Session 3: Into The Redbrand Hideout

After being attacked by the Redbrands outside The Sleeping Giant, exploring their hideout under Tresendar Manor seemed like the next best step.

However, the group decided to leave the dead Redbrands lying in the street where they died and head back to the Stonehill Inn.

When they got there they found Sildar and Harbin in the middle of a heated conversation with a dwarf, who upon seeing them, pointed and cried "That's them! Those are the ones who killed my customers!"

"Okay, let's calm down Grista," Sildar interrupted. "I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation. Let's hear what they have to say."

"They attacked us and we killed them." Ivor replied. "That's all there is to it."

"Have you lost your minds?" Harbin yelled, "You can't just go around killing people in the streets!"

"Those were my customers," Grista cried, "and some of them were good boys!"

The rest of the party explained that the Redbrands confronted them and drew their weapons first and there wasn't really anything else they could do.

Sildar assured Grista they would get to the bottom of things and suggested that they take this talk to the Town Master's Hall.

Once they were inside the Town Master's Hall Harbin erupted, "Do you have any idea what the repercussions of your actions might be? Have you lost your minds? Don't you think the Redbrands will retaliate? What happens when you're off gallivanting and they burn someone's house down?"

Pippin cracked a quiet joke to Lee, "We do have one lost mind. Or really a lost mine. It’s called Wave Echo Cave.”

The group tried to convince Hardin and Sildar that they were committed to doing whatever it took to keep the civilians of Phandalin safe. After reprimanding Harbin for not having taken any action against the Redbrands so far, Sildar ushered the the group out of the room.

Once outside Sildar acknowledged that the group was trying to help, adding that Harbin was a useless fool, too afraid to take a stand. "My friend Iarno came here to establish law and order and now he's missing. He was last seen around Tresendar Manor. I hope you will investigate in case they're keeping him there."

The group promised they would do their best to find him, and went on their way.

• • •

The group entered the woods south of Tresendar Manor and Lee soon found the trail leading to the cave Carp had told them about. The group took out their light tokens and entered the cave. The cave led through a tunnel about 100 feet long before opening up into a large natural cavern. As they entered the cavern they felt a cold breeze surround them. They smelled the faint scent of decaying flesh. They saw a  5 to 10 feet wide crevasse dividing the cavern along its length, flanked by two rough stone columns that supported the twenty-foot-high ceiling. There were two arched wooden bridges spanning the chasm.

Each of them heard a voice address them individually. It became apparent to each of them that the voice was speaking to them inside their own head. The voice asked them why they were here. It asked them why they were traveling with this group that would eventually betray them. It told them why they were failures and were doomed to fail again. It seemed to know all about them.

The group was freaked, but eventually rejected the voice and most shared much of what they had been told, but now everyone and not all was told.

The group began asking the voice a bunch of questions, "What's your name? What are you? Are you a ghost?"

"No!" was all the heard in reply.

The group ventured deeper into the cavern looking for the source of the voice. Eventually Atilius cast Detect Magic and noticed a faint necromantic aura emanating from the bottom of the crevasse.

By the northern bridge, Pippin climbed 20 feet down to the bottom of the crevasse and noticed that it felt unnaturally cold. At the bottom Pippin spotted a battered wooden chest hidden in a cubbyhole and not too far away, heaped among broken and well-gnawed bones, a half-eaten corpse.

The chest contained silver and gold coins, five malachite gems, two potions, a magical stone, and a longsword, its hilt is worked in the shape of a bird of prey with outspread wings, in a silver-chased scabbard, and the word "Talon," inscribed on its blade.

Using a rope Pippin passed up the contents of the chest. Lee took the sword, Atilius took the potions and the stone for later identification, and Moula took the rest of the treasure for safe keeping.

Then, as they began to haul up the corpse, they heard "No! Stop!" in their heads. "Leave that alone! Leave me my food!"

Out from behind one of the columns appeared a hideous beast with fierce claws and spikes along its body and a single huge eye dominating its face. Lee was stuck right next to the monster and had to run down into the crevasse and climb back up to the other side.

As it looked at them they could feel a wave of death wash over their bodies.

Lee began shooting arrows, Atilius began throwing Fire Bolts, and Ivor and Moula rushed across to engage the monster.

The monster fought back, scratching at them with its claws and staring at them with its necrotic gaze.

Eventually the group overwhelmed the creature with its assault and it fell to the ground, with numerous injuries, and died.

With the threat eliminated the group surveyed the area, and found four additional ways out of the cavern, all man-made tunnels, with the two western exists leading down stairs. They choose a narrow hallway to the east, closest to the tunnel. After about 40 feet the hallway ended abruptly. Pippin easily found a hidden door.

Going through the hidden door they entered what appeared to be a large storage cellar. A large stone cistern occupied the western part of the room, whose walls were lined with kegs and barrels. Across the room they saw stone steps ascending in two short flights, with a door at the top of a five-foot-wide landing fifteen feet above a large cellar. Another door stands beneath the stairs to the north. And another on the same wall they came in through on the other side of the cistern.

They quietly searched through the supplies, but found nothing other than salted pork and beef, flour, sugar, apples, and ale.

Lee opened the door across the cistern and saw four Redbrands, one only just barely an adult, waiting for him. They all looked startled and shouted, "That's them!" Lee quickly closed the door.

With the rest of the group waiting ready just outside the door, Turenim entered the room, and announced "We come in peace. Peace is the only way out of here. Violence will not save you."

The Redbrands were waiting with crossbows loaded and three of them fired at Turenim, with two bolts finding their mark.

Turenim braced himself and continued, "We come in peace. Put down your arms and we will all leave here safely."

At this they all lowered their crossbows. The largest of the Redbrands stood from behind the boxes where he had been hiding, dropped his crossbow and approached Turenim.

“Now, we will walk you out,” Turenim said calmly.

“No, now, we will walk you out!” Then he shouted "You killed Mario!" and stuck Turenim with both of his shortswords. As Turenim fell, Ivor rushed in, with Pippin rolling in at his feet. Lee fired his bow, and Moula dragged Turenim clear, taking the healing potions and pouring them down his throat and on his wounds.

The attacking Redbrand was soon dead, having just been stabbed in the groin by Pippin, just like his friend Mario, while the others just stood there and watched. "I don't want to to die." cried out the youngest of them.

The group interrogate the prisoners asked the Redbrands - Muncie, Flack, and young Peter - questions about their involvement with the Redbrands. They regretted their companion Bento's continued attack, but explained that he was upset that his friend Mario had been killed outside the Sleeping Giant. They explained that they thought the Redbrands were originally supposed to help civilize Phandalin and patrol the surrounding area, and that even though many of the orders given to them were questionable, they thought they were doing the right thing, and didn't feel like they had any other choice. They explained that if they left the Redbrands, they were afraid of reprisals, and that there weren't many opportunities for them.

The Redbrands also told the group that the leader of the Redbrands is a human wizard known as Glasstaff, so named because his magic staff is made of glass, and he resides in the western end of the stronghold. They mentioned that a mysterious figure called the Black Spider had hired the Redbrands to frighten off adventurers and intimidate the locals, for unknown reasons. They also mentioned that the Black Spider has sent bugbears to reinforce the Redbrands and provide extra muscle. Lastly they mentioned that the lower part of the complex is guarded by a hideous "eye monster" and that they are afraid they might be ordered to feed the handful of captives they're holding near the old crypts to it.

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