When we last left our bodacious brigadiers they had finally arrived in Phandalin after raiding a goblin hideout. During the assault they found Sildar, a body guard and close friend of the Rockseer Brothers, who may have some valuable information on their quest. What will they encounter next? Keep reading and I’ll tell you.
The sun began to set as the five adventurers crested the grassy hill that overlooked Phandalin. The rutted track slowly winded down the other side. In the distance they could make out the lights of a small frontier town. With a shake of the reins the cart began its quiet descent into the town. The town itself consists of a few dozen log homes, built in the ruins of what was once a much larger town.
“Hark my comrades! Dark is nearing, I suggest we find a place to lay thine head, mine constitution is wearing thin.” said Sildar.
Heeding the advice of a real adventurer, they set course for the Stonehill Inn, claimed by many to be the best (and only) place in town. Cinnamon jumped from the cart, and tied the assembly to a post outside stopping for a moment to ponder his subtle attraction to the pair of horses whom had been pulling it. These feelings alarmed him, and so he did his best to suppress them as the group walked inside.
Before them lay a dark and dusty tavern just like in the movies. Save for a few vagabonds slowly drinking themselves to death in the back corner, it was a fairly civilized establishment, which was a welcome reprive in these parts.
Walking up to the bar, Atlas skeptically eyed the innkeeper. With an evil eye he asked, “You got rooms?”
“Aye! We have many fine accommodations,” said the innkeeper. He too was skeptically eying the group, but seeing them to be but a pack of newbie adventurers took them as no threat.
“How much will this get us?” Said Atlas throwing 5 gold coins down on the counter.
“One night’s stay in our finest room, or five night’s stay in any other,” said the innkeeper in reply.
Tapping Atlas on the corner Carlos said, “Let’s just get the normal room.”
“NO! I will only accept your most luxurious bedding!”
“Very well then” Said the innkeeper grabbing the keys from under the counter. “Right this way.”
He led them up the stairs and down the hall to a solemn door. Upon opening it they found a large suite with three adjacent bedrooms, a large fireplace adorning the main room.
“There’s food and drink downstairs if yee get hungry,” Said the innkeeper. He turned to leave the group to their business. As he did he whispered under his breath, “the loons I have to deal with nowadays.”
Slider turned to face the group, “I shall take this the larges because you guys almost killed me, also I hath called dibs. Tomorrow I shall go to the town hall to see what information I can find about the fate of our quest givers. I suggest you search the town and do so as well. Should you find anything, report it to me as soon as you can. Goodnight.”
With that the group turned and set off for bed. Cinnamon was given a room to himself (as the others were afraid of getting splinters), Carlos and Elephant shared the bed in the other room, in need of a little manly contact, and Atlas crouched in the corner facing the door to the room, ready to attack any would be attackers (he fell asleep after about 12 minutes).
After a mostly restful night’s sleep the group headed downstairs to see if anyone had any juicy gossip. All except Cinnamon who stayed in the room to contemplate his hidden feelings for that horse. Elephant, being the most charming in the group began interrogating patrons. He began with the barmaid.
“Hey lady! What do you know about what’s going on?” he kind of half-grunted. For all his boasting, Elephant had an indomitable fear of talking to women.
“Oh my! I don’t know much. I try not to get caught up in gossip. I did hear that the Redbrands killed Thel Dendrar and kidnapped his family.” she replied.
“WOW THAT’S REALLY INTERESTING” screamed Elephant, unable to control his volume. “WHO ARE THE REDBRANDS?”
“You don’t know the Redbrands, my you must be new in town,” she said looking very surprised. “They’re a band of ruffians that have been terrorizing this town for 10 cycles!”
“Wow that’s really awful,” Carlos chimed in, “do you know where we can find them?”
Interrupting him Elephant shouted, “THAT SUCKS, DO YOU KNOW WHERE WE CAN FIND THEM?”
“Uh, sorry like I said, I try not to get mixed up in those sorts of things.”
