Rumors in Review
Toblin Stonehill – proprietor of the Stonehill Inn. Toblin welcomed the party and gave them food and drink. Shared rumors of the town, the plight of the goblin raids on the trade roads and warned the party of the dangerous Redbrand gang here. The Redbrands claim to be mercenaries but behave more like brutish thugs that prey on the people of Phandalin. Trilena, Toblin’s wife, told the party that the Redbrands had murdered Thel Dendar, a wood carver, once stood up to the Redbrands. Thel’s wife and kids are now missing and the townsfolk fear the worst.
Elmer Barthen – Barthen’s Provisions. Paid each of the players 10 gp. on delivery of the goods. Shared with the party that Gundren had not made it to the town, but expected him. Also mentioned that Gundren’s two brothers, name and name, had not been to town in the last ten-day but he expected them to come in and pick up provisions any day now. Was very troubled about the news that Gundren had been kidnapped by goblins and urged the party to do something about it.
Lanene – Lionshield Coster. Party had heard of her good reputation. Sells weapons and armor for the Lionshield Merchant Consortium. When Gif’s presence was made clear, she asked the party to leave, stating that she didn’t, “sell to bandits, brigands, goblins, or Redbrands.” Lanene is not a fan of the party for 3 reasons. 1. They have a goblin companion, 2. Grimaldi attempted to kill the goblin in her shop while the party was attempting to make excuses about Gif, and 3. Otadek the Friendly failed to intimidate her into selling the party goods to disguise Gif and forcefully took the goods while leaving gold behind.
Redbrands Bandit group or mercenary company. Rumors state that they have goblin servants, though no one can claim to have seen one. No one knows why they are in Phandalin other than to terrorize the populace because they can.
Meeting the Mayor
After dropping 3 Redbrands outside of the Sleeping Giant Taphouse and capturing a fourth by the name of Gerrolf. The party decided to turn them over to the Mayor. Mayor Harbin Wester was found to be a portly and from descriptions the party was given, “a pompous old fool.” Harbin seemed to be completely intimidated by the fact that armed strangers had come into town and roughed up some members of the Redbrands, the group he claimed to be a mercenary company. Harbin spent most of his time trying to inflate his image and importance to the party while trying to diminish the cruelties (and the reported murder) that had been committed by the Redbrands. The party left the unconscious Redbrands and Gerrolf with Harbin to do with as he would, retiring for the evening.
The night passed uneventfully with the exception that Otadek and Oskar woke up to a room full of chicken feathers and chicken parts. Gif proudly sat on the floor picking at a wing remnant while holding the food up to Oskar and proclaimed, “Duck!” The party inquired with Toblin if they were missing any chickens and Toblin said that he was not so where the chickens came from is still a mystery and has shown that Gif has yet to be fully rehabilitated to ‘civilized’ lift.
The party decided to return to the Townsmaster and question the Redbrands that they had dropped off the day before. Unfortunately, the party found out that Harbin had released the Redbrands, fining each of them 5 gp. for disorderly conduct and even though the party knew that the Redbrands could not pay that fine at the moment of their incarceration (they had counted 11 gp. total amongst the brigands once the party had subdued them) Harbin explained that the Redbrands, as a group, would certainly pay because they wished to have a favorable working relationship with Phandalin. This did nothing to move the party at all, and Harbin continued playing the dullard or at least the pawn in the contention between the town’s populace and the Redbrands.
2nd Encounter with the Redbrands
Upon exiting the Townsmaster’s Hall, the party met Cyril and 3 new Redbrands making their way to the party. They had learned that Cyril was a captain of sorts within the mercenary band and it became apparent that Cyril was interested in retribution for the party’s previous transgressions against them. Combat ensued, Cyril and another Redbrand were stabilized while 2 others died of their wounds. Feeling that nothing would come of turning the Redbrands into the Mayor the party decided to leave the wounded brigands on the side of the road.
While the party was trying to figure out what to do with the wounded brigands and the dead bodies, a young halfling boy by the name of Carp attempted to speak to the party a second time. The first time was after the party had subdued the Redbrands outside of the Sleeping Giant Taphouse. He had asked them then if the party claimed to be heroes and so shouted their praise when they had defeated the Redbrands a second time. Carp claimed to have seen the Redbrands exit a small ravine when he was playing in the woods on the outskirts of town. They skulked about like they were being sneaky, Carp thought, but assured the party that the Redbrands had not seen Carp. Offering the child a shiny silver piece from Grimaldi, Carp took the bait and led the party to where he claimed his mother had told him not to play. The ravine led into a hillside on the south side of Tresendar Manor, a ruined old complex that echoed the past worth of Phandalin.
Otadek and Grimaldi entered into the small tunnel or passageway into the hillside while the rest of the party waited outside. The tunnel continued on for about 100 ft. and then opened into a natural cavern that was cut in half by a natural ravine that cut through the floor of the cavern. The bottom of the ravine was about 20 ft. below the cavern surface and was littered with many bones and pieces of what the the two trailblazers could only guess had once been clothing. A body, broken and shredded was also seen discarded in the craggy bottom of the ravine.
There were two bridges that had been crafted to give anyone access from one side to the other. The room was lit only by the faint light of wall sconces from various hallways and rooms that connected to this main cavern area. Otadek moved to check for traps on the bridge while Grimaldi scouted around the eastern outskirts of the cavern. It was here that Otadek caught a glimpse of a monstrous creature using a natural column to hide itself as it spied on the two party members. The creature was bipedal and roughly human size though its skin was broken with many sharp and nasty looking protrusions. A single eye filled half of the space on its head while the other half was taken by a large mouth full of sharp and nasty teeth. It watched the two as they went about their business until Otadek took action and hurled a dagger at it from his crouched stance over the bridge.
The dagger sunk deep within the creatures shoulder and a blood curdling scream of pain and rage could be heard in all of the party members heads. The scream was not vocal, but more telepathic in nature. A black and purple beam of darkness flew out from behind the column and struck Otadek’s body, causing his body to go into a spasm while his limbs and his body was rocked with rigor mortis. Otadek’s body fell, unconscious, onto the bridge, signaling initiative.
The party’s response was quick. The creature, a nothic, took several wounds before cowering against the cavern walls. Grimaldi directed it to go across the northern bridge and wait until the party managed to discuss what to do with it. It complied, walking back towards the bridge and then attempted to dart down the northwestern passage out of sight of the party members. Fortunately Jhereg was watching for this type of behavior and countered the creatures escape with a Thorn Whip that broke the creatures wounded body and pulled it into the ravine where it expired.
Before trying to escape, the creature had stated telepathically that the Redbrand’s leader, a wizard by the name of Glasstaff had made an agreement to feed it in return for keeping watch over the ravine and the rear exit. It claimed that there were prisoners, a woman and 2 children, who had been brought here but that Glasstaff had not given them to him. Much of this information was broken with cries and whines of its hunger and pleading for food or deep fits of laughter which may have given the party the creature’s mental state.