What Is Old Is New Again

Redbrands and Nothics and Bugbears, Oh My!
plus a new party member!

The party exited the Cragmaw’s cave with Linene Lionshield’s recovered stolen goods, the Goblin Captain named Ymeck, and most importantly, Sildar, the missing human who was accompanying Grunden. Grunden is still missing and may have been taken to the Cragmaw’s castle.

Night had fallen, so the party decided to make camp just outside the cave, in the hidden clearing opposite the cave entrance. As watch began, movement was heard from deeper within the woods. A human with a bow appeared and approached the party. West ordered this archer to stand down and indentify himself as Berruck snored loudly on his bed roll. Pann continued reading his tome while Faust quietly meditated on the day’s events.

The human identified himself as Rube. He explained his village had been completely destroyed and was the lone survivor. He stated he had nothing but his clothes, pack, sword, bow and quiver. He explained since had had nothing to go back to, he wanted to head out on his own. Perhaps he wanted to find who had taken his home, family and friends away from him.

West continued his line of questioning, and Pann joined in. West and Pann were obviously comfortable enough that Rube posed no threat and began to rib Rube a bit in a good natured fashion. This prompted Faust to laugh and warmly welcome Rube to rest with them. It was decided Rube could join the party, if he so desired. They said they could also use another ally in the search for Grunden, and a skilled archer would be an asset. The remainder of the evening passed uneventfully.

Dawn broke, and the party returned to Phandalin. They returned the stolen goods to Linene, and headed to the Town Master’s Hall with Sildar. There, they jailed Ymeck and learned that the Cargmaw’s castle was 20 miles somewhere north of the cave. Ymeck did not know where specifically the castle was located. At this point, the party decided to head out into town to speak with others to see if they could provide more information. Sildar stated he wanted to get settled in and ask around about Ianro.

The party stopped at the Miner’s Exchange. They met Halia Thornton, the guild master at the exchange. She did not know anything about Cragmaw locations or anything about Iarno. She mentioned concerns about the Red Brand gang. She said gang members frequent a place called the Sleeping Giant. She also heard rumors that their leader was someone known as Glass Staff. She offered the party gold in exchange for ridding the town of Glass Staff and for any documents that this Glass Staff possessed.

From there, they continued around town. Pann wanted to stop at the Shrine of Luck to pay respects to Tymora. Pann asked Faust if he wanted to wager at the shrine. Seeing this would make Pann happy, Faust warmly obliged and proceeded to be bested in the game of chance. Pann left some of the winnings at the shrine, of course. An Elf by the name of Sister Garale approached the group and thanked them for the visit and show of respect. She told them this shrine had not yet lived up to expectations yet, and she mentioned she thought the Red Brands may be scaring people away. She also seemed to be holding back something. Pann, seeing this pressed her a bit. She stated she wished to speak privately with him. The rest of the party gave them privacy. Pann returned and stated she had asked for a favor; he secured a promise of fair payment in return for the favor. When the party had the chance, Sister Garale wanted them to seek out a Banshee named Agatha. Sister Garale wanted them to ask one question about the location of the Spell Book of Bogentle. Sister Garale gave Pann a silver comb to give to Agatha in hopes of gaining her favor. The party agreed to this as long as finding Grunden took precedence.

The party heard several concerns about the Red Brands and wondered if they were tied to the Cragmaws. They headed back to the Town Master’s Hall to see if Sildar had learned anything. They noticed a poster seeking someone to take care of some orcs at Wyvern Tor. They took this for possible discussion later.

Inside the Hall, the part met Harbin Wester. Harbin identified himself as the Town Master and resident banker. He was eager to get the party to take care of the area orc problem. They were inclined to assist Harbin if he would help them. Harbin neither knew where Cragmaw’s castle was nor Wave Echo Cave. He downplayed the Red Brand problem and described them as simple scoundrels whom the town has made out to be a bigger problem than what they really are. Pressed further, Harden became annoyed and insisted it wasn’t a problem and the party could do what they wanted. West, the party’s melee fighter, opined that the Red Brands either were paying him off or maybe blackmailing him.