“Hey do you want to suck my dick?” asked Elephant with the sophistication of a middle schooler.
Unfortunately for Elephant (and for the whole group really) the woman he was propositioning was the Innkeeper’s wife. Needless to say he was not too happy about this crazy band of idiots who had caused a ruckus and were now harassing his wife. And so the group was quickly and promptly kicked the hell out.
“Good going IDIOT!” yelled Carlos, “Why did you do that? Now how are we going to find out about the Redbrands?”
“Why don’t we collect our rewards for the cart then we’ll figure out what to do” said Atlas.
And so the group visited the requisite shops and dropped off the supplies they had so dutifully carried all the way from Neverwinter. After a quick and rather boring bit of unloading supplies, and picking up adventuring equipment, the group render-voused at the town center. They decided to split up to better search the town. Elephant went to check out the orchard to the north, Atlas went to check out the farms to the south, and Carlos headed back to the tavern to see if he could talk to a few more patrons without getting kicked out.
Following one of the winding roads through town Elephant eventually came to a large orchard nestled between two large hills. A sign next to the trail read “Edermath Orchard”. It was a nice day out and the scenery was rather stunning. “I better put this one in the spank bank” Elephant thought to himself. In front of a small log cabin stood an old man casually raking apples. “Huh, that’s strange, I wonder why he’s raking those apples,” Elephant said to himself, though he was never one to judge what is and isn’t strange.
“Greetings sir, a fine day isn’t,” he yelled.
Turning to look at Elephant the man smiled and replied, “why yes, quite a nice day indeed. What can I do for you young man?”
“Can I get some apples?”
“Uh…I mean I don’t usually just sell them, like off the tree. But I guess you can sure.” the old man replied with a confused look on his face. Reaching down he began to fill a small sack with apples. Handing the sack to Elephant he stretched out his hand. “One gold I suppose.”
“Sweet thanks.” Taking the apples, Elephant paced them in his pack and looked back to the old man. “what do you know?”
“Huh, I’m sorry, I’m afraid I don’t understand the question.”
Elephant had enough of this man’s sassy attitude. He charge the man, grabbing him by the collar. “WHAT DO YOU KNOW?!”
“I don’t know anything!” He cried, dropping his rake.
“WHAT DO YOU KNOW!?!?!” Elephant lifted the old man off the ground and began to shake him wildly.
“What are you talking about?!?!” the old man now fearing for his life.
This went on for some time. Eventually Elephant realized that this man may actually not know anything at all, that or he had just phrased the question poorly. Either way, Elephant had now assaulted this man, and needed a way out. He released his grip on the man’s collar, allowing him to fall to the ground in a coughing fit. Slowly the man stood up, and Elephant clocked him square in the face. The man fell to the ground unconscious. Elephant retrieved his gold piece from the man’s pockets then booked it in the other direction.
On the other side of town Atlas was having a much more productive time acquiring information. He had arrived at the Alderleaf farm. Upon asking the woman who answered the door, he was directed to a young boy named Carp who had a run in with some Redbrands a few days ago.
“I-I was running in-in the woods like I do. Me and my friend were playing heroes and brigands and-and it was my turn to go hide. I found this re-really cool hiding spot, it was like in this big bush and stuff, and there was this-this hole, it was really dark and I could barely see, and I was being real quiet, like bobby was never going to find me, because I-I’m a real good hider,but then I heard noises, like people noises, so I ran outside the hole, then these three big nasty Redbrands came from-from my hidey-hole and-and they ran off into the woods. They didn’t see me, because I-I’m super sneaky like I said, but they scared me real good, plus Bobby found me so I lost.”
Carp then showed Atlas to the secret tunnel. Atlas then thanked the boy for his time, patted him on the head, then sprinted off to find his companions and tell them all that he heard.
