Next instalment of this already classic adventure.
As always, apologies for any errors, I typed this up very quickly from terrible notes.
Big thanks to the team for another great session.
Gloran Hopback (@grievoustim) Dwarf Monk
Sir Kelross (@ultros) Half-elf Ranger
Zana Dalanthan (@dingaling) Wood Elf Druid
Sir Curtas Sulazar (@keith) Human Fighter
Fannloy Roade (@anon67149139) Human Cleric
Gelanúr (@songs_about_ducking) Half-Elf Bard
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
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.
It’s the middle of the night and the team have just entered the hideout under Tresendar Manor.
Part six: Shut up and roll the crits
The party entered a large stone cellar. There was a big cistern at one end of the room with kegs and barrels piled around the walls. There was a door to the north and one to the west (at the side of the cistern).
Zana quietly began looking around, noting that the barrels contained salted meats, sugar, dried foods and ale.
Needing no further encouragement than the word ‘ale’, Fannloy trooped over and began blessing the kegs. Unfortunately, these were right next to the door to the west - a door which had now been opened by a bunch of redbrands.
With no room to move around, the redbrands were bottle necked in the doorway by Zana.
Acting quickly, Gelanur used the cistern for cover and fired a crossbow bolt that injured the first thug in line. Fannloy stood in the water to get into position and reached out to use a spell, but failed to touch his target
The front redbrand attacked. These were trained fighters and with two swings of his sword, one of which was a critical hit, Zana was knocked down and lay bleeding.
As Zana fell, an arrow from Sir Kelross punctured through her assailant’s eye, killing him.
Gloren ran forward to plug the bottleneck. This was keeping the redbrands from attacking anyone but him. He swung his axe and fists, raining blows on the thug.
Gelanur cast a healing spell on Zana, which was enough to get the elf back on her feet. He then sang Gloren a song of inspiration; “Rollercoaster” by Simply Red, apparently.
As Fannloy cast a follow-up healing spell on Zana, Sir Curtas’s misthrow sent a javelin into the room behind the redbrands, slightly injuring a bed.
The two remaining redbrands continued their attack. The one at the front landed a critical blow on Gloren, badly injuring him. Sir Kelross fired an arrow at the thug, leaving him staggering in pain for Gloren to finish off with his fists.
Fannloy climbed out of the cistern and tripped over as he did. He covered his shame by launching a guiding bolt at the remaining redbrand, which obliterated him in an instant.
After the fight, Zana checked the room the redbrands had come from. It was a small barracks with two beds (one with a javelin in it). They found a couple of jewels and a small amount of money.
Gelanur, meanwhile, took one of the redbrands’ signature red cloaks from the bodies and put it on. He used his disguise kit to change his appearance enough that no one would recognise him from the wanted posters.
Fannloy then dumped the redbrand bodies into the cistern and noticed a small waterproof satchel in there. He opened it to find it had a change of clothes, some gold and two potions inside. One of the potions he recognised as a healing potion, but he had no idea what the other one was. This looked to be someone’s escape kit, maybe.
The party readied themselves to explore further.
They crept through the door to the north and found themselves in a long, wide corridor leading to a set of double-doors at the end. As Gelanur strode forward, he felt the ground suddenly give way. In a burst of incredible dexterity, he somersaulted backwards onto safe ground as the floor collapsed to reveal a large, crudely spiked pit-trap.
The pit looked way too large to jump over, but there were narrow ledges on either side. Gloren skilfully made his way along one of the ledges and threw a rope back to the others. Between him and Sir Curtas, they created a guide rope that allowed the others to cross. It would be hard to fall now.
Gelanur did it though, thanks to him rolling a one. From a spectacular somersault only minutes before, to slipping and landing with a thud in the pit below. He was helped out with a second rope and eventually everyone made it across.
Heading through the double doors, they found themselves in a peaceful, elaborately decorated room containing three sarcophagi with skeletons propped up against them. As Zana went to inspect one of the skeletons, all three came to life.
Gelanur, again getting the jump in combat, fired a crossbow bolt that badly wounded one of the skeletons while Zana used her druidic powers to fill the room with vines and ivy. All three of the bony bastards were snared but two of them were still in striking range. As they attacked, one of them managed to critically hit Zana.
Wading through the vines to make their attacks, Gloren killed the injured skeleton and Sir Kelross wounded another. The angry undead struggled against the vines but couldn’t break free, the distraction affecting their aim too as they failed to land a hit on anyone.
Having made it through the vines, Sir Kelross landed a strong sword hit on one skeleton, Sir Curtas smashed another to pieces with his greatsword as Fannloy drove his mace through the skull of the last one standing.
As the room fell quiet, Zana necked a healing potion and searched one of the sarcophagi. There wasn’t much inside other than remains. Sir Curtas recognised the family name inscribed on the stone, it was a noble family he’d heard of but wasn’t otherwise familiar with.
Feeling some remorse for disturbing the dead, Zana created flowers for each of the sarcophagi and Fannloy read a touching poem:
There once was a Goblin from Phandalin
Who ignored rules on Manual Handling
He sure was no boffin
Got crushed by the coffin
So in respect, I’ll put a candle in
There were two doors out of this room, one to the north and one to the east. Sir Kelross’s keen senses picked up the sound of human voices coming from the door to the east. Once everyone had gathered themselves and were in position, Fannloy decided on a grand entrance.
He created a magical light inside one of the skeleton’s skulls which lit up like a very odd lamp. He threw the door open and rolled in the skull.
As confusion-induced swearing came from the room, Sir Curtas ran in.
This was some kind of pen, where prisoners were being held. Iron bars from floor to ceiling created cells at either end of the room, with doors locked tight by chains and padlocks. There was a woman, a teenage girl and a young boy in the cells. Two redbrands stood guard.
As Sir Curtas swung wide with his sword, the redbrands struck back. One of them critically hit the fighter, while the other missed completely. Fannloy, continued his grand entrance by using a powerful spell against one of thugs, making him shudder painfully into little more than a puddle. Fannloy winked at anyone watching.
Sir Curtas continued to spar with the final redbrand, landing two solid strikes that badly injured him. The thug fought back but Sir Curtas knew he had the upper hand now and found it easy to side-step the attacks.
As Fannloy fired a crossbow bolt to finish off the wounded enemy, Gelanur tried to offer words of comfort to the prisoners who were looking startled, confused and very scared.
They wore the specific expression of someone who’d watched a brightly lit skull roll into the room followed by a bunch of strangers who quickly destroyed their guards. The fact that one of these strangers was now trying to comfort them, while dressed in the same red cloak as their capturs, wasn’t really helping.
Eventually, the team managed to release the family and convince them that they meant no harm. They explained that the way back was inhibited by a large pit trap and agreed that the family would wait here until the party had found another way out.
Heading back to the room with the sarcophagi in and through the door leading north from there, they followed a narrow corridor to another door. This one opened into an armoury containing many standard weapons and more red cloaks.
There were no other doors. This was a dead end.
Was this it? Is this some kind of joke? Maybe this isn’t the real hideout after all? Are they stuck here now? Where the hell is this Glassstaff chap who’s supposed to be leading these twats? There’s no goblin here either. The little boy was no oil painting, but definitely human. Hey, anyone else seen that thing in computer games when you get to a room that’s full of weapons, ammo and stuff? That’s usually before something really easy happens isn’t it?
5 redbrand thugs