Sildar soon came out to greet the party and offered them a reward for tracking down Grunden and the castle. He also shared that Iarno was last seen near the town’s old manor house. Further, it was learned that the Sleeping Dragon was in the manor’s vicinity. The party decided that it was a good idea to covertly stake out the Sleeping Dragon and watch for Red Brand activity.

Evening fell, and the party found a quiet spot to watch for activity; they did not need to wait for long. Three obviously drunk humans spilled out of the Sleeping Dragon dressed on dingy red cloaks. They headed in the direction of the old manor. Faust got eager. What the rest of the group did not know was that he had set out to deal with the Red Bands from the beginning. He had received information and instructions to do so as his first act away from his monastery. His simmering temper for bullies bested him, and he called out to the Red Brands much to the aggravation of Pann, who wanted to follow the group. A fight broke out and the Red Brands were quickly overtaken. Rube showed his archery prowess by firing an arrow into the fray and taking out a gang member before he could draw a weapon. Berruck sighed and quickly healed the struck Red Brand and tied him up while Pann commanded the remaining foes to sleep with the help of a cricket. West and Berruck quickly pulled information from the mouths of the captives, with a flurry of intimidation and rapid fire questions. The manor was indeed their HQ, and was populated by more Red Brands. In addition a group of Bugbears were recently sent to reinforce their numbers. A bloodied Red Brand snarled and stated good luck getting by the One-Eyed Monster and any trap that had been set. They knew nothing of Ianro. They said Glass Staff was heading up the cell.
The party decided to take the captives back to Sildar. They were certainly beginning to fill the empty jail cells. They snuck along the edges of town and dropped them off; on the return trip to the Manor, they cut through a portion of a farm and ran into a Halfling child named Carp Alderleaf. He said he saw us with the captured Red Brands and wanted to help. Carp said he had noticed several times the comings and goings of the gang and knew a secret way into the manor. He said his mom was worried about him but he knew all the hiding spots and wasn’t afraid. Faust gladly took Carp up on the offer of assistance but made him promise to run home to his mother once he showed the party the secret entrance.

Carp easily directed them to a spot into a hidden underground entrance. The party had donned the red cloaks taken from the previous captives and quietly entered the manor’s dark underground. Quiet greeted them. It looked like this portion was a sort of cave network cut into and around the manor’s foundation. The smell of decay greeted their senses.

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Movement was spotted and something tried to enter the mind of Faust. A whisper was heard then there was silence. A One-Eyed creature hissed and giggled as it appeared from the darkness. It was a Nothic. It sniffed the air and stated it knew we were not Red Brands. It asked if were dinner or if we had brought it dinner. West treated with the Nothic and it entered his mind pulling a secret, and it confronted him with it. West did not seem fazed by this revelation. The Nothic’s hunger was apparent and wanted food. Faust offered a promise of a pig and the Nothic counted with a request for a human. This would not due. Faust promised 2 pigs, and the Nothic wavered, laughing and oinking, considering the offer of swine. It suggested that maybe if anything that happed to run his way, he could feast. Faust repeated his offer of fresh pork. The Nothic relented and let them pass.

Continuing along the western edge of the small chasm, the party came to a door. They listened and her gruff commands in goblin; the commands sounded like “lick the floor” and other hazing type talk. The voices were too deep to be small goblins, so the party assumed the voices were bugbears. They decided not to burst in. From another nearby door, voices of jeer and cheer as well as the sounds of rattling emanated. Again, the part feared any disturbance would bring the attention of the Bugbears; they decided to circle back and cross the chasm. The narrow and shallow chasm wasn’t difficult to pass. The perceptive and magic sensitive Pann had his attention pulled to a shadowed are of the chasm floor, there he discovered a chest filled with coins, jewels, potions, a magic scroll, and a sword radiating faint magic. It was inscribed with the word “Talon”. Lying nearby was a corpse of a human warrior.

Continuing out of the Chasm and heading north, the party came to a store room containing some barrels and beaver pelts. Faust’s attention was drawn away from the stores and noticed something peculiar. He discovered a secret door hidden within the western side of the cave-like walls. Another was discovered to the east side. Noting this, the party decided to head west back toward where the Bugbears lurked. They came to a small hall with stairs that led to another apparent hidden door. Opening it carefully they peered within. Sitting at a desk sat a human; the sounds of writing scratched and echoed within his room. A staff of glass rested nearby. The man was short and bearded; Faust realized this matched the description of the missing Iarno. The party burst into the room gaining surprise and overwhelmed the wizard. They quickly bound his hands and feet as well as gagged his mouth. This wizard would not be casting a spell. A quick search found several documents which were snatched up. This included a letter, from the Black Spider, instructing Iarno and the Redbrands to abduct Grunden and Sildar and to get rid of any others who followed.

