Here again with the wall of text about orcs and wizards and stuff.
As always, apologies for any errors.
Gloran Hopback (@grievoustim) Dwarf Monk
Sir Kelross (@ericVII) Half-elf Ranger
Zana Dalanthan (@dingaling) Wood Elf Druid
Sir Curtas Sulazar (@keith) Human Fighter
Fannloy Roade (@anon67149139) Human Cleric (absent this week)
Gelanúr (@songs_about_ducking) Half-Elf Bard (absent this week)
Previous recaps: Dungeons & DiSers Part one: Don’t know who you are, pal
Dungeons & DiSers Part two: Big Cave and The Bad Deeds
Dungeons & DiSers Part three: Let Sleeping Giants lie
Dungeons & DiSers Part three: Wyvern long face?
Dungeons & DiSers Part five: Back to The Phandalin
Dungeons & DiSers Part six: Shut up and roll the crits
Dungeons & DiSers Part seven: The Linton Gravel Cavern
The story so far
Gundren Rockseeker, a close friend of the party, is missing. He’d recently found a map he thought would lead him and his two brothers to Wave Echo Cave; a magical cave that most people assume is a myth.
Gundren and his bodyguard, Sildar, were ambushed on the way to the town of Phandalin. The party rescued Sildar but Gundren had been taken, maybe to somewhere called ‘Cragmaw’, at the request of ‘The Black Spider’.
Despite being framed the murder of Sildar’s missing wizard friend, Iarno, the trail has turned from cold to lukewarm. The town is in the grip of a bullying militia called The Rebrands and a new acquaintance has told the party that there’s a goblin in the Redbrands hideout who might know where Cragmaw is.
The team are in the cellar below Tresendar Manor. They’ve helped a poor family avoid being sold into slavery and are now focussed on finding the redbrand leader, Glassstaff.
Part eight: Staff meeting
After taking some time to rest in the cavern, the party split to follow different paths leading west.
Gloren, Gelanur and Fannloy followed some stairs down to two doors and went through the one heading in the direction they figured the rest of the party would also be heading. They found themselves in a room with a gaming table covered in cards and money and several barrels of ale. The chairs were scattered in a way that suggested a quick exit, so the team figured this was where the last bunch of redbrands they fought had come from.
Zana, Sir Kelross and Sir Curtas arrived through the door at the other end of the room. Zana had listened at another door they had passed and heard the sound of bugbears on the other side. They made a plan: Fannloy would burst open the door to the room of bugbears to get their attention and run back towards the cavern. Sir Kelross and Sir Curtas would be waiting with some violence. Meanwhile, Zana, Gelanur and Gloren would wait in the opposite direction to join the fray from behind.
So Fannloy opened the door, screamed something insulting into the room and legged it.
Three bugbears chased him as planned and the lead one swung at Sir Kelross. The ranger was prepared and managed to dodge the blow while Sir Curtas put a crossbow bolt into the attacking beast.
Gloren led the pincer attack, striking the trailing bugbear in the back with a savage axe attack while Gelanur ran up and sang an inspiring song.
The bugbears continued to attack, with one now lunging at Sir Curtas. Luckily the beast missed, but Sir Kelross and Gloren weren’t not so lucky and both took strong hits.
Fighting back, Gloren’s kicks and Sir Curtas’s greatsword both landed on their opponents, meaning Sir Kelross could finish one off with a perfect arrow shot. Gelanur healed Gloren to keep him going, things were looking up.
Sir Kelross then took a couple of brutal blows from the bugbear attacking him and fell unconscious. Things weren’t going much better at the other end of the battlefield as Gloren received an almost fatal battering.
Sir Kelross down, Gloren badly hurt and three bugbears still standing.
Fighting through his wounds, Gloren swung his axe up and through the bugbear’s head, killing it. But Fannloy stuttered through a healing spell on Sir Kelross, hampering its effect. Their ranger friend was dying.
Sir Curtas, after swinging and missing a couple of times, finally managed to land a devastating strike on the final bugbear, sending it to the ground in pieces.
While the fight went on, Zana dashed into the room the bugbears had come from. In this squalid, ransacked room she saw a goblin, who promptly fainted at the sight of her.
