The story starts in the region called the Sword Coast.
The coastal territory is largely unsettled with jagged snow capped peaks, alpine forests, lawlessness, and monsters. You are starting in the only large city in the area, the coastal city of Neverwinter. You were hired by your dwarf friend Gundren Rockseeker to escort a cart carrying supplies to the redeveloping mining town of Phandalin (pronounced fan-duh-lin).
Each person will be given 10gp for the delivery of the cart to Barthens Provisions in Phandalin. Gundren has gone ahead with a human warrior named Sildar Hallwinter to attend to business in the town. You are to head southbound on the only road in the area called The High Road, and make a left onto Triboar Trail.
How do you know Gundren? Is Neverwinter your home or were you just passing through? Do you and your companions know each other, or are you meeting for the first time?
500 years ago a mine was shared by dwarfs and gnomes. The mine held more than minerals it also contained a great magical power. Later human spellcasters allied themselves with the dwarfs and gnomes. A successful human town of Phandalin developed and prospered. Then disaster struck as orcs and mercenary wizards swept through the area, wanting the magic for themselves.
The battle caused the mine to cave in, few survived and the location of the cave was lost, and the town too. Many tried to locate the mine but were unsuccessful, and the town of Phandalin was resettled. This time the town became a rough-and-tumble, lawless frontier town. More important though a trio of dwarf brothers named the Rockseekers discovered the location of the mine, and only they know where it is.