallen to the floor. For his oathbreaking, I summoned all of the power that I could and tried to attack him. I was too cocky, overswung and fell to the floor. The Black Spider took advantage of this mistake and wispered softly into my ear - “kill your friends, they are the liars.” My will was not strong enough and his twisted words, through his incantation controlled me. I went for Canton, she was the one who had been attacking the Black Spider. The words tumbled out of my mouth without control, “I shall end you, foul demo…” Before I could reach her, Binzo managed to deal the fatal blow to the vicious spider and ended the curse upon me! I was ashamed to have been so easily broken by such a man and thanked Binzo for saving me. Canton took the Black Spider’s weapon as her prize.
We quickly explored the room finding a few items of significance including a map and notes of the caves, and a key that fit into an adjacent room. In that room we found a bound dwarf who looked badly beaten. I healed his wounds and found that he was the other of Gundren’s brothers. I was glad of this as I was unsure that Gundren could have taken anymore loss.
With Gundren’s brother, we left the cave to travel back to Phandalin. Gundren was incredibly happy to be reunited with his brother. We explained to him what had happened in the caves and what we had found, explaining that we did not fully explore the cave. We agreed with Gundren and Sildar that we would return a few days later, after we had rested, which we did without much issue.
The following few days were made up of celebration - eating and drinking. The townspeople were happy with the news that the mines could be reopened in the future, knowing the prosperity that they provided in the past. During the town’s festivities, we heard from an old adventurer that a nearby abandoned town, Thundertree, was being filled with an evil presence. This caught our attention and we decided to head over there after a few more days of rest.
We took a shortcut through the forest, which lead us to encounter some wolves on the way. These wolves wanted us to leave their territory but Lothrax explained the work that we were trying to do; thankfully, they let us pass but warned us not to pass through their territory again.