After bringing the goblin round, Zana gave it some food and tried to talk to it, but the little monster just hissed and panicked like a trapped animal. Zana could see the goblin had taken some nasty injuries.
After saving Sir Kelross from death, the party decided to get a little rest to heal up some injuries. As they rested, the goblin tried to sneak away. Unlucky for him, it ran straight into the room where the rest of the party were resting and was now captured and surrounded.
Sir Curtas offered the goblin some gold and eventually got it talking. Droop, the goblin, did indeed know about Cragmaw. He told the party that Cragmaw Castle is filled with goblins and marked it on their map - it was very close to the cave where they rescued Sildar, Gundren’s bodyguard, way back in part one.
The goblin knew nothing about any dwarves, Gundren or Iarno, so the party let him loose. As he dashed away, Droop cackled about how clever he was for taking care of the bugbears who had beat him up.
Splitting their forces again to explore the last area of the hideout, Gloren, Zana and Fannloy snuck back to the last secret door they had found. Gloren opened the door very quietly and saw a man sitting at a desk, thoroughly distracted by his work. Beside the man, leaning against the desk was a glass staff.
With no hesitation, Gloren made a grab for the staff. The man saw him but couldn’t beat Gloren’s speed.
Irritated and unamused the man reached out with a hand full of lightning but Gloren nimbly dodged it and threw the staff behind him. Zana hacked into the man with her scimitar, which only seemed to further irritate him.
As Gloren landed a brutal one-two with his axe and fist, the man fell back, rolled onto his knees and lifted his arms in surrender.
Meanwhile, at the other side of the hideout, Sir Kelross went to kick down the door but failed miserably. After using the handle, he found himself in a workshop with vials and beakers full of various liquids bubbling away. in the centre of this room was a table and on that table stood a rat.
After a short tussle, Sir Curtas managed to grab and bag the rat, only for it to disappear moments later.
They moved into the next room to join the others, finding them about to question a well-dressed man on his knees.
This man, it turns out was Glasstaff and he was leading the redbrands. He had set up the militia in town and used them to traffic people into slavery. When asked about Iarno the wizard, Glassstaff laughed as he revealed that he was Iarno. He didn’t want to die, he wanted to face the justice of the Lord’s Alliance.
On further questioning, persuasion and intimidation, Iarno/Glassstaff revealed that the Black Spider was a powerful dark elf who wanted to know where Wave Echo Cave was. Having heard about Gundren and his brothers finding a map that supposedly led there, he had them abducted. He had also sent word to Iarno to take care of the party who were causing trouble, which Iarno thought he had done cleverly by framing them for his murder - conveniently also ending the Lord’s Alliance’s search for him.
Iarno didn’t know where the Black Spider was or what fate had befallen Gundren and his brothers.
The party tied him up and gathered his documents and all the gold and jewels they could find. They led the captured wizard back to town, arriving just as night was falling.
Zana slipped off and went to the Sleeping Giant to see if any rebrands were still in there. She found the landlady sitting alone. Over a drink, she learned that a single terrified redbrand had burst in a few hours ago, told the rest of them that the game was up and it was time to leave town. And with that, they’d all gone.
Meanwhile, the rest of the group called at the home of Townmaster, Harbin Wester. The nervous fool changed his persona quite swiftly once he found out the redbrands had been disassembled, Iarno wasn’t dead and Glassstaff was captured. He cockily strode over to the Townmaster’s Hall where Iarno was put into a cell.
Zana dropped by to see Sister Garaele at the shrine of luck to tell her the redbrands had been taken care of. She was incredibly grateful and wished Zana and her friends much luck.
After a lot of free booze and food at the Stonehill Inn, the newly crowned heroes of Phandalin went to bed and slept so well they levelled up.
So what now for Phandalin? The town that is now free from the grip of the redbrands. Will the party head for Cragmaw Castle or follow one of the other leads (Agatha the banshee, the undead at The Old Owl Well or the valuable heirloom at Thundertree)? What justice will Iarno face? Will they ever see Droop again? Where is the Black Spider? What exciting new things will level 3 bring our brave adventurers?
9 redbrand thugs