Session 5: Confronting Glasstaff

Redbrand Hideout under Tresendar Manor
The group slipped through the secret door to find a bedchamber with scarlet cloth drapes covering the walls. The furnishings included a comfortable-looking bed, a wooden chest at the foot of the bed, and a small writing desk with matching chair. Sitting at the desk was a short, dark-bearded human male in robes, studying a tome. He wore a princely mantle of ermine. Briefly startled, he looked up. "Ah my good gentlemen, please come in and join me," he said as he grabbed the beautiful glass staff that was leaning against his chair, to stand.

The group began interrogating Glasstaff as he tapped his staff on the floor and suggested that they “put that nasty business behind them,” trying to assure them that he could explain everything and that they should have a seat and make themselves comfortable.

After some back and forth with the group, Ivor eventually attacked him, but his blades bounced off Glasstaff’s magical shield. Still trying to calm the group down, Glasstaff confirmed his identity as Iarno Albrek and a member of the Lords’ Alliance.

Atilius cast magic missile at Iarno, but his missiles fizzled as they hit Iarno’s shield.

Iarno cast hold person on Ivor and again urged them to relax, suggesting that there was no need to resort to violence. However, Ivor’s will was unwavering and he could not be held.

Iarno then cast hold person on Atilius, who found himself held fast, but only briefly.

With Lathander’s guidance, Turenim tried to take the staff from Iarno’s hand, but found himself paralyzed by Iarno’s hold person.

Ivor, Pippin, and Lee kept up their attacks, but struggled to get through Iarno’s shield.

Turenim freed himself from Iarno’s hold, as Lee finally struck Iarno with an arrow.

Glasstaff decided to make one more attempt, noting that Moula had left the door open and he could see his way to misty step out of danger. He decided to cast charm person on Lee, who was drawing an arrow.

Lee suggested that they should all relax and talk this out like friends. The rest of the group was only momentarily puzzled.

Meanwhile, Ivor maintained his assault and broke through Iarno’s shield with two deep gashes, dropping Glasstaff where he stood.

Turenim told Pippin to gag and bind Iarno as he stepped forward preparing to spare the dying. However, Pippin was enraged and stabbed Iarno viciously in the groin, disemboweling him. Examining Iarno, Turenim could tell he was beyond sparing. Turenim was upset that they would not be able to bring Iarno back to Sildar for questioning, but that opportunity had passed.

Atlius grabbed the glass staff that now lay on the floor.

After killing Iarno, Ivor popped open the chest. When Moula tried to pack up the treasure, Ivor attacked her, slashing her with one of his swords as she dodged his other blade.

Turenim, Lee, and Atilius all jumped in to intervene, yelling at Ivor to stop. Ivor was belligerent, saying she was trying to take his money. Everyone confirmed that they had all agreed previously that Moula would hold the money. Turenim scolded Ivor saying that even if that had not been the case, it was no excuse to attack Moula or anyone in the group. Finally Ivor backed down.

Moula packed up the treasure, giving Atilius a wand and a jar of spell components.

Atilius investigated the neatly stacked papers and notes on Iarno’s desk. Most consisted of orders to apothecaries and alchemists for materials. Among the paperwork they found a letter signed with the Black Spider's symbol.
Nezznar, The Black Spider's letter to Iarno "Glasstaff" Albrek
After completing a thorough search of the room, the group listened at the door across the room. They heard faint bubbling and dripping sounds. Entering, they found what appeared to be a wizard's workshop, with a large worktable setup with alembics, retorts, distillation coils, and other alchemical devices, all of it stewing and bubbling away. Bookshelves were crowded with sheaves of parchment and strange-looking tomes.