Back at the Tavern Carlos was having a hard time convincing the Innkeeper to let him back in. Finally after successfully convincing the man that he didn’t know Elephant he set about pestering patrons for information. To his surprise, the types of people who frequent taverns at 1 o’clock in the afternoon are rather knowledgable. He heard of what happened to Carp, and he learned that Daran Edermath who owns the orchard used to be an adventurer. He also found out that there may be potential quests at the town hall and the local shrine. One of the more observant patrons also informed him that the Redbrands don’t mess with the town Mining Exchange. It was a bit of an exposition overload, but he was feeling good about being the most productive member of the group.
The group met at the center of town to share the information that they had collected. Once everyone was caught up to speed and they had sufficiently berated Elephant for assaulting who very well could be an important quest lead, they split up once again to search the remaining parts of the town for quests. Carlos headed to the local Shrine, Atlas went to investigate the Miming exchange, and against they’re better judgement, they sent Elephant off to check out the downhill.
Now admittedly this part of the story is a bit dull, so I’ll just summarize. They got a tip on a wraith who could use dealing with, and some orcs to the east who were causing a ruckus, and Elephant managed not to assault anymore townspeople. In addition they got a bunch of requests to deal with the Redbrands who were terrorizing the town. The group met up again in the town center and feeling that they had done plenty of adventuring for one day, headed back to the inn to get some sleep. In the morning they decided to finally deal with all these Redbrands they’d been hearing about non-stop.
They walked along the main road until the buildings turned from scenic to shady. They stopped in front an old rundown tap house near the outskirts of town. Three ruffians lay strewn about the front porch of the establishment, presumably still unconscious from a raucous night before. A worn and tattered sign above the doorway read “Sleeping Giant Taphouse”, and featured a crudely drawn image of the titular giant.
“I guess this is it.” said Carlos, somewhat disappointed at the poor state of the murderous gang’s hideout.
Just then four beefy thugs burst through the entry way. “Well, well, well. Here’s a whole pack of little puppies. What do you want puppies? Come here to bark at us?” snarled the meanest nasties ugliest one.
Carlos and Atlas wasted no time getting things started. In an instant Atlas unleashed a hail of arrows, striking one of the Redbrands in the knee. The thug dropped to the floor with a mighty thud. The three thugs who had been sleeping awoke suddenly to join the fray. Carlos charged headlong into the group. With a single mighty strike he cleaved the leg of one of the unarmed Redbrands clean off.
Clutching his bloody stop of a leg he cried out, “AAAAAAAHHHH! What the fuck dude!? You can’t use swords and arrows in a fist fight!”
“Oh my god I am so sorry,” exclaimed Carlos throwing his weapon to the ground, “I thought we were battling to the death!”
“In our defense you did call us out,” Cinnamon chimed in.
“Yeah because we were going to beat the crap out of you guys, we didn’t think you’d escalate to sword and junk!”
“You’ve been terrorizing the town what did you think would happen!?” said Carlos unable to look away from the thugs bloody stump. “Either way you guys have to come with us, you’re going to jail.”
Scared for their lives the Redbrands quickly obliged. At sword point the group led the hobbling thugs to Halia Thornton, the head of the mining exchange who offered reward for helping get rid of the Redbrands. Atlas knocked on the door, almost immediately the door opened just enough for a Halia’s head to pop out.
“What do you want” she scowled.
“You said you wanted us to deal with the Redbrands,” Atlas said feeling very intimidated by Halia’s presence.
“I wanted you to get rid of their leader!” she exclaimed, “but I can find a use for these boys.”
If the adventurers had been more observant they might have noticed the evil smile on Halia’s face, or they would have seen her throwing them into the basement of the Mining Exchange and chaining them to the wall. But they were still low level adventurers so what do you expect.
Word was sure to get around town pretty quickly about the Redbrands the group had just maimed so they had little time before the whole gang set out for revenge. The group quickly decided that the time had come for them to assault the Redbrand lair that they (rightly) assumed that secret tunnel led to.
What will the group find when they assault the Redbrand hideout, what secrets will be revealed, what treasure will be found? Find out next time!