“First stop, Phandalin. Next stop, Thundertree. Then: the capital.”



  • “Come on, man!”
  • Getting to work at Coffee Hole Farm
  • A sailor’s feast
  • The coming storm

Photo showing the cast of Lobster Role

Image of CHF cave entrance fight

Episode 22: The coming storm


The water runs high. Clusters of vines dot the riverbank at inconsistent intervals. Storm clouds swirl in from the east and extend across the evening sky in all directions. Through the dim light, Little Pocket points out several humanoid figures wandering aimlessly along the far side some fifty feet from the water line. The sun has set, the steady drizzle strengthens into a heavy rain, and distant flashes of lightning announce the coming thunder.



“The kobolds!” an authoritative elven voice called out from inside the main entrance to the basement at Coffee Hole Farm, “They escaped out the back! Go around and see if you can find them!” As the footsteps retreated, Tibboh nodded knowingly at Helja as she finally relaxed her shoulder from the door. Enya and the bear friend returned to prepare an ambush from behind the flaming barricade at the cave entrance while the hobbit, Little Pocket and Hag snuck out silently past Helja to block any chance of escape. “Surprise, bitches!” Tibboh yelled out, adopting the kind of language elven men use to talk about those beneath them. In addition to earning groans from Enya and Little Pocket, the remark drew the attention of one of the two cornered redcloaks, herself an elven woman. She drew two swords and made a run at him, nimbly batting aside a ball of flame with one blade and then deflecting a crossbow shot with the other before being brought down by an arrow from behind and a club blow from overhead — a worthy combatant whose full potential the world would never know. The lone surviving redcloak fared no better, falling to blows from Hag and Little Pocket as he attempted to dash to safety. “So,” Little Pocket asked, “shall we search the bodies and put them on the fire?” And so they did.

With Coffee Hole Farm securely in their hands, the party split up to bring supplies to Phandalin and escort back a group to occupy the farm. With the cloud-covered sky making it possible for the kobolds to join them, Tibboh and Enya returned to Phandalin where Callie told them of a lizard and trogon that briefly visited the cairns and seemed to be chased off by Sister Garaele. Enya meditated beside the stones where she had a vision of other skies. She also found the time to take Carp aside, “I really believe you’re gifted with languages — maybe you could teach and learn ten words with the kobolds?” Meanwhile, Tibboh made arrangements with Toblen for the tailoring of a suit of studded leather armor. Declining the gnome’s offers of springs, buckles, and straps, he came up with something suitable that would also impress at least one of his new friends: “What about a pocket?”

Back at the farm, the sailor spontaneously reached into her own and whispered, as if to herself, “Pockets are nice.” Little and Hag took stock of the basement, identifying a few new secret doors and passages before returning to the cistern room. “Have you thrown the piece in the water?” Hag asked as he ducked through the doorway and into the room. The sailor confidently flicked the last shard of glass flipping through the air before it plunked into the water. “Sometimes,” she replied, “things are more mysterious than we think they are.” Hag nodded: “I’m glad it has fallen to the depths.” Enya and Tibboh joined them just before dinnertime, leading a small contingent from Phandalin to fix the place up and restore its defenses. The dinner was a hit with the whole crowd, among them Rork, the dwarf who had been among the shape-shifting wolves the night of the full moon attack, who was sure Little must’ve sailed with a dwarven cook to get the spices just right. Before everyone retired for the night, Little brought Tibboh his viole and he concluded the evening with a traditional Pennerbeed air.

Outside the mouth of the cave entrance, Hag and the bear friend prepared to take their rest beneath the cloud-covered night sky. A light rain began to fall. Hag smoked his pipe. Slipping in and out of sleep through the night, he remembered strange thoughts while he was unconscious. His bear friend wandered away in the last moment before dawn, looking back as Hag nodded in the bear’s direction: “I’ll see you in another lifetime.”

