(Not written by me, but our DM. This was posted alongside an image of a Forgotten Realms map showing the path from Neverwinter to Phandalin. In future posts, I will share my version)
In the city of Neverwinter, a dwarf named Gundren Rockseeker asked you to bring a wagonload of provisions to the rough-and-tumble settlement of Phandalin, a couple of days' travel southeast of the city. Gundren was clearly excited and more than a little secretive about his reasons for the trip, saying only that he and his brothers had found "something big," and that he'd pay you ten gold pieces each for escorting his supplies safely to Barthen's Provisions, a trading post in Phandalin. He then set out ahead of you on horse, along with a warrior escort named Sildar Hallwinter, claiming he needed to arrive early to "take care of business."
You've spent an uneventful few days following the High Road south from Neverwinter, but not longer after you veered east along the Triboar Trail you came across the fallen horses of your patron and his guard and blundered into a goblin ambush.
With the party divided between dealing with them peacefully, and smashing them into mush the goblins proved hard to hit, but between the sharp shooting arrows and crushing blows violence won the day and the goblins were reduced to bloody corpses.
From the mutterings of a briefly pinned down goblin, searching the horses, and following a hidden hunting trail leading north towards the hills it seems that Gundren and Sildar have been captured and dragged off by more goblins.
After walking carelessly into a snare, the party decides to take a short rest and heal up in the forest before venturing forward.