Exiting back through the secret door, the party continued east through the other discovered secret path. They spilled into a hall, and the bound wizard’s eyes went wide as he looked at the next door. Iarno shook his head in what looked to be a panic. Berruck quietly and carefully opened the door. A set of sarcophagi met his eyes. As the dwarf cleric’s eyes adjusted to the dim, musty room, three skeletons rose. Berruck drew his holy symbol and commanded the undead to scatter. Two shrieked in horror as they starred at the shining beacon. They scattered and clawed at the walls in an attempt to flee. The third skeleton showed no intention of turning away, and West met it, full force with a mace, and shattered the skeleton at his feet.

Quickly, the party opened a door to an armory; they gathered some useful items in haste as they reentered the room and opened another door closing it behind them. There, they saw four humans – a woman and three children chained in cells. Two Red Brands kept watch over them. Pann, holding the glass staff, pointed at them and told them to leave now or face a wrath of unimaginable pain. The thugs gawked, hesitated for a moment, and fled through the door the party had just entered. A muffled scream could be heard moments later. The party freed the prisoners and promised to escort them back to town. The woman asked if the party had seen her husband. They looked at one another and opined that maybe he was the one being ordered around by the bugbears. They assured her once they took her to safety, they would return to the manor and seek out her husband.
They hustled back into the skeleton room. The two skeletons were occupied, so they party was able to flee through the remaining door with the freed prisoners and Iarno in toe. The hall beyond the door presented itself with dust covered floors and must filled air. It was obvious no one had passed this way in quite some time. The group paused for a moment and Rube mentioned his concern of an ambush.

Iarno was defiantly silent. Faust volunteered to peek ahead; however, West mentioned that they had encountered the Nothic, knew where the Bug Bears and probably where more Redbrands were. He mentioned the only thing they had not seen were the traps the drunken gang members mentioned.

Pann and Faust nodded and carefully moved forward. They spotted an abnormality in the floor tiles. A few feet ahead there was a pit trap. They found a thin ledge on which one could carefully shimmy by the open floor. West jumped over the pit, and Faust tossed him a rope. The made a rudimentary rail with the rope that allowed the prisoners to easily shimmy without fear of falling into the pit. Iarno, for his silence, was tossed over the pit. His bound condition led to a satisfying slam onto the solid floor beyond the pit.

The continued around the next corner and came to an open room, a well or cistern was within it. Upon closer inspection, to ensure nothing waited in ambush, they found a waterproof satchel containing coin, potions, and fresh clothes. Iarno looked surprised and saddened at this discovery.

Emboldened the adventurers made haste and returned to Sildar. A barely controlled rage simmered behind his eyes upon seeing Iarno. The party turned the wizard over, and ensured the freed folk were looked over while they returned to the manor. Sildar assured them that Iarno would remain jailed. He also sat the woman and her children down and asked them to wait with him until the manor was clear.

The party donned previously captured cloaks and confidently entered the manor. Pann with the glass staff, and everyone with red cloaks, made dealing with the Red Bands a simple matter. Pann stormed into each room and ordered the gang members to flee. “We have been compromised; flee now save yourselves.” He said. Berruck made short work of the remaining skeletons.

The Bug Bear; however, remained. The party decided the easiest way to deal with them would be a surprise full frontal assault. They threw the door open, and Pann pointed his staff and issued a sleep command. The Bug Bear with the embellished eye patch caught the full force of the spell and collapsed to the floor, snoring. This caused movement in the back of the room. A small bloody and swollen goblin fainted and fell to the floor. Faust, in an angry and wild dervish of blurring blows, caught another enemy off guard. Faust surmised the goblin was the creature being humiliated and bullied earlier. Faust’s staff slammed full force and critically smashed the Bug Bear’s skull. A quick twist brought the monk’s weighted hair knot crashing into the doomed monster’s temple. Finally, Faust’s heel snapped his enemy’s leg, and bone shattered ending the Bug Bear’s life of cruelty.

