A Sea of Troubles
It has been five years since a group of adventurers set out from Neverwinter to Phandalin on the charge of the locally famous Rockseeker brothers to reclaim the lost Mines of Phandelver and restore Phandalin to its former glory. They were successful in this pursuit, driving off the green dragon Venomfang and his lust for treasure, dethroning the traitor Iarno Albrek and his goons known as the Redbrands, and destroying the Black Spider and with it, the threat to the lost mines in Wave Echo Cave.
One of the adventurers, Roberto Brightwater, took the people of the town under his wing – and with the help of the locals has rebuilt Phandalin into a glowing mining settlement, and restored the once proud Tresendar manor (now Brightwater Manor) where he presides over his people. The economy bustles with activity, after several short but successful military campaigns funded by the Lord’s Alliance (after word of his activities reached them in Neverwinter by way of Sildar Hallwinter) and led by Roberto restored the trade routes west along the Triboar Trail toward Neverwinter, and east to the settlement of Yartar on Surbin River, connecting it with the trade routes that run along that river north to Silverymoon and south to Waterdeep.
Xi stayed with Roberto in Phandalin to help him rebuild the town, having nowhere else to go and deeming it a worthy cause for which to lend his considerable power. After the river trade routes opened back up, Xi formed a small group of warriors that, in return for payment, protect the trade ships running north and south along the Surbin River. Although he rarely stays long, his only place of permanent residence is in a temple in Waterdeep, where he assists the old and frail priests and priestesses there with the upkeep of the temple. He hasn’t seen any of the others in some time.
Grocks participated in the military campaigns to clear the area for trade, earning himself the nickname “Orc Shredder” amongst those of the Lord’s Alliance that fought alongside him. He briefly worked on the trade ships on the river – but gnomes hate being on the water. He ended up stopping in Silverymoon to recruit the engineering skills of his gnome kin there in working and improving the Phandelver mine at Wave Echo Cave. Begrudgingly, some joined him on boats back south to set up and work in the much more gnome-friendly place of Phandalin. He resides there, but rarely interacts with his kin, and instead prefers working with the local humans helping hunt, trap and domesticate animals to feed the town and its now many workers.
In the intervening years, the wizard Ielenia travelled back to Neverwinter, where she rejoined the temple to Oghma and wrote many tomes on the events that transpired in the foothills of the Sword Mountains. She has overseen (from the comfort of her temple) the pursuit of an evil necromancer in possession of a certain spellbook which could mean disaster across the human settlements of the Sword Coast were he ever to learn and use its secrets. In her dealings she has made connections in the Lord’s Alliance, and the latest piece of information she gathered has sent her back to Phandalin, seeking the help of her old friend Roberto Brightwater.