The adventurers were to meet their employer and friend 'Gundren Rockseeker' and his warrior companion 'Sildar Hallwinter' in Phandalin. Gundren and his friend went on ahead to take care of some business and the adventurers were to follow behind with their equipment and belongings.
While travelling the road from Neverwinter to Phandalin, the adventurers discovered the remains of Gundren and Sildars horses in the middle of a section of the triboar trail.
After investigating the scene, the characters discovered that the saddle bags had been looted and all that was left at the scene was a leather map pouch owned by Gundren. The adventurers were ambushed by some goblins and after defeating them, tracked them back to their hide out.
The adventurers defeated a bug bear and its minions, and the reinforcements seeing the brutal display by Saroth the Dragonborn Sorcerer towards the Bugbear were cowed into negotiating with the party.
The Goblins told the party that Yeemik, one of the higher up Goblins has resented the bug bears leadership for some time and has dreamed of taking over somehow and will be pleased to know that the Bugbear (who's name is klarg) has been slain. The goblins tellthe party that the human is being kept in the feeding caverns, and that the dwarf has been taken to cragmaw castle for interrogation.