The remaining creature was met with a wall of hammer, mace and arrows. As the blows crashed, and an arrow pierced its flesh, Pann loosed a magic blast and finished off the enemy. The party quickly bound the sleeping Bug Bear while Faust tried to rouse the unconscious goblin. Intimidated by the prowess of the party, he divulged everything he knew. The Black Spider was a drow who knew of Wave Echo Cave. This Drow sent him and his cohorts to aid the Red Brands, so the Spider could go the Wave Echo without interference. In addition, the Bug Bear knew the exact locations of the Cragmaw’s Castle and Wave Echo Cave. They cleared the mansion and returned to Sildar with the Bugbear and the Goblin. Faust arranged for the Goblin to be taken to his monastery, and suggested the Bugbear be taken to a more secure prison in Waterdeep. Sildar agreed.

The party now has begun to get the notice of Phalandin and its people. They had gained more experience and took inventory of their gains. (Level to 3)

Treasure Hall:

Coins
Gold Pieces- 627
Silver Pieces- 423
Copper Pieces- 75
Electrum Pieces- 37

Gems/jewelry
2 garnets (10 gp/ea)
Platinum Signet Ring (50 gp)
5 malachite gems (125 gp/ea)
Leather eye patch w/semiprecious stones (50 gp)
Gold earring w/small ruby (30 gp)
5 carnelians (10 gp/ea)
2 peridots (15 gp ea)
pearl (100 gp)

Magic weapons
+1 long sword
Staff of defense

Scrolls
Augury
charm person
fireball

Potions
3 Healing (plus the 2 from Cragmaw Cave for a total of 5)
1 Invisibility

Other
Waterproof satchel
set of traveling clothes
30 beaver pelts (2 gp/ea)

Bottles of:
Mercury (25 gp)
Dragons Bile (25 gp)
Powdered Nightshade (25 gp)

You found an armory with:
12 spears
6 short swords
4 long swords
6 light crossbows
8 quivers w/ 20 crossbow bolts in each
I know you’ve already taken what you want from the armory but since you went back to the manor it’s reasonable that you may have hit the armory again, let me know if your character took anything else from the armory.

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A group is formed...
You gotta start somewhere...

The party members were in Neverwinter, for various reasons. A Dwarf named Gundren was looking to hire folks to escort a laden wagon to Barthan’s Provisions, located in Phandalin.

Party consisted of:

  • A human fighter named Westmarch. Though “for hire” he radiates a noble bearing under the surface. No nonsense and pragmatic. Knows how to negotiate a business deal.
  • A dwarf cleric named Berruk. Experienced and caring. He has hinted that his morals and refusal to obey an order years ago led to his exile.
  • A moon-elf wizard named Pann. Curious and intelligent. He lusts for knowledge and has a passion for sharing all knowledge too. His bearing shows he has the chops but may try too hard to impress.
  • A wood-elf monk named Faust. Does good for the sake of goodness. Kind and empathetic, he believes all beings deserve a chance to show goodness. There seems to be a suppressed anger bubbling behind his sharp eyes.

The group agreed to escort the wagon in exchange for 10gp per member. Gundren had an older human companion named Sildar Hallwinter, who stated he was looking for a wizard named Iarno Albrek for the Lord’s Alliance. The two left ahead of the group stating they would meet them in Phandalin.

The party headed south from Neverwinter and turned east when they reached the Triboar Trail. It wasn’t too long until they came across a pair of dead horses in the middle of the trial with black arrows sticking from the carcasses. Faust, who was scouting a bit ahead, immediately halted the group. Berruk stopped the wagon and Westmarch stood atop, watching, while Faust and Pann carefully went to investigate the scene. An empty saddle bag and a map case were found.

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Faust heard rustling in the bushes on the side of the trail. It was an attempted ambush. 4 goblins, two on each side of the trail attempted to take out the group. The party overcame the goblins and subdued them. Berruk tended to Pann’s wound while Faust and Westmarch roused the unconscious goblins. Faust met one eye to eye and offered a chance at redemption. After some hesitation and snapping from the other goblins, Westmarch broke one goblin’s finger. The goblin stated his name was Boota, and he shared much information. This included they were of the Cragmaw tribe and their king, Grol took a dwarf to Cragmaw Castle and his older human friend to their nearby base. They surmised this was Gundren and Sildar. Sildar was being held in what Boota said was called “the eating cave.”