When morning came, the crowd gathered around Little Pocket  at breakfast. “This is the time!” she cried, “Now is the moment!” Tibboh worked the crowd, cheering enthusiastically and drawing all of them to their feet to join him. “Everyone will enjoy some dandelion wine later!” And they did, in between beginning work to restore the main buildings at the farm and fashioning signs to place around the area. “Speak friend,” read the new sign at the door, “and enter.” Written in plain Common, it inspired everyone around camp to learn how to say the word “friend” in each other’s languages. It was agreed that the door would be opened for anyone who answered in a halfling language such as Dwarven or Hobbit, but not Elvish. Additional signs were placed near the spring: “Find friends at Coffee Hole Farm.” Enya in particular loved these signs, for in the Sylvan language and in her own dialect of Elvish, words like “friends” and “friendship” all share their root in the word for “freedom.”

One by one, everyone made their way back into the basement as the winds picked up and scattered showers began to fall on those working above ground. Hag slipped away from the larger group to jump down into the chasm and settle any lingering doubts about the chicken-legged creature dwelling in the depths. “I come in peace if you are at peace with us,” Hag called out. “Very well,” he continued. “Can we help you? Food? Water? Friendship?” After another pause, he continued again, “Very good, we will leave you alone as long as you want to be alone. I will leave you now, as a friend, and we will live together.” Hag rejoined the collective with a party in full swing. The dandelion wine was flowing, and Little Pocket had outdone their previous performance with a delicious supper of wild rice, dandelion, and plantain greens cooked with foraged mushrooms, wild leeks, some fresh herbs, all stewed in a rich risotto. A knock at the door briefly paused the festivities, but the party was back in full swing as soon as everyone saw it was a friend of Little Pocket’s, a rugged, brown-bearded forest gnome with leathery palms and weathered leather armor. Together, the two sailors figured that the lizard and bird at Phandalin had to have been animal messengers sent from Kira, the captain of Yip’s ship and head of a circle of druids operating out of the nearby ports of Jackmal and Merry-Go. Yip remained concerned that they had no word from Reidoth in weeks, and they also informed Tibboh that a reinforcement of the militia was expected to arrive in Lewporten in the near future. Yip wasn’t able to stay, and took off in the form of a black leapord into the night. The rest of the evening was spent plotting the recovery of Tibboh’s pipes in the capital port of Prinsenzhown and outfitting the hobbit Ally with the dazzling eye patch so she could receive an expected messenger from the crew of the Widow.

The rain fell light but steady the following morning as the party set out for Thundertree. “It has to be reinforced,” Hag insisted, “no matter what ruinous form it’s in.” Tibboh agreed: “First stop, Phandalin. Next stop, Thundertree. Then: the capital.” Passing through Phandalin, Tibboh retrieved his new, secret-pocketed studded leather armor from Toblen and recruited him to fashion a way of securing the second entrance to the farm basement. A seemingly innocent fire show for the children in camp surprisingly frightened away Kax, Lax, and Max. Jax revealed that, while many kobolds get caught up in the hysteria of a dragon’s arrival, he and those close to him had no intention of dragon-worshipping. On the contrary, he had tried to talk others out of going to Thundertree to prepare a new roost for the expected arrival of a new dragon — the first in a century. Unable to participate in the conversation directly, Sildar listened to Tibboh’s retelling but remained skeptical: “There’ve been no dragons to speak of in this part of the island in over a hundred years. Even if you believe the stories, all the great dragons were sealed beneath the mountains ages ago.” And with that, the party set out for Thundertree in the direction of the coming storm.



No new advice this week. No videos, no reminders, no new concepts to introduce. Keep reflecting on your character as a person and how you can use them to help us tell a fun and exciting story together. Keep working at mastering your combat abilities and how you can use them to cooperate and make each other succeed and shine in the great battle you know is just around the corner. You’ve got this.



The future has never looked more unclear. How many will remain standing in the morning? In what new directions will tonight’s events take us? Even I don’t know. No matter what happens, though, I know we will find a way to keep telling this story together.


Be heroic,
Be creative,
Have fun together,





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