As Atilius began to examine the alchemical mixtures on the worktable, it became apparent to him that larno must have been trying to brew potions of invisibility, but appeared to have been unsuccessful. He then moved on to the bookshelves, and investigated the books and notes scattered around the room. He found basic texts on alchemy, and a tome written in Dwarvish, which Turenim was able to translate. While translating Turenim also found a note in the book.
Lightbringer note in the Journal of Urmon
Confident that they had searched the workshop completely, they listened at the door in the south wall. Hearing nothing, they went through to find themselves in a narrow corridor at the bottom of a flight of stairs, across from another door. Through the door they could hear the sounds of talking and movement.

After confirming that the stairs led up to the crevasse chamber, they burst through the door. Inside they saw several worn tables and chairs scattered around a large room. Wooden benches were drawn up against walls decorated with draperies of brown and red, and several ale kegs were propped up and tapped. Four surprised, but tough-looking humans wearing scarlet cloaks were gathered around one of the tables. A stack of coins and trinkets was heaped upon the tabletop between them.

Turenim immediately began shouting to the Redbrands to lay down their weapons, and that they come in peace. The Redbrands, obviously intoxicated, attacked, but the group finished them quickly. Moula shoveled the valuables from the table into her sack.

Pippin listened at the door in the south wall. Hearing nothing they opened it and passed into a 15’ corridor. At the end was another door, and the corridor turned left and went up another staircase to the crevasse chamber.

Listening at the next door, they heard several gruff voices barking orders.

Entering, they saw what looked like a barracks, containing four roughly built wooden bunks, with heaped-up blankets and dirty dishes scattered about. The strong smell of unwashed bodies and rotten meat filled the air. Three tall, furry humanoids were lounging among the mess, barking orders at a sad little goblin that demeaned itself for their amusement.

Upon the group’s entrance the goblin fell to the floor, appearing to faint. Then it picked is head up and smiled, shouting “TURI-Nim!” The grouped recognized him as Snowg.

Before Turenim could reply, the bugbears attacked.

Ivor and Moula rushed in swinging, wounding the bugbears, but were quickly put down by a bugbear each, before they could finish them. Pippin rolled in and snuck in an attack but quickly retreated to the hallway to join Lee shooting arrows. Atilius threw his fire bolts with moderate success.

Turenim dived in to stabilize Moula. Two bugbears ran out to the hallway after Lee and Pippin. The last bugbear swatted at Atilius, who scrambled around the room throwing his fire bolt as best he could, knowing that one shot from the bugbear’s mighty morningstar would probably crush him.

Pippin leaped up the stairs while Lee fled through the Redbrand’s quarters, towards Iarno’s workshop, slamming the doors behind him. The bugbears split up and followed both of them.

Pippin leaped over the southern bridge towards the secret door leading to the cellar. When the bugbear followed him furiously, the bridge collapsed beneath him, and he dropped to the bottom of the crevasse. Seeing this, Pippin turned and ran towards the north bridge.

In the hallway, Lee opened the door to Iarno’s workshop, but fled up the stairs. The bugbear pursuing him continued on into the workshop where he was surprised to find Iarno’s remains.

Lee and Pippin met up on the northern side of the crevasse and headed back to where they had left the others.

Meanwhile, Atilius was very lucky dodging the bugbear’s swings, while Turenim was able to bring Moula back to consciousness. Moula urged Turenim to save Ivor as well, and Turenim reluctantly agreed. Finally Atilius finished the bugbear with a fire bolt to the face.

Once Lee and Pippin returned, they all, including Snowg, went out to the crevasse room. When they got there the last bugbear had just entered from the stairway to the workshop and was reaching down to help the fallen bugbear back up. The party shot him down and he fell by the side of the crevasse. The bugbear that had been trying to climb up fell back down into the crevasse.

As the group went to investigate the two bugbears, they could see that the bugbear at the bottom of the crevasse was dead, and they heard moaning coming from the north, across the bridge. The other bugbear looked like he might be alive.

Ivor stuck his swords into the bugbear, finishing him for good. Turenim was again aggravated with Ivor for not allowing them to question the bugbear.

Turenim and Atilius went to investigate the moaning. They found a Redbrand crawling towards them. “Help me!” he pleaded.

“Who are you?” Turenim asked.

“My name is Franz. You tried to kill us. We were guarding the prisoners. You killed my partner.”

After some debate, Turenim bandaged Franz and promised to bring him back to town.

Alturiak 25

Glasstaff was upon us, and we briefly discussed our battle plan. Before he noticed the intruders, we noticed a wooden chest by the side of the bed, some tomes around his room, including one he was studying, and his infamous glass staff.

Ivor took the lead and attempted to attack him, but sadly he missed. By then, I wondered, “We are supposed to look for this Iarno Albrek, and he has a similar physique… Is this him?” I let Lee know shortly, and as I was doing so, Pippin attempted to attack but missed.

Lee quickly asked, “Iarno? Is that you?”

Glasstaff replied, “Yes, I am Iarno. Now, gentlemen, please, put down your weapons.”

Trying to take advantage of the situation, I sent a flurry of magic missiles and insisted that he would surrender.

He responded, “Stop, my good gentlemen. Put down your weapons and let’s talk.” However, a fearsome glowing shield enveloped his body, and my magic missiles, although strong, seemingly bounced off of him.

Moula tried to piece all of this together, when she asked, “Are you the leader of the Red Brands?”

Of course, he responded with a brief “Yes.” Lee, who wanted to take the lead, asked, “Are you responsible for the murder and utter genocide committed by the Red Brands?”

Iarno replied, “Things are not what they seem.”

As Ivor attacked him, he shouted to Ivor, “You... Be still!”

Ivor seemed to freeze up for a moment, but shook it off and continued moving.

Suddenly, I felt something paralyze me for a brief moment, but it was extremely weak and I easily avoided it.

Pippin, as he was darting around the barrage of attacks from Iarno, asked: “Who is the Black Spider?”

Iarno avoided the question by replying “Who?”

I quickly followed up by demanding, “Why do you kill people and are part of such a noble organization; The Lords’ Alliance?”

Iarno uttered, “I have not betrayed the Lords’ Alliance. I have helped civilization thrive in Phandalin.”

Of course, this was ridiculous. Turenim tried to seize the glass staff straight from Iarno’s hands, and although he made a valiant effort, he froze in place with Iarno shouting at him.

Following that, Ivor, Pippin, Lee, Moula, and I missed our attacks toward him; he is just too strong!

Turenim finally freed himself, and Lee finally hit! It was a fairly good hit at that.

However, what corresponded was quite interesting: Iarno calmly responded to the attack, “Why can’t we be friends?”

Lee then stated, “We are all friends. Everyone, put down your weapons.”

What?! Lee, trying to be peaceful? This must be a trick. Does Iarno have the ability to possess or utterly convince people? This is truly our most mentally challenging opponent yet.

Pippin, the always rowdy child, swung at Glass Staff with his short sword, but missed terribly. However, the next hit would kill Iarno; Ivor hit Iarno with an absolutely devastating attack. Quickly, Lee and I scrambled for the glass staff so that Ivor would not grab the thing and make our life even worse. However, the climax was when Pippin took Iarno’s body and stabbed it in the groin. Iarno’s body was rendered completely lifeless forever.

Lee, of course, the father figure, ran to intercept Pippin and discussed his shortcomings. He stated, “Pippin, if you continue ripping bowels, then you’ll be more like Ivor. Do you really want to be like that?”

“No, of course not,” said Pippin.

“Exactly.” Turenim added, “Listen to Lee. If you do great things, then you will be rewarded for it. Take the path of nonviolence.” Pippin considered every option, and the three underwent various scenarios. It was clear that Pippin made some progress.

Meanwhile, I searched the room and found letters, tomes, potions, and more. It was clearly a treasure trove in there. We found various letters that pointed Iarno towards the Black Spider and other important organizations.

Next, Turenim turned to Ivor, and he demanded, “Calm down. Violence is not the answer.”

Ivor replied with a very condescending tone, “Okay, hippie. Go cry in your safe space.”

I quickly snapped, “We are a role model for Pippin. You are being ridiculous.”

Ivor responded, “You suck, Atillius and Turenim. Anyways, can you heal me?”

We all obviously denied his request. However, Turenim considered it, and ended up healing Lee instead.

Following that, we moved on to the next section of the room, which included a faint bubbling noise, alchemy components, and a work table. I noticed that Iarno was working on potions, and I took a few. Furthermore, there was a tome in Dwarvish that relayed the history of Wave Echo Cave. Turenim read it and translated it for me. Next, he spent around 10 minutes looking for secret doors, but he found nothing.

As we moved on to the next room, we noticed 4 red brands, and there was ale and various trinkets throughout the room. We heard one of them yell, “Jordy, stop cheating… What the?!..”

Rather than Turenim, Lee quickly responded, “You have two options: You can either a) Put down your weapons, or you’re dead. Of course, they began by attacking us. Pippin tried to enter the room, but Turenim held the door shut and was promptly shot by a Red Brand. As Turenim fell, he and I exchanged glances; the potion of healing grew warm in my pocket. I knew what I had to do; I quickly fumbled in my pack and forced it down Turenim’s mouth. He would be returning to us. Both he and Pippin took damage. Then, Ivor and Moula killed the one that attacked Turenim, and they killed the one that attacked Pippin. Lee followed by attacking a third one, and Pippin stabbed the same one for an absolutely massive amount of damage and killed it. He, of course, stabs it in the groin. Ivor followed by killing a fourth one, and the Red Brands were down.

We continued by searching for items around the room. I found a secret door, but I could not prove my findings and it went unnoticed. Lee found some gold and other valuables, and he gave it to the now present Bank of Moula.

We moved on with our toughest fight yet. If Klarg wasn’t bad enough, there were three of his kind; three strong, tough bugbears. I think that Turenim said it best; “[T]hey [could] take out an entire city.”

However, our spirits immediately rose; we were greeted by perhaps the best goblin in the world; Snowg. He shouted, “Tur-enim! Ture-nim!” He promptly fainted in shock. The bugbears began by smashing Turenim to a pulp; he was hit by the bugbear, hit the door, and hit the stone cold floor dead. Of course, I valiantly saved the day for the second time by reviving Turenim. While Lee attacked the first bugbear, Moula and Ivor were instantly killed by the bugbears’ cruel morning stars. Turenim responded by casting “Spare the Dying” on them, which rendered them stable.

Pippin and Lee retaliated by hitting the bugbears with a massive amount of damage, but they were simply too strong! The arrows pierced their flesh, but they ignored the pain as if it was nothing to them. They quickly fled, and the two bugbears chased them. At this point, Turenim and I were left with one bugbear that was ready to kill us both. He swung at me, and blood rushed out of me. I was extremely fearful, but I knew that I had to protect all of those I loved, and I would have to take the front line here. I responded by sending a barrage of magic missiles, which very clearly affected the bugbear. He swung at me three times in eighteen seconds, and I dodged every swing with my adept dexterity. Turenim added to the fight by piercing it with his respective morning star twice. While we were busy with the first bugbear, Pippin and Lee were busy.

Following that, we heard a dying wail, and we found a Red Brand hobbling towards us. Turenim promptly healed him, and he told us about himself. Franz was his name, and he is a 23-year old Phandalin local. He didn’t seem to have an opinion on us job, and he told us about his job. When Glass Staff came, they were told to follow orders for the good of the people, and they were a kind of militia for Phandalin. They were supposed to protect Phandalin from invaders. We agreed to take him back to town, which was very relieved that the Red Brands were taken care of.

~ A.H. Valentinus

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