Boota also said the cave base currently held about 20 goblins and Klarg their bugbear captain. Boota said that Klarg had received an order from King Grol saying the Black Spider had hired the Cragmaws to capture Gundren and dispatch of any others. The mention of a Black Spider caused a serious look between Faust and Pann.

After some debate, the party decided to load up the goblins and deliver the wagon before heading to find the cave and castle, but only because they had signed a contract to do so. Faust and Berruk delivered the wagon to Barthan’s and were duly paid. There they learned that Gundren found the lost mine of Phandelver and Wave Echo Cave.

The cleric and monk left to meet up with Westmarch and Pann who were delivering the captured goblins (all but Boota) to Linene of the Lion Shield. She indicated she would get them to lockup. She mentioned that she had some merchandise stolen and suspected the goblins. She offered payment and Westmarch negotiated more. Linene also mentioned the Redbands gang was terrorizing the town and to stay away from The Sleeping Giant tavern.

Along with Boota, the party headed back to find the HQ Cave. Boota did not know where the castle was located, only that it was further away 20 or miles NE. Boota was still nervous and a bit hesitant. They gave him a piece of gold in good faith, and Boota relaxed. He pointed out two traps along the trail and took them directly to the cave entrance. He also distracted two more goblins watching the entrance, and the party was able to knock them out without raising an alarm.
Two wolves chained within the cave started barking. Boota suggested some food would quiet them. This proved true and Boota was definitely earning the second chance. He stated most of the other goblins did not like the Bugbear.

The party made their way through the dark cave. They were spotted by a goblin watch from a bridge above and hurried away. Pann launched a fiery bolt and ignited the bridge, causing a distraction. They escaped into another part of the cave just in time to avoided being swept away by a defense of rushing dammed water. Here, Boota again was helpful. Westmarch plopped a stack of gold in his hands and instructed him to lead the mass of several goblins away from a body on the floor. The goblins listened to Boota explain that they needed to hurry, for humans were trying to enter the cave and they set the bridge on fire. A beefier goblin leader stayed behind. This was Ymeck a higher ranking goblin. They party overwhelmed him, bound him, and hid him. They had located Sildar. Sildar was weak and hurt, so Berruk healed him. The other goblins returned with Boota. They seemed almost relived when Boota said they party was there to get rid of Klarg. The party tried to use this to their advantage. The plan was to have the goblins tell Klarg that the Black Spider and his escorts wanted to interrogate Sildar. They wanted to goblins to fetch Klarg immediately and bring him to them.

This almost worked. Some of the goblins caved and warned Klarg. Klarg, himself executed the traitorous goblins and rolled their heads into where the party was to announce his entranced. Klarg’s wolf attacked and was defeated quickly. This frightened the other goblins into fleeing; however, it enraged Klarg. A quick thinking Westmarch instructed Berruk to roll the large rock nearby down from the height at which they were waiting. The rock fell toward Klarg, and he slipped trying to move away. The rock landed on Klarg’s foot pining him. The part easily swarmed and defeated him.

Emboldened by the capture of Ymeck and defeat of Klarg, Boota announced “BOOTA LEADER NOW!” and attacked Faust, who had taken a shine to the little goblin. Faust lost his temper and parried the sword thrust, catching the goblin’s wrist, shattered Boota’s elbow, and forcing Boota to impale himself. Boota sadly looked at Faust and gasped with his dying breath “Boota should have kept friend…”

A distraught Faust screamed and left to a corner to mediate and calm himself. The party search and found some minor treasure including two healing potions and small frog carving with gold eyes. They also found the stolen goods Linene had mentioned. They party gathered up the captured Ymeck and goods with the intent of returning to Phandalin. They also reclaimed the gold they had given to Boota, all but one piece which Faust placed in Boota’s mouth and forced his maw closed.

They party earned valuable experience in this endeavor as the prepared to head back to Phandalin. (Level up to